Home » Badger and the utter state of the Union
Badger Comment

Badger and the utter state of the Union

TO SAVE ‘our precious union’ (© Matt Hancock, it would be), the royal family sent Prince William and his wife to Scotland.

While there, they were photographed with models for 1970s shortbread tins.

All that ‘tartanisation’ and nostalgia will play well with the colonels and memsahibs who read the Mail and Telegraph in Surrey and Berkshire.

Badger suspects that all that ‘roaming in the gloaming’ nonsense will play a little less well with the Scottish public.

Suppose Boris Johnson had any sense (stop laughing at the back). In that case, he’d hold a referendum on Scottish independence soon.

The longer a boil suppurates, the more painful it is to treat, and the risk of complications increases.

Mr Johnson has never been shy of lancing things before, after all.

A small prick from the PM might – after all – be worth it.

By acting fast, the Conservative government will avoid the embarrassment its own policies and approach will undoubtedly cause in the future. Moreover, by doing so, it will maximise its chances of keeping the UK together.

Labour in Wales is even more wedded to the Union than the Conservatives in England.

Labour knows the only threat to its dominant status in Welsh politics is Welsh independence. So, while Yes Cymru collapses into a heap of identity politics and freedom through street theatre and interpretative dance workshops, Labour should be moving to hold a referendum on Welsh independence.

Once that’s off the table, Labour can get back to its real jobs: misgoverning Wales and moaning about the Conservatives.

The most exciting part of the Union debate is the future of the Six Counties.

The Prime Minister has already written off Northern Ireland by replacing a competent Secretary of State (Julian Smith) with a no-mark lickspittle (Brandon Lewis).

Furthermore, his former Chief Negotiator has worked tirelessly to undermine the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he negotiated and the PM signed.

Badger bets that Lord David Frost will be furious with that idiot Lord David Frost who negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol and left Lord David Frost to sort out the mess Lord David Frost made.

Imagine the row, readers.

It’ll probably result in Lord David Frost having to separate himself from Lord David Frost via some cobbled together protocol.

What could go wrong with that?

In the middle of this scrabbling to save the Conservative Party/United Kingdom from the consequences of Westminster’s inability to work out its policies’ results sits the figure of Simon Hart MP.

Mr Hart is the Secretary of State for Wales.

One day, he’ll concentrate on the preposition and proper noun at the end of that title.

It’s his job to sell the lie that the Westminster Government respects devolution, the Welsh Government’s constitutional position, and Wales’s national identity.

Unlike his Minister of State, David TC Davies, Mr Hart has so far been able to keep a straight face when saying what he’s been told to say.

For example, Simon says Westminster’s Shared Hostility (possibly Prosperity) Fund and the UK Internal Market Bill will strengthen devolution.

And he’s done so without breaking out into maniacal laughter at the size of those utter whoppers.

It’s an open secret that Mr Hart and the former MS for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Angela Burns, did not (euphemistically putting it) get on.

Badger doubts that the formidable Mrs Burns has much more time for Simon Hart’s laboured semantics and special pleading in her retirement from frontline politics than she had when engaged with them.

Wales needs more independently-minded politicians like Angela Burns (and, for that matter, Suzy Davies and David Melding) and fewer lapdogs.

Speaking of not toeing the party line for the sake of it, Badger draws attention to Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb.

Mr Crabb, who is not only far more astute but also far less of a political whoopee cushion than his Pembrokeshire parliamentary neighbour, has been excluded from the Cabinet since 2016.

In the meantime, he has had the dubious pleasure of watching Esther McVey, Liz Truss, Gavin Williamson, and serial Wikipedia editor Grant Shapps get to the top table.

Mr Crabb’s revenge has been as Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. So if you want a Parliamentary laugh when Yvette Cooper is not humiliating Priti Patel, watch the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.

Badger finds it hard to say what offers the more excellent comic value.

Is it Mr Crabb’s elaborately polite and barely concealed disbelief at what Government ministers and civil servants are spouting? Or is it the sight of those Ministers and civil servants squirming as though they’ve just popped a small haemorrhoid along their back passage?

The only people who are more surprised at the Cabinet’s identity than its members are their friends and families.

Before Badger’s readers start thinking this is yet another ‘far-left rant’ (© serially whining twerps), Badger is an equal opportunities offender.

His view of Mark Drakeford’s Welsh Cabinet is no more enthusiastic than his view of their Conservative counterparts in Westminster.

Never in the history of human politics has so little talent been distributed among so many.

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs, is the punchline to the sort of joke only Chris Packham would find funny.

It’s right up there for laughs with Badger’s favourite from the last Welsh Government: Vaughan Gething, Minister of Health.

Mr Gething has failed his way to the Economy Portfolio.

There, his talent for smug condescension and rattiness when questioned will have all the impact of a marshmallow meteorite.

On the upside, it’s probably best to keep Vaughan away from any area of policy over which the Welsh Government exercises control.

Health (oh dear). Education (hail the permanent revolution). Housing (affordable homes for none). Local Government (AKA abolishing local democracy). Transport (sort of). Economic development (pork-barreling for the Valleys). Agriculture (laughably).

We tend to get the politicians we deserve.

And when Badger reflects on the proper shower who are in power in Westminster and Wales, he asks this forlorn question: what have we done to deserve this?


About the author

Jon Coles

Jon Coles

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment