Notes From the Margins…
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Liars’ Ball: the Unbearable Lightness of Brexit

  • June 28, 2016
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There’s a tendency in some fringe political circles at both left and right-wing political circles to imagine that the ‘system’ we have is secretly or overtly controlled by an all-powerful and all-seeing group of malevolent men who are able to direct events entirely according to their own whims..  They might be the Bilderberg group, the Illuminati, David Icke’s lizard-people or Dick Cheney and his neocon cabal holed up inside a mountain coolly pulling the levers of 9/11in order to justify endless imperial war.

The monumental political car-crash that has taken place in the last...

The World According to Bono

  • April 15, 2016
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I’ve got  nothing against famous people getting involved in politics or embracing political causes.  On the contrary, there’s no reason why the accident of fame and the weird cult of celebrity-worship that comes with it should place anyone above politics  or preclude celebrities from taking moral and political positions on issues that...

Europe’s ‘Migration Crisis’ : Repression with a human face

  • March 08, 2016
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Many years ago Franco Solinas, the scriptwriter for Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece The Battle of Algiers, was asked by an interviewer why the French colonel Mathieu – a pragmatic exponent of torture –  was portrayed as ‘ too much of a gentleman in fatigues, excessively noble.  He is elegant, cultured….’  Solinas replied that...

Hope I die before I get old

  • March 06, 2016
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There was a time when living longer was considered to be a desirable goal, and rising life expectancy was regarded as a metric of social progress.  In those not so distant times, ‘developed’ capitalist societies and already existing socialist societies alike assumed that work was a preparation for an old age in which you...

Learn English! The Vicious Idiocy of David Cameron

  • January 20, 2016
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I have to admit that when I hear the word ‘integration’  coming from politicians  nowadays, it makes me want to reach for my revolver.   By integration, I don’t mean the term that British Home Secretary Roy Jenkins famously defined back in 1966 when he said:

‘ Integration is perhaps a loose word. I do...

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

  • January 07, 2016
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If my inadvertent involvement in last year’s media onslaught against Stop the War taught me one thing: it was the incredible mendacity,  political dishonesty and sheer venality of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents inside the Labour Party.  It is possible – within limits – to respect one’s political opponents when they uphold genuine principles that they...

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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