Notes From the Margins…
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Argentina Ditches Repsol

  • April 19, 2012
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Interesting developments in Argentina, where president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s decision to  bring the country’s largest oil company  Petrolíferos Yacimientos Fiscales (YPF)  back into state ownership  at the expense of the Spanish multinational Repsol has sparked howls of rage in Spain, and drawn condemnation from some governments and financial institutions.

The government has justified the expropriation of 51 percent of shares owned by  Repsol on the grounds that the multinational was underinvesting in the country and failing to exploit its reserves.  The government Minister for Planning Julio de Vido has pointed out that Argentina has...

‘Unforeseen Consequences’ and the Unravelling of Libya

  • April 03, 2012
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The imperium and its cohorts are in a hurry these days.     No sitting around waiting for the wheels of diplomacy or negotiations to take their course for them.   Not when there’s a world to be put to rights, wars that need to be fought, rebels to be armed, regimes to topple.    ...

Death in the Mediterranean

  • March 29, 2012
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The Guardian reports today on the Council of Europe’s nine-month investigation into the terrible incident which took place in May last year, when 72 African migrants sail left Tripoli harbour in a packed dinghy en route for Europe.   The boat’s engine cut out and it spent two weeks adrift, even though its passengers...

Rioting in the Material World

  • March 28, 2012
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The final report from the Riots Communities and Victims Panel established by the government to investigate the causes of last August’s riots  and their possible policy responses has just been published.  In addition to ‘poor parenting’, failing schools and social deprivation, the report describes commercialism and materialism as significant driving forces behind the riots, which...

UKBA: protecting our borders once again

  • March 26, 2012
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This Wednesday at 00.10 hours, a chartered deportation flight of refused Afghan asylum seekers is due to fly from London to Kabul, escorted by guards from the private security firm Reliance Secure Task Management, which took over responsibility for escorting such flights in May last year, following the death of the Angolan asylum seeker Jimmy...

Cameron and Obama: the lords of mayhem

  • March 14, 2012
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State visits by British prime ministers to the United States are never a particularly edifying experience.  On this side of the Atlantic, they tend to perpetuate unhealthy delusions of imperial grandeur that stem essentially from Britain’s willingness to hover in the slipstream of American military power.

This vassal-like status is often obscured by nostalgic memories...

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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