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Badger and the little Red Book

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badger84imageBEFORE Badger begins, he would like to correct an impression that could have been given by his column last week that Cllr Keith Lewis had not repented of any sins. Keith repenteth plenty. Or at least he will soon. It was a case of too many Lewises spoiling the joke. Saint Simon of Neyland will forgive Badger. Saint Simon knows that one word, “Plus” (or minus), can make or ruin a joke however bad. It is Rob Lewis who repenteth not, Saint Simon. Pray for his immortal soul, pray. And after that, on with the motley and back to the fray. A long time ago, when the world was green, adherents to extremist ideology clustered around one or two publications like moths drawn to a flame.

Badger remembers the strident cries of “Socialist Worker!” delivered in a mockney dahn serf accent by Repton old boys whose daddies were something big in the FO; Badger remembers Militant, a newspaper printed and circulated by those who thought everyone had sold out Marxist-Leninism, including —rather surprisingly — the pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. Badger remembers when jokes like this were rather more common: Q: How many Marxists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: None: The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution! But the touchstone of many a member of the lunatic fringe of British left wing politics was a selection of extracts from speeches and aphorisms delivered by the biggest dingbat in the Comtnunist belfry.

Badger refers of course to “Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung”; otherwise, universally known in the West as “The Little Red Book”. Now, the glorious dawn of a new Cultural Revolution is upon us with the ascent to the giddy heights, Chair of Pembrokeshire County Council, of Chairman Tom Richards. Tom, often to be seen sashaying around Quay Street in a quite fetching scarf, hat and coat combination of a style befitting a gentleman farmer, has ascended to this seat of power not because of his keen insight, still less in recognition of his administrative skill or prowess with a well-timed gavel. No: readers Chairman Tom has been promoted to glory because of the old rule of “Buggin’s ibm”. This is not so much a job for the boys, as a job for one of the “good old boys”. But here is his chance to make a mark. To exchange notoriety for fame. Perhaps, readers, Chairman Tom’s thoughts might give us an insight into the future.

His investigative instincts piqued, Badger tunnelled to the Chairman Welsh Hook fastness to try and get a peep at what makes Tom tick and to discover how the Chairman’s thought processes work. After taking a wrong turn in Cockshoot Wood, Badger espied the tower of St Lawrence’s Church and regained his bearings: guided by the clink of glass on glass to the window of Chairman Torn’s parlour. There, wearing naught but his hat, chain of office, and an enigmatic smile was Chairman Tom. Perched on a stool and illuminated by a flickering oil lamp, Tom sat ploughing through Das Kapital and nodding eagerly.

Strewn around him on the floor were copies of “The Communist Manifesto” and Lenin’s “What is to be Done?” Through his spyglass, Badger spotted one phrase of Lenin’s, heavily underlined “The fear of criticism displayed by the advocates of freedom of criticism cannot be attributed solely to craftiness. No, the majority look with sincere resentment upon all theoretical controversies, factional disagreements, broad political questions.” Chuckling softly to himself, Chairman Tom continued to peruse selections of the literature of the left, scribbling the occasional note in its margins with a quill charged with green ink. Badger had not expected this: the complete works of Jancis Robinson, possibly; The Farmer’s Guardian, probably; The Beano, certainly. But not Chairman Tom showing every researching his own Little Red Book.

Badger had formerly always subscribed to the cock up theory of history and discounted conspiracy theorists as crackpots, like Oliver Stone or Gordon Brown. Now, however, recent events in Pembrokeshire suddenly became clear. Badger’s head swam in a way usually attributable only to over-imbibing on fermented fox. The collapse of the Communist Party after the 1996 Russian election: the re-establishment of Pembrokeshire County Council, the same year. Frustrated in their eastern European homeland, the pinkos had found a new crucible in which to carry out their unholy social experiments: County Hall, Haverfordwest.

The revolution having failed in the former Soviet Union, did the reds go from Moscow to Martletwy? Is it really so far-fetched to suspect that they might have? And if they did that would make the lPPG a Communist front. Not so much a sleeper cell, but a sleep-walking one. Let’s look at the facts, readers. Cadres formed; covert recruitment practices; literature produced secretively; slavish devotion to the party line: a bureaucracy that is only too eager to help rewrite history; the systematic harassment and bullying of refuseniks. CCCP = County Council Communist Party! Badger’s beguiling theory explains so much about the Kremlin on the Cleddau!

The mind-set is the same. The methods are identical. And Chairman Tom’s disdain for democracy and determination to stamp it out at all costs remarkably familiar. The glorious day has finally arrived for the !PPG fellow-travellers. The hammer and sickle replaced with the proud banner of the golden trough triumphant. Readers! Never mind the age old question of whether Bryn is a shape-shifting lizard who needs to travel by private lift twice a day to regenerate into (approximately) human form. The evidence suggests that the commies are already running Pembrokeshire. Altogether, comrades, before the secret police arrive! `Parry Jones’ flag’s a golden trough. Gouge the poor, enrich the toffs”.

