Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Truth, Lies, and Politics

  • May 14, 2016
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In Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, a  pompous eighteenth-century professor asks the idiot-savant Kaspar Hauser a variant of the classic logical puzzle: You are traveling down a path and come to a fork in the road. One fork leads to a village where everyone tells the truth and the other to a village where everyone tells lies. Someone from one of the villages is standing at the fork, but you don’t know which village he comes from. You may ask him one question to determine which path goes to which village.

According...

The Antisemitism Circus Comes to Town

  • April 28, 2016
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The last few days of Labour’s ‘antisemitism crisis’ have been a genuine education for me on many levels.  I had thought that Naz Shah’s retweeting of a crass twitter meme suggesting that Israel should be reestablished in the United States was a clumsy satire on the ‘joined-at-the-hip’ relationship between America and Israel which American politicians...

Between Europe and a Hard Place

  • April 24, 2016
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In June the United Kingdom will decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union.   This is obviously a historic decision for the country, and it may have far wider historic implications and consequences for the whole of Europe, even if the gaggle of reactionary Little Englander or rather Great Britainer nationalists,...

From Panama With Love

  • April 10, 2016
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In a democratic society there are times when one can put politics aside, and be magnanimous in victory or gracious in defeat.   There are moments when you may be tempted to be generous towards even your bitterest political enemies, and even to show empathy with them, when they suffer personal tragedy, or when...

Twilight of the Ghouls

  • March 21, 2016
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Few of us  on the left will easily forget the dismal pall that settled over the nation in May last year, the day after Lord Snooty and His Pals defied the polls and won their 12-seat majority.  Anger, incomprehension, stupefaction, frustration and despair – these were the emotions that so many of us...

Hope I die before I get old

  • March 06, 2016
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There was a time when living longer was considered to be a desirable goal, and rising life expectancy was regarded as a metric of social progress.  In those not so distant times, ‘developed’ capitalist societies and already existing socialist societies alike assumed that work was a preparation for an old age in which you...

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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