This week, the Brexit campaign wins our regular award for villainy
There has been a lot of ridiculous hyperbole from both campaigns on the EU referendum. No, Mr Cameron, leaving the EU won’t leave to World War III. Mr Osborne, at a time when everyone agrees that London house prices are now so large that most young people have no hope of ever owning their home, is it really wise to suggest the prospect of falling house prices is disastrous?
But if some of the claims of the Tory wing of the Remain campaign are frankly risible, the Leave campaign have been dabbling in some truly disturbing rhetoric. Having decided that immigration is their trump card, they have decided on a strategy of trotting out every xenophobic argument they can conjure up, almost as a stream of unmediated conciousness.
And so this week has seen fear-mongering by Brexiters about mass Turkish immigration resulting from an apparently imminent Turkish membership of the EU. At its daftest, it had minister Penny Mordaunt claiming that the UK had no veto on Turkey’s entrance - in fact every one of the 28 members has to agree a new member, including states that are far less likely to support Turkey joining than the UK, such as Greece and Cyprus. In fact, the UK might be more likely to support Turkish membership than most other members.
But the Brexiters won’t let mere facts get in the way of them making an argument. The substance may be laughable, but the danger is that it raises more fears about foreigners. Long after the referendum is forgotten, British Turks who have lived here most of their life or indeed were born and raised here will get abuse and discrimination thanks to these spiteful lies.
On today’s Channel 4 News: an item on the Northern Irish football team’s preparations for the European Championship, including a discussion about replacing God Save The Queen as their national anthem for something more inclusive of all their communities.
Surely, the obvious candidate is the greatest song by the province’s greatest ever band: Teenage Kicks? It might not say anything much about the six counties, but at least it is something everyone can relate to (unlike a request to a fictional entity about a controversial institution)? And a song about ‘kicks’ (albeit of a different nature) works for football. Best of all, if this is your song and your opponents are coming out to some tiresome dirge (England) or overblown military band nonsense, you are bound to be more pumped up than them.
That brings me to today’s song. A week ago, George East and I went to see the ManicStreetPreachers play Albert Hall – a venue that shouldn’t have worked but did, spectacularly. They played two sets, the first being a run through their masterpiece album, Everything Must Go. As they reached this, the ninth track on the album, George and I excitedly talked about how great it would be if Australia adopted this as their national anthem.
On reflection, we had an extremely stupid idea (although the Australian tourist board did use it for a while on their ads). The song is about Nicky Wire’s desire to get as far away as possible from Wales following the tragic disappearance of guitarist Richie Edwards:
I want to fly and run till it hurts Sleep for a while and speak no words In Australia
All in all, the song is full of introspection that is very un-Australian. But despite the melancholy lyrics, it is still a belter of a song.
Our prat of the week award goes to the Hibs Supporters who invaded the Hampden Park pitch after their team won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years with an injury time winner v Rangers. The end to the Hibs cup hoodoo meant they also became first lower league club to win […]
This week’s hero is the little known, well at least down our way, Hungarian badminton player, Laura Sarosi On a day when it is announced that 35 people have tested positive for banned substances and will miss the Rio Olympics and after watching a Sevilla player take forty five seconds to walk off a football […]
This week, Plaid Cymru win the dubious honour of our award for rank stupidity It must have seen a hell of a wheeze last week: Plaid Cymru, an avowedly socialist party, worked out that if they banded together with the Tories and UKIP, they had as many votes in the new Welsh Assembly as Labour. […]
I’m watching the news, to be more specific I’m watching 150,000 ecstatic people who have lined the streets of Leicester to pay tribute to their football team for winning the league. It’s amazing. This is the night none of these people every expected to see. It’s a Roy of the Rovers night, jubilation against all […]
Successfully defending his Prat award from the week before is former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.’ It’s a list of inglorious bastards, George Osborne, Nick Clegg, David Cameron to name but three, people who have successfully managed to be prat of the week two weeks in succession; those who’ve been a prat and then skilfully […]
This week, mayoral loser Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith MP wins our ward for villainy Politics of late gives us few reasons to be cheerful, so the victory of Sadiq Khan last week was a cause for great celebration. After eight years, my Labour-inclined home city finally has a Labour mayor again, and a serious politician […]
We are being bombarded by a rather misplaced and dispiriting EU referendum campaign that has become a David Cameron v Boris Johnson battle of old Etonian egos. Where is the real debate? Where is the substance? Voters have been left somewhat bewildered about how to vote. For me it is a no brainer. I want […]
Our hero of the week award goes to Leicester City for winning the Premier League. From 5000-1 outsiders to Premier League Champions. It is some story. it is possibly the great ever surprise title win in the history of English football. But Leicester are not a bunch of pub players who have got lucky. It […]
Hopefully there will be some blogging over the course of the next month or so here on allthatsleft about the forthcoming EU Referendum. But to lay my cards on the table straight away, I am going to be voting Remain, without equivocation or doubt. There is a lot wrong with the EU, but none of […]
