The Plastic Hippo

December 29, 2010

Wake up Walsall

Filed under: Walsall — theplastichippo @ 7:44 pm

Just the other day, my wife and I visited Walsall town centre and we were both disgusted at what we were forced to endure. What in God’s name has happened to the town that was once the jewel in the crown of the British Empire?

Not one person was carrying an English flag or wearing a rose to celebrate St Georges day. It seems that they are ashamed to be English. Instead, some of them were wearing red hats trimmed with fur as a blatant display of loyalty to evil Marxist tyranny. All of them were probably unemployed and rather than perform their civic duty by buying a shovel and clearing the pavements of snow, they were actually going into shops and buying presents. I nearly slipped. It makes me ashamed to be English.

But it gets worse. My wife and I had to walk through discarded litter that had been ignored by the countless, idle young people milling about the town. It amazes me that these people refuse to get off the dole and find a job. I have told my wife to be ashamed of being English.

Then there were other shirkers spending their benefit money in pubs rather than being in church on Christmas Eve. There they were, bold as brass, drinking their beer and smoking their cigarettes subsidised by the taxes paid by my wife and others. If I could have my way, these scroungers would be made to spend normal working hours in the stocks and then forced to work at night cleaning the streets of our beautiful town.

And another thing. The car parks and streets were clogged with cars. Unemployed from as far away as Aldridge and Willenhall come into Walsall town centre to spend their hand-outs and take parking spaces that should be reserved for Walsall people. It makes me ashamed to live in Walsall.

At least our wonderful new government is doing something about this national disgrace. Stopping the payment of benefits to this low life might just make them think twice about buying that pint of beer, that packet of cigarettes or that jumbo pack of nappies. Without state hand-outs these vermin will have to find work or die.

It is time that the decent, hard-working people of Walsall stood up to this kind of scum. The unemployed do not deserve libraries, leisure centres, care homes or schools for their feral children. Walsall council is fighting the good fight in defending honest, hard working tax payers like my wife by closing down these facilities to the free loading parasites who cannot be bothered to find a job.

It is time for Walsall to wake up and put these scrounging unemployed in their place. Only then can I tell my wife to stop being ashamed of Walsall and be proud of our magnificent cultural heritage.

If he were still alive, heaven knows what Richard Wattis would have made of this disgraceful state of affairs. He would, no doubt, agree with me and be ashamed of Walsall and would also agree that we should be proud of Walsall at the same time…err…yes…right…I really don’t know what I’m doing. My wife…err…yes.


December 24, 2010

Silent night

Filed under: Uncategorized — theplastichippo @ 12:14 am

“This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.”

Extract from The Journey of the Magi by T.S.Eliot

An angel appeared to Mary and annunciated that as a young person not in employment, education or training, she did not qualify for the non-existent Education Maintenance Allowance and although an immaculate conception leading to pregnancy was not entirely within her control, she could not expect any support from the state.

And so, a child was born.

Shepherds continued to watch their flocks fearful of travelling into urban areas as the government would hold them financially responsible for any spread of foot and mouth disease.

Three wise men journeyed from the east and after holding a tribunal, decided that Mary, although homeless, was a scrounger. The gifts of child benefit, Bookstart literature for the infant and the right to a safe place to live would be withheld and the savings past on to the money lenders in the temple. King Herod, fearful of an educated underclass that might one day usurp his throne, saddled potential undergraduates with an unmanageable level of debt. This particular beatitude is filled with delicious irony as an increase in tuition fees is just one part of the slaughter of the innocents designed to reduce national debt brought about by greed and avarice. As J Paul Getty once observed: “The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”

As for the future of Mary’s boy child, he can forget about attending a decent nursery, receiving adequate health care or any expectation of being blessed with an education. He is considered worthless by his masters and 2,000 years on, reminiscent of Bethlehem under Herod, reserved for the infant is green hill far away without a city wall.

Thankfully, the child may survive until at least Easter, which cannot be said for the current coalition government hell-bent on destruction and the persecution of the meek. If those of honour in national and local government decide like Pontius Pilate to wash their hands of responsibility, they will forsake those that elected them and those that elected them will, ultimately, forsake them. As long as that is okay with Rupert Murdoch.

Jesus, as they say, wept.

December 21, 2010

Coriolanus – brush up your Shakespeare

Filed under: Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:34 am

Now you`ve freed my arms, let me out of here. I have nukes.

There comes a time when repetitive mockery becomes tedious and only so much scorn can be heaped upon the hopeless, the inadequate and the inept. So let us hear no more bile and invective directed at Walsall cabinet, Mike Bird, Serco, Tesco, the ring road, the bins , the grit and the absent political opposition until at least Boxing Day. But let us allow ourselves one last indulgence in a final hurrah for the Cable guy and the Liberal Democrats.

