I thought of this when I read a passage in Christopher G. Moore's 2007 novel The Risk of Infidelity Index. A lawyer has been found dead during Bangkok's annual Oxford-Cambridge dinner, a gathering of some of Thailand's most powerful people, and one of his junior colleagues was the last person to see him alive (though he had nothing to do with the death). This puts the young lawyer in an exceedingly difficult position, the firm's head tells him, since the idea that the dinner's truly powerful guests could face police scrutiny is absurd:
"What better place to kill someone? With two hundred of the top movers and shakers of Thai society nearby. If you wanted to kill someone, wouldn't that be a perfect place? Where would the police start? Questioning people from influential families, people with titles, people who work at the highest levels of government, banking and commerce? Where would you start?"Moore has written elsewhere about Thailand's deference culture, arguing that Thailand has traditionally been characterized by unearned deference for descendants of the right families. Sounds British, doesn't it?
© Peter Rozovsky 2010