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Douglas Murray on Tommy Robinson

If you want to understand the ongoing Tommy Robinson affair, then this article by Douglas Murray strikes me as as very good next thing to read. Read the whole thing says Instapundit, quoting a big chunk of it.

It occurs to me that Tommy Robinson’s public performances are a lot like President Trump’s tweets. If Trump phrased everything perfectly, his tweets would be ignored. But faced with a spelling mistake or some such vulgar blemish, his critics can’t help themselves, and they wade in, making pedantic fools of themselves, thus drawing attention both to what Trump is saying and to the fact that they typically have no actual arguments against it.

Tommy Robinson makes legal “errors”. And people whose real objection to Robinson is that he is an oik who speaks truths to them that they don’t want to be told, about Islam and about Muslims, likewise can’t help themselves. They loudly pontificate about what a bad person Robinson is. Such persons are now linking to pieces like this.

Thereby drawing attention to what Robinson says.

If you read the comments on our previous Tommy Robinson posting, you will see claims that he is an “idiot”, or even a “tit”. But I think Robinson is quite a formidable operator, saying important things with skill and flare and drama. He is getting himself heard.

In my opinion the Gandhi comparison is also a good one. Gandhi also used to break laws and provoke public dramas. He also got himself imprisoned. And heard.

The only way that respectable citizens will shut Tommy Robinson up is if they are willing to pay proper attention to the things he says. Douglas Murray has been doing this for quite a while.

44 comments to Douglas Murray on Tommy Robinson

  • pete

    The police who so efficiently and promptly arrested Robinson are obviously good at their job.

    Perhaps they should be assigned to investigating FGM to see if they can improve the UK’s scandalous 0% conviction rate for the crime.

  • -XC

    A quick hello from an American cousin with an important announcement – the Bill of Rights the protects us (so far) from krep like this applies to everyone, in our opinion. You guys passed Brexit and surprised the world, maybe try to take a look at what we pulled off.

    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

    You’ll want to skip the first few, like we did, and start with the third. Maybe put in something like the French wine classification around The Full English and the right to Tea breaks.

    Good luck, and remember, you’re always welcome over here, and your accent will make you sound 10 IQ points smarter.

    -XC

  • Matthew McConnagay

    He’s not so green as he’s cabbage-looking, as my mother used to say.

  • Brian, speaking as someone who has linked to that Secret Barrister article myself, my view of Secret Barrister is that he is an insufferable sneering arse, but I cannot fault his legal analysis of the Tommy Robinson affair. This is not about our much abridged common law right to free speech, it is about our much abridged common law right to a fair trial. Thus, it is a mistake to fight the battle for free speech on this particular hill. Robinson messed up & is taking his lumps as a result of an egregious tactical error.

    The fact Robinson is right about free speech does not make him right on this occasion because he was jailed for falling foul of long standing sub-judice rules, regardless of how badly this has been reported (and sometimes wilfully so), particularly on US sites.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    Perry

    I agree about not fighting the battle for free speech on this hill. Robinson is, surely, getting what he wants. Imprisonment, drama, global attention. Murray (and I) are describing his activities rather than unreservedly backing him. I too cannot fault Secret Barrister’s legal analysis of this matter, which is the only thing I know about him, except now, your opinion that he is an insufferable sneering arse. I nearly said something like that myself, but would only have been guessing.

    Besides which, I actually think that free speech in Britain is in quite good shape. Much of what is described as draconian repression is really a rather shell-shocked British establishment pushing back, rather feebly, at what has actually been an explosion of freely expressed opinions of all kinds, thanks to blogging, social media, etc. In particular, as the second comment above illustrates, spreading ideas to foreign countries has never been easier.

    But I do think that the things Robinson says about Islam and about Muslims should be more seriously attended to, by the sort of people who live in places where Muslims are no problem, because not present in any great numbers. This is what I so much admire about Murray. He is one of the few poshly educated and quite prominent people in Britain who has been doing this.

    So, I’m not defending Robinson’s rights, or no more than I’d defend anyone else’s. (I hope he doesn’t get murdered in prison.) I am saying that most of Robinson’s critics want him to stop saying certain important things, and hate him because he says these things, in ways that get him attended to by others.

