Open letter to Tommy Robinson. All of them.

Dear Tommy,

How you doing? We probably haven’t met before so best clear up any misconceptions right off the bat; I’m not Tommy – I’m Graham. I realise this may be a tad confusing given all the Tommys; I do bear a passing resemblance to Brown Haired Tommy as well as being somewhat of a doppelganger for both White Tommy #4 and White Tommy #843. Hopefully you haven’t mixed me up with Racist Tommy #38 – that’d be awkward.

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I Googled “Tommy Robinson” and it came back with some bloke called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. I have no idea why, I guess Google is broken.

Anyway Tommy, pleased to make your acquaintance. Though regrettably I’m informed that this correspondence finds you struggling amidst troubled times. Word on the street is that Tommy is currently banged up in prison? At least one of you is. Either way, it doesn’t sound good and, with the latest word amongst the Tommys being murmurs of a press blackout, my interest has sufficiently piqued in order for me to delve further into this proverbial shitheap of Tommy’s – and I’m happy to share my findings with you.

The faeces had barely encrusted my fingernails before the first informative nugget of dung was uncovered:

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I’d say the applicable Tommy should thank his lucky stars to escape the big house.

My my, whatever is this? Sounds like you’ve been up to some typical tom boy tomfoolery, Tommy – in your down time from being a serious journalist. Well, if the Tommy in question is one of the journalist Tommys. There’s probably a few of them.

In any event I was very disappointed in Tommy (yes – that means you, Tommy), though remained curiously undecided on the nature of your punishment. You’d think I’d have been happy for you to maintain your freedom, it being a commodity that is rightfully cherished – but I couldn’t help but fear that this wouldn’t be the last the court system would see of Tommy Robinson.

Still, as you left court a free man, there was one explicit warning left ever ringing in your ears:

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Huh, I guess they got Tommy mixed up with that Yaxley-Lennon character again. Maybe he’s a Tommy too?

Seems straight forward enough; they’ll let you off this time, but should Tommy Yaxley-McCartney decide to piss pejoratives all over judicial proceedings once more – it’s the slammer for you. Or Tommy. Maybe both.

Despite this apparent clarity as we jump forward to the here and now, not only have the Tommys swelled in number (as if spawned into life by the re-lit flame of apparent persecution) but they’re also mad. Pissing pejoratives mad.

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At first glance I mistook that for a rolled up copy of the Daily Mail in Tommy’s back pocket – ready to beat down the establishment with the words of media moguls who run the establishment.

In a sense I can’t really blame Tommy (or Tommy) for becoming enraged – there’s nothing to stoke the fires of purpose quite like a perceived injustice and it’s actually unsurprising that Tommy feels that way. After all, there’s been a press blackout regarding your recent arrest, Tommy – at least initially. Whether this is simply standard practice for a case like this, I don’t know. I’m perhaps not as educated as some of the Tommys out there so my opinion on this matter is close to worthless but, with this lack of knowledge in mind, it does seem a tad odd.

Nevertheless, good fortune awaited. For, despite the efforts of those opium smoking, ivory tower dwellers who love nothing more than to keep an honest Tommy down, many a citizen journalist took up the reporting mantle and were right on hand to document a miscarriage of justice in action – Tommy’s miscarriage of justice, affecting Tommys across the globe.

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Selfie of the year, bitchaz. Or whatever the cool kids say these days. I’m old.

Now you know me Tommy, I’m always willing to give you a fair shake of the dice, nor am I one to spread wild aspersions with joyful abandon – but that very much looks to me that you’ve been hanging around a courthouse as evidence was being given; for over an hour. Now call me crazy (or Tommy), Tommy, but this sounds very much like what you were given a suspended sentence for back in 2017 – a suspended sentence that included the condition that if you didn’t refrain from causing similar scenes at courthouses you’d find the suspension lifted and spend a year in jail.

Now Tommy may very well protest, saying “Hang on, press blackout and a lightening quick conviction? This all seems very odd indeed” in his cheery Lutonian chirp. Indeed that presents a quandary of sort. Short of actually being there or having an informant on the inside, there’s no way of really knowing what went down as you were bundled into the back of a police van.

Well, apart from the livestream you transmitted to the world. That probably helped in the decision to put you away.

