The Plastic Hippo

August 31, 2016

Fairness, justice and wishful thinking

Filed under: Media,Politics,Society,Sport,World — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
Core values

Core values

As August departs in a blaze of sunshine, with a resigned sigh we contemplate an autumn of discontent and a winter of absolute, all consuming misery. As seasons go; silly is too narrow a definition to contain the output of our noble, balanced and independent media. Based on current output, perhaps we should introduce a seasonal banding system for when politicians take August as a holiday to elevate silliness beyond the merely plain daft. In front of every silver lining is a bloody great big black cloud.

Super silly season would cover or, indeed, uncover any of the nonsense coming out of France at the moment. Mega silly season could define the USA in an election year and silly beyond the point of reasonable belief would characterise the actions of Labour Party members during another leadership election and the media`s utterly bizarre reporting of a political party running out of feet to shoot. We can, however, take comfort in traditional silly season hokum.

Apple – that super ethical multinational purveyor of built-in obsolescence and therefore profit – had an £11 billion tax bill slapped onto their corporate gates by none other than the European Commission based on a £40 billion profit during 2015. Having persuaded the Irish government to turn a blind eye to the vulgarity of taxation, the rampaging Jobs Wozniak Wayne brain child is not best pleased and nor is, astonishingly, an Irish government perfectly happy to turn down all that lovely unpaid tax revenue. Both will appeal against this outrageous threat to unaccountable accounting. £11 billion is equivalent to 13 billion Euros or about two thirds of Ireland`s social welfare bill or just about all of Ireland`s healthcare budget. Ireland, in common with most developed nations, is unshakeable when it comes to imprisoning individual citizens when found guilty of tax evasion. Fairness is alive and well in the Emerald Isle.

Southern Health celebratesWhen an NHS Trust decides not to adequately investigate a number of unexplained deaths and subsequent enquiries find that management failure was a major contributory factor in the demise of patients in its care, it is not unreasonable to assume that the Chief Executive would be either dismissed or offer his or her resignation. Eventually, the Chief Executive of Southern Health has resigned from her post.

Well not exactly. She retains her considerable salary and benefits package but is now described as an “advisor” rather than the person with the ultimate responsibility for patient care. Far from a reluctance to understand how viable patients died and what some might describe as blatant negligence, her decision to step across into well-paid anonymity is a result of “media attention”. This is a perfect NHS story with the media once again spouting failure and incompetence at the heart of the NHS whilst ignoring the increasing numbers of actual medical practitioners who are hounded and vilified by senior NHS managers for blowing the whistle on senior NHS managers tasked by the government to dismantle the NHS.

One can only assume that these shysters along with Jeremy Hunt are in possession of comprehensive private health insurance along with share interests in private health insurance companies. Justice might be a long time coming but, as Jeremy Hunt will discover, justice has a history of inevitability.

TB or not TB

TB or not TB

Badgers are back as we approach the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Having conclusive proof that shooting brocks does absolutely nothing to contain Bovine TB; our increasingly strange government has decreed the killing of 10,000 across what is left of the West Country. To justify this rather odd and basically futile cull, sobbing and impoverished farmers are placed before the cameras to bemoan the fate of poor old Daisy the cow being carted off to the glue factory for no profit at all compared to the money she would fetch as number 34 with a date with a burger bun and some relish.

If only the farmer had inoculated Daisy against giving badgers Bovine TB and if only the farmer could stop his sons and daughters rampaging through the countryside at the dead of night shooting anything that looks a bit black and white. Still, all those European subsidies will keep impoverished farmers in Range Rovers until we leave the European Union as voted for by farmers keen on voting Conservative, killing wildlife and leaving the EU. Perhaps it is wishful thinking to hope that the badgers will arm themselves and return fire.



After the British triumph during the Olympics and another English failure during the European Football Championships, the summer might just provide one last hurrah at the Rio Paralympics. It seems strange that with about a week to go until the opening ceremony, we are not hearing very much from our huge team of sports broadcasters about to bring us the greatest show on Earth part two. Maybe corruption and incompetence within Olympic governing bodies resulting in lots of money disappearing has tarnished the games and with a UK government removing the right to state benefit from people with disabilities and even taking away motability vehicles from Paralympic athletes heading for Brazil, the season has gone from silly to stupid to cruel.

For all our wishful thinking, concepts of justice and fairness remain simply silly.


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