From the monthly archives:

April 2012

#456: 2007, Levon Helm, Poor Old Dirt Farmer

April 30, 2012

Our recent Devon and Cornwall theme Week meant that we missed the opportunity of commemorating the death of the great Levon Helm on 19 April.  As Billy Bragg tweeted on the day that his death was announced Levon Helm was ˜the greatest singing drummer of all time’ If The Band invented what is now known […]

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Is Boris Really Coasting To Victory?

April 30, 2012

According to the most recent polls, the damage the government is doing to itself is not playing out in the London elections.  Today Populus published a poll showing Boris Johnson 12 points ahead of Ken Livingstone on both the first and second rounds.  That is double Boris’ winning margin in 2008 in the second round. […]

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Has Roy Hodgson got what it takes?

April 30, 2012

Well, I didn’t see this coming, though as someone who predicted that Newcastle United would be relegated this season, I don’t suppose I should be too surprised at the fact that I hadn’t predicted that the FA would plump for Roy Hodgson rather than Harry Redknapp to be the new England manager. Very interesting. But, […]

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Cine-East Film Club #4: 1937, La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir)

April 29, 2012

A second war film.  But this is a very different kind of war film to Cine-East #2, Kanal.  That film is unrelentingly bleak in its depiction of the last remnants of the Warsaw Uprising groping their way through the sewer system in the Second World War to their inevitable death at the hands of the Nazis […]

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#455: 1979, Blondie, Dreaming

April 29, 2012

Having had the distraction of Devon & Cornwall theme week, I have gathered a number of songs in my head that I wanted to post.  This, however, wasn’t one of them. No, the reason for posting Blondie‘s Dreaming is more spontaneous than that, and perhaps a reminder that Debbie Harry is a only couple of months […]

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Week 17: Hero – Robert Jay QC

April 29, 2012

As a barrister cross-examination is a fairly easy thing to do, but a bloody hard thing to do well. Anyone can stand up and ask a few questions, but, to do it in a way in which you leave your victim witness, railing, confused and blubbering like a fool is an art, it is also […]

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Week 17: Villain – George Osborne

April 29, 2012

Our award this week for the greatest villain of the last seven days goes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gideon George Osborne There were two contenders for Villain of the Week this week: Osborne and Jeremy Hunt.  Ultimately, Gideon won out: the damage and misery he is inflicting on the country outweighs the Westminster […]

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Week 17: Prat – The Government of Kyrgyzstan

April 29, 2012

This Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to the government of the  central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan Every 9th of May in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, there is a major military parade which ends at the monument to the thousands of Second World War dead of this former Soviet Republic.  The top military brass […]

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#454: 2012, Team Me, With My Hands Covering Both Of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have A Look At You Now

April 28, 2012

I’ve been feeling a little below par for the last few days. Nothing specific I can put my finger on and probably as much about the relentlessly crappy weather here as anything else.  Anyway, when you’re feeling a little low there’s only one thing for it – super euphoric, overly enthusiastic Scandinavian indie pop. Team […]

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France 2012: Five Reasons To Be Optimistic

April 28, 2012

A week tomorrow the voters of France will go to the polls in final round of the presidential elections.   The election has the potential to be significant much more widely than France as Francois Hollande has not adopted the triangulating Clinton/Blair playbook which for twenty years we have been told is the only way a […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Breathing

April 28, 2012

In 2002 the Belgian Dardennes Brothers made a powerful film called The Son.  In it a teenage boy in a young offender institution is placed with a carpenter to learn a trade as part of his rehabilitation.   The boy was doing time for the murder of another boy.  The film follows the growing realisation and […]

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#453: 1975, Bob Dylan, Tangled Up In Blue

April 26, 2012

In another time and another place, it was a hot summer – I would lie in my bed and listen to my vinyl copy of the album Blood On The Tracks on my little white record player. I knew very little about Bob Dylan, I did not understand that this was the album in which […]

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Vince Cable: How on earth can he stay in Cabinet?

April 26, 2012

In December 2010, Vince Cable was secretly recorded declaring war on the Murdoch empire. At the time he was responsible for overseeing the News International bid to take over all of BSkyB – as a result of his comments he was deemed to no longer be impartial and had to hand over this part of […]

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Special Advisers: What, Why and Who?

April 26, 2012

Yesterday saw the now familiar sight of a young, clean-cut, professional being escorted out of a Whitehall department having, if you believe his embattled former boss, turned into a rogue maverick and acted entirely independently and utterly without the knowledge or acquiescence of the department. I have to say I felt a little bit of […]

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#452: 1992, Aphex Twin, Heliosphan

April 26, 2012

Strictly speaking Devon and Cornwall week finished with Jackie South’s posting of the Mystery Jets’Lorna Doone. However, as with closing album track week (and indeed my favourite theme week so far, songs about other artists week), I am going to extend the theme by one more song.  It kind of makes sense anyway now that […]

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Has the Coalition reached a new low?

