Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt

Briton of the Year

  • December 30, 2014
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I generally try to disengage from the news from Christmas Eve onwards, and even when I don’t succeed festivities and family obligations tend to reduce the amount of time I have to write or even think about it.     One thing I don’t like to think about at all is Ukip.   Nevertheless Farage...

In God’s Name: Religion, Islam and Pakistan’s Child Murderers

In God’s Name: Religion, Islam and Pakistan’s Child Murderers

  • December 19, 2014
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‘Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction,’ wrote Blaise Pascal.  This is not always true.  From General Lothar von Trotta’s extermination of the Herero to the Russian purges, the Holocaust and the Kymer Rouge, the twentieth century was filled with numerous examples of terrible violence and...

Jimmy Mubenga: A Shameful Verdict

  • December 17, 2014
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Yesterday a jury delivered one of the most astounding verdicts that the British justice system has produced in many years, when it found three former G4S guards not guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of   Jimmy Mubenga, the Angolan deportee who was asphyxiated while being forcibly held down in his seat during a...

Money for Torture: the endless gravy train of the ‘war on terror’

  • December 13, 2014
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One of the most striking revelations in the Senate Select Committee’s scathing condemnation of the CIA’s torture program has been the role of the two psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen in the Agency’s interrogations.

Both men had worked for the US military for many years before they retired shortly after 9/11 and set up their...

The CIA’s Torture Gardens

  • December 11, 2014
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America, perhaps more than any other country, has a striking ability to turn even the grimmest evidence of moral failure into a testament to its exalted moral status, and the response to the Senate Intelligence Select Committee Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program is no exception.

As heavily-redacted as it is,  ...

Hunger is Political

  • December 09, 2014
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The government has adopted a strikingly conciliatory pose in response to yesterday’s report from the All Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom.  The hapless Lady Jenkin may have expressed what many Tories secretly believe when she suggested that hunger in the UK is all due to the inept culinary and budgetary practices of...

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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