And as Operation Banner ends, so Operation Himalaya begins, as the Gurkhas are deployed in Norn Iron. No, not by the British Army, but by National Car Parks. NCP has had traffic wardening duties in our city outsourced to it since last year, and so is tasked with reducing the number of untaxed vehicles on the road, of which there are many in West Belfast. Trouble is, some parts of Belfast are no-go areas for wheel-clampers. Guess where they are? So, NCP have hit on the bright idea of deploying minders for the clampers, and have retained the services of Everest Security, which employs ex-Gurkhas as security men.
Given that the Andytown News is always banging on about how wonderfully multicultural and anti-racist West Belfast is, you would think the punters would be welcoming the Gurkhas with open arms. Not if the feedback on this morning’s Nolan was anything to go by. Concern was expressed about the big knives they carry, although this is only sensible given what the local hoods are like. And some bloke came up with an anti-imperialist reason why the Gurkhas shouldn’t come here, not even in a commercial capacity, because they had been involved in some massacres in India during the British Raj. Of course, any surviving Gurkhas from that period would by now be extremely elderly and unlikely to be involved in clamping cars in West Belfast.
Here’s a thought. If local people have a problem with the Gurkhas, why not deploy the Sikhs?