It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that Tommy Robinson (or Stephen Yaxley Lennon as it says on his charge sheet), was arrested outside Leeds Crown Court on Friday, where he was live streaming as a Muslim grooming case was proceeding. He was promptly sentenced to 13 months imprisonment on the same day. He was already on a suspended sentence. There was a reporting restriction that has just been lifted.
Tommy Robinson is a bit of a Marmite character. He is either loved or hated, and whenever his name is mentioned you can be sure of a strong reaction on one side or another. But first, a quick look at the facts surrounding this latest development.
In the UK, there are specific rules regarding the reporting of cases that are active. Especially so when cases involve minors and crimes of a sexual nature. I understand that this case had reporting restrictions.
By live-streaming outside the court with particular focus on the defendants he would have been in contempt of court. He did exactly the same thing on 17th May 2017 outside Canterbury Crown Court. Here is a transcript of the judge’s sentencing comments
By livestreaming he must have known he would be in contempt of court. The conditions of the suspended sentence mean that if he gets in trouble for anything within a clearly-defined time period, the suspended sentence will be activated and added to any new sentence handed down.
In the case at Leeds Crown Court, this was done remarkably swiftly. The judiciary take a very dim view of the process of a fair trial being compromised, one of the reasons ‘perverting the course of justice’ or jury nobbling, carries a 12-year maximum tariff.
In fact, it was done so quickly he was listed under the name Tommy Robinson, and not Stephen Yaxley Lennon as can be seen from the Leeds court list below.
Now things get interesting. There is also a reporting restriction in place. What is known as a ‘D’ notice.
The D-notice system is a peculiarly British arrangement, a sort of “not quite public yet not quite secret” arrangement between government and media in order to ensure that journalists do not endanger national security.
It was finally created in 1912 in the runup to the first world war, when the fiercely anti-German press barons of the era were only too happy to prevent the enemy from accessing useful intelligence.
It is used in cases of national security! Tommy Robinson has been a perpetual thorn in the side of the establishment, but I question whether he threatens national security.
Consequently, there has, over the bank holiday weekend, been a surge of protests and indignation over what is being seen as the deep state closing down the debate on the Islamification of the UK and the spread of Muslim grooming gangs.
(I use the word Muslim in preference to the media use of Asian. Differentiating from Sikh, Hindu or Buddhist, who are also Asian, but not involved).
Some think this action, on the part of Tommy Robinson, was a major blunder, that he must have known his suspended sentence would be activated. He must also have known about the ruling of sub-judice, here is a definition which took me about 10 seconds to find. Here
Of course, he knew it! He also knew that the police and judiciary would waste no time in letting him feel the full weight of the law. He has either been extremely naive (doubtful) or he has possibly played a blinder and the establishment have walked straight into it.
It was without a doubt a high-risk gamble, potentially putting himself in the prison system where many inmates would like to harm or even kill him.
A look at the reaction of the public suggests it is about to pay off.
Among those getting involved in the protests are Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam, Anne Marie Waters head of the For-Britain Party and even Lord Pearson, of the House of Lords who has threatened Savid Javid, the home secretary that if any harm comes to Tommy Robinson, while in prison, he will mount a private prosecution as an accessory and for misconduct in public office.
Commentators like Mike Cernovich are running hit pieces, calling the UK “totalitarian”!and a dictatorship.
The story has been trending on social media all over the bank holiday, (even with their algorithm management that is designed to stop this). News outlets across the world, not subject to the D notice are running the story and the UK government, and its ever-attendant mainstream media, are being ridiculed.
All this while thousands demonstrated outside Downing Street, closing it off to all traffic. There is also a petition to parliament to have him freed that has hit 450,000 signatures in a weekend and shows no sign of slowing down.
This is the Streisand effect on steroids! How could the custodians of government, law and the media be so unaware and mis-informed?
In 1970 John Lennon wrote ‘Working Class Hero’ and in it he sang;
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
Till you’re so f***** crazy you can’t follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
It’s rather ironic they share the same second name too.
Here is the video that got him arrested