The Plastic Hippo

June 3, 2017

Air sick


As the English language continues to gloriously expand and evolve, it has yet to create an adequate word or phrase to capture the true essence of what it means to be a spectator of political campaigning.

The German “schadenfreude” or the related “joie mauvaise” from the French describing an evil joy might explain taking pleasure at the misfortunes of others but does not quite capture the feeling of toe-curling discomfiture watching politicians dig holes armed with only sound bites and spurious facts and figures. Even the Spanish “verguenza ajena” which relates to the sublime if guilty delight of seeing total strangers making fools of themselves during episodes of vicarious embarrassment cannot fully encompass the feeling of wanting to look away even though continuing to look through fingers thrown across disbelieving eyes. The invented “freudenschade”, which cleverly flips the German original to mean expressing sorrow at the success or good fortune of other people, does not cut the linguistic mustard. The advantage of a snap election means that the inevitable gaffs, faux pas, howling examples of hysterical hypocrisy and moments of undiluted unmitigated madness are condensed into a few, brief weeks of something that has no satisfactory descriptor known within the English language. (more…)

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April 22, 2017

Banned Aid

Via b3ta.com

It is difficult to decide what is the more entertaining aspect of an uncoiling election campaign; the hilarious posturing of repulsive and thoroughly nasty politicians braying their saintliness or the increasingly ridiculous and totally unachievable promises being made.

Labour cannot possibly provide free school meals for all primary school children by charging VAT on private schools fees and are bare-faced liars to suggest that this unwarranted attack on rich people forced to choose between a third annual holiday and the ritual humiliation of their offspring is fully funded. They would need to remove the charitable status awarded to the schools like Eton which operates as a business rather than a charity nurturing privileged toffs born expecting power. (more…)

April 19, 2017

50 days of May

Via Getty Image archive

The Prime Minister, in her Easter sermon to the masses, was correct in her assertion that Holy Week is a moment to reflect and an important time for Christians and others to gather together with families and friends. She went on to say that there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting following a period of intense debate over the right future for our country. She spoke of one great union of people embracing the world by leaving the European Union even as our shared values bring us together. Her childhood in a vicarage taught her the Christian values of compassion, community, citizenship and the obligation we have to one another. (more…)

November 3, 2016

Once bitten

Who let the dogs out?

Who let the dogs out?

It is a source of constant delight and unexpected entertainment that a news agenda varying between the absurd and the terrifying should provide a story that requires no less than Michael Heseltine to vehemently deny that he killed his mother`s pet Alsatian dog by strangulation. Quoted in the Tatler magazine, the former Deputy Prime Minister originally claimed that the dog Kim had started to exhibit irrational violence so my Lord Heseltine “took Kim`s collar – a sort of choke chain – and pulled it tight. Suddenly he went limp. I was devoted to Kim, but he`d obviously had some sort of mental breakdown. There was no choice.” Tarzan might have been on safe ground with the readership of the Tatler, but animal lovers and the RSPCA took umbrage at this conservative approach to dealing with canine mental illness and Heseltine changed his story to claim that Kim was later taken to a Vet and mercifully put down. (more…)

October 26, 2016

Clearance Clarence

jive
When the details of a secret that was never really a secret are revealed to an incredulous public, there are some punters with attention deficit who will be genuinely surprised and others, with something of an alternative agenda, who will feign shock and outrage to further their own political ambition. The two worst-kept Westminster secrets latterly revealed occurred on one mercifully slow news day. Firstly, Heathrow is to have a new runway and, secondly, the current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has finally exposed himself as being a totally irredeemable half-wit. Who on Earth spotted that one coming? (more…)

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