On Douglas Murray on Tommy Robinson

At the National Review, Douglas Murray laments how Tommy Robinson has brought his latest imprisonment on himself:

Robinson would not now be in jail if he had not once again accosted defendants in an ongoing trial outside the courthouse. He had been told by a judge last May not to do this and yet he did this again. It isn’t the worst thing in the world (it isn’t child rape, for instance), but it is an offense to which Robinson understandably pleaded guilty. More important, the trial that was coming to a close last Friday is just one part of a trial involving multiple other defendants. It is certainly possible that Robinson’s breaking of reporting restrictions at the Leeds trial could have prejudiced those trials. To have caused the collapse of such a trial would have been more than a blunder; it would have been an additional blow to victims who deserve justice.

I wrote about the livestream that got Robinson into trouble here. Murray’s explanation on this point is a welcome corrective to the sensationalist narrative popular among US conservatives (who have been lapping up commentary from Katie Hopkins), which is that Robinson has been silenced by a police and judiciary that wants to suppress public knowledge about certain trials for the benefit of defendants, despite having chosen to investigate and prosecute these same defendants in the first place. We can add that although Robinson’s antics may not be “the worst thing in the world”, contempt of court punishments are often harsh, as a matter of deterrence.

However, while conceding that Robinson has at times acted unwisely, Murray’s main theme is that Robinson has been “persecuted” for having drawn attention to “grooming gangs”, a term Murray dislikes as euphemistic but that seems to me to be reasonable shorthand for the specific circumstances by which predatory men acting together engineer situations by which underage girls are made vulnerable to forcible rape or persuaded to acquiesce in their own violation. He writes:

Some years ago, after crawling over all of his personal affairs and the affairs of all his immediate family, the police found an irregularity on a mortgage application, prosecuted Robinson, convicted him, and sent him to prison on that charge. In prison he was assaulted and almost killed by Muslim inmates.

…If even one mullah or sheikh had been treated with the presumption of guilt that Robinson has received, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the rest of them would be all over the U.K. authorities. But different standards apply to Robinson.

Robinson’s account of the mortgage application is that he lent some money to a relative, who thus inflated his income declaration in order to secure a mortgage. Normally, this is the sort of thing that would only ever come to light if the lendee were to fall behind with making their repayments – but in this instance, the mortgage was apparently repaid following a subsequent sale with no harm done. It is difficult not to suspect that here the police were indeed seeking out something they could get Robinson for, rather than having stumbled onto a matter on which they had no choice but to act.

There is no reason to suppose from this that the motive was to have Robinson attacked in prison, or to suppress information about “grooming gangs”; as Murray writes, EDL protests “often descended into hooliganism and low-level violence”. This is sufficient to explain – but not justify – political policing, and it is a troubling detail that ought to be a matter of concern to anyone involved with political activism, of whatever stripe.

However, the incident does cast a shadow over Robinson’s honesty, and this is something that Murray underplays as he acknowledges Robinson’s tendency to violence when provoked. Robinson’s decision to travel to New York on someone else’s passport was another example of gratuitous criminal conduct that led to imprisonment, and not enough has been made of the way that he presented his Canterbury court case last year as a “win” and a “victory” for free speech when he had actually pleaded guilty. His involvement with Rebel Media places him within a milieu that regularly deploys smears and conspiracy theories to fearmonger and to whip up hate (it has also provided him with the means to harass critics under a veneer of journalism).

As an aside, Murray is also critical of the Secret Barrister website, whose author published a celebrated post explaining why exactly Robinson’s appearance at Leeds led to prison:

On Sunday there was a protest in London in support of him. The legal blogger “The Secret Barrister” might have spoken for a whole nose-holding class when he dismissed this protest as “a Nazi-themed march.” Look at the video he links to and you will see a lot of people with their arms in the air chanting “Oh Tommy Robinson.” If our eminent legal correspondent thinks this is Nazi-themed, he can never have been to a football match or, come to that, a Jeremy Corbyn rally.

In this instance, it’s clear to me – even though I have never been to either a football match or a Corbyn rally – that Secret Barrister has indeed mistaken a pointing gesture made by football supporters as part of their terrace banter for the stiff-armed Nazi salute.

