Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
In the Court of the Brexit King

In the Court of the Brexit King

  • March 21, 2021
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If there’s one important lesson about politics that tends too often to go unlearned, it’s this: You don’t need to be a genius or a titan to take power and use that power for malign purposes.  In Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi – a surreal parody of Macbeth – the  foulmouthed, halfwitted childlike slob Pere Ubu massacres the King of Poland and his family and reduces Poland to servitude under his tyrannical and arbitrary rule.  The murdered Polish king’s son Bougrelas laments the destruction of his family and his kingdom by ‘vulgar Pere Ubu, an adventurer...

Ursula in Blunderland

Ursula in Blunderland

  • January 31, 2021
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At first sight, the government of a country that has just reached the grim figure of 100,000 covid-related deaths and the third highest per capita covid death rate in the world shouldn’t have much to celebrate.  Yet a poll this week suggests that  Johnson and his cabinet-of-the-damned have gained four points, bringing its potential vote...

The Lie Machine

The Lie Machine

  • January 23, 2021
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Political lying is not a new phenomenon, but there are many different kinds of political lies.  There are lies that governments tell their populations in order to achieve specific objectives in war and diplomacy.  There are up-front, out-loud lies based on the invention of facts, and  lies that are achieved through the concealment and obfuscation...

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...

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...

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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