In perhaps a paradoxical new twist, the PAD's dramatic seizure of the NBT TV station and occupation of Government House compound on Tuesday could have weakened the protesters' legitimacy. That may embolden Thaksin to proceed with his game to re-exert his influence in domestic politics.
And that, in a sort of roundabout way, is related to his gesture to take a small step back from his British football team. According to Manchester City's executive chairman Garry Cook, Thaksin offered to quit the club's board after fleeing Thailand with corruption charges hanging over him.
Thaksin, he said, felt embarrassed about the situation. The former premier, of course, never admitted to any of the charges. The embarrassment therefore wasn't so much about the corruption charges as the prospect that he could fall foul of the Premier League's fit-and-proper-person test.
The offer to quit was not unconditional, though. Thaksin was quoted by Cook as saying that he would step down from the board "as long as it doesn't change anything else".
It's the same game he has played in Thai politics all along. Thaksin was willing to do anything "as long as it doesn't change anything else". In other words, if he retains his enormous influence within the ruling party, he would be willing to go through the motion of pledging "not to get involved in politics ever again".
The self-contradiction is glaringly cynical. After his Thai Rak Thai Party was ordered to be dissolved by the Constitutional Court, he made a tactical retreat, vowing to stay away from politics because he was one of the 111 party executive members banned from politics for five years.
But it wasn't long before he contacted Samak Sundaravej to head a new party called People Power. Officially, Thaksin had nothing to do with the new grouping - despite the fact that Samak inadvertently admitted that he was acting on behalf of Thaksin by publicly posing that telltale question: "What's wrong with being a nominee?"
That statement has come back to haunt him. But then, in Thai politics, you can't really keep any secret really secret for too long.
Last week, Samak told PPP members that he wouldn't have been able to come so far if Thaksin hadn't played a part. Thaksin himself was said to have called several PPP faction leaders from London to ask them to stay united and, more importantly, to continue to support Samak as the prime minister. According to one source, Thaksin said: "Without Samak, things could have become much messier."
Now that things seem messier than Thaksin had thought, he is playing a new game by asking another of his loyalists, Sucharit Patchimsawat, a former interior permanent secretary, to do what Samak did for the PPP.
Keeping Samak as an option is only part of Thaksin's grand plan to overcome the political crisis. He is ready to jettison Samak any time should the Constitution Court rule in the not-too-distant future to disband the PPP for cheating in the election.
Thaksin has a new nominee party under the name Pua Thai (For Thailand). For him, all pretence of staying clear of politics has been hurled into the wind.
Whispers of backstabbing and betrayal by the Gang of Four, presumably led by Samak (who has never officially denied the rumour), against Thaksin have dominated the domestic political scene.
Recent events to encourage the perception that Thaksin and members of the Gang of Four have made peace are nothing but a temporary truce, with both sides awaiting the next political episode before making up their minds on whether to stay with Thaksin or make a clean break from the man whose tragic fate is only beginning.
With or without Samak - and whether he will be granted political asylum abroad or not - Thaksin is clearly back in the political game with a vengeance. The creation of a new pro-Thaksin website - www.clubthaksin.com - to replace Hi-Thaksin underlines the fact that the "invisible hand" won't be all that invisible any more.
For him, it's a do-or-die decision. For the rest of the country, the nightmare can only get worse.
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