From the monthly archives:

February 2011

#102: 1971, Curtis Mayfield, Move On Up

February 28, 2011

George East’s summary of the first 100 songs we’ve posted made me think about obvious gaps. This is one for me, and is my favourite soul song of all time. I love the effortless joy to the music – the great combination of horns, bongos and falsetto voice.  Soul simply does not get any better. It’s […]

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Songs To Learn and Sing: The First 100

February 28, 2011

Since the launch of Allthatsleft on 15 November 2010 our daily song feature, Songs To Learn and Sing has been one of the most enjoyable things to write on this blog.    As we said at the outset there is so much more to life than politics and few things more satisfying than great music.   The concept […]

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Is The Irish Labour Party About To Miss The Best Chance In Its History

February 28, 2011

From the perspective of most other western democracies the politics of Ireland are pretty strange.  The two historically largest parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, are both parties of the centre-right and yet would not ever consider entering coalition together.   Yes Fine Gael are more urban, more middle class and more socially liberal than Fianna […]

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Gadaffi goes rave

February 28, 2011

Genius mash up doing the rounds of the interweb.   It’s become a huge hit in the Arab world.  When you become a figure of fun your days are numbered. H/t Andrew Sullivan

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Irish Election Update #2

February 27, 2011

The results for twelve seats (in Galway West, Laois-Offaly and Wicklow) are still outstanding, but this is the current position on the Irish election: Fine Gael: 70 seats Labour: 36 seats Fianna Fail: 18 seats (including speaker) Sinn Fein: 13 seats Independents: 13 seats United Left Alliance: 4 seats  The Greens have been wiped out.  […]

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#101: 2005, Goldfrapp, Ooh La La

February 27, 2011

I discovered Goldfrapp when I used to listen to The Late Lounge on the radio back in the early days of this century – Alison Goldfrapp’s beautifully soft voice and the airy trippy music helped me get to sleep. I bought their 2005 album Supernature expecting more of the same – what I got was […]

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Mississippi Turning?

February 27, 2011

Obama’s approval ratings appear to be climbing slowly since last November’s mid-term elections. The map below summarises Gallup’s end of year approval ratings for 2010 by state. The good news is if Obama is able to carry every state in 2012 where he currently is showing a positive net approval rating, he will stay in […]

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The New Bourbons

February 27, 2011

Last week saw three economic stories dominate domestic news stories.   All three of them were deeply depressing.  Firstly, there was the news that RBS, the most nationalised of all of the big banks, owned 83% by the taxpayer had made a loss of £1.1Bn last year.  That is the third loss in so many years.   […]

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Week 8: Hero – Libyan Rebels

February 27, 2011

As a young teenager, I was rummaging in the loft and found an old series of Sunday Times magazines from 1971 about the countries of the world. The one on the Middle East made the observation that leaders of Libya seemed not to last very long before they were overthrown by their rival and they […]

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Week 8: Prat – William Hague

February 27, 2011

Sending the SAS in to rescue Britons stranded in the desert in Libya was always going to garner a few decent headlines, and no doubt for those deep in the interior working at oil installations it was necessary. But this should not disguise the fact that the government’s response to the developing revolution in this […]

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Week 8: Villain – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

February 27, 2011

A few years ago, I found myself sitting in a pub arguing that the way in which the West had helped rehabilitate Colonel Gaddafi was a test case in how soft clever diplomacy works and how we had accomplished more by accommodating, talking and trading with Gaddafi than we had achieved with bombs and guns […]

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#100: 1967, Aretha Franklin, Respect

February 27, 2011

To take a song written and performed by another artist and make it your own, to make it something different to the original takes huge talent. To do it when the original is a huge, instant classic is another thing altogether. Johnny Cash‘s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt is for my money the greatest […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Black Swan

February 26, 2011

I have been trying to see Black Swan for over a month – it came out, after all, in the middle of January.  I can’t remember the last time that I have failed twice to get into a film because it had sold out.   Cinema tends to do pretty well in recessions – it’s a […]

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Irish Election Update

February 26, 2011

RTE have published this exit poll by Millward Brown Lansdowne from yesterday’s Irish General Election.  Based on these numbers, RTE project that the parties will have the following seats: Fine Gael: 72 seats (+21) Labour: 38 seats (+18) Fianna Fail: 20 seats (-57) Sinn Fein: 15 seats (+11) Greens: 1 seat (-5) Others (including Speaker): 20 […]

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Things are terrible – but where is the opposition?

