Monthly Archives: July 2011

I wanted to do a list of the ten most iconic songs of the last fifty years. The test was not whether they were my personal favourites, but whether they were truly iconic. Iconic implies recognizable, but I have tried to avoid the modern bias one often sees in these lists.

I was a little bit concerned that I didn’t have anything by the Jacksons or Michael Jackson, but I couldn’t think what to take out. I also wasn’t sure whether to go for Sound of Silence or Bridge over Troubled Water. So I made my choice and now now all I can say is here is the list – in alphabetical order.

All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

American Pie – Don McLean

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Dancing Queen – Abba

Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me – Nilsson

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John

House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Imagine – John Lennon

In the Ghetto – Elvis Presley

My Way – Frank Sinatra

No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley

Pinball Wizard – The Who

Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Sultan’s of Swing – Dire Straits

Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Whiter Shade of Pale – Procal Harum

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Brothers

Comments and disagreement welcome.


Although my father lives outside of the UK he has been closely following the events in the phone hacking scandal.  A few days ago he sent me an excellent article by the great Melanie Phillips called The smell worsens around the Metropolitan Police and followed up by asking me “And what are we to make of this? Is there honesty and integrity left anywhere?”

I thought about this for a while and then sent him the following reply:

British dustmen and roadsweepers have integrity
British coal miners still have integrity
British factory workers still have integrity
British farmers still have integrity
British shelf-stackers in supermarkets have integrity
British nurses have integrity.
British firemen have integrity.

Now I am not saying that every blue-collar worker is a paragon of virtue.  There are a few cowboy builders and rip-off plumbers – along with train drivers who strike at the drop of a hat or bus drivers who delight in driving off when they see you running for the bus.  And of course there are some shop staff who seem to be miles away when they’re counting your change.

Similarly, there are still quite a few Trade Unionists who display an “I’m all right jack” attitude when it comes to the public – whilst working for legally-enshrined monopolies that protects them from the corrective mechanism of the free market.  And then of course there is also no shortage of students who believe that taxpayers should be compelled on pain of imprisonment to subsidize their studies of whatever subject they choose, regardless of its value to society.

But that pales into insignificance when it comes to the example set by their so-called “betters”.  If you want to find integrity in Britain, do not look to politicians, lawyers, judges, journalists, newspaper editors or policemen.  Nor even overpaid doctors – and don’t even think of looking for integrity in your local bank or in the Square Mile, where the city-slickers work, lunch and play.

If you want to find the last bastion of integrity in Britain, go down to your local pub.  You will find it in the British working class.


The price of the eBook edition of The Moses Legacy has been slashed to £1.99 to welcome in the forthcoming summer holidays.

So if you’re looking for something interesting to read on your Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology, Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology or iBook reader, you can now get it for under two quid.

For a great summer read – look no further.