PDA

View Full Version : Tonight with Trevor McDonald - Thailand.



Lee
14th Sep 2006, 02:47
Hi.

I received an email yesterday from the producer of Tonight with Trevor McDonald - I have replied with my personal opinions this morning and would like to invite other forum members to do the same.

Anyone interested please reply to tom.stone@itvplc.com

Tom's email is reproduced in full below.

Regards
Lee



Thailand-UK Contact Form
___________________________________________________

To: Lee
From: Tom Stone
Email: tom.stone@itvplc.com

Message:

Lee

I work as a producer for the ITV's leading current affairs programme, Tonight with Trevor McDonald. I am researching a programme idea about British men who marry Thai women whilst on holiday in the region. Do you have any up-to-date research about this issue? I am particularly keen to learn about the typical experience of Thai women in the UK. The BBC website reported last week that on average 70 couples a week are applying to get married. This struck me as a significantly large figure.

One thai woman I spoke to was concerned about the lack of support for Thai women in the UK- especially when relationships go wrong. I wandered if there was an alarming trend of Thai women being abandoned in the UK without any help.

Please email me if you offer any help.

Many Thanks
Tom Stone

Lee
14th Sep 2006, 02:47
Hi.

I received an email yesterday from the producer of Tonight with Trevor McDonald - I have replied with my personal opinions this morning and would like to invite other forum members to do the same.

Anyone interested please reply to tom.stone@itvplc.com

Tom's email is reproduced in full below.

Regards
Lee



Thailand-UK Contact Form
___________________________________________________

To: Lee
From: Tom Stone
Email: tom.stone@itvplc.com

Message:

Lee

I work as a producer for the ITV's leading current affairs programme, Tonight with Trevor McDonald. I am researching a programme idea about British men who marry Thai women whilst on holiday in the region. Do you have any up-to-date research about this issue? I am particularly keen to learn about the typical experience of Thai women in the UK. The BBC website reported last week that on average 70 couples a week are applying to get married. This struck me as a significantly large figure.

One thai woman I spoke to was concerned about the lack of support for Thai women in the UK- especially when relationships go wrong. I wandered if there was an alarming trend of Thai women being abandoned in the UK without any help.

Please email me if you offer any help.

Many Thanks
Tom Stone

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 03:15
Just what we all need, more sesationalism presented comic book style. At least it is now all clear about lifting stories from the Beeb.

Paul.

Lucky
14th Sep 2006, 03:29
Pity his grammar and spelling is not up to BBC English!

alvin
14th Sep 2006, 03:33
Or even ITV English!

Noi & Nick
14th Sep 2006, 03:53
Instead of ridiculing the chap, why not respond to his request with our own stories?

That way, we might see a TV programme showing the true picture of Thai/UK relationships.

alvin
14th Sep 2006, 04:19
Fair comment Nick. But IMO I feel from his initial enquiry which way his TV programme may be angling towards. I don't think the initial BBC story was deserving of any further media attention, unless something negative can be made of it ie his example of just ONE unfortunate Thai lady (out of the projected 3,500 yearly newly weds!).

Hence, I would assist with his research as you rightly suggested, if only to help to alleviate any one-sided sensationalism, but like others I suppose, I do not have enough history (not married yet!).

alvin

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 04:22
I wouldn't of thought that success was what they were looking for Nick.


I wandered if there was an alarming trend of Thai women being abandoned in the UK without any help.

Paul.

alvin
14th Sep 2006, 04:29
Perhaps, a Thailand-UK Community poll could be conducted to give ITV a collective, and accurate percentage of our success stories??

STA
14th Sep 2006, 06:16
Kwang and my relationship is a success but thats boring "entertainment" for a production company.

Lucky
14th Sep 2006, 06:21
Nick


Originally posted by Lee:
I wandered if there was an alarming trend of Thai women being abandoned in the UK without any help.

Tom Stone

Methinks I can guess what kind of story he is looking for. (wherever he is wandering)

jvc600
14th Sep 2006, 07:18
no one is ever interested in the success stories and the media dont care about how hard it is in getting your loved one in to the uk . it simply doesnt make a good news story or documentary does it.this will never ever change. same old same old:sleep:

Noi & Nick
14th Sep 2006, 07:34
I agree that sensation and bad news makes better telly than our 'boring' lives would.

However, if they have only one example of a bad experience and hundreds of examples of good ones, maybe they'll either tell the happy stories, or, more likely, drop it altogether.

Ignoring it wont change the programme's slant, inundating them with success stories just may.

TonyC
14th Sep 2006, 09:06
Abandoned in the UK without any help? In Blair's SOFT TOUCH NEW BRITAIN? He must be flamin' jokin'!!


A much better story would be about poor old Brits forced to beg for beer-money on the streets of Pattaya......but only because my ATM card wouldn't work! :help:


British popular culture is now driven by all things mean, nasty, crude, rude, violent etc. etc...... Just one of many reasons why I will be off to LOS when the finances are in place.

