WHEN will they learn? Cheerleading for a creeping authoritarianism may be enjoyable when the tyrants are oppressing others, but given enough power, the tyrants will eventually come for you.
Until a few days ago, the Left in Britain were all too happy to cede increased powers to the state to crack down on anyone exercising the freedoms we once took for granted. No sacrifice was too much, if it were to be taken at the altar of the church of the NHS.
The Labour benches were overwhelmingly silent when elderly ladies were being bundled into police vans, for the high crime of standing outside parliament.
Over the past year, very few MPs have had the courage to warn of this creeping totalitarianism. And when it has come, it has been from Tory backbenchers, not from Her Majesty’s Opposition.
For many on the Left, it took the belligerent breaking up of vigils and protests after the death of Sarah Everard to become remotely aware of the beast they have willingly fed.
LibDem MP Wera Hobhouse at least had the humility to admit that the ‘event on Clapham Common now makes me wonder whether I have been too complacent’ in respect of Covid legislation.
The irony, however, was clearly lost on Labour MP Jess Phillips – the Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding – who, despite voting in favour of the increased police powers, had the temerity to tweet: ‘We are meant to police by consent in this country.’
Jeremy Corbyn also displayed great insight in finally noticing that ‘the Tories are engaging in sustained and permanent attacks on our civil liberties’.
Left-wing commentators and MPs, the supposed champions of human rights, barely batted an eyelid at the arrests of broken business owners, the harassment of people sitting on park benches, the torturous isolation of the elderly, and the muzzling of children.
It took the brutal break-up of vigils, falling under the rubric of ‘feminism’ for the supporters of the marginalised to even raise a whimper.
All this begs the question: Why have those who claim to be human rights activists been silent on the erosion of our rights for so long?
Perhaps the allure of faux virtue in ostensibly protecting the NHS was just too much to resist?
We would all do well to remember that imprisoned within the Soviet gulags were plenty who initially supported the communist dictatorship.
We can only hope that the weekend’s events have awakened many to the horrors of what they have hitherto enthusiastically supported.