Tommy Robinson is not my cup of tea. But I don’t dismiss the fact that he is a beacon of hope for millions in a country that increasingly resembles a dystopian police state. I grew up under various apartheid governments in South Africa. I know the signs of tyranny. These are now flourishing in the UK at an accelerated rate.
For some, the outcry over Robinson’s arrest may seem exaggerated and uninformed. Robinson certainly broke the law and that is why he was arrested. The authorities take contempt of court very seriously and it is right that they do.
Robinson has been accused of getting himself arrested on purpose, but this is not the issue here. His arrest is a flashpoint and has highlighted the corruption and secretive behaviour endemic in our Left-wing dominated authorities and establishment.
The police, Crown Prosecution Service and social services ignored the plight of white underclass girls victimised by Muslim grooming gangs for decades kowtowing to political correctness because they feared being smeared as ‘racist’.
Robinson’s supporters, and even those wary of him like myself, therefore perceive that there has been an unequal application of the law in this case. Whether this is correct or not is irrelevant. Perception is what matters most. And the reality is that the police don’t bother to attend a burglary or patrol the streets to prevent stabbings but will happily devote days to scouring Twitter for ‘hate crimes’ and squander precious resources on arrests for free speech.
Robinson is a beacon of hope for millions in a country that increasingly resembles a dystopian police state.
On social media, Robinson is being accused of being a hypocrite and a racist, as he is only protesting Muslim grooming gangs and not every rape case. But we all have our particular cause célèbre and obviously cannot focus on every injustice. There is also a sickening sense of complicity among our authorities to hide the impact and prevalence of these grooming gangs on white working class communities. Regardless of his provocative political grandstanding Robinson has at least highlighted this injustice.
In addition, Robinson has often been accused of provoking anti-Muslim sentiment. His previous ties with the fascist English Defence League and British National Party do him no favours but he has made efforts to distance himself from the racism found in far-Right political ideology. We are all capable of growing and changing our belief systems and Robinson should be commended for this rather than be continually and unfairly judged on his past.
Certainly some of Robinson’s supporters are viciously anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic. As a Jew, I find their occasional base and divisive behaviour and their obtuse generalisation of all Muslims as terrorists to be worrying and a distraction from the urgent problems in our society that Robinson seems keen to highlight. But it doesn’t mean Robinson is a racist just because some of his followers are. On the contrary, Robinson leapt to the defence of Pakistani Muslim converts like Nissar Hussain to Christianity when Muslims in Bradford beat up Hussain and the Church of England did little to help him.
Many of his advocates claim Robinson is a keen fighter against anti-Semitism. There are suspicions that this is done to cater to the fear that many Jews feel with the bizarre love-in between the Left and Islamism and this therefore strengthens Robinson’s position on Islam. But we cannot guess a person’s motivation and it is essential to disregard conspiracy theories. We can only judge actions and words and hope this leads us to the truth.
Robinson has not shown any signs of anti-Semitism, unlike Corbyn and his cronies in the Labour party, though Corbyn denies the allegations. He has not referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’, has made the time to visit Israel and is an outspoken supporter of Zionism. And most significantly, we must remember that the real danger lies for us Jews, and everyone else in the UK, not with the far Right and Robinson but with the Left, militant Islam and socialism.
Robinson leapt to the defence of Pakistani Muslim coverts like Hussain to Christianity when Muslims in Bradford beat up Hussain and the C of E did little to help him.
In fact, the definition of Right and Left is disintegrating and shifting into a division between globalism and nationalism. Anyone who doesn’t agree with uncontrolled immigration, Islamofascism and socialism is ludicrously classified as far Right by the metropolitan elite.
Whatever our views on Robinson are, it is the unequal application of law which should concern us all, and the sneering and snobbery that has accompanied criticism of Robinson and his supporters. They have made a point. The political and cultural elite, infested with cultural Marxism, are obsessed with denigrating anyone white, Christian, working class and Western. Far too many British citizens feel powerless and dispossessed. And so they have turned to Robinson to save them.
When the silent majority are ignored they seek out a controversial figurehead like Robinson, who does seem to frighten the establishment and the mainstream media. Robinson comes across as an attention seeker, but this behaviour has provoked a much-needed debate on free speech. I would caution the Right not to turn Robinson into a cult-like figure, like the Left have done with Corbyn.
What we must do is continue protesting the unequal application of the law, the cowardly behaviour of our authorities and the crackdown on free speech. Robinson, like all of us, is a flawed human being. But for bringing all this to the world’s attention, we should be grateful that rough men like Tommy Robinson exist.
(Karen Harradine is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality).