Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
We Need to Talk About Spiked

We Need to Talk About Spiked

  • April 23, 2019
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There was a time when I thought of Brendan O’Neill and the Spiked Online crowd as a freakish but curious anomaly in the British media.

Occasionally I wondered how a former leftist sect once known for publishing apologetics for war crimes was able to reinvent itself as a pseudo-contrarian thinktank peddling rightwing strawman arguments in order to build media careers for its leading lights.

No one did this more successfully than Spiked’s editor Brendan O’Neill.   O’Neill basically writes from a template that can be adapted for whatever subject he thinks will get him the most attention. ...

Breaking the Irish Peace

Breaking the Irish Peace

  • April 19, 2019
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Back in the early seventies there used to be a political postcard that depicted Northern Ireland trying to speak to an England that had a cork firmly in one ear.   Ulster – and indeed the whole of the island of Ireland – has often had difficulty in making itself heard in England.  Time and again...

Rootless Cosmopolitans

Rootless Cosmopolitans

  • April 09, 2019
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Readers of this blog will know that I’m not a great fan of the pro-Brexit Left that goes under the portmanteau Lexit.  But there are various kinds of Lexit.  There are those who make compelling and accurate criticisms of the failings of the EU that I actually agree with.  To my mind, such...

The Exterminating Brexit

The Exterminating Brexit

  • April 02, 2019
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In Luis Buñuel’s surrealist masterpiece The Exterminating Angel, a group of bourgeois party-goers go out to dinner only to find out for some mysterious reason that they can’t leave. No one is actually stopping them, it’s just that the guests can’t seem to get out of the house.

Is it a spell?  Is it collective hysteria...

A Plague of Bastards

A Plague of Bastards

  • March 28, 2019
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If it’s true that people get the kind of politicians they deserve, then the British public must have sinned a great deal.  Just take a look at the events of the last few days.  On Monday, as readers of this blog may remember, Boris Johnson began the week on the front page of the Daily...

Go Down Brexit

Go Down Brexit

  • March 25, 2019
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‘Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one,’ wrote Charles Mackay in his  classic nineteenth century compendium of human folly Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. 

Despite the two-week postponement of...

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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