"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." - Thomas Jefferson
Well we've certainly come a long way since then. It's been almost a month since my government prevented me from returning to live in my own country, therefore exiling me to Korea, a story I've repeated to friends and anyone else who cared to listen to a mix of disbelief, indignation and the special kind of nervous laughter emitted when you realise that those who try to control every aspect of our lives have lost the plot to such an extent that truly anything is now possible.
It would be nice if I could treat the decision with the sense of absurdity that it rightly deserves, but in truth the enormity of it has made the last few weeks pretty miserable. So it's been heartening to receive words of support from people, and some help behind the scenes as well. Even though I know it to be illusory, it's reminded me that - even if we're not American - good democratic government is of the people, for the people and by the people, not against them, and 'we the people' can still tell right from wrong, even if those who would presume to govern us no longer can.
After a lot of work, in less than ideal circumstances, and with some last minute rushing around, we submitted our appeal against the ruling on Thursday morning. We may get a quick decision but most cases seem to drag on for several months and culminate in a British Court hearing. There is much more of a story to tell and perhaps one day I will, because it's certainly been an eye-opening experience.
It's been my first experience dealing with an Embassy in a foreign country, and I don't know whether my recent experiences are exceptional or more common than we might suspect, but from my perspective right now the moral of the story is to know the rules in detail before beginning to deal with these people, and as ridiculous as it may sound, make sure you can come back to live in your country before leaving it, even if, like me, you're a citizen.
Korean tags: 관료, 자유, 대사관, 정부