Notes From the Margins…

Trump Goes to Westphalia

  • September 20, 2017
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There is nothing entirely new under the sun when it comes to US presidents and US military power, at least since the end of World War II.  All American presidents, whatever their political inclinations, preside over a quasi-imperial system of military power that spends spends more than twice as much on the military as...

Twilight in Brexitland

  • September 18, 2017
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Yesterday evening I shared a horrific post on Facebook about a tetraplegic woman whose disability benefits have just been cancelled, and has just been summoned to a job interview by her local job centre.  As shocking as it was, this dreadful decision was a fairly typical example of the cruelty and incompetence that has...

The Wars of Ralph Peters

The Wars of Ralph Peters

  • September 06, 2017
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Slowly, but inexorably, the world is drifting towards the prospect of an all-out war between the United States and North Korea.  At the very least such a conflict is likely to result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, most of them Koreans.  It also raises the very real possibility of the first...

One Day Without Us 2018

  • September 04, 2017
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It’s just under a year since I was part of  a Facebook discussion about the alarmingly xenophobic drift of post-referendum UK society.   We were people from many different nationalities, backgrounds and political persuasions.   Some of us were migrants, others the descendants of migrants or British nationals who know migrants as our friends,...

Peter Kosminsky’s Islamic State

Peter Kosminsky’s Islamic State

  • August 22, 2017
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The violence that we call terrorism has always been surrounded by a curious paradox. On the one hand virtually every terrorist emergency in history has declared terrorism to be a unique threat to society,  yet the societies under the threat of terrorist violence are generally not encouraged and are even actively discouraged from thinking about...

History, Peace, and Beauty: On Barcelona’s Ramblas

History, Peace, and Beauty: On Barcelona’s Ramblas

  • August 18, 2017
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Of all the massacres perpetrated in Europe in the name of Islamic State, yesterday’s slaughter in the Ramblas has a particular personal resonance for me. I spent nine years in Barcelona, living near the Ramblas for part of that time. Even when I moved further away from downtown Barcelona, hardly a week went by in...

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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