From the monthly archives:

September 2013

The Album Collection #15: 2013, Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, White People and the Damage Done

September 30, 2013

After a two month hiatus, the Allthatsleft Album Collection is back, giving you the best of contemporary and classic albums to revisit or add to your collection.  As Monday has by convention always been the day for new albums to be released (in the same way that Friday has always been the day for new films to […]

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Sexual Offences: Are too many baseless allegations being charged?

September 30, 2013

To answer my own question – I don’t know. It is, without doubt, one the trickiest questions currently being posed within the criminal justice system and I’m not even sure I’m particularly well placed to answer it; after all, as a criminal Barrister, I am, but a hired gun, someone brought in to present a […]

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#769: 2013, Arcade Fire, Here Comes the Night Time

September 30, 2013

Earlier this month I posted the first single to be released from Arcade Fire’s new album. Reflektor. In my humble opinion, it is one of the most brilliantly creative songs I have heard in years. It also came with two videos, one of which allowed people to interact through their webcam on their computer. The […]

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Neoliberal Triangulation R.I.P.

September 30, 2013

Triangulation was first used by Bill Clinton’s chief political advisor Dick Morris as a way to describe his strategy for getting Clinton reelected in the 1996 presidential election. Morris articulated a set of policies that were different from the traditional policies of the Democratic Party – with a model hybrid of right-wing economic and left-wing […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #24: 1963, 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)

September 29, 2013

Guido: I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. I thought I had something so simple to say. Something useful to everybody. A film that could help bury forever all those dead things we carry within ourselves. Instead, I’m the one without the courage to bury […]

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Week 39: Hero – The Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition

September 29, 2013

This Week’s Winner of the Hero of the Week, is Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting a great deal from last week’s Labour Party conference or from Ed Miliband. I wrote on these pages that I wanted him to make a bold speech, stop apologising for […]

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#768: 1983, Tom Waits, Frank’s Wild Years

September 29, 2013

Charlie East-West’s birthday posting of Bruce Springsteen’s New York Serenade  led to a brief conversation about artists who had never released a bad album. Of course the longer the career the harder this is to achieve, even if we stick to the criteria as never releasing a bad album, rather than always releasing outstanding albums. […]

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Week 39: Prat – Ted Cruz

September 29, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the junior Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz The half crazed spectacle in the last week of the right in this country as it foams at the mouth about communism and a return to the 1970s in the light of Ed Miliband’s welcome but relatively modest proposals to […]

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Week 39: Villain – The “Big Six” Energy Companies

September 29, 2013

This week’s villain of the week award goes to the “big six” energy companies and their bullying tactics in response to Ed Miliband’s proposal to put a price cap on energy bills for 20 months. Immediately after Ed Miliband’s announcement, the usual howls of disdain were heard across both the right wing and the energy […]

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#767: 1960, Sam Cooke, Chain Gang

September 27, 2013

Today, my colleague Ray North was challenged for portraying migrant workers in Qatar as being virtual slaves. Lo and behold, The Guardian then posted a story about precisely that. That brought Sam Cooke’s classic to mind. His song of course is about chain-ganged prisoners in the Deep South rather than Nepalese immigrants being worked to […]

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The A-Z of World Politics: #B: Bahrain

September 27, 2013

For the second entry in our globe-trotting series, we’re off to the Gulf state of Bahrain – just across the Gulf of Bahrain from Qatar In some ways, Bahrain is a fairly liberal corner of the Middle East. Homosexuality is legal (within limits: whilst it is legal to be gay, cross-dressing is illegal and openly […]

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FIFA’s Qatari Disgrace

September 27, 2013

I was sulking the other night. I know I was. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ asked Mrs North, ‘nothing,’ I answered sulkily, ‘I’m just tired.’ Which was partly right; work is mental, and I was feeling fatigued, but that wasn’t why I was sulking. No. I knew exactly why I was sitting in bed, grumpily reading […]

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Ed Miliband: The Officer of Fair Trading

September 26, 2013

Since his hugely significant Conference speech, Ed Miliband appears to have replaced the Office of Fair Trading as the UK’s consumer and competition authority. He has taken on the OFT mission to make markets work well for consumers. Ed Miliband has become our Officer of Fair Trading. Good on him. He has picked a fight […]

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#766: 1966, Tony Galla, In Love

September 25, 2013

Exactly forty years ago to this very night, Wigan Casino had its first all-nighter. It was a seminal music event. For the next eight years, Northern Soul dominated much of the underground music scene in the North West. Up here Northern Soul was bigger than punk, bigger than New Wave, bigger than Disco, bigger than […]

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The Longest Suicide Note in History – According to the Daily Mail

September 25, 2013

Yesterday, Ed Miliband announced his political vision. Today, the right wing went ballistic and collectively screamed, “socialism returns!” The Daily Mail even compared Ed Miliband’s speech to the Michael Foot/Labour Manifesto of 1983 – dubbed “the longest suicide note in history.” So, the Daily Mail think that the following Labour Party policies are political suicide:- […]

