Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Antiracism Category
Springtime for Fascists

Springtime for Fascists

  • March 23, 2019
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It’s become something of a cliché to look back on Nazi Germany and shake our heads and ask how the country of Goethe and Beethoven could have descended into barbarism.  There are obviously very specific historical reasons why Germany took the path it did, but there is also a more universal lesson that can be applied to other historical contexts.

To put it simply, societies tumble off the abyss and become what the medieval historian RI Moore once called ‘persecuting societies’ because the forces that might have prevented this outcome  either don’t recognise the warning...

The ‘Great Replacement’: a Recipe for Murder

The ‘Great Replacement’: a Recipe for Murder

  • March 18, 2019
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Historically speaking, few things are entirely new under the sun, and the paranoid fantasies of the ‘great replacement’ and ‘white genocide’ that have gained new publicity as a result of the Christchurch murders are no exception.   On Friday Newsnight interviewed Benjamin Jones, the UK leader of the alt-group Generation Identity about the murders.  GI is...

Are You or Have You Ever Been an Antisemite?

Are You or Have You Ever Been an Antisemite?

  • March 06, 2019
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I’m not a Labour party member, but it’s impossible to ignore the ‘antisemitism crisis’ that has ground its dismal way through British politics for the last three and a half years.

Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader in 2015,  this crisis has grown and grown, acquiring new dimensions and components along the way.  Where Corbyn was...

Small Island: A Brief History of British Immigration ‘Concerns’

Small Island: A Brief History of British Immigration ‘Concerns’

  • January 18, 2019
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Politicians tend to defer almost as a matter of course to popular ‘concerns’ about immigration, as though they were a novel reaction to the unprecedented 21st century phenomenon of ‘mass immigration’.

But these ‘concerns’ are actually part of a longer historical tradition, in which racist and xenophobic prejudices have been attached to different groups of people, in...

‘Foreigners Like You Have No Right to Interfere’

‘Foreigners Like You Have No Right to Interfere’

  • January 16, 2019
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Just after the referendum in 2016,  I got a message on this site from an anonymous fascist,  which I wish I’d kept.  The gist of it was that the people like me had lost, and that people like the writer were now going to take their country back.

The tone was  quietly triumphant and determined, and...

El Cid Meets Donald Trump:  Fascism Returns to Spain

El Cid Meets Donald Trump: Fascism Returns to Spain

  • January 10, 2019
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Until recently Spain was something of an anomaly in the ‘new’ populist/far-right European politics.  Despite – or perhaps because of – the recent memory of the Civil War and the decades of dictatorship, it had no explicitly far-right party of any influence.

Even the Partido Popular (PP), which swept up much of the post-Franco right, was...

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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