Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Militarism Category
Michael Gove’s Lovely War

Michael Gove’s Lovely War

  • January 03, 2014
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The WW1 centenary has barely begun, and our Education Secretary has taken a break from dismantling the nation’s education system to remind the world that the war was really a jolly good show all round,   and that anyone who doesn’t agree is a pernicious commie pinko and a Britain-hater.

Michael Gove – for it is he – likes to think of himself as an intellectual, and for those who don’t recall his former incarnation as a British neoconservative and founding member of the Henry Jackson Society, he is also a politician who has yet...

2014: The Year of Remembrance

2014: The Year of Remembrance

  • January 02, 2014
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Few people will need reminding that 2014 is the centenary of World War I, or what posterity has called the   ‘Great War’, and our government is already preparing to mark the occasion in its own inimitable manner.   In a speech at the Imperial War Museum last October, David Cameron promised to commit more...

The Afghan War: A Game of Two Halves

  • December 19, 2013
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War is a lot like football isn’t it?     Well General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the British Defence Staff seems to think so.     Yesterday he told the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that the British Armed Forces were experiencing a manpower shortage that may end up excluding us from ‘ the...

Sergeant Blackman’s Heart of Darkness

Sergeant Blackman’s Heart of Darkness

  • December 08, 2013
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Human kind/ cannot bear very much reality, observed TS Eliot, and societies that send young men to kill and die on their behalf are particularly unwilling to bear the often brutish reality of the wars they fight.

One way in which British society conceals or distances itself from its wars is to emphasize the dying rather...

Francois Hollande: Sucking Up the L’argent

Francois Hollande: Sucking Up the L’argent

  • November 11, 2013
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Imagine, in a parallel universe, that you are the socialist president of France.     As you look out on a troubled world from the Elysee Palace,   you recognize that you have an opportunity to help defuse a conflict that has been dragging on for more than a decade, and which has constantly threatened...

What We Don’t Remember on Remembrance Sunday

  • November 10, 2013
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It’s that time of year again, when those who send people to kill and die in wars that they will never fight themselves, wear black and put on their most solemn and reverential faces to pay homage to the Unknown Soldier and celebrate the Glorious Dead.

It’s a time when poppies adorn every tv presenter’s chest...

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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