I agree with Nick.....innundate them with nice stories....I'll bet they run a mile.

TonyC

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 09:14
Originally posted by TonyC:

I agree with Nick.....innundate them with nice stories....I'll bet they run a mile.

TonyC

Or just ignore them and run with the producers edit,'the harrowing realism of Thai brides dumped in the UK' (just a guess).

Paul.

Thaddeus
14th Sep 2006, 09:19
However, if they have only one example of a bad experience and hundreds of examples of good ones, maybe they'll either tell the happy stories, or, more likely, drop it altogether.

Ignoring it wont change the programme's slant, inundating them with success stories just may.


Nick.

Give them a thousand good stories, and ten bad ones.... which will they run with?

Good stories do one thing, carry on with their lives .... bad stories get on TV.

It isn't right, but that is what happens.

Lee
14th Sep 2006, 10:39
Why not respond to his request with our own stories?

That way, we might see a TV programme showing the true picture of Thai/UK relationships.

Couldn't agree more Nick. :thumb:

Here is my reply from Tom Stone.
The emphasis in bold is highlighted by myself.

Cheers
Lee


*****
Lee

Thanks for your response. Contrary to your email, I don't have any particular "slant." I was just struck by the very high number of British men marrying Thai women whilst on holiday. The British embassy in Thailand claims that they are processing documents for around 70 couples a week. Doesn't that strike you as a high number?

I just wandered if there was any support for Thai women in the UK if their marriage fails. I can't imagine it's very easy if English is not your first language and you have not settled well in the country.
There's nothing sensational about that; more sympathetic.

Whilst surfing the net, I only came across two or three sites (including yours) which addressed the Thai community in the UK. So, I wandered what was the typical experience of a Thai woman marrying a British man she has apparently met only recently.

I understand your weariness towards the media but, in this case, it is misplaced.

Any thoughts you have on this subject would be welcome; if only to dispel my original suspicions.

Thanks Again
Tom
******

Lucky
14th Sep 2006, 13:49
I was just struck by the very high number of British men marrying Thai women whilst on holiday. The British embassy in Thailand claims that they are processing documents for around 70 couples a week. Doesn't that strike you as a high number?

This marriage whilst on holiday bit is the contentious bit.

Met on holiday and married during holiday?
Met on holiday and went back on holiday and married?
Met on holiday and went back on holiday and went back on holiday and married?
etc.etc.

The point is that whatever no of Thai/UK marriages are happening, the fact is that many inter race/ inter nationality marriages happen as a consequence of meeting on holiday wherever. How do the figures of other countries compare?


PS. I still wish he spoke English :angel:

I suppose with all his wandering he gets very weary, bless him.

Thaddeus
14th Sep 2006, 14:59
I was just struck by the very high number of British men marrying Thai women whilst on holiday.

Unless you are a 'Non Imm' or are working here, practically every visitor to Thailand is 'on holiday'

He sounds like a statistic hunter to me..... that usually isn't good.

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 15:10
I understand your weariness towards the media but, in this case, it is misplaced.

Any thoughts you have on this subject would be welcome; if only to dispel my original suspicions.

Thanks Again
Tom

Trust me, I work for the media??

What exactly were his original suspicions, and why wouldn't they surface on a News of the World style show?

Paul.

e.t.v
14th Sep 2006, 15:55
well for what my two cents is worth.
i may have a miscomseption that the UK media has more than enough resources for such information,with out approaching an internet forum.
lets face it when most people think of a marriage between UK and Thai nationals ,the is a very stereo typical train of thought, which some may say shows ignorance by many who only ever hear the horror stories or with no Thanks to the little britan show .
yes proving them wrong would be great BUT that is not what they want to know about.
By the very nature of the previous post they want to know what it would be like should the relationship go wrong .
so why does it have to be a Thai national ?
the are plenty other nationalalities living in the UK where English is not the first language.
so i am sorry to say that i think that if it is a true reseacher,they are only looking to make a show which portrays Thai-UK relationships in a negative manner.

colin244
14th Sep 2006, 15:59
And worse if you revealed your identity you may be quoted as a representative of such people!

Imagine (colin of essex said!) certainly all my mates/work colleagues/this site would know it was me!
colin 244

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 16:17
Don't get me started on imagination for this particular show Colin!! I would just add to my previous guess (though it would have to be in the DL).

My feeling is.........Reply away (to the email), if you are prepared to be disappointed and spend lots of time mailing the relative complaints authorities to receive a 5 second upruling apology in two years time (when all the viewers who had the stereotype bolstered at the time of the original show are making a brew).

Paul.

