Thailand’s Funky New Political Parties!

The following blog/article was published in The Nation newspaper last Saturday. Here below, however, is the originally un-edited submission)

(Members of the Thug Party out to clean the streets of scumbags)

To truly promote their notion of democracy, the government has been confidentially encouraging the establishment of 8 brand-new political parties which will appeal to every sector of society. I am able to leak to you today a copy of this top-secret report which was handed to me by an extremely unreliable high-ranking source I met just last week in a karaoke bar.

Country Folk Party (Phak Rak Khon Bannork)

Dedicated to the land’s destitute rural folk, this party aims to be the first in history to truly listen and respect the voices of the poor. Instead of kitting themselves out in groovy imported Armani suits, the party’s members will instead dress in traditional farming gear, hat and flip-flops. Unlike countless government promises of the past which have failed to materialize, this party will really make sure that idle local authorities get off their chairs and improve the standard of basic utilities such as water and electric. A free education will be a free education indeed and any dodgy school principals looking for back-handling fees will soon be shown the backdoor before he can count to ten. Also shown the red card, will be the likes of any clean-shaven Brother Smoochy from the local temple hoping to get financially involved with the party’s publicity activities. Unfortunately however, since none of the party’s members have a degree it is assumed that they will not be allowed to run for parliament.

Same Old Faces Party (Phak Na Kao Kao)

Unlike the Country Folk Party, this party member’s will be a really educated bunch in possession of lots of educational certificates – or at least pieces of paper which look like ones. Adhering to the party’s name-sake, all the members will be the same old geezers and their slick hair-dos who have been plastering our TV sets with promises for donkey’s decades. As for policies and philosophy, well that is the tricky part, for as usual they just won’t have any. But what is promised however, is that within the spate of just 90 days they will be able to complete eradicate major problems such as corruption, mass flooding and the capital’s traffic congestion. As always, the public will be able to enjoy extensive news coverage of the party’s members congregating at some fabulous birthday party.

Thug Party (Phak Nak Raeng)

Fitted out in groovy Ray Ban dark sunglasses worthy of a part in a Thai B-movie, this no nonsense party promises to clean our streets of delinquent scumbags and clampdown on any wayward members of the public and especially policemen who show lack of discipline. Acting like the secret police, sons of the party’s members will be attending nightclubs, pubs and karaoke lounges making sure no ho-bo is out to pick a fight. Another menacing force within the party not to be messed with, will be the members’ fearless wives and minor wives. To prop up the national budget too, the party will relieve even more extra cash, in a form of a special tax, from bar-owners, passenger van drivers and motorbike-taxi drivers even if they do have a perfectly plausible license.

(Members of the Superstar Party out to promote the showing of even more soap operas and game shows)

The Crackdown Party (Phak Kot Dan Jing Jing)

Now, just when you thought that past governments had already thought up every possible crackdown under the sun, then you will be in for one major surprise! This party’s members with the word ‘crackdown’ tattooed across their foreheads, will be hoping to go ahead with implanting a whole load of new ones. Potential crackdowns already written-up include ones on; half-blind traffic policemen, cowboy municipality electricians, cheating hotel tax-drivers, scheming property sales folk, cigarette chugging petrol station attendants, gory Thai language newspaper photographs and sweaty bare-chested farangs.

Great Soldier Party (Phak Maha Tahan)

To really prove their love for the country and promote even more nationalism, this party hopes to, by plastering portraits everywhere, be reminding the masses of all the highly popular lovable military leaders cum prime ministers of the past. It is intended that TV stations be required to show even more army parades, army festivities and also play sing-along karaoke-style army songs. Taking to the streets, the public will again be able to take swazzy photos with the handsome soldiers of their choice. As for the land’s school children, they will no longer have to take a bus to school but instead hop upon the latest army tanks which will be whizzing back and forth. To finance such a policy though, yet more military budget will be needed.

Superstar Party (Phak Dara Dang)

Instead of the country being bored to death with crinkly-old faces, the superstar party members will be full of popular young fresh faces out to prove that they are not as daft as they look. To really liven up the lives of the people this party has promised to increase the coverage of meaningful soap operas and intellectual game shows from just 5 hours a day to 10. As for uninteresting real-life documentaries they will get the boot as no-one can be bothered watching them anyway. More superstars on the TV will be promoted, so that the viewers won’t have to see the same mug-shots every time they turn from one channel to the next. To boost the party’s expenditure budget the superstar members will be acting it out on even more corny TV commercials and attending dozens of holy amulet blessing ceremonies.

Thai Culture Party (Phak Wattanatham)

Absolutely no formation of dazzlingly new parties would be correct if the one and only cultural golden-oldies didn’t get share fair share of the action. Putting into practice their breath-taking new idea of the promotion of Thai nick-names, new parents will receive cash incentives to call their kids culturally correct names such as (translated roughly into English) Chicken, Pig, Crab, Fatso, Shorty and not forgetting Blacky. Corrupt imported words from the English language will be banned in all schools and the likes of a ‘dictionary’ popularly called a ‘dic’, well that will once and for all be known as a ‘Potjananugrom’. Ridiculous comic books too will be gladly banned and the kids will be encouraged to read instead 200 year-old classical Thai poetry. Attending fancy private schools will get a serious thumbs down and parents will be asked to send their loved-ones to local temple schools even though there are already 70 kids in one class.

The Freedom Party (Phak Itsaraphap)

A brilliant new party which promises to adhere to its philosophy of freedom, will allow the nation and especially the youth to learn, watch and read whatever they wish. Out with forcing the land’s state school kids to study only Buddhism, they will be allowed to read up on any religion at all. Decades old regulated noodle soup-bowl shaped haircuts for the girls and virtual skinheads for the boys will be eradicated. Not forgetting the older generation, they will be free to surf the net and download any naughty movie they wish without the fear of a 5 year prison sentence. To top it all off they won’t have to secretly go about buying a bottle of plonk during the day and wait until the ridiculous time of 1 o’clock in the morning just to watch their favourite beer commercial.

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