Berlusconi and Shinawatra: The billionaires who love power more than money – The Independent, November 28, 2013
…Thaksin Shinawatra, who drew his mass support from Thailand’s rural hinterland, has a better claim than Berlusconi to have been a reforming prime minister. His policies did much to improve the lot of Thailand’s rural poor, who were his main supporters, while doing nothing to harm the mobile phone and other companies that were the foundation of his fortune. But as with Berlusconi, his financial power gave the political playing field a permanent tilt.
Shinawatra has lived outside the country since 2008 but still rules it virtually through his current party, called Pheu Thai. His youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is Prime Minister now, but it is big brother who still calls the shots, issuing orders via a dozen mobile phones, through social networks and by Skype, and summoning his minions for face-to-face meetings when there are important decisions to take…