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Spain implodes and explodes

  • July 21, 2012
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Despite major surgical intervention and a major cash transfusion for its ailing banks, the Spanish patient is continuing to languish on the operating table and may not leave the hospital for some time.

A raft of ideologically-motivated austerity cuts from the vacillating and useless Conservative government has exacerbated Spain’s precarious condition, choking growth and provoking serious spasms that may prove terminal, to the point when even the European consultants who have been brought in to oversee the operation are now worried that the patient may go crashing out of the eurozone.

The latest evidence of the...

The Awesome Years

  • July 20, 2012
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It would be something of an understatement to suggest that the historians of the future are unlikely to look back on the first decade of the twenty-first century with much favor.

It was a decade in which the world’s most powerful democracy unleashed   a swathe of violence across the world in the name of the...

David Lammy’s Army School for Rioters

  • July 15, 2012
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There was an awful article in last week’s New Statesman by Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy, accusing the left of a curmudgeonly attitude towards the government’s plans for military-staffed ‘service schools.’

Lammy condemns critics of the scheme for propagating the idea that ‘ servicemen and women are “brainwashed killers…hell-bent on converting our sons and daughters to...

The Border Between Us

  • July 10, 2012
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“There is a cyclone fence between ourselves and the slaughter and behind it we hover in a calm protected world like netted fish/exactly like netted fish/It is either the beginning or the end of the world/and the choice is ourselves or nothing.”

Carolyn Forche, “Ourselves or Nothing.”

Showing the humanity and foresight for which he and his...

Branagh’s Wallander

  • July 09, 2012
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I’m a big fan of Henning Mankel’s Wallander novels and the Swedish television series that came out of them,  and it’s only because I still pine for the latter that I watched Kenneth Branagh’s English version last night.

Like its predecessors, it’s watchable and not without merits.   Branagh portrays  Mankel’s obsessed and...

Bring out more flags

  • May 31, 2012
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Since I got back from Mallorca I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard like crazy in an attempt to make up for two idyllic weeks that I really don’t regret at all.   First I had to check proofs and indexes for Fortress Europe, which is due out at the end of the summer....

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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