From the monthly archives:

July 2013

#720: 1983, The Style Council, Long Hot Summer

July 17, 2013

Oh dear, I’ve just heard from the Honeymooning Easts – ‘Hi’ sayeth I, ‘how is the Honeymoon going? All romance and olympic levels of rumpy pumpy?’ ‘Never mind that,’ replies George – ‘what’s going on – there’s been no STLAS for days, Bobby’s gone back to sleep, someone needs to speak to Keith, Secret MP […]

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Nick Clegg’s Pupil Ranking Scheme – Just Plain Stupid

July 17, 2013

As I listened on the radio to Nick Clegg outline the proposals for ranking all kids at the age of 11 against one another according to ‘ability’ and ‘attainment’, I sighed. In my house at that precise moment two of the North Boys (age 4 and 6) were happily recreating a scene from Toy Story […]

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So, what actually is the point of the Labour Party?

July 16, 2013

Yesterday, I mused about the influence of Lynton Crosby on the Tories, asserting that I doubted that Crosby would be the magical influence that they hope come the next general election because, fundamentally, the people will not trust a party that is so negative and regressive in its outlook whilst being run by people who […]

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Cheating in sport: Our win at all costs culture

July 16, 2013

My father and grandfather were old school farmers and active sportsmen. They adopted a hard but fair attitude to life. When I was a child, both followed my sporting activities with great interest. My grandfather’s first questions were always “did you play properly?” and “did you try your best?” – only if these questions about […]

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Is Lynton Crosby really the arnswer to the Tories’ Problems

July 15, 2013

Some Conservatives think that Australian ‘Election Guru’ Lynton Crosby is about to perform a role that is akin to that is a cross between Sir Alex Fergurson, Winston Churchill and even Jesus Christ himself. He will, they hope, be able to help them to promote clear and coherent policy that will get under the skin […]

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Britain is great at summer sport – enjoy it while it lasts

July 15, 2013

It wasn’t meant to be like this. We have suddenly lost the plucky-Brit stereotype in elite level sport. In particular, Britain has become absolutely world class at summer sport. Just look at some of the summer sporting success stories for Britain over the last three years:- Olympics – Team GB finishes third in the medal […]

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Week 28: Prat – Alex Salmond, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband

July 14, 2013

This weeks’s Prat Award is given to joint recipients. It is awarded to Messrs Salmond, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband for their attempts to over indulge and cash in on Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph. When Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic to give Britain its first Wimbledon Men’s Singles title in 77 years, a nation rejoiced. It […]

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Week 28: Hero – Malala Yousafzai

July 14, 2013

This Week’s Hero of the Week is the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. When she went to school in the face of intimidation and threats from local Taliban thugs, Malala was a hero. When she started her blog for BBC Urdu World Service inviting the world not to forget about the plight of her school pals […]

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Week 28: Villain – G4S

July 14, 2013

This week, our award for the greatest villain of the last seven days goes to security giants G4S Anglo-Danish security giants G4S (formed nine years ago through the merger of Group 4 and Securicor) have made a fortune through public sector contracts across the world: they currently employ the third largest labour force of any […]

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In Praise of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod

July 13, 2013

There we were, the three North boys making crafts in sunshine, as people from Indonesia, China, Australia, America and god knows where else, wander around them and the beautiful haunting sound of a Latvian Male Voice Choir ring out from speakers. After a little while, we move on, passed some Phillipino dancers in the verdant […]

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The Secret MP #4 – Andy Murray and Human Rights

July 12, 2013

You can call me Keith, And I am a Liberal Democrat MP. It was Monday morning. Just gone. Mrs Secret MP was driving me to the train station to see me off to Westminster for another week at the coal face of the coalition. The radio was on, telling us that the brand new Wimbledon […]

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#719: 1971, Nina Simone, Here Comes the Sun

July 12, 2013

The next selection for our current theme week of great summer songs comes from the wonderful Nina Simone, with one of the greatest cover versions of all time – her version of the George Harrison penned Beatles classic – Here Comes the Sun. I have always loved the original version of this song, but Nina […]

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MPs’ pay rise: How to win public support

July 12, 2013

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) recommends raising MPs’ pay from £66,396 to £74,000. This amounts to an increase of almost 10% for our MPs. While this is about three times the value of average earnings, it is on a par with MP salaries in the majority of EU countries. IPSA has also recommended a […]

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#718: 1976, Roy Ayers, Everybody Loves the Sunshine

July 12, 2013

We are taking a cool, laid-back approach to our summer heatwave theme week (laid back enough to stretch well into a second week at this rate). So what could be more appropriate than this ultimately blissed out piece of jazzy-funky-soul from South Central LA’s Mr Roy Ayers? This is a song that just feels like […]

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Labour has two left feet – Ed Miliband keeps kicking the ball into his own net

July 11, 2013

What the hell is happening to the Labour leadership? Why are they always digging a bigger hole for themselves? Why are they continuing to pick the wrong fights (effectively against themselves) at the wrong time? A few weeks ago, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls stated that the Labour party will not commit to reversing any […]

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#717: 1991, Omar, There’s Nothing Like This

July 10, 2013

I’m not trying to be big or clever by picking this song. There are no credibility points for me to be had in the pub next time I meet up with my Allthatsleft brethren. But, Charlie East-West suggested a week of songs about a Summer Heatwave, and, I’ve been too busy over the last couple […]

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The Gatecrashers of Sporting Success: Our John Terry Politicians

July 9, 2013

As the Wimbledon final got underway on Sunday, Gary Lineker tweeted: “What a waste of great tickets. Politicians who have forever overlooked and disrespected sport. #wimbledon”. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond were all in attendance in the royal box at Wimbledon to see Andy Murray become the first British man to win the […]

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European Convention on Human Rights – this is what Theresa May wants to abolish.

