Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Antiracism Category

Sarkozy: la France c’est moi

  • March 12, 2012
  • by

What do you do when you are the president of France and you are facing a crushing  defeat at the hands of the centre-left in forthcoming elections next month,  and a substantial swathe of the electorate thinks that you are the worst French leader since World War II?

If you are Nicolas Sarkozy, this question has only one answer.

You may remember that during Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign he talked a great deal about immigration and French national identity – a combination that in France, as in many other European countries, is usually evoked...

Himmler, Breivik and the ‘invention of tradition’

  • February 22, 2012
  • by

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...

Lights out on planet Clarkson

  • January 09, 2012
  • by

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
  • by

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
  • by


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
  • by

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...

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.