The Plastic Hippo

July 28, 2017

Poached sushi

Raw sushi

When, on a cold and frosty morning, a car refuses to start when being late is simply not an option or the first intestinal rumblings indicate that the recently consumed piece of fish might have spent too long in the fridge, hope rapidly follows faith down the pan when it comes to being confident in having a mythical good day. No amount of de-icer or splashes of Wasabe can disguise the struggle in acquisition or the irredeemable loss when trust blows a gasket or crawls off the plate in search of greener pastures. The futility of bemoaning bad luck as being unfair can have no better example of wasting time than that of analysing the current government`s approach to governance, its notion of fairness and the Prime Minister`s definition of the words “strong and stable”. (more…)

September 14, 2016

This little piggy

ill-have-an-ham

It has been merely a year since hilarity, hysteria and abject horror engulfed the British political zeitgeist with lurid tales of strange behaviour at the very pinnacle of government. With the entire world watching the sordid farce unfold; the temptation to pile in at the time with endless references to porcine quadrupeds seemed almost irresistible. However, a more mature and balanced reaction was to adopt the approach of broadcast media especially the BBC by first ignoring it, then doubting it and then playing the whole thing down with talk of “bawdy pranks”, high jinks, undergraduate mischief and “harmless initiation rituals”. After all, what goes on between a future Prime Minister and the severed head of a pig in the privacy of an Oxford dining club is none of our business. (more…)

September 11, 2016

Secondary but not modern

Via Peguin Books

Via Peguin Books


Imagine inventing a new word to describe something undesirable only to find that the word quickly becomes part of common language but with its original usage completely reversed. Then consider the sorry experience of minor politician and sociologist Michael Young.

Credited with drafting large chunks of Labour`s 1945 manifesto, Young played a major part in securing a landslide victory for Clement Attlee and the almost unthinkable defeat of Sir Winston Churchill at the conclusion of the Second World War. The 1944 Butler Education Act established free and universal education and set the school leaving age at 15. It also introduced the tripartite system of education featuring grammar schools, secondary technical schools and secondary modern schools. In theory, comprehensive schools would combine features of all three streams. Allocation of school places was determined by academic examination when a child reached the age of 11. The results of a maths test, a general essay and a third test on general reasoning would define the child as a member of the elite, someone who could be trusted with expensive machinery or a basic manual labourer expected to be grateful for the chance at any education at all. (more…)

September 9, 2016

Area 50 Article 51

Chevening

Chevening

Area 51, as any self-appointed expert on alien life forms will more than happily tell you, is a top secret dark operations base located on a salt flat near Groom Lake in Nevada some 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas. The dead and injured victims of crashed space craft are taken there for either autopsy or examination. Some experts go so far as to suggest that surviving extraterrestrial beings are actually sharing their knowledge of advanced technology and are even now colluding with earthly governments in secret research. Obviously the presence of non-earthlings would create panic and be very bad for business for world religion so it makes perfect sense to keep such creatures locked up and safely out of sight. (more…)

August 3, 2016

Honours among thieves

mutley-21
It is probably just a simple oversight or a minor administrative error or an honest to goodness human mistake but after days and days of waiting for the postman to arrive with confirmation, it seems than my name does not appear on David Cameron`s resignation honours list conveniently leaked to a Murdoch newspaper.

The fact that I am eminently qualified to be ennobled and thus elevated above the hoi polloi makes the omission even more inexplicable. I tirelessly supported the “Remain” campaign by bunging a load of cash at it. I instructed my newspaper editors to inform the public that my opinion is the only infallible truth and I defended democracy by bunging a load of cash to the political party that best serves my interests. I opened a Free School and used the funding to pay off the mortgages on my property portfolio and placed impoverish children in solitary confinement until their scrounging parents paid the lunch bill. I opened a chain of Academies and removed impoverished children and disruptive pupils displaying so-called special needs determined to spoil my reputation as an evangelical philanthropist. (more…)

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