“Move along now, there’s nothing to see here”.
So went the traditional line of the London police when in fact there
was everything one could ever want to see. It was an accident in our
road and at a tender age it was my first experience of a cover up,
albeit a mild one.
Later as a cub reporter still in my teens I was regaled by the gnarly
and cynical hacks at my newspaper office of one council cover up after
As my own age of cynicism took hold in my twenties I believed,
somewhat naively it has to be said, that I knew what a cover up was.
Then I came to Thailand.
Here they did cover up with a smile on their collective faces – and
not a soul in the streets, unless they happened to be just out of
nappies or Sri Thanya hospital, believed a word of it.
Life just went on with the people still putting between four and
seventeen chilies in the Som Tam and complaining about the heat, the
traffic and the mosquitos, in that order.
When I experienced my first COUP I imagined that the word somehow came
from COver UP. Again no one apologized and life continued pretty much
as before. It was in 1985 – hardly anyone mentioned the overthrow of a
government, it was all about Neil Davis the brave Australian news
cameraman who contrived to film his own death in what was deemed “a
This week in the Thai news there was more than the usual number of
cover ups and it was no surprise that General Big Too – the keeper of
the khaki cloth – led the way.
Though his idea of a cover up was directed at curvaceous teen “luuk
thung” singer Lamyai.
Prayuth applied his PG (Pocket General) rating to the singer’s stage
act sending his minions to count the number of gyrations she was doing
to corrupt Thai youth.
Ooh it was scandalous, Rooster was shocked to his very core – I think
all those trips to sexy shows at King’s Castle and Pussy Galore in my
twenties must have slipped my mind. As Basil Fawlty once said “that
avenue of pleasure has been cut off” now that I am serving a 20 year
stretch for the crime of marriage.
Lamyai’s production manager told Prayut he was “ ‘avin’ a laugh” or
words to that effect while the singer, hardly distraught at the extra
publicity, put on a flak jacket and looked even sexier than before.
However, as idiotic as it was, it all paled into insignificance behind
the absurdity of the general’s observations that “rape results from
such seductive behavior”.
Where is the duct tape when you need it – someone might have done the
nation a favor and applied a few strips to stop such nonsense
emanating from the barmy brigadier’s bombastic bouche.
Our dear leader is now doing his best to resemble my mother in law –
it was great to see her and she lightened up the mood for a while; I
just wish she wouldn’t stay quite so long…..
Doing her best in a more traditional cover up role was Rooster’s
perennial favorite Khun Kobkarn over at the vaguely Orwellian Ministry
of Truth, hereafter referred to as tourism and sports.
To her credit she kept it short and sweet and to the point this week
saying there was absolutely no truth to the claim that Thailand was
one of the most dangerous places on the planet – though she did kindly
say that she would “monitor the situation on a regular basis”.
Thank goodness, I was beginning to worry for a moment there.
Clearly the stories I read for the rest of the week were just a pack
of lies designed to denigrate Thailand.
To wit, shame on the Japanese tourist and businessman who
preposterously claimed that he was robbed of his 50,000 baht necklace
before he had even checked into his Pattaya hotel.
Double shame on the Saraburi bus driver who feigned a sword attack and
even went so far as to admit himself to ICU with blood pouring from
ten imaginary slices to his neck.
Even though he had the sword in his hand and a motorcyclist who took
it off him was filmed repeatedly trying to cut off his head, it was
all clearly made up.
It is so easy to use photo shop to doctor videos and images these days
to make things look dangerous.
Then triple shame, along came the news that a mum had murdered her ten
year old daughter because she was “stubborn”.
What poppycock – everybody knows that while such crimes happen all
over the world it is inconceivable that they could happen in a land
where everyone smiles and there are a blessed abundance of fish in the
rivers and rice in the fields.
I wonder if the tourism minister was monitoring any of that nonsense….
Over in London will be interesting to see what degree of cover up
comes out of the tragic fire in Kensington where a Thai family are
missing. Reading between the lines dozens if not hundreds may be dead.
The firm that refurbished the old building say they complied with all
codes while the residents had been saying it was an accident waiting
I was intrigued by the difference in the reactions from the British
news media as well as the Thaivisa keyboard warriors.
Were the fire to have happened in Thailand everyone would have been
screaming for the heads of corrupt officials. In Blighty much of
social media and the news organizations were just banging on about how
the community were rallying round “at this difficult time”.
Thaivisa curmudgeons were at a bit of a loss for words that this was
happening in safe nanny state UK and not dangerous old Krung Thep.
One Thai family in the block – that a Nation story said was in a
working class district – had been told by the authorities to stay
indoors. Being Thai they ignored this advice and consequently lived.
In true British style – a la Hillsborough – the best way to cover
things up will be to have public enquiries that drag on for years
until everybody culpable is either dead or at the Sunshine Nursing
Home for Bent Officials.
Reeking of cover up once again in Thailand was the story of a
step-father allegedly molesting a ten year old girl. Lo and behold the
matter had been reported by mum to the cops but it had not been
Rooster suspects, and I am really going out on a limb here, that it
might have something to do with the fact that mum is a teacher and the
alleged molester is the director of a school.
Once again the very people that the police should help and cherish –
the blessed Thai children – are ignored for the sake of face and sheer
I’d like to cover up some of these adults who let down our children –
in six feet of solid Isaan earth.
No cover up was needed when news emerged that our beloved Suvarabhumi
airport was named as the seventh worst airport in the world. Known as
Suwannaphoom in the Rooster household, where we speak Thai, the news
was met with incredulity.
I admit when it first opened and a handle on a toilet door came off in
my hand, I thought the airport had been put together with Blue Peter
sticky tape and string, but since then I have warmed to the place.
My feelings of skepticism about the validity of the report were
confirmed when British Airways were named as one of the world’s best
Meanwhile down by the sea in QUOTES (the Queen of the Eastern
Seaboard) I was surprised to note that the police were not out in
force arresting some very naughty and devious plankton that had
brazenly decided to turn the normally black sea a bright shade of
You had to titter. When the “plankton bloom” phenomenon hit Bang Saen
there were about four comments on the forum. When it moved onto
Pattaya everyone crawled out of the woodwork to have their say – I
half expected the Midweek rant to come out and blame Pattaya’s pesky
The mayor of QUOTES was doing his own blaming two days later when he
came out to lay the blame for pollution at the resort on the illegal
operators in South Pattaya. Amusingly the authorities seem to have
abandoned all hope of removing them in the near or even far future and
are now appealing to their good Thai nature to pay for tidying up the
1,000 cubic meters of sludge they tip into the sea each day.
A case of the mayor abandoning a cover-up for the sake of a clean-up.
And so to this weeks truncated Rooster awards. The “Karma Comedian”
award sponsored by Boy George goes to the Chinese tourist who was
using a makeshift mini fishing rod with glue to hook money from a
Chiang Mai temple donation box.
He fell down the stairs carrying 50,000 baht in swag and will not be
swaggering for a long time as he broke his leg and was thereafter
arrested. Rooster doesn’t believe in karma but has an honors degree in
Shadenfreudian Studies so I enjoyed that story
Finally, the award for “Restraint in the Face of Provocation” award
goes to the old Thai man at a food court for not hitting a Burmese
lady after she dared to go over his foot by accident with her plate
Following his withering tirade of abusive language that left the
polite lady in tears I would like to present the award in person on
behalf of all the nice people in Thailand.
And pass on the heartfelt message that you, sir, are a complete pain
in the Parson’s nose.