Russian news broadcaster banned across EU and UK as capitalism accelerates war drive against Russia and working class at home

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SPEAKING in the Commons yesterday, Tory culture secretary Nadine Dorries told MPs that Ofcom (the so-called independent regulator of broadcasting in the UK) was reviewing whether to revoke the licence of the Russian news broadcaster RT entirely, saying that president Putin ‘must not be allowed to exploit our open and free media to spread poisonous propaganda into British homes’.

Dorries said that she had written to Ofcom and that the regulator ‘has opened 27 investigations into RT, and they are now reviewing whether to revoke RT’s licence entirely’.

In fact, Dorries said, ‘In the meantime, those investigations have been taken over by events and I was very glad to see yesterday that the channel is now officially off air on British televisions after it was shut down on Sky, Freeview and Freesat.’ The private TV and tech companies are now in charge of enforcing censorship on behalf of the Tories.

Last Sunday, EU president Ursula von Leyen called for Russian news outlets Sputnik and RT to be banned from EU for spreading ‘toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe’. She said: ‘We will ban in the EU the Kremlin’s media machine.’

On Wednesday, this total ban came into effect across the EU with both being taken off the air and offline.

Anna Belkina, deputy editor-in-chief of RT, responded to this attack in a statement saying: ‘What we have witnessed over the last few days, be it comments from the President of the EU Commission or from UK PM Boris Johnson, or from social media or broadcast and digital distribution platforms, is that none of them has pointed to a single example, a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported over these days, and continues to report, is not true.’

This week, the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned against an outright ban on RT and Sputnik for fear that it would provoke a counter banning of the BBC and other tame media outlets in Russia.

Clearly by outsourcing the censorship to the multi-million pound private media companies the Tories are hoping to evade a ban on their ability to pump as much pro-imperialist war propaganda into Russia as they can.

The banning of RT and Sputnik are a grave warning to the working class of Europe and the UK. It raises the immediate question of who next will the capitalist state ban and make illegal?

As the ruling class move fast to clamp down on any opposition to its plans for regime change in Russia and put the countries of the UK, Europe and the US on a war footing, any organisation or group that opposes them will be denounced as traitors.

Already, the right-wing Labour leader Keir Starmer has told Labour MPs they will be expelled if they don’t fully support every measure to attack Russia.

Any trade union taking strike action over pay will be condemned for undermining the war effort and face the threat of being banned.

With the working class rising up over the massive increase in the cost of living that threatens tens of millions being plunged into destitution, the Tories are quite prepared to make unions and strikes illegal under the reactionary cry of a ‘national crisis’ and the need to put the country on a war-footing.

It will be demanded that workers sacrifice their families and already calls are being made in the bourgeois press for wages to be held down as part of a ‘war effort’ to help capitalism survive the economic collapse that sanctions on Russia have hugely

accelerated.

War against Russia for regime change and war against the working class at home to impose capitalist bankruptcy on the backs of workers – this is the only future for capitalism.

The burning issue of the hour, is for the working class to put an end to this war on two fronts by responding with general strikes in the main capitalist countries to bring down the government and bring in workers’ governments and socialism.

Revolutionary sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International must be built in all the major capitalist states to lead the struggle for power and create the conditions for the victory of the world socialist revolution.

This is the only way forward.