The Plastic Hippo

February 22, 2016

Patriots unleashed

Via Stefan Rousseau Reuters

Via Stefan Rousseau Reuters

With just four short months to go, preparations for the summer solstice have hit fever pitch with the announcement of a self-selected all-England Morris Dancing team to challenge the world. The six most honest, intelligent, hard-working and photogenic synchronised handkerchief wavers have finally stepped out from the shadow of collective ministerial responsibility and can now campaign for patriotism unfettered, un-gagged and, if the first 24 hour hours is anything to go by, more than a little unhinged. With Boris Johnson sewing flowers into his hat and strapping bells to his knees and elbows, English Morris Dancing is certain to enjoy a tumultuous resurgence.

For any half-sentient being tasked with organising a campaign to persuade UK voters to remain within the European Union, the temptation must be to switch off the phone and book a Mediterranean villa for the duration. Kos is best avoided when the spring tides are from the east so an extended walking tour of Scottish distilleries might be a less traumatic option. With talent of the calibre of Grayling, Gove and Duncan Smith prancing about in pub car parks, it can only be a matter of time before some dreadful gaff, outrageous revelation, downright lie or something fundamentally stupid trips up these Morris men and provokes exasperated landlords to inform them that they are drunk and should go home.

Chris Grayling turned out to be completely useless as Justice Secretary and had to be removed and eventually replaced by Michael Gove who is now tasked with reversing everything that Grayling put in place. Gove was so useless at Education that he had to be removed and eventually replaced by someone who has never been heard of again. Gove now claims that the EU is “outdated” but he will always be remembered for updating the introduction to the King James Bible in his own hand, re-introducing the memorising of British battle dates, the chanting of multiplication tables and the testing of children aged six.

Iain Duncan Smith claims that leaving the EU will prevent terrorist attacks in the UK. Unfortunately, Iain Duncan Smith seems to lack the arithmetical skill required to compare and contrast the number of deaths caused by British, or French, or Belgian or US citizens within their own borders with the number of suicides brought about by sanctions imposed by his Department of Work and Pensions.

Grayling, Gove and Duncan Smith have all been judged in a court of law to have acted illegally yet inexplicably continue to enjoy salaries drawn from the public purse. Given that they now feel that Cameron`s deal with Brussels is inadequate and good reason to leave the EU, the incompetence of such a bungled negotiation must surely bounce back off the PMs shiny face onto the shiny heads of Grayling, Gove and Duncan Smith. As Leader of the House of Commons, Grayling failed with the whole “ever closer union” thing and at the DWP, Duncan Smith failed with the whole migrant benefits thing. It is interesting that the repeal of the European Rights Act, once such a big thing for angry ministers, was dropped like a ton of bricks from Cameron`s reform package once it was realised that Gove would be doing the talking. This entire referendum is not about Europe; it is about the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Tempting as it is to simply ignore the buffoons, liars and crooks and wait for the inevitable melt-down, those that are keen continue with European unity would be unwise to dismiss the complexity and hierarchical nature of Morris Dancing. Each troupe has a “squire” who calls the dance, a “foreman” in charge of standards, a “bagman” who looks after money and a “ragman” who supervises the dressing up. With Boris Johnson firmly intent on occupying Number 10, the “Leave” campaign is becoming a one-man-band with the sole intent of playing Boris Johnson`s tune. This might explain the extraordinary disappearance of Osborne, May, Hunt and other ministers to timid to defend their own increasingly vulnerable “squire” Cameron. The real danger is that if allowed to go unchallenged, the prancing, cavorting and fancy footwork will result in a disastrous vote to leave and a nasty piece of work pretending to be a clown ruling an isolated England after Scotland and Wales refuse to accept the joke. The “Remain” campaign should remain entirely positive in the face of likely hysteria, debunk the myths and ignore the fluttering handkerchiefs of spurious patriotism.

Other characters in traditional English country dancing include the “fool” and the “beast”. No solstice would be complete without Farage and George Galloway. June 23rd rather than the 20th might turn out to be the longest day.


  1. I have re-read Tolkien recently. This has caused a recurring nightmare.

    It involves 2 blond idiots occupying the White House and 10 Downing Street, a psychopathic dwarf in the Kremlin, a smug, empire seeking ruler in the central kingdom, an androgynous creature ruling in the east and the elves leaving forever.

    War rages, but only in selected areas.

    Then a bearded wizard arrives and gathers a ragamuffin band together. Their mission is to seek to seek fairness, truth and peace. Unfortunately, they fail almost immediately. Riven by tribal rivalry, ambition and starvation, they kill each other.

    On second thoughts, maybe it wasn’t a nightmare after all.

    Comment by The Realist — February 23, 2016 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  2. Nice to see your local jihadi terrorists dominating the national news.

    Comment by Rob — February 24, 2016 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

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