Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
A Plague of Bastards

A Plague of Bastards

  • March 28, 2019
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If it’s true that people get the kind of politicians they deserve, then the British public must have sinned a great deal.  Just take a look at the events of the last few days.  On Monday, as readers of this blog may remember, Boris Johnson began the week on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, comparing the EU to Pharaoh from the Bible and suggesting that May’s deal was perpetuating a form of comparable slavery.

These were bold statements, albeit completely idiotic, and the Telegraph quaffed them down like one of Thackeray’s boozy squires. ...

Go Down Brexit

Go Down Brexit

  • March 25, 2019
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‘Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one,’ wrote Charles Mackay in his  classic nineteenth century compendium of human folly Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. 

Despite the two-week postponement of...

Lexit: the Disaster Utopia

Lexit: the Disaster Utopia

  • March 21, 2019
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There is in every society , and at every historical period, a yearning for collapse and calamity – or at least a fascination with these possibilities.  Our fascination with things falling apart is sometimes based on a vague awareness that the prospect of disaster is never as far away as we think.  But there is...

One Nation Under a Gove

One Nation Under a Gove

  • March 14, 2019
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Whenever I hear politicians invoke ‘ the national interest’ I tend to reach for the metaphorical salt cellar.  It’s not that I don’t believer there is such a thing, but ‘the national interest’ is one of those empty box phrases, like ‘national security’ or ‘the public interest’ that politicians can fill with whatever they want,...

England Kaputt

England Kaputt

  • March 09, 2019
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As I write it’s now exactly 20 days, 8 hours and 32 minutes until the UK leaves the European Union.   At 11 pm GMT on 29 March, unless parliament somehow finds a unity of purpose next week that it has not shown for nearly three years,  all EU rules and regulations will instantly cease to...

Are You or Have You Ever Been an Antisemite?

Are You or Have You Ever Been an Antisemite?

  • March 06, 2019
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I’m not a Labour party member, but it’s impossible to ignore the ‘antisemitism crisis’ that has ground its dismal way through British politics for the last three and a half years.

Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader in 2015,  this crisis has grown and grown, acquiring new dimensions and components along the way.  Where Corbyn was...

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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