Following on from my previous article on the Tick Tock for Uncle Tu and Thailand:
It's been refreshing to see UK Deputy Ambassador to Thailand Margaret Tongue too busy even for a Ferrero Rocher chocolate egg this Easter probably saved from the Ambassador's party, chaperoning Transport minister Khun Pailin around Asia Rail (nice orchid Khun Pailin - a vase of Kent Orchids on display in the new UK embassy in BKK too?).
With the largest ever land sale in Thailand of c.$600M of the UK embassy, Margaret must be able to afford a new Panasonic fridge or two full of chocolate and orchids for Thai development projects? Kentish wine nestled in next to the champagne?
Certainly the UK's BKK embassy must be busy across ASEAN with the convulsions within Myanmar of a new President last month Win Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi's handling of the Rohingya/Bangladeshi genocide and diaspora. An Asian Syria or Libya is in the making - certainly the wise guidance of both Uncle Tu and General Prem must be useful for General Min.
And the pressures on Bangladesh Resilience from the Rohingya diaspora a particular concern for that Commonwealth nation amongst over 50, in the months before the recently concluded and very successful Commonwealth Summit in Australia's Gold Coast and Commonwealth Games.
There's even the future possibility of Myanmar as well as Eire and USA being given offical observer status and even as with Cambodia previously considered for membership of a revamped Anglophone Commonwealth for the 21st century. Rather than merely the 20th century colonial club of old.
And why not Thailand as an official observer too?
Uncle Tu now active on establishing his own political party and helping plant the ecosystem of other political parties for elections by February 2019.
And Thailand's Ambassador Sam in India is making strong headway there, as did previous Tourism Minister Khun Kobkarn (Thailand exports to UK are going to be some extra Toshiba microwaves and rice cookers too?)before him, with India one of the giants of the Commonwealth. Even USA considering India as a key tourism focus:
The convulsions of the Who Lost China debate resonant in UK with Germany the largest EU exporter to China rather than UK with its strong relations with Hong Kong. Who Lost India would be an even worse debate.
Hamish Macrae of The Independent newspaper citing India as already the world's most populous nation due to slight differences in recording population figures with India. And likely to overtake China's economic growth certainly within the decade and already the world's largest democracy.
UK with Magna Carta and the Mother of Parliaments the origin of most democracies from USA to India, hardly showng India or Thailand the way to strong and stable governance with the Fixed 5 Year Parliament Act falling at the first hurdle of the surprise 2017 election. That, with possibly the worst UK election manifesto ever of foxhunting and sell your granny or her house - and Henry VIII powers: S44 and full-blown dictatorship by another name.
Even new Chief of the General Staff Nick Carter erring on the right side of risking his epaulettes being ripped off, and sword snapped over the knee and frogmarched around the parade ground and out the barracks gate with just his busfare home, as with Frances's De Villiers in speaking out on MOD defence budgets, which is the preserve of politicians and public.
Uncle Tu rightly urging caution on excessive military spending in Thailand. Even a wider debate on consription and a too-large military? Certainly UK's Royal Navy with 40 Admirals for 20 warships is looking rather flabby. And in need of overhaul and joint working with say Thailand's navy in a Pacific Resilience Group.
Uncle Tu might even pull on his tracksuit (Nike or Adidas a TrumpDavos15Friends: #4) and excercise a review with the Irish Guards fresh from Cobra Gold and Kwai?
And as with Yingluck dancing around her handbag in Club Ku De Ta - from London to Dubai to Tokyo - wise advice for any future military intervention in Thailand's politics must be key for Uncle Tu. Even London in its long-standng role as a safe space for any Asian leader in exile of any political colour.
The zillionaire son of the Thailand Red Bull dynasty falling off the Interpol Most Wanted list it seems for the cop-killer road death. The Argentine Cannes-winner film Wild Tales aired again with an almost identical story.
Perhaps less surprising than those highly -paid lawyer excuses (shades of One Essex Court and Laurence Stephens and Palmer Biggs crimes with tame judges? The new Secret Barrister book highlighting the failure of UK legal systems against the backdrop of tax havens and white collar crimes of lawyers and accountants) on why he couldn't attend court for years due to illness that confined him to Formula One events across the world and London. And why on the run? Who will run Red Bull?
Although with the horrifying Windrush Scandal and secret 13k deportation targets poisoning the well of UK politics, any Asian or Indian or Caribbean face (the quietly capable Sajid Javid forced to speak out) must be worried about being deported to Jamaica. UK government rudderless now ahead of next week's local council elections likely to deepen the sense of rot and sloth.
