As part of the Australian commitment to carbon emission reduction, New Mandala is implementing a new comments policy. A considerable number of observers have noted that comments are taking up an increasing proportion of New Mandala’s bandwidth, with adverse consequences both for the environment and readers’ efficiency. Accordingly a new, abbreviated, comment system will be introduced. The key feature of the new comment system will be a system of number coding, whereby regularly made comments need only take the form of a single number. The initial coding list is provided below:
1. Thaksin is corrupt. (If you want to make this comment, or one of its many variations, simply place “1” in the comment field. Note that there will be no code for the refuting comment, “Thaksin was not corrupt.” Refutation comments merely require the negative sign before the standard comment code: “-1”. As such, a debate would take the following form: 1, -1, 1, -1, 1, -1 etc. Readers seeking to determine who won the debate would merely have to add up the numbers.)
2. The amaat …. (No need for further detail on this one as comments that make reference to the amaat follow a standard pattern. From now on just 2 will suffice.)
3. All politicians are corrupt and the election is a waste of time. (This one has many versions, with varying degrees of bitterness. In most cases 3 will suffice, though particularly bitter farang living in Thailand may want to post 3(BF).)
4. Abhisit is a stooge for … (If you mean he is a stooge for Prem, then4(P) will do the trick. If you mean he is a stooge for the Army then you only need 4(A). If you mean he is a stooge for the palace then 4(Pa) is preferred, in order to avoid confusion between palace and Prem.)
5. Yingluck is a proxy for Thaksin. (We will accept this one, but probably best listed as STBO, that is, stating the bleeding obvious.)
7. Thaksin is responsible for the death of … people. (In this case a superscript should be used to indicate the order of magnitude of the claim.So, 72 would indicate hundreds, 73 thousands, 74 tens of thousands etc.)
9. I love the king. (Sorry about the number jump, but the reason should be obvious. We will accept the “Rama” prefix, as in Rama 9.)
10. I don’t love the crown prince. (Note that in this case the Rama prefix, as in Rama 10, is considered premature. Please avoid mentioning it.)
11. Where can I find a copy of the birthday party video, with the poodle? (Note that “11” will no longer be accepted as we have been officially advised by the authorities that there is no such video.)
12. Generic attack on the credibility or knowledge of western observers, especially academics (BF suffix often useful here too, see 3).
13. Isan is about to rise up and secede. (Regular and long-term readers may also code this as a CB.)
14. Why I am being censored? (Note that this will only be accepted after a long string of 1,1,3,1,5,5,7,12,5,3,1,1,1,12,12,12,12.)
I hope that all our readers find this new, streamlined, approach to commentary both time-saving and enlightening.