SIR: The handbook for corrupt governments to cling on to power is well understood by unscrupulous politicians. First, throw honest dissenters out of the party and appoint a cabinet of incompetent toadies. Next, by-pass Parliament or suspend it if it gets too uppity. Above all, avoid scrutiny by legislating to limit the right of the courts to challenge executive decisions, covering up corruption, appointing cronies to public positions and undermining the independence of public broadcasters and other public servants. Break the law but never apologise. Tell lies every day until people can’t be certain about where the truth lies. Accept dodgy donations to “buy” the support of friendly media and make it more difficult for opponents to vote in elections. And claim to engage with “the people’s priorities” whilst feathering your own nest.

Shockingly, the Johnson Government has enthusiastically embraced all of these strategies in the past two years, moves which have been happily endorsed by their supine MPs. Presumably they believe that the electorate won’t notice, won’t understand or won’t care. The danger for us is that we might wake up one day to discover that we live in a very different country from the one we thought we were living in.

Stephen Percy,