February 26, 2011

The Coalition government is in disarray. In every way its performance is even worse than we dared fear. It is obsessed with austerity – it now functions like an obsessive compulsive, slavishly satisfying the requirements of its utter need to cut. Then we’ve seen David Cameron’s only apparent big idea – ‘the Big Society’ systematically […]

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#99: 1967, Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth

February 26, 2011

This is the quintessential sixties protest song, although it gathered significance with age. Stephen Stills wrote the song in protest heavy-handed policing closing down a club called Pandora’s Box on LA’s Sunset Strip – there is a brief clip of it in this video.  However, it is remembered as an Anti-Vietnam War song and is […]

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Ireland Set To Punish The Banks’ Friends – By Voting In The Banks’ Other Friends

February 24, 2011

Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow, and it looks as if Fianna Fail are going to be crushed. Depressingly, as I posted last month, it looks as if many voters will choose just to punish the party that oversaw their economic ruin rather than question the policies that created it by rewarding Fine Gail who […]

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#98: 1964, The Supremes, Where Did Our Love Go

February 24, 2011

From its birth in 1959 to its final demise in 2005, Tamla Motown churned out some of the most amazing music, sung by some of the most incredible artists. One of the great debates amongst officionados is whether Motown was at its best in the 1960′s when it was based in Detroit, or after 1970 […]

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Rahm Walks It

February 24, 2011

As I predicted last month, Rahm Emanuel romped home to get elected as mayor of Chicago. In the end, his result at the first ballot was sufficiently strong to avoid the run-off, garnering 54.8% of the vote.  Gery Chico made up a fair amount of ground in the last three weeks to take a creditable […]

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Back Of The Net With Ray North

February 24, 2011

As I write this, the football season enters the business end. With a dozen games to go, it is still all to play for. As you can see, I’ve decided to spray this piece with a liberal dose of football cliche, and talking of football cliche, there are three new ones which are starting to […]

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Defense of Marriage Act No Longer Being Defended

February 24, 2011

Confidence and momentum in American politics appear to be pretty much everything.   Success begats success.  There have been few more confident turnarounds than that of Barack Obama since the Democratic Party’s disastrous performance in the November mid-terms last year.  Then you will remember the Republicans were in the ascendancy and many journalists were writing Obama […]

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#97: 1988, Dinosaur Jr, Freak Scene

February 23, 2011

Back in the day before indie-dance crossover emerged with the Stone Roses’ Fools Gold and Primal Scream’s Loaded, there were a few songs that you could guarantee would pack out the dance floors of indie discos with the girls in floral dresses and black leggings and the boys with floppy fringes and black jeans, songs that […]

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Thank God The Grown Ups Are In Charge

February 23, 2011

  Watching the truly terrifying but at the same time hopeful events in Libya has made me thankful that these events are happening on President Obama’s watch.   Ok, he hasn’t got all of the calls right – his administration was slow to distance itself from the US’s long term ally, Hosni Mubarak, as the Egyptian […]

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Cameron, the Arms Trade and a Shameful Hypocrisy

February 23, 2011

On Monday as I watched the news on TV, up popped Davey Cam in Cairo – I have to say that I was quite impressed – fair play, I thought, David Cameron has taken the trouble to go all the way to Egypt to offer his support for the new interim leader of the armed […]

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Now is the time to stand up for the people of Libya

February 23, 2011

The situation, though still hazy in Libya, is clearer than when I posted my last piece on the current insurrections in the Middle East and North Africa, and tragically what appears to be happening now is that Colonel Gaddafi, far from being on a plane bound for Caracas is attempting to stir up violent support […]

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#96: 1971, Gil Scott-Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

February 23, 2011

When mobile phone manufacturers first put cameras into their phones, I thought “that will never catch on”.  Now I watch in awe as I see Libyans circumvent their state’s control of the media by videoing the events in Tripoli on their phones and broadcasting them on the Internet.  A revolution is being televised by mobile phone […]

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Vote ‘yes’ in Wales, but with reservations

February 22, 2011

On March 3rd the people of Wales will have the chance to vote in a referendum to make the Welsh Assembly more powerful. If you’ve not heard about it, I’m not surprised – it has received about as much coverage in the national press as the annual Littleton-on-Sea Boys Brigade village fete. If you have […]

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Mr East Goes to the 61st Berlin Film Festival

February 22, 2011

  Every February the film industry descends on Berlin for the 11 days of its international film festival, this year in its 61st year.   The Berlin Film Festival is generally seen as the third most prestigious of the world’s film festivals, coming behind Cannes and Venice.   Unlike Cannes, tickets for screenings of the films shown […]

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Watch Wisconsin

February 22, 2011

For some time the upper mid-Western state has been the go to state for British conservative politicians looking at ‘reform’ of public services and welfare provision.   The state has had since the mid-1990s rigid work requirements for almost all recipients of welfare benefits.   Right wing think tanks such as Civitas have long looked to Wisconsin […]

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#95: 1988, The House of Love, Christine

February 21, 2011

In another time and another place I am nineteen years old walking from my University halls of residence in Charlotte Street to my University. On my Walkman is a tape by a band who everyone is talking about. I love being in London, I love being nineteen and I love this song, and indeed the […]

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