Capture

So that’s about the face of it Tommy, looks like you inadvertently triggered the shit sandwich coupon you were granted last year. However the shit sandwich isn’t really the problem here. It is perhaps best to approach you from a purely ideological standpoint and narrowing it down to the specifics of the matter at hand – the spate of historical child grooming cases. Now in many ways I’d find myself with you, albeit with a copious helpings of asterisks and disclaimers – but yes, these tales of child grooming gangs that are coming to the fore after remaining undetected for a staggering amount of time are fucking horrific. As with all folk with the capacity for empathy, I have nothing but sympathy for the victims and unremitting contempt for the perpetrators. I’d also agree that serious questions must be asked as to how this was allowed to go unnoticed for so long; apathy at this point would be despicable.

I do however, have one very serious problem – the approach you took.

The fallout from your Friday skirmish with the police can be defined by two particular facets. The first being your part which, oddly enough, is arguably the least damaging. No need to go over old ground, basically if a judge tells you not to cause a scene outside a courthouse then don’t cause a scene outside a courthouse. Judges are proud, fiercely intelligent people – they’re not to be fucked with.

However it’s a potential consequence of your actions that lead into nicely into the next, somewhat heftier piece of debris – the hijacking of the narrative and, more pertinently, the potential it has to throw the very case you were “reporting” on into disrepute.

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No it hasn’t.

As noted prior, it didn’t take long for a dominant narrative to prevail. Aided perhaps by the press blackout and nothing official to counter them, the Tommys quickly established a bleak, authorisation image of a totalitarian dystopia scooped right out of Orwell’s own brain. “Tommy is a political prisoner!” shouted Tommy, prompting another Tommy to tweet similar sentiments for the next Tommy to retweet. All it took was a few, ever so devious tweets from the odd well known bullshit dispenser and boom – the narrative is now contaminated before the truth has even got his trousers on; perhaps fatally so.

Though once again, this is far from the most pressing concern to spawn from this clusterfuck – that accolade belongs to the effect it could potentially have on the case. While we’re perhaps worlds apart in terms of politics and values Tommy, there are odd instances where our mindsets somewhat align. I’m sure you want justice to be served as much as I do, the same almost certainly being the case with your many namesakes. But that is precisely why causing a disruption outside a courthouse in the midst of a trial is a really stupid idea should you have any interest in a fair hearing, especially if you’ve already been told not to less than a year ago. A similar plea goes out to your identically named supporters; whether intentionally or otherwise, the narrative has become about Tommy as opposed to the cause he claimed to represent – and, as with everything involving Tommy Robinson, an excruciatingly tiresome circus is set to follow. A circus precisely of the sort this trial could well do without.

It’s understandable that emotions run high at times like this. The crimes we’re dealing with here are unfathomable in their horror and too fucking right I want justice to be served. But, as flawed a system as the British criminal justice system can sometimes be, for it to have any chance of granting a fair trial to all concerned then a certain amount of trust has to be offered – begrudgingly or otherwise.

After the verdict has been reached and the dust has settled, if you still feel that a miscarriage of justice has taken place then knock yourself out. Make your voice heard and use all method of protest available to you within the limits of the law – it’s your right after all. But don’t litter an ongoing trial with pejoratives and conjecture; not only is it in nobody’s interest, it also gives the distinct impression that you’re more in this for a stab at an ideological victory rather than the pursuit of justice.

Besides, the last thing you’d want to do is to derail the trial completely. That wouldn’t put you in the good books amongst the other Tommys.

Especially you, Tommy.

 

 

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Impotent shrieking, spoiled ballot papers and the eternal quandary of the politically homeless

The local elections took place the other day. You may have noticed – they’re like a general election only even more effective at creating a malaise of voter apathy.

Momentum activists will likely claim that the tide is turning with regards a general political disinterest amongst the populace – and it is indeed true that, in London especially, punters were sufficiently jazzed to vote for Labour; but alas, the turnout in my local constituency barely scraped past 20%. Nobody gives a shit round here it seems, the sad fact of the matter being that the jenky local gala which insists on blocking up the main access road every fucking year garners more enthusiasm from my fellow town dwellers.

Reasons for this likely exist beyond the realms of my rather limited understanding but, for anyone who gives a shit, here’s how it ultimately panned out across the nation:

results
Somewhere, in an all but deserted UKIP headquarters, the world’s smallest violin plays a pitiful tune.

As you can see, a fairly standard outcome in which the apple cart merely wobbles rather than capitulates completely. Labour made some pretty nifty gains though perhaps not the sort they were hoping for, the Tories are merely glad that their eternal buffoonery wasn’t quite capitalised on in the way perhaps it should have been, the Lib Dems finally had reason to smile and UKIP’s vote share fell short of Enoch Powell’s electoral reach and he’s been dead for twenty years.

