Notes From the Margins…
Brexit:  Don’t Mention the War

Brexit: Don’t Mention the War

  • May 19, 2019
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Badly-remembered history tends to produce bad politics, and bad politics often results in misremembered or mythologised versions of history.  In the case of Brexit, both tendencies have been borne out repeatedly by the obsessive references to World War 2 to which Leavers are prone.

Suggest that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may be a disaster for the...

Who’s Afraid of George Soros?

Who’s Afraid of George Soros?

  • May 14, 2019
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There was a time, many years ago, when I knew of George Soros as the billionaire who made a billion from speculating on the Pound during ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992.  Since then I’ve often came across his name as a philantrophist associated with various progressive liberal and pro-democratic causes, and I once applied for a...

Rapey Jokey Time

Rapey Jokey Time

  • May 09, 2019
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Heard any good rape jokes recently guys?  How about this one, which Labour MP Jess Phillips posted on twitter yesterday:

Just leaving Westminster and and man ran down the street along side me asking me about why Carl Benjamin shouldn’t be able to joke about my rape. Shouting “I pay your wages”.

— Jess Phillips...

Extinctions

Extinctions

  • May 07, 2019
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For rightwing media commentators steeped in climate change denialism – and let’s face it most of them are -the Extinction Rebellion protests and the involvement of children and young people in the school strikes movement have been an object of scorn and derision.

Some of these esteemed pundits, like Brendan O’Neill from Spooked Online, will tell...

The Caliphate According to Saint Matteo

The Caliphate According to Saint Matteo

  • May 03, 2019
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The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is a busy man.  With less than a month until the European Elections, he has been touring the continent to shore up the troops for the new nationalist/populist bloc that he and his cohorts are seeking to establish in the European Parliament

The far-right has tried this before.  In 2007...

In Praise of Political Correctness

In Praise of Political Correctness

  • May 01, 2019
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There was a time, in the Thatcher years, when the concept of ‘political correctness’ was used to de-legitimize the left and/or bring feminism and particularly antiracism into ridicule and disrepute.

Bliss was it to be alive in those days,  when the British yellow press regaled the nation with mostly invented stories about what ‘loony left’ councils...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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