Tuesday, 28 April 2009

It Is Better To Die Than To Live A Coward

So translates the motto of the Brigade of Gurkhas. But of what, exactly, is the Government afraid? And why, exactly?

Joanna Lumley emails:

Thank you so much for your support of the Gurkha Justice campaign. We are overwhelmed by the support the campaign is receiving.

As you may know, on Friday, the Government badly let down the Gurkhas. The new rules they have announced will exclude the huge majority of ex-Gurkhas who retired before 1997 from claiming citizenship in this country. They've given five bullet points that virtually cannot be met by the ordinary Gurkha soldier.

It is so obvious that the treatment of the Gurkhas has been a great injustice. To treat them like this is despicable.

The strong reaction by the public and press should show the Government that they simply cannot get away with this outrage.

I'm ashamed of our administration. We will be challenging this decision in the courts and in Parliament. We will not stop now.

This is not a party political campaign: it's simply one for justice. I am so grateful though for immediate support from MPs from all Parties, including amongst others Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg.

Nick Clegg has agreed to put a vote to Parliament this Wednesday calling for a fair deal for Gurkhas. This vote on its own won't change the Government's ruling, but would be an overwhelming signal to the Government that they need to think again.

We need all MPs that support the Gurkha justice cause to turn up and vote for a proper deal for Gurkhas on Wednesday. Can I ask that you take a couple of minutes right now to ask your MP to do so?

You can send a message to your MP directly at www.theyworkforyou.com - please ask them to support the Gurkha Justice motion on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, there will also be a Gurkha Justice rally and protest against the Government's decision, starting at noon in Old Palace Yard, Westminster. Many MPs have already committed to support the vote and join me and others at the rally. I know it's awfully short notice, but if you can, please do come along as well to add your support.

If you can pass on this message to others as well that would be fabulous - and if they sign up to www.gurkhajustice.org.uk we can keep in touch with them directly in future.

Lastly, again, thank you so much for your support. It means so much to us. I spoke today to Lt Madan Kumar Gurung, who has been at the forefront of the campaign since it began. He said to me that he has no fear for the Gurkhas any more, as he knows the loving hearts of the British people will not let them down. With your support we won't.

With warmest good wishes,




  1. I think we are paying too much deference to ageing actresses.
    Much as I admire Ms Lumleys role in the New Avengers and her fathers military career, I cannot see her qualifications to be the spokesperson for this campaign. Its perfectly consistent with my views on Frank Skinner and Gareth Gates on Question Time.
    The Gurkhas are I understand Nepalese and are thus mercenaries. Perhaps those "contractors in Baghdad" should be allowed to settle in Britain and USA.

  2. Did you see the William Hague interview in the Times today where he talked about support for the Gurkhas and a bigger role for the Commonwealth in foreign affairs?

  3. Did she email you personally? It would be great if you could get her to campaign for you in Durham.

  4. Anna, the second bit is a bit thin. What does he actually mean?

    Anonymous, well, no. But links with the campaign, on the other hand... And it's North-West Durham, not Durham itself.

    John are the Irish regiments mercenaries?

  5. Rather strange (desperate?) point to make concerning Irish regiments.
    Nepal is a sovreign nation not even in the Commonwealth.
    "Irish" (ie British) regiments are recruited from from parts of the world which are or were part of the "United Kingdom" and of course ALL of those persons already have the ight to move in and out or stay in the "United Kingdom".

  6. The Irish Republic is a sovereign nation not even in the Commonwealth.

  7. And you and I both rejoice in that fact.

  8. Speak for yourself. I would love her to join the Commonwealth, and think that she will soon enough.