From the monthly archives:

September 2014

#940: 1985, Kate Bush, Cloudbusting

September 30, 2014

Tomorrow will see the last show in Kate Bush’s extraordinary 22 date run at Hammersmith Apollo, her first live gigs in 35 years.   These were concerts that no one in music thought would happen.   The tickets for the shows sold out in an astonishing 15 minutes when they were released back in May. I was […]

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Not afraid of the Tories? Well you should be!

September 30, 2014

The Tories are on the march. Forget the fact that they are still hated by most right thinking people, forget the fact that one of their Ministers has been caught out sending pictures of his knob to an undercover reporter (I have to say I feel a certain tang of sympathy towards Mr Newmark, I […]

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Week 39: Hero – Harry Smith

September 29, 2014

This week, 91 year old Harry Smith scoops our award for the greatest hero of the last seven days for his speech at the Labour Party Conference I have asked numerous Labour Party members who made the journey to Manchester for this year’s conference what their opinion of it all was. Whether Blairite or leftie, […]

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#939: 2014, King Creosote, For One Night Only

September 29, 2014

Scotland has been in the news quite a lot this summer. The Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup, and a certain vote that took place on September 18th… Tonight’s choice of song reflects this flurry of newsworthy activity from North of the Border. It comes from the marvellous King Creosote and the song For One Night […]

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Week 39: Villain – Nigel Farage

September 29, 2014

This week’s villain is leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage. ‘Oh, he’s such a man of the people,’ ‘He’s the type of bloke I’d like to go for a pint with.’ ‘At least he addressing the issues people are really bothered about.’ Bolloxs, bollox, bollox – Nigel Farage is a villain of the first order, a […]

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#938: 1964, Marianne Faithfull, As Tears Go By

September 29, 2014

This pick comes courtesy of the ever reliable Later…With Jools Holland this week, where Marianne Faithfull performed this, in the cracked, husky voice that is the legacy of her years of heroin addiction and the two years she spent living on the streets of Soho in the early Seventies. Whilst her life has ultimately been […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #53: 1946, The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)

September 28, 2014

Vivian Rutledge: ‘You go too far Mr Marlowe’ Philip Marlowe: ‘That’s a harsh thing to throw at a man, especially when he is walking out of your bedroom’ Bogart and Bacall. Maybe the greatest of all on (and off) screen romances?  Tracy and Hepburn are more like your favourite eccentric middle class Aunt and working […]

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Week 39: Prat – Ed Miliband

September 28, 2014

This week’s Prat of the Week Award for an impressive second week in a row goes to the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband I was in the pub on Wednesday night, the day after Ed Miliband’s comically useless leader’s speech to the Labour conference. The friend I was with – leftish in outlook but […]

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Back of a fag packet constitutional solution

September 24, 2014

In the aftermath of the momentous Scottish independence referendum, we now have a constitutional dogs dinner. David Cameron is a lucky politician. This time last week he was staring down the barrel of overseeing the break up of Britain on his watch. Now, he is throwing down a challenge to Labour to answer the old […]

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Sportsnight #37: 2012, The Miracle of Medinah

September 24, 2014

Good evening, and welcome to Sportsnight. After a summer sabbatical, we are back with some of the finest sports action that you will ever see on a blog. Tonight’s action comes from Medinah Country Club, Illinois. Europe went into the competition as the cup holders, having defeated the United States 14½ points to 13½ in […]

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Ed Miliband – Where has it all gone wrong?

September 23, 2014

I’ve just checked back into the archives of this website and re-read what I wrote after Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party Conference in September 2013 – blimey was I impressed. I wrote about he had moved me, about how he was speaking for my generation and then I pledged my undying allegiance to […]

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#937: 1991, The Wedding Present, Dalliance

September 23, 2014

It’s 1991 – I have got my first job working for an MP in Southwark (sort of gives away the MP) – I confidently boast to my mates that I am now a ‘political researcher’ – and I hope that that conjures up romantic images of Parliament and green benches, and big important meetings and […]

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Week 38: Villain – David Cameron

September 22, 2014

This Week’s Villain of the Week is Prime Minister David Cameron for making the Scottish independence vote all about the Tory Party’s self-interest In the midst of a panic in the run up to the independence referendum vote and having been given a lifeline by the intervention of Gordon Brown, the three party leaders offered […]

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Week 38: Hero – Gordon Brown

September 22, 2014

Former PM Gordon Brown scoops our award to be recognised as last week’s greatest hero This weekend, our panel’s deliberations on who should get our Hero of the Week award came down to a tussle between two heavyweights: in the blue ‘Yes’ corner was Alex Salmond, in the red ‘No’ corner was Gordon Brown: ex-first […]

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Week 38: Prat – Ed Miliband

September 22, 2014

This Week’s Winner of the Prat Award is the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband Oh dear. Where do we start. Ed Miliband has had a terrible referendum. When he arrived in Scotland to support the Union, he looked out of place, a man confused and unable to say anything of relevance at all […]

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#936: 1959, Dinah Washington, What A Diff’rence A Day Makes

September 20, 2014

To get the votes the No campaign needed in the referendum on Thursday, the three Westminster leaders signed a pledge on the front page of the Daily Record to give Scotland more power to run its own affairs, and for that process to start the day after the referendum. None of this was thought through. […]

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Westminster: YOU’RE JUST NOT GETTING IT!

