The Plastic Hippo

September 24, 2015

Aylan and Hadeel

Filed under: Faith,History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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Image via Youth Against Settlements

Image via Youth Against Settlements

If an image of a dead child washed up on a Mediterranean beach conveys the consequences of being a refugee, then an image of a young woman about to be shot dead conveys the reasons for becoming a refugee. The image of a lifeless Aylan Kurdi face down in the surf temporarily shocked the world into an all too brief moment of compassion now almost forgotten; the image of Hadeel al-Hashlamun, an 18-year old Palestinian student will be ignored in the interests Middle Eastern security and forgotten in the interests of western economic pragmatism. (more…)

September 21, 2015

Very British ad hominem

Playing the man

Playing the man

Within the occult dark arts coven of British politics, it is evidentially clear that former MP and novelist Chris Mullin is a witch and should be immediately conveyed to the nearest village pond to be dunked in order to ascertain if he floats or sinks. In the early years of the first Thatcher government, the then Labour MP for Sunderland South and shameless supporter of the late Tony Benn concocted a fanciful yet amusing piece of fiction entitled “A Very British Coup”. The plot of this far-fetched political fantasy involves a left-wing working class Labour MP by the name of Harry Perkins unexpectedly becoming a British Prime Minister. (more…)

September 14, 2015

Four claws

Filed under: Politics — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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A retirement do at an Estate Agents

A retirement do at an Estate Agents

Observers already missing the knockabout slapstick farce of the Labour leadership campaign can find solace in the oeuvre of Richard and Karen Carpenter and in the opus magna of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. In terms of puerile name-calling “We`ve Only Just Begun” and if you enjoy hysterical mud-slinging then “You Ain`t Seen Nothing Yet.” After a seemingly endless four months of screaming “unity is strength” at each other, it appears that there are only two categories of Labour Party member. Astonishingly, after all these years, it turns out that the Labour movement is entirely populated by either Trotskyites or Tories. (more…)

September 11, 2015

Extraordinary compassion

Filed under: Law,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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James Freeman Clarke, a now obscure and long dead American theologian and campaigner for the abolition of slavery, came up with perhaps the perfect distinction between a politician and a statesman. In a short and accurate aphorism he stated: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation”. Quite what he would think of David Cameron is anybody`s guess as the old boy has been dead for well over a century.

It is left to us to judge a Prime Minister that is happy to conflate a humanitarian disaster with the rhetoric and action of death by execution without due legal process. We do not require a talking hat to decide when a government has lost any pretence of credibility and any shred of morality or to sort out the distinction between empathy and vindictive self-interest. (more…)

September 7, 2015

Hearts and minds

Filed under: Faith,History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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It might be wishful thinking and it is certainly too soon to be sure, but there is a sense of an almost subterranean rumbling that suggests something is fundamentally changing. It`s not that governments and media now describe the hundreds of thousands attempting to escape war as “refugees and migrants” rather than simply “economic migrants” or that Presidents and Prime Ministers have suddenly realised that we are in the middle of a catastrophic humanitarian disaster that will only worsen or that the tactic of whipping up the populist rhetoric of fear and loathing has spectacularly failed; it is instead the coming true of an out of touch leader`s worst nightmare. Direct action by so called “ordinary” people not involved in grand matters of state or the complexities of global politics is extraordinarily difficult to control and our masters are very, very scared. (more…)

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