From the monthly archives:

February 2013

A Big Welcome To Charlie East-West!

February 18, 2013

Some of you may have noticed over the last few months that we have been getting regular contributions from ‘guest blogger’ Charlie East-West. Well, we’re delighted that, after many months of badgering him, he has taken up his password and posted his first piece in his own name. We like Charlie! As a past-it, opinionated, […]

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In praise of…George Galloway

February 18, 2013

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford West appeared as a panelist on Question Time last week. He pitched up looking increasingly like a Bond villain and armed with a Pickford’s truck full of baggage from his personal life, misogynistic comments about rape, the narcissistic perma-tan, disastrous appearances on reality TV, and dubious connections with […]

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By-election update: Mid Ulster

February 17, 2013

With all the media attention focusing in on the Eastleigh by-election, the human drama of the by-election the following week (7 March) in Northern Ireland is being largely overlooked on this side of the Irish Sea. The Mid Ulster contest, caused by Martin McGuinness’s resignation to concentrate on his role as Deputy First Minister, has […]

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Week 7: Hero – Cait Reilly

February 17, 2013

This week our panel has chosen Cait Reilly as our greatest hero of the last seven days for her successful appeal against the DWP’s mandatory work experience programme Q: What is the correct way to address an Oxford graduate with a First in History? A: Big Mac and chips, please This was the somewhat cruel […]

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Week 7: Villain – David Jones MP

February 17, 2013

This Week’s Villain is the Tory MP for Clwyd West, David Jones Easy choice this week, a villainous Tory speaking the language of hate – David Jones MP and Secretary of State for Wales. Appearing on a Welsh current affairs programme, Jones declared: ‘I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, […]

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#624: 1977, Iggy Pop, Lust For Life

February 16, 2013

So I am in Berlin for my annual trip to the Film Festival.  This year work almost prevented me from coming at all.  My lack of posts on Allthatsleft over the last couple of weeks have been caused by the sheer crazy insanity of work at the moment.  It won’t last, it never does, and […]

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Why I Love John O’Farrell (I think)

February 14, 2013

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve decided to profess my love for a man I’ve never met – which as a straight bloke, not normally disposed to romantic frolics, is a bit weird. But, before my wife, or indeed Mr O’Farrell himself becomes concerned, let me explain that my love is not of the ‘ooh get […]

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The Curse of Modern Living (Part 3) – Lent, and the Diet and Fitness Industry

February 14, 2013

By Guest Blogger Charlie East-West I feel particularly prickly for some unknown reason this week, and have felt a need to rage against some of the absurdities of modern living. So, here is the final part in my Curses of Modern Living trilogy. Lent. A quasi-religious practise in abstinence that like everything else today, has […]

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#623: 1997, Blur, Essex Dogs

February 13, 2013

For our last song, my mate Ray North wrote about how Dafydd Iwan’s Yma O Hyd reminded him of his youth, growing up in Wales and his pride in the area he grew up in. I, on the other hand, grew up in Essex and whilst my memories of where I grew up are often […]

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The Curse of Modern Living (Part 2) – Other People’s Hobbies and the Rise of the MAMIL

February 13, 2013

By Guest Blogger – Charlie East-West We live in an age of the self absorbed. This become particularly potent when mixed with any middle aged man who is still trying desperately to prove that they have ‘still got it”. I call this phenomenon the ‘Wiggins effect” – look around our streets and roads and you […]

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The Curse of Modern Living (Part 1): The Mobile Phone

February 13, 2013

Life is great. At any given moment we are surrounded by the sights and sounds of many wonderful and interesting things. There is always something to alert the senses and expand the mind. As that great philosopher of the age, Eric Cantona once said: “I think I had a very good education of the love […]

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#622: 1981, Dafydd Iwan, Yma O Hyd

February 11, 2013

There I was, this Saturday lunchtime just gone, at the legendary Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (the oldest international football ground in the world apparently), because little Ryan North and his pals from the Wrexham under-8′s football academy, were to provide the entertainment with a kick-about at half-time in the massive Blue Square Premiership promotion six-pointer between […]

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10 Things To Do If You Are The Ex-Pope

February 11, 2013

Normally Popes tend to die in Office, which is kind of handy, in a clean, break with the past kind of way. Benedict though, has decided to do things in a different way: at the tender age of 85, he’s going to call it a day. Which begs the question, what is he going to […]

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By-Election Special: Eastleigh

February 11, 2013

Chris Huhne‘s resignation as MP for Eastleigh on Monday has triggered the most interesting by-election of this Parliament: what promises to be a tight contest between the two Coalition partners.  Below is the 2010 general election result. Given the circumstances causing the election and the likely closeness of the race, Nick Clegg has opted to […]

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Week 6: Villain – Chris Huhne

February 10, 2013

This Week’s Villain of the Week is the Lib Dem former Environment Secretary and former MP for Eastleigh, Chris Huhne If a few thousand postal ballots had been on time and counted, Chris Huhne would have beaten Nick Clegg for the leadership of the Lib Dems in 2007.  He could very well have been Deputy […]

