From the monthly archives:

July 2012

Olympic Games London 2012: George East’s Top 10 Moments From Days 1-3

July 31, 2012

Yes, the empty seats are frustrating, but it has been a feature of just about every major sporting event in recent years I can remember.   We are told that there are going to be extra tickets released every day so the embarrassment factor at least is paying dividends.  Yes, the sponsorship fascism has been taken […]

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The fine line between being a ‘Twit’ and being a ‘Criminal’

July 31, 2012

In the last week, thankfully, the High Court decided that the man who had ‘tweeted’ that he was about to ‘blow up Robin Hood Airport,’ was not guilty of any crime. Yesterday, came the news that some jerk calling himself, Riley 69 (yawn) had sent a tweet to Tom Daley telling him that he had […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: The Angels’ Share

July 30, 2012

  After last year’s harrowing Iraq War conspiracy thriller, Route Irish, Ken Loach returns to the more comic terrain seen in 2009’s Looking For Eric.   With two of his last three films being relatively heart- warming comedies, there must be a question as to whether the UK’s most consistently political film maker is, in his […]

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Week 30: Hero – Danny Boyle

July 30, 2012

This Week’s Hero of the Week is  the Artistic Director of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony…Danny Boyle  Regular readers will know that I am something of a film fan.    I can’t say I’m really that keen on Danny Boyle as a director.  Yes Shallow Grave was a promising enough debut and Trainspotting was almost a […]

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#513: 1989, The The, The Beat(en) Generation

July 29, 2012

I used to listen to this song on the train to Bow where I worked during the summer of 1989 – it is a song about Thatcher’s children, of which I was one – that told of how my generation had been seduced by politics and hypnotised by satellites, to end up worshipping in the […]

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Week 30: Prat – Aidan Burley MP

July 29, 2012

This week’s prat award goes to Olympic-ceremony-tweeting-idiot Aidan Burley MP. When you are an MP who has already got into political trouble for involvement in a Nazi-themed stag party (where guests drank toasts to senior figures in the Nazi regime), you’d think that perhaps you’d show a little bit of caution before having a go […]

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A brief proof that the Americans have got it right on the economy…

July 29, 2012

In my post earlier this afternoon identifying Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as our Villain of the Week, I used a graph to show the stagnation of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product, by comparing quarterly GDP levels to an early 2008 baseline. Afterwards, I thought I should try plotting the GDP graph I used […]

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Week 30: Villain – George Osborne

July 29, 2012

This week, our award for the greatest villain of the last seven days goes to George Osborne This week, we learnt that the double-dip recession has deepened dramatically: GDP fell by 0.7% in the last quarter, an annualised contraction of the UK economy of 2.8%. To put that in to context, over in the US […]

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#512: 1992, Sugar, Hoover Dam

July 27, 2012

I was planning to post something suitable to mark the opening of the London 2012 games but then Ray North called a theme week: songs for Gideon. Fair enough, I’ll have to leave my planned Olympic song for later in the games. We’ve had a straight message from Bobby West and a song from the […]

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Twitter Joke Case: What on Earth was the CPS Thinking?

July 27, 2012

This morning brought the good and long overdue news of the overturning of the conviction of Paul Chambers for a tweet expressing his frustration at the closure of Robin Hood Airport when he was on his way to visit his girlfriend in Northern Ireland.   Chambers had sent a tweet which said ‘Crap! Robin Hood airport […]

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#511: 1936, The Carter Family, No Depression in Heaven

July 26, 2012

After Bobby West’s posting of the classic Go Now, dedicated to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ray North’s comment set the challenge of a George Osborne theme week for Songs to Learn and Sing. So here goes with The Carter Family’s classic track of the Great Depression. Nowadays, the Carter Family are best known for […]

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London Olympics 2012, British Hopeful #13 – Katherine Grainger, Women’s Double Sculls

July 26, 2012

This will be my last Olympic Hopeful and I’ve spent the day wondering who I should feature – should it be someone obscure (like the little known Welsh Weightlifter, Gareth Evans who lives off £100 a week and is doing it for the pride and the honour, because he knows he hasn’t got a prayer […]

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#510: 1964, Bessie Banks, Go Now

July 25, 2012

It’s late, it’s been a long day and there’s an early start to come but here’s a quick song, requested by Michael and Vince and dedicated to George.  They say there’s no hard feelings but it’s for the best. I am truly sorry if this ruins this version of the song for anyone… PS  Late […]

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George Osborne: The Worst Chancellor Since the War?

July 25, 2012

Let’s take stock of the statistics shall we?    With a contraction in the economy of 0.7% in the second quarter of 2012, the economy is now 0.8% smaller than it was 12 months ago.   It is 0.5% smaller than it was when the Coalition Government took office in May 2010.    Gideon has now been in […]

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Hanging Chads 2012: What’s the Matter With Pennsylvania?

July 25, 2012

“Pennsylvania is really three states: you’ve got Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west and Alabama in the middle.” (James Carville on CNN, October 2004) What’s the right way for a government to treat a 93 year-old woman who has had her purse stolen, holding amongst other things, her social security card? (a) Take […]

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So, who should light the Olympic Cauldron?

