From the monthly archives:

June 2015

#1032: 2003, The Handsome Family, Far From Any Road

June 30, 2015

I suppose you get to a certain age, and you take your new music whenever and wherever you can get it – long gone, alas, are the days, when I would crave new band and new sounds and try to impress my mates with some great new sound that I had discovered (to be honest, […]

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Allthatsleft Book Club #12 – Tibur Vermes, Look Who’s Back

June 30, 2015

This is a really, really troubling book – as hilarious as it is edgy and dangerous, as clever as it is crass and worrying. The premise is this: Adolf Hitler hasn’t actually died he’s been asleep, in a field in Berlin, and one day, in 2012, he wakes up. And, having been asleep for nigh […]

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Week 26: Hero – Supreme Court of the United States (or at least the majorities)

June 29, 2015

Last Week’s Hero of the Week Award goes to the supreme judicial body of the United States for two important decisions There have been so many dark moments for the Supreme Court of the United States in the last decade and a half.  Ever since the disgraceful decision in Bush v Gore which saw 5 […]

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Week 26: Global Terrorists

June 28, 2015

This week’s villain of the week award goes to the terrorists who conducted a series of terrorist attacks in Kuwait City, Lyons and on a beach in a resort in Tunisia. Bastards. The lot of them. Whether on a Tunisian beach packed full of summer season tourists, at prayer in Kuwait, or in the daily […]

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Michael Gove Puts On His Wig

June 28, 2015

This week Michael Gove announced his plans for the Legal Justice System – there will be no more cuts to Legal Aid, he said, which has been applauded by most Legal Aid lawyers, but in reality is pretty meaningless, the cuts have already been made and they’re savage. He went on to say that he […]

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Week 26: Prat – Senator Ted Cruz

June 28, 2015

This week, the junior senator from Texas wins our apparently much coveted prize for being the biggest prat of the last seven days “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history” Is this statement Ted Cruz, Texan senator and Republican presidential candidate hopeful, uttered on Friday on rightwinger Sean Hannity’s radio programme […]

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#1031: 1990, Ride, Seagull

June 25, 2015

So three weekends back was the annual allthatsleft trip to Field Day in Victoria Park – the boutique festival that has now evolved into a Saturday of new acts and a Sunday focused around headline performances from some great more established artists.  Well, when I say it was an allthatsleft trip I really mean that […]

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A New Model of Austerity: How to Eliminate the Deficit and Remove the Debt

June 25, 2015

Austerity isn’t working. Since the Tories came into power in 2010, the national debt has almost doubled to a staggering £1.5 trillion. The Tories have created more debt in five years than the entire period of the 1997-2010 Labour government. In fact, the Tories have created more debt than all Labour governments combined. – The […]

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Week 25: Hero – Jon Stewart

June 22, 2015

This Week’s Hero is the comedian and presenter of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart. Another day, another horrible massacre involving a young American sociopathic gun-totting racist, killing a clutch of innocent people. This time it was in Charleston, South Carolina (a place I’ve visited actually, and liked a lot), and the gun-totting lunatic was the […]

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#1030: 2000, The Be Good Tanyas, The Littlest Birds

June 22, 2015

This is my first song choice since a recent wedding anniversary, so this one is for Ms West. Pretty sure this is one of her favourites.

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Week 25: Prat – National Rifle Association

June 21, 2015

The National Rifle Association (NRA) of the USA wins our award this week for being the biggest prats of the last seven days It perhaps is no great surprise that the NRA’s response to the horrific murder of nine churchgoers at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was as asinine as it was offensive. The […]

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Week 25: Villain – The Eurozone & IMF

June 21, 2015

Greece says it will run out of money at the end of the month if a deal with its creditors the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cannot be reached. So, this week’s villain of the week award goes to the Eurozone and IMF for their constant infantilisation […]

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Labour’s Leadership Blues

June 19, 2015

I know that my mate Charlie has already posted about the Labour Leadership election today, but I wanted to add my twopennyeth as well. You see, the health of the Labour party is a massively important matter for all of us, even those like me, who didn’t actually put their cross in the People’s Party’s […]

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Labour Leadership: The Zero Sum Game of Liz Kendall

June 19, 2015

The battle for the Labour leadership is a dispiriting affair. The campaign is too long (allowing the Tories to ratchet up their own nasty set of early parliamentary policies with little opposition) and the campaign offers not much in the way of big ideas and long term vision on how to make Labour a political […]

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#1029: 1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Two Tribes

June 16, 2015

It is 1984. Frankie Goes To Hollywood have just had a humongous hit with Relax. I am 10 years old. My entire school is singing the lyrics from Relax, blissfully unaware of their meaning. For a few months, they are the biggest pop band in the world. So what do they do? They follow it […]

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Week 24: Prat – Sir Tim Hunt

June 15, 2015

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the Nobel Bio-Chemist Sir Tim Hunt This is by no means a scientific hypothesis, you know, I’m prepared to argue the toss about it – but, it appears to me that if you have the surname Hunt, you are statistically more likely to win our Prat of the […]

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Nailing the Lie – Seriously Good From Paul Krugman

June 15, 2015

Just read this (particularly if you are a candidate for the Labour leadership) and link to it.  That’s all.

