When one considers press censorship, images of rather obscure and extreme example spring to mind such as a still of Orwell’s 1984, or journalists being shipped off to Gulags in Stalinist Russia. Once expressions born out of hysteria dissipate, the reality is we would consider press censorship to exist when laws against what the press can and cannot print are enshrined in a constitution or the legal code, by legislation or precedent, of any given nation state. By both the hyperbolic and moderate conceptions of press censorship, the British State does not compare.
The story on the continent is rather different. In continental Europe they don’t entertain the same misgivings about censoring the press as the British establishment does, for the former is devoid of the latter’s tradition of democracy and freedom of speech – whether actual or illusionary. Since the Second World War, there has existed in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and so on, numerous laws that restrict in some way what the press may or may not print. Laws that were once restricted to governing the promotion of fascism and holocaust denial are now being expanded to include ever greater spheres of political discourse – which, by the way, demonstrates how banning any single idea is always the thin end of the wedge. This is not comparable with Great Britain, where it is still legal in principle to promote fascism or deny the holocaust in national newspapers.
Where legislation is absent, however, “soft censorship” is strongly present. Through various laws which govern, ostensibly, how we must act towards one another in society, the government has effectively controlled what we may say to one another. This was achieved through “Race Relations” laws which were drafted and passed by Britain’s Jewish community. Jewish Home Secretary Jack Straw passed the Malicious Communications Act last decade which pertained to the internet in theory, but in practise governments what media outlets may say also – they are, after all, communications. Without referring to the media by name, British governments have managed to institute censorship by the back door.
Yet still, the famed “right-wing press” in Britain eluded the establishment’s attempts to control it – until very recently. Politicians have long bemoaned the influence of daily newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, for both of these papers have been outspoken against mass-immigration and multiculturalism in recent decades. They also led the successful campaign for an EU referendum and Britain’s subsequent vote to leave. Even politicians over in Brussels have derided these two newspapers for their persistence in spreading the realities of what goes on in the annals of EU power.
These two papers have now fallen to establishment control and this can be clearly seen in their recent about-turns in political alignment.
Just this month, the erstwhile editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre, described as possessing a unique blend of “libertarian-authoritarian conservatism”, was replaced as Editor-in-Chief by George Greig. Greig is a known liberal and has immediately moved to change the Mail’s stances on key issues, including just this week denouncing opponents of Theresa May’s Brexit debacle as “saboteurs”. They have also, almost immediately, moved to scrub any discussion of immigration from their pages. Greig’s appointment is widely believed to have been orchestrated by the British establishment to censor the Mail by proxy.
Earlier this year the Daily Express’ owner Richard Desmond announce that the paper was to be sold. The purchaser was Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror. The Mirror papers are Britain’s most widely read left-wing newspapers. Their political allegiance lies firmly with the Labour Party, who they have endorsed at every General Election in living memory. Interestingly, the long-term Editor-in-Chief of the Express, Hugh Whittow, was retired almost immediately after the acquisition and replaced with former Daily Mirror Editor Gary Jones. Needless to say, the Express has now conveniently dropped its reporting of issues pertaining to immigration.
There now remains not a single daily newspaper critical of mass-immigration, nor any realistically Eurosceptic ones. Anybody who suggests that there hasn’t been some collusion involved in the acquisitions and appointments that have occurred at both of these papers in the same year is clearly not paying attention. Without having to pass a single law to this effect, the British government has succeeded in neutering the only newspapers which had remotely stood up for the interests of the Silent Majority.