Last Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone Cast your mind back to 7 July 2005. London had been the subject of four bombs on its transport network during the morning commuting hours. 56 people were dead. Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister as attending a G8 summit […]
Last week’s Villains were the South Yorkshire Police What a bunch of bastards – and how wonderful that the inquest in the Hillsborough disaster finally and beyond doubt exposed the role they played in the death of 96 Liverpool fans in the FA Cup Semi-Final of 1988. First came the jury’s answer to the question […]
It really is a truly amazing story, a heart warming story, a story of an unfancied underdog overcoming the well-groomed poodles of London and Manchester – Leicester City have pulled it off, they’ve won the league. For the record, I predicted, in my annual Football prediction piece back in August, that Leicester City would be […]
Our hero award goes to the families and friends of the 96 Liverpool fans who were “unlawfully killed” at the FA Cup Semi Final at Hillsborough in 1989. 27 years. 27 long years for the families and friends of the Hillsborough 96 who have tenaciously campaigned and waited for justice to be served. On April […]
Along with the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, London and local elections being held on Thursday, there are two Parliamentary by-elections. Both should be safe Labour seats. In this post, we take a look at the first of these to be called: Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough. This constituency was created for the 2010 general election, based […]
Today is May Day. International Workers’ Day. Well by the time this post is up, the Bank Holiday to celebrate it. So time for a proper socialist song. This is from an era, the mid-1980s, when even the pop bands like Wham! and Simply Red were political. The Redskins were the real thing though, giving […]
Last week, the US President won our regular hero award Part of the Brexit narrative is that breaking ties with the European Union does not matter as a trans-Atlantic trading partnership would serve us just as well. Another part of that narrative is that the UK is at least as well-placed as the EU to make trade […]
Last Week’s Villain of the Week is the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson What a depressing couple of weeks we have had, with racism front and centre. Zac Goldsmith abandoning the dog whistle for just straight up racism in his mayor campaign as he tries to associate Sadiq Khan with the 7/7 bombings and Ken […]
For years, some Manchester United fans have engaged in an invidious little chant aimed at Liverpool fans that goes, ‘always the victim, never to blame.’ Well, finally, that chant should be put to rest – Liverpool fans were the victims, and they are not to blame. The decision of the jury at the Hillsborough inquest […]
Last night in the House of Lords, Lord Alf Dubs tabled an amendment to the Immigration Bill allowing for 3000 unaccompanied Syrian Children, who had fled from one of the worst areas of conflagration on the planet, to be allowed into this country. The Tories opposed the amendment and it was subsequently defeated. 3000 children […]
Last week’s Villain of the week award went to Tory Mayoral Candidate, Zac Goldsmith. Zac Goldsmith was billed as the clean cut, attractive face of modern Toryism: young, popular, charming, intelligent, seemingly normal and cosmopolitan. Indeed, he once triumphed, or appeared to, a breed of enviro-friendly Conservatism, something that kind of went the same way […]
Prince RIP. Prince was quite possibly the most difficult artist to pigeonhole. Throughout his incredible career, he was a musical magpie hopping around rock, pop, R&B, funk, soul, jazz, blues, disco and gospel. Personally, like most people, I love his imperial phase through the 1980s – where he produced some of the best albums of […]
This week’s prat award goes to Eamonn Holmes for saying that Prince was “more of a girls’ artist” and that “men couldn’t relate to his flamboyancy.” A comment straight out of the straightjacket of the 1950s. His comment alludes to a number of Luddite options – that being a girls’ artist is in some way […]
The winner of Week 15′s Prat of the Week is…. our Prime Minister, HHJ David Cameron. First, big apologies this should have been posted a couple of weeks ago when this story was fresh and causing a fair bit of wobbling amongst the Tory hierarchy. Alas, we were a bit Labour-like in our failure to […]
The Hero of the Week Award for Week 15 goes to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen for his principled stance against bigotry A couple of months ago the City of Charlotte in North Carolina passed a city ordinance outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. This brought a swift reaction from the Republicans and the Christian […]
The Hero of the Week Award for Week 14 went to Democratic Governor of California, Jerry Brown (and the Democratic controlled legislature) ‘I am Governor Jerry Brown, my aura smiles, but never frowns….’ So goes the first line of California Uber Alles the blistering first single from West Coast Hard Core legends, The Dead Kennedys. […]
The Hero of the Week Award for Week 13 went to Dutch footballing phenomenon, Johan Cruyff You may have noticed a drying up of regular postings on this site. That is because both the regular contributors to it have been all more than unusually busy with work and life stuff and also because with a […]
The UKIP leader again wins our Prat of the Week award for outstanding idiocy We learned something new about the Brexit-ers this week: they are pretty ignorant of history, particularly US history. We had the increasingly ridiculous Boris Johnson accuse Barack Obama of hypocrisy for making the case for the UK to remain in the […]
“I actually paid more tax than some companies owned by people he might now quite well.” Jeremy Corbyn, PMQs, April 13th, 2016 There. In a nutshell. Jeremy Corbyn uttered quite possibly the most witheringly perfect slap down of David Cameron and George Osborne’s grubby tax arrangements. “You know what he is really jealous of? That […]