May 22nd, 2013

U-Turn Number 41

Last week a government source said in reference to Afghan interpreters: “What sort of message would it send if these people were bundled into the back of a Chinook and flown out of the country? It would say we don’t think there’s a future.” Phillip Hammond said on the record that he believed “Afghanistan has a future”. This morning the government announced that former Afghan interpreters will be granted asylum after all. At least the welcome u-turn came quick enough to avoid Joanna Lumley getting involved… 


  1. 1
    Prime Mentalist II Heir to Brown says:

    I am a great statesman and PM.

  2. 2
    Cunning Linguist says:

    There is more to this story than meets the eye. I know a number of Afghan interpreters: they were recruited from the UK in the first place.

  3. 3
    John Tandy says:

    One U turn i welcome. These Afghan guys who work alongside British troops are the bravest of the brave. Not only do they risk their own lives but those of their entire family. They deserve our protection. Now lets send back the 56000 other Afghan men who fled to this country to claim asylum instead of joining the Afghan army to fight for their country against the Taliban. Them we do not need in the UK !

  4. 4
    I Told You So says:

    Hammond flip-flops more than a Brazilian beach bum.

    Afghanistan still outlaws gay marriage though. I look forward to Tory loons and UKIP types who think the state should regulate marriage celebrating Kabul as the right kind of place.

  5. 5
    Cameron, yesterday's man says:

    I don’t think that most people would object, to these people coming over, that have helped us, are educated and probably will contribute something to society.

    It’s the millions of welfare scroungers, criminals and people willing to work for pennies that are causing massive wage deflation for the working classes, that most people object to.

  6. 6
    S-E Loon says:

    When Clegeron says that there’s plenty of lifeleft in this government I am reminded of the old Watney’s joke: What’s the difference between a pint of Red Barrel and a dead frog? …. There are more hops in a dead frog.

  7. 7
    A political decision that makes no sense says:

    600 interpreters and their “families” could be tens of thousands of people.

    And will they stop at interpreters?

  8. 8
    davidc says:

    from Gurkhas to Afghan interpretors what kind of politicians do we elect that feels they have no debt of honour to foreign nationals who have put their lives on the line in support of this country ?

  9. 9
    This STINKS says:

    So if the interpreters are not safe in their own country because of what the Taliban will do. Is this not an admission by the UK government that the Taliban have won and hundreds of British lives have been lost for nowt?

    And how come the interpreters are getting better terms and conditions than ex squaddies?

  10. 10
    C.O.Jones says:

    Only let them in if they speak english.

  11. 11
    Casual Observer says:

    Any local who agrees to be an interpreter for foreign troops has a death wish — especially if the latter are there because of the political posing by the likes of Bliar, Dubya, and Camercnut.

  12. 12
    Political expediency says:

    Think you will find that a lot of people do object. There is something not quite right here.

    Are these interpreters in any more danger than the Afghan police and Afghan army and Afghan politicians and afghan officials who also work alongside the British army.

    At face value this decision seems reasonable but look deeper and it does not hold water

  13. 13
    Crispin Heath says:

    if only we could deport all of those who oppose gay marriage to Afghanistan in their place

  14. 14
    Scuttlers says:

    The British army cuts and runs on another shameful retreat. Booted out of Basra, now it can’t get the job done in Afghanistan, humiliated by the rag-tag “Taliban” army.

    Do the army vehicles have those “BEEP This vehicle is retreating BEEP” warnings?

  15. 15
    I hate Hugh Grant cos he's a moron says:

    So was it Hammond who was prepared to put them & their families lives at risk just to prove point. If so shame on him

  16. 16
    Bob Ingalong says:

    Is it because they is Foreign?

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    The answer must be that this government values them more.

  18. 18
    M­aq­bo­ul says:

    Could we not send 600 Bristish chavs over to Kabul for a bit of work experience? There they will find what it means not to have a job. There they will discover “real” poverty and there they will discover how the local people and the authorities deal with anti-social behaviour.

  19. 19
    UKIP Official Policy says:

    It doesn’t matter what they’ve done, they’re not coming here.

    And while we’re at it we think the armed forces should be expanded, paid for by a flat tax or an EU rebate or something. We’ll work it out in time for the election

  20. 20
    SP4 BS says:

    I hope thats a joke, but fear its too subtle.

