'The Best Consular Service in the World'
They have to be killing themselves laughing in Whitehall*.
|Andy Hall checks out the accommodation|
“Mark, hope you are well at this time.
“I email you regarding your previous email reply to me on the embassies assistance and consular advice and action in my criminal case prosecuted by Natural Fruit in Thailand, the relevant section as outlined below copied in email text. This email was received on 8th Oct 2013.
“For now my lawyers, myself and a number of international civil society and justice groups would like to request yourself and the UK embassy and FCO to clarify in detail the legal basis upon which the embassy has refused to pass on related documents received from Thai law enforcement actors regarding my case.
I would be grateful for your response on this important issue ASAP.
So I asked Andy what he thought the Embassy might be hiding. This was his response.
"We need to know identity of people lobbying the embassy on my case. I believe police officers may be working way beyond their legal authority with support from the NF lawyer. Who is this person or how did they communicate?
"We are preparing for prosecution of Bangna officials, NF lawyer and NF over this unlawful case prosecution. Bangna have to investigate a case before calling witnesses or seeking petition of me, this is a NO CASE outside jurisdiction of Thai justice system for interview in Aljazeera. But Bangna police going ahead without even basic investigation".
It appears to have done in a libel case a few years ago - which I won.
"To date, nobody has been held to account for crimes of sexual violence", he seemed to say indignantly.
"I will be urging the Sri Lankan Government to investigate these cases as they deserve.
"That means carrying out credible and independent investigations, but it also means providing greater support to victims and passing strong witness protection legislation, so that justice is not undermined by social stigma and intimidation".Britain's Foreign Secretary is not being outspoken because he is backed by 134 countries that have signed the UN Declaration of Commitment to end Sexual Violence in Conflict.
|It of course does not depend on who you are?|
It does not appear to be commonly known that up until the beginning of the 20th Century the British ran their own courts in Thailand to deal with complaints by British citizens, attacks on British citizens, and presumably British citizens attacking the local population.
"British subjects could not be robbed, plundered harrassed, or murdered anywhere even in the remotest jungle of most desolate part of the Kingdom; the Thai government was responsible for the security and safety of British subjects and had to pay for their damages and losses".**
|Sir Thomas Knox, one of Britain's most|
famous Consul General's in Thailand.
'Overbearing and insolent' was the court's
view. Recalled to UK after his Thai son-in
-law was beheaded for murder
This was because they did not trust the Thai Justice system, and seemed to have the authority to do so. Britain did however give Thailand a lot back in a sort of 'What did the Romans do for Britain way?
British Captains ran the Thai Navy. British Sikh Indians were the police - and Britain kept the French away, one unfortunate aspect of which is we do not get good cheap wine in Bangkok. Then there was the state railway, communications (telegraph) ,courts already mentioned, land survey department etc.
In fact I am pretty sure that Thailand which ruled over the Sultanates of much of Malaya - now Malaysia, ceded a lot of them to the British Empire - to get rid of the British Consuls. I believe I read that right.
***The Foreign Office always conjures up images to me of old boys drinking pink gins on leather sofas. Michael Cockerell's brilliant series 'The Great Offices of State' - Foreign Office - 'Palace of Dreams' did not rob me of that illusion. (I worked with Michael and producer James Hogan on BBC Panorama's 'Maggie's Militant Tendency' one of the most attacked Panorama programme's ever!)
Former Foreign Minister Robin Cook - 'After a couple of weeks I did not know whether, I had a Rolls Royce and a support staff which was looking after me exceptionally well, whether I had been kidnapped or taken into custody. The dividing line between these two concepts is actually pretty fine'.
Former Foreign Minister Michael Owen: 'In the Foreign Office there was an ethos that foreign policy was somehow something separate not something that politicians should be taking decisions (about)'.
Lord Renwick: 'The Foreign Office awaits the arrival of every new (Foreign) Minister like an oyster awaits a grain of sand - the intrusion of an irritant with a very low statistical probability of ever producing a pearl'.
Margaret Thatcher: 'We have the Ministry of Agriculture to look after the farmers and the Foreign Office to look after the foreigners'... 'In the Falklands I was fighting the Argies and the Foreign Office'.
At a meeting of all worldwide UK Ambassadors called by Tony Blair prior to the Gulf War. -
H.E.Sir Ivor Roberts - 'The Gulf War, the biggest elephant in the room was not discussed....They spent an inordinate amount of time on management process and management speak with the phrases that were regularly trotted out, synergies, value for money, empowerment, silo building, pushback. These were all candidates for a game of bullshit bingo."
Footnote: No offence intended - I'm just having some fun today.