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Epstein’s Monsters

Epstein’s Monsters

  • May 30, 2020
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In Shelley’s poem Ozymandias, a traveller comes across a broken statue in the desert consisting of  ‘ two vast and trunkless legs of stone’ protruding from a plinth, and ‘a shattered visage’ lying half-buried in the sand ‘ whose frown/And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command/Tell that its sculptor well those passions read/Which yet survive.’  This is all that remains of ‘Ozymandias, King of Kings’, the tyrant of an unnamed empire whose power has proven to be as pathetically ephemeral as his attempt to preserve it for posterity.

There will never be any monument...

Stuck Inside a Lockdown With the Paranoid Blues Again

Stuck Inside a Lockdown With the Paranoid Blues Again

  • May 15, 2020
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Conspiracy is an overused and often misused word.   At its most basic dictionary level, it refers to a group of people who conspire together.  Nothing controversial about that.  History is filled with examples of actual conspiracies, from the assassination of Julius Caesar, to Contragate or the 9/11 hijackers.

Historical conspiracies are one thing; it’s  quite another...

Turning the Corner

Turning the Corner

  • May 01, 2020
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Spring is here, and even in a nation in lockdown, it’s possible to detect  a new confidence and optimism at the helm of the United Kingdom of Populist Brexit Republics (UKPBR), a sense that the darkest days are over and that we have turned the corner in the war against Covid-19.  Asked by Cathy Newman on...

Clap for Boris?  You must be joking

Clap for Boris? You must be joking

  • April 11, 2020
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As most people in the UK will be aware, Boris Johnson has spent most of the last week in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  Fortunately, he is now recovering. I say ‘fortunately’ because only ghouls wish to see their political enemies, no matter how contemptible they find them to be, exposed to physical suffering and...

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...

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...

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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