Last week brought the news that PayPal had decided to close the account of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. This was, no doubt, because he had broken their T&Cs. Lennon declared Pay Pal to be “fascists” and railed long and loud about the decision. But what he had not yet done was to admit just how much the ban was hurting his business model. Until earlier today, that is.
When Zelo Street posted on the PayPal decision, it was concluded that there was serious money tied up in Lennon’s account when it was frozen. This conclusion was correct, as Lennon has confirmed, telling his followers “You may have seen by now that PayPal have closed my account. I mean, like literally overnight, they’ve … stopped me”. Do go on.
Then comes the confirmation. “70% of my support is through PayPal”. Or rather, it isn’t. And there is more. “I have three full time employees”. It was four last week, but hey ho. “I travel the country”. Don’t tell me, he ranks and high as any in Rome. But then the paranoia surfaces. “This is their attempt to stop you hearing from me”. Who is this “their”?
“It’s their attempt to silence me. They’ve tried prison”. PayPal put him in jail? Wow, that’s a seriously powerful organisation. “Didn’t work, massive failure in fact. They’ve removed me from Twitter. My name’s still all over Twitter. It regularly trends. This is their latest attempt”. Yes, the usual schtick: the establishment is out to get him. Nothing to do with his busting the T&Cs of more than one organisation, or breaking the law. Nothing so straightforward.
“Stop the money. If they stop the money … I recently announced that I’m going to be suing Sky News … with your support, I’ll be able to challenge all the wrongs that have happened … they want to stop that. I don’t want to let them. I’m asking you … overnight, they’ve closed it. All the people that were regularly monthly donating to me … gone”. It really is serious, isn’t it? And does the remaining 30% include outfits like Rebel Media?
Lennon really needs to restart this cash flow. “If you were one of those people, I’m asking for your support again. I don’t want to let them win … the battle we have is so important. I want to win. I want our country back. I want our freedom back”. The usual desperate dog whistles: no-one has taken his country anywhere, and he is free to do what he wishes and go where he wants - within the parameters of the law. And the available money.
The pleading gets more earnest. “I want to bring you the stories that the other side don’t”. Who is this “other side”? It is a false construct, once more feeding in to the idea that those who follow Lennon are pitched against an establishment which is trying to force political correctness, people talking foreign, and especially Scary Muslims™ on them all.
What Stephen Lennon has admitted in that pleading video appearance is that PayPal closing his account and freezing the funds in it has hurt him. And he knows that persuading all those supporters to sign up to another payment system is going to take time, and be less successful. He has also effectively admitted that taking legal action against Sky News is unlikely to result success. So he wouldn’t get costs or damages.
Most importantly of all, he has admitted that it is all about him - and, of course, the money.
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