Saturday, 9 June 2018

Looking behind media portrayal of Tommy Robinson

A vignette from violence in Luton and the formation of the English Defence League (EFL)

On the eve of demonstrations in Britain to free Tommy Robinson, arrested and sentenced within the hour for “contempt of court” I want to address an episode that illustrates the mendacity of the British Establishment which puts the blame for everything on the “racist thugs” of the EDL.

This is how a 2012 documentary, “Proud and Prejudiced” from Channel 4 describes the conflict between Tommy Robinson and Sayful Islam who at the beginning of the docuentary is seen assaulting Tommy (although noone seems to mind that).

If you were to take things at face value you could be forgiven for thinking that the police was just doing its best to keep two extreme groups apart.

Read the extract from Tommy Robinson’s autobiography and see that things are a little diferent from how it is presented in this documentary.

Although the prsentation is of two extremists facing off the bulk of the criticism in the film is of Robinson. Note that Sayful Islam was never arrested and those members of his group who were arrested were soon let off with a caution.  No such treatment for Tommy Robinson.

The doco gives a strong impression of violent football thugs but does not show elderly Luton residents having bricks thrown through their windows or reflect the support from Luton's black community or by members of the police

 This BBC documentary, if anything, is worse.

I think I could be forgiven for concluding this has a class nature to it - and is an attack on the English working class.

Now hear from the horse's mouth (emphasis is my own) and make up your own mind.

In this account, at least, I'll go with Tommy Robinson. It has the ring of truth about it.

The powerful story of Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL and a man persecuted by the British state, simply for standing up in support of British troops. Tommy describes growing up on the streets of Luton, a town plagued by Islamic extremism and criminal gangs and how his livelihood was taken from him when he led a street protest against it. Hounded through the courts and thrown to the Muslim underworld which runs England's prisons, when Tommy refused to be broken the police tried to blackmail him – into working for them.

"I can tell you everything about how it started however –and how the EDL never would have come into being but for the actions of the Bedfordshire Police. Take a bow boys, you played a blinder –and might ultimately have done the entire nation a service, despite your determination to stamp on the basic right of British people to protest.

People can thank our very own boys in blue for all of those marches and demonstrations up and down the land –with more than a little help from the politically correct idiots who run our town halls.

It all began on the day of the Luton homecoming of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, recently returned from Afghanistan, when between them the bureaucrats and police managed to inflame an entire town.

It’s easy to blame Sayful Islam and his extremist friends who screamed and spat their hatred in the faces of our troops that day –but it was the police and politicians who allowed and I would say even encouraged them to do it. It didn’t have to happen.

And even then, when those outraged ordinary Luton people then said they wanted to express their support for our troops, it was the police who turned a peaceful, well planned gathering, into a violent riot. So, well done lads.

I went into Luton on that morning of Tuesday, March 10th 2009 with Kev. He’s actually my mum’s cousin and a good bit older –and generally more sensible –than me. We would hardly leave each other’s side throughout the EDL years, apart from when one or the other of us was sat twiddling our thumbs in a jail cell. Or sometimes both of us.

It was probably a brave decision by someone to march the soldiers through Luton given what we had going on in our midst with the Muslim radicals, but the authorities did their best to keep the affair low key. There was very little publicity about it in the local press and scheduling it for a Tuesday, as opposed to a busy shopping day like Saturday, was probably intended to make sure that it wouldn’t attract big crowds.

But the homecoming parade itself was the right decision, no doubt. We send these lads off to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and all kinds of worldwide hellholes. If they can’t march back through a British town in recognition of their service, then we really have lost the war. Despite it being a Tuesday, a great crowd turned out.

The streets were lined three and four deep and when the soldiers arrived it was from the east end of town, the direction of the airport. They marched through the pedestrian precinct then up and around the town hall and down to form up in parade on St George’s Square to receive the homecoming salute.

