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Posts for UK politics Category
Guest Post: Robert Mugabe (1924-2019): A History of Wounds

Guest Post: Robert Mugabe (1924-2019): A History of Wounds

  • September 07, 2019
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Guest Post from Richard Drayton, Professor of History at King’s College, London.

Robert Mugabe is a hate figure in the West, especially in Britain, where the political right had such important family, economic and political connections to white-minority Rhodesia. And he did his own memory no favours: he was a man with very serious flaws, whose regime was marked by episodes of state violence and many authoritarian mutilations of Zimbabwe’s democracy.

But while the word ‘dictator’ is bandied about, he was not a dictator: Zimbabwe retained elections, opposition parties and an opposition press, a surprisingly independent...

Chronicle of a Coup Foretold

Chronicle of a Coup Foretold

  • August 29, 2019
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Today, after weeks of hints, denials, and rumours, the UK has lurched closer towards constitutional and political collapse when the Boris Johnson government announced that it would ask the Queen to suspend parliament in the second week of September, and reconvene with a Queen’s Speech a month later, on 14 October. Many people have seen...

Johnson and Trump: That’s Entertainment

Johnson and Trump: That’s Entertainment

  • August 27, 2019
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If there’s one thing that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have in common, it’s their propensity for lying.  Where politicians like Blair and Bush lied and massaged facts to realise specific agendas, both these politicians at least recognised that truth existed and that it was important for politicians to make it seem as though it mattered.

Johnson...

No Deal:  All the Demons are Here

No Deal: All the Demons are Here

  • August 19, 2019
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There was a time when Halloween or All Hallows Eve was not much celebrated in the UK.   Now children up and down the country merrily celebrate the liminal point where the boundaries between the living and the dead dissolve, where witches, ghosts and spirits briefly walk the earth,  when ‘Halloween wraps fear in innocence’ in...

John Bolton: American Psycho

John Bolton: American Psycho

  • August 14, 2019
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Over here in the 51st state we’ve been hearing  and seeing a lot from US National Security advisor John Bolton in the last few weeks.  First there was a photo-op with our stupefyingly dense and utterly out of her depth Trade Secretary Liz Truss in Washington:

 

 

Then there was Dominic Raab’s visit to Washington, where the...

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

  • August 11, 2019
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I’m not much of a fan of the concept of ‘national greatness’.  It’s not I don’t think that nations can have qualities and achievements worthy of pride and admiration.  But the concept of national greatness is almost always steeped in a collective narcissism and national chauvinism that I find unedifying and inherently repellent.

Its proponents often...

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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