Nearly 200 activists used vehicles and bamboo structures to block roads outside major printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley, near Liverpool.
The presses print The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, along with Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp titles including the Sun and the Times.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) accused the newspapers of failing to report on climate change and chained themselves to the bamboo structures to obstruct the roads outside the works. …
Extinction Rebellion could be treated as an organised crime group as part of a major crackdown on its activities that may also include new protections for MPs, judges and the press, The Telegraph can disclose.
Whitehall sources said Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have asked officials to take a “fresh look” at how the group is classified under the law, after the Prime Minister described its blockading of major printing presses as “completely unacceptable”. …
The demonstrations were condemned by Labour, whose shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: “A free press is vital for our democracy. People have the right to read the newspapers they want. Stopping them from being distributed and printers from doing their jobs is wrong.”
However Conservative MPs questioned why Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, failed to personally condemn the blockade.
Amanda Milling, the Conservative chairman, said Sir Keir should say whether he stood by previous comments that it was “completely wrong and counterproductive” to place Extinction Rebellion on a list of extreme ideologies.
I must say I didn’t think it would come to this. I really believed that the leadership of this mob had more political nous than to try to shut down the press. Arrogance and purblind narcissism have always been a feature of professional activism but there has generally been a recognition of the parameters within which public debate is conducted in a free society.
But I suppose we should have seen it coming. The move from thinking that your opponents are not just wrong but wilfully wicked to believing that they must be eliminated is a very short leap. Eventually, carried to its logical conclusion, it ends in the terrible ideological crimes of the twentieth century when it becomes permissible not just to prohibit the dissenting opinions but to eliminate the dissenters themselves.
Yes boys and girls, this is the real thing: the tyrannical impulse that, given its way, would prohibit the expression not just of disagreement with the prevailing orthodoxy but even of a considered and careful critique of it — which is pretty much all that the newspapers which are now being blockaded were engaged in. Welcome to the new Dark Age.
Presumably the next step would be for all proposed newspaper copy on the subject of climate change to be submitted for prior approval to — whom? The keepers of the Accepted Doctrine? And to whom will they be responsible? Themselves? And what happens when they — as radical movements always do — have schisms and splits over points of doctrine? Will they appeal to a higher authority — as the medieval papacy believed it could — and resolve their differences behind closed doors while we all await their judgement?
Imagine a world without crazy leftism. Hard isn’t it, because it has been the main force driving politics now since the mid 1800s. Which is when Nietzsche proclaimed the Death of God — and the revolution set in place by Jesus to liberate mankind had just had a major win with the abolition of slavery. Just when mankind gets past the Malthusian Limit with improved technology and social structures, in come the parasitical progressives to take it all down again.
In a rational world the carbon dioxide theory of global warming would never have taken hold because it contradicts a fair bit of real-world evidence. And people would be free to point out the error in the climate models that is responsible for the theory.