Notes From the Margins…

Flight MH17: A Pretext for War?

  • July 18, 2014
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It is too early to know what happened to Flight MH17.       It may indeed have been shot down by Russian separatists, as the Ukraine government and its western allies are claiming.   Or it may have been shot down by forces linked to the Ukraine government.       If separatists were...


  • July 16, 2014
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As our governments never cease to remind us, the world is a dangerous and unstable place where catastrophe is always waiting just around the corner, and where the evil ones are always seeking to do us harm.     Luckily, here in Britain, we are fortunate to have leaders with the vision, foresight and determination...

The Deaths of Others: 10 ways that Israel justifies the killing of Palestinians

  • July 13, 2014
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Modern war is rarely limited to the ‘battlefield’ or war zone.     Today’s wars are also waged in tv news studios, chat shows and op ed columns, in what the Pentagon calls ‘public diplomacy’ or ‘information warfare’ that attempts to shape the way that war is perceived, and enlist the active support or passive...

Walter White, Aneurin Bevan, and the end of the NHS

  • July 11, 2014
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There can’t be many fans of tv crime drama who are unaware of the grim trajectory of Walter White in the hit series Breaking Bad.     To those who don’t know, White begins the series as a humble chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who resorts to cooking crystal meth in order to pay his...

Gaza’s Groundhog Day

  • July 09, 2014
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After nearly a month of trying, Netanyahu and his hawkish government have got their war, and once again the Palestinians of Gaza have borne the brunt of it.     Last night Israel carried out 160 air strikes on the Gaza Strip, bringing Palestinian casualties to 25 dead and 70 wounded, including four women and...

The Honourable Woman

  • July 08, 2014
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I tend to be wary of Western films and dramas about the Middle East.   Too often they tend to reduce Middle Eastern politics to easily digestable and simplistic tropes whose primary purpose is entertainment.

As Jack Sheehan has pointed out in Reel Bad Arabs, Hollywood has a particularly bad record when it comes to dealing...

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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