“ASTV rice” – Media is good for business !
one thing is sure: PAD is always innovative and perhaps fair to say very practical !
here is something I’ve found out today from today article in Bkk post :
The PAD gatherings have continued to expose the shady side of politics.
At the same time, they have marked the birth of commercial relations between the alliance and its members.
The PAD is now selling ASTV rice which makes 1 million baht a month in revenue. Both the ASTV cable channel and the ASTV Manager newspaper are owned by Mr Sondhi.
The goods advertised by ASTV are popular. And there are plans to add pesticide-free produce from the Santi Asoke community to the pro-PAD shopping list.
The alliance’s commercial appeal has expanded as the market for its products is growing at a rate that is being closely watched by large conglomerates.
But while the PAD is reaping the fruits of its commercial labours, its future in politics has yet to get off the ground.
Sondhi Lim – ever a businessman ! 😀 and Chamlong with his Santi Asok’s “organic” foods comes in very handy too.
So, UDD has a lot more learn from PAD and its ASTV.
Amazing, huh ?
I mean – all these peasants, farmers who actually ARE the producers of rice – they couldn’t figure out such a clever thing as, say “Sua Daeng rice” (red-shirt rice ) or “Kwam jing wan nee rice” (Truth today rice). but then it is understandable: ALL the rice produced in Thailand by those farmers almost instantly is …. NOT owned by those farmers anymore due to the system of middle-men buying all the rice off the farmers’ hands. or more precisely – to be able to plant rice, first of all farmers have to BORROW money from lenders to buy seeds, or take seeds as a loan. so, when they collect harvest – most of it they give to those very lenders to cover that debt.
in the end, whatever little profit they get (if at all) most often is not even enough for them to buy more seeds, so they have no choice bu borrow again.
and so it goes on and on. all in all – these farmers the VERY PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE RICE – they practically do not own it !
alright – WHO does own it then ? those middle-men or brokers, who control ALL the rice trade.
and now these brokers apparently has found their way to ASTV and sucessfully sell it as new brand “ASTV rice”. or may be it is initiative by Sondhi & Chamlong who actually have established business relations with those rice-selling (or more precisely RE-selling) brokers, who being themselves the capitalists naturally interested to preserve their status quo (of keeping peasant farmers in firm grip of serfdom) must be also interested to support PAD, which is elitist / middle-class movement with goals to continue desinfranchise the rurals.
so, in such a way PAD and their supporters shoot 2 ducks with 1 stonet : mutually benefit from a lucrative booming business (since rice is a staple crop / main food all over Asia, Thailand no exception) and at the same time – supporting ASTV channel and Manager newspaper, as well as whatever other activities. actually the 3rd and probably the BIGGEST duck shot by the same stone is : those peasant farmers are still being kept in check, without much choice than continue being serfs and no means to even raise their voice in protest.
WOW! trully briliant idea. I suspect that it is actually Chamlong who is behind it.
UDD theoretically could have done something like that. but in reality – they CAn NOT ! at least for 2 obvious reasons :
1) as explained above, even though farmers DO produce rice – they do not own it in reality.
2) UDD movement doesn’t have their own TV station anymore or newspaper to maintain (D-station was closed by gov. and new station is not allowed to open).
although UDD has learned a lot and copied many things from PAD (or at least tried) – they are certainly no match for PAD, except perhaps their numbers.
perhaps it is also important to note the point mentioned in article about “large conglomerates” (I bet first of all CP group, largest supplier of agricultural products, which has reportedly supported / sponsored PAD’s rallies and in such a way helped Abhisit to become a PM – and as a reward for that one of CP top executives has been given Ministerial position in Abhisit’s gov.) who is “watching expanding market” for ASTV products. surely UDD don’t have such a support.
so, PAD in many aspects is well ahead of UDD. their material base certainly is much larger.