Notes From the Margins…

Chronicle of a Coup Foretold

  • August 29, 2019
  • by

Today, after weeks of hints, denials, and rumours, the UK has lurched closer towards constitutional and political collapse when the Boris Johnson government announced that it would ask the Queen to suspend parliament in the second week of September, and reconvene with a Queen’s Speech a month later, on 14 October. Many people have seen this coming for some time and have been actively preparing to prevent it.

It is now clear that everything the Johnson government has done since 92,000-odd  Tories voted it into office last month, has been part of a strategy that is far more coherent than anything its opponents have had to offer. First, the hardline law-and-order agenda to please the Tory base and win over Brexit Party defectors: More prisons, more Stop & Search, more ‘terror’ for criminals and more money for police. Then the fake promises about increasing public spending and ‘offers’ of already-existing money for the NHS. Rethinking HS2; better Broadband; ending freedom of movement on the 31st October; a schools ‘revolution’ with academisation and pupil exclusion at its core — the stream of proposals in the last few weeks has already outdone what May offered in three year.

All this has been bolstered by an equally febrile social media campaign, largely revolving around videos of Eton’s tousle-haired Rent-a-Churchill, sleeves rolled-up, chatting to hospital patients or delivering giddily vapid monologues about making the UK the ‘greatest country in the world to live in’ and suggestions that reality can somehow be avoided through optimism, oomph and national self-belief.

My piece for Ceasefire Magazine.  You can read the rest here:

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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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