From Manager, April 22, 2014
Caption: Menace from the dog’s fleas
Flea: The death sentence for this dog is alright… But if ruling is for the fleas to die as well, then it means the court uses its judicial authority beyond limitations!! And there may be a civil war!
Other fleas: Yes. Yes.
[The dog represents caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra. The fleas are politicians who have used Yingluck (and Thaksin) to reap financial and political benefits for themselves.
The idea of the cartoon is based on the Thai idea that fleas or other vermin desert a dead dog. This is often used to illustrate how politicians desert a leader in trouble.
From behind the scenes, key non-Shinawatra politicians are threatening real civil war (not Thaksin’s bargaining chip of civil war if society does not forgive him and allow him to return to Thailand). Threat of a real civil war is leverage to make sure that inevitable court rulings against Prime Minister Yingluck do not include the many factions of MPs that have clustered around Thaksin’s popularity over the years.
These groupings would seek an outcome that would allow them to recreate a new government while publicly lamenting the injustice the Shinawatra family has undergone. Privately they would be happy at the removal of the power-hungry Shinawatras who have monopolized lucrative government posts over the years.
Ironically, this is the overall best outcome the anti-Thaksin establishment hopes for as well. Pruning Yingluck from the government while maintaining a Pheu Thai Party-led government would make it harder for revolutionary Red Shirt groups to call for battle.
This scenario would be a dark eventuality for Thaksin as he would face his own party under control of a non-family member who has allegiance to their own political faction (instead of having no political faction nor political experience like Yingluck). How Thaksin might respond is the question. How effective or credible would Red Shirt militants be trying to bring down a government headed by the Pheu Thai Party only because Yingluck is not in power?
However, this sort of scenario–Thaksin sidelined by his own party–has been the dream since protesters started attacking the Thai Rak Thai Party nearly a decade ago. Thaksin has consistently demonstrated he has the resources and acumen to keep his MPs in line during even during the most stressful of political situations.
Another line of thinking is that simply removing Yingluck from the premiership might not be enough for hardcore Thaksin foes who think that events of past years prove that Thaksin cannot be so easily sidelined.
With the Pheu Thai Party at a rare disadvantage at the present time (less than a year after it was triumphantly amending the constitution and pardoning Thaksin back to 2004), government foes see this as perhaps the only chance to destroy the Thaksin political revolution once and for all.
They are joined by military figures who wish to harshly punish a wide range of pro-Thaksin political figures as well as Red Shirts for acquiescing to anti-monarchy rhetoric being brought into the political debate since Thaksin was deposed.
Below are some past cartoons that use the same idea of fleas deserting a political figure and also show the earlier hopes that Thaksin might be abandoned by his MPs.]
Manager, October 18, 2006, Leave the space by Buncha/Kamin
The bottom right reads: The difference between a human’s flea and a dog’s flea
[The man is Jaturon Chaisaeng, caretaker TRT leader. The meaning is that a dog’s flea leaves a dead animal and Jaturon has stubbornly remained to defending Thaksin.]
From Thairath, October 5, 2006
The dog gets sick… the flea jumps…!
In the frame is Thaksin with a resignation letter.
On the dog is the Thai Rak Thai symbol and over the dog’s head is the word “dissolution”
From Krungtep Turakit, October 4, 2006
Worms leave the dead body of Thaksin. The worms carry flags identifying the factions leaving TRT: Chonburi group, Black Wizard group, Wang Payanak. On the right is Wang Namyom faction saying "Hey, let’s rush away."
At the bottom is says: The party ends, the parasites rush away!!