Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

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, where the entire population lived on houses built on wooden stilts.   I also worked in one of the drained polders that the Dutch had clawed back from the sea.

In all these cases, countries or communities that were...

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...

Open Letter to Tristram Hunt

  • December 06, 2015
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Dear Tristram Hunt MP,

You have probably never heard of me, and there is no reason why you should.  But I felt moved to write to you because a  rather freakish and unusual series of events has brought our names into the same orbit.   Today, while driving home, I heard on the radio that you...

My life as a Fascist Sympathizer

  • December 05, 2015
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No writer can be entirely assured that readers will understand  what they write in the way that they want, but there are times when you really wonder whether some of the people who read what you have actually written have any interest in even trying to understand what it is you’ve said.  Take my piece...

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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