In 2019, one of the USA's foremost civil liberties lawyers published a book describing how America’s constitutional checks & balances were being pushed to the brink by a president consciously following Hitler’s extremist propaganda & policy template from the early 1930s.
Imho, the rhetorical & policy similarities displayed by Boris Johnson & the UK's @Conservatives, to the ones used by the Nazis & the Trump administration, are now impossible to ignore.

British democracy is under threat.

Trump "became the twenty-first-century master of divisive rhetoric... Hitler didn’t take power by force. He used a set of rhetorical tropes codified in Trump’s bedside reading that persuaded enough Germans to welcome Hitler as a populist leader."
"The Nazis did not overthrow the Weimar Republic. It fell into their hands as the fruit of Hitler’s satanic ability to mesmerize enough Germans to trade their birthright for a pottage of scapegoating, short-term economic gain, xenophobia, & racism. It could happen here.”
The author lists 20 serious points of comparison between the early Adolf Hitler & Donald Trump - draw your own conclusions about how many of them apply to Boris Johnson & other Ministers in the UK Government:
1. Neither was elected by a majority.

Trump lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, receiving votes by 25% of the electorate - a little less than the percentage of the German electorate that turned to the Nazi Party in 1932–33.

29% of the UK electorate voted Tory in 2019.
2. Both found direct communication channels to their base - the Nazi Party gave out radios with only one channel, tuned to Hitler’s voice, bypassing Germany’s news media. Trump had an online equivalent with Twitter.

Britain's press is overwhelmingly supportive of Johnson's Govt.
Many of their political base "are only too willing, even anxious, to swallow their brew of falsehoods, half-truths, personal invective, threats, xenophobia, national security scares, white racism, exploitation of economic insecurity, & a never ending-search for scapegoats.”
3. Both blame others & divide on racial lines.

Hitler waxed hysterical to his adoring base about his pathological racial & religious fantasies glorifying Aryans & demonizing Jews, blaming Jews (among other racial, religious & political scapegoats) for German society’s ills.
Trump’s tweets & public statements often used “racially tinged messages calculated to divide whites from people of colour.”

Johnson has a long history of inflammatory rhetoric around Muslims in particular, but also his objection to 'taking the knee' signaled to his base.
4. Both relentlessly demonize opponents. “Hitler’s radio harangues demonized his domestic political opponents, calling them parasites, criminals, cockroaches, & various categories of leftist scum. Trump’s tweets & speeches similarly demonized his political opponents."
Trump talked about the country being ‘infested’ with dangerous aliens, while Priti Patel uses hateful divisive rhetoric to demonise both asylum seekers & those who represent or otherwise seek to help them.
5. They unceasingly attack objective truth.

“Both Trump and Hitler maintained a relentless assault on the very idea of objective truth... seeking to delegitimize the mainstream press."

Johnson is content to withdraw invitations to interviews & press briefings from his critics.
6. They relentlessly attack mainstream media.

Trump’s & Hitler’s attacks are well documented. Here in Britain it's mainly the already right-leaning & influential @BBCNews that the Govt try to control, with threats to funding & instilling fellow Tories at the most senior levels.
7. Their attacks on truth include science.

“Both Trump and Hitler intensified their assault on objective truth by deriding scientific experts, especially academics who question Hitler’s views on race or Trump’s views on climate change, immigration, or economics."
In the UK, the @Conservatives relentlessly attack both academics & experts, demonising critical academics using the antisemitic conspiracy theory of 'cultural Marxism', which inspired far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, ignoring scientific advice on COVID & attacking experts.
8 Their lies blur reality & supporters spread them.

“Trump’s pathological penchant for repeatedly lying about his behavior can only succeed in a world where supporters feel free to embrace Trump’s ‘alternative facts’ & treat his hyperbolic exaggerations as the gospel truth.”
“Once Hitler had delegitimized the mainstream media by a series of systematic attacks on its integrity, he constructed a fawning alternative mass media designed to reinforce his direct radio messages & enhance his personal power."
In the UK we have GB News - which is funded by free-market fundamentalist Legatum institute, which has very close links to the Tory Party, Murdoch's talkRadio & launching soon Murdoch's TalkTV - all of which resemble Fox News, spewing out divisive neoliberal supporting rhetoric.
9. Both orchestrated mass rallies to show status.

While Boris Johnson's Govt could hardly muster a handful of pensioners, the UK press & various other media outlets reinforce the idea that "Bojo" or Bozza" is a 'man of the people' - which couldn't be further from the truth.
10. They embraced extreme nationalism.

“Hitler’s strident appeals to the base invoked an extreme version of German nationalism, extolling a brilliant German past and promising to restore Germany to its rightful place as a preeminent nation,”
“Trump echoed Hitler’s jingoistic appeal to ultranationalist fervor, extolling American exceptionalism right down to the slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’

Johnson's 'Global Britain' & Govt Ministers relentlessly exploit populist nationalism & an idea of British exceptionalism.
11. Both made closing borders a centerpiece. “Hitler all but closed Germany’s borders... Like Hitler, Trump has also made closed borders a centerpiece of his administration.”

