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National Hate the Poor Week

  • January 09, 2013
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So this week the UN Human Development Report officially declared Britain to be the most unequal society in the Western world,   and found that the poorest 40 per cent of Britons share 14.6 percent of   the national wealth – a lower proportion than any other industrialised   country except Russia.

And yesterday, the political class cheerfully voted through the Government’s Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, whose main impact, according to the chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group,   ‘ will be to make life much more difficult for millions of ordinary families,...

Crocodile Tears, Hypocrisy and Remembrance

Crocodile Tears, Hypocrisy and Remembrance

  • November 11, 2012
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I was just sitting down to write this post when  I heard a marching band playing just outside my house.  The ‘music’ was upbeat and heroic, full of martial pomp and circumstance, just the kind of jolly marching tunes that once inspired thousands of young men to demonstrate their heroism and manliness by volunteering to...

George Washington in Fallujah

  • October 17, 2012
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Less than a year ago Barack Obama delivered a speech at Fort Bragg, Carolina, to commemorate the withdrawal of the last US troops from Iraq.  The Nobel Laureate hailed the successful conclusion to ‘one of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of the American military’ and praised the war that he had once...

‘Mau Mau’ and the Myth of a Benevolent Empire

  • October 07, 2012
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Last week’s ruling by  a British judge,  granting three survivors of the 1950s Kenyan ‘Emergency’  the right to a High Court trial over allegations of British government complicity in torture, is  a tremendous achievement for the Kenyan campaigners and lawyers who fought this seemingly unwinnable case for so many years.

No wonder...

One Nation Under a Miliband

  • October 03, 2012
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I always find the party conference season to be a bleak confirmation of the essential   vacuity of mainstream politics.     I especially hate the parts where the party leaders express their ‘values’ and their ‘vision’, and engage in contrived and cringeworthy attempts to reveal   ‘personalities’ which are in fact nothing more than...

Barack Obama gives the world a hug

  • September 26, 2012
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You have to hand it to Barack Obama – the guy can talk.     When George W. Bush appeared on the world stage,   the spoilt frat-boy was always embarrassingly visible beneath the presidential veneer, and his attempts to sound statesmanlike were often undermined by the disturbing smirk that tended to accompany even his...

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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