Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Antiracism Category

Guyana’s New Beginning

  • May 16, 2015
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Divide-and-rule was always the special hallmark of British imperialism.     It’s a technique that worked well for Britain in its imperial heyday, and which was also brought into play during the ‘end of empire’ twilight,   when successive British governments sought to shape the political arrangments in their colonies in favour of their own geopolitical priorities.

These intentions left a trail of political disasters in their wake, many of which lasted long after the Union Jack had ceased to flutter.     Northern Ireland; the India-Pakistan partition; Kashmir; the Malaysian and Kenyan ’emergencies’; Israel-Palestine:...

Copenhagen: it’s not about free speech

  • February 16, 2015
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Whatever motivated Omar el-Hussein to attack a debate on free speech in Copenhagen, it’s probably safe to say that neither he nor the murderers of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and the Copenhagen had spent much time thinking through issues around freedom of expression, secularism and the place of religion within the public sphere.   It...

Europe’s Migrants: let them die, God will know his own

  • February 10, 2015
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Even by the awful standards of Europe’s maritime borders, the deaths of 29 migrants last Sunday are a terrible testament to the continent’s collective indifference. Late last Sunday, two Italian coastguard boats picked up 105 migrants from an inflatable boat in rough seas off the Libyan coast, in which waves were as high as 8...

Briton of the Year

  • December 30, 2014
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I generally try to disengage from the news from Christmas Eve onwards, and even when I don’t succeed festivities and family obligations tend to reduce the amount of time I have to write or even think about it.     One thing I don’t like to think about at all is Ukip.   Nevertheless Farage...

Jimmy Mubenga: A Shameful Verdict

  • December 17, 2014
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Yesterday a jury delivered one of the most astounding verdicts that the British justice system has produced in many years, when it found three former G4S guards not guilty of the manslaughter by gross negligence of   Jimmy Mubenga, the Angolan deportee who was asphyxiated while being forcibly held down in his seat during a...

Europe’s New ‘Walls’: from the Berlin Wall to Lampedusa

  • November 12, 2014
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Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, wrote the poet Robert Frost, and few walls have been more unloved historically than the Berlin Wall.     The 25th anniversary of its fall on Sunday provided an opportunity for nostalgic reflection on a defining moment in European and world history.   Old ghosts and tropes...

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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