A disturbing, near future dystopian vision of Britain that is frighteningly plausible.
Besides the central premise, there are many other extrapolations arising from society as we know it to construct something that, taken as a whole, paints quite a worrying picture of our future. There are several parallels with George Orwell's "1984" although this story presents a far more subtler mechanism of control, and one no doubt more relevant to today's readers. What we have here is a "nanny state" tyranny, one that is attempting to preserve the illusion of freedom whilst being completely intolerant of dissent.
While I found all this fascinating, the side of the story that looked at Hugh's visions of the past/future somewhat of an unwanted distraction from the main premise.
An essential read for anyone interested in modern political/social issues.