The Plastic Hippo

October 10, 2016

Make `em laugh



To openly gloat over the misfortunes of others, even if they happen to be the most unpleasant, hate-filled, narcissistic attention seekers to ever pollute political debate, is not big and not clever. However, when dubious politicians display their “man of the people” credentials by softening the mood with some whacky stunt, the nation and indeed the world should applaud them for giving us all a right old laugh.

So, after adopting a serious face to sincerely hope that UKIP MEP Steven Woolf makes a full recovery, we should give him a heartfelt slap on the back for being part of the funniest public punch-up since Monty Python`s fish slapping dance. We should also thank Boris Johnson for giving us an image of him gagged and bound to a chair in a locked basement somewhere in the vicinity of Whitehall to prevent him from cracking anymore jokes. Gratitude is also owed to Nigel Farage, who, after having his only policy nicked from under his nose, continues to amuse as his party falls apart amid handbag fights. But at top of the tree, lobbing comedy faecal nuggets with definitely not gay abandon sits one Donald Trump.

In a new political age when actual policy and any mention of principle are avoided as being voter unfriendly and the only tactic seems to be embedded in vicious negativity, the distance and remote safety of the internet allows and emboldens attention seekers to publish the most outrageous claims and counter-claims. This new and vibrant comic genre is at its most funny when the electorate are invited to make a decision. We were wrong to think that the absurdity of the 2014 Scottish Referendum insult and falsehood festival marked the peak of low humour because that act was topped by the surreal 2015 General Election. Now almost an annual event, the 2016 European Referendum was the best yet for side-splitting hilarity with the most ridiculous statements being issued by all the protagonists as if in some way these “facts” had any remote relationship with the truth. Even more hilarious is the current US reality TV mud fight which will decide who gets access to the nuclear launch codes.

Even when the general public are not allowed to vote, the new silliness governs the issues. The appointments of a new Prime Minister, a new chief Kipper and a new Leader of the Opposition are conducted in an atmosphere of negative irrelevance evoking a lack of children, dubious computer deadlines and invented anti-Semitism. When two MEPs ostensibly from the same political party have a fight and then disagree as to the definition of fight, the humour might be broad but it is still compelling. If you think this is crazy, take a look across the Atlantic where one side brays for the opposing candidate to be locked up and just about everybody else, including many on his own side, are now openly speculating that the other candidate is clinically insane.

All this side-splitting buffoonery makes for marvellous television but is not at all funny for the rest of the planet. Two UKIP MEPs squaring up at the European Parliament tells you everything you need to know about UKIP. Hate-filled rhetoric with violent undertones will inevitably result in hatred and violence. Interestingly, one of the two brawling thugs once belonged to the Labour Party but two defectors from the Conservative Party have done more to destroy UKIP from within. Adopting a serious face and pretending to be as sincere as possible, let us hope that Douglas Carswell makes a full recovery from what appears to be a minor stroke, Neil Hamilton is safely rehabilitated back into a law-abiding society and that Nigel Farage will one day aspire to be a recovering alcoholic.

In earlier times, the deathly silence currently surrounding Boris Johnson would have been most welcome given the toe-curling embarrassment that ensued every time the then Mayor of London opened his mouth. Now under strict instructions to keep his gob firmly shut, the new Foreign Secretary has been appointment to ensure that the negotiations to leave the European Union are a complete failure. Along with men of the calibre of Liam Fox and David Davis, it is as if the Prime Minister has asked Curley, Larry and Mo to fix the House of Commons roof. At some point, Johnson will snap and make some desperately inappropriate comment only to claim he was only joking when people take offence. Hey Boris, how many British built Typhoon strike aircraft does it take to turn a single funeral in Yemen into 140 funerals? The punch line will have to wait until an internal, secret inquiry concludes that profit trumps morality.

Nigel Farage might be brilliant as a scary clown but even this nasty ego maniac is small beer compared to the antics of Donald Trump. Amazingly, Farage is offering Trump what has been described as advice on how to become electable. The advice seems to be; shout, bully, take advantage of public fear, promote divisions in society, interrupt and insult opponents, instil distrust and then hatred of minorities, tell lots of lies and above all remain profoundly unattractive both spiritually and physically. After sexually assaulting women, describe the victims as predatory and pass off the crime as “locker room talk” of “alpha male boasting”. Never miss an opportunity to remind the electorate that “immigrants rape our women.”

The hypocrisy in all these clowns runs very deep and although we usually laugh out loud at the jolly japes and skits they perform, we are now at a stage in history when pantomime dames are affecting the health, wellbeing and security of the entire planet. Once they were happy to break wind as long as it got a laugh; now, these shallow pranksters with their bigotry and hate are directly responsible for an increase in bullying, a rise in hate crime, the emboldening racists and fascists, the murder of a British MP, the radicalisation of unimaginable numbers of people genuinely afraid of the future and the prospect of the start of a new Dark Age.

At one time, they made us laugh – now they are making us cry – and angry.


  1. Reassuring.

    Comment by Rob — October 13, 2016 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  2. Well done!

    Comment by Rob — October 16, 2016 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

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