Notes From the Margins…

Look out Europe: the Russian bear is coming

  • June 05, 2015
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There is a psychological theory called projection which I have often thought can be applied to international relations.     Essentially, projection describes a tendency in interpersonal relationships by which individuals project onto others certain characteristics that they fear or hate in themselves.     An obvious example might be a sexually-frustrated fundamentalist preacher say,...

Two Days, One Night

  • June 03, 2015
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I’ve just seen the Dardenne brothers’ brilliant Two Days, One Night (2014)   It’s a film I’ve been looking forward to seeing for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint.     The premise is deceptively simple: Sandra Byas, played by Marion Cotillard,   is a worker in a Belgian solar panel factory who has...

Come on let’s kick the poor (like we did last summer)

  • June 02, 2015
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The Bible tells us that the poor will always be with us, and as long as they are around there will always be politicians willing to punish them for their poverty.     It might be the Wisconsin State Assembly, which has just approved legislation banning food stamp recipients from eating junk food and also...

Spain goes Left: Britain turns Right

  • May 31, 2015
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I’ve just come back from a week’s walking in the Axarquia mountains in Andalucia.  My trip didn’t allow much time for blogging, or for any commentary on the remarkable results of last weekend’s Spanish municipal and regional elections, but it was thrilling and inspiring to witness Ada Colau on television acknowledging her victory over...

The ISIS Caliphate: Salafism as a strategic asset?

  • May 22, 2015
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I have yet to see any reference in the mainstream media to Monday’s publication by   the conservative foundation Judicial Watch of previously classified US intelligence documents obtained as the result of a freedom of information lawsuit   This inattention is alarming, because one of these documents provides some disturbing background behind the nightmarish...

Letter from Palmyra

  • May 21, 2015
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Hey brother,

Greetings from Palmyra!   I’m telling you bro, this has been a good week for the Caliphate, because we are LIVING THE DREAM!       First we took Ramadi and you should have seen the Iraqi army run away from us!   Afterwards we killed the ones we caught and anyone else who...

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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