The trial has begun of Darren Osborne, accused of driving a van into a crowd of people outside Finsbury Park Mosque in London last June. One man died and others suffered what are euphemistically described as “life changing injuries” as a result. Many media sources - especially the press - will be watching events with no small discomfort, given their sometimes obsessive Muslim bashing agendas.
No racists here, honestly
And one individual is already becoming seriously uncomfortable with his potential role in the saga: step forward Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. Why this might be is not difficult to see, as one look at the BBC report shows.
After telling “Mr Osborne's partner, Sarah Andrews, said he had become ‘obsessed’ with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the incident, having watched the BBC drama Three Girls about the Rochdale grooming scandal … ‘He seemed brainwashed and totally obsessed with the subject,’ she said in a statement, read out in court”, we read “Ms Andrews told police Mr Osborne had been reading posts by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson on Twitter”. Times reporter Fiona Hamilton had more.
“Alleged Finsbury Park attacker Darren Osborne was in touch with a Tommy Robinson social media account which invited him to a march in Manchester … Alleged Finsbury Park attacker researched online material featuring Tommy Robinson, Britain First and its leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen” she told. And then came the crunch Tweet.
“Alleged Finsbury Park killer Darren Osborne was looking at lots of Tommy Robinson material on Twitter and had ‘simply set his mind to believing this sort of racist material’, court told”. But Lennon won’t have anyone call him a racist. He’ll make 250 mile round trips to harass people who do that. On successive nights.
So what did The Great Man have to say for himself? After trying to blame the BBC - “Finsbury Park terror trial: Darren Osborne turned into 'ticking time bomb' after watching BBC drama, court hears’” - and failing, he registered his displeasure at Ms Hamilton’s comments: “Racist material? He was awoke to the problems with Islam”.
Then came the demand to “look over there” as he snapped “How come we don’t hear what imam [sic] or preachers of Islam Muslim terrorists follow in their court cases”, before losing it with the Beeb: “How are Bbc news running their story with a big picture of me to be invited over in a terrorist attack that I have nothing to do with. Smear campaign headed by the BBC”. So what’s he going to do about it, then?
If Lennon thinks that he can round up a few of his pals and rock up at New Broadcasting House, or indeed the Baby Shard, and intimidate those inside in the way he’s been doing elsewhere recently, he’s got a nasty shock coming. His media contacts won’t take kindly to him turning on their pals. And the Police won’t be too impressed, either.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon will find that his little Wild West Show counts as nothing against the media establishment. So he’ll have to just suck it up. And there will be much more coming his way as the press piles in on the Finsbury Park van attack.
Actions have consequences. Especially for the little people outside the media tent.