Notes From the Margins…
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Statesmen

  • March 07, 2012
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In these tense and troubled times, with the western world lurching toward a catastrophic war with Iran with all the vision and foresight of a stag party in the last stages of a pub crawl, we are fortunate to have leaders with the integrity, humanity, and foresight to calm the more rabid and hysterical spirits among us and steer us away from the brink.

Thus we saw Benjamin Netanyahu delivering a characteristically measured and thoughtful speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday, in which he rejected the ‘preposterous’ idea that ‘we...

The echo chamber: News International and police ‘terror briefings’

  • March 02, 2012
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As the seemingly endless tide of sleaze and corruption continues to ooze out of News International like sewage from a bust pipe, there was  interesting testimony  yesterday from Peter Clarke, the former deputy commissioner of Scotland Yard and head of the antiterrorist branch S013,  on his department’s relationships with the British media...

It’s only teenage wasteland: pop culture’s vapid dreamworld

  • February 21, 2012
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When you’re in your mid-50s, you can’t help noticing that time’s winged chariot is hurtling towards you a little faster than you would like.   So every other day I dutifully trudge off to the gym and hit the machines in an attempt to slow down its progress a little.

Unfortunately, some genius had the...

We are all Greeks!

  • February 20, 2012
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The ghost of Percy Bysshe Shelley danced across the world on Saturday, draped in a Greek flag,   as demonstrations took place in more than 20 cities  in an international day of action in solidarity with Greece and in opposition to the savage austerity measures that are reducing large swathes of the Greek population...

From Fallujah to Homs

  • February 08, 2012
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Yesterday’s Guardian had a terrible editorial on Syria and the ongoing siege of Homs, which summed up so much of what is corrupt, servile and deferential about the western media in general – regardless of its political orientation – when it comes to dealing with the foreign policy objectives of their own governments.

The editorial condemned...

The pity of Niall Ferguson

  • February 07, 2012
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There is nothing worse than a warmonger, but few warmongers are as disgusting and contemptible as Niall Ferguson.  Anyone who doubts this should contemplate his latest outing as a cheerleader for war on Iran, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme yesterday:

Check out this great MSN video – Ferguson: Why arguments against Israeli attack on Iran...

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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