The Plastic Hippo

December 11, 2011

Economics for dummies

Filed under: Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:44 pm


In certain undisclosed locations around the planet, there are are vast piles of imaginary money. A tiny proportion of our fellow human beings make huge piles of real money by moving the imaginary money around from one imaginary place to another imaginary place.

This economic system, according to our Prime Minister, needs to be preserved. Our Prime Minister is clearly barking mad. This humble blog has attempted to refrain from profanity, blasphemy, or anything that might offend you cherished, discerning readers. But, when a weak attempt at satirising the shipping forecast results in a comment from an elected representative suggesting that the admittedly shoddy piece was an insult to dead seamen, the gloves have to come off. David Cameron is a f#cking idiot and so is the Labour councillor currently in post-op after the removal of his sense of humour. Raith Rovers lost again by the way, this time at home to Livingston. One mustn’t gloat.

Cameron went to Brussels wishing to preserve the right of the City of London to screw just about anything that walks, crawls or drags itself across the surface of this sorry planet. It was, he said, “not in Britain’s interest” to sign up to a deal that would save the Euro, jobs, security, welfare, trade and an entire continent. Instead, he flounced out of the discussions because he wanted the rich, greedy bastards that caused the current mess to remain rich, greedy bastards. David Cameron is a f#cking idiot.

Returning to plaudits and hero worship from Euro sceptic fossils like Bill Cash and Richard Shepherd, this fool may have preserved his political life by a few months, bolstered by the support of Tory backbenchers who seem keen on a war. History, though, will remember him as a British Prime Minister that destroyed Britain, Europe and made the poor pay for the lifestyles of the rich and anonymous. By pleasing the Tory herd and his business benefactors, Cameron has turned the clock back to the feudal, medieval dark ages. David Cameron is a f#cking idiot.

It is important in Cameron’s Britain that the Euro should fail. That will allow the little englanders to bleat “nah, nah, told you so”. Unfortunately, if the Euro does fail, Britain, as part of the single market, is doomed. The bulk of our trade is with our European neighbours, apart from the arms deals with repressive regimes that kill children. So if Johnny Foreigner decides to focus on human beings rather than bankers and we decide that rich, greedy bastards are more important than a person with disabilities, we are, to use the vernacular, f#cked. Protecting a square mile of rich, inadequate failures is not the solution to a crisis brought about by rich, inadequate failures. But never mind, the likes of Bill Cash and Richard Shepherd are probably ejaculating into their moleskin trousers even as we speak. David Cameron is a f#cking idiot.

Compliant in all of this are the Liberal Democrats. Oh dear, where do we start? Having abandoned any shred of honour, integrity or pledge, how long will the parliamentary Libdem whores lie back and think of England as the Conservatives subject them to indescribable humiliation? Cameron may have pleasured toothless old crones like Teresa Gorman and secured the vote of angry from Tunbridge Wells, but walking away from negotiations actually weakens the City of London as a commercial centre because Europe will not trust an incompetent used car salesman.

The Liberal Democrats, dressed in rubber and tied to the bed post with billiard balls in their mouths have a clear choice. Either continue to submit to this debauchery or return to the principles they once believed in. There has been talk that this latest spanking could break up the coalition and force an election. This is not the case. Should the easy virtue Libdem MPs support a vote of no confidence in Cameron and his dogging chums, they and other opposition MPs could form a new government within 14 days. That way, they could retain the trappings of power that they crave and possibly spend an evening not on their knees. Fixed term parliament legislation introduced by the coalition will allow this to happen. Sadly, Nick Clegg is also a f#cking idiot.

It is also worth remembering that we did not actually elect this bunch of tossers in the first place.

For the sake of balance and impartiality, the plastic hippo is not a qualified economist, a weather forecaster, a politician or an amoeba. David Cameron, however, remains a f#cking idiot.

December 8, 2011

I have in my hand a piece of paper

Filed under: Birmingham,History,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 11:30 am


There are many differences that separate Neville Chamberlain from David Cameron. Neville, for example, actually worked for a living before entering parliament and Dave has never been Mayor of Birmingham or the MP for Birmingham Ladywood. Yeah, Ladywood. Not bad for a toff.

As Cameron sets off for a bout of ritual humiliation in Brussels, growling with the “bulldog spirit” demanded by his little Englander back bencher`s, his fate is as surely sealed as that of Neville who went, saw and capitulated. The difference is, despite the character assassination that followed Chamberlain’s abortive attempt at peace and a united Europe in 1938, Dave will come back without even a single sheet of Andrex to cover his dignity. Cameron is out of his shallow depth.

The idea that Britain can have any influence in Europe whilst remaining serenely aloof is a philosophy that belongs to the long gone citizens of Hartlepool who, during the Napoleonic Wars, lynched a shipwrecked monkey believing that the creature was a French spy. Conservative back bencher’s and the equally bizarre supporters of UKIP are even now conducting house to house searches for Simians and other higher primates capable of holding a pencil and marking a cross on a piece of paper.

Dave wants to preserve the rights of the City of London, the banks and stock brokers to make as much money for themselves as possible. It seems that corporate greed takes precedence over health care, education, health and safety, disability rights, the working time directive and the actual survival of our nation.

