The Plastic Hippo

July 21, 2013

The Royal Hunt of the Sun

Image via

Image via

It cannot be easy being the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police or, for that matter, a Chief or Assistant Chief Constable of various other dwindling constabularies. Imagine having to spend your working day outside your HQ talking to cameras to explain that yet more lessons have been learnt, yet more lines in the sand have been drawn and issuing yet another appeal for calm and information.

If tackling crime and keeping us safe wasn`t difficult enough, pity the poor plod who has to deal with a half-wit of the calibre of Home Secretary Theresa May and yet another overweight, bald, wealthy white man in the shape of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. However, even in the face of such adversity and even with 14,000 fewer police officers since the coalition regime assumed power recorded crime has decreased by a massive seven per cent. Experts and analysts have expressed their delight, surprise and bafflement that such a dramatic decline in bad things happening has been achieved in the teeth of economic ruin and Tory politicians` bellow of actual evidence of recovery even as they line their own corrupt pockets. But it was left to the BBC Conservative press office to give the most elegant of explanations to this unexpected fall in the level of crime. It seems that our collective unconscious has been so disgusted by the violence of the twentieth century that society has turned its back on wrongdoing and we are all now much nicer people. Do you see those people running around and jumping up to try and catch straws in the gale? That`s the BBC, that is. (more…)

July 17, 2013

Yowsah yowsah yowsah

Filed under: Literature,Media,Sandwell,Walsall,West Bromwich,Wolverhampton — theplastichippo @ 2:38 am
Staying alive

Staying alive

According to the increasingly eccentric Express and Star, it is still not clear if Walsall suffered disco hate crime or smoke machine terrorism some two and a half years ago.

Under the headline “Walsall town centre alert sparked by smoke device”, the Wolverhampton based purveyor of cat litter and rabbit hutch lining ran a baffling story that abandoned the Five W principles of journalism in favour of an attempt to stoke up tension and fear in a community that has previously manifested little fear and tension. No less a towering figure of journalism than Rudyard Kipling summed up the Five W principles of Who and What and When and Where and Why and even added an H in his poem from the Just So Stories:

“I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”

Even if George Orwell described Kipling as a “prophet of British imperialism” and ignoring his disturbing obsession with Masonic ritual and a rather unhealthy interest in the Scouting Movement, old Rudyard came up with useful guide for journalists and, indeed, police officers. It might be illuminating to run the “Kipling Method” past the latest piece of Express and Star frippery invented to cause sensation or outrage or fury or anger. It would be easy to simply link to the tawdry piece but that would increase advertising revenue for the Swastika and suggest that the drivel was popular with the online readership. Instead, I will type the wretched thing out word for word but not disclose the identity of a man who has no right of reply. (more…)

July 14, 2013

Another dead tree

Filed under: Birmingham,Media,Sandwell,Walsall,West Bromwich,Wolverhampton — theplastichippo @ 1:19 pm

E and S

A question for the Editor of the Express and Star; where exactly in the European Court of Human Rights ruling on whole life sentences does it say that “killers get right to freedom”?

On Wednesday, the local rag for local people ran a front page splash that scraped out the bottom of a long empty barrel. “Outrage as killers get right to freedom” screamed the headline. Having obviously not read the actual judgement on a submission made by convicted murderers Jeremy Bamber, Douglas Vintner and Peter Moore, the unnamed “journalists” at the Effluent and Sewage suggested that the vile and heinous scum were about to be released from prison and “walk the streets” to continue their evil lifestyle of murderous mayhem. If the hacks had bothered to take just a tiny little peak at the document, they might have discovered that the opposite is the case. It is true that the judges at the ECHR said that a whole life tariff for utterly barbaric murder was “inhuman and degrading treatment” but did not in any way, shape or form decree that monsters should be released from incarceration. Instead, the experts in law suggested that life sentences should be subject to review after, as an example, 25 years when a court would decide if a very bad person should be set free, remanded or, more importantly, remain banged up.

Displaying complete ignorance of the law or, indeed, the ability to understand or read a legal document, the E and S went straight to Conservative MP for Cannock, Aidan Burley. You may remember this chap. He is the immigrant to this country that complained of “multicultural crap” during the Olympics and gets his kicks from hiring Nazi uniforms for men he likes to look at. Having taken substantial donations from JCB, he has also enjoyed the “hospitality” offered by the governments of Sri Lanka and the Maldives to sort out their human rights issues. It`s good to know that our hard working MPs can halt oppression by lying on a beach selling JCBs to corrupt governments. I hope he took his sun block. It would be awful if he came back looking brown.

Next up for the Ego and Stolichnaya was Conservative MP for Staffordshire South Gavin Williamson who thinks it is a good idea for Britain to abandon the European Convention of Human Rights. It is entirely ridiculous to infer that Gavin`s only success in public office is achieving the expansion of the autism spectrum to beyond infinity. He is not stupid; he is just a little giddy. (more…)

July 10, 2013

Boats, bogs and badgers

Filed under: Literature,Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:35 am
Wind in the willows

Wind in the willows

Somewhere, in the deepest, darkest mole holes that lay beneath Walsall Council House, there is a locked basement that contains missing receipts, Freedom of Information requests, consultation results and some expensive equipment bought to live stream council meetings which, in the spirit of transparent local government, are all gathering layers of dust.

On Monday night, the regular shambolic farce of a full meeting of Walsall council took place in the chamber above the catacombs where whistle blowers fear to tread. Toad Hall`s cabinet of weasels and stoats managed yet again to contravene the local government code of conduct by once more bringing the council into disrepute. The agenda item concerning a great big, toxic hole in the ground out in the bits of the borough that don`t vote Tory and was supposed to be discussed in secret, was suddenly dropped after a local “newspaper” ran a negative story. When a scurrilous rag like the Excess and Swastika start slagging off a Conservative council for undue secretive conspiracy, it does not require the fine legal minds of Private Eye to smell a rat in a rotten borough. (more…)

July 9, 2013

Walk like an Egyptian

Filed under: History,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:46 am
Rock the Casbah

Rock the Casbah

It is alleged that when the late Joe Strummer was told that the words Rock the Casbah had been painted on an American bomb about to be dropped on Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, he burst into tears. He and the rest of The Clash were not at all pleased at the airplay given to the song by Armed Forces Radio and the British Forces Broadcasting Service during Desert Storm. Strummer died in the months leading up to the Second Iraq War and so was spared hearing his song being used as a call to arms again.

Those that are happy to compromise with the lesser of two evils remain conveniently unaware that evil is a stranger to relativity. The absurd notion that powerful and wealthy nations can bestow favour and patronage on one evil bugger over another evil bugger because the other evil bugger is judged less evil that the first evil bugger is a concept so fatuous that only powerful and wealthy self interests can grasp it. This manipulation in the name of profit goes back to times way before the Plantagenets and the overseas adventures of Richard Coeur de Lion yet remains at the heart of modern diplomacy. From General Haig to Al Haig to William Hague, the same gung-ho opportunism results in human destruction off-set by healthy share prices for arms dealers and “reconstruction contractors”. (more…)

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