So you’re flying to Dubai (a Muslim country) on Emirates Airlines (owned by a Muslim government) with your child on a vacation, but decide you just have to have a glass of free wine (despite the fact that, as everyone knows, Muslims get all bent out of shape about booze).
Then you arrive in Dubai, only to discover that your visa isn’t valid, and you have to return to the U.K. on the next flight. You refuse and get all truculent, whereupon the Arab fuzz — a breed not known for their gentleness and kindness to foreign Christians — throw you and your daughter into a manky jail cell because you have booze on your breath and that’s A Bad Thing in Dubai. Even better, your husband has to fly out to rescue your daughter and you’ll be in jail for a year while the Muzzies decide to bring your case to court. Result:
“So far this situation has cost me around £30,000 in legal fees, expenses and missed work. My practice is closed. All our savings have gone.”
Hope the free glass of wine was worth it, that and your bad attitude. (And yes, I know the silly bint has since been set free through the intervention of Sheik Mohamed because clearly, he saw how poorly this was reflecting on his pisspot city.)
However, Readers will be amazed to learn that this is not the main reason for my ire. The woman is an idiot, and deserved to get spanked. This is my point. The fucking British government was going to do nothing, repeat nothing to help this moron. Let’s look at the whole picture here.
In days of yore, this would have been settled toute de suite by the Royal Navy sending a gunship into the poxy Arab harbor, whereupon the fuzzies would be suitably cowed and would release the British citizen. Nowadays, of course, this is Just Not Done (and in any event, the Royal Navy nowadays seems incapable of sailing as much as a dinghy without a year’s preparation).
So here’s what I would do in a situation like this one, were I in charge of the BritGov, and it’s the modern-day equivalent of sending in HMS Warspite:
- Suspend all Emirates flights in and out of the U.K. for the time that this woman is kept locked up.
- In the future, confiscate or otherwise forbid all liquor on Emirates airliners before they take off from Heathrow, on the basis that serving liquor on these flights can put passengers in legal peril when they arrive in Dubai.
- When any Dubai citizens in the U.K. are arrested and accused of breaking British law (e.g. speeding up and down Sloan Street in their gold Ferraris), hold them in jail for a year before allowing them to stand trial (just as in Dubai — they should be used to it, after all).
If this sounds like overkill, it is. All gunboat diplomacy is over the top, but what it does is serve to remind these little shithole countries that petty actions can have serious consequences — just as Brits traveling abroad should be aware of same.
The problem is that nation-states used to have a duty to look after their citizens when traveling abroad — even when said citizens had screwed up — but nowadays, governments seem to have forgotten this, one of the most basic of their responsibilities.
And for the Daily Mail, a correction is in order. This broad wasn’t imprisoned for smelling of booze; that was simply the pretext. Her original misdeed was refusing to obey the immigration laws of the foreign country she was traveling to, by traveling on an expired visa, and then getting uppity and refusing to return on the next flight — which she would have to do by international law.
I have never understood the arrogance of people when traveling. Outside your native country, you are a guest, and you need to be respectful of that fact that you are there on sufferance, not by right. If you want to act all bolshie, save it for when you are at home.
This time, the stupid woman was saved. The next one may not be so lucky.