From the monthly archives:

November 2013

#811: 1993, Stereolab, French Disko

November 28, 2013

So there I was, in Blackburn Crown Court, it was cold, it was wet, it was a rubbish case, which hadn’t been resolved and I got in my car, which had broken down earlier in the day, and I started to make my way down the motorway, when I thought, I know, I’ll pop over […]

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Boris Johnson turns into Gordon Gekko

November 28, 2013

I have always been troubled by Boris Johnson. I have always suspected that underneath that Richard Curtis character posh boy buffoonery lies a man with a huge sense of entitlement, supreme ignorance and dubious character. Yesterday, Boris Johnson proved my point once again. This time, he ripped off his comedy face and turned into Gordon […]

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Sportsnight #27: 1990, Rugby Union, Scotland v England, Five Nations Grand Slam Decider

November 27, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight. Tonight’s action comes from Murrayfield and the 1990 Five Nations Grand Slam decider between Scotland and England. Yesterday saw the publication of the Scottish Independence White Paper and so tonight we go back to 1990 and a time where Scotland was sick to the back teeth of seemingly endless […]

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Who’s Going To Win The HeavyWeight Battle For Scotland: We look at Salmond v Darling

November 27, 2013

The debate and vote on the independence of Scotland is perhaps important political event that has occurred in most of our lifetimes. The implications are massive, the stakes are gigantic, the fallout will be rough. I have to say that I already absolutely enthralled by it; and one of the reasons for this is that […]

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#810: 1973, The Rolling Stones, Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

November 27, 2013

Playing music on an iPod is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes the listener impatiently skip around artists rather than taking the time to listen to an album in its entirety. One the other hand, the shuffle feature randomly reminds the listener of many forgotten tracks and albums. This happened to me last […]

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Another view on Scottish Independence

November 26, 2013

As the other Celt who writes on these pages, I wanted to offer an alternative viewpoint to the one held and espoused today so eloquently by my mate Charlie East-West. Before I start, let me say how much sympathy I have for the notion of Scottish Independence. The idea of being a young person in […]

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#809: 2003, Alasdair Roberts, Farewell Sorrow

November 26, 2013

So on the day that the Scottish independence White Paper was published by Alex Salmond, it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with a song from one of the finest young Scottish folk singers around, Sterlingshire’s Alasdair Roberts. Roberts, who is the son of folk singer Alan Roberts, has recorded three albums of traditional Scottish […]

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Scotland has got what it takes

November 26, 2013
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The Crystal Ball Politics of Scottish Independence

November 26, 2013

So there we have it. The Yes campaign led by Alex Salmond has published its 670 page White Paper opus on their vision for an independent Scotland. Unsurprisingly, this paper looks great in terms of purple heather prose, but less impressive in terms of hard answers to the key questions surrounding negotiations on currency, Bank […]

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#808: 1966, The Mamas and the Papas, Monday, Monday

November 25, 2013

Every other day of the week is fine, yeah But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes You can find me cryin’ all of the time Day seven of our days of the week theme here at Songs To Learn And Sing and, slightly perversely, we are at the start of the week. We started […]

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Week 47: Prat – The Rev. Paul Flowers

November 25, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the Rev. Paul Flowers, former Chairman of the Co-Op Bank. And let us make one thing abundantly clear, Mr Flowers, has won this award without any thanks whatsoever to Ed Miliband or the Labour Party, his glorious display of Pratness is all his own work. And what a […]

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Capping Pay Day Loans or George Osborne – Economically Illiterate Marxist

November 25, 2013

Those of you old enough to remember the furore over Ed Miliband’s Labour Party conference speech in which he pledged to freeze energy prices for two years, will recall that the reaction on the right was to characterise the move as Stalinist economic planning.   This wasn’t just the reaction of the right wing media and […]

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Week 47: Hero – Paul Heaton

November 25, 2013

This week, our award for the greatest hero of the last seven days goes to musician-turned-publican Paul Heaton As if running the most right-wing government since WW2 wasn’t enough, ‘Dave’ Cameron’s continual attempts to look cool really set my teeth at edge. His professed love of The Smiths, The Eton Rifles, Gillian Welch and First […]

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#807: 1979, Joe Jackson, Sunday Papers

November 25, 2013

We’ve reached Sunday in our week of songs with days of the week in them, and, once again, I’ve got a plethora of songs to choose from, many of which are amongst some of my favourites: U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, Blondie’s Sunday Girl, the Velvets’ Sunday Morning, and on and on. But, I decided that […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #32: 1926, Flesh and the Devil (Clarence Brown)

November 24, 2013

Pastor Voss: ‘My boy, when the devil cannot reach us through the spirit he creates a woman beautiful enough to reach us through the flesh.’ Like Fred and Ginger dancing or Humphrey Bogart in a mac and a hat with a cigarette hanging from his lips, the impassive face of Greta Garbo is one of […]

