Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Government Defeated Over Gurkhas

The defeat today is a devastating one for a government with a majority of more than 60. It demonstrates the will of the House of Commons, that the Gurkhas deserve to be treated more equitably. I don't know how many Labour MPs rebelled, but well done to each and every one of them. And well done to the LibDems for tabling the motion.

What I find simply astonishing is that the BBC News Channel (as of 4.22pm) has yet to make a mention of this devastating blow to the Prime Minister's authority. Instead, they are carrying a live press conference phone in with the Assistant Director General of the World Health Organisation about Swine Flu. What very strange news values, especially when he hasn't actually said anything of interest.

UPDATE 4.24pm: They have now switched to the House of Commons where they have a live report with Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Joanna Lumley.

UPDATE 4.27pm: I look forward to the creation of Baroness Lumley of Fabulous!

53 comments:

Sparrow said...

Desperate Blog ?

Anonymous said...

Joanna Lumley Rocks !!

Oliver Drew said...

Congratulations to the Labour MPs who rebelled...they did the right thing.

Now if only they would do the next thing right and rebel and vote against the government in a vote of no confidence (fat chance eh?!)!!

The Penguin said...

Has anyone seen Dolly?

The Penguin

Anonymous said...

This is what SHOULD happen when a Government tries to behave dishonourably and defend the indefensible.

What a shame it has taken Labour MPs so long to deny the Government it's Will on matters that are anathema to the electorate.

Labour has allowed thousands of foreign criminals, fraudlent asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to enter the country - and stay here even when found out. To try and use the state of the UK economy to deny entry to brave soldiers who fought and would have died for the country is an outrage.

They should pluck up some courage and - if money REALLY is an issue - pledge to remove one foreign criminal for every Ghurka allowed to live here.

Peter said...

Spin that Gordon.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Very well done indeed....This useless bloody shower of s5hite let everyone in from everywhere, yet have been busily trying to do down one of the finest bunch of fighters the British Army has ever had...I personally welcome each and every one of them and their families, these brave warriors, have earned this right.

Oh yes and arnt the Gurkhas a damn site more loyal to the Crown than Brown and his bloody useless cronies!!!!!!!!!!!!

More nails in the coffin....wonderful

Bardirect said...

Jon Sopel is being suitably sarcy on the BBC now.

Corporal Jones said...

Only a bunch of stark raving lunatics would take on Joanna Lumley and some veteran Ghurkas. So our government must be ... a bunch of stark raving lunatics.

And it's no good using your heavies - Ian Austin hasn't got a kukri, but the Ghurkas have and take very few prisoners.

Dick the Prick said...

Such grace & dignity. How on earth anyone could bugger up this issue is truly shocking. Anywho - job done - think it's time for a celebratory tipple - hurray!

Anonymous said...

A blog to have a dig at the BBC, or do you have a serious point?

Liz said...

Ha. Brilliant. (Especially given how hard Labour were whipping this one.)

I've really no idea why things even reached this point; Labour's position was untenable and utterly shameful, there was zero public support for it, and it would have been such an easy PR win for Gordon to reconsider at any point in the process. The man's hubris is, as ever, astonishing.

Iain Dale said...

Anoynmous, I was questioning the news judgement. If you have counter argument make it, otherwise bugger off.

Shamik said...

Brilliant! Simply brilliant!!

Let us hope this is the beginning of the end for the Prime Minister...

David Boothroyd said...

My local MP Karen Buck signed the amendment to allow all Gurkhas to become UK citizens and I presume voted that way too.

An important point needs to be made. However good an argument can be made for fairness and however well it is argued that it is fair reward for service to the country, doesn't generate any money to pay the costs. There has to be some source of money found to pay for the costs of allowing all Gurkhas to become UK citizens.

Perhaps those patriotic people like Michael Caine and Jim Davidson, myriad bankers, footballers and racing drivers who have high earnings would care to assist.

Plato said...

'devastating blog'??

You are having a funny turn Mr Dale!

Excellent news - ahhahahhahah

Liz said...

Incidentally (and sorry for the double post), I was really impressed with the rapport Cameron and Clegg achieved in the press conference just now. Each gave the other credit for the result, they were smiling, friendly, human and looked like people who are able to work together comfortably. How unlike what we're used to from Gordon.

Somalian Pirate/Asylum Seeker said...

