Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category
The Crimea Votes for Russia

The Crimea Votes for Russia

  • March 19, 2014
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The US and the EU have huffed and puffed and waxed indignant, but the population of the Crimea has voted massively in favor of union with Russia.     According to the referendum statistics, 95.5 percent of the population voted for secession in a referendum with an 83 percent turnout.

These figures may have been exaggerated, but even Simon Tisdall of the Guardian  has written 

independent reporting of enthusiastic celebrations suggested the overall outcome genuinely reflected popular wishes — and was crudely democratic’, and that the pro-union vote includes not just Russians, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians and...

Russia: Under Western Eyes

  • March 05, 2014
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Just to be clear:   I regard Russia’s quasi-occupation of the Crimea as a dangerous gambit,  and a violation of international law that opens the possibility for a range of potentially dire outcomes.     That said, I can’t see how any state in Russia’s position would allow such a vital economic and strategic asset...

Ukraine: Back to the Shatter-Zone?

  • March 02, 2014
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Nowadays bad governments can fall or come under massive popular pressure at the drop of a hat, regardless of whether the government concerned is a product of the formal democratic process or not.   Such governments may be dictatorships or authoritarian regimes, or they might be corrupt, inept, elite-driven, or simply indifferent or unresponsive to...

Policing the Crisis

  • December 17, 2013
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The Spanish parliament is currently debating a draconian ‘Citizen Security Bill’   that will introduce fines of up to 600,000 euros for attendance at unauthorized street protests and demonstrations.     Among other things, demonstrators will face fines for ‘insulting’ or making ‘false accusations’ against public officials and state institutions.

The bill will also ban protests...

A Europe of the Far Right?

  • November 18, 2013
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It’s never good news when the European far-right gets internationalist,   and the announcement that Marine Le Pen and Gert Wilders are planning to co-operate in next year’s European Parliament elections in an attempt to ‘fight this monster called Europe’   ought to raise alarm bells.

This is the first time the far-right has tried to...

Europe, Golden Dawn and the Murder of an Anti-Fascist

  • September 21, 2013
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When the lords of austerity look down on the world from their parliaments and glass-fronted offices, they often look on the bright side.     Poverty, food kitchens, unemployment, the destruction of jobs and pensions, cuts in health and education, ‘social unrest’   – none of these things bother them too much as long as...

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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