July 8, 2013

We hear a lot from the Tories about how the European Convention on Human Rights is some kind of charter for lawyers and how it has singlehandedly prevented our great nation from extraditing that awful rotter Abu Qatada back to Jordan where he can be tortured and executed without us having to get our hands […]

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Week 27: Prat – Katie Hopkins

July 8, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week, is former Apprentice contestant and self-styled social commentator, Katie Hopkins – here’s why: Katie Hopkins, I have to admit was not someone whose name I immediately recognized. Her career as (I am told) a reality TV contestant on The Apprentice, journalist and social affairs commentator has rather passed me […]

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Week 27: Villain – Michael Gove

July 7, 2013

This week, our award for the greatest villain of the last seven days goes to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove Michael Gove epitomises the kind of swivel-eyed ideology that is the hallmark of the Coalition. There’s something of a deranged Doctor Frankenstein about him in the way he constantly tries to lop limbs off the […]

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Week 27: Hero – Andy Murray

July 7, 2013

This week’s hero of the week award goes to Andy Murray for winning Wimbledon and ending Britain’s 77 year wait for a men’s champion. I am a bit drunk right now. I apologise in advance if this blog is somewhat tired and emotional. So, I will keep this short. Fuck it…here goes… Andy Murray has […]

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Warren Gatland: An Apology

July 6, 2013

Australia 16 British & Irish Lions 41. Dear Warren Gatland – I owe you an apology. You stuffed the Lions team full of Welsh players for the final and deciding test v Australia. I thought this was a huge mistake that smacked of panic and blinkered bias due to your other coaching role as head […]

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Labour & Unite have both Falk’ed it up in Falkirk

July 5, 2013

Whilst I disagree with my friend Ray’s suggestion of a divorce for Labour and the unions, neither the Labour Party and Unite look good in the Falkirk mess. It is highly unlikely that either will emerge with any credit from the ongoing tussle. The sabre-rattling Blairites suggesting that this might be Ed Miliband’s ‘Clause 4 […]

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Labour and the Trade Unions – is it time for an amicable divorce?

July 5, 2013

Before I write another cotton-picking word, can I just say that I appreciate that the conclusions I will come to when I grapple with the issue of Labour and the Trade Union Movement, are not, by any means the position of Allthatsleft as a whole. Upon this issue, we are split. But, the allegations in […]

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UKIP targets #2: Great Yarmouth

July 5, 2013

For the second in our series on constituencies where UKIP could make a Parliamentary breakthrough, we turn to the Norfolk seaside town of Great Yarmouth. Whilst Boston and Skegness appears to offer UKIP its best chance of winning a seat in Parliament, the East Coast offers other possibilities. They had strong showings in a number […]

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#716: 1982, Chic, Soup for One

July 4, 2013

Nile Rodgers is everywhere. He is a musical steamroller at present – the recent collaborations with Daft Punk, including Get Lucky, that huge 2013 summer single from Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams. A song that now tops the list of biggest selling singles after selling more than a million copies since its release 10 weeks […]

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In Defence of Warren Gatland

July 4, 2013

Now then, let’s talk rugby. My esteemed colleague, Charlie East-West has written, in his usual erudite and persuasive way, an extremely negative piece about Warren Gatland and his selection of the British and Irish Lions team to face Australia in the third test. Now, two things you need to know about Charlie, first he is […]

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The Curse of Modern Living (Part 5) – Barbecues

July 4, 2013

Britain is about to have a heatwave. Summer is here, and Britain pretends to be a Mediterranean country for a few days, and the tabloids will scream, “Phew, what a scorcher!” – As much as I love the summer, I await with trepidation of the mass unveiling of a well worn by-product of warm summer […]

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#715: 2012, First Aid Kit, Emmylou

July 3, 2013

You may have gathered that George East got hitched to Mrs East on Saturday. It was a fantastic occasion, that was done very much to the Easts’ tastes (to the extent that the authorities would allow, anyway). That, of course, meant some great music. So today’s pick was playing as the happy couple signed the […]

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What should Edward Snowden do next?

July 3, 2013

Ordinarily, and perhaps not surprisingly, I’m a proponent of facing your accusers. If you’ve done nothing wrong – say so, and place yourself in front of a proper Court to argue your case. It’s one of the reasons why I have little sympathy for the Wiki leaks Julian Assange – if he isn’t guilty of […]

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