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I have been following and reporting on this quite astonishing slide of our country towards what years ago I called 'soft totalitarianism' since 1992.

Week after week after week, talking to endless people who had suddenly, out of the blue, found themselves at the mercy of these awful new officials. We used to call them jobsworths, but they have become far worse, right across the board, because they are now just the front-line agents of a whole shadowy new system of government which is totally undemocratic, totally unaccountable, blind, heartless, ego-driven, everything in short that the 'Monster' is in myths and fairy tales.

And why is that Monster there in stories? Because it is a personification of that part of the human psyche, the dear old ego, which behaves like that because it can do no other. But that is what are now ruled by, and the terrifying thing is that so many people simply haven't put two and two together about it.

The only really encouraging thing is to see more and more people waking up with horror, each in their own individual way, to the reality of what has happened to our once green and pleasant and fair and just and gentle land. I'm afraid the FMD catstrophe has just been another, very large and frightening example.

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