22 May 2013

Interpreters

 The BBC News this morning...

Up to 600 Afghan interpreters who worked alongside British troops are to be given the right to live in the UK, government sources have confirmed.

May I be so bold as to raise my little snout above the parapet to say - No! I don't think that's right. What do you think?

To begin with, we should never have followed America into these misguided, ultimately pointless and deadly adventures in Afghanistan. They have dragged on for twelve long years now and 444 British military personnel have been killed. What for?

It's obvious that to function in Afghanistan, our forces needed local support in the form of interpreters. No doubt these men and women have already been handsomely remunerated and no doubt either that when they signed up to help, it was never part of the deal that they'd have free passage to Great Britain if the conflict ever ended. 

Six hundred interpreters! But of course we are not just talking about that six hundred. We also have to take into account their spouses, children, parents etc.. They'll get a big leg up with regard to flights, housing, benefits and settlement and they'll be absorbed into our society. The cost of all of this will be like a huge slap in the face to all those needy native British citizens who are struggling to get by. 

I hope I am not beginning to sound like Nigel Farage but I think I speak for the vast majority of ordinary British citizens when I say it is time to paint the word "Full" in big bold letters on the white cliffs of Dover. I'm sorry but just because these interpreters assisted our military adventures shouldn't mean they get to live in Britain! I don't see the connection. If that wasn't spelt out in the first place then resettlement packages shouldn't even be close to the table.

Who'll be next? The Afghan police we have trained? The drivers? The suppliers? The traders who sold our soldiers fruit and souvenirs? The Afghan soldiers and bomb disposal experts who have been trained by us?

The chattering politicians in Westminster and the do-gooders and journalists who surround them like flies are completely out of touch with ordinary people's views on such matters. Will Cameron, Clegg, Ashdown and Osborne have Afghan interpreters living next door to them or in the flat above? No they damned well won't. And they won't have to teach their kids or treat their ailments or find them suitable accommodation either.

The only exception I would pause to consider is where there is hard evidence that a particular interpreter's life is clearly threatened by the Taliban or its supporters. But anyway, I thought the result of these deadly adventures was that we'd be leaving behind a new Afghanistan - a democratic Afghanistan with liberty and justice for all! What do you think?
Richard Walker (23) - probably not the
last Yorkshireman to die in Afghanistan

14 comments:

  1. You do sound very similar to Nigel Farage.
    Why on earth did we require translators? If the boot was on the other foot and an Afghani was pointing a rifle at me I'd get the message.
    Dithery Dave is all smoke. He will have changed his mind by next Monday or be back into Badger bashing.

    I'm very surprised that after all our endeavours Afghanistan hasn't become the model of charity and moderation so prevalent and obvious in our green and pleasant land.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You will not, of course, be surprised to learn I agree with you on this subject.

    As we always said in the Army when things were bad, 'If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have signed up'.

    I agree wholeheartedly that UK should never have involved itself in Afghanistan. The first Iraq war? OK. An international response to free Kuwait was in everone's interest. Second Iraq war? No way. Military aid to Syrian rebels? No way. All these foreign interventions are just like trying to put a fire out by pouring petrol on it.

    You never let me forget that I am an expat escapee living in Africa (actually, I am trapped here by circumstance, consider it a life sentence and am not far short of putting a bullet through my brain), so look at all the historical conflicts in Africa; the horn of Africa, Congo, Angola, Moçambique, the list is endless, that were no more than proxy wars fought for foreign interests, all these countries having resources the developed world wanted. Where was the robust international intervention in Rwanda?

    I also disagreed with the decision to grant Ghurkas residency. I fought for a country other than my own and was paid for it. That was the deal and I never expected anything more than my salary. Having served alongside the Ghurkas as a British Army Officer and later as a 'contract' officer in Angola with a private military company, I respect them but they knew what the deal was when they signed the contract.

    This is also why I get really annoyed when I see policemen sueing for damages and being awarded thousands for stubbing their toe. They have NO sense of duty.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ADRIAN I may sound like Nigel Farage but you look like him! Are you related?...(Only kidding!) Yes. After all of that "investment" in Afghanistan the Afghans should be conducting themselves like Old Etonians...oh, wait a minute, they are!
    HIPPO Phew! What a relief that you agree with me - and I don't mean that sarcastically. It's interesting to read the views of a guy whose working life was about security, soldiering and conflict. I know what you mean about cops too. Signing up to be a copper with all of the fringe benefits means you may get "burnt" so please don't whinge when it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You've certainly made me stop and think. Until I read your post I was convinced they deserved to be given safe passage to UK. Especially bearing in mind the hoards that will be arriving next year; criminals in the main.

    I didn't agree with the UK getting involved with the Second Iraq war, let alone Afganistan. I even demonstrated outside the Chilcott Inquiry when Tone appeared; rich really coming from a socialist. Don't know what I am now?

