Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Between Europe and a Hard Place

  • April 24, 2016
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In June the United Kingdom will decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union.   This is obviously a historic decision for the country, and it may have far wider historic implications and consequences for the whole of Europe, even if the gaggle of reactionary Little Englander or rather Great Britainer nationalists, bigots, racists and opportunistic egomaniacs seems largely indifferent to them.

I confess to a great  of ambivalence about the referendum myself.    This isn’t because of the quality of the arguments or the debate or its central campaigns....

Bombing the Grey Zone

  • March 23, 2016
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At some point in the future it would be good to imagine that our descendants may look back on our dark and savage world with sadness and horror, and regard it as a bygone tragedy that has been overcome and superseded by a more enlightened era.  Perhaps  historians will look back and seek to draw...

Europe’s ‘Migration Crisis’ : Repression with a human face

  • March 08, 2016
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Many years ago Franco Solinas, the scriptwriter for Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece The Battle of Algiers, was asked by an interviewer why the French colonel Mathieu – a pragmatic exponent of torture –  was portrayed as ‘ too much of a gentleman in fatigues, excessively noble.  He is elegant, cultured….’  Solinas replied that...

Kamel Daoud and the Rape of Europa

  • February 20, 2016
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I’m a big fan of the Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation, which I read last year.  It was a brilliant deconstruction of L’Etranger, which movingly and provocatively imagined the voice of the Arab colonial subject that was missing from the Camus’s novel.

In doing so, it invited Camus’s readers to re-think the essential...

Europe: the return of the beast

  • February 01, 2016
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In every  era and in every  society, there are those who would like to do to the left what the Chilean army once did to Victor Jara, or what the Freikorps did to Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Luxemburg.  It used to be common in Greece for Golden Dawn militants to taunt leftist anti-fascists by...

Davos: the sound of one hand clapping

  • January 26, 2016
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For those who like to follow the example of Brian and his disciples and always look on the bright side of life, it can safely be said that 2016 hasn’t gotten off to the most cracking start.  The year began with the mass sexual assaults at Cologne, which have now become a cause celebre...

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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