Jingoistic Brexit rhetoric, flag-waving & the manufactured "migrant crisis" follow a very similar path.
12. They embraced mass detention & deportations. “Hitler promised to make Germany free from Jews & Slavs. Trump promises to slow, stop, & even reverse the flow of non-white immigrants".

Priti Patel's divisive rhetoric on border control again echoes their hateful tone.
13. Both used borders to protect selected industries.

“Like Hitler, Trump seeks to use national borders to protect his favored national interests, threatening to ignite protectionist trade wars... similar to the trade wars that helped to ignite World War I & World War II."
“Like Hitler, Trump aggressively uses our nation’s political & economic power to favor selected American corporate interests at the expense of foreign competitors & the environment, even at the price of international conflict, massive inefficiency, and irreversible pollution.”
14. They cemented their rule by enriching elites.

“Hitler’s version of fascism shifted immense power — both political & financial — to the leaders of German industry... Trump has also presided over a massive empowerment — & enrichment — of corporate America."
Under Trump, large corporations exercised immense political power while receiving huge economic windfalls & freedom from regulations.

“Hitler despised the German labour movement, eventually destroying it & imprisoning its leaders."
In the UK, news has been dominated for months by both the shocking handing over of £billions to questionable contractors during the pandemic, often without prior relevant experience, & more recently by the endemic corruption & Tory MPs lobbying on behalf of the powerful.
15. Both rejected international norms.

“Hitler’s foreign policy rejected international cooperation in favour of military & economic coercion". Trump was deeply hostile to multinational cooperation, withdrawing from many international agreements - symbolised here by Brexit.
16. They attack domestic democratic processes.

“Hitler attacked the legitimacy of democracy itself, purging the voting rolls, challenging the integrity of the electoral process, & questioning the ability of democratic government to solve Germany’s problems.”
“Trump has also attacked the democratic process, declining to agree to be bound by the outcome of the 2016 (& 2020) elections when he thought he might lose", supporting measures designed to avoid (nonexistent) fraud, & championing measures that make it harder to vote.
The UK Government too is characterised by antidemocratic laws & policies eg against protest, which also undermine or bypass democratic intuitions & accountability, while also introducing gerrymandering & measures like voter ID to protect against non-existent voter fraud.
17. Both attack the judiciary and rule of law.

“Hitler politicized & eventually destroyed the vaunted German justice system. Trump also seeks to turn the American justice system into his personal playground.” Our Govt attacks the judiciary & threatens to break international law.
18. Both glorify the military & demand loyalty oaths.

Hitler “imposed an oath of personal loyalty on all German judges” & demanded courts defer to him.. Trump’s already gotten enough deference from five Republican [Supreme Court] justices to uphold a largely Muslim travel ban."
19. They proclaim unchecked power.

Trump intensified a disturbing trend of governing unilaterally, largely through executive orders or proclamations, while Hitler used the pretext of the Reichstag fire to declare a national emergency & seize the power to govern unilaterally.
The Conservatives take every opportunity to turn its back on international laws, to articulate a desire to be free of international Human Rights legislation, & happily break their own existing rules & regulations, & ignore multiple breaches of the Ministerial Code.
20. Both relegate women to subordinate roles.

“Hitler propounded a misogynistic, stereotypical view of women... Trump may be the most openly misogynist figure ever to hold high public office in the United States, crassly treating women as sexual objects".
Trump used nondisclosure agreements to shield his sexual misbehavior from public knowledge.

While some women occupy senior roles in the UK Government, Boris Johnson has a long & well documented history of affairs & sexist & misogynistic comments.
Trump & Johnson have followed the path of authoritarian populists & dictators: “there’s always a charismatic leader, a disaffected mass, an adroit use of communications media, economic insecurity, racial or religious fault lines, xenophobia & a search for scapegoats.”
The democratic institutions & protocols designed to be a check & balance against tyrants, can no longer withstand coordinated attacks - especially when the attacks are supported by a sycophantic or cowardly news media who simply refuse to recognise the gravity of the situation.
In the US, a Republican majority from rural states, representing barely 40% of the population, controlled the chamber & repeatedly thwarted legislation reflecting multicultural America’s values.

In the UK, the Tories have an 80 seat majority with 29% of the electorate's vote.
The antiquated electoral systems in the UK & USA are not fit for purpose, & can not only hand over control of the legislative & policy-making processes based on a small minority vote, but popular parties with millions of votes may get just one or not even any elected politicians.
Both countries need *more* democracy, not less, in order to prevent power grabs from would be tyrants & grotesquely wealthy oligarchs, which would help both countries return to systems embracing, rather than demonizing, individual dignity & fundamental equality.
“When tyrants like Hitler are ultimately overthrown, their mass support vanishes retroactively — everyone turns out to have been in the resistance — but the mass support was undeniably there."

