Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Brexit Category
One Nation Under a Gove

One Nation Under a Gove

  • March 14, 2019
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Whenever I hear politicians invoke ‘ the national interest’ I tend to reach for the metaphorical salt cellar.  It’s not that I don’t believer there is such a thing, but ‘the national interest’ is one of those empty box phrases, like ‘national security’ or ‘the public interest’ that politicians can fill with whatever they want, and all these terms can be used to cover a multitude of sins.

Whereas ‘national security’ tends to evoke state secrets that are too hush hush to speak about, the ‘national interest’ suggests a sum of the parts that is...

England Kaputt

England Kaputt

  • March 09, 2019
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As I write it’s now exactly 20 days, 8 hours and 32 minutes until the UK leaves the European Union.   At 11 pm GMT on 29 March, unless parliament somehow finds a unity of purpose next week that it has not shown for nearly three years,  all EU rules and regulations will instantly cease to...

Nigel’s March for Freedom

Nigel’s March for Freedom

  • March 02, 2019
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As an instrument of protest and civil disobedience, the protest march has a long and illustrious historical pedigree.  Think of Gandhi’s 24-day ‘Salt March’ in 1930.  Or the 1936 Jarrow march.   Or the 1963 Long March for Jobs and Freedom in the US, where Martin Luther King delivered his ‘ I have a dream speech’...

We Could Be Heroes: from Brexit to the Blitz

We Could Be Heroes: from Brexit to the Blitz

  • February 26, 2019
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History has played a big part in the national torment that we’ve been going through for the last two and half years.  Social media and more mainstream political discourse alike are awash with facile historical references and comparisons, between Dunkirk and WTO rules, between the EU and Hitler, Napoleon, or the Soviet Union.

At times it...

Our Man in Slovenia

Our Man in Slovenia

  • February 24, 2019
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If the behaviour of British diplomats these last two and a half years is anything to go by, the UK may not be taking the giant strides across the world stage that Brexit visionaries seem to think it should.   Take foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt’s visit to Slovenia last week.  Showing all the intellectual gravitas of...

Cracking Up:  Brexit and the Seven Dwarves

Cracking Up: Brexit and the Seven Dwarves

  • February 19, 2019
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Fans of Titanic and other disaster movies will know what to expect from the genre.   In the first part of the movie the characters go about their business oblivious to what is about to happen.  They might be in an office building, a ship, a submarine, an oil rig or any other structure that 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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