Tommy Robinson is free.
A lot of people are going to be very unhappy about this.
Not most readers here, I suspect. Like me, you’ll be feeling nothing but joy that this brave, decent, principled man is free once more to be with his wife and kids after months in prison.
But for others, the Court of Appeal’s decision to release Robinson on bail immediately will come as a grave disappointment.
These include: all the Muslim prisoners who were dying for the opportunity to murder Robinson in prison (as they probably would have done had he not been held, for his own safety, in solitary confinement); all the Muslim rape gangs who have been grooming, torturing and sexually abusing young girls, whose vile behaviour Robinson has worked tirelessly to expose.
They also include: ‘Secret Barrister’, the blogging voice of the left-leaning judicial establishment who has described Robinson’s admirers as “ignorant knuckle draggers”; Conservative columnist Peter Oborne who described Robinson as “a football hooligan turned anti-Muslim racist”, in the course of an article criticising Boris Johnson for holding meetings with Steve Bannon after he (Bannon) had called Robinson “the backbone of this country”.
And even – I was most surprised to see from my Twitter feed – two people I’d hitherto considered pretty reliable fellow warriors in the battle for truth, justice, and Western Civilisation:
Because Robinson is a pillock who almost invalidated a trial. His stupid actions could have meant rape gang members getting off scott free.
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) August 1, 2018
Why not familiarise yourself with the details – on my podcast with Ezra Levant- rather than sounding like a partisan pillock dutifully trotting out your employer’s house line?
— James Delingpole (@JamesDelingpole) August 1, 2018
I’ve listened to that podcast, James, and Ezra makes a number of blatant factual errors about the case. And you know it.
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) August 1, 2018
No, actually, Julia, I stand by that podcast. I think it’s one of my better ones. Ezra Levant is quick, fluent, articulate with a great legal brain. And as a friend and former employer of Robinson, as well as someone who flew over from Canada to attend his Appeal Court hearing, Levant is surely in a better position than most to pronounce on the affair with authority.
There were errors of fact in the podcast? Well, I’ll have to take your word for it. But it seems to me that if that’s your hot take on this whole business – that Tommy Robinson has been released on bail by the Appeal Court but that there should be no rejoicing because Ezra Levant got some facts wrong on the Delingpole podcast – then it’s a hot take which says more about your distaste for Tommy Robinson and/or Ezra Levant than it does about the insightfulness of that particular hot take.
So what is it, I wonder, that has prompted so many people – even conservatives, even people who deplore those rape gangs as much as I do, even people who worry about the failures of our justice system and the corruption of our liberal governing elite – to follow the Establishment line on Tommy Robinson: that he’s a knuckle-dragging racist thug who broke the law after he’d been expressly warned not to break the law again – and who consequently deserves all he got and who should still be in prison now?
Well, partly, of course, it’s ignorance. The mainstream media has not exactly helped here: it’s really hard, anywhere outside the blogosphere or conservative sites like Breitbart News, to find a balanced, let alone sympathetic, take on Tommy Robinson. Also, it’s especially tricky – even for intelligent, open-minded people – to form a considered view on matters dependent on abstruse points of law.
I’m guilty myself here. The last post I wrote on Tommy relied perhaps too heavily on the Establishment version of events, as expounded by the aforementioned “Secret Barrister”. I was still very much on Robinson’s side. But after what I’ve learned since I have come much more round to the view that Tommy Robinson has been the victim of an Establishment stitch up.
It’s like this: even if you buy the argument that he deserved being done for contempt of court, the sentence he was awarded was extraordinarily draconian.
As I said in the podcast to Levant, it reminds me a lot of the punishment meted out under the Obama administration to Dinesh D’Souza for using a “straw donor” to make an illegal campaign donation. Sure, technically he had broken the law. But the sentence was out of all proportion to the crime, strongly suggesting that this had far more to do with partisan politics than it did with the blind application of justice.
Anyway, I said I had a theory on why it is even some conservatives are so prejudiced against Robinson. And apart from ignorance, it comes down to this: Tommy Robinson is the handy bit of meat you throw to the wolves to prove you’re not an extremist.
Taking a stand against the liberal elite is a tough business.
Pro-Brexit? You’re a racist, little Englander xenophobe who didn’t know what you were voting for and want diabetics to drop dead from insulin deprivation and venereal diseases to rage out of control.
Concerned about terrorism, Muslim ghettos, sharia law? Islamophobe.
Worried the scaremongering about global warming has been overdone? Climate change denier.
And on and on it goes. The regressive left has been horribly successful in promulgating the narrative that normal people who hold perfectly reasonable views on immigration, tax, climate change, the role of government, security, education, sovereignty and so on are dangerous, rabid extremists beyond the pale of reasonable debate.
So it’s no wonder, under such pressure, that even the staunchest voices of common sense occasionally crack.
One way I’ve noticed conservatives do this – in the UK more than in the U.S. – is to show how reasonable and not at all unhinged they are by banging on and on about how much they deplore Donald Trump. Trump is their ideological Get Out of Jail Free – hating him makes all their edgy conservative opinions OK.
But for these people, Tommy Robinson is the biggest Get Out of Jail Free of the lot.
No one wants to be the person pointing out unpalatable truths about the advance of fundamentalist Islam through Western Culture: the schools and madrassas preaching hatred of kufar; the bizarre cultural surrender whereby supermarkets let Muslim workers refuse to serve alcohol or pork products; the mosques preaching Salafist hatred; the no-go zones in many inner cities; the rape gangs; the misplaced tolerance for extremism that allowed Salman Abedi to blow up all those little girls at the Manchester Arena; etc.
Tommy Robinson, though, makes it all OK. Condemn Tommy Robinson and you are one of the good guys, one of the reasonable people, one of the wise heads who understands that though sure there are thousands and thousands of Islamists hell-bent on terrorising us into submission hey there’s fault on both sides, just look at that guy Tommy Robinson with his deadly video camera and his outspoken truth-telling and his common white-working class background…