It was a simple mark of respect, of honouring our troops, but it turned into a fiasco. It was a lovely spring day and me and Kev walked round to find out what the plans were, which way the troops were coming, that sort of stuff. We were standing by the town hall and noticed groups of Muslims starting to congregate, two or three people at a time, and then a group of some 30 women wearing burkhas.

It was Kev who remarked about how many police there were. We saw officers go over and talk to Sayful Islam outside the town hall about a half hour before the soldiers arrived. Then as the troops came marching through, the police ushered Sayful and his supporters, about 15 of them, inside the town hall –we thought they must be having some kind of meeting. But then as the regiment came past us and went up the left side of the town hall, to descend round the back and into the square, we heard this big commotion and ran up to see what was happening.

The police had taken Sayful’s group through the building and outside via a back door, then placed them where they were perfectly positioned to shout their abuse at the soldiers. They had placards calling our troops ‘Butchers of Basra’ and saying ‘Anglian soldiers go to hell’. And the police had simply guided them to a vantage position where they could hurl insults, while guarding them from people who were understandably pissed off by it all.

Members of the public were absolutely outraged, but the police were formed up with their backs to the Muslims, protecting them. One old gent, probably aged about 75 or 80, was shouting and gesticulating at Sayful Islam and his group –and the police threw the old chap on the floor.

As the soldiers marched on to the square the police then escorted Sayful’s cretins back through the town hall and across to where a bigger group of Muslims were gathered, in their usual patch in the Arndale centre.

There were more and more Muslims turning up to join that group and, as word got around, there were more and more Luton people coming to have a go at them, blokes coming off building sites, turning up in their work clothes.

It was a bit of a stand off, with everyone shouting and bawling. One of the chants going up from our side was that ‘Bin Laden’s mother is a whore’ which would come back to haunt Kev Carroll at least, some time later.

There was one funny moment, when one of the lads disappeared into Marks and Spencer’s and reappeared a few minutes later on the roof of the Arndale, loaded up with about 25 packs of bacon, which he started throwing down at Sayful’s mob. That got the biggest cheer of the day.

There were four people out of the group supporting the troops who were arrested over that confrontation, but it was fully two months later, when we were due to stage a demo of our own, that the police arrested big Kev –mostly as a way of disrupting us.

A couple of days later they arrested five of Sayful’s mob as well and charged them with public order offences. I suppose they were trying to balance things.

The Muslims got conditional discharges for threatening behaviour, although they were clearly puzzled at the fuss, because the police hadn’t objected to their placards when they saw them. They probably had a point.

The Bedfordshire police chief expressed ‘disappointment that a small number of people chose to cause a disturbance’. For fuck’s sake, what did he expect? Couldn’t his officers read those placards? Did they think people wouldn’t be offended by our troops being called baby killers and butchers?

....We were watching all of this going on, and word went out that the police had been told to stop groups of white and black youths congregating around the town centre. I was told by one copper that when Sayful Islam and his friends were called in as driving around town, senior officers said not to interfere with them.

He said rank and file officers were angry at being told to police different communities differently, although I reckon that’s probably been the case for years in more towns and cities across the country than you’d care to mention. It’s why so much resentment exists between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, not that anyone’s in a rush to accept that as being reality.

At one police briefing they apparently put up a big picture of me on screen in the station and the officer in charge described me as a ‘leading far right racist’. One of the coppers put his hand up and interrupted. He’d known me since school and told him that no, whatever ever else I was, I was not a racist, and not far right either.

You have to realise that a lot of those ordinary Luton coppers were blokes from within our own families and communities. They knew what was going on. They were frustrated at the way they were being used and –as some saw it –abused, by their own senior staff.

And so, after that, they brought the Metropolitan Police in to deal with Luton’s ‘public order issues’.

P.S.  After staying willingly silent on Tommy Robinson’s arrest and thereby colluding with the State Channel 4 came up with this hit piece more than a week after the events

Finally, here is a fine defence from an Irish presidental candidate 

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