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Badger goes for a paddle.

AFTER taking a refreshing break last week from doling out abuse to politicians right, left (and whatever else), Badger wants to take careful aim at some worthy targets for this week.

However, he first wants to deal with one particular politician.

David TC Davies (the ‘TC’ doesn’t stand for Top Cat, Badger checked) cut up rough last week when challenged on his record of bemoaning the pollution of the rivers Wye and Usk and voting to allow private companies to discharge raw sewage into rivers and watercourses.

TC was not alone in backing befouling Britain. Stephen Crabb loyally voted to let turds float around Pembrokeshire.

You can understand Conservative MPs from the South of England voting to allow pollution to continue. A wall of crap around the Kent and Sussex coasts is probably a better deterrent to asylum seekers trying to enter the UK than anything the Westminster Government could devise to tackle the issue.
Back to TC Davies.

He was taken to task on Twitter for his vote. He wasn’t called a steaming hypocrite, even though in this case that charge might be justified, but the mere implication that he was a steaming hypocrite roused TC to anger.

As anyone who knows him knows, TC doesn’t take criticism lying down. This allegation– in his mind – was typical socialist hate speech against a public figure of distinction (he’s right, but not the way he thinks).

How dare he be criticised the week of Sir David Amess’ death, squealed the Monmouthshire MP. Typical Labour bullying, to his mind.

In a short brief message to TC, Badger says: How bloody dare you try to deflect public criticism by cowering from it behind a colleague’s corpse? When you discover a sense of proportion and shame, you’ll be fit for human company. Until then, you may as well go swimming with the other ordure bobbing on the Monnow.

The best that we can say for David TC Davies is he’s Simon Hart’s number two.

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It would be pleasant to report that only one party or one side monopolised crappiness.

That’s not true.

The way to the top is often called the greasy pole. Look at some of the people at or near its pinnacle, readers. You can tell what substance greases it and, as a result, coats those who’ve clambered up it.

You can, of course, decide that getting into any political position – from community council to Parliament – is such an unpleasant business that it’s better to cling on to one’s principles and agitate for change from outside it.

The point of participating in a parliamentary democracy (or any representative democracy) is to hold power to change people’s lives for the better. That means you either need to be in the majority or hold a key role in shaping policy outside of it.

Holding power to account by making fine speeches counts for zippidy-doodah at the ballot box.

You can sign all the petitions you want, express solidarity with whichever cause is right-on for the left, sign up for niche campaigns that don’t matter to the people who cast votes in elections, but unless you – or the party you support – can get its mitts on the levers of power, you’re simply whistling in the wind.

You can choose to walk a revolutionary path towards utopia, but, as with all revolutions, you’ll walk around until you’re back where you started.

To change things, you have to either win elections outright (traditionally something only the Conservatives are any good at) or be prepared to make a series of compromises to get power either on your own or in concert with others.

There’s some intensely boring electoral arithmetic involved but bear with Badger.

At the last election, there were sixteen seats the Conservatives won by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Only two were in the South East of England, one in the South West, and a further three were in London.

There are eighty-four seats in the South East of England, and the Conservatives hold 73.

There are fifty-five seats in the South West of England, and the Conservatives hold 47.

There are fifty-eight seats in the East of England, and the Conservatives hold 52.

There are seventy-three seats in London. The Conservatives hold twenty-one.

There are 650 seats in the UK Parliament, and the Conservatives hold 200 or so across the south and east of England stretching from Land’s End to The Wash.

A bare Conservative majority needs the Conservatives to win 126 of the remaining 450.

And that’s on the current electoral map.

On the new electoral map, the opposition parties’ task will be even more difficult.

Spinning the focus onto Wales and the Welsh Parliament: how many constituency seats does Labour hold West of the end of the M4?

One: Llanelli.

To the north of the Valleys, Labour holds four constituencies in a block running from Delyn to Clwyd South.

Labour has 22 out of 23 seats from Swansea in South Wales West to Newport East in South Wales East.

Labour has held every seat in South Wales West since the first Welsh Assembly elections.

With one regional MS from North Wales and two from Mid and West Wales, Labour has 30 seats in the Senedd.

Badger suggests Labour can’t bleat about how the elections favour the Conservatives in England (and will do so in the future) unless it’s prepared to do something about how the Welsh electoral system favours its interests.

Mind you, readers, if Badger were to ask voters what issues were top of their list of priorities, he somehow doubts that electoral reform would be one of their top picks.

Health, care, housing, education, the economy… it’d be nice to get them right (or at least repaired).

You can tell how serious a politician is by the amount of time they spend doing something constructive about what people care about rather than what interests politicians.

Fewer slogans and talking about ambitions and more doing are in order: everywhere, without exception.

Otherwise, you end up lazily labelling politicians with their mistakes

Untreated turds on the seashore, for example, tend to stick.