Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

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 moment in declaring his agreement with ‘ the criticisms of excess in pay and bonuses. But is this really the first time we have had people engaged in dubious financial practices or embracing greed, not good conduct?’

Coming from a...

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...

Discipline and Fear

  • July 31, 2011
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Nurses, teachers, doctors and all you other do-nothings who have been living high on the hog at the taxpayer’s expense:  be afraid, be very afraid.   The time is coming when you will be held to account for the financial disasters that you have inflicted on the nation.   After all these years of idleness...

Morbid Symptoms: Phonehacking, Celebrities and the Press

  • July 20, 2011
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As was to be expected, there was a lot of strategic humility on display in Parliament yesterday by both the Murdochs and la Brooks –  replete with softened curls to remove any unfortunate associations with Medusa or a Harry Potter witch.

The arrogance was mostly absent from all three, and there was a great deal of...

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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