General Prawit could probably set one of his watches to a few different timezones to drum up support too for Thailand and Resilience and the Commonwealth. It's a different service but the Thai Navy and Air Force must be key for Thailand's islands and highlands and lengthy peninsula?
Even wheel out the private jet again for a few slices of Hawaiian pineapple (not Chantaburi or Hua Hin with the United Fruit dispute resolved?), or at least a fastforward on Doitung in ASEAN and the Americas.
Pineapple (as with nuts: baseball snacks? Who knew?) - a massive health trend in UK and US and Europe where Costa Rica has 75% of the pineapple market value even without Doitung and UK's FairTrade project.
Pineapple policing, and sicknote rehabilitation in Thailand for PC Leeanne Carr cruelly used as a battering ram by her colleagues, a separate matter regularly featured in the Daily Mail, with Chief Constable Pughsley of Kent Police offering to take down the particulars of that case. Probably for more drug den raids and junkies arrests with Frontline Kent 7th in the UK heroin league table even after the Manston-Inratil crimes and Manston airport closure.
concerns over the Moody Blues of Cheshire Police with the Chief Constable there grassed up for being moody with the IT director. And that without a Russian cyber attack or North Korean NHS cyber attack. Probably Crapita rather than Microsoft running Cheshire Police IT systems.
As an aside, cocoa vital in the Commonwealth nations of West Africa and TrumpDavosFriend #3 Nestle already creating a 30% lower sugar snackbar ahead of the UK new Sugar Tax law now being debated in Thailand.
A Commonwealth focus in say policing would do Thailand no harm - as an adjunct to the excellent British Council in Thailand staffed by both Brits and Thais - and provide a Resilience Forum with ASEAN and Asian Commonwealth members such as Malaysia and Singapore and Papua New Guinea and Solomons, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Bahamas Ambassador to UK Ellison xxxxx a Queens Police Medal winner in restricting the flow of drugs around that island, and stimulating the economy with increasing tourism rather than the dead end of a tax haven economy that have made Londonski with £30BN out of £34BN tax haven funds in just the British Virgin islands and East Kent crooked councillor and civil servant projects.
White collar crime for crooked barristers such as One Essex Court, and High Court under Judge Mann all too easy and routine. Margaret Hode MP citing a Ukraininan crime gang buying up London properties to launder its crime funds. The Sunday Times detailing the Companies House scandal of shell companies to launder North Korean sanctions funds.
xxxx Ambassador to UK for Papua New Guinea gaining the prestigious The Diplomat award in London last week and no doubt keen to reinforce both Commonwealth and ASEAN Resilience. That a key issue for wider Asian peace and prosperity much as East Timor beginning its ASEAN membership process.
Lord Puttnam, former UK Trade Envoy to Cambodia passing the baton and his Killing Fields VHS - by Broadstairs writer Bruce Robinson and the site just outside Battambang and the Royal Road to Isaan temples - to a new generation with Ed va-va-voom Vaizey MP already rasing the issue of LIDAR ground radar exapnsion for Angkor Wat surveys and landmines.
Bill Longhurst Ambassador to Cambodia moving onto fresh fields after great successes in stimulating UK trade, expat surveys (those extra UK Chinooks will need landing sites if everything goes wrong again) and Resilience links, visiting every Khmer province and helping deliver the Sihanoukville-Phnom Penh rail link and Thailand-Poipet rail link, Phnom Penh airport link and laying the ground for the new Ambassador and completing the Battambang-Phnom Penh link, and slightly more difficult Phnom Penh-HCMC rail link, albeit no Khmer Rouge landmines en route.
Bridging Asia already underway too with another Mekong friendship Bridge at Baen Khang best-placed to link Vientaine and Vinh, the latter Central Vietnam's deep sea port. Ideal for Resilience for Vietnam as a Haiphong #2, and less constrained by Chinese submarine bases at Hainan, and best-placed for a revived TPP between Asia and USA and Commonwealth under POTUS Trump.
And for connecting Vientiane and Northern Isaan to the Central Vietnam economy and oversea markets. Certainly a far more useful and viable project than boondoggle overbuild as dynamite-blasting of the upper reaches of the Mekong - days of sailing to connect what markets? Or Laos-China rail - days of travelling and years of building to connect what markets?
On the latter, road tweaks to connect Luang Prabang with Dien Bien Phu far more useful.
While Mabey Bridges (in Gloucestershire near the dapper and diligent Richard Graham ASEAN Trade Envoy) ideal for the modular bridges necessary for rural connections through Africa and India and South America and Asia. And screwdriver assembly and factory sites?
All important in Resilience activity in the Pacific region - dynamic Infrastructure Karen Jimeno active in gaining Japanese support and investment for a Philippines Resilience Plan. Red Cross Thailand and Philippine surely linking arms across the Pacific Ocean and with the UK Red Cross are a key feature of Ramsgate Red Cross Town and Lincoln Police Resilience Forum.
The latter also including road safety - Thailand and UK drifting on reversing the horrifying carnage on Thailand's roads? UK a Road Safety leader with just 1,700 road deaths per year and just 30,000 road deaths in EU and its 500M population.
Aside from rail, surely UK's bus expertise must be a key Thailand interest after yet more horrifying crashes from Songkran?
The first time all ASEAN capitals have been connected by rail is within grasp with Battambang-PP-HCMC. And the sort of rail integration useful for say the Baltic states, and Russia and Finland, that fellow Bristolian and BBC Kent presenter, Estonia's Lembit Opik and former shadow Wales Minister would no doubt amplify, to help deliver on China's OBOR links to from Beijing to Bangalore and Battambang.
Uncle Tu probably lying awake at night and wondering how Cambodia will manage as the quietly capable Ambassador Longworth moves onto pastures new. Who will bridge the gap in preparing the groundwork for the next phase of ASEANRail?
That strategic Chinese interest too of OBOR and New Silk Route worth $8TN of trade forecast by the World Economic Forum - about 4x the whole Australian economy. Much as David Cameron and George Osborne and fellow Cameroonies such as Lord Bridges of Bridges forecast $1TN of UK exports uplift.
While AMR antibiotics and TB won't wait in UK or Cambodia and ASEAN. While the dynamic GlynxxxTDavies US Ambassador to Thailand must surely want to link in with Ambassador Woody Johnson in London on the Johnson & Johnson Resilience Box activity. Thailand, as well as Myanmar and Vietnam, must need more suncream in the Age of Climate Change?
Australia long advertising the success of suncream (sunscreen if you prefer) with its Slip, Slap Slop work in reducing skin cancer.
And Pfizer Thailand with Pfizer here in East Kent's Discovery Park, and Sittingbourne science park, USA's largest inward investments in Europe, as Viagra - so a friend tells me - is now sold over the counter in UK for c.$7 a tablet ensuring a big rise in sales and a firm increase in production.
UK's Ambassador Woody ironing his Brooks Brothers button down Isaan silk shirt? Doesn't everyone wear that to the NFL ballgame, as baseball also returns to UK? No ice hockey or basketball? The Wembley stadium sale to Shahid Khan, owner of Fulham FC and Jacksonville Jaguars ideal to stimulate the NFL in UK and Europe (are Frankfurt Galaxy still in the running?) as well as the grassroots football work that the FA do so well.
And a big ticket for Sports Diplomacy on football for UK in general, and David Beckham's Miami football club in particular.
Finland active on not just Nokia phones and Smart Cities (TrumpDavosFriendxxx) but the Basic National Income trials that could shore up the likely 60%-plus job losses from AI and Robotics perfected by ABB (TrumpDavosfriend#6).
Thailand's ageing population and plethora of delivery drivers and tuktuk taxis and factory workers and Philippines customer service call centres facing a double whammy with onshoring that might trigger future another cycle of protests and riots and civil war and coups.
While the excellent Lord Kerslake report on the Manchester Area terror bombing highlighted various concerns that should translate into ASEAN plans? Much as the Charter Referendum divisions and Deep South conflict are mirrored in a disunited Brexit kingdom highlighted by Lord Gus O'Donnell, and the Northern Ireland Troubles.
And if Doitung could be a fastforward for Thailand globally then Future Forward at home must be a trend for the election with new faces such as xxxxx. A Thailand zillionaire politician not so unusual but the vibrancy of Thailand's political parties a red light blinking on the dashboard for UK - even USA - with just two main parties and record low election turnouts.
The Shinawatra success that of appealing beyond Bangkok to the oft-dismissed rural buffalo with universal helathcare and so on. And interesting that Thailand's excellent heath care eforms cited in the Economist feature on Universal Healthcare this week - Khun Farida Waree a 55 year old housewife and her breast cancer story with Nakornayok hospital detaield over pages 11 and 12 .
And Liverpool MP Luciana Berger in a Ten Minute Rule Bill for Public Health - with crossparty support already - taking time off from supporting the Ellman-Field case for a Channel Four HQ in Liverpool, to also cite details of Thailand's excellent healthcare reforms in her speech on Cancer and Road Safety.
