Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Jacques Peretti’s Gilded City

Jacques Peretti’s Gilded City

  • January 30, 2015
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It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a good documentary on the BBC, let alone an essential one.     But for those who haven’t seen it, I really recommend Jacques Peretti’s outstanding series on the super-rich, which you can still see on podcast here.     I watched the first of its two parts this week and it’s a really powerful piece of work; elegant, disturbing and reminiscent of Adam Curtis, in the way that it combines   archive footage, clever choice of music and striking imagery to create an infuriating, mesmerising...

Why Does the Right Hate the NHS?

Why Does the Right Hate the NHS?

  • January 25, 2015
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When I was young I never paid much attention to the National Health Service.   This isn’t entirely surprising.   When you’re young, you don’t, unless you’re very unlucky, tend to have  much contact with doctors and hospitals.   In addition, the NHS has been around so long that it takes a degree of historical...

Try to be civil, Chilcot

  • January 22, 2015
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One of my favourite moments in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness occurs  when the narrator Marlow is interrupted by an irritated listener who tells him ‘Try to be civil Marlow.’ It’s a very English request, as Conrad well knew.   I mean here is Marlow, recounting a story of the horrific violence and cruelty, madness...

Addicted to War

  • January 06, 2015
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War is a serious business, or it would be if we took it seriously.

If war was treated with the seriousness it deserves then wars would not be begun lightly on false pretenses.   They would have clear and realistic strategic objectives and timescales.   They would be based on a very clear understanding of the...

Sleaze Britannia

  • January 02, 2015
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We British often like to peer into the bedrooms of dictators.   When dictatorships fall we have almost come to expect a torrent of sleaze to come pouring out of their bedrooms, the wilder and more depraved the better.     We like to imagine fallen tyrants as if they were characters in a de...

Briton of the Year

  • December 30, 2014
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I generally try to disengage from the news from Christmas Eve onwards, and even when I don’t succeed festivities and family obligations tend to reduce the amount of time I have to write or even think about it.     One thing I don’t like to think about at all is Ukip.   Nevertheless Farage...

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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