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Badger and the Christmas card



badgerxmascardHELLO readers! This is Badger’s last column before Christmas and so he is sure that those who elect to subject themselves weekly (or weakly, or weakly weekly, for that matter) to his ramblings about the surface world, will know that Badger is not a fan of Yuletide festivities. Badger peeked up out of his sett the other evening. Instead of the reassuring gloom of the Pembrokeshire night, he was assailed by what seemed to be an outdoor discotheque; a riot of fl ashing lights illuminated the gloaming, while dancing plastic snowmen tinkled the tune to Jingle Bells. Plastic. Snowmen. Jingle. Bells.

Are you people mad up there? It’s quite bad enough that John Lewis think that the meaning of Christmas can be conveyed by encouraging simpering toy penguins to form romantic relationships with other simpering toy penguins: but why are ordinary houses in ordinary streets lit up like a New Orleans bordello at Mardi Gras? Badger thought he was back in a bad 1980’s night club. All it needed was for the snowmen to start boogying on down to “Disco Inferno” and the illusion would have been complete. So far, so Badger, readers. But then at the madhouse where Badger’s human friends work, a Christmas card was received. It didn’t say much, just “thank you”.

A “thank you” to Badger’s chums at The Herald for everything they have done to shine a light into the gloomier corners of Pembrokeshire and drag out and into the light some pretty unpleasant facts and inconvenient truths. Badger was, quite unaccountably, moved. Badger is a strong believer in the power of words and the care that should be applied to their use. But the words “thank you” have a very specifi c power, even if they are used casually.

“Thank you” says that what you have done has been discovered, appreciated and acknowledged. Even if sincere thanks comes from one person, that one person has taken the time to notice what you have done. “Thank you” gives a little tickle of pleasure to the recipient of the sentiment. And that is why Badger offers his very sincere thanks to the members of the IPPG at Pembrokeshire County Council. From Johnny Allen-Squirehouse to Steve Yelland, they never cease to provide Badger with material. Badger does not believe – as some do – that Jamie Adams and his chums are involved in some sort of conspiracy against Pembrokeshire’s people.

He has always preferred the cock up theory of history. And the IPPG’s membership provide ample evidence to support Badger’s point of view. Look at them, readers: pay attention to the webcasts from County Hall. See how your IPPG representatives behave and how they misrepresent the public they are supposed to serve. Badger has often heard it said that it is better to be thought an idiot than to open one’s mouth and dispel all doubt. Badger has heard that aphorism: Johnny Allen- Squirehouse has clearly not heard it. Or perhaps he cannot hear anything over his own booming drawl. Imagine having an internal voice that sounded so pompous, readers.

It would drive you crackers. Look at Johnny A. Join the dots. From Johnny, we whizz all the way to the arse end of the alphabet to Cllr Steve Yelland. Rudbaxton’s representative at County Hall is not a councillor who has drawn himself to Badger’s attention before now. For a few brief seconds last week, readers, Cllr Yelland – by dint of nothing than there happening not to be a councillor Adrian Zebedee – was a very important person. The vote to have an annual election, or the possibility of one, for the leadership of the Council was tied 28-28. Cllr Yelland’s vote was the next, and last, to be taken.

“Independent” Cllr Yelland put as his description on the ballot paper in 2012. Indy – bloody – pendent. Badger supposes that independence has some peculiar quality of blind obedience of which Badger was previously unaware. Perhaps Cllr Yelland is as notionally independent as the satellite states were of the Soviet Union. A sort of Bulgaria, as it were. Not a place anyone paid much attention to way back then, readers, Bulgaria was a reliable ally to the USSR. A country whose secret service was happy to do Moscow’s dirty work. It would be a lie to say that there was any doubt about the way Cllr Yelland would vote. Jamie says “for”, Cllr Yelland says “for”.

Jamie says “against”, Cllr Yelland says “against”. Jamie makes an attempt at humour, Cllr Yelland laughs. Jamie does the sad and patronising voice, Cllr Yelland nods along. He is the yes man’s yes man. Lobby fodder. But cometh the hour, cometh the man. And so Bulgaria Yelland had a moment on Thursday when the eyes of his fellow members were fi xed upon him. “Against,” Cllr Yelland murmured. Barely a beat he missed, readers. Not for Bulgaria the moment of tension beloved of television reality shows. No hesitation of the type beloved of Chris Tarrant when “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” was a popular quiz.

The question – as is the nature of these things – had been reduced to one right answer and the remaining wrong answer. Bulgaria had already phoned a friend, so he knew what to do. He did not need to ask the audience. “Against,” Bulgaria murmured and the door slammed on an opportunity to reign in an over-mighty executive. Badger does not believe that Cllr Yelland is a bad person. For all Badger knows, Cllr Yelland donates generously and widely to charity and helps grannies remove boy scouts from horses’ hooves. But as a sterling example that the word “independent” means less than you might think when it comes to your representatives, readers, Bulgaria Yelland is diffi cult to beat. And for that Badger wishes to extend sincere thanks to Cllr Yelland. Because when – and if – Pembrokeshire’s electors go to the polls in 2017, it will be the conduct of Bulgaria and others like him that will make the job of sweeping the IPPG from power that much easier. And on that positive note, Badger wishes all of his readers – whatever or whomsoever they believe in – a peaceful and merry Christmas.

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Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village



GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions



ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner



A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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