From the monthly archives:

February 2013

The Potential Fall Out From Eastleigh

February 28, 2013

With less than four hours until the polls close and with the Allthatsleft kiss of death firmly planted on John O’Farrell’s lips, what are the implications of the potential results of the Eastleigh By-Election tonight?  The answer to that, is they could be pretty entertaining. As I write there are three potential victors in the by-election, […]

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Lessons for the Centre Left From Italy

February 28, 2013

Last weekend’s Italian election was supposed to produce a relatively comfortable victory for Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the main centre left party, the Partito Democratico.   It was thought that the outcome would be a coalition between Bersani’s party and the centrist technocrats of current Prime Minister, Mario Monti.   This would provide continuity post-Berlusconi […]

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Stéphane Hessel – R.I.P.

February 28, 2013

If I was going to draft an outline plot for a main character within a modern history novel, it would go something like this… Once upon a time there was a boy who was born in Berlin, brought up in Paris by his writer and translator father, journalist mother and her lover in an unusual […]

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#631: 2003, Gary Jules, Mad World

February 27, 2013

Our economics teacher decided that we would learn about supply and demand and all that much more effectively if we sat next to a person of the opposite sex(!). I was put to sit next to Helen. She had wonderful massive 1980’s hair and used to copy my homework. The only other thing I remember […]

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Is Westminster Really A Den Of Sin?

February 27, 2013

Sometimes I know even before I’ve turned my computer on that I’m going to get slaughtered for the words that are about to come out of my head – and this, I fear may be one of those times. But, here goes. In the last week, we’ve all listened with interest to the latest ‘sex’ […]

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Top of The Pops 10s Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Top 20 Chart

February 27, 2013

This is one I almost missed.   Although the 1980s, 1970s and 1960s have now had more than 100 Songs To Learn and Sing posted, I had missed the fact that the current decade had reached the 50 song marker, not bad given that there are only three complete years eligible for inclusion.   In fact when […]

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David Bowie – The greatest comeback album in the history of rock and roll?

February 26, 2013

David Bowie….Jesus Pole-Vaulting Christ, where do I begin with David Bowie? The great man is about to release his first album (The Next Day) in almost a decade at the ripe old age of 66. The early reviews bode well. The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent have all given it a big thumbs up. The Telegraph’s […]

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#630: 1994, Sonic Youth, Superstar

February 25, 2013

Day 4 of our second covers theme week and another cover in the tradition of unlikely cover versions like Sid Vicious’ take on My Way.  This time we have New York art rock indie noisenik darlings, Sonic Youth, covering a song by easy listening brother and sister duo, The Carpenters. The song came from a […]

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The Devalued Chancellor

February 25, 2013

Amidst all of the baying for Nick Clegg’s blood in this morning’s rightwing newspapers over the Rennard affair, you would have been forgiven for not noticing the other big news of the weekend: Moody’s decision on Friday evening to downgrade British sovereign debt from AAA to AA1.   Before moving on to the implications of that […]

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Record Number of Lib-Dem Activists go to Eastleigh: Why?

February 25, 2013

We are told that over 700 Lib-Dem activists turned up at Eastleigh this weekend to trudge the streets, stick letters and pamphlets through letterboxes and persuade the poor people of this Hampshire town that they should vote for Whathisname the Lib-Dem candidate. The Lib-Dems are to use a Shaun Ryder phrase – ‘mad for it.’ […]

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The All Thats Left Book Club #3: Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel

February 25, 2013

After Hillary Mantel’s most recent award – no, not the Man Booker, the prestigious All That’s Left Hero of the Week Award, I was prompted to finally getting round to penning a few words about her most recent book, Bring Up The Bodies. It’s a review I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but […]

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Leadership and crisis management – Who can we trust?

February 25, 2013

Nick Clegg’s latest round of flip-flopping about whether he previously knew anything about the allegations surrounding Lord Rennard is hardly a surprise. It is just another example of how the leadership within many of our established public and private sector institutions respond to an internal crisis. This pattern of crisis management half truths and deceit […]

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Week 8: Hero – Hilary Mantel

February 25, 2013

This Week’s Hero of the Week is twice Booker Prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel for daring to write something intelligent about the royals A decade or so back I subscribed to the London Review of Books for a year.   It is said to be the magazine or newspaper you can buy in WH Smiths with […]

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#629: 1990, Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U

February 24, 2013

For song three of our covers week, I thought I would turn to an artist yet to feature and her version of a song that she not only makes her own but completely eclipses and even eradicates the original, in a similar way to Johnny Cash’s Hurt. The original was a fairly unremarkable piece of […]

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Week 8: Prat – Maria Hutchings

February 24, 2013

This week, our award for the greatest prat of the last seven days goes to Maria Hutchings, the Conservative candidate in the Eastleigh by-election Eastleigh should have been an easy election for the Conservatives, given the fall from grace of Chris Huhne that precipitated it, the Lib Dems’ national poor polling and the current news […]

