From the monthly archives:

June 2014

#908: 1971, Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors

June 30, 2014

So Glastonbury is over.   It’s not really my bag, though I don’t have same level of animus for it that Charlie East-West has.   My only regret about not being there was not being able to see Dolly Parton in what, from the critics’ reports, seems to have been a festival stealing performance (not that it […]

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Week 26: Hero – World Cup 2014 (well at least the players, the teams, the fans and the matches…)

June 30, 2014

This Week’s Hero of the Week Award goes to all those participating in the current World Cup in Brazil This is not an Award for Sepp Blatter or the bunch of corrupt cronies who run FIFA.  The international body that runs the beautiful game is a total disgrace and it is heartening that everytime that […]

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Week 26: Prat – Luis Suarez

June 30, 2014

Oh dear, this week’s Prat is the Uruguay and Liverpool striker, Luis Suarez. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. What was he thinking? Ok, Chielini’s play-acting, tripping and cheating as he tried to propel Italy to a rather toothless victory was annoying – but, sigh, what was he thinking. Because, whatever it was that made […]

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Week 26: Villain – Wonga

June 29, 2014

This week, our panel gives loan sharks money-lenders Wonga our Villain of the Week award This week, it was revealed that Wonga had sent out 45,000 threatening letters to customers in the name of the non-existent law firms Chainey D’Amato & Shannon and Barker & Lowe Legal Recoveries. 45,000: that’s the population of Burton upon […]

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#907: 1972, Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street

June 28, 2014

Bobby Womack was in a bad way when he died yesterday: suffering from diabetes, prostate cancer, heart trouble, colon cancer, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease. A child star mentored by Sam Cooke, a twenty-year old Womack wrote It’s All Over Now, which the Stones promptly covered to give them their first number one. Eight years later, […]

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Stick It Up Your Juncker

June 28, 2014

26 v 2.  Not even close.  Indeed a complete massacre.   As German tabloid Bild reported:  ‘David Cameron is the Wayne Rooney of politics: he lines up, he loses, he goes home’. The Prime Minister’s pitiful performance in seeking to veto Jean Claude Juncker’s assent to President of the European Commission was all the more embarrassing […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies 2014: Under The Skin

June 28, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted a film review and I am as ever absurdly behind in posting reviews of the new releases I have seen this year.  However, I still haven’t given up on my plan to post a review for every new release I see this year.  Under The Skin is the […]

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#906: 1987, M/A/R/R/S, Pump Up The Volume

June 25, 2014

I’ve been reading the biography of 4AD and the very enigmatic and, at times, visionary Ivo Watts-Russell. Of course, for most of us, 4AD was all about Pixies, Throwing Muses, The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil – that, of course, and the incredible album covers which never failed to provoke and inspire, particularly when […]

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Week 25: Prat – Michael Fabricant MP

June 23, 2014

Our panel has decided to give our award for the greatest prat of the last week to the Honourable Member for Lichfield I’ve never met Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, I have met Rod Liddle once. I found him an interesting and engaging bloke: a confused mixture of left- and right-wing populism, a man who both desperately wants […]

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Week 25: Villain – Ed Miliband

June 23, 2014

This Week’s Villain of the Week is Labour leader Ed Miliband for trying to appease the Daily Mail by proposing the abolition of out of work benefits for under 21s It never works.  And it particularly never works if you are Ed Miliband.   What the Labour leadership never seems to learn is that unless and […]

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Week 25: Hero – The Religious Leaders of Berlin

June 23, 2014

This week’s Heroes of the Week are the Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders in Berlin. And let’s name them: step forward – Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin; Imam, Kadir Sanci, and Pastor Gregor Hohberg. An unusual choice from the lads at Allthatsleft this week (did I really refer to us in the third person!) to choose […]

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#905: 2006, Belle and Sebastian, White Collar Boy

June 19, 2014

The sunny weather over the last week or so has, as it always does, inspired me to dust down Belle and Sebastian’s most summery album, 2006’s The Life Pursuit, which I’ve been playing a lot over the last fortnight. It’s an album full of perfectly crafted pop songs with Stuart Murdoch at his most lyrically […]

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Cheering Not Jeering Politicians

June 18, 2014

I wrote a few weeks back about how I had some sympathy with UKIP supporters in their disillusionment with the state of British politics – bland soundbites endlessly repeated by uninspiring professional politicians who seem like an alien species to most of the population.   UKIP at least, so this argument goes, seem to represent something […]

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#904: 1982, Romeo Void, Never Say Never

June 16, 2014

This is a song I hadn’t thought about for years (possibly decades), until appearing on the soundtrack of The Wolf of Wall Street. So, I searched it out again and found the video… A bit of San Fran post-punk, I like the fact that Romeo Void are a sort of anti-Blondie: a chubby female singer […]

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Week 24: Hero – Rik Mayall

June 15, 2014

This week, comedian Rik Mayall passed away. In tribute, we have given him our Hero of the Week award. Rik Mayall could do subtle – many of his acting roles in his later career demonstrated that – but it is certainly not what he will be remembered for. His brash, in-the-face brand of comedy redefined […]

