Week 47: Hero – Barack Obama

by Charlie_East_West on November 23, 2014

US_Hero

Our award for hero of the week goes to Barack Obama for a hugely progressive announcement on immigration, and in the process, tactically outflanking the Republicans.

To paraphrase an often used and well worn phrase – Reports of the political death of Barack Obama are greatly exaggerated.

After a calamitous set of midterm election results, it appeared that Barack Obama would see out his days in the White House as a lame duck President – spending an increasing amount of his presidential incumbency focusing towards playing basketball, golf and seeking future real estate in a post-presidential gated community in Florida.

Barack Obama was beginning to give off the jaded impression of an almost de-mob happy President counting down the days until he could leave behind the frustrations of politcal stalemate on Capitol Hill and replace it with lecture tours, book signings and the opening of the invitable Obama Foundations in Hawaii and Chicago.

But, Obama is made of stronger stuff than all of that. This week he became a worthy winner of our hero of the week award for his announcement that he will use his presidential powers to allow illegal immigrants with American children to work and pay taxes legally. This intervention in the face of huge right wing neoliberal opposition once again shows what a remarkable President he is. He consistently shows enough considered bravery to face down the Republicans on issues ranging from the fiscal cliff negotiations, healthcare coverage for low income Americans and renewable energy – as well has implementing a set of measures that have effectively turned round the USA economy from a 2008 basket case to one of the few economies showing real and sustained growth over 3%.

His conviction on immigration also tactically outflankes the Republicans. It offers the Democrats a potential blocked vote of increased new voters at future elections. It is difficult to see how the Republicans can respond in a way that will be seen as either tactically astute or with the potential for developing vote winning messages to appeal to ever increasing numbers of immigrants in the US.

Obama’s positioning on immigration reform is dispiriting in only one aspect – His conviction over this issue shows what is sadly missing in the UK. Our sorry little island appears to be lurching in the opposite direction on immigration. UKIP appear to be setting the agenda and Labour and the Tories are following their nasty little Englander agenda like a bunch of lost sheep.

Obama hit the nail on the head when he stated, “are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?” – he addressed the needs of millions of illegal immigrants living in daily fear of deportation. It was a hugely progressive moment. It was an equally impressive moment from a President, who, when history decides to judge him, will likely judge him extremely favourably.

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#959: 1954, Elvis Presley, That’s All Right

by Charlie_East_West on November 23, 2014

Note to self. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

To conclude our Great Debut Singles, I drafted a feature on Rocket 88 – generally regarded as the debut song for rock’n’roll. After submitting the article, I found that George East had already posted an earlier feature on this song. Time spent without reconnaissance is always wasted.

Anyway, sticking to the great debut rock’n’roller theme, I have come up with a great Plan B:- The debut single from Elvis PresleyThat’s All Right.

The song was originally written by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and first recorded in Chicago on September 6, 1946.

During an early recording session at Sun Studios on the evening of July 5, 1954, Presley, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (string bass) were taking a break between recordings when Presley started fooling around with a version of Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right, Mama“. Black began joining in on bass, and soon they were joined by Moore on guitar. Producer Sam Phillips – who also produced and recorded Rocket 88 (see above), was so taken aback by this sudden upbeat rock’n’roll atmosphere, he immediately asked the three of them to start again so he could record it.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Happy Birthday To Us: Allthatsleft is 4 Years Old

November 22, 2014

Hard to believe it really, but when we launched this blog the coalition was only 6 months old.   We are now less than 6 months to the next election and for the blog being able to change its strapline to: ‘the blog that survived the coalition’. Unless of course, as there is every possibility, the […]

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#958: 1987, Sinead O’Connor, Troy

November 20, 2014

George East has set us a theme for our current selection of songs: Great Debut Records. It is on the surface quite an easy one to do: think of a great artist, think of their first song decide if wa any good, check if we’ve featured it before, job done. So, for my picks I’ve […]

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By-Election Special: Rochester and Strood

November 19, 2014

Until 1999, it had been the convention that Prime Ministers did not visit a by-election campaign. Yesterday has marked David Cameron’s fifth visit during this by-election to Rochester and Strood – a clear indication of the level of panic and desperation in the Conservative Party caused by this Thursday’s looming by-election. When Mark Reckless first […]

