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“Running Around Like Idiots”: Britain’s Brexit Crisis

“Running Around Like Idiots”: Britain’s Brexit Crisis

  • July 19, 2019
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“The weight of this sad time we must obey/Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,” declares Goneril’s husband the Duke of Albany at the end of King Lear, as the body of the old king is taken away.  Given the carnage, corruption, madness, vanity and greed that has preceded this observation, Albany’s attempt to reach a morally uplifting conclusion comes over as a little banal and inadequate.

The same could be said of Nick Robinson’s recommendation, at the end of last night’s Panorama on Britain’s Brexit Crisis, that our politicians should stop...

Epstein’s Monsters

Epstein’s Monsters

  • July 15, 2019
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Many people will be familiar with the observation made by John Stuart Mill in 1867 that ‘Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.’   This is true as far as it goes,  but there are also cases when the triumph of evil is not...

Our Ex-Man in Washington

Our Ex-Man in Washington

  • July 11, 2019
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One of the most extraordinary revelations during our ongoing descent into the political vortex has been the supine feebleness and incompetence with which the British ruling classes have responded to a direct threat from the right to their most cherished institutions.  Back in the 1970s there were weird rightwing organisations like Moral Rearmament, secret service...

The Resistible Rise of Boris the Clown

The Resistible Rise of Boris the Clown

  • June 26, 2019
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Yesterday morning I watched Boris Johnson give two absolute car crash interviews on LBC and Talk Radio.  It was hard to know which of them was the worst: the one in which he refused to answer Nick Ferrari’s question regarding the date of his ‘Boris and Carrie’ photo, or the one in which he mumbled...

Vultures in Brexitland

Vultures in Brexitland

  • June 05, 2019
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As everyone knows, Donald Trump lies as he breathes.  He lies about big things and small things, and he lies about absurd and ridiculous things.   But despite his almost psychopathic dishonesty,  Trump is also a stupid man, and so there are times when he doesn’t lie about the things that you would expect more intelligent...

Brexit:  Don’t Mention the War

Brexit: Don’t Mention the War

  • May 19, 2019
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Badly-remembered history tends to produce bad politics, and bad politics often results in misremembered or mythologised versions of history.  In the case of Brexit, both tendencies have been borne out repeatedly by the obsessive references to World War 2 to which Leavers are prone.

Suggest that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may be a disaster for 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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