Notes From the Margins…
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Ukip Flying Saucers Invade Earth

  • March 21, 2014
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I’ve just been watching   the ‘science fiction video’ produced by Ukip in Bradford.   Written and ‘directed’ by Ukip Bradford and District chairman Jason Smith, it’s a chilling and bleak testament to the intellectual and moral vacuum that his party would like to drag the country into – and also to the fantasy vision of British society that is so essential to its politics.

Sinister and ominous music accompanies a  succession of Independence Day imagery of giant space ships bearing the EU logo hovering over Bradford, hoovering up taxpayers’ money through cracks in...

Mark Harper Falls on His Plastic Sword

  • February 11, 2014
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Politicians on all sides have been falling over themselves to praise former Immigration Minister Mark Harper for his ‘honourable’ decision to resign, following the discovery that his cleaner was an ‘illegal immigrant.’   Harper’s colleagues, all of them honourable men and women themselves, have been been at pains to point out how correct and even...

Edward Snowden: Shooting the Messenger

  • January 07, 2014
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Journalists whose careers are based on the faithful reproduction of the views of governments and institutions more powerful than themselves are rarely enthusiastic about whistleblowers.

Faced with people who actually take risks to confront and expose the lies and deceptions of the powerful that they themselves either don’t see or prefer to ignore, it is has...

Policing the Crisis

  • December 17, 2013
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The Spanish parliament is currently debating a draconian ‘Citizen Security Bill’   that will introduce fines of up to 600,000 euros for attendance at unauthorized street protests and demonstrations.     Among other things, demonstrators will face fines for ‘insulting’ or making ‘false accusations’ against public officials and state institutions.

The bill will also ban protests...

Drowning Gaza

  • December 15, 2013
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At the beginning of this month a great   spoof of the Van Damme Volvo advert was posted on Youtube by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.   In it a group of Palestinians are pushing two cars that have no petrol through the Strip, while one of them talks about the lack of electricity and...

Who Likes the Daily Mail?

  • December 03, 2013
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Readers of this blog will know that I’m not a massive fan of the Daily Mail.   And if I keep returning to it, that’s because the cursed thing is impossible to ignore.   It squats there in the centre of British public life with its 4.3 million readers like a giant toad,   a...

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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