Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Ceasefire:  Goddard’s ‘Westminster mob’ are a threat to our common future

Ceasefire: Goddard’s ‘Westminster mob’ are a threat to our common future

  • January 11, 2019
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Few people who pay any attention to British politics will be unaware of the small but vocal group of far-right demonstrators who have been gathering outside Westminster for the last month. Led by Tommy Robinson fanboy James Goddard and inspired by the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France, these protesters have heckled and abused MPs, journalists and activists including the Sky News journalist Faisal Islam, Owen Jones, anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluyole, Sky News presenter Kay Burley, and – most famously – the Tory MP and anti-Brexit campaigner Anna Soubry.

Until this week, these protests aroused little concern from...

Gavin Williamson: Brexitland Rules the Waves

Gavin Williamson: Brexitland Rules the Waves

  • January 06, 2019
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In the final pages of the Beagle diaries, Charles Darwin celebrated the incorporation of Australia and other British colonies into ‘ a grand centre of civilization’ and declared approvingly:

It is impossible for an Englishman to behold these distant colonies, without a high pride and satisfaction.  To hoist the British flag seems to draw as a...

Jeremy Hunt’s Chain of Fools

Jeremy Hunt’s Chain of Fools

  • January 04, 2019
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As a schoolboy studying for my History O’Level, I once memorized the British Foreign Secretary George Canning’s famous 1826 dictum: ‘I called the New World into existence  to redress the balance of the Old.’

At the time I was never exactly sure what it meant, but I understood that it had something to do with the ‘informal...

2019:  The Reckoning

2019: The Reckoning

  • December 31, 2018
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Politically speaking 2018 was a dismal year, but I can’t help feeling that 2019 is going to be a lot worse.  In the UK we are now faced with a situation that was unprecedented – and until the 2016 referendum – unimaginable.  A minority Tory government, propped up by a heavily-bribed DUP, is using the...

2018: The Year of the Missing Unicorn

2018: The Year of the Missing Unicorn

  • December 30, 2018
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In her study of  the ‘pursuit of policy contrary to self-interest’ from Troy to Vietnam The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman once noted that ‘Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or...

The Infernal Machine: the Relaunch!

The Infernal Machine: the Relaunch!

  • December 29, 2018
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Hello world!  It’s been a while since I posted on this site, and I must apologize to my regular readers for my prolonged absence.  I haven’t been here for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I simply didn’t have time.  There is only so much of an average day that you can spend writing, and I...

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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