Evening Standard: Gurkhas may be scrapped...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by old_scopie, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. ... over fears that veterans will cost too much

    Someone may already have posted on this, if so apologies.


    Gurkhas may be scrapped over fears that veterans will cost too much

    Robert Fox, Defence Correspondent

    MILITARY chiefs are warning that the historic Gurkha regiment could be scrapped if a landmark legal ruling results in thousands more veterans being allowed to settle in Britain.

    Under new rules that are due to be announced by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in the next few weeks, the rights of former Gurkhas who left the regiment before 1997 are expected to be widened significantly.

    The change follows a High Court decision last year which granted five of the Nepalese veterans the right to stay in Britain in a test case victory which led ministers to pledge a review of the rules covering up to 2,000 ex-Gurkhas in the same situation.

    Campaigners, whose supporters include Joanna Lumley, believe that full residence rights should now be given to all Gurkhas - who under the existing regulations are only entitled to move to Britain if they served after 1997.

    Military officials are concerned, however, that the introduction of blanket residence rights for the veterans and their dependants could leave the Ministry of Defence and British taxpayers with a substantial bill of between £1billion and £3 billion.

    One key reason is that any Gurkhas who move to Britain will be entitled to full pensions, unlike the current system when those resident in Nepal receive only about a third of the amount of former servicemen living in the UK.

    Additional costs could also be faced by the NHS and other parts of government, but the impact on the defence budget remains a concern.

    "This could make the Gurkhas too expensive for the Army," said a senior defence official. "We all acknowledge the fantastic service the Gurkhas give, particularly now in Afghanistan, but they may be too costly. Least of all do we want to decry Ms Lumley's campaign which has shown the public what we owe the Gurkhas."

    Insiders warn, however, that if full rights are granted the Gurkhas could become the most expensive infantry regiment in the Army. By some calculations up to 50,000 veterans, relations and dependants could apply to come to the UK from Nepal and other parts of Asia. There are currently 3,500 Gurkhas in the Army.

    Under a deal between Britain, Nepal and India in 1947, Nepalese soldiers serving in the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas were to serve for 12 years and then return home to the Himalayas with a bounty and a pension. It ruled out rights to British citizenship.

    More a gentleman's agreement than a binding legal document, it was this deal that Mr Justice Blake ruled unlawful and against the human rights of Gurkhas who had served the British Crown. This has led to the new guidelines being introduced.

    'Better to die than be a coward'

    During the war with Nepal in 1814, the British were so impressed by the bravery of the Gurkhas that, after signing a peace agreement, they asked the fearless soldiers to join their ranks.

    Following the partition of India in 1947, Britain agreed with Nepal and India to transfer four Gurkha regiments to the British Army. Since then, the warriors, whose motto is "Better to die than be a coward", have fought for the British all over the world, receiving 13 Victoria Crosses. They were instrumental in preventing a Japanese invasion of India in the battle of Imphal in July 1944, turning the tide of the Second World War in Asia. More recently they have served in Afghanistan and Iraq."

    This would be just the sort of spiteful action this lot would consider in response to being told to honour their obligations.
  2. Prepare the outrage bus, Joanna get your kit on. This is outrageous if true can we confirm.
  3. There really are a lot of references to "senior defence officials", "insiders" and unnamed "military chiefs" in this piece.

    Sounds like a rumour blown up by a disgruntled Ministry chappie still smarting because he rightly lost his case in the courts.

    (I haven't got any named sources for this either, so it must be true)
  4. This was always going to be a risk. The Gurkhas now cost a lot more money, this shite Goberment wants to cut the UK forces again so what is the easy option/target for them.
  5. Seems bizarre that we are on standby for the Orange clad inmates of Hotel Guantanamo and booting out local servicemen and families that have stood by us as a nation, thats loyalty for you!
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    It is the sort of spiteful nonsense that you would expect from this pathetic excuse for a Government. We can let in all sorts of people with little or no connection to this country but want to avoid then possibility of letting in ex-Ghurkas who have served this nation well.

    I'm all in favour of appropriate immigration and I cannot think of anyone more appropriate that Johny Gurkha my only question is wtf would he want to come?
  7. Rumour or not I still think "So what?" if we suddenly have a load of Ghurka vets coming to the UK...they deserve it having served and I wouldn't be too surprised to find that they would perhaps be in a damn sight better physical condition overall than the condition of disease addled contingent of illegals (not saying they all are) that are more than comfortably accommodated in this country and most certainly would be less of a burden than our own indigenous and ever expanding (both in numbers and waistline) benefits draining pond life.
  8. What was the last Gurkha issue that was presented by the press? Oh yes, the deportation of a dead soldiers family. Were those on ARRSE with contacts able to confirm this?

