The Plastic Hippo

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…)

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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…)

May 24, 2015

Smiling Irish Eyes

Filed under: Faith,History,Literature,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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Wilde in Merrion Square Dublin

Wilde in Merrion Square Dublin

I was there less than two weeks ago; I saw the posters, understood what it was about and knew what the opinion polls were saying and heard the anecdotal opinions of the people I met. Yet on Saturday afternoon, as the result of the Irish Equal Marriage Referendum became clear, something utterly astonishing has taken place in Ireland. It is no exaggeration to say that the entire country has experienced a societal seismic shift overnight.

With a national turn-out of 60 per cent and with 62 per cent voting “Yes”, talk of a landslide is probably a bit of the blarney but the sands have shifted irrevocably and, to my mind at least, a Catholic State has become an Irish Nation. The figures demonstrate that a sizable majority of the population regardless of age, faith, ethnicity or gender who would never in a month of Sundays describe themselves as LGBT have voted for equality, compassion, respect and (wait for it) love as basic human rights extended to their fellow citizens. (more…)

May 21, 2015

In Dublin`s fair city

Filed under: Faith,History,Media — theplastichippo @ 3:07 am
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The tart with the cart

The tart with the cart

Any gesture of reconciliation, regardless of how small has to be considered as a very good thing if truth and peace are to be re-established. With the UK mainland media wetting its collective pants over a handshake and obsessing over a dead uncle, the really big story in Ireland has been almost completely overlooked.

Ten days ago, riding on the fast and frequent airport shuttle into Dublin city centre, every lamp post and tree and almost every other building was festooned with posters urging the electorate to vote yes. “Votail Ta” said the Fianna Fail posters; “Sinn Fein says vote Yes for equality”; “Fine Gael supports freedom” and “Labour vote Yes” suggested that all the major political parties were displaying unusual unity. I later read in the Irish Times that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, a practicing Catholic and former critic of equal marriage had changed his mind and was asking the populous to vote yes. (more…)

September 13, 2014

Potpourri

Filed under: Faith,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:01 am
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Via National Portrait Gallery

Via National Portrait Gallery

To speak ill of the dead is usually considered disrespectful and to raise a parting glass to celebrate the passing of a former human being is, in some quarters, viewed as a mortal sin. So there will be no ill words here and any glasses raised will be purely in the name of alcohol addiction.

The eulogies and obituaries for the late Reverend Doctor Ian Paisley indicate a life lived in two, or possibly four, parts. In public life he is described as a firebrand, a campaigner, a man of God and in private life a gentle, caring and witty family man of God. Before 2007 he was an extremist and after 2007 he was a peacemaker. In life he preached hatred but now in death he is described as charismatic and charming. He was only 88 and had a dickey heart but he had so much more to give. In terms of reputation, dying was probably his smartest move. (more…)

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