“Here is what I would expect:
“1. You won’t recognize it as it’s happening, and most people will strive as much as possible to ‘normalize’ the process because it’s very scary. So everyone will start saying that if someone is arrested or beaten they must be an “agitator” or a “scrounger”. People will talk about how the police are needed, even though things were fine before. People will put a positive face on it and rationalize what the state is doing – “we need to stop protestors using Twitter for security reasons”, etc etc.
“2. You’ll see a very strong class/race narrative about scroungers, chavs, etc which will be used to justify sweeps of the streets, mass arrests, driving out the people made homeless by benefit cuts. Or possibly you’ll see work camps. But you won’t think “OMG, work camps! This is just like the USSR!” because they will be disguised under benign language. Unless you know people who are being kicked around, it will be very difficult for you to believe that it is happening. Everyone always thinks that they’ll recognize and resist fascism, but it seldom happens – I’ve been on both sides, the ‘everything is normal’ side and the “OMG, you have to believe me, they just arrested my friends by night and I don’t know where they were taken!” side.
“3. No one will say “ok, the UK is now under Martial Law! Please check your rights at the door!” It will be accomplished by a set of emergency measures that may, individually, seem harsh but fair. Some middle class people will be totally unaffected and not notice anything. This is how it was in Pinochet’s Chile, in terms of the middle class.
/;Mostly what I’m betting on in the UK is soft fascism. It will be disguised as an intensification of the attacks on scroungers, chavs, ‘lazy’ disabled people, ‘radical Islamists’ and unruly students that are already going on. People will be afraid and broke, so they won’t kick too much. It will be papered over with nonsense like the Royal Wedding. You won’t recognize it at first. It will not look like you think.”