UK tumbling backwards in an Ageing Society with the first fall in lifespan for 100 years and sliding down the G7 league table if not to G25 on a GDP per head basis. Could the Belgians or Swiss or Swedes run the place better? In Kent it's looking like a Turnip Taliban again failing on a fatwah against obestity as well as tobacco and diabetes. The UKIP kippers proving far less capable than Scotland's fish-based politics of Sturgeon and Salmond with Scottish towns already moving to 20mph road safety speed limits.
And no doubt expanding a reseeding of the oceans.
Kent fishermen falling for the siren song of Faragist racism and EU-hate and lured onto the rocks of burning boats in East Kent's Whitstable rather than in effect beig paid twice -once to reseed the oceans and once to catch fish. Or at least clean up the Ocean Plastic Patches, each the size of France.
And certainly a Future Forward manifesto must be interesting reading on Uncle Tu's bedside table?
Perhaps the Guns n'Roses rockers prescient in their view of Chinese democracy being more viable than UK at the moment as a one party state splinters into factions. Certainly the one party state of Kent with Conservatism in One County Forever, looking to be jerry-mandered and jerry-built on increasing fault lines.
All the more important in stable governance as with Thailand: to lose one PM Shinawatra to exile looks like an accident. But to lose two?
Uncle Tu must surely have a role win or lose in the election as an eminence grise on the military rules of engagement for any future coups in Thailand. His four-year coup-originated rule now the longest in Thai history: a maximum of one year before a return to barracks and democratic elections? Limits on constitution amendments? The perpetual cycle of coups, as in Latin America, surely best left in the twentieth century for Thailand?
My university interests as a student - Surin a Bristolian too - rather than a lecturer (Kasetsart or Thammasat need an advertising course as Sincerity launches in ASEAN?) on Latin American coups and USA Studies.
Former Manchester police Chief Constable xxx Fahy active on safe spaces for street children charities in Africa, and surely relevant for Philippines and Cambodia? Previous Brazilian military governments literally treating street children as vermin to be shot - perhaps shades of London Chief Constable Cressida Dick concerns of feral youth in general and surge in knife crime and drugs in particular.
And the lack of a Thailand Trade Envoy from UK for years now seems an astonishing lapse in timekeeping. Who could translate UK and Thailand policies into the crunch and snap, crackle and pop of profitable activity beyond just tea and biscuit niceties? Ed va-va-voom Vaizey the quietly capable MP taking over reform from the elderly Lord Puttnam is yet another UK Trade Envoy who will have to start from scratch in Cambodia and Vietnam. Both nations capable of much greater UK trade.
And UK stumbling over the future strategic potential of ASEAN votes with Comonwealth support from Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. UK frittering away the potential of Oxford's Aung San underperforming with the UK embassy in Myanmar, with a Boris outburst of Kipling (Rudyard not Mister, and that in Yangon's equivalent of Canterbury Cathedral) is the crumbs on the trade table.
I wasn't impressed at all with the British Council Myanamr UK staff now weakening the rather excellent Taiwan British Council. The latter all the more important with rapprochement with China and USA over Korea.
While those POTUS Trump #Davos15friends must have a key strategic role for Thailand as well as UK?
Frank Field MP and Louise Ellman MP of Liverpool, the Uncle and Auntie Tu of Liverpool politics, vigorous on both Birkenhead as an HS3 route to Hull, City of Culture and the new Siemens rail factory, and on Israel's StartUp Nation activity in Lancashire and East Kent.
Whether that encompasses Preston's BAE and Heinz foods potential in cargo helicopters (those Chinooks again?) and DFID aid, or Ofwat graphene water filters, as part of the mix of Whitehall out of Whitehall whether DFID or Channel Four HQ.
Chorley market with Chatuchak long a template for a resurgent Ramsgate market.
Uncle Tu a calming voice possibly on Heinz or Nestle growth, amid the heated debate of khon and rice pudding that, as with the Bangkok Shutdown, threatened to boil over into conflict.
Perhaps Auntie Tu exercising firm control of the purse strings on any excessive military spending in Thailand (surely university MOOC's and media links with Channel Four and Salford's BBC Media City more relevant than tanks and submarines -in UK as well as Thailand?) that was a characteristic of say Brazil and Uruguay.
Shopping in Oxford St a key attraction for the growth in Thailand tourists, for some Churches shoes on Great British Jermyn St, even, coals to Newcasle style, Isaan silk and Jim Thompson in Selfridges and Macy's? I've never understood why Isaan silk isn't an iconic feature of the UK High Street.
The Order and Progress motto of Brazil though looking all the more relevant but distant for Brexit Britain.
