Some out there on the far right have still not understood that their hero Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was arrested, and then sentenced to a total of 13 months’ imprisonment recently, not because someone was trying to take away his freedom of speech, or because they were all out to get him, or because someone was appeasing the Scary Muslims (tm). It was because he repeatedly broke the law.
And, given that Lennon was warned he would go to jail if he broke the law again, broke the law again, and was then jailed as promised, it should be in the realm of the bleeding obvious that there is no debate to be had over his sentencing. He’s done the crime; therefore he is now serving the time. But this has been too much for some in the Wall of Gammon (tm) to understand, so another protest has been held this afternoon in London.
Hope Not Hate summed up the false premise involved: “A large group of people exercising their freedom of speech to protest about their lack of freedom of speech... maybe they're confused”. Matt Carr was not impressed by what he saw: “Pitchfork mob gather in Trafalgar Square to let the world know that they know nothing, are completely oblivious to facts or truth, but really, really hate Muslims. Embarrassing tossers”.
UKIP leader Adolf von Batten, though, gave the protest his unequivocal support, prompting Tony Grew to observe “UKIP dropping any pretence here - they’re an explicitly racist far right party”. And, on that subject, Mike Stuchbery warned “Flags of the fascist Generation Identity movement alongside tiki torches - as seen at the Charlottesville Neo-Nazi rally - outside Whitehall. If you're waiting for a sign to get involved in defending your country against a global Far Right - this is it”. There was more.
After Caitlin Foley told “The racists have descended on Trafalgar Square. Pretty horrified to see parents taking young children holding pro Tommy Robinson signage. London, I thought you were better than this”, Jo Phillips confirmed “I won't post a screen grab as it would identify them but wee boy maybe 8 or 9 with, looks like, his Gran at the Free Tommy thing shouting ‘scum, scum, scum’ to a policeman stood right next to him, copying his Gran and looking for encouragement from her ... heartbreaking”. Not good. Not clever.
Then it all kicked off, as John Chilvers observed “Thugs throwing bottles and fighting police on Whitehall calling for Tommy Robinson to be released from jail”, and Andrew Ward confirmed “Tommy Robinson supporters fighting police outside Downing Street,after throwing bottles,at least one officer has been hit on the head with flag sticks”.
That this was a pointless exercise was underscored by Imran Khan musing “Tommy fans: Tommy EXPOSES grooming gangs. Me: Give me just ONE grooming gang that Tommy was the 1st to expose? I’m talking about a gang who had NOT been arrested or in the media, and Tommy was the FIRST ONE to EXPOSE them? Tommy supporters: but but...u grooming apologist!!!!”. And the farce was complete as Josh Salisbury reported “The free Tommy Robinson protestors in London today have stumbled into a naked bike ride, this is incredible”. There are no words. And there was no point in the protest.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon remains in prison. Because that’s what happens to criminals.