Notes From the Margins…

Talkin’ World War III Blues

  • December 16, 2015
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I know that the British media and political class have had a lot of important things to think and talk about recently, and far be it from me to distract from the seriousness of the debate that has been taking place about our latest headlong leap into the Middle Eastern unknown.

Nevertheless, there are certain alarming...

Terrortalk

Terrortalk

  • December 13, 2015
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Many years ago, when I was doing my A’ Levels, my English teacher gave us three basic rules of thumb to apply when reading texts: 1) What is the author trying to achieve? 2) To what extent does he/she succeed on his/her terms? 3) To what extent does he/she succeed on your terms?

I’ve always found...

On Heretics and Thought-Crimes

On Heretics and Thought-Crimes

  • December 10, 2015
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Bear with me readers, if I return to ‘InternationalBrigadegate’ one more time, because what I want to say is not really about me: it’s about us.  A lot of the writing I’ve done over the years, in books, articles, and blogposts, has been concerned with the subject of persecution.  I’ve always been concerned with the...

Hellhounds on my Trail

  • December 08, 2015
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I wasn’t going to write about the Stop the War/International Brigades fiasco again.  In fact I had hoped that it was all beginning to quieten down and I could return to normal and write about something else.  For  the time being at least, normality is no longer possible, and so I feel I have no...

Apologies

  • December 07, 2015
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Some last thoughts – from me anyway – on the International Brigades debacle.  As I have tried to make clear since I wrote my piece about Hilary Benn last Thursday, I never meant to suggest any moral equivalence whatsoever between Daesh and the International Brigades.  I continue to believe that the overall context of the...

Open Letter to Tristram Hunt

  • December 06, 2015
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Dear Tristram Hunt MP,

You have probably never heard of me, and there is no reason why you should.  But I felt moved to write to you because a  rather freakish and unusual series of events has brought our names into the same orbit.   Today, while driving home, I heard on the radio that you...

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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