Sadly, Neville Chamberlain died a broken man in 1940. If he had lived another three years, he would have enjoyed this wonderful song by the master, Noel Coward. Perhaps Cameron is humming the tune as he is whisked away to face politicians more capable than him. Chamberlain would have made mincemeat of Merkel and Sarkozy.

This humble blog would like to offer some alternative lyrics for the dog days of 2011.

Don’t let’s be beastly to the Bankers
Now their victory is ultimately won.
Let us treat them very kindly,
As we would a valued friend.
We must not send out their tax demands,
In case it should offend.

Let’s be sweet to them
And day by day repeat to them
That compassion simply isn’t done.
Let’s sweetly sympathise again,
And help the greed to rise again,
But don’t let’s be beastly to the scum.

We must be kind
And with an open mind,
We must endeavour to find a way
To let the Bankers know
Now that the world is collapsing,
They are not the ones who have to pay.

We must be sweet
And tactful and discreet,
And now we’ve suffered defeat,
We mustn’t let
Them feel upset,
Or ever get the feeling
That we’re cross with them or hate them.
Our future policy must be to reinstate them.

Don’t let`s be beastly to the Bankers,
For they’re civilized,
When all is said and done.
Though they gave us Lehman’s and fat cats full of cream,
They also gave us poverty and Sir Philip bloody Green.

Let’s be meek and mild to them
And turn the other cheek to them,
And try to arouse their latent sense of fun.
Let’s give them full air parity,
And treat the rats with charity,
But don’t let`s be beastly to the scum.

Don’t let`s be beastly to the Bankers.
You can’t deprive a gangster of his fun.
Though they’ve been a little naughty
To the Portuguese and Greeks,
That doesn’t really matter
To these greedy, selfish creeps.

Let’s be free with them
And let the BBC speak for them.
We mustn’t prevent them basking in the sun.
Let’s soften our defeat again,
And build their bloody banks again,
And don’t let`s be beastly to the scum.

With huge apologies to the great Noel Coward.

Astonishingly, his song was banned by the BBC in 1943 for being pro-German. It would seem that not very much has changed and Cameron will return with a piece of paper that will be reported as a triumph. With an oaf like this in charge and a Chancellor that needs to take his socks off to count above eleven, it is probably wise to take the next flight to Munich if one wishes to survive the winter.

Peace in our time? What a great idea.

December 2, 2011

Funny peculiar

Filed under: Media,Society — theplastichippo @ 10:49 pm


A neutrino walks into a bar. Neutrino who? Neutrino. Who’s there? Knock knock.

It is a popular urban myth that all stand up comedians are inherently left wing. It might be true that the bierkeller circuit in 1930`s Berlin wasn’t exactly awash with the likes of Sandi Toksvig or Alexie Sayle, but it is fair to assume that the third Reich had a sense of humour. Joseph Goebbels, for example, had a stunning routine about Jews, gypsies and cripples. They were laughing in the aisles during the night of the long knives.

The left do not hold a monopoly on humour which can only be a good thing. A quick peek at the work of Harry Enfield, Ricky Gervais or the two blokes from Little Britain will reveal a bedrock of prejudice and ridicule against the poor, the fat, the stupid and the disabled. Anyone who is different from the perceived norm is fair game as a source of humour and, after all, it’s just a bit of a joke, no offence. A new entrant into this panoply of comedy gold is failed Express and Star journalist and self proclaimed petrol head, Jeremy Clarkson. No stranger to controversy, all lorry drivers are rapists and all women are stupid, Clarkson has adopted the Gervais model of not actually being funny in the first place.

There is a theory of humour that argues that we laugh at things that frighten us. The relief that we are not the butt of the joke provokes the chuckle muscles as evoked by the genius that is Ken Dodd. So jokes about inferiority make us laugh because we do not want to feel inferior. The French tell jokes about the Belgians, the Americans tell jokes about the Polish and the Canadians and the English tell jokes about the Irish. The Irish tell joke jokes about Kerrymen and in their turn, Kerrymen tell jokes about the English, the Yanks, the Canucks, the Poles, the Frogs and the Flems. Geddit?

Clarkson`s WYSIWYG persona is his only defence against claims that he is not in any way funny. Many years ago, this humble author found himself behind a sound desk at a Bernard Manning corporate gig. After verbally abusing the predominately young, black, female waiting staff, many of whom were in tears, the “comedian” suddenly found that his microphone no longer worked and had to curtail his act. At the disciplinary hearing a few days later, I explained it was just a bit of a joke, no offence intended and that some of my best friends are comedians.

In terms a balance and, of course, the absolute right of free speech, every Frankie Boyle being offensive and, at times, disgusting, requires a Jeremy Clarkson to prove that those of us who are less well off are not actually brain dead. What unites the Top Gear host, Frankie Boyle, single joke merchants like Gervais, Lucas and Walliams and even the racist tram rant woman is a failure in education to deliver an understanding that a cheap laugh or opinion, no matter how amusing or heartfelt at the time, is not necessarily funny or correct.

