Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Migration Category
Immigration: Stop Pandering

Immigration: Stop Pandering

  • February 02, 2019
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If there is one thing British politicians always seem able to agree on, it’s that they must respond to public concerns about immigration.

Rarely, if ever, do the politicians who seek to placate these concerns consider their validity.  Is it true that Romanians and Bulgarians are all poor and therefore likely to be criminals – an argument frequently made before restrictions on the A2 countries were lifted in 2014?

Do immigrants really ‘undercut’ British workers, lowering their wages or taking away ‘our’ jobs?  How widespread is this?   Is immigration ‘out of control’?

Are we really being flooded...

Small Island: A Brief History of British Immigration ‘Concerns’

Small Island: A Brief History of British Immigration ‘Concerns’

  • January 18, 2019
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Politicians tend to defer almost as a matter of course to popular ‘concerns’ about immigration, as though they were a novel reaction to the unprecedented 21st century phenomenon of ‘mass immigration’.

But these ‘concerns’ are actually part of a longer historical tradition, in which racist and xenophobic prejudices have been attached to different groups of people, in...

Our Man in Budapest

Our Man in Budapest

  • January 12, 2019
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As a general rule, whenever politicians tell you that they want to protect your culture or your civilisation with walls and fences, it’s a good idea to pat your wallet and check that it’s still there.

One minute you’re staring into their eyes and nodding approvingly as they tell you that your heritage and your identity...

Telling Lies About Immigration: the Far-Right and the UN Migration Pact

Telling Lies About Immigration: the Far-Right and the UN Migration Pact

  • January 08, 2019
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When it comes to migration, far-right movements and populist governments are a lot clearer about what they want than many of their political opponents.

In Europe and America, liberal, conservative and left-of-centre governments have responded to the global ‘migration crisis’ with bureaucratic and physical obstacles that have exposed undocumented migrants to death and danger in a...

Corbyn’s Migrant Failure

Corbyn’s Migrant Failure

  • March 11, 2018
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Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Scottish Labour Party conference last week has drawn a lot of criticism from the SNP and others, for appearing to attack and blame migrants for the UK’s economic woes.  Corbyn’s defenders have naturally rejected these charges.  Paul Mason has dismissed the criticisms of Corbyn to the ‘pro-SNP media’,  whatever that...

Waiting for the Barbarian

  • December 19, 2017
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Anyone familiar with horror films will recognize the following scenario: a group of people are being terrorised by a monster/serial killer/alien.   They find a hiding place and fortify it. All their attention is focused on keeping the intruder out. Not until it is too late do they discover that the monster is already inside...

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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