Thursday, May 14, 2009

Griffin Out, Gurkhas In!

There's a strong consensus developing in Westminster regarding the treatment of the Gurkhas. Remember, it was only this administration that has been prepared to do anything for these brave warriors - previous Governments have turned their faces against reform.

It was instructive yesterday that this issue once again showed the BNP for who they really are. Nick Griffin yesterday branded Gurkhas "mercenaries" who should not be allowed to stay in Britain.

The leader of the far-right British National Party said:

"We don't think the most overcrowded country in Europe, can realistically say, 'Look, you can all come and all your relatives.' When the Gurkhas signed up - frankly as mercenaries - they expected a pension which would allow them to live well in their own country."

Griffin made the comments on Nicky Campbell's BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show.
Martin Howe, solicitor to the Gurkhas, said: "Nick Griffin does not recognise the depth of feeling around the country about the Gurkhas." Griffin also claimed football stars Rio Ferdinand and Theo Walcott were not English.

Disgusting. There's a Facebook Group just launched named "Griffin Out Gurkhas In!" I'll be adding my name today.


Paul Cain said...

The two-faced, duplicitous hypocrisy of your post is breathtaking, even by New Labour's standards.

Not two weeks ago your own government was blocking the entry of the Gurkhas. In other words, New Labour took precisely the same position as the BNP.

And not for the first time.

Like Norman Tebbit said, the BNP is just Labour with racism.

Both parties deserve to be ushered into oblivion as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

12 years in government and doing nothing for the Gurkhas and it's only now, in the lead up to the next election that you decide to act. Of course its nothing at all to do with the popularity of Joanna Lumley or the fact that she 'stitched up' Gordon Brown and of course its nothing at all to do with the fact that you're trailing in the polls.

Darlington Councillor said...

For sure Labour has been in office for 12 years, but this issue has been ignored by previous Governments since WWII. Labour should be given some credit for trying to find an equitable solution, albeit that the Commons, and indeed popular opinion wants to go much further.

Paul - you're wrong, and you'll forgive me, but I find your comments offensive. Labour may have taken some steps which some would describe as "authoritarian" (and others would see as an attempt to protect the liberties we all enjoy), but it is ludicrous to equate Labour with the racist BNP. In office, Labour has sought to fight discrimination at every turn. Let me quote Harriet Harman

“It was Labour governments that introduced the Race Relations Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, new legal rights for disabled people and changed the law to allow gay and lesbian “civil partnerships”. Labour governments always stand up for equality. When the Tories were in government they did nothing to press forward on equality – instead they brought in the notorious homophobic 'clause 28'.”

Every Labour Party member I know loathes the racism of the BNP, and fighting it in the North East communities is a particular passion of mine, in case you hadn't noticed.

I'm familiar with the lazy thinking that was behind Tebbit's call a couple of days ago - Thatcher in her pomp used to taunt Michael Foot about National Socialism in the Commons (accentuating the latter word). If you seriously believe that Labour's core beliefs include racism, then you are seriously deluded my friend.

Ian W said...


Two things firstly we all know which way Alan Milburn and Phil Wilson voted on this so I do disagree with you on the point Labour are doing their best for these "Brave warriors" so I say Joanna Lumley for PM if nothing else she's prettier than Gordon..

As for the BNP this is possibly the straw that broke the camels back/ the last nail in their coffin, I only hope they like labour can see the error of their ways on this subject.

I find it strange that Labour who are currently under fire for "fiddling while rome burns" would not try to sweeten their position by allowing those who have served with pride the right to stay.

Sadly I am disgusted in the lot of you over this one, some party's we expect this negativity from, others we expect to rise above it.

The words "None of the above" spring to mind for the next election.

Remind me just how many illegal imigrants are here in the UK (sorry your Gov has no idea does it), how many asylum seekers who whilst maybe deserving have never the less done anything for this country?

Yet we can't or should I say won't allow those who have served Queen and Country to stay, its all wrong.

Perhaps if our MP's spent less time cooking their expenses figures and asked the man in the street what they wanted there would not be such a chasm between the Gov. and the electorate.

Darlington Councillor said...

And yet, Ian: - as a thread on another website I've been reading points out, Labour has done more for the Gurkhas than any other Government in history. Equal pay and pensions for the Gurkhas have been introduced, and pensions of people living in Nepal have been doubled. Those presently signed up now have the right to live here.

The debate has been over how to treat 36,000 Gurkhas who served in the Army before 1997, and who were thus denied residency. 6,000 have now applied successfully to come into the country.

As I've tried to make clear, as a humble local councillor I'm as appalled by some of the allegations coming out via the Telegraph as everyone else. If that sense of disgust leads to a much lower turnout in the European elections, however, it's very likely that it will be the BNP which profits.

Ian W said...

Nick I did not say Labour had not done anything for the Gurkhas but I don't think enough.

I agree Nick that your party's present misfortunes are another party's gain and sadly probably the wrong party or one with no idea at all.

I think we all know that all 36K do not want to come here and this public outrage is the last thing Labour needs on top of the contempt most are feeling re allowances and is not helping Labour at present.

Someone once said "when in a hole, stop digging" sadly our two local MP's seem to have hired JCB's when it comes to flying in the face of local opinion.

I still think that unlike some people that we let into this country the Gurkhas would continue to be an asset and not a burden, just let those who want too, come and be done with it, we let anyone else in why not those who have served.

This is a lose lose fight for any party.

Paul Cain said...

Coun Wallis: Sorry for the delay in replying, I'm several hours behind you time wise and have just seen your post.

Just where in my post did I accuse Labour of being racist? Your reply is based on a complete (perhaps, willful?) misunderstanding of what Tebbit said.

He said the BNP is Labour "with racism".

If I didn't know better I'd think your noisy defence of your party's stance on racism is merely a smokescreen to cover what we all know to be true: apart from its racial policies, the instincts of the BNP match those of New Labour to a disturbingly close degree.

Forty two day detention without trial; inquests in secret; wide-ranging powers under so-called 'anti-terror' legislation; ID cards; 'British jobs for British workers' etc etc etc ad nauseam - all in all, a BNP member's wet dream.

Twelve years of your government's deceitful authoritarianism has poisoned trust in the mainstream political process to such an extent that is now a fertile breeding ground for nutters like the BNP.

And you have the sheer gall, the brass neck, to find that 'offensive'?

You ought to be ashamed, of course, but as a member of New Labour, I imagine that's not an emotion you're familiar with.