Thursday, April 12, 2007

We are not amused

I just do not get it. Why is it that some people do not realise that once their information is on the internet, it is public.

I have learned some things as a member of some online communities.

My view, is that if I choose not to be a lurker, I could be a target or attract varied comments, by just putting myself out there.

A British Diplomat was surprised by the responses that he got to his blog,sparked by his visits to part of Bangkok's red light district. One mistake was having his photo on the website, which was recognised.

One mistake may have been posting a picture alongside his blog on the Nation newspaper website. A number of readers said they recognised Mr Proud from Bangkok's notorious Cowboy Street sex bars.
"I recall going to the embassy once and that same night was down on Cowboy and who did I bump into? Yes, it was Ian," wrote one. Another observed: "I saw him walking arm-in-arm with a girl that could only be described as 'two-dollar whore'. I bet that girl got a visa no problem."

Visas and the refusal of requests are clearly a bugbear for those who posted comments, even though they are not Mr Proud's responsibility. Mr Proud does not deny being out on the town during his four-year stint, but adds: "I don't think there are many people here that haven't been in places like Soi Cowboy at some point. My last visit was about a year ago."

The Nation's editor, Tulsathit Taptim, is discussing with Mr Proud whether to continue the blog. "Ian loves to get the reaction and he found it really fun over the first two days."

Whether the Foreign Office will be similarly amused is another thing: Mr Proud did not anticipate the controversy so did not seek clearance.

Quotes from Blog response surprises diplomat by Ian Mackinnon for the Guardian newspaper.

I wonder what the code of conduct is for diplomats, when they are out on the town?

Is there a code for visiting Red light districts?

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What? You mean diplomats have sex, Nia? :-)

I read this story with whoops of laughter - I can't believe it made the front page of the Times as it seems like much ado about nothing to me.

If there was evidence that Mr. Proud been pulling strings to get people visas, then yes, that would be a serious matter and a serious misuse of his position, but the fact that he was 'seen' with a working girl is surely not a criminal or even moral offence. If you ask me it's not a tale of colonial supremacy - it's just a normal bloke who was caught in the wrong place during the newspaper silly season.

This should hopefully help Mr. Proud in his desire for 'celebrity blogger' status and I wish him luck with it - seeing a prostitute, or even more ridiculously being seen with a prostitute, does not make you unfit to be a diplomat.

As for the morally outraged, I think they should read more Graham Greene ('The Quiet American' is a good guide to 'what not to do' as a diplomat!)...

Livvy xxx

Thank you for your comments.

I can believe it made the front page. English diplomat, roaming the red light district,lol.

Sadly, I wonder how much of their lives are private.

I agree, what he does in his time off, is his choice.

I do not think the FO share our views,though.
I suppose they are expected to be beyond reproach, like politicians *snigger* or the Pope himself... :)

Thank you for your comments. Yes, you are right,lol.
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