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Week 8: Villain – One Direction

February 24, 2013

This week’s Villain’s are the manufactured boy band One Direction. We take our music bloody serious on this website. Indeed as I may have recounted before, I once witnessed George East stand within five metres of the lead singer of a not very well known band with his hand raised in two fingered salute for […]

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#628: 1978, Sid Vicious, My Way

February 23, 2013

As I railed against the awfulness of One Direction’s cover of One Way or Another/Teenage Kicks, someone tried to remind me that, actually it wasn’t for me, it was for teenagers, and that I was too old to appreciate it. Hmm. In another time in another place, I am 16 years old in Tiffany’s Wine […]

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George East’s Top Ten Films of 2012

February 23, 2013

Well we have finally reached the last of the review posts for last year.  As is traditional (well, as started last year), my Top Ten Films of the year post is timed to coincide with the somewhat less important Oscars weekend. Before I get onto the list, let’s take a step back and look at […]

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The DNA of a Tory – Austerity and Privatisation

February 22, 2013

George Osborne claimed in his autumn statement that the government’s austerity programme would ensure that the budget deficit would fall every year. This claim has already been shot to bits. The Office of Budget Responsibility has warned that lower tax receipts and higher spending meant it was unlikely that the borrowing forecasts would be met […]

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#627: 1994, Nirvana, The Man Who Sold The World

February 22, 2013

After the excruciating train wreck that was One Direction covering Teenage Kicks and One Way or Another at the Brits on Wednesday night, there is only way to make up for it and that is a to start our second covers week here at Allthatsleft and show how it should be done.  Our first covers […]

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In Defence of the Jury System

February 21, 2013

A little while ago I was prosecuting a rather nasty rape and kidnap. For what it’s worth, the prosecution case was a strong one; for what it’s worth the evidence came out exactly as it should have; and, for what it’s worth, and you’ll have to take my word for this, I prosecuted it with […]

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The Brit Awards and the death of rock music

February 21, 2013

Paul Gambaccini recently stated that “it is the end of the rock era…that doesn’t mean there will be no more good rock musicians, but rock as a prevailing style is part of music history.” These words were brought into sharp focus at last night’s Brit Awards. In 1996, Brit Award nominees includes, Pulp, Blur and […]

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#626: 1978, Blondie, One Way or Another

February 20, 2013

Having endured The Brits on telly, and in particular the excruciating Teenage Kicks-One Way or Another mash-up by the awful One Direction, I thought I ought to remind us all how slight it was compared to the originals. Ray posted Teenage Kicks (a candidate for greatest single ever) a couple of years back, so it […]

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Selling 4G: Another Osborne Disaster

February 20, 2013

When, then Southampton Manager, Greame Souness realised that his new ‘striker’ Ali Dia, was not the international footballing cousin of then World Player of the Year, George Weah, but a random student with no discernible football skills at all, he immediately hauled him off the pitch and sacked him from the club. How I wish […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: The Rest (but not the Best) of 2012

February 20, 2013

Over Christmas and the New Year I was hoping to post full reviews of all of the films I’d seen in the last couple of months of last year but hadn’t got round to reviewing.   This was, in the end, scuppered by a combination of just not having as much time free time as I […]

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Michael Gove – words literally fail me

February 19, 2013

In amongst the confusion and rhetoric set out by Michael Gove’s radical vision for a “world class” English education system, something valuable appears to be overlooked – the need for pupils to receive world class learning that will actually equip them for life. The focus at present is a land of educational snobbery and confusion […]

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Time for a Fatuous Tax?

February 19, 2013

Yesterday, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges demanded that government levy a 20% tax on sugary drinks.  It was one of ten proposals put forward by the Academy, but typically it was the one that generated all the press coverage. Whilst the obesity problem in the United Kingdom is a massive one, frankly this is […]

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Hastening the Death of the Criminal Bar

February 19, 2013

I declare my interest in this topic from the outset: the death of the Criminal Bar, ain’t good for me. I also apologise if this piece becomes boringly technical, I’ll try to make it as entertaining as I can. The other day in the Crown Court I happened to hear a wonderful speech in mitigation. […]

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#625: 2012, First Aid Kit, Blue

February 19, 2013

There are occasions when you are listening to a song and you hear a line within it which is just so powerful, just so honest and pure, that it elevates the song to another level – I’m thinking of Johnny Cash, I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die,’ or Paul Weller […]

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Week 7: Prat – Ed Davey

February 18, 2013

A slightly belated announcement for last week’s Prat of the Week award caused by an appalling wifi connection in the Berlin apartment in which I have stayed over the last few days. Anyway the Award  goes to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and Lib Dem MP for Kingston and Surbiton,  Ed Davey.  […]

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