Excursus

Back in 2009 – before Robinson’s identity was known – Murray declined to talk to EDL activists who had shown up at a dinner he was having in London with Robert Spencer. He later made contact with Robinson after his departure from the EDL under the auspices of the Quilliam Foundation in 2013. One early post-EDL appearance was as a “surprise guest” at the showing of film which was followed by a debate involving Murray, Anne Marie Waters, and the journalist Nick Cohen. Cohen described Robinson in his write-up as “shrunken” – an assessment that has proven unprophetic, but which was made at a time when the prospect of Robinson gaining international prominence was as remote as a dodgy businessman with a history of corporate bankruptcies, sexual license and crude conspiracy mongering becoming President of the USA.

10 Responses

  1. We need to concentrate not only on the Mohammedan rape-gangs terrorising under-age school girls, but also on the whole problem that this civilization presents to our own. Is it really compatible with a culture genuinely grounded on the faith of Abraham – note the singular. Is it? The Sharia? Jihad? Abraham would not have approved of them. We need to wake up soon. However, an interesting and more nuanced article, which was in some ways helpful, though its remarks about Mr Trump descended to less than credible reporting.

  2. A not uninteresting write-up, though a little light on the Jehoshuahite supremacy. Abrahamism and Red Sea pedestrianisation are incompatible with Mahometan pork-dodgery. We need to wake up pretty sharpish.

  3. Douglas Murray like Nigel Farage says that Tommy should not have been on those steps. He equally points out the double standards of the Establishment and if Tommy wasn’t Tommy he would have been given a lighter sentence.

    I’ve never known a sentence to run consecutively these days.

    In my opinion Tommy is doing the country a great service in highlighting inconvenient truths just like Nigel & Douglas do

    I was curious about Tommy before but now I am firmly a fan and have and will contribute to his legal fees.

    Simon Mint

    • Douglas, farange, hopkins whilst supporting freedom of speech prefer that the working class protest in a middle- class way. Some sort of contortion where the working class smell and pale skin doesn’t offend them. Not to detract from their stance on islam and the left but they still cannot see their prejudice for the lower class. I could be wrong.

  4. Why is that those who hyperventilate about those accused and prosecuted in the trials the convicted criminal Robinson keeps attempting to undermine claim someone is somehow avoiding prosecution?. There is real insanity going on here: are they so out of touch they fail to see the media reports (the Daily Mail / MailOnline alone go basically ape-shit about this stuff) about so-called “grooming gangs”?.
    Of course the answer is no. There are no cover-ups, no conspiracies to allow perps to get off scot free. There have been bumbling local councils turning a blind eye out of ignorance (matched by “Tommy Robinson and his supporter’s dumb ignorance who don’t even know the laws of the land they profess to be “patriots” of) and real complications in that victims often do not even realize they have been “groomed ” into a certain lifestyle. The fact the alleged perps are on trial and prosecutors have asked judges to impose (a commonly used tactic) of a media blackout is a great example of the perseverance of local police to bring criminals to justice. These are horrendously difficult crimes to prosecute because they are never cut and dried. They involve victims who are gradually seduced into a lifestyle. Drugs are involved and family alienation is common. It can take years for a real victim to even know they are a victim. And then into the scenario strolls a goose like Robinson and his football hooligan followers along with desperate non-entities like Katie Hopkins who lazily attempt to hijack a case that has probably involved 1000s of man hours with dozens of detectives, complicated interviews of victims and alleged perpetrators, real headaches for the CPS to brings those accused to trial and then new nightmares come into the mix with a bunch of louts led by a loud mouth criminal like Robinson who may bring all this hard work undone. A pox on these people. They are scum. They use other’s grief to promote a neo Nazi racist like Robinson. They don’t give a damn about the real victims. They don’t give a damn about justice being done. And their hero worship for someone like Robinson is positively sick. And their end result is to get plastered in the pub after, what is basically a social get-together- to rant 7 rave about Muslims. And if Robinson is frightened of being assaulted in prison he can ask himself to be put int he special wing. There he can mingle with the “rock spiders”.

