Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Watching the Contenders ( when they shoot, shoot, shoot)

  • September 02, 2015
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I haven’t watched most of the debates between the four Labour leadership contenders, mainly because too much exposure to Cooper, Burnham and Kendall is bad for my blood pressure and has been scientifically proven to reduce my life expectancy by about seven years.   Nevertheless, last night I decided to ignore my doctor’s advice and watch the Channel 4 hustings.

I should have known better, because it wasn’t  long before I began to experience the same familiar symptoms: first I found myself shaking my head in exasperation; then I began muttering curses under my...

Bang, Bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

  • August 26, 2015
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Many years ago, back in 1971, the publishing magnate Robert Maxwell was forced to resign his position on the board of directors of the Oxford-based publishing company Pergamon Press, following suggestions of malfeasance in connection with his role during an attempted strategic takeover of the company.  A Department of Trade and Industry inquiry into...

The Uses of Fear

  • July 27, 2015
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The 21st century is a frightening place, so frightening in fact, that many of us would be forgiven if we just cowered under the blankets all day and never went anywhere.   Ebola, SARS, swine flu and bird flu, terrorism, ISIS,  people traffickers, migrants, financial implosion and the collapse of the eurozone – whatever...

Who’s afraid of Jeremy Corbyn?

  • July 24, 2015
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With Jeremy Corbyn now the clear frontrunner in the Labour leadership contest, the uneasy and incredulous mutterings that have been spreading through the Labour Party establishment and the commentariat in recent weeks have risen to an increasingly strident and hysterical  chorus.   Tony Blair has crawled out from his gilded swamp to  declare  that...

Labour: Giving the public what it thinks it wants

  • July 21, 2015
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One of the recurring justifications for the Labour Party’s drift to the right over the last – how long as it been? – twenty or thirty years has been the notion that it is only responding to the ‘concerns’ of the public and acting in accordance with what it hears.   During the Miliband...

Labour’s Summer of Madness

  • July 20, 2015
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It’s amusing, in a gallows humour kind of way, to watch the horrified response of the parliamentary Labour Party to Jeremy Corbyn’s startling surge in the Labour leadership polls.   Having shooed him into the race in order to broaden the parameters of a democratic debate that they expected him to lose, the upper...

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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