One of Mahatma Gandhi’s tricks used against the British Empire in India was to get himself arrested for reasons that would highlight idiocies and unfairnesses of Briitsh rule. In other words even though he was in fact breaking the law, by getting arrested with lots of publicity he intended to show that the law was bad and, by implication, that the British Raj was bad.

Almost a century later and back in Blighty a gentleman called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is trying the same trick. Mr Yaxley-Lennon is better known as “Tommy Robinson” and notorious as the former leader/spokesman for the English Defence League. I think it is correct to say of Yaxley-Lennon, as it was of Gandhi, that he is a racist. However as with Gandhi, just because he’s a racist doesn’t mean he is not also right. He is also, like Gandhi, a thorn in the side of the establishment. The big difference, so far, is that he isn’t as popular; although his Gandhian tactics and adroit use of social media and non-UK media may well mean he becomes more popular. He is certainly going to milk his latest dust up for all it is worth, even though the UK MSM has mostly been very quiet about his antics.

Mind you not all the MSM have been quiet. Tim Worstall pointed to a section in Rod Liddle’s column in today’s Sunday Wapping Liar Times which makes a very good and relevant point:

The English Defence League founder, Tommy Robinson, turned up in Leeds on Friday to film people going into the trial of several Asian men accused of “grooming” white girls. He did not speak, chant, accost anyone or do anything but point his phone at attendees from a distance. Still, several coppers bundled him into a police van, accusing him of a breach of the peace.

I’m not remotely a fan of the unpleasant Robinson. But wouldn’t it have been lovely if West Yorkshire police had acted with as much rigour and alacrity when, in an earlier case, they were told of the horrific sexual assaults taking place on their patch?

As someone who thinks that the phrase “heads should roll” should be taken literally when it comes to the various Police, Social Worker etc. jobsworths who ignored repeated warnings and cries for help regarding the pedophile gang-rape scandals all over the UK, Mr Liddle’s comment seems entirely fair, although I’m sure some busy boy in West Yorkshire is checking to see if it could be classed as hate speech.

There is considerable confusion about exactly why he was arrested. Over at Samizdata a commenter pointed to the contempt of court judgment that gave him the suspended sentence that he has now disobeyed the conditions of (PDF). It is worth reading it all and it is remarkably clear for a legal statement, however I think the extracts below are key

This contempt hearing is not about free speech. This is not about the freedom of the press. This is not about legitimate journalism; this is not about political correctness; this is not about whether one political viewpoint is right or another. It is about justice, and it is about ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly. It is about ensuring that a jury are not in any way inhibited from carrying out their important function. It is about being innocent until proven guilty.

The sentence, therefore, that I pass upon you, taking into account all of those matters that have been placed before me and your admissions entered via Mr. Kovalevsky, is one of three months’ imprisonment which will be suspended for a period of 18 months. That will be suspended. There will be no conditions that need to be attached to that suspended sentence, but you should be under no illusions that if you commit any further offence of any kind, and that would include, I would have thought a further contempt of court by similar actions, then that sentence of three months would be activated, and that would be on top of anything else that you were given by any other court. In short, Mr. Yaxley-Lennon, turn up at another court, refer to people as “Muslim paedophiles, Muslim rapists” and so on and so forth while trials are ongoing and before there has been a finding by a jury that that is what they are, and you will find yourself inside.

It is fair enough to argue that the law in the UK is wrong, but given that the law is what it is, he was well aware that he was liable to be found in breach of his conditions regarding the suspended sentence. Although the lack of legal representation is disturbing and sign that the powers that be wanted him silenced, in practice I rather doubt that legal representation would have done much good. He was warned, he was give an explanation. Nevertheless #hepersisted as it were

 

I think he’s playing a clever victim game here and I’m torn as to whether I want it to succeed. While he is in prison there’s a good chance that he’ll be attacked by some Muslim inmates. I doubt he wants to be a martyr, but I’m sure he’s quite willing to suffer some cuts, bruises and broken bones and that, if he does, he’ll become a major cause célèbre. He will, I’m sure, strongly appeal to the significant fraction of the UK population who look at HMG and the police forces etc. and see a bunch of politically correct jobsworths who would prefer it if the great unwashed would shut up and stop complaining about being poorly served by their government.

That’s a pity because from what I can tell he also seems to be advocating indiscriminate violence against Muslim immigrants to the UK. Indiscriminate violence is a problem because it will tend to lead the various muslim communities to coalesce under persecution. What is, in fact, needed is “discriminate violence” wielded by the state to enforce the laws of the nation on all including Muslims. If he were to concentrate more on the failings of the British state, which is doing a particularly bad job of applying “discriminate violence”,  he would gain a lot more sympathy because the failures of government are numerous and deserve to be criticized. The police are increasing being seen as box-ticking jobsworths who would prefer to harass the generally law-abiding white people than the less law-abiding non-white ones who will shout and scream about racism, islamophobia etc. if they are arrested. Mr Yaxley-Lennon’s antics are highlighting this and if there isn’t serious reform (and there won’t be under any plausible government in the near future) we’re going to see levels of police distrust that make BLM activists look like police enthusiasts.