  21. 21
    M­aq­bo­ul says:

    There is no fucking future for Afghanistan. Who are we trying to kid?

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    If they were legally resident in the UK and were recruited here to go to Afganistan as interpreters why would they not have the right o return here in any event. This does not make sense. Had they been granted asylum and if so the suggestion remains that the deaths of Brits and others in the Afganistan war have not achieved the supposed objective of making the place stable, free and, if not democratic, at least based on the rule of law.

  23. 23
    The Facts says:

    Except UKIP were the very first party to say that they must come.

  24. 24
    One less loon says:

    It turns out the man who killed himself inside Notre Dame cathedral yesterday was a far right historian who posted on his blog just hours before that he vehemently opposed the legalisation of gay marriage. If any of you homophobes are similarly aggrieved, feel free to follow his example.

  25. 25
    Diversity Now ! says:

    They may have some value, but are we getting what the US didn’t want or did the US not take any ?

  26. 26
    UKIP Official Policy says:

    In Godfrey Bloom we trust

  27. 27
    Living in 97.1% white Merseyside says:

    I’m sure the interpreters will be grateful – for about 6 months!

  28. 28
    Eleanor Jackson says:

    We should ban British people as they may offend Muslims. We should rename this country the Islamic Republic of Allah, as the names Great Britain or United Kingdom symbolise colonialism and empire.

  29. 29
    Living in 97.1% white Merseyside says:

    Not in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral please.

  30. 30
    No such thing as society says:

    I was wondering if there’s any chance of being able to be bundled into the back of chinook and flown to another country as this UK has absolutely no future.

  31. 31
    Troughing piggies says:

    No PMQs today. Are these lazy fuckers off on holiday again?

  32. 32
    Sir William Waad says:

    Obviously Afghanistan has a future but it may be much the same as its past. Still, I would rather have the front line in Kandahar than nearer home.

  33. 33
    When it looks bad, lie says:

    Of course not, it will be anyone who can claim their lives may be in danger, because they once were in the same village as one of our patrols, or some such garbage.

    Like Labour before them and their claim that ‘5,000’ Pole’s at most would come here, this bunch of liars are ‘reducing to the ridiculous’ numbers, so the low information crowd, can be lulled back to sleep.

  34. 34
    Sir William Waad says:

    It’s nice to know that you have respect for people you disagree with; such consideration is the basis for a civil society.

  35. 35
    Tower Hamlets says:

    Afghan interpreter after living here for just one week:

    “Fucksing hell! I cames here to getting away from muslims! But you’re full of them! I’m goings to Norway!”

  36. 36
    SP4 BS says:

    Messy invasion every 30 years or so by one the great powers of the day.

    China in 2040?

  37. 37
    Living in 97.1% white Merseyside says:

    They can always let off steam by joining in an “I*slamic Rage” demo.

  38. 38
    albacore says:

    With the changes in the U K’s population
    How fanciful would be an extrapolation
    That English interpreters will be in demand
    Before you can say “Jack Robinson” – in England?

  39. 39
    Yet another Llabour FAIL backed by Cameron says:

    So HMG admit the war in Afghanistan was a complete failure and the Taliban will take over again once the troops pull out.

    How many British soldiers have lost their lives for nothing, absolutely nothing?

  40. 40
    One less loon says:

    Maybe your ire should be directed at the demented old twat who thought it appropriate to put a shotgun in his mouth and blow his head off in front of 1,500 people inside the cathedral.

  41. 41
    Living in 99.5% white Merseyside says:

    Use the Mersey Funnel.

  42. 42
    SP4 BS says:

    But presumably you’d be less concerned if it was the wigwam, or one in another city, manchester for eample.

  43. 43
    Why are homosexuals agressive? says:

    Opposing Homosexual marriage has nothing to do with homophobia.

    Marriage is the union of one man and one woman..end of.

  44. 44
    When it looks bad, lie says:

    The lot they are importing from M**l*m countries, fully support gay marriage and their I*m*m’s have confirmed they will support, from the neck, any gay who asks to be married in their M*5que.

    Dave ‘stand taller’ Cameraman, can see no future problem with this.

