Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Blitz Spirit

  • November 30, 2011
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YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU….

TO COME OUT ON STRIKE

You always know you’re doing something right when Max Hastings and the Daily Mail tell you that you’re doing something wrong.  Today Hastings is in full flow, calling for ‘Blitz spirit’ from the wilds of west Berkshire in the face of today’s strikes and working himself up into a lather of indignation at the fact that ‘The private sector can no longer afford to indulge state workers who, for too long, have got away with murder.’

Got that readers?   You got away with murder, because...

The curse of Ofsted

  • November 23, 2011
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How do I loathe Ofsted? Let me count the ways.   Last month inspectors from the  Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services visited  Highfields, the local comprehensive school that my daughter attends.  Like most parents I know, I think the school functions very well.   Despite the constraints of the national...

Bordergate: Act II

  • November 16, 2011
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The plot thickens regarding the ‘Bordergate’ scandal.  Yesterday the outgoing chief of the UK Border Agency Brodie Clark and UKBA’s new executive director Rob Whiteman gave what were essentially incompatible versions of the same events to parliament.

Clark denied suggestions that he was a ‘rogue officer’ and insisted that last summer’s relaxed border checks had...

The Daily Mail: Feasting on Bile

  • November 10, 2011
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It’s always pleasant to see a reactionary government  hanging by its own petard when it tries to play the immigration card, but the UK Border Agency ‘relaxed border controls’ pseudo-scandal encapsulates so much that is toxic about  the  British ‘debate’ on immigration that the  frisson wears off quite quickly.

First we have  a Coalition government which...

Let squatters squat!

  • October 28, 2011
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It won’t be news to many people that there is a housing and homelessness crisis in the UK, but a few statistics are worth considering to remind ourselves of the dimensions of the problem.

According to the homelessness action group Crisis, 400,000 single people are homeless, and living in B&Bs, squats, or the floors of family...

Home Office shock exclusive: the poor exist

  • October 25, 2011
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The Home Office’s statistics about last summer’s riots make interesting reading, especially if we  remind ourselves of some of the more crazed political and media analysis that accompanied these events.  Take this wild venting about the rioters from  Max Hastings in the Mail:

[stextbox id=”alert”]They are essentially wild beasts. I use that...

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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