Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Migration Category

Calais: the dystopian frontier

  • July 31, 2015
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In these nervous, gloomy times our cultural appetite for dystopia often seems insatiable.     Again and again in book, tv series and film we like to imagine places in the near or distant future where our worst fears are realized, and the destructive or oppressive tendencies that we perhaps sense in the present are taken to their logical extreme to produce a fantasy dystopia a bad place or perhaps the worst of places. Pom

Nowadays we don”t have to look far for inspiration. No need for Mad Max, Big Brother or the...

The Brightest and the Best

  • June 24, 2015
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One thing you can always count on with this government: when it comes to immigration it will always do something more squalid and nasty than you previously thought possible.   And this week Lord Snooty and His Pals have demonstrated once again that when it comes to sheer bloody-minded stupidity, mean-spirited xenophobia and downright racism,...

The Rohingya: a suitable case for genocide?

  • May 18, 2015
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‘ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,’ declares Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.     Today, in the early 21st century, we live in a world in...

Europe’s ‘war on people smugglers’

  • May 14, 2015
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We’ve had the war on drugs and the war on terror, and now the European Union in its infinite wisdom is preparing to add a new conflict to this less-than- illustrious tradition, in the shape of its militarised response to ‘people smuggling’ that has finally been rolled out this week.     To be precise,...

Clegg and Cameron apologize – sort of

  • April 23, 2015
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Yesterday morning I wrote that there has been no official recognition that the deaths of more than 900 migrants in the Mediterranean last week was in part, a consequence of the EU’s decision to replace Italy’s Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation last November.     Since then there has been some acknowledgement of this connection, from...

The EU’s ‘war on smugglers’: militarising tragedy

  • April 22, 2015
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Watching the response of European governments and politicians to last week’s horrific events in the Mediterranean has not been an edifying spectacle.   We have seen a lot of solemn faces and a great deal of handwringing but nowhere, absolutely nowhere, has there been any official recognition that there might be a connection between the...

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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