Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Lib Dem motion defeats government on Gurkhas

I haven't commented on the Gurkha issue before but it has always been my feeling that we owe them a great debt. They have been willing to fight and die for this country and it is scandalous that we have treated them in the shoddy way we have until recently.

The motion that we tabled today defeated the government (despite some attempted strong-arming - old habits die hard eh Gordon?) by 21 votes. This is not a binding vote but the government's credibility is now shot to pieces on this issue.

Nick Clegg did brilliantly well during PMQs today and perfectly articulated my thoughts on this. "If you are willing to die for this country, you should be able to live in this country". Spot on. You could tell from Brown's evasive and unconvincing responses that he just did not get how strong the feeling on this issue is. They will have to change tack now. It is a victory for the Gurkhas and for natural justice.

It will be interesting to see how the vote tomorrow on the expenses goes given Brown's clunking performance on this issue too. Once MPs of the governing party get a taste for rebellion it can keep coming back. Usually loyalty causes most of them to fall back in line but I get the feeling that Brown is viewed with such disdain by his own side that they might be willing to keep defeating him until his position becomes untenable.

Perhaps Kalvis Jansons' petition could have its aim fulfilled sooner than he suspected.

Further blog comment on the Gurkha issue here, here, here and here.

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