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Week 6: Prat – Michael Gove

February 10, 2013

Our award for the most significant prat of the last week goes to Education Secretary, Michael Gove. I have never quite got the Conservatives that view Michael Gove as their next leader: a man whose nerdy, gawky. awkward, slightly weird appearance makes Ed Miliband look like a Hollywood leading man.  I’m sure the Labour Party […]

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Week 6: Hero – The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP

February 10, 2013

Yes, we’re as surprised as you are, but this week’s Hero of the Week is Tory Prime Minister and favourite hate figure on this site – David Cameron. But credit where credit is due and all that – this week, David Cameron has allowed time in the House of Commons legislative diary to ensure the […]

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#621: 1979, The Clash, The Right Profile

February 8, 2013

It has been a crazy busy work week so far and tomorrow is going to be another full on day.   As a result it has mostly been down to Ray North to look after the shop and a sterling job he has done too. Tonight though I did manage to fit in a very welcome […]

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Gove, U-Turns and the thin line between clever and stupid

February 7, 2013

I am not one of these people who thinks that every time a politician changes his mind about a policy – those of us who were opposed to it in the first place should laugh, blow and raspberry and shout ‘nah, nah, nah-nah, nah.’ But, in the immortal words of Spinal Tap’s Dave St Hubbins, […]

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#620: 1966, The Troggs, With A Girl Like You

February 6, 2013

With the death of Reg Presley, possibly the coolest man ever born in Hampshire, on Monday here’s a tribute. The Troggs are best known, of course, for Wild Thing. Probably rightfully so: you can see a direct line from their first hit to The Stooges’  I Wanna Be Your Dog three years later. But they […]

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So who’s going to pay RBS’s LIBOR fine?

February 6, 2013

It can’t be us. We the taxpayer cannot pay the fine that has been handed to the RBS for their role in fixing the LIBOR rate. By way of a brief background, the RBS, together with others (notably Barclays) have been found guilty of fiddling the LIBOR rate, or London Interbank Rate, which is the […]

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In Praise of #2: Brian O’Driscoll

February 6, 2013

By Guest Blogger – Charlie East-West Brian O’Driscoll proved once again at the weekend why he is one of the greatest rugby players I have seen in my lifetime. His performance in the opening weekend of the Six Nations was a reminder of his genius. It was also a timely reminder of how rugby can […]

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Why are so many politicians ending up in prison?

February 5, 2013

Yesterday Chris Huhne joined the growing list of shamed politicians who have been convicted of serious crimes in the Crown Court – in recent years, we’ve seen Lord Taylor of Warwick, Eric Illsely, Jim Devine, David Chaytor, Elliot Morely, Margaret Moran (though deemed not fit to plead, found guilty of the act) and Dennis McShane […]

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#619: 2013, Matthew E White, Big Love

February 4, 2013

I have to say that I felt a feeling of smug satisfaction, when, a week or so ago, I met up with my esteemed colleagues George East and Jackie South at one of our favourite central London watering holes and, when I raised the subject of Matthew E White, the newest, coolest, beardiest, soul/funk/rock/jazz/gospel artist […]

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Week 5: Villain – Nick Clegg

February 3, 2013

Our award for the greatest villain of the last week goes to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg “Right now there is a great rift in our education system between our best schools, most of which are private, and the schools ordinary families rely on. That is corrosive for our society and damaging to our […]

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Week 5: Hero – Margaret Hodge MP

February 3, 2013

This Week’s Hero of the Week is the MP for Barking and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee – Margaret Hodge MP In the last couple of years, perhaps longer some might say, the Select Committees have been more effective at scrutinising the work of Government and indeed responding to the concerns of the population […]

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Week 5: Prat – Philip Hammond

February 3, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond for failing to google ‘Mali’ before making a House of Commons statement on what is going on in the country Philip  Hammond is generally viewed as one of the brighter Tories in the cabinet.  He is spoken of sometimes as a […]

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Gay Marriage: It’s Not Going To Be Compulsory

February 3, 2013

I am really truly puzzled by the extent of the opposition within the Conservative ranks to gay marriage.   The Sunday Telegraph reports today that up to 180 Tory MPs are going to vote against the legalisation of gay marriage when it comes before the House of Commons on Tuesday.    Those likely to oppose the Bill […]

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#618: 1964, Jacques Brel, Amsterdam

February 1, 2013

I have to say that I think that International Week has been one of the most successful (perhaps even the most successful) theme weeks we have done on Songs To Learn To Sing.     So successful in fact that I have decided to extend it by a further day. When we first discussed having an International […]

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Is the Tory Party disintegrating before our very eyes?

February 1, 2013

Who, in the name of God, is Adam Afriyie? Well, according to some within the Conservative Party – he is the new messiah. He is the man to lead them from the perdition of coalition and into the promised land of Tory dominated government. Get rid of Davey Cam they say, and bring on (pause, […]

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