Monday 29 March 2010


You’d think that even a government as full of third raters as Labour in London would have “learned lessons” from the last time they were stupid enough to tangle with Joanna Lumley.

But no. Alas, one junior member of it was too thick to grasp that it was dangerous to so do, especially without checking facts, and clearing it with the PM. So he used parliamentary privilege to slander both Joanna and the company of solicitors that she was working with in the Gurkha campaign.

Kevan Jones (never heard of him but he is nonetheless another minister at the Department of Defence), giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee earlier this month said Ms Lumley and fellow campaigners had not done enough to explain to Gurkhas the new rules permitting any of them with more than four years' service to apply to settle in the UK.

There has been some criticism in the press of the way that some Gurkhas have been treated on arrival in the UK, but this can in no way be laid at the door of either Joanna, or the solicitors Howe and Co whom Jones also deprecated. It seems to me that the MoD, which is charged with co-ordinating this matter, is at fault for failing to ensure that veterans are put in touch with the service wel
fare organisations.

The hapless Jones criticised Ms Lumley’s silence on the matter; he said he found it irritating. However Joanna explained on radio this evening that she had agreed to work with Gordon Brown and Number 10 on the issue. She said: "Last year Gordon Brown took personal charge of the Gurkha issue. He asked us to deal with No 10 , out of the glare of publicity. We respected his request and kept our promise."

After putting up with weeks of rumours and then Jones’s remarks (made under parliamentary privilege), Ms Lumley, Howe & Co, and the Gurkha Justice Campaign called a press conference today at which Ms Lumley said she had come along “with a sense of regret, that we've had to come to this... clearing our names in public".

She said articles had appeared "which must have put doubt into the hearts of all the people who supported the Gurkha justice campaign". She urged the prime minister "to affirm that the policy is one that he still completely supports".

This afternoon Jones apologised to Ms Lumley for any offence his remarks had caused her, but he was unavailable for interview. Doubtless he was trying to extract a Nokia from his left nostril, aware that only the proximity of the election had saved his sorry ass from repositioning itself on the back benches.

Joanna confirmed that Brown had spoken with her on the phone after the press conference. He read out Jones’s apology and added one of his own and did indeed confirm his commitment to the policy.

Damned right. If these men are good enough to lay their lives on the line for the UK, the least we can do is see them settled here if that is what they wish.

Message to incoming government whoever they are. Don’t mess with JL. She’ll eat you for breakfast, and the British public will devour the leftovers.

Pictured: The truly Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley; the truely abolutely unfabulous Kevan Jones and the statue outside the MoD, London, to the Gurkhas

PS: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw said about Gurkhas: "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gurkha."


  1. Aren't they a despicable lot Tris the Brown cabal. Things are getting dirty in Scotland too. I see Murphy and Gray did a party video duet on tv earlier.

  2. Aye, ther'll be nae messin' wi' Joanna. Ah'm sure she wid agree tho wi' such a strong case ye cannae really go wrong. Nae competent government wants tae leave itsel exposed tae thae wee men fae Nepal. Thae huv a special place in oor hearts, an' ah for one could knit socks for them till ah run oot o' sheep, then ah suppose ah could rip doon some auld pullovers or unstuff ma settee. Whit then tho?

  3. SR: They are indeed despicable. This idiot thought he would get back at Lumley for making his colleague look like a numpty a few months ago, and of course managed to make himself look like a ....erm numpty. Duh!

    Of course when the man at the top is as near the bottom of the barrel as Bob Ain't Worth, what on earth do you expect from his minions? I wouldn’t leave him to make the tea.

    Ohhhhhhhh Murphy's back is he? Thinks it's safe to go back into the water because the great unwashed will have forgotten that he invited a very dubious looking Pope to visit Scotland. Might not be Benedict who comes on that visit Mr Murphy. So no point in practising “Guten Tag”, you might not need it.

    Anyway, if they are doing a double act I think I'd need two buckets to be sick in. I’d get wee Foulkes to join in, then we could all have a laugh!

  4. Ah'm sorry. Ah got masel intae quite a state there. Ah couldnae think whit ah wid dae when ah ran oot o' wool, but then ah minded ah cannae knit. Never could oan account o' ma fat fingers.

  5. OH dear... Did you think about using Ain't Worths wig Sophia? Thenm you could use his moustache....

    Yes, it shows a complete lack of understadning of the mood of the country that he would get himself entangled in trying to blacken JL's name. She's about 10,000,000 times more popular than he is.

    Never mind, once they start sitting on second class trains with the rest of us (even if they are over 6 ft tall), they may come into contact with "ordinary people" a little more.... and then they might find out.

  6. Oh dear... Well, send me the wool and I'll do it for you....

  7. Mind whit ye're lettin' yersel in fer there tris. They might be wee men but they've got awfy big feet. Ah know whit ye're thinking. Now behave yersel. It wis when ah wis still in the sisterhood durin' the war no that yin the yin before. Ah wis posted tae the far east an' had tae run the mobile chiropody hospital aw on ma ain. It wis hot work ah'll tell ye that, but ye got yer laughs.

  8. My goodness Sophia. Every day I learn something more. These wee fellas have big feet... who would have thunk it?

    Well maybe Brownlie or Bugger will help with the knitting.... and SubRosa is a cert!

  9. I remember Sophia, in a distant place a few light years from here at Uni, I was quietly sitting somewhere contemplating the Solar System, as you do from time to time and the infinity of the Universe too, when I noticed, written on the door of my cell,

    " My Mother made me a homosexual"

    I reflected deeply and thought about approaching someone in the Philosophy Department to find the true meaning on this.

    Suddenly there below I noticed some more script. Was is a reply and my answer?

    It was another note, in a different handwriting and colour

    " If I gave her the wool, cold she knit one for me?"

    Well Sophia, were you that Mother?

  10. You think that they would learn from all the blunders till now. But clearly not.

  11. Socks are probably easier Bugger.

  12. Munguin: You have to take your hat off to them for trying.

    "We'll get Lumley if its the last thing we do."... I mean it's not going to happen. Mainly becasue she's right, and they are wrong...but then lesser mortals would have given up long ago.

  13. tris,

    Interesting news about subrosa!!

  14. What's that Brownlie?