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Badger, Arwyn Williams, and the art of the possible



badger knows bestPOLITICS, in a quote often attributed to R.A. Butler but originating with Otto von Bismarck, is said to be the art of possible. Not the desirable; not the moral; not the good; but the possible. Von Bismarck did not mean that politicians should operate in a principle-free zone. He meant that a politician’s freedom for manoeuver is necessarily constrained by events over which they have no control. Upon events over which control can be exercised, politicians should – it follows — seek to prosecute the opportunities open to them to influence events and practice their art in the space given to them by opportunity. in such a way, politics is a matter of choice not one of compulsion. Badger has listened carefully to the achievements of the IPPG as recounted by members of the IPPG’s own Cabinet. The core message they send out is — where it is capable of interpretation into an intelligible form —”You can trust us to correct the errors of the past because we’re pretty sure we now know where we went wrong”.

Huw George, the IPPG’s very own Vicar of Bray, tells us that people want decent roads, the rubbish collected and good schools for their children. The IPPG has slashed the highways budget for anything that did not appear in one of their own cabinet members’ campaign literature or election videos: halved bin collections, so that families are compelled to store rotting garbage that attracts vermin on their own property for up to a fortnight; and closed good schools based on sham consultations and a bogus prospectus of improvement that has mortgaged all of our futures. Anyone with a half a brain —overqualified for the IPPG, then —knows the Cabinet’s collective tears of sorrow are those of a crocodile, readers. All the while, Jamie has done the sad yet patronising voice in Council meetings, mixed with shrewish recrimination when caught out by inconvenient truths.

He and all the IPPG, they are all very sad that these cuts are necessary. These are austere times and we must all tighten our belts. Or, as unsubstantiated rumour has it, tighten the seatbelts in Bryn’s Council-funded taxi – a Porsche Panamera SE Hybrid: yours, readers, for just f90K. Yes: readers, see the sad long face that Jamie pulls when he is communicating unwelcome news. Jamie does not like making cuts, he simply cannot see the possibility of an alternative to cuts. He cannot make — or refuses to see – the connection between deep and deeper service cutbacks and continued clinging to the tattered banner of the lowest Council Tax in Wales. Now: there are those who believe that their money is better in their own pocket than in the pocket of a central treasury providing public services Those people, who travel powered only by fairy dust and their imaginations, do not use the commonplace roads and transport infrastructure like ordinary mortals.

Possessed of superhuman resistance to sickness and the thousand shocks the mortal flesh is heir to, they don’t need doctors, nurses, hospitals or medicines. Indeed, they do not require bin men to collect their rubbish; they shall transport it to the local tip themselves, hanging their reeking black bin bags from the handles of their sedan chairs, as their servants propel them to the municipal amenity of their choice. When it comes to public spending, others believe that their champagne tastes should be indulged on a beer income. Public services cost money. if you want better ones, you have to pay more them in tax. This is the dreadful truth that governments have tried to hide for the last 35 years or so.

Trying to impose market discipline on the public sector is code for bouncing up the salaries of those at the top who have never exposed themselves to the risks of working in the private sector, while slashing the wages of those at the bottom of the pile. Similarly, the idea that increasing the private wealth of the few at the top leads to benefits trickling down to poorer members of society, was rightly described as “voodoo economics”. Reality shows that the gap between rich and poor has grown while services to act as a safety net for the less well-off have been pared not to the bone but to the marrow.

Between these two polar opposite views, our politicians — local and national — dangle on the hooks of their own ambition. Some politicians become seized by the fear of failure — whether real or perceived — and so sit on the fence doing nothing. To paraphrase Lloyd George’s lethal observation, they sit on the fence so long that the iron enters their soul. Too frightened by the spectre of making the wrong choice and becoming unpopular, they do the worst of all things and make no choices. Some confuse carping and picking holes in others’ efforts from the side lines with doing active good. Possessed of a firm belief in their own supreme and sole wisdom to pronounce upon matters of public discourse, they have the luxury of being a prophet, crying in the wilderness without actually having to come up with a solution to the faults they uncover in others. Yet others look for guidance from those who are more permanent than here today gone tomorrow elected representatives. These are politicians who become prisoners of bureaucracy. They are not so much house-trained as broken to the wheel by officers and civil servants who never have to worry about the shabby business of being elected. Politicians seldom break promises.

They surround pledges with the type of words that make any commitment conditional. They say one thing, the electorate hears another. Tony Blair was the master of the vapid and aspirational turn of phrase. Realising that promises were hostages to a fortune that he could not predict, Tony Blair used words with about as much sincerity as those in a greetings card sent to a much loathed wealthy relative. There was the sound of meaning but no substance. Politicians carefully avoid using verbs. Verbs, as Badger learned in school, “verbs are doing words”. We will have none of this doing things thing! We will plough the sands with rhetoric and slogans. Badger invites his readers to look at poor Clegg. He and his party were able to make all sorts of promises because they thought they would never, ever actually have to deliver their particular brand of pie in the sky. In power, the best they can say about their “achievements” is that without them the Conservatives would have been even worse. if being a member of a government that has systematically victimised, harassed and impoverished the poorest and most vulnerable is something that Nick Clegg is proud of, Badger despairs. To their eternal credit the one thing the IPPG can never be collectively accused of is breaking promises to their voters. IPPO councillors do not believe in promises. In fact, IPPO councillors say they do not believe in politics. IPPG councillors are so able to believe in three impossible things before breakfast that they do not believe the !PPG even exists. On 8 May, there will be a meeting of the Full Council. That meeting will be invited to consider a motion of no confidence in Rob Lewis, currently the Council’s Deputy Leader. Unfortunately for his !PPG comrades, ClIr Lewis is not only proof that the IPPG exists, but that it is a political

