The Plastic Hippo

June 17, 2013

Faith, hope and hypocrisy

Filed under: Birmingham,Politics,Rights,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 2:32 am
Clinton image via

Clinton image via

When Birmingham hosted the G8 Summit in 1998, the bar staff at the Malt House pub in Cambridge Street did not expect the most powerful man on the planet to walk up to the bar and order a pint of bitter and a plate of chips. The good and the great had ceremoniously lined up in the loading bay at the back of the International Convention Centre to welcome President Bill Clinton but diplomatic protocol went into panic mode when the presidential motorcade swept passed the gate and hung a left into the Malt House car park. The President, a former Rhodes Scholar, fancied a pint.

It is estimated that the 1998 two-day bean feast on Broad Street cost the tax payer £10million and achieved precisely nothing. The bulk of the money was spent on security for the best protected people on earth, luxurious accommodation, fine food and the odd little “gift” to make sure the rich people remained happy. The summit produced lots and lots of fine words regarding poverty, hunger, land mines and the dangers of globalisation and was so successful that the 2013 G8 Summit will discuss poverty, hunger and off-shore tax evasion by multi-national leviathans. Land mines, it seems, are not a problem anymore but Syria is. To be fair to the G8 leaders back at the anniversary of Blair`s first term; they did manage to pass a resolution about de-forestation. As we all remember, that went awfully well.

In 1998, new Prime Minister Tony Blair was something of a bit player compared to the charismatic, if philandering, Bill Clinton. Boris Johnson`s role model Boris Yeltsin was drunkenly falling down the steps of the recently arrived Ilyushin even as Clinton was tucking into chips near the tow path where the Birmingham and Fazeley canal parts company from the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line.

In 2013, Cameron is little more than an extra in the style of the utterly odious Ricky Gervais, uttering platitudes about hunger and poverty even as his government`s incompetence coupled with dogmatic self-interested greed make half a million British people reliant on food banks. As millions of UK children face actual poverty and hunger, his education secretary intends to halt free school meals for the very poorest; his work and pensions secretary describes the terminally ill as “scroungers” and his home secretary and unqualified Lord Chancellor wish to do away with basic human rights. Cameron will lecture world leaders in the importance of combating poverty not because of humanity or compassion, but because he wishes to avoid further terrorist threats and the cost of bailing out nations that in his opinion have “failed”. It is unlikely that any of his fellow world leaders will disagree and will concur that resistance to insanity is a terrorist threat and a “failing nation” is one that refuses to comply with the interests of corporate greed.

In 1997, after John Major lost the general election, William Hague became leader of the opposition. As we all remember, that went awfully well. Hague, now a bag carrier for the hawks on Capitol Hill and the arms industry, wants to arm Syrian rebels. Imagine if the lunatic President Assad of Syria has taken the humanitarian decision to supply lethal weaponry to protestors in Istanbul`s Gezi Park, or feminists in Moscow, or indigenous tribes in the Amazon basin protecting their forests, coal miners in South Africa, Greenpeace and people in the United Kingdom who don`t happen to be millionaire tax avoiders. A wheelchair user contemplating suicide because of government benefit cuts might just focus a little bit more attention from a corrupt and unelected government when armed with a rocket propelled grenade.

The bone headed idiocy spewing out of William Hague, desperately trying to sound statesmanlike as he throws petrol at a burning house, does not even know the identities of the people he wants to arm. It needed that paragon of decency, the dubious and sinister Vladimir Putin to point out that Syrian rebels are as equally guilty of atrocity, war crimes and mutilation as the bad guys they are trying to topple. I`m not sure if it wise to hand over a surface-to-air missile to a bloke that is happy to cut out the heart of a dead enemy and then take a bite out of it. Perhaps the ordinance supplied will one day return to these shores and be deployed from an attic window in Hounslow against a gleaming new Airbus 350 approaching Heathrow. Those that support the barking mad William Hague claim that this is a master stroke of diplomacy forcing the Syrian regime to the negotiating table. Sadly, this genius has allowed Hezbollah, Iran and the Russians to arm Assad with even more lethal death stuff. Hague was replaced as Tory party leader by Iain Duncan Smith and as we all remember, that went awfully well given that this particular, evil bastard continues with his sadism against the poor and vulnerable. It would be pointless for Assad to arm the New Labour Tory Party; they have given up the fight and wish to assume the policies and carnage of the old dictator once they have deposed him. Labour are now endorsing the madness of so-called Free Schools and refuse point-blank to offer any commitment to repeal bogus legislation that is tearing Britain apart.

It seems unlikely that bar staff in and around Enniskillen will be taken by surprise by world leaders in search of a Guinness and some chips or the aftermath when CIA men in black wearing sunglasses smash the glass and the plate and take away the cutlery in a plastic bag. Back in 1998, drinkers in Ladywood were denied the chance of lifting finger print launch codes for nuclear weapons from Clinton`s left-overs. In and around Enniskillen and given the history of that particular part of Ireland, it might be advisable for bar staff if faced with a group of men wearing balaclavas and carrying AK-47`s armed by God knows who, to remain silent when asked what city is on the banks of the River Foyle. The correct answer is The European City of Culture.

Saying Londonderry/Derry or Derry/Londonderry might just spoil your day.

1 Comment »

  1. I remember the 1998 beanfeast only too well.

    The weather had been so hot and dry that the grass had yellowed. Birmingham City Council therefore decided to paint it, so that the great and the good could look upon Englands green and pleasant land and not be offended.

    As daft as this might appear, it is possibly preferable to the whitewash to which we are now routinely subjected by the rabble that purport to govern the free world.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — June 20, 2013 @ 10:04 am | Reply

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