THERE’S a tendency in Britain to view particularly egregious breaches of civil liberties in the United Kingdom as being akin to the regimes of foreign states and organisations. This is like North Korea. That’s like the Taliban. Something something China.

I suspect it comes from a place of quiet, even subconscious, nationalism, this idea that autocratic governments and fascistic violence are uniquely foreign affairs, and not something that could be considered to be as British as drinking tea or pretending that we single-handedly won the Second World War.

Fascist and racist rhetoric has long been a feature of these British Isles, from the Daily Mail’s hurrah for the blackshirts in the early 20th century to Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” parliamentary address in the late 1960s.

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There is a line of totalitarian ideology that stretches far back through the history of these islands – as there is, too, a long tradition of beating fascism back when it rears its head, often with the fists of working class, trade unionist, communist, anarchist and Jewish organisers.

Ironically, the British exceptionalism that defines authoritarianism as a uniquely foreign affair is itself a vehicle by which hard-right ideology spreads itself.

When Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick claimed last week that those fleeing violence in Sudan were a threat to the “values and lifestyles” of Britain, it made the implicit case that such values are unique to Britain, as if tolerance and freedom exist only on these hallowed shores while the world beyond our border wallows in a terrifying, British-less existence.

The National: Immigration minister Robert Jenrick announced plans to house asylum seekers (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In reality, the contemporary Conservative Party is a far greater threat to so-called British values than anyone fleeing their homes for fear of violence – and this past week has been an especially unsettling one for those of us who see where the current political climate in Britain can lead.

When the last parasitic monarch died, police forces across the UK mobilised to crack down on even the most banal protest and to arrest dissenters, including a teacher who simply held a blank piece of paper.

Now we’re expected to swear allegiance to an unelected head of state and his extended family like it’s the 16th century; an act of pitiful deference to the ruling classes that our state broadcaster cheerfully described as an opportunity for the public to have a role in the coronation for the first time ever.

Absolute deference to tradition is a hallmark of far-right ideology. Rose-tinted nostalgia for "simpler times" that never were remains an effective recruitment tool for fascist organisers; right-wing agitators who point to immigrants and transgender people and trade unions as disruptors to the natural state of things and the cause of our modern woes, rather than rampant corporatism, cronyism and wealth inequality.

This is the rhetoric of the current Conservative government – and the fact that ministers met with Florida governor Ron DeSantis last week, and won his approval no less, is a dark marker of what’s to come. DeSantis has gained notoriety for enforcing some of the strictest abortion laws in the United States, while restricting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and ruthlessly targeting migrants.

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill is an outright attack on the lives of queer Americans, while under his watch school libraries have been emptied of books, denying young people the opportunity to learn and enforcing censorship on his state.

This, he claims, is what the Conservative Government wants to achieve here too. DeSantis alleged that Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch “complimented what we are doing in Florida”.

The National: Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch (PA)

He continued to say that “she committed that it is what they are trying to do in Britain” during a fawning interview with The Sunday Telegraph that, fittingly enough, went out of its way to describe the “smart leather boots” that DeSantis was wearing.

And while the UK Government won’t publicly endorse far-right movements in Britain, its rhetoric and policies create fertile ground for them to flourish and more, to put into practice what the government will only allude to – in much the same way that the UK’s gender critical movement has contributed to the rise of fascism by creating safe spaces for neo-nazi groups to share with anti-trans organisers unchallenged.

Turning Point UK, a right-wing organisation imported from the US, this week had to beg their supporters not to bring swastikas and fascist slogans to a protest they had organised outside a Drag Time Story Hour event in London.

And against this backdrop, the neo-Nazi organisation Patriotic Alternative has gone through a split giving rise to Homeland; a new extremist organisation that anti-fascist reporters now describe as the “most dangerous group on the British far right”.

All while the right to protest in Britain remains under assault, with new laws and powers being handed to the police with increasingly vague definitions of what constitutes an act of opposition.

There is a pattern across all these events that tells a story of an increasingly isolated, radicalised Union of nations, egged on and bolstered by a corrupt Conservative government.

This isn’t like North Korea. That isn’t like the Taliban. It is Britain in the 21st century – and it’s only getting worse.