The saying goes that if a frog is put into a pan of water and the heat is gradually raised, it will never react to the rising threat and die as a result.
This fable will likely resonate with those observing the state of democracy in the UK today.
Some of the problems highlighted by HRW are:
The government’s disdain for parliament is also evident in its handling of the pandemic. The government has used decrees and fast-track laws in ways that cut parliament out of the law-making process and make it harder for MPs to scrutinise how the laws that affect our lives are being used.
The ways in which the UK government has undermined the country’s independent legal system is long and growing. It wants to water down the power of British courts to review government decisions. Both the prime minister and home secretary have pilloried the legal profession, dismissing human rights lawyers as “activists”, “lefties” and “do-gooders” merely for doing their jobs
However, there are democratic problems not only with Boris Johnson’s conservative government. For example, Spelthorne Borough Council has recently lost half of its Labour Party councillors, who resigned in protest at the party’s direction. One of them says: “We were elected by voters who support the policies in Labour’s manifesto and we cannot in good conscience remain in the party when these policies are not being honoured.” Also, remember the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn, which included threat of mutiny from the military (similar to what happened to Olof Palme before he was murdered in 1986).
And can you really say that a country is democratic if it strives to decriminalize torture and allow authorities to kidnap and murder? Hear what Yanis Varoufakis says about the UK justice system and the treatment of Julian Assange. We can not pretend any longer that this is a real democracy.