Another Country

Retford - Take Water and Sandwiches
By Wrinkled Weasel

Britons returning from strife-torn Libya have apparently made criticisms of the government's evacuation strategy. One man, a former career soldier, described the operation as "shambolic". He should know better. What was he doing in Libya in the first place?

It has always been a source of wry amusement to me that British Citizens who return from the Costa Del Sol or Retford, still complain about the funny food and the lack of the things they are used to. It is as if they do not understand that they are somewhere else. Wolfy, one of our writers did a piece about piracy (WW passim). The pirates will pick up anybody who looks vulnerable and take them as hostages, with a bit of torture on the side, just to maintain some pirate credibility.

When you go abroad, nay, when you step outside your door, you must assume some responsibility for your action. It is no use travelling to some terrible corner of the world, getting into trouble and then expecting someone to get you out of it. It adds insult to injury to then complain about it when they do.

Young Weasel went to Nepal last year to make a film and ended up being hijacked by Maoists. He was fine (he told me after the event). I knew, when Young Weasel announced his plans, that there could be some danger. I also knew that he posseses a certain amount of skill with people, courage and tenacity. It means that, although I was concerned, I felt that he was doing what he enjoyed most. Certainly, YW was aware that he was his own man and I am sure it never occurred to him that he was doing anything other than being very explicitly somewhere else.
You cannot travel any distance without taking account of your safety. If you do get into trouble, then perhaps people may be able to help, but first remember; nobody forced you to go and if you are surprised or shocked by what you find, and if you get tummy trouble or die horribly, you should be contemplating your options, not thrashing about expecting the nanny state to bail you out. And that applies whether you are in Rio or Retford.


Ruth@VS said...

I've also been struck by the expectation of British citizens who choose to live somewhere like Libya expecting the UK government to bail them out. Libya, for heaven's sake, not like it was ever a stable country!

T.S. Dogfish said...

It requires a tremendous amount of advanced planning to evacuate anyone from anywhere - if it's a friendly nation, with airfields at the ready and the consent of the government. If you don't have ANY of those things in your court, any success whatsoever is going to be miraculous.

British citizens in Libya are a result of Oil Fever. Like in a divorce situation where there are children involved - you'll always be tied to your ex.

Twig said...

With the number of people now assuming British citizenship and the increase in foreign travel it's not feasible that HM's govt can g'tee their safety. Just like the Somalian who got rounded up and held in Gitmo, and his claim to British protection seemed to hinge on the fact that he had spent time here as an II before leaving for Afghanistan for "drug rehab".

Maybe we shouldn't be quite so free with the passports.