In the UK, there is no mass support for the Tories, yet they act like there is.
“Even if all that Trump (& Boris Johnson, Viktor Orbán, Jair Bolsonaro, Narendra Modi & until recently, Benjamin Netanyahu) is doing is marching to that populist drum, he is unleashing forces that imperil the fragile fabric of a multicultural democracy.”
"Trump’s bedside study of Hitler’s speeches — especially the use of personal invective, white racism, & xenophobia — has shaped the way Trump seeks to gain political power in our time."

The fascist playbook is SO obvious, it's tantamount to support to deny the parallels exist.
"I don’t for a moment believe that Trump admires what Hitler eventually did with his power [genocide], but he damn well admires — and is successfully copying — the way that Hitler got it.”
For another take on the undeniable & uncanny parallels between the rise of the 1930s Nazis & the current UK Government, please see this #THREAD:

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More from @docrussjackson

4 Dec
#THREAD on press responses to Arthur.

Some people DO need removing from society.

It's often impossible to know exactly what caused or motivated their despicable behaviour: some have been abused themselves, others have psychological problems, there may even be biological causes. Image
Whatever the cause, some behaviours are intolerable, & it's only right that they should be removed from society.

But it is often impossible to be 100% certain about what motivated a person to engage in cruelty toward children.

There's certainly something wrong with them. Image
However, certain sections of the press are imho deeply irresponsible in their reporting of child abuse.

What I object to is the predictable, instant, & speculative demonisation of social workers, police officers & doctors by some sections of the press, without knowing the facts. Image
Read 17 tweets
3 Dec

The horrific news about Arthur has of course shocked, angered, & distressed all of us.

And I hate to say it, but the predictable, instant, & opportunistic politicisation of this tragic case by the usual toxic newspapers, makes me feel sick & angry.

Here we go again... ImageImage
In January 2003 Lord Laming published the report of his official inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie.

She had been sent to Britain by her parents from the Ivory Coast, in the hope she would receive a better education. She was in the care of her great-aunt.
With her boyfriend she systematically tortured Victoria over several years until she died in 2000. The aunt and boyfriend were imprisoned for life for murder in 2001. An official inquiry was immediately announced.

The inquiry lasted 62 days and took evidence from 128 witnesses.
Read 76 tweets
2 Dec
Live facial recognition systems have been deployed across England & Wales by the police, supported by the Govt.

Combined with draconian anti-protest legislation & other antidemocratic measures, the UK increasingly resembles an authoritarian regime.

Read 4 tweets
2 Dec
#THREAD on #ToryLies.

Over the last week, Priti Patel lied about funding to tackle domestic violence, Gillian Keegan lied about Randox, Sajid Javid lied about Govt promises, Matt Hancock lied about #NHS contracts, & Boris Johnson lies all the time.

What kind of liars are they?
This #THREAD quotes extensively from, & is based on, an article from US based "online relationship therapy platform" 'Regain' - which imho is appropriate, given the long history of Boris Johnson's affairs & failed relationships.

Defining what it means to lie & how bad it is, can be challenging: it involves questions of intent & expectation.

Clearly, when someone deliberately gives a false or misleading statement or answer to a question, this is lying, & it's a big problem - *especially* in politics.
Read 28 tweets
1 Dec
Interactive @YouGov tracker, asking "what are the most important issues facing the country at this time?"

Includes options such as health, immigration, crime, the economy, environment etc, with a breakdown by age, gender, politics, region & social grade.

The issues deemed most important overall (latest poll 29th November):

Health: 51%
The economy: 41%
The environment: 39%
Britain leaving the EU: 26%
Immigration & asylum: 26%
Crime: 17%
Housing: 16%
Education: 11%
Welfare benefits: 10%
Defence/security: 8%
Tax: 7%
Pensions: 7%
Overall, 26% think 'immigration & asylum' is the most important issue: among 8 - 24 yr olds it's just 12%, but ask the over 65s & it's 48%.

Whereas for 'the environment', it's the most important issue for 39% overall, 46% among 18-24 yr olds, & just 29% for the over 65s.
Read 4 tweets
1 Dec
"In 1945, Britain was the leader, not only in democratic & constitutional matters, but in building the welfare state. It was a new Jerusalem, the model for all social democracies elsewhere." - Professor Vernon Bogdanor, 2012.

"Every country would follow the National Health Service, every country would follow British methods of securing full employment, running the economy and so on, and there were predictions in the early 1950s of a new Elizabethan age. Britain was to be an example to the world."
"That was certainly the feeling of the Attlee Govt & the Churchill Govt which succeeded it. People do not feel that anymore. People are much richer than they were, of course, & they have a much wider choice. (But) is it a better world than the one we hoped for in the 1950s?"
Read 4 tweets

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