Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt
In the Court of the Brexit King

In the Court of the Brexit King

  • March 21, 2021
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If there’s one important lesson about politics that tends too often to go unlearned, it’s this: You don’t need to be a genius or a titan to take power and use that power for malign purposes.  In Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi – a surreal parody of Macbeth – the  foulmouthed, halfwitted childlike slob Pere Ubu massacres...

Ursula in Blunderland

Ursula in Blunderland

  • January 31, 2021
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At first sight, the government of a country that has just reached the grim figure of 100,000 covid-related deaths and the third highest per capita covid death rate in the world shouldn’t have much to celebrate.  Yet a poll this week suggests that  Johnson and his cabinet-of-the-damned have gained four points, bringing its potential vote...

The Lie Machine

The Lie Machine

  • January 23, 2021
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Political lying is not a new phenomenon, but there are many different kinds of political lies.  There are lies that governments tell their populations in order to achieve specific objectives in war and diplomacy.  There are up-front, out-loud lies based on the invention of facts, and  lies that are achieved through the concealment and obfuscation...

Jelly on a (Tory) Plate

Jelly on a (Tory) Plate

  • January 12, 2021
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Some readers may be ancient enough to remember certain mathematics textbooks that asked you to calculate your weekly grocery bills, or how long it would take four men to dig a hole in road.  I was reminded of these exercises today, when I saw the following tweet from @RoadsideMum about the package she had received...

On the Tenth Day of Brexit, My True Love Gave to Me

On the Tenth Day of Brexit, My True Love Gave to Me

  • January 10, 2021
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It’s less than two weeks since the Supreme Leader Comrade John-Son-Un signed the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement the day before the transition period for leaving the EU expired.  Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be a Brexiter was very heaven. John-Son-Un himself, never one to hide his light under...

The Trumptown Putschists

The Trumptown Putschists

  • January 07, 2021
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Many years ago, when I moved to Spain in 1988, people used to talk about the coup attempt of 1981, when Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero and 200 Civil Guard officers took over the Spanish Congress of Deputies and held MPs hostage.  Years later, people could still remember what they were doing on the day of 23-F,...

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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