Friday, May 20, 2011

Croydon (V)

I noted Julia's post on the recent Tamil gang fighting in Croydon, and put it down as one more milestone on the road of diversity.

I forgot they've been at it since at least 2008 :

Gangs of violent men from Sri Lanka are "constantly tooled up" and "ready to go", according to police.There have been a number of violent clashes involving groups of Tamil men in Croydon and other parts of south London in recent years.

It's because of this sort of thing that I wasn't in the chorus of righties a few years back demanding that all the Gurkhas (and their families) be allowed in. Admittedly the Tamils of Sri Lanka have a violent recent history, whereas the violence of the Gurkhas has always been directed against the Queen's enemies. But it struck me that there were three objections to the idea :

a) do we want to recruit soldiers for whom the family immigration pass is the chief motivation?
b) is this not likely to impact upon Gurkha society back home, if the (hopefully - see (a)) bravest and best don't return to form a respected elder statesman class?
c) what's going to happen to their children and grandchildren, brought up in the culture of the UK? Will they retain both their fearsome warrior credentials and their dignified Nepalese culture, going straight into the forces as their fathers did? Or might they perhaps keep the warrior bit, but turn out like the children and grandchildren of those highly respectable people who got off the Empire Windrush, or those who arrived in the textile mills of the Pennines? The Gurkhas seemed OK to me just as they were, although there was always a case for upping the pensions.

I noted this killing a couple of years back :

Morden residents Rocky Gurung, 21, from Haig Place, and Kemik Thakali, 21, from Legion Court, both pleaded not guilty to murder during the trial last month but were found guilty of the manslaughter of the 23-year-old waiter.

During the trial, the court was told Bishal Gurung, who worked at the Sherpa Kitchen in Esher High Street, was chased along the Thames Embankment by a gang of 10 to 15 men including Rocky Gurung in the early hours of April 13, 2008, after being falsely accused of hitting Kemik Thakali with a bottle during a boat party to celebrate Nepalese new year.

He was kicked and beaten before being rolled into the Thames by Rocky Gurung and Thakali, the court was told.

Now I doubt that these people, though Nepalese, were the sons of Gurkhas. There's been no time for that. I just wonder what the streets of Aldershot, admittedly never the safest place to be out on the lash, are going to be like in twenty years time?

A town risks being 'overwhelmed' by Gurkhas and their families in the wake of the landmark decision to grant former servicemen the right to live in Britain, an MP says. Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, has made a plea to the prime minister for more funding to deal with an issue he said was of 'grave concern' in the area, following an influx of thousands of former soldiers and their families. The former shadow Defence Minister's letter to David Cameron, reported in, said: 'This has had a very significant impact over a very short period of time and it is now estimated that 10 per cent of the borough of Rushmoor’s population of approximately 90,000 is Nepalese.'