From the monthly archives:

May 2012

London Olympics 2012: British Hopefuls #9 Jessica Ennis

May 31, 2012

If Jessica Ennis is fat, then I am a multi-nobel award winning physicist! But ‘fat’ was what she was described as by an unnamed British Olympic Official. What a total and utter tool! First, he’s just wrong; second, it’s not a great way of motivating an athlete; and third, it’s a monumentally stupid thing to […]

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#474: 1988, Everything But The Girl, The Night I Heard Caruso Sing

May 31, 2012

Little baby Bobby West will be four months old this weekend. One third of one year.  It’s been all the cliches – knackering, daunting, exhilarating and, err yes, life-changing. Fatherhood, parenthood. However much you try it can’t help but change you in some way.  Well if not change you exactly then at least play with […]

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Leveson: Where’s George Osborne?

May 31, 2012

Today’s evidence by Jeremy Hunt before the Leveson Enquiry has provided even further evidence to support the conclusion that there was at the heart of government a determined effort to deliver the entirety of BSkyB into the hands of Rupert Murdoch.    However it has also underlined that there is one person who appears to have […]

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Mad Tories And The Economic Faith

May 31, 2012

I caught the end of the Newsnight debate last night between Allthatsleft pin-up boy, Paul Krugman and a couple of Tories (Andrea Leadsom and some other one whose name escaped me) who had been wheeled on to provide him with shooting practice. What I saw was quite strange – Krugman rehearsed the arguments which he […]

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Syria: We Can No Longer Sit Back And Watch

May 30, 2012

Syria is in a state of civil war every bit as bloody and brutal as those fought in Libya or Egypt or anywhere else in the Middle East over the last two years. Sadly, unlike in Egypt, Syria will not be resolved by the capitulation of the ruling regime and unlike Libya, there appears to […]

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Krugman on Labour: ‘Like Them Only Less So’

May 30, 2012

Last night the great Nobel Prize winning economist (and favourite on these pages), Professor Paul  Krugman was speaking at our alma mater, the LSE, to promote his new book, End This Depression Now! (a book I have on order but haven’t read yet).    Irritatingly I left it too late to get tickets but any regular […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies (With Mr South): The Dictator

May 30, 2012

Jackie and I went to see the latest Sacha Baron Cohen film at the weekend.  Unlike Borat and Bruno (which followed in the tradition of the Ali G character), The Dictator is not a mockumentary and is wholly scripted.  It does rely on encounters with the gullible for its laughs.    Of course there were parts […]

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#473: 2012, Richard Hawley, Standing At The Sky’s Edge

May 29, 2012

The last few weeks have seen the release of three really brilliant albums – Jack White’s Blunderbuss, The Black Keys’ El Camino and Richard Hawley’s, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, from which this is the title track. I can’t remember the last time, I have been really bowled over by so much music in such a […]

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The All That’s Left Labour NEC Slate

May 29, 2012

2012 is a year of great contests: the European Football Championship finals, the Olympics and Paralympics, the US Presidential Race, the French and Greek elections, the London Mayor. The biennial elections for the six places on the constituency section of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee probably do not quite figure in that league.  However, as […]

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#472: 2001, Sparklehorse, Eyepennies

May 28, 2012

I’m not sure whether everyone does this.  You buy an album on the back of a good review, or because someone recommended it or something.  You play it once, or maybe more, but for whatever reason it doesn’t really grab you and you file it in your CD collection.  Chances are it will barely see […]

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In praise of…………….. The Queen

May 28, 2012

There I was this morning reading my Guardian and the stories of how Boris Johnson’s Press Supremo Guto Harri – someone who I once knew quite well when he was a lowly Political Correspondent for BBC Wales – had threatened or attempted to threaten the BBC over their coverage of the Mayoral Election; and all […]

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Week 21: Villain – Adrian Beecroft

May 27, 2012

This week’s award for the political villain of the last seven days goes to Adrian Beecroft. Mr Beecroft has already won this award once – when the proposals from his employment law review were first leaked. With the publication this week of the finalised report he is a worthy award winner for a second time. […]

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Week 21: Prat – Jeremy Hunt

May 27, 2012

Our award for the biggest prat of the last week goes to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the lambada-dancing Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Somehow, we have awarded eighty Prat of the Week awards on this blog before Jeremy Hunt picked one up.  But the revelation of the excruciatingly embarrassing texts […]

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Week 21: Hero – Vince Cable MP

May 27, 2012

This week’s winner of the Hero of the Week Award goes to Business Secretary Vince Cable Vince Cable has won the Prat of the Week four times since November 2010 and was also winner of the coveted King of the Valleys in 2010, he has also had various articles written about him on this blog […]

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#471: 2008, Teddy Thompson, In My Arms

May 27, 2012

Wednesday 20 August 2008. Charlottesville, Virginia.  On the patio of the Omni hotel, drinking beer and eating some delicious mini-burger canape thingies. That’s the when, where and what I was doing when I first heard of Teddy Thompson.  A few hours later I’d seen him live, playing this song. George East and I were travelling down the South Atlantic […]

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Who’ll win in a fight between Cameron and Balls?

