February 2 2012
I have been deleting a lot of posts over the last 24 hours, a sure sign that I am not in touch with a lot of my readers here, many of whom seem to have drifted in fromThai Visa.com. The issue was of course Kanokrat Booth who has been protesting outside the British Embassy in Bangkok.
I have to say my sympathies are with her. I am British. I am from the country of fair play, where one should expect justice. We have our prejudices but we have a legal system in place and have denied it to a person who is willing to be judged.
There are cynics who have said she is chasing her kilt-maker husband's cash. But actually in all my conversations with her she has been totally uninterested in going down such an avenue. This is all a little irrelevant because she wishes to make herself available to a divorce court so she can be judged on the matter.
What is blatantly obvious though is her loss of face and the demeaning way in which she has been treated.
Denis Booth, for whatever reasons, decided he had had enough so he tipped off the U.K. Border Agency that she that she had a lover and had deserted him.
Whatever she did, whatever your view, the fact is that both the Immigration Tribunal and the Immigration Appeals Tribunal ruled that the U.K Border Agency had acted illegally. She has spent a lot fighting her case.
It's quite clear that that process has now brought her to a highly emotional state.
Having got those rulings she applied again. She had only a few choices. Tourist visa, work visa, spouse visa etc.
She was honest in her application. She applied for a spouse visa because she is still married. Of course she was not going to live with her husband. She wants to defend her reputation in the divorce court in Selkirk, where, surprise, surprise, the husband is no longer claiming infidelity, merely desertion.
She was refused. It's an absolute shambles. That seems like the UKBA telling the judges 'Tough cookie!'
The Thais win on this one in my book.
When I first arrived in Thailand and set about doing my first tax returns I went to the tax office in Bangrak I had no idea what to do.
I was surrounding by cheerful staff who virtually filled in my form for my and sent me cheerfully away afterwards.
Every year Immigration and the Labour Department cheerfully help me through my paperwork.
Nobody helped Kanokrat with her visa application. The staff at the British consular section are polite. But most stuff they seem now to sub-contract out. Presumably civil servants are too valuable to wasted on such a process.
Could not one person have lent her a helping hand and guided her through the visa process which would allowed her the right to defend her reputation in a court in the U.K.?
No, of course, not! An automated voice would have told her to read Appendix X of Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.
Nobody takes the rap for anything. The rule book is king.
Just because Britons think they have a hard with Thai Immigration does not justify this treatment of Mrs. Booth.
We have our standards of fair play. What happened to them in this case? Sometimes the rule book needs to be ignored.
COMMENT NOW CLOSED DUE TO TECHNICAL GLITCH