Matthew Steeples suggests that continued interest in the case of Tommy Robinson illustrates a very dangerous extremist underbelly still exists in British politics
Whatever the complexities of the case against Tommy Robinson and Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC’s decision to refer the allegation of contempt of court against him to the Attorney General, one thing is clear: the appearance of him and his thug-like followers outside the Old Bailey today simply shows that British politics has still not managed to see off far-right extremism.
Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – arrived at the court this morning supported by “hundreds of supporters” according to the BBC. As he left, shouts of “Oh, Tommy, Tommy” and “We want Tommy out, we want Tommy out” emanated from what was described as “an enthusiastic crowd.”
Supported also by the equally nasty nutcase Gerrard Batten, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who took to a stage to remark: “It looks very much like when Tommy was jailed, for the alleged contempt of court, this was about who he was, not what he was saying,” 35 year old Robinson himself then decided to speak. He announced he thought he’d “acted in good faith” when he violated reporting restrictions on grooming trials at Leeds Crown Court in May and announced: “My continued prosecution is because of who I am rather than what I did.”
Bizarrely next – as his supporters chanted the mainstream media were “scum” – Robinson then described himself as a “journalist.” He added:
“What’s changed is that last night they received my statement of evidence to go before the court. It would appear my treatment is exceptional. I would ask to be treated the same as every other journalist.”
“To the journalists: The British public do not trust you, they do not believe you. You are the enemies of the people.”
Whether the allegations against Robinson are ultimately proven true or false, right-minded individuals will surely accept the scene outside the court today to be illustrative of the continued presence of dangerous extremism in a country considered to be tolerant. Messrs Batten, Robinson and their far-right opinions represent a threat to us all and they deserve to be highlighted as such.