Britain’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for Tommy Robinson to be banned not only from social media, but from “public spaces” as well.
“So Tommy Robinson’s been banned from [Facebook] and Instagram,” gloated the lobby group via Twitter — which had itself banned Robinson some months ago already.
“About time. Now we need to ban him from public spaces too,” they added.
The move to deplatform Robinson by the leading social media websites came on the heels of the outspoken citizen journalist and street activist releasing his Panodrama documentary on the BBC, which purported to show how its flagship Panorama investigative journalism programme had been “creating [and] editing news” in order to serve a partisan agenda.
So Tommy Robinson's been banned from FB and Instagram.
Now we need to ban him from public spaces too.
Unions have always come out against fascism and racism wherever it arises.
— TradesUnionCongress (@The_TUC) February 26, 2019
The TUC, whose leading member organisations serve as major donors to Britain’s left-wing Labour Party, and act as a key power base for its hard-left socialist leader Jeremy Corby, added that “Unions have always come out against fascism and racism wherever it arises” in an attempt to justify its call to deplatform the EDL founder.
However, the implications of a theoretical ban from “public spaces” — which could see Robinson effectively subjected to a kind of indefinite house arrest if implemented, depending on its execution — made some even on the left uncomfortable.
“I loathe Robinson. But calling for him to be banned from public spaces is positively despotic,” commented Paul Embery, a trade unionist with the Fire Brigades Union in London and noted Brexit campaigner.
“Get a grip of yourselves, comrades.”
— UnHerd (@unherd) February 23, 2019
Embery’s disagreement with the trajectory of the TUC in its role as an umbrella organisation for British trade unions is not limited to its draconian attitude to controversial figures like Robinson — which is not, curiously, extended to Islamist hate preachers or former Islamic State fighters, who have escaped similar calls to action from the lobby group.
The firefighter has also criticised the TUC’s dogged devotion to the European Union under incumbent General-Secretary Frances O’Grady, who was a leading figure in the campaign to Remain in the European Union in 2016 and is now agitating for a second referendum.
“[The TUC’s] stance over Brexit is… indicative of the movement’s increasing estrangement from the working class, particularly in those former industrial heartlands where the nostrums of the metropolitan liberal elite have little traction, and something resembling a traditional working-class culture still endures,” Embery observed earlier in February 2019.
“Tragically, the trade union movement is largely absent from these communities and thus commands no loyalty among their inhabitants. Worse, large parts of the movement’s leadership see these people as a different breed: a mob to be kept in check, their rougher edges smoothed, their ‘reactionary’ working-class views tempered,” he added ruefully.
Support for Leave by class
Working class 59%
Middle class 40%
— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) December 31, 2017