I’ve blogged a few times about the fantastic campaigning done by Dan Hardie and others to highlight the dangers faced by Iraqis who had worked with our armed forces in Iraq. I sponsored a meeting in Parliament in 2007 and wrote about it:
Mark and Andrew both gave eye witness accounts of what is going on in Iraq and how those who helped us by translating or other service now are being hunted down and killed. It was graphic, appalling and compelling.
These horrors made the mealy-mouthed, half-arsed announcement by G Brown yesterday to allow those who worked for us for more than 12 months some financial (very low) package to resettle and under agreed circumstances admittance to the UK look completely inadequate.
To me, I longed for Gordon just to say what needed to be said – we have a moral responsibility towards you and you are welcome in our country. That’s what Denmark did. In fact Denmark recognising the danger in which their employees now were – flew them and their families out.
Whatever you think of the Iraq war (and I opposed it) – we should look after those we employed. But even the limited amount the Government was willing to do is now coming to an end. As today’s Times puts it,
The Government has been accused of deserting former Iraqi interpreters who risked their lives for Britain, after announcing that it would close its assistance scheme in a fortnight.
Britain’s treatment of the Iraqis was compared last night with that of the Gurkhas as it emerged that scores of families are still living in fear of being murdered by militias who accuse them of collaborating with the enemy.
MPs from all three parties have described the assistance scheme as deliberately restrictive and called for a review…
Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat MP, said: “There are going to be people still in danger. The enemy is still out there. It is mean-spirited.”