Notes From the Margins…
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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 and the  Murdoch press in particular.

According to Clarke, the police regularly briefed the media on terrorism-related issues through off-the-record briefings,  formal press statements and conferences,  and  lunches with selected journalists.  Asked about the purpose of these...

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...

The Daily Mail: turning tragedy into bigotry

  • January 28, 2012
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I know I’ve written on this subject before, but it needs to be repeated again and again: the Daily Mail  is a toxic pool of xenophobia, racism and rancid little-Englandism, and the fact that it attracts six million readers every week is a huge indictment of the British newspaper-reading public.

Today Paul Dacre’s ghastly rag has...

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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