  • -XC

    Again, from my US perspective, every hill is the one to fight on for free unabridged right to speech and assembly.

    See also the Golan Heights, Dien Bien Phu, or more Englishy, why castles are built on hills.

    I often describe myself as a 1st (speech), 2nd (weapons), fourth (inspection), and fifth (silence) amendment absoluteist.

    Maybe ya’ll could use some of that?

    -XC

  • Again, from my US perspective, every hill is the one to fight on for free unabridged right to speech and assembly

    Overseas perspectives are often helpful, but this does not seem to be one of those occasions. If you think pitting people who think this is about free speech against people who know this is about a fair trial is a great idea, not sure I really want you on my side 😆

    Maybe ya’ll could use some of that?

    And maybe not if you actually value the equally important right to a fair trial, which I do.

  • llamas

    All this chit-chat about how reporting restrictions are in place for this trial (and the trials that will follow) to ensure ‘a fair trial’ are just so much horse-sh*t, designed to create a diaphanous veil of plausibility over what is really going on.

    Just ask yourself – when was the last time that there was a trial for serious sexual offences like this in the UK where this level of reporting restrictions were applied? Normally, the only reporting restrictions on trials of this kind concern the identity and details of the victims. Can you even recall a trial in the recent past where the reporting restrictions protected the identity (identities) of the accused?

    Me. either.

    I’m all for a ‘fair trial’, just as much as anybody else. But the trial must be fair, not only to the accused, but also to the alleged victims and to the citizenry in whose name it is brought and in whose name the guilty will be punished. These are serious matters, and the citizens have a right to know what is being done in their name. To safeguard that right, every possible effort should be made to ensure that any trial is as open and transparent as it can possibly be – and that includes the freest possible reporting of it, in any media form, so that any citizen, no matter where he is, may see what is being done by the state in his name. Secret and unreported trails are the very hallmark of the totalitarian state.

    Look, we all know what’s really going on here – we’re just too polite to say so. Mr Robinson is not so polite, it seems, and insists on speaking up and saying what we would prefer not to hear, and what the state especially would prefer that we not hear – that large numbers of Muslim and/or Asian men have apparently committed the most vile and horrible abuse against hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocent young women. The state is afraid that, if the general population hears all about these horrible and monstrous crimes, and the apparently-vast numbers of these crimes that were committed, and the apparent indifference of all the various powers of the state to their commission, or their prevention, that it will create a prejudice against Muslim and/or Asian men.

    Well, you know what? If, as seems overwhelmingly clear, the vast numbers of horrific crimes that are alleged, were actually committed, then perhaps a certain prejudice towards Muslin and/or Asian men is not only warranted, but also prudent. Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of crimes have been committed, and the alleged perpetrators all share one, highly-specific common denominator? Sorry, a prudent person would not disregard that, and forming a judgement about those who share that common denominator is not a ‘prejudice’, but a reasonable inference from the facts. In European nations, young girls are actually counselled in the ways of the ‘loverboy’, to avoid their becoming entrapped in exactly the sort of horror-shows, commenced in much-the-same ways, that apparently led to these trials. Maybe a little more sunlight on these issues would help prevent their recurrence? – but no, the state is more concerned about avoiding criticism and presenting a politically-correct facade to concern itself too much with such minor matters as preventing this from happening again.

    Open and fully-reported trials. Representative democracy demands nothing less. And enough of the state’s shenanigans in hounding Mr Robinson to the ends of the earth, and beyond, for daring to demand, for himself and others, that matters of such pressing public interest be fully and freely reported.

    llater,

    llamas

  • H Storey

    What IIamas said. Seems much more about ‘lets get Robinson’ than protecting fair trial. You don’t get fair trial without free speech, or with a state apparatus keen on silencing someone like Robinson.

  • pete

    How convenient for the state, which did all it could to stop these trials happening at all, that reporting restrictions on them are deemed necessary.

  • Jamesg

    TR must be stopped because he embarrasses the authorities and he causes hassle to people in power who’d prefer an easy life ignoring violent crime. It’s got nothing to do with upholding the law. The video he took was not removed from youtube and yet we are told it is so serious a man has to be jailed for 13 months because of it.

