Notes From the Margins…

Morbid Symptoms: Phonehacking, Celebrities and the Press

  • July 20, 2011
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As was to be expected, there was a lot of strategic humility on display in Parliament yesterday by both the Murdochs and la Brooks –  replete with softened curls to remove any unfortunate associations with Medusa or a Harry Potter witch.

The arrogance was mostly absent from all three, and there was a great deal of...

The Zone of Precarity

  • July 19, 2011
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Last night a friend of mine told me that his 20-year-old son has just been sacked from his job at PC World, where he had been working for the last two years. His son had been working variable 12-hour shifts, and the weekly shift schedule was not announced till the last minute, making a ‘social...

Partying with the Murdochs like it’s 1999

  • July 18, 2011
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The Mail on Sunday has published the guest list for Elizabeth Murdoch and hubby Matthew Freud’s  summer party, which took place at the Oxfordshire village of Burford on July 2, exactly twenty-four hours before the Milly Dowler phonehacking story went viral.

The Mail describes the ‘Chipping Norton Set’s last hurrah’ at Burford Priory as a ‘...

The Mice Turn on the Cat

  • July 16, 2011
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Watching the Murdoch empire unravel has certainly become one of the unexpected pleasures of the summer, but I’m not as inspired by the politicians who are now hunting the old bastard down as some commentators think I should be.

In a Guardian column today Jonathan Freedland described last week’s vote in parliament as a ‘British revolution’...

Somalia – the secret war

  • July 13, 2011
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Superb article by the magnificent Jeremy Scahill on the CIA’s intensifying campaign against the al-Shabaab militia in Somalia.   It’s deja vu all over again – more petrol poured on the flames in the form of drone killings, kidnappings, interrogations, secret prisons, and piles of money thrown at dubious warlord ‘allies’ looking to profit...

Samosas, Drinks and the EDL

  • July 12, 2011
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There was a bad result for the English Defence League (EDL) in my hometown of Cambridge on Saturday.   Some 200 EDL members attempted to march down Mill Road to protest outside the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Mawson Road.    They were met by a counter-demonstration of 2,000 people, and prevented from reaching the...

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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