Letter leaves red faces at the Foreign Office
British diplomats have confirmed their reputation with the unearthing of a letter from 1967 containing allegations of ‘low’ intelligence, ‘hideous’ interior decoration and an obsession with golf.
Unfortunately, the accusations are leveled not at the chinless wonders of the Foreign Office but at the Thais, who came in for heavy abuse from Anthony Rumbold as he completed his posting as ambassador in Thailand 42 years ago.
In a letter to his bosses, he slammed Thais for having ‘no literature, no painting and only a very odd kind of music’. Thailand‘s architecture is ‘monotonous’ and its interior decoration ‘hideous’, he added.
‘Nobody can deny that gambling and golf are the chief pleasures of the rich, and that licentiousness is the main pleasure of them all,’ he wrote.
His controversial judgement, aired by a BBC radio programme, continued with: ‘The general level of intelligence of the Thais is rather low, a good deal lower than ours and much lower than that of the Chinese.’
The current ambassador has now scrambled to give a more complimentary view of the Land of Smiles. Thai foreign ministry spokeswoman Vimon Kidchob said her government would take no action on the letter as it was not an official view.