Tory pomposity and overstatement
Listening to the current range of Tory interventions in the House of Commons banging on with faux outrage about the Damian Green investigation being a threat to democracy, our ancient liberties etc., I am reminded of their predecessor Churchill's disastrous party political broadcast in the 1945 General Election campaign, suggesting Labour would institute a police state, which contributed to Labour's landslide victory that year:
"No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance."
The problem is that when you cry wolf by smearing legitimate police inquiries as attacks on liberty and democracy, you reduce the credibility of democratic politicians' warnings about real threats to liberty and democracy.
Attlee's rebuttal speech the next night was pretty good:
"When I listened to the Prime Minister's speech last night in which he gave such a travesty of the policy of the Labour party, I realised at once what was his object. He wanted the electors to understand how great was the difference between Winston Churchill, the great leader in war of a united nation, and Mr Churchill the party leader of the Conservatives. He feared lest those who had accepted his leadership in war might be tempted out of gratitude to follow him further. I thank him for having disillusioned them so thoroughly. The voice we heard last night was that of Mr Churchill but the mind was that of Lord Beaverbrook"