The Plastic Hippo

April 3, 2014

Tipping point



It is all too easy to dismiss current television schedules as being filled with mindless pap designed to keep the nation anesthetised in a permanent state of compliant stupor. It`s easy because it`s true.

To celebrate the recent industrial action taken by teachers, we decided to end the day off in solidarity with the NUT by having a junk buffet family meal in front of early evening television. With Blue Peter now a distant memory, I was exposed to a game show that managed to fill an hour of sub-prime time with a game of shove ha`penny. Okay, the show did involve some general knowledge questions along the lines of “who was the author of Dante`s Inferno” and “what is a coat hanger used for” but the big money jackpot was dependent on a machine with moving shelves usually found in seedy penny arcades in run-down seaside towns. The inordinate amount of time taken to confirm a correct or incorrect answer to the question; “the Beatles came from which city on the River Mersey” is not there to build tension but to pad out this rubbish into an hour including commercial breaks. It`s taking a long time for the penny to drop. (more…)

March 7, 2014

Pity the poor immigrant

A flood, a torrent, a tidal wave

A flood, a torrent, a tidal wave

Returning from a recent trip abroad, I was shocked and stunned at the numbers of Bulgarian and Romanian economic migrants, health tourists, potential benefit scroungers and other foreign looking ne`er-do-wells thronging the arrivals terminal.

Given all the dire warnings of an influx of criminal gang masters, I was outraged to find not a single one of them coming over here and stealing our jobs. It would seem that they are coming tomorrow, or next week, or next month or possibly on the day before an election. That very smartly dressed young man being met by officials from a local Premier League football club doesn`t count because it was 12 hours prior to the close of the transfer window and it`s absolutely wonderful when they come over here scoring our goals. There is something charmingly comic when football fans scream racist abuse when an opposing overseas player clogs lumps out of one of their own overseas players or when the overseas manager fails to come up with the end of season silverware. (more…)

February 26, 2014

Pie in the sky

Filed under: History,Law,Media,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:59 am
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Daily Mail January 1934

Daily Mail January 1934

As far as I am aware, there is no statute under English law that allows a conviction on the grounds of guilt by association which, all things considered, will come as something of a relief to newspaper editors, MPs past and present and a variety of celebrities.

The Daily Mail has a long association with fascism, false allegations, bigotry, hypocrisy, shockingly inaccurate reporting, downright lies and a rather unhealthy obsession with pictures of pre-pubescent girls in bikinis. The self proclaimed arbiter of taste and decency in Middle England and their extensive legal team know the boundaries of the law and know that guilt by association is not a legal thing. Ludicrous smear campaigns against people the Daily Mail don`t like very much is, however, well within the law. Little wonder that the tawdry rag in the repulsive form of editor Paul Dacre and, by implication, the current Viscount Rothermere who owns the voice of Britain without paying any tax in the UK are implacably opposed to any regulation of the gutter press as recommended or not, as the case may be, by the Leveson report. (more…)

February 8, 2014

Wee timorous beastie

Filed under: History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 11:34 pm
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Wild haggis image via

Wild haggis image via

Dislike him or simply loath him, David Cameron`s ability to say one thing and mean the exact opposite marks him as a consistently transparent and consummately deceptive Prime Minister.

His recent woeful pronouncement on the Scottish independence referendum is the latest in a long line of deliberately duplicitous statements that go back to days before he assumed power. Remember how his manifesto promised that there would be “no more top down reorganisation of the NHS” and how that most precious and vital public service was “safe” in his hands? That election pledge along with promising to keep EMA, no in increase VAT and so many other works of fiction are now safely shredded and deleted from the Conservative Party web site, history and any semblance of honesty. How we laughed when he said that we are all in it together and how grateful we are when he tells us that debt, deficit and borrowing are reduced even though the facts indicate the opposite.

With his latest foray into the realms of deception, the Great chieftain o` the pudding-race, Cameron of Clan Cameron has descended into Dr Johnson`s last refuge of a scoundrel by evoking embarrassingly false patriotism regarding Scottish independence. (more…)

February 3, 2014

Home again

Filed under: Birmingham,History,Politics,Transport,Walsall,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
Via the plastic hippo

Via the plastic hippo

Sometimes, if time and money allow, it is extraordinarily therapeutic to burst out of the parochial bubble to catch some face time with the rest of the world and when opportunity presented a visit to a place on something called a bucket list, it was a case of bye-bye Walsall, see you later. The chance to walk on the same marble pavements that once experienced the sandals of Heraclitus, Alexander the Great, Saint Paul and Saint John proved too great a temptation so, without a second thought, bye-bye England.

When Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Oh it`s so nice to go travelling”, they clearly did not have to endure the ghastly shopping centre with a runway attached that calls itself Birmingham International Airport or have to change trains at a ghastly shopping centre with platforms known as the new “improved” New Street Station. A city the size of Birmingham and a region as important as the West Midlands really should have transport hubs that work. It was definitely not so much nicer to come home. (more…)

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