After he was permanently banned from Twitter yesterday, to the great relief of many who wished it had happened rather earlier, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was defiant. But sadly, he was also exhibiting signs of paranoia, claiming that the Government and other agencies are part of some grand conspiracy - one that is hell bent on removing free speech. Well, his free speech, anyway.
Lennon claims that the Tweet that exhausted the patience of those who police Twitter was merely stating a fact, that it was part of what he grandly calls “The Truth”. Anyone who said otherwise was a liar, a concept with which Zelo Street regulars will be familiar. Whatever he said could not possibly be hate speech, because it was “The Truth”. That his definition of hate speech might differ from that applied by Twitter did not occur.
Nor had he been completely banned from Twitter, as he still has the @TRobinsonOnline account - for the time being. But Lennon has decided that the supposed removal of his free speech cannot go unpunished. And he has discovered that Twitter has an office in London. So he has decided to call his supporters out on to the street once more, in order to disrupt the capital and cause more grief to the Metropolitan Police.
Nowhere does it occur to him that Twitter is a commercial operation which has rules, rules that he has flagrantly and repeatedly broken time and again. Nor is he willing to take on board that his right to free speech - which remains in place - does not include the right to be allowed to abuse the T&Cs laid down by A N Other social media company.
Lennon has appealed directly to his followers. Here’s his pitch. “After they suspended my account, after the lies the media have spread [!], I have one more favour to ask” he has told. And that favour is? “I want you to join me at Speaker’s Corner on Sunday the 6th of May. But this time I’m not staying there. I’m going to march through our capital city to Twitter’s head office to make the message clear”.
That might be difficult, as Twitter’s head office is in San Francisco, in the USA, a country which has refused Lennon admission, due to his past criminal record. But do go on. “You cannot take away our right to speak”. Twitter doesn’t give the right to speak in the first place. Have another go. “So for anyone who cares about freedom of speech, will you join me on the 6th of May?” But this is just another pointless charade.
What’s he going to do when he gets to Twitter’s London office (near Piccadilly Circus)? Who’s going to come out to talk to him? There won’t be anyone there - it’s not merely a Sunday, but it’s also a Bank Holiday weekend. His gesture will change nothing.
Like his previous Speaker’s Corner charade, where he claimed free speech was under attack, only to then turn up and speak freely, thus demonstrating that his claim was wrong, this is just another lame publicity stunt. It will change nothing.
Twitter has banned Stephen Yaxley Lennon. And the world has moved on. That is all.