From the monthly archives:

November 2015

Week 48: Hero – Andy Murray

November 29, 2015

This week’s hero of the week award goes to Andy Murray for winning every single one of his Davis Cup doubles and singles matches throughout 2015 and which culminated with Great Britain winning the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. Britain are the word champions of tennis. This is a bloody bizarre statement […]

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By-election special: Oldham West and Royton

November 29, 2015

Thursday sees the first Parliamentary by-election of this Parliament and with it the first true electoral test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. With some electoral symmetry, Oldham was the scene of the first by-election of the previous Parliament, which saw Labour hold on to Oldham East and Saddleworth. Below is the May General Election result for […]

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#1048: 1976, The Drifters, You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book

November 27, 2015

Wow. Did he really just do that? During his response to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, John McDonnell whipped out Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and started quoting from it. This stunt will probably go down in history as the most ill conceived gimmick ever unleashed upon the House of Commons. The symbolism is just awful. […]

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Ray North’s Autumn Statement

November 26, 2015

Yesterday, I Ray North, assembled Members of my household to unveil my financial plans for the coming year. I also invited the next door neighbours because since they’ve moved in, I notice that they’ve been struggling a bit, and I wanted them to learn how things are done in a well run family household. I’ve […]

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Should we bomb Syria?

November 26, 2015

Previously in the Middle East: Assad was an unpopular President of Syria and pro-democracy forces rose up against him vowing to introduce a democratic regime in the area. And we all shouted – hurrah. Alas Assad, wasn’t going to roll over and die, so he started to bomb and poison the forces against him, and […]

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Week 47: Villain – The Daily Mail

November 22, 2015

This week’s villain award goes to the Daily Mail for publishing a cartoon of refugees as potential terrorists crossing into the EU with rats. The imagery within this cartoon is both disturbing and disgusting. Refugees as vermin? Rifles being carried on their backs? For fuck’s sake. This goes way beyond gutter journalism. This cartoon has […]

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Week 47: Prat – Ken Livingstone

November 22, 2015

This Week’s Prat of the Week is the former Mayor of London and Labour MP, Ken Livingstone. What an irritating little story this was: Ken Livingstone was appointed to sit on Jeremy Corbyn’s Defence Review Committee; Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Defence is one Kevan Jones, who questioned whether Ken had the credentials to […]

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Week 47: Hero – Barack Obama

November 22, 2015

This week, the US president wins our award for acting as the greatest hero of the last seven days Not for the first time (the thirteenth in fact, although he has also picked up a couple of our weekly prat awards as well along the way), President Barack Obama has won our weekly award for […]

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Week 46 – Villain: ISIS

November 20, 2015

This Week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to ISIS for the horrific attacks on Paris. A gig.  A football match. Three restaurants.  These were the targets of the terrorist attacks on Paris last Friday.  Ordinary places where ordinary Parisians were spending their leisure time. The attacks were not targeted on political figures or the […]

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Week 45: Villain – General Sir Nicholas Houghton

November 20, 2015

Last Week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to the Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Nicholas Houghton One of the defining differences between developed democracies and authoritarian regimes is that the armed forces in democracy don’t involve themselves in politics. It is one of the reasons that the impression given in certain countries in […]

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Labour: From Hope To Despair

November 19, 2015

I was never massively optimistic about Jeremy Corbyn, but, nor was antagonistic – indeed, unlike many others, being the naive young boy from the seaside that I am, I wanted to (and still do) give him a fair crack of the whip. I hoped that from the rubble of the general election, there would come […]

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The War on Terror: How to Diminish Terrorist Organisations Without Dropping Bombs

November 18, 2015

The acts of terrorism inflicted on Paris on Friday evening were despicable. It was a barbaric act of terrorism that focused on the soft targets of people having fun, relaxation and entertainment on a Friday night out – either through attending a football match, a gig or breaking bread with family and friends in a […]

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Week 46: Hero – The People of Paris