May 27, 2012

I’ll be honest – I’m developing a bit of a man crush on Ed Balls. There I’ve said it. It’s a new thing for me this – as I’ve never really had much time for him before – I’ve never met him, but, everything I’ve ever heard about him, suggests that he is capable of […]

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#470: 2009, Local Natives, World News

May 26, 2012

This is from one of my other favourite albums of the last few years. Very much in line with one of the major music trends of recent times – laid back, indie-folk with a big emphasis on harmonies. I am sure the tide has probably turned on this trend now but I’m still enjoying it. […]

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Egypt Presidential Election: Democracy Is Messy, Get Over It

May 26, 2012

Wednesday and Thursday saw the first free democratic presidential elections in Egypt’s history.   The largest Arab country with a population of more than 82,000,000, voted in the first round of their presidential election 15 months after the overthrow of the corrupt dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.    It is, after Tunisia, the second and by far the […]

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#469: 1989, The Stone Roses, I Wanna Be Adored

May 24, 2012

I don’t believe it! I don’t bloody well believe it! For it to happen once is bad enough but twice in a lifetime is a tragedy of Dionysian proportions! Back in the day, indeed so far back in the day that I had only just got to know George East, he told me that there […]

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Leveson: Adam Smith Turns The Spotlight On David Cameron

May 24, 2012

Jeremy Hunt’s former advisor, Adam Smith is giving his evidence this afternoon to the Leveson enquiry.  For me, at least, his is the evidence I have been most interested in hearing.  The idea that he had such regular contact (he sent 257 texts) and in such explicit terms as the emails and texts reveal with […]

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Coalition Economic Train Wreck Watch: Double Dip Recession Even Worse

May 24, 2012

When it was announced a month or so ago that the economy had contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter of this year and that therefore the UK economy had entered a double dip recession, there was much incredulity among various members of the financial elite, as well as right wing economic and political commentators.  […]

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#468: 1967, The Bee Gees, New York Mining Disaster 1941

May 22, 2012

They are dropping like flies.  First  Stax legend, Donald ˜The Duck” Dunn. Then the Godfather of Go Go Chuck “Bustin’ Loose” Jones. Finally, there has been, as Jackie pointed out yesterday, the Death Disco pairing of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. But as good as Saturday Night Fever era Bee Gees were, to pigeon hole […]

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Beecroft’s Employment Law Reforms: Another Bad Idea From The Raving Right

May 22, 2012

Adrian Beecroft is a venture capitalist – now, I’ll be corrected if i’m wrong, but the aim of venture capitalism is to make as much money as possible. Venture Capitalists rarely make anything, create anything, imagine anything, love anything. They are not paid money to be caring or sentimental – they are paid money to […]

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#467: 1979, Public Image Ltd, Death Disco

May 21, 2012

After a weekend bracketed by the death of disco legends Donna Summer and Robin Gibb, this song came to mind. Despite its year of release, this is hardly a reflection on disco’s golden years, but it is a great emotional meditation on mortality and grief. ‘Grief’ seems a completely inadequate word for the bewildering mixture […]

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Can anything save the Lib-Dems?

May 21, 2012

Recent opinion polls have put the Lib-dems in fourth place behind UKIP, suggesting that less than 8% of voters would vote for them if there was a general election today. Now, I leave matters concerned with polling and psephology to Jackie who is an expert – but, even I know that if those polls were […]

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#466: 1996, Beth Orton, Someone’s Daughter

May 20, 2012

I don’t know if it’s more of a reflection on us (because of our song choices), you (because of the ones you decide to play), or simply the bias in the history of popular music but I noticed there were very few women in George’s recent run down of the Songs To Learn And Sing […]

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Week 20: Villain – Ratko Mladic

May 20, 2012

This week’s award for the villain of the last seven days goes to former Bosnian Serb General, Ratko Mladic. The resumption (and then unscheduled adjournment) of the trial this week at the Hague is enough by itself to prompt this award. Let’s remind ourselves of the charges against Mladic: genocide, persecution, extermination and murder, deportation, terror […]

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Week 20: Prat – Joey Barton

May 20, 2012

This week’s Prat of the Week award goes to QPR Captain, midfielder and Tweetmeister, Joey Barton. As a footballer Joey Barton is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, his attempts to express opinions that go beyond the mind numbingly facile that we usually get from footballers is refreshing; but, on the other hand, […]

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Week 20: Hero – Francois Hollande

May 20, 2012

This Week’s Hero of the Week is newly elected President of France, Francois Hollande What a difference an election or two makes.   Only two weeks ago, austerity was the unchallengeable economic orthodoxy throughout Europe.  And then on the same day a parliamentary election in Greece gave the two parties that have dominated Greek politics for […]

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GrExit: Five Potential Impacts Part 2

May 20, 2012

This is Part 2 of a post I started yesterday on the potential political and economic impacts of a Greek Exit from the Euro. 3. The Eurozone Periphery The most immediate impact outside of Greece is going to be felt in the other countries of the Eurozone periphery who have been struggling hardest to convince […]

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