Sometimes there are tanks in the streets when the dictators take over but sometimes it is more stealthy. Gradually the basis of power shifts almost imperceptibly from democratic to totalitarian and the people only realise it by the time it’s too late to do anything about it.
What Sir John Major and Tony Blair are responding to is one of these shifts. It’s not the first under Boris Johnson’s authoritarian governance of Britain and unless an earthquake happens it won’t be the last. And, as in Germany in the early 1930s, we the people brought it on ourselves. Sufficient of us decided in 2016 to choose to scapegoat the EU for imaginary evils to kick off Brexit. And then after three years of shambles last year a weary Britain gave the keys of a bulldozer to Johnson to “Get Brexit Done” – more fool us.
When the rule of law gets in the way of power dictators ignore the law. When the Courts decide a course of action is extra legal they ignore the Courts. The checks and balances inherent in proper democracy fail. The Conservative Party in the House of Commons is packed with sycophants some of whose public pronouncements are staggeringly dim – but they can be relied upon to stagger through the right lobby. Follow my Leader.
We are trapped in a maelstrom of hopelessness. We are victims of a coup and we are stuck for four more years without being able to do a thing about it. Governments with majorities of 80 don’t fall. Boris Johnson may fall off the deck but someone equally, but differently, ghastly will replace him. And Dominic Cummings will still be casting his spells and stirring his cauldron.