From Manager, August 8, 2020
Sudarat, pointing to PM Prayuth: Hey!… Wrong target!! Auntie supports you guys to overthrow him!!
Caption: Being close friends with the kids for building a house.
[The cartoon shows the student groups, which initially focused on a three-point plan which included demands for the PM to step down and a new charter to be written, being influenced by another group, which has a 10-point plan that includes a reform of the monarchy and open discussion about its place in society.
Even former Red Shirt leaders chided the students to stay on track with the original 3-point plan. A charter rewrite was all the opposition has fought for for almost 15 years and it seemed the opposition was finally gaining momentum.
The fear was that a shift to wide-ranging reforms of the monarchy might be a deliberate attempt to ruin the momentum for a charter rewrite. The cartoonist shows the protesters veering away from the prime minister and heading to sky to take on the monarchy, much to the chagrin of mainstream opposition politicians who simply want to set the stage for their return to control of government.
The caption uses the Thai proverb “to be close friends with the kids for building a house” meaning being close with young, impressionable people to do your bidding. The cartoon uses this proverb to joke that the Pheu Thai party, here represented by Sudarat, was happy to support the student protests in its “three points” form to go after Prayuth, but has no desire for a more controversial “ten points” focus on the monarchy which might muddy their simple goal of gaining control of the government again.
Of course the Pheu Thai and Thaksin would insist they have nothing to do with the original three-point charter rewrite protests. If that is true, they would have to be amazed and thankful that the issue they have unsuccessfully championed for almost 15 years has spontaneously been taken up by student groups, and even more amazing, that the government has claimed they would work on revising the charter (although their “support” of a charter rewrite is lukewarm at best).
The wild card here is the disbanded Future Forward Party which has been looking for payback since the party was disbanded earlier this year. They have always taken a more confrontational stance in their politicking and some members have been openly extolling the French Revolution. It is much more likely that the split in the student protests between the three-pointers and the ten-pointers reflects the various political revenge aspirations within the former Future Forward Party.
Others in the Thai media think the pivot to demand reform of the monarchy has disadvantaged Thanathorn, since the more liberal of the Thai youth do not have to follow him as talk of reform is now out in the open. Under this thinking, Thanathorn is just as distressed as the Pheu Thai by the focus on the monarchy, as he simply wishes to be part of a government, not to confront the whole system directly and perhaps provoke an uncertain outcome.]
Hey! Wrong target!
From Manager, August 8, 2020