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Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn

  • July 28, 2019
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There are many reasons to despise and resist the rightwing ‘populist’ politics that are poisoning democracies across the world in the second decade of the 21st century.  The racism and white supremacism that so often underpins these movements; the dehumanisation of immigrants; the authoritarianism; the deep seam of dishonesty if not outright corruption that so often seeps through their ‘antiestablishment’ agendas; the anti-intellectualism, paranoia, and fanaticism; the nationalist hubris, the gloating cruelty and spurious victimhood –  all these tendencies pose a direct a clear and present danger to democratic politics, to social coexistence,  to...

The Tory Party Has Gone Missing

The Tory Party Has Gone Missing

  • June 21, 2019
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Some readers may have heard of the mass hallucinations that took place at the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in 1951.   As John Grant Fuller describes it in The Day of Saint Anthony’s Fire, on 15 August that year the entire village of 250 inhabitants woke up and began seeing visions.  One man sat down  to...

Hollow Man: Boris Johnson’s Delusions of Grandeur

Hollow Man: Boris Johnson’s Delusions of Grandeur

  • June 19, 2019
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“It can safely be said that the last three years have not been fruitful ones in the history of the United Kingdom. Politically speaking, the 2016 referendum has opened a political hellmouth straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which a seemingly endless procession of charlatans, mediocrities and outright monstrosities haunts the polis with messages that...

Hormuz: Iran in the Gunsights

Hormuz: Iran in the Gunsights

  • June 16, 2019
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If US and British intelligence services are to be believed, Iran has just attacked two tankers at the crucial Strait of Hormuz choke point.  So far the only evidence to support this allegation is a video that apparently shows Iranian naval commandos removing a limpet mine from the hull of the Kokuka Courageous tanker.

It’s not...

Anthropocene: the Human Epoch

Anthropocene: the Human Epoch

  • June 12, 2019
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In the last few years scientists have attempted with increasing urgency to draw attention to our impending ecological catastrophe.  But the deliberations of scientists don’t always have the impact they should have, partly because climate change and the degradation of the biosphere are complex subjects in themselves, and also because the careful and cautious language...

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...

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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