September 20, 2014

Ok, personally, I’m glad that I still live in a part of the UK. I feel that if Scotland had gone the other way, this morning, it would have felt that I was living on an island that comprised of Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Norway, with something that was capable of resembling Syria just across the […]

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#935: 1990, Primal Scream, Come Together

September 19, 2014

So, the results are in. Scotland decides to remain in the United Kingdom: the right decision for both Scotland and the UK in my opinion. Most of my Scottish friends have been relieved, ecstatic and exhausted today. But there is another side. 1.6 million Scots voted for independence in what was the UK’s highest turnout […]

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Dear Ed,

September 19, 2014

By a guest blogger (A Scottish civil servant who has requested anonymity) I received a letter from Ed Miliband today: Person in Scotland, I am delighted and proud that the people of Scotland have made this historic decision to stay in the United Kingdom. This was a vote for social justice, for our NHS, and […]

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The Morning After

September 18, 2014

Scotland, 19th September 2014 Let none wake despondent: one way or another we have talked plainly, tested ourselves, weighed up the sum of our knowing, ta’en tent o scholars, checked the balance sheet of risk and fearlessness, of wisdom and of folly. Was it about the powers we gain or how we use them? We […]

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#934: 1982, Orange Juice, Rip It Up (and start again)

September 18, 2014

Dear Scotland, You are better than you’ve been taught to believe you are. Vote Yes and spread your wings. Rip it up and start again… Take it away, Edwyn…

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#933: 1986, The Communards, Don’t Leave Me This Way

September 17, 2014

I don’t even bloody know any more. I don’t know what will happen if Scotland votes ‘no’, I don’t know what will happen if Scotland votes ‘yes’; I don’t know what I want to happen, I don’t know nothing. I am in a veritable Nigel Tufnell-like state of confusion. But, amidst this bewilderment, there is, […]

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If Scotland votes ‘Yes’ on Thursday, What Next? #2: Scotland

September 17, 2014

Following yesterday’s post on the potential implications of a Yes vote in the Scottish Independence referendum tomorrow, I turn now to the implications for Scotland. One thing to remember, of course, is that although Scotland would have voted ‘Yes’, the final break and independence itself will not take place until 2016.   It is likely therefore […]

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If Grayling really wants to help the Criminal Justice System…..

September 16, 2014

Chris Grayling has been at it again – this week he has announced his new plans to assist in the prosecution of offenders. The two headline grabbers have included making all advocates who carry out cases involving serious sexual offences to undergo special ‘advocacy’ training to ensure that they are fit for purpose; and, secondly […]

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If Scotland Votes ‘Yes’ on Thursday, What Next? #1 The Rest of the United Kingdom

September 16, 2014

  As I wrote last week my own view is that Thursday night’s vote is likely to return a narrow No win. Nothing has happened since I wrote that post, to change my mind.  Indeed save for one ICM on-line poll at the weekend with a smaller than usual sample size, every poll, since the […]

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#932: 2008, Felice Brothers, Frankie’s Gun

September 15, 2014

I’ve been meaning to post this song for a good long while now but for one reason and another haven’t got round to it. The Felice Brothers are an upstate New York folk rock band who channel Bob Dylan and the Band. There were three brothers Felice in the original line up, but Simone (and […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #52: 1971, 10 Rillington Place (Richard Fleischer)

September 15, 2014

John Christie: ‘It’s the moral question that concerns me, the taking of life – no matter how rudimentary’ Richard Attenborough, Dickie, the ultimate Labour luvvie. Famous, of course, for directing historical epics like Ghandi, Cry Freedom and A Bridge Too Far – films that are perfectly watchable, but somehow do not quite make it into […]

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Carpe Diem, Scotland

September 15, 2014

I have written and ranted about Scottish Independence to the point of boring myself. I have now said almost everything that needs to be said on this momentous issue. So, I have decided that this is the last article that I will write on the big vote on Thursday. I never wanted Scotland to leave […]

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#931: 1981, Au Pairs, Armagh

September 15, 2014

With the death of that old villain, Ian Paisley, I thought I should post a song about The Troubles he did so much to propagate. So, a bit of a rustle around the internet to find something appropriate… There were plenty to choose from. Oliver’s Army? Stiff Little Fingers? U2? I have to confess that […]

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Week 37: Villain – The Rev Dr Ian Paisley

September 14, 2014

This week, Ian Paisley receives both our Hero and Villain of the Week awards Ian Paisley led a life that was by and large destructive and deeply damaging to the province he claimed to love. The coverage of his death this week has focused on the mitigation for that damage: his year as first minister […]

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