Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Tough Decisions

  • September 26, 2011
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It’s always bracing when politicians talk about the need for ‘tough decisions’, as though they’re struggling to repress some inherent sense of decency for the greater good.   Maybe less so with George Osborne. His toughness is the kind one might have expected from some dissolute rake from the Hellfire Club,  pausing to evict starving farm labourers from his father’s estate while riding off to an appointment with the eighteenth century equivalent of Mistress Pain.

All that’s missing is the rouge and the wig, but you can bet there’s a whip around there somewhere.

For Cameron, Osborne...

The British Army’s War Porn

The British Army’s War Porn

  • September 25, 2011
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There is a rather nauseating story in today’s  Independent on Sunday about British soldiers gathering to watch ‘war snuff movies’ at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan for ‘morale boosting’ sessions. These ‘Kill TV nights’ consisted of video clips showing people being killed by Apache helicopters, and were accompanied by a commentary from Warrant Officer Andy Farmer.

According...

Statecraft

  • September 07, 2011
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In public British governments often argue that Britain’s foreign policy is dictated by  moral and ethical considerations.  Privately, British officials operate according to very different concept of  statecraft and the national interest in which morality is generally placed on hold.   Occasionally  it is possible to glimpse this discrepancy.   Consider the following document that...

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...

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I ´ve just seen on Facebook that the Home Office has come to its senses and rescinded the removal order issued against Rania Abdechakour in May this year.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...

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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