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#957: 1979, The Specials, Gangsters

November 17, 2014

Another great debut single from a great band. The Specials appeared in the very first week of this blog – and since then, have only appeared on one more occasion (though Terry Hall has featured in The Colourfield) – this though, is their amazing debut single. It’s a classic Ska track, wonderfully remastered with added […]

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Dismantling the public sector: The Conservative economic con-trick

November 17, 2014

George Osborne and David Cameron are the most pathetic (but less funny) double act since Waldorf and Statler. These two wealthy-beyond-belief, born-to-rule idiots think that the public sector is responsible for the UK budget deficit. So, they have frozen public sector pay and will ravage essential core community based services within the public sector, and […]

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Week 46: Hero – The European Space Agency and those involved in the Rosetta Probe

November 17, 2014

I went to see Interstellar over the weekend – fabulous film, but I didn’t understand great swathes of it – instead, Mrs North and myself, sort of sat in spellbound wonder at the awesome possibility of the universe, before deciding that the film was probably actually about being a crap parent and an even crapper […]

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Week 46: Prat – Kelly Tolhurst

November 16, 2014

This week, our award for biggest prat of the last seven days goes to Kelly Tolhurst, the Conservative candidate in Thursday’s Rochester and Strood by-election. In a sign of the increasing desperation of the Conservative Party in the Rochester and Strood by-election, their candidate Kelly Tolhurst issued a leaflet this week comparing her local credentials […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #58: 1964, Charulata (Satyajit Ray)

November 16, 2014

Bhupati: ‘Charu, where do you find the time?’ Charulata: ‘you think I don’t have time?’ When I did my review of the first 50 films to have featured in the Cine-East Film Club a few months back, I mentioned that there had been no films yet from the two most populous countries in the world: […]

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Week 46: Villain – FIFA

November 16, 2014

This week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to football’s governing body, FIFA, for its cynical summary of the report on the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 world cup bids and its attempts to point the finger at the FA  Last week saw FIFA publish a radically shortened summary of the report carried out into […]

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#956: 1979, Dead Kennedys, California Uber Alles

November 14, 2014

The theme week (great debut singles) was going so well, and then Charlie East-West posted a Lib Dem fronted monstrosity. So, getting things back on track, here is an absolutely nuclear debut – coming right at you out of San Francisco, full of anger, energy and with Jello Biafra veritably spitting contempt at the complacent […]

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More tales about Legal Aid!

November 12, 2014

I had to share this with you. There I was this morning, walking to Court with another barrister – he’s a nice fella, I’ve known him years. He is also, an arch proponent of the coalition and card carrying member of the Lib-Dems. As we walked he turned to me with a contended look on […]

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#955: 2013, The Reform Club, Piccadilly Circus

November 11, 2014

Welcome to the next song in our theme week series of Great Debut Singles. Tonight we have a real treat for you. It is quite possibly the greatest song of all time. This is the song that all other songs measure themselves against. It is Piccadilly Circus by The Reform Club. The song is written […]

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So what exactly does a feminist look like?

November 10, 2014

Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and grumpier and increasingly cynical – but, I’ve reached a stage where the sight of politicians posturing without any great thought or meaning has become increasingly irritating. The last few weeks have seen the Fawcett Society’s campaign to re-ignite the flames of feminism by getting various politicians to wear […]

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Week 45: Hero – Dissidents of the Former East Germany

November 10, 2014

This week’s Heroes are the dissidents of the former GDR. Last week saw the twenty fifth anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall. We have decided to mark that monumental event by awarding our hero of the week award to those who kept the fight for freedom alive in East Germany during the years […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #57: 1977, Saturday Night Fever (John Badham)

November 10, 2014

Frank Manero Sr: ‘Four dollars? You know what four dollars buys you today? It don’t even buy you three dollars’ In the last few weeks I’ve seen a couple of films about music and dance sub-cultures.   In the London Film Festival there was Mia Hanson-Love’s Eden (I’m not sure if it has theatrical distribution in […]

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#954: 1978, Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights

November 9, 2014

We seem to have been a bit male artist orientated of late, so I thought I should put that right with song number three in our Great Debut Record theme week. As George commented four years ago, sometimes when you hear a truly great debut it is so different that you are initially unsure whether […]

