Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

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 ‘ There is no intention to create nobility.  Mathieu is elegant and cultured because Western civilization is neither inelegant nor stupid.’

I’ve often found myself thinking of Solinas’ s observation, while watching the way that European politicians have responded...

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...

The Knights of Cologne

  • January 14, 2016
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As a sixty-year-old man I obviously can’t speak with a great deal of authority on what it’s like to be a young woman in Europe.  Nevertheless I  am the parent of a twenty-year-old daughter who likes to go out at night.   Recently she was at a club when a stranger propositioned...

Fortress Europe Book Launch

  • November 07, 2015
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Next week sees the publication of the UK paperback edition of Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against Immigration, and I’ve got a couple of events coming up in London to mark the occasion.  On    Wednesday evening, I’ll be participating in a round table discussion at the Institute of Race Relations with the author...

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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