From the monthly archives:

February 2016

US primaries #11: Super Tuesday

February 28, 2016

Tuesday sees the biggest test for the Presidential hopefuls: Super Tuesday where a quarter of the delegates for both parties are up for grabs. So far, the Democrats have elected a total of 156 delegates, and the Republicans a total of 130, through the February primaries. Tuesday’s haul dwarfs those figures: in a single day, […]

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Week 9: Prat – Sarah Vine

February 28, 2016

This week’s prat award goes to Sarah Vine, for once again providing indiscreet comments about her life with husband and Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, and in this case, giving a blow by blow account about Michael’s formative wrestlings with his Brexit conscience. Yes, it must have been a pretty bloody difficult decision for an incumbent […]

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Week 9: Villain – George Osborne

February 28, 2016

This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is our villain for announcing new spending cuts This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the state of the world economy necessitated even further spending cuts, on top of those announced last year. Observers of Gideon Osborne may have noted a pattern here. When it is politically […]

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US primaries #10: Clinton’s South Carolina victory

February 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s emphatic victory in South Carolina removes any doubts that she will be nominated We predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the South Carolina primary with some ease. But we expected a victory on the scale of the two-to-one basis indicated by the polls – in the end the victory was closer to three-to-one. […]

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US primaries #9: the Democrats hit South Carolina

February 27, 2016

Tonight sees the last of the eight primaries that precede Super Tuesday: the Democratic primary election in South Carolina Don’t get too excited though: of those eight contests this is probably the one that has the most predictable outcome: Hillary Clinton will win, and win big. The graph below shows our rolling poll of polls. […]

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US primaries #8: the Nevada results

February 26, 2016

This week’s primaries in the Silver State cemented the lead positions for both the Democrats and Republicans Last Saturday, I posted on the Democrats’ primary caucus in Nevada. On Tuesday, it was the Republicans’ turn. So, how did it all pan out? 1. THE DEMOCRATS A month ago, Saturday’s Democratic caucus looked like an easy […]

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US primaries #7: Nevada part 2

February 23, 2016

After Saturday’s Democratic primary in the Silver State, it is now the Republicans’ turn. Hot on the heels from victory in South Carolina, will this be three wins in a row for Donald Trump? The result from South Carolina Donald Trump did not just win in South Carolina. His victory there was overwhelming. He took […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #68: 1979, The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

February 23, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WFqVQ4gbeg Red Cross Nurse: How long were you married? Maria Braun: I am still married Red Cross Nurse: I mean, it didn’t last long did it? Maria Braun: ‘Yes we did: half a day and a whole night’.   [Apologies for the trailer but only the Italian dubbed version appears to be available on Youtube] […]

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#1068: 1976, Billy Joel, Prelude/Angry Young Man

February 23, 2016

Angry Young Man is taken from Billy Joel’s 1976 Turnstiles album. The song paints a picture of youthful activism and rebellion that is ultimatly futile and leads to the character in the song becoming an angry old man, ulimately failing to change the world and left to rage against the world without ever being able […]

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Week 8: Hero – Pope Francis

February 22, 2016

This week’s Hero of the Week award goes to the Pope. We don’t really go for religion on these pages, but, credit where it is due, Pope Francis seems like a fairly progressive and enlightened guy (as Vicar’s of God, leaders of the on true faith etc go), and does genuinely appear to be genuinely […]

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Week 8: Villain – Manny Pacquiao

February 21, 2016

Our villain of the week award goes to Filipino world champion boxer and politician, Manny Pacquiao, for repeating his opposition to homosexuality and for stating that gay people were “worse than animals”. Manny Pacquiao may be one of the all time great boxers, but he is not much of a role model. His bigoted views […]

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Week 8: Prat – David Cameron

February 21, 2016

The Prime Minister wins our award for being the greatest prat of the last week What a pantomime Friday’s EU negotiations were. As the “English breakfast” became the “English brunch”, “English lunch” and then “English dinner”, the whole set up took on a sense of farce. All to decide on some very minor benefits changes for […]

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US primaries #6: Nevada

February 20, 2016

Today, Nevada’s Democrats caucus to decide who their presidential candidate should be. It looks close. Nevada may be the Silver State, but neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders will be happy with a silver medal from today’s primary caucus there. The Silver State Nevada is a rapidly growing part of the nation, and with its […]

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US primaries #5: South Carolina

February 20, 2016

Tomorrow, the paths of the two US parties in seeking their presidential candidates separate. The Democrats head out West to Nevada, whilst the Republicans slog it out in the Deep South, in South Carolina. This post looks at the Republican race in the Palmetto State. South Carolina differs from the first two states that have […]

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Week 7: Villain – Jeremy Hunt

February 19, 2016

Last Week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to the Health Secretary for once again living down to his Jim Naughtie name We have previously lauded the junior doctors for their industrial action in respect of the attempt by this government to bring in new working conditions, sold as a pay rise but which are […]

