Notes From the Margins…
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Thou Shalt Not Tweet ill of Ukip

  • May 13, 2014
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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 ‘anti-establishment’ defender of the voiceless underdog now attempting to use the law to shut down criticism of its policies?

Two disturbing events in the last week suggest that this is indeed the case. First, there was the case of Cambridgeshire...

Nick Cohen’s Mad Mad World

  • May 05, 2014
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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
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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
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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
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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...

Egypt’s Trial of the Century

  • March 26, 2014
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How many Egyptians does it take to kill one policeman?   Exactly 529, if they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Judge Saeed Elgazar.     That is the number of people Elgazar sentenced to death two days ago for the killing of a deputy police commander in the southern Egyptian city of...

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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