Notes From the Margins…

The Knights of Cologne

  • January 14, 2016
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As a sixty-year-old man I obviously can’t speak with a great deal of authority on what it’s like to be a young woman in Europe.  Nevertheless I  am the parent of a twenty-year-old daughter who likes to go out at night.   Recently she was at a club when a stranger propositioned...

My Week as a Media Pariah

  • January 11, 2016
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‘When I first started a blog in January 2011,   I did so as a rather hesitant experiment.  I soon came to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to write in an informal and sometimes polemical style, generally in response to immediate events, and it became something of a compulsion. To date I have written...

The Daily Mail, Cage, and the Enemy Within

The Daily Mail, Cage, and the Enemy Within

  • January 09, 2016
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Terrorist emergencies have often acted as a catalyst for McCarthyite witchhunts, whether it was the ‘scoundrelly laws’ passed by the French governments of the 1890s in response to anarchist bombings and assassinations, or the emergency laws passed by the West German government in response to the Baader-Meinhof Gang  during the 1970s.

Over the last fifteen years...

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

Idiot Wind: Corbyn’s Fake Refuseniks

  • January 07, 2016
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If my inadvertent involvement in last year’s media onslaught against Stop the War taught me one thing: it was the incredible mendacity,  political dishonesty and sheer venality of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents inside the Labour Party.  It’s possible – within limits – to respect one’s political opponents when they uphold genuine principles that they sincerely believe...

Abderramane Sissako’s Timbuktu Blues

  • January 05, 2016
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I have nothing against cinema as recreational entertainment, or going to the movies for the sake of escapism.  Cinema has always served these purposes, and there is nothing inherently ignoble about them.   But such expectations also tend to produce an awful lot of mass-produced ephemeral dross and formulaic over-hyped blockbusters drenched in...

2016: All Aboard the Armageddon Express

2016: All Aboard the Armageddon Express

  • January 02, 2016
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One thing you can say about the maniacs who are intent on dragging us to destruction is they don’t waste any time.   They don’t listen to seasonal bromides from the Queen or anywhere else asking us to light candles in the darkness.

Not for them New Year messages about peace, hope and goodwill.  In a...

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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