14 June, 2007

Manchester City Football Club vs. Thaksin Shinawatra. Either way, Thailand is the loser.

Owning an English football club is Thaksin’s frivolous passion – he clearly doesn’t give a toss about the fate of poor people or AIDs sufferers in his home country.
Have ALL the board members of the M.C. Football Club turned into lemmings with a death wish? FunkyPix2’s earlier warning to M.C.F.C. was clearly ignored. Now that the Thai government has, as expected, frozen Thaksin’s financial assets, the club’s lawyers have asked Thaksin for “written assurances” that he still has the money to go ahead with the take-over of the club.

Yeah sure, the cheque’s in the mail. What’s the point of getting hollow promises from an habitual liar unless the club’s lawyers want to establish legal grounds for a massive compensation claim later? I have to assume they’re not as naïve as they first appear. Thaksin, after all, has more than enough capacity to pay - big time.

Thaksin’s bid for MCFC is a sad little rich boy’s game which, unfortunately, secures the demise of many poor people and AIDs sufferers in his home country. The money could have been spent so much more compassionately.
Thaksin’s only hope is that his account in Singapore’s UBS Bank, which Thailand cannot freeze, can deliver the 90 million pounds. Whether the deal goes ahead or ends up dragging through the courts, Thailand would never see a single baht of it again.

The Thaksin Rescue Express is on its way to help. Uh huh. Thailand’s AIDS victims, unlike you or I, can’t get off the rails without some assistance.
Freezing the assets was therefore morally the correct thing to do. Thaksin has 60 days to prove the ShinCorp sale was legal. If he does so, he can take the money back. Cool. Fair play, I calls it.

My question is this: Has Thaksin's ill-gotten wealth afforded him happiness or progress towards spiritual Enlightenment? His blatant focus on extravagant Consumerism and worldly wealth certainly does no favours to Thailand’s Buddhism in the eyes of the world:

The flame of Thailand’s Theravada Buddhism is beginning to burn cold. Thaksin’s false piety throws a lot of light on his motives. In fact, he puts more faith into non-Buddhist superstitions, Animism, and soothsayers.
(The continued wheeling-and-dealing around manufacture and sales of the “magical” Jatukam amulets by supposedly revered monks is not helping Buddhism’s cause either.)
Fishy football strategies by Manchester City Football Club (in light-blue). Thaksin has promised to spend 50 million pounds on new player contracts to boost the club’s fortunes and commercial value. It’s obvious that he would then sell it off for a fat profit, like he did with ShinCorp. It’s purely an investment, but it would be funny if it ended up legally belonging to Thailand instead of Thaksin. Like these fish biting at a fake food-filled football in Tokyo, Thaksin’s interest in football ‘per se’ is negligible. It’s the money, stupid.

With Thaksin, what you see is not always what you get. How many legs on this elephant? A fortnight ago Thaksin was promising he would never get back into politics, but yesterday he said the exact opposite. Typical. Watch this space.

Update June 20: Here’s a blog in Thailand’s Nation newspaper, which is generally more Left-leaning and anti-Thaksin than the Bangkok Post. Thailand's equivalent of the "Guardian".

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