The Nation ramps up its selective attack on Thailand’s poor:

What was wrong with Thaksin’s populist policies was that they were rife with corruption and they pandered to the unprincipled wants and needs of the beneficiaries. In many instances, cheap loans, such as those under the Village Fund, aimed to encourage villagers to develop entrepreneurial skills that would improve their livelihood. These loans were mistaken by the recipients for handouts, and were squandered on personal consumption instead of on profitable enterprise and community development projects that would raise their standard of living. [AW: Would some evidence be too much to ask for? And I’m sure The Nation has never encouraged personal consumption!]

The government must implement a public education programme to explain to the people, particularly those who benefited from populist policies, why Thaksin’s dishonest methods and ruthless manipulation are bad for the country. Next, the government must carefully evaluate Thaksin’s policies and decide which should be continued, which should be reoriented and which should be scrapped.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Most rural people I know make their own lunch or pay for it. I wouldn’t mind seeing where The Nation‘s neo-sufficiency-economy advocates dine out.