Far right watchers have noticed that Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has been rather quiet of late. His Facebook page, which had until recently featured a whole slew of video expositions by The Great Man, has stopped posting them. Personal appearances haven’t happened. Not even a little intimidation by Lennon and his pals against those who pass adverse comment upon them.
Until yesterday, that is: a small sliver of new material, the promotion by Lennon, or someone on his behalf, publicising his supposedly upcoming tour of Australia. “Hey guys, just 3 weeks before my Australian tour kicks off! Get your tickets at www.thedeplorables.com.au”. Was it really Lennon operating his Facebook account? One thing was for sure, this was the flakiest of Fake News.
That’s because what Lennon is pushing - “Gavin McInnes and Tommy Robinson live in Australia” - is not going to happen. Like it didn’t happen last month. There are good reasons for this, first and foremost that McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys movement, has already been refused a visa for the country. This was revealed recently.
As broadcaster ABC told, “Right-wing provocateur and founder of the Proud Boys group Gavin McInnes has had his visa application blocked by the Home Affairs Department, failing the character test to enter Australia. The ABC understands Mr McInnes was notified a few weeks ago that the department was likely to block his visa application because he was judged to be of bad character, and the formal window for him to appeal closed on Friday”. That Friday was the one at the end of November.
Lennon’s on-off PA Hel Gower was sure he had a visa for Australia, claiming “He does have a visa, but due to family commitments the date had to be changed, plus he cocked up his diary". Well, maybe not: as the ABC also told, “Mr McInnes was due to tour the country early next year, alongside UK far-right activist Tommy Robinson … The ABC understands no visa application has been received for Mr Robinson”.
And if McInnes has failed the “character test”, there is no way Lennon will meet it, with his string of convictions and track record of hate speech, harassment, and unique skill in whipping up the mob. He’s not applied for a visa, because he knows he’ll be refused. So why is his Facebook page advertising something that isn’t going to happen?
Even the website selling tickets for the supposed tour doesn’t match Lennon’s Facebook claim - it also includes Milo Yiannopoulos, despite Milo having fallen out with promoters of his last intended Australian tour over his financial demands.
So what’s Lennon’s game - an attempt to complete the tour via video link? That won’t go down well with all the punters who’ve shelled out significant sums of money for backstage passes and access to him and McInnes. But it’s hard to see how else he is going to appear before an audience in a country that won’t let him in.
Stephen Lennon still isn’t touring Australia. I’ll just leave that one there.
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