Notes From the Margins…
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Michael Gove runs into a wall

  • January 08, 2012
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There’s an interesting article in yesterday”s Guardian about Michael Gove”s ongoing battle with Downhills primary school in Tottenham, which the Education Secretary is frantically trying to turn into an academy.

Gove”s plans are being resisted by parents, teachers and school governors, all of whom have been labelled “ideologues” by the Education Secretary a real case of pot calling the kettle black if ever there was one.

The groundwork for Downhills” potential transformation into academy status appears to have been laid as usual, by a negative Ofsted report last year, which placed Downhills under notice...

Market-Assisted Suicide

  • December 19, 2011
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There’s a very sad but telling piece in today’s Guardian about the rise in suicide in Greece in the last few years – a rise that appears to be a direct cause of the economic crisis.   Three years ago, Greece had the lowest suicide rate in Europe at 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, in a...

Lampedusa 2

  • June 23, 2011
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LAMPEDUSA, Italy, Jun 22, 2011 (IPS) – It”s only a few hundred metres from the rocky hillside overlooking Lampedusa”s commercial port to the other side of the protected bay. For more than a decade this narrow strip of ocean has been a migratory gateway into Europe for tens of thousands of mostly African migrants. The...

Lampedusa 1

  • June 22, 2011
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LAMPEDUSA, Italy – It”s 4.30 in the morning and the full moon is low in the sky above Lampedusa harbour as the Guardia di Finanza patrol boat escorts a fishing boat containing 19 Tunisian migrants into the closed military port. They include six women, one child and to the amusement of the Medicins...

Radio silence

  • June 15, 2011
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I’m in Lampedusa at the moment, with only intermittent Internet access.     Too intermittent in any case, to have the opportunity to blog.   Up this morning at 4.30 to watch 19 Tunisian migrants being brought ashore by the Guardia di Finanza.     Back online soon!


Blair: The Hollow Man Cometh

  • June 09, 2011
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The paperback version of Tony Blair’s ‘journey’ has just been published, and the cardboard version of our millionaire ex-PM is out and about trying to promote it, while simultaneously dispensing pearls of wisdom on how ‘we’ should respond to the Arab Spring.   The sight of Blair’s weird death mask face with its rictus grin...

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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