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Badger and the farewell to arms

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guybadgerHELLO readers! Last week Badger chilled your spines and tickled your funny bones (he hopes) with the tale of the legendary lost testicles of Pembrokeshire County Council. Today is, however, a solemn day. Today, October 31, is the day that the County Council bids a fond ‘adieu” to the much-loved and respected foul-mouthed bully, Bryn Parry-Jones. Badger will miss Bryn, too, readers. As the punchline to the longest running joke in Pembrokeshire, Bryn (or as Badger likes to think of him, ‘The Brynster’) was a major contributor to Badger’s oeuvre over the last sixteen months.

And after this All Hallow’s Eve, Bryn will be no more the gag of last resort. Fear not, however, Badger is not overly concerned: He is sure the activities of the IPPG’s own Secret Squirrel, Rob Summons, will provide him with plenty of material as he scurries around attempting to plug the leaks in the IPPG ship of state. Poor PC Summons, readers! As he desperately prowls the ether, spying on the IPPG’s ‘enemies’, his adventures into Facebook and the blogosphere will reveal that the regard in which he and his fellow IPPG toadies are held is even lower than even he might have suspected. An online poll on Facebook discovered that not a single IPPG member attracted a single public vote to be leader of the Council. East Williamston’s fearless blogonaut, Jacob Williams, came second in the poll. While that evil so and so Mike Stoddart also featured strongly.

One can only hope that the Burton representative’s bearing of bad news to Jamie Adams is met with more understanding than his counterpart’s in V for Vendetta. But how, Badger wonders, how will we commemorate Bryn? In the past, readers, rulers erected massive monuments to themselves to celebrate their lives and triumphs. One only has to look at the city of Rome – choc-a-bloc with monuments to emperors famous, notorious and obscure – for evidence of even the least distinguished leader’s desperate quest for monumentality. Nero built his golden palace, Trajan his column and Augustus (probably the greatest butcher of them all) built a monument to peace.

Now, readers, it is certain that the former Chief Executive of Pembrokeshire County Council exercised more untrammelled power than even the mighty Constantine the Great, but one would hesitate to put the scale of his achievements as on a par with even Otho of the Roman emperors. The giant golden statue astride a marble horse opposite County Hall is surely a non-starter. Still less likely is the eternal flame to be situated atop the homage to the Brandenburg Gate planned for the entrance to Fishguard Harbour. Perhaps even a memorial hot dog stand might be pitching it a little high, readers. Of course, the relevance of even the most splendid work of art fades from the memory.

The Mona Lisa’s position as the wife of a long-forgotten Florentine cloth merchant is not what makes her portrait famous. In a recent visit to mid-Wales, Badger visited the Welsh Museum of Modern Art. There, he realised that content without context can denude even the most striking painting or sculpture of meaning and significance. Just sticking a label on a daub and expecting it to resonate with its viewer is not enough. And so readers, Badger rejects the idea of a monument celebrating the sparse achievements and many flaws and failures of Bryn Parry- Jones.

There is a sense, after all readers that our reluctance to vote in local elections; our reluctance to stand as candidates; our reluctance to hold to account the ‘good old boys’ and ‘good old girls’ who treat their wards as fiefdoms, led to a situation in which Bryn could hold sway over our biddable, obedient and wilfully ignorant representatives. And through them over us. That must not happen again, readers. Badger hopes that there will never again be a situation where almost a quarter of councillors are elected because nobody else wants to get ten signatures and put themselves forward. Badger has an idea, readers. Badger has mentioned the way in which art and monuments change their meanings as time passes. The same applies to festivals. When Badger was younger, it was ‘Guy Fawkes Night’.

Every year, thousands – if not tens of thousands – of effigies are burned on a pyre. Among the general population, who remembers that it is an anti-Catholic festival? We annually incinerate representations of Guy Fawkes – the would be slaughterer of a king, the Lords and Commons assembled and a large number of Londoners – to ensure we never forget the threat to Britain posed by those of a Roman Catholic persuasion. Nobody thinks of anti-Catholic sentiment as they eat their burger and watch several hundred pounds worth of pyrotechnics streak into the night sky, a –fizzing and a-banging. Or if they do, they are a member of one of those little tin tabernacle churches which are the last redoubt of religious bigots.

So, readers: Combining the horror of Halloween and the explosive bangs and whizzes of Bonfire Night, we could have Bryn Night! Across Pembrokeshire, communities would banish the ghastly shades of Parry- Jones and his sinister little h e l p e r s H a l l a n d Lewis, to remind each other never to let such as he happen again. To add a little extra spice to the occasion a model of a Porsche Panamera could be ceremonially burnt atop a pyre made up of the electoral literature of IPPG councillors. Have a happy Bryn Night and remember, r e m e m b e r , readers!

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Health

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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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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