Connect with us


Badger and the cost of everything



badger84imageGREETINGS to you all from Badger’s sett readers. The recent downpours have been distressing as they have compelled Badger to have his annual bath unexpectedly early. Nevertheless, one makes do with the cards dealt and so Badger’s loofah and coal tar soap have had an early excursion. Being the frugal sort, Badger likes things that last a long time and is prepared to pay a little extra for durability (but not the price of Bryn Parry Jones!). And that readers is where Badger has some issues with current trends in our public life.

If everything is based upon providing the minimum for the least then the world of public service provision has gone mad. Time and time again across the UK demented ideologues have tried to treat essential services like public transport and its infrastructure. policing. prisons, health, and education as though they are things that could and should be delivered by private money for private profit. Successive governments of whatever stripe have bought into the lie that “the discipline of the market” is all that is needed to make public service delivery fairer, better, more efficient and — of course — cheaper. There are other factors that are important to public services. not least of which is the service element itself.

Forgetting the fact that public services often deliver essential services free at the point of delivery (please note, Badger did not say “free”) and that people depend upon those services to learn, live
and survive is to ignore that most important service element. Taxpayers are relieved of part of their income, whether directly or indirectly, and some of that money goes towards providing them with public services. Far too many people have bought into the fallacy that all human relationships are shaped by calculations of profit and loss and that a service is a product to be delivered like a bag of crisps or a fizzy drink. No wonder economics is called “the dismal science”, readers. And it is cost-cutting that is at the heart of the Welsh Government’s drive to cut health services in our county. Badger does not blame the Board for the direction of that policy.

That would be like pelting the monkey when the organ-grinder plays a false note. The Welsh Government “reviewed” health care in a report it commissioned and with terms of reference it set. It received the outcome of its rigged review and over the last few years it has imposed its wishes across Wales. Readers. virtually every strategic decision coming out of each and every consultation. has come up with the result the Welsh Government wanted. It’s a miracle, readers. Or not. if like Badger you are somewhat less inclined to think that Mark Drakeford and his predecessors are wonder workers. Goodness knows, readers. how many hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money have been wasted on the con job perpetrated by Welsh Labour on the people of
Wales. Its “review” has always been about cuts. The aim has always been to trim the budget. For all the fine words from the Bay uttered by Welsh Labour ministers, the outcome boils down to slashing services in the vain hope that not too many more people die as a result. Faced with a gaping hole in its health budget, the Welsh Government has decided to pack it with “efficiencies” and “service improvements” and artists’ impressions of maternity suites that look like a Premier Inn without Lenny Henry.

All the glossy pictures in the world will not save one life or deliver one child safely into it. Mark Drakeford promised a safety net not an artists’ impression of something not yet even built (Did the unit closing come as a bit of a surprise. Health Board?) Nothing can hide the fact that Mark Drakeford’s “robust safety net” is held together with something less than a lick and a promise. How lucky is Mark that the Senedd isn’t sitting so he can be asked about it? It is the nature of nets that they have holes, readers. Mark Drake ford’s net has hole. One bloody big one and nothing else. Lies, damned lies, and politicians’ promises. It’s almost enough to make Badger think that Mark Drakeford is an extremely large hole, himself. The Board is still recruiting staff to staff the magic ambulance it says will replace a dedicated maternity ward with consultant cover. As for specialist equipment, that will presumably materialise at the same time as the specialist staff to crew the magic ambulance. The Health Board has the advantage of being unelected. Welsh Labour Senedd members and aspiring Labour politicians do not. Which one of our local Labour politicians will be the first to say that the Welsh Government has treated, is treating and will continue to treat Pembrokeshire’s voice with contempt.

The first transfer from Withybush took  two and a half hours. Badger does not know how mother and baby are doing. but Badger hopes it is well. And if it is. it will be thanks to those doing a difficult job in impossible circumstances. The credit will not go to the Health Board and still less will it go to Welsh Labour in Cardiff Bay. Every life lost in transit that could have been saved in Haverfordwest; every mother hoicked away from her family and friends at a distressing and difficult time; every child kept in pain for a minute longer than necessary. The Health Board and Welsh Labour can have the “credit” for those. And when they are given the proper “credit” for ripping apart caring communities they might just realise that while they know the cost of everything. readers, they know the value of nothing.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’



LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament with all results now declared

Labour has 30 seats, with the Conservatives on 16, Plaid Cymru on 13 and the Liberal Democrats one.
Mark Drakeford thanked Wales for “going red” and has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government, as Labour looks to solidify its leadership in Wales.

Labour’s Vaughan Gething, health minister in the Welsh government, told the media that the party didn’t “have to look at a formal coalition” because they had done so well.

“We do, however, have to talk to other groups within the Senedd,” he said.

