Them Ol'middle class Bangkokian blues

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There's a saying from even before Thaksin Shinawatra became prominent in politics: ''Provincial people voted them in, Bangkok people kicked them out.'' The saying refers to the succession of stomach-churning governments during the 1990s democracy experiment. Regime after regime, the provinces voted in the corrupt and incompetent, while Bangkokians pressured each to step down. But for the past seven years, upcountry provincial folks have said, ''no, you're not going to kick this one out''.

Here we're discussing the Bangkok middle class. They are not the elites. The bulk of them are a couple of generations (give or take) removed from an immigrant or refugee boat or rural Thailand. We speak of them in general terms, as there are many exceptions, including those who support Thaksin.

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