  • Mr Ecks

    Having already written about TR at vast lengthy on Tim Worstall I’m not repeating it here.

    But I do want to take issue with BM’s point about free speech being in good shape.

    On the contrary we appear to be–between the FFC and the EU (and Corbog’s evil still in –hopefully futile–waiting)–experiencing what I would call “Tyranny Wheeze of the Week”.

    * Sentencing Council scum want 6 years for criticising the RoP. In effect RoP blasphemy law imposed. Consultation until August.

    * Amber Rudd wants you to have 15 years for looking at “far-right” material on the Web–when “far-right” now means anyone who won’t spew or kiss the arse of cultural Marxism. The ugly slug may have fallen but I doubt she took the plan with her.

    *The FFC wants us to have the “safest” –ie most controlled– Internet on Earth –“safer” than China. Some pencil-neck BluLabour twat was mouthing about it a few days ago.

    *The vile scummers are now tripping over each other. Because if the EU link tax scam comes off there will BE no free or independent Internet for Fishy to control anyway.

    * Fishy also plans to criminalise anyone being nasty to political scum. Presumably –so I hope–this means in direct communications with the pork–unless lese majeste is now on the way back. Since there are already laws dealing with threat and harassment, to me this can only mean stuff like: “You Madam, are a disgrace to office you hold. Resign now before you damage and besmirch our once glorious nation further”. That is Gospel truth.

    *Tim Worstall also points out how the Plod want powers to take down music related to gang violence off Youtube–Hip Hop etc. The have pestered Youtube to remove some but of course they want the power to compel. And how long before the Bonny Blue Flag and Hoyt Axton and many others are gone as well. “God save our gracious Queen”, “Soldiers of the Queen” too no doubt.

    So no–you are plain wrong Mr Mickelthwait. This land is in hefty danger because scum are on all sides.

    As for the Secret Barrack Room Lawdog-to Hell with him.

    The old white slebs got a double dose of pre-trial by media. 1st in their own individual cases with journoholes camping on their doorstep and fronting them on the court steps and also by being tried in the midst of an already ongoing media managed Circus. Not to mention the contributions provided by mouthy political hacks blowing about how awful paedos are and how they won’t be tolerated. True enough but not when pronounced before a series of trials that altho’ not formerly linked were clearly born out of the same Savile inspired media-fuelled hysteria.

    Nor are these Protection Orders any more than an attempt to undermine Juries by suggest they are fragile little plants that can’t be trusted. Which makes a nonsense of the whole system. Which is what the Polipork, Plods etc likely want.

    There are other points but enough for now.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Is one allowed to agree with both Perry and llamas? I realise this doesn’t wash but both principles are vital and it all depends on which is really in play.

  • Mr Ecks

    Oh BTW the names and allegations against all 3 sets of defendants appeared in the local newspaper last year.

    I am saying no more as I don’t want to upset some Beak.

    Save that the whole caper was bullshit from the off.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    ‘But the trial must be fair, not only to the accused, but also to the alleged victims and to the citizenry in whose name it is brought and in whose name the guilty will be punished.

    Perhaps so in the United States, where it is ‘The People v.’. But in England and Wales it is the monarch, not the people, in whose name a case is brought and in whose name the guilty will be punished.

    English law is not American law. What did George Bernard Shaw write about a barbarian being one who mistakes the customs of his own tribe for universal laws?

    And FWIW, Perry is exactly right on this one.

  • Paul Marks

    My television is not working so I turned on the radio – the BBC were in fine form, smearing Tommy Robinson (and the Democratic Unionist Party – and anyone else the left does not like) on one of their “comedy” programmes. And, sorry Brian, must people still believe the BBC – Donald Trump boo-hiss “racist” and …… Tommy Robinson hates brown people (even though there is no evidence that he does) and …..

    Actually Mr Robinson (I know – not his real name) is an unsympathetic individual – the establishment choose to attack him because he has a criminal record and so on (a perfect boo-hiss figure), but the OBJECTIVE of the establishment (including the government) is very clear – to discredit Freedom of Speech by saying anyone who defends it is Tommy Robinson (“football thug”, “mortgage fraudster” and on and on). And YES – if we defend Freedom of Speech (including the freedom to expose Islam for what it is) then we must defend unsympathetic individuals – such as T.R. Thus the establishment have us trapped and are gloating – after all the majority of people get their opinions from the BBC and the education system (the schools and the universities). We have to defend Tommy Robinson – but by doing so we stand “revealed as racist thugs” ourselves (gloat, gloat, gloat, BBC and ….).

