Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting It Wrong

There's something rotten about the way Britain works today.

On the one hand we havoce a Gurkha, Mr Tul Bahadur Pun, who fought for this nation and in the process earned our highest award for bravery, the Victoria Cross.

A London hospital refused to treat him for his heart condition, claiming he owed thousands of pounds in unpaid medical bills.

He was told he had no right to free care by a revenue enforcer at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Mr Pun, one of just 10 living VC holders in the UK, was close to tears and forced to leave after being told he also owed thousands of pounds because he had 'misled' the hospital over his immigration status.

The Gurkha, who lives on just £135 a week, was ejected this week on the anniversary of winning his VC in Burma on June 23 1944.

He had attended the Isleworth hospital's cardiology department for an urgent follow-up appointment and has been on lifesaving heart drugs for 10 months.

Now, compare his treatment with that of a radical cleric who has been described as Bin Laden's right hand man in Europe.

Abu Qatada is to receive almost £8,000 a year in benefits because he has a bad back.

The fanatical cleric, said to be Osama Bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe, will get £150 a week of taxpayer’s cash after being released from jail last week.

He is now living in an £800,000 four-bedroom Edwardian semi in a tree-lined street in West London.

His incapacity allowance will push the family’s total annual handouts to more than £50,000.

His wife has been claiming £45,000 a year in child benefit, income support, housing benefit and council tax credit for the past four years.

And while the heroic Gurkha is denied free medical treatment because of the type of visa he was given, Qatada is receiving his benefits despite the way he came here-

He arrived in Britain 14 years ago on a forged passport and was granted asylum the following year.

While Qatada entered the country illegally, Mr. Pun was granted a settlement visa last year after a long fight with the British government. Here legally and denied medical care- and yet the illegally settled Qatada is raking in £50,000 in benefits. So, there we have it- a heroic Gurkha who won the VC serving Britain is treated worse than a convicted terrorist intent on destroying Britain.

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