Every time I try to convince myself that my concerns about the state of Britain are simply those that middle-aged men have had since Shakespeare first coined the phrase "going to the dogs," a story like this appears. 1,000 applications a day is the merest tip of the iceberg of course as Ministers have other powers which do not require applications to be made or communications intercepts to be reported. The security services probably do not trouble with such formalities either.
All the necessary apparatus is in place for Britain to be a police state. The police are politicised. State employees are inured to abuse of citizens' rights. There is a climate of fear. And the public is looking the other way. This story should have led to rioting on the streets. The politicians who engineered the situation should be in fear for their personal safety. But the story does not rate the front pages and the people lack the energy even for a collective shrug of the shoulders.
When I tell friends and colleagues that I no longer plan to retire to England because I fear it will be a totalitarian state by then, there is a look in their eyes which suggests they think I am barmy. There is now so much evidence that if my fears come to pass, they will look back and say they were barmy not to have shared them.