Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt

The friends of Israel: united in blood

  • July 29, 2014
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Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s powerful supporters, yesterday’s speech by the senior White House adviser Susan Rice was a sickening demonstration of intellectual dishonesty and mealy-mouthed hypocrisy.     At a public ‘solidarity’ meeting convened by Jewish groups in Washington,   Rice criticized the United Nations human rights council...

Special Agent Philip Hammond: Our Man in Jerusalem

  • July 25, 2014
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Years ago, as an undergraduate history student at SOAS, I wrote an essay on the Balfour declaration and the British role in the formation of the state of Israel for Professor Malcolm Yapp.   Professor Yapp kindly gave me an ‘A+’ for that essay, but I also remember a tutorial in which he queried my...

Birmingham’s student suspensions: policing the business university

  • July 24, 2014
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Student protests have traditionally been regarded with a certain condescending disdain in British society, as though they were some kind of privileged youthful extension of rag week, that can be tolerated but not taken entirely seriously. So this week’s announcement that two students have been suspended for nine months from the University of Birmingham for...

Gaza Unbowed

  • July 23, 2014
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After more than two weeks of relentless violence that has cost more than 600 Palestinian lives and thousands of wounded, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel’s savage assault on the Gaza Strip has not been successful even on its own terms.     Day after day the rockets keep coming out of Gaza, and...

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 responsible, it is likely to have...


  • 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...

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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