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Going Viral

Going Viral

  • March 11, 2020
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There is no good time for a pandemic, but some historical moments are definitely worse than others.  The coronavirus has erupted in a world dominated by nationalist rightwing populist politics with an authoritarian/fascistic tinge, many of which draw their support from fears and phobias about globalisation, or ‘globalism’ as the far-right call it, that are steeped in xenophobia and racial/cultural paranoia.

Even in advanced industrial democracies, the virus is likely to increase the strains and stresses on public health systems already weakened and deprived of staff, resources and essential equipment after more than a decade...

Broken English

Broken English

  • March 01, 2020
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So the government has released its post-Brexit ‘points-based’ immigration system, and no one will be surprised to hear that  ‘All applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak...

Corona, Corona

Corona, Corona

  • February 27, 2020
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Fans of Edgar Allan Poe and Hammer horror films will recall Poe’s tale The Masque of the Red Death, and the Roger Corman remake with Vincent Price as Prince Prospero.   For those who don’t, the story describes the attempts by Prospero and a bunch of panic-stricken and fairly decadent medieval nobles to escape a mysterious...

Eugenics for Dummies

Eugenics for Dummies

  • February 19, 2020
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There’s been a lot of talk about eugenics in the UK this last week, thanks to Dominic Cummings’s ‘superforecaster’ Andrew Sabisky.   Sabisky’s rapid rise and fall is entirely due to the ‘controversial comments’, as the media likes to call them, that he made on various internet forums, including Cummings’s own blog.  These pronouncements include the...

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...

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...

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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