Notes From the Margins…
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Netanyahu’s Blood Feud

  • July 02, 2014
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There is nothing that Benjamin Netanyahu likes better than a self-righteous act of retributive violence against Palestinian ‘terrorists’, and the murders of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers have given him an excuse in spades.   From the moment these teenagers disappeared, Netanyahu blamed their disappearances on Hamas.   On June 13, the day after the kidnappings, he declared that ‘this is what happens when you bring terrorists into government’.

At that time the perpetrators were unknown, though an organization calling itself the ‘Islamic State of Syria and Iraq – Palestine’ had supposedly claimed responsibility. Since...

Savile Country

  • June 30, 2014
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The more we learn about the horrendous crimes committted by the creature that was Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, the more it becomes clear that the former ‘national treasure’ was one of the most prolific and psychopathic sexual predators in British history – a man without a shred of pity, compassion or human empathy.  ...

Ofsted: Gove’s Trojan Horse

  • June 11, 2014
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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...

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...

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...

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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