The video above is taken from Graham Phillips’ YouTube channel and is reproduced with thanks.
British imperialism, whether through its governments or assorted law-wielders, may talk about free speech and basic human rights in the abstract, or applied to some shady group it supports in another country, but these flowery notions of ‘fairness’ and ‘even-handedness’ have no place when someone telling the truth could upset their own deadly strategies and war aims (even when we are not officially ‘at war’).
Graham Phillips, a British freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker, has repeatedly upset the British imperialist state by reporting news of the events in Ukraine via the shocking medium of reality rather than through the prism of the heavily-doctored and dishonest narrative that is universally parroted across corporate and state-owned media in the west.
As a result of this outrageous behaviour, Mr Phillips has now been added to the British government’s list of sanctioned people – until now made up almost mostly of Russians, who have lost their belongings, homes, bank accounts and other assets merely because they are Russian.
By preventing those under sanction from undertaking any form of economic activity in Britain, it effectively renders them ‘non-people’, unable even to buy a train ticket, never mind to take a job or pay a bill. To give money to a sanctioned person, whether for work done or out of charity, is itself a criminal act.
This is an unprecedented move by our rulers, and opens the door to a far more efficient mechanism for suppressing free speech and political activism than has hitherto been available to them, since it evades the messy business of having to navigate the potentially unreliable and time-consuming justice system.
Abolishing due process at a stroke
Graham Phillips was born in Britain and remains a British citizen. He is, for the moment, the only Briton on the UK’s sanctions list, having been added for the heinous crime of reporting facts that the government would prefer to be kept quiet – and which it describes as being “destabilising” to Ukraine. (As opposed, presumably, to all that training of Ukrainian nazi gangs and looting of Ukrainian state assets it has been engaging in itself.)
The decision to place Mr Phillips on the sanctioned list appears to have emanated from the British Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. As of the time of writing, with his bank account frozen, all the standing orders set up to meet his household bills have bounced and Phillips and his family are being pursued for debt. He can no longer access any of the money paid by western supporters (via Paypal, Patreon etc) to fund his work, and he is also receiving a growing quantity of hate mail.
‘Sanctions’ are, in effect, an excuse for our rulers to tear up all legal frameworks and act with complete and arbitrary impunity, inflicting the most draconian criminal punishments on people who have been neither accused nor convicted of any criminal act.
While there is no official mechanism for Mr Phillips to question this decision or have it examined or revoked, he has submitted an appeal to the government, describing it as “absolutely absurd, dangerous, ridiculous”. But in a country that is sending another journalist (Julian Assange) to the USA, where he will in all probability spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement for the same ‘crime’ of broadcasting inconvenient facts, ‘absurd, dangerous and ridiculous’ are par for the course.
In a video posted on YouTube on 19 April, Mr Phillips was seen questioning captured British national Aiden Aslin, who had been fighting with Ukronazis in Mariupol. Aslin has received the death sentence from a court in east Ukraine, convicted of multiple acts of violence and murder against the people of the Donbass, where he was in the pay of Ukrainian militia for four years.
On camera, Aslin admitted that he was not speaking under duress and, to the indignant horror of the British government, Graham Phillips referred to him as a “mercenary”.
But how else should he have described someone who had come from another country to join an armed group as a paid soldier? At the time of Aslin’s arrival, the Azov terror group he joined was not officially attached to the Ukrainian army, and Russia’s special military operation in defence of the Donbass people was four years in the future. When Aslin enrolled in the Azov, the militia was bombing, torturing and murdering Donbass civilians on a daily basis.
Graham Phillips is on another list as well, along with at least three other British independent journalists and most Russian journalists in Ukraine: a hit list issued by one of the neo-nazi groups close to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
While the majority of bought-and-paid-for ink-flingers are quite happy to follow government guidelines and lie their heads off for money, honest journalists are living in very dangerous times indeed.
It is worth noting that the organisation that is supposed to give all journalists some protection and support, ‘Reporters Without Borders’, recently put on its website an appeal for the censorship of Russian media, on the premise that the Russian media is “inciting hatred” and “condoning war crimes”.
RSF claims to “defend the right of every human being to have access to free and reliable information” and says it “acts for the freedom, pluralism and independence of journalism”, existing only to “defend those who embody these ideals”.
RSF is, in fact, just one more in a string of supposedly ‘humanitarian’, ‘democracy-loving’ western NGOs whose real purpose is to provide a fig leaf for the naked lies of the imperialist aggressors. It won’t surprise our readers to hear that the RSF receives funding from (among others) that notorious CIA front the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Soros’s Open Society, USAID and the Ford Foundation.
What this once again shows is that most “journalists are the prostitutes of very rich men”. (John Swinton, 1880)
We have seen categorically with the banning of RT, and of Press TV before it, as well as with mass social media censorship, how false is the claim that we in Britain, in the USA and in the ‘west’ generally, enjoy ‘freedom of speech’. This claim is not merely hollow; it is a barefaced lie.
In reality, only a working-class movement capable of disseminating the truth and awakening class-consciousness in the masses of our people by any means necessary, can evade the crushing grip of the British ruling-class censor.