Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Antiracism Category

Himmler, Breivik and the ‘invention of tradition’

  • February 22, 2012
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I’ve just read Heather Pringle’s magisterial The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust.  It’s an astonishing and ground-breaking feat of scholarship which traces the obscure history of the Ahnenerbe, the elite ‘study society for Intellectual Ancient History’ created by Himmler to investigate the SS chief’s historical fantasies and quack theories about Aryan racial origins.

Himmler was something of a romantic and a quasi-mystic, whose profound antipathy to the modern world was reflected in his fascination with the medieval Teutonic Knights and ideas about racial prehistory that had no basis in historical fact or...

Lights out on planet Clarkson

  • January 09, 2012
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That Clarko’s a card isn’t he? Some of you may remember the truly horrific episode that took place in Morecombe Bay on 5 February 2004, when at least 21 Chinese cockle pickers were drowned after being cut off by rising tides while working at night.

All of them were ‘illegal’ workers from China’s Fujian province and...

The Diane Abbott sharkfest

  • January 06, 2012
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The microblogging site Twitter only allows messages of 140 characters, but politicians who use it would do well to ponder them carefully. If not, they are likely to find even their pithiest observations subjected to a level of attention that they hadn’t bargained for…

My piece for The Week/The First Post on the Diane Abbott ‘race...

R.I.P: Basil D’Oliveira 1931-2011

  • November 20, 2011
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As a young adolescent recently returned from the Caribbean in the late sixties, the case of Basil D’Oliveira was my first introduction to the racism of the English cricket establishment – and the vicious insanity of the apartheid system.     Born in South Africa in 1931, D’Oliveira was  a gifted all-rounder of...

Europe’s ‘multicultural problem’

  • July 21, 2011
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Multiculturalism is a concept that is often criticized – and rarely defined – by both mainstream conservatives and the extreme right.    But definitions are  usually less important than the visceral condemnations of a corrupting liberal ‘ideology’ that is supposedly paving the way for the downfall of ‘our’ national and cultural identity...

Samosas, Drinks and the EDL

  • July 12, 2011
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There was a bad result for the English Defence League (EDL) in my hometown of Cambridge on Saturday.   Some 200 EDL members attempted to march down Mill Road to protest outside the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Mawson Road.    They were met by a counter-demonstration of 2,000 people, and prevented from reaching the...

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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