An impromptu bravery award goes out today to John Sparks of Channel 4 TV News in the UK.
While foreign journalists have already been attacked and insulted John Sparks was brave enough to take the stage and interview Dr.Seri Wongmontha in front of the mob.
‘Yingluck Shinawatra has been democratically elected. Why not let the polls decide?’ asked John, who like many sees nothing democratic in what’s happening in Bangkok
Dr. Seri. star of ‘Saving Private Tootsie’ lashes back and he’s got the crowd behind him. I get the feeling if John asked another question the gay TV personality would have lost it completely.
It’s good TV. I would not have done it.
But its probably an own goal for the PDRC. Dr Seri is not coming back with the soft image of Thais seen abroad. A bit more like a screaming banshee but seemingly smug with his answers, which I got the gist of, but not all of because of his Thai accented accent.
Dr. Seri is promoted as the media’s gay rights persona. He does come across a little as gay fascist.
But then again the supporters have never said they are anti-democracy – they say they want reform before, rather than after, the election, so maybe he is right to be angry.
The courageous, and also maybe slightly angry, John Sparks would not, of course, have been given a platform to talk reasonably to the crowd.
On the other hand he seems to be demonstrating exactly what the crowd say what the western media does not understand.
Actually the reaction is universal if one blankly tells a Thai what he does not want to hear in private, but the public persona is usually much more reasonable.
But great stuff J.S.! Even if it is theatrical.
But there’s more. John Sparks is tweeting that Channel 4 are going to put the full video on their website.
Meanwhile its difficult to know what to wear going out in Bangkok now. I already can’t wear yellow or red, now I cannot where white it seems as the UDD have adopted white as their colour. Thai women I hear are having even bigger problems.
Time to go Rasta and perhaps wear a white shirt with a hat with both yellow and red in it and also with a little black for those ‘unseen hands’.
That still leaves space for Thailand’s ‘Green Party’ when it comes along sometimes in the next century.
But better! Here’s the link to the unedited video and John Spinks asks – What do you think?
Comment: Well actually I think Dr. Seri came out better in the unedited video. By being democratically elected Thaksin actually created a dictatorship. What has been repeatedly been said from the stages of these rallies is that the whole system needs clearing – that means a fairly clean sweep of MPs.
Even Suthep has got on stage to say he was probably corrupt. But not on the current scale. And mea culpas are rare in Thailand.
For instance Thaksin was involved in transferring government property to his family. If Thailand just brought in the same MPs from all sides, who were ingrained in corruption, then nothing would change and an election would be a farce.
Thailand needed Thaksin because he has shown that the government can look after people. Now the people want to be looked after properly and have the same rights as in the west. And they want checks and balances.
They say they want a system which would jail and ban MPs for life if they had their hands in the till. Thailand has never been the land of the free. People in these rallies want rid of corrupt Democrats too. And all those king makers who change sides to easily.
There are a lot of former Thaksin supporters in the crowds. Apart from the Guardian the British media was quite silent on Thaksin when he took over Manchester City FC – another ‘people’ move. The British bought into him – and should have known better.
‘Before you say anything please investigate the context of Thailand,” says Dr. Seri.
The underlying messages is clear though: The Western Media is the enemy too.