From the monthly archives:

October 2012

It’s An Ill Wind…

October 31, 2012

Just over a month ago, my colleague George East identified six reasons why the Presidential race was not over despite Romney’s 47% gaffe.  As we know, one of those six has had a big impact: Obama’s overly relaxed approach to the first debate made that a great game-changer by giving Romney the initiative. This week […]

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#567: 2011, Toy, Left Myself Behind

October 30, 2012

It’s Tuesday night, i’m watching David Willetts and a load of other people who appear to be academics or think tankers or similar on Newsnight, talking about ‘the skills agenda,’ and one of them has just used the phrase, ‘joined up thinking.’ I know that tonight in Brighton, this band, Toy, who are a great […]

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Post-Apocalyptic Capitalism

October 30, 2012

We are a week away from the US Presidential Elections. As my two Allthatsleft colleagues, George and Jackie, who are pretty clued up on the intricacies of US Politics tell me, things are very close. ‘Things are very close,’ the sentence itself appals – I mean how on earth can the World’s biggest democracy be […]

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#566: 1995, Elliott Smith, Needle In The Hay

October 30, 2012

As we were all tied up in Funeral Songs Week last week, I wasn’t able to post my intended tribute to mark the 9th anniversary of the death of the greatest singer songwriter of the 1990s, Elliott Smith. So this is it, a week or so late. It is also, embarrassingly, Smith’s debut Song To […]

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By-Election Special: Middlesbrough

October 29, 2012

The death of Stuart Bell from cancer on 13 October brought the tally of by-elections to be held in this Parliament to thirteen (ten Labour, two Sinn Fein and one Conservative). As the graph below shows, his Middlesbrough constituency was reasonably safely Labour in 2010. Past results However, 2010 was actually a historic low-point for […]

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The Allthatsleft Book Club #2 – The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes

October 29, 2012

It’s been a while since I posted my first book review – that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading books, I have, honest, it is more that after reading Grossman’s Life and Fate, everything else I have read has seemed, well, small and insignificant. The Sense Of An Ending, is small but it is […]

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#565: 1979, Squeeze, Cool For Cats

October 29, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, there was one of those BBC4 Friday documentaries about Squeeze. I had forgotten how long they had been together, wrongly assuming that they must have called it a day in the mid-eighties. As is often the case, it was some of the little details that stuck in the mind: Glenn […]

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Week 43: Hero – The City of Birmingham ‘Equal Pay Women’

October 28, 2012

This weeks heroes of the week are the City of Birmingham workers who successfully pursued their claim for equal pay. The Equal Pay Act (and its successor the Equality Act) has been on our statute books since 1970 – it is designed to ensure that there is no unfairness between men and women when it […]

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Week 43: Villain – Richard Mourdock

October 28, 2012

This Week’s Villain of the Week is Republican Senate Candidate for the state of Indiana, Richard Mourdock We were fully aware here at Allthatsleft that Indiana State Treasurer, Richard Mourdock was a right wing whackjob of the first order. He did, after all, run and win a Tea Party primary campaign against highly respected veteran […]

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Week 43: Prat – Mitt Romney

October 28, 2012

This week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins our award for being the biggest prat of the last seven days In the Halloween season, here is an extremely scary fact: in nine days time, Mitt Romney could well be elected the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, and with it leader of NATO’s […]

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Labour shafted a little less by new London Boundary Proposals

October 27, 2012

Last week, the Boundary Commission published its revised recommendations for the changes to English constituencies following the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Act 2011.  These recommendations follow on from the initial recommendations published last September and respond to comments raised in the consultation process. This is a less academic exercise than we might have thought […]

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#564: 1958, The Platters, Smoke Get’s In Your Eyes

October 27, 2012

Today would have been my Mum and Dad’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. Had my Mum still been with us. She isn’t. Can’t bloody change that. I think, growing up, most of remember the one song, which, if it ever came on the radio, would cause our parents to exchange a look that spelt out loud and […]

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The Politics of ‘Recovery’

October 26, 2012

As my associate George wrote earlier today, the economic bounceback is largely in spite of the government’s economic policies than because of them. But, nevertheless, the fact that, officially we are no longer officially in recession has massive political implications, because, after all, ‘recovery’ is a much easier story to sell than ‘recession.’ So, what […]

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Prisoners’ Votes, the ECHR and the Rule of Law

October 26, 2012

There has been a lot of huffing and puffing about votes for prisoners this week.  It is one of those issues where politicians are at their worst, playing to the basest of tabloid attitudes.  David Cameron’s ‘over my dead body’ statement was depressingly familiar and depressingly shallow – reminiscent of his non-veto veto last December […]

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#563: 1994, Nas, Life’s A Bitch

October 26, 2012

It’s day 6 in funeral songs week and my second and final song. I was tempted to go with something the exact opposite to my first post: Dan Sartain’s militantly secular, Atheist Funeral and have a big gospel number –  on the perfectly legitimate grounds that, like religious art, you don’t have to believe in […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Berberian Sound Studio

