Notes From the Margins…

The Border Between Us

  • July 10, 2012
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“There is a cyclone fence between ourselves and the slaughter and behind it we hover in a calm protected world like netted fish/exactly like netted fish/It is either the beginning or the end of the world/and the choice is ourselves or nothing.”

Carolyn Forche, “Ourselves or Nothing.”

Showing the humanity and foresight for which he and his government are justifiably famous, David Cameron last week announced that there are plans to “close Britain”s borders” in response to a putative exodus of refugees from Greece and other countries in the event of a collapse of the eurozone.

Cameron told a panel of MPs that such contingencies were necessary “to keep our country safe, to keep our banking system strong, to keep our economy robust.”

The tabloids love this stuff, and on one level Cameron”s announcement was designed to provide his party with a little instant political gratification at a time when his government is floundering on the reefs.

But his crowd pleasing suggestion that Britain”s borders could   be closed to prevent an influx of refugees that may never even happen also contains a paradox that is intrinsic to the politics of the new century…

My column for Ceasefire Magazine on the proliferation of borders in a ‘borderless’ world.  You can read the whole piece  here.

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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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