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Badger and the Bells

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IT IS OFTEN said that one should not kick a man when he is down. Badger disagrees, readers: It seems to him that in the absence of a better opportunity, there is no better time to apply a touch of the boot. Of course, Jamie Adams isn’t down. Let’s face it, however, readers, if ever a man deserved a good shoeing it is him. And after last Thursday’s command performance. Badger is inclined to do just that. Badger wants to deal closely and with relish with the self-serving nature of Jamie Adams’ theatrical approach to council business. We start as we must, near the end. Watching the webadger84imagebcast of last Thursday’s council meeting was an interesting experience.

After what were apparently significant protests outside County Hall’s doors. Jamie Adams proposed a significant concession to guarantee the maintenance of secondary education in St Davit’s. Councillors were taken aback. It seemed as though Jamie had made policy if not on the hoof, then at the last minute. But no. readers. Not a bit of it. We turn to Cllr Ken Rowlands’ cominents at the end of the debate. Called because of his extensive teaching experience. Ken assured members that Jamie’s apparent change of heart was no last minute blink in the teeth of public protest No, readers. The Voice of Ken assured councillors and the watching public that those in the know had been discussing the matter for weeks and that the cognoscenti had determined to save Ysgol Dewi Sant. This was not “pulling a rabbit out of a hat”, as one councillor had opined, this was a sensible decision. We are, therefore, readers in a quandary. Ken must be telling the truth: Rather like George Washington, Ken is incapable of telling a lie.

Ask Sue Perkins about Ken’s bona fides. if you have any doubt on the matter. So, having got to near the conclusion of the debate with Ken telling everyone that this was not the !PPG chickening out when faced with probable defeat in the chamber and opprobrium everywhere, we need to pause and rewind back to the debate’s beginning. Jamie Adams is rather fond of laying about himself with casual smears and innuendos. Councillors should not. said Jamie. jump on the education bandwagon to score political points. Goodness knows who he meant. because when he was asked point blank by elk. Jacob Williams who he meant he was too embarrassed to answer. And embarrassed is precisely what he should have been. Badger has commented before about Cllr Adams awkward relationship with the English language and the meaning of words.

While he gives every impression of having carefully prepared on his brief. Badger suspects that the Leader is less aware of his words than he might be. Taking the voice of Kcn at his word, it is the Council Leader who was ‘playing politics’ and in a pretty hypocritical and pathetic way. to boot. Badger has had a look at the minutes of Cabinet, the minutes of committees. the public record. Nowhere is there any sign of the IPPG reconsidering its approach to schools reorganisation before Jamie Adams made his announcement at last week’s extraordinary meeting. In fact, if Ken’s words were true. it beggars belief that the Council’s monitoring flunkey had to scurry out of the meeting to Xerox sufficient copies of it to hand round to
councillors.

In those circumstances, readers, we am faced with what has to be one of the most appalling choices a human being has to make. Do you believe Ken? Or was JamieAdams hypocritically playing politics with education? After all, what on earth prevented Jamie from telling councillors the night before the meeting that unknown members meeting in secret had determined an alternative policy that flew in the face of officers’ advice? What on earth possessed Jamie to call an extraordinary council meeting to debate a policy which he must have known — if we believe Ken — was not going to go forward’?

Why whip up a storm of protest that attracted 300 people to the doors of County Hall and then mollify them? If what Ken said is true (and why would we doubt itt) there was no need for any of the above, other than a meeting to debate the policy proposal subsequently advanced. Badger has a suggestion: Watching the webcast at the time. Badger was struck by how keen the Leader was to demonstrate that Pembrokeshire was a ‘member-led’ authority and that this U-turn on Ysgol Dewi Sam was evidence of the same. It is possible the fact that senior officers have played the system and manipulated the council’s policies and procedures for years to suit themselves and their bulging. overpaid wallets for years, has finally penetrated the bullet skull containing the leader’s brain.

What better way, what more public forum, would there be to nail that canard? It is possible that Jamie Adams’ speech was no more than his way of  saying: “I’ve got no strings to hold me up. Look at me, I’m a real boy.” For the life of him, Badger can’t remember where that sentiment originates. What better way to demonstrate his political acumen, to show that Jamie is a man of the people, than by doing that which he claims others have done? Play politics with children’s education. Hypocrite is such an ugly word. Badger invites you, readers, to pick your own, shorter alternative. Harold Macmillan was described. not entirely kindly, as ‘the great actor! manager’.

Pulling the occasional funny face is the best the leader can do when following that less than grand tradition. It is possible. readers, that Badger is being unfair. That discussions had taken place over weeks about the approach to adopt. But even then, that does not get Jamie off the hook of the hypocrisy and cant he is so quick to detect in others. It is possible that Ken’s words were ill-chosen and that the IPPG leadership decided on a change of tack late in the day. But that would impugn Clir Rowlands’ credibility. Or perhaps the prospect of humiliating defeat in the chamber last Thursday and the prospect of electoral Gotterdammerung in 2016, rang alarm bells — or possibly cathedral ones — in Jamie’s brain. It is possible that Jamie backed down at the sound of those bells, afraid to ask for whom they were tolling. Badger has a hot tip for his favourite former yoghurt salesman. They toll for thee. Jamie. They toll for thee.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements

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PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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