November 17, 2015

They met yesterday in the cafés and bars, on the streets and in the famous parks. In the Place de la Concord, they started to spontaneously sing their wonderful anthem, quietly at first, then louder, before heartily, defiantly, pledging their desire to be French, to be Parisians, to be free and to march on. No […]

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#1047: 2006, Eagles of Death Metal, I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)

November 15, 2015

Friday’s horrific news from Paris has spurred this entry to the canon of our Songs to Learn and Sing. Of the 132 (identified to date) people murdered that evening, 89 were at the Bataclan theatre watching the Eagles of Death Metal. The band had to stop and escape backstage when the bullets started flying. Nick […]

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Week 46: Prat – David Cameron

November 15, 2015

This week, our Prime Minister richly deserves our regular award for being the biggest prat of the last seven days This week, it was revealed that in September David Cameron had written to the leader of his Tory-led county council to criticise the cuts that they were making. He called the council’s plans to close […]

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Je Suis Paris

November 14, 2015

In the end, love will always defeat hate.

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1046: 1972, Neil Young, Old Man

November 12, 2015

Neil Young is one of my favourite artists of all time. I was a late convert. I didn’t get him until I was in my late 20s – but, when I did, when the songs finally permeated my spirit, when I realised that that odd, slightly high-pitched, reed-frail voice was in fact imbued with magnificent […]

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Week 45: Hero – Scottish Labour Party

November 12, 2015

This week, the Scottish Labour Party wins our regular hero award for voting to oppose the renewal of Trident Whilst the national Labour Party chose to avoid a debate on the renewal of Trident at Brighton this year, its increasingly independent Scottish entity took the plunge last week, and chose to vote against renewal. Labour […]

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Fifty Years Without Capital Punishment: A Source of Pride

November 9, 2015

I left Court last week with the wails of a woman who had just been convicted by a jury of a fairly serious crime ringing in my ears – ‘what’s going to happen to my son,’ she screamed, referring to the disabled six year old boy whose future was now rather perilous on account of […]

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Week 45: Prat – Jose Mourinho

November 8, 2015

Our prat of the week is the not so special one – Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho. Chelsea are in freefall. Another defeat against Stoke (the sort of team that they used to destroy) has left the Premier League Champions hovering precariously just above the relegation zone, and with it, every defeat brings yet more anguish […]

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#1045: 2015, Ezra Furman, Can I Sleep In Your Brain

November 7, 2015

I’ve been to a lot of gigs over recent weeks, covering pretty much the full range of live music experience: from the scuzzy stripped back rock n roll of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the suitably flea-pit-y Electric Ballroom, the peerless energy of the Sleaford Mods, the religio-hippy sex mysticism of Father John Misty, […]

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Week 44: Villain – George Osborne

November 7, 2015

  Last week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to George Osborne, for his authoritarian and dishonest determination to see through the cuts to tax credits You can spend all the time you like reading the Conservative manifesto from May’s election and you won’t find a whisper about cutting tax credits. There is a reference […]

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#1044: 1969, Roberta Flack, Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye

November 5, 2015

The opening track to side two of Roberta Flack’s marvellous debut album, First Take – a recent discovery thanks to a speculative second-hand vinyl purchase. A bit of a revelation, can’t recommend it highly enough. This song, written by Leonard Cohen and featuring on his debut two years earlier, is tender, touching, and in Roberta […]

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Week 44: Prat – Andrew Lloyd Webber

November 4, 2015

This week’s Prat is the Conservative Peer and multi-millionaire purveyor of shite music Andrew Lloyd Webber It’s tempting to simply put – Prat: Andrew Lloyd Webber and leave it at that. I mean, he makes the case himself. But, that would be lazy. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a very rich man. He has made many […]

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Week 44: Hero – The All Blacks

November 1, 2015

Our heroes of the week are the New Zealand rugby team for becoming the first ever team to win back to back Rugby World Cups. We have just witnessed the greatest ever Rugby World Cup and we have probably witnessed the greatest ever rugby team winning the Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks are a […]

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