With seven months experience as business secretary under his belt, Vince seems to think he has the power to “bring the government down” by resigning from office. Like a rogue Coriolanus bestriding the world armed with “nuclear weapons”, he joins the patrician ranks to quell the unruly plebeian rioters. However, Coriolanus was dissuaded from destroying Rome and never made an arse of himself by appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. Vince and the Roman share a sense of self-importance and delusion and both are likely to share the same political fate.

Cable has some previous when it comes to being stung by journalists. He told some local hack in his constituency that he might abstain in the vote on increasing tuition fees, a policy for which he is responsible, and bleated that he did not expect the reporter to report his comments. He did not abstain even as riots raged across Parliament Square. A pledge, it seems, is only suitable for polishing the cabinet table.

Now he has told undercover journalists from the Telegraph that he will destroy Westminster if he is “pushed too far” over the likely scrapping of the winter fuel allowance to pensioners during the coldest winter since the siege of Corioles when our Roman friend defeated the Volscians. For his sake, one can only hope that threats to blow up airports posted on Twitter are viewed by the judiciary as more serious than threats of nuclear strikes made in the Daily Telegraph.

Vince might think he has the power, but Cameron is hugging himself with delight as the Libdem human shield is taking all the hits and Clegg is busy texting David Laws to see if he is busy after Christmas. Renting a room from your lover and then claiming the expense is small beer compared to broken promises on education, VAT, criminal justice, benefits, social care, the NHS, transport, reform of the banking system and the gerrymandering of constituencies in the name of AV. What have the Romans ever done for us?

Either way, Vince is now toast. A rapid return to the back benches or a resounding endorsement and expression of confidence from the Prime Minister will result in the coalition falling apart and an unelected government fiddling as Rome burns. Locally, Walsall Liberal Democrats will continue to attack the historical misbehaviour of the previous Labour government and ignore the savagery of a Conservative controlled council. Labour will sit back and like B`rer Fox will lay low, say nothing and wait for the right moment to pounce. The sly Miliband boy will entice the disgraced junior partners into his lair and offer some kind of compromised salvation.

Far from being humiliated by their betrayal and political naïvety, the Liberal Democrats will remain as the power brokers and continue to entertain us with the rabbit in the headlights stasis when faced with the realities of grown up politics.

But enough hubris, they deserve to be allowed to rest in peace. At least until twelfth night.

***** UPDATE *****

Declaring war on Rupert Murdoch is not the shrewdest of actions even for a duplicitous cabinet minister new to power. As naïve as Vince is, even he must realise that the appointment and survival of ministers is in the control of Murdoch.

The leaked audio tape is as disturbing as the tape of Lord Young slurring that we have never had it so good to a background of well-heeled plate scraping at a posh dinner. The soundtrack that accompanied Vince was giggling popsies pretending to be impressed by the power of an old fool.

Ironically, Cable becomes damaged goods by revealing a stance that would be supported by everyone who favours unbiased, intelligent and responsible news reporting. Andy Coulson survives and so will Vince for a while because it will be too damaging to drop him. Only Murdoch wins.

December 16, 2010

Per ardua ad astra

Filed under: History,Rights,Transport — theplastichippo @ 11:11 pm

Growing up in the late 50`s and early 60`s was a golden age for little boys and little girls interested in aviation. Harold Wilson spoke of the white heat of technology and it seemed that anything was possible. It might be a sign of age, but having witnessed innovations considered to be science fiction, baby boom aircraft nerds now sigh as the amazing becomes obsolete; the Harrier has flown its last.

It might be hard to believe now, but way back then test pilots and aircraft designers attracted the equivalent attention now bestowed on the talentless exhibits on television freak shows. Previously, brainy, caricature boffins and dashing young aviators faced newsreel cameras and promised lunar landings, re-usable spacecraft, space tourism, supersonic passenger transport and even a fast fighting jet that could hover and, if required, fly backwards. Even the gullible were sceptical but with aircraft with names like Javelin, English Electric Lightening and Vulcan, a generation of Airfix kit makers became hooked.

As beatlemania gave way to the summer of love, more thoughtful anoraks began to have difficulty in reconciling the beauty of a Vulcan at full throttle with the amount of carbon being kicked out of the four Bristol Olympus turbojets or the bucket full of instant sunshine in the bomb bay designed to crisp the Red Army. It was not considered cool to admit to an admiration of a B-52 at a Jethro Tull gig.

