The Plastic Hippo

July 10, 2017

Ich bein ein Hamburger

Filed under: History,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:47 am
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Not Colonel Sanders

Perhaps the most enduring and delightfully amusing myths generated by the cold war, is the continued belief that a President of the United States stood before a crowd in West Berlin and described himself as a jam-filled doughnut.

Few cold war orators could work a crowd like John F Kennedy even when the crowd spoke a different language and his assertion in 1963 that he, along with other free men would be proud to call themselves citizens of Berlin went down a storm with the German-speaking audience. Only non-German translators raised an eyebrow at the reference to deep-fried confectionary by completely missing the point that people in Berlin call jam-filled doughnuts Pfannkuchen and people in, for example, Hamburg call Pfannkuchen “Berliners”. Imagine JFK announcing to a New York crowd; “I am a weekly news and comment magazine celebrating the cultural richness of New York City”. (more…)

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July 4, 2017

Public servants

Filed under: Law,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:50 am
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Image via BBC

We in the still just about United Kingdom are fortunate enough to be served by a silent army of selfless public sector workers who tirelessly toil to maintain and improve our precious way of life. Often without witness, recognition or appreciation, their meagre financial reward is offset by the pride in fulfilling public duty for the general good. Avoiding vulgar and shameless self-publicity, we owe these saviours of society a debt of thanks that transcends mere pension schemes, employment rights and tasteless arguments over take-home pay. High court judges, senior police officers, NHS Trust executive managers and local authority cabinet members work unstintingly for a generally unappreciative populous and would never demean their public duty by discussing salaries, allowances and perks.

Consider Nicholas Paget-Brown, the former leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who displayed such selfless leadership in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster by adopting a stance of complete inaction and a policy of victim blaming. (more…)

June 28, 2017

Clad

Filed under: Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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Following detailed analysis by a number of globally prominent experts, there is growing concern for the safety of a vulnerable Westminster resident who is refusing to evacuate a space that is in real and imminent danger of complete collapse. With her house falling down around her ears and her premises no longer viable or credible, this poor victim of shoddy workmanship and scandalous cutbacks during the construction and refurbishment process now finds herself almost homeless. Fortunately, the recent sub-letting of the crumbling town house to her new orange friend and the installation of a money incinerator under the Renewable Heat Initiative means that the plucky resident is immune from forced eviction as long as the recently discovered money tree continues to supply the recently installed money incinerator.

There are, however, further concerns regarding the materials used to board up the doors and windows of the property in an attempt to thwart the so-called experts and the health and safety storm troopers. It seems that samples of the decorative cladding have been tested and the preliminary results suggest that living in an environment enclosed by such heat insulation is about as safe as opening an email from a Russian cosmonaut en route to a rendezvous with a super nova.

More worrying still is the horrible realisation that similar boarding up cladding is being used to isolate other Westminster addresses including Number 11, the Scottish Office, the Welsh Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Treasury and, more importantly perhaps, the newly created Office for Making a Total Mess of Getting Out of Europe. There are people within these buildings who, like the vulnerable Westminster resident who refuses to leave her subsidised home in spite of all evidence and advice, must be finding it difficult to sleep at night. (more…)

June 22, 2017

Queen`s speech – second draft

Via elleuk.com


From: Cabinet Office and Prime Minister`s Office, 10 Downing Street
Part of: Government transparency and accountability
Content: Queen`s Speech 2017 first draft for Her Majesty`s input
From: Buckingham Palace
Content: Queen`s Speech 2017 second draft including Her Majesty`s input
Her Majesty`s most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament.

“My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,”
If you think for a moment that I intent to drag out all of the horses and all of the men down to your tawdry waste of time you are mistaken. Philip has made it perfectly clear that he will not be attending and I will probably drive myself over in one of the Land Rovers on my way to Ascot. I give you fair warning that if that appalling little man Dennis Skinner makes any sarcastic comment then he will find himself mucking out at Sandringham for the rest of the summer. (more…)

June 19, 2017

Tragedy

Via ITN.com


It is conceivable that during the early hours of last Wednesday morning returning from a game of football between France and England in Paris the previous evening, Prime Minister Theresa May on final approach to RAF Northolt might have glanced out of the window and witnessed flames lighting up the night sky above West London. Later, as her motorcade sped along the A40, perhaps her thoughts on England`s woeful defensive performance against 10 men were disturbed by the smell of acrid smoke. Then on the Westway, the burning cladding blowing across the carriageway might just have distracted her mind from what she needs to bribe the Democratic Unionist Party with in order to prolong her stay in Downing Street. We may never know at precisely what point, if indeed at all, she considered the game was well and truly up. (more…)

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