Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
The Daily Mail, Cage, and the Enemy Within

The Daily Mail, Cage, and the Enemy Within

  • January 09, 2016
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Terrorist emergencies have often acted as a catalyst for McCarthyite witchhunts, whether it was the ‘scoundrelly laws’ passed by the French governments of the 1890s in response to anarchist bombings and assassinations, or the emergency laws passed by the West German government in response to the Baader-Meinhof Gang  during the 1970s.

Over the last fifteen years we have seen the same authoritarian drift in many countries, including our own, and it has become increasingly clear in the last few months that the Conservative government and its supporters in the media are determined to shut down...

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

  • January 07, 2016
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If my inadvertent involvement in last year’s media onslaught against Stop the War taught me one thing: it was the incredible mendacity,  political dishonesty and sheer venality of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents inside the Labour Party.  It’s possible – within limits – to respect one’s political opponents when they uphold genuine principles that they sincerely believe...

Waterland

  • December 30, 2015
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As a child I once lived in Guyana in a house built on concrete pillars.    This was a useful and essential precaution in a tropical country where a heavy downpour could flood the ground floor in a single afternoon.  Many years later I visited Inle lake in what was then Burma,...

Lord Snooty’s Christmas Message

  • December 24, 2015
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It’s the season of goodwill, when custom and force of habit should incline us, however temporarily, to take a more charitable view of the intentions of our fellow men and women, even those who happen to be our political enemies.  But there can never be a Christmas truce with Lord Snooty and His Pals,...

Hellhounds on my Trail

  • December 08, 2015
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I wasn’t going to write about the Stop the War/International Brigades fiasco again.  In fact I had hoped that it was all beginning to quieten down and I could return to normal and write about something else.  For  the time being at least, normality is no longer possible, and so I feel I...

Apologies

  • December 07, 2015
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Some last thoughts – from me anyway – on the International Brigades debacle.  As I have tried to make clear since I wrote my piece about Hilary Benn last Thursday, I never meant to suggest any moral equivalence whatsoever between Daesh and the International Brigades.  I continue to believe that the overall context of the...

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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