There is a restaurant in Hampshire, I am told, that boasts a notice in the window ‘All meals half price to Gurkhas and free to Joanna Lumley.'
I suppose that more or less sums up the mood of the nation at present.
To be in favour of easier immigration is rarely a popular clarion call so it is rather typical of this government to be willing to fight in the last ditch (something the Gurkhas have done actually for this country rather than metaphorically) on one of those rare occasions where both public opinion and fairness are united in favour of clemency and leniency in our immigration stance.
Unfortunately for the hapless minister (Philip Woolas) despatched to defend this harsh policy and tour the media studios to sell it, along came Joanna Lumley. The government policy which flew so magnificently in the face of British fair play was something the wonderful Joanna was not prepared to tolerate.. With a combination of bulldozing charm and looks that would have frozen rampaging bulls at a hundred paces she reduced Mr. Philip Woolas to putty in her hands.
There was only going to be one winner-- Joanna. Well actually sixty million plus winners -- the Gurkhas and everyone in the country too. We are fortunate she was there to save the reputation of the country for decency and equity.