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Week 47: Villain – David Cameron

November 24, 2013

This week’s villain of the week award for the second week running goes to David Cameron for allegedly telling his aides in Downing Street to “get rid of all the green crap” from energy bills to help being down the costs. So much for the huskies. Remember those bygone days of yore when David Cameron […]

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The A-Z of World Politics #I: Iran

November 24, 2013

Our round-the-world alphabetical trip brings us to the letter I. The Iranian Revolution was the first revolution I was aware of as it happened. As a nine year old, there was plenty I did not understand at the time but it did leave some powerful impressions: of a corrupt regime, crumbling as some of the […]

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#806: 1978, Herman Brood, Saturday Night

November 23, 2013

Welcome to the next edition in our theme week of songs with the relevant day of the week in the title. It’s Saturday night. It is a night to saviour. It is a night to get up to lots of very bad things. Proper drinking is a young man’s game. From the ages of 15-32, […]

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#805: 2006, Bonnie Prince Billy, Big Friday

November 22, 2013

After Jackie South’s unexpected gem from Donovan for his Thursday post yesterday in our days of the week theme week here at Songs To Learn and Sing, I thought I’d return the favour, rather than going for anything obvious like the Easybeats or The Cure. This beautiful song comes from Bonnie Prince Billy’s wonderful 2006 […]

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Should we allow cameras in courts?

November 22, 2013

This week I found myself in the Court of Appeal – always a joy for a provincial Criminal Barrister, it’s like playing at Wembley or the Millennium Stadium, most of us even enjoy going down there even if we lose badly and get a bollocking from some crusty High Court Judge. But, this week was […]

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#804: 1965, Donovan, Jersey Thursday

November 22, 2013

Day three of our days of the week themed songs, and I’ve ended up with Thursday. Thursday! What fucking songs are there about Thursday?!? The world of music has plenty of songs about Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays: we’ve picked a couple of Sundays and a Monday before. Along with Charlie’s post, we’ve had another Tuesday. […]

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Sod the Pythons – 10 Reunions I’d Really Like To See!

November 21, 2013

The Pythons have reformed: cynical attempt to make a massive bag of cash or a genuine desire to contribute to the cultural well-being of our nation? Hmm, you decide. But, it got me thinking: would I be there with my phone in my hand, finger hovering over the redial button when the tickets went on […]

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It’s the stupid economy, stupid

November 21, 2013

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a slight variation of the phrase “The economy, stupid” which James Carville dreamt up when he was a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against incumbent president George Bush. It is now time to update this phrase in 2013 for George Osborne:- “It’s the stupid economy, stupid.” […]

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#803: 1980, The Undertones, Wednesday Week

November 20, 2013

Amazingly, last night, three of the four mainstays of this most wonderful of blogs actually met up in a Public House and talked in person over a few pints – marvellous (it would have been even better if Bobby and Charlie had been there as well, but that’s for another day). I can tell you […]

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Songs To Learn and Sing Hall of Fame #1: The Beatles

November 20, 2013

With Ray North’s Allthatsleft 3rd birthday posting of Revolution The Beatles became the first artist to have had 10 songs posted in our Songs To Learn and Sing feature.  As a result they are our first esteemed entrants in the  Songs To Learn and Sing Hall of Fame. It is not, I guess, surprising that it […]

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The Bewildering Bewilderment of Benedict Brogan

November 20, 2013

On Monday the Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Benedict Brogan, published a comment piece entitled The Baffling Recovery of Teflon Labour and Unpopular Ed in which he expressed bewilderment that Labour has regained a 6-10 point lead in the polls, after its lead all but disappeared over the summer.  The column has sparked a bit […]

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Liberal Democrats – Are you watching Borgen?

November 20, 2013

I love Borgen. I love Denmark. I love Birgitte Nyborg. Borgen has just started its third and final series with the usual chattering class fanfare and great reviews. Its surprise global success is due to a gripping story of political intrigue within Danish coalition politics. It offers a vivid portrayal of a charismatic woman and […]

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Songs To Learn and Sing Golden Years #11: 2013

November 19, 2013

With the posting by Charlie East-West of Prefab Sprout’sThe Old Magiciana week or so ago 2013 became the 11th year to have had 20 Songs To Learn and Sing Posted (following in the wake of 1967,1969, 1980, 1977, 2011, 1979, 2012, 1978, 1981 and 2008).   It has since moved on to 21 songs with Go […]

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Another financial crisis is inevitable

November 19, 2013

Five years after the 2008 financial crisis, one thing seems certain: we will eventually have another meltdown of the financial system. Why? Because we still haven’t fixed the problems that led to the last crisis. This meltdown may well come sooner than we think… A friend of mine works in the City of London. He […]

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The Tories reveal new advertising campaign

November 19, 2013
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