The Plastic Hippo

May 19, 2015

Walsall

Walsall Arboretum

For many blindingly obvious reasons, it was an absolute joy to spend last week away from the United Kingdom. As the aching disappointment at the outcome of the general election gave way to abject terror at what is likely to happen to this country now that Cameron has an actual mandate, boarding an aircraft and flying away has never been so pleasurable.

Mercifully missing out on endless post mortems, excuses and recriminations; the end of the road for the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party tearing itself apart again and the Farage creature making a complete fool of himself by resigning and then not resigning, the overseas media hardly reported the tawdry UK bun fight. The only evidence I saw was in a crowded bar as the barista flicked through the channels looking for the Real Madrid Juventus game. He paused on a news report that showed smug Tory ministers banging the table as Cameron entered to chair the first meeting of his new cabinet. My heart sank and my flesh crawled. Juventus held on for a draw and I held on to the thought of not coming back. (more…)

May 6, 2015

Cool Hand Luke

Filed under: Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Via Ryan Tear-Bartlett

Via Ryan Tear-Bartlett

If the first rule of comedy is sometimes but not necessarily always timing then the first rule of parachuting is to always check that you are wearing an actual parachute. Skydiving is risky enough so spare a thought for the three Conservative parliamentary candidates being parachuted into the three Walsall constituencies.

Whatever the result of the General Election, I shall miss the social media presence of the Conservative candidate for Walsall North because in victory or defeat we will never hear of him again. At first, I thought the constant stream of unsubtle cliché satirising Tory stereotypes were part of a parody account to cheer us all up yet the discovery that the nonsense was intentional made the output even more hilarious. The charm offensive comprises of photographs of the candidate being posted almost hourly. Here he is with old people, here he is with young people, with other people wearing turbans, here is drinking a pint of beer or abseiling or at a football match. Fortunately the season is over and he managed to avoid the Cameron moment of confusing Walsall FC with Wickham Wanderers, a team much closer to home. (more…)

April 27, 2015

Vote Old

Filed under: Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:10 am
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Image credit: plastic hippo

Image credit: plastic hippo

In case you haven`t noticed, apparently we are about to have a election and the charming parliamentary constituency of Walsall South has proved to be the unlikely setting for what that election will be about.

Talking the borrowed dog for a Sunday morning walk in the magnificent Arboretum, I noticed a sign affixed to the bay window of a fairly average terraced house. There is nothing unusual or indeed wrong with people nailing their political colours to the mast especially when we are apparently about to have an election. Something else, however, caught my eye. There were two hand-written notes attached to the sign which at first glance resembled the sort of documents you find on your windscreen after you have parked the four by four across the gates of a crematorium or the public notices cable-tied to lamp posts informing you that your local primary school is about to be converted into an “aspirational” executive apartment complex to suit the lifestyles of heroic entrepreneurial wealth creators. (more…)

March 23, 2015

World Cup Walsall

Filed under: Fiction,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Walsall`s supreme leader

Scandal hit world football governing body FIFA has taken the extraordinary decision to relocate the 2018 World Cup away from Russia and stage the competition in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall. In a further sensational development, FIFA supremo “Mr Football” Slap Bladdered has stepped down with immediate effect in order to spend more time with his money.

FIFA insist that the decision to withdraw from Russia is not due to the abuse of basic human rights, rampant corruption, the brutal murder of journalists and opposition leaders, the invasion of Ukraine or even the former host nation`s insistence on playing their group games at Chelsea`s Stamford Bridge. Instead, the emergence of Walsall as a world football powerhouse is the reason for this dramatic about face. Also the cheque from Vladimir Putin bounced. (more…)

February 24, 2015

Give my regards

Filed under: Health,Politics,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 12:00 am
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Diversity

Diversity

The relief at returning home after a few days away to find that the house has not actually been burgled is usually tempered by having to force open a front door barricaded by a mountain of junk mail. The urge to sift through the pizza delivery leaflets would be a treat for later once the kettle was on, the washing machine loaded and the children safely back on their tablets.

On this occasion, however, the sorting of the privatised Royal Mail unearthed some treasure. Firstly, the bank had admitted to making a mistake in debiting an account (surprise surprise) and a long overdue invoice for a lucrative if difficult commission was finally paid. This good fortune covered the cost of parking in York for the day and still left change to rent the holiday cottage for five days. Mr Micawber knows more about economics that George Osborne. (more…)

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