Fascism is advancing, rapidly

Fascism” by Daniel Ari Friedman is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0.

That we face a risk of fascism taking hold in the UK, with democracy failing as a consequence, is something I have recognised as a very real risk for longer than most when writing my blog.

The risk has come from a Tory party determined to hold power in the interest of the narrow clientele it serves, which it rewards handsomely, and is in turn rewarded by.

It has been assisted by supine opposition from Labour, more keen to rid itself of the left than uphold democracy, and the SNP, more keen to exit the Union than to worry about what might happen if it fails to do so.

Last night saw fascism make big advances in the UK. Because, it would seem, Labour could not be bothered to call in all its working peers to vote in the Lords, the Tories won a whole series of victories on Bills where the Lords had previously inflicted defeat on them.

As a result, the government now has control of the Electoral Commission. In other words, there is now no independent agency required to uphold electoral law and democracy in the UK. Instead, the government can now decide what is fair, and no one can object.

Second, laws on voter registration went through. Supposedly dealing with the almost unknown crime of fraudulent voting, the reality is that these laws are intended to effectively remove the right to vote from those who do not need and so do not have forms of photographic ID. They, of course, are almost invariably the least well off, who are least likely to vote Tory. In effect, a property requirement has now been reintroduced into the right to vote in the UK, pushing us back more than a century and representing the first reverse on this issue since the expansion of the franchise began in 1832.

Third, our right to protest about this was removed. We can now only protest if we do not cause offence to anyone when doing so, which is the whole point of protest. We must now, quite literally, be silent.

These are not laws any party or government committed to democracy would promote. They are fascist in their intent. They will be fascist in their consequences.

And Labour, which had defeated the government on all these issues previously, rolled over and let the government win last night, which makes them a partner in this, in my opinion.

The path towards fascism is proceeding apace in this country. And now, apparently, the Opposition are on side with it.

This is deeply worrying.