UK Citizenship for Gurkhas

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Archimedes, Sep 30, 2004.

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  1. Seems that the Dear Leader has chosen to allow Gurkhas to claim UK citizenship (some years after it was decided that a whole host of OBL supporters were deemed to be worthy of the privilege :evil:).

    There is a sting in the tail, though, since it only applies to those who joined after 1997 - so some 100 retired Gurkhas who are living here are not eligible. Looking at the MoD site, it would seem that this step won't actually apply to anyone serving the basic 15 years (the MoD's info, not mine) until 2012...
  2. X-Inf

    X-Inf War Hero Book Reviewer

    By which time T Bliar and TCH will have 'downsized' the Gurkhas therefore none will be eligible! :?
  3. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    My thoughts exactly X-Inf.

    This'll be the excuse they're looking for to bin them altogether.
  4. Is this decision deemd a wise one or unwise by those on arrse?

    I always thought that the idea of Nepalese troops fighting for the British Army was welcomed by the Nepalese Government because a lot the money they earned went back into the Nepal and when they retired on the Gurkha pension and went back to Nepal they could support their entire family.
    This impression I have leads me to think that having Gurkhas settling here might strain relations between Britain and Nepal as surely we are using their men and not compelling them to drive money back into the country that allowed them to sign up?

    I don't know though, I'm a bit shakey in my convictions as I don't know the validity of the assumptions they are based upon.

    This is just my opinion following conversations I've had and as I've never spoken to a Gurkha or an officer from a Gurkha Regiment my impressions lack foundation. Is anyone able to help?

  5. X-Inf

    X-Inf War Hero Book Reviewer


    I spent some time alongside a platoon of Gurkhas in the mid 70's. My impression is that they are a very strong family orientated race. While it is true that a lot of their money, and of course their pension, goes back to Nepal, I feel that if they had the opportunity to settle here in Britain with a potential for earning a lot more money than they would in Nepal, then they would be sending back to Nepal more money overall. While the Nepalese may lose a source of manpower in the retiring Gurkhas, IMHO, they would be supportive as the benefits all round would be greater than if they just retired, on a not very large pension, to Nepal.

    Perhaps someone with a bit more intimate knowledge of the Gurkhas could fill in on the detail as this is just my opinion.
  6. Spot on. Your "impressions" lack foundation. But at least you're consistent.
  7. I fear that if things are changed too much there are a whole bin full of far reaching concequences following on from what many people see as things just getting fair.

    Firstly the Nepalese Govt allow their young men to leave for 15+ years to fight for India or Britain, happy in the knowledge that almost all will return after their service and bring with them an income to help support the soldier's immediate family for the rest of their lives. Quite important in a society that has no other social cover. If the soldiers begin settling in GB with only their pension and any work they can find to support themselves, are the Nepalese going to be so eager to allow them to leave in the first place?

    If wages and pensions are increased to 'normal' rates, are the Ghurkas going to be such an economic assets? They may in fact be more expensive than local troops when you add the costs of sending recruiting teams, expenses for extended leave for trips to nepal and the extra educatioin required by the Ghurka soldiers and their officers. With money increasingly the first consideration, if any other infantry battalions are to be cut, the Ghurkas would seem to be the most economic option. Once the infantry has gone, so have the transport, signals and engineer units who recruit from them. In short, no more Ghurkas.

    There are also deeper economic repercussions for Nepal and their demographics as more and more of their younger population migrate to northern India to find a better way of life in a country that is already overflowing with poor.

    I am all for being 'fair', and would much rather see ex-service Ghurkas settle here than some of the low life that manage it now. But if it means the loss of such loyal soldiers with such a long and distinguished tradition, and severly damaging the country they are from, I'm not so sure.
  8. I am a colleague of an ex-Gurkha (Nepali) officer who is closely involved with the Gurkha Welfare movement. If anyone will know the definitive answer, he will. I will ask him when our paths next cross.

  9. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I wouldn't worry too much on the finance side. If you look at the situation with Cuban exiles in Florida there is a precidence for exiles sending money home to their families even across closed borders.

    Being a family oriented race the nepalese will likely make a fine contribution to UK PLC economy as well as sending cash "home"
  10. I would imagine India would take over the recruitment, they have around 40 (yes forty!) Bns of Gorkhas.

    On a related point I thought the whole pay and conditions argument was a joint India/UK/Nepal agreement and that Gurkhas got the same in both the Indian and British Armies...evidently no longer then?
  11. No argument on that score. But my point was that buying a house, setting up a home and living in the UK isn't going to be easy on an army pension and even a reasonable wage. There might not be too much spare cash to send home.
  13. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Claymore, LOL in the office, thanks.

    CIG, I met a ghurka officer and worked with a platoon in Op Lode Star and at RMAS, you can take the officer and the soldiers and shove 'em,