Politics really is devil's work
Dharma surely has a role to play in politics, but evidently not dharma radioSansanee Nakpong, elevated to PM's Office Minister after returning from gloomy limbo with the rest of the banned People's Power Party horde, has had to set aside the spiritual side of her life.
Maybe that's to be expected in politics, but it's been a curious progression. While barred from politics, Sansanee - a former Channel 7 newscaster - hosted a radio show about dharma and taught monks at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. She enjoyed it, she tells The Nation, and never expected to have another high-profile political position.
Civic duty called once more, however, and it had a string attached. It was Samak Sundaravej's TV cooking show that lost him the prime ministry in 2008 and the Pheu Thai Party will take no chances on a recurrence. Senior members told Sansanee she had to be careful, "but still, I think it's a shame - it's just a dharma show!"
Maybe comedian Sudarat "Tukkie" Butrprom hasn't heard the complaints of disgruntled Thai-expatriate fans in Oslo, because she's calling her European tour - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Germany - a success.
She was particularly pleased that people tipped her for singing particular songs. "I got Bt20,000 for singing 'Boe Rak Seedam' and my boyfriend Boo Boo [Kamthorn Namkam] got Bt10,000 for 'Kin Tub'."
It was really just a New Year leisure trip and a chance to introduce Boo Boo to show business, Tukkie says. She cashed in, the fans in Norway counter. "We bought her a flower garland and wanted to get a photo with her, but she wasn't interested because she wouldn't earn any money from the photo," says one.
Tukkie says the tour organiser agreed to pay Boo Boo a fee next time. He's a hanger-on, the fans in Norway counter. They didn't see her boyfriend as a bonus act, just someone tagging along.
Tukkie's eyeing a mid-2014 return to Europe. She ought to check the 2013 feedback first.