The Plastic Hippo

April 26, 2017

Sixth Republic

Filed under: History,Politics,Sport,World — theplastichippo @ 1:17 am
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Macron et Le Pen via Radio Times

At the end of the Second World War, the Fourth French Republic was established and governed with an unstable mix of Gaullist and Communist elected representatives until 1958 when the colonial civil war in Algeria, the debacle in Indochina and revolts in French West Africa brought about the collapse of government, the establishing of the Fifth Republic and the return of General De Gaulle as the President of France.

The Fourth Republic founded the European Steel and Coal Community, signed the Treaty of Paris in 1951 and then signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957 establishing the European Economic Community. A year later, regardless of bringing about astonishing economic growth, an increase in industrial output and massive improvements in social security, education, health and pension rights, the Fourth Republic fell in the face of an army munity and imminent military coup. (more…)

March 28, 2017

Roll Over Chuck Berry

Filed under: Environment,Media,Music,Politics,Sport,Transport — theplastichippo @ 12:07 am
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Barmouth image via visitwales.com

One of the great advantages of growing older is that behaviour that was once considered reckless is now casually dismissed as being merely eccentric. Another joyous consequence of impending dotage is the fact that allegedly “grown-up” children can be expected to feed themselves and not inflict too much damage on each other if left unsupervised for longer than 30 seconds. As hairlines recede or turn to grey, the spontaneity of pre-parenthood can, with courage of conviction, occasionally be reclaimed.

So when by chance a couple of commitments fell through leaving blank diary pages for several days, a late-night internet search trawled up a last-minute holiday cottage in Wales going for a song. Imagine our joy when the kids announced that they could rearrange their work and education schedules and would be able to join us. On Saturday morning with the promise of limited Wi-Fi and intermittent phone signal, we loaded the car and headed to where Snowdonia meets Cardigan Bay. (more…)

February 27, 2017

Imagine

cliff
Imagine that after defying all the odds and confounding both critics and supporters alike, you wake up to find that you have guided Leicester City to unexpected and ultimate success as Champions of the Premier League. Alternatively, imagine looking in the mirror and discovering that you are a Thai billionaire duty-free shop magnate with an interest in football that only extends to the amount of personal wealth that can be made. Just nine months after an astonishing sporting achievement, the loyalty of fans toward Claudio Ranieri seems undiminished unlike the loyalty of a chairman more interested in television revenues than fans and certain mediocre players more interested in the transfer market than loyalty to the manager.

Imagine waking up as “Sir Mo”, the darling of the tabloid press only to go back to bed as plain Mohamed after your coach has come under suspicion of being up to no good. (more…)

February 22, 2017

Who ate all the pies?

Filed under: Media,Sport — theplastichippo @ 3:05 am
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Image via BBC Sport

Image via BBC Sport

When the manufactured scandal has blown over and the dust has settled, the name of Sutton United`s reserve goalkeeper will return mercifully to deserved obscurity in about the same time as it takes to invent another scandal for the back pages of scurrilous tabloid rags.

In case you were not paying attention, the big story on Monday was not the Iraqi Army`s assault on Mosul or the Commons debating the Trump visit or the Lords debating Article 50 or even the sad death of Steve Hewlett which marked yet another loss of principled, intelligent and valued journalism. No, the big story was a fat man eating a pie at a football match. (more…)

December 14, 2016

Rogue One

Filed under: Media,Politics,Rights,Society,Sport,Transport,World — theplastichippo @ 11:50 pm
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Sky Walkers Crisps

Sky Walkers Crisps

When something outrageous or provocative is broadcast on television or radio, there is a simple solution that could avoid a dangerous increase in blood pressure, impotent fury and a desire to hit the domestic appliance with an unusually heavy object. The answer is easy; change channel or switch the bloody thing off.

If the irrational ranting of an anonymous blogger pretending to be a polypropylene even-toed ungulate river horse causes outrage of such incandescence that you are moved to quote the Daily Mail as fact, do not read the blog and look instead at pictures of cats. There is, by the way, no need for any Mollie Sugden references here thank you very much.

If you take umbrage at a total stranger on Twitter or Facebook and feel the need to threaten them with rape and or beheading then the problem might be residing in you rather than in the opinions you disagree with. Try getting out more and maybe attempt to find a girlfriend or, indeed, a boyfriend or, as a short-term measure, another actual human being capable of an actual conversation that aspires to more than basic grunting. (more…)

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