    Until someone, a named someone, comes out and confirms this story I will remain a cynic about it.
  9. If true confirms my belief that it is better that someone dies than a senior officer, or god forbid a minister, is publicly embarrassed by the consequences of their actions or utterances.

    On this subject there has been much embarrassing and all of it very public.
  10. I know who I would rather have as an immigrant, and he aint some sponging eastern European or north African but someone who has actually done something for this godforsaken country that we all\still love for some reason.

    all respect to the Gurkha soldiers who have proved to be true friends
  11. Genuine asylum seekers seek asylum in the first safe country they come to . That means that only a handful of the so called asylum seekers in the UK are genuine , kick the rest out , one way tickets across the channel and they can make their own way home to country of origin and let in all the gurkhas . I doubt if there will be much of a cost involved and they will be a real asset to the UK.
  12. This winds me up everytime I hear this. Sadly it has been a long time coming since the GTACOS was changed (and about bloody time too) and Gurkhas became more expensive. Although I prefer to see it from the point of view that they are not MORE expensive, we have just been underpaying the boys for a damned long time.

    A Gurkha who works hard enough to be selected (and it ain't bloody easy), serves his time (99% serve their full colour service), and gets a job in the UK after discharge (not heard of one that hasn't yet) deserves the right to stay in this country on a pension as much as any British soldier. Yes, they were not born here but they have contributed an awful amount to UK PLC.

    We need soldiers. Gurkhas are quite good ones. Cut them to save cash and you lose 2 deployable battalions as well as a dozen support arm squadrons and reinforcement companies. Endstate: a further overstretched and knackered army combined with the loss of good soldiers and fine British citizens (if they decide to stay).

    My solution: legalise prostitution, tax it (heavier tax for immigrant eastern european sex workers....loads of money!) and use the cash to pay for Gurkhas and indeed the rest of the army. The army will end up paying for itself!!!
  13. If it's true then we really are plumbing new depths. The Army I joined was 160,000 strong and that was when times were none too good economically. Now with the Army large enough fit into Wembley Stadium and with plenty of space for the 14 bandsman we have left to march up and down in the middle, I can only despair that these ********* (too irritated to say), may not be able to pay the pensions of a Brigade.


    We're at war in the Afghan uloo FFS, thats what these little blokes do, we need more not less; lots more. Notwithstanding that, wherever they settle in the UK they lift standards. In fact, I'd happily contribute to flights for ministers and do a one for one swap but then that underestimates by a margin the value of Johnny Gurkha. No doubt this will be announced on a wholly appropriate heavyweight political daytime television show like Richard & Judy.

    If this is a wind up it's worked. I wasn't drinking in January, now I'm on the edge. Fvcking, moronic, stupid, thick, thankless.....................

    I can only hope that the British public will have something to say but then they've proved to be utterly docile so far. Looks like it's us, the bird from AbFab and the Taliban then left to convince them.............................
  14. Cuts? I'll show them where to make bloody cuts

    The average public sector worker was paid £21,413 in 2008, more than those on the private sector average of £20,715.

    £40,000 a year to a Community Space Challenge Co-ordinator in the London borough of Southwark, described as “Telling young people ‘at risk of offending’ how to use public spaces”

    £42,000-a-year Head of Participation and Inclusion at Hertfordshire County Council, whose job description seems to be “encouraging people to play musical instruments”.

    £37,000-a-year Head of Communities and Partnership in Charnwood, tasked with “ensuring that community issues are resolved with lasting solutions”?

    £20,000-a-year job of Street Football Co-ordinator at Moray Council in Scotchland … err … organising and promoting street football.

    Recession? With jobs losses already in the thousands, the number of public sector posts up for grabs has increased by 14,000 in the past three months. In the past three months. Where have these people been? Think about when your new council tax bill drops through your letter box, or when some politician says we've all got to shoulder the burden.

  15. Or, even more disgusting, a bit of black propoganda to try and influence the decison...

    I would put nothing past this Gub'mint of liars, traitors and cowards. :evil:

    Fcuk the Outrage Bus: if they scrap the Gurkhas, it's time for the V masks, Gats and as many live rounds as we can carry! :twisted: