From the monthly archives:

May 2013

#693: 1982, Soft Cell, Torch

May 17, 2013

I do like a song where the artists have clearly gone, I know, let’s do something slightly off the wall, and Torch by Soft Cell is such a song. Soft Cell, in 1982 were a massive synth band bashing out dancey pop, with excellent re-workings of Motown classics or wonderful depictions of the seedy disco […]

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The Allthatsleft Book Club #5: Caroline Smailes, The Drowing of Arthur Braxton

May 17, 2013

If you baldly list the themes in this book: child abuse, rape, infanticide, infidelity, bullying, mental illness, despair, even the incessant rain – it would be easy to think that The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is a bleak novel, but it isn’t: Caroline Smailes shakes these themes through the kaleidoscope of a teenage mind and […]

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Nigel Farage – It takes one to know one

May 17, 2013

Nigel Farage has described protesters who besieged him in an Edinburgh pub as “fascist scum“. It takes one to know one. Nigel Farage found out the hard way yesterday that claiming to be the “heir to Thatcher” does not cut the mustard in Scotland. He was given an appropriate welcome.

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Philip Hammond Goes Native

May 17, 2013

Philip Hammond had always struck me as the Tory version of Alistair Darling. A safe pair of hands. A man who could be trusted. A slightly dull, but sensible politician. He appeared to be the acceptable face of the Tory party. Appearances can be deceptive – because, Philip Hammond has gone native. First of all, […]

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Towards an Allthatsleft Manifesto #3: Corporate and High Net Worth Individual Tax Avoidance

May 16, 2013

Regular readers may remember that a couple of months back we said that we would individually be posting some pieces on policy ideas for the 2015 election.   We haven’t forgotten about it.     These were not intended to be a collective manifesto for this Blog – we have always prided ourselves in the broad diversity of views […]

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MAN

May 16, 2013

The animated short film called MAN was created by London-based illustrator, Steve Cutts. It is a dark, disturbing, and comic look at how humans are destroying the planet through waste, greed and over consumption. It shows how MAN has created huge amounts of suffering, destruction and violence. At the end of the animation MAN is […]

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Oil Prices – The Next Libor?

May 16, 2013

So it appears that that the London offices of BP and Shell have been raided by European regulators investigating allegations they have “colluded” to rig oil prices for more than a decade. Shock, horror – another potential exposure of corporate malpractice. The European commission said its officers carried out “unannounced inspections” at several oil companies […]

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#692: 2013, John Grant, I Hate This Town

May 15, 2013

I make no apologies for this post of a second song from John Grant’s new album, Pale Green Ghosts.  We’ve been big supporters of John Grant on Allthatsleft since his first solo album The Queen of Denmark in 2010 (the album which was my album of that year). Tonight saw Grant play the London gig […]

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Sportsnight #8: 2000, Sydney Olympics, Sir Steven Redgrave Wins Fifth Gold Medal

May 15, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight, for tonight’s action we go to Sydney and the final of the Men’s Coxless Fours as Steven Redgrave goes for an unprecedented fifth gold medal. I love Sir Steven Redgrave. In fact I think that if ever the nation got itself into a spot of bother, all Britain would […]

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Top of the Pops Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Top 50

May 15, 2013

Today is our 30 month anniversary – yep it is an extraordinary 2 and a half years today since Allthatsleft launched.    That can only mean one thing, our 6 monthly Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Chart.  These are the 50 most popular songs we have posted judged by the number of hits the post […]

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Private Eye Front Cover

May 15, 2013
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Are The Tories Now Ungovernable?

May 15, 2013

I almost feel sorry for David Cameron, the party he leads is currently behaving a bit like one of those horses who has unseated his rider at the Grand National and is ploughing on at break neck speed, whilst the punters watch not knowing if its going to pull-up, jump the next fence, crash or […]

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The Continued Adventures of Theresa May

May 15, 2013

Scene 1: Act 1: A Grand Office inside the Home Office, Home Secretary, Theresa May sits behind a magnificant desk, in front of her, are two nervous looking minions. May: Right people, I’ve got a big speech to deliver to the Police Federation, what have you got for me. Minion 1: Well, there’s the new […]

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The Lost Art of Manliness

May 15, 2013

Diane Abbott in a speech to Demos tomorrow, will highlight that Britain is facing a “crisis of masculinity“, and that “this generation no longer asks itself what it means to be a man.” – she will focus on the rapid economic change warping male identity and encouraging machismo and misogyny. Abbott will argue that boys […]

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#691: 1981, ESG, You’re No Good

May 14, 2013

ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) emerged from the South Bronx, New York, in the early 1980s. ESG consisted of the Scroggins sisters and occasionally some co-collaborators. They were one the most dynamic bands to come out of New York in the early 1980s. Yet, so many people have never even heard of them. ESG have […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: The Spirit of 45

May 14, 2013

Ken Loach’s documentary on the extraordinary achievements of the UK’s finest ever government, the Attlee administration, could hardly have been released at a more appropriate time, coinciding as it did with the coming into force in April of this year of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which paves the way for the full scale privitisation […]

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Cameron has no Eurovision – It’s just another Tory Euroshambles

May 14, 2013

It is the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. It is the annual shindig of some of the worst pop music you will ever hear in your lifetime. Our continental cousins take the Eurovision rather seriously, unlike old Blighty who (quite rightly) see it for what it is – an anti-music festival of kitsch, and a […]

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#690: 2013, Chris Hadfield, Space Oddity

May 13, 2013

An email today from my good friend and colleague, George East. “Jackie, you’ve fucked up – where’s your song? Sort it pronto, you c*** or I’ll bite your bollocks off and sent them to you in the post!” OK, I’ve clearly got George riled – not sure why he’s borrowing phrases from Iain Duncan Smith […]

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Michael Gove and BrExit: What On Earth Is He Playing At?

May 13, 2013

Michael Gove is one of the most swivel-eyed idealogues in the government.    There has always been the whiff of fascism about him.  As the FT revealed some time ago he is happy to ride roughshod over constitutional niceities by using private email addresses instead of official government addresses for government business; as The Observer reported […]

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The Album Collection #8: 2013, Steve Mason, Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

May 13, 2013

It must be something to do with Charlie East-West joining the blog, but I find myself again reviewing a cracking new album by a Scottish artist.   As with Edwyn Collins, Steve Mason, has been around for a while  – probably being best known for his work with folktronica cultists, The Beta Band.  To be fair, […]

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Week 19: Prat – Barbara Hewson

May 12, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is barrister Barbara Hewson for calling for the lowering of the age of consent as a response to the ‘witch hunt’ of Operation Yew Tree It started with a Tweet.   When Stuart Hall pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 13 girls between the ages of 9 and 17, Barrister Barbara […]

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Week 19: Villain – The FA

May 12, 2013

This week’s Villain Award goes to the Football Association for scheduling the FA Cup Final for 5.15pm kick-off – therefore creating travel havoc for Manchester City and Wigan Athletic fans returning back to the North West after the game. Many congratulations to Wigan Athletic for their wonderful FA Cup triumph over Manchester City yesterday. Wigan […]

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Week 19: Hero – Wigan Athetic Football Club

May 12, 2013

‘This Week’s Heroes are Wigan Athletic FC, winners of the FA Cup. I apologise for getting all wanky, but, what fascinates me about humans is our ability to communicate with eachother, our ability to show so many emotions and our ability to play organised games. Often those three human attributes are combined, perhaps never more […]

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…..And farewell to Jamie Carragher…

May 12, 2013

Ahem… hold on now, just a cotton pickin’ second, Paul Scholes is not the only, modest, unassuming, one club warrior and true pro to be retiring from football this week. Today will see the penultimate game in a Liverpool shirt for club legend Jamie Carragher. Now it is true that Carragher may not have been […]

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Paul Scholes – Farewell to the Ginger Genius

May 12, 2013

Paul Scholes has just announced his retirement (albeit for the second time). He is likely to play his last match at Old Trafford this afternoon. Paul Scholes is my all time favourite footballer for two significant reasons. 1. His ability. 2. His modesty. Scholes is everything a footballer should be. He is a modest genius. […]

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#689: 2012, Josephine, When We Were Trespassers

May 11, 2013

A couple of months ago George asked the question of whether Lianne La Havas should be crowned the best British female voice since Amy Winehouse.  I don’t disagree necessarily but I have been meaning for a little while to put Josephine (Oniyama)’s name into the hat as another contender. Josephine’s voice is perhaps not as smooth and […]

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The Scottish Football Manager – The Ultimate Boss

May 10, 2013

Scotland has punched way above its weight in public life – whether it be broadcasting, politics, trade unions, music, literature, invention, business or sport – Scotland has produced some of the finest and most successful people in their chosen profession. None more so than football management. So while Scotland bemoans the continued decline of Scottish […]

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#688: 2012, Francois And The Atlas Mountains, Les Plus Beaux

May 9, 2013

When it comes to his pre-nuptual farewell to bachelorhood celebrations our comrade George East is like a modern day Maharaja – despite asserting that he wants no fuss and no ‘stag do’ in the traditional sense of the word, the latest count has him appearing at at least 17 separate send-offs, piss-ups and assorted do’s. […]

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In praise of…Prince Charles

May 9, 2013

I have always been a bit ambivalent towards the Royal Family. I am no republican, and have no qualms on actually having a Royal Family – as long as they use their position accordingly, and exert their influence effectively. I could however, do without the obsequious toadying that accompanies the Royal Family, and the legions […]

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Sportsnight #7: 2013, Football, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Retirement

May 8, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight. Due to today’s shock football announcement, tonight’s scheduled action has been postponed. Instead, we have a tribute dedicated to Sir Alex Ferguson. Wednesday morning. The usual breakfast hassles of trying to get the kids ready for school, whilst getting ready for another working day. The radio was on in […]

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