The Plastic Hippo

September 8, 2014

Who`s afraid of Fiona Woolf?

Fiona and a friend via theguardian.com

Fiona and a friend via theguardian.com

There was a time when it was relatively simple to kick something toxic into the long grass and be fairly confident that the general populous would not notice the stench. These days, however, with the internet thingy having a long and possibly infinite memory, the rich and powerful need to be more creative when hushing scandal and keeping dirty secrets secret.

The next great big hole being excavated by the judicial JCB will bury once and for all inconvenient allegations of the historic sexual abuse of children by those in power or those close to power. It is impossible to give an estimate on just how high the stakes are in committing to a CSA inquiry, historical or not. The fall-out could be as noxious and have the same half-life of Uranium 238 and so needs a very deep hole and a sarcophagus of about 300 feet of lead-lined concrete. The tactics employed by Cameron and the Home Secretary were beguilingly elegant. (more…)

September 6, 2014

Wishing on a star

My God; it`s full of stars

My God; it`s full of stars

Politics by anecdote is no politics at all and when a politician justifies flawed policy by spouting spurious anecdotal evidence you can rest assured that there is a great, big, stinking rat somewhere in the vicinity.

When a cabinet minister says “people say to me”; you can bet your hedge fund that the people saying things to cabinet ministers are hedge fund managers. When an MP says “the vast majority of the British people agree with me”; then it is fairly certain that the vast majority of British people agreeing are the Spads that just produced the morning briefing. Anecdotal evidence is worthless and so, here is mine. (more…)

September 1, 2014

Grandma`s footsteps

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 12:59 am
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Napolean Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David

Napolean Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David

What`s the time Mr Wolf?

Suffused with a comforting aroma of lavender and loose leaf tea, my dear old and now long gone Grandma was as kind and loving and gentle and as reassuring as only Grandmas can be. She could also, when necessary, become absolutely bloody terrifying.

Like many women of her generation, having lost brothers in the First World War and watched sons march off to the Second World War, she was never likely to tolerate the random slapstick buffoonery of little five-year-old me. A genius at contradiction, her word was unbreakable law and she would defend her “own” against any threat real or imagined. It seems that of her many grandchildren, I was something of a favourite. I have no idea why I should be so blessed but it was always a treat to stay with Grandma as she made the best bread and butter pudding in the world and had a piano in the parlour. For years, I thought the phrase “you little buggeroo” was a term of affection that only applied to me and when Grandma said it was bedtime it was definitely bedtime. (more…)

August 4, 2014

All over by Christmas

Filed under: History,Politics,Rights,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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Ypres 1918

Ypres 1918

Today, the beginning of the First World War will be marked with solemn remembrance of the soldiers who fell and the civilians who perished; there is little point in commemorating the 1918 Armistice.

On 3 August 1914, the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey delivered a rousing speech intended to prepare the nation for war. Filled with tub-thumping patriotism extolling honour and courage and sacrifice, the Viscount Grey of Fallodon`s call to arms displayed the time-honoured and continuing skill of a politician to say one thing and know the exact opposite. On the evening before war was declared, safely in the privacy of the Foreign Office, Sir Edward Grey is reported to have looked out of the window at the gathering dusk and said; “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”
Now that his time has long gone, the lamps are still going out and not just all over Europe but all over the planet. The only light in this terrible history are candles lit to the memories of lives lost in Guernica, Coventry, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hanoi, Halabja, Basra, Vukovar, Kosovo and so many other attacks on civilian populations. (more…)

July 11, 2014

Sleep well

Banksy via streetartutopia.com

Banksy via streetartutopia.com

In these dark and perilous hours, my thoughts and prayers are with my fellow British citizens as we face the most grievous emergency to ever threaten the very existence of our proud and free nation.

Hoards of organised criminals, terrorists, perverts and Trade Unionists are openly conspiring to send each other pictures of sodding cats and are communicating via comments about TV programmes that nobody else is watching. It is vital that we remain vigilant against this unspeakable plot and happily wave goodbye to civil liberties justifiably sacrificed on the sacred alter of national security. In David Cameron we have a leader who is at last courageous enough steam roller emergency legislation to allow government free access to every snippet of electronic communication without the unnecessary delay of allowing elected MPs to actually debate or even read the DRIP bill. (more…)

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