Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Parliament Passes the Bomb

Parliament Passes the Bomb

  • January 30, 2019
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Some of you may remember the family game called Pass the Bomb.   For those haven’t played it, the rules are simple: You pass a ticking bomb back and forth between the group and try to make sure you aren’t the one holding it when it ‘explodes’.

This is what parliament did yesterday, in a monumental dereliction of duty that historians are unlikely to look kindly upon.

For a brief period, following Theresa May’s massive defeat two weeks ago, a tiny chink of light broke through the black political clouds that have hovered over the nation for...

Brexit: The Stab-in-the-Back

Brexit: The Stab-in-the-Back

  • January 24, 2019
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It’s now becoming increasingly clear, even to its most ardent defenders, that Brexit is not going swimmingly.  Having inflicted the most comprehensive parliamentary defeat ever inflicted on a British prime minister, parliament is in a state of fevered chaos, with MPs frantically trying to prevent the country from sliding towards no deal, yet unable to...

Donald Trump’s Lyin’ Eyes

Donald Trump’s Lyin’ Eyes

  • January 22, 2019
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If there’s one thing that has defined Donald Trump’s presidency more than anything else, it’s his startling propensity for lying.

According to the Washington Post‘s Fact Checker database, Trump has made 7, 645 ‘false or misleading claims’ since taking office.  Last October alone, the WP found that he said ‘1,200 things that were false or misleading.’

It...

You Won, Get Over It

You Won, Get Over It

  • January 20, 2019
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There are some historical laws that can’t be avoided, and one of them is this: that if a country aspires towards something that is objectively impossible, sooner or later that impossibility, like gravity,  will impose itself in ways that are impossible to resist or ignore.

You might be able to get away with this for a...

‘Foreigners Like You Have No Right to Interfere’

‘Foreigners Like You Have No Right to Interfere’

  • January 16, 2019
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Just after the referendum in 2016,  I got a message on this site from an anonymous fascist,  which I wish I’d kept.  The gist of it was that the people like me had lost, and that people like the writer were now going to take their country back.

The tone was  quietly triumphant and determined, and...

Brexit: Clowntime is Over

Brexit: Clowntime is Over

  • January 14, 2019
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‘In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do,’ wrote Charles Mackay in his classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852).  ‘ We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds...

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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