A Written Question from the Labour MP for Walsall South Valerie Vaz includes a disclosure about newspaper censorship under the last Labour Government. In itself it is modest but nonethless rather startling:
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether access to any websites or domains is blocked from computers in his Department; and if he will publish a list of all such websites and domains to which access is prohibited.
Brandon Lewis: There is no specific list of blocked websites to publish. Rather, my Department uses a web protection tool that intelligently filters or blocks access to types of inappropriate content.
For example, this includes blocking the likes of malware, botnets, keyloggers, phishing, spyware, spam, exploits, excessive bandwidth such as peer-to-peer file sharing, as well as not-suitable-for-work content including music download services, drugs, pornography, gambling and computer games. This reflects common practice in a business environment.
Notwithstanding, I would note that under the last Labour Government, the Department blocked all access to the Daily Star website. Reflecting our commitment to an independent free press, we have lifted this state censorship.
We are not in China. Why should access be allowed for one newspaper but not another?
The Left often likes to use the power of the state to suppress opinions they dislike. We see this from the choice of periodicals included in some council’s municipal libraries to the habit of student unions banning things.
Few politicians and bureaucrats openly express their opposition to press freedom. But these small examples give the game away as to their true motivations.