    But the gloating is premature – for the dream of the establishment, “not dividing our community” “peace in our multicultural society”, is impossible. By covering things up and persecuting anyone who draws attention to the mess (“Islamopobe!”) the establishment are just making things worse (vastly worse) in the long run – and it may not be that “long” before their own daughters are raped.

    To be fair, some of the international “liberal” establishment are consistent in their insanity – for example the daughter of a leading German establishmentarian went to help out Islamic “refugees” in Germany, they raped and murdered her – and he responded by donating money to bring MORE “refugees” to Germany. He is an entirely consistent member of the establishment – the Economist magazine made flesh.

    To “make up for the Nazi past” Germans (and everyone else) must bring in the forces of Islam to kill Jews (and other people) now – the logic of that may seem a bit odd, but if one follows the twists and turns of leftist thinking (the “Palestinians” being “proletarians oppressed by the capitalist money-Jews”) it all makes sense. And what was a handful for of Marxist terrorists in the 1960s and 1970s (recently “humanised” in new film on Entebbe) is now mainstream thinking – thanks to the education system. As Jordan Peterson has pointed out – what was extreme and wacky even in the Canadian Socialist Party (the NDP) back in the 1970s (when he was a member of the NDP) is now mainstream “liberalism” – the most insane ravings of the Frankfurt School of Marxism and French Post Modernism are being taught in most universities in the West (not just broadcast on BBC “comedy” programmes).

    How does one respond to 20 little girls being blown to bits in Manchester? By inviting the local Iman to a sing song and going on about “not dividing our community” of course. Islam is the religion of peace – President Bush said that long before Prime Minister May did. And the Churches will say the same – bring more in, down with the bigots! There is no difference between Christianity and Islam – after all the Pope says they are essentially the same. The West has reached the stage where the successor of Saint Peter knows nothing about basic Christian apologetics in relation to the one and half thousand year conflict between Christianity and Islam – he knows nothing about it, because he was taught nothing about such matters when he went from Argentina to Germany in the 1960s (of course the 1960s) to study. He was not a bad student – the point is that everything useful had been deleted from the theological training before he even got there.

    The atheist “Sargon” Carl Benjamin (a liberal – rather than a “liberal”) knows more about the differences between Christian and Islamic philosophy than the Pope does or than most Protestant leaders do – which is not difficult as they know nothing at all.

    By the way – Mark Steyn (Steynonline) has some very good coverage of the “Tommy Robinson” case and its background of local government and POLICE covering up for Islamic rape gangs.

  • llamas

    PST wrote:

    ‘‘But the trial must be fair, not only to the accused, but also to the alleged victims and to the citizenry in whose name it is brought and in whose name the guilty will be punished.‘
    Perhaps so in the United States, where it is ‘The People v.’. But in England and Wales it is the monarch, not the people, in whose name a case is brought and in whose name the guilty will be punished.
    English law is not American law. What did George Bernard Shaw write about a barbarian being one who mistakes the customs of his own tribe for universal laws?’

    Well, having studied for the Bar in the UK, I do know this – but it is a distinction, without a difference. Unless you’re really suggesting that all criminal trials in the UK really are solely between the defendant and your sovereign lady, and are no business of the citizenry, who therefore have no right to know what goes on in that trial. The legal fiction that UK criminal trials are prosecuted by and for the monarch is a medieval leftover which might be of interest in a pub quiz, but which is not reflective of real life. So don’t waste our time with it.

    FWIW. Perry is not ‘exactly’ right on this one – he’s right as far as he goes, but incomplete.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    “Right to a fair trial” – the jury had already found the Islamic rapists guilty BEFORE “Tommy Robinson” appeared outside the court building where he was arrested. The jury part of the trial was already over.

