Notes From the Margins…
Posts for UK politics Category
Coronavirus: I herd it through the grapevine

Coronavirus: I herd it through the grapevine

  • March 13, 2020
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It may not be true that we get the kind of politicians we deserve, but it’s fair to say that if you elect politicians who have spent years inflicting needless economic pain on the most vulnerable members of society, who brought their country to the brink of economic ruin in order to fulfill a nationalist fantasy whose benefits have never been coherently or convincingly explained, then your society is not best-placed to confront the gravest public health emergency of modern times.

Italian doctors have compared the situation they are now facing to a war –...

Going Viral

Going Viral

  • March 11, 2020
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There is no good time for a pandemic, but some historical moments are definitely worse than others.  The coronavirus has erupted in a world dominated by nationalist rightwing populist politics with an authoritarian/fascistic tinge, many of which draw their support from fears and phobias about globalisation, or ‘globalism’ as the far-right call it, that are...

Broken English

Broken English

  • March 01, 2020
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So the government has released its post-Brexit ‘points-based’ immigration system, and no one will be surprised to hear that  ‘All applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak...

Eugenics for Dummies

Eugenics for Dummies

  • February 19, 2020
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There’s been a lot of talk about eugenics in the UK this last week, thanks to Dominic Cummings’s ‘superforecaster’ Andrew Sabisky.   Sabisky’s rapid rise and fall is entirely due to the ‘controversial comments’, as the media likes to call them, that he made on various internet forums, including Cummings’s own blog.  These pronouncements include the...

Brexit:  Springtime for Racists

Brexit: Springtime for Racists

  • February 03, 2020
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For anyone seeking inspiration in these dark times, I recommend the moving Storyville documentary My Italian Secret:  Italy’s Forgotten Heroes.  It tells the story of the Italian cyclist Gino Bartali and the Italians who saved more than 10,000 Jews from Nazi extermination during World War 2, by hiding them or smuggling them to safety.   Like...

Independence Day

Independence Day

  • January 31, 2020
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More than four years after the referendum that plunged the UK into what has been the most bitter and divisive political crisis in its history, we have finally reached the day that so many Brexiters have dreamed of and yearned for.  For many of those who voted and campaigned to leave the European Union, today...

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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