Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Europe Category
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 whether they are particularly concerned about Islam or blasphemy.

Apart from his Palestinian origins, the Copenhagen killer appears to be drawn from the same familiar profile: angry, dysfunctional and distinctly impious young men living on the margins of European society...

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...

Je Suis Charlie Hebdo

  • January 08, 2015
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Yesterday, as the whole world knows, three self-styled holy warriors carried out a military-style assault on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which they murdered ten journalists and two policemen, before leaving shouting ‘God is great’ and ‘ We have avenged our Prophet.’

These sickening events are a revolting and barbaric crime worthy...

Gaza’s Drowned Refugees

  • September 18, 2014
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How many people must die in the Mediterranean migrant graveyard before Europe decides that the human cost of its ‘migration management’ policies requires a change in these policies?     Or to put in another way, at what point does the ‘collateral damage’ of the EU’s migration wars become so high that European governments can...

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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