Notes From the Margins…
Lockdown Sunday

Lockdown Sunday

  • March 23, 2020
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This weekend was the first weekend of spring.  After a long dreary winter filled with rainy days, floods, and moaning winds, the population came out in force to enjoy the sunny weather.  At Skegness, hundreds of thousands flocked to the caravan parks and arcades on Saturday.  In Victoria and Richmond parks, cyclists, walkers and other...

Ventilator Blues

Ventilator Blues

  • March 21, 2020
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When the coronavirus nightmare ends – as it will end one day – there are many things those of us who survive it will want to remember, and there are things that governments – including our own – will want us to forget.  One of them is the chronic lack of medical ventilator machines available...

One Nation Under a Virus

One Nation Under a Virus

  • March 17, 2020
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I’m not a huge fan of Winston Churchill.  He was racist, devious, and ruthless: a romantic imperialist who was as willing to celebrate the slaughter of ‘barbaric’ peoples who opposed the British Empire as he was to turn troops on striking Welsh miners or Greek communists   But that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognise the...

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...

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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