The Plastic Hippo

February 12, 2014

Noye`s Fludde

Filed under: Environment,Faith,Politics — theplastichippo @ 1:35 am
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Image via Lionsgate UK

Image via Lionsgate UK

In life`s rich tapestry, there can be fewer heartaches or natural shocks as traumatic as suffering a flood and even as our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these terrible weather events, it is vital that we indentify who is to blame for the suffering.

Honest developers, local councils, construction firms and estate agents are in the business of business and cannot be criticised for planning, approving building and then selling property on floodplains. It is always important to read the small print in any building and land transaction yet sadly some of the victims seem to have missed the sentence containing the words “flood” and “plain” and have happily signed the bottom line securing their dream home with a lovely view of the river. (more…)

February 8, 2014

Wee timorous beastie

Filed under: History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 11:34 pm
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Wild haggis image via lochgelly.org.uk

Wild haggis image via lochgelly.org.uk

Dislike him or simply loath him, David Cameron`s ability to say one thing and mean the exact opposite marks him as a consistently transparent and consummately deceptive Prime Minister.

His recent woeful pronouncement on the Scottish independence referendum is the latest in a long line of deliberately duplicitous statements that go back to days before he assumed power. Remember how his manifesto promised that there would be “no more top down reorganisation of the NHS” and how that most precious and vital public service was “safe” in his hands? That election pledge along with promising to keep EMA, no in increase VAT and so many other works of fiction are now safely shredded and deleted from the Conservative Party web site, history and any semblance of honesty. How we laughed when he said that we are all in it together and how grateful we are when he tells us that debt, deficit and borrowing are reduced even though the facts indicate the opposite.

With his latest foray into the realms of deception, the Great chieftain o` the pudding-race, Cameron of Clan Cameron has descended into Dr Johnson`s last refuge of a scoundrel by evoking embarrassingly false patriotism regarding Scottish independence. (more…)

February 5, 2014

An over excitable individual

Filed under: Education,Politics — theplastichippo @ 10:10 pm
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Disruptive influence

Michael Gove insists that classroom discipline and rigour are the essential foundations of a modern education so it is rather disappointing that the Secretary of State for Education is incapable of practicing what he preaches.

Even if we dismiss the fact that the justice system has judged certain of his actions as being unlawful and if we draw a discreet veil over the secretive and rather sinister goings-on within his department, Michael Gove is an excellent champion of children`s education. Forgetting the £1billion overspend on his bizarre obsession with Free Schools, the failure of the Academy programme and the transformation of Ofsted from a regulator to a crude instrument of political dogma, Michael Gove is clearly doing an brilliant job. Ignore the blatant cronyism, the suppressed reports, the tinkered statistics and loads of money going from the school budget into the pockets of Tory donors, supporters and yes men; Michael Gove is a genius. After all, standards and examination results have fallen through the floor since 2010. (more…)

February 3, 2014

Home again

Filed under: Birmingham,History,Politics,Transport,Walsall,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Via the plastic hippo

Via the plastic hippo

Sometimes, if time and money allow, it is extraordinarily therapeutic to burst out of the parochial bubble to catch some face time with the rest of the world and when opportunity presented a visit to a place on something called a bucket list, it was a case of bye-bye Walsall, see you later. The chance to walk on the same marble pavements that once experienced the sandals of Heraclitus, Alexander the Great, Saint Paul and Saint John proved too great a temptation so, without a second thought, bye-bye England.

When Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Oh it`s so nice to go travelling”, they clearly did not have to endure the ghastly shopping centre with a runway attached that calls itself Birmingham International Airport or have to change trains at a ghastly shopping centre with platforms known as the new “improved” New Street Station. A city the size of Birmingham and a region as important as the West Midlands really should have transport hubs that work. It was definitely not so much nicer to come home. (more…)

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