Still, the results being very much open to interpretation didn’t stop the odd malevolent shitrag or two from declaring victory from within the midst of a befuddling stalemate.

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At least Meghan found a nice dress.

But what of the fate of Graham’s vote I hear absolutely nobody ask; what became of my solitary ballot? Well, it’s ultimately rather hard to say for I, like many, found myself treading the desperately isolated path of the politically homeless.

Alas, this was not a route I willingly set foot upon, instead being entirely a matter of circumstance. Being one of those unreconciled Remoaners who consider Brexit the worst idea since Piers Morgan, there was only going to be one issue that fully captivated my mind. Not to say that I’m a single issue voter of course, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Brexit limits its influence to a single sub-category of politics – it has an oily tentacle plunged into every facet of our nation; its venom ever seeping in and leaving our future locked in a state of uncomfortable paralysis.

Which is precisely why our de facto two party system ultimately holds nothing for me at this current moment – the only distinction on offer being a delusional Brexit and a “Who gives a fuck?” Brexit. Hardly inspiring and leaving representation for the 48% entirely in the hands of the smaller parties. But just what voice would my constituency afford me?

No voice at all, put simply.

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Oh look, a horse. I’m sure this will have no relevance to anything, ever.

Ah, the Democrats and Veterans Party. If you detected the whiff of a faint, Brexity stench in the air then your suspicions are bang on the money. Not dissimilar to the equally pitiful For Britain. the DVP were born out of a failed bid for the UKIP leadership – only this one was more interesting because it involved gay donkey rape.

No, really. It did.

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You don’t say.

DVP supremo John Rees-Evans might have fond memories of this unauthorised tryst that he saw fit to commemorate with the party’s official logo but alas, such charming tales of horse violation were never likely to win my vote.

So what else? Well, not much for there was only one further party standing – The Yorkshire Party; whose entire policy on Brexit hinges on the promise that, whatever happens with the EU negotiations, the good people of Yorkshire will still be able to drink copious amounts of tea. In any event, their aim to increase Yorkshire’s political standing on a national (and indeed European) level, while admirable in its own right, isn’t a matter that is especially close to my heart and, subsequently, my pencil passed right over their box too.

So what was I to do? An embittered, alleged metropolitan elitist, with a mind hopelessly trapped in a debate I’m rather unreliably informed ended two years ago and nobody standing to represent me.

Well, the only thing left to do – spoil my ballot paper.

For all the inevitable (and, in many cases, perfectly understandable) howls of consternation this will invoke, I stand by it. Voting may well be perceived as a given right as opposed to a privilege of the fortunate few these days (though many EU nationals currently residing upon our shores will almost certainly beg to differ) and that’s a right I indeed respect, hence why I still felt it necessary to actually show up at the polling station – even if it was only to effectively piss scorn upon my constituency’s efforts at representation.

But why? Why bother to show up? And why not lend your vote to a legitimate party if you’re going to make the effort? Besides, these are local council elections, right? It’s not even about Brexit, you pissed your britches based on nothing more than an unfortunate misconception.

Well, sodden as my undergarments may be and as compelling as many counterpoints indeed are, I remain unmoved – if a tad pissy. I may not have backed a legitimate party but I backed what I consider a legitimate cause. While ostensibly an election based on matters of the local council, implications are eagerly seized upon in today’s political climate. Remember all that bilge regarding 85% of people supposedly showing their support for Brexit by backing pro-Brexit parties in the 2017 General Election? So desperate were the Brexiteers to snatch even the faintest of victories from the jaws of reality, they were more than happy to kick nuance square in the testicles to add fuel to their ever spluttering narrative.

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Brought to you by Daniel Hannan, a man with so little integrity he’s currently claiming that Brexit’s failings are down to the very people who didn’t vote for it.

The contrast between direct and tacit support becomes a distinction without a difference in the eyes of the narrative and, for that reason, I simply couldn’t shift the ever pulsating tumour of Brexit from my thoughts. If you believe in Brexit then I don’t believe in you. Sorry, but I’ll lend my admittedly infinitesimal amount of political influence to a notion I can support and, if that means hastily scrawling “STOP BREXIT” on my ballot paper in what could very well end up being an act of laughably impotent futility, then so be it.

A fart in the wind it may very well be, but at least it came out of my arse.