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Ross Kemp in Afghanistan.

Ross Kemp in Afghanistan

Ross Kemp in Afghanistan

The actor Ross Kemp in a series of TV programmes aired on Sky1 channel was recently in Afghanistan, filming British and Afghan security forces in action in Helmand province in the district of Musah Qualeh, against the Taliban, bullets zinging everywhere, duck incoming RPG. He has made a superb series of programmes outlining the day to day life of soldiers in The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5 Scots Royal Highland Fusiliers 2 Scots and 45 Commando Royal Marines. This was for him a very risky task as he risked his own life being involved in firefights with the Taliban. His varoious interviews and discussions with the troops were very informative.

His relaxed style of talking to soldiers and witnessing their courage indicates they are very commited and professional in their duties. The moments when soldiers talked of the war and why they are there outlined they knew what it was about and makes a stark contrast to the journalists tied to their desks in London, who are constantly spreading defeatist talk and negative reports. These soldiers put their lives on the line every day and they are supported by local Afghan police. One reads a lot of depressing reports about the Afghan police; well maybe there are bad apples but the ones that Ross Kemp interviewed was illuminating, one Afghan policeman showed the scars of 13 bullet wounds, one can only wonder at his bravery. The same Afghan policeman revealed that most Taliban fighters are foreigners not Afghans.

Afghanistan. CIA map.

Afghanistan. CIA map.

This week in Episode 5, Ross Kemp visits soldiers who have lost limbs and are recovering from their injuries; visits Kabul to speak to the British Ambassador,Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Kemp then looks for local Kabul citizens to talk to and heads for Kajaki to visit 45 Commando Royal Marines and once again finds himself amongst zinging bullets, projectiles and dodging mines and IEDs. Sadly a Royal Marine was killed by an IED and we witness his colleagues at a memorial service for him.

It is remarkable that our young men and women in service in Afghanistan remain; courageous, determined and professional. The government however needs to do something improve pay and conditions for all our forces in combat; it’s fine ministers of state and the prime minister having photo shoots with the troops but clearly there is a case to answer and pay and conditions need to be substantially improved.

This has been an interesting TV series and Ross Kemp just like the soldiers he was with, risked his own life to get them filmed in action and at rest. The programmes are a stark contrast to diet of criticism we normally have on our news bulletins and from desk bound journalists.

I’m no fan of Murdoch’s owned Sky TV but in this case, Sky 1 TV and Ross Kemp did a marvellous service to the general public and to our troops and their allies and friends.

Well done Ross Kemp and well done 5 Scots ad 2 Scots, 45 Commando and all of your colleagues and allies.

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