Bernard Manning died in 2007. Good. No offence intended. Clarkson, Boyle and Gervais still draw breath which is a shame. Bye bye Jeremy. Think of another way to flog your latest book.

December 1, 2011

Armageddon

Filed under: Birmingham,Politics,Rights,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 4:07 pm


For the last day of November, Wednesday was unusually mild and covered with blue skies and sunshine. With both boys off school due to the “irresponsible” strike action by “militant” teachers, what better way to enjoy such a beautiful day than a post-breakfast walk around Walsall Arboretum.

As we walked across what was once the only municipal golf course in Walsall, we discussed the reasons behind this most welcomed day off. After a brief explanation, the older boy observed that making public servants pay more, work longer and receive less upon retiring was “a bit unfair”. His younger brother gave this most erudite contribution: “The government is just stupid and greedy.” Some fatherly advice did nothing to assuage his desire to punch the Prime Minister on the nose. From the mouths of babes and sucklings, Mr Cameron.

We knew it was never going to end well. Back on that bright May morning in 2010 when two public schoolboys held hands for the cameras in the Downing Street garden, it became obvious that only a privileged few would escape the carnage.

Now, after 18 months of woeful mismanagement of the economy, Chancellor Gideon offered his Autumn statement. The thrust of his argument is to blame his predecessors, snow, foreigners, “militants”, the OECD and even the coalition created Office for Budget Responsibility. Old Uncle Tom Cobley was strangely missing from the list of excuses offered by this clown masquerading as a serious statesman. The obscenely rich, it seems, will be protected by squeezing the last drop out of the poor, the not so poor, the disadvantaged and people with disabilities. Would you buy a used car from someone called George Osborne?

With zero growth and government borrowing going through the roof (£111billion over the next five years), the braying of Osborne, Cameron, Clegg, Cable and the preposterous Danny Alexander over the inherited deficit has become farcical. It seems that a day of industrial action is way more costly than a royal wedding. These sphincters are borrowing more than Brown and Darling ever thought they could get away with. Add to this the knee-jerk reaction to whatever upsets the already discredited right wing press, and we have a recipe of ruin.

Throughout last week, listening to the sorry excuses of cabinet ministers dragging their sorry derrières around news studios and press briefings, one might come to the conclusion that the end of the world was at hand brought about by public sector workers protesting that their contracts of employment had been torn up. The announcement of entering into the crazy scheme of offering sub-prime mortgages resulted in share prices of building firms going up. Only building firm shareholders will benefit and the homeless will remain homeless. Idiot Clegg announced a billion to force NEETS into unpaid, temporary work. EMA, cut to save the heating bills of bankers swimming pools, cost the exchequer half that amount. Credit easing to small companies only applies to a business with a turn-over greater than £50million and the idea that building roads as a way of improving “infrastructure” will promote the life chances of an impoverished child is laughable.

Interestingly, the Liberal Democrats are supporting this madness. It is sad to see a political party go from blushing virgin to crack whore in such a short period of time. Liberal Democrats, implicit in this ideological destruction of a nation, have had to stare at a lot of ceilings and bite a lot of pillows over the last 18 months. But, I guess that is the price you have to pay for your 15 minutes of fame and power.

Faced with biggest show of strength from an ignored electorate since 1926, this bastard coalition went on the offensive. Ministers spoke of the cancellation of hospital appointments, closed schools and queues at immigration desks at airports. They also stated that only 25 per cent of union members voted for industrial action.

In the name of accuracy, the NHS has proved to be remarkably successful at preserving human life and so is responsible for people living longer and so, therefore, needs to be destroyed.

Schools, in spite of chronic underfunding, still keep producing pupils with the aspiration to find a job. The coalition regards these schools as “failing”.

Airports remained open and the claim that delays at passport control would make Britain unattractive to “business people and investors” and would make the nation a “laughing stock” to the very folk who caused the misery in the first place are as hollow as the hollow men and women in the coalition. With border controls so lax, the passage through immigration has been made easier for both terrorists and adventure capitalists.

Please do not run an internet search for Theresa May, there is a website hosted by a lady with a similar name. It seems that, unlike the Home Secretary, this lady is so poor that she cannot afford any clothing.

As for the 25 per cent of public sector workers that voted to strike, well done. David Cameron occupies 10 Downing Street with 23 per cent of the potential vote. I guess this is called democracy or, as Chomsky says, manufactured compliance. There are those in the private sector who complain about “gold plated” public pensions and some who seem to think that their tax contributions are being spent on subsidising the chilled Chardonnay of “militants”. Perhaps these indignant private sector workers should join a union to improve their lot, stop regarding schools as a babysitting service and spend some quality time with their children.

After the walk in the park, the boys expressed an interest in seeing a picket line. Sadly, the Walsall Civic Centre, the Council House, the Town Hall and even the Walsall Library had been abandoned by the “militants” intent on destroying society. We were told that these anarchists had taken buses to Birmingham for a march and meeting at the NIA.

I gave my middle class kids a choice. McDonald’s or New Street. We were on the train to Birmingham within half an hour.

As they grow and mature, these boys will remember this day and I hope they will proudly say “I was there”. Mr Cameron, you have two new enemies.

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