Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Trump: All Hail to the Chief

Trump: All Hail to the Chief

  • June 03, 2019
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I’ve been away from the UK the last week, and made it back just in time for the state visit of the Trump clan.  I’m glad I did, because just to know that Trump and co are now walking on my ancestral soil is oddly bracing, rejuvenating,  and above all educational.

I mean, what patriotic Brit would not want to be here, watching a government whose incompetence has taken the world’s breath away, grovel at the feet of a narcissistic, unstable and dangerous liar who barely knows what he’s thinking or doing from one moment...

Brexit:  Don’t Mention the War

Brexit: Don’t Mention the War

  • May 19, 2019
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Badly-remembered history tends to produce bad politics, and bad politics often results in misremembered or mythologised versions of history.  In the case of Brexit, both tendencies have been borne out repeatedly by the obsessive references to World War 2 to which Leavers are prone.

Suggest that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may be a disaster for the...

Rapey Jokey Time

Rapey Jokey Time

  • May 09, 2019
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Heard any good rape jokes recently guys?  How about this one, which Labour MP Jess Phillips posted on twitter yesterday:

Just leaving Westminster and and man ran down the street along side me asking me about why Carl Benjamin shouldn’t be able to joke about my rape. Shouting “I pay your wages”.

— Jess Phillips...

In Praise of Political Correctness

In Praise of Political Correctness

  • May 01, 2019
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There was a time, in the Thatcher years, when the concept of ‘political correctness’ was used to de-legitimize the left and/or bring feminism and particularly antiracism into ridicule and disrepute.

Bliss was it to be alive in those days,  when the British yellow press regaled the nation with mostly invented stories about what ‘loony left’ councils...

We the People

We the People

  • April 26, 2019
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There was a time when references to ‘the people’ or the ‘will of the people’ were a rarity in British politics, unless you went on leftist solidarity demos in solidarity with Nicaragua or El Salvador and knew enough Spanish to join in the stirring chant ‘El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido’ (the people, united, will...

We Need to Talk About Spiked

We Need to Talk About Spiked

  • April 23, 2019
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There was a time when I thought of Brendan O’Neill and the Spiked Online crowd as a freakish but curious anomaly in the British media.

Occasionally I wondered how a former leftist sect once known for publishing apologetics for war crimes was able to reinvent itself as a pseudo-contrarian thinktank peddling rightwing strawman arguments in order...

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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