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Week 7: Hero – Liverpool FC Fans

February 16, 2016

This weeks heroes are the Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans, I mean proper fans, I do not mean customers of Anfield Road, Liverpool, I do not mean the eaters of prawn sandwiches or those who leave early and spend a third of the match in hospitality; no I mean those who really care – because […]

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Week 7: Prat – Marco Rubio

February 16, 2016

This week, US Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio picks up our much-coveted award for being the biggest idiot of the last seven days After Iowa’s caucus, Marco Rubio seemed to have it made. If he sat pretty, made some good debate contributions and left his opponents to tear strips off each other more moderate Republican […]

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#1067: 2014, Parker Millsap, Yosemite

February 15, 2016

I meant to post this yesterday as my contribution to Valentine’s Day. A lovely song from the (very) young singer-songwriter taken from his great 2014 self-titled album. Makes me want to go to the national park. One of these days I’m going to strike it rich I’m going to take you to Yosemite Park And […]

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2016 US primaries: #4 – New Hampshire results

February 14, 2016

Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary election was the last thing that either of the party establishments wanted, not only because of the victories of somewhat maverick insurgent candidates but also the nature of those victories. For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders not only beat Hillary Clinton, he trounced her. On the Republican side, Donald Trump not only […]

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#1066: 1966, Jefferson Airplane, Blues From An Airplane

February 9, 2016

2016 has been a busy year for Rock’N’Roll’s Grim Reaper. Whilst we were still reeling from the demise of Lemmy in the closing days of 2015 we had the devastating loss of the genius of David Bowie. Then last week, Maurice White, the outlandish and eccentric driving force of Earth Wind and Fire shuffled off […]

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Week 6: Villain – Julian Assange

February 8, 2016

‘This Week’s Villain of the Week Award goes to the Wikileaks founder and former resident of the Ecuador Embassy, Julian Assange.’ Julian Assange appears to have started life as an idealistic computer programmer and managed to become depending on your point of view, either a crusader for truth and clarion voice against the excesses of […]

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Week 6: Hero – Leicester City

February 8, 2016

This week’s hero award goes to Leicester City for beating title favourites Manchester City 3-1 and continuing their run at the top of the Premier League. Claudio Ranieri’s team are a breath of fresh air. Here we have a team that at this stage last season looked destined for relegation, were previously tipped for relegation […]

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2016 USA primaries: #3 – New Hampshire

February 8, 2016

Tuesday sees the next contest in the US presidential primary season, and the first true primary election, as opposed to caucus. New Hampshire is very proud of this, and likes to boast that this is the first true primary. Outside the state capital in Concord, the pavement has a timeline showing the contests, their winners […]

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2016 USA primaries: #2 – Iowa results

February 7, 2016

You know the results: despite the polls, Trump did not win and Clinton only just did. So, why did the polls appear to get it wrong? First, it is worth remembering that caucuses are difficult to poll for: FiveThirtyEight said on the eve of the caucuses that they understated their real margin of error and […]

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Week 6: Prat – the United Nations Working Group On Arbitrary Detention

February 7, 2016

This Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to the group set up by the UN to investigate the question of whether Julian Assange is being arbitrarily detained Oh dear. Even the question is ridiculous.   Let’s recap: Julian Assange is wanted for questioning in respect of two allegations of rape in Sweden.   The Scandinavian country […]

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Week 5: Villain – Denmark

February 4, 2016

This Week’s Villain of the Week award goes to Denmark for its new migrant laws Scandinavia’s reputation as the closest the planet has to the ideal society seems increasingly a distant memory. You know the image of a social democratic welfare state with great public services and a focus on equality. Only a few years […]

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Week 4: Prat – The Lancashire Constabulary

February 4, 2016

The belated Prat of the Week Award for a fortnight ago goes to the Lancashire police force This is a somewhat belated post. Indeed our Week 5 Prat Award has already been posted.  But for the sake of completeness, the missing Prat of the Week Award for Week 4 of 2016, goes to the boys […]

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#1065: 2013, Jason Isbell, Stockholm

February 4, 2016

Although I am still revelling in the sheer number of superb gigs I went to in 2015, we are now in a new year and increasingly my mind is turning to the exciting gigs in the diary to come. My first taste of live music this year came a couple of Fridays back with Alabaman […]

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Ray North’s Six Nations Preview

February 4, 2016

No sooner have those of us of a Celtic persuasion stopped laughing at the demise of England in their own World Cup, than the season’s Six Nations Extravaganza is upon us. And I say extravaganza with optimism as last year’s tournament was excellent and this year’s tournament unencumbered by either a British Lions Tour or […]

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Week 5: Hero – Greek Footballers

February 2, 2016

‘…. And in particular the footballers of AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos’ It is rare for Footballers to proffer an opinion which goes beyond an anodyne musing that the game consisted of two halves or that the lads gave 110%, unless of course it has to do with their pay, when many suddenly become extremely vocal. […]

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