Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Migration Category

Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent

  • September 19, 2012
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It’s nearly three years since the idea was first conceived and the proposal accepted.     It’s taken dozens of journeys and interviews, various rewrites, revisions, corrections.   It’s been raked over innumerable times, first by me, then by the editor, the copy-editor, and the proof-reader.

But this month the American version of my book Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent was officially launched in the United States.   As always publication feels – at least at first – like something of an anti-climax, especially since it’s more than six months since I last...

Deaths on the Border

  • September 11, 2012
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With Europe preoccupied with the intractable crisis in the Eurozone, the death toll of undocumented migrants on the European Union’s borders is once again beginning to reprise the terrible events of last spring and summer, when an estimated 1,500 people, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa,   drowned en route to Europe while fleeing the Libyan Civil...

Spanish Doctors Say No to Barbarism

  • September 06, 2012
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Throughout the crisis of the last four years, too many European governments have shown a depressing willingness to target and stigmatize some of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in society as a distraction from their own failings.

Whether it’s disabled ‘benefit scroungers’, asylum seekers, ‘illegal immigrants’ or simply immigrants per se, this process of victimization...

London Metropolitan: a cowardly government plays to the gallery

  • September 01, 2012
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Even by the Coalition government’s standards, the decision by the UK Border Agency to permanently revoke London Metropolitan University’s license to teach and recruit non-EU students is a stunningly crass and shameful piece of anti-immigrant rabble-rousing that represents a public image disaster for the UK.

In economic terms it is a spectacular own goal, not only...

The Border Between Us

  • July 10, 2012
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“There is a cyclone fence between ourselves and the slaughter and behind it we hover in a calm protected world like netted fish/exactly like netted fish/It is either the beginning or the end of the world/and the choice is ourselves or nothing.”

Carolyn Forche, “Ourselves or Nothing.”

Showing the humanity and foresight for which he and his...

Migrants: Learn how great Britain is – or don’t come here

  • July 02, 2012
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I’m a little disappointed because I’ve just failed a sample paper from the Life in the UK citizenship test, even though I’m a British citizen.  Despite the fact that I was born and educated in the UK and have lived most of my life in England, I now realise that I don’t really belong...

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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