Back from holiday overnight has come Stephen Yaxley Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, who has marked the event by flagrantly breaking the law at whichever airport his flight arrived. The area set aside for passport control - the one prominently marked “UK Border” - is always adorned with signs reminding those passing through that photography of any kind - still and video - is strictly prohibited.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson
That did not deter Lennon, who proceeded to not only video his encounter with the desk man who checked his passport, but then post it afterwards to show his adoring public that he was a victim of state oppression, or something. When he transits the UK Border, the automatic passport readers spit his document out, and then border officers stop him because his passport gets flagged up on their systems.
There are good reasons for this, as Lennon knows all too well: his criminal record, including passport fraud, means he can look forward to being flagged up for many years to come. But the need to play the victim clearly came first. “Just landed back in the uk. Usual at passports” he Tweeted, along with a video identifying the officer concerned.
The reaction was not all favourable. “Don’t mean this in a horrible way but do you think it could be because you have a criminal record mate?” asked one Tweeter. Another tried to point out gently that Lennon had broken the law with his Tweet: “Thought you couldn't film the people at border control?” You can’t.
Another Tweeter had come to a similar conclusion: “It's probably because you film them when it clearly says no cameras”. It clearly does, all the way through passport control. And then his significant previous got a mention: “Plus you have a criminal record re traveling on false passport”. A trip to the USA, wasn’t it? Most unfortunate.
And the same Tweeter, acknowledging the point about filming being prohibited, then added “Good point, according to Tommy we have no border control and let anyone in”. It’s true that many of those making supportive noises whined that followers of The Prophet would have been waved through (as if). But his past kept coming back: “Given that you have a history of passport fraud, I think you were handled very professionally and politely there”.
It came back time and again: “Didn't you get caught traveling to the US on a friends passport … maybe that's why?” The US rule that those with criminal records are not allowed in was clearly a handicap. But the law is the law, and if you want to break it, you can’t complain at the consequences. So the last pay-off should have been no surprise: “Poor snowflake Tommy, always the victim eh Tommy!” Quite.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson has no room to complain about being flagged up by the UK Border Agency. He has no excuse for breaking the law. And he’ll have no excuse when he gets his collar felt about the illegal filming.