Notes From the Margins…
Posts by Matt

All Quiet on the Humanitarian Front

  • October 18, 2013
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It’s long been one of the recurring paradoxes of ‘humanitarian war’   that Western governments are willing to project military power far beyond their borders in order to save dark-skinned bodies from the dictators and regimes that oppress them, yet remain generally antipathetic to the presence of these same bodies in their own national territory.


Hard Workin’ Men

  • October 16, 2013
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Following on from my last post, I thought that all you ‘ordinary hardworking hardpressed people/families’ out there in Alarm Clock Britain could use some visual and musical inspiration as you roll your sleeves up and toil to make the Big Society even bigger than it is.

So here’s a clip from Paul Schrader’s great film Blue...

Hardworking People: Anatomy of a Political Cliché

  • October 14, 2013
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What kind of people do our politicians most respect and admire?     It goes without saying that rich people are top of the list.   Like the Chinese ‘business leaders and rich tourists’ who George Osborne has just welcomed into the UK – less than a week after the government announced a new bill...

Theresa May’s Hateful Immigration Bill: a Shocker by Any Other Name

  • October 11, 2013
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Listening to Theresa May announcing the Home Office’s new Immigration Bill on the Today program yesterday morning was a dispiriting and desultory experience.

Whenever its contents were called into question, her voice assumed the same taut note of barely-suppressed hysteria and desperation that the hapless Nicola Murray regularly demonstrates in The Thick of It when trying...

Tommy Robinson Sees the Light

  • October 09, 2013
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There is no doubt that yesterday’s jaw-dropping announcement that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson and twelve senior members of the English Defence League have abandoned their party is good news.

It deals a massive and possibly fatal blow to an organization that has regularly used 1930s fascist street mobilization tactics in an attempt to stir up...

Vittorio de Sica in Manila

  • October 07, 2013
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Given the frequently parochial attitudes of the British film public towards ‘subtitled films’, and the absence of any Western stars, the British-Filipino film Metro Manila isn’t likely to fill many seats in British cinemas, and it certainly hadn’t filled many in the Derby cinema where we went to see it last night.

This is a pity,...

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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