Notes From the Margins…

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...

Labour’s Zombie Politicians

  • May 20, 2015
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It’s less than a fortnight since Ed Miliband’s unexpected political demise, and already his would-be successors and closet critics are stripping the flesh from his political corpse like extras from The Walking Dead. Personally,   I can’t really blame anyone in the Labour Party holding Miliband up to serious scrutiny, given the catastrophic failure...

The Rohingya: a suitable case for genocide?

  • May 18, 2015
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‘ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,’ declares Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.     Today, in the early 21st century, we live in a world in...

Guyana’s New Beginning

  • May 16, 2015
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Divide-and-rule was always the special hallmark of British imperialism.     It’s a technique that worked well for Britain in its imperial heyday, and which was also brought into play during the ‘end of empire’ twilight,   when successive British governments sought to shape the political arrangments in their colonies in favour of their own...

Europe’s ‘war on people smugglers’

  • May 14, 2015
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We’ve had the war on drugs and the war on terror, and now the European Union in its infinite wisdom is preparing to add a new conflict to this less-than- illustrious tradition, in the shape of its militarised response to ‘people smuggling’ that has finally been rolled out this week.     To be precise,...

Election: Reasons to be cheerful

  • May 13, 2015
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Optimism of the will and pessimism of the intellect isn’t always the best response to political defeats or reversals.   The refusal to accept adverse circumstances and setbacks might be admirable in some contexts, but it can also indicate a confusion between what is desirable and what is possible, and a kind of blind faith...

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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