Gurkhas allowed to stay (probably)


by Rumbold
21st May, 2009 at 7:49 pm    

I hope they mean this. But you just know that somehow they will find a way to weasel out of it:

“All Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years’ service will be allowed to settle in the UK, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said.

Ms Smith told MPs she was “proud to offer this country’s welcome to all who have served in the brigade of Gurkhas”.

It comes after a high-profile campaign by Joanna Lumley and other supporters of Gurkha rights – and an embarrassing Commons defeat for the government.”


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Gurkhas allowed to stay (probably) http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4619




  1. Amrit — on 21st May, 2009 at 11:17 pm  

    Mods! Troll at #1!

    This is one of those rare occasions where you can say ‘Well, that turned out how I hoped and wanted.’

  2. platinum786 — on 22nd May, 2009 at 8:24 am  

    Well they deserve too, they did fight for the country, which is a lot more than some people would do. I don’t think I’d ever fight for Britain, not unless we were invaded, all our other wars are dirty wars. I’d say the same thing if I was a non Muslim, white man too.

    I’ve always been a bit concerned about this though, why do we hire these people to fight as mercanaries for the British army? Isn’t it a bit, unethical? Sure they get all the training, they’re reputed to be an elite fighting force, but do you think they’re not taken advantage of somewhat?

  3. douglas clark — on 22nd May, 2009 at 9:13 am  

    About time!

    Ré Platinum786s’ point @ 2, I believe the British Army recruits throughout the Commonwealth, it’s just that these recruits are allocated to ‘ordinary’ regiments. See here:

    http://tinyurl.com/r5fpoo

    I wonder what rights of citizenship they are given?

    Assuming we are going to continue to have a Gurkha Regiment in the future, why the cut off date?

  4. damon — on 22nd May, 2009 at 9:46 am  

    Recruiting Gurkha soldiers in Nepal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50pVKPRFWAE

    I must say, I find all this to be a bit too colonialist for my liking. Patronising too. See the white office whith the red mark on his forehead and the garland around his neck.
    He says: ”Last year across the whole of Nepal, 24,000 were chasing 331 places”.

    I’m also uneasy with this ”affection” that the average Brit is meant to have for the Gurkhas.

    So we have the likes of sun columnist Jon Gaunt coming out with the iffy line: ”We want Gurkhas and workers, not shirkers and burkas”.

    Also, when listening to radio phone in programmes when they raise the Gurkha issue, so many times I’ve heard callers say things like, ”We should allow people who have fought for and love this country to come here, instead of a lot of the ‘rubbish’ we have taken in fromm all over the world”.

  5. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 9:55 am  

    “all our other wars are dirty wars.”

    Sorry you feel like that about WWII. I doubt that you’d be in this country if that hadn’t taken place, but no doubt you would view that as a good thing.

  6. platinum786 — on 22nd May, 2009 at 10:25 am  

    ^^^ I meant in my lifetime. Mind you WW2, might have been dirty, i don’t know i don’t think it was. I was so bored of listening to them drone on about it at school, i never really bothered with learning about it. I hated the fact that at school we only used to get one version of events, we never heard the Nazi side of it, surely they all didn’t buy the super race crap did they? What other reasons did they have? What opinions did the average german have? anyway that is off topic.

    You know what kind of disturbs me about all this, is the colonialism it stinks of. We’re getting people from Jamaica now, we get Gurkhas, but why? Maybe they’re joining because they are desperate for the wages we offer. Doesn’t that make them mercanaries? Isn’t there a stigma with mercanaries?

    Also I love the sound if Gurkhas and workers, not shirkers and burkhas. How many generations will it take for the sacrifice of the gurkahs to be forgotten and for tabloid readers to consider their kin as lazy foreigners taking their jobs (which is an oxymoron in itself but they are tabloid readers).

    The sacrifices of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus in WW2 have been pretty much forgotten.

  7. platinum786 — on 22nd May, 2009 at 10:28 am  

    Chairwoman, I didn’t read the rest of your stupid comment, but I have now. I’m sorry, forgive me for not being grateful for our colonial masters for fighting europes war all over the world, using Asias and Africa’s sons. Yes had europeans not been fighting over who got to be the worlds sugar daddy what would us ethnics have done!

  8. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 10:39 am  

    Platinum786 – I’m sure your parents told you to be polite to the grown-ups.

    May I politely point out to you that I was specifically talking about WWII and I don’t expect you to grateful for anything and I was making the point that a National Socialist Britain would not have allowed non-white immigration.

    I’m sorry you were too bored to listen to your history lessons, if you had bothered, you wouldn’t be making the crass remarks you make here so often.

    I suggest you look out for programmes on the History, Discovery, and Yesterday channels where they interview honest ‘ordinary’ Germans who lived under, and voted and fought for National Socialism.

    Even your resentful shuttered eyes might be opened.

  9. Golam Murtaza — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:33 am  

    Of course John Gaunt can’t even pronounce the word ‘burkha’ properly.

    Personally, I’d be happy to have a few thousand Gurkhas over here. When they’re in civilian clothes your average dumb chav won’t be able to distinguish between them and less ‘acceptable’ ethnic minorities. They’ll predictably hurl some racist abuse and the Gurkhas can then hopefully get stuck into them with their usual violent effectiveness. Great stuff.

  10. Jai — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:35 am  

    we never heard the Nazi side of it, surely they all didn’t buy the super race crap did they?

    Yes, they did.

    And it may also be a good idea for you to read a suitable translation of Mein Kampf if you want to find out about Hitler’s own twisted worldview. Along with doing some research on the plans for the Indian subcontinent (and its inhabitants) that the Axis powers had once they’d defeated the British and the other Allies.

