Socialist Worker

Gurkhas debate insults all immigrants

Issue No. 2151

Many socialists will be surprised to see the Daily Express campaigning for a group of immigrants to be welcomed to Britain.

They argue that these immigrants are different. The suggestion is that the majority of people arrive in Britain to take advantage of “soft touch benefits”.

But the Gurkhas – Nepali citizens who fought in the British army – deserve different treatment because they have served “our country”.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas was thrust in front of the cameras to announce that the government would let in 4,300 of the 36,000 who are still denied residence.

He said, “What we’ve done is to allow even more people in without setting a precedent that would create a massive pressure, in my view, on the immigration service, which I don’t think the public would want me to grant.”

So the government is trying to be harder on immigration than the Daily Express. The whole argument is an insult to all immigrants.

The racist treatment of the Gurkhas by the army is appalling, but it is only in the twisted fantasies of right wing papers and government ministers that all other immigrants are scroungers.

Socialist Worker has a simple alternative. Stop controlling where people are allowed to live.

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What We Think
Tue 12 May 2009, 17:19 BST
Issue No. 2151
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