From the monthly archives:

April 2013

The Greatest Ever Year For Welsh Sport

April 30, 2013

Ok, bear with…. this is going to be an unapologetically nationalistic piece which may not appeal to those who are not, well, not Welsh. But, I defy anyone who is Welsh, not to be proud of our sporting achievements in the last twelve months, and I hope that those who are not lucky enough to […]

Read the full article →

#682: 2011, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, John Taylor’s Month Away

April 30, 2013

This week, due to family circumstances, I have gone back to where I once belonged. So here I am looking across the fine old university town of St Andrews. So here I am sitting in the Old Course Hotel overlooking the 18th fairway of the Old Course. So here I am revisiting the places where […]

Read the full article →

The Secret MP #2 – The Road To Coalition

April 30, 2013

You can call me Keith. Though that’s not my real name. And I am a Liberal Democrat MP. Parliament isn’t sitting today, so I thought I’d pen a musing for the lads at Allthatsleft. People often ask me, ‘how on earth are you an MP?’ Indeed it’s a question that I often ask myself. Perhaps […]

Read the full article →

Lions Squad Announced

April 30, 2013

Put two British rugby fans in a room and the chances are that eventually they will discuss the make-up of the British and Irish Lions. They will argue, they will debate, they will usually disagree – marvellous! It is the best sporting debate to be had made so by the fact that the argument does […]

Read the full article →

The Album Collection – #6: 1994, Jeff Buckley, Grace

April 30, 2013

Thus far, my colleagues and I have highlighted new albums in our feature on great albums – but, I wanted to go back a few years and explore one of the great albums that I have in my own record collection, Jeff Buckley’s Grace. It has a story to it, it has a personal resonance, […]

Read the full article →

#681: 2013, Daughter, Get Lucky

April 29, 2013

A few weeks back I posted a review of the debut album of one of my favourite new band discoveries of the year so far, Daughter.  The album, If You Leave is a sublime exploration of break up and loss.  The influences range from the Cocteau Twins, through early Cure to a stripped back Portishead.   If […]

Read the full article →

How To Save The Construction Industry

April 29, 2013

Amidst the euphoria of last week’s news of the massive .3% growth in our economy, came the news that the construction industry continues to be terribly depressed and has now shrunk by 17% since the beginning of the recession and 2.5% alone in the last quarter. It’s important this. The construction industry is as good […]

Read the full article →

#680: 1959, George Jones, White Lightning

April 29, 2013

Another music great passed away on Friday: George Jones, one of Country’s greatest stars, went off to that great Honky Tonk in the sky at the grand old age of 81.  It’s a decent enough age for someone who drank through quite as much as “The Possum”. I’m too short of time to do him […]

Read the full article →

Week 17: Hero – Margaret Hodge MP

April 29, 2013

This week, our hero award goes to the Chair of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge Despite no longer being on the  front bench, the MP for Barking is becoming one of Labour’s star performers of this Parliament.  She is using the chairmanship of the influential Public Accounts Committee to do what her front bench […]

Read the full article →

Week 17: Prat – Luis Suarez

April 28, 2013

Yep, this week’s well deserved Prat of the Week is the Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez What was he thinking? I mean there he is one of the most controversial footballers on the planet which makes him one of the most controversial sportsmen, nay, people on the planet. He is the man who handballed […]

Read the full article →

Week 17: Villain – President Assad of Syria

April 28, 2013

This Week’s Villain of the Week is President Assad of Syria, who stands accused of using chemical weapons against his own population Bashar al-Assad is no newcomer when it comes to our Villain of the Week Award.  He has picked up the Award on at least half a dozen former occasions and last year placed […]

Read the full article →

#679: 2013, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, So Good At Being In Trouble

April 26, 2013

Bugger, I’ve just realised it’s my day to post a song on the blog and I’ve not got anything prepared. Despite our clear brilliance and loyal readership I figure no one actually reads the blog on a Friday night though, so I can keep this quick and short. If you’ve not heard it before, try […]

Read the full article →

The Allthatsleft Book Club #4: The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass

April 26, 2013

Written in 1959 by the young and previously unpublished Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum is a masterpiece of story telling. It combines fantasy with the most detailed factual and historical accounts, romance with tragedy, comedy with decay, blasphemy with spirituality – it is a truly wonderful book. It is the story of Oskar Mazarath, who […]

Read the full article →

Scotland – Joining the World

April 26, 2013

A brilliant poster from the Scottish Independence YES campaign. Positive campaigning at its best.

Read the full article →

#678: 1972, Lou Reed, Walk On The Wild Side

April 25, 2013

Ah yes, Ray North is back. After four extremely relaxing and hugely enjoyable kid-free days in Naples with Mrs North and a few buddies I am back home in dear old Blighty. How did I find Naples? Well, Naples was dirty, frenetic and lively. It is the type of place where you feel you could […]

Read the full article →

Mr East Goes To The Movies: Zero Dark Thirty

April 25, 2013

So, I am still miles behind in my reviews of the films I have seen this year, and the long promised re-launch of the Cine-East Film Club is still, no doubt, hotly awaited (it is coming film fans, I promise you) but I find myself with a little time on my hands, and find myself […]

Read the full article →

+0.3% growth is no cause for celebration

April 25, 2013

The whooping and hollering coming from the Treasury today can be heard from John O’Groats to Land’s End. George bloody Osborne has gone and done it. He has fixed our economy. According to the first estimates from the Office of National Statistics, the UK has shown +0.3% growth figures from quarter 1 in 2013. We […]

Read the full article →

Sportsnight #5: 1993, Cricket, The Ball of the Century

April 24, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight.  The action tonight comes form a sunny Old Trafford on the second day of the First Test of the Ashes He was considered to be good, but not great. Promising, but nothing special.  His average was kind of average.  In his first 11 tests, the 23 years old Shane […]

Read the full article →

#677: 1976, The Ramones, Blitzkrieg Bop

April 24, 2013

Yesterday was the 37th anniversary of the release of the debut eponymous album by The Ramones. A landmark moment in rock history.   It can fairly be said that 23 April 1976 was one of those very few days when music changed.   In the furious 14 tracks which take up less than 30 minutes in […]

Read the full article →

Ambiguous Unions?

April 24, 2013
Read the full article →

Section 75 and the End of the NHS

April 24, 2013

“s 75 Requirements as to procurement, patient choice and competition (1) Regulations may impose requirements on the National Health Service Commissioning Board and clinical commissioning groups for the purpose of securing that, in commissioning health care services for the purposes of the NHS, they— (a) adhere to good practice in relation to procurement; (b) protect […]

Read the full article →

Football – At the end, the Germans always win

April 24, 2013

“Football is a simple game. 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” – Gary Lineker 23rd April 2013 UEFA Champions League Semi Final (first leg) Bayern Munich 4 Barcelona 0 Last night, Bayern Munich thumped the golden boys of European football – Barcelona, in the semi […]

Read the full article →

#676: 2009, Emilio Kauderer and Federico Jusid, Her Eyes

April 23, 2013

Mr and Mrs East-West received The Secret in Their Eyes on LoveFilm a couple of weeks ago. It is a wonderful film. By the end of the film there wasn’t a dry eye between us. The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) is a 2009 Argentinian part love story, part thriller directed […]

Read the full article →

The Pipelineistan Power Game

April 23, 2013

Everyone needs energy, and as it becomes more premium, combined with the vast reserves of oil and gas being located around the world’s more troublesome locations – it creates a potent mix for some serious geopolitical maneuverings. There has always been, and always will be, posturings between so called good states v bad states dressed […]

Read the full article →

The Album Collection – #5: 2013, Edwyn Collins, Understated

April 22, 2013

Glasgow’s Postcard Records was one of the great Indie labels of the early 1980s.  It was responsible for releasing, amongst others, records by Aztec Camera, The Go-Betweens, the sadly now largely forgotten Jozef K and, of course, Orange Juice.   The bands on the label reflected a moment in popular music when the indie scene was […]

Read the full article →

#675: 1970, George Harrison, Wah-Wah

April 22, 2013

An entry from George Harrison’s 1969 dairy: “January 10. Got up. Went to Twickenham. Rehearsed until lunchtime. Left the Beatles. Went home … had chips later.” I learnt from a BBC4 documentary at the weekend that in between going home and eating chips, George Harrison wrote Wah-Wah, his reflection on his frustrations with The Beatles […]

Read the full article →

Michael Gove – The Marketing Director of Education

April 22, 2013

Michael Gove reminds me of a new in-house Marketing Director. You know the type – a new appointee who comes in and pointlessly rebrands the hell out of a product, to justify their existence in the job. They change the advertising strategy, create new sponsorship platforms, alter the logo and identity of the brand, and […]

Read the full article →

Broadchurch: The Great British Whodunnit

April 22, 2013

How many great TV programmes do ITV make? Not many. Apart from the Champions League, and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I cannot think of any TV programmes on ITV that are worth watching or placing on series link on SKY+. That was until I started watching Broadchurch. The eight-part series has made 9pm […]

Read the full article →

Week 16: Hero – Anne Williams

April 22, 2013

This week’s hero is Anne Williams, the leading Hillsborough 96 campaigner who died last week Twenty four years to the week after her son Kevin perished in the arms of a special constable after being crushed at Hillsborough Stadium,  Anne Williams has succumbed to the cancer she had been diagnosed with last autumn.  Kevin’s last […]

Read the full article →

Week 16: Prat – Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt

April 21, 2013

This Week’s Prats of the Week are Harvard Economists and gurus of austerity economics, Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt for not checking their sums You would never know it from watching the BBC or reading the newspapers but the theoretical basis for austerity economics is extraordinarily thin.   The theoretical underpinning essentially rests on two (yes […]

Read the full article →