    “But a year before” – so what? So what if the jury turned on laptops and listened to every word “Tommy Robinson” was saying? Was what he was saying untrue? Or was the problem that it was true. After all the establishment (including the judges and prosecutors) would rather pretend that this is just a few “isolated individuals” – not theology established by Mohammed/Muhammed himself. Certainly the right to a “fair trial” for a few individuals was not the matter at issue – as everyone knew they were guilty, the point at issue is whether they are “isolated individuals” “perverting and distorting a noble religion” or whether that religion itself contains vile doctrines. No one (no one at all) has claimed that “Tommy Robinson” had anything personally against any of the accused – his problem is with the general ideology they acted upon.

    Perry – let us turn away from the rape of infidel girls. Let us turn to another doctrine of Mohammed/Muhammed – his doctrine that anyone who mocked him MUST BE KILLED. Now according to the logic of your learned friend if I were to make a video pointing that out, during the trial of a Muslim “accused” of killing a cartoonist who had mocked Mohammed/Muhammed I would be guilty of “contempt of court”.

    Actually this is NOT a matter of personal hatred for an individual who has murdered someone for mocking Mohammed/Muhammed – it is about making a general point, using this particular rape gang (there are many) as an example.

    Locking up a few individuals (and only after a vast effort, over many years, to cover it all up was defeated) will not achieve anything – not whilst the “community” they come from remains in place, and (indeed) is allowed to increase their numbers. It is for indicating THAT – that is the reason “Tommy Robinson” is in prison. He is in prison for threatening the “multicultural project” for blowing the whistle on “Diversity” – the judge (and so on) could not give a damn about the “right to a fair trial” (this is not 1700 – Chief Justice Sir John Holt is not on the bench, modern judges do not even believe in Natural Law). This case is POLITICAL and it has always been POLITICAL. The judge (and the establishment generally) does not care about individual rapists – but the judge (and the rest of the establishment) cares very much about “multiculturalism” and “Diversity”.

    Of course the “community” concerned could be converted – but why would anyone even try to convert them (and convert them to what?) when the establishment (including the establishment churches) insist there is no problem? A few offenders will be punished (if their crimes can not be covered up – which is what the establishment would prefer), but the actual problem will denied – and people who dare to point out the problem will be persecuted.

    Have you lead a blameless life gentle reader? Have you never done something bad? Perhaps misrepresented your finances in a mortgage application? Or got into a fight at a pub? Be critical of certain POLITICAL projects – and all the resources of the state will be dedicated to finding some excuse to remove you.

    Soon prison will NOT be needed – as the regulations coming down from the European Union will effectively destroy any alternative to the mainstream media. So no one will hear of “Tommy Robinson” or any other critic of “The Project”.

    David Cullen (“Computing For Ever”) did an excellent little film on this on YouTube – soon you will be off the internet Perry, of at least you will be crippled.

    And with no need at all to get you for “Contempt of Court”.

    It would be nice to see David Cullen’s film here on Samizdata – whilst Samizdata still exists.

  • Paul Marks

    The title of the David Cullen film is (if my memory serves me correctly) something like “The E.U. is going to destroy the internet” – not for the mainstream media of course, but for people like you Perry.

    I have it on my Facebook page – if anyone would like to post it here (I have no idea how to do that).

  • JadedLibertarian

    It’s two posts down from this one, Paul.

  • Paul Marks

    So it is JadedLibertarian – silly me.

    I had forgotten that I had already asked someone to put it here.

  • bobby b

    I remember the first time I ever got engaged in a free speech controversy.

    It was back in 1977, when the Nazis wanted to march through Skokie, Illinois, and were being refused permission because they would offend the sensibilities of the residents (who were largely Jewish.)

    I remember my mother commenting sarcastically “oh, good, our son is fighting for the Nazis!”

    People who are cuddly and polite and lovable rarely need to fight for their right to speak out. So, if you value the right to say what you wish, you end up ostensibly arguing in favor of the unpopular, the impolite, the unpalatable.

    It’s the protection of their rights that keep your own rights protected. If their speech is shut down, then the Overton Window of unacceptable speech moves past them to your own, more civil but unconforming utterances.

