The recent Red Shirt protests attracted a handful of Western supporters, most notably an Australian (or Irish Australian as he prefers to be styled), (David) Purcel Conor, who made inflammatory speeches to the assembled rabble, but in English (a language that few of the audience would have understood). In court he made the most diplomatic of statements:

“This country has no authority over me. I’m not under Thai law. I’m only obeying international law. I’m head of the red gang.”

I’m sure that won him a lot of kudos with the judge.

And then there was the English lout, Jeff Savage. He made a highly articulate statement to a media crew (available on YouTube for those who wish to search):

“We’re gonna smash the fucking Central Plaza to shit. We’re gonna steal everything out of it and burn the fucker down. Trust me, get pictures of that fucker. We’re gonna loot everything, gold, watches, everything, and then we’re gonna burn it to the ground.”

And so it came to pass.

This is interesting because it seems to confirm the belief that the arson and ransacking that followed the end of the Red Shirts protests in central Bangkok was premeditated, rather than being an emotional response to events. (In fact, there are plenty of other, uncorroborated reports that the destruction was preplanned.)

Whilst I have little doubt that the Aussie and the Brit deserve to be thrown out of Thailand for good, I find the response of the Thai authorities a little disturbing. (The Pattaya police have suggested that the death penalty is in order.) It appears that Purcel and Savage are being kept in chains, whilst the Red Shirt leaders, who have, admittedly, been arrested, are living a comfortable lifestyle at what appears to be a pleasant resort – sans chains.

There appears to be a clear message to foreigners here: stay the hell out of Thai politics, or you’ll be f**k’dt dealt with severely.


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