Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

The Diane Abbott sharkfest

  • January 06, 2012
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The microblogging site Twitter only allows messages of 140 characters, but politicians who use it would do well to ponder them carefully. If not, they are likely to find even their pithiest observations subjected to a level of attention that they hadn’t bargained for…

My piece for The Week/The First Post on the Diane Abbott ‘race tweet’ row.  You can read the rest at:    http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/diane-abbott-row/44114/diane-abbott-was-careless-she-didnt-deserve-sharkfest#ixzz1igh43cnl

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David Cameron: music lover

  • January 03, 2012
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As a big Gillian Welch/David Rawlings fan I was surprised to read recently that David and Samantha Cameron attended the concert by the awesome duo in London last November.   On one level it suggests that the Camerons at least have good taste, and that unlike Tony Blair, their tastes are not calculated to...

Are you or have you ever been a member of the underclass?

  • December 22, 2011
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David Cameron’s proposal to create a new Troubled Families Unit is yet another  indication of the authoritarian and reactionary drift of British society over the last few decades – a development that has been dramatically accelerated by the summer’s riots.    According to  Cameron

a relatively small number of families are the source...

Campbellito’s Way

  • December 01, 2011
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The Leveson Inquiry has cast not so much a torchlight as a halogen searchlight beam into the rancid depravity of the British tabloid press and the maniacal public obsession with celebrity that drives its corrupt practices.   The Sun reporter who disguised himself as a doctor in an attempt to observe Charlotte Church giving...

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...

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...

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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