As in Oldham, so in Salford: Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, turns up for one of his allegedly family friendly gatherings, and soon afterwards, there is violent disorder. He, along with his supporters, will claim that it was all the fault of what Lennon quaintly calls “An-TEE-fa”, and of course the Scary Muslims™, but it then turns out that his side started it. And in Salford, this has been backed up by the Guardian.
What happened yesterday evening is not difficult to relate: Lennon was holding his final campaign rally, as part of his attempt to become an independent MEP via today’s European Parliament elections. There was a protest attended by around 50 people, with Stand Up To Racism organising. After the rally, the protesters were being led away under Police escort when they were attacked by a barrage of missiles.
The projectiles being thrown included eggs, sticks - and rocks. The Guardian’s Josh Halliday was on the scene: “Police have made arrests after anti-racism campaigners were pelted with bricks and eggs following a Tommy Robinson campaign rally in Salford. Three anti-racism activists suffered bruising and cuts after they were hit by rocks”.
There was more. “Trouble flared when objects were thrown at a group of about 50 counter-protesters who were being escorted away from the event by police. The Guardian saw a boy and a man being arrested as about 30 police officers struggled to contain the disorder. Eggs and sticks were also thrown at police officers”. Halliday also Tweeted “Eggs thrown at police to chants of ‘Scum! Scum!’ after Tommy Robinson rally in Salford tonight”.
Halliday later reported “Police have confirmed they made two arrests following the trouble at a Tommy Robinson rally in Salford earlier. Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Police arrested two people during a disturbance following a planned event in Lower Broughton, Salford … Two people were arrested on suspicion of assault and public order offences. Enquiries are ongoing.’” And it wasn’t the protesters who got arrested.
It was those who realise that Stephen Lennon is trying to manipulate the deprived and forgotten for his own advantage. Like Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, he doesn’t give a flying foxtrot about the welfare of those whose votes he seeks. It’s all about him.
Anyone still unsure what Lennon represents should consider this from the Guardian report: “Nahella Ashraf, chair of Stand Up to Racism in Manchester, said she saw some of the supporters make the nazi Sieg Heil salute. Ashraf added: ‘Tommy Robinson is a fascist and has no place in mainstream politics … We urge everyone to use their vote to ensure he does not get elected as an MEP”. Got it in one.
Electing Stephen Lennon would make all his intimidation, all his lies, all his bigotry, somehow more acceptable. So there would be more of it. Because he’d have been elected, and so he’d have the privileges and immunities given to MEPs. Think about that.
No-one’s life would be improved, of course. That’s the whole point - to maintain a disaffected underclass to be exploited for his own advantage and advancement.
Yesterday evening in Salford, we saw Lennon’s vision for the future. Today, voters have the chance to make sure it never becomes reality.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at