  45. 45
    Swivel Gove says:

    This all arises because of the shameful failure of language teaching in this country- I will be institiuting compulsory Afghan lingo lessons immediately so we can send out our own British interpreters, not hire local ones who then want to come here- consider it sorted, I’m on the case

  46. 46
    Sir William Waad says:

    If he was demented, we should feel pity rather than anger.

  47. 47
    When it looks bad, lie says:

    What rule of law would that be? Shar1a? Hmmm, some progress.

  48. 48
    Mission Accomplished(Is it ****....!!!!!) says:

    It is another failure just like Iraq….we left Basra with our “tails between our legs” booted out by the militias whatever the government spin was. In tyhe end we were just hunkered down as the militias bombarded our men non-stop

    We went in to Afghanistan initially as a police action(remember that one ?) to burn the poppy crops to stop the heroin trade and were told by Labour that “our boys” would be out in 6 months without a shot fired in anger….in the most dangerous hell hole in Afghanistan…Helmand……we were told that we were initially bringing education to the population especially women next we were bringing democracy and then that we were protecting the streets of the UK by our action….wrong on all counts…the danger was from our own….7/7 to name the most infamous.

    The fact is that within 6 months of ISAF exiting Afghanistan the Taliban will be back in control and Karzai Goverment booted out.

    The past 10 years have been a monumental failure for British Foreign policy tagging along on the coat tails of the USA and it gives me no pleasure to say so the cost in the blood our our young people serving in the armed forces as been for nothing.

    It appears that we learnt nothing as we then intervened in Libya(thankfully no ground troops)and look HOW well that’s turned out.

    We are now proposing to get involved in some fashion in Syria.. yet .another monumental Foreign Office stupidity.

    None…none of these actions has kept us any the safer here in the UK..

  49. 49
    SP4 BS says:

    Well, no.
    You actually suggest that other “homophobes” should kill themselves.

    I suppose we should be glad that is all that an ex member of the OAS has done. Compared to what some of got up to (or what he could have done), its not unpleasant at all.

  50. 50
    C.O.Jones says:

    They were sacrificed by politicians that spun us the idea that they knew best and they were going to use our armed forces in a foreign land to prevent terrorism at home.

    Well how do you feel now Tony Blair? When the father of that dead soldier refused to shake your hand because he said “you have blood on your hands” he was 100% right.

    Fucking low life politicians! They should never have put our armed forces there in the first place.

  51. 51
    When it looks bad, lie says:


    The UK Independence Party’s position on this issue may be stated simply: while UKIP fully supports the concept of civil partnerships, it opposes the move to legislate for same-sex marriage.

  52. 52
    Last Chopper Our of Saigon says:

    The rest will be having it up the arse from Ho Chi Minh

  53. 53
    SP4 BS says:

    “end of” … magic that makes you right?

    I’ve said before I don’t really give a shit about gay marriage.
    If anyone gets worked up about it, I can’t actually see the rationality about it. but then that could be “traditionalmarriageophilia”, but then, half the relationships in the western, modern world would piss you of no end.

  54. 54
    When it looks bad, lie says:


    1. UKIP calls for an end to the age of mass, uncontrolled immigration. Since 1997 immigration has added almost four million new people to the British population; this figure does not include illegal immigrants, the exact number of which is unknown but is probably at least one million and possibly much higher

  55. 55
    Brigadier Ritchie Hook says:

    All too true I’m afraid, did 3 tours of Afghanistan and the mission creep on each one was only matched by our inability to deliver on the objectives. Labour and Conservatives should hang their heads in shame. The Army is in no shape for any kind of major action in Syria. We have some very good kit, tactics and above all soldiers who have got fantastic light infantry skills, but the issue would be the same you would never know who your enemy is.

  56. 56
    Point of Information says:

    Herr Schultz is a fascist.

  57. 57
    David Cameron, spanking the monkey for Britain says:

    How do you say: Vote UKIP in Afghan ?

  58. 58
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    This country should be proud of the quality and leadership of it’s MP’s especially those in the coalition. Boaz.

  59. 59
    Point of Information says:

    The Afghan conflict was a NATO Article 5 response to 9/11.

    The mission objective was to destroy the government which was being held responsible. The failed attempt at nation building was never in scope but simply a propaganda to keep public opinion on side.

