Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category

Home Office Shock Exclusive: the Poor Exist

  • October 25, 2011
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The Home Office’s statistics about last summer’s riots make interesting reading, especially if we remind ourselves of some of the more crazed political and media analysis that accompanied these events, such as this vent about the rioters from  Max Hastings in the Mail:

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong. They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy...

Cameron reclaims ‘our borders’ (again)

  • October 11, 2011
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Having failed to win the nation over with his condemnations of Britain’s ‘sogginess’ and lack of backbone at the Tory Conference of the Damned,  David Cameron yesterday delivered  yet another ‘major speech’ on immigration, which  set new standards of populist rabble-rousing.

As always this latest intervention was dressed up  as a courageous and...

Britain Plays Happy Families

  • October 09, 2011
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There’s a grim article in today’s Independent on  an ongoing survey into work and relationships in Britain by the Working Families and One Plus One charities, called Happy Homes, Productive Workplaces, whose preliminary findings include

A culture of “downsizing”, where long working hours and job insecurity have become the norm, is leading to a “vicious cycle”...

Black cat’s something May can’t explain

  • October 05, 2011
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It’s the Conservative conference and your government hasn’t got a great deal to offer the electorate or its core constituency except misery, gloom and exhortations to grit your teeth and bear the pain.  OK,  George Osborne has tried his best, promising the conference

together we will ride out the storm.  And...

Cometh the hour, cometh the Miliband

  • September 28, 2011
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Even by New Labour’s standards, yesterday’s speech by Ed Miliband has to be one of the lamest I have ever heard from a politician, let alone from the leader of a party that claims to represent the centre-left.   It was numbingly uninspiring and utterly transparent in its attempts to appeal to everyone and...

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...

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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