Henson
14th Sep 2006, 17:03
Just sent this e-mail to Tom Stone:

Dear Mr Stone,
Through a website, Thailand-UK.com, I have become aware that you are investigating Thai-UK couples who have initiated relationships while on holiday for the ITV show "Tonight with Trevor McDonald".
I met my wife in August 2005 and we married later that year. We obtained a visa in the Spring of this year, and she has now lived in the UK for 6 months. She has been through a radical change, but her experience has been mainly positive. If my wife and I can assist you in your research we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. I have also set up a website that tries to address some of the issues affecting relationships involving Western men and Thai women. The website address is thaifarang.co.uk.

Yours sincerely .....

pcheywood
14th Sep 2006, 17:07
[MODERATOR EDIT (Tobias): Following a complaint the content of this post has been removed for being off topic and inappropriate.]

caller
14th Sep 2006, 17:16
I replied in slightly more sceptical terms via an anon email address I use. I forgot to save it - if the guy replies, which I think he will, I will post both here.

I've done some work with the media, TV, national and local. Mostly positive, but then everything was researched and covered, even to who was goling to be interviewed "at random". Not by them, but by us!

The main issue is one of editorial control - you have none.

Be very afraid!

guava
14th Sep 2006, 18:27
Who wrote that for you??
Firstly - Cant we just drop this now? No matter what was said in the past why cant we just move on? I say WB Henson :clap:


I just wandered if there was any support for Thai women in the UK if their marriage fails. I can't imagine it's very easy if English is not your first language and you have not settled well in the country.

I guess that I could help this guy, I mean that I could give him what he wants. One of my dearest friends (an ex teacher of mine) works for local authorities in UK dealing with exactly the type of failed relationships he seems to be interested in. My friend is determined to turn her back on a very lucrative career in market research to follow her first love of social work specialising in Thai people experiencing marital problems in UK.

I am a little torn here..... could the unfair image of "Thai girl rips off farang" be redressed by a documentary that looks at the other side?

Casey Jones
15th Sep 2006, 03:03
Give Henson a break pcheywood! Maybe next time YOU **** up or say something that others dissagree with someone ought to keep ramming it down your throat every time you post!!
Harassement comes in many forms...lets keep it off this site please. The few of you who seem to hold something against the guy I would ask you to drop it. If you can't reply to him without sarcasm & little personal digs then best not to reply to him at all. Henson is a T-UK member who deserves the same rights of respect & free speach as we all do on here....whether you agree with his opinions or not. It's worth remembering that fact!
I don't wish to fall out with anyone on here over this issue but....I do not feel comfortable when a fellow T-UK member seems to be constantly getting 'attacked' by the same few individuals ( & it is but a few ). It's not nice, it's not fair & it's NOT WELCOME!! Debate & dissagree by all means...harass not!
So...please....lets ALL move on & be nice to each other. Thank you. :thumb:

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 03:18
Thanks for your contribution Henson.

If people don't want to read what the lad has to say then add him to your ignore list.

This thread is about the research being done for a TV programme.

Like other have said, lets move on with the thread.

Thanks
Lee

db1
15th Sep 2006, 03:24
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 03:30
For a look at the amount of settlemant visa's issued in various countries around the globe in 2004 - 2005 see GlobalStats2005.pdf (http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/GlobalStats2005.pdf)

Pages 10 - 18.

Not sure, but I think the visa figures for Bangkok are inclusive of any applications from Laos which are also processed in Bangkok. I take it they are as Laos is not listed independently.

Cheers

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 03:57
It's not nice, it's not fair & it's NOT WELCOME!! Debate & dissagree by all means...harass not!

Well said Casey :clap:

and Welcome Back Henson :nod:

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 04:38
I don't know why, I'd normally let these pass by, but I've replied to this one :eek:

Dear Mr Stone,

I've read with interest your email to Lee at Thailand-UK.Com. I met my wife six years ago and we have been very happily married for the past five. I did meet my wife whilst on holiday, but we didn't marry for another nine months after I had returned to see her on a further three occaisions. In order to get married in Thailand and then apply for a visa for your spouse there are strict procedures that must be followed in order to be successful. For the BE in Bangkok to grant a spouse visa it must be proved that a relationship is genuine, this means providing a pile of evidence built up over months and even years. If you did manage to meet someone, get married and submit a visa application within the space of a two week holiday then I'd be very very surprised if your SV application was successful. So to call them 'holiday marriages' is a little sensationalist and could easily give the wrong impression.

As already mentioned my wife has been here for 5 years, in that time we have met and become friends with many Thai-UK couples (over 100). I can honestly say that I'm unaware of even one marriage that is failing in anyway. I'm convinced that the levels of divorce are far lower than the national average. However, should a marriage go wrong then what are the support mechanisms available to the Thai partner (not just wives, many UK women marry Thai men and don't forget same sex partnerships) well in our case my wife would have: Her employer, My family (she's adored), her friends, the local Thai Temple. Infact she's probably gor more people she could turn to than I have. Yes there must be some Thai people out there who have been abandoned and who are desparate for help but is it enough of a problem, when compared to other nationalities, to make a newsworthy article ? I doubt it very much.

