Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Anarchy in Europe

  • May 31, 2012
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AS EUROPE slowly asphyxiates in the grip of the financial markets, an old yet familiar figure from the not-so-distant past has re-entered the landscape of crisis – the anarchist as class avenger and agent of violent mayhem.

Anarchists or groups calling themselves anarchists have played a sporadic role in street protests and demonstrations in various countries since the crisis began, particularly in Greece and Italy.

My piece for The Week/ First Post online magazine on the Informal Anarchist Federation.   You can read the rest here:


Spain’s Year of Miracles

  • May 20, 2012
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For the last ten days I’ve been leading walking groups around the fabulously beautiful mountains of northern Majorca.  This is only my second visit to the island  since I came here in 1992, when I was still living in Barcelona.

For Spain -and Europe, 1992 was a year in which the “end of history” narratives that...

Greece says no

  • May 09, 2012
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The markets aren’t happy with the Greek election results, and who can blame them?   For the last four years it has been taken for granted that the Greeks would put up without whatever was done to them in order to bring them into line with an extremist and ideologically-driven concept of “austerity” that...

Au Revoir Sarko

  • May 07, 2012
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Even by the dismal standards set by so many European rightwing governments in the last decade or so, Nicolas Sarkozy was a uniquely repellent politician.  Brash, vulgar, ostentatious, ruthless and arrogant, his appetite for power was untempered by any moral scruples.

This was a man who, according to the investigative journalism website  Mediapart,  received 50 million...

Spain as Metaphor

Spain as Metaphor

  • April 29, 2012
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The Spanish  city of Ciudad Real isn’t the most obvious tourist destination.  Situated in the province of La Mancha 115 miles from Madrid, it has a population of 74,000 and few attractions beyond its associations with Spain’s most famous literary character.

In 2003 however,  a private company named CR Aeropuertos began to attract investment for a...

Discussing Breivik

  • April 17, 2012
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Yesterday I appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service programme World Have Your Say to debate the Breivik trial, which is still available here.   The programme was an interesting format; it’s basically an open discussion with only light chairing from the presenter, involving participants from various countries who speak to each...

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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