Thailand: Politicians and Alcohol – Siamese Twins?

Politicians and alcohol – much like love and marriage – go together like a horse and carriage.

While the Thai opposition Democrats have been wagging their collective finger at Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung for appearing to have had one too many before a debate in parliament, many who aren’t Thai or don’t understand Thai politics, media or culture are simply bemused.

A BALANCING ACT?: It wasn’t the booze that made Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung unsteady on his feet, but an inner-ear infection, he says.

From America’s Founding Fathers…..

From America’s founding fathers to modern leaders of the world’s superpowers, there has been an almost dependent relationship between alcohol and exercising high-level power.

…..to Winston Churchill.

Without question, the spiritual home of boozy politicians is the UK, and its wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill has no peer in the realm of prime ministers on the pop.

Thai parliament: total alcohol ban.

The Thai parliament has a total ban on alcohol (even in the club inside the compound), but the U K’s Houses of Parliament have a labyrinth of drinking holes snaking off their corridors, including the Members’ Smoking Room (for Tory drinkers), the Bishops’ bar, a Lords bar, a press bar and the Strangers’ Bar where politicians and journalists routinely exchange gossip.

Hard-drinking Richard Nixon.

Across the pond, America’s founding fathers held fast to the hard-drinking traditions of their British roots, with much of early colonial life centering around the church and the local tavern, not necessarily in that order.

Disgraced former US president Richard Nixon’s drinking problems were revealed in 2004 when tapes of his Secretary of State and National Security close adviser Henry Kissinger with a White-house staffer, Brent Scowcroft, were made public.

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