Notes From the Margins…

Cartel Land

  • September 06, 2015
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I’m not sure if would recommend Matthew Heinemann’s dark and disturbing documentary Cartel Land, which I saw last night, because one thing you can say is that is not a pleasant or life-affirming evening at the movies.  But for those who believe that cinema should do more than entertain you or send you home...

Europe’s Border Insurgency

  • September 03, 2015
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David Cameron has never looked shiftier or more downright disreputable than he did yesterday, when he attempted to defend the UK’s iniquitous and morally indefensible response to the most serious refugee crisis since the aftermath of World War II.  Faced with calls from Germany to accept a quota of refugees, he offered the following...

Watching the Contenders ( when they shoot, shoot, shoot)

  • September 02, 2015
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I haven’t watched most of the debates between the four Labour leadership contenders, mainly because too much exposure to Cooper, Burnham and Kendall is bad for my blood pressure and has been scientifically proven to reduce my life expectancy by about seven years.   Nevertheless, last night I decided to ignore my doctor’s advice...

Turkey’s ‘terrorist’ journalists

  • September 01, 2015
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I’ve got a lot of respect for Vice News.  Its reporting is sharp, courageous, and provocative. It is fresh and youthful, hip without being gormlessly cool, with a no-bullshit-accepted attitude towards authority reminiscent of the best of the  60s and 70s underground press.   But even if I had no respect for it...

Useless Mouths

  • August 29, 2015
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Years before moving towards explicit racial genocide, the Nazis developed the notion of ‘useless mouths’ or ‘life unworthy of life’ to justify its ‘involuntary euthanasia’ program. Theorists argued that certain categories of people were nothing but a burden on society and therefore had no ‘right’ to life.   These ideas were a variant of...

Bang, Bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

  • August 26, 2015
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Many years ago, back in 1971, the publishing magnate Robert Maxwell was forced to resign his position on the board of directors of the Oxford-based publishing company Pergamon Press, following suggestions of malfeasance in connection with his role during an attempted strategic takeover of the company.  A Department of Trade and Industry inquiry into 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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