The Plastic Hippo

May 10, 2017

Rubbish

Sally Cogley image via Sally Cogley

As the BBC announces details of its proposed election coverage, critics of the corporation are again accusing the state broadcaster of political bias due to its refusal to acknowledge Ms Sally Cogley of Galston, East Ayrshire as the only credible and legitimate loyal opposition. Having already decided the outcome of the general election taking place on June 8th, senior editors and correspondents at BBC News and Current Affairs are being criticised for ignoring a new mould-breaking force in UK politics and not allowing a platform for the voice of the people, Ms Sally Cogley of Galston, East Ayrshire. (more…)

May 7, 2017

Stockton-on-Tees syndrome

Patty Hearst

After being forcibly abducted, illegally deprived of liberty, brutalised and threatened with violence and death, it is beyond belief that a hostage would regard a hostage-taker with anything other than complete contempt and utter loathing.

However, since the 1970s, the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress and a six day armed siege at the Kreditbanken in Norrmalmstorg Square in the centre of the Swedish capital allowed psychologists to invent a brand new syndrome to describe how hostages bond with their captors as a strategy for survival and what happens when poor little girls begin to get their kicks by holding up banks with a machine gun. Sadly, like most monthly flavours in questionable psychology, this syndrome rapidly became tasteless when it was used to explain away domestic violence and child abuse in a world where blaming the victims for the crimes committed against them is somehow fashionable as well as being profoundly unfathomable.

It is far too simplistic to dismiss local authority and mayoral elections as meaningless or irrelevant or to point to woefully low turnouts. Crowing about victories in Manchester, Liverpool or the West Midlands when the turnouts are between 26 and 29 per cent is, however, not an indication of the imminent coronation of Theresa May. What is astonishing is that of the 21 per cent who voted in Tees Valley, the majority of people in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar formerly known for its steel works before being abandoned by a Conservative government voted for a Conservative metropolitan mayor. In the east end of Glasgow and across the industrial belt of the Scottish central lowlands, Conservative councillors were elected. (more…)

April 10, 2017

Jellyfish

Boris Johnson jelly

Ask any legitimate gathering of jellyfish, amoebas, plankton, protozoa and an accredited assortment of single-cell organisms making a living as newspaper editors and politicians and they will all agree that Bashar al-Assad, the 19th President of Syria, is basically a nasty piece of work.

His elder brother, Bassel al-Assad, managed to drive his Mercedes at high speed through fog into an unexpected obstacle and, according to the Syrian regime, died gloriously as “the martyr of the nation and the symbol for its youth”. If only he had survived he might be in a position to advise the youth of Syria not to drive too fast and always check your brake pipes. (more…)

April 1, 2017

April fool

Cottingley Fairies


The art and elegance of successful prank should involve at least a little skill and any triumphant hoax, however improbable, should be able fool basic human life forms that have managed to evolve into something that is not quite a complete moron. Idiots will believe anything if it is presented with gravitas and a straight face but those with even the dimmest spark of rationality are more difficult to win over without the thought that however ridiculous the hokum might be, there is still a remote possibility that the ruse might actually be true.

Thus we have Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believing that cardboard fairies in Yorkshire were real and sections of the BBC audience believed that spaghetti grows on trees. It seems that Paul McCartney died at the height of Beatle mania, an alien autopsy took place at Roswell and corn circles were not extraterrestrial landing sites but the product of two bored blokes, four planks of wood and a few lengths of rope. Orson Wells was only fooling when he frightened the life out of radio listeners with his adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Piltdown Man once walked in Sussex and the Daily Mail proved once and for all the existence of the Loch Ness Monster in a famous but faked photograph. (more…)

March 30, 2017

Free at last

Filed under: Fiction,History,Law,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Hard Breakfast

Historians will undoubtedly look back and describe these exciting times that we are privileged to be living through as a glorious English Spring bringing about a bright political, economic and social future. At long last free from the shackles imposed by a faceless Brussels bureaucracy, we can march to the sunlit uplands confident that we are adored by the rest of the world and certain in our knowledge that Johnny Foreigner has at last been put in his place.

Given the dog-whistle ubiquity of social media, the practicality of flags, banners and anthems as muster points in a call to arms or a rallying focus in battle now seems rather quaint. It is now far easier to express steadfast patriotism from the anonymity of a keyboard and the symbolism of a raised standard or regimental colour has been reduced to a hash tag or avatar. A simple flag can represent the unity, strength, purpose and inherent values of an entire population even as an online avatar represents the opinion of an individual prepared to say anything outrageous in order to harvest attention.
(more…)

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