Gordon Brown was struggling to maintain his authority over Labour MPs last night after suffering a shock Commons defeat on restricting the right of former Gurkhas to settle in Britain.
Twenty-seven Labour MPs voted against the Prime Minister and dozens abstained in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion that would give all Gurkhas who have served in the Armed Forces an equal right of residence.
Mr Brown could face further embarrassment today when MPs hold a series of votes about reforms to their expenses and allowances. He has already endured the humiliation of having to drop last week’s proposal of a £150 daily attendance allowance to replace the second-homes allowance.
Labour MPs despaired of the Government’s handling of both issues. One said: “It’s an end-of-empire kind of event, the sort of thing that happens when a government is in decline.”
I have often expressed my revulsion at the treatment our forces receive from our disgusting snobby elite politicians. Browns latest photo call in Iraq turned my stomach, as if the Bogeymuncher wants to offend as many people as possible he then turns up at the gates of Auschwitz, he seems as detached from reality as the man in the moon.
The body count grows.You would not know it from the papers, but another warrior has fallen in Iraq, at the same time as these Ruperts and Humphreys insult and humiliate the finest soldiers on earth the Gurkhas. Well they have bitten of more than they can chew this time.
To set the following rules for these soldiers and their families is pure discrimination of the nastiest kind:
Soldiers spurned: rules that were branded a betrayal
Under the Government’s policy, set out on Friday, settlers must fulfil one of these criteria:
— Three years’ continuous residence
— Close family in Britain
— A level 1-3 bravery award (including VC, DSO or MC)
— 20 years’ service
— A long-term condition caused or aggravated by service In addition they will be allowed to settle in Britain if they meet two or more of the following criteria:
— They were previously awarded an MoD disability pension but no longer have a chronic medical condition
— Have a mention in dispatches
— Service of ten years or a campaign medal for active service in the brigade
The significant point in the above is that only commissioned officers will have more than 20 years service as other ranks cannot serve for more than 15. Good old fashioned British discrimination at it's very worst. I pray that the commons revolt will allow these fine people to come and live here eventually, and take full advantage of our benefits system if they need to. If they were so bloody rigorous regarding asylum seekers and illegal immigrants it would not look so blatant.