Notes From the Margins…

Why we should listen when the UN condemns the UK’s ‘extremist media’

  • April 25, 2015
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British tabloid editors have never struck me as a particularly reflective and thoughtful breed of humanity, so I doubt they will be plunged into a mood of remorseful self-analysis by the very strongly-worded suggestion from the United Nations High Commissioner Zeid Ra”ad Al Hussein that there is a connection between their skewed coverage of immigration...

Clegg and Cameron apologize – sort of

  • April 23, 2015
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Yesterday morning I wrote that there has been no official recognition that the deaths of more than 900 migrants in the Mediterranean last week was in part, a consequence of the EU’s decision to replace Italy’s Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation last November.     Since then there has been some acknowledgement of this connection, from...

The EU’s ‘war on smugglers’: militarising tragedy

  • April 22, 2015
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Watching the response of European governments and politicians to last week’s horrific events in the Mediterranean has not been an edifying spectacle.   We have seen a lot of solemn faces and a great deal of handwringing but nowhere, absolutely nowhere, has there been any official recognition that there might be a connection between the...

The resistible rise of Katie Hopkins

  • April 19, 2015
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Ok, I know I shouldn’t write about Katie Hopkins.   I am aware that she is a self-seeking toxic sociopath who feeds on toxicity and says hateful things in order to get people to talk about her.     Her motives for doing this are so painfully transparent they hardly bear scrutiny: she wants to...

The EU’s Dystopian Borders

  • April 18, 2015
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Many people, including myself, have asked how many migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Europe is prepared to tolerate before it takes serious action to try and prevent them.   After the events of last week I think we have the answer.   It is now becoming horribly and disturbingly clear that there may in fact...

Eduardo Galeano 1940-2015: Presente

  • April 16, 2015
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I was sorry to hear of the death of Eduardo Galeano   this week.       There was a time when he had a big impact on my own political formation and my own understanding of history.   I first read Open Veins of Latin America sometime in the late 70s when I...

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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