Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

Au Revoir Sarko

  • May 07, 2012
  • by

Even by the dismal standards set by so many European rightwing governments in the last decade or so, Nicolas Sarkozy was a uniquely repellent politician.  Brash, vulgar, ostentatious, ruthless and arrogant, his appetite for power was untempered by any moral scruples.

This was a man who, according to the investigative journalism website  Mediapart,  received 50 million euros from the Gaddafis to help finance his electoral campaign.  Yet five years later he was one of the most enthusiastic partners in the humanitarian NATO bombing campaign in Libya.

From the 2007 campaign to the election that he has...

Spain as Metaphor

Spain as Metaphor

  • April 29, 2012
  • by

The Spanish  city of Ciudad Real isn’t the most obvious tourist destination.  Situated in the province of La Mancha 115 miles from Madrid, it has a population of 74,000 and few attractions beyond its associations with Spain’s most famous literary character.

In 2003 however,  a private company named CR Aeropuertos began to attract investment for a...

Spain : Basta ya!

  • April 28, 2012
  • by

The latest statistics on the Spanish economic crisis are truly devastating.  Unemployment is now at 24.44 percent, close to the record of 24.55 percent in 1994.  In Extremadura, Andalucia and the Canary Islands the figure is 30 percent.   There are now 5. 6 million unemployed out of a total population of 47 million.  ...

Miss Austerity’s House of Pain

  • April 24, 2012
  • by

The other day an acquaintance of mine told me that she had just begun working for the Citizens Advice Bureau.   One of her first calls was from a cancer patient who has become incontinent because of the treatment she was receiving.  The reason for the call was because the patient had just been told...

Argentina Ditches Repsol

  • April 19, 2012
  • by

Interesting developments in Argentina, where president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s decision to  bring the country’s largest oil company  Petrolíferos Yacimientos Fiscales (YPF)  back into state ownership  at the expense of the Spanish multinational Repsol has sparked howls of rage in Spain, and drawn condemnation from some governments and financial institutions.

The government has justified the expropriation...

UK Police: Preparing for a Sub-Lethal Future

UK Police: Preparing for a Sub-Lethal Future

  • April 11, 2012
  • by

Bolstered by the runaway success of The Hunger Games, dystopia seems to be becoming a new cultural sub-genre amongst the young.  Bookshop windows now display a whole range of bleak teenage fictional future scenarios,  involving genetic engineering, pervasive surveillance and police states.

You could attribute this trend to skilful opportunist marketing, but the popularity of these...

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  • No events