Notes From the Margins…

Solidarity With Gina Miller

  • August 10, 2017
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There was a time, not that long ago in fact, when ‘liberals’ and ‘leftists’ were blamed for the rise of Brexit and Donald Trump.   We – the ‘latte-drinking metropolitan elite’ had been too arrogant, the argument ran.    We hadn’t listened to ‘ordinary people’.  We’d become complacent and detached from...

The Madness of King Donald

  • July 31, 2017
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Even by the wild standards of what may well be the most deranged individual ever to inhabit the White House, the man who calls himself Donald Trump has had a prolific and remarkable week.  Just to recapitulate.  In the space of five working days Trump has:

a) publicly humiliated the admittedly creepy attorney general...

Wayne’s World

  • July 14, 2017
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Whatever the economic imperatives behind imperialism, every empire invariably generates a rhetoric of superiority, which supposedly entitles and even obliges certain countries or societies to acquire territory, dominate and conquer others or impose their system of government through direct or indirect means.   Such superiority might be cultural, religious, racial, or systemic, but it...

Civilisation and its Malcontents

  • July 12, 2017
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In the conservative-far right lexicon, few words have the same emotive power as ‘civilisation’ – a term that usually equates with ‘Western civilisation’ or simply ‘the West.’ It’s one of those words that automatically gives depth and gravitas to the hollowest and tinniest of human mouthpieces.  Use it enough and you begin to sound...

Mar-a-Lago Goes to Warsaw

  • July 07, 2017
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It’s easy to mock Donald Trump, because almost everything he says and does is worthy of nothing but mockery.  But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean you ought to stop doing it.   Yesterday Trump attempted to re-cast himself as a 21st century incarnation of Ronald Reagan,  in a paranoid and utterly...

The United Kingdom of Insecurity

  • June 20, 2017
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According to conventional political wisdom the first duty of a democratic government is to afford security and protection to all its citizens.   This objective is often misleadingly conflated with the notion of ‘national security’ – a principle that supposedly incorporates the duty of protection but actually often overrides it.  National security isn’t...

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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