Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Uncategorized Category

Ofsted: Gove’s Trojan Horse

  • June 11, 2014
  • by

For some time now it has been clear that Ofsted functions as the political instrument of central government.   Until recently this instrumentalization was mostly manifest in general terms; for governments intent on scapegoating teachers for the many failings of British society, Ofsted’s inquisitorial inspection system constituted a useful blunt instrument for intimidating and bullying schools, subjecting the entire education system to factory-style production quotas and markers of achievement of the type that Stalin would have approved of.

Initially introduced by John Major as a means of empowering parents, Ofsted has become a tool of...

Thou Shalt Not Tweet ill of Ukip

  • May 13, 2014
  • by

Anyone who has written criticism of Ukip will be familiar with the bug-eyed tweets and comments posted by its rank-and-file supporters that inevitably follow.   In the Internet Ukip often behaves like an angry mob, pouring forth a constant stream of bitter and often openly racist bile.       But is Britain’s...

Nick Cohen’s Mad Mad World

  • May 05, 2014
  • by

Even by his standards, Nick Cohen’s column on Boko Haram in The Guardian on Saturday is a stunningly lazy and incoherent piece of gibberish. Pretending to care, really really care, about the 230 schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram, Cohen seeks to indict ‘the left’ not only for not caring as much...

The Arrest of Gerry Adams

  • May 04, 2014
  • by

I first became familiar with the concept of ‘transitional justice’ back in 1995, when I went to El Salvador as a freelance to report on the post-war peace process. At the time I wasn’t much impressed by the essential premises on which this process was undertaken, which essentially established a principle of immunity as the...

Whatever Happened to the Future?

Whatever Happened to the Future?

  • April 17, 2014
  • by

There was a time when the future seemed like something you could rely on, at least if you were lucky enough to live in the ‘developed’ world; when you could look at your life twenty or thirty years down the line and know that you would have a job, and that if you worked for...

Does Work Make You Free?

  • April 16, 2014
  • by

Work is good for you.     We know this because our politicians never cease to remind us of the fact.   Whether singing the virtues of ‘hard-working families’, or introducing punitive benefits caps and sanctions in an attempt to ‘get people back to work’ or ‘make work pay’, they constantly present work not simply...

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Events

  • No events
Sharing Buttons by Linksku