Tuesday, 30 September 2008

ABOUT BLOODY TIME

Courtesy of the BBC -

A group of retired Gurkhas fighting for the right to settle in Britain have won their immigration test case at London's High Court. They were challenging immigration rules which said that those who retired from the British Army before 1997 did not have an automatic right to stay.
Prominent supporter actress Joanna Lumley said it was a "chance to right a great wrong".
The government said it would now review all Gurkhas' cases.

'Debt of honour'

The regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 and the government had argued that Gurkhas discharged before that date were unlikely to have strong residential ties with the UK. That meant those who wanted to settle in the UK had to apply for British residence and could be refused and deported.

The judgement could affect some 2,000 former Gurkhas who retired before 1997.

The judge, Mr Justice Blake, said the Gurkhas' long service, conspicuous acts of bravery and loyalty to the Crown all pointed to a "moral debt of honour" and gratitude felt by British people.
He ruled that instructions given by the Home Office to immigration officials were unlawful and needed urgent revision.

Lawyer Martin Howe said:

"Today we have seen a tremendous and historic victory for the gallant Gurkha veterans of Nepal. This is a victory that restores honour and dignity to deserving soldiers who faithfully served in Her Majesty's armed forces. It is a victory for common sense; a victory for fairness; and a victory for the British sense of what is right."

All I can say to the judgement is GOOD, it's about bloody time. The people in the Home Office who originally made this decision are a bunch of spineless bastards who wouldn't know what a debt of honour was if it smacked them in the face with a Kukri. To deny these men and their families the right to stay in this country, to work and claim medical and financial benefits that they have more than earned was a disgusting display of hypocrisy, only equalled by the maltreatment of injured service men and women after the closing of military hospitals and treatment centres. There has been a complete breakdown of the Military Covenant by Labour, and they don't care.

We (the Police) deal with more people with 'insufficient ties' to this country every day and yet many are still here, begging, stealing, robbing, committing burglary and generally taking the complete piss with council housing and benefit claims and yet the Home Office will do nothing about it above paying lip service for fear of being branded as racists by people with more than a couple of axes to grind. Immigration won't even try and remand people when we nick them on suspicion of illegal entry any more; they just get released and asked to attend the immigration centre in Croydon in a couple of days time.

Funnily enough not many turn up.

Heaven forbid you're an easy target like a working teacher from Canada (for example) who is known to the immigration system after doing everything right and is easily traceable through tax payments, but was still threatened with removal a couple of weeks before their temporary leave to remain visa expired.

There are people in this country who should not be here in the first place let alone after committing crime. We know that. Everyone else knows that. Yet the Government refuse to deal with it and would rather turn their backs on the problem and disrespect an honourable group of soldiers who have only ever asked to live in the country that they have sworn to defend with their lives. Fifty thousand of whom have done so since their inclusion into the British Army.

Not that it means much, but I take my hat off to Mr Justice Blake for seeing sense, now lets see if the Home Office will do the honourable thing?

Metcountymounty.

14 comments:

Caroline said...

I could not agree more - wasn't it nice to have a piece of news that was a cause for cheering?

Metcountymounty said...

caroline, absolutely, and especially from the BBC!!

Blue Eyes said...

I was in a taxi going past the court just as the cheer went up. We all commented that it makes a change. The government only wanted to save a few quid - there was no matter of "principle" at stake.

Metcountymounty said...

the principle was in that the government had treated them so badly for so long that they didn't want to lose face!! I'm surprised no one branded the MOD as institutionally racist against the Gurkhas. Less pay, less pension rights, less right to remain in the country...... for no other reason than they come from Nepal. Sounds pretty damn racist to me.

madsadgirl said...

That's the problem with the government in this country. They make laws that protect those that commit crimes, that take from the country without giving to it, and to any one who has a fancy to come to this country to see what they can get, but at no time are those who pay for everything, be it through taxes or being prepared to put their lives on the line for the country given the rights to legal protection that they really deserve. It seems that the only discrimination that goes on in this country that is not legislated against is that towards those who are law-abiding and willing to serve.

Anonymous said...

We refused a retired solder with twenty four years service entry as he did not have sufficient ties with the UK! It is enough to make a grown man weep with despair.

Joseph K.

Anonymous said...

At least the Romans always rewarded those that served with a citizenship and sometime some even got to Kaiser it and those that invoke subversion with a round in the area and a nice thumb of approval..
dungbeetle

Deborah Parr said...

Bravo!!

swanseajock said...

This might be a repeat.

The trouble with this lot of lefties, commies and career politicians is that none have ever served in the Armed Forces, too busy getting their snouts in various political troughs. They should be ashamed but won't be, because they don't care. The Gurkhas have served with distinction for 200 years, since they were found to be too tough to beat in our sweep across the sub-continent. They swear an allegiance to OUR Queen (something a sizeable minority of our elected representatives don't want to do!), and serve with bravery and distinction. The ordinary person in the country would surely have the Gurkhas in, in their thousands if necessary, rather than the 'uman rites' of foreign criminals and highjackers'
Mind you this judgement only applies to the 5 in this case, so fingers crossed for the 2000 more who might want to come, but don't hold your breath. I am ashamed of this government, only plus is I didn't vote for them,!!

Arthur said...

From my vantage point I am indeed amazed at the contempt British leaders show for the martial spirit. In my day, those that took up the sword in the service of Britain were valued members of the nation.

And considering the riff raff that comes to Britain with no questions asked, it is even more perplexing. Britain needs better leadership. I hope it is not too long in coming.

Anonymous said...

lets start a campaign to appoint Mr Justice Blake as Lord Chief Justice, nice to see someone on the bench thinking like the public

JuliaM said...

There's a petition here to support them:

http://freebornjohn.blogspot.com/2008/09/chance-to-right-great-wrong.html

PC Michael Pinkstone said...

Completely agree, and I am not one for gushing sentiment.

We shall fight on the beaches.

Queen and country.

Unto death.

Dieu Et Mon Droit.

We aren't allowed patriotic slogans any more. We aren't allowed honour. We aren't allowed passion or military-style camaradarie.

We aren't allowed to speak of anything that links us to our empirical past. We aren't allowed to speak of 'Debts of gratitude', as this might upset someone, somewhere.

We can't speak of national pride. We can't speak of the Flag.

So by some miracle of courage have the Gurkhas been granted this boon, because in the face of such cringing political weakness it seemed that they would be forsaken.

Last week I met with an exhausted Immigration official who told me that he wasn't allowed to deport the suspect we had in custody - and all the tens of thousands of others like him ...

How many Gurkhas have we "allowed" to stay in our all-consuming generosity?

Anonymous said...

Just to be fair to the MoD, it's not as simple as just equal pay. If you had a few thousand retired Ghurkas swanning around Nepal with a standard British Military pension, you are going to do irrepairable damage to the economy of Nepal.

It's a far more difficult situation than it appears on the surface and is nothing like the MoD just trying to save a little bit of cash.