The Plastic Hippo

January 22, 2014

Happy if it comes up to my chest

Filed under: History,Law,Politics — theplastichippo @ 2:15 am
Tags: , , ,
Image via metro.co.uk

Image via metro.co.uk

With what seems like half of 1970s television light entertainment on trial for being perverts, it is good to see the ghost of Benny Hill chasing around in fast forward to a Yakety Sax soundtrack; you can almost hear the hoof beats pound. Clearly, any comment relating to old, male c-list celebrities well past their sell-by date who are innocent until proven guilty in ongoing court cases should not be offered in order to avoid charges of contempt. However, the dead, the convicted and those not yet arrested or charged are fair game.

The Liberal Democrats now find themselves embroiled in an internecine bun fight worthy of Two-Ton Ted from Teddington over the alleged historical behaviour of Baron Rennard of Wavertree in the county of Merseyside. It must be made clear that Rennard`s supposed misdemeanours are not in the same league as the odious Stuart Hall or the vile Savile, but he did once state that the fat, now dead, pervert Liberal from Rochdale was his “personal inspiration”. Nice one Chris; rot in Hell Cyril. Fortunately the Liberal Democrats and before them the Liberal Party have a long and noble history of propriety going back as far as Gladstone, Lloyd George and, in more recent times, Jeremy Thorpe. It seems like only five minutes ago since David Laws was caught fiddling and had to resign and remember how amusing Chris Huhne proved to be. To suffer the loss of one cabinet minister might be unfortunate just days after assuming power, but the loss of two suggests that Liberalism is not as squeaky clean as the Benny Hill Show. Thankfully Laws is back in cabinet with a responsibility for education and perhaps one day Huhne will return to oversee speed cameras and the spread of STDs. (more…)

January 16, 2014

But for the grace of God

Grace and danger

Grace and danger

When a school or, more significantly, a chain of schools feels that it is necessary to appoint a Director of Corporate Development, you might be forgiven for wondering how such a post might improve teaching and learning.

Grace Academy Darlaston is a Specialist Business and Enterprise Academy and seems to have been specialising in diverting government funding into the pockets, wallets, purses and bank accounts of the enterprising business folk that recognise a money tree when they see one. Usually, newspapers tend to employ Freedom of Information requests as an alternative to actual journalism in order to fill columns with faux outrage, but the Guardian has managed to dig up some dirt that a lot of vested interests would prefer to remain buried. Academies, it seems, and especially Academy chains might not have the interests of pupils as the number one priority and instead might be more focussed on corporately developing the financial wellbeing of sponsors and trustees. The actual definition of the words “sponsor” and “trustee” at Grace Academy might be challenging for even the brightest A Star English student. (more…)

January 12, 2014

Reality and illusion

Filed under: Education,Health,History,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:34 am
Tags: , ,
M C Escher (1898 - 1972)

M C Escher (1898 – 1972)

Even after thousands and thousands of years during which lots and lots of very, very clever people tried to define reality, we are still no closer to a universal proof of anything; the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

Since the days of Plato, successive governments have understood that everything is open to interpretation and have carefully exploited the benefits of chaos theory whist simultaneously denying that chaos actually exists. Our current bunch of self-appointed masters having ditched any notion of logic applied to economic policy are now systematically working their way through the sum of human knowledge discarding most of it as being irrelevant.

The rules of valid reasoning, logical argument and proof based analysis no longer seem to apply and we now enter a period of history when reverse logic takes the place of actual fact. So when an A and E department in Belfast declares a major incident because it cannot cope with the numbers of people who require treatment, it is described by some talking head in a suit from the Northern Ireland Assembly as a “one off” and nothing to worry about. A major incident usually involves some traumatic event such as an aircraft no longer being an aircraft, a train that has decided not to be a train anymore or, given that particular part of the world`s unhappy history, a bloody big bomb going off. (more…)

January 8, 2014

The barber of Savile Row

Filed under: Fiction — theplastichippo @ 1:30 am
Tags:
Hair brushed into history

Hair brushed into history

A gentleman`s hair salon in Mayfair:
Late Friday afternoon.

Barber;
“Good afternoon sir. Please take this chair. The usual?”

Customer;
“Yes, the usual, thank you.”

Barber;
“Short selling, back handers and side shows it is then sir. Going anywhere special this evening sir?”

Customer;
“No not really. Just to the Mansion House for an eight course banquet to thank some foreign chaps for buying some armaments.”

Snip…snip…snip.

Barber;
“Have you been anywhere nice for your holidays sir?”

Customer;
“No, I went to South Africa because some old bloke died. That used to be a great place but now you just can`t get any decent servants.”

Barber;
“Going anywhere nice in the summer sir?”

Customer;
“As a matter of fact we are. We are taking a chateau in a lovely little place called Passchendaele in Belgium. We are going to commemorate the English victory at Agincourt. I understand that the poppy fields are simply gorgeous.” (more…)

January 6, 2014

Epiphany

Filed under: Faith,History,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 3:41 am
Tags: , , ,
The Lord of Misrule

The Lord of Misrule

As Twelfth Night passes and with the tinsel, the baubles and the plastic tree safely stashed in the loft for another year, it is time for all God-fearing souls to commemorate Epiphany.

Depending on which calendar you use and which Gods you worship and further ignoring previous pagan rituals and the rather wonderful Saturnalia, history started on the sixth day of January Year Zero when the adoring Magi confirmed that a baby born to a migrant virgin in an outhouse was indeed the Son of God. If that happened today, I very much doubt that the Department of Work and Pensions would believe Mary`s story and Iain Duncan Smith would again waste parliamentary time with anecdotal tales of feckless, promiscuous young women seeking flat screen TVs via the medium of procreation. Mr Duncan Smith is a self-confessed Christian so thank the good Lord that Mr Duncan Smith was able to enjoy a hearty, well-fed and warm Christmas courtesy of the British tax-payer. Epiphany, however, is quite a different feast. (more…)

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.