  11. MaidMarian — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:35 am  

    damon (4) – makes a good point.

    Sure, for me bring the gurkhas here. There should be some minimum service requirement (like the marriage rules) but there are indeed strong arguments for bringing them over.

    Where the argument starts to become a bit shaky is the sense that this campaign has played to the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ immigrants dichotomy. In that sense, the Lumley campaign has, knowingly or otherwise, played right to the Sun/Mail.

    It may well be that policy should give more weight to a rough and ready ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ categorisation than previously. I’m just not convinced that that should be as defined by the tabloid press and celebrity led populism.

    For an interesting counter-point to some of the coverage see this:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/dominic_lawson/article6211395.ece

    Are there any other agreements that would be renegotiated so long after the fact?

  12. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    Come on, Jai, he’ll never struggle through Mein Kampf, he could hardly stay awake through GCSE History :)

  13. Jai — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    Also, for the benefit of any non-Asians reading this, I’d like to politely mention that Gurkha is actually pronounced “Goor-kha”.

  14. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:38 am  

    Thank you :)

  15. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:40 am  

    Maid Marion, I’m of the opinion that if they took the Queen’s shilling, then they should be entitled to settle here with their families.

  16. platinum786 — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:53 am  

    I didn’t bother with GCSE history, i was fed up of one sided history and mono-tone history teachers by year 9. I studied Geography instead, with a old annoying hippy for a teacher, who smelt quite bad, but was fierce for such a small woman and very opinionated.

    Mine Kampf, is that Hilters book?

  17. chairwoman — on 22nd May, 2009 at 11:57 am  

    Aaaarrrggghhh! YES!

  18. Ravi Naik — on 22nd May, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

    Mine Kampf, is that Hilters book?

    Hehehe… innocent and naive platinum786. :) With Jai, Chairwoman, Rumbold and other PP regulars, I am sure you will learn a lot more about History than what you’ve learnt so far in school.

  19. justforfun — on 22nd May, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

    Plats - I didn’t bother with GCSE history, i was fed up of one sided history

    Of course History is one sided – its the victors side.

    But beware of the opposite – counter-factual hagiographic histories of ancestors. Its all the rage these days. Blame it on cheap internet publishing.

    justforfun

  20. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    Come on, Jai, he’ll never struggle through Mein Kampf

    Now, now chairwoman… I like to think of meself as a voracious reader you see. Are there are only two books till this date that i havent been able to read through. One being Rushdie’s overrated Children of Midnight and the other one being Mein Kampf ofcourse. There is no reason for anyone to pick up that book, unless ofcourse one were to be alive in 1920′s Germany!

  21. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

    But beware of the opposite – counter-factual hagiographic histories of ancestors. Its all the rage these days. Blame it on cheap internet publishing.

    Haha… just google Indigenous Aryan Theory and you’ll run into tons of respectable looking publications written by revisionists. After I came to college, i ran into a couple of Indian kids, all born and brought up in Dubai, who enlightened me on various aspects of Indian history. I learnt for instance that Alexander was actually defeated by Porus and that was the only reason that he turned back, not the other way around as the mischievous western historians’ cabal would like us to believe!

  22. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:18 pm  

    2. platinum – course they are taken advantage of! anyone who serves in an army is generally -taken advantage of. as you say – unless you fight because YOU decide to, say in an invasion situation. I would never join an army because that decision would be taken out of my hands.

    Thing is now the Army probably won’t be able to afford to keep up using the Gurkhas as a source of fighting power. Now they’ve upped the ante and demanded their rights..watch out in the future..

    Vikrant – how do you know what your indian mates said in college was true either? :-) Can’t trust history really can you, its so biased..

    Douglas – they haven’t got right of citizenship per se – what they have won is right to permanent settlement. Which means – after a certain period of time, like anyone else who has permanent settlement, can apply for naturalisation through the usual process.

    (aren’t you glad you have a resident foreigner to answer questions about your immigration procedures?) And yes, you are allowed to join the British army if you are a commonwealth citizen ( i know this only because i met some army recruitment folks in Wandsworth..ha )

  23. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:24 pm  

    We should be abolishing armies all across the world, that’s what we should be doing.

    And platinum – what are you talking about – not understanding how a group can think of themselves as a ‘super-race’? Eh? Surely any person originating from any ethno-linguistic group in the Indian Subcontinent ought to be able to understand that. Heh.

  24. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

    Surely any person originating from any ethno-linguistic group in the Indian Subcontinent ought to be able to understand that. Heh.

    Ofcourse, we Rajputs are! We can even prove that, since we are descendents of the Sun and the Moon!

  25. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:29 pm  

    And yes, you are allowed to join the British army if you are a commonwealth citizen

    Well you have to be in the country first though. So unlike Gurkhas, you can’t apply from say India or Bangladesh!

  26. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:31 pm  

    Heh Vikrant, absolutely. And Didn’t you know Bengalis invented writing, drama, culture, ;-)

  27. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:36 pm  

    and Indian communism!!!

  28. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:39 pm  

    There you go – i’d forgotten all about that, thanks Comrade! :-)

    It was really funny, there was this bloke called Indian Capitalist i ran into over on the Guardian blogs back in the day before moderation and Cif, and he always insisted on referring to me (disparagely) of course, as Comrade Sonia, and seemed to think that as a Bengali i must be a Naxalite..

    Hoot.

  29. Vikrant — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:41 pm  

    seemed to think that as a Bengali i must be a Naxalite..

    Wait so you aren’t a Naxalite?

    Bongophobic Bhikrant!

  30. sonia — on 22nd May, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

    Ha ha bhikrant, indeed! you watch it, there are plenty of bongs about..

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