Kevin “5%” Rudd is our Cnut of the Week

Photograph of Kevin Rudd as Cnut of the Week

The result was clear even as nominations came in. Our Dear Chairman, Kevin “5%” Rudd, was voted “Cnut of the Week” by 51% of Stilgherrian Live viewers last night for approving what was seen as a lame target for reducing carbon emissions.

The program is now online for your viewing pleasure.

I’d thought Bernadette McMenamin would win, based on what I wrote in Crikey on Wednesday, but no. She scored 34%. Presumed-corrupt Illinois governor Rod Blagojevitch was third with 9% for his efforts to sell a senatorial seat in Washington, and Thailand’s People’s Alliance for Democracy came in last with just 6% for their efforts to make Thailand’s political system anything but democratic.

Next Thursday is Christmas Day. There will be a special program, His Excellency Stilgherrian’s Christmas Message, at a time to be announced. Stay tuned.

Thailand’s political crisis: an introduction

Photo of PAD protesters at Bangkok airport

Thailand’s long-simmering political crisis finally made it onto Western TVs this week when protesters closed Bangkok’s international airport, disrupting [shock horror] Western tourists.

The essence is that the People’s Alliance for Democracy, the guys in the yellow shirts who’ve shut down the airport, want prime minister Somchai Wongsawat (สมชาย วงศ์สวัสดิ์) to resign. They reckon he’s the puppet of a former corrupt prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

You could argue that Somchai’s election, while controversial, was constitutionally valid. But PAD has run out of patience with the string of corrupt and presumed-corrupt politicians. Even the army chief reckons it might be time to call fresh elections to clear the air. But Somchai won’t budge.

This isn’t a simple story of The People versus the Evil Politician though. The roots of conflict go deep into Thai history and culture.

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