The Plastic Hippo

October 2, 2014

Taking Tiger Mountain

Via theguardian.com

Via theguardian.com

According to the BBC, if you speak your mind in Hong Kong you are a pro-democracy supporter demanding freedom but, according to the Home Secretary, if you speak your mind in the United Kingdom then you are a murderous terrorist who must be silenced. There can be no better commemoration of the imposition of a ruthless, totalitarian junta than patriotic speeches in Beijing and in Birmingham`s magnificent Symphony Hall.

In terms of simple hilarity, the 2014 Conservative Party Conference has been the most successful celebration of eye watering hypocrisy since communist China`s notorious cultural revolution. The Tory long march to the dismantling of society, the end of compassion and the destruction of common decency concluded with a stirring yet vacuous speech from the most inadequate Prime Minister in living memory. If this wide-boy survives until May it will be conclusive proof that God has a strange sense of humour. (more…)

September 18, 2014

This is the day

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

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…)

September 17, 2014

Deep in the heart of Texas

Image via scotlandweb.be

Image via scotlandweb.be

(more…)

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 1, 2014

Grandma`s footsteps

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 12:59 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,
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…)

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