Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Mayday! Mayday!

  • May 02, 2017
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There are some politicians who look better from a distance, and Theresa May  is definitely  one of them.  May and her advisors are clearly aware of this, and they have done their best to shield her anything approaching close scrutiny. They have refused to let her participate in political debates. In an absurd attempt to present May as a politician in touch with ‘ordinary people’,  her team have arranged a series of increasingly bizarre stage-managed encounters with party loyalists in factories and other public places from which the public has either been...

The Anglo-Spanish War

  • April 02, 2017
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One thing about political reality – in the end you can’t avoid it.  You can try, as Theresa May and her weird little Brexit government have been doing for the last eight months or so.   You can beat your rhetorical chest and bare your teeth.  You can threaten this and promise...

2016: The Year of Living Fearfully

  • December 28, 2016
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There was a time – it seems many years ago now – when governments in the Western world told their populations that things were getting better, and that they were helping them to get better.   In those days voters by and large believed them, and made their political choices from amongst a cluster...

Burkini Madness

  • August 25, 2016
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Anyone who has travelled in France this summer will have found it difficult to ignore the   the ongoing state of emergency with which the French state has responded to Daesh’s savage provocations.     In Banyuls-sur-Mer, we found the main road by the beach guarded by armed soldiers, presumably mindful of a repeat...

The Atrocity Factory

  • July 27, 2016
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At first sight, keep calm and carry on might seem like a rather banal piece of advice, faced with the seemingly endless and unstoppable conveyor belt of atrocities that is unfolding before us on a weekly and almost daily basis..  In  Baghdad, Kabul and Istanbul, in Florida, Nice and Germany,  the most toxic...

Nice and the Spectacle of Terror

  • July 16, 2016
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Yesterday evening I was driving to play a game of tennis and listening to the radio, when I heard the sounds of of screaming people being mown down  by a truck  in Nice.  I immediately turned it off.  This isn’t because I think I have some privileged right to ignore the escalating procession...

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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