Friday, 27 February 2009

Spill the beans

Have you ever done anything embarrassing which you’d rather cover up? Of course you have! Maybe it’s crashing your dad’s car? Or spilling red wine on your mate’s white carpet? Or invading Iraq? If that last one applies to you, then you’ve been a top ranking “Cabinet” Minister. We learned this week that the Cabinet spent heated hours arguing over whether to invade or not. Can we see the details please? No way, Jose! Justice Minister Jumpin’ Jack Straw has put the mockers on public disclosure of the “Cabinet Minutes” – a record of what actually happened at the meetings. Wow! What a handy wheeze. Imagine if you could do that at home. When your mum says: “Hey, did you eat all that nice pie I was saving for Sunday lunch?” all you’d have to say is: “I’m sorry mum, I can’t answer your question for reasons of national security.” Or when yer other ’alf gets nosey ’cos she suspects you’ve been boozing with your dodgy mates, you’d simply reply: “Sorry darling, whether I’ve been to the pub with those individuals is an Official Secret . . . hic!” It’s time to come clean on the Cabinet chatter—or to admit it’s all too embarrassing and they’re very sorry. Otherwise, they might as well say: “I’d like to tell you why we invaded Iraq but unfortunately the dog ate the Cabinet Minutes.”
FAST on the heels of Slumdog Millionaire’s triumph, the Indian government has announced a grand plan for even more national glory. They’re planning to launch their first “Indo-nauts” into space. Meanwhile, pity poor Great Britain. We’ve as much chance of starting a manned space programme as you have of flying to Ibiza using a V-shaped stick and some knicker elastic. So, once again, while we languish on terra firma gazing idly at the moon, here’s another country putting its Rupees where its rockets are and reaching for the stars. I say good luck to these Mumbai Moonrakers! It’s about time more countries competed in the space race with the only three nations to send people up there already— America, China and Russia. At least this means by the time we British finally get to the moon, we won’t have to take any sandwiches. There’ll already be a McDonalds, a Chinese, an Indian, and a Smirnoff distillery!
Sympathy for the Camerons
THERE was desperately sad news for the Camerons this week, when David’s severely disabled son Ivan passed away. Despite his son’s great difficulties, David Cameron never played on his son’s problems. In one of the most touching moments I’ve ever seen in the Commons, Gordon Brown cancelled Prime Minister’s Questions as a mark of respect. No doubt remembering the loss of his own baby. he was close to tears as he offered his condolences. There’s nothing anyone can say to bring Ivan back, nor to lessen the hardship of the news. Any parent who’s lost a child will know how it feels. But I know I speak for all Sport readers in offering heartfelt condolences to David and his family. Today, he’s not a politician, he’s a bereaved father. Let’s sympathise with his pain— and respect his privacy.

MY bubbly buddy Nicole Shamier (we’re just good friends, by the way) spends evenings in watching BBC’s Panorama while I’m busy researching stories for the Daily Sport out with my chums Gemma and Ashlea Massey. This week Nicole tells me business guru and Dragon, Theo Paphitis, reported that some high street chains are not paying suppliers for weeks, even months. This is irresponsible and selfish. But the government’s ideas are no more sane. They want to “partly privatise” the Royal Mail due to its pension shortfall while virtually nationalising debt-laden banks. But just think . . . if my delightful friend Gemma cocked up her pension contributions, then should she privatise herself? And if her lovely sister Ashlea was in debt, should she be nationalised? NEVER! In my book, these lovely ladies will always belong in the
bosom of the Sport.

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