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The Last Post

The Last Post

  • September 05, 2021
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On March 9, 2011, I wrote the first post on this blog.  When I first set it up I was rather tentative about doing it.   I was still an Internet novice and I was only just beginning to get to grips with Facebook and Twitter.   My daughter helped with the technical stuff, which I never did fully grasp.  More than once I’ve pressed the wrong button and seen posts or even the entire webpage disappear, and I’ve been forced to make desperate appeals to friends or technicians to save me from oblivion.

I still don’t...

Of Cats and Dogs

Of Cats and Dogs

  • August 31, 2021
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Given the scale of the disaster unfolding in Kabul right now, it might seem a little frivolous to write about Paul ‘Penn’ Farthing, the ex-Marine Sergeant and founder of the Nowzad animal rescue charity, who has just arrived back in the UK on a plane filled with cats and dogs – and no people.

So let...

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...

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...

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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