From the monthly archives:

December 2014

#974: 1965, The Byrds, Turn Turn Turn

December 31, 2014

As 2014 turns into 2015, this seemed appropriate. Let’s hope one of the turns in the year ahead is one where the country uses the General Election to make a turn to the left, and turns out Cameron, Clegg and co. A time to plant, a time to reap indeed. Happy New Year everyone from […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Richard Attenborough

December 31, 2014

We came to see him as the luvvie of all luvvies.  Like Melvyn Bragg but only more affected.  And that is a sad thing because Dickie Attenborough was an extraordinary man.  It is hard to imagine British cinema without him. He started out with a reputation as far from the establishment figure he became as […]

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Sports Review / Sporting Hero of 2014

December 31, 2014

Farewell to 2014. After two of the most glorious years of sport, 2014 was a rather subdued affair. This year could hardly compete with 2012 (London Olympics, Wiggins et al) and 2013 (Froome and Murray et al). My predictions at the start of 2014 have proved to be a mixed bag. I have been proven […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Tony Benn

December 31, 2014

“If one meets a powerful person one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you?” Whilst many Labour politicians have started off on the left and drifted rightwards after […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Bob Hoskins

December 30, 2014

After his death, the daughter of Bob Hoskins revealed the 11 life lessons that her father taught his family before he died. Writing on her website, Rosa Hoskins said: “These are the lessons he taught me, I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. They […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Eusebio

December 30, 2014

Goodison Park, Liverpool, July 23rd 1966 Portugal v North Korea in the World Cup Quarter Final – unbelievably after 25 minutes, North Korea are ahead, and not just by the odd goal, not just noses in front, they are emphatically beating the favourites from Europe – it is 3-0. This would have been one of […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: James Alexander Gordon

December 29, 2014

‘Now it’s time for Sports Report…but first the classified results with James Alexander Gordon’. 2014 saw the passing of an institution;  the death of the radio voice of the football results.  Every Saturday, on Radio 2 when I was growing up, but latterly on Radio 5, James Alexander Gordon would read the classified football results.  […]

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Week 52: Villain – Jon Moulton

December 28, 2014

This week’s Villain of the Week award is given to venture capitalist Jon Moulton for playing an unreformed Scrooge this Christmas Jon Moulton sounds an absolute charmer: a ‘venture capitalist’ (as his own company’s website suggests, that’s a polite term for asset stripper) who has donated £450,000 to the Tories before deciding that George Osborne was […]

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#973: 1969, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Cowgirl In The Sand

December 28, 2014

There’s a quote from Douglas Adams that goes a bit like this – ‘if something was invented before you were born, then it’s second nature to you; if something was invented when you were aged between about 10 and 35 it’s exciting to you; if something was invented after you reached about 35 it’s baffling.’ […]

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Week 52: Prat – John Rees-Evans

December 28, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the UKIP Candidate for Cardiff and Penarth John Rees-Evans They’re making it just too easy for us – in fact if they carry on like this, UKIP candidates will have to be barred from being nominated for the prestigious award of Prat of Week, because no one else […]

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Week 52: Hero – Stefan Lofven

December 28, 2014

This week’s Hero of the Week Award and the last of 2014 goes to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven for doing his  bit towards stopping the rise of European fascism In the Swedish elections of 14 September 2014, the centre left Social Democratic Party squeaked into first place with a paltry 31% of the vote, edging […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Bob Crow

December 27, 2014

‘If you fight, you might lose.  If you don’t, you will lose’. He was one of the last authentic working class  voices to get an airing on the telly on political issues.  The media were almost relentlessly hostile to this principled old school trade union leader and were somewhat successful in portraying him as a dinosaur […]

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Sad To See You Leaving 2014: Philip Seymour Hoffman

December 27, 2014

On one view it is hard to believe that Philip Seymour Hoffman is no longer with us.  Film releases, trailing as they do film production often by some considerable time, have made him feel a very real presence this year.  Not only in the latest Hunger Games  film but also in God’s Pocket and Anton […]

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Back of the Net With Ray North: The Half Time Traipse

December 26, 2014

It’s boxing day, I write this with a plate of cold turkey in one hand and bowl of humble pie in the other – because I have to admit that, even by my own fairly poor standards, as we reach the half-way point of the 2014/15 football season, my predictions have been woeful. Looking back […]

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Top of The Pops Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Top 50 Readers’ Chart

December 26, 2014

Back on 15 November 2014 Allthastleft reached its 4th anniversary. As is traditional, it is an occasion which is marked by wild celebrations, or if not, at least the publication of this blog’s readers’ all time Top 50 songs to appear in our Songs To Learn and Sing Feature, which is edging its way now […]

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#972: 2009, Bob Dylan, Must Be Santa

