Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Gove’s classroom armies

  • September 02, 2011
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The riots have provided another boost for one of Michael Gove’s pet projects – the ‘troops to teachers’ programme.   In a wide-ranging  speech at Durand academy in Stockwell yesterday, the toad-like Education Secretary outlined forthcoming proposals this autumn to retrain former soldiers as primary and secondary school teachers.

This idea was first mooted under New Labour by the Tory defector Shaun Woodward, and Gove has proven to be one of its keenest proponents.   Like  pretty much everything the British political class does these days, the scheme originates in the United...

Result!

  • August 26, 2011
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I ´ve just seen on Facebook that the Home Office has come to its senses and rescinded the removal order issued against Rania Abdechakour in May this year.   The order to remove this severely disabled 5-year-old Algerian girl, who had been cared for by her aunt and uncle Jo and Moussa Taleb in...

The wisdom of Tony Blair

  • August 21, 2011
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The sage of Fettes offers us his thoughts on the riots in today’s Observer and his analytical instincts remain as shallow as ever.   Blair rightly rejects the moralistic Cameronian rhetoric about a broken society.   But his own analysis is no less vacuous, moralistic and self-serving.  Blair engages in a satire-defying...

Cloud Cameron Land

  • August 13, 2011
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Remember that cuddly David Cameron, the photogenic face of the new caring Conservatism, who used to ride a bike and take his kids on the school run – just like us simple ordinary folk?   Not much of that was in evidence during his speech to parliament on Thursday.    Flanked by...

The Telegraph gets it

  • August 09, 2011
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London riots: the underclass lashes out London’s rioters are the products of a crumbling nation, and an indifferent political class that has turned its back on them.

Surprisingly good analysis of the riots from – wait for it – the Daily Telegraph.   Certainly more honest and realistic than anything we are likely to hear from Cameron...

Britain Cracks Up

Britain Cracks Up

  • August 09, 2011
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Prophecy is never an exact science, but  Nick Cohen’s observation in Sunday’s Observer ‘No riots in Britain. Just quiet, ever-deeper anxiety’ must go down as one of   the more spectacularly ill-timed examples of media punditry in recent years.

In the space of two days,  a chain of riots and disturbances  has spread across the country...

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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