    The point is, we don’t try to justify the correctness or value or acceptability of a Nazi, or a drunken assaulter and fraudster. We don’t try to preserve the right of a Nazi or a Tommy R to speak because of the value and correctness of their speech. We fight for that right because, if we try to draw a line of acceptability, it becomes too easy to bend that line so that we’re on the wrong side of it.

    We can keep talking about protecting the right to a fair trial – about quelling information about sub judice matters – as if shutting down speech is a valid way to address it, but it’s not. How long until you see Orders shutting down speech on current legislation on the grounds that public pressure on legislators is improper? How long until you can no longer speak about a judge’s errors at all? You’re making the drawing of lines acceptable, but once a line is defined and accepted, it’s far too easy to simply . . . nudge it over to encompass more than it did when you found it acceptable.

    Allow such lines to inhibit others, and pretty soon they’re limiting you.

  • Perry – let us turn away from the rape of infidel girls. Let us turn to another doctrine of Mohammed/Muhammed – his doctrine that anyone who mocked him MUST BE KILLED. Now according to the logic of your learned friend if I were to make a video pointing that out, during the trial of a Muslim “accused” of killing a cartoonist who had mocked Mohammed/Muhammed I would be guilty of “contempt of court”.

    No, Paul, there are loads of such videos on the internet. You would however be guilt of attempting to pervert the course of justice if you took such a video & then broadcast it on a wall near the court in question. Focus on the case, this is not about Tommy Robinson’s character or politics, it is about a specific set of actions. Even if he is the most admirable person in the world and right about 99% of everything, he was wrong about this. None of the rest matters when talking about *this* case.

  • APL

    Tommy Robinson has been persecuted by the Plod – a task they have taken to with enthusiasm, by the way.

    This most recent court sitting where Robinson was ‘banged to rights’ was the sentencing. Those animals had been tried and found guilty. Robinson was live-streaming, and relating information read directly from the BBC news page. That is, it was already in the public domain and as far as I can tell is still up.

    If you really want to know what has got the ‘establishments’ knickers in a twist, listen to this article narrated by Andrew Norfolk of the Times, from about 9 minutes 40 seconds in ( All of it is worth listening to ). Norfolk relates how it is very likely that Rotherham social services, South Yorkshire Police and London private equity firms were all colluding in the exploitation of vulnerable children in the, so called ‘care’ system.

    If the authorities succeed and the trials can be conducted in a clandestine manner with extreme reporting restrictions, none of the compromising information incriminating those in positions of authority will come out.

    Result! for the corrupt State.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7xhNYJV430

  • -XC

    @Perry – “free speech” vs. “fair trial” is not something like positive and negative magnetic poles, some sort of natural law of opposition.

    For example, we have (I betcha) just as many “fair trials” in the US without any particular restriction on “free speech.” (There is some edge case stuff for grand jury testimony, but that’s beside the point, I believe.)

    Many people here in the US have gotten confused (due to poor civics edumacation, IMHO) and think there is some sort of “hate speech” exemption to “free speech.” I think they must have gotten this mental flu from Europe as I recall no such idea whilst growing up. Another commentator, @bobbyb, noted that cuddly speakers rarely need protection.

    Yours from a safe distance across the cold waters of the Atlantic,

    -XC

  • Tarrou

    Will the last man left in Britain turn out the lights? You don’t have a country anymore, you have a hunting preserve for rapists.

  • Chip

    Llamas cuts through the guff and states the brutal truth. Thousands of young girls were raped and the country is mute as a growing number of towns are turned into little Peshawars.

    England increasingly lacks the will to defend its way of life. It’s surrendering to primitivism.

    And for what? According to Demos, about 2/3 of Pakistani immigrants live in poverty compared with just a quarter of Indian migrants.

    The UK – by choice – is importing a culture that siphons off wealth from other Britons while turning over ever larger swathes of the country to barbarism.

    And the elites cosseted in their Islington flats look the other way while defenceless 14 year old girls are systematically raped by the thousands.

  • Chip

    And the raped girls know it more than anyone. Mark Steyn wrote that when he interviewed some of the girls for a story their first reaction was surprise that someone wanted to hear from them. The British media wasn’t interested.

    Pop question: thousands of girls raped in one of the most hideous national scandals this century. Can anyone name a single one of the victims?