Oh dear,

The last thing we want is honest, hard working ones here. They'll give us a bad name.

no longer anonymous said...

"An important point needs to be made. However good an argument can be made for fairness and however well it is argued that it is fair reward for service to the country, doesn't generate any money to pay the costs."


How about cutting off money spent on those in this country illegally?

Anonymous said...

Mr Boothroyd - no need to find new funding, lets just divert from a few of these and we should be able to cover 100,000 Gurkhas:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1174210/30-stone-mother-feeds-baby-triplets-junk-food-diet--admits-McDonalds-just-months.html

davidc said...

when our prime minister claims that to allow proper entry to those gurkhas who wish to come here could cost in excess of £1 billion is this nett after taking into account the contribution they would make from economic activity here? or is it a figure from the darling school of 'now you see it , now you don't' accountancy?

in any case to try and rat on an obligation to people who have put their lives on the line by claiming it would cost too much is low even by nulab government standards

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
A blog to have a dig at the BBC, or do you have a serious point?

I didn't see any recent law passed that meant you couldn't pass judgement on the national broadcaster?

Or did I miss something?

Sunray said...

Perhaps Davis Boothroyd would like to ponder on the fact that turfing out the illegals, particularly the criminal elements, would generate a considerable saving to the public purse and that could be used to support the Gurkhas and their families. Always assuming that they needed it, of course.

Squiffy said...

Too right, actually Joanna Lumley has deserved a Damehood for a while now. So too does Julie Walters!

The_Apiarist said...

Gordon's first defeat as PM!!

trevorsden said...

PMQs and the relevant scoring is old hat. The evening news will have Lumley flanked by Cameron and Clegg and them all slagging off Brown.

The dopes scoring down Cameron should take note.

"A blog to have a dig at the BBC, or do you have a serious point?" Shove off Mr Mouse

Mr Boothroyd ... do you realise how daft you sound? We have had 12 years of untrammelled unplanned and covert immigration. The govt defend this by saying its for our own good. Now you say, as the deceitful Brown does, that letting in these particular immigrants would be costly.

MAKE YOUR MIND UP.

The point is this is the honourable thing to do. People who fight for our armed forces - all of them - should be given priority over ALL the other immigrants.

Nick said...

As I said in in my earlier comment to Iain's posting on PMQs, I suspect that in reality the number of Gurkhas that do come and settle in the UK will be small.

Its the principle that is important here and any discussion of costs is a side issue.

Childprotector said...

Doing down the Government (with justification) may be your big thing, Iain, but Swine Flu is potentially a much bigger problem; the BBC was right to give it priority.

David Boothroyd said...

Sunray, I think you'll find that the Government has made massive improvements to the system for repatriating illegal immigrants over the system it inherited. Many more have been repatriated.

Meanwhile can it be noted that before 1997, no Gurkhas had any right to come to the UK or take British citizenship? That fact should be remembered by any Conservative.

Thats News said...

This is good news, indeed.

WeAreWolves said...

Iain, with Brown's credibility now completely shot to pieces do you think there is likely to be a Labour leadership challenge before the next election as Labour damage limitation?

Martin said...

Iain. Why are you continually 'shocked' about the BBC NOT sticking the boot into the one eyed snot eater?

Brown is a horrid little man, but the BBC love him. A man of big spending and big Government. Just what the BBC likes.

Bond007 said...

Anonymous said ... "A blog to have a dig at the BBC, or do you have a serious point?"

- The BBC are the state broadcaster and the main Labour propaganda machine; one of its/your aims is to promote Labour propaganda.
- This is a Conservative blog; one of its aims is the bring this useless Government to account.

Even if this were a dig (which it isn't in this instance ... read the article again), it would have been fine.

... or do you have a serious point?

Martin said...

Given a choice between Gurkha's who are decent hard working people or the dross that is waiting in Sangatte to get across here, I know which I'd choose.

I guess that Liebour sees the vermin in Sangatte as more likely Liebour voters than Gurkha's.

David Lindsay said...

Anyone who still doubts the sheer pointlessness of the Tories need look no further than the fact that they have allowed the Lib Dems to make the running on the Gurkha issue.

The Tories caused the problem in the first place, but they do seem to be on side now.

So the Gurkhas should be settled in the ten safest Tory wards in the country, and the consequences observed in a reality television series narrated by Joanna Lumley.

