From the monthly archives:

February 2012

Mr East Goes To The Movies: Shame

February 29, 2012

This is not a date movie. Oh myGod no. Steve McQueen’s follow up to Hunger, his 2008 directorial debut about Bobby Sands, is almost as bleak.  Michael Fassbender is once again cast in the central role, this time as Brandon, an emotionally detached, sex addicted loner living in New York City. In the first 20 […]

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‘Olympics Disruption Strike’ – No, No, No!

February 29, 2012

This may be one of those posts that sees me in the minority amongst my comrades at Allthatsleft – I know not, but, when I heard the news that Len McCluskey of the Unite Trade Union was proposing a campaign of strikes designed to disrupt the Olympics, whilst also urging people to engage in civil […]

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#410: 1993, Leftfield, Open Up

February 28, 2012

George East posted his review of our first 400 Songs To Learn And Sing this evening.  One of the bands he listed as a surprising omission was Leftfield – time to put that right. This song was Leftfield’s breakthrough song, and was also John Lydon‘s last great song, seven years after Public Image Ltd’s last […]

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Songs To Learn and Sing: The First 400

February 28, 2012

With Ray North’s posting of David Gray’s Babylon on Valentine’s Day we reached the 400 marker in our daily song feature, Songs To Learn and Sing.   I was minded before I read that post to write a comment eviscerating his choice given the brilliance of the songs that had marked #1, #10, #50,  #100, #200 […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Coriolanus

February 28, 2012

  In my review of Margin Call I mentioned that it was one of  a couple of films that had been at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011 but which had only this year got a theatrical release.    Ralph Fiennes’ adaptation of Coriolanus was the other.   I have to say I approached this film with […]

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Why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons?

February 28, 2012

Let me start this by saying that no country should have nuclear weapons. The very notion that we, as human beings have bombs with the capability of rendering us all extinct is absolutely absurd. Of course, hawks will say that it was nuclear weapons that kept us all from a Third World War between 1945 […]

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London Olympics 2012: British Hopeful #7 – Jamie Cooke, Modern Pentathlon

February 28, 2012

Right, Modern Pentathlon what’s that all about? Well, to start with, the first event is the very technical art of fencing with epee sword; then, there is the power of the 200m freestyle swim; then, just to sort the men out from the boys (or girls and women if you prefer), they mount their horses […]

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#409: 1995, Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees

February 27, 2012

According to Allthatsleft legend, George and Bobby discovered Radiohead about four months before they had actually formed! Despite that, and considering that they were a band that we were all massively into back in the day, and were so acclaimed during the 1990s – they’ve hardly featured at all in our Songs to Learn and […]

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Those Lazy Greeks Deserve Everything They Get…Not Like Those Hardworking Germans

February 27, 2012

Most hours worked Most productive Least hours worked Least productive 1 Greece Luxembourg Netherlands Poland 2 Hungary Norway Germany Hungary 3 Poland Ireland Norway Turkey 4 Estonia Belgium France Estonia 5 Turkey Netherlands Denmark Czech Rep 6 Czech Rep France Ireland Portugal 7 Italy Germany Belgium Slovakia 8 Slovakia Denmark Austria Greece 9 Portugal Sweden […]

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#408: 1956, Johnny Cash, I Walk The Line

February 26, 2012

Following Jackie’s birthday tribute to the late George Harrison with the Beatles‘ Here Comes The Sun, I thought I would also post a song to commemorate the birthday of a great but now sadly lost musical icon. Today would have been Johnny Cash‘s 80th birthday.  He was that rare thing in the pop and rock worlds, […]

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Week 8: Hero – Marie Colvin

February 26, 2012

This Week’s Hero of the Week is the late Marie Colvin, War Correspondent of the Sunday Times As Jackie noted earlier today saw the launch of the Sunday Sun amidst a series of arrests of senior Sun journalists in connection with allegations that they were paying members of the Metropolitan Police for stories.  The Guardian […]

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Wales Win Triple Crown and Liverpool Win League Cup: Ray North’s Best Weekend Ever?

February 26, 2012

Wonderful. Truly. Bloody. Wonderful. Jackie has accused me a few times recently of being grumpy – well, I’m not grumpy today! No far from it. As anyone who has read this blog knows, my passions in life are the Welsh Rugby team and Liverpool FC. And, as anyone who shares my passions will testify, it […]

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Week 8: Prat – Eric Joyce MP

February 26, 2012

This week’s winner of the coveted Allthatsleft Prat of the Week Award is the MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce. Alright, let’s face it, which one of us has never been tempted to punch a Tory at one time or another, or indeed, one of your friends after an argument gets a little heated. Indeed, I […]

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Week 8 – Villain: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria

February 26, 2012

This week, our award for the biggest villain of the last seven days goes to President Assad of Syria, for the sixth time since we started this blog. In a week when the shelling of Homs escalated still further and Marie Colvin was killed, and on the day an utterly cynically superficial referenda for constitutional […]

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#407: 1969, The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun

February 26, 2012

This weekend it feels as if Winter is finally over and Spring has arrived.  We may sometimes seen like miserable middle-aged gits here at AllThat’sLeft, but this seems to be a good time to post George Harrison’s optimistic song from Abbey Road.  It’s genius is to seem a light and breezy simple song, yet has […]

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George East’s Top Ten Films of 2011

February 26, 2012

You thought I’d forgot.  But no, I’ve decided that unlike my top albums and gigs lists, that this final review of the year should take up its appropriate place in the film awards season.  The Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Cesars have been awarded.  Tomorrow night will see the Oscars; today my definitive list. 2011 may […]

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#406: 1984, Bronski Beat, Smalltown Boy

February 23, 2012

I still think that this was an incredibly brave song and it has a place in the list of songs that I still remember hearing it for the first time. I’ve never been one for analysing lyrics – and, before I realised what the song was about, I was drawn to the techno-bass and, perhaps […]

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Cameron’s ‘Snob’ speech is just baffling!

February 23, 2012

David Cameron’s speech to assorted great and good in London today, has, I have to say, left me utterly baffled. Those who question whether business is a vehicle for social progress, he said, are snobs. Eh? I have to say, that, not having had an Etonian education, and, I confess, being prone to a little […]

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Chasm Closing in the Grand Canyon State

February 22, 2012

In my previous post, I explained that Michigan was probably the more interesting of the two primaries being fought by the Republicans next Tuesday. But it is worth stressing that word ‘probably’.  A week ago, Santorum was well ahead in Michigan whilst Romney was even further ahead in Arizona.  Yet just as the race in […]

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Taking a Gander at the Michiganders’ Primary

February 22, 2012

We are less than a week away from the next tests in the Republican primary race.  Tuesday sees primary elections in two sizable states: Arizona and Michigan. Both are also potentially swing states in November, although at the moment you would favour the Republicans in Arizona and the Democrats in the Great Lakes State. Of […]

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#405: 2012, Sleigh Bells, Comeback Kid

February 22, 2012

So Ray and Jackie are struggling for the first song from this year.  I thought I’d best put them out of their misery before we have more embarrassing Video Games fiascos. This song is from Sleigh Bells’ second album, Reign of Terror which came out, oh, as long ago as yesterday, which also happened  to […]

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Two World Wars, Greece and Germany

February 22, 2012

In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles formally concluded the First World War between the western powers and Germany.    The Treaty had at its heart retribution against Germany, which not only was made to accept responsibility for causing the War but also, and more importantly, required to pay huge reparations to the Allied Powers, and France […]

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The Universal Credit Car Crash

February 22, 2012

Much of the media and political attention to date on the Welfare Reform Bill has been on the ethics of the proposed impact on recipients, not least the debate on the imposition of the £26,000 cap on households. Far less attention has been given to the practicalities of the introduction of the Universal Credit. Yet […]

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#404: 1980, Adam and The Ants, Ant Music

February 21, 2012

A choice today inspired by yesterday’s Guardian interview with Adam Ant (known as Stuart only to his mum, apparently). It reminded me how lucky my generation has been with music: here were a band that were combining a punk ethos with art school inventiveness, slapping on a shaky understanding of Plains Indian culture, rim-knock drumming […]

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Are we entering a new age of feudalism?

February 21, 2012

Why am I doing this? Why am I working my cocones off for decreasing money (for I am dependent upon state money for my salary, and therefore have had to accept a reduction of about 25% in my income), whilst still paying considerable tax, none of which I could avoid even if I wanted to […]

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Mr East Goes To The 62nd Berlin Film Festival

February 21, 2012

Another annual Berlinale trip has come to an end and another great four nights and five days of films, drinking, talking about films, more drinking, and talking bollocks about films it was too.   Berliners take the film festival to their heart  which means that virtually all showings of films in the Berlinale (388 films this […]

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#403: 2011, Lana Del Rey, Video Games

February 20, 2012

Earlier in the week, Jackie lamented the fact that we had yet to post a song from 2012, so I thought, right, I’ll rise to that challenge with this Lana Del Rey song – album released in January, job’s a good un – leaving me officially as the most up-to-date member of the Allthatsleft team […]

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Edwina Currie, Sarajevo and Me

February 20, 2012

Last week Edwina Currie appeared on a Radio 5 Live Phone-in programme about poverty, and reduced a young mum, who had told the programme that she was going without food to ensure that her children ate, to tears by accusing her of suffering now because she had ‘lived the high life’ in the past. Anyone […]

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#402: 1977, David Bowie, Sound and Vision

February 19, 2012

Well, I’m back now from the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival and a review post will follow over the next couple of days about the films I saw there. In the meantime it is difficult to think of a more appropriate track than this to celebrate the festival.  Indeed, there must be a case for […]

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Week 7: Hero – Christine Gregoire

February 19, 2012

This Week’s Hero of the Week is Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington for signing into law a statute legalising gay marriage in her state In a week in which the catholic bishops in the United States have declared all out war on the Obama administration about his administration’s modest and entirely sensible proposal to require […]

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