It has been exactly 38 years since mankind last visited the moon and the NASA Space Shuttle programme will end in the new year. Concorde was grounded and scrapped through no fault of its own in 2003 and yesterday saw the last operational flight of the Harrier, a development of the earlier Kestrel and before that, a contraption known as the flying bedstead. When the Harrier first flew in 1967, the British aerospace industry was so advanced and so generously funded that it led the world in research, development and production. From its first operational flight to its last, the Harrier remained unique, versatile and very special.

Nostalgia, however, has no role in hard economics or the changing demands on strategic military assets. In a world with unpredictable threats of increasing complexity, the retirement of the Harrier force along with the withdrawal of the Nimrod AWACS surveillance platform might turn out to be foolhardy.

Needing about the space of a tennis court as a base to refuel and re-arm, the Harrier in a ground attack scenario could easily neutralise the threat of violent, revolutionary terrorists as they roll their wheelchairs towards innocent police officers. Specialist sensors in the aircraft’s radome could identify known carriers of cerebral palsy allowing SWAT teams on the ground to remove the target thus allowing the Harrier to strafe the enemy WMD. Even a mere puncture to one of the tyres would be a victory in the war against terror.

The Nimrod system could also be re-deployed in these dangerous days for freedom and once again make a vital contribution to national security. Just three aircraft could maintain a standing electronic sentry 30,000 feet above Oxfordshire and intercept dastardly assassination plots hatched by 12-year-old anarchists on Facebook. Within seconds, the Nimrod crew could alert Special Branch to dispatch a response team to a school, extract the child and hold him responsible for any subsequent shooting of the lower sixth hockey team. The expense is minimal compared to the avoidance of a letter of protest being delivered to the constituency office of the Prime Minister. Nimrod could also multi-task by monitoring Twitter for jokes and so produce further expenditure savings.

The genius of the coalition government defence revue is only slowly being revealed. The inspired decision to build aircraft carriers that will not carry aircraft is a master stroke of strategic planning. Without all those expensive jets taking up all the room, the carriers can be used as prison hulks to hold on remand the growing number of rapists, perverts, slave masters, junkies, onanists and Julian Assange who, coincidentally, might have criticised or embarrassed national governments. Solitary confinement and bail set at £250,000 on the strength of allegations without evidence from CIA paid informants will be more effective if anchored off Rockall or Spitsbergen.

Through adversity to the stars might have been the path of Harrier and Nimrod, but for Jody McIntyre, the path through adversity led to the gutter and then, even more humiliating, to Ben Brown at the BBC. Tally ho chaps!

December 13, 2010

Gizza job

Filed under: Politics,Rights,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 11:51 am

The coming week is likely to be a grim one in the run up to peace on earth and goodwill to all men. Our cabinet on Walsall council are about to unleash a programme of cuts to public services that will make the programme of cuts enforced by our coalition government seem like civic responsibility. Now would be a good time for a skiing trip to Klosters.

The government is about to announce a further 10 per cent cut to council grants, a further 5 per cent cut to the police grant, the Highways Maintenance Formula, the fund that repairs pot holes, will disappear, as will funding for the repair of school buildings and the Independent Living Fund, designed to offer people with disabilities some level of dignity will go as well. Eric Pickles expects local authorities to provide more for less but our silent axemen in Walsall will provide less and less and less. Vodafone and Sir Philip Green still haven’t paid their taxes.

Not to be outdone in this outpouring of “fairness”, Walsall cabinet intend to close libraries, make people redundant and reduce front line services. The timing is quite deliberate and indicates just how out of touch both local and national government are when it comes to judging the mood of the nation. They hope that by getting the bad news out of the way before Christmas, we greedy consumers will have forgotten about it by Boxing Day. Sadly, the images of nice, white, middle-class undergraduates engaging in acts of vandalism are likely to be repeated and they may be joined by others who suffer the results of needless and ideological cuts. At least the students who were kettled, beaten and criminalised had a cause unlike David Cameron who, as a privileged undergraduate engaged in acts of vandalism simply because he could.

There is one cut, though, that will dominate the headlines and be the talk of the slopes and apres-ski lodges. The number of Coastguard stations will be reduced from 19 to eight with only three operating around the clock. 250 jobs will go and the search and rescue operation will be “outsourced” to an American-French consortium. Currently, Prince William flies a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter for the Coastguard and may find himself facing redundancy.

So, we are all in this together but it is unlikely that the boy William is about to start attacking posh cars on Regent Street. There are others, however, that might. The Home Secretary is considering deploying water canon. Ding dong merrily on high.

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