Widdershins said...

''PMQs and the relevant scoring is old hat. The evening news will have Lumley flanked by Cameron and Clegg and them all slagging off Brown.''

Spot on, trevorsden. A real coup for the Tories/Lib Dems. Coalition rehearsal?

Iain - looks like Cameron and Clegg put their heads together on this one and decided the yahboo PMQs would be a great opportunity to stitch up Brown. Or am I being too clever by half?

Chalcedon said...

Good for Joanna. She never gave up the agitation. She is and was a splendid standard bearer for the Gurkha military men. There is a lot of affection for these fearless warriors in this country. Thank God that Cameron and Clegg teamed up to do the decent think. I also salute any Labour MPs that voted against the government and supported this motion. To those who didn't support it....."Hang your heads in shame!"

Mostly Ordinary said...

Just to point out here before Dave and his chums start claiming a victory for common sense etc - that Gurkhas have never had this right.

So that means all Governments since their formation has treated them appallingly. Including both Labour and Tory that both sent them to war during the post war period.

They should equally be ashamed and if Dave takes ANY credit for this he's being a cheeky sod, because the Tories did nothing when they were in power.

This is a victory for the campaign not politicians whose parties did NOTHING while they were in power trying to get some radiant glory from their victory is shameful.

an ex-apprentice said...

Dear Mr Boothroyd,

"I think you'll find that the Government has made massive improvements to the system for repatriating illegal immigrants over the system it inherited. Many more have been repatriated."

In a world populated only and exclusively by idiots, you would be the one standing in the corner with a cone on your head.

Sunray said...

Well said, ex-apprentice! If the relevant minister was to be asked how many remaining illegals there are in the country they couldn't give a figure because they don't know. This shower lost control of who was entering the country some years ago and their apologists bobbing up with what sound suspiciously like quotes from spin doctors do not convince people any more.

jon dee said...

The BBC's reluctance to give the Gurkha vote much prominence is almost childlike in its evasion.

Stretching and massaging the rest of it's news schedule does'nt hide its motive.

Sad, sad BBC, sitting on the naughty step.

yellowbelly said...

"UPDATE 4.27pm: I look forward to the creation of Baroness Lumley of Fabulous!"

===

I'd vote for that!

yellowbelly said...

David Boothroyd said...
Sunray, I think you'll find that the Government has made massive improvements to the system for repatriating illegal immigrants over the system it inherited. Many more have been repatriated.

Meanwhile can it be noted that before 1997, no Gurkhas had any right to come to the UK or take British citizenship? That fact should be remembered by any Conservative.

===

Mr Boothroyd, please try and keep up!

"TDBG was once again relocated to Malaya Lines in the New Territories, Hong Kong in 1971. At the TDBG in Hong Kong, recruits were taught basic English alongside military subjects such as field craft, drill, weapon-handling etc. More importantly, being in a modern city like Hong Kong, these young recruits from the hills of Nepal were given the opportunity to experience life in a different culture and environment. Such experience would be crucial for their future deployments in different corners of the world.

Due to Hong Kong's handover from the UK to China, the TDBG was closed down in December 1994. However, it was reconstituted immediately as the Gurkha Training Wing (GTW) at Queen Elizabeth Barracks at Church Crookham, Hampshire in the UK."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_of_Gurkhas

The Gurkhas enjoyed resettlement rights in Hong Kong prior to the hand over to the Chinese in 1997. That is not now possible, so the UK is the natural home for resettlement.

This is not a party poltical issue.

Anonymous said...

What silly, petty, out of touch and arrogant fools Gordie and his ministers are. I could have told them that they would (and never will) win on this one.

About 5 yeras ago my wife and I travelled down from oop North to take my then five year old Grandson to the Cenotaph on Armistice Sunday. As we expected the event in real life was much more moving than any TV but it was also cold and we were a bit cramped and uncomfortable.

The parade was obviously coming to an end and the crowd began to stir and drift away but then, the very last man was a single Ghurka soldier. Everyone stopped leaving and he got applause that was as prolonged and as heartfelt and as loud as any contingent that had passed that day.

The affection and admiration that most of the British people feel for these loyal and courageous companions seem to transcend most of the divisions that carve up our society today.

