In Thailand, Politics Back Outside Parliament

Tony Benn, the great British parliamentarian, said that there were five powerful questions that must be asked of a government. “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And finally, how can we get rid of you?” The last question […]

The Rise of the Bhumjaithai Party

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: In November 2017, amidst the political drought of long military rule, Reuters ran an article on Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the Bhumjaithai Party. Many, it reported, were now speculating that he could possibly be the next prime minister. Anutin, for his part, did nothing to play down expectations, […]

Future Forward Is the Future’s Foreword

“The laws of physics”, Stephen Hawking once wrote, “conspire to prevent time travel on a macroscopic scale.” Time travel, both forward and backwards, were not possibilities to be ruled out, but the physicist made it clear that it was highly unlikely. He had, after all, once hosted a party for time travelers, the invite to […]

The Politics of Epidemic Immunity

My new piece for the Thai Enquirer: “It won’t take long for Thais to develop immunity from coronavirus”, the post read, “but if we don’t deal with the nation-hating virus, a crisis will ensue.”  Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom is not a politician known for pulling his punches, and this Facebook post was true to form. ‘Lutti chung-chard’, […]

Thailand Has Five Deputy PMs. That’s Dysfunctional.

The vice presidency of the United States, a particularly unhappy occupant of that office once said, is “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Second in command is a prestigious title, but politicians throughout history have often approached it with a degree of caution. Playing second fiddle can imply great responsibility or none at all. […]