This is a blog only
Well not exactly, but readers of this blog will already know that I previously said that it was pointless attacking the BBC or CNN or other foreign correspondents over the coverage of the red shirt riots in Bangkok because things always to tend to turn around in the end.
A lot of these guys did not live through Thaksin Shinawatra.
Anyway Alistair Leithead has been working overtime on a more analytical approach to the 'Red Uprising' in Bangkok, a BBC epiphany even. Indeed dressed not in his helmet but instead in the finest sackcloth he asks the very question: 'How did it come to this?'
I'm confident that this longer look at the recent troubles will reflect an approach the BBC did not previously have the time to take. So tune in. Plenty of whizz bangs too.
(Fingers crossed and hands behind my back Al )
First night review: Well as a 30 minute wrap on what happened in Bangok it was fine. But this documentary has suffered by giving it a half hour rather than 50 minute slot.
That meant it did not answer the question it posed: 'How did it come to this?'. And certainly no sackcloth but lots of helmets.
First of all one staggering flaw came to my immediate attention. It followed a red shirted woman from the boondocks and back again and quoted her tearfully as saying: 'Why cannot Thailand have democracy?' Yet it fails to record the opposite view of say an ordinary person who is not a red shirt, or in fact that Thailand does have democracy.
The other side is basicially represented by Wattanakorn in a suit with a grab from Abhisit. The doc still had the feel of suits against the exploited poor, guns against catapults, although it did give reasonable attention to the 'terrorists' on the red shirt side.
What the documantary did not explain is 'Who are these elites running the country?' It also posed the question did Thaksin pay for the red shirts, but quickly dismissed it with a comment from the red shirt spokesman saying that was an insult to the people who camped out for two months in Bangkok.
Nor did it question Thaksin's attitude to democracy.
There was also no reference or use of clips from the outrageous rabble rousing by the red shirt leaders calling for a million litres of petrol and urging the crowd to kill a yellow shirt, or run down a soldier.
All in all, with the exception of re-visiting the woman in Issan, this had the appeareance merely of a package made up existing footage linked together with one or two new interviews saying the same old things.
Still its good enough as a reference point. No bang at the end though. I thought Jeff Savage might have stirred it up a bit!