Regards
Keith Salway

ps:

WANDERING

1. moving from place to place without a fixed plan; roaming; rambling: wandering tourists.
2. having no permanent residence; nomadic: a wandering tribe of Indians.
3. meandering; winding: a wandering river; a wandering path.
–noun 4. an aimless roving about; leisurely traveling from place to place: a period of delightful wandering through Italy.
5. Usually, wanderings. a. aimless travels; meanderings: Her wanderings took her all over the world.
b. disordered thoughts or utterances; incoherencies: mental wanderings; the wanderings of delirium.


WONDERING

expressing admiration or amazement; marveling.

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 04:47
Just to split hairs, shouldn't that be any way and not anyway.

Go back to that cesspit they call the Departure Lounge :lol:

Mark W
15th Sep 2006, 04:49
Oops, I deleted that Keith.

I'll put it again anyway. :D


Posted by Keith
I can honestly say that I'm unaware of even one marriage that is failing in anyway.

Just to split hairs, shouldn't that be any way and not anyway. :p

caller
15th Sep 2006, 05:30
Heres my emails to Tom:

To: Stone, Tom
Subject: Thai Brides

Hi Tom,

I just saw your message on Thailand-UK.

I need to say from the outset that I have no interest in participating in your programme, I can't - my wife hasn't got here yet! But if it does turn out to be a fair and balanced portrayal of the reality, then good luck to
you! My knoweldge of the media would suggest that it will be anything but!

The language in your message immediately drew suspicion and it appears that your programme is exploring a very one-dimensional aspect of Thai-UK marriages, which incidentally, are not all western male / Thai female.

I wonder how many male "farangs" wed Thai ladies they have just met on holiday, unless going down the well documented "agency" route? But, as I'm sure that you realise, that applies to ladies from anywhere in the world
these days.

I would suggest that most meet, then "court" their wives and after having originally met, then spend time learning about the culture of a country they may already know well and have fallen in love with, as well as visiting their wives as often as they can and maybe applying for visit visas for them to come to the UK - very difficult to obtain.

Thats certainly true for most people I know. My wife will hopefully be joining me in the UK soon with my step-son. Visas are not easy to get and I would suggest, impossible for couples that have only just met with no history of a relationship - maybe a more interesting programme would be
how the agencies seem to be able to circumnavigate such rules - someone is on the make somewhere. Nor can you just get married in Thailand without the approval of the British Embassy or Thai Govt. Proof has to be provided and
accepted of the eligibility to marry. The UK may do well to copy the same stringent rules.

For sure, some marriages fall apart. That could be through a natural process of things not working out, it could be the male is an ***, or it could be the Thai lady was scheming all along with other things on her mind. As
with other cultures, the Thais have a well established and supportive network in the UK.

Another angle that is never picked up by the media, but one that may have some merit, are those western males/females/gay relationships who marry Thais and go and live in Thailand. I think that is an increasing pattern
and one I intend to follow in due course. Just look at the who's who at the British and other western embassies in Bangkok and note their wives names.

It says more about the differing cultures that "Thai brides" here are categorised as in the "Little Britain" portrayal, but in LOS (Thailand), such marriages are perceived entirely differently. My wedding was a
wonderful celebration with over 200 guests - 95% of whom I had never met before. Such a friendly people (who gave my wife and I quite a bit of money and these are poor people), I now look forward to going back, despite the lack of obvious western comforts. At least my wife and I now have our own bed in the family home!!!

I look forward to your programme with some trepidation, having little faith that it will be anything other than negative. Perhaps visiting some of the Thai temples around the UK on days of celebration, or even getting to the
recent Thai food festival in Battersea Park, or other such events around the country may enlighten you to the life of thai ladies who marry British men.

I hope whatever you do, that you compare the break up rates of such marriages and subsequent support offered (from within their own community), to the average divorce rate in this country and what happens to non-Thai abandoned wives with children.

A slightly red wine infused post, so please excuse the grammar!

Regards.

This is his reply:

Thanks for your email. It's much appreciated. I think my original message might have given the wrong impression. I don't have an innately negative view of marriage between British and Thai people; I was struck by the high number of marriages the British embassy in Thailand is processing. I think it's something like 70 a week. I thought that was a
very high number so I wandered what the typical experience was like.

Of course, the cynic in me thought about what happens when relationships like this go wrong.

You mentioned that some agencies help couples circumnavigate the rules regarding visas for money. Do you know anyone who has done this? Or do you know the name of any of the agencies?

Thanks Again

Tom

Notice the different slant in his reply to my comment about agencies?

Any more examples?

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 05:36
I replied to Tom this morning much in the same way as Keith has done above.
I gave my personal opinions gained from running this forum for the past 6 and a half years.

Here is Tom's reply.

Lee

Thanks again for your detailed response. It’s really helpful. I’ve had quite a few emails via your website; you’re clearly at the heart of the Thai-UK community. I also underestimated the support network within the Thai community in the UK.