    They are invisible.

  • Thomas Fuller

    Compare and contrast the behaviour of the police in these two cases:

    1. Tommy Robinson
    2. Cliff Richard

    For those who haven’t been following British media, Cliff Richard is an evergreen singer who has never married and is widely rumoured to be a homosexual – NB rumoured, with no evidence whatsoever. Having received a complaint against him of what is called an “historical sexual offence”, the police decided to conduct a raid on Cliff Richard’s residence in Surrey in quest of evidence; he was absent at the time. The police colluded with the BBC, which put a helicopter in the air to film the arrival of the squad cars and the subsequent forced entry. The story was all over the newspapers as well.

    Now if that isn’t prejudicing whatever legal proceedings might have ensued, I don’t know what is.

  • APL

    Chip: “According to Demos, about 2/3 of Pakistani immigrants live in poverty compared with just a quarter of Indian migrants.”

    There’ll be a reason for that. Pakistan is 23rd in the World rankings of average IQ, comming in with an average IQ of 84. The UK is about 100 and that’s after forty years of Pakistan and African immigration. In the case of the former, probably not helped by the cultural disposition to first cousin marriage, but hey! All cultures are equal.

    Question is, what is the IQ threshold where a sophisticated technological society becomes unsustainable?

  • TMLutas

    At a certain point, the reporting restrictions will be lifted and we can properly do a legal analysis with respect to UK law and whether the broadcast actually violated the law. I have not seen the video itself. I suspect a great many people have not seen the video and thus are just taking the word of various people that Tommy Robinson was insufficiently careful. Given that the people saying this have a very strong interest in covering up exactly what Tommy Robinson is dedicating his efforts to uncover, I do not understand why their protestations are given any great weight absent evidence currently under restriction.

    This leaves the whole affair in a sort of Schrodinger’s box where the UK may, or may not, be currently housing a political prisoner.

    For those of us who harbor a soft spot for this nation that gave the world the Magna Carta, the answer to the question is of interest and will remain so. The Secret Barrister would have done better by publishing the video and pointing to the time stamps where the man violated the law or specific exerpts where Robinson did so. Could it be that he is commenting without actually having seen the video?

  • This leaves the whole affair in a sort of Schrodinger’s box (TMLutas
    June 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm)

    I think we should all of us, on either side of the question, be aware of this. It may well be Perry will prove right to suggest this is the wrong hill to die on. Instead or as well, it may be llamas’ suggestion – that all these legalities are just “to throw a diaphanous veil of plausibility over what is really going on” – may only prove wrong in that the veil may be anything but see-though.

    If anyone can offer data to place this incident on my axes, that might resolve it. (And if anyone thinks I should just read some existing account more closely, they are welcome to remind me of it.)

    At the moment, I do not know enough to assess whether Robinson knowingly broke the law, whether idiotically or Gandhi-style, or else thought (understandably or foolishly) that he was standing (just) outside court property streaming a sentenced group and so following Oliver Wendell Holmes (“The meaning of a line in the law is you may intentionally go as close to it as you dare, provided you do not cross it.”). I do know I have reason to treat state information about it as Adam Smith said we should treat propaganda from merchants and manufacturers – with “not just the most cautious but the most suspicious attention”.

  • George Weinberg

    There are two separate free speech issues here: the arrest of Robinson, and the gag order on the arrest. What is the alleged justification of the second?

  • The Wobbly Guy

    All I know is that if the smug UK elites amongst the commentariat here don’t start getting real angry and exerting pressure however they can, in 20 years time I will be enjoying a rich brew of schadenfreude and saying along with so many others – ‘We told you so’.

    I fail to see what TR is doing is illegal. You’re already serfs of a state that hates you.

    Good luck!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Brian, I like how you spelled flair as “flare”. (I saw what you did there.)

  • Dick Dasterdly

    I fail to see what TR is doing is illegal.

    What’s illegal under English laws was explained several times by several people on this blog, it just works differently in UK than USA.

    You’re already serfs of a state that hates you.

    And we’re not in the USA too? 😥

  • Snorri Godhi

    While i agree with the OP, and am grateful to Brian for it, his comment above includes a couple of items with which i must disagree.

