Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Brexit Category
Chronicle of a Coup Foretold

Chronicle of a Coup Foretold

  • August 29, 2019
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Today, after weeks of hints, denials, and rumours, the UK has lurched closer towards constitutional and political collapse when the Boris Johnson government announced that it would ask the Queen to suspend parliament in the second week of September, and reconvene with a Queen’s Speech a month later, on 14 October. Many people have seen this coming for some time and have been actively preparing to prevent it.

It is now clear that everything the Johnson government has done since 92,000-odd  Tories voted it into office last month, has been part of a strategy that...

No Deal:  All the Demons are Here

No Deal: All the Demons are Here

  • August 19, 2019
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There was a time when Halloween or All Hallows Eve was not much celebrated in the UK.   Now children up and down the country merrily celebrate the liminal point where the boundaries between the living and the dead dissolve, where witches, ghosts and spirits briefly walk the earth,  when ‘Halloween wraps fear in innocence’ in...

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

  • August 11, 2019
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I’m not much of a fan of the concept of ‘national greatness’.  It’s not I don’t think that nations can have qualities and achievements worthy of pride and admiration.  But the concept of national greatness is almost always steeped in a collective narcissism and national chauvinism that I find unedifying and inherently repellent.

Its proponents often...

Johnson and His Cabinet:  A Confederacy of Bastards

Johnson and His Cabinet: A Confederacy of Bastards

  • July 25, 2019
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Watching Netflix’s documentary The Great Hack last night, I was struck by the ‘Breibart philosophy’ ascribed by one of its contributors to Steve Bannon, to the effect that it is necessary to destroy and break countries in order to be able to rebuild them on Bannonite lines.

Yesterday marks another milestone in our ongoing collapse as...

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

  • July 22, 2019
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On the eve of Boris Johnson’s coronation as PM, I have a counterfactual for you, readers.

Imagine that we’re in 2015 in the middle of the Labour Party leadership contest.   All polls suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is going to win.  Only days before his inevitable election a Reuters reporter publishes a story alleging that Corbyn is...

“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...

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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