Mr Gething said Labour had a “strong mandate to govern” with 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats.

The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales. Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.

A very happy Mark Drakeford on Saturday, May 8 (Photo Welsh Labour/Twitter)

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system.”

Adam Price, who held Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with a reduced majority, said he would not stand down as Plaid Cymru leader.

Despite no gains, Mr Price said the party had increased its share of the vote and its stance on independence had been a “net positive”.

“I’m not walking away from anything, because this is the moment when Wales needs leadership,” he said.

“This is a historic challenge, because of the way that the politics is moving in this island, but it’s also a historic opportunity for us.

On the campaign trail, Plaid leader Adam Price (Pic Plaid Cymru)

“We can move our nation forward and I’m looking forward to playing my part, it’s not something that anyone can do on their own.

“I have a role to play, we all have a role to play and that’s what’s exciting about politics at the moment. Wales is on the move Wales is on the march. I’m going to be part of that.”

Later, on social media, Adam Price said: ” I extend my congratulations to Mark Drakeford on securing a mandate to lead the next government. Although disappointed not to be returning more Members to the Senedd, I am proud that we ran a positive campaign based on a transformational programme.

“Our Senedd group will bring renewed energy and fresh ideas and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to build the case for independence. We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.

“However, the sixth Senedd will be poorer without one of Wales’s most remarkable politicians. No one has given more to the party or to her community than Leanne Wood – an inspiring role model for so many.

“Leanne’s commitment to the Rhondda is unparalleled and I know she will continue to make an important contribution to the future of our nation and the pursuit of social justice which always has and always will drive her politics.

“Westminster’s attack on devolution is only just beginning and Wales needs a plan – that plan must focus on taking our own future into our own hands so we can build a nation that is fair and free.


The Welsh Conservatives say that they have secured the party’s best ever result in a Senedd election, winning 16 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

In a statement to the press the party said: “Today’s final election results have seen the Welsh Conservatives secure two regional list seats in both South Wales Central and South Wales East.

“Welsh Conservatives polled 289,802 votes (share up 5.0) across 40 constituencies – 26.1% of the vote – winning eight seats including gains in both the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire.

“On the five regional lists, Welsh Conservatives secured 278,560 votes (share up 6.3), winning eight seats. The result will see the Senedd return its first ever female from a BAME background, with Welsh Conservatives’ Natasha Asghar making history with election in South Wales East.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies with Joel Williams on election day (Pic RT Davies/Twitter)

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.

“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.

Newly elected Conservative member of Senedd, Sam Kurtz, talking to BBC reporter Aled Scourfield (Pic J Coles/Herald)

“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.

“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.

“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”


Ian Price, director of CBI Wales, congratulated Labour. He said: “This is a critical time for the Welsh economy and the new parliament must have a laser-like focus on rebuilding from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“That means all parties pulling together and working with business to protect jobs, rebuild livelihoods and create a fair and sustainable recovery that addresses the longstanding structural challenges our economy faces.”

Royal Town Planning Institute, largest professional body for town planners in the UK and Europe, commented on the election result saying: “The Welsh Labour Manifesto meets many of the issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.

“The manifesto commits to strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. We have highlighted the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of Welsh Labour’s priorities.”


Speaking to the BBC, political commentator Prof Roger Awan-Scully said: “I think it’s been an astonishingly resilient performance by the Welsh Labour Party, amidst disasters for Labour elsewhere in the UK.

“The Conservatives are also performing strongly, but not quite bringing it home in terms of the number of constituency victories that they might have expected.

“For Plaid Cymru I think this has to be said to be a deeply disappointing election.”

Continue Reading


Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat



THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

Continue Reading


Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire



PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

Continue Reading
News8 hours ago

Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the...

News1 day ago

Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap. Sam Kurtz...

News1 day ago

Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency. He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895...

News1 day ago

Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half...

News3 days ago

Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in...

Politics3 days ago

Pembrokeshire heads to the polls

THE ELECTIONS to the Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru take place today, Thursday (May 6). Over the last few weeks, we’ve published...

News3 days ago

Milford Haven: Man arrested following suspicious flat fire in Robert Street

DYFED-POWYS POLICE have confirmed that the force is investigating a fire which occurred at a property in Lower Robert Street,...

News3 days ago

Ongoing incident closes busy Haverfordwest road

A MAJOR road in Haverfordwest has been closed due to a police incident this afternoon (May 5) A man was...

News4 days ago

James Oulton found not guilty of 30 counts of sexual assault against 11 ex-pupils

JAMES OULTON, 34, the primary school teacher who was accused of 30 charges of sexual assault against pupils has been found...

News4 days ago

Nineteen arrests and weapons seized during knife crime action week

NINETEEN people were arrested and a number of weapons were seized as police took part in a national week of...

Popular This Week