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Badger and the difference



badger84imageAND SO, readers, the massed forces of law and order have spoken and determined that there is no evidence of criminal conduct by anyone involved in the unlawful scheme to allow local authority fat cats to cash in on the supine and crass stupidity of those councillors charged with assessing whether they should be paid in guineas or gold doubloons. Now: Kevin Maggs, the Beloved Leader of the People’s Republic of Carmarthenshire, of whom Badger has written before, and a man renowned as one who cannot see a belt without hitting below it, is full of praise for the Police’s good sense in agreeing with the opinion that he says he held all along. Never one to miss out on the opportunity to place his own spin on events, the Council’s very own “Mr Expenses”, Jamie Adams, claimed: “1 have always maintained that though the decision in question may have been procedurally flawed, no individual had used their influence improperly.”

He then invites people to believe that – even though he rolled over and asked the Wales Audit Office to tickle his belly when faced with the prospect of defending the indefensible in Court — there was nothing “inherently unlawful” about allowing Bryn to avoid tax on his publicly-funded pension pot. What a weasel-word “inherently” is, readers! Let’s try a sample sentence to see how it works: There is nothing inherently dishonest about Jamie Adams’ intellectual position. There is nothing inherently immoral about rewarding
failure. There is nothing inherently wrong in giving a tax break on pensions to those at the top while screwing down the wages of those at the bottom. Yes: I think we can all see Jamie’s point. Weasel words for a weasel, after all.

Like most of his IPPG comrades, Jamie lives in a world devoid of ideals, idealism or principles. The ends, for Jamie, ALWAYS justify the means. Jamie likes to say that “It’s all about outcomes not processes.” Well Jamie, a flawed processes of which you were part had an outcome that landed the authority with legal bills and experts’ fees running into tens of thousands of pounds; the same flawed process has exposed the moral bankruptcy of your administration and its grovelling dependence on officers; the same flawed process has put local government in this county into disrepute. Yes, Jamie: it’s all about outcomes.

If Jamie didn’t think that Mac O’Velly was an Irish manufacturer of agricultural machinery, you’d think that his proclivity – like a Renaissance prince – for dishing out patronage and remunerated favours like sweeties was derived from actually doing his own reading, rather than being told what to think by reading about it on the back of an officer’s fag packet. How dim must Jamie be not to realise that the issue is not about what is lawful or unlawful? The issue is a moral one. There is not so much a moral vacuum in Jamie’s political understanding ‘°’ a moral black hole from which no light can escape. When it comes to political principles and moral choices, Jamie may as well be asked to translate Parsee into Linear B. He’s a bit like Mr Heslop in Porridge, in that regard, is Jamie.

“I read a book once. Green it was.” And that, readers, is the difference between Jamie and those like him and the rest of the world. Badger watched Huw George a few months back as he claimed — in Welsh — that Bryn had to be in the meeting discussing his pay to advise the Senior Staff Remuneration Committee. Not actually advise, you understand. But there so his advice could be called upon if required. Sort of being influential without offering any direct influence. An entirely novel approach to the issue which his leader has, rather pointedly, not repeated. And almost certainly not repeated to the Gloucestershire plod. Even on the !PPG benches there are those who can tell the difference between right and wrong. On those benches there are those uneasy about the contortions of language their leader and others have used again and again to defend a policy they know is both morally wrong and politically disastrous.

Even Huw George cannot be that stupid. Not with one head. They are rather like Tory backbenchers in the dying days of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. Aghast at the unwinding of a policy that was an unmitigated failure and a political canker, Tory backbenchers were loyal in public — to a point — but fretful in private. That festering realisation of impending doom, focussed a lot of Tory minds in November 1990. Suppurating away with resentment on the IPPG side of the Council chamber, there are decent people who are the prisoners of Jamie’s patronage.

In hock to allowances both internal and external, they have realised that whether they vote for Christmas or not, the turkeys don’t have much of a future. Jamie cannot easily lance that infection, not least because he publicly continues to defend an officer – and a policy affecting that officer — who has not so much lost the confidence of the Pembrokeshire public, as he has become a byword for a complacent, self-serving and self-regarding approach to local government. Mary Tudor, Bloody Mary, it was who is alleged to have claim that the word “Calais” would be found engraved upon her heart after death, as a memento mori of her greatest failure. Jamie and the !PPG will collectively be found with the words “Bryn Parry Jones” upon theirs.

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Sensational music event thrills the crowds at Scolton Manor



AN UNFORGETTABLE evening of live jazz, classical, rock, and film score music captivated hundreds of attendees at the enchanting ‘Music at the Manor’ event. Presented by the esteemed Pembrokeshire Music Service, this musical extravaganza took place amidst the picturesque grounds of Scolton Manor, offering young talents from across the county a chance to showcase their skills in a relaxed setting. For many of these budding musicians, it marked their debut performance in front of a live audience.

The event witnessed outstanding displays of talent from a myriad of ensembles, including the County Brass Band, Training Orchestra (featuring the Second Steps group), Concert Band, Rock and Pop bands, Rock Strings, Symphonic Wind Band, Pembrokeshire’s Community Choir, and the esteemed Cleddau Chamber Orchestra.