But watermelon politics, green on the outside and red on the inside, relevant here in East Kent if not limey politics of a dark green Climate Change green coast from Brighton to Margate. Even through to the Lord Heseltine-inspired Thames Gateway and Ebbsfleet Garden City.
Both a sort of monkey cheeks overflow for London along with the Thames barrier. Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall products (why is Cornish ice cream advertised on Kent beaches , surely a monstrous failure of the great British Seaside and regional brands?) and organic farming not dissimilar to King Bhumibol's initiatives.
Prince Charles now the next leader of the Commonwealth surely keen to expand on such agricultural and architectural work.
While Prince Harry's support of Kent's Ghurkas at the same time as his Army Air corps role, and Prince William's investment in air ambulance and helicopter training also relevant for Thailand Resilience from monsoon floods to another Boxing Day tsunami.
And Harry's fiancee American Princess Markle with Cambodia's American Princess Soma both adding some movie star and gogglebox glitz, and fashion panache to royalty, as did Princess Diana around her MAG landmines work.
Both princesses in effect Making America Great Britain Again and surely keen to ensure Sports Diplomacy kicks off in style with the Arsenal of democracy on an English football plan for Thailand. Arsenal Summer Schools and grassroots community work a feature of the Gooners.
While Scouser, Frank Field MP no doubt having an extra cup of bovril at half-time with news of Big Ben being the most Instagrammed sight ahead of Anfield. Surely my mother-in-law's Isaan village the only one with a picture of Big Ben on her living room wall.
And Liverpool and, whisper it quietly, Manchester United shirts, promised for the backs of the schoolkids at the Surin Charity Village School. Chelsea and Caraboa surely an open goal, and Ambassador Kent in Buenos Aires no doubt asking for Spurs' Ossie Ardiles support.
And takraw balls too. Obviously.
Affable sports radio Jake Tarrant ideal to commentate on that and even get his dad Chris back on the rails. A series of live broadcasts on ASEAN Rail openings?
With UK one of the world's most generous nations with $20BN in aid funds each year as well as the third highest contributor to the UN (PM May right to threaten witholding UN funds without backoffice bloat reforms) and EU aid inlcuding HALO landmines, I'm astonished a Surin School costs just $30,000 to build. And with less asbestos than a UK school.
Surely kickstarting such schools - and school reforms a key factor for UK and Thailand? Just 8,000 thai students in UK compared to 17,000 Malay? A Kasetart UK campus beyond just the big boys of Chula and Thammasat? And Thai restaurants, and concomitant rice and Singha and Chang sales, declining below 15,000?
A strategic failure for UK food and food security with most farmers now aged over 65 years old. Who will grow the food? EU fruit pickers already drifting away from a colder, meaner Brexit Britain and The Kent Big Apple.
And who in The City and Wall Street will be willing to invest long-term in agriculture robotics?
Even without the wider USA Dustbowl issue of topsoil and harvests. Those missing hedgerows and bees, and trees, a red light blinking on the dashboard.
While BBC Hard talk - presenter Stephen Sackur surely a shoo-in for Question Time - highlighting US policy drifting with no ambassador in key nations such as Egypt (landmines again) and DRC Congo (peacekeeping) and Tanzania (prosperity). Archbishop Welby elbowing his way to the bar for a swift half of Budweiser after championing faith-based peace and prosperity from UK support in Sudan as well as Nigeria and Sahel.
China far-sighted in already gobbling up African land for its burgeoning population.
The UK's Foreign Office now with more embassies than any other European nation with the opening of the Chad embassy and Sahel focus. As with USA embassies and Eire, surely a ready resource for Thailand and Ambassador Sam too.
Couldn't Uncle Tu have held onto Foreign Minister Boris for just a few more months and years rather than letting him escape back to UK and drive the Brexit bus over the cliff?
It's worse than the ending of the Italian Job.
While a one minute delay at Dover in East Kent, Europe's largest port (lorries laden with food and other products cleared in an average of two minutes) results in a traffic jam all the way back to the M25, if not Piccaddilly Circus. London facing no breakfast with Brexit even without industrial and social unrest.
A British Bangkok Shutdown more likely with a poorer and disunited UK with Brexit.
The Windrush Scandal all the more disappointing for 21st Century Britain and the Commonwealth with the collpase of UKIP nationally and here in East Kent.
Fortunately Environment Minister Gove has grabbed the clown-car wheel from Boris and David Davis, and with the quietly capable Health and Social Care Minister Jeremy Hunt, (those Pfizer and TB tablets or even malaria nets, won't order themselves), is crunching through the gears in moving the British doubledecker bus down the road away from Brexit without the wheels falling off.
Time for Change