The Overall Benefit Cap – a little time bomb under UK buy-to-let housing – Not only is the benefit cap a terrible idea for the people subjected to it, Daniel Davies shows that it has the unintended side effect of causing terrible ripple effects through the rest of UK housing provision.
The Seven Hurdles for Repeal of the Human Rights Act – David Allen Green goes through the hurdles that need to be surmounted before Tories would be able to push through their plan. It’s almost like they didn’t think this through before promising it.
There was an alternative: three things the Lib Dems could have done differently – James Graham on the alternative decisions the party could have made during the last five years.
The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit – “The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit.”
Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck – Scott Santens on a looming threat to the structure of the US economy as we know it.
Human Rights, Devolution, And The Constrained Authority Of The Westminster Parliament – Because the Human Rights Act is ingrained into the UK’s devolution settlement, Westminster can’t just simply dispose of it. It’s almost like David Cameron is making promises he knows he can’t keep.
How IDS’ plan will starve and stigmatise people on benefits – Always remember that what they’re willing to do to the lowest in society, they’d do to everyone else if they could get away with it.
The Only Political Speech You’ll Ever Need To Read – “You know, the dingle dangle scarecrow didn’t want much. Just to shake his hands like this. And shake his feet like that. But who will speak for him? Not our opponents, I’m afraid. They’ve shown this week that they’re far more interested in standing up for the big Wicker Men than they are for the humble dingle dangle scarecrow.”
A quick post on human rights – Alex Marsh rounds up much of the commentary on the Tory proposals.
The budget and the bogus hairdressers – The Yorkshire Ranter looks at the link between unemployment and budget deficits.
And today’s bonus:
this map of every rail route there’s been in the UK is fascinating.
The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal – I’m shocked – shocked! – to discover that pharmaceutical companies are blocking drug law reform.
The future of Scotland – “Might SNP leader Alex Salmond bring in a swingeing castle tax?” The fears of Scotland’s aristocracy, brought to you in an article by someone with the surname Money-Coutts. We can close down satire now, reality has beaten it.
Orange and red – Jamie K of Blood and Treasure wonders how you’d explain the Orange Order to a Chinese visitor.
Are school vouchers good public policy? – Dan Carr looks at the question I raised in this post.
Present and future conditional – Alex Marsh on the spread of conditionality in public services and benefits.
There is no alternative – Henry Farrell on the post-democratic age.
Review: Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS – A fascinating philosophical viewpoint on the dynamics of the latest episode from Ro Smith.
An Unearthly Child – And a scientific viewpoint on the first one from Iain Coleman on his new blog.
Nevermind the £53 p/w. How would IDS cope with the system? – Would he even be able to get his £53 a week after dealing with the bureaucracy?
I Went Stop And Searching In Soho With The London Met – Out with sniffer dogs on a Saturday night. The comments from the police officers involved are very interesting.
And after a few years of link collection, we get to the first major milestone:
Marches of Folly – Paul Krugman on how groupthink helped make the case for war in Iraq, and is doing the same for austerity.
How We Learned to Set Aside Our Moral Qualms and Love the Bomb – Some frankly frightening research from the US on how willing people are to use nuclear weapons.
7 Reasons Why You Should Stop Bitching About People On Benefits – Perfectly explained.
CHRONICLES OF MANSPLAINING: Professor Feminism and the Deleted Comments of Doom – It’s somewhat amusing to see how idiotic some men can get, but also depressingly sad to realise that we live in a society that encourages this. (And as a request, if I’m ever mansplaining something to you, please point it out to me)
Twenty-one tips to make your book better, for new writers – Advice from Sophia McDougall
Five more interesting things for you, gathered from across the internet.
The Whiffle Flib test – Hopi Sen offers a way to ensure that political speeches are devoid of all meaning and context.
Security Myths and Passwords – Why making people change their passwords once a month doesn’t improve security. ( via)
Leadership That’s Working? – a look at Northern Irish politics now that Protestantism and Unionism are slipping away from the status of an absolute majority ( via)
What If We Responded to Sexual Assault by Limiting Men’s Freedom Like We Limit Women’s? – And the ‘what about the men?’ whiners turn up straight away in the comments to prove the point.
Friends without benefits – “I seem to have a chronic inability to be angry about people claiming benefits. I know I’m supposed to be furious. I’m meant to be incensed that people can have 10 kids and not work. I’m meant to be incandescent that a family where no one has a job brings in near to my previous salary in benefits. But nothing happens. I’ve tried reading the Mail, the Sun and the Express, I really have, but somehow it fails to make me cross at all. (Well, the people claiming benefits don’t.)”
The ‘scrounger’ myth is causing real suffering to many in society – New research reported by the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog.
Let’s call it failure – If you haven’t yet seen John Lanchester’s LRB piece on austerity, here’s your chance.
Happy Christmas! Here is a flame war in a can – Charles Stross points out certain similarities between two historical figures.
A Bum’s Christmas – Traditionally borrowed from Blood and Treasure, HL Mencken’s short story.
The 5 Worst Ghosts of 2012 – A sceptical perspective on some of the ‘ghost’ stories that the media have pushed this year.
And as it’s the season, tips on how to avoid drunk drivers: