For the first time in the life of Thaksin Shinawatra, the point of debate whether he is a criminal or not has past. When Thaksin decided to not show up when ordered by the court, he became guilty of the crime of ‘Failure to appear’ as well as disobeying the time limit outside of Thailand set by the court.
There is no question at all Thaksin is guilty of crimes against the court. The fact that he is not in Thailand is simple proof. Whether he is guilty of the crime that he was being tried for will not be known until the court rules on September 17. However in the eyes of Manchester City fans, Thaksin may have already failed the ‘fit and proper test’, as there is a certain feeling of guilt by association that now follows Thaksin. Where there may be a certain lacking of morals and ethics in Asia, that is not the case in the United Kingdom, and particularly so in professional competitive sports.
Because Thaksin once again has chosen to take the public relations approach to distract the public’s eye from the fact that evidence was simply overwhelming against his wife, he truly risks bringing the public down on himself. In Thailand the pro or anti Thaksin groups can be divided along educational attainment lines. Above a certain level of education, the group is clearly anti Thaksin unless there is some personal or financial gain from Thaksin. Below that level of educational attainment, the group is mostly pro Thaksin. This feeling about Thaksin is not limited to Thais.
There is little doubt Manchester City fans have taken a unique interest in the Thaksin related events in Thailand. There seems to be a bit of a morbid fascination by the average Joe in watching people on top fall from grace. Couple that little bit of information with almost everyone where Thaksin has chosen to hide is above that magical level of educational attainment that divides the pro and anti Thaksin groups, and you have a formula that can lead to fun and excitement for Thaksin. That formula will change for the worst for Thaksin if a guilty verdict is handed down in September.
Once the British Tabloids get wind of this and lay into Thaksin, life on the run becomes very unpleasant as Thaksin is extremely aggravated by negative press. The defamation laws in Thailand are not the same as in the United Kingdom, and no doubt the Tabloids will have a field day with Thaksin. Just simply imagine a high profile fugitive from justice walking the streets of London, and nearly everyone knowing his face, how quickly life will turn to hell for Thaksin. Unfortunately Thaksin’s family will suffer the same fate. This will only accelerate and deepen Thaksin’s fall, as his family will no doubt express their resentment to the way they are received.
Even when Thaksin hires a public relation company to distort his image to make it positive, the sheer quantity of tabloids and regular media outside of Thailand will very quickly make Thaksin’s public relation attempt impotent at best. As far as inside Thailand where tabloids don’t exist, Thaksin’s jail cell will be waiting, unless Thaksin’s attempts to rewrite Thailand’s Constitution with his cronies in the People Power Party are successful.