Saturday, 2 May 2009

Ghurka home?

I've held off on the debate about immigration rules for Gurkha troops. However, I suspect that the Brown-beaters have now boarded the bus to Outrage City as the story allows them lineage beyond any likely to be generated by the right or wrong of the actual immigration rights debate.

In my time I was stationed in close proximity to Gurkha troops. I was in a military police unit that was 85% Gurkha troops. I undertook a number of investigations involving them. I cannot say there was anything different about them in their make-up. They seemed to have a similar ratio of good and bad. Fat and thin. Good parents and not very efficient parents. So - nothing unusual there. They had officers who would not accept that Gurkhas could or would do anything wrong and saw them as paragons of virtue; this level of support was far in excess of that normally experienced with British officers and their British troops. There has been much said about the level of bravery in action. Our current troubles have demonstrated that bravery in other Nationals and Regiments is far more common than might be imagined. I do tend to think that there is a level of amok higher amongst Gurkha troops than others. My analysis of citations (In the old Indian Army) (Modern times but not complete) does suggest that they tend to rush into situations that are desperate.

They were recruited under terms that got them out of Nepal and into the British army. Their terms of service differed from British soldiers. There was no promise of resettlement in UK at the end of their period of service. Their pension was less on the basis that the cost of living in Nepal allowed them a commensurate life style to British pensioners for less. Now, there are a number who wish to retire here. I can see no reason why they should receive any special treatment. They were fully aware what they were getting into. Maybe they see it as unfair that they should have risked their lives in our service. They were fully aware what they were getting into. They may think that living in UK is their right. They knew what etc. etc. I can sympathise with their wish to leave Nepal but why here? There are considerable Gurkha communities in Hong Kong and in Brunei that they could join. There is talk of a debt of gratitude - where does this end? Think of those who supported the British cause in the colonies we have now surrendered - are we not grateful to them?

No - I think we have gone soft in our modern times. Do they have grounds for coming here? Yes, but individually no more than any other immigrant.

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