    Reading Adrian and Hippo's comments have made me see things differently. Personally, the good that has come out of your today's offering is... I'm still open minded enough to see the other side of the coin and for that I thank you.

    I'm off up the garden for a little genteel weeding and troubled thoughts.

    LLX

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, so you were surpised I agreed with you! I keep telling you I am a socialist and our only disagreement was that I felt strongly against, out of a sense of propriety, Thatcher Death parties and maintain that Wilson closed more pits than she did and that Scargill was the real demon, mobilising public opinion against miners rather than for them.

    Personally, I think Adrian looks like Gerald Kaufmann and I would be very interested to hear what conclusion Lettice Leaf comes to while gardening about mercenaries; people like the Gurkhas, Afghani Interpreters and me, who offered their services for financial reward to countries other than their own.

    The US must be using thousands of Afghani Interpreters. What's their policy?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well I think I don't agree...if they are in danger...let them in... Am I right in thinking that these interpreters are civilians rather than professional soldiers?
    If so, perhaps we should be more sympathetic?

    However.... I. Do think the population on this little island is way beyond capacity....
    Borders should be controlled.... With a touch more common sense
    Hey ho

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pudding, your much-vaunted liberalism seems to be of the faux variety. That is, the nearer an issue hits home the less liberalism one exhibits. I'm just sayin'....



    ReplyDelete
  8. LETTICE LEAF Yes that genteel gets everywhere doesn't it? I'm always pulling it up. Ruddy stuff!
    HIPPO USA endorse "selective" re-homing but USA is a big country with plenty of spare room. England is packed. Maybe Scotland should receive them as an independence gift.
    EARL GRAY If the authorities build a nissan hut on your bosoms, you could probably accommodate a dozen interpreters and Aunt Gladys could bring them fresh scones every morning. The rest could be housed in Rhyl - they'd soon be on their way back!
    RHYMES I can't see any contradiction. It is a mistake to think that "liberalism" simply means "anything goes". And I'm just saying...how about re-homing 600 Afghani interpreters in Canton, Georgia? You could get two families in your garage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am against taking 600 of probably the best educated men and their families out of Afghanistan and leaving all the rest of the women to the mercy of backwards Muslim thugs, the same as the Russians did.

    ReplyDelete
  10. There just comes a time when a country (like, ours maybe!) has to begin to take care of the people that are here. If you think of it as your house, then how many permanent visitors can fit into your house? Visitors that you have to feed and cloth and work for? And educate and see to it that all of them have pocket money and good health care. And, should any of those visitors decide to have a baby.....well, that baby no longer belongs to the visitor. Those babies are yours.

    How come all the people in Iraq and Afganistan have free health care and free education paid for by the American tax payers? There are many American families that are going bankrupt and loosing everything they have because they get sick. Others just die for lack of health care. Our children leave college with $20 to $30 thousand dollars debt that they will never be able to pay off for years and years, if at all. Those same young adults are paying for the education of young adults in Iraq. It is just not fair.

    Please, tho, if you do send some of the Afgani people to the US, then definitely DO send them to Georgia!

    ReplyDelete
  11. We need to find it in our hearts to offer them refuge.

    Hippo, you may have been a tough nut once; however, whatever is in your past is done, over, finished. Look in the mirror when shaving, and celebrate the man you are today. I've seen the video and the good you are doing in the here and now, more than makes up for it.

    LLX

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is no room in my garage or my wallet for two Afghani families as each of us is required by the Obama administration (or soon will be) to feed, clothe, house, educate, and pay the medical expenses, including contraception, abortion, and, if necessary, euthanasia for several dozen of the 80,000,000 Hispanics already in this country, their children, and their grandchildren. My garage is full and my wallet is empty.

    ReplyDelete
  13. JAN BLAWAT You are right. If Afghanistan is ever to rebuild itself it will need all the cultured, intelligent citizens it can muster.
    MOUNTAIN THYME As usual you and I are in perfect agreement. So yes - I will send all Afghani asylum seekers to Georgia which Is I understand a very large asylum.
    LETTICE Perhaps we should find it in our hears NOT to offer them refuge and instead help them to build a new Afghanistan.
    RHYMES WITH... In order to help all those Hispanics and Latinos to assimilate, it would be helpful if WASPS and other white "host" Americans would dress in ponchos and sombreros. Also - re-grow the moustache of your early adulthood!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think the point you made is that we are FULL. It doesn't matter who anyone is, what their colour or creed is we have a tiny island and it's already full. There are not enough jobs, school or hospital places, the roads are gridlocked the trains are packed. It is a subject I am very worried about but feel powerless to do anything about. I love the diversity of other nationalities bring to our country but there is no space left.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.