Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

Austerity: Greece Continues to Fight

  • October 06, 2011
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The political/economic discourse of ‘austerity’ and ‘austerity packages’ tends to present these processes as if they were entirely reasonable, inevitable and a matter of plain common sense.  It’s like going on a diet.   Just ‘tighten your belts’ and reduce your ‘bloated public sector’ (how come no one ever talks about a ‘bloated private sector’ by the way?), ie. sell it off to the waiting predators, and your country will soon return to prosperous normality after a period of common sacrifice.

But if IMF/EU ‘austerity’ means opportunities for the rich, it also means the enforced...

Tough Decisions

  • September 26, 2011
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It’s always bracing when politicians talk about the need for ‘tough decisions’, as though they’re struggling to repress some inherent sense of decency for the greater good.   Maybe less so with George Osborne. His toughness is the kind one might have expected from some dissolute rake from the Hellfire Club,  pausing to evict starving farm...



  • August 10, 2011
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Stunned and clearly scared out of its wits by the shocking events of the last few days, ‘decent’ British society – or at least those who claim to be its mouthpieces – is dreaming of vengeance and retribution.  Comments sections on websites and newspapers are thick with talk of plastic bullets, water cannons, vigilantes and...

Britain Cracks Up

Britain Cracks Up

  • August 09, 2011
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Prophecy is never an exact science, but  Nick Cohen’s observation in Sunday’s Observer ‘No riots in Britain. Just quiet, ever-deeper anxiety’ must go down as one of   the more spectacularly ill-timed examples of media punditry in recent years.

In the space of two days,  a chain of riots and disturbances  has spread across the country...

Putting the Panic On

Putting the Panic On

  • August 05, 2011
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As Yogi Berra once put it, it’s deja vu all over again…


With headlines like this

World stock markets in turmoil
Almost £50bn wiped off leading British shares and huge sell-off on Wall Street amid economic fears

And this

Global stock sell-off continues

Asian markets down between 3% and 5%

And this

Debt crisis: global markets plunge as eurozone contagion spreads

I’m just...

Discipline and Fear

  • July 31, 2011
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Nurses, teachers, doctors and all you other do-nothings who have been living high on the hog at the taxpayer’s expense:  be afraid, be very afraid.   The time is coming when you will be held to account for the financial disasters that you have inflicted on the nation.   After all these years of idleness...

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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