Notes From the Margins…
Anthropocene: the Human Epoch

Anthropocene: the Human Epoch

  • June 12, 2019
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In the last few years scientists have attempted with increasing urgency to draw attention to our impending ecological catastrophe.  But the deliberations of scientists don’t always have the impact they should have, partly because climate change and the degradation of the biosphere are complex subjects in themselves, and also because the careful and cautious language...

Tory Crackhouse

Tory Crackhouse

  • June 09, 2019
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For the last three years UK politics have become a collective political hallucination that makes Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds seem like a script for a gritty sociorealist documentary.  Instead of rocking horse people eating marshmallow pie, it’s a country stalked by grifters, fascist thugs, unicorns and monsters; where demagogues accuse politicians of treason...

Vultures in Brexitland

Vultures in Brexitland

  • June 05, 2019
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As everyone knows, Donald Trump lies as he breathes.  He lies about big things and small things, and he lies about absurd and ridiculous things.   But despite his almost psychopathic dishonesty,  Trump is also a stupid man, and so there are times when he doesn’t lie about the things that you would expect more intelligent...

Trump: All Hail to the Chief

Trump: All Hail to the Chief

  • June 03, 2019
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I’ve been away from the UK the last week, and made it back just in time for the state visit of the Trump clan.  I’m glad I did, because just to know that Trump and co are now walking on my ancestral soil is oddly bracing, rejuvenating,  and above all educational.

I mean, what patriotic Brit...

Brexit:  Don’t Mention the War

Brexit: Don’t Mention the War

  • May 19, 2019
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Badly-remembered history tends to produce bad politics, and bad politics often results in misremembered or mythologised versions of history.  In the case of Brexit, both tendencies have been borne out repeatedly by the obsessive references to World War 2 to which Leavers are prone.

Suggest that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may be a disaster for the...

Who’s Afraid of George Soros?

Who’s Afraid of George Soros?

  • May 14, 2019
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There was a time, many years ago, when I knew of George Soros as the billionaire who made a billion from speculating on the Pound during ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992.  Since then I’ve often came across his name as a philantrophist associated with various progressive liberal and pro-democratic causes, and I once applied for a...

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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