Dr Mumbo

Talk to the cutout because the PM ain’t listening

Question-dodging may be in the job description of most state leaders, but Dr Mumbo was nevertheless still baffled by the Thai Prime Minister’s recent efforts to avoid journalists.

Ditching the usual tactic of hiding behind a government spin doctor, Prayuth Chan-ocha took sidestepping a step further at a press conference. How? You might ask. Well, by producing a cardboard cutout of himself – and inviting reporters to quiz it instead of him.

“If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy,” he told delegates from Thailand’s media.

‘Ask this guy’

While the Thai hacks gathered apparently saw the funny side it, Dr Mumbo wonders if certain other state leaders will take inspiration from Mr Chan-ocha’s methods.

For those who remember it, the ‘Talk to the hand because the face ain’t listening’ approach was funny – 10 years ago. So to see it rebooted now by a politician as a media management tool has tickled Dr M somewhat.

In fact, even Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell wouldn’t have had the cojones to try and pull of this stunt. Respect where it due.


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