The Plastic Hippo

September 24, 2015

Aylan and Hadeel

Filed under: Faith,History,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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Image via Youth Against Settlements

Image via Youth Against Settlements

If an image of a dead child washed up on a Mediterranean beach conveys the consequences of being a refugee, then an image of a young woman about to be shot dead conveys the reasons for becoming a refugee. The image of a lifeless Aylan Kurdi face down in the surf temporarily shocked the world into an all too brief moment of compassion now almost forgotten; the image of Hadeel al-Hashlamun, an 18-year old Palestinian student will be ignored in the interests Middle Eastern security and forgotten in the interests of western economic pragmatism. (more…)

September 11, 2015

Extraordinary compassion

Filed under: Law,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Via anorak.co.uk

Via anorak.co.uk

James Freeman Clarke, a now obscure and long dead American theologian and campaigner for the abolition of slavery, came up with perhaps the perfect distinction between a politician and a statesman. In a short and accurate aphorism he stated: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation”. Quite what he would think of David Cameron is anybody`s guess as the old boy has been dead for well over a century.

It is left to us to judge a Prime Minister that is happy to conflate a humanitarian disaster with the rhetoric and action of death by execution without due legal process. We do not require a talking hat to decide when a government has lost any pretence of credibility and any shred of morality or to sort out the distinction between empathy and vindictive self-interest. (more…)

August 29, 2015

Dystopia

Filed under: History,Politics,Rights — theplastichippo @ 3:30 am
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voxpoliticalonline.com

voxpoliticalonline.com

There are marginally fewer books and films depicting the future breakdown of civilisation than there are infinite possibilities in a multiverse that can only be explained using string theory via the voice box of Stephen Hawking. It was Thomas More who coined the word “Utopia” way back in 1516 and was subsequently separated from his head by an unhappy Henry VIII. A mere 350 years later, no less than John Stuart Mill came up with the antonym “Dystopia” to describe a very bad government. (more…)

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