The Financial Times has a tolerable opinion leader (never mind the idiotic title) today on the dividing lines in big, pivotal Thailand:
Thailand’s slide into mob rule
Published: April 14 2009 19:45 | Last updated: April 14 2009 19:45
Ever since the autumn 2006 coup that deposed populist prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand has given every impression of having succumbed to mob rule, an impression only somewhat relieved by putting a young Eton- and Oxford-educated premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva, at the front of the house.
Events like last weekend’s cancellation of an Asean summit, with leaders such as China’s Wen Jiabao evacuated as “red shirts” protesters loyal to Mr Thaksin overran the coastal venue of Pattaya, are beginning to paint Thailand in the colours of a banana republic.
Before that, of course, Thailand ran through a brace of Thaksin proxy leaders, toppled by “yellow shirts” royalists who brought the country and the economy to a standstill under the indulgent eyes of the police and the army.
At the root of this now chronic instability is the complete inability of Thailand’s ruling class to come to terms with the political implications of Mr Thaksin’s constituency.
And LBO talk has this link to reports on the demos themselves