The Plastic Hippo

April 3, 2014

Tipping point



It is all too easy to dismiss current television schedules as being filled with mindless pap designed to keep the nation anesthetised in a permanent state of compliant stupor. It`s easy because it`s true.

To celebrate the recent industrial action taken by teachers, we decided to end the day off in solidarity with the NUT by having a junk buffet family meal in front of early evening television. With Blue Peter now a distant memory, I was exposed to a game show that managed to fill an hour of sub-prime time with a game of shove ha`penny. Okay, the show did involve some general knowledge questions along the lines of “who was the author of Dante`s Inferno” and “what is a coat hanger used for” but the big money jackpot was dependent on a machine with moving shelves usually found in seedy penny arcades in run-down seaside towns. The inordinate amount of time taken to confirm a correct or incorrect answer to the question; “the Beatles came from which city on the River Mersey” is not there to build tension but to pad out this rubbish into an hour including commercial breaks. It`s taking a long time for the penny to drop.

With the BBC dumbing down to the level of Richard Desmond`s bizarre Channel 5, political programming has been admitted to the zoo bear pit of Channel 4`s daytime output and it`s only a matter of time before burley bouncers will be seen hovering behind the panellists on Question Time and Newsnight. Joining the reality scrounger bashing, the extraordinary “news” attacks on the NHS and celebrities that you have never heard of, the “debate” between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg was billed with all the hysteria of a fight between Ali and Smokin` Joe Frasier. Now completely hypnotised and addicted to pennies being pushed by a moving shelf, I watched Bullingdon Boy Dimbleby tell the combatants that they had 60 seconds to defend or attack the European Union.

Sadly, the DNA test proved conclusively that Nigel was not pregnant by his step-brother`s cousin`s Bulgarian son and Nick was not two-timing Dave in the hope of getting into bed with Ed. What we had instead was the spectacle of two of the biggest liars in British politics trying to out-lie each other in a lying contest worthy of Cameron stating that the NHS was safe in his hands and that we are all in this together. They both lied, straight-faced into the camera and without any shame called each other liars. They lied about immigration, they lied about EU budgets; they lied about employment, investment, the economy and foreign policy. At the end, they shook hands and opinion polls suggest that Farage won the contest for the night`s biggest liar.

Clegg will be disappointed as his lacklustre performance could not match his previous lies on tuition fees and EMA. Saying nice things about the NHS and then voting for its destruction is meaningless when compared to his party`s president now saying that Liberal Democrats oppose the Bedroom Tax after the party voted for it on no less than six separate occasions. Even as Clegg enthused over the economic benefits of education and immigration, the government he is propping up with blatant hypocrisy deported an A-level student for no other reason than she is an easy target for a Tory regime desperate to steal the racist clothes of Farage. Yashika Bageerathi`s last memories of Great Britain will be being held in detention at Yarl`s Wood by Serco, forced onto an aircraft by G4S and condemned to an unknown fate by a Home Office minister who only got the job because his predecessor had to resign for employing an illegal immigrant. Ironically, in the first Queen`s Speech offered by the coalition in May 2010, the Liberal Democrats vowed to end the illegal child detention and abuse taking place at Yarl`s Wood by Serco. That`s four years Nick…hello?

Farage will be delighted at the headlines his idiocy has provoked and will, no doubt, be disturbingly tumescent at the attention he is receiving. Forget, for the moment, the bonkers ejaculations of his onanist supporters and the fact that a growing number of his tribe have attracted the attention of the law enforcement community and focus on his achievement in transforming himself from a buffoon into a minor celebrity commanding air time from a sensation seeking media. The frightening thing is that both Farage and Clegg as accomplished liars are likely to wield a disproportionate amount of political influence and clout in the run-up to the 2015 election. Farage won the lying contest but the mask slipped as he revealed a glimmer of honesty as to his true intentions. His talk of a “white, British working-class underclass” being disadvantaged is chillingly familiar and his posturing that the EU will be destroyed by violence unless he gets his way could be interpreted as something of a threat. Perhaps his reference to a Greek Golden Dawn goes deeper than simple rhetoric to please the crowd.

Back at the televised shove ha`penny, various offspring suggested that I should apply to be a contestant on the game show after I correctly answered the question; “by what name is Adolf Schicklgruber better known”. We`ll have the answer right after the break.

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