River Wissey Lovell Fuller


June 2009

Ron has a view on the Gurgha saga,Whistleblowers amnd Beauty contests...


Did the Government really misjudge the public mood over the Gurkhas right to be domiciled in the UK? Or was it two slick politicians, in the form of Cameron and Clegg seizing an opportunity to make political capital, aided and abetted by celebrity Joanna Lumley, and the effect of their combined actions compounded by the press taking the opportunity to make mischief.

I am not a big fan of this Government but, in fairness, one has to admit that they have done more than any previous government for former Gurkha soldiers with a big increase in their pensions and allowing some the right to live in the UK.

What is wrong with Joanna Lumley and Co? These men are mercenaries, good mercenaries maybe, but mercenaries nonetheless. When they were engaged they knew the terms and those terms did not include the right to live in Britain. New terms for new recruits may be appropriate but there seems to be little justification for some retrospective arrangement. The Gurkhas have a pension that would enable them to retire in relative comfort in their own country where their experience of the wider world would be invaluable. Whilst I recognise their professionalism and appreciate the service that they give our country I can see no good reason for them staying in the UK.


Almost every instance of whistleblowing that I can remember has been a praiseworthy public service. Someone has told us all of something that we should know about that others were trying to cover up, but in almost every case the whistleblower has suffered.

Nurse Margaret Haywood helped the BBC to expose the unacceptable treatment of the elderly in some care homes. What did the Nursing and Midwifery Council do? Give her a commendation for her public spirited actions? No! What they did do was to strike her off the register and take away the right of a nurse with twenty years experience to work.

Somebody released all the data on MP's expense claims, of course the MPs were contrite but they then asked the police to investigate who it was that had blown the whistle. No doubt they will do their very best to wreak revenge on the culprit.

Presumably the motive behind penalising whistleblowers is to deter others.

Beauty Contests

Very recently there was a Miss University of London Beauty Pageant that was won by Susheel Bal. Predictably there were feminist protesters, a group of eight young women chained themselves together and waited for the police to arrest them. They said the pageant was 'degrading' and directed much of their criticism at the contestants, especially Ms Bal. One of the eight said to a TV reporter "Don't these girls know that they look so fake. They really need to take a look at their relationships". They implied that the contestants were being exploited by leering men. Ms Bal, who is reading law at King's College, rejected their views and their cheap insults. She explained that the event was for raising money for Cancer Research, she insisted that she was not exploited or oppressed and that she did not wear very revealing clothes for the contest . That beauty was not something to be ashamed of, neither does celebrating it undermine the work of feminists to obtain equal rights. She does not think that, in order to be equal with men, women must act like men. Rather than being oppressed by men she felt that the protesters were the oppressors by trying to limit her freedom. Finally, Ms Bal argued that the women should be protesting about feminist issues that really mattered, such as the case of Marnie Pearce, the British woman imprisoned for adultery, or the fact that, according to the UN, discrimination against women was increasing.

Personally, I was easily won over by Ms Bal's arguments. I suspect she will make a good lawyer.

Ron Watts


"The graveyards are full of men who were indispensable"

Georges Clemenceau French Statesman and Physician 1841 - 1929

Ron Watts

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