Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
No Deal:  All the Demons are Here

No Deal: All the Demons are Here

  • August 19, 2019
  • by

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 order to let ‘terror be turned into a treat’ as the poet Nicolas Gordon put it.

This year’s Halloween promises to be on a very different order of spookiness, because this is the date when the entire country goes over...

John Bolton: American Psycho

John Bolton: American Psycho

  • August 14, 2019
  • by

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
  • by

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...

Meghan Markle’s Vogue

Meghan Markle’s Vogue

  • August 01, 2019
  • by

It’s safe to say that readers of the Infernal Machine probably don’t come here looking for coverage of the Royal Family or fashion.  Despite my own well-deserved reputation for discreet sartorial elegance, I generally don’t read Vogue magazine unless I come across old copies at the dentists.   It’s true that I was surprisingly engrossed by...

Johnson and His Cabinet:  A Confederacy of Bastards

Johnson and His Cabinet: A Confederacy of Bastards

  • July 25, 2019
  • by

Watching Netflix’s documentary The Great Hack last night, I was struck by the ‘Breibart philosophy’ ascribed by one of its contributors to Steve Bannon, to the effect that it is necessary to destroy and break countries in order to be able to rebuild them on Bannonite lines.

Yesterday marks another milestone in our ongoing collapse as...

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

  • July 22, 2019
  • by

On the eve of Boris Johnson’s coronation as PM, I have a counterfactual for you, readers.

Imagine that we’re in 2015 in the middle of the Labour Party leadership contest.   All polls suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is going to win.  Only days before his inevitable election a Reuters reporter publishes a story alleging that Corbyn is...

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Events

  • No events
Sharing Buttons by Linksku