BADGER has a new theory.
And, unusually for Badger, it’s about the role of religion in public life, specifically the politics of the Conservative Party in Westminster.
Badger has concluded that the current Cabinet and its troupe of hangers-on, bagmen, fellow-travellers, and associated stooges are the most deeply Christian and religious Cabinet the UK has ever had.
To make his point, Badger draws your attention to the following passage of the New Testament.
“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”
It is out of a sense of Christian duty that Boris Johnson and his merry band of morons and makeweights keep the poor poorer, the hungry hungrier, and the woebegone ever more bereft.
They’re making sure we all get to Heaven, readers!
To paraphrase: greater love hath no Cabinet than this, than they sell their souls to ensure the rest of us get a crack at eternal bliss.
Having great personal wealth will ensure Jacob Ree Smog gets minced through a needle’s eye before entering Heaven’s Kingdom. As he gives every appearance of rising from the crypt daily, perhaps that ship has sailed.
To Badger, who has a difficult relationship with religion, the ongoing work of the Cabinet on making sure we all join the choir invisible is a mighty relief.
As long as he’s poor, hungry, and crying –Badger’s quids-in for the old harp and halo ensemble in the hereafter. If there is one, that is.
When it comes to the possibility of eternal life, Badger is keeping an eye on the local elections.
By the time you read next week’s column, electors will have cast the last vote, and the counting will be underway for the County and Community Council elections.
Badger bets his readers are on the edge of their toilet seats with excitement at the prospect of voting.
Badger doesn’t play favourites, of course. But he has opinions.
One of those opinions is that the Council Chamber and the Council would be poorer for the absence of some members than it would be for others.
Mike Stoddart in Hakin, Bob Kilmister in Bro Gwaun, David Lloyd in St Davids, Jonathan Preston in St Florence and St Mary Out Liberty, Tom Tudor in Haverfordwest Castle, and Tony Baron in Saundersfoot North. They are all councillors whose absence would considerably diminish the County Council.
Of course, Badger sharing that sentiment could put the mockers on all of them. He’s not enjoying the inevitable “Curse of Badger” comments and apologies after May 5th if all goes pear-shaped for the above.
Badger adds he wishes their opponents no ill-will, only that they do not do as well as those named at the ballot box.
However, Badger lives in hope, rather than expectation, that each shall return in fine fettle to provide the sort of strong leadership and powerful scrutiny a County Council needs.
And Badger can’t let the opportunity pass to mention the candidature of the Herald’s very own Girolamo Savonarola, Tom Sinclair, who’s standing in Milford Central. There’s a man with an imagination so fertile you could plant roses in his ears and expect them to bloom with furious intensity year-round.
The consequences of Cllr Tom Sinclair are difficult to calculate, but it would make things uncommonly lively and unpredictable.
Also, Badger can’t ignore Stephen Joseph. He’s a candidate who did such a bang-up job for his electors in Milford Central that he’s decided to spread the wealth by standing in Milford West this time around. Goodness alone knows what’s compelled him to hop over a handful of streets searching for a seat.
Possibly it’s a religious experience akin to crossing the Jordan to the Promised Land. However, Badger confesses he’s never thought of Prescelly Place as overflowing with milk and honey.
For those going to County Hall for the first time, it’s likely to prove a captivating experience. The seminars, the training, the Code of Conduct, the Constitution, the ubiquity of gossip, and the attractions of sitting on a Committee or grabbing an external appointment.
If nothing else, Badger would pay good money to see some people on the Dyfed Powys Policing Panel or National Parks Authority. The comedy value alone would persuade Badger to vote for them if he could clutch a pencil in his paws.
Badger is naturally resistant to change for its own sake, pursuing tokenistic aims that are bog all to do with the core business of the Council or relentlessly seeking publicity through outrage or being outrageous.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s job is to deliver what people need and not always give them what they want.
Those core propositions are simple:
The bins collected on time.
A host of essential services people cannot do without.
The Council must deliver care to the vulnerable and help those who need it.
And all of that costs money,
That means the challenge for councillors is not spending money but spending it appropriately and within limits set by the Welsh Government.
Imagine, if you will, a pot of £100m in Welsh Government money. For example, the money is allocated for a Welsh Government policy: regenerating town centres.
There is nothing else the Council can use the money for other than regenerating town centres.
The question is, readers, do you bid for a chunk of that cash or not?
The Welsh Government isn’t going to put that money towards anything else.
It’s really simple when you think about it: money or no money?
And that applies to a massive wodge of dosh that the Council is either provided with or bids to get.
Real politics, council politics, isn’t banging on about rights, statues, street names, net-zero, immigration, foreigners coming over here and taking the jobs we’re too idle to do ourselves: it’s about doing the best job with the money available.
It’s never enough money, readers, but the last administration generally got things more right than wrong and did so without engaging in white elephant hunting and empire building.
It turns out more of the same, but a little livelier, less personal grandstanding, and better-informed councillors are what Badger wants.
He suspects they’re what most voters want.
You never know, readers
It just might work.
Readers… let us pray.
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