Of all the positions this duplicitous Labour government have taken since they took office in 1997, their blinkered and patronising attitude to the Gurkhas must surely be their darkest hour.
You see, what Gordon’s Ministers – and many other democratically elected representatives – fail to realise, is that they’re accountable. To the general public; to the man (and woman) in the street; to you and me. So the decisions they take must be rooted in the fact that they act on behalf of the majority. Not their own ideals, not some lunatic PC splinter group, and certainly not a bunch of chip-on-their-shoulder holier-than-thou advisers.
The Government created a ridiculous and divisive two-tier policy by allowing Gurkhas who retired after 1997 to become ordinarily resident in the UK whilst at the same time forcing those who retired before 1997 to have to apply. The outcry was voluble at the time, and the Government should have listened. In March of last year, when hundreds of Gurkhas rallied in Westminster, when scores handed back their medals in disgust, the Government should have listened.
But their reaction when asked to change the policy? Hazel Blears said last year “…I do think it’s difficult to change things retrospectively.” Phil Woolas said last week “It’s simply not true that we have betrayed the Gurkhas.”
But of course that’s just what they’ve done. The point is, this Government once again ignored public opinion, and sought to impose its will on the very democracy it was elected to serve.
Yet still this repugnant, self-serving, overpaid shambles of a Government is allowed to represent this country.