Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

2017: The Year of Lying Brazenly

  • December 28, 2017
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For connoisseurs of 21st century dystopian humour, there is a bleakly  amusing clip doing the rounds showing Pete Hoekstra, the US Ambassador to the Netherlands, apparently being well and truly hoist by his petard.   Hoekstra is a diplomat appointed by Trump and forged very much in the template of his master.    Asked by a Dutch journalist whether he said that there were Muslim ‘no go areas’ in the Netherlands, Hoekstra denies that he said any such thing, and accuses the interview of spreading ‘fake news.’   Said interviewer then shows said ambassador...

Waiting for the Barbarian

  • December 19, 2017
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Anyone familiar with horror films will recognize the following scenario: a group of people are being terrorised by a monster/serial killer/alien.   They find a hiding place and fortify it. All their attention is focused on keeping the intruder out. Not until it is too late do they discover that the monster is already inside...

Trump’s Christmas Message

  • November 30, 2017
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This week the Trump non-presidency posted what may well go down in history as some of the weirdest photographs ever taken in the White House, featuring Melania Trump as the spirit of Christmas.   One of them shows the First Lady walking with a fixed grin through what looks alarmingly like a giant silver vagina,...

The Gospel According to Jacob Rees-Mogg

  • October 03, 2017
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And so it came to pass that in the year 2017 there was great confusion in the land of Albion, and much weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst the tribe of Tory following the failure of May’s snap election and the pessimistic voices whispering calumnies in the shadows about her future and abilities.   And...

Twilight in Brexitland

  • September 18, 2017
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Yesterday evening I shared a horrific post on Facebook about a tetraplegic woman whose disability benefits have just been cancelled, and has just been summoned to a job interview by her local job centre.  As shocking as it was, this dreadful decision was a fairly typical example of the cruelty and incompetence that has...

One Day Without Us 2018

  • September 04, 2017
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It’s just under a year since I was part of  a Facebook discussion about the alarmingly xenophobic drift of post-referendum UK society.   We were people from many different nationalities, backgrounds and political persuasions.   Some of us were migrants, others the descendants of migrants or British nationals who know migrants as our friends,...

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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