BEFORE 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”.
Communities in Ceredigion will get extra support
COMMUNITIES in Ceredigion will get extra support as they take part in a census rehearsal The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has appointed a census engagement manager to support Ceredigion residents help rehearse the census this October.
Ceredigion was chosen as one of just four areas for the census rehearsal, which will enable the ONS to test some of the systems and processes it has put in place ahead of the digital-first 2021 Census.
David Lloyd Roberts, the area’s census engagement manager, will help organisations, charities, faith groups and community leaders within the county to raise awareness of the census rehearsal and the value to local residents in taking part.
David, who grew up on a hill farm in Pontrhydfendigaid studied history and Welsh history at Aberystwyth University before embarking on a career within the community as a trading standards officer. He went on to manage the local authority’s trading standards, licensing and community warden functions.
He said: “I’ve worked in local government in Ceredigion for over 34 years and served as a school governor for 10 years, so I like to think I know the area and its people well.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to work with community groups and residents to test out the processes to make sure everything works as well as possible and to help ensure everyone in Ceredigion get their voices heard.”
People in each of the rehearsal areas, Ceredigion, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Carlisle, will be asked to complete a questionnaire about those living in their household on 13 October 2019.
The rehearsal will be primarily online, with help for those who need it. Residents will be invited to take part later this year.
Director of census operations, Pete Benton, said: “The census helps inform vital public services such as the number of children’s school places, hospital and GP services and social care provision in local areas.
“As the census only takes place every ten years it is important we hold an operational rehearsal to ensure that all our processes run smoothly.
“The people of Ceredigion who take part will all be helping to ensure the overall success of the 2021 Census.”
The ONS’s recommendations for the next census were published in a government White Paper in December 2018.
The 2021 Census will, for the first time, collect information on veterans of the UK Armed Forces. This enables monitoring of the Armed Forces covenant – the deal between the country and those who served it.
And it is proposed that there will also be a new voluntary question on sexual orientation for those aged 16 and over. In addition to the usual question on being male or female, there will also be a voluntary question on gender identity for those aged 16 and over.
Everyone across the UK, including those living outside of the four rehearsal areas will be asked to take part in the actual census in 2021. More information will be made available nearer the time.
Community leaders in and around Ceredigion can find out more about the rehearsal by calling David on 07458109340 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairman’s contribution to local charity
AS Councillor Hag Harris’ year as Chairman of Ceredigion County Council for 2018-2019 draws to a close, the Chairman’s Annual Dinner was held. During the evening, donations were received supporting the charity of the Chair’s choice, which was Lampeter Family Centre.
Lampeter Family Centre is open five days a week to all families with children under the age of 11 years old. It is a free, open access environment which provides a service to families in a welcoming and non-judgemental environment.
The centre offers a variety of sessions throughout the week including baby group, lunch club, language and play sessions for parents and toddlers. They also offer free play sessions, craft activities and ‘Out and About’ sessions which promotes the services on offer in the community.
Councillor Hag Harris presented a cheque of £400 for Lampeter Family Centre and said, “It is a pleasure to present this money to a truly deserving charity. Lampeter Family Centre is a fantastic support service for families with young children. It is a great resource and benefit for the community.”
The Centre also offers a variety of courses for parents to gain new skills, including Welsh lessons to help families who have recently moved to the area to integrate into the community. Over the last year, the Centre has supported 102 families.
Lampeter Family Centre is situated at Canolfan Dulais, Pontfaen Road in Lampeter. For more information, phone 01570 423847 or email email@example.com.
Beach clean up by Aberaeron Community Ambassadors
ON Tuesday 26 March, Aberaeron Community Ambassadors organised and hosted a beach clean at Aberaeron beach during their lunch hour. Whilst carrying out the clean-up, the young people had the opportunity to learn about looking after the environment around them.
Aberaeron Community Ambassadors is made up of Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron pupils and members of Aberaeron Youth Club. The group is part of Ceredigion Youth Service and is led by young volunteers and local young people.
School-based Youth Worker at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, Rebeca Davies said, “The ambassadors did a great job organising and hosting their first community project, which was well planned and executed. It’s fantastic to see that our young people are so eager to get involved and give up their time for the benefit their local communities. Well done to Aberaeron Community Ambassadors!”
The recently established group now has 20 members aged between 11-18. Its aim is to organise and undertake activities and events which will benefit the community around Aberaeron.
Thomas Evans, Head Boy at Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron and Young Volunteer with Ceredigion Youth Service said, “We had a great time litter picking at our local beach. It was a really good opportunity to give something back to the community, and that is the aim of the group. The group is looking forward to our next project.”
Ceredigion Youth Service is the designated Service for young people aged 11-25 in Ceredigion, dedicated to supporting young people’s personal, social and educational development through specialised support and open access provision. For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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