A Note on John Sweeney, Tommy Robinson and the “Adolf Hitler Appreciation Society”

From the Independent, a few days ago:

Veteran investigative journalist John Sweeney called Tommy Robinson a “c***” as he announced his departure from the BBC.

“I’m sorry our BBC Panorama on Tommy Robinson wasn’t broadcast,” Mr Sweeney wrote on Twitter, referring to a planned edition of the programme that was not broadcast about the English Defence League.

It was cancelled after Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, covertly filmed Mr Sweeney and made a rival “documentary”.

I wrote about the fiasco at the time, here and here. Sweeney was filmed in a restaurant by an associate of Robinson who was pretending to be an informant – the journalist was shown working his way through the drinks menu, making numerous indiscreet remarks, and then ostentatiously putting £220 on expenses. He also discussed how a clip might be used to put Robinson in the worst light possible, in a way that could reasonably be seen as misleading. The BBC at the time said that it stood by the documentary, but its failure to appear speaks for itself. Sweeney, overconfident and complacent, had underestimated his quarry and undermined the credibility of the project.

Sweeney has now followed up on his “cunt” jibe with a short Twitter video that includes a clip of Robinson speaking to an enthusiastic crowd in Bavaria last year. The event had been reported at the time by Andrew Gilligan at the Sunday Times, who noted:

Robinson [received] the “European patriot of the year” award at a conference in Bavaria organised by the hard-right magazine Compact. In his acceptance speech, he said: “German people for too long have lived in the guilt of Adolf Hitler. Do not live in the guilt of Angela Merkel.”

The conference, on September 29, brought together key figures on the European far right, including Lutz Bachmann, the founder of Pegida, Martin Sellner, from the Generation Identity movement, leaders of the Alternative for Germany party and a representative of the Italian leader, Matteo Salvini. Compact has been funded by the Kremlin-created Institute for Democracy and Co-operation.

The first sentence of the same Robinson quote also appears in the Sweeney video (twice), and Sweeney describes the crowd as a meeting of the “Adolf Hitler Appreciation Society”. Reiterating his fondness for crude gynaecological abuse, Sweeney ends by calling Robinson a “Nazi cunt” and pointedly quaffing some red wine.

On Twitter, the video has been lauded as a defiant gesture against Robinson, but I can’t say I’m impressed by the lazy buffoonery, which comes across as compensatory for Sweeney’s self-evident failure. The video gives the impression that Sweeney has unearthed the clip, when he’s done nothing of the kind, and many Twitter users have taken his “Adolf Hitler Appreciation Society” designation at face value – meaning that Sweeney, whatever his intentions, has effectively dumped misinformation onto social media that Robinson and his supporters will in all likelihood capitalise on.

In short, Sweeney’s latest antics are actually a hindrance to subjecting Robinson and his associates to proper critical scrutiny.

17 Responses

  1. I wonder if any of the people or bodies that associate Yaxley-Robinson and similar with the “hard-right” / “far right” would care (dare?) to provide an explanatory “hard-left” / “far left” to “hard-right” / “far right spectrum chart educating us on where exactly “Tommeh” should appear on it as well as Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and Salazar.

    They should also, of course, show Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Che, and all their favourite South American and African politicians, as well as current UK and European ones.

    And, naturally, show their working and explain their thinking.

    • He actually did the political compass test not long ago & he’s definitely not far right. It’s on TR.News if you’d like to look it up.

      • Haven’t seen that, thanks.

        But my point was more about the way the media paints everyone to the right of Stalin as a “Far/Hard Right Extremist Thug”, while ignoring the Far/Hard Left Extremist Thugs who are far more Fascist than the people they paint as “Literally Hitler”.

        And to question where, if they label the Tommy Robinson’s of the world as “Far/Hard Right” they put the people who were actually literally “literally Hitler”.

        I’d also like to know where they put people like Blairites who were literally activist Communists, Marxists, Trotskyists, Maoists and the like, often admittedly, though only before they went into politics, of course, and their fellow travellers who sometimes are still Little Red Book carrying and quoting “Socialists”.

    • I saw an interesting video recently where TR was given a test which supposedly decides where an individual’s politics lie on the left/right spectrum. His answers showed that he is centre-right.

  2. Sweeney severely tarnished his reputation as a journalist with his screaming fit against the scientologists.

    He appears to have lost it altogether now.

    • Probably drinks too much…his brain is now not his own….sad end to a privileged career….he had it all for …obviously toooo long….Mr Sweeney? …..what were you thinking of? ….Take your punishment and enjoy your undeserved BBC pension.

  3. Tommy does nothing other than highlight abuses and crimes that are covered up by the establishment in the name of racism. The worst racism is allowing one ethnic minority to rape our children and abuse our system because of their ideology.

  4. Tommy Robinson Did Panodrama Brilliantly. And Anytime He Gets Attacked No Matter What Kind Of Matter,He Hit Back 10 Times Harder.
    He Is A National Treasure And Anyone Shouting Racist/Far Right/Nazi Should Do A Little Research First, He Is None Of Those Things, They Are Just Words Thrown At Him By The Likes If The BBC And the Establishment To Brainwash Idiots Who Dont Have There Own Mind To Think. Start Watching What He Is Really About And I’m Sure You Will Make Your Own Mind Up.

  5. The Bitterness Of A Defeated Man lol

  6. Sweeney is a bitter and twisted man who needs to get over himself Tommy is not and never has been a nazi and neither are his followers .we just want what is right for our kids and country

  7. Well said Thomas.

  8. Sweeney was the one outed as a racist, homophobic bigot. He wanted to destroy TR by every and any means possible. However, it is he who has now been destroyed, a victory for poetic justice, and whilst Sweeney drinks himself to oblivion, I will toast to that victory.

  9. One correction – Sweeney wasn’t making a documentary on the English Defence League, but about Tommy Robinson, who quit the EDL years ago because it was being infested with racists, which he is not. Sweeney is a despicable, arrogant excuse for a journalist.

  10. While Sweeney had the Panorama job he was a dangerous and twisted individual who could do a lot of harm. The BBC and in particular the Panorama programme is a biased organ of propaganda and Sweeney was one of their instruments. Better he is gone. Well done Tommy…good work in self defence.

  11. Tommy Robinson a real true journalist see him as he really is on YouTube Oxford Union
    His speech and judge him for yourself

  12. As Nietzsche said “when on a journey of revenge pack too shovels” john sweeney your burying yourself and killed the bbc flagship docu/drama as now watching a bbc documentary’s a thing that most took as gospel not gossip and turned it in to a political hit job to destroy an innocent man

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