    A minor disagreement:

    [Tommy Robinson] is one of the few poshly educated and quite prominent people in Britain who has been doing this.

    Quite prominent, for sure; but poshly educated? Even someone as blind as myself to British class signaling, could detect from the Jeremy Paxman interview (link in the D.Murray acticle) that Robinson is working class. Actually, one does not even need to look at Robinson to know that he is working class: it is enough to look at how Paxman sneers at him. In any case, wikipedia supports my hunch about Robinson’s background.

    The other disagreement that i have with Brian’s comment, is on the state of free speech in Britain.
    It will take quite a few more decades before i get tired of pointing out how the Cartoon Jihad highlighted an effective deficit of free speech, not only in the UK, but also in the US, even compared to continental Europe. (New EU legislation might change that, but i am not sure that the new Italian government will go along with that.)
    But leaving aside the Cartoon Jihad, there is the fact that at least a couple of British schoolchildren got arrested (although, presumably, not jailed) for “hate speech”, about a decade ago.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Question from abroad — can anyone cast some light on the phase of the proceedings at which TR was arrested, trial or sentencing?

    Some reports say it was the sentencing phase, i.e. the individuals had already been found guilty of specific criminal acts by a jury of their peers. If that is really the case, then Perry’s concerns about potential impacts on the right to a fair trial are moot.

    Other reports suggest that a lot of individuals in the area knew about the grooming and turned a blind eye to it — politicians, imams, police, social services bureaucrats, lawyers. If TR’s activities result in some of those people who failed the citizens of the UK being investigated and (if appropriate) brought to trial, he will have performed a great service.

  • APL

    Gavin Longmuir: “Question from abroad — can anyone cast some light on the phase of the proceedings at which TR was arrested, trial or sentencing?”

    This was I understand the sentencing. The ‘defendants’ had already been found guilty.

    But … because there are so many of them, the trial has been split into batches. This being, perhaps the second batch, of what we can now call bestial rapists – ( any objections ? Usual disclaimer – apologies to other animals ).

    Apparently, because of the unusual structure of the trial, reciting information the BBC had already published, at the sentencing of this batch of, what we are now allowed to call bestial rapists, might prejudice the outcome of the next batch ( of alleged rapists ).

    But look on the bright side. The British tax payer now has the privileged of paying £35,000 per annum to accommodate each of them. See, immigration does stimulate the economy.

  • Anonymous

    Snorri, I’d recommend re-reading Brian’s comment. He’s not referring to Tommy Robinson as “poshly educated”, but to Douglas Murray (Eton, Oxford), as the following quote with context shows:

    “This is what I so much admire about Murray. He is one of the few poshly educated and quite prominent people in Britain who has been doing this.”

  • […] those who wonder if he engaged in deliberate Gandhi-style law-breaking, those who wonder if he had a layman’s (mis)understanding of the law, and those who think he’s an idiot or worse, there is ample scope for […]

  • […] As discussed in the comment threads of a couple of posts below, it may well also be formally correct – not in terms of some new-minted ‘hate […]

  • Itellyounothing

    I think the whole UK can feel a time of change is upon us. The people are slumbering having just fired a huge warning shot across the bows of the establishment in the form of BREXIT. The Establishment are terrified because the absolutely could not stop it and they loose power every time the British people kick up a fuss.

    Previous establishment figures have limited their loses by giving up just enough to satisfy the mob, before it really gets going. We will know if the current lot are that sensible when Theresa May gets round thrown out and blamed for all that has gone before.

    In the mean time another figure might be in the process of entering the Overton window who can be the leader the mob accept and who will minimise the lose of power.

    Could it be Jacob, could it be Jeremy, could it be Priti or Javid or Tom? How do you solve a problem like Prime Minister?

    A few Tommy Robinsons will be sacrificed along the way, either in jail, like the “actual” one, or public vilification like Nigel……

    The mob don’t rise for principles, the mob rises for emotions like fear of attack and the need to lash out in anger.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thanks to Anonymous for setting me straight.
    I seem to have a knack for misunderstanding what Brian Micklethwait writes: i remember doing the same 4 years ago in connection with the World Cup.
    OTOH i don’t know how often i misunderstand other people…