Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category
Our Man in Budapest

Our Man in Budapest

  • January 12, 2019
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As a general rule, whenever politicians tell you that they want to protect your culture or your civilisation with walls and fences, it’s a good idea to pat your wallet and check that it’s still there.

One minute you’re staring into their eyes and nodding approvingly as they tell you that your heritage and your identity are in grave danger from immigrants and ‘aliens’, and then you realise that you and your country have got poorer while your would-be saviours have mysteriously got a lot richer.

Take Hungary’s Victor Orbán.   In the panoply of sleazy demagogues,...

El Cid Meets Donald Trump:  Fascism Returns to Spain

El Cid Meets Donald Trump: Fascism Returns to Spain

  • January 10, 2019
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Until recently Spain was something of an anomaly in the ‘new’ populist/far-right European politics.  Despite – or perhaps because of – the recent memory of the Civil War and the decades of dictatorship, it had no explicitly far-right party of any influence.

Even the Partido Popular (PP), which swept up much of the post-Franco right, was...

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island

  • February 28, 2018
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I haven’t written anything on this site for a while now.  It’s actually rather difficult to know what to write when confronted with the astonishing spectacle of national self-destruction that is unfolding in front of our eyes.  Nowadays hardly a day passes without another  reminder that the UK has entered a new political dimension in which...

The Intensification of Calamities: Catalonia’s Unlikely Cheerleaders

The Intensification of Calamities: Catalonia’s Unlikely Cheerleaders

  • October 29, 2017
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Of all forms of war, the ancient Greeks recognized that civil war was the worst and most destructive form of human conflict.   This is because civil war shatters the bonds that hold societies together, tearing families, neighborhoods and communities apart, unleashing hatreds, divisions and conflicts that can only be resolved, not through negotiation, compromise...

Despatches from Catalonia

  • October 06, 2017
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Last week I posted a guest post from Barcelona in the lead up to the Catalan Referendum.    Today I’m posting the following dispatch from the frontlines of the referendum struggle from a very different perspective, summing up the tumultuous events that have shaken Catalonia in the last few week, by my great friend and...

Guest Post. The Catalan Referendum: Anubis versus Demos

  • October 01, 2017
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Today is a day without precedent in Spanish and Catalan history.   To mark the occasion, I’m posting this very personal take on the unfolding crisis by Tamara Djermanovic, writer, professor of Humanities at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and a very good friend of mine:  

 

Anubis versus Demos

Out of all the extraordinary measures...

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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