Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

In the gutter with Boris and Nigel

  • June 12, 2016
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I don’t know if you’re enjoying the referendum readers, but I can tell you that I’m not.  I can’t think of any national political process that has taken place in my lifetime that I’ve found so constantly dispiriting and depressing on an almost daily level.  It now looks at least possible that Brexit could win, despite the fact that its three most prominent representatives, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage are three of the greatest charlatans who have ever slouched across the national stage.

That these three are not simply laughed off...

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,...

Trapped in the Gray Zone

  • March 23, 2016
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It would be good to imagine that our descendants may look back on our savage world as a bygone tragedy that has been superseded by a more enlightened era.  Perhaps  historians will draw  lessons from our collective descent into the abyss, the way we now look back at the 1930s and the rise of fascism,...

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...

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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