Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt

Rejoice and Tug the Forelock

  • April 29, 2011
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The great day has dawned and a patriotic mist has already descended on the nation’s collective brain.   Towns and cities across the UK, including my own, are draped in Union Jacks and the cross of St George,  as millions celebrate the accession of Kate Middleton from the status of ‘commoner’ to a world of...

Bombing in Marrakesh

Bombing in Marrakesh

  • April 28, 2011
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The Place Djmaa al Fna in Marrakesh is one of my favourite places in the world. Despite the constant flow of tourists in and around the square, it has remained stubbornly resistant to consumerism and still retains the vibrant and utterly beguiling pre-modern character of a desert festival and medieval fair.

From a distance in the...

Beyond Satire

  • April 27, 2011
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The spectacle of Berlusconi and Sarkozy, two of the sleaziest and most cynical rightwing politicians in Europe, calling for a revision of the ‘borderless’ Schengen Area in response to the recent arrivals of undocumented migrants from North Africa is not an edifying sight.

For years the European Union provided weaponry and political support to the Tunisian...

The Man from Nowhere

  • April 26, 2011
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I recently visited the birthplace of Andy Warhol in eastern Slovakia, while researching my book on borders and immigration.   On Sunday I published a piece in the New York Times International Weekly based on some ideas that came out of that trip.   You can read the piece here:

...

Sandals In Harrogate

  • April 25, 2011
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As usual I’ve spent the Easter weekend at the National Union of Teachers conference in Harrogate, where my partner is a delegate.      There’s always a striking disconnect between what happens at these annual conferences and the way they are reported in the UK media.     As an occasional conference  observer and an...

Multiculturalism is Bad for You

  • April 22, 2011
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Superb article by  Liz Fekete at the Institute of Race Relations on the European-wide convergence between mainstream conservatives and the extreme-right in their attacks on multiculturalism.   Her central thesis is that, at a time of economic crisis

In singling out multiculturalism as a threat to national identity, the leaders of Europe’s centre-right parties are using...

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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