Britain’s new government (2)

by Chris Bertram on August 6, 2015

Back in May, to squeals from some commenters, I observed that “within less than a week of coming to power, the new British government has made financial threats or legislative proposals with the following effects:

* [to intimidate independent journalism](
* [to make legal strike action impossible](
* [to criminalize dissent](
* [to increase state surveillance of citizens](
* [to block access to legal remedies against the abuse of state power]( .”

To this list we can now add

* [to deprive its principal electoral opponents of their finances](
* [to cripple public-sector union finances](
* [to strip the electoral roll of non-Tory voters and to ensure boundary changes that under-represent economically deprived areas](

In short, the British government is acting so as to make it as hard as possible for opponents of its intended changes to the state to oppose them by voice, by collective action, by exercising legal rights and in the political arena. Taken together, the systematic and comprehensive attention the Conservatives are giving to closing off avenues of opposition leaves the UK drifting in the direction of those states that are nominally democratic, but where the political system strongly favours the incumbent, states such as Russia, Hungary, Turkey. Hyperbole?