Notes From the Margins…
Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn

  • July 28, 2019
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There are many reasons to despise and resist the rightwing ‘populist’ politics that are poisoning democracies across the world in the second decade of the 21st century.  The racism and white supremacism that so often underpins these movements; the dehumanisation of immigrants; the authoritarianism; the deep seam of dishonesty if not outright corruption that so...

Johnson and His Cabinet:  A Confederacy of Bastards

Johnson and His Cabinet: A Confederacy of Bastards

  • July 25, 2019
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Watching Netflix’s documentary The Great Hack last night, I was struck by the ‘Breibart philosophy’ ascribed by one of its contributors to Steve Bannon, to the effect that it is necessary to destroy and break countries in order to be able to rebuild them on Bannonite lines.

Yesterday marks another milestone in our ongoing collapse as...

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

Comrade Johnson: When Boris Met Sasha

  • July 22, 2019
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On the eve of Boris Johnson’s coronation as PM, I have a counterfactual for you, readers.

Imagine that we’re in 2015 in the middle of the Labour Party leadership contest.   All polls suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is going to win.  Only days before his inevitable election a Reuters reporter publishes a story alleging that Corbyn is...

“Running Around Like Idiots”: Britain’s Brexit Crisis

“Running Around Like Idiots”: Britain’s Brexit Crisis

  • July 19, 2019
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“The weight of this sad time we must obey/Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,” declares Goneril’s husband the Duke of Albany at the end of King Lear, as the body of the old king is taken away.  Given the carnage, corruption, madness, vanity and greed that has preceded this observation, Albany’s...

Stand With the Squad

Stand With the Squad

  • July 17, 2019
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Yesterday, in yet another of the dismal milestones that the Trump administration continues to carve into American political history, the US House of Representatives voted 240-187 to condemn the President of the United States for making racist statements.    This unprecedented rebuke followed Trump’s Twitter attack on the four recently-elected Democrat Congresswomen, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria...

Epstein’s Monsters

Epstein’s Monsters

  • July 15, 2019
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Many people will be familiar with the observation made by John Stuart Mill in 1867 that ‘Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.’   This is true as far as it goes,  but there are also cases when the triumph of evil is not...

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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