From the monthly archives:

March 2011

#133: 1958, Link Wray and His Ray Men, Rumble

March 31, 2011

I was in the kitchen over the weekend with the radio on, when they played some track or the other by Eminem, the lyrics were so heavily censored that it rendered the song completely incoherent.  Attitudes to censorship, particularly poor old Auntie ‘smelling salts’ Beeb have improved somewhat – remember the fiasco of Mike Reed […]

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Nick: dismiss defections at your peril!

March 31, 2011

A long long time ago when I was but a boy I was given the job of looking after MPs who were defecting to the Lib-Dems from other parties (almost always Conservative Party, in fact I can’t remember any Labour MPs crossing floor in my time). I would meet them and talk to them to […]

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500 Today (well ok, 503)!

March 30, 2011

So Ray, Jackie and I got our diaries a bit out of kilter but Tuesday marked the 500th post on Allthatsleft since we launched  on 15 November 2010.    This is our 503rd post. To be fair we missed 400 completely, so we haven’t done so bad this time.  These are our previous review posts for […]

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Eric Pickles Has His Cake and Eats It

March 30, 2011

I’ve written before (here and here) about how extreme the cuts to local government have been for 2011/12. Whilst local government accounts for 6% of government spending it is contributing 18% of the cuts. Eric Pickles has gloried in this carnage, and has been quick to point the finger at councils making ‘politically motivated’ cuts […]

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#132: 1957, Buddy Holly, Peggy Sue

March 30, 2011

Yesterday’s song choice by Ray North brought us to the position of having posted a song for every year since 1966. There are a few gaps before though since the Rock’n’Roll explosion of 1956, which made me think of this song. It is impressive how quickly rock’n’roll had developed to bring this song to the […]

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Gideon: are we really all in it together?

March 29, 2011

I’m confused – apparently we, as a nation, are skint, brasic, potless, haven’t got two brass farthings, etc. etc. In fact we’re so skint, we’re closing libraries and schools and forcing pensioners to make their own tea; we haven’t even got enough money to put judges in courts (a personal bug bear) or police on […]

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Baroness Newlove And The Fine Line Between Worthy And Stupid

March 29, 2011

I have a certain amount of sympathy for Baroness Newlove of Warrington – I have to declare that I had a more than passing interest in the trial that saw the conviction of two of the men who killed her husband. She was an unusual choice to become a Member of the House of Lords […]

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#131: 1989, Happy Mondays, WFL

March 29, 2011

In another time and another place I am in Camden Town, one of those dead trendy boutiques where the people serving pout and look as though they need a good meal. Why am I there? I think I want to buy a hat – yes that’s right, I want to buy a hat because I’m […]

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Are Labour’s Pains Temporary?

March 28, 2011

Two weeks ago Labour was consistently polling in the mid-40s and had extended its lead over the Conservatives to between 8-11 points in the polls.  With government approval ratings at -30% and the personal approval ratings of David Cameron in negative territory (as well as the almost Gordon Brown-like approval ratings for Clegg) things were […]

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#130: 2004, The Czars, Little Pink House

March 28, 2011

If you’ve been following this blog, you will know that my album of last year was the astonishing debut solo album by John Grant, The Queen of Denmark and that my track of the year was Jesus Hates Faggots  from that album and which appeared back at STLAS #46.   I chose that track partly […]

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Brian Haw – Does He Have Grounds for Appeal?

March 28, 2011

On Friday the judgment of Mr Justice Wyn Williams ordering the eviction of Brian Haw, currently betreated for lung cancer, and Barbara Tucker from Parliament Square was published.   I said when the outcome of the case was first reported that I would re-visit the issue when the reasoning of the judge was available.  Now although […]

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Did Sky News Attempt To Incite A Riot With A £25 Bribe?

March 28, 2011

Hmmm, tricky piece this – we at Allthatsleft have no interest in dealing with salacious gossip and tittle tattle, that’s not what we’re about – however, anyone reading our pages will be aware that we are very concerned about the increasing power Sky News is slowly and steadily accumulating in the world of broadcast media. […]

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Chairman Cam and the Conservative Society of Big

March 27, 2011

I thought that it must be a joke, that it was actually an April Fool come a week early, when I read this morning that academics are being forced to commit millions of pounds of funds to research about the ‘Big Society’. I mean how many people does it take to tell David Cameron that […]

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#129: 1993, The Breeders, Cannonball

March 27, 2011

Whilst I don’t remember the topless bit (my memory is that it was Ray that was most likely to strip off after a few beers), I’m grateful for yesterday’s dedication. The tuneless bit I will admit to. It did make me think a bit of great tracks that past flatmates introduced me to. This song […]

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Week 12: Villain – George Osborne

March 27, 2011

This week’s winner of the Villain of the Week Award is…George Osborne In the Vietnam War one American general in seeking to explain the US government’s strategy explained that ‘you have to destroy the village in order to save it’.  As time goes on it seems that if you replace the word ‘village’ with the […]

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Week 12: Heroes – Anti-Cuts Marchers

