Sky News reports, ‘The former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has been jailed for 13 months after flouting court orders for a second time.’
It goes on, ‘The EDL founder – whose real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon was listed on court documents – was sentenced to 10 months for contempt of court. He was given a further three months for breaching the terms of a previous suspended sentence.’
Mr Robinson was arrested on Friday outside Leeds Crown Court. Apparently, he and his cameraman Caolan Robertson were broadcasting details of a current trial live on Facebook. A number of mainly Muslim men stand accused of grooming under-age girls for sexual purposes.
The trial itself is subject for some reason to blanket reporting restrictions. Astonishingly, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC also placed reporting restrictions on details of Mr Robinson’s sentence. Only when these were lifted yesterday ((Tuesday) could the mainstream media report it. But the details were already all over social media and on news outlets worldwide. On Zerohedge, Tyler Durden described the events as ‘Swift Injustice’. Fox News reported on the case on Friday. The same outlet reported later on political leaders across Europe calling the jailing politically motivated. Even Donald Trump Jr was expressing himself shocked at the UK’s apparent clampdown on freedom of expression.
The judge told Mr Robinson his actions could cause the ongoing trial to be re-run, costing “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds”. But apparently, to date, the trial is still proceeding.
The hour-long footage had been watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook, the court heard. The judge viewed some of it, we understand.
Of course Sky News, like most of the media, could not resist referring to ‘the right-wing activist, 35, of Wilstead, Bedfordshire’. All ‘right-wing’ means is that Mr Robinson has taken against Islam. And that stems from his experience of Muslims on council estates in Luton,
Tommy Robinson on Muslim gangs
When Judy and I met Tommy Robinson in 2010 on one such estate, he expressed no ‘right-wing’ opinions. He was not for big money, or opposed to trades unions, or an anti-society individualist. Instead, he told us of drug dealing and prostitution rings all run by local Muslims. He and his friends had become appalled by the Muslim rackets and the racketeers. Moreover, they wanted to call attention to it at a time when politicians were denying any problems existed with Islam. This was even before the Rotherham grooming trial.
At that time I even observed a rally of the English Defence League. It too is always described to this day as ‘right-wing’ or ‘far-right’. It was not much more than a bunch of football supporters concerned about encroaching Islam and Islamification. They were bothered about halal meat in supermarkets, schools and prisons. They were worried about Islamic violence from murderous Al Qaeda. Islamic State was not even on the radar at this time. But for all their chants of ‘E – E – EDL’, the marchers were hardly from the ‘right’. I gained the impression a distinct majority were working-class Labour Party voters.
As for the Muslims Mr Robinson spoke about, it appeared criminality sat easily with their Muslim faith. These Muslims went to the mosque and did their prayer. That alone made them ‘good Muslims.’ Our elite will never admit it, but repentance of sin is not big in Islam. It is not like Christianity at all. It is a religion of works. By that we mean it is built around doing faith activities, the ‘pillars of Islam’.. It is not framed around forgiveness and gentleness. There is no fruit of the Spirit in Islam. And no Saviour.
Going back to the court, I am puzzled as to why Tommy Robinson pleaded ‘guilty’. Such a plea removes a major plank of an appeal. He can only appeal the sentence, not his conviction. But these things happen when you are under duress and have an inexperienced duty lawyer. Maybe he can appeal his conviction on the grounds of being wrongly advised.
Alex Jones on InfoWars is not known for restraint. But while interviewing Tommy’s cameraman Caolan Robertson (Twitter account here), he described Tommy Robinson as a ‘political prisoner of the West.’ That provocative statement actually seems difficult to argue against.
What tells us that charging and sentencing Tommy Robinson was a political act? For this writer, above all it was Judge Geoffrey Marson QC imposing reporting restrictions on his jailing. The Independent newspaper and Leeds Live went back to court to challenge Judge Marson’s order. The Washington Post says this was ‘in part by arguing that their competitors were already violating it.’
Either the judge himself or another judge lifted the restrictions. That means they were wrong in the first place. And that makes their imposition a political act.
In an editorial, the Indy itself said: ‘Like him or loathe him, the jailing of Tommy Robinson for contempt of court was an event of legitimate press and public interest. It cannot be right, whatever else, that a British citizen can be deprived of their liberty “in the dark”, the very fact of their whereabouts made a secret. It feels wrong, and, in spirit at least, partly in breach of the ancient principle of habeas corpus.’
Impact on the trial
So the reporting restriction on Tommy’s imprisonment was a political act. Now, where does that leave the restriction on reporting on the actual trial itself?
The Daily Mirror tries to show in this article why jailing Tommy Robinson was the right thing to do. It says of his Facebook live stream: ‘The video included comments that could have caused the collapse of a long-running trial, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.’
That’s ‘could have’. Did the trial collapse? It does not appear to have done.
The Mirror goes on, ‘As well as breaching this order, Robinson also made comments that impacted on the defendants’ right to a fair hearing before a jury.’
Tommy of all people ought to know that being charged is not the same as being guilty. It really is not right to shoot footage assuming defendants’ guilt before the jury have reached a verdict.
Nor is it right to go up to defendants in the street during a trial and ask if they have their prison bag packed. And that is what Tommy Robinson was doing on some occasions.
The jury – the weak link
The jury is considered a weak link. Judges tell jurers not to pay any attention to social media. In some cases they advise jurers not even to look at it. It is hard these days to avoid social media. But it is do-able. Moreover, jurers are obliged to do their job fairly. They are essential to the system. We cannot trust judges alone.
The Mirror asserts, ‘His arrest and conviction were to protect our justice system – under legislation that ensure trials don’t collapse’.
Fair enough, except there appears to be scant evidence that what he did actually prejudiced the trial. So could there be a political motive behind reporting restrictions on the Leeds case and the earlier one in Canterbury?
It is a fact that those charged were predominantly Muslim. It is a loathing of Islam that motivated Tommy Robinson to make his broadcasts. And the establishment have a corresponding defensive attitude towards Islam. Tony Blair may have been the first politician to say ‘Islam is a religion of peace’. Even today our leaders do not want to upset the multi-faith applecart. Muslims are rising to positions of power and influence. Many are councillors, some are MPs. And of course a Muslim is now Home Secretary. Another is the Mayor of London.
Muslim grooming gangs
The backdrop is this. A malaise has affected Rochdale, Rotherham, Telford, Newcastle, Oxford, and, says the Spectator, eleven other English towns. In all cases, gangs of Muslim men have been convicted of grooming young non-Muslim girls for sex. Adherents of the Mohammedan religion see those outside it as inferior. They would not do it to Muslim girls. They are seen as ‘haram’. Their whole community would be outraged.
But other young women hanging around parks or city centres, perhaps involved in the care system, are easy and permitted prey. They are ‘halal’. The problem is inherent in the religion. It is a national scandal. And apart from a few brave mainstream politicians like gutsy Anne Cryer in Rochdale, no-one wants to admit it. No-one from the police, to social services, to local councillors, right up to the Prime Minister, will talk about it.
The subsequent vacuum was always going to be filled. And Tommy Robinson has taken it upon himself to fill it. Well, someone had to. It seems prophets, not just angels, can come in strange guises.
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