Notes From the Margins…
Waiting for Corona

Waiting for Corona

  • March 15, 2020
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“The face of London was—now indeed strangely altered: I mean the whole mass of buildings, city, liberties, suburbs, Westminster, Southwark, and altogether; for as to the particular part called the city, or within the walls, that was not yet much infected. But in the whole the face of things, I say, was much altered; sorrow...

Coronavirus: I herd it through the grapevine

Coronavirus: I herd it through the grapevine

  • March 13, 2020
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It may not be true that we get the kind of politicians we deserve, but it’s fair to say that if you elect politicians who have spent years inflicting needless economic pain on the most vulnerable members of society, who brought their country to the brink of economic ruin in order to fulfill a nationalist...

Going Viral

Going Viral

  • March 11, 2020
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There is no good time for a pandemic, but some historical moments are definitely worse than others.  The coronavirus has erupted in a world dominated by nationalist rightwing populist politics with an authoritarian/fascistic tinge, many of which draw their support from fears and phobias about globalisation, or ‘globalism’ as the far-right call it, that are...

Broken English

Broken English

  • March 01, 2020
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So the government has released its post-Brexit ‘points-based’ immigration system, and no one will be surprised to hear that  ‘All applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak...

Corona, Corona

Corona, Corona

  • February 27, 2020
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Fans of Edgar Allan Poe and Hammer horror films will recall Poe’s tale The Masque of the Red Death, and the Roger Corman remake with Vincent Price as Prince Prospero.   For those who don’t, the story describes the attempts by Prospero and a bunch of panic-stricken and fairly decadent medieval nobles to escape a mysterious...

Parasite: A Film for Our Times

Parasite: A Film for Our Times

  • February 21, 2020
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Donald Trump isn’t generally known for pronouncements on world cinema.  But he and his fans seem to believe that he has the right to express even the most vapid opinions on everything, and given that Hollywood mostly despises him, it isn’t as surprising as it might seem at first sight  to find the Emperor of...

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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