Britain’s Most Hated Man Isn’t All That Hateful
Which sums up how I really feel before meeting the book’s author, Tommy Robinson. What if he turns out to be not practically as dangerous as his status as ‘Britain’s most hated man’ What if, as some acquainted with him have warned, I prove to love him and wish to plead his trigger, and end up being tainted as a far-right thug by affiliation
We meet in a gastropub in a pretty Georgian market town. It’s only ten minutes from the ‘shithole’ of a dump where Robinson has at all times lived — Luton — and far more congenial for lunch as a result of we’re less more likely to be interrupted by any of the numerous Muslims who’ve put him on their death list. Robinson, 34, is sporting Stone Island, the popular costly attire (about £800 for a jacket) of violent football hooligans like the one he was himself.
Robinson is frank about his misspent youth: his first stint in jail for assaulting a plainclothes policeman; his second one for mortgage fraud; his brawls with rival groups as a member of Luton City’s Men In Gear football crew (he thinks Millwall’s dangerous-boy fame is overrated; Tottenham has the perfect agency). He’s frank about all the pieces he’s completed, good and bad. It’s part of the natural charm which, just over two years ago, received the hearts of an at first spittingly how to tell if a stone island jacket is real hostile audience on the Oxford Union.
And yes, I do like him. So would you for those who spent a couple of hours in his firm. He’s intelligent, quick, articulate, well-knowledgeable, good-mannered — and surprisingly meek in his politics for a man so usually branded a fascist. A lot of his residence mates are black, some are Muslims; he’s not clearly racist or anti-Semitic. He only acquired into activism and avenue demos because he happened to be a white working-class English lad in precisely the improper place at exactly the fallacious time. It was Luton, sadly, that Islamist proselytiser Anjem Choudary chose as the base for his various proscribed organisations.
As a result the character of the city modified forever; and so did Robinson’s life. The trigger was a neighborhood Islamist recruitment how to tell if a stone island jacket is real drive for the Taleban and a subsequent protest towards a parade by Royal Anglian Regiment troops returning from a tour in Afghanistan.
As he as soon as told one other interviewer: ‘I was like, they can’t do that! In working-class communities everyone knows somebody in the Armed Forces. I’ve acquired a mate who misplaced his legs. And these lot were sending folks to kill our boys.’ So Robinson founded the protest organisation that will make him infamous — the English Defence League (he subsequently give up it in 2013).
You know the way hateful the EDL is: every-one does. What’s curious, though, is how much worse it’s by status than in deed. It’s virtually as if the chattering courses needed some type of bogeyman whose identify they may brandish in outrage from time to time as a way to show that, whereas in fact they condemn fundamentalist Islam, they really feel just as appalled, if no more so, by the ugly spectre of far-proper nationalism.
It’s the same with Tommy Robinson. In case you looked at social media in the fast aftermath of the latest terrorist murders on Westminster Bridge, you might have been surprised by the extent to which the righteous rage of the bien-pensant Twitterati was directed not at the killer, Khalid Masood, and the culture that radicalised him, but rather at that culture’s most vocal critic, Tommy Robinson. In response to Robinson, this isn’t any accident.
It’s a reflection of the Establishment’s intense reluctance to admit the scale of the issue with fundamentalist Islam in Britain. Robinson’s recent experiences have made him deeply suspicious of the authorities. Forcing him to share a prison wing with Islamists suggests, to him, that his personal welfare will not be exactly their top precedence.
Whereas he was in prison, he refused to eat any regular food (he believed it would be poisoned or in any other case contaminated, so he stuck to tinned tuna), and made sure to trigger ample trouble so he wound up in solitary where no one could stab him. His front teeth are all pretend, the real ones having been knocked out when he acquired trapped in a room with eight Islamists. The only reason he didn’t die, he says, is because they didn’t have any ‘shivs’ (bladed weapons).
He’s a powerful advocate of separate prisons for Muslims and non-Muslims: the size of bullying (no one dare be caught cooking bacon, for example) and the extent of radicalisation, he argues, makes it culturally suicidal to proceed as we are.
After numerous beatings and attempts on his life, Robinson is underneath no illusions about his prospects of reaching a ripe outdated age. ‘I’m a lifeless man walking,’ he instructed me. It’s not for his personal sake that he minds: only for that of his wife and three young children. Though his children are as yet unaware of his notoriety (Tommy Robinson is a pseudonym), he’s discovering it harder and harder to protect them. Last August, police in Cambridge ejected your entire household from a pub on what Robinson claims was a bogus pretext of attainable public disorder between rival soccer followers.
You can argue that Tommy Robinson doesn’t exactly help himself the way he goes looking for bother half the time. However then, I don’t suppose that many people are able to cross judgment. Not until we’ve personally shared his worm’s-eye view of Islamic encroachment on our inner cities, which only a few of us ever will. Stone Island Sale We simply wouldn’t be brave sufficient.