party in all but name. ClIr Lewis is living evidence of a cynical, careerist deception practised by cynical, careerist politicians. But, Badger can tell his readers, the motion of no confidence might not be heard. It could be booted back to the Council’s Cabinet for consideration by the Chairman of the Council (and !PPG member in good standing) Arwynailliams. Yes readers, would not believe it possible. An !PPG appointee can decline to hear a no confidence vote in the !PPG’s own Deputy Leader, Rob Lewis, a man who broke the code of conduct for members and was handed a suspension as a result, and remit the motion of no confidence in the IPPG’s “Election Co-ordinator” for consideration by the PPG Cabinet. Conflict of interest detector at the ready and pinging wildly, Badger cannot believe that such a step could be considered either practical or plausible. Badger noticed in the Herald a couple of weeks ago that a question could validly be posed as to whether those for whom Rob Lewis prepared literature have an interest in avoiding too deep an examination of their Deputy Leader’s scandalous conduct. Badger notes that Arwyn does not have to boot the motion on Rob Lewis to the long grass on the IPPG lawn for three months. The motion of no confidence in the representative from Martletwy could be heard by the meeting on May 8.1f Arwyn lets it be debated. Yes readers, Arwyn could seize the opportunity offered to him and demonstrate that the art of possible is not necessarily art for art’s sake. He has the opportunity to show, for a change for a member of the IPPG, just because something can be done does not mean it should be done. Think of Dr Pepper, Arwyn, what’s the worst that could happen?

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Save the dates: Classic car shows in Pembrokeshire



THE FIRST of the Summer season of the Classic Car Shows in aid of the Paul Sartori Foundation took place at the Commons Car Park, Pembroke recently.

Organised by Malcom Powell and friends, the show was opened by the Mayor of Pembroke, Ann Mortenson, accompanied by the Ward Ten Withybush fundraiser Ellie Neville.

The rest of the shows are follows

Wednesday 5th June at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 19th June at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 3rd July at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 17th July at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 14th August at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 18th August at the Plough Inn

All events are at 4pm, except for the final show of the year on Saturday 14th September at the Plough Inn Sageston which starts at 2 30pm.

Pictured is the first show of the year at the Commons,Pembroke.

Pic-Martin Cavaney

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Royal celebration at Buckingham Palace marks RNLI’s 200th anniversary



HIS MAJESTY The King has graciously hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace today to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). This prestigious event brought together approximately 2,500 of the RNLI’s dedicated volunteers, staff, and their families.

The garden party, held in the palace’s magnificent grounds, was marked by the presence of an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, showcasing the RNLI’s modern lifesaving capabilities. The event celebrated the remarkable history and ongoing contributions of the RNLI, which has been saving lives at sea since its founding in 1824.

Among those honoured at the event were representatives from Tenby Lifeboat Station and St Davids Lifeboat Station. From Tenby, the delegation included recently retired Coxswain Philip John, along with Michael Lewis, Daniel Young, Graham Waring, and Peter O’Hagan, all accompanied by their partners. Representing St Davids Lifeboat Station were Will Chant, Jestyn Martin, Ffion Rees, Judd Kohler, Ellen Evans, and their respective partners. These individuals were recognised for their exceptional service and dedication to the institution, trading their RNLI yellows for smart attire on this special occasion.

The RNLI, established in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, has grown into a vital organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea. Over its two centuries of operation, the RNLI has saved more than 142,700 lives, thanks to the bravery and commitment of its volunteers and staff. Today, the RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations and provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

His Majesty’s patronage and the garden party at Buckingham Palace underscore the nation’s deep appreciation for the RNLI’s invaluable service. The celebration not only honoured past achievements but also highlighted the continued importance of the RNLI’s mission as it looks forward to the future.

For more information on the RNLI’s history and its bicentenary celebrations, please visit the official RNLI website.

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The Big Beer Festival returns to Milford Waterfront



MILFORD HAVEN is set to host the highly anticipated Big Beer Festival tomorrow at Milford Waterfront. Beginning at 12:00 PM on May 25, the event promises a vibrant celebration featuring an impressive array of real ales, lagers, and ciders, along with a prosecco and Pimm’s bar for those with different tastes.

Local bands will provide live music throughout the day, ensuring a lively atmosphere. Headline act 4th Street will be among the performers, with additional acts including After the Fire, Steve Bartram, Two Suns, Tin Man Revolution, and DJ Robzy. Food lovers can enjoy diverse culinary offerings from The Junkyard Dog and Marcela Mexican Cuisine at the Thornton Motors Streetfood Zone. Entry is £20, which includes four drink tokens and a limited edition glass. Each token can be exchanged for a half pint, a glass of prosecco, or a glass of Pimm’s. The festival will run until 11:00 PM.

This event is part of the continued partnership between Milford Waterfront and the Milford Haven Round Table. This collaboration supports a calendar of events throughout the year, raising funds for local causes and creating enjoyable experiences for the community and visitors. Upcoming events include the Milford Haven Carnival on July 6 and the Fireworks Extravaganza on November 5.

As well as local petrol station company The Ascona Group, Howden, a global insurance intermediary group, is a key supporter of the festival. As a deluxe sponsor, Howden is donating £500 towards the event. Gary Stevens, Regional Managing Director, expressed his delight in supporting the Milford Haven Round Table, emphasizing the event’s significance as a fantastic day out for the bank holiday weekend and a means to support the local community.

Milford Haven Round Table, the UK’s largest Round Table with 30 active members, organizes this festival to give back to the local community. All funds raised support local charities, groups, and individuals, including popular free entry events like the town’s annual carnival and fireworks display.

For more details, visit the official event page.

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