Re: "How to learn from the failed rice scheme", Letters, June 13.
Burin Kantabutra asks what the goal of the rice price-pledging scheme is. I don’t need to tell him that Pheu Thai’s goal, though never stated, was always to maintain farmer votes. More votes equals maintaining political power equals more money. Amassing money is the Shinawatra creed. Secondly, the goal is to buffer the coffers of middlemen who own warehouses and milling factories. Both those goals have been quite successfully met. So Thaksin (the scheme’s instigator and biggest booster) and Pheu Thai think, “Why mess with a good thing? It’s getting us votes, and our buddies in the rice business are getting richer. You got a problem with that? Oh, you wonder about the farmers, and the wasted taxpayer billions – well, let’s not worry about the little things, okay?”