The latest example of a woman who spent days in a Thai jail because she allegedly tried to pocket a "beer mat" (or had it put in her bag!!) is the case in point.
Downer notes that: "After about 10 minutes as foreign minister I was a little surprised to learn I was "responsible" for miscreant Australians who got into trouble in foreign countries."
And his heart went out to the current minister over the case in point.
He notes, and I can but agree with him, that we need to take responsibility for ourselves if and when we travel overseas.
There is a worse side to all this. The way the press beats up the legal system of Asian countries as if all are by definition corrupt and well.....just wrong!
Despite the fact that a crime for which a person may well have been jailed in Australia had allegedly taken place...stealing and/or abusing and/or attacking the constabulary; some how we are to believe that because it happens to an Australian in Thailand it is wrong.
There is more than just a little anti-Asian prejudice here!
No, I agree with me old mate Alex.....(I am trying not to gag)...we need to be some what more responsible if we are to be taken seriously as travellers overseas.