The Nation has produced an interesting list of Thailand’s 35 most influential people over the past 35 years. Three people are listed in the political sphere – Thaksin Shinawatra,General Prem Tinsulanonda and Anand Panyarachun. One of the things I found most interesting in Paul Handley’s recent biography of the King is the significant and enduring influence of General Prem, President of the Privy Council. His discrete interventions have played a crucial role in shaping recent Thai politics. No wonder the current government has been accused of tapping his phone line!