From the monthly archives:

April 2011

Something Old, Something New, Someone Nicked By The Boys In Blue

April 30, 2011

My views about the Royal Wedding are a little less jaded than my colleagues Ray and George. Whilst I wasn’t that interested in the wedding of two people I’m probably never going to meet, I certainly don’t have any problem with others enjoying it or using it as an excuse for a party. We all […]

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#160: 2006, Amy Winehouse, Back To Black

April 30, 2011

We’ve showcased a number of Jewish artists recently (here, here and here), so here’s another, more recent, example from possibly the greatest white soul singer of all time (Discuss!). What is more, unlike most of the classic female soul acts, she also wrote most of her own songs. After all the headlines, it is sometimes […]

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Being British

April 29, 2011

It is the day of the Royal Wedding and standing on the street outside Westminster Abbey happy people are wearing Union Jack outfits and waving flags and people in my village have put bunting up and are having barbecues and are genuinely enthused by pomp and pageantry and the Britishness of it all and I […]

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#159: 2002, Johnny Cash, Hurt

April 29, 2011

Is this one of the greatest of all our Songs to Learn and Sing? A cover of a Nine Inch Nails song? It’s a debate that could go on forever and destroy a few livers in the process – undoubtedly however is the fact that this is a truly beautiful performance by Cash who transforms […]

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If Thatcherism was “Organised Wickedness”, What’s This?

April 28, 2011

Yesterday Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, called Thatcherism “Organised Wickedness” whilst speaking in support of AV. As George East posted earlier today, this is a fair point, but seems to fail to recognise the “wickedness” going on now in the name of the Coalition.  This was brought home to me today, when a single woman, who I’ll […]

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Cobblers to the Royal Wedding!

April 28, 2011

I got a bollocking from Mrs North the other night – ‘you are a killjoy, with no sense of popular history,’ she said, as I harrumphed and muttered vaguely seditious comments under my breath during yet another utterly tedious item on the news about lovely Kate and her luxurious hair and the lovely Wills with […]

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Tim Farron’s Cognitive Dissonance

April 28, 2011

As the shockingly bad AV campaign enters its last week, things have been getting a bit testy and a bit desperate amongst the Lib Dems who gambled their principles and reputation on a positive outcome in the referendum.   This has led to hissy fits on the parts of senior Lib Dems like Chris Huhne which […]

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#158: 1959, Eddie Cochran, Somethin’ Else

April 28, 2011

It’s 52 years since this song was released and 51 years since the 21 year old Eddie Cochran died in a car crash in Wiltshire (of all places). Gene Vincent survived the same crash.  In that time most of the history of rock n roll has played out and yet there have been hardly any […]

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I’d Hate To See What Bad News Looks Like

April 28, 2011

Yesterday the Q1 2011 economic growth rates were announced.   The economy grew by 0.5%.  This was described in the House of Commons as ‘good news’ by David Cameron.    The growth rate takes the economy all the way back to where it was at the end of Q3 2010.  In other words in the last 6 […]

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It’s Not About The Birth Certificate

April 28, 2011

Now we know – American President born in America, shocker.   So the Obama Whitehouse yesterday finally bowed to the crazies on the US right and released his ‘long form’ birth certificate confirming that he was indeed born in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 as he had said all along.     Given that his birth had been […]

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#157: 1977, X-Ray Spex, Oh Bondage Up Yours

April 27, 2011

Last year, Ari Up succombed to breast cancer. Yesterday, breast cancer also claimed Poly Styrene.  The death of these female punk legends shows how far we need to go to defeat this disease. Poly Styrene tackled conventions head-on with her music and style: her look, her background, her attitude.  X-Ray Spex’ most famous song, Oh Bondage Up […]

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Labour’s Scottish Plummet

April 26, 2011

At the start of the year, it looked as if Labour would stroll back into power in Scotland. Only our months later, the SNP look bound to tighten their hold on Holyrood. What happened? The above graph shows this change in fortune for voting in the Scottish Parliament constituencies.  On 10 January, TNS-BMRB’s poll showed […]

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Tangled up in Blue Labour

April 26, 2011

When I first heard about Lord Maurice Glasman’s Blue Labour programme, I was worried. When Labour strategists talk about ‘re-engaging with traditional working class Labour values,’ it more often than not becomes a patronising attempt to stereotype a long extinct ‘working class’ in a way that they never really were; or, an excuse to pursue […]

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#156: 1983, New Order, Blue Monday

April 26, 2011

Ah, Blue Monday by New Order, one of those tracks that has a whole anthology of tales surrounding it, some true, some apocryphal – apparently it was inspired by Italian disco music and the bassline is a total rip-off of a Sylvester song ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’; apparently the sleeve was so expensive […]

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Ireland: The Insanity of Austerity In Action Part 2

April 26, 2011

I wrote the other day about the devastating results on the Greek economy and in particular on the ordinary Greek people as a result of the adoption of forced austerity measures in that country. Austerity measures which are proving to be as pointless as they are counter-productive because they have resulted in the exact opposite […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Meek’s Cutoff

