Letters September 15: Gurkhas still denied right to stay in UK

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From: David T Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

SO what exactly does the expression “freedom of the city” mean? I ask this question because this so-called ‘honour’ has been bestowed by the City of York upon some 40 Gurkhas in the Queen’s Gurkha Signals Regiment (The Yorkshire Post, September 9).

I would like to think that it means that this group of soldiers, members of a military tradition that has served this country well in conflicts for the last 200 years, would be allowed to take up permanent residence within the city if they so desired. Alas, I know that it does not mean this. In fact the Gurkhas have been told by successive governments that there is no place of residence for them in the UK. For some years now the actress Joanna Lumley has fought for the right of the Gurkhas to set up home here if they so desire, but to no avail.

There is a similar situation regarding the interpreters who served our soldiers so well in the Afghan war and whose lives are now at threat from the Taliban. They too have been refused the right to settle in the UK.

Who has the stronger claim for permanent residence here, the Gurkha and the interpreter, or the young men at Calais who daily attempt to illegally get into our country, and who know that once they set foot on British soil permanent residence is assured?

From: JG Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

HOW many Syrians would need to seek refuge within the EU before we could claim a mandate for annexing Syria?

From: Mr RM Downs, Main Street, Linton-On-Ouse, York.

FURTHER to the article by Lisa Doyle of the Refugee Council (The Yorkshire Post, August 27). I really do think that what UN Law states should be spelt out strongly to all asylum seekers and then they should be shipped back to the country next to the one from whence they came, providing it is free – and that country is certainly not Great Britain.

Another point that should be forceably made to these asylum seekers that this, our wonderful and free country didn’t get this way by citizens running away.

With the exception of the Plymouth Brethren who scuttled off to America, the citizens of this country over many years fought and killed each other for what they believed in. At the battle of Towton a third of the participants died.

We fought for our freedom and the battle still goes on, though not in blood, because people across the water, all 26 countries of them, wish to carry on limiting our hard fought for freedoms.

Running away never changed anything, they should stay in their own country and fight, as we have done over the years. Nothing will change until they do.

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, Goole.

PRIME Minister David Cameron was right to change his position on allowing UK.entry to Syrian refugees. However, such refugees must not displace indigenous Britons from local council housing waiting lists. Also, such refugees must not have preferential welfare benefit payments. Neither should the increased welfare benefit costs be used by the likes of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith as an excuse to further reduce welfare spending.

Local councils must be given additional financial resources to ensure the influx of refugees does not overstretch health, schooling and housing requirements. However, while welcoming the Prime Minister’s change of heart regarding accepting Syrian refugees into the UK, I strongly oppose his wish for Britain’s military to used to fight in Syria. This is because our political leaders never learn the lessons of history.

Military involvement by the UK and USA in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya proved disastrous. Far from stabilising these countries, the West’s military adventurism left them in chaos.

Revved up 
by bike noise

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

WHAT a miserable lot they are in Scarborough! I used to live within earshot of Brands Hatch and I didn’t find the occasional bit of engine noise in the least obtrusive.

I’d far rather hear the roar of racing motorcyclists on a proper circuit like Olivers Mount for a few days a year than endure the summer-long disruption inflicted upon other road users by the Lycra Lads – club and professional cyclists who seem to regard the public roads as some sort of free racetrack.

Instead of moaning, why don’t the complainers grab themselves a picnic and go and see the motorbikes? You never know, you might enjoy yourselves. Yes, I know that’s a novel concept, but with practice you will soon get the hang of it.

Fear was key to success

From: Dr Robert Heys, Bar Lane, Sowerby Bridge.

HOW the approach to education changes! Jayne Dowle (The Yorkshire Post, September 3) tells us that “beating fear is key to education success”.

In my experience, as a schoolboy during the Second World War in the heyday of corporal punishment, the converse was true and fear of beating was (not entirely without justification) considered the key to educational success.