The Plastic Hippo

September 16, 2013

W H Auden: an apology

Filed under: Literature,Politics — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
I`m sorry, I`m so so sorry

I`m sorry, I`m so so sorry

Stop all the clocks; sell off the Royal Mail,
Prevent the disabled from barking with juicy benefits,
Silence the poor with a muffled plastic bag
Bring out the coffin, the Liberal Democrats are dead.

Let drones circle bringing death to children
Scribbling on the sky the power of nuclear madness
Put gagging bows around the necks of charities,
Let G4S and Serco wear black leather gloves.

He failed the North, the South, the East and West,
The zero-hour working week, tuition fees and the rest
EMA, the NHS, green energy and the fracking song;
He thought that power would last forever: he was wrong.

The Liberal Democrats are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the fraud and dismantle the evidence regarding Cyril Smith;
Pollute the ocean and privatise the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

September 13, 2013

Walsall in bloom

Filed under: Environment,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 10:13 pm
Bridge Street, Walsall. September 2013

Bridge Street, Walsall. September 2013

There is something profoundly satisfying in shattering illusions and overturning unwarranted misconceptions especially when the reputation of home turf is at stake. So when an email from an old and dear friend arrived several weeks ago telling us of a long road trip from the Sussex coast to the west of Scotland and asking for a recommended hotel somewhere near the M5/M6 junction to break the journey, the reply was blindingly obvious.

One of the true tests of lasting friendship is that the length of time between actual contact disappears once reunited in the same room and the artificial etiquette of “is there a decent, cheap hotel?” is instantly translated to “can we come and stay?” The travellers arrived late on a Friday night and after the formality of the Beef Stifado in the slow cooker had been dispensed with; much wine, news and memories were shared. The preposterous notion of “an early start” the following morning was soon dismissed once it had been established that their itinerary was flexible and there were still three bottles of wine to finish. The Oban to Mull ferry could wait until Sunday. Our guests had never visited Walsall before and, like so many misguided souls, simply assumed we lived in a suburb of Birmingham that was once fairly good at making stuff. It was time to set the record straight. (more…)

September 11, 2013

An everyday story of country folk

Filed under: Media,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 2:09 am
Dum de dum de dum de dum

Dum de dum de dum de dum

The problem with having guilty secrets is that sooner or later they will be uncovered and so rather than suffer the inevitable shame and vilification of exposure; I now admit that I am in the grip of an irrational and obsessive addiction.

The sad degeneration of the BBC from trusted broadcaster to a crude, clumsy and corrupt broken propaganda record is only partly assuaged by the non-news output of Radio Four. Even as BBC news editors attempt to make the politically outrageous palatable, commissioning editors at Radio Four are successful in making the mundane interesting and allow even an aging bone-head like me to learn something new every half hour or so. Sadly, the downside is an unhealthy dependency on Borsetshire and the need for a 12 and a half minute fix between the end of the 7 o`clock news and the start of Front Row. I might not know a lot, but I do know what`s going on at Brookfield Farm, Lower Loxley and the far-off and exotic Felpersham. (more…)

September 9, 2013

A grand day out

Filed under: Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 1:12 am
This means war baby

This means war baby

In an increasingly complex and stressful world and with so many excellent products available, all of us can surely understand the difficulties in matching the correct cluster bomb with the most suitable weapons launch platform. If only there were some sort of showroom where we could compare and contrast the efficiency of kill ratios, burnt skin area projections and exactly which chemical nerve agent offers the best value for money. Fortunately, there is such a supermarket and the spirit of free enterprise that made the British Empire great is alive and well and residing in the very heart of old London town.

Faced with irrefutable proof from Youtube that a very, very nasty man used chemical weapons on civilians, western governments decided that Assad was not a “friend and reformer” as previously stated but a very, very, very nasty man and that “something must be done”. Citing a humanitarian refugee crisis as an urgent need to act, our leaders concluded that the best way to alleviate a humanitarian refugee crisis is to launch cruise missiles loaded with high explosives into civilian areas. It seems unlikely that the words “limited surgical strike” will give much comfort to the dispossessed, desperate, destitute and, sadly, the already dead. (more…)

September 6, 2013

Taxi

Filed under: Education,Law,Politics,Transport,World — theplastichippo @ 1:45 am
Not going south of the river

Not going south of the river

Rather than order a taxi for Mr Duncan Smith and order another taxi for Mr Grayling, that nice Mr Cameron could ask the two gentlemen to share a cab in order for the government to save money and so further reduce the dreadful deficit. However, the days of cabinet ministers resigning or being sacked for being inept, stupid, corrupt or all three are in the filing cabinet drawer marked nostalgia, responsibility and honour.

As a Justice Secretary without any legal qualification, Chris Grayling decided that legal aid for poor people was a luxury that the nation could not afford. Judges told him he was wrong, QC`s told him he was wrong, Barristers told him he was wrong and a London taxi driver who once had that Clive Anderson in the back of the cab told him he was wrong. Assuming that poor people are obviously guilty, Chris pressed on regardless. Now a laughing stock within the justice system, he has been forced into a humiliating climb down. Taxi for Mr Grayling? No, he is still allowed to be inept. (more…)

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