Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category

Alastair Campbell does satire

  • June 16, 2012
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When flying low without a moral compass, it’s always vaguely comforting and reassuring to tell yourself that everybody else is doing it too.   So it’s not surprising at all to hear Alastair Campbell  having a go at Armando Iannucci for accepting an OBE.

I have no intention of defending that decision myself.  In my humble opinion, no satirist worthy of his salt should need to accept such an award, and it isn’t that difficult to say no thank you.  But then Iannucci is certainly not the first comedian/provocateur to épater le...

Bin Laden Day

  • May 02, 2012
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It’s exactly one year since the president of the world’s most powerful democracy sent a team of Navy Seals to kill the world’s most wanted man in his pyjamas in a rundown house compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.   Who can forget that historic  moment which a photographer captured for posterity,...

The lost men of Guantanamo

  • April 23, 2012
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Last week’s announcement  that El Salvador has resettled  two Uighur detainees from  Guantanamo Bay is another development in the grindingly slow attempt to bring one of  the most shameful episodes in US history to a close.

The Uighurs are the first prisoner releases from Guantanamo since January 2011.   They constitute a category...

David and Barack trip the light fantastic

  • March 15, 2012
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It’s over, but only the hardest hearts could have remained unmoved at the sight of  the president of the world’s only superpower romancing our Tory PM.   Like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Camerobama only had eyes for each other as they skipped lightly across the diplomatic dancefloor in  the greatest piece of...

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...

The case of Thomas Drake

  • March 10, 2012
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There’s an excellent piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker about Thomas Drake, the linguist and computer expert-turned-whistleblower from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), who was indicted by the Obama administration in April 2010 for releasing classified information to a journalist in 2006.

The case has attracted less media attention than  Bradley Manning, though...

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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