The Plastic Hippo

October 6, 2014

Lord of the flies

Via standard.co.uk

Via standard.co.uk

It is as if the entire coalition cabinet has been flying on an aircraft which has suffered an unfortunate but non-fatal crash on some deserted island far away from civilisation and the controlling influence of grown-ups.

Imagine an enclosed society where marooned public schoolboys fight to the death over the death of a government. In 1954, William Golding did. He could never have imagined that his inspired allegory would become reality in, of all places, the Palace of Westminster. We have been treated to some fairly colossal howlers during the 2014 party conference season. When given their go at holding the conch, Ed Miliband forgot to mention the deficit, David Cameron told a massive lie about the deficit and Nick Clegg tried to claim credit for the massive lie about the deficit. With all three parties haemorrhaging membership and distain at politics turning into disgust, the descent into savagery is inevitable. If the Scottish independence campaign was characterised by negativity, threats, scare-mongering and insults, the next seven months of hysterical shouting will make the Jerry Springer Show sound like Gardener`s Question Time. (more…)

September 28, 2014

The secret diary of David Cameron aged 47⅞

Filed under: Fiction,Literature,Politics — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
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Lord Snooty via thecomicartwebsite.com

Lord Snooty via thecomicartwebsite.com

Saturday 27th September 2014

Woke up really early and was so excited because today is the day that I get to start my very own war. It`s really nice being in charge of the Royal Air Force but after I told them that they could, I`m a bit disappointed that they didn`t kill anybody on the first day.

Had breakfast; sugar puffs, boiled egg and soldiers and a glass of milk. When nanny wasn`t looking, I pinched a Hobnob from the biscuit barrel. Result.

Played Minecraft after breakfast. Lynton came storming in shouting some very rude words about being reckless. I could tell he was upset because he was shouting louder than usual and the swear-words were ruder as well. I have absolutely no idea what he was on about but he must be right because he is so clever and he is paid so much money. He left and I think he said that he was going to ring Michael Gove or he might have said that was going to wring Michael Gove`s neck. (more…)

September 18, 2014

This is the day

Filed under: Literature,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 11:00 pm
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imagesVHG6NOAK

The polling places have closed, the ballots have been cast and the votes are being counted. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day but I have a bottle of Lagavulin, a huge bag of Twiglets and the day off tomorrow. By breakfast time, both the Union and I are likely to be wasted.

Shakespeare knew a thing or two about politics and statehood but even his fertile imagination could not have conjured up such an incredible plot. If MacDuff were to ask “stands Scotland where it did?” the answer would be “no”, or possibly “yes”. For the first time, Scotland`s fate has been decided by the pencil rather than the sword and the biggest loser regardless of the vote will be David Cameron. (more…)

August 15, 2014

Deepening like a coastal shelf

Filed under: Education,Literature,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
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Diving for pearls

Diving for pearls

Of all the important things taught at seats of learning both great and small, how to be a parent stands little chance of being included on the curriculum. Like parachuting, deep sea diving and mating, all the manuals, theory and research in the world cannot replace the hands-on experience of on-the-job training. Failure seems inevitable as attempting to channel positivity, hope, compassion and basic human decency without imposing anxiety, fear and an all consuming ambition is a balancing act that is almost impossible to carry off. Thus, misplaced and erroneous reflected parental glory came a knocking on the door on AS-Level results day.

We have tried our very best not to impose pressure in the pursuit of top examination grades preferring to allow young minds to chart their own course. We failed on occasions and with hindsight comments such as “what do you mean you can`t grasp the concept of filial piety in King Lear” and “for heaven`s sake, child, it`s only a quadratic equation” barked across the dinner table did not exactly help. After a while, the stock question “have you done your homework” was always replied with “yes” even though we knew the answer was always “no”. As one wag many years ago wrote on the wall of the gents at my student union; “knowledge wilts in the greenhouse of academia”. (more…)

July 16, 2014

Ozymandias

Filed under: Education,History,Literature,Politics — theplastichippo @ 2:07 am
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Ramesses II

Ramesses II

It wasn`t exactly a JFK moment or an Elvis moment or even a John Lennon moment but the day after Bastille Day 2014 is now carved into memory.

Tuesday morning was always going to be “challenging” as a long scheduled three hour meeting starting at nine would require concentration and the certain need for some agile thinking if I had any hope of a successful outcome. It was the sort of meeting that requires you to switch off your phone. Emerging into the sunshine feeling quietly confident and more that a little smug, I resorted to a nearby hostelry to collect my thoughts over a pint of fine English ale. Finding a seat outside and sparking up a gasper, I switched the phone back on.

A stream of about a dozen text messages broke the peace and quiet of the beer garden. This was most unusual as text messages are rare and are normally confined to simple pleas from the homestead to “buy cat food” or an attempt at further extortion from the tax dodging bandits calling themselves my network provider. (more…)

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