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Aberaeron: Playing field gains Centenary Field status

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THE PARK known as Square Field in the centre of Aberaeron has been designated a Centenary Field and named as Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron.

In gaining the Centenary Field status, the field will be protected in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions who lost their lives in the First World War. Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron is the first Centenary Field in Ceredigion.

Ceredigion County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Paul Hinge said, “I am delighted that Aberaeron Town Council’s application to dedicate this fantastic green space as a Centenary Field has been accepted by Fields in Trust, and that the County Council was able to support it. It pays an important tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War, including many young Ceredigion men went to war and didn’t return.

This has been an interesting journey and one that as the Armed Forces Champion and a veteran, I am proud to support.”

A plaque commemorating the status was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards.

The Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member, Councillor Elizabeth Evans, said, “Aberaeron residents are rightly proud of Cae Sgwâr’s new status as the designated Centenary Field of Ceredigion, it has a proud history of being the towns recreational field and there isn’t one community in Ceredigion whose children haven’t played on it at some point. It is a fitting commemoration in this hundredth anniversary year of the ending of the First World War and as we remember the past, we also look to the future and Cae Sgwar’s newly protected status in perpetuity as a recreational field, thanks to the Centenary Field Trust.”

A short ceremony was held to unveil the plaque where Miss Edwards, Councillor Hinge and Councillor Evans spoke alongside Ceredigion County Council’s Chairman, Councillor Hag Harris and the Fields in Trust Chairman, Brynmor Williams.

David Lewis, Aberaeron Branch of The Royal British Legion; Miss Elin Jones AM; Councillor Hag Harris, Ceredigion County Council Chairman; Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion County Council Armed Forces Champion; Councillor Elizabeth Evans, Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member; Miss Sara Edwards, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed; John Lewis, Aberaeron Town Improvement Committee; Carwyn Lloyd-Jones, The Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet; Robin Williams, Fields in Trust; Brynmor Williams, Fields in Trust Chairman; Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council Corporate Lead Officer for Policy and Performance; Huw Evans, Aberaeron Memorial Hall Committee.

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Workshop held on Ceredigion’s economic future

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A WORKSHOP was held for Elected Members on Thursday, March 8, to discuss Ceredigion’s Economic Future bringing together some of the county’s biggest organisations to share what they had to offer and what partnership working could look like in the future.

With an introduction and background to Growing Mid Wales by Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council, Eifion Evans, Ceredigion’s Economic Future Members Workshop proceeded to discuss partnership working with the organisations. Aberystwyth University, Qinetiq Group PLC, West Wales Airport Ltd, Thales Group and Volac International Ltd were in attendance talking about future investment opportunities and outlining significant plans in the county for growth.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Chair of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership and Ceredigion County Council Leader, said: “Holding this workshop and working together with some of the county’s organisations shows the strong position that we are in to develop. I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting developments of Growing Mid Wales in the coming years and particularly so in terms of longer term prospects. The workshop was very important for Members in making them aware of these opportunities and the session was welcomed by all who attended.”

Significant opportunities were recognised as the Mid Wales region starts to develop its response to the Government on the possibilities for a Growth Deal.

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Council services returning to normal

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WITH the snow and ice thawing across Ceredigion, Council services are returning to normal after wintry weather, but weather conditions continue to affect some services.

Council workers have recently spread 1,560 tons of grit on the roads and have carried out seven continuous 12 hour shifts. Council vehicles responding to the wintry weather have travelled approximately 10,100 miles. The B4343 has now reopened.

All waste collection teams were deployed today (5 March), however access issues in some locations may impact on the ability to provide a full service. Information on any waste service disruption can be found at http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/bins-recycling/recycling-bin-collection-dates/waste-disruptions/ or by contacting 01545 572 572.

The Council’s Household Waste sites have reopened. It is likely all waste services will be functioning as usual during the first half of the week.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, the Cabinet member responsible for Technical Services said, “Council staff have been out in all conditions and every hour throughout the day and night to keep Ceredigion residents safe. The outstanding teamwork and dedication shown during the adverse weather situation is to be highly commended and I’m sure everyone is very grateful for their work. It’s also important to keep in mind that the planning work that was carried out before the weather hit Ceredigion has allowed staff to prioritise and uses resources effectively for maximum impact.”

Ysgol Bro Teifi remains closed today due to water supply disruption. Pupils and staff from Rhos-y-wlad Campus, Ysgol Rhoshelyg will transfer to Llangeitho Campus for a few days due to water leakage. Dihewyd School and Canolfan Aeron sent pupils home due to water supply disruption. Every other school in Ceredigion has reopened after being closed on Thursday and Friday (01 and 02 March 2018) due to wintry weather.

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