Just when you thought it was safe to venture out, the beast of McCarthyism rears its ugly and vicious head. However this time round the main front in the battle between the conformity of ideas and the right to dissent is not in the US it's in the UK.
Conducted predominately via the pages of the Murdoch-owned London Times newspaper, an unremitting stream of articles smearing those who dare appear on and contribute to Russian media has now reached the point of critical mass with a front page attacking a small group of UK-based academics for daring to challenge the official narrative on the Skripal case, Syria, and Western foreign policy in general.
Worse, complaints have been made to the heads of the departments at the various universities where said academics are employed, with the objective of having them sacked.
This is a beast that needs to be played. The right to free inquiry, speech, and to dissent is the very essence of a free society. Just as a few brave men and women stood up to McCarthyism and its HUAC predecessor in the 1940s and 1950s in America, so must people in the UK stand up to it today.
Joining us on this episode is Tara McCormack, one of the academics who has been targeted.
Don't miss it!
Hard Facts is out every Wednesday. You can join in the conversation here.