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #65: 1958, Dracula (Terence Fisher)

June 14, 2015

Count Dracula: ‘Sleep well, Mr Harker’ Christopher Lee was the Count Dracula I first knew and the one I grew up with. In fact so far as I was concerned as a kid he was Count Dracula. His portrayal of Bram Stoker’s blood-sucking creature of the night is still the one that I judge others […]

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#1028: 2014, Sleaford Mods, Tiswas

June 14, 2015

I’m not suite sure whether “Party Leadership Contender” week on Songs to Learn and Sing is over (I thought there was another song to come), but Ray thinks it is and that’s good enough for me. Given I thought the next song was mine, I had lined up “Burn ‘Em All” (Burn ‘Em = Burnham, gettit?) […]

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Week 24: Hero – Hillary Clinton

June 14, 2015

This Week’s Hero of the Week is Democratic Party Presidential Nomination Contender, Hillary Clinton on the occasion of the formal launch of her bid for the Presidency Among the rather depressing spectacle of the candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party falling over themselves to embrace big business and Tory economic policy in order […]

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Week 24: Villain – The IPCC

June 14, 2015

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) wins our weekly award for the greatest villains of the last seven days My gran, as many grans do, had fairly socially conservative ideas, even if she did always voted Labour. Among those views was that you should always trust a policeman. That all changed on 18 June 1984. […]

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#1027: 1987, The Wedding Present, Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft

June 10, 2015

Well, I started the STLAS theme week, with a classic Undertones song dedicated to Norman Lamb, and now I’m going to finish off with a classic Wedding Present song, dedicated to three Labour MPs who are, in one way or another concerned with the current contests for Labour leader and deputy. First, bless him, Ed […]

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Trainspotting Guide to the Tories

June 9, 2015

Since the Tories won the election, I have felt angry, saddened and disheartened by the consistently bad choices that voters (predominantly in the South of England) make. I have come to the conclusion that the South of England is locked into the mindset of perpetual right-wing ideology and brainwashed by a cabal of political elite, […]

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Week 23: Prat – Sepp Blatter

June 8, 2015

This week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to winner of the FIFA Presidential Election – Sepp Blatter Sepp, Sepp, Sepp – what were you playing at? For years, the allegations have been rumbling, the fingers have been pointing, the assertions have been made. You have ignored them all. You have chosen to brazenly cling […]

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Week 23: Villain – Senator Ted Cruz

June 8, 2015

This Week’s Villain of the Week is Senator Ted Cruz for his ‘joke’ at the expense of a mourning Vice President Joe Biden  Two Saturdays ago Beau Biden, military veteran and former Attorney General of Delaware and Vice President Joe Biden’s son lost his battle with brain cancer and died. President Obama had this to […]

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Week 23: Hero – Charlotte Church

June 7, 2015

Our hero of the week award goes to Charlotte Church for saying that she would pay 70% income tax if it meant protecting public services. Charlotte Church has become the leader of the opposition. While Labour continue to lick their wounds and hunt for a political compass after a catastrophic election defeat, Charlotte Church has […]

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#1026: 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Proud Mary

June 3, 2015

Despite how the media has it, it’s not just Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper you know.  Old beardy bicycling leftie, Jeremy Corbyn announced his Labour leadership bid today and then there is Mary Creagh.  Exactly.  I consider myself someone who follows politics reasonably closely (when I can bear to look) and I’d barely […]

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Tendering and the Death of the High Street Solicitor

June 3, 2015

At the moment Solicitors up and down the Country are waiting to hear if they’ve been successful in the tendering process to obtain a Legal Aid Franchise. This might seem like a fairly dull topic for a Wednesday afternoon blog, but, it’s a subject close to my heart and it should be close to yours […]

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Charles Kennedy – Principled. Charismatic. Liberal. Normal.

June 2, 2015

“Ignore things that don’t matter. Question things that do matter.” – Charles Kennedy, 1997. Charles Kennedy gave me these words of wisdom when I left my job as a Scottish Liberal Democrats researcher in 1997. Wise words indeed. These words reflect the man. News of his death has left me deeply saddened. He was a […]

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In Praise of Charlie Kennedy

June 2, 2015

In another time and another place, I had the privilege of being allowed to sit in on the Lib-Dem Parliamentary Party meetings – I say privilege without a hint of irony, because this was the 1990′s and the party had the wind in its sails and was relevant, honest and aspirational. At these meetings, there […]

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