How is it that the home country of the author of 1984 just doesn't get it?
Plenty of us get it. Please remember that at no point did the general population of the UK ask for, support or condone this kind of behaviour, nor most of the other dubious things we've been hearing about lately that have supposedly been done in our name or for our protection.
Also, the previous administration went from being elected on a technicality with a heavy majority of the population not supporting them to having a leader who everyone was promised at the election wouldn't take over if they voted for the party in question. And obviously nobody directly elected the current coalition administration, which doesn't even seem to be able to honour what it said it would do in the coalition agreement upon which it was founded consistently, never mind what was in the manifestos of the two constituent parties that people actually voted for.
The last time we actually had anything resembling a government with a mandate in this country was nearly a decade ago, and they were the guys who then went to war, despite literally millions of people marching in the street to protest the decision, based on little more than trumped up rhetoric that proved to be every bit as made up as most of us always assumed it was.
How is it they are letting this kind of thing go on?
We demonstrably don't live in an effectively functioning democracy, by any credible definition of the term. Unfortunately, the political class have got very good at playing the game by the rules that currently exist and go to great lengths to avoid allowing those rules to change. Short of actually bringing down the government and replacing the system, hopefully in a non-violent way, this seems unlikely to change any time soon.
As long as we have that limited system, a handful of big issues will inevitably dominate the one vote we get every five years or so, and there are way too many people who are (reasonably enough) more concerned with things like not having their homes flooded or whether they can get their kids into a good school or whether the grandparents will get proper treatment if they have to go into hospital for those of us who also consider points of principle when voting to have a significant impact.