Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Cameron and Obama: the lords of mayhem

  • March 14, 2012
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State visits by British prime ministers to the United States are never a particularly edifying experience.  On this side of the Atlantic, they tend to perpetuate unhealthy delusions of imperial grandeur that stem essentially from Britain’s willingness to hover in the slipstream of American military power.

This vassal-like status is often obscured by nostalgic memories of World War II and D-Day, and by dollops of inane media commentary on the body language of the two leaders of the moment and how chummy and relaxed they are,  how much they have in common, whether...

The Coalition’s brave new Britain

  • March 05, 2012
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On 13 April 2010, David Cameron launched the Tory manifesto with a promise to promote ‘people power’ and ‘change Britain for the better’.    Cameron promised that the Conservatives would ‘ make things better without spending more money‘ and announced radical plans to ‘help the poorest, protect the NHS, help people find work...

This is Serco: come out with your hands up

  • March 04, 2012
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The revelation that West Midlands and Surrey police are offering a £1.5bn contract that will allow private companies to detain suspects and carry out criminal investigations, is another disturbing indication that the lunatics really have taken over the UK asylum.

Previously,  police privatisation was an idea that was limited to the outer limits of...

The Return of the ‘Loony Left’

The Return of the ‘Loony Left’

  • February 27, 2012
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You know a government is in trouble when it starts playing the reds under the bed card to distract attention from its own failings.   But there is a real element of absurdity as well as desperation in last week’s accusation by Chris Grayling that corporations were pulling out of the Coalition’s work experience schemes...

In the Kingdom of Clarkson and Liddle

  • February 06, 2012
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If anyone had any doubts which sectors of British society are bearing the brunt of the UK government’s ‘austerity’ measures, consider the following developments taken at random from the last month:

On 4 January a survey by Save the Children on the impact of rising fuel costs on low-income families found that ‘Hundreds of thousands of...

The Brave New World of the DWP

  • February 04, 2012
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I love this.  Yesterday’s Guardian reported on the case of Cait Reilly, a 22-year-old Geology student, who is taking the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to court because she claims that she was made to work for three weeks at her local Poundland store without pay under the DWP’s work experience programme.

Reilly argues, not...

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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