Gen Prem Tinsulanonda has always made it a point not to comment on Thaksin Shinawatra's public remarks. And when he finally changed his policy yesterday, he did it with style.
He made a forceful comment by saying: "I am not really interested."
Of course, he was very, very interested in what Thaksin has been saying about him and other members of the Privy Council. But the chief privy councillor chose to underline his strong reaction by appearing not to pay attention to those biting words.
When a reporter asked Gen Prem about Thaksin's latest "phone-in" comments that were negative about privy councillors, the response was a cool and calculated: "I am sorry. But I haven't been listening to his speeches, no matter how many times he has spoken."
Another reporter pressed on: Would Thaksin's comments make things worse?
Gen Prem: "I can't really answer that question because I haven't paid attention to what he has been saying."
Does he want Thaksin to halt his activities? Will he give a warning to Thaksin?
Gen Prem responded: "You have already said it."
Does that he mean he wants to warn Thaksin against what he has been saying?
"I have warned him many times already..."
You don't have to be a political pundit to read between the lines and to know why Gen Prem says he hasn't been listening to what Thaksin has to say.
It's hearing without listening.