Notes From the Margins…

The EU’s ‘war on smugglers’: militarising tragedy

  • April 22, 2015
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Watching the response of European governments and politicians to last week’s horrific events in the Mediterranean has not been an edifying spectacle.   We have seen a lot of solemn faces and a great deal of handwringing but nowhere, absolutely nowhere, has there been any official recognition that there might be a connection between the...

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...

The EU’s Dystopian Borders

  • April 18, 2015
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Many people, including myself, have asked how many migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Europe is prepared to tolerate before it takes serious action to try and prevent them.   After the events of last week I think we have the answer.   It is now becoming horribly and disturbingly clear that there may in fact...

Eduardo Galeano 1940-2015: Presente

  • April 16, 2015
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I was sorry to hear of the death of Eduardo Galeano   this week.       There was a time when he had a big impact on my own political formation and my own understanding of history.   I first read Open Veins of Latin America sometime in the late 70s when I...

Election 2015: Reinventing ‘Compassionate Conservatism’

  • April 13, 2015
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Last weekend Ian Birrell, the former deputy editor of the Independent and speechwriter for David Cameron suggested that Lord Snooty needs to show compassion in order to invigorate a Tory election campaign that he rightly describes as ‘narrow, repressed and uninspiring.’   I am sure there are many readers – and I was certainly one...

Yemen: stirring the cauldron

Yemen: stirring the cauldron

  • April 11, 2015
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What exactly has to happen in order to demonstrate once and for all that war and militarisation are not the solutions to the many problems that the Middle East faces?

The casualty estimates and death tolls from the countries our armies and special forces have fought or intervened in don’t seem to do the trick.  Neither...

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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