Notes From the Margins…
Ceasefire:  Goddard’s ‘Westminster mob’ are a threat to our common future

Ceasefire: Goddard’s ‘Westminster mob’ are a threat to our common future

  • January 11, 2019
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Few people who pay any attention to British politics will be unaware of the small but vocal group of far-right demonstrators who have been gathering outside Westminster for the last month. Led by Tommy Robinson fanboy James Goddard and inspired by the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France, these protesters have heckled and abused MPs, journalists...

El Cid Meets Donald Trump:  Fascism Returns to Spain

El Cid Meets Donald Trump: Fascism Returns to Spain

  • January 10, 2019
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Until recently Spain was something of an anomaly in the ‘new’ populist/far-right European politics.  Despite – or perhaps because of – the recent memory of the Civil War and the decades of dictatorship, it had no explicitly far-right party of any influence.

Even the Partido Popular (PP), which swept up much of the post-Franco right, was...

Telling Lies About Immigration: the Far-Right and the UN Migration Pact

Telling Lies About Immigration: the Far-Right and the UN Migration Pact

  • January 08, 2019
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When it comes to migration, far-right movements and populist governments are a lot clearer about what they want than many of their political opponents.

In Europe and America, liberal, conservative and left-of-centre governments have responded to the global ‘migration crisis’ with bureaucratic and physical obstacles that have exposed undocumented migrants to death and danger in a...

Gavin Williamson: Brexitland Rules the Waves

Gavin Williamson: Brexitland Rules the Waves

  • January 06, 2019
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In the final pages of the Beagle diaries, Charles Darwin celebrated the incorporation of Australia and other British colonies into ‘ a grand centre of civilization’ and declared approvingly:

It is impossible for an Englishman to behold these distant colonies, without a high pride and satisfaction.  To hoist the British flag seems to draw as a...

Jeremy Hunt’s Chain of Fools

Jeremy Hunt’s Chain of Fools

  • January 04, 2019
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As a schoolboy studying for my History O’Level, I once memorized the British Foreign Secretary George Canning’s famous 1826 dictum: ‘I called the New World into existence  to redress the balance of the Old.’

At the time I was never exactly sure what it meant, but I understood that it had something to do with the ‘informal...

Jair Bolsonaro:  Robocop in the Tropics

Jair Bolsonaro: Robocop in the Tropics

  • January 02, 2019
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Not many people outside Brazil will be familiar with the name Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra.   As commander at the Brazilian army’s Department of Information Operations, known as DOI-CODI, in São Paulo, from 1970 to 1974, the man known as ‘Colonel Ustra’ was one of the most notorious torturers under Brazil’s military dictatorship, which ruled 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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