Some of the people who have been kind enough to email me have voiced concerns over Thai women who have left their husbands as soon as they have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. I know this line of inquiry has been followed by the media before, but I wandered if this was very common in your experience.

Onceagain, I appreciate your time and effort in answering my questions.

Tom

wandered - he's still at it ;)

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 05:41
Well I've received a reply already. Here it is along with my reply:

Keith

Thanks for your response. I’m grateful that you took the time to give me such a detailed account. From the people who have already contacted me, it’s clear that I underestimated the strength of the ties within the Thai community in the UK.

If I might turn my original question around…… why do you think there have been so many successful Thai-British marriages? One other thing: a few people have contacted me via the UK-Thai website to suggest that it’s not uncommon for Thai women to leave their British husbands once they are granted their Indefinite Leave to Remain. Do you think that is true?

Thanks again

Tom

_______________________________________

Dear Tom,

There are fraudsters and con artists in all walks of life. I have heard stories of wives leaving their husbands after obtaining their ILR, but I personally have not met anyone this has happened to. I have also heard about people seeing UFO's but I've never met anyone who has !!!!! I would honestly say that it's very uncommon.

As for why there are so many success stories Mmmmmm. Maybe it's because we go through so much grief (visa process) to get here that it's not something we want to throw away lightly.

Regards
Keith

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 05:42
Nice e-mail, Caller, but.......
maybe a more interesting programme would be how the agencies seem to be able to circumnavigate such rules - someone is on the make somewhere. Wrong!

Agencies do not, cannot, circumnavigate the rules! Indeed, I have seen many posts on this and other forums from people who have taken the advice from an agency to 'alter' facts that may seem unpalatable (e.g. met in a bar) and then had their application rejected because the ECO has sussed out that they are lying.

I fear that your comment has only increased this researcher's desire to show there is something dodgy going on, as per his reply to you
You mentioned that some agencies help couples circumnavigate the rules regarding visas for money. Do you know anyone who has done this? Or do you know the name of any of the agencies? Any journalist worth his pay is immediately going to jump on a suspicion of bribery and corruption in a government department. Especially a visa section.

I can see the headline of the programme now:-

"Bangkok embassy issues 70 spouse visas a week! Is this due to bribery and corruption?"

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 05:43
If I might turn my original question around…… why do you think there have been so many successful Thai-British marriages?

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Ray
15th Sep 2006, 06:05
I've never watched the program before. It's Heat or Eat (http://www.itv.com/news/tonight_7e1d7e7cdf0120eecc1d7cdd06e8c3d2.html)tonight so will give it a look. :shrug:

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 06:23
Just sent him this :lol:

Tom,

One more thing. If you look at official UK Visa statistics you'll see that there are some Embassies issuing even more settlement visa's than Thailand. India, Zimbabwe, USA, Australia, Ethiopia and Pakistan are all higher. In 2005 our Embassy in Bangkok issued 2648 SV's thats 51 a week, our Embassy in Islamabad issued over 9000 !!!!!!

Here's a link to the stats:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/GlobalStats2005.pdf

Maybe you're looking at the wrong country for a story !!!!!

Regards
Keith

Lucky
15th Sep 2006, 06:34
Nick
There is one area where agencies seem to be able to circumvent the rules. The BE clearly states on its website that 'Freedom of leave to marry' applications should be presented one day and collected the next. I have heard several people claim that their agents obtained this in one day. This suggests to me some sort of fix!

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 06:38
You beat me to it, Keith.

Here's the mail I've just sent him
Dear Tom,

I am a member of Thailand-UK and have seen your interest in this subject there. I understand that you have already received some comments from other members, but would like to add my own.

Firstly, you place great emphasis on the fact that the British embassy in Bangkok deals with an average of 70 settlement applications a week.

This is by no means the highest. If you look at http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/GlobalStats2005,0.pdf you will see that in 2004/5 the Bangkok embassy dealt with 3036 settlement visa applications (an average of 58 a week, not 70) which is far less than some others. For example, Canberra dealt with 4100 settlement applications, whilst Islamabad dealt with a staggering 11,985!

You must also remember that not all settlement applications are for husbands, wives or partners of British citizens. Many are for children or other family members of Thais already settled in the UK.

Remember, too, that the Bangkok embassy deals with visa applications from residents of Laos and Cambodia as well as Thailand. Not all of these applicants will be Thai.

Secondly, like others I am concerned that this may become a programme about British men 'buying' Thai wives, with emphasis placed upon elderly men 'marrying' young Thai girls, as stereotyped in programmes such as Little Britain. A survey among Thailand-UK members some time ago showed that in the majority of cases the age gap between partners was below 10 years. It is true that some Thai women find older men attractive, or feel that marrying an older man may offer them more security; but so do many British women.

