Tommy Robinson

The Bullshit Behind Tommy Robinson's Asylum Plea

Once again, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is trying to turn himself into a martyr.

by Simon Childs
11 July 2019, 8:57am

Tommy Robinson's plea to Donald Trump. Screengrab via Infowars

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – AKA Tommy Robinson, the human turd that won't flush – is asking Donald Trump for "evacuation" from the UK so that he can dodge serving time for contempt of court, which he was convicted of last week. To spell it out: a man who has spent his career demonising refugees who come here to supposedly "impose their own laws" wants to become an asylum seeker to escape British justice.

In a video on Infowars he begs for safe passage to America because, he says, "I feel like I'm two days away from being sentenced to death in the UK."

He claims that "it is inevitable; I will be murdered, I will be killed" because British prisons are "controlled by jihadi gangs" (they are not). If that sounds at all familiar, it's because the last time Tommy was in prison his hangers-on claimed that he had been moved to a prison where 71 percent of the inmates were Muslim, which – surprise, surprise – turned out to be complete bullshit.

The point of the histrionics is for Tommy to burnish his image as a persecuted truth teller, much like Jesus. The video is pitched mainly at gullible Americans who watch Infowars and might be persuaded to chuck a few dollars Tommy's way, so is of course full of wild, self-aggrandising, fantastical statements that perpetuate far-right myths and absurd alarmism about how not only is Britain going to the Islamist dogs, but they’re coming for the US too.

Most of this is not really worth bothering to re-state or refute. He flits from claiming that it's impossible to find a human rights lawyer to take on his case because of "political correctness" to claiming that "my own barristers said that it's impossible for me to get convicted!" My own barristers!

"I beg you, I beg Donald Trump, I beg the American government, just look at my case," he says. If anyone stateside does actually bother to look at the case, they might want to start with the judgment of the Attorney General, which is freely available to view and sets out very clearly why Robinson was found in contempt of court.

What the judgment shows is that the court was concerned with how Robinson's behaviour could have endangered the trial of a grooming gang. Far from being a brave justice warrior exposing an epidemic of sexual abuse, Robinson put in jeopardy the state's attempts to bring a bunch of paedophiles to justice.

Once again, for the people in the back: brave, persecuted Tommy, scourge of Muslim rape gangs everywhere, is going to prison because his actions could conceivably have allowed nine paedo-rapists to escape prison entirely. Not because he's the only person telling "the truth". Not because of a politicised witch hunt. But because his actions nearly led to a group of child abusers being let off the hook.

You don't have to be an evangelist for the British legal system to know that the conspiracy Robinson proposes is completely fabricated. It would have been entirely possible for Tommy to be heavily critical of the way the British state has handled the question of grooming gangs in his myopic and racist way, without getting himself banged up. All he had to do was avoid endangering a trial and encouraging vigilante justice. Alas, that proved too difficult.

Robinson claims that he is a "journalist" and that the ruling is therefore an attack on freedom of the press. The Attorney General didn’t see it that way, basically saying that other journalists are usually not incompetent enough to fuck up this badly. Reporting from court is many journalists' bread and butter and they usually manage not to put the whole process in jeopardy.

"This is doubtless because professional journalists reporting on legal proceedings are generally well informed, careful and well-advised”, the Attorney General noted. The obvious implication is that Robinson is, in contrast, badly informed and reckless, which sounds about right. As an example of what a kamikaze klutz Robinson is, he actually mentioned the rule that he was breaking repeatedly to his viewers: "It seems perfectly plain that the respondent was quite deliberately reporting on the proceedings which he had told his viewers were the subject of a reporting restriction."

Back in fantasy land, Tommy makes his pitch to the viewers of Infowars and the President of the United States of America: "My crime?" he asks: "Awakening the public." It would take a real wing-nut to buy any of this – and sure enough, last year, President Trump's Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, lobbied on the imprisoned Robinson’s behalf. Reuters reported that he raised the case in a meeting with the British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch, who resigned on Wednesday after his comments about Donald Trump's administration – which he described as "clumsy and inept" – were leaked.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and so it proves for Darroch, who at least won’t have to listen to unhinged Trump officials pleading Robinson’s case all over again.

@SimonChilds13