Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

The Bonfire of the Libraries

  • January 15, 2012
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Libraries are special places.  Jorge Luis Borges once imagined that Paradise would look like a ‘kind of library’.   ‘When I got my library card, that’s when my life began,‘    wrote the American writer Rita Mae Brown.  The tennis player Arthur Ashe once described libraries as ‘the courts of last resort’ and insisted that ‘ the current definitive answer to almost any question can be found within the four walls of most libraries’.

He wasn’t wrong.  And  even if these answers can’t be found in your local library, it...

Market-Assisted Suicide

  • December 19, 2011
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There’s a very sad but telling piece in today’s Guardian about the rise in suicide in Greece in the last few years – a rise that appears to be a direct cause of the economic crisis.   Three years ago, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in Europe at 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, in a...

The One Percent

  • November 25, 2011
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There’s a hilarious pseudo-manifesto by John Kenny in the New Yorker on behalf of a very different Occupy movement.

We, too, have mobilized.  We come from near and far, by any means necessary, some on private jets, others on extremely large private jets.  But you will not find us sleeping in a park and waiting in...

Let squatters squat!

  • October 28, 2011
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It won’t be news to many people that there is a housing and homelessness crisis in the UK, but a few statistics are worth considering to remind ourselves of the dimensions of the problem.

According to the homelessness action group Crisis, 400,000 single people are homeless, and living in B&Bs, squats, or the floors of family...

Home Office Shock Exclusive: the Poor Exist

  • October 25, 2011
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The Home Office’s statistics about last summer’s riots make interesting reading, especially if we remind ourselves of some of the more crazed political and media analysis that accompanied these events, such as this vent about the rioters from  Max Hastings in the Mail:

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems...

Austerity: Coming to Your Country Soon

  • October 20, 2011
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The Greeks aren’t ready to lay their heads on the IMF/EU block just yet.  The Guardian has described yesterday’s anti-cuts package demo  in Athens as ‘one of the biggest  in modern times’.  I really like the following excellent quote from  Giorgos Kamkeris, a municipal employee who took part: ‘The men and women whom we elected...

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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