    Seeing as the Taliban are still controlling large parts of the country and likely will kick Karzai out when the NATO forces are out, it is safe to say that this part of the mission objective has failed.

    However, they are unlikely to attack the US again, aren’t they.

    But, on a positive note, it will be harder to scapegoat Afghanistan for a generation or so.

    The soldiers who died did not die for nothing in Afghanistan as per mission objective and rational for going in.

    The question for history is whether NATO was manipulated into staying longer in Afghanistan, and possibly entering in the first place by certain corporate interests in the defense and energy industries.

    The political handling of this in the US and UK was lamentable, but assuming the pretext (9/11) was a bona fide attack by terrorists who the Afghan government allowed to shelter within their borders, then the NATO decision was right.

    Separating the muddied water with !raq is important for the public at large, and also in determining whether lives of British armed forces were lost unnecessarily. Also important for determining success metrics.

  60. 60
    Nelson's Eye says:

    If wasn’t for hetrosexuals there wouldn’t be any homosexuals!

  61. 61
    Penfold says:

    So, our translaters will have a future, not in Afghan, but somewhere in the Midlands, which at least means they will stay alive, unless the local jihadi’s get them.

  62. 62
    Brave New World says:

    No longer true and less so as time goes on. We face a future where children are produced by a range of technologies that break the ‘natural’ biological parental bonds. Where our culture differs from those of the past (ancient Rome for example had a very liberal attitude to adoption giving the priority to legal inheritance over biological) is the alignment with parenting and sexual orientation. In the past for both technological and cultural reasons this was not the case. Now gay and lesbian couples can have children with all the normal parental rights.

    The long term implications are unknown they my be good, bad or just indifferent but I suspect this is part of the reason for people getting upset over gay marriage it in effect puts the final confirmation on this change. I for one think in the long term it will make little difference other than paradoxically undermine marriage as an institution that anyone bothers with but that is an opinion.

  63. 63
    Al abawd says:

    The 10 o’clock overnighter leaves from LHR at 23.30. ETA Kabul is 06.30 local time. Lots of space still.

  64. 64
    Matilda says:

    Perhaps we should put Brenda in charge of her own troops then?

  65. 65
    Hot Coals says:

    We all know who the enemy is. It is the political elite who control the purse strings. They love to strut on the world stage, abhor the Armed Forces whilst paying lip service to their bravery and commitment and refuse them money, support and respect.

  66. 66
    Cynic says:

    “It would say we don’t think there’s a future.”

    …….but that is the problem…..there is no future

    Thsi was a huge adventure with no clear policy goals, no exit plan an d no real hope of success. How the hell we deluded outrselves into getting involved will be the subject fo PhDs for years to come.

    A few facts:

    Afghanistan is a patchwork of warring tribes and clans. Theres no sense of real central authority.

    The only real channel of power is bribes paid from the central to Tribal Leaders. Once that stops so does the Government’s writ

    The OECD rate it as the most criminal and most corrupt country in the world – something like 65% of GDP is organised crime. mostly drug smuggling. A high % of this is managed by the ruling clan and the President himself has been linked to a number of bungs – as well as being seen as the US’s bought poodle

    This is what the military call a cluster fuck of a county. Get our Troops and the interpreters out as quickly as we can.

  67. 67
    Nelson's Eye says:

    You are missing the point . Whatever the techniques used, heterosexual reproduction ( the fusing of a male sperm and a female ova) is still the primary method to reproduce the human species. Cloning is in the future. Humans are biologically a heterosexual species and homosexuality is one of the range of behavioural expressions in the species.

  68. 68
    MMM says:

    Sadly true.

  69. 69
    Old Blind Pugh says:

    John the trouble with Cam & Co is they persist insist on changing gear without depressing the clutch no matter how fast they are travelling

  70. 70
    Loon-a-tick says:

    The British Empire at its height, The Russians and now the “coalition” of forces: none has been able to subdue the North West Frontier.
    Lessons of history ignored.

  71. 71
    Airey Belvoir says:

    There have been too many awful circular situations where our troops are based somewhere to protect,say, a road, which only needs protecting because our troops are there protecting it. Crazy, and too often,tragic.

  72. 72
    gertcha says:

    It’s the future of South London you need to worry about mate. That’s where the front line is now.

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