Editorial: October 2006
Many years ago I saw a hysterically funny rendition of the classic, but not particularly well known, Greek play, Lysistrata, supposedly translated by Oscar Wilde. Being a bit of a budding young feminist and newly matriculated, f lapped up this play in which the women of ancient Greece had just about enough of their husbands’ constant battles and wars that left them lonely and widowed. Lysistrata, the play’s main character, secretly met up with wives of soldiers from the warring nations – Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Boeotia — and decided to withhold, ahem, favours, from their husbands until they came to their senses. Not only that, they also entered, then barricaded, the treasury — the Acropolis – rendering the war machine crippled. A logical, sensible female solution to the squabblings and skirmishes of men, I thought to myself with a satisfied humph. Naturally, the men returned to their senses as well as their roosts, chastened…and horny. A win win situation if I ever saw one!
I also recall reading the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index which showed a remarkably high proportion of women in politics in the least corrupt nations (Denmark, 38%, Finland, 41.5%, New Zealand, 33.1%, Singapore, 24.5%, Sweden, 47%). This got me thinking of our very opaque affairs and all the men (and yes, admittedly, a few women — 11.7%) in politics who are hell bent on destroying this country for the sake of their egos and bank accounts. Thus was born my theory that men should be banned from politics in Thailand for a century to allow we women to get on with things. (I do come up with these hair brained theories occasionally, and they all seem to be quite sensible…until — and this is more often than not – proven wrong.)
impressed friends at a dinner party recently, some smart mouth piped up, “You know who would then be the Prime Minister of Thailand don’t you? Pojamarn Shinawatra,” promptly sending my theory reeling into the bin.
We all have our opinions: this has been made very clear during these uncertain and polarised political days when mothers camp out at the Government House to overthrow their sons who are sitting in the cabinet, and husbands, wielding swords, hop onto pro-government buses heading into the capital while their wives call up the anti-government forces to warn them of their arrival. There are no simple solutions to the predicament we are in, and as I write this editorial in mid-September, who knows if there would have been a coup, bloodshed, dissolution of parliament or outright civil war (perish the thought) by the time you read this. No one I know has come up with a short term solution which would also offer longevity and we are all as confused as the next person as to how to bridge the gaps between our opinions, desires and righteousness.
For what it is worth, and I am sure that there will be as many who will agree as disagree, here are my thoughts. Three things must be advocated and protected: firstly this country needs to examine its media. There needs to be a balanced and unbiased media, independent of the government, which is disseminated freely to all sectors of society. Government spokespeople can speak away, but the opposition must also be allowed its voice, as well as all dissenting groups. Let the people be informed, then let them decide, and once the decision is made, we must then respect it. Secondly, we need to have an impartial and efficient justice system so that as crooks come and go…and come again, they will face, and subsequently be defeated by, the rule of law. Eventually this will become a deterrent. The law must also be applied equally to every person in the Kingdom. And thirdly, we need to get to the schools at a grassroots level and mobilise the country with anticorruption education. Let the children shame their parents into honesty. Until these three areas are protected from interference, we will continue on our little cycle, repeating the same mistakes again and again.
But hey, what have got to lose, why not try Lysistrata’s suggestion? I therefore call on all politicians’ wives to lock their bedroom doors until their husbands come to their senses and stop acting like selfish little toddlers.
Citylife this month:
For the third time this year Brent Madison has taken our cover photograph, this month — to coincide with that ghoulish event, Halloween — we have decided to take on the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins. While not all seven sins have been featured, I do hope that you enjoy these saucy, naughty but beautiful images which Brent has brought to our pages.