December 25, 2014

It is time for this year’s Christmas song here on allthatsleft.  We’ve had some corkers in the past, including the genius of Billy Childish’s Christmas 1979 (‘a merry fucking Christmas to you all’), an all time Phil Spector classic in The Crystals’ Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and the political soul revivalism of Sharon […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #62 (Christmas Special): 1946, La Belle Et La Bête (Jean Cocteau)

December 25, 2014

Opening Titles: “Children believe what we tell them. They have complete faith in us. They believe that a rose plucked from a garden can plunge a family into conflict. They believe that the hands of a human beast will smoke when he slays a victim, and that this will cause the beast shame when a […]

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#971: 2004, Frank Sinatra, Silent Night

December 24, 2014

The kids are asleep (or sleeping with one eye open). I have just drunk/stolen the very generous offering from my 7 year old daughter of a large of glass single malt for Father Christmas. He is due any minute and isn’t going to be best pleased to see an empty glass by the fireplace. I […]

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Sportsnight #43: 1914, The Western Front, The Christmas Truce Football Matches

December 24, 2014

A hundred years ago today one of the most extraordinary things happened. Men who were facing each other in opposing trenches and who had been dug in already for months experienced a moment of peace and fraternity.   The truce was not organised or official. Indeed many in the higher ranks were opposed to it because, […]

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General Election preview: Gordon

December 24, 2014

With the General Election only four and a half months away, we are starting a series on constituency contests to watch. But first, as it is Christmas, a story… WEE ECK The King Beyond The Wall had lost. He had thrown all he had into the epic battle, and he had taken his troops far […]

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#970: 2014, St. Vincent, Digital Witness

December 23, 2014

OK, guilty as charged – I some how missed the St. Vincent album earlier this year and only took note when it topped both The Guardian’s and NME’s albums of the year rundowns. But once curiousity got the better of me, I have to say that I love this stuff by Texan Annie Clark. It […]

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George Osborne’s Economic Miracle

December 23, 2014

That is what we are living through if you believe much of the Westminster Village as it gets into its pre-election groove.   The Tories we are told are going to run on a vote Conservative to Finish the Job message – a terrifying thought to many.   Osborne has indicated where he wants to go in […]

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#969: 2014, Jessie J et al, Bang Bang

December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker died today – obviously, rock god and all that, but, to be honest not my cup of tea; A Little Help From My Friends, is a song that my ears have heard so often that it no longer resonates in any way with me – and besides we already featured it here. As […]

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Week 51: Villain – The Pakistan Taliban

December 22, 2014

This Week’s Villains are the Pakistan Taliban. Sigh. This week’s choice for villain was particularly easy – last Tuesday the Paksitan Taliban entered a school, the Army Public School in Peshawar; there they beat teachers to death and executed children in a systematic and deadly attack that left 144 people, 132 of them children dead. […]

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Week 51: Prat – Sony Pictures

December 21, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to film studio Sony Pictures for withdrawing The Interview from distribution. Now if Sony Pictures had decided to pull the forthcoming release of their new comedy The Interview because it was a bag of shit, no one would have been hugely surprised. It is after all directed […]

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Week 51: Hero – Barack Obama

December 21, 2014

This week, Barack Obama receives our Hero of the Week award 2014 has hardly been a vintage year for President Obama: last month saw one of the worst Democrat performances since the Second World War in the mid-term congressional elections. Eight years ago, George W Bush had a similarly calamitous set of mid-term election results: […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #61: 1935, The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock)

December 20, 2014

Richard Hannay: ‘Beautiful, mysterious woman pursued by gunmen, it sounds like a spy story’ Annabelle ‘Smith’: ‘That’s exactly what it is’ A few weeks ago I went to a talk at the wonderful Barts Pathology Museum (sadly not open to the public, but accessible if you attend an event there) entitled Hitchcock’s London by Dr […]

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#968: 1968, The Small Faces, Lazy Sunday

December 19, 2014

Well, as the others haven’t paid tribute it fall to me.   A fortnight or so ago Ian McLagan passed away.    As keyboard player with both The Small Faces and then The Faces, he was part of some of the most iconic music of the 1960s and early 1970s. In more recent years he collaborated with […]

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Lawyering and the Al-Sweady Inquiry

December 19, 2014

There has been much anger in the media this week as a result of the conclusions of the inquiry  set up to investigate accusations that British soldiers had killed and mistreated Iraqi detainees in 2004. The Inquiry, chaired by former High Court judge Sir Thayne Forbes and which heard testimony from more than 300 witnesses, […]

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#967: 2014, Future Islands, Seasons (Waiting on You)

December 17, 2014

The Guardian has just chosen Future Islands, Seasons (Waiting on You) as the best track of 2014. You can see why. This is a truly wonderful song. While the song stands out from the crowd in its own right, the success of the song is largely due to a few outstanding live TV performances which […]

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