The narrative that will emerge will depend on the verdict, which is supposed to be made public on September 27. (And why is it taking so long? It was supposed to be ready on August 25.) If the verdict is “guilty”, as everybody expects, and especially if it includes a hefty prison term and the seizure of assets, then we’ll know that Yingluck was smart to flee.
I’ve been watching this sad little drama play out ever since the coup in May 2014. At first I was inclined to give the junta the benefit of the doubt. “Let’s wait and see what they do with the power they’ve grabbed,” I thought.
Well, it’s been three years, and so far they look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They couldn’t even ram their first constitution down our throats. After they spent an agonising amount of time, energy and money cobbling it together, it got shot down by one of their own committees. They had to start all over again and patch together a new one.
Dare I utter the i-word? The only thing worse than a military dictatorship is a military dictatorship that’s incompetent.
The longer Thaksin is away, the better the junta makes him look. And the closer the junta cosies up to its buddies in Burma, the more like Burma Thailand is going to look. We are also blessed with the spectre of creeping colonisation by China.
So the circus goes on. And as the recent closure of the iconic Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey circus attests, even circuses don’t go on forever.