March 27, 2011

This week’s Hero Of The Week award goes to those who took part in the TUC’s March For The Alternative demonstration yesterday against the public sector cuts. Yesterday saw the second-largest demonstration in our country’s history with an estimated 500,000 taking part.  It was twice the size of the anti-poll-tax demonstration of 1990.  Only the 2003 […]

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Week 12: Prat, Andrew Lansley (aka Grey Haired Manky Old Codger)

March 27, 2011

..and this weeks coveted Prat Of The Week Award goes to………. The Right Hon. Andrew Lansley MP… The Secretary of State for Health’s award winning prattishness has given us at Allthatsleft not only a perfect excuse to draw the world’s attention to the fact that this “Grey haired manky old codger” is currently dismantling the […]

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#128: 1964, Them, Gloria

March 26, 2011

At the risk of turning Songs To Learn And Sing into Junior Choice (ask your Dad), I want to dedicate this pick to my mate Jackie South who marched against the cuts today – let no one ever suggest that the Jackster is anything other than a trooper for the cause! When we were young […]

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NHS: Doing Nothing Is The Best Option

March 26, 2011

One of the laziest political clichés in the book, along with there is no alternative and resigning to spend more time with your family, is that doing nothing is not an option.  It is trotted out with breathtaking frequency as a justification for all kinds of policies without any explanation as to why.   The argument […]

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Enterprise Zones: Are They All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

March 25, 2011

Now, don’t get me wrong – this piece is not going to be an exercise in bashing Enterprise Zones simply because the Coalition Government announced plans for twenty one new ones in the budget. In Wales during the 1980’s and 1990’s we gained much from the work of the Welsh Development Agency, which was like […]

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#127: 1971, Isaac Hayes, Theme From Shaft

March 25, 2011

In an attempt to provide some balance for all the oestrogen of the last 7 days, we are well overdue some testosterone.  And what better song can there be on the manly man front than Isaac Hayes’ theme tune from the 1971 Blaxploitation classic, Shaft; a film that heralded a genre that was so influential […]

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Grasping the Nettle: The Banks Are Bust

March 25, 2011

On Wednesday evening the Portuguese government resigned as a result of rejection by parliament of the latest austerity package, incredibly the fourth in the last 12 months.   As ever, the austerity package included cuts to healthcare, welfare spending and pensions.   Bond yields on 10 year treasury debt is now up to 7.3% and Portugal looks […]

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Labour Gains From Capital Punishment

March 25, 2011

Following the South West regional poll earlier this week, UK Polling Report have published another regional parliamentary poll, this time ComRes‘s most recent for London. This is in line with the national shifts in support for each party since the general election, with the two Coalition parties being punished by the capital’s voters to the […]

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#126: 2003, Beyonce, Crazy In Love

March 24, 2011

When I posted Spellbound last Friday, I didn’t realise that it would spark women’s week on Songs To Learn and Sing. Assuming that it isn’t going to run on into becoming women’s fortnight, I thought I’d end it with this track, the song that announced Beyonce Knowles as a solo-artist, with a little help from […]

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Budget For Growth Or A Big Con Trick?

March 24, 2011

‘This is a budget for growth and recovery,’ said the Chancellor yesterday and then announced that the predicted rates of growth in the economy had been revised downwards again putting us perilously close to negative growth – to go with the high and rising unemployment and high and rising inflation. Just as alarming, especially given […]

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Join The March On Saturday

March 23, 2011

We don’t plug events as a rule on Allthatsleft, but this is important. I’ve not been on a demonstration since 2003, against the War in Iraq.  But it is vital that Saturday’s TUC-led demonstration against the cuts is as successful as possible. There are many things that Allsthatsleft stands for, but above all our most important […]

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Back Of The Net With Ray North: There’s Only One Gareth Bale

March 23, 2011

If you look very carefully at the above video, you might see me behind the goal jumping up and down in a canary yellow adidas t-shirt just after Ian Walsh has scored the second Welsh goal. Ahhh. More later. Now, first, let me reflect upon the predictions I made in my February – hmm, a […]

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#125: 2009, Lily Allen, Fuck You

March 23, 2011

Followers of the Allthatsleft, and in particular the award winning Songs to Learn and Sing feature (I made it up about being award winning, but hey, who knows), will have noticed a recent trend towards picking female artists and singers. I have to admit (probably to my shame) that yesterday it was my intention to […]

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Libyan Traps

March 23, 2011

We at Allthatsleft have supported action through the United Nations to prevent Colonel Gaddafi’s odious regime from using his superior military force to attack civilians in rebel held areas.  Some of his rhetoric prior had been absolutely blood curdling as he talked of showing no mercy to anyone found in Benghazi to have assisted the […]

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Budget 2011: Lower Growth, Higher Unemployment and Tax Cuts for Big Business

March 23, 2011

It is not that I am surprised exactly – this is after all a hardcore Thatcherite Chancellor of the Exchequor in the most economically right wing government in at least 70 years, but the choices taken do pretty much tell you everything you need to know.  Because, like the spending cuts, that is what they […]

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