The Plastic Hippo

May 7, 2017

Stockton-on-Tees syndrome

Patty Hearst

After being forcibly abducted, illegally deprived of liberty, brutalised and threatened with violence and death, it is beyond belief that a hostage would regard a hostage-taker with anything other than complete contempt and utter loathing.

However, since the 1970s, the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress and a six day armed siege at the Kreditbanken in Norrmalmstorg Square in the centre of the Swedish capital allowed psychologists to invent a brand new syndrome to describe how hostages bond with their captors as a strategy for survival and what happens when poor little girls begin to get their kicks by holding up banks with a machine gun. Sadly, like most monthly flavours in questionable psychology, this syndrome rapidly became tasteless when it was used to explain away domestic violence and child abuse in a world where blaming the victims for the crimes committed against them is somehow fashionable as well as being profoundly unfathomable.

It is far too simplistic to dismiss local authority and mayoral elections as meaningless or irrelevant or to point to woefully low turnouts. Crowing about victories in Manchester, Liverpool or the West Midlands when the turnouts are between 26 and 29 per cent is, however, not an indication of the imminent coronation of Theresa May. What is astonishing is that of the 21 per cent who voted in Tees Valley, the majority of people in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar formerly known for its steel works before being abandoned by a Conservative government voted for a Conservative metropolitan mayor. In the east end of Glasgow and across the industrial belt of the Scottish central lowlands, Conservative councillors were elected. (more…)

April 19, 2017

50 days of May

Via Getty Image archive

The Prime Minister, in her Easter sermon to the masses, was correct in her assertion that Holy Week is a moment to reflect and an important time for Christians and others to gather together with families and friends. She went on to say that there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting following a period of intense debate over the right future for our country. She spoke of one great union of people embracing the world by leaving the European Union even as our shared values bring us together. Her childhood in a vicarage taught her the Christian values of compassion, community, citizenship and the obligation we have to one another. (more…)

April 15, 2017

Taking the Mick

For a government that is seemingly obsessed with legislation, Mrs May`s merry band of jesters are failing to bring into law measures that will protect the British public from the very real and present danger of unimaginable horror. We need as a matter of urgency, comprehensive and robust anti-embarrassment legislation.

Forget about the Great Repeal Bill with its statutory instruments and technical amendments which will allow the government to abolish laws that protect universal human rights and laws that at least attempt to reign in wealthy crooks. These laws will disappear without debate or vote as a barely cogent government seeks to take back control of democracy by becoming completely undemocratic. The 14 per cent of European law that is there to ensure equality, employment rights and a sustainable environment are trivial sideshows made up by Remoaners to divert attention away from their profoundly unpatriotic cowardice. This time last year we were all Leicester City fans but now we cringe at the sight of Leicester`s finest throwing beer bottles at the Madrid constabulary in the belief that this act will protect Gibraltar as encouraged by the embarrassingly dire Murdoch tabloid. (more…)

April 3, 2017

Rock on

Barbarity

Not since David Cameron infamously misplaced his child following an embarrassing photo opportunity in a pub has a British Prime Minister so spectacularly lost sight of a vulnerable dependent. By forgetting to mention the fate of poor little Gibraltar in her infamous letter-signing photo opportunity and according to some of the more excitable Tories still allowed out in public, Theresa May is prepared to wage war against Spain in order to defend the British Overseas Territory famous for its verminous Barbary macaques, crooked shell companies, tax avoidance and on-line gambling rackets.

This latest nonsense comes from Michael now Lord Howard who is only memorable as a former Leader of the Conservative Party because the rather odd Ann Widdecombe thought there was “something of the night” about this Welsh son of a Romanian migrant. It only took four days of swinging on the curtains, scratching table legs and eating the corner of the carpet in sheer joy before some Tories mistakenly thought the phrase “triggering Article 50” means starting a European war. (more…)

March 30, 2017

Free at last

Filed under: Fiction,History,Law,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Hard Breakfast

Historians will undoubtedly look back and describe these exciting times that we are privileged to be living through as a glorious English Spring bringing about a bright political, economic and social future. At long last free from the shackles imposed by a faceless Brussels bureaucracy, we can march to the sunlit uplands confident that we are adored by the rest of the world and certain in our knowledge that Johnny Foreigner has at last been put in his place.

Given the dog-whistle ubiquity of social media, the practicality of flags, banners and anthems as muster points in a call to arms or a rallying focus in battle now seems rather quaint. It is now far easier to express steadfast patriotism from the anonymity of a keyboard and the symbolism of a raised standard or regimental colour has been reduced to a hash tag or avatar. A simple flag can represent the unity, strength, purpose and inherent values of an entire population even as an online avatar represents the opinion of an individual prepared to say anything outrageous in order to harvest attention.
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