Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Catalonia Dreaming

  • September 30, 2015
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Last Friday morning I was on the top of Mount Canigou, ‘the sacred mountain of Catalonia’,  with my staunchly independentista friend from Barcelona,  Andreu.   Andreu had brought a Catalan flag with him to mark the occasion, and he wasn’t the only one.  A seventy-five-year-old  Barcelones  named Joan had climbed the summit with his daughter Anna in the hope that it would bring the Independence bloc luck in last Sunday’s elections.

Joan had no doubt what he hoped to achieve.  Halfway up the mountain he explained to a two French...

Europe’s Border Insurgency

  • September 03, 2015
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David Cameron has never looked shiftier or more downright disreputable than he did yesterday, when he attempted to defend the UK’s iniquitous and morally indefensible response to the most serious refugee crisis since the aftermath of World War II.  Faced with calls from Germany to accept a quota of refugees, he offered the following...

R.I.P Europe

  • July 16, 2015
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I’ve just come back from a week’s hiking in the Pyrenees. When I left for the mountains I knew that the European Union was in poor health.  By the time I came down four days later it was dead.  The cause of death is open to question.   Was it a deliberate...

Greece Says No

Greece Says No

  • July 06, 2015
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Yesterday’s astonishing referendum vote in Greece has left elite jaws dropping across the continent.  In the face of universal opposition from the powers-that-be across the continent and dire warnings that essentially amounted to ‘do what we say or else’ Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected the Troika’s latest bailout package.

Technically they didn’t reject the package, because in...

Greece versus the loansharks: just say no

  • July 04, 2015
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The other day I overheard two locals where I live talking politics.     Their views were not   very enlightened, insightful or informed.   On the contrary,   the fragments of their conversation that I picked up sounded like a collage of Daily Mail articles or the Ukip manifesto; the migrants at Calais where...

Spain goes Left: Britain turns Right

Spain goes Left: Britain turns Right

  • May 31, 2015
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I’ve just come back from a week’s walking in the Axarquia mountains in Andalucia.  My trip didn’t allow much time for blogging, or for any commentary on the remarkable results of last weekend’s Spanish municipal and regional elections, but it was thrilling and inspiring to witness Ada Colau on television acknowledging her victory over the...

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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