Blogging British diplomat starts undiplomatic row in Thailand

PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP It seemed like a good idea at the time, no doubt. Ian Proud, the head of the political section at the British Embassy in Thailand, agreed to guest-blog for The Nation, an English-language daily in Bangkok. He got more than he bargained for, though. It’s since been taken down, but Proud’s picture was ...

602648_070412_patpong_05.jpg
602648_070412_patpong_05.jpg

PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP

It seemed like a good idea at the time, no doubt. Ian Proud, the head of the political section at the British Embassy in Thailand, agreed to guest-blog for The Nation, an English-language daily in Bangkok.

He got more than he bargained for, though. It's since been taken down, but Proud's picture was initially published on the blog. That set off a string of comments from Web surfers alleging they had seen him in Bangkok's notorious red-light districts:

PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP

It seemed like a good idea at the time, no doubt. Ian Proud, the head of the political section at the British Embassy in Thailand, agreed to guest-blog for The Nation, an English-language daily in Bangkok.

He got more than he bargained for, though. It’s since been taken down, but Proud’s picture was initially published on the blog. That set off a string of comments from Web surfers alleging they had seen him in Bangkok’s notorious red-light districts:

Simon Peltier wrote, “I saw him walking arm-in-arm with a girl that could only be described as ‘2 dollar whore.’ I bet that girl got a visa no problem.”

Other postings claimed to be authored by the diplomat, but weren’t, Proud said in a telephone interview Wednesday, noting one in particular that said: “Yes, I did go with prostitutes during my tenure here with the Briyish [sic] Embassy, but that does not make me a bad person.”

“My syntax is a lot better than that for a start,” Proud said, not denying familiarity with the red-light districts but insisting he did not patronize them on “a regular basis.”

“I’m not going to complain that I’ve never been there. But at the same time, the suggestion that I’m some sort of upholder of the sex trade in Bangkok …” he trailed off. “It’s pathetic, frankly.”

Well okay then.

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