The Plastic Hippo

December 15, 2014

Tales of men`s shirts

There`s foie gras on your shirt Dave. Image via PA

There`s foie gras on your shirt Dave. Image via PA

A little more than a year ago, on the eve of St Andrews Day 2013, a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub on the banks of the Clyde. In their response to this dreadful event, the people of Glasgow transformed a darkest moment into a finest hour.

A couple of weeks earlier, the Prime Minister stuffed himself into a dress shirt and dinner suit to attend the Lord Mayor of London`s banquet at the Guildhall. After a sumptuous feast consumed with silver cutlery, David Cameron rose from his gold chair to announce that as times were still tough, cuts to public services would continue and “austerity” will be permanent. He sat next to Fiona Woolf who is no longer Lord Mayor and, apparently, no longer employable.

It has been a bad year for Cameron and, indeed, for Fiona Woolf. It would take until the general election in May to lists the gaffes, disasters, scandals, cover-ups and misery caused by this truly awful Prime Minister so it might be best, as he is so fond of saying, to draw a line under them and move on. (more…)

December 13, 2014

Question Time with Jerry Springer

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
Via bbcqt

Via bbcqt

I stopped watching BBC Question Time months ago because it had become simply too annoying but, after all the fuss, I watched the latest pantomime on I-player. I was annoyed by about four minutes in but the irritation at what now passes for political debate evaporated to be replaced by a profound sense of gloom at what UK politics has become.

Back in 1979, with Thatcher only four months into her stay at Number 10, it must have seemed a good idea to put Any Questions on the telly. The format of having three politicians plus a notable academic or newspaper editor or religious leader taking unseen questions from “members of the public” ticked a lot of news and current affairs boxes in the BBC Charter. With Robin Day holding the good and the great to account, it made for interesting viewing. Although annoyingly pompous, Robin Day stuck to his rule of only asking the same question three times and leave the audience to judge the unwillingness of a politician to deliver an answer. (more…)

December 5, 2014

Entirely a Matter for You

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On the face of it and with delightful incongruity, the early lives of the late Jeremy Thorpe and the even later Peter Cook are remarkably similar.

Cook was born in Devon and as a son of a colonial diplomat “enjoyed” a public school education at Radley College and then Pembroke, Cambridge. Apart from joining the footlights revue, he also joined the Cambridge University Liberal Club. Thorpe was born 18 years earlier and as a son of a Tory MP, “enjoyed” a public school education at Eton and then Trinity, Oxford where he read law and later still became the Liberal MP for North Devon. Here the similarities begin to diverge. Cook opened the Establishment Club in Soho and Thorpe embraced the other establishment as the leader of the Liberal Party. With one of them making a living out of political satire and the other making a living out of political expedience, both men were probably fully aware of what Cyril Smith was up to. (more…)

December 1, 2014

The Knowledge

Filed under: Law,Media,Politics — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
Tags: , ,
David Mellor image via bbc.co.uk

David Mellor image via bbc.co.uk

You get what you pay for and an essential taxi ride from Buckingham Palace to a humble pied-a-terre in St Katharine`s Dock might be expensive but is considerably less life threatening than attempting the same journey using a bicycle.

David Mellor is clearly a victim of misrepresentation and the target of a vicious social media plot hatched by a tiny number of left-wing bullies. He deserves our sympathy because, as a failed cabinet minister voted out of Putney in 1997, he has endured years of not being allowed a ministerial car, the absence of expenses claims and the unfortunate medical condition that seems to be inexorably turning his appearance into that of Ken Dodd. (more…)

November 26, 2014

Dancing Queen of the Night

Via BBC Radio 4

If the old adage that any publicity is good publicity is true; then that there Home Secretary is putting herself about a bit. Even the BBC has temporarily scaled back its Farage 24 service in order to make room in the schedule for the daily Theresa May Show. In addition to her spectacular appearances on hourly news bulletins and interviews with senior and completely impartial political correspondents, Mrs May was honoured to share with the public her human side during an episode of Desert Island Discs. Ubiquity is seldom accidental.

Forget about bacon sandwiches and a couple of Labour MPs grumbling in a House of Commons bar prompting media types to bellow “leadership crisis”, ignore the continuing obsession with a single tweet featuring an image of a house and, for the sake of humanity, disregard pouting minor celebrities screeching outrage at the prospect of a mansion tax. If you require evidence of a “leadership crisis”, look instead toward defections, by election defeats, a feral 1922 committee, the omnipotence of the Home Secretary and a popular Twitter hash tag demanding that “Cameron Must Go”. (more…)

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