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British Press

Freedom of Opinion

 On November 18th Mussolini made a speech to the Italian Fascist Party in which he claimed that the Italian war bulletins were truthful and fair statements of Italian as well as British war losses.

 Commenting on this speech in its editorial for November 19th, the Daily Express compares the position of the Press in this country with its position in Italy and Germany and Russia, quite rightly pointing out how impossible it is for any criticism of the Government to obtain publicity in the latter three countries.

 We know quite well that the dictatorships owe much of their success to lies and the suppression of opinion, but how do we stand here in that respect? The Daily Express says: —

Short story: Gus has a shock

 GUS: You socialists ought to be grateful for the glorious institution of the free press instead of criticising the great newspapers as you do.

WILL: Grateful to whom? The so-called Freedom of the Press is, in reality, painfully limited; but such as it is, it was granted because absolutely necessary to commercial development. Material interests dictated it; not any love of the people. The capitalist class give us nothing but what it is to their interest to give, either to increase their profits or stave off their defeat, and we know from bitter experience that we have most to fear when our enemies profess a regard for us.

GUS: But can you deny that the great daily newspapers are glorious and beneficient institutions, fearlessly standing out for truth and purity in public life?

WILL: I emphatically and entirely deny every word of it!

The Prostitute Press

Capitalism has produced many vile institutions, but none more corrupt and degraded than the capitalist Press, by which the workers are systematically hoodwinked and led astray.

Whenever a section of the workers are goaded by the horrible conditions of their existence, into striking, the cheap and nasty Press lets itself go and pours out a perfect deluge of lies. If the men come out in accordance with the wishes of their trade union officials we are told that they have been led astray by demagogues and agitators; if they strike against the wishes of their officials .they are denounced for having thrown over their “responsible leaders ’’!

For example, on the occasion of the strike movement in South Africa last year, when nine of the strike leaders were deported without trial, that organ of light and truth, the “Morning Post,” presented us with the following gems of editorial wisdom:

first editorial.

Running Commentary: PLO Recognition

PLO recognition

    “They’ve taken my legs, but it only means I’m more firmly planted in the soil.” Mayor Bassam Shaka of Nablus (3.6.80).

The terrorist attacks which maimed two West Bank mayors and wounded other Palestinians in Hebron last month were the climax of weeks of mounting violence in the area, provoked by what all governments would term “necessary vigilance for the security of the state”. The victimisation of communities, refugee camps and families by the Israeli security forces—together with arbitrary searchings and beatings—are having the effect of driving the most “moderate” Palestinians into the arms of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, something that Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in the heady days of 1978 was designed, in part, to prevent.

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