The Plastic Hippo

June 17, 2013

Faith, hope and hypocrisy

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

Clinton image via bbc.co.uk

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. (more…)

June 13, 2013

Shambolic

Filed under: Education,Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 1:44 pm
E L Wisty

E L Wisty

The late, great and sadly missed Peter Cook when being stalked by none other than the Princess Margaret responded to yet another invitation to dinner by sending a note that said: “Ordinarily I would love to come and amuse you and your friends but on that particular evening I intent to watch television.”

As an excuse for not turning up, this is far more elegant than the usual “he/she has a meeting” or “there was no phone signal” or “he/she is unwell/on leave/no longer working for this department/has been abducted by aliens/is dead.” It will be interesting to see what excuses the hard working and dedicated councillors representing the fair wards of Aldridge Central and South, Aldridge North and Walsall Wood and other surrounding picturesque villages employ when taking the discretionary decision not to turn up at tonight`s meeting to seal the coffin lid on Aldridge Manor Youth Centre. (more…)

June 12, 2013

Rigor mortis

Filed under: Education,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:01 am
Via telegraph.co.uk

Via telegraph.co.uk

One of the few house rules seldom broken is the right of whoever is doing the cooking to listen to the station of their choice on the kitchen radio. This worked fine when the children were younger and so did not cook and only the occasional feast was ruined by a partner who insisted on listening to the unutterable blandness of Radio Two. Now older, the children sometimes prepare a meal to the dreadful cacophony of something called commercial radio. This mindless noise is so dumbed down that a Hollandaise sauce can thicken itself without the need of heat or stirring. When I cook, which is on most days, my kitchen realm is kept free from interference by tuning to Radio Four.

We have developed a family tradition of having a “proper” breakfast on exam days and so, on Tuesday morning, Eggs Benedict and pain au chocolat was on the menu. The shrill, teenage owner of a lusty rabbit was sitting her GCSE in Mathematics…again. Like her father decades before, she “flunked math”, to use the words of Arthur Miller, and like her father before her was allowed to re-sit the paper except in my case it was then called an O-level. Distracted from last minute revision by me swearing loudly at Sarah Montague on the Today programme for allowing a violent, hate-mongering, moronic fascist to go unchallenged, she came into the kitchen to help by toasting the bagels. Then, possibly for the first time ever, she listened intently to a Radio Four news report. (more…)

June 9, 2013

Big

Filed under: Education,Health,Politics,Rights,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 11:34 pm
Image via whatsonwalsall.co.uk

Image via whatsonwalsall.co.uk

Since its recent restoration, Walsall Arboretum is looking magnificent; sadly, the same cannot be said of some sections of Walsall`s cafe society. With the Boeuf Bourguignon simmering nicely in the oven, what better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than walking in the glorious aspects of Walsall`s finest parkland.

Now that summer is finally here, the full glory of the Arboretum can be appreciated and the good folk of Walsall should offer their thanks and congratulations to the people who secured the fine restoration. The time, money and effort has been well spent and make the attempts by the troughing political freeloaders in cabinet to take all the credit even more distasteful. We should remember that it was officers and council staff who indentified the funding, did the planning and managed the project and not the useless councillors smoothing the way through maladministration to secure dodgy deals for their rich pals. (more…)

June 8, 2013

Beam me up, Scotty

Filed under: Politics — theplastichippo @ 12:07 am

Scotty

When a leader of an opposition party that happens to have the word Labour in its title starts to spout dangerous guff concocted by an idiot of the calibre of George Osborne, it`s probably time to start building a space ship.

With impeccable timing, the boy Miliband has surrendered any attempt at preserving the welfare state by adopting policies that he vainly hopes will meet with approval from foaming-at-the-mouth Daily Mail reading morons. On the sixty-ninth anniversary of predominately working class men fighting and dying on the beaches of Normandy and driving fascism back across Europe, this career politician has abandoned dignity and equality in favour of opinion polls and betrayal. Those that were lucky enough to survive the struggle against evil returned and demanded a fairer society; a home fit for heroes.

After six years of war, Labour came to power in a landslide victory and with a nation suffering with horrendous debt, Attlee, Bevan and others managed to create a welfare state that assured assistance, health, education, employment and a safe place to live. The few that are still with us are witnessing the destruction of everything they fought to achieve with a “Labour” leader exposed as just another opportunist spiv devoid of principle. Set against a collection of crooks, liars and profiteers in government, a credible opposition should be blasting this Klingon battle fleet with phasers set to full. Instead, Miliband is set apart only by the shade of his expensive neck tie. (more…)

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