In England, the ruling regime stepped up its campaign of censorship against the state media channel when a member of the Party took issue with comments made in a personal capacity, on social media, by a part-time, freelance commentator.
The commentator accurately compared the Government’s asylum policy to attitudes prevailing in 1930s Germany. In a moment of supreme irony, the Government chose to double down on the comparison with a nascent Fascist state by using the comment as leverage against the media channel.
The media channel itself, which faces constant risk of de-funding from a beleaguered government seemingly determined to throttle independent reporting ahead of next year’s elections, was forced to suspend the commentator. Colleagues and the general public quickly ranged themselves in support of the presenter.
This latest troubling example of the Party’s unwillingness to allow criticism follows reports from earlier in the week that the state media channel has been discouraged from airing one of the episodes of a significant new nature documentary. The episode of the documentary, which covers the destruction of wildlife in the British Isles, is considered likely to provoke a government and right wing backlash. It will be available for streaming only.
In both examples this week, the regime is attacking not just the media channel but presenters who are highly-regarded public figures. It remains to be seen whether that will translate into sufficient public support to defend the media channel against the regime.