It is, of course, true that some Thai/UK couples meet through an introduction agency, as do many UK/UK couples. There may be many reasons for this, but looking to 'buy' a wife is very rarely one of them. Apart from any other factor, the average Thai woman would most definitely not allow herself to be sold! From the couples my wife and I know, and others we have contacted via forums such as Thailand-UK, I can say with confidence that most Thai/UK relationships start in exactly the same way as most UK/UK relationships, two people meet and over time fall in love. How they met is irrelevant.

Maybe they met while the UK half was on holiday in Thailand. So what. Holiday romances happen the whole world over. Often these romances wither when the couple part, sometimes they grow. I can assure you, though, that no Briton is going to come home with a Thai partner they met whilst on holiday for a couple of weeks. The stringent requirements of obtaining a visa would ensure that can't happen.

Thirdly, you have raised the point of the Thai partner abandoning their spouse once ILR has been granted, presumably to see if you can make a case for Thais marrying Britons only to get residency in the UK. This may happen, there are crooks and suchlike in every country in the world, but I personally do not know of a single case, and in the thousands of posts I have read on various internet forums only come across a handful of incidents like remotely approaching a 'marriage of convenience' scenario.

Of course, marriages can and do fail, whatever the nationality of the couple.

Finally, it may seem that I, and others, are being over defensive. I can assure you that this is due to the biased and stereotypical view much of the media presents of Thailand and Thai/UK couples. Every time a programme on this subject, whether supposedly factual or fictional, is shown on mainstream TV my wife and I are subject to some very ignorant comments. Worse still, so is my daughter at school. Not, I must stress, from people who know us, but form ignorant strangers.

I therefore hope that if this programme does go ahead you present the true picture of Thai/UK relationships instead of peddling the usual onanist fantasies so beloved of certain newspapers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you would like any further comments from me please feel free to ask.

Yours, Although I used the number of applications rather than the number issued.

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 06:42
Originally posted by Lucky:
Nick
There is one area where agencies seem to be able to circumvent the rules. The BE clearly states on its website that 'Freedom of leave to marry' applications should be presented one day and collected the next. I have heard several people claim that their agents obtained this in one day. This suggests to me some sort of fix! I was in and out of the consular section with my notarised AFM within 30 minutes, most of that spent waiting to be seen.

That was in 2000, before the system changed.

I suspect, Lucky, that the stories you have heard were also before the system changed; unless you know of a definite case which happened after.

Marcus
15th Sep 2006, 06:46
Excellent letter Nick! :thumb:

-Keith-
15th Sep 2006, 06:47
Excellent Nick, most excellent :clap: :thumb:

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 06:56
Thanks, guys. But remember I do have to get my head through the door! :D

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 07:16
Remember, too, that the Bangkok embassy deals with visa applications from residents of Laos and Cambodia as well as Thailand.

Cambodia is listed in it's own right.
For 2004 - 2005 Phnom Phen had 29 settlememt applications.

Lee

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 07:31
Ooops! :o

I made that comment based upon the following from the Phnom Penh (http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1067968720177) embassy website
What happens when I make my application?
The Staff in Phnom Penh will review the application making sure it is complete. They are unable to make a decision on the application. The application will then be prepared for despatch and sent, by courier, to the Visa Section of the British Embassy in Bangkok...... and
Will I need an interview?
Once the Visa Section of the British Embassy in Bangkok has received your application, the Entry Clearance Officer will make an assessment on it. He/she may want to ask you some further questions about your application, if an interview is required you will need to travel to Bangkok to attend it.... From this I assumed that Cambodian applications were counted with Bangkok's! :o

At least he hasn't picked up on my error. His reply, just recieved, reads
Nick

Thanks for your detailed response. I greatly appreciate the effort (and research). The posting on the website has provoked a range of responses. The majority chime with yours, although others have revealed a different, more negative experience. Many people have interpreted my email as an indication that I intend to make a negative film. That’s not the case. I wanted to put something slightly provocative on the site to ensure people contacted me.

This programme idea is only at a very early stage (not even commissioned yet) but I might contact you again in future.

Thanks Again

Tom

Lee
15th Sep 2006, 07:36
Just thought I'd help you get your head through the door Nick.

;)

Cheers
Lee

Tony & Apple
15th Sep 2006, 09:59
That way, we might see a TV programme showing the true picture of Thai/UK relationships


people will just switch over half way through

its ITV so it has to be entertaining, which basically means trash TV like a lot of stuff on ITV, just tak a look at their morning programmes. that 'jeremy kyle' show for example.

does this site reallt want this kind of publicity?

the public are totally ignorant of thai-uk relationships but this programme probably won't do much to hange that.

its seems to be a long the lines of poor thai girl forced by her situation to marry and move to the UK by a mean, old and fat english man who then treats her badly and dumps her on the streets.

classic sterotypes!

Thaddeus
15th Sep 2006, 10:46
Some of the people who have been kind enough to email me have voiced concerns over Thai women who have left their husbands as soon as they have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. I know this line of inquiry has been followed by the media before, but I wandered if this was very common in your experience.

