Notes From the Margins…

Cameron reclaims ‘our borders’ (again)

  • October 11, 2011
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Having failed to win the nation over with his condemnations of Britain’s ‘sogginess’ and lack of backbone at the Tory Conference of the Damned,  David Cameron yesterday delivered  yet another ‘major speech’ on immigration, which  set new standards of populist rabble-rousing.

As always this latest intervention was dressed up  as a courageous and...

Britain Plays Happy Families

  • October 09, 2011
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There’s a grim article in today’s Independent on  an ongoing survey into work and relationships in Britain by the Working Families and One Plus One charities, called Happy Homes, Productive Workplaces, whose preliminary findings include

A culture of “downsizing”, where long working hours and job insecurity have become the norm, is leading to a “vicious cycle”...

Austerity: Greece Continues to Fight

  • October 06, 2011
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The political/economic discourse of ‘austerity’ and ‘austerity packages’ tends to present these processes as if they were entirely reasonable, inevitable and a matter of plain common sense.  It’s like going on a diet.   Just ‘tighten your belts’ and reduce your ‘bloated public sector’ (how come no one ever talks about a ‘bloated private sector’...

R.I.P Bert Jansch 1943-2011

  • October 05, 2011
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Bert Jansch, one of the greatest British folk guitarists of all time, has died of cancer.   Here is in full flight, doing a fabulous rendition of Reynardine.  Look upon it, you guitar pickers, and be humbled.

...

Black cat’s something May can’t explain

  • October 05, 2011
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It’s the Conservative conference and your government hasn’t got a great deal to offer the electorate or its core constituency except misery, gloom and exhortations to grit your teeth and bear the pain.  OK,  George Osborne has tried his best, promising the conference

together we will ride out the storm.  And...

Rami Zurayk’s War Diary

  • October 02, 2011
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I’ve just read Rami Zurayk’s magnificent War Diary: Lebanon 2006, a searing account of the 33-day Israel-Hizbullah war that began in July 2006, when Hizbullah carried out a cross-border raid in which 2 Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and 3 killed.

Determined to restore the ‘credibility of its military deterrent’,  Israel unleashed what later became known as...

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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