From the monthly archives:

May 2013

Obama: What have the Romans ever done for us?

May 31, 2013

After a week’s half term holiday largely spent in the sunshine and also in the company of good friends, I have barely even glanced at the news, social media, emails or texts. It has been a liberating experience. I have however, been lured into a few deep political discussions with friends from all sides of […]

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Woolwich, Over-reaction and a Tale of Two Countries

May 30, 2013

Last Wednesday saw the tragic death of Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich.  The attack was carried out, it would appear, by domestic Islamist extremists.   The fact that it was carried out with a machete in broad daylight on the streets of our capital, has had a particular resonance.   Lee Rigby’s death has also […]

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Sportsnight #10: 1972, Munich Olympics, Basketball Final

May 29, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight, for tonight’s action we travel to the Rudi-Sedlmayer, Munich for the final of the 1972 Olympic Basketball Competition between The United States of America and the Soviet Union. Expect a cracking game as East meets West. And what a game it was. A monumental final, perhaps not for the […]

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#699: 2008, Elbow, Friends Of Ours

May 29, 2013

A friend died and it was his funeral yesterday. Someone I’d lost touch with for a few years but used to be very close to, and who was a very important part of my formative years. In many ways he was my opposite – a bit of a poseur, a confident risk-taker, and for all […]

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Do we need another left of centre political party?

May 29, 2013

Let me, by way of permeable, make it very clear that this website is not collectively promoting a left of centre party to rival the Labour Party – there are, amongst those of us who contribute to these pages, some who are affiliated to various parties including Labour, and some who are not. Me: I’m […]

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SAVE LEGAL AID!

May 29, 2013
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#698: 1984, Queen, I Want To Break Free

May 27, 2013

We’ve embarked upon a week of songs to celebrate the progress of the Bill to allow equality of marriage for gay and straight couples. And, I have to say, it’s been tough choosing my song – the temptation is to go for something so obvious that it’s practically wearing a pair of spangly trousers and […]

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Week 21: Hero – Ingrid Loyau-Kennet

May 27, 2013

This week’s Hero of the Week is Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, here’s why: Until the middle of last week, no one had heard of Drummer Lee Rigby, no one had heard of Michael Adebowale or Michael Adebolajo – and no one had heard of Ingrid Loyau-Kennet. Rigby was a soldier, a drummer, by all accounts a brave […]

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Week 21: Prat – Gerald Howarth MP

May 27, 2013

This week, our award for the biggest prat of the last seven days does to Gerald Howarth for his comments on gay marriage. The Parliamentary debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill offered us some interesting, if disturbing, insights into the warped minds of the Tory Right. First there was the frankly bonkers views of […]

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Week 21: Villain – The English Defence League

May 26, 2013

This Week’s Villain of the Week are the far right English Defence League for their attempts to exploit the tragic killing of Lee Rigby in Woolwich last Wednesday Wednesday saw a truly horrific incident on the streets of South East London, when Soldier and Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered with a machete in broad daylight […]

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#697: 1983, The Smiths, Handsome Devil

May 26, 2013

I was a little conflicted about what to post as my song today, as I spent yesterday at Field Day Festival in Victoria Park with Ray, Jackie, Bobby and some others.  It was a great day and a lot of stuff we heard is still very much playing in my head.   However, in his last […]

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The Album Collection #10: 2013, Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

May 24, 2013

Liam Gallagher is clearly no fan of Daft Punk – “I’d write that in a fucking hour. I don’t know what the fuss is about, you know what I mean? It’s like fuck off, give me a fucking break. I am not going to have people wear disguises. Take your fucking helmet off. Let’s see […]

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Do we all have our own political U-turns?

May 23, 2013

In 1980, Margaret Thatcher famously said: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” It was a landmark moment for Margaret Thatcher as she publicly rejected calls to perform a political u-turn on her economic policy. Yet, here we are in 2013, and after years of our politicians adopting various forms of […]

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Nick Clegg: Dignified Statesman or Posturing Chump?

May 23, 2013

There have been a few signs over the last few weeks that Nick Clegg has a new strategy, and it is this: stand in front of any camera or microphone available, shake his head ruefully and lament the terrible situation that the ‘swivel eyed loonies’ from the Tories are in, whilst claiming that his party, […]

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#696: 2012, Rufus Wainwright, Bitter Tears

May 23, 2013

This week, the House of Commons voted to allow gay marriage in England and Wales, despite 161 MPs opposing the government’s plans. A number of our politicians hardly covered themselves in glory over this legislation, with a number of notables putting their beliefs in the mumbo-jumbo Old Testament over 21st century demands for equality and […]

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What is the point of Jeremy Hunt?

May 23, 2013

When David Cameron removed Andrew Lansley from his position of Health Secretary and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt, the general response within my own head was – what the fuck? oh my God are you sure that’s right? Jeremy Hunt is my least favourite cabinet minister (and my god, we are spoilt for choice over […]

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#695: 1967, The Doors, Light My Fire

May 22, 2013

A real dilemma today on which song to go for.  On the one hand, the great Ray Manzarek passed away on Monday.  On the other, George, a few friends and I went to Steve Earle‘s great gig yesterday at the Royal Festival Hall. Mr Earle will have to wait (although I can heartily urge you […]

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Sportsnight #9: 1985, Snooker, World Championship – the Black Ball Final

May 22, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight.  The action tonight comes from a packed Crucible Theatre in Sheffield as three times world champion and hot favourite, Steve Davis plays the outsider from Northern Ireland, Dennis Taylor for the biggest trophy in the sport Back then snooker was king.   It sounds odd now, but everyone played snooker […]

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The Eight Causes of David Cameron’s Local Difficulties

May 22, 2013

It would, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, take a heart of stone not to roll around on the floor laughing at the Prime Minister’s current difficulties with his own Party. On Monday night, following a bruising weekend of headlines from swivelgate  David Cameron wrote to all of the Swivil Eyed Loonies Conservative Association Chairmen to assure them […]

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Grown up leadership from Nick Clegg

May 22, 2013

Despite all his naivety and misplaced positioning of the Lib Dems, one thing that I really admire about Nick Clegg is that he continues to raise his head above the parapet in times of trouble. He never shirks it. His statement today will highlight that the coalition is lacking leadership and focus and he states […]

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The Curse of Modern Living (Part 4) – Status Anxiety and the Jo Whiley Syndrome

May 21, 2013

It’s what British writer Alain de Botton termed as “status anxiety” and it stems from dissatisfaction at where we stand, or may fall, in the social and economic pecking order, or how we construct a lifestyle just to impress others. It is a futile existence where largely middle class people are constantly striving against, or […]

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Back Of The Net Special With Ray North: The End of Season Doings*

May 21, 2013

Well, the final goal has rippled the onion bag, the final yellow card has been flourished, the fat lady has sung and the last cliche has been opined for another season. And, it has to be said that the 2012/13 Premier League Season was not one that will stick for long in the memory, except […]

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The Album Collection #9: 1995, Elastica, Elastica

May 20, 2013

1995, was the worst year of my life. For about 9 miserable, bored, unhappy months of it, I worked for the Civil Service Trade Union, watching agog as the safe soft left leadership and the mad Marxist left kicked chunks out of another, to the detriment of their members. For the rest of the time, […]

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#694: 2011, James Blake, A Case Of You

May 20, 2013

James Blake – A Case Of You from onjamesblake.tumblr.com on Vimeo. This one is for no other reason than I seem to have played this a lot recently. It’s taken from the Enough Thunder EP, bought mainly because of my interest in the joint James Blake-Bon Iver track Fall Creek Boys Choir (‘two bed-wetters in […]

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Could Wrestling be the saviour of the Tory Party?

May 20, 2013

Funny enough, as Charlie East-West was considering sorting out the question of Europe by bringing back It’s A Knockout, I was considering the continued travails of the Tories and came up with a not dissimilar solution – but, rather than giant penguin suits and jokers, I’m suggesting wrestling. Yes, the Tories could sort out their […]

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Gay Marriage: Labour and the Loughton Amendment

May 20, 2013

As David Cameron’s position in the Conservative Party seems to weaken by the hour and with the swivel-eyed loons increasingly in the ascendancy, the Labour Party are today in a position to deliver a further kicking to the Prime Minister, which might even prove to be fatal.    The opportunity comes with the amendment to the […]

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Week 20: Villain – Nigel Farage

May 20, 2013

This Week’s Villain of the Week is UKIP leader Nigel Farage who showed his true colours following his somewhat less than successful visit to Scotland A couple of months back Charlie East-West wrote a piece about how Nigel Farage was the kind of politician who, whatever  you think about his political views, you might be […]

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How to solve the EU crisis – bring back Jeux Sans Frontières

May 20, 2013

Remember the classic TV game show, Jeux Sans Frontières (Games Without Frontiers)? It was the European version of It’s a Knockout where towns could represent their country and play against other European teams. It was hosted by Stuart Hall (whatever happened to him?). In its original conception, it was broadcast from 1965 to 1999 by […]

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Week 20: Hero – Angelina Jolie

May 19, 2013

This week we are awarding our Hero accolade to actress Angelina Jolie On Tuesday, Hollywood megastar and the woman Vanity Fair dubbed ‘the most beautiful woman in the world‘ wrote a sober yet deeply moving article for the New York Times, entitled “My Medical Choice“.  In it she calmly set out why she took the […]

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Week 20: Prat – John Terry

May 19, 2013

This week’s Prat of the Week award goes to Chelsea captain John Terry. As Chelsea once again showed what money can buy in winning the Europa League, the story of their achievement was somewhat overshadowed by the maladroit behaviour of their captain John Terry. John Terry is never far from controversy – even when he […]

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