Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category

Europe’s ‘war on people smugglers’

  • May 14, 2015
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We’ve had the war on drugs and the war on terror, and now the European Union in its infinite wisdom is preparing to add a new conflict to this less-than- illustrious tradition, in the shape of its militarised response to ‘people smuggling’ that has finally been rolled out this week.     To be precise, the EU isn’t targeting smugglers as such; its aim is to ‘to disrupt the business model of the smugglers, achieved by undertaking systematic efforts to identify, seize/capture, and destroy vessels and assets before they are used by smugglers.’

This may...

The Russians are coming!

  • February 20, 2015
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Fancy a war with Russia, chaps?     After more than two decades in which Western leaders have staggered from one foreign policy train wreck to another with the reckless indifference of stag night drinkers on an epic pub brawl, it now looks as though they are lurching dimly towards exactly that outcome.

Of course it’s...

Copenhagen: it’s Not About Free Speech

Copenhagen: it’s Not About Free Speech

  • February 16, 2015
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Whatever motivated Omar el-Hussein to attack a debate on free speech in Copenhagen, it’s probably safe to say that neither he nor the murderers of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists n had spent much time thinking through issues around freedom of expression, secularism and the place of religion within the public sphere.   It’s also doubtful...

Timothy Garton Ash’s Awfully Big War

  • February 02, 2015
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There are some liberals who give liberalism a bad name and Timothy Garton Ash is one of them.

They build up their careers as thoughtful and nuanced independent commentators, arguing that ‘facts are subversive’, yet when it comes to war and the use of military power they know what side they’re on, and they know that...

In the Kingdom of TINA

  • January 26, 2015
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One of the most depressing things about the grotesque and brutal fraud known as ‘austerity’ has been the ability of its proponents to convince so many people to accept its basic assumptions.     Once you begin to believe in There Is No Alternative (TINA), so many things that might otherwise have seemed cruel, immoral,...

Cometh the hour, cometh Farage

  • January 14, 2015
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‘Terrorism expert’ Steve Emerson may have earned almost universal ridicule for his comments on Europe’s Muslim ‘no go zones’ last week, but not everyone is laughing.     This morning I had the misfortune to be stuck in a car listening to Nigel Farage on the Today programme, telling an interviewer that there were parts...

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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