Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Migration Category

A New Kind of Barbarism: the Non-People of Patras

  • June 21, 2012
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I have just read a copy of the  so-far unpublished report* by the German NGO Pro-Asyl and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) on police brutality towards undocumented migrants in the port-city of Patras in Greece.   It makes grim and often sickening reading. Patras is one of the main exit points in Greece for migrants and asylum seekers trying to make their way to other European countries.

Every year hundreds of people from Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea and other Third World countries pass through the city, where they live in squats, makeshift shelters and...

Hope and Resilience Conference

  • June 15, 2012
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I’m giving a workshop next Tuesday at a conference on the theme of Hope and Resilience for Refugees and Asylum Seekers at Leicester University, as part of National Refugee Week.

Here’s a summary of the conference and its objectives

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This event, funded by East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, is planned to mark national Refugee week and...

The UK: Rich Immigrants Only Please

  • June 14, 2012
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Tainted by sleaze and corruption over hackgate and the Hunt affair; grubby, hypocritical, dishonest and cruel; politically inept as well as economically incompetent – no wonder the Tories and their hapless Lib Dem partners are languishing behind Labour in the polls.

Even the fact that Ed Miliband continues to speak like a man reading his lines...

Welcome to the UK

  • April 30, 2012
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‘Anything scares me, anything scares anyone but really after all nothing is really so very frightening when everything is so very dangerous,’ wrote Gertrude Stein in 1937.

This isn’t a philosophy that is likely to get much purchase in the fearful, security-obsessed and risk-averse society that the United Kingdom has become in the last decade.

The UK...

Casualties of the border

  • April 12, 2012
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The news that a British helicopter may have been involved in the ‘left-to-die’ boat on which 63 refugees drowned and starved to death fleeing Libya for Lampedusa last year is shameful, but not at all surprising.

In May last year William Hague rejected calls from the Italian government to ‘share the burden’ of refugees fleeing the...

Death in the Mediterranean

  • March 29, 2012
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The Guardian reports today on the Council of Europe’s nine-month investigation into the terrible incident which took place in May last year, when 72 African migrants sail left Tripoli harbour in a packed dinghy en route for Europe.   The boat’s engine cut out and it spent two weeks adrift, even though its passengers...

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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