Violet Elizabeth Abhisit

Well, we made it through another weekend without a military coup or widespread violence. Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej is talking about patience and seeing out the problems caused by the anti-democracy mob, which is besieging Government House. Around 10,000 mob members (according to the BBC, the Thai media claim many more than that) advanced on Government House over the weekend and, apparently, ‘easily outwitted’ the police and their road blocks – outwitting the Thai police, eh, they said it couldn’t be done. Perhaps this is one reason why.

As a sop to the mob and their supporters in the Senate, now of course stuffed with junta appointees, Khun Samak has assented to a frankly inappropriate series of censure motions against the government, which has had just four months to sort out the mess left by the disastrous junta period and the obstruction of parliament. The motions will presumably by led by Violet Elizabeth Abhisit (if he can drag himself out of bed long enough), who has threatened to scream and scream and scream until he gets his way. VE Abhisit, a workshy quisling, has many things in common with the mob: both are the results of privileged backgrounds with nothing but contempt for the democratic process or the votes of the millions of rural poor who have repeatedly rejected the policy-free Democrat Party. Second, rather than create a new party politics with policies people might want to vote for, VE Abhisit would prefer to bring down democracy in Thailand, which he proved with his shameful decision to boycott the election of 2006.

Despite the fact that a court (it is illegal to criticize Thai court decisions) banned more than one hundred leading politicians from the Thai Rak Thai Party and dissolved it altogether, the Democrats were once again heavily defeated by the newly-formed People’s Power Party, which continued the pro-poor policies of Thai Rak Thai. In response, the Democrats, a once powerful party with a proud history, have done nothing. Fifty of its MPs will be involved in the no confidence debate which it has no chance of winning. One and a half days of debate will feature the Democrats moaning about supposed mistakes by the PM and seven members of the Cabinet instead of doing their proper job of articulating an alternative set of policies and persuading people to vote for them.

Who Benefits from Attacks on Democracy?

In a shameful show of opportunism, workshy quisling Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, is calling for a no confidence motion in parliament. Abhisit, who has done nothing to articulate any coherent set of policies or ideology for his once proud party, is best known for his extraordinary privileged background and his decision not to contest the 2006 election. Knowing how few people would vote for his incoherent, disorganized party, Abhisit decided to boycott the election and made some obviously false excuses about the power of the elected government and how it was all terribly unfair for people like him. This extraordinary show of his sense of entitlement opened the way for the military coup later in the year.

Now Abhisit has joined with the movement trying to stir up the idea that the country is facing political and economic crisis so as to create the conditions for another coup – or so at least it seems. The Democrat Party had wanted the government to open a general debate in which it could bring a list of complaints about government performance, without of course any suggestion of what should be done. Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej quite rightly rejected this since there is a real need for government to continue to work its way through a number of vital issues – the government is struggling to deal with complex issues that look to be beyond its capability anyway. It has been in office for just four months and has also had to deal with the legacy of the disastrous junta government. It is not necessary to be a fan of democratically elected prime minister Samak to realise that the opposition Democrats may have some unspoken agenda and means of achieving it.

Irrespective of the success of the Opposition forcing a censure motion on the PM and various members of the Cabinet, the Upper House is also set to hold some kind of session assessing government performance. The Senate is now stuffed full of junta cronies and other right wing interests as a result of the new constitution forced through by the junta under conditions of martial law.

Who benefits from the continued period of instability?