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  • Joanna Lumley and Labour

    by Rumbold
    31st March, 2010 at 8:14 am    

    For whatever reason, Labour ministers seem unable to cope with Joanna Lumley. Last year saw the actress embarrass Phil Woolas, the home office minister, who was forced into a climbdown over the number of Gurkhas who could stay in this country. Now a defence minister, Kevan Jones, and Gordon Brown have apologised to Ms. Lumley after Mr. Jones insulted her in a select committee hearing:

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Gurkha campaigner Joanna Lumley today he was “sorry” over comments made about her by a Government minister.

    Veterans minister Kevan Jones also apologised “unreservedly” to the actress for his criticism of her “deathly silence” on Gurkhas’ welfare since she forced a Government climbdown last year over the Nepalese troops’ right to settle in the UK in retirement.

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    1. Luke McGee

      RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Joanna Lumley and Labour

    2. pickles

      Blog post:: Joanna Lumley and Labour

    1. Boyo — on 31st March, 2010 at 10:44 am  

      I would be unable to cope with Joanna Lumley.

    2. MaidMarian — on 31st March, 2010 at 12:36 pm  

      Well - maybe, but there is a problem with this picture, which is that the Lumley campaign was misguided and that the popular outrage was not much more than a media puffball.

      Had the Gurkhas been treated badly, or had they been deceived or indeed if they had been denied the terms of their agreement I would have been manning the barricades. But none of these are true.

      Prior to 1997 it was made as plain as possible that being a Gurkha carried no immigration rights, these people were given a pension equivalent to a senior civil servant in Nepal and there were no ‘lies.’

      What the campaign did was provide a route through which elderly people many of whom can not speak a word of English come to the UK with no resources to speak of. The resources for these people were, rightly, directed to their pensions on the understanding that they would be drawn in Nepal.

      Now you could make the argument that being in the UK military by any route for (say) 5 years should carry with it residency rights. Fine. But I can not think of any other agreements where the terms and conditions could be expected to be varied decades after the fact.

      Having a right to come to the UK does not mean that it is a good idea to exercise that right.

      This whole story is a great illustration of why Gurkhaism should be ended as the anomaly that it is.

      Now I got a kicking on here before for saying this, and I may be in line for another, but I actually think it is not unfair to point out that Lumley had been a bit quiet.

    3. Kismet Hardy — on 31st March, 2010 at 1:53 pm  

      I would take her seriously if she wasn’t always drunk

    4. Abdul Abbulbul Emir — on 1st April, 2010 at 2:34 pm  

      Mrs A says:

      The minister has a point you know.

      Whenever I go see my sister in law Fatima in Aldershot there are Gherkins all over.

      Living in flats over crummy shops.

      That and the 9000 other Nepalese already in Rushmoor Borough who have no connection with Brit Army.

      What is going on Abdul ?

      What is this Joanna Luvvie woman doing for Allah’s sake ?


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