Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Some Good News

It seems that in the age of gay marriage, European indecision, and a feeling of a lack of confidence in government, that there are very few things worth reporting about that can be regarded as good news. We gaze back at the time before 2008 with rose tinted glasses, moaning how the only good thing that has happened since was the Olympics, and that only lasted a few weeks.

However, the government has actually done something worth mentioning, and should be applauded for it. The nation has not exactly reacted with celebrations and bunting, but is at least one thing that we can look back on in the future and declare a success.

They have decided to grant visas to interpreters who worked for British forces in Afghanistan.

This may not seem like a big issue, and one that is really only a quirk of administration anyway, but it solves a problem that has been angering quite a few people for a while now, and provides resolution to a lot of families that we living in fear of their lives.

Before this decision, interpreters were told that when the British Army chose to leave they would remain, and that they would be given no more recognition that any other immigrant if they chose to come to Britain. Their service to Britain was seen as just another job, and one that did not warrant the ability to live in the country that many had died for.

Interpreters were seen as collaborators with occupation forces by many within the country, and, since they were unceremoniously discarded, they have been subject to abuse or even murder. The fact that they had served alongside British troops, and undoubtedly chosen to save the lives of our citizens, was something that was discarded along with the men themselves.

This is despite Iraqi interpreters being allowed to settle in Britain, which is especially strange when the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq are ingrained in parallel in the minds of the British people. These wars were fought at the same time, and a whole generation grew up hearing of the two nations that British soldiers were fighting in. Yet, when the time came to leave, it was decided that Afghan interpreters hadn’t the same rights as Iraqi ones.

The system just seemed a bit odd.

So, the decision to finally allow these interpreters the right to stay in our country is something that should be applauded. The government, despite not knowing how to do much else, has actually made a decision that is worth talking about, and worth remembering. It is a decision that has a real effect on the lives of people who really needed for this to happen.

It is one of the few good things that you could say this government has decided to do.

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