His visit to the USA never did go ahead, with the closest he could get another video link from the UK. This was most likely not unconnected to Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, having an extensive criminal record, including, er, an attempt to enter the USA illegally. But he was not downhearted: there was to be a tour of Australia, alongside Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.
There was even a website, which advertised the duo as The Deplorables, telling “Over half our support in recent months has come from Australia. We're coming to say 'thank you’”. Dates in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast were scheduled, with prices starting at $85 and ranging through VIP meet and greet at $295, backstage pass at $495, all the way to private pre-show dinners at $995 a pop.
To drum up support, a video was released and promoted via Lennon’s Facebook page, telling the faithful “TWO LEGENDS are coming down under” (fnarr fnarr). Dramatic music, McInnes telling the easily impressed that “Racism is over, homophobia is over” and being a shouty misogynist creep, and Lennon shouting “you’re defending paedophiles”, but not at those of his former EDL pals who got guilty of, er, paedophile offences.
But then a problem entered: Lennon declared that there would be a pro-Brexit march in London on December 1st. This was then changed to December 9th. But the Australia dates began on December 5th, and continued until December 16th. The Great Man’s faithful fans Down Under were becoming restless. Many had already paid serious money to see the Lennon and McInnes rantfest. What was going on?
One concerned Tweeter asked Lennon’s sometime PA Hel Gower directly “Is the Australian tour still on? Tommy said he’s speaking at the Brexit March but the date clashes with Oz”. Ms Gower’s account is private, but her response was apparently “Yes, it has been moved to 2019 now”. All very well, but what about that website, which is still live, and still soliciting payment for tickets and goodies?
Another concerned Tweeter mused “Well he obviously didn't get a visa for Australia then and being the good person he is he will refund the $995 to those who have already paid”. What say Ms Gower? “He does have a visa, but due to family commitments the date had to be changed, plus he cocked up his diary”. No word on refunds, then. Nothing yet on Lennon’s Facebook page. And that’s not good enough.
Australia, it should not have to be stressed, is a very large country: many of those who have shelled out for tickets will also have had to book flights, car hire, coach or rail journeys, along with hotels. What about their reservations, their costs? And what certainty do they have that Lennon will turn up next year, if at all?
Stephen Lennon has to get into his head that if he wants to make serious money out of this jaunt, he first of all has to take it seriously. Or his legion of Australian fans will figure out what so many others have already. And that is that it’s all about him.
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