Saturday, 31 March 2018
Tick Tock for Uncle Tu in Thailand and UK?
With the clocks going forward in UK for the start of Spring (this note being written on Maundy Thursday as the Queen distributes money for Easter a sort of medieval Basic National Income prior to the robotics surge of TrumpDavos15Friends as ABB that will cause tremors across Asia as well as USA and Europe) the clocks are ticking in Thailand too.
Not just the kerfuffle over Deputy PM Prawit and his 22 or 25 watches borrowed from a friend who subsequently died. It could happen. The wall murals of a clockface highlighting public concerns though for Uncle Tu and his old army buddy. If not the writing on the wall then a picture.
As a keen watch fan (Breitling seeing as you ask, my concern, despite the increasingly bizarre John Travolta ads, is as much the awful naffness of Richard Mille watches on the Deputy PM's wrist. As bizarre as PM May’s leather trews fashion shoot. And watches for $1M each? Surely the kind of fashion faux pas and own goal that Victoria Beckham would steer David Beckham away from as he concentrates on the timing of his Miami football team launch. And a Thailand tour?).
PM Prayut is now moving more rapidly to elections later this year/early next year to end military rule and return Thailand to democracy. A June 2018 election procedure deadline now announced.
Uncle Tu can rightly take pleasure and plaudits in returning happiness to the Thai people. An Eisenhower figure moving from army uniform to suit rather than a MacArthuresque general of the heavy-handed military rule of Truman's Japan and Korea occupations.
A distinction that can be lost in translation in UK and Europe and Asia.
And forgotten within Thailand.
That all the more important with the Bangkok Governor elections in March definitely lost in translation in UK and Europe after the death of Khun Surin Pitsuwan.
While the new civil service expeditions into the provinces do seem a rather unfair advantage over the mainstream parties that sill have no definite plans and preparations for elections.
That all too familiar though in UK with the farce of Brexit continuing apace with a national tour (in just a day) by PM May one year after the triggering of Brexit article 50 and with just one year to go.
And East Kent now officially in Special Measures and collapse of governance with Westminster and Whitehall now imposing a Local Plan out of the Manston-Infratil crimes. An S44 writ small.
PM Prayut's selfie cardboard cutouts - was one of them a Harley or a Triumph? - seem a bit of fun compared to the flimsy Brexit negotiations that haven't achieved anything other than pricey Airmiles for someone pulling out a calendar and agreeing an extension of nothing much through until January 2021.
Perhaps Uncle Tu could offer some wise advice to UK - as Eire and Japan and Belgium and Australia and EU have done - while crafting a song to herald the start of Thailand's election process?
Clearly opening the jail doors on dissidents and lesemajeste trials need firm and wise guidance in Thailand for the future. Even the Thai (and ASEAN) death penalty that despite being in abeyance has unfortunately infected UK policing views on the Koh Tao murder cases.
But both David Davis the Brexit Minister and Boris Johnson the Foreign Minister have proved to be paper-thin on any substance of what Brexit actually means.
And with UK and EU goodwill to Thailand demonstrated through the EU waiver on sanctions and crucial illegal fishing rights, the clock is ticking on Uncle Tu signing off the t's and c's on Thailand's election.
Is it returning happiness to the people with a June 2018 process commencement, and an election in January 2019?
Certainly PM Prayut has strong support in having implemented very light touch military rule - that all the more notable given China's move into dictatorship with President Xi's overturning of the Chinese constitution terms without any national security issues. And with the positive handover of the Thai monarchy from King Bhumibol's sad death.
An issue that UK will face in the next few years with Queen Elizabeth taking over King Bhumibol's title as now the longest serving monarch in the world.
And the Commonwealth to the fore at the moment not just with the Summit next month in Australia but Prince Charles taking on the leadership role ahead of future elections.
Archbishop Welby of the Church of England - and Commonwealth churches and the Prince Harry wedding to American princess Meghan Markle in a few weeks - no doubt keen to see the many Christian churches and congregations of Thailand as well as the Buddhist temples, after hosting his Easter Week events in East Kent even Ramsgate’s Wetherspoons megapub.
Bishop Trevor Wilmott quietly urging a Buddhist temple in Ramsgate in his previous Easter speech form Cnaterbury Cathedral and The Trevors faith scholarships. Canterbury Cathedral the home of the oldest Christian Bibles surely ripe for exchanges and exhibitions with Thailand of Buddhist manuscripts? Much as Ramsgate and Dutch Van Gogh Museums exchanges should be viable.
Ramsgate yacht club - second only to Cowes in the UK sailing calendar - supporting a Dunkirk Little Ships -style festival each year and the Volvo (TrumpDavos15friends) Ocean race.
(to be continued)
Time for Change