Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

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 that.  You can utter expressions like ‘truly Global Britain’ and ‘we are a great trading nation’ like mantras and hope that millions of people – or at least enough of them to deliver Tory votes – will utter...

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

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 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 of the attack on Tunisia...

2016: The Summer of Blood

2016: The Summer of Blood

  • July 27, 2016
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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 unfolding before us in Baghdad, Kabul,and Istanbul, in Florida, Nice and Germany.

Shoppers in a Baghdad shopping mall; gay and lesbian clubbers; children watching fireworks; disabled residents of a care home;...

Nice and the Atrocity Factory

Nice and the Atrocity Factory

  • July 16, 2016
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Yesterday evening I was driving to play a game of tennis, when I heard the sounds of screaming people on the radio 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 such horrors.  But I don’t need to hear...

Liars’ Ball: the Unbearable Lightness of Brexit

  • June 28, 2016
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There’s a tendency in some fringe political circles at both left and right-wing political circles to imagine that the ‘system’ we have is secretly or overtly controlled by an all-powerful and all-seeing group of malevolent men who are able to direct events entirely according to their own whims..  They might be the Bilderberg group,...

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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