Notes From the Margins…
Posts for US politics Category
Going Viral

Going Viral

  • March 11, 2020
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There is no good time for a pandemic, but some historical moments are definitely worse than others.  The coronavirus has erupted in a world dominated by nationalist rightwing populist politics with an authoritarian/fascistic tinge, many of which draw their support from fears and phobias about globalisation, or ‘globalism’ as the far-right call it, that are steeped in xenophobia and racial/cultural paranoia.

Even in advanced industrial democracies, the virus is likely to increase the strains and stresses on public health systems already weakened and deprived of staff, resources and essential equipment after more than a decade...

Broken English

Broken English

  • March 01, 2020
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So the government has released its post-Brexit ‘points-based’ immigration system, and no one will be surprised to hear that  ‘All applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak...

Johnson and Trump: That’s Entertainment

Johnson and Trump: That’s Entertainment

  • August 27, 2019
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If there’s one thing that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have in common, it’s their propensity for lying.  Where politicians like Blair and Bush lied and massaged facts to realise specific agendas, both these politicians at least recognised that truth existed and that it was important for politicians to make it seem as though it mattered.

Johnson...

John Bolton: American Psycho

John Bolton: American Psycho

  • August 14, 2019
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Over here in the 51st state we’ve been hearing  and seeing a lot from US National Security advisor John Bolton in the last few weeks.  First there was a photo-op with our stupefyingly dense and utterly out of her depth Trade Secretary Liz Truss in Washington:

 

 

Then there was Dominic Raab’s visit to Washington, where the...

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

  • August 11, 2019
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I’m not much of a fan of the concept of ‘national greatness’.  It’s not I don’t think that nations can have qualities and achievements worthy of pride and admiration.  But the concept of national greatness is almost always steeped in a collective narcissism and national chauvinism that I find unedifying and inherently repellent.

Its proponents often...

Stand With the Squad

Stand With the Squad

  • July 17, 2019
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Yesterday, in yet another of the dismal milestones that the Trump administration continues to carve into American political history, the US House of Representatives voted 240-187 to condemn the President of the United States for making racist statements.    This unprecedented rebuke followed Trump’s Twitter attack on the four recently-elected Democrat Congresswomen, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria...

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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