This is what he is looking for people.

Is wandering now becoming a running joke? .... perhaps invite Tom to read this thread as a special guest member ..... maybe not;)

Copy that paragraph and just relpy "No" ..... don't guild the lily, don't get all poetic..... just say "No"

He will probably not give up, but at least he will lose this forum as a quoted source if he tries to purvey this topic in a negative light.

(unless it is common in your experience.... then answer any way you choose)

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 11:04
From his reply to me
The posting on the website has provoked a range of responses. The majority chime with yours, although others have revealed a different, more negative experience. Do we really want him to just hear about the "different, more negative" experiences?

maokaang
15th Sep 2006, 11:34
perhaps invite Tom to read this thread as a special guest member No need, Tom is a registered member :)

Peter
15th Sep 2006, 11:49
The program is about -
the typical experience of Thai women in the UK
Are the wives of forum members "typical"?

A lot of problems can occur when Thai women come to this country without any proper support. Through information sources like this forum they may learn about cheap calls to their family back in Thailand, where to buy Thai ingredients, ESOL classes and the location of Thai events and local Thai people. As a result the relationships here may have less problems than the (roughly 70% of) couples who marry a Thai who are not aware of this forum.

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 11:54
Originally posted by Peter:
The program is about -
the typical experience of Thai women in the UK
Are the wives of forum members "typical"? What is typical?
the relationships here may have less problems than the (roughly 70% of) couples who marry a Thai who are not aware of this forum. Most of the Thai/UK couples we know are unaware of or not interested in this forum. They don't seem to have any more problems than anyone else. :shrug:

Peter
15th Sep 2006, 12:09
Nick - the fact that these Thai/UK couples know you and probably a load of other Thai people here in the UK would mean that they have a network of support.

Noi & Nick
15th Sep 2006, 12:12
As do many others.

I joined this forum over two years after Noi first arrived. She had made many Thai friends during those two years.

I'm not knocking the forum, BTW. But it isn't essential for a happy Thai/UK relationship.

Ray
15th Sep 2006, 12:14
Originally posted by maokaang:
No need, Tom is a registered member :)

:lol: Excellent. :clap:

We met. We married. We got two kids. All very boring. For the TV that is. :shrug:

:)

Casey Jones
15th Sep 2006, 13:52
deleted along with the post it's taken from but I've left in the response as some people are clearly not getting the idea

I don't see any where in Henson's post he quotes himself as being an expert. All I see is him politely answering a request that was posted. Is there some point I'm missing here or do some of you just enjoy ganging up & picking on folk? Maybe we should have a 'school yard bullies' thread & throw some of you a different victim every other day or a 'perfect person's' thread for those of you that are perfect.? It would be good if you could get over it & move on...PLEASE! :thumb:

caller
15th Sep 2006, 14:31
Any journalist worth his pay is immediately going to jump on a suspicion of bribery and corruption in a government department. Especially a visa section.

I can see the headline of the programme now:-

"Bangkok embassy issues 70 spouse visas a week! Is this due to bribery and corruption?"

Nick.

Not sure why? its old news and well documented. Maybe not from Bangers, but certainly from the Indian sub-continent, parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. Do you not recall the furore caused by the DHC or whatever, from Romania I think it was? It led to a ministerial resignation after all sorts of inept attempts to hide the truth.

It will happen in LOS as well as anywhere else and there can't be a western embassy anywhere that hasn't been susceptible to it?

That doesn't mean its rife, just a fact of life where money is an equation in getting what is regarded by some as ticket to a percieved better standard of living - or keeping certain companies in business!

The stats produced reveal the real issues are elsewhere and why not look at such visa applications from LOS to Oz, the USA and other parts of europe?

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 03:15
Just to balance out the view that all TV programmes on Thai-farang couples will necessarily tend to come off in a negative way I have just watched a 1 hour Danish programme on the difficulties Danish men have in getting their wives to Denmark. The programme was extremely sympathetic and delved into cases where couples are forced to live apart due to not meeting the financial requirements, housing requirements or just simply that marriages were judged to be bogus. It also highlighted the peculiar Danish 24 year law which requires both partners to be 24 years of age before they can be united in Denmark (this is the one that denies me the right to settle in Denmark as Mam is still just 23).

The Danish rules do seem a lot tighter than the UK ones on all counts.

A Danish man had lived with his Vietnamese wife for decades doing charity work in South-East Asia. They now lived in Denmark but she had her suitcases packed as she had been told she had to be deported because her husband was lacking £100 in his monthly income to fulfil the financial requirements. During the time the couple had lived in Denmark they had never tried to get access to any public funds, but nevertheless this elderly couple were now to be wrested apart.

In another case a couple had unsuccessfully tried to convince the Danish authorities that theirs was not a marriage of convenience. This legal tug of war had now been going on for 4 years!

