Hard day, dear?
Hmmm. It’s been a Prime Minister day …
Yes, dear, I know.
The suit and tie. That’s your PM uniform. Your peaked cap, scrambled egg and full medals is when you’re Army Chief and for Head of NCPO, if you can get away with it, it’s beret and starched fatigues. It’s not difficult to work out.
Hmmm. Well I much prefer the fatigues. I just don’t feel comfortable in a suit. Politicians wear suits.
But you’re not a politician, darling, and never will be. You’d have to understand the art of compromise for one thing, …
It doesn’t matter. But you’re a splendid PM, all the polls tell you that.
I don’t know. It seems I’m expected to solve problems I’ve never heard of in subjects that were never on the curriculum at the military academy. I can do things like clear the touts off the beaches and I’ve got opinions on everything from school kids’ homework to surrogate babies, but some of this stuff is ever so complicated. Like this energy malarkey.
But you have advisors to sort all that out for you, don’t you?
Well, yes, but when these PTT types tell me what I should do, it sounds reasonable. And then someone else tells me they’ve got vested interests and has a completely different take on the matter and that sounds just as reasonable. And they’re all anti-Thaksin, so they must be good people. I just don’t know.
It’s not like you to be indecisive.
I know. It’s getting me down. What I find hard to stomach is all these people who were cheering the coup, people who I thought were true patriots, well, they’re now saying I must listen to other points of view. Allow a debate. Among differing opinions, can you believe? I mean, what’s the point of having the military in charge if they don’t just shut up and listen and do what they’re told?
Well, we are supposed to be moving towards a democracy again. You announced that yourself.
Yes, eventually. But not now. In the fullness of time, when conditions are favourable, all in due course. Mind you, this National Legislative thingy has got me thinking about elections.
But you’ve cancelled elections. They’re too dangerous. People will elect the wrong people.
Yes, yes, I know that. But we’ve had two votes there and one was 183 to zero for the budget and when they voted for me it was even better – 191 to zero. If only Army United got scores like that. Now that kind of voting is perfect. No problem with that at all.
But you handpicked the voters, darling. Of course they voted like that.
Exactly. That’s what we have to do to bring back democracy. We can let people have as many elections and vote as often as they want. That’ll shut those farangs up. It’s just a matter of making sure that the right people vote. The right people will elect the right people. It’s simple. Obvious, really.
So how are you going to choose the right people to elect the right people? You can’t do it by voting because if the wrong people vote as well as the right people, they will elect the wrong people to vote for the right people, which they won’t.
No, we’ll have someone choose the right people to elect the right people.
Well, they’ll have to be the right people, of course, otherwise they may choose the wrong people. Yes, that’s it. We’ll choose the right people to choose the right people to make sure they elect the right people.
And how do you choose those right people?
Which right people?
The ones who choose the right people to vote for the right people.
Oh, I see what you mean. Well, they’ll have to be selected by the right … This is getting too complicated for this time of night. I’ll sort it out in the morning.
So which uniform do you need tomorrow?
Oh, the frogman’s suit.
Yes, someone dared me to do that ice bucket thing and I don’t want to soak my proper uniform. Any of them.
About author: Bangkokians with long memories may remember his irreverent column in The Nation in the 1980's. During his period of enforced silence since then, he was variously reported as participating in a 999-day meditation retreat in a hill-top monastery in Mae Hong Son (he gave up after 998 days), as the Special Rapporteur for Satire of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and as understudy for the male lead in the long-running ‘Pussies -not the Musical' at the Neasden International Palladium (formerly Park Lane Empire).