Britain Really is Great, isn’t it?

 | Mon 25 Nov 2013 16:23 ICT

As part of my duties as editor-in-chief at CityNews last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Britain’s ambassador to Thailand. Unfortunately, I turned up late to the press conference, in a pair of flip-flops, got refused entry because I had no ID, and spent my time explaining to a couple of camera-men that Thor is a hammer wielding Norse god, and that yes, Arsenal is the best football team in the world.

So I never actually got to do the interview I was there for.

But we live in a digital age, don’t we? So, thankfully, I was able to corner Mr Ambassador on his computer and get him answer all those questions that have been niggling you about British ambassadorship in Thailand.

Here goes:

The brilliant Peter Cook always maintained he’d “still say yes if the governorship of Bermuda came up. I’ve always wanted to wear a plumed hat.” Do you, Mr Ambassador, get to wear any fabulous items of clothing? Or wish you got to dress up more?

Do you ever get to drive yourself, or is it always people in peaked-caps opening limousine doors for you?


One of my links to home is the BBC. After a day of Chiang Mai I like to relax to Stephen Fry’s voice on QI. What is it you like to relax to after a day of shaking hands?


Thailand is one of the dozen, or so, countries that Britain never ‘owned’. Do you think it has suffered because of this? (Okay, that’s close to lese majeste, skip to the next question).


Are elephants the most brilliant animals ever?


What’s the difference between a ‘gift’ and a ‘bribe’?

Do you ever feel like saying to people who ask you what Britain is going to do about tourists not wearing helmets while riding motorbikes drunk that it’s Thailand, and therefore British law has no jurisdiction here. The pricks should understand that when not in Britain: ‘you are on your own!’?


Why wouldn’t the British Consulate in Chiang Mai do anything to help me get a new passport? I thought my UK tax paid for that sort of stuff? Is it, perhaps, that we never invaded and gave Thailand a railway system that works?

Would it be easier for you if you just deed polled your name to Mr Ambassador, Mr Ambassador?


Is there a gang of ambassadors? If so, who’s the ambassador you laugh about behind his back for having the worst ambassador job? Is it Canada?


Which brings me to: Is the American ambassador as shouty as I presume he would be?


Do you prefer a bowl of noodles at a road-side eatery, or a huge steak at The Dukes?  


Do you have a Thai girlfriend/wife? Would you like one?


My brother’s doing time in Pentonville because he accidentally ‘exposed himself’ to a group of teenagers. He doesn’t like the flat-screen TV he’s been given. What are your powers outside Thailand to get this situation sorted?


Why is Britain ‘great’ again?


And finally, unapologetically predictably, do you ever get bored of the mountains of Fererro Roche chocolate you have at your parties, Mr Ambassador?


Thank you for your time, Mr Ambassador.