Civil rights have been under attack in Britain for a long time. Since Thatcher, continued enthusiastically by Blair/Brown and now Cameron's government we have seen a massive assault on traditional freedoms and protections. Judicial oversight, Freedom of speech, free assembly/protest, presumption of innocence, freedom from mass surveillance have all come under massive attack by various bills over the last 20 years.
This is has been met with hardly a reaction from the general public, most people don't seem to think it affects them and this has emboldened governments and institutions to act in a more and more authoritarian manner, working under the strong belief that they are doing what the public want for their own good.
I fear by the time people start to react, we will be so far down the road; it will take something close to a revolution to change. We are not big on revolutions on Britain.