Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

That Katie Hopkins thing that you do

  • November 20, 2014
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I wasn’t going to write about Katie Hopkins, because I generally think that she is one of those people better off left ignored.   Nevertheless I just can’t help myself, because there are some individuals, who no matter how repellent and inherently worthless in themselves, are symptomatic of certain wider social or political trends, and Hopkins’s strange trajectory from reality tv star into the nation’s most notoriously hateful opinion-monger has a great deal to tell us about the kind of society we’ve become.

For those that don’t know, or perhaps have had loftier things to...

The Strange Cult of Russell Brand Part II

  • November 11, 2014
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I shouldn’t have been entirely surprised that my recent thoughts on the Russell Brand phenomenon have attracted far more comments on this site and on Facebook than my posts usually get – it’s in the nature of the Brand phenomenon that when you speak about him people sit up and listen.   I’ve written hundreds...

The Strange Cult of Russell Brand

  • October 26, 2014
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This won’t make me popular, but I’m tired of hearing about Russell Brand.   It has now become impossible to go on Facebook without coming across a post hailing his latest pronouncements or interviews.   These postings are almost always celebratory, as though Brand were some kind of leftwing Moses, coming down from the Internet...

Adam Hochschild’s War Resisters

  • October 23, 2014
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Last night I was lucky enough to catch a talk in Derby from Adam Hochschild based on his book   To End All Wars: How the First World War Divided Britain.     Hochschild once declared his interest in ‘ writing about times and places when people felt a moral imperative to confront evil’,  ...

Immigration: Labour Wades into the Gutter

  • October 13, 2014
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Within two days of the toxic Ukip eruptions in Manchester and Clacton, Ed Miliband has penned a piece in the Observer on how Labour will attempt to stop them spreading.     Miliband’s op ed was probably written before the election results, since it recycles older policies, ideas and narratives which Labour has already put...

Ukip Without Ukip

  • October 10, 2014
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So the great defector Douglas Carswell took his majority with him over to Ukip yesterday, trashing his Tory rival and adding a few thousand more votes into the bargain.   Less predictably, Ukip came within 700 votes of taking away a 5,000 Labour majority in the Heywood and Middleton byelection.   No one anywhere left...

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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