April 25, 2012

It feels a bit like the moment in a horror film when the evil creature who has been lurking in the background creating unseen carnage suddenly exposes itself in its full terrifying goriness to us the petrified onlooker. That’s how it feels today. Because today, the Coalition Government has reached a new and awful low. […]

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#451: 2010, Mystery Jets, Lorna Doone

April 24, 2012

I scratched my head a little for my second song pick for our Devon and Cornwall theme week.  Mick Fleetwood was originally from Cornwall – did I dare post something by Fleetwood Mac? Could I get away with posting Peaches by The Stranglers on the grounds it is about beaches and sung by Hugh Cornwell? […]

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Is this the most ‘out of touch’ Parliament ever?

April 24, 2012

A number of things have prompted me to pose this question. First, was an experience I had last week listening to Prime Ministers Questions. As I listened, I found myself engrossed, not in a positive way that saw me nod admiringly to the razor sharp questions and witty insightful answers, no, I was compelled in […]

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Did Dorries Widdecombe Cameron?

April 24, 2012

Back in 1997 in a debate in the House of Commons on the dismissal of the then Head of the Prison Service, Derek Lewis, and in the middle of the Tory party leadership contest following the Blair landlside,  Anne Widdecombe, referred to there being ‘something of the night’ about by then former Home Secretary, Michael […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #3: 1920, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene)

April 23, 2012

After a joyous Hollywood musical (Singin’ In The Rain) and an austere and harrowing Polish war film (Kanal), Cine-East presents its first silent film and its first horror film: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.  A film that is also, arguably, the first ever feature length art film. German cinema of the Weimar Period provided some of […]

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Looking for a new England

April 23, 2012

Today is St. George’s Day, until recently the least conspicuous of the United Kingdom’s four nations’ patron saints’ days. I spent much of Saturday at the local St George’s Day festival, enjoyed by all.  But it was a very different celebration to St George to that the far right would recognise: half of the people […]

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#450: 2008, Seth Lakeman, Race To Be King

April 23, 2012

So they called my bluff.  I really didn’t expect my Allthatsleft colleagues to go along with the Devon and Cornwall theme week on Songs to Learn and Sing and, as George noted, I was so sure that I hadn’t even begun to think about what my second song would be when I suggested it. When […]

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France: good start, but not all over yet

April 23, 2012

We now know that 6 May’s second round runoff for the French presidency will between Francois Hollande (aka Monsieur Normal/ Monsieur Flanby) and Nicholas Sarkozy.  For the first time in French presidential elections, the incumbent finished second in the first round, with Sarkozy half a million votes behind Hollande.  The only previous incumbent to lose, […]

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Week 16: Villain – The Mail On-Line

April 22, 2012

This Week’s Villain of the Week (incredibly for the first time) is the The Forger’s Gazette , The Daily Hell, I mean the Mail On-Line This week’s news has been dominated by the trial of Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik.   The trial has been faced with the sickening spectacle of Breivik gloating about the […]

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Week 16: Prat – Rt Hon Theresa May MP

April 22, 2012

This week the Allthatsleft Prat of The Week Award goes to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Theresa May. We at Allthatsleft are in favour of grown up politics (no really we are).  And part of grown up politics is accepting that all governments, whatever their political colours, make mistakes. It is an […]

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Week 16: Hero – Francois Hollande

April 22, 2012

This week, our award for the greatest hero of the last seven days goes to French presidential hopeful, Francois Hollande. With today’s first round of the French presidential elections, there could be only one possible hero of the week here at All That’s Left.  Step forward, Monsieur Normal. Polling suggests that the first round will […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Headhunters

April 22, 2012

There is a Scandi-Crime wave at the moment.  The huge (and thoroughly deserved) success of the Danish police procedural telly series, The Killing, with its iconic female lead, Sarah Lund, and her dysfunctional personal life; the gazillion-selling Girl With A Dragon Tattoo Millennium trilogy and the Swedish and now American film adaptations, the less explicable […]

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In Praise of Record Store Day (With One Caveat)

April 22, 2012

Back in the day, when I was a music obsessed teenager, every Saturday I would go from my small seaside town to a slightly larger seaside town by train with my mate Tony the Silent to spend the day spending hard earned paper round and café table cleaning wages record shopping.   My home town had […]

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#449: 2010, The Surgeons, I Saw Stan Bowles At B&Q

April 21, 2012

Devon and Cornwall week! I ask you! What next? Rotherham week? Chipping Norton week? A week of songs about fish? I have to admit that I was struggling with Devon and Cornwall week, the Wurzels were looking increasingly attractive and then, in a strange stroke of luck, I happened to be doing some research into […]

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#448: 2002, Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man, Tom The Model

April 19, 2012

So, its day 4 of Devon and Cornwall week, inadvertently started by Ray North and then a challenge laid down by Bobby West, that he did not think we would take up.  Fool.  Now he’s got to find himself another song. But hold on a minute I hear you say. Beth Gibbons?  Her out of […]

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