April 26, 2011

  Feminist westerns are not exactly commonplace.  Of all the classic Hollywood genres (along perhaps with the gangster picture) the western is the worst offender when it comes to the stereotyping of women – not so much into virgins and whores as homemakers and whores.    There have been exceptions, of course, Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar […]

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#155: 1979, The Ruts, Babylon’s Burning

April 25, 2011

One of the fabulous things about the punk era was the sheer number of bands who were able to produce at least one absolute gem of a song.  it was an era of the great single. To say the Ruts were one of those bands is a little unfair, as they had a fair few truly […]

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Chris Huhne Is A Whiney Ass Bitch (h/t The Wire)

April 25, 2011

  Mummy, mummy they are being nasty to my friend Nick.   It’s not fair they keep telling lies.  Whine, whine, moan moan, bwah bwah.  For fuck sake this is politics not a vicarage tea party, it is and always has been a rough and tumble game – a game in which the Lib Dems on […]

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Arab Spring: Has One of the Traps Sprung?

April 25, 2011

A month or so ago I identified what I saw as three traps that the West could find itself walking into as a result its intervention in Libya – an intervention that broadly speaking we at Allthatsleft have welcomed.  Those traps in broad terms were:  (i)                  an over expansive interpretation of Resolution 1973 in order […]

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#154: 1984, Willie Nelson, City of New Orleans

April 24, 2011

Yesterday, Ray posted about a song that made him think of home when he was travelling in the USA. And on Saturday, I had what should have been a short journey by train from London to Essex which ended up in replacement coaches and taking three times as long as it should have. Together, these […]

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Greece, A Year On: The Insanity of Austerity In Action

April 24, 2011

A year ago Greece was heading towards being the first country in the Eurozone to seek a bailout from the EU and the IMF as a result of the position with its public finances, with public debt at 126.8% of GDP and a deficit of 15.4% of GDP.    On 21 April 2010 The Financial Times […]

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Week 16: Hero – Tim Hetherington

April 24, 2011

One of the journalistic low points of the extraordinary events in the Middle East that we have seen so far this year was when Sky News’s Foreign Editor, Tim Marshall was in Cairo at the beginning of the events which led to the Egyptian revolution and did his broadcast based around the fact that cars […]

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Week 16: Prat – Warren Bradley

April 24, 2011

This week’s much-coveted Prat of the Week award goes to Cllr Warren Bradley, former Lib Dem leader of Liverpool Council Warren Bradley, who served as leader of Liverpool Council from 2005 to last May and was still leader of its Lib Dem councillors until last week, hit the news earlier this year when an e-mail […]

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Week 16: Villain, President Assad of Syria

April 24, 2011

..this week’s Villian of the week is…… President Assad of Syria…. 2011 will be remembered as the year in which the people of the Middle East and North Africa rose up against the tyrannical rule of the despots who have oppressed their citizens and stockpiled their country’s wealth for their own end. Coming hot on […]

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Yet More on AV…

April 24, 2011

Just as my mate Ray posted on why the Left should vote in favour of AV, news of a poll comes through from TNS-BMRB for the Independent which indicates a tightening of the race: 34% No, 32% Yes. Actually it may not, as this is the first poll by this organisation, and so it is […]

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Why The Left Must Vote Yes!

April 23, 2011

I agree with my Allthatsleft compadres there has been very little in the ‘Yes’ campaign that would make you skip to the polling station on the 5th May to confidently place your X in the ‘Yes’ box. But, regardless of the lacklustre ‘Yes’ campaign there remains one absolutely compelling argument, and, in fairness, Vince Cable […]

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#153: 1981, The Teardrop Explodes, Reward

April 23, 2011

In another time in another place I am at an alternative music club in Detroit. I’ve been drinking that brown porter stuff for about four hours. It has made me mournful and celtic and aggressive; and they call this an alternative music club, why the fuck are they playing Whitesnake and I’ve been in America […]

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May 5th: Nothing To See Here?

April 23, 2011

Ray wrote the other day that he thought that the forthcoming elections had the potential to affect our political culture for generations.   If the AV referendum passes and it causes a meltdown in the ranks of the Conservative Party, or if it fails and the Lib Dems leave the coalition after putting Nick Clegg in […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Source Code

April 23, 2011

  In 2009 the former Zowie Bowie – now plain old Duncan Jones – directed his debut film from a self-written script, Moon.  It was a philosophical science fiction piece, in the tradition of say 2001, Solaris and yes, The Man Who Fell To Earth.  The film played with notions of reality and time.   Sam […]

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Back of the net with Ray North: The Business End

April 22, 2011

Big day in the North household tomorrow – little Ryan North doesn’t know it yet, but he’s to be taken to his first proper football match at Anfield – Liverpool v Birmingham City. All being well, by the end of the ninety minutes, as well as learning a whole dictionary of new words, he will […]

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