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We are not living in a police state. Not even a remotely authoritarian one. In fact we, all of us, have never enjoyed so much liberty—personal, political and legal. Yet to assert this view sets one at odds with a large part of liberal opinion in Britain.

In the run up to February’s Convention on Modern Liberty, the liberal press was filled with cries of anguish from leading writers and intellectuals—Philip Pullman evoked “sleeping Albion” as new laws sup-posedly strangled old freedoms, Anthony Barnett talked about a “system crisis,” Henry Porter claimed we had only “two years” before it is…

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