July 19 2012

Unwelcome visitors

I'm afraid my scribblings were interrupted last night by some unexpected and unwelcome visitors - a swarm of wasps that took up residence in our kitchen.
I have known for some time that there was a wasps nest in the sloping roof, but, as they didn't seem to be causing any problem, I decided in the interests of biodiversity to leave them be.
What I didn't know was that they were busy chewing through the plasterboard ceiling and yesterday evening they finally made the breach.
There were hundreds, if not thousands, buzzing round in the kitchen and after we'd both been stung while trying to open the windows to let them out, we shut the door and decided to seek help.
Unfortunately, PCC don't have an out-of-hours pest control service but the man on the emergency line was very helpful.
The spray from Tesco that he recommended certainly did the trick and all that is now required is to hoover up the bodies.
Call me paranoid if you like, but I will take some convincing that that Jacob Williams didn't have something to do with this.

Party tricks

My super-mole has sent me a document headed canvasing (sic) which it is believed was authored by the same person who produced the document labelled "oppersition".
This document, which dates back to the 2008 election, gives a list of candidates and alongside are the names of the unopposed Independent Political Group members who are to help with their campaigns.
Two of the candidates - Sue Lane (Tenby) and Bobby Sheldrake (Wiston) were not even councillors so couldn't possibly be members of the IPG, though they had, presumably, promised to sign up if elected.
In the event, this was never put to the test.
One interesting entry is that of Islwyn Howells (Cabinet member for education) who was up against Tory Richard Hancock in Rudbaxton.
One of Cllr Howells' helpmates was to be David Wildman a card-carrying member of the Tory party.
As it turned out even having someone as influential as Cllr Wildman on board couldn't save Islwyn from becoming ex-councillor Howells.
This sort of campaign organisation is difficult reconcile with the IPG's claim not to be a political party.
What, it seems, the voters are expected to believe is that, while it might walk like a duck, swim like a duck and quack like a duck, it is actually an elephant doing duck impersonations.


It is always instructive to watch a master at work, in whatever field, so Old Grumpy was fascinated by the article in this week's Western Telegraph under the headline "Davies withdraws from the race for commissioner"
This was reference to the former county council Leader's bid to become the Tory party candidate at November's election of a police commissioner for the Dyfed Powys force.
A blow by blow account of what went on at the Conservative party selection meeting can be read at (that other website).
It is in stark contrast to what is written in the Western Telegraph which tells us that: "Cllr Davies had been considering joining the Tories and campaigning for selection as its representative to face a vote in November etc."
Cllr Davies told the newspaper: "I withdrew from the selection. I always said I did not know if I would stand as an independent or otherwise. I am still considering standing as an independent. I have made up my mind that I won't be standing as a political party member."
As usual, the truth is somewhat different.
Along with the other candidate Chris Salmon, Cllr Davies attended the Conservative selection meeting in Narberth, where both made a presentation to the members.
So, he wasn't just "considering joining the Tories and campaigning for selection as its representative . . ." he had taken positive steps to pursue that course of action.
The Western Telegraph continues: "Cllr Davies attended a selection meeting in Narberth last week, but said he withdrew his offer of joining the party and his potential candidacy that night".
But again timing is all.
He made his pitch to members and, when that didn't go down very well, he decided to pull out.
As he told the Western Telegraph: "I wasn't a member of the party, that was a big issue with them."
Well fancy that: a political party thinking it might be a good idea if its candidate was a member.
However, I am told that he had submitted an application for membership (and probably a cheque) that afternoon, and when things didn't go according to plan he withdrew his application before it could be processed.
You may wonder why he left his application so late, especially as it has been known for weeks that he and certain prominent local Tories had been working behind the scenes to secure the candidacy for him.
Well, this last minute application allowed him to have the penny and the bun because he was able to pull out without having to record his membership of the Tory party, however brief, in the council's register of interests.
It also allowed him to tell the WT : "The most important things are people and policing, not party politics." and "I've always said this is about policing communities, not party politics, and I don't think politicians should be influencing policing."
And that within a week of his failed attempt to run as a party politician.
Cllr Davies now says he is considering standing as an independent.
If anyone fancies a flutter, I am prepared offer odds of 2:1 (bottle(s) of Merlot) that he doesn't.
The good news for members of the Cabinet is that Cllr Davies told the WT that he has "no ambitions" to return to the top table.
So those who were thought likely to fill the role of fatted calf on the prodigals return can sleep easy in the knowledge that their position, and the nearly 15 grand SRA that goes with it, is safe.

Train crash

Unfortunately, all of the above pales into insignificance compared to what is coming down the track from the world economy.
As many predicted at its inception, that vast economic experiment known as the Eurozone (EZ) is about to fall off a cliff as it is crushed between the markets, which are reluctant lend it any more money, and the people, who refuse to accept the austerity measures required to repair the holes in the public finances.
What is hard to believe is that this was all planned by the EZ's architects who saw the single currency as the mechanism for the creation of a single European state.
They reasoned that monetary union would be easier to sell to the people of Europe than political union but, once they all had the same currency, political union would come to be seen as the only way to make it work.
Unfortunately, they have lost control of the monster they created and we will all have to pay the inevitable price.

Due to our wasp problems the rest the news will have to be posted under stop press over the weekend.

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