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Week 24: Villains – George W Bush and Tony Blair

June 15, 2014

This Week’s Villains of the Week are former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and former American President George W Bush The capture by ISIS of 4 major northern Iraqi cities this week, as the Iraqi Army melted away brought to the attention of an easily distracted western media,– that benighted country remains utterly riven between […]

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Week 24: Prat – Sepp Blatter

June 15, 2014

This Week’s winner of the Prat Award goes to…. Sepp Blatter, yawn, again. I was looking forward to writing something that didn’t have anything to do with the blessed World Cup – I mean, love it as much as I do, I have been banging on enough about football. I was looking forward to a […]

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#903: 1996, Baddiel and Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, Three Lions

June 12, 2014

After my recklessly brave prediction that England will progress to the Semi-Finals of the World Cup (remember I’m Welsh, so no sentimental gut reaction here) – I feel I have no choice but to plump for this classic piece of acceptable lad culture from a time when for a few moments it was alright to […]

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Out of shape and unfit – why OFSTED is part of the problem not the solution

June 12, 2014

By Guest Blogger and teacher Alex W Recent events in Birmingham have brought a media spot light to bear on an organisation in crisis. Enough has already been written about the Trojan Hoax affair and it’s a sad indictment on how low we have come, that the future of young people (many in the midst […]

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World Cup Special #9: Ray North’s World Cup Crystal Ball

June 12, 2014

You may scoff, but my crystal ball was pretty much on the money during the last Premier League Season, so I thought I’d get it out of my holdall, dust it down and peer inside. Well, as avid followers will have seen, I’ve predicted the following teams will get through the group stage: Brazil Croatia […]

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World Cup Special #8: GROUP H

June 11, 2014

Group H, the last group that I’ll feature in my little meander around the runners and riders for this year’s world cup, and Group H is another cracker – Russia, Belgium, South Korea and Algeria. I’ve dubbed it the Group of Mystery, because, well, it could be a group that is mysterious! The Russians always […]

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#902: 1989, Pixies, Here Comes Your Man

June 10, 2014

So last weekend was the Field Day festival in Victoria Park, Hackney – an event partly blamed for the lack of weekend blogging here at allthatsleft, as both me and Jackie South attended.  Indeed even the near-mythical Bobby West turned up, leaving Ray North looking after the shop. Like last year it was great fun.  […]

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Week 23: Villain – Michael Gove

June 10, 2014

Last Week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove There really is no more odious member of this odious government than Michael Gove.  He even makes George Osborne appear bearable.  Utterly loathsome in every way. Not only has he been continuing to piss astounding amounts of money up […]

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Week 23: Hero – D-Day Veterans

June 9, 2014

This week, the D-Day veterans were unanimously awarded our regular Hero of the Week award, on the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings Last week’s events commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day landings was a sobering lesson on what real heroes are. The moving coverage recalled the bravery of the men, the mixture of […]

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Week 23: Prat – Richard Dawkins

June 9, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week is Richard Dawkins. Once upon a time in a place far away there lived a giant dragon called Ron. Ron was a very lonely dragon who longed to have lots of friends – but every time Ron tried to make a new friend, people used to run away, because […]

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#901: 1979, The Slits, I Heard It Through the Grapevine

June 6, 2014

After having had a go at Channel 4 in the past, praise where praise is due. This evening’s Channel 4 News featured an interview with Viv Albertine, The Slits‘ guitarist and one-time girlfriend of Mick Jones. One of the tracks played with the interview was this cover of the Marvin Gaye classic. To be honest, […]

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World Cup Special #7: GROUP G

June 6, 2014

Hmmm, Group G – if Group D is the Group of Death (England, Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica), then Group G, Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA isn’t far behind – so, I’ll call it the Group of Intensive Care – because, let’s face it, it’s another cracking group. Ghana were everyone favourites four years ago, […]

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By-Election Special: Newark

June 5, 2014

Today sees the by-election in Newark, caused by the resignation of Patrick Mercer following his lobbying disgrace. This contest has been billed as UKIP’s chance to have its first MP elected. I think this is unlikely. Here’s the 2010 General Election result for Newark. But before I explain in more detail why a UKIP victory […]

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So you want to be a politician…… (Please take our questionnaire first)

June 3, 2014

As George East said on these pages the other week, there are too many anodyne career politicians who have little idea about the real world. We’ve got a bit of experience of these types, indeed some of us used to be such an anodyne career politician. We thought we’d help the process of democracy by […]

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Week 22: Villain – the Courts and Government of Sudan

June 2, 2014

Our Villain of the Week Award for last week belatedly goes to the Courts and Government of Sudan for their barbaric treatment of Meriam Ibrahim If ever you wanted to see an example of the poison and irrationality of religion look no further than Sudan’s treatment of Meriam Ibrahim.   She is a Sudanese woman with […]

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