Thursday, 17 December 2009

A century of tears

THE UK’s ill-fated expedition in Afghanistan hit a grim milestone on Monday with the loss of our 100th soldier this year. Lance-Corporal Adam Drane, 23, died in a gun battle in Helmand Province. Total coalition deaths in 2009 are now approaching the five hundred mark, with hundreds more Afghani soldiers and civilians dead or missing. The Daily Sport, and millions of people, have said again and again that its time to bring our troops home. And we’ll carry on saying it until the government does just that. It’s clear now that military measures are not the way forward in Afghanistan. But government ministers, from the comfort of London, are continuing to send our people over to fight and die on the front line. One of the arguments they use to keep our troops there is that all the deaths will be in vain if we pull out. But I don’t think this is the case. Allied forces have made progress. It’s just time to switch to a political strategy and to talk to the Taliban instead of trying to bash them into submission. Our forces won’t be home by this Christmas – but I just hope this is the last festive season they have to endure this war that cannot be won… and that the new year brings with it a dose of commonsense— and withdrawal. One death is too many, but one hundred in a single year is just insane.
I BET a lot of you Daily Sport readers look forward to the regular feature Students Talk Sex every Friday. Well, in Parliament this week we’ve had our very own version. You see, some folk in the media got hold of a naughty sex guide that was apparently written by Speaker John Bercow during his uni days. The saucy article appeared in a Tory student paper back in 1986. It included top chat-up lines and ways to seduce various different women. When it came to light on Monday some people got all excited and started slating boisterous Bercow, saying it made him unfit to do his job. What a load of nonsense! The whole thing turned out to be a bit of a non-story because the article wasn’t even written by John! It was a joke ABOUT him, not BY him. I was in student politics at the same time and anyone who met the young Mister Bercow knew he was the last person who would write something like that. And even if he has written it, who cares? Everyone does some odd stuff when they’re younger and it shouldn’t affect their position later. People should chill-outand get off John’s case. Anyway, after this week’s events you can be sure we won’t be seeing a “Bercow special” of Students Talk Sex anytime soon.
THE Italian edition of Rolling Stone magazine has picked its “Rock Star of the Year” and the result was unexpected. Chosen for his maverick lifestyle and eye for the ladies, the prize went to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi! The magazine reckons that even the likes of Rod Stewart and Keith Richards in their prime weren’t a patch on silver-tongued Silvio. They’ve got a point, the billionaire big boss became famous for flings with sexy model Noemi Letizia and call girl Patrizia D’Addario. He also threw saucy hot tub parties with naked girls then shrugged it off as “nothing scandalous” when the press found out. Still — and perhaps most interestingly — Berlusconi has stayed popular in the polls. In fact, there’s a good chance his lifestyle may even be making him EXTRA appealing to younger voters. Maybe Gordon Brown should take a leaf out of his book and hit the town with Peach . What’s the worst that could happen? As well as winning the election, he might even win Loaded’s “Man of the Year!”
LAST week Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed the country’s financial situation. And basically,we’re poor. Very poor. In fact, we’re skint. Everything’s gone wrong economically for the last year or so and the Treasury has been throwing money at it to tryand stop a total collapse. It’s sort of worked, in the sense that the economy will probably start growing again in January. That’s good news if it happens,but we’re still left with a whopping bill of £1,400,000,000,000! There was a bit of good news. Apparently, tax will be less on new central heating systems and also you’ll pay a bit less to play Bingo. So, in the words of economic Guru Vince Cable MP, it’s “good news for bingo and boilers.” But for the rest of us, start saving…

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