The Plastic Hippo

March 19, 2013

Daylight robbery

Filed under: Media,Music,Politics,Rights,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 2:01 am

From the very outset, I unequivocally deny that I have ever knowingly promoted the musical offerings from a Cee Lo Green and completely refute the suggestion that Mr Green is responsible for the financial crisis bringing Cyprus to the brink of bankruptcy.

Indeed, up until about two years ago I had never heard of Cee Lo Green but was aware of his irritating vocal style that was featured on the annoying Gnarls Barkley hit record “Crazy”. But, on a eagerly anticipated holiday to Cyprus in the summer of 2011, the overweight singer and rapper almost managed to ruin the stay on the first night by having his masterpiece “F**k You” played over and over and over again at full volume and at two in the morning from a neighbouring apartment. Early the following day, the lure of the communal swimming pool proved irresistible to the children and they were splashing about by eight thirty which was when the noise polluter made himself known. If I have learnt anything in my lifetime, it is that you should never offer unwarranted criticism to the children of a Yorkshire woman.

From the balcony, I watched the altercation with some amusement. The man bore a striking resemblance to a Chuckle Brother. His spiky hair and retro moustache was sufficient to make even the most innocent and trusting child feel distinctly uncomfortable. His accent, however, suggested that he might be the missing and so far unknown third Kray triplet. “Tell your farrrkin kids to keep the farrrkin noise down and get out of my farrrkin swimming pool” he bellowed. “I farrrkin live here and you`re just farrrkin tourists.” He was, as you can imagine, completely destroyed by the Yorkshire woman.

The crisis that Cyprus faces is not helped by this kind of what the British media call an “ex-pat” if they are British and “benefit scrounging sub-human scum” if they are not British. The decision by the EU to bail out the Cypriot economy on the condition that people with money in banks will have up to ten per cent of their savings forfeited sets a dangerous precedent and so provides a marvellous distraction allowing the British media to ignore what is happening here in the UK.

Even on a slow news day and even on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon, you can usually rely on BBC Radio Four`s PM programme to offer informative analysis of the news with added humour and to inform, educate and entertain the listener. Sadly, BBC Radio Four news editors seem to have lost not only the plot, but also any pretence at serious journalism. On a day that saw thousands of people protest in 57 town and city centres against the ridiculous Bedroom Tax, BBC Radio Four News decided to lead on Cyprus, Cameron`s speech and phone hacking followed by the Pope, evil Zimbabwe and electoral fraud in Kenya. Anything other than the Bedroom Tax protests which did not get a single mention. Earlier, the PM programme led with Cyprus, Cameron`s speech and invited two Conservative MPs, Mark Pritchard and Sarah Wollaston to debate on just how wonderful the Conservative government is. Later, we were treating to two shouty people arguing about the price of cinema tickets and then in depth analysis of Arab and African rappers. Sadly, Cee Lo Green was not mentioned nor was the 57 protests in towns and cities across the UK. Anything other than the Bedroom Tax. The BBC television news at 10 o`clock devoted all of 30 seconds to the protests and ended the piece with an image of a man with a long, anarchist looking beard and woman flagrantly dressed as a feminist holding a placard that asked how many bedrooms does Buckingham Palace have.

Cyprus is a small nation with notoriously lax banking regulation which, according to the BBC, has attracted investment from Russian money launderers. The UK is a large economy with notoriously lax banking regulation and, according to George Osborne and David Cameron, needs to pay huge bonuses to the bankers who caused the global financial crisis. In the UK, we have a Bedroom Tax to pay for the greed of speculation by the already wealthy. We once had a Window Tax which may or may not have coined the phrase regarding the robbery of daylight. In Cyprus, corrupt bankers are cutting to the chase and are removing money from people with bank accounts without any legal redress. How long will it be before ATMs on UK high streets stop giving you your cash?

After the Yorkshire woman proved to be the nemesis of Chuckle Brother Kray, I set off to hunter/gather something for our breakfast on the first full day in Cyprus. I passed the “ex-pat” who was giving his beer belly some exposure to the morning sun on his patio. Not wishing to prolong an unwanted feud, I offered him a cheerful “good morning”. His reply was short and to the point. “Farrrk off”. My first instinct was to ignore him and walk on but something made me pause. I stopped, and looking back over my shoulder said: “Do Special Branch and the Serious Fraud Office know that you are living here?” He did not respond.

Returning with eggs, coffee, fresh bread, milk and some bacon, I noticed that his apartment had all the curtains closed and the patio furniture stacked in a corner. The Yorkshire woman told me that Ronnie/Reggie/Barry/Paul had left in a hurry carrying a suitcase about ten minutes earlier. After that, the holiday was mercifully free of Cee Lo Green.

If only the departure of corrupt bankers could be similarly achieved.

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