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Bronwen Maddox introduces the January issue of Prospect

The prospect of recession has done wonders for black humour. In our collection of visions of 2012, Paul Mason says we’ll be hunkering down, eating baked beans, our only luxury an iPhone. If we haven’t taken refuge in the cold comfort of an actual Welsh farm, we’ll be in a “farmhouse of the mind,” he says, invoking that buried sense that the western mountains are a last refuge from apocalypse.

It has been a bad year for those who believe…

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