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Nothing on the telly



badgertellyLAST Saturday evening, Badger was sitting in his sett putting up his paws after a hard day making worm and grub chutney. Badger flicked across the channels looking for something to divert his poor, fatigued brain. There was nothing on Badger’s favourite channels and somewhere along the way he must have got lost in the maze of broadcasters with names like 5+24+1 (yes, Jamie, that makes 30. Have a green star for effort), because all at once he found the Eurovision song contest. Now, Badger hasn’t seen that particular televisual oddity since Ken Rowlands was last a loyal member of the Labour Party.

Yes, readers: THAT long! Hasn’t Eurovision changed? Whatever happened to bell bottoms? Where were the middle-aged men and women shoe-homed into too tight costumes like so many Day-Glo polyester wrapped sausages? Where was the obligatory song that sort of went oom-pah, oom-pah, oom-pah-pah? And where was the country that always used to do quite well, the one called Whyommonnyee deece pwants? It had all become a bit flashy and sparkly. Never has so much confetti been expended, not even at a royal wedding. The light show was dazzling and some of the performances were, frankly, startling. I did not know, for example, that in Ukraine, singers’ backing tracks were powered by men running around in giant hamster wheels. As a commitment to green energy, that takes some beating. And as for Poland: well, Badger will never think of Poland in the same way again and for some reason has a yearning to visit it soon.

So many of the contestants had the good sense to sing in English, too. Tragically for the French, the lingua franca of modern popular music is the language of les Rosbifs who live over what the rest of the world still calls the ENGLISH Channel. No, readers, the French sing in a language that interacts with the modern world in the same tenuous way as How George interacts with science. Tangentially, and with every sign of pronounced confusion. One thing that impressed Badger hugely was the sheer grim-faced detennination of some of the contestants to demonstrate how pleased they were to be flying the flag. These were people not only having fun, but hell bent on showing the viewers at home just how much fun they were having. When singers were performing upbeat numbers, their teeth were blindingly white, eyes sparkly bright, and their demeanours rather like those of children who had been handed the keys to the sweetie shop. It brought to Badger’s mind, nothing more than the delighted expressions there must have been on the faces of Rob Summons and Keith Lewis when Jamie made room for them at the IPPG Cabinet trough.

Then there were the more serious numbers, sung by balladeers wearing expressions that recalled the agonised, constipated uselessness more usually associated with passing a particularly large kidney stone. The last time Badger saw that expression on a face it was on Sue Perkins’ face when well, when hmmm Ah! Okay, readers: the same sort of expression Sue Perkins always uses; the one that so successfully masks her happy-go-lucky charm and lack of self-righteousness. A bit like Reverend Lovejoy’s wife in The Simpsons. Then it came to Badger: our IPPG Councillors have much in common with Eurovision contestants.

So many of them deliver material that have as much in common with their average constituent as the average Eurovision contestant has to do with popular music in their respective homelands. The Netherlands as the home of Country music, compared to John Allen-Mirehouse (family crest a peasant possibly a pheasant, probably both – crushed under a wind turbine) representing well anyone really. There is an identikit sameness to the words uttered by IPPG Councillors in the same way as there is to the lyrical sensibilities of the average Eurovision song.

There’s a certain sameness to the insincere cant that !PPG cabinet members use to justify slashing services to the bone while making room for more trotters round their swill as there is to the constant burning, yearning and gaming of a Eurovision contestant. How many times can those charged with looking after the services delivered to the most vulnerable sit in the Council Chamber or Cabinet room lying to each other, themselves and the Pembrokeshire people that “times are hard” while they carry on defending favouring well-paid officers and divvying up the proceeds of their racket between themselves and their faithful acolytes? Holy-roller Simon Hancock struck a particularly pious note in the last Full Council meeting. Too much Methodism in his madness for Badger’s taste.

Yes, Simon it is better one sinner repenteth. Pity Keith didn’t and doesn’t. Let us all pray while Simon keeps watch over a series of disastrous cuts to adult social services provision. Perhaps Simon the Saint is just too busy with his other interests and responsibilities to notice what has happened to the adult social care budget on his watch. Up with charges; down with services; shut this; slash that; give Bryn a break; find money to let your chums round the Cabinet table; serve yourselves, not your fellow man; cut the wages of the lowest paid; preside over a pay system that penalises part time workers. Simon is to equality what Herod was to child care. Yes, readers, at the end of the day Simon’s transformation from Labour Party idealist to IPPG stooge is even more complete than the transformative experience undergone by the winner of this year’s Eurovision.

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Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward



FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.

The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.

This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.

From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations.  The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.

Changes from Monday 3 May:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
  • People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.

Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:

  • The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
  • Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
  • And the re-opening of community centres.

The First Minister said:

“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving. 

“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.

“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.

“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”

Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway



DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’



THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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