“Dictatorship” when applied to the United Kingdom sounds ridiculous- the idea we could fall so far is laughable. But looking at the definition as above- are we in one and unaware?
A single person with absolute power over the state.
Johnson holds an 80 seat majority in the UK and could pass any drafted legislation even if every other party- who more people voted for- opposed it.
A press which has been called, multiple times, the most biased in Europe, has long enabled right wing leadership, lionising it’s figures as they act in the interest of the rich who run it and punishing it’s members individually, as though they do not act in concert- all the while casting aspersions on the opposition, to the eager ears of a populace who will call the only people placed to depose this ruling party weak, fractured, complacent.
Johnson’s celebrity placed him in good stead at first- known as a supposedly affable and comical bumbling character, Johnson’s public persona has long hidden a disturbing set of behaviours now written off by the public in the same way disgusting behaviours always have been… “it’s just Boris, that”.
From restrictions on the fundamental democratic right of protest, disenfranchisement of voting, misuse of billions of pounds of public money on PPE procurement with friends instead of existing contractors, a piss poor brexit deal leading to shortages on the shelves of a nation unbound from COVID protections, from the allowance of a colleague to return to role after holding unauthorised meetings with a foreign power and for proven bullying- from flat donations scurrilously hidden away from the public eye, from flouting his own rules constantly then flat denial in the press in the face of literal photographs to the contrary. Now we see assaults on the direct structures of democracy itself as Raab, one of his pets and “deputy PM” is instructed to review, change and scrap the human rights act, mere weeks after the announcement that Westminster’s MP’s are embroiled in lobbying which was so blatant as to be offensive simply to read- and in some cases lead demonstrably to deaths as companies unequipped to handle vital public testing simply failed to do so. There is so much more asides that could fit into this paragraph but- we know.
The point of this diatribe is as simple as this- Johnson should have been clapped in irons for myriad issues throughout his tenure so far- and other than lambasting by a hampered opposition and awkward headlines he has faced nothing. As the decisions he and his cadre make, democracy is being ground down to a scintilla of what it should be. If that is not absolute power- what is?
Johnson could be- should be- held to account by his peers and the opposition, but a swollen party means they are aware that, should they fail to back him, they lose their grip. And so to power they cling, under this unfit man. Is this democracy?
Military organisational backing
Whilst this has not happened as yet, it has not had to. The vast majority of the public know that we risk mass infection should we gather in numbers, and under Patel and Johnson’s draconian law changes could we even risk allying together without being arrested or- under the powers in this new law- subject to attack by the state?
44% of the UK voted for the tories and this gave them an eighty seat majority. The Majority – 56% voted for left leaning parties. Over half of the voting public declared they were aligned to the left and yet we are now overseen by a party sliding ever further and ever more openly to the right. FPTP is a poorly designed system whose inefficiencies are bare to the eye after the 2019 election and yet it is maintained by politicians afraid of positing changes to the voting system that would benefit every voter.
Human rights violations
Where to start? Banning of fundamental rights like protest, criminalising helping refugees when BEING a refugee is not a criminal offense & legislation drafted under Patel that international human rights lawyers have warned contravenes the human rights act, misspending public funds, open misleading of the public under coronavirus, mass death due to infection, a doctored report into systemic injustices for people of colour in the UK, and a Justice Secretary dedicated to scrapping the human rights act, enforcing voter ID to combat the more than negligible UK crime of voter fraud, removing the ID documents of addicts which would both strand and disenfranchise them from the democratic voting process…
Dictators are not held accountable for their actions
From all of the above to his actions in doxxing a journalist, being fired twice, Johnson has never known repercussions for his actions. Even his most egregious transgressions either publicly or privately have failed to see punishment in the eyes of the law or the public. The man has failed upwards into the highest office in the land and those who could, should hold him to account from his colleagues to a press whose role is to ensure the public are informed of the objective truth of their country. It can’t be understated that eager pundits like Dan Hodges who, would blame Labour if Johnson dropped a brick on his foot, have pushed the narrative that he just so happens to be in charge during a bad time and that his decisions make the least bad outcome every time- rather than his decisions being the reason behind our present situation. Offshifting blame to the public, to the circumstances, allows a man who should be doing his utmost for the public, to continue to water down accountability.
After reading the definition of dictatorship as supplied by this site, I fail to see how Johnson’s actions, the actions of the press and a complacent tory backbench have led us, sleepwalking all the while, into a dictatorship. Until Johnson faces account for his- everything- from lawbreaking to rule breaking, to turning a blind eye to the same behaviour in his cabinet, the UK will remain under the thumb of a man terminally unable to lead because he does not feel the weighty consequences of his ignorant actions.
There are those who will rail that the opposition isn’t enough and to them I have only this to say: it’s a lacklustre government or a government dragging us further and further down the path of other countries, shocked to realise their democracy has evanesced. Make your choice to stand with those who want democratic rights to remain or remain silent in your complaining; you can hold poor decisions to account and not openly aid dictatorships in overtaking democracy. Most of us don’t think the opposition is perfect- but I will take imperfect over increasingly overt steps towards authoritarianism.