So many videos were deleted by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, on Saturday that anyone interested in his complaint about politicising football games may have been lost. Fortunately - but maybe not for him - the ever-vigilant Luke Collins has lent a hand and, together with one of Lennon’s Facebook posts, we can see what he was on about. And, as ever, it was all about Himself Personally Now.
“Here’s a leaflet full of LIES which was handed out by a guy from Luton called David Powell (Scouse), Roy Ali & his little communist mates at a Luton football match. Trying to turn a lad’s day out into a political stunt by unveiling a banner for a far-left organisation built on lies. The FLA or DFLA have never been to Luton football club” he claimed.
But this is disingenuous in the extreme: the leaflet Lennon shows his followers is from Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism, or FLAF. This group had previously leafletted outside Luton Town’s ground, and as Zelo Street noted at the time, Lennon had responded “Can anyone please help me identify these men. They were outside Luton football stadium yesterday handing out leaflets with total lies about me. Please direct message with information on who they are”. A little vigilantism on the side.
So he’s just sore because, one, someone is calling him out on his recent past, and two, he ended up getting unceremoniously decked on the way to the match on Saturday. And he wasn’t finished, as a video he made later shows all too clearly.
This is what he told his followers. “Fake News at it again, eh? Just had the Sun on the phone. They were on about yesterday, when I went to [the] Luton Town football game. Now what I’ve always said is, keep politics out of football. Football’s football, yeah? And yesterday, the first game, a couple of Muslim fans, one called Shaz, some Bengali, and some other smack dealer [my emphasis], they come with some other geezer called Scouse. Scouse is another far-left activist”. And there was more.
“Always sharing Hope Not Hate and all these articles, Socialist Workers Party and bullshit like that. They went to [the] Luton game, and there was a meeting in the pub, there were about 250 Luton lads, and they pulled out an anti-FLA banner. And they’ve been handing out anti-FLA leaflets, but they tried to make it look like the whole day was an anti-FLA day, but it wasn’t, it was a reunion treat for men”. Disingenuous once more.
What was being promoted, as Lennon’s Facebook post confirms, were leaflets passing severely adverse comment upon Stephen Lennon. His claim that someone is “politicising football” is just a distraction, an attempt to divert attention away from those leaflets, which clearly have touched a nerve. And he hasn’t managed to stop them coming.
But worse than that is his casual characterisation of Muslims: “one called Shaz, some Bengali, and some other smack dealer”. He can claim he’s not racist until he’s blue in the face, but when that’s the first thing that comes into his head, he damn well is.
Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism have caused the façade to crack. Now we can see just how non-racist Stephen Lennon really is. And it looks rather like he isn’t.
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