Thailand will officially stay neutral in the recent hostilities between the forces of good and evil, according to a recent government announcement.
‘The government of Thailand urges both parties to engage in mutually respectful negotiations that will lead to a peaceful outcome acceptable to all,’ says the communique.
There had been some speculation about where Thailand would stand on this issue, with many in the international community urging Thailand to come out in support of good. But observers were not surprised to see Thailand adopt its traditional posture of ‘sitting on the fence.’
When asked by reporters why Thailand could not come out unequivocally in support of good, an official spokesperson said that Thailand was the land of compromise.
‘It is not as simple as you think,’ said a source close to government thinking on this issue. ‘Suppose we back the good side, but evil eventually prevails. What advantage would Thailand gain from that?’
In response to a question about rumours that Thailand’s decision had been motivated primarily by economic reasons, the source said ‘Of course this government has responsibility for the prosperity of all Thais.
‘At a time of rising inflation, for which this government is not responsible, and of soaring energy costs, for which again this government cannot be blamed, we have to take a pragmatic view,’ the source explained.
‘You may not realise it, but doing good actually costs money. Why, just the other day the government was shamed into making a token donation of 1 million baht for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, which works out at about 30 satang per refugee. And believe me, if we listened to the bleeding hearts in the media, it could have cost us a lot more.’
Another high-ranking Government House source adopted a ‘father knows best’ mode, and launched on a discourse on the effects of evil on the economic system.
‘You see, many evil acts have economic benefits. Bribes obviously help some people get richer. Robbery is just another form of wealth redistribution, rather like taxes. And in fact, the entire capitalist system is based on greed,’ he explained, smilingly.
‘You can’t go around just saying “do good” because tomorrow the country may have nothing to eat,’ he concluded.
The government has been rattled by comments that this inability to choose between good and evil explains the presence of so many people in the current and former cabinets with bad reputations. The example of a former deputy minister who served four years in an Australian jail for drug smuggling was mentioned.
‘You’re just confusing things,’ said one exasperated coalition politician, who started on an explanation that made everyone even more confused. ‘Someone can be a good person despite being a drug smuggler, which he wasn’t, it was just flour, but then that person can become a bad person by betraying his friends and setting up a rival political party.
‘Just because someone does something bad, it doesn’t make them a bad person. Just like some people who say they are doing good, like this human rights mob, are not good people.’
A reporter asked how we could know who was a good person and who was a bad person if we did not judge them by their actions.
‘It’s very simple,’ said the coalition member. ‘There are good people and there are bad people.’
‘What about people who may be in between?’ asked the reporter.
‘Don’t interrupt. There are good people and bad people. Can you understand that? OK. And you know that someone is good if they have Thainess.’
The reporter thoughtlessly risked his career by asking how one could know if someone has Thainess.
With a look of undisguised contempt, the politician replied, ‘If you are a true Thai, you will recognise Thainess immediately. I, like other members of the government, am of course a true Thai and that’s how we know that all our friends are good people. But if you can’t tell who is good and who is bad, then …’
‘I must not be a true Thai.’
The politician left for his next meeting and the reporter left to look for a new job. And maybe a new country.