However, as Thaksin faces further obstacles in his attempt to make a come back (loss of visa to the UK, among other things) it is likely that he will bring the more left-wing elements of his support base to the fore (note the mention that Thaksin is being considered for the Simon Bolivar medal in the press recently!) in an effort to put popular pressure behind constitutional amendments and a possible amnesty. In pushing beyond the populist pro-poor and politically ambivalent position that has so far characterised the pro-Thaksin camp, a more leftist strand might be mobilised. This would also entail a more openly critical approach to the monarchy and further investment in the idea of democracy. If politicians have been running the Thaksin rehabilitation campaign so far, we might now see those leftists activists who have banded behind him upgraded to HQ. Leftist support of Thai Rak Thai pro-poor policies and their antagonism to ‘feudalists’ has been a useful prop for Thaksin in the media, but has not really mattered greatly in the provinces where Thaksin has needed few ideological embellishments. It may now become more meaningful in the Grandmaster’s play.

– Extracted from Michael Connors, “King-People Mutuality and the Thaksin gambleSovereign Myth, 10 November 2008.