Among the delighted attendees was Patricia Mawuli Porter OBE, who attended the event alongside her family. She described the evening as “a wonderful demonstration of community, music, family, caring, and just what an amazing part of the world we live in.” Mawuli Porter OBE was particularly impressed with the diversity of performances, ranging from youth bands belting out energetic renditions of songs like ‘Teenage dirtbag’ to the majestic classical and movie-themed scores, which added depth and variety to the musical tapestry.

“We can only applaud the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service for putting on the most incredible community event and look forward to next year’s event with great anticipation!” Mawuli Porter OBE exclaimed with enthusiasm.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, expressed his gratitude to the Pembrokeshire Music Service team for organizing such an excellent evening of entertainment. “It was a lovely concert, and so good to see it full of local people enjoying themselves,” he commended. “Credit must go to the brilliant participants, be they playing an instrument or singing songs, they were excellent.”

Vivienne Ward from the Newport Music Society also offered her congratulations to all the performers, acknowledging the impressive talent pool in Pembrokeshire. “What impressive young musicians there are in Pembrokeshire, and what a wonderful variety of different bands/orchestras are available for the young to choose from; they are indeed lucky,” she praised.

The event drew overwhelming praise from parents in attendance, with one parent raving, “The standard was exceptional, and a wonderful evening was had by one and all. Well done, everyone! A massive thanks to everyone involved, and much appreciation to Pembrokeshire Music Service – we are so lucky to have you!”

Philippa Roberts, the head of the Music Service, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in making ‘Music at the Manor’ a resounding success. “A huge thank you from the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service to everyone who contributed to making Music at the Manor a wonderful community event,” Roberts said. “Working in partnership with Valero, the Friends of Pembrokeshire Young Musicians, and Scolton Manor, I am grateful to everyone who helped and supported the performers to provide a special evening of live music.”

With its remarkable performances and celebration of musical diversity, ‘Music at the Manor’ proved to be an extraordinary showcase of Pembrokeshire’s vibrant musical talent. As the echoes of this magnificent event fade away, anticipation for next year’s edition continues to build, promising an even more spectacular musical spectacle for all to enjoy.

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Police confirm body found in search for Huw



POLICE said than a frantic search for Haverfordwest man Huw Phillips, 56, has been called off after the body of a man was discovered in the local area.

Police said that Huw’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, after the body was found on Saturday afternoon (Jun 3). 

Huw’s son Kenes Phillips took to Facebook to share the sad news. He bravely said: “Thank you everyone for sharing, showing your love, helping with the search and just doing whatever you could to offer the slightest bit of help.

“But unfortunately, my father was found dead.”

Huw’s good friend Mark Llewhellin paid tribute. He said: “Huw was born of the 4th July. He was kind, sensitive, a good laugh and one of my very best friends.
“I was lucky to have had him as a close friend.
“See you on the other side my friend, but not yet, not yet.”

The police posted on Facebook at 4pm on Saturday saying: “Thank you for sharing our appeal earlier to find Huw, missing from Haverfordwest.

“Sadly, a body has been found during the search, and therefore we are no longer appealing for information.
“Officers are supporting Huw’s family and our thoughts are with them all.”

Earlier on Saturday, the police found Huw’s abandoned car in Clay Lane, Haverfordwest.

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Ironman Wales in Tenby becomes second UK event of 2023 to sell out



THE HIGHLY anticipated Ironman Wales event in Tenby has captured the attention of athletes, becoming the second race in the UK this year to sell out well before the season kicks off.

Scheduled for Sunday, September 3, Ironman Wales has now joined the Ironman 70.3 Swansea event as another sold-out competition in the country.

The popularity of the Tenby event should come as no surprise, as it was the only race to feature in the top 10 globally in eight out of nine categories in the Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards. This prestigious recognition is based on votes cast by triathletes from around the world.

The captivating swim start at Tenby’s North Beach, the picturesque bike ride passing by stunning beaches and castles, and the exhilarating finish line on streets filled with cheering spectators have made Ironman Wales internationally renowned.

Sam Brawn, the regional director for UK & Ireland at The Ironman Group, expressed his delight, saying, “Ironman Wales continues to attract a tremendous following from our athletes year after year. Whether they are returning participants or newcomers eager to conquer this iconic course, the event remains immensely popular.”

“We take great pride in the fact that the race has been acknowledged as one of the finest events in the global Ironman Series. It secured a spot in the top 10 across multiple categories in the Global Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards, including a second-place ranking in both the ‘Will Recommend To A Friend’ and ‘Overall Host City’ categories.”

For those who were unable to secure a spot in Tenby, Mr. Brawn highlighted Ironman Cork as an exciting alternative. The inaugural event in Cork, Ireland, took place last year and will return on Sunday, July 2.

“It’s also thrilling to witness the growing popularity of new races, such as the festival weekend in Cork, Ireland, which has gained traction after just one year,” he added.

The official UK and Ireland race season will commence in just over a week with Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire on June 11. The organizers eagerly anticipate an exhilarating few months of racing, regardless of the weather conditions that the British summer may bring.

Athletes looking to complete their race calendar for 2023 can find the full schedule of events at

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