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Welcome to Milibandism

September 25, 2013

Well, how was it for you? Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Conference was a hugely significant moment. It was the moment that he set the battle lines of difference between the tried and failed ideology of Thatcherism and a new way in which to shape politics – though the birth of Milibandism. Ed Miliband […]

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#765: 1973, Bruce Springsteen, New York Serenade

September 24, 2013

Bruce Springsteen turned 64 yesterday, and judging by the photos published of the great man looking buff on the beach – he is looking good with age. His music has remained consistently good. Over the past 40 years, Springsteen has maintained his high standards and most of his integrity. Recently, the All That’s Left Committee […]

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Ed Miliband’s Speech: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

September 24, 2013

I have to say that I had little hope of feeling anything other than further despair from Ed Miliband’s conference speech this year.  Since the beginning of the year there has been a sense that the Labour Party had fallen back into its safety-first triangulation mode of the Blair years.  We had the depressing acceptance […]

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Political Spin Doctors Prescribe the Wrong Medicine

September 24, 2013

‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some hire public relations officers,” – American social historian, Daniel J Boorstin. Damian McBride continues his publicity campaign on his book, Power Trip, which gives a warts and all account of his time at the Treasury working as Gordon Brown’s PR henchman. His mea culpa crusade is […]

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#764: 1969, Fairport Convention, Matty Groves

September 23, 2013

Today brought the wonderful news that the godawful steaming excrescence that are Mumford and Sons are on an ‘indefinite hiatus’  from recording music.  This has sadly come two albums too late, but we must be grateful for small mercies. For the foreseeable future, at least, there will be no new ‘music’ from the Waitrose Wurzels […]

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Week 38: Prat – Godfrey Bloom

September 23, 2013

This week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to the Euro Sceptic Politician Godfrey Bloom. Take a bow son. What a performance. Absolutely sublime. It was as though Godfrey Bloom woke up on the morning of the 20th September and decided that he was going to make it his aim of the day to win […]

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#763: 1972, Slade, Mama Weer All Crazee Now

September 22, 2013

This afternoon, I went along with Mr and Mrs East to watch Rush, the film about the Grand Prix rivalry of James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. It’s a good film, well paced and engaging, even if it plays with the history a bit.  The facts of the 1976 Grand Prix are followed faithfully, but some […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #23: 1973, The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy)

September 22, 2013

Sergeant Howie: What religion can they possibly be learning jumping over bonfires? Lord Summerisle: Parthenogenesis. Howie: What? Summerisle: Literally, as Miss Rose would doubtless say in her assiduous way, reproduction without sexual union. Howie: Oh, what is all this? I mean, you’ve got fake biology, fake religion… Sir, have these children never heard of Jesus? […]

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Week 38: Villain – Damian McBride, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, Tessa Jowell, Alistair Campbell etc

September 22, 2013

This week, our award for the greatest villains of the last seven days goes to the backroom boys and girls of New Labour who decided the eve of Conference was the right time to re-open old wounds This week, self-confessed “cruel vindictive and thoughtless bastard” released his memoirs – cruelly, vindictively or just thoughtlessly on […]

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Week 38: Hero – Michael Crick

September 22, 2013

This week’s hero of the week award goes to Channel 4 Political Correspondent Michael Crick, for irritating UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom to such an extent that he ended up being hit over the head with a UKIP conference programme by Bloom – and ensuing the perfect storm for the worst ever day in the history […]

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Liberal Democrats: 25 years and out…

September 21, 2013

By guest blogger – Jock of the North Former Liberal Democrat activist and Parliamentary Candidate. I am not renewing my membership of the Liberal Democrats next month. Some have commented that this must have been a difficult decision. Despite 25 years of involvement, despite the fun had, despite thousands of hours invested and goodness knows […]

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#762: 1981, The Jam, That’s Entertainment

September 20, 2013

I’m in the mood for confessions, here goes – when I was 11 years old, there was a poetry competition in my school, I copied out the lyrics of That’s Entertainment and submitted them as my own – amazingly, I came third. Third! What? This is one the greatest songs ever written. The lyrics are […]

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The Secret MP #6 Glasgow

September 20, 2013

You can call me Keith. But that’s not my real name. And I am a Lib-Dem MP. I’ve been home from the Lib-Dem Glasgow conference now for 24 hours and I’m starting to feel normal again – but, it may take me a few more days. I’ve never been to a Tory or Labour conference […]

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Memo to the Blairites and Brownites: Shut The Fuck Up

September 20, 2013

Over the last few months I have become more and more depressed with the state of British politics and the quality of political debate to the extent that I had resolved not to write about it for a bit, and  concentrate instead on more international things. We have had the utterly bizarre spectacle of the […]

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The A-Z of World Politics: #A: Albania

September 20, 2013

As we enter into the heartlands of the party conference season, and we hear the same rhetoric from the same people, and the same squabbles from the same people, it is pretty easy to feel somewhat jaded about the political process in this country. To lighten up our political hearts and free our minds from […]

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