Another case followed a young Danish guy as he tried to find a flat in Watford as his wife was only 22 and thus they could only live together if they settled in the UK for the next couple of years on EEA family permits.

The programme was thoroughly researched and showed how human beings and their life stories become trapped in a bureaucratic system. I am sure a similar programme could be made in the UK, although the rules may not be as tough I am sure there are touching stories about the anguish some Thai-UK couples have to endure because they cannot fulfil all visa requirements.

There is a touching meeting of the young Danish guy and his Thai wife in Heathrow airport at the end of the programme that will probably make a lot of members recall this special event in their lives.

To watch:

Click this link (http://www.dr.dk/odp/player.aspx?st=frontpageTab_0&mt=frontpagetab&fUrl=undefined&sUrl=undefined)

Then Click Seneste Uge in the top bar

Then Click Onsdag in the top bar

Then scroll down and Click DR1 dokumentaren (se program)

After the TV programme has started go to 53.00 minutes into the programme.

This is for all the romantics out there! :) :thumb:

caller
7th Oct 2006, 04:31
Thanks Henson - I think? - I've just discovered that I'm a romantic at heart!

Phew!!

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 04:41
Caller,

I guess you still have the moment when you will meet your loved one at the airport to come - savour the moment!!

After watching the clip I felt sorry that I did not bring Mam any flowers at that meeting . . . not much of a Romantic :cry:

caller
7th Oct 2006, 05:02
Yup, picked up on that, "thats a good idea." I doubt I will have thought about it otherwise!

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 05:42
:thumb:

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 07:03
Just to confirm what a wicked man I am - I have added a link on my site to the small video clip of the Thai-Farang meeting at the airport here (http://thaifarang.co.uk/first.html)

Please educate me on all the laws I am breaking and feel free to make an effort to get it taken off YouTube, but at least until then some members will get a chance to see a situation that should bring back fond memories . . . :shrug:

PS. I have e-mailed the Danish Broadcasting Corporation to get approval - as yet with no reply though (so I guess I am open for prosecution again folks!) :thumb:

upcountry
7th Oct 2006, 11:21
jenson
i have just sat here with my wife and she has been fighting me because I didnt bring her any flowers only a jacket and scarf

There is no pleasing some people

-Keith-
7th Oct 2006, 12:04
Please educate me on all the laws I am breaking and feel free to make an effort to get it taken off YouTube, but at least until then some members will get a chance to see a situation that should bring back fond memories . . .

Nothing wrong in posting an external link mate. Cutting and pasting copyrighted content, now thats a totally different matter :eek: but I'm sure you wouldn't do that :lol:

caller
7th Oct 2006, 13:52
What struck me about this lovely clip was the fact that one of the first questions he asked was, "any trouble with the immigration" and she answered, "NO".

TB test must have been okay then! ;)

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 14:11
What struck me most about the clip (and why I have tried to preserve it even after it disappears from the Online TV pages of the Dansih Broadcasting Corporation) is the obvious joy and relief the Thai woman shows at being with her husband again. I would have thought even the most diehard cynic about Thai women would have been left feeling numb at that sight. But lo and behold! I also added a link on ThaiVisa and there a bloke has already tried to denigrate the real emotions by calling it "soppy sentimentalism" and trying to assert that the guy learnt his English in Pattaya! :rolleyes:
I think the clip is a great spot for Thai-Farang relatiosnhips and if more of that kind of "soppy sentimentalism" was shown on UK TV instead of all the freak stories about exploitation/murders/"mail order" couples etc. then maybe fewer prejudices would attach themselves to our relationships?

caller
7th Oct 2006, 14:50
Agree with eveything you have just written. It was pure joy, although I noted the awkward fumbling of hands and initial "shyish" peck between them!

What is it I say to my wife, "you can take the lady out of isaan, but cannot take isaan out of the lady!"

I won't report here what she says about me.

The first time we eat out in the UK, I will be checking under the table to see if she has her feet up or on the floor - I guess it will be who can move the quickest! :)

Ron-Tik
7th Oct 2006, 16:43
It wouldn't be my cup of tea for my private life to be filmed for all to see, but i suppose for them it depends how much the TV company were paying him?

I found it a bit nauseating, but at the same time, happy for them. :)

Another point? Maybe it was because he rushed to see her that annoyed me, ignoring the fact that he was supposed to wait at the barriers and caused other arrivals to have to stop behind or had to swerve around them, while they kissed etc
Have seen this so many times at airports, so ignorant and no concerns for other tired travellers..

Henson
7th Oct 2006, 23:59
Originally posted by Ron-Tik:
It wouldn't be my cup of tea for my private life to be filmed for all to see, but i suppose for them it depends how much the TV company were paying him?


I don't think they were paid much. I think they chose to appear in the documentary to highlight the strict Danish Immigration laws. This couple cannot live in Denmark solely because she is not 24 years of age yet, so the Danish man has had to rent a property in the UK just so they can be together.