I know the point has been made by many earlier posters, but bu**er the £1 billion, there are plenty who are here that ought not to be - lets save it by not spending on them. Or perhaps we could fund it out of a revised MP expenses and allowances system - there you are, two birds with one stone. Sorted as we say in my part of the world.

Julian said...

Gurkha vote: Labour rebels

The Liberal Democrats say 28 Labour MPs rebelled against the government over the number of Gurkhas allowed to live in the UK. This is their list:
Dianne Abbott
Ian Cawsey
Harry Cohen
Jeremy Corbyn
Paul Farrelly
Mark Fisher
Neil Gerrard
Kate Hoey
Kelvin Hopkins
Joan Humble
Glenda Jackson
John McDonnell
Shona McIsaac
Andrew MacKinlay
Gordon Marsden
Bob Marshall Andrews
Julie Morgan
Nick Palmer
Stephen Pound
Nick Raynsford
Andy Reed
Linda Riordan
Alan Simpson
Andrew Smith
Paul Truswell
Keith Vaz
Robert Wareing
Mike Wood

* find it hard to believe Vaz and Pound aren’t typos.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Gurkha issue may save the country from the dullards currently in power. It would be poetic for Gurkhas loyal brave and decent to help us out in such an inadvertent way.

As for the 1bn we seem to have plenty of cash for Jacqui and co plus other certain sections of the world community illegals etc so let's stop paying them and give it to people who really deserve it.

As an ex soldier I know who I prefer to help out and it is typical of those mugs in charge that they think us plebs would worry about money over honour but they forgot we aren't like liebour ministers

Jabba the Cat said...

McMental's defeat in the Gurkha Commons vote today surely marks the tipping point for ZaNuLab and the beginning of their final slide into electoral oblivion.

It is fitting that this should happen over the matter of the Gurkha's as the handling of this affair by ZaNuLab has been a scandal and deep national shame from the start.

Jabba hopes that when the Tories take over there will be prominent and suitable recognition for Joanna Lumley for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Gurkha's cause in the first honours list of the new administration.

norman said...

Those idiots who support Labour do not want to know that under Tory govts immigration control was stricter. Gurkhas case was seen in this light. But after Blair and Brown came to power, we have Tens and thousands of Somailis settling here, most of them never contributed to this country. A private plane was not despatched to bring a terrorist from Guantanamo Bay who says he wanted to kick his drug habit by visiting Afghanistan and merely forged the passport. Afghan hijakers are settled in London .. the list grows. If these are allowed in, the Gurkhas case has to be reopened. Brown and these Labour supporters should hang their heads in shame.

Martin said...

Utter rubbish. The Gurkhas were NOT based in the UK until post 97. The issue is those that have lived here for years, paid taxes here and probably brought their children up here. Why should they now be deported? Those that want to come back should be free to do so and welcomed. other foreigners that join the British army can stay and live here.

I'm amazed at the halfwits that can't see this as such an obvious case. Nick Clegg is an idiot normally, but even he has got this spot on.

I guess it just shows what a crap human being the one eyed snot eater really is and what a morally corrupt bunch Nu liebour are.

Martin said...

Good god. Stephen pound voted AGAINST Gordon Brown? Has he grown a pair of testicles all of a sudden? or did he borrow Diane Abbotts?

The Grim Reaper said...

You published this post at 4.17pm, and berated the Beeb for not mentioning anything until a full 5 minutes later. Your nit-picking is reaching ridicilous levels, Iain.

Anonymous said...

Where were the British charities- Oxfam, Save the Children et al- in the debate about the Gurkhas? I would have thought that Oxfam would have had a lot to say about the Gurkhas, considering that these former soldiers come from one of the poorest countries in the world, and Nepal would benefit from having ex-Gurkhas living in the UK and sending remittances back home to their less well-off relatives and communities. But then these days the CEOs of these charities, Dame Barbara Stocking of Oxfam for example, are tight-lipped about criticising the Labour Government, especially the Brown regime, which may explain why they kept silent about the plight of Gurkha soldiers. What a sorry state of affairs!

paulmarchant1 said...

The BBC also chose to give no coverage of this or ANY other news items of the day on Newsnight yesterday evening. Nor did it cover newspaper headlines. Instead the entire edition was given over to Obama's first 100 days. The expenses of the three or four presenters covering this item together with the technical crew were doubtless modest.