Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

A Message from the Chancellor

  • April 22, 2013
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Hello everyone.   My name is George Osborne and I’m the Chancellor of the Exchequer.   It’s really a pleasure for me to show you round the new Britain that we have been building these last three years, in the hope that you will ignore the doomsayers and the naysayers, the negative credit ratings, the IMF, an ever-growing number of economists,  and come and look at the transformation we’ve achieved in just a few short years.

The first thing that any potential investor will notice about our country is that it’s a...

Stop saying they’re ‘out of touch’

  • March 21, 2013
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In recent years the expression ‘out of touch’ has one of the more meaningless clichés of modern politics.   It’s generally used as an indictment of governments and powerful institutions,  as the following random headlines illustrate:

Rail fare rises show Government is out of touch, says Labour,  (Telegraph 2/1/13)

Welsh Government ‘out of touch’...

The Cyprus bailout: as low as it gets?

  • March 17, 2013
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The Cyprus ‘bailout’  announcement marks a new threshold in the ongoing disgrace that we have come to label austerity.  For the first time, the European Union, the IMF and a national government have announced that a levy will be exacted on individual savings without any process of consultation, in order to prevent the Cypriot...

Spain’s New Picaresque

  • February 25, 2013
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When the scandal broke out in Germany last week of neo-Nazi security guards working in an  Amazon warehouse, I was interested to note how many of the bullied migrant workers there  were Spaniards.  One of them was a Spanish art teacher in her 50s and the mother of three children, who was forced to emigrate...

Killing me softly with their bills

  • January 07, 2013
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Just received a wonderful letter this morning from ‘Craig Walters’, a customer service assistant at my electricity company Atlantic (‘energy made better’).  Atlantic is the trading name of SSE Energy, one of the ‘big six’ suppliers which an Ofgem report last  October found were making average profits of £125 on ‘dual use’...

The revolt of the Catalans

  • September 24, 2012
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Barcelona is a city where I spent nine years of my life and where I have many good friends.     So I”ve been following with special interest – and not without some anxiety – the upsurge in separatist sentiment in Catalonia, which reached its apotheosis in the huge pro-independence demonstrations in Barcelona on 11...

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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