The Plastic Hippo

January 18, 2013

His master`s voice

Filed under: Media,Music,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:31 am
Image via HMV

Image via HMV

Apparently, the dog was called Nipper. He died in 1895 and was buried in a park in Kingston-upon-Thames. Appropriately enough, a branch of Lloyds TSB now covers the final resting place of the High Street icon and charity shops and closed steel shutters now cover the High Street.

The howls of nostalgic mourning at the retail power of the internet cannot deflect from the simple reality that Comet, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster were badly managed and basically out of date. Undoubtedly, the very well paid directors and CEO`s of these failed companies will receive generous remuneration for their time and lack of effort but the real victims of incompetence will be, as ever, the workforce. In the barking mad rhetoric of a clueless coalition government, those that left the workplace in the evening as “strivers”, returned in the morning as “shirkers”. Rather than spending their wages to boost the economy, they will now be forced to claim benefits from the state. Osborne`s plan A for austerity is not working and is criminally insane.

Apart from being the most inept Chancellor of the Exchequer in living memory, including the woeful Norman Lamont, Osborne is also very, very stupid. After a series of disastrous budgets and budget statements resulting in endless u-turns and climb-downs, this inbred oaf remains in office and continues to destroy the national economy. Happy with hookers, lines of coke and smashed up restaurants, this complete idiot is now a liability to the nation yet continues to enjoy the confidence of his Bullingdon chum Cameron. Between them, they have the collective intellect of a recently decapitated mollusc and all the charm of a kitten sucking razor blades. After demonising the poor, the unemployed, the sick and the disabled, Osborne steals from them to reward his wealthy friends. With £7billion, yes billion, of bonuses to bankers being deferred until April to take advantage of the Chancellor`s tax break for millionaires, terminally ill cancer patients, double amputees, people diagnosed with severe schizophrenia and dying children are judged “fit for work” and are having their rights to benefit removed and are being abandoned by the state that has a duty to support them.

The argument used to justify this blatant greed is that we need ever more entrepreneurial expertise to stimulate growth in the economy. After two and a half years of this moronic, self-serving coalition, economic stimulus is zero or, to use the government`s own delightful oxymoron, we are in a period of negative growth. If we need to pay top dollar to crooked investment bankers even as we make nurses redundant and cut the starting salaries of new police officers, the message to the criminal fraternity in the City is obvious. If you do not like paying taxes and if you demand obscene amounts of money for your illegal dealings, the British government likes you. The rest of us, however, think you should be subject to the well known Anglo-Saxon two-word preposition phrase ending in the word “off”. We don`t want you here.

Heading into triple dip recession and with the deficit increasing, tame economists express surprise that the official government figures on employment indicate thousands and thousands of jobs being created in the private sector. The tame economists, like the rest of us, are being told lies. Lies so big that Jesus the carpenter armed with a chain saw would have difficulty in controlling Pinocchio’s erectile nose. With 20,000 private sector jobs lost in a matter of a few short weeks set against the carnage in the public sector, taking benefits away from the dying and removing those on slave labour workfare schemes and half day “training” courses is a clever way of reducing the unemployment statistics presented to a gullible public. It comes as no surprise that governments tell lies to its people but the only good thing this coalition is good at is telling great, big, fat porkpies.

It would be quite wrong to suggest that Cameron, Osborne and their fag (in the public school sense) Clegg have lost the plot. This mayhem has always been the plot. Stamp on the poor and defenceless, screw the middle and reward the tiny minority with more wealth than they know what to do with. In that, they have been remarkably successful. However, this life-long pacifist and believer in reasoned debate is beginning to contemplate a potential relationship involving petrol, a glass bottle and a soaking rag. This madness has to stop.

Osborne is clearly out of his depth with the economy and how to generate growth and with a Labour opposition chiming in with the scrounger and shirker nonsense perhaps it is time for this blog to stop being so negative and offer some suggestions as to how to reverse impending ruin. Okay, here goes:

The immediate reduction in Value Added Tax to zero per cent. This will encourage spending on; guess where, the High Street.

The imposition of a 75p tax rate for salaries more than £400,000.

The end of director`s bonus schemes and share options.

The immediate nationalisation of basic infrastructure industries including transport, power generation and supply, water, health, education, food production, postal and electronic communication and financial services.

An end to PFI and PPC agreements with private companies contracted to provide outsourced public services.

The nationalisation of banks bailed out with tax-payers money and instead of any further quantitative easing (inventing money to underwrite failing banks), a voucher scheme offering £500 pounds to each tax-paying household every year to spend as they choose. The only condition to be that the vouchers are redeemed in local business, not multi-national supermarkets or coffee shop chains, but in small to medium independent retail outlets. Booze and fags are fine as long as they come from the local corner shop.

Zero business rates and rent for new small businesses.

The immediate destruction of Michael Gove with extreme prejudice.

Nipper, it seems, was a nasty little dog so named because of his habit of biting visitors. When his master died, the wretched mutt was taken in by the owner`s brother, artist Francis Barraud along with an inherited Edison-Bell cylinder wind-up phonograph complete with cylinder recordings of (fanfare please) his master`s voice. The dog was so stupid that he got his head stuck in the horn trying to sniff out his dead and badly recorded owner.

One can only imagine Cameron and Osborne sniffing at whatever dead planet Margaret Thatcher is residing on at the moment.


1 Comment »

  1. Another fantastic assemblage of metaphor, simile and absolute fact. Even the Hippo cannot resist putting up a few proposals to be shot at.

    Unless I have miscounted, there are 8 proposals. I agree with almost all of them, particularly the last 3.

    The others have much going for them, but there are a few flaws.

    For instance, while the blanket removal of VAT (notwithstanding its net short-term negative effect on the Exchequer) will encourage spending, it does not follow that the High Street will benefit. More likely, the biggest will get bigger. A differentiated tax system in favour of local independent retail busnesses, coupled with the very interesting voucher notion, would be worth even Miliband minor spending some time on.

    Similarly, if, in the Hippos world, private enterprise continues, profit will be rewarded and bonuses paid. An alternative would be a clawback arrangement, whereby bonus arrangements and share options would be automatically deferred for a period of time after departure and paid out only if the business survives in good health.

    I know, I know – we will not attract the best people to the top jobs. In my view, this is the most compelling argument in favour of taxing the crap out of them. After all, we have had 25 years of tax breaks at the top in order to get the most competent businesses and commercial managers in the world to flock, gull-like to the UK.

    Only to find that most of us find ourselves in the most economically depressed, poorly served and electorally disengaged society north of Greece. QED

    Re-nationalisation and the scrapping of PFI contracts should be the key, but it will never happen. Too many, too expensive and too many contracts casually handed out to multi-nationals and bankers have ensured that the national debt will be forever dedicated to re-payment, regardless of voter intent.

    Unless, of course, there is a revolution of some sort. This might involve something as simple as local shopping, resident energy consortia and turning out at local elections.

    Given the state of the weather, the total absence of serious political opposition and the calculated disenfranchisement of the majority, I doubt it.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — January 22, 2013 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

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