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Jobs we should have chosen #2: Diplomat
Kipp has always wanted to be above the law, but didn’t think it was a realistic ambition. Now we know better.
June 29, 2010 3:00 by kippreport
Diplomatic immunity. Are there any sweeter words? To the employees of embassies and consulates across the world, probably not.
Ever since we saw action movies like Lethal Weapon 2 (when the two detective heroes were unable to pursue justice because the evil South Africans had immunity), we’ve been fascinated by the concept. But we never actually thought respectable diplomats would be perverse enough to need to use it. It turns out we were wrong.
The Guardian reports that foreign embassy staff in the UK have been exempted from a range of charges that in normal cases would have carried a prison term. Among the details: a Brazilian, a German, a Russian and an American were let off drink driving charges; a Gambian, a Cameroonian, an Egyptian, a Zambian and an Equitorial Guinean have all been let off shoplifting charges; embassy staff in London clocked up half a million pounds in parking fines in 2009 alone; the US embassy owes almost 4 million pounds for London’s congestion zone charges; and the UAE, in case you were interested, owes 24,000 pounds.
Kipp is jealous; we have always wanted to be above the law. Not for any particular criminal purpose, you understand, but just to know that the rules don’t apply. Of course there would be the odd infringement. We may drive a little faster, and take that “no right turn” that will get us to work quicker.
But then that’s the problem: if we were above the law, too many of us would act like it. Before long, would we end up like the criminal embassy staff the paper talks about? Kipp thinks that all immunity should be removed, and maybe these people will start behaving themselves in a manner more fitting.
Of course, if they do that, we won’t want to be one anymore.
BONUS TRACK: Jobs we’re glad we passed on #1: Spy
Oh yes, it seems very exciting – covert meetings, secret codes, missions. But the bottom line is, it also seems like an awful lot of work, and at the end of it, you probably won’t get much in the way of thanks. Take the Russian spies just arrested in the US. No immunity for them; in fact, it looks like a fair amount of prison time. Kipp would rather keep spy missions on the television, where they belong.