The Plastic Hippo

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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March 15, 2017

Get in the sea


It has only been three of four days but it seems that the sea swimmers of Clevedon featured on the BBC News ident have finally taken off their bathing caps and thrown in the proverbial beach towel. It would appear that, according to the BBC, these hardy souls who brave English coastal waters in the depth of winter represent both the “diversity” and the “oneness” of the Great British public and are ideal harbingers of our daily news. (more…)

March 8, 2017

The End of Days

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:36 am
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Image via Mattel

With not enough hours in the day to find or even keep up with real news and every day of the week bringing blizzards of falsehoods and distractions, thank goodness there are designated days, weeks, months and years of commemoration to keep us focussed on the inevitable passage of time. However, with so much to remember, the calendar can become congested requiring important dates to cosy up and time share.

During the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Kingston enjoys the honour of being the only city on the banks of the River Hull to be designated UK City of Culture for the whole of 2017. Hull will prosper from the legacy of London based “creatives” using the funding to recite Chaucer to groups of bewildered Kalahari Bushmen and then take the money and run. Like Derry-Londonderry before it, Kingston-upon-Hull is so good that they named it twice

The quiet dignity of National Bed Month might be overshadowed by Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month but half way through Fairtrade Fortnight we can still commemorate the importance of British Pie Week, National Apprenticeships Week, Endometriosis Week and National Conversation Week. During February we had Dignity Action Day, World Cancer Day, National Libraries Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Safer Internet Day, Toothache Day, National Pizza Day, Singles Awareness Day, World Encephalitis Day and World Thinking Day as well as Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Eating Disorders Awareness Week and numerous other special times of random kindness and charitable giving. (more…)

February 3, 2017

Street crime

handbag
The trauma, anxiety and adverse effects caused by street crime, particularly robbery, is dependent upon the psychological resilience and the physical and emotional health of the victim. Although each crime is unique and the reactions of victims may vary, there are common trends that apply to most victims of crime both during the robbery itself and the aftermath of the crisis.

Many victims report a sense of unreality as the crime is being perpetrated and in the moment find it difficult to believe that another human being is actually robbing them of valuable possessions. The initial instinct is to cling onto valuables with dear life until the realisation that direct or implied violence might threaten dear life itself. In retrospect, a robbery that in reality might last for seconds seems to last for hours as the emotional calamity is played out. The acute stress response sometimes characterised as “fight or flight” forces a split-second conflict between obvious feelings of anger and fear. Most targets of street crime tend to abandon possessions when faced directly by violence and threats of violence and fear almost always holds sway over anger. (more…)

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