The tour of North West England being undertaken by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, in pursuit of his campaign to become an independent MEP, lurches from one unfortunate incident to the next. Hardly had The Great Man had problems with taking his billboard lorry into central Carlisle than he was pitched into what might best be termed a hostile environment in Barrow-in-Furness.
And having presided over another scene of disorder there, with the Police having to weigh in and deal with clashes which Lennon’s security goons somehow didn’t manage to prevent, he was looking forward to a rewarding series of events in Manchester and Liverpool this weekend. Except the first one of those didn’t happen - well, it did happen, but not for The Great Tommy. Why that should be is not hard to explain.
His itinerary had been changed to include an appearance this morning in Salford, at a veterans’ protest. This event was protesting in support of “Soldier F”, who has been charged with two murders during civil rights protests in Derry, in 1972, the events which have long been known as Bloody Sunday. Whatever one’s stance on that issue, Lennon’s intention was plain - to use the protest for his own ends.
Worse for the organisers, Stand Up To Racism had organised a counter protest aimed at Lennon previously, when he appeared outside the BBC to promote his laughable (and possibly actionable) Panodrama documentary. They would no doubt do so again.
Veterans were wise to this, and Craig Mc’s reaction was typical. “Whatever you think of Tommy Robinson, the weapons grade cock knocker, allowing him to hijack the veterans demo on Saturday in Manchester is a bad move. There will be protests against him, and therefore against veterans. Whoever okayed this needs a rethink”.
Army veteran Mike Clarke was on the same page. “We have got to tell Tommy Robinson that he is not welcome to hijack the veterans march on Saturday. We will definitely have protestors against him and then it will drag the Veterans into hatred. Whoever invited him needs to inform him, no excuses”. Craig Mc added “Counter demos generate bad publicity and act as a conduit for trouble makers. Completely the wrong message to send out”.
And it seems that view has prevailed, as former Paratrooper Jimmy confirmed “Statement from one of the organisers of the #Manchester #Veterans protest in support of #SoldierF regarding the earlier rumour. ‘I have been assured in the past hour he will not be coming.’” Stephen Lennon has been denied his opportunity to hijack a protest for his own ends.
So he’s back on his tour of areas where he can tap into deprivation and depression, as I posted recently. While, of course, pretending to those people that he is one of them. He isn’t. He’s a well-off rabble-rouser who doesn’t have to work for a living.
Whatever question the ballot paper poses, the answer is never Stephen Yaxley Lennon.
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