Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Jelly on a (Tory) Plate

Jelly on a (Tory) Plate

  • January 12, 2021
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Some readers may be ancient enough to remember certain mathematics textbooks that asked you to calculate your weekly grocery bills, or how long it would take four men to dig a hole in road.  I was reminded of these exercises today, when I saw the following tweet from @RoadsideMum about the package she had received as part of the government’s Free School Meal program for children unable to go to school:

#FreeSchoolMeals bag for 10 days:

2 days jacket potato with beans
8 single cheese sandwiches

2 days carrots
3 days apples
2 days soreen

2020: The Year that Wasn’t

2020: The Year that Wasn’t

  • December 31, 2020
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Of all the things I expected from 2020 last New Year’s Eve, I have to say I did not expect to be living under actual or semi quarantine for nine months in the middle of a pandemic.  My wife was more prescient.  As far back as last December she expressed concern that the virus in...

Let them eat Tim Tams

Let them eat Tim Tams

  • June 19, 2020
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FULL TEXT OF BORIS JOHNSON’S BIRTHDAY ADDRESS

 

Good afternoon folks.  I know this pandemic thingie has been an unprecedented challenge for all of us, but I think we can all agree that my government has handled it remarkably well.  The figures speak for themselves.  Only 42,288 dead – 64,000 excess deaths if you believe the Office...

Meltdown in Johnson Street

Meltdown in Johnson Street

  • May 25, 2020
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There are moments in history when governments or leaders that seemed to be impregnable are suddenly revealed to be weaker and more despised than they believed themselves to be, or than many of those they ruled assumed them to be.  You might cite the 1789 Tennis Court Oath.  Or the Boston Tea Party.  Or the...

Stuck Inside a Lockdown With the Paranoid Blues Again

Stuck Inside a Lockdown With the Paranoid Blues Again

  • May 15, 2020
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Conspiracy is an overused and often misused word.   At its most basic dictionary level, it refers to a group of people who conspire together.  Nothing controversial about that.  History is filled with examples of actual conspiracies, from the assassination of Julius Caesar, to Contragate or the 9/11 hijackers.

Historical conspiracies are one thing; it’s  quite another...

Why I’m No Longer Clapping

Why I’m No Longer Clapping

  • May 05, 2020
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It seems a long time ago now, since the UK belatedly lurched into ‘lockdown’ on 23 March, and marked the occasion with a national call to ‘clap for our NHS heroes.’  At the time, this campaign caught the mood of a fearful population that was conscious of its vulnerability, because the government had finally told...

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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