Ian Dunt compared Britain’s political environment to that of Viktor Orbán’s Hungary in a tweet posted last night, saying that while we are “not there yet”, the intention to “silence and then criminalise dissent is now very clear”.
MPs voted the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill through with a majority of 96 in the House of Commons at the second reading, despite it being described as legislation that would “make a dictator blush”.
The new bill will increase the police’s power to crack down on peaceful protests, with campaigners warning that the government is seeking to “silence dissent”.
David Lammy, the shadow secretary of state for justice, seemed to delve to the heart of the matter in a blistering speech given ahead of the vote.
He said: “The truth … is (the Government) is introducing these measures because it dislikes Black Lives Matter, because it hates Extinction Rebellion, because both tell too many hard truths.”
Despite the Bill having significant ramifications on the UK’s democracy it failed to appear on any of today’s front pages in the press.
Six national newspapers, including the Mail, Express and Metro, focussed on the Royal Family instead as the Duke of Edinburgh was released from hospital and the Harry and Meghan scandal shows no sign of quieting down.
As Dunt tweeted, the scariest part about living under Orban was “when the silence came.”
The “newspapers stopped criticising and the protests stopped happening”.
I keep thinking back to this thing that a Hungarian journalist told me about living under Orban. That the scariest part was when the silence came – when the newspapers stopped criticising and the protests stopped happening. That’s when you knew you were fucked good and proper.— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) March 16, 2021