On Wednesday 17 December the Guardian declared that Gordon Brown has announced that "Britain's six-year occupation of southern Iraq will end by the summer".
The article went on to say "A joint statement by the prime minister and his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki, said: "The role played by the UK combat forces is drawing to a close. These forces will have completed their task in the first half of 2009 and will then leave Iraq".
That will explain why a 'Friend' telephoned this evening to say that he and his opos have been told that they should immediately prepare for another six month tour. He added, "We'll still be there next Preston Guild". He should know...