Notes From the Margins…

The Uses of Fear

  • July 27, 2015
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The 21st century is a frightening place, so frightening in fact, that many of us would be forgiven if we just cowered under the blankets all day and never went anywhere.   Ebola, SARS, swine flu and bird flu, terrorism, ISIS,  people traffickers, migrants, financial implosion and the collapse of the eurozone – whatever...

Who’s afraid of Jeremy Corbyn?

  • July 24, 2015
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With Jeremy Corbyn now the clear frontrunner in the Labour leadership contest, the uneasy and incredulous mutterings that have been spreading through the Labour Party establishment and the commentariat in recent weeks have risen to an increasingly strident and hysterical  chorus.   Tony Blair has crawled out from his gilded swamp to  declare  that...

Labour: Giving the public what it thinks it wants

  • July 21, 2015
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One of the recurring justifications for the Labour Party’s drift to the right over the last – how long as it been? – twenty or thirty years has been the notion that it is only responding to the ‘concerns’ of the public and acting in accordance with what it hears.   During the Miliband...

Labour’s Summer of Madness

  • July 20, 2015
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It’s amusing, in a gallows humour kind of way, to watch the horrified response of the parliamentary Labour Party to Jeremy Corbyn’s startling surge in the Labour leadership polls.   Having shooed him into the race in order to broaden the parameters of a democratic debate that they expected him to lose, the upper...

R.I.P Europe

  • July 16, 2015
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I’ve just come back from a week’s hiking in the Pyrenees. When I left for the mountains I knew that the European Union was in poor health.  By the time I came down four days later it was dead.  The cause of death is open to question.   Was it a deliberate...

Greece Says No

  • July 06, 2015
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Yesterday’s astonishing referendum vote in Greece has left elite jaws dropping across the continent.  In the face of universal opposition from the powers-that-be across the continent and dire warnings that essentially amounted to ‘ do what we say or else’ Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected the Troika’s latest bailout package.

Well, technically they didn’t reject the...

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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