‘For the past year or so, a rumour on social media keeps resurfacing. Many British Facebook and Twitter users believe that our government has taken out a ‘D-notice’ to ban broadcasters and newspapers from covering the protest movements in France.
Thanks to social media, footage of the gilets jaunes protesters – and in particular of the violent beatings they have endured at the hands of the French police – has been spreading around the world for the past year. The British public – so often smeared as insular and parochial – wants to know what has been happening in France, though many feel that the media is not giving this crisis the attention it deserves.
It’s a similar story with the ongoing strikes against Emmanuel Macron’s pensions reforms. The strikes began on 5 December last year, when more than 800,000 people marched across the country against a new ‘streamlined’ pension system. The ‘modern’ and ‘simplified’ system proposed by Macron’s government would, conveniently, erase the benefits and arrangements that have arisen from decades of industrial disputes, to replace it with a smaller one-size-fits-all package.’