martial law begins to bite
October 19, 2006
Our undemocratic, unelected leaders are beginning to show their teeth. Without any warning, the advertising of alcohol has been banned, as has its sale to those under 25. My first reaction was one of relief that they had not banned the sale of fine wines to the over 65’s but I realised that thought was unworthy of someone with a solid atheistic, humanist upbringing. So my heart goes out to all the pimply youths who are prevented from getting smashed on a Saturday night and to Mr Heinecken whose revenues will no doubt plummet. To a certain extent. Predictably, howls of outrage have been somewhat muted, the only stir being caused by a couple of expats who wrote to the Bangkok Post. One suggested that under 25’s shold be banned from riding motorcycles, eating fast food, watching tv, karaoke, playing computer games or marrying, all good sound suggestions it seems to me. The other thinks this would be treating teenagers like dummies and asks ‘What other laws will be made before the citizens of Thailand can participate freely in their government through fair elections?’. Unfortunately, I don’t see our military-backed government having the courage to implement many of these excellent measures. In the meantime I fail to see how the new laws will significantly harm the planet, increase the risk of terror, destabilise Asia, encourage the North Koreans to test another bomb, jeopardise the chances of Paul Macartney and his ex sorting their differences out, or adversely affect any of the other newsworthy situations that shape our lives.