The Plastic Hippo

July 5, 2014

Ready to Rumble

Via bbc.co.uk

Via bbc.co.uk

Just when you start to think that politics could not descend any further into the cesspit of disgraceful opportunism, along comes another piece of low life ready to plumb new depths of disrespect.

Wolverhampton councillor Bob Jones was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands on November 15th 2012. He died suddenly on Tuesday 1st July 2014 aged 59. By all accounts and judging from the many tributes paid to him from across the political spectrum, he was very good at his job even though he stated that Police and Crime Commissioners were not a terribly good idea in a mature and open democracy. Those that knew him and even those that politically opposed him are unanimous in their admiration for this good and honest man. (more…)

June 14, 2014

Wake up and smell the coffee

The full English

The full English

Enjoying a breakfast consisting of a croissant and a cup of strong Turkish coffee, a person from Scotland informed me of the news of the day via a radio manufactured in Taiwan. With an elbow resting on the Swedish worktop, I poured another cup of Yemen`s finest from the stainless steel Spanish percolator and considered the question being asked on the radio. British values, it seems, are to be promoted in British schools and the questioner was asking what defines British values.

Responding to a non-existent plot to indoctrinate children into the ways of terrorism, Michael Gove now insists that British values will be actively promoted in schools. He helpfully added that British values include respect and tolerance and liberty and without any sense of shame or irony, the PM chimed in with talk of responsibility. The mouthful of coffee ended up all over the Chinese wok. (more…)

June 10, 2014

The Jumblies

Illustration by L. Leslie Brooke 1871

Illustration by L. Leslie Brooke 1871

The notion of rote learning as espoused by Michael Gove suggests that if you memorise and recite something often enough, then dull repetition will be miraculously converted into knowledge. With sincerest apologies, I will repeat that Michael Gove should face arrest and charges of criminal damage and appear before a court of law with the power to impose a custodial sentence. This man and his apparatchiks are extremely dangerous. (more…)

June 8, 2014

Gove vs. Reality

Rigor mortis

Rigor mortis

With the best will in the world and summoning up all remaining reserves of compassion, empathy, forgiveness and basic humanity, it is impossible to like anything about Michael Gove.

Any redeeming qualities this Secretary of State for Education might once have manifested now languish in the ruins of his credibility, venal dishonesty, incompetence and abject failure. The latest shambles brought about by the right dishonourable member for Surrey Heath revolves around an alleged plot to infiltrate Birmingham schools with warped ideology and barking mad extremist dogma. (more…)

April 13, 2014

Careless in the community

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk

In imagined nostalgia, there was a time when a community was defined by its pub, church, post office and school and life in merry old England revolved from cradle to grave with reassuring certainty. In present reality, however, dark forces are at work hatching dastardly plots intended to subvert our culture by infiltrating communities with hard line, fundamentalist extremists hell-bent on imposing warped dogma and alien ideology.

The pub is now a Tesco Express and the church is falling down but remains a lucrative long-term real estate investment opportunity. The post office is long gone and has been replaced with a food bank next to a loan shark. The school is now an Academy named after an unfamiliar sponsor and the community is now defined by hedge funds rather than hedgerows. (more…)

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