Why Ukip, the Tea Party and Beppe Grillo pose a threat to the mainstream – Anthony Painter looks at the challenge populist movements make to the concepts of liberal democracy. The fuller Policy Network publication of his views is here.
When did you get hooked? – John Lanchester reviews A Song Of Ice And Fire and Game Of Thrones for the London Review of Books.
Jimmy Page, Aleister Crowley and the curse of Eddie and the Hot Rods – A forgotten moment from musical and magickal history.
The ‘Busy’ Trap – Are we too busy keeping ourselves busy to actually do anything useful?
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Melanie Philips stole my Muslim transsexual baby, forcing me to eat my cat, which gave me cancer – Alex Andreou in the New Statesman asks just what we gain from our ‘raucous’ press.

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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:

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