Does Jeremy Corbyn Need the Support of 51 MPs to be on the Leadership Ballot?

July 11, 2016

By the end of Wednesday we will have a new Prime Minister, as Theresa May succeeds David Cameron, without challenge. The Tories will to power is once again triumphant – they made the mistake once in 2001, choosing IDS over Ken Clarke – we know now that they won’t make it again. Andrea Leadsom will […]

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I was wrong about Jeremy….

July 11, 2016

This time last year, I embarked upon a short-lived and rather embarrassing Summer romance. I was tired with my relationship, bored with doing the usual things and listening to the same old stories; I wanted something new and exciting, I wanted something different. I wanted that button popping passion that comes an illicit and dangerous […]

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Labour’s Catch 22

July 10, 2016

Given that there is now going to be a leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, as he refuses to stand down despite losing the confidence of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the position seems to be: (i) Labour’s NEC implementing the Rules keep Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot (as he will not be able to get the […]

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Some Initial Thoughts On Chilcot and the Legailty of the Iraq War

July 7, 2016

As if we haven’t had enough to be thinking about in the last couple of weeks, Sir John Chilcot chose this week of all the weeks in the seven years he has been writing his report on the Iraq war to release his report.  The media has focused heavily on the report’s criticisms of Tony […]

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#1081: 1957, Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

July 7, 2016

A couple of reasons for my pick today.  Firstly I went to see Elvis & Nixon with Jackie South last Sunday.  A small but entertaining enough film (with a superb performance by Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon) about the bizarre true story of the King of Rock N Roll turning up announced at the White […]

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Britain. Stop it now. Go home. You’re drunk.

July 6, 2016

Britain. Stop it now. Go home. You’re drunk. Success lies in the choices. And when you are drunk, you tend to make some pretty stupid choices. Our choice on June 23rd was a spectacularly stupid choice. Voting to leave the EU is a bit like what happens when you try and fix a faulty watch […]

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What, in the name of God, is going on?

June 30, 2016

Right, so let’s get this right…. The Tories don’t like Europe, but some Tories dislike it an awful lot more than others. So, David Cameron, to try to unite his party and take the steam out of UKIP (and for that matter the more pro-European Labour and Lib-Dems), declares that he will hold a referendum […]

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#1080: 2016, Meilyr Jones, Refugees

June 23, 2016

Our ‘europop’ theme on Songs To Learn And Sing has faltered and lacking inspiration for it myself I’ve decided to post this instead – a beautiful, touching song from my current favourite album, 2013. In some uncertain indirect way it feels appropriate on this big political day with so much at stake. PS Bear with […]

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Why I’ll Be Voting Remain

June 21, 2016

We are now only 40 hours or so from polls opening on the most momentous vote the British public has been asked to take since, well since last time we were asked to vote on this very same issue in 1975. The difference is, of course, this time it looks very close indeed. Given the […]

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The EU isn’t perfect, but it is so much better than the alternative

June 20, 2016

Of the All That’s Left gang, I was the one who hadn’t made my mind up on the day the EU Referendum was called. After all, the criticism that the EU is not that democratic and instead is a club where deals get made behind the scenes is a fair one. What is worse, it […]

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Week 24: Villain – Donald Trump

June 19, 2016

Last Week’s Villain of the Week was Donald Trump This is an Award we can be pretty sure that Donald Trump is going to win a lot between now and the General Election on the first Tuesday of November. He is the most egotistical, most bigoted and least suited candidate to have won the candidacy […]

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Villain: Week 23 – Tyson Fury

June 19, 2016

Villain of the Week for 2 weeks ago was Tyson Fury Tyson Fury is obviously a very talented boxer. But sadly he is also a bigot. He has in the past made a series of anti-semitic, misogynistic and homophobic comments.   Sadly, despite the controversy around his nomination for BBC Sports Personality of the Year for […]

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Week 22: Villain – Alexander Gauman

June 19, 2016

Week 22’s Villain of the Week Award went to Alexander Gauland, the Deputy leader of the AfD We are a few Villain of the Week Awards behind. This is wholly down to me and a crazy month. But in an attempt to catch up and rather pertinently given both the nasty racist rhetoric of a […]

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By-Election Special: Tooting

June 15, 2016

Today sees the by-election in Tooting following the resignation of Sadiq Khan as he takes on the Mayoralty of London Much of the talk about today’s Tooting by-election has been about the tightness of the result last year. Without the advantage of Sadiq Khan’s 11 years’ incumbency, is Labour in trouble in this part of south […]

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Week 24: Prat – Sarah Wollaston MP

June 15, 2016

This week, Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston wins our regular award for prattish behaviour It is, of course, entirely acceptable for politicians to change their mind. That is particularly true of course if they change their mind to agree with me, for example deciding to vote Remain rather than Leave in next week’s EU referendum. It […]

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Week 24: Hero – Welsh Football Fans