    • So hundreds of thousands raped children and the court finds it hard to find evidence. But not with Tommy’s fraud, they found that pretty quick. Or the bacon on mosk door man who got killed in prison.
      Perhaps you are right all is being done to help society but it takes time. How long 30 years?

  5. “welcome corrective to the sensationalist narrative…. that Robinson has been silenced by a police and judiciary that wants to suppress public knowledge about certain trials for the benefit of defendants, despite having chosen to investigate and prosecute these same defendants in the first place”

    Chosen to investigate and prosecute these same defendants after a mere quarter century delay.

    And why aren’t the police and judiciary “suppressing” public knowledge about these trials in the same way they did for, say, Rolf Harris or cliff Richard?!

    “contempt of court punishments are often harsh, as a matter of deterrence.”

    And the punishments, harshness, and deterrence vis a vis “Asian” “Grooming” Gangs in the aptly named Noughties, Nineties, and even, apparently, as far back as the Eighties?

    And the deterrence and threatened punishment of the victims and their families?!

    “grooming gangs”…. seems to me to be reasonable shorthand for the specific circumstance….

    Of groups of wandering hairdressers, manicurists and stylists?!

    “inflated his income declaration in order to secure a mortgage….. repaid following a subsequent sale with no harm done.”

    I wonder how often judges, barristers and policemen do that?

    Allegedly!

    “It is difficult not to suspect that here the police were indeed seeking out something they could get Robinson for, rather than having stumbled onto a matter on which they had no choice but to act.”

    They ALWAYS have a choice whether to act (eg ignoring shoplifting, “petty” car crime, burglary, and, errmmmm, “grooming”).

    And then the CPS have to decide if a prosecution is in the public interest!

    “EDL protests “often descended into hooliganism and low-level violence”. This is sufficient to explain – but not justify – political policing”

    So do Momentum, “Anti”Fa, Animal “Rights”, etc, etc, and, ermmm, Islamic, protests, but don’t seem to attract the same level of policing.

    In fact, rumour has it, the police stand and watch people attack EDL protests, then if the EDL protesters retaliate, wade in to beat up and arrest the EDL supports in general, and the “Ex EDL founder” in particular!

    “However, the incident does cast a shadow over Robinson’s honesty… decision to travel to New York on someone else’s passport was another example of gratuitous criminal conduct that led to imprisonment,”

    Hardly gratuitous if he couldn’t enter the USA on his own passport due to a politically inspired criminal record.

    And was he not prosecuted, not for using someone else’s passport to leave the UK, but to enter the USA?

    Periodically we see reports of people accidentally or deliberately leaving or entering the UK with the wrong passport (picking up family members’ by mistake or journalists testing security), but I don’t recall them being prosecuted.

    So why were UK courts prosecuting Robinson for entering the USA on someone else’s passport?!

    Similarly he was prosecuted in the UK for protesting against ISIS in Switzerland!

    What is wrong with that, and even if there were anything wrong with that, why are UK courts getting involved?!

    What next, prosecuting him for doing 75 on an unrestricted German Autobahn?!?!

    • It’s illegal in the UK to travel abroad for the purpose of fighting with ISIS. Maybe the statute is loosely-worded enough to cover Stephen wanting to tussle with them in Basle.

      • I was under the impression he was waving an anti-ISIS flag on a rooftop.

        And I don’t think ISIS were up there throwing a victim minority on a lower level of the hierarchy to an even lower level still!

  6. Once again I think that several of the comments here about Tommy Robinson are very unfair – particularly from “Eric”. To be sure Tommy Robinson (or Stephen Yaxley-Lennon if you prefer) has flaws, and to be sure he has made several mistakes – but the fact remains that he has shown great bravery and patriotic zeal in drawing to the attention of his fellow-countrymen and women the insidious danger posed to our nation and people by the unwelcome and uninvited Mohammedan invaders within our midst. Katie Hopkins is also surely deserving of great praise and admitration for her sterling work in alerting our fellow-countrymen and women to this creeping threat to our national well-being.

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