The first to go is freedom of speech. And it will not be a scene out of 1984, with miserably clad drones crossing their fists to black and white propaganda playing on the screen of a dingy cinema. It will be an ordinary sunny day that people will treat just like any other.

The day we are muted will not follow a night of long knives and a bloody coup. It will happen almost imperceptibly, as we tire of speaking out, drowned by the noise of the everyday. Most of us will be grateful for the relative silence. One less voice in the noise of material cacophony will make the music more bearable.

Think how far we have come. Singly, each event may have been perceived as trivial or, if it was not perceived as such intuitively, it was trivialised by the powerful.

Read the rest of my article in The Sunday Times today here.