The Plastic Hippo

July 18, 2014

Rump Parliament

Via independent.co.uk

Via independent.co.uk

Given the long history of British democracy, it is almost reassuring to know that politics in 1648 was just as sordid as politics in 2014.

At the end of the Second English Civil War, elements of the Long Parliament attempted to rehabilitate Charles I with the Treaty of Newport. The defeated and deposed king was at that point happy to sign anything that would save his skin. Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army had other ideas and Thomas Fairfax organised a military coup with the intention of dissolving parliament and banging up the king on charges of high treason. Realising that this was a bit over the top even for 1648, Fairfax decided instead to purge parliament of any dissenters leaving only a bunch of yes men. Colonel Thomas Pride was tasked with rounding up the trouble makers and, as a result, gave history “Pride`s Purge” and the first Rump Parliament. To this day, a rump parliament is defined as a bunch of shysters left over after an actual parliament has lost any legitimacy. Welcome to 1648. (more…)

April 8, 2014

Miller`s tale

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Regardless of hysterical media frenzy, the fate of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport remains completely and utterly inconsequential and even if Maria Miller resigns or is banished to wander the barren corridors of the Welsh Office in perpetuity, there are plenty of thieving hypocrites perfectly qualified to take her place.

With the entire disorder spectrum of the press screaming for her blood, poor Maria is clearly a victim of lynch mob rhetoric not experienced since England gave up playing cricket and we need to consider why she is being singled out as a fraudster when the majority of her fellow MPs consider embezzlement to be a legitimate second or, more usually, third job. Ah yes, of course, Leveson and press regulation. (more…)

March 26, 2014

Whatever happened to Paul Flowers?

Image via Parliament UK

Image via Parliament UK

The former Chairman of the Co-operative Bank and former Labour councillor and presumably still suspended Methodist minister might not be the brightest button in the box but perhaps the question that should be asked is whatever happened to Mark Hoban.

It is generally accepted that Paul Flowers is not a real banker in terms of qualification, experience or fitness for purpose but he has displayed the arrogance, denial and contempt that real bankers usually reserve for the real world. He is not the first or indeed the last banker to allegedly partake in recreational, if illegal, substances nor the first to relieve understandable stress by paying for the companionship of younger and considerably more attractive people who do not earn a living in the financial sector. His guilt, if fallibility is a crime, is based not just on his status as a man of God but also his gullibility in walking into an entrapment scenario worthy of George Michael and the Los Angeles Police Department.

(more…)

January 12, 2014

Reality and illusion

Filed under: Education,Health,History,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:34 am
Tags: , ,
M C Escher (1898 - 1972)

M C Escher (1898 – 1972)

Even after thousands and thousands of years during which lots and lots of very, very clever people tried to define reality, we are still no closer to a universal proof of anything; the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

Since the days of Plato, successive governments have understood that everything is open to interpretation and have carefully exploited the benefits of chaos theory whist simultaneously denying that chaos actually exists. Our current bunch of self-appointed masters having ditched any notion of logic applied to economic policy are now systematically working their way through the sum of human knowledge discarding most of it as being irrelevant.

The rules of valid reasoning, logical argument and proof based analysis no longer seem to apply and we now enter a period of history when reverse logic takes the place of actual fact. So when an A and E department in Belfast declares a major incident because it cannot cope with the numbers of people who require treatment, it is described by some talking head in a suit from the Northern Ireland Assembly as a “one off” and nothing to worry about. A major incident usually involves some traumatic event such as an aircraft no longer being an aircraft, a train that has decided not to be a train anymore or, given that particular part of the world`s unhappy history, a bloody big bomb going off. (more…)

November 16, 2013

Open goal

Screen grab via BBC parliament

Screen grab via BBC parliament

Imagine the managers of Manchester United and Chelsea deciding before a vital cup tie to play ten against ten and not field any goalkeepers. The resulting goal fest might delight match sponsors and broadcast sports media but the fixture could not under the current FA rules, be described as a game of football. As ridiculous as this appears, it is a common procedure in what is laughingly known as parliamentary democracy.

On Tuesday, the parliamentary Labour Party called an Opposition Day debate on Housing Benefit in an attempt to kick into touch the utterly vile and pernicious Bedroom Tax; a sanction designed specifically to punish people for being poor, vulnerable and disabled. As commendable and well-intentioned this enterprise by Labour might be, it was not considered an important enough issue to impose a three line whip and so the pairing system of House of Commons voting allowed MPs to be absent as long as an opposing MP wanted a day off as well. Out of a total of 650 elected representatives, 478 turned up to vote leaving 172 otherwise engaged and able to claim that the “pairing system” ensured that their potential vote was meaningless. (more…)

« Previous Page

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.