Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged Brexit
The Strange Tale of the Disappearing Country

The Strange Tale of the Disappearing Country

  • September 22, 2019
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I’ve been abroad in the Pyrenees for nearly three weeks now and it was, as it always is these days, a huge relief to be away from these septic isles.  Of course you don’t forget them.  Nowadays, you take Brexit with you in your mental baggage, even if you never meant to pack it.  It’s...

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

From Brexit to Trump: The Incredible Shrinking Countries

  • August 11, 2019
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I’m not much of a fan of the concept of ‘national greatness’.  It’s not I don’t think that nations can have qualities and achievements worthy of pride and admiration.  But the concept of national greatness is almost always steeped in a collective narcissism and national chauvinism that I find unedifying and inherently repellent.

Its proponents often...

The Tory Party Has Gone Missing

The Tory Party Has Gone Missing

  • June 21, 2019
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Some readers may have heard of the mass hallucinations that took place at the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in 1951.   As John Grant Fuller describes it in The Day of Saint Anthony’s Fire, on 15 August that year the entire village of 250 inhabitants woke up and began seeing visions.  One man sat down  to...

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...

We the People

We the People

  • April 26, 2019
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There was a time when references to ‘the people’ or the ‘will of the people’ were a rarity in British politics, unless you went on leftist solidarity demos in solidarity with Nicaragua or El Salvador and knew enough Spanish to join in the stirring chant ‘El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido’ (the people, united, will...

Breaking the Irish Peace

Breaking the Irish Peace

  • April 19, 2019
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Back in the early seventies there used to be a political postcard that depicted Northern Ireland trying to speak to an England that had a cork firmly in one ear.   Ulster – and indeed the whole of the island of Ireland – has often had difficulty in making itself heard in England.  Time and again...

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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