The Plastic Hippo

May 19, 2017

Pen pals

Filed under: Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 4:01 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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B.O.L.T.O.P.

In an age of brutally instant electronic communication, how pleasant and delightful it is to receive an actual letter through the post that is not a final demand, court summons or an invitation to the home owner or occupier to wave goodbye to varying amounts of money as part of a criminal scheme designed to separate the foolish from hard earned savings. It`s not every day that a real letter arrives and it is even rarer to find that the incoming missive has been signed by the actual Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is astonishing to think that a busy Prime Minister in the middle of an election campaign can find the time and make the effort to write to someone as unimportant and as insignificant as me. The Prime Minister has kissed the hand of the Queen, held hands with President Trump, shaken hands with a variety of dictators and has handed out all manner of lucrative favours to some very wealthy and therefore more important people than me, myself and I. With her own fair hand, she has signed a heartfelt epistle worthy of Saint Paul which has addressed me and only me.

In the days before correspondence became communication, it was considered polite to reply to letters…so here goes. (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 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 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…)

February 27, 2017

Imagine

cliff
Imagine that after defying all the odds and confounding both critics and supporters alike, you wake up to find that you have guided Leicester City to unexpected and ultimate success as Champions of the Premier League. Alternatively, imagine looking in the mirror and discovering that you are a Thai billionaire duty-free shop magnate with an interest in football that only extends to the amount of personal wealth that can be made. Just nine months after an astonishing sporting achievement, the loyalty of fans toward Claudio Ranieri seems undiminished unlike the loyalty of a chairman more interested in television revenues than fans and certain mediocre players more interested in the transfer market than loyalty to the manager.

Imagine waking up as “Sir Mo”, the darling of the tabloid press only to go back to bed as plain Mohamed after your coach has come under suspicion of being up to no good. (more…)

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