Notes From the Margins…

Catalonia Dreaming

  • September 30, 2015
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Last Friday morning I was on the top of Mount Canigou, ‘the sacred mountain of Catalonia’,  with my staunchly independentista friend from Barcelona,  Andreu.   Andreu had brought a Catalan flag with him to mark the occasion, and he wasn’t the only one.  A seventy-five-year-old  Barcelones  named Joan had climbed the...

Feminist Hypocrites Are Us

  • September 27, 2015
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I’ve just come back from another twelve days in the French and Spanish Pyrenees as part of my research for a book. Up in the mountains I had only intermittent Internet access  as usual,  so I was only occasionally able to follow the peculiar goings on back in the motherland.

The hilarious weirdness of PigGate was...

The Birth of a New Politics?

  • September 13, 2015
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Watching yesterday’s stunning victory for Jeremy Corbyn unfold, I really had to resist the urge to pinch myself, and a voice continually went through my head saying that this can’t be happening.   There was so much about it that was unreal.  Firstly, there was the barely-believable fact that the most consistently and...

Save a Refugee – Bomb ’em all to Hell

  • September 09, 2015
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In less than a week, the British government has frantically changed its line on Europe’s refugee crisis like a twitchy gambler shuffling cards in the hope that the right one comes up.  First  David Cameron  rejected the notion that accepting more refugees was a ‘solution’ to the crisis, as if anybody had ever said...

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...

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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