Democracy for Ghurkhas

Democracy for Ghurkhas

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Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.

-Winston Churchill

Ghurkha Rights to British Citizenship

The Ghurkhas have recently won one of their longest ever battles, the right to British Citizenship. It is expected that Tony Blair will shortly announce that they will hence forth be given the right to apply for British citizenship after leaving the army.

This accomplishment follows a lengthy campaign to win theses Nepalese soldiers the right to live in the UK and an 18 month review conducted by defence chiefs and officials from the Home and Foreign Office.

Whilst the Ghurkhas are comparatively pleased with this result, they are still not totally satisfied due to the cut off date which has been set as July 1st 1997, and means that no soldier discharged before this date is able to claim or even apply for Citizenship, and therefore around 25% of those remaining in the UK will be forced to return to Nepal.

When announcing these changes to the immigration policy, the Prime Minister will state that "The Ghurkhas have served this country with great skill, courage and dignity during some of the most testing times in our history. They have made an enormous contribution, not just to our armed forces, but to the life of this country and, it is important their commitment and sacrifice is recognised."

The time and money taken to reach this most valuable conclusion could have been saved were Britain not a democracy.

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As Britain is a democracy, certain formalities, concessions and channels of communication were required to operate in order to instigate these changes. If Britain had another form of government, this would not have been the case.

Were Britain still ruled by a sovereign than the decision would have taken far less time to have been made and so would have been far less expensive to the taxpayer. However this autocratic form of rule is flawed and ineffective due to the rule of the country lying in the hands of an individual who may not want what is best for the nation as a whole. Also, in this situation, the freedoms, rights and civil liberties of the individual are severely reduced.

If Britain were a Communist state then the decision would have been reached totally through public opinion, with little need for government opinion, which would have saved time and possibly caused less disruption. However, again the liberties experienced by many would be adversely affected through this system as it would advocate the redistribution of wealth in order to promote equality and remove competition which would also signify the end to a meritocratic society.

In other forms of government or in countries under different systems, the outcome may have been similar with the same positive and negative effects still applying. The system as a whole would not work or run as smoothly as it does in Britain.

Although democracy is far from perfect, it is the lesser of many evils, and so the best form of government for modern Britain.

Another, more amusing quote from Churchill was delivered on a drunken night:

Woman - You sir are drunk

Churchill - Yes, but I will be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly.

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