Political Madness Gone Correct – Flying Rodent writes a post I was thinking of doing, on why the supposed threat to free speech on university campuses is anything but. “It’s worth noting that the loudest screamers about campus activism broadly use student dafties as stand-ins for their political foes, none of whom are thick enough to give them the kind of ammunition that only a bunch of painfully right-on 19-year-olds can supply.”
Today we left reality behind and entered David Cameron’s fantasy world – Again in ‘posts I don’t have to write because someone else has done them’, Tom King discusses the bizarrely fawning response to Cameron’s speech.
Tories to build thousands of affordable second homes – That awkward moment when the Daily Mash appears to have paid more attention to Tory policy, and can thus criticise it better, than the mainstream media.
They have seen the future and it works for them – Jamie explains how the current Chinese system echoes the Tory aim for Britain.
China’s Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans – And for everyone else too. Imagine a system that gave you a credit score-like rating for all your activities, based on how good they were for the country. That’s not Black Mirror, that’s what China now has.
UK election spells the end for the biggest ‘law’ in political science – Patrick Dunleavy on the end of the two-party system (partly saved as it’ll be useful for my dissertation)
Economics for politicians – Chris Dillow on seven principles of economics that aren’t grasped by politicians.
Game of Fear – The real story behind ‘Gamergate’: one man’s obsession with ruining his ex-girlfriend’s life.
“Serious” politics – Chris Dillow again, this time on how politics insists certain ideas are sensible and others aren’t, regardless of whether it’s justified.
A letter from the hearse chasers – A personal tale from Jamie at Blood and Treasure, showing what effect cuts have on the social context of public services.
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.
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:
Hitchcult – Jamie at Blood and Treasure on the proposal to build a statue of Christopher Hitchens.
Remember Who You Are – A report from a David Icke talk. At points, it sounds like Icke is stealing lines from Bill Hicks, though I don’t recall Bill ever having dance routines.
I’m not ashamed of being a man, but I ashamed of the things men do – I was considering writing a ‘why I follow Everyday Sexism‘ post, but this does the job perfectly.
10 days that shook my world – Tom Watson MP’s account of what he’s learned since asking about a paedophile ring at the heart of government.
The Long Con – How the right wing movement in the US is funded by what are basically long-running scams and shakedowns. ( via)
So what… [fill in blank here] – Fleet Street Fox compares the media coverage of two stories involving fifteen year old girls.
The Wormhole Water Wheel – I’m simultaneously amused and scared by the idea of Lawrence Miles inventing a perpetual motion machine.
Clegg’s Cornish pasty conference speech – Very good critique by Dan Falchikov. “Clegg’s view is still there are votes to be gained by being ‘a party of government’ – despite the idea being tested to destruction by the last two and half years of coalition.”
Village changes mind – Jamie Kenny is short but to the point on Ed Miliband’s speech.
Membership renewal, or not – Alex Marsh on why he’s decided to remain in the Liberal Democrats and fight against any rightward shift.
Kurt Vonnegut to weasels in five easy steps.
‘I Was There’: On Kurt Vonnegut – A long piece in The Nation looks back over Vonnegut’s novels from Player Piano to Breakfast of Champions.
10 Pilots With Light Turbulence – The Fan Can looks at the very early stages of some TV classics.
The Unbearable Stasis of “Accelerating Change” – Dale Carrico looks at how little futurology has changed, despite the fact we’re now living in the future. ( via)
Oh Happy Days: A Personal Recollection Of Working With Jeremy Hunt – Interesting background on the (at the time of writing) Culture Secretary.
Unpack the weaselometers – “Blair: a sort of black hole of distrust, where distrust flips over into its opposite in another part if the multiverse and you pay him to take your children away and carry the garden gnomes to the van for him while he lectures you about rights and responsibilities.”