Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Red Army - red shirts

Welcome back, bloggers!

Am I talking about the Russian army, Liverpool supporters before tonight's game against Chelsea, or Thai political protesters? Well, of course, the third option is the correct choice. Yes, it's back to politics here in Thailand!

Basically, the red shirts are supporters of Taksin, the former prime minister of Thailand who was deposed by a military coup in 2006. They've certainly got plenty to grieve about, as democracy has really been ridden roughshod over during the last couple of years. And, if you remember, the yellow shirts set the precedent of going to the streets to effect political changes last year when they took over Bangkok's airport.

Although, I don't fully agree with this approach in itself, I think, in the context, the UDD (that's their official name) have little choice. I must admit I hope they succeed, as frankly I find Abhisit, the current PM, pretty slippery and unforthright. What's more, he has no real mandate from the people to govern. He's the product of parliamentary political wheeling and dealing.

Anyway, today was supposed to the Red Shirts' big day. They were hoping to get 300,000 people, but unfortunately only mustered about a tenth of that number. I'm pleased to say I got out to Government House to join them, though. They were incredibly friendly and I was really impressed by their cameraderie. I got plenty of pics and a video too (see above). Frankly, though, I think they're doomed to failure, as if they started to have a real effect, the army would undoubtedly move in.

There really should be fresh elections! Let's keep our fingers crossed.


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