June 15, 2016

Last week’s Hero of the Week Award goes to the 50,000 Welsh football fans who gathered in France to celebrate their nation’s first appearance at a major football tournament for 58 years. I hope that this award doesn’t signal the kiss of death for the Welsh fans, because, thus far, they’ve been amazing, a source […]

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#1079: 2005, Tiësto, Adagio for Strings

June 10, 2016

Welcome to the second song in our Euro 2016 / EU Referendum Europop theme week. Adagio for Strings by Dutch DJ Tiësto was released in January 2005. The song is a cover of the original composition by classical composer Samuel Barber. It was voted by Mixmag readers as the second greatest dance record of all […]

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Back Of The Net Special with Ray North: The Euros

June 10, 2016

It finally happened. Last night, whilst watching a documentary on S4C about the, sadly forgotten and neglected 1976 Wales European Championship team (Toshack, Leighton James, Brian Flynn etc), I got my first Euros tingle. I’m hoping that it will now work like a party which you haven’t really wanted to go to, but turns out […]

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#1078: 1993, Haddaway, What is Love?

June 9, 2016

Oh yes! C’est Oui! Ja Ja! Siiii! (er I’m struggling now) It’s a uniquely Eurotastic time for all of us! Tomorrow the European Championships start (I’m actually struggling to get enthused about them), and next week is the Euro Referendum (I’m starting to worry about my will to live on that score as well). So […]

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Week 23: Hero – Mohammed Ali

June 9, 2016

Last week’s Hero without doubt, former Heavy Weight Champion of the World, Mohammed Ali. Mohammed Ali died last week. A man who has been a hero in three decades of illness as he was in the previous three decades of near physical perfection. Mohammed Ali is one of those few sportsmen who managed to transcend […]

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Bernie: It’s Time To Back Hillary

June 6, 2016

Tomorrow’s batch of primaries will see Hillary Clinton secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. I’ll explain that in a bit more detail below, and why that is the right result. The bigger story though will be how the supporters of Bernie Sanders react. * * * * * But first, a quotation from […]

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Week 23: Prat – David Cameron

June 6, 2016

This week’s prat award once again goes to David Cameron for his half-arsed attempts to convince British voters to stay in the EU. After watching David Cameron get grilled by a selected studio audience on why Britain should stay in the EU, I was left with the impression that he simply cannot deal with any […]

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How I’ll be voting in the EU referendum: Ray North

June 4, 2016

I’ve always had my reservations about the EU. Not because I have a problem about Poles, Portuguese or Albanians coming to live in my town – far from it, I was brought up to have no fear of other cultures and so I fight the instinct to wrap myself up in the familiarity of my […]

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Week 22: Hero – Barack Obama

June 3, 2016

This week, the US president wins our regular award for heroism We will miss Barry O when his term of office ends in less than eight months time. Whilst he has occasionally stumbled, by and large he has been a class act. Last week was another demonstration of that: during his tour of Japan and Vietnam, he […]

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Week 22: Prat – Neil Young

May 31, 2016

This week’s prat award goes to Neil Young – a confessed Bernie Sanders supporter – for approving Donald Trump’s use of his music during the Presidential campaign. Almost a year after Neil Young protested against Trump’s use of Rockin’ in the Free World at a rally, Young has now altered his position. saying that he […]

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Week 21: Hero – Kirsty Williams AM

May 31, 2016

Our hero of the week for last week is the Welsh Lib-Dem AM, Kirsty Williams. I feel sorry for Kirsty, in the last couple of years she has watched as madness gripped first her party, then the Welsh Assembly. It must seem to her as though the type of politics that she signed up for […]

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Week 21: Villain – The Leave Campaign

May 24, 2016

This week, the Brexit campaign wins our regular award for villainy There has been a lot of ridiculous hyperbole from both campaigns on the EU referendum. No, Mr Cameron, leaving the EU won’t leave to World War III. Mr Osborne, at a time when everyone agrees that London house prices are now so large that […]

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#1077: 1996, Manic Street Preachers, Australia

May 24, 2016

On today’s Channel 4 News: an item on the Northern Irish football team’s preparations for the European Championship, including a discussion about replacing God Save The Queen as their national anthem for something more inclusive of all their communities. Surely, the obvious candidate is the greatest song by the province’s greatest ever band: Teenage Kicks? […]

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Week 21: Prat – Hibs Supporters

May 24, 2016

Our prat of the week award goes to the Hibs Supporters who invaded the Hampden Park pitch after their team won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years with an injury time winner v Rangers. The end to the Hibs cup hoodoo meant they also became first lower league club to win […]

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Week 20: Hero – Laura Sarosi

May 19, 2016

This week’s hero is the little known, well at least down our way, Hungarian badminton player, Laura Sarosi On a day when it is announced that 35 people have tested positive for banned substances and will miss the Rio Olympics and after watching a Sevilla player take forty five seconds to walk off a football […]

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