He was going solo, going independent, to bring the real story to all his adoring fans. The message about what was really going on in the world today. And so it was that Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, fetched up yesterday with his film crew in tow to an area close to Green Lanes in North London. This was where the real story was happening. In a car park, outside a McDonalds.
But what might be happening in that part of the world that merited his attention? At this point, the story gets a little hazy: Lennon was, it seems, there to film people who he claimed were “left-wing extremists”. The problem is that, as with so much else he tells, we have to take his word for it. What does appear to have happened is that, whoever they were, they did not like the idea of him filming them.
So there was a standoff. We can see Lennon, and a group of young men, standing outside the McDonalds. As the Mirror has reported, “From the footage, it appears they are trying to stop Robinson filming them”. Then what happened? “Robinson can be heard asking if they wanted to go 'one on one' before punches and kicks are thrown from both sides”. One hates to be uncharitable, but it does look as if Lennon struck the first blow.
What was clear, though, is that this incident would be milked for all it was worth. Lennon’s pal Caolan Robertson proclaimed “BREAKING: Tommy Robinson was just attacked by far-left thugs in London. Camera woman (Lucy Brown) thrown on the floor and kicked in the head. Cameraman attacked. Microphones & cameras smashed. Police everywhere. Full video coming tonight on Tommy's youtube channel”. And there was more.
“Video coming in the next 2 hours of Tommy Robinson being violently attacked in London by violent, left wing extremists”. Basically, it’s about violence. And, as Lennon kept stressing, it was the other lot that done it: “Proud of @georgellewelyn & @lucyfrown today when we were attacked by a masked gang”. And there was someone to talk it up, too.
Yes, Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam was on hand to claim “Tommy Robinson attacked by masked Antifa, his camerawoman assaulted, but @SadiqKhan’s Met Police refuse to do ANYTHING. Simply speaking, this is how small scale civil wars begin”. What a meathead.
Still, on droned Lennon: “VIDEO: Tommy Robinson Attacked By Antifa Gang, Police do Nothing”. Sadly, though, it did not help his cause when his camerawoman took to Twitter to brag “Just took on some Antifa and they are total pussies”. That suggests the “Antifa”, whoever they were, needed some provocation to indulge in a confrontation.
And there’s the rub: Lennon and his pals serve up what they want the world to see, not the whole picture. We don’t see what happened before the confrontation, heck, we don’t even get to find out who this allegedly “left-wing” group were, and why Lennon and his pals were there filming them. We have to keep on taking his word for it.
You go looking for trouble, sooner or later you may find it. In the meantime, it would help if Lennon stopped pretending he’s a journalist. He really isn’t.