Wednesday 29 April 2009

Government defeat; Gurkhas victory

Tonight's Commons vote to allow all retired Gurkhas to remain in the UK, with the government defeated by 21 votes, (while formally only indicative) must surely now be respected by a change in government policy.

The government had certainly done more for the Gurkhas than its predecessors, as Tom Harris argues, but it was difficult to construct an argument for the halfway house being proposed.

Much credit rightly goes to Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who has campaigned on this issue for some time, and who has been widely praised for his powerful challenge at Prime Minister's Questions today. Which is not to detract from the work of many other campaigners - from the Gurkhas themselves to Joanna Lumley!

And isn't it good to see a popular - and even populist - campaign recognising that fairness can sometimes mean more immigration too.

1 comment:

Silent Hunter said...

Nice to be able to agree with you for a change Sunder.

A shame though that Tom Harris's position is less likely to be 'understood' by the Gurkhas and their families.

Face it Sunder - this whole mess has made the Labour Government look mean and dishonest (Hah! What am I saying? - as if they could be anything else.....) in the eyes of the electorate.