Notes From the Margins…
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Fyre Festival: Burning Down the House

Fyre Festival: Burning Down the House

  • January 26, 2019
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I wasn’t aware of the 2017 Fyre Festival till I watched Netflix’s new documentary last night, and it was fairly jawdropping and astonishing viewing.   It would be disingenuous of me to deny that there’s something morbidly satisfying about watching thousands of rich narcissists arrive on a Caribbean island for a non-existent festival, only to find themselves trapped in a mini JG Ballard-meets-William Goldman dystopia.

It’s the stuff of a certain kind of fiction, but it’s also a very 21st century tale which began in December 2016, when a conman/charlatan named William McFarland began to organise...

Why we should listen when the UN condemns the UK’s ‘extremist media’

  • April 25, 2015
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British tabloid editors have never struck me as a particularly reflective and thoughtful breed of humanity, so I doubt they will be plunged into a mood of remorseful self-analysis by the very strongly-worded suggestion from the United Nations High Commissioner Zeid Ra”ad Al Hussein that there is a connection between their skewed coverage of immigration...

The resistible rise of Katie Hopkins

  • April 19, 2015
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Ok, I know I shouldn’t write about Katie Hopkins.   I am aware that she is a self-seeking toxic sociopath who feeds on toxicity and says hateful things in order to get people to talk about her.     Her motives for doing this are so painfully transparent they hardly bear scrutiny: she wants to...

It’s Raining Threats, Hallelujah

  • March 11, 2015
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One of the great things about living in a democratic society is that we don’t have propaganda.   That is something that authoritarian regimes like Russia and Iran do.   They have stations like RT and Press tv which do nothing but promote the agenda of their respective regimes.

Here in the free world we have...

My Name is Emerson, Steve Emerson

My Name is Emerson, Steve Emerson

  • January 12, 2015
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Many people in Birmingham may be surprised to learn from Fox News yesterday that their city has become an “entirely Muslim” city which non-Muslims “simply don’t go in.” But no one familiar with Steven Emerson, the pundit who expounded these views, will be surprised at all.     Emerson is one of the most prominent ‘terrorism...

Russia Today and the new Information Wars

  • December 07, 2014
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‘Information’ that supports your side; disinformation that invents, distorts or invents the truth or presents spurious allegations and assumptions as facts; outright lies and propaganda; controlling the flow of information through ’embedded’ reporters and hand-picked pools in order to eliminate ‘inconvenient facts’ or simply prevent journalists from ever seeing them   – all these techniques...

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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