IT was just a few days ago that SNP MP Mhairi Black delivered a powerful speech to the House of Commons during which she warned about the F-word, fascism, and how under this appalling Conservative Government Britain has already been taken quite far along the road to authoritarianism and failed democracy. We have seen Johnson lie to the head of state in order to prorogue Parliament unlawfully so that he could avoid Commons scrutiny of his Brexit deal, because the Conservative pursuit of that Brexit has been characterised by lie after lie.

The Conservatives have created obstacles to exercising the right to vote which will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters from demographic groups which tend not to vote Conservative. They have abolished the independence of the Electoral Commission and brought it under the control of Michael Gove, a man who apparently believes that lying is perfectly acceptable as long as the lie is delivered very politely and with a comedy accent. They have introduced draconian restrictions on the right of protest, and are threatening to trash an international treaty in order to placate a far right British nationalist party which just lost the recent election in Northern Ireland. 

READ MORE: 'Fascism' debate as London street festooned with Union flags for Jubilee

Additionally, the Conservatives are selling off Channel 4 because its flagship news programme had the temerity to try and hold them to account. The Home Secretary has prohibited police chiefs from commenting on matters that she deems political, while she introduces a truly vile policy of deporting asylum seekers and undocumented migrants to a Central African dictatorship which recently suffered an actual genocide.

In Scotland the Conservatives, aided and abetted by the Labour Party, are determined to thwart the democratic will of the people because they dared not to listen to the anti-independence parties and in an election dominated by the issue of a second independence referendum chose to return a Scottish Parliament with a large majority of MSPs in favour of another referendum. The people spoke but because the people said something that the Conservatives didn't want to hear, the Conservatives are hell bent on over-ruling the result.

The National: Regent Street has been decked out with the flagsRegent Street has been decked out with the flags

Fascism doesn't always arrive with jackboots and black shirts, in Britain it comes with Savile Row suits and English public school accents, it comes with the glorification of the monarchy and nostalgia for the glories of the past. It comes with the proclamation of victimhood, the greatness of Britain needing to be defended from "the woke", from Europe, from the imaginary anti-English racism of supporters of Scottish independence.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black’s f-word speech shows we must be vigilant

What fascism in Britain looks like is Regent Street in London today, bedecked from end to end in Union flags like a flute band's washing line, because that's what they do in totally normal countries that are not locked into an existential war with imaginary enemies. It's an orgy of fascistic flag shagging. The only thing missing is the parade of tanks and missile launchers. But the people responsible for this aren't nationalists you know, because they're British, that magically inoculates them against nationalism. Just as British nationalism can't see that it's nationalist, British fascism can't see that it's fascist.

But never mind the descent of Britain into authoritarianism, never mind the sclerosis of British state institutions which are utterly incapable of holding power to account. There's a platinum Jubilee, gawd isn't she maaaaaarvellous, there's flags, there's Nicolas Witchell sycophanting all over your TV screen, there's more flags, there's military parades, there's even more flags, and democracy in Britain dies as it is smothered with a jubilee pudding.

It's not flags per se which are the problem. It's what they represent. The Union flag represents corruption, contempt for democracy, and the embarrassment of having a quasi-deified monarchy in the 21st century.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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