October 26, 2012

  I’m still trying to catch up with reviewing a whole bunch of films I have seen over the course of the last couple of months.   Berberian Sound Studio is the second film by British director Peter Strickland.  His first 2009’s Katalin Varga was a highly stylish and superbly realised rape revenge film set in […]

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UK Economy Bounces Back: Why George Osborne Is Still A Dangerous Idiot

October 26, 2012

Yesterday’s GDP figures for Q3 2012 showed our economy growing by 1%.  This is undoubtedly a good figure and should be welcomed by everyone concerned about the godawful performance of the British economy since this government came to power.     It remains to see whether this is the beginning of a period of sustained growth or […]

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#562: 2011, Steve Earle, Gulf of Mexico

October 24, 2012

For the fifth of our funeral-related Songs to Learn and Sing, I have probably veered slightly off topic, but with some reason. It has been an eventful day: it ended with me unexpectedly (by me at least) having to go on stage to say a few words at a venue where I have seen some […]

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Cameron Misses The Point About Re-offending And Crime

October 23, 2012

In his speech about law and order yesterday David Cameron claimed his approach was going to be ‘tough but intelligent.’ Putting the meaningless cliched headline to one side, the speech was not as bad as it could have been – in that it accepted that rehabilitation was an important part of reducing crime and did […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #11: 1950, Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)

October 22, 2012

In an interview on the Andrew Mitchell affair on Radio 5 yesterday, Michael Gove, in seeking to defend the now ex-Chief Whip cited Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 breakthrough film, Rashomon, in an attempt to reconcile backing Mitchell without calling the police liars.  The explanation may be, he opined, just like Rashomon, the participants simply recalled events […]

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Week 42: Villain – Starbucks

October 21, 2012

This Week’s Villain of the Week for industrial scale tax avoidance is everyone’s no longer favourite coffee chain, Starbucks Since Starbucks launched in the UK in 1998 it has recorded sales of £3,000,000,000.    On that revenue it was revealed this week,  it has paid just £8,600,000, in corporation tax, or on average just over £600,000 […]

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Week 42: Prat – David Cameron

October 21, 2012

This week, the Prime Minister picks up a ninth Prat of the Week award from the All That’s Left editorial board.  He has now earned this prize even more times than his hapless deputy, Nick Clegg After another week of Omnishambles (or Stratoshambles as my colleague Ray North called it), Cameron richly deserves to be […]

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Week 42: Hero – Orlando Cruz

October 21, 2012

This week’s Hero of the Week is the Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz. Orlando Cruz is ranked the fourth best Featherweight boxer in the world, and at 31 years of age, and with a record of 19 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats in his professional career, he could well win one of the […]

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#561: 1979, Dr Feelgood, Milk and Alcohol

October 20, 2012

Funeral songs! I ask you! It wasn’t my idea! I’ll hold my hands up for Welsh Week, but funeral week has got nowt to do with me! But. Here’s mine. Like the others, I don’t want a great deal of religion at my funeral, I do however want a fair bit of emotion – I […]

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The Coalition: from Omnishambles to Stratoshambles

October 20, 2012

The coalition came together with the aim of providing governance in the absence of any party having an outright majority and ‘sorting out’ the economy. Now, putting the complete mess that is the economy to one side, let’s look at the fundamental issue of competence. That is the ability to put in place a programme […]

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#560: 2010, Dan Sartain, Atheist Funeral

October 19, 2012

Day 3 of funeral songs week and time for a song that does what is says on the tin.  I hope that when I go I won’t have some last minute need for religion, whether to give me comfort or because of a decision to take Pascal’s Wager. Christopher Hitchens held out to the end. […]

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Has Sky Killed British National Football Teams?

October 18, 2012

We British invented Football – of course, that doesn’t mean we have a right to dominate the sport and win every competition, but, in my book, it does mean we have the right to moan when the national game slowly devours itself, gorging and choking on a gluttonous diet of money and greed. This week, […]

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#559: 2009, The Duke & The King, The Morning That I Get To Hell

October 18, 2012

Our Jackie is clearly in a cheery mood – after his last post, he suggested to us here at All That’s Left that we have a funeral songs theme week on Songs To Learn And Sing. Ray countered that with a suggestion of a gay anthems theme week, following on from his last post. I’ve […]

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US Presidential Election 2012: The State of the Race After the Second Debate – OH + (NV or IA)

October 18, 2012

We don’t know yet, what, if any, polling impact the second debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney will have on the polls.  This will only become clear over the next few days.  The flash polls of viewers appear to have consistently given the second debate to Obama, albeit far more narrowly than Romney’s margin […]

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So What Exactly Did Andrew Mitchell Say?

October 17, 2012

Today, Andrew Mitchell’s continued position as the government Chief Whip was discussed by the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee.  Many political observers had thought that this would be the end of him, as whatever the Prime Minister might decide, a decision by those over whom he is supposed to exercise discipline that his position was untenable […]

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