Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thailand: If London saw red

Chiang Mai

(Bangkok Post) - Here's a thought for those believing the reds have a legitimate right to try to "mob eject" an apparently illegal government. Britain's Gordon Brown was not elected by the people (nor was Tony, Maggie or John for that matter since it's not a republic), and what Labour did was effectively stage manage a leadership change so that their man would be the incumbent at the next election. Is this illegal?

Brown's not very popular in Britain and nearly called a snap poll which he would have surely lost; the opposition aren't happy, so should they start protesting? Can we imagine their supporters surrounding Whitehall, terrorising Leicester Square and blocking the traffic around Trafalgar Square? What were the odds of them causing a cancellation of the G20 summit in London? How would the common man react if a group had occupied Heathrow and ruined their 40-million-visitors-a-year tourist industry? Just think of the outrage in the papers and on the high street if a bunch of dreadlocked, unemployed thugs rioted in the streets, financed by some rich baron calling for a revolution from his hideaway in Monaco.

Now, consider that politics in Britain is still dominated by the elite, mostly public school-educated from wealthy backgrounds, and that the income gap between them and the poor is quite immense. Britain, like Thailand, remains a deeply class-structured country in which the system works better for some. There are some similarities between these two constitutional monarchies but the difference of course is that one of these two is civilised about its democratic values, and its citizens have a lot more respect for, and benefit from, law enforcement. Ultimately, it has resulted in a more stable and prosperous nation.

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