Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
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 speech that President Ceaucescu of Romania gave on 21 December 1989, when crowds booed and interrupted him for the first time in 24 years of power.

Yesterday, one of those moments occurred exactly 22 minutes and 30 seconds into Boris...

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...

Turning the Corner

Turning the Corner

  • May 01, 2020
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Spring is here, and even in a nation in lockdown, it’s possible to detect  a new confidence and optimism at the helm of the United Kingdom of Populist Brexit Republics (UKPBR), a sense that the darkest days are over and that we have turned the corner in the war against Covid-19.  Asked by Cathy Newman on...

Coronavirus: Raise Your Voice and Point the Finger

Coronavirus: Raise Your Voice and Point the Finger

  • April 22, 2020
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There are times when it’s necessary, and even obligatory,  to establish a truce or even a temporary alliance with your political opponents in order to fight an enemy that is even dangerous and harmful than they are.  Such truces might involve all kinds of unlikely compromises and political arrangements, from coalition or unity governments to...

You Clap for Me: A Celebration and a Warning

You Clap for Me: A Celebration and a Warning

  • April 16, 2020
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It seems a long time ago, back in the days when ‘normal’ still existed, that we didn’t think much of immigrants in this country – especially the ‘unskilled’ kind.  In those days we learned week in and week out from our newspapers and from many of our politicians, that immigrants were a burden on ‘our’...

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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