BADGER’s fellow Herald columnist, Matthew Paul, has some mighty voodoo on his side.
No sooner does he write a column about Boris Johnson’s government’s shameless and shambolic conduct over the Owen Paterson affair than the blond blowhard sent out his favourite Victorian wife poisoner to execute a stunning U-turn, and Owen Paterson resigned.
Like Matthew Paul, Badger favours MPs having the same rights relating to their employment as other hard-toiling serfs.
As Badger has said before, rights come with responsibilities. There are very few places left where you could get so shit-faced at lunchtime you couldn’t stand and still keep your job.
Fewer still are the jobs in which you get a basic of eighty-two grand a year, expenses to run your office and employ others, expenses to cover the cost of a second home, can take on unlimited extra “work” for multiple other employers, get a gold-plated pension, subsidised food and booze, and still claim you haven’t two brass farthings to rub together.
On the upside, the voters of Delyn now know how much the parliamentary Conservative Party think of their choice of MP.
Rob Roberts won the north-east Wales seat for the Conservatives in 2019 as Labour’s ‘Red Wall’ crumbled thanks to Agent Islington’s unique approach to electoral success.
Earlier this year, Mr Roberts was found to have breached parliamentary standards by sexually harassing a member of his staff, to whom he made unwanted advances. He was suspended from Parliament for six weeks. Because of the mechanism used to suspend him, there couldn’t be a recall election.
There was widespread clamour to change the rules so a petition to call a by-election could be held.
Nay, and thrice nay, said the Victorian wife poisoner. Changing the rules retrospectively would be wrong and unfair.
Unless you’re Owen Paterson. Then the great haunted pencil is prepared to have the rules completely rewritten.
Poor Rob Roberts. Fourteen ‘egregious’ breaches of anti-corruption rules are lesser offences in his fellow Tory MPs
’ eyes than asking a staff member to look less alluring. Will nobody think of Rob’s feelings?
Poor Delyn. Now its voters know the Conservatives hold them in contempt.
Incidentally, readers, it’s a stupefyingly good look when fourteen of the signatories to a motion to change the rules retrospectively have been up before the Standards Commissioner for their own shortcomings, and the PM backing them is waiting for the outcome of an investigation into his own conduct.
Matthew Paul was wrong in one respect.
The Owen Paterson affair did not damage Parliament’s reputation: it damaged it further.
A species of lower animal believes that all politicians, from community councillors to MPs, are all in it for themselves and that the cash economy and trade in brown envelopes are kept going by those paying them off.
And yet THE SHEEPLE keep voting for them!
Not only is the proposition of endemic corruption utter bollocks, but it is also lazy utter bollocks. People enter public life to do good and, according to their world view, do it as far as they’re able.
Holding the elected in contempt signals you hold those who support them in contempt. You win over a lot of people treating them like idiots.
And, because Badger believes that his readers are not idiots but might know people who are, he has prepared a handy social media fact-check to help his readers tackle idiocy wherever they find it.
BADGER’S FACEBOOK FACTS CHECKLIST
• The Welsh Government is responsible for funding the Health Board.
• The Health Board allocates funding, resources, and investment to Withybush Hospital.
• The County Council does not fund Withybush Hospital (or any others, for that matter). That’s down to the Health Board.
• Council Tax does not cover the whole of the Council’s budget.
• The Council gets a grant from the Welsh Government to meet the cost of delivering services; Council • • Tax makes up the difference between those services’ costs and the Welsh Government grant.
• Pembrokeshire’s Council Tax is the lowest in Wales by a considerable margin.
• The UK and Welsh governments identify the type of projects either will fund and their criteria; the Council bids against those criteria.
• Money allocated to councils by the UK and Welsh Governments for specific projects must be spent on those projects.
• Suppose the money is not spent on specified projects. In that case, it must be returned with interest and the opportunity is lost to bid in the future.
• The condition and maintenance of trunk roads in Pembrokeshire, the A40, A477, A487, and A4076 are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and not the Council.
• Pembrokeshire’s roads are among the best maintained in Wales (no, seriously. Try driving through Ceredigion or Neath Port Talbot).
• The Council did not deregulate bus services meaning routes were cut, the Westminster Government did. As of last year, the Welsh Government’s responsible for their regulation and – ultimately – funding.
• The rules relating to immigration are set by Westminster, not the Welsh Government.
• Pembrokeshire will accept two Afghani families as part of the Resettlement Programme for those who helped UK forces in their country.
• The number of asylum seekers in Wales is 3,000 (WLGA figures) concentrated in four asylum reception areas: Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Wrexham. The number in Pembrokeshire is vanishingly small.
• There is a difference between homelessness and rough sleeping (rooflessness). Suppose you’re an adult staying with friends or family without a tenancy; you might be classed as homeless, even though you’ve got a bed, telly, games console of your preference, and central heating.
• The total number of people rough sleeping in Pembrokeshire is around 17 (Welsh Government figures). When an independent count last took place in autumn 2020, the counters found six.
• No more than six per cent of rough sleepers (of whom there are around 3500 in England and Wales, mostly in large cities) are former service personnel. Apply that to Pembrokeshire, and we can round the figure to one. (Incidentally, the Royal British Legion says ‘it is a myth’ large numbers of rough sleepers are former UK services personnel. And they’d know).
Oh, and finally, bigotry: there’s only one fact applicable.
If a person thinks they’re better than others because of others’ religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, skin colour, or disability, and want them to have fewer of the rights they have because of any of those factors: they are a bigot.
And that’s a fact.