There are so many conditions and get out clauses as to make Brown's statement yesterday close to worthless. Tim Worstall highlights the disingenuous nature of this supposed change in policy.
In addition, interpreters/translators and other Iraqi staff serving in similarly skilled or professional roles necessitating the regular use of written or spoken English, who formerly worked for HMG in Iraq, will be able to apply for assistance for themselves and their dependants provided that they satisfactorily completed a minimum of 12 months’ service, and they were in our employ on or after 1 January 2005.So if your life is in danger because of your association with HMG but you are unskilled or semi-skilled and don't speak English, the Brown government doesn't care if you die.
Or perhaps they think this is what's happening in Iraq:
Madhi Army militiaman: You are known to have worked with the occupiers. I've got my power drill ready. I just need to check a few details before I drill a hole in your skull.What is required is not difficult to understand. The government should offer asylum or a resettlement package to all Iraqis whose lives are at particular risk because they worked for HMG. The families of those at risk should likewise be protected. This needs to happen now. People are dying now.
Former employee of HGM: Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me...
Militiaman: Shut up, traitor. We know that you worked for the occupiers for more than twelve months. Do you deny this?
Former employee: No, but...
Militiaman: And we have heard you speaking English to the occupiers.
Former employee: Yes, but...
Militiaman: And we believe you worked for them in a skilled or professional role.
Former employee: No, that's not true. I worked in the laundry.
Militiaman: Oh, that changes everything. Sorry to have troubled you. Mind how you go ma'am...
Brown's pathetic attempt to present the façade that he's doing something while the government pulls out all the stops to do as little as possible makes me feel physically sick. Any faint hope I might have had that Brown would be an improvement over Blair is rapidly fading.