Notes From the Margins…
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The Echo Chamber: News International and Police ‘terror briefings’

The Echo Chamber: News International and Police ‘terror briefings’

  • March 02, 2012
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As the seemingly endless tide of sleaze and corruption continues to ooze out of News International like sewage from a bust pipe, there was  interesting testimony  yesterday from Peter Clarke, the former deputy commissioner of Scotland Yard and head of the antiterrorist branch S013,  on his department’s relationships with the British media and the  Murdoch press in particular.

According to Clarke, the police regularly briefed the media on terrorism-related issues through off-the-record briefings,  formal press statements and conferences,  and  lunches with selected journalists.  Asked about the purpose of these briefings, Clarke replied:

The position with...

In the evening when The Sun goes down

  • February 16, 2012
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I have to say that I can’t really get too exercised about the supposed threat to press freedom posed by the arrests of senior Sun journalists, on the basis of information given to the police by News International’s crisis management team.   In fact I can’t help finding it quite pleasing to watch these...

From Fallujah to Homs

  • February 08, 2012
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Yesterday’s Guardian had a terrible editorial on Syria and the ongoing siege of Homs, which summed up so much of what is corrupt, servile and deferential about the western media in general – regardless of its political orientation – when it comes to dealing with the foreign policy objectives of their own governments.

The editorial condemned...

Nick Cohen: anti-fascist fighter

  • January 02, 2012
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I’m impressed.  Hardly has the nation had time to wake up from the New Year revelries and there is the redoubtable Nick Cohen, scourge of dictators everywhere, announcing his decision to  leave his friends and family and exchange his pen for a rifle in order go off to Syria to fight for the...

Saint Hitchens

  • December 18, 2011
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Clearly atheists cannot be saints, but the media response to Christopher Hitchens’ death doesn’t fall far short of a kind of secular canonisation.   I’m not going to comment on those who knew him as friends, because friendship generates its own priorities, but enough already, of this brave seeker after truth/new George Orwell/contrarian business.

I...

Campbellito’s Way

  • December 01, 2011
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The Leveson Inquiry has cast not so much a torchlight as a halogen searchlight beam into the rancid depravity of the British tabloid press and the maniacal public obsession with celebrity that drives its corrupt practices.   The Sun reporter who disguised himself as a doctor in an attempt to observe Charlotte Church giving...

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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