July 25, 2012

Classic pub conversation this. Who should get the honour of lighting the Olympic Cauldron that will burn at the Olympic stadium for the duration of the games? The debate is intriguing, especially when you consider that there is little or no precedent for who gets this massive honour – for example, some countries have gone […]

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#509: 2011, Wooden Shjips, Lazy Bones

July 23, 2012

You’ll never guess who I saw outside Pets Are Us, in Wrexham the other day – Mick Joyce from The Smiths. ‘Hey, Mick Joyce from The Smiths,’ I bellowed, ‘Raymondo,’ he replied. And we then embarked upon an elaborate handshake that involved the touching of both clenched fists, thumb butterflies and an index finger drum […]

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Week 29: Hero – Bradley Wiggins

July 22, 2012

For the second week running our hero award goes to Bradley Wiggins, this time as Tour de France champion! We’ve already said quite a lot about all this but it really is something quite special. Not only has Wiggins won the Tour but he has done it in style showing a genuine respect for the sport and […]

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Week 29: Prat – Rush Limbaugh

July 22, 2012

This week’s Prat of the Week award goes to American shock jock, Rush Limbaugh. It’s about time this World Class Prat was celebrated by us. After all, he has been putting in some sterling performances over the years – perhaps though, this week, has seen him take being a prat to olympic levels. Limbaugh, as […]

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Week 29: Villain – Rick Warren

July 22, 2012

This week, our award for the greatest villain of the last seven days goes to American televangelist, Rick Warren A conversation from a year ago, in a bar in Minneapolis: Twenty-something woman: So you’re from England! How old do you have to be to buy a drink there? Jackie South: Eighteen… Woman: 18?! You have […]

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Britain’s Ten Greatest Sporting Triumphs

July 22, 2012

Today, barring some kind of catastrophe, Bradley Wiggins will be crowned winner of the Tour de France. Close followers of our website will be away of the mighty pedestal upon which we have placed Wiggo – we love him. We love the fact that he is a Mod who drinks Belgian beer, we love the […]

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#508: 1971, Al Green, Tired of Being Alone

July 21, 2012

On Thursday Gary Silverman of the Financial Times reported on the US presidential campaign. In the piece Silverman writes about an ad the Obama campaign is currently running which features Mitt Romney singing America The Beautiful badly over a montage of empty offices and factories (a clear reference to Romney’s time as CEO at Bain, a […]

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London Olympics 2012: British Hopefuls #12, Jade Jones, Women’s Taekwondo

July 21, 2012

I’ve noticed that my comrade Jackie South has enigmatically hinted that he might be competing at this year’s Olympics – knowing Jackie as I do, I confess that it is hard to think of any sport ever invented that Jackie might be able to compete in to Olympic standard (indeed, any kind of standard) – […]

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South East Boundary Changes Part 9: Oxfordshire

July 20, 2012

The final county for our series on the Boundary Commission’s proposals for parliamentary constituencies in South East England is Oxfordshire.  The map below summarises the current constituencies and the margin by which the winning party won them in 2010. The county’s seats consist of a rural ring of four safely Conservative constituencies around two marginal […]

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#507: 1969, Tony Joe White, Polk Salad Annie

July 20, 2012

I usually go on holiday late July/early August but I won’t get away this year until later, thanks to some Olympics-related stuff I won’t bore you with. But of course there is nothing more likely to get you yearning to travel abroad than knowing that you’ve got to wait for it. That yearning got me […]

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Austerity Forever

July 20, 2012

This has been a curious week for economic news.  Curious and, as ever with this government, depressing, but curious, nonetheless. On Wednesday we had Gideon and Danny ‘Beaker’ Alexander (the most over-promoted man in the history of politics?) appearing together to announce the government’s scheme to underwrite infrastructure projects.  They stood together in ridiculous fluorescent […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Dark Horse

July 20, 2012

Todd Solondz is the director of social misfits and not in a Wes Anderson kooky comedy way.   His films deliver their comedy in a far darker package.    I have to confess I have not seen very many of his films. Before seeing Dark Horse, I had only seen his second film Welcome To The Dollhouse, […]

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The truth behind the unemployment figures.

July 19, 2012

First things first – it is always a good thing when someone who is unemployed gets a job. And, as such, it would be churlish in the extreme for us not to welcome the fact that the headline unemployment figure has fallen by 65000. But…… There are a number of factors that accompany this encouraging […]

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#506: 2011, Theme Park, A Mountain We Love

July 19, 2012

Blimey, our hero of last week Bradley Wiggins and – yes let’s definitely acknowledge him – Chris Froome have all but done it.  A British 1, 2 in the Tour de France. The mountains are out of the way and no one has been a serious threat to them.  Just a flat stage, a time-trial and […]

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Michael Gove’s Legacy: The Rise of Religious Fundamentalism In Our Schools

July 18, 2012

The growth of Academies and Free Schools and under the rabidly anti-state Michael Gove has seen our education system increasingly handed over to businesses, right wing z-list celebrities and religious organisations.  The only consistent message has been that anyone, no matter how little qualified or how unsuitable to the task of educating the nation’s children, […]

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