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Week 45: Villain – The Mail

November 9, 2014

Not for the first time, this week our regular award for the most despicable villain of the last seven days goes to Britain’s least pleasant newspaper. A week ago, George East and I sat in a Hackney boozer eating a very good, if equally very pricey, Sunday roast. The topic turned to that morning’s papers – […]

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Week 45: Prat(s) – BBC (and the rest of the British News Media)

November 9, 2014

This week’s Prat(s) of the Week Award goes to tbe BBC and the British media generally for buying into George Osborne’s ridiculous claim that he halved the extra amount that the UK has to pay to the EU The headlines that George Osborne got at the end of last week beggared belief. From watching, listening […]

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#953: 1979, Joy Division, Transmission

November 6, 2014

Theme week: blistering first singles, and they don’t get much more blistering than this absolute belter from Joy Division (who I’d wager are in Allthatsleft Top 5 bands of all time). I love this song – and the video shows Joy Division in all their glory – we start with Hooky’s typically driving bass, then […]

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Three Reasons Why The Labour Plotters Against Ed Miliband Are Going Nowhere

November 6, 2014

The BBC has reported today that a number of (unnamed) Labour backbenchers have told the Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party that Ed Miliband should go. The only thing surprising about this is that it has taken so long to happen. Ever since September’s disastrous leader’s speech, Miliband and Labour have pretty much been in […]

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#952: 1965, Small Faces, What’cha Gonna Do About It

November 5, 2014

Well, it’s all a bit bloody depressing at the moment, isn’t it?   The Democrats got absolutely creamed in the mid-terms last night, losing just about everywhere, while Barack Obama spends most of his time on the golf course (or at least so it seems). On this side of the pond the possibility of a progressive […]

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#10 The Secret MP: Waiting by the Phone

November 5, 2014

You can call me Keith, Though that’s not my real name. I am a Liberal Democrat MP. I first got an inkling that Norman Baker was about to resign on Sunday night, when the Whips Office phoned me to tell me that Norman Baker was about to resign. ‘Hardly a surprise is it,’ I responded. […]

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Sportsnight #41: 1984, The Wallabies Autumn International Grand Slam

November 5, 2014

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight. As we now look forward to the rugby union Autumn Internationals, tonight’s action comes from Murrayfield, Landsdowne Road, Twickenham and Cardiff Arms Park and the all conquering Australian Rugby Union team of 1984. Before 1984, Australia were seen as a second tier rugby nation. The All Blacks had the […]

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US House of Representatives Elections

November 4, 2014

On Monday, I posted on the US Senate elections, a knife-edge race between the Democrats and Republicans for control of America’s Upper House. The outcome for today’s House of Representatives is more certain, despite the fact that all 435 seats are up for election whereas only a third of the Senate is. In 2012, the […]

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#951: 1975, David Bowie, Fascination

November 3, 2014

David Bowie: Fascination. This song shouldn’t work. A song written by David Bowie and Luther Vandross for Bowie’s Young Americans album in 1975 should never ever work. It all sounds like a recipe for self indulgent disaster. But heroically, it all works out rather brilliantly. Bowie has apparently never performed this track live in concert, […]

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Tuesday’s US Senate Elections

November 3, 2014

Tuesday sees the United States’ mid-term elections to determine its 114th Congress. These elections – halfway between Presidential elections – usually go against the party in the White House and are a useful barometer of where the political temperature is. But more importantly, they decide who will be the lawmakers of the nation for the […]

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#950: 1968, Cream, White Room

November 2, 2014

Last week Jack Bruce, legendary bass player and joint vocalist with Cream, died. Whilst it might be Eric Clapton who got all the fame and fortune and the (frankly bonkers) Ginger Baker the wild reputation, it was the Scottish Bruce that deserves the most credit from the band: he wrote most of the songs (along […]

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Week 44: Hero – Hearts FC

November 2, 2014

This week, Heart of Midlothian football club wins our regular Hero award Tomorrow, the new hourly rates for the Living Wage are announced (currently £7.65, or £8.80 in London). There are now over a thousand companies that are committed to paying the Living Wage, to the direct benefit of 60,000 low paid workers. Those figures […]

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