Tommy Robinson: Robin Hood and the Norman Sheriff

Tommy Robinson is no stranger to controversy. He is best known as an anti-Islam activist, who founded the English Defense League (EDL) in 2009 in response to abuse in Luton hurled by Muslims at soldiers returning from Afghanistan.The EDL’s main accomplishment was to draw attention to the decades long cover-up by police, social services, politicians, local government, or the media of the rape by Muslim gangs up and down the UK of  under-age girls, mainly white, but also Sikh, Hindu and black. Robinson resigned from the League in 2013 on the grounds that the organization has been penetrated by racialists; opened talks with Quilliam, the Moslem reformist organization, but broke off the talks on the grounds that militant and reformist Moslems shared similar objectives-the spread of Islam in the UK-while differing over means; and helped develop Pegida UK, as a branch of the German and European anti-Islam protest movement.

The EDL has been associated by the media with violent marches on the streets where members clashed with police and counter-demonstrators. The terrorist who carried out the 2017 attack on worshippers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, had repeatedly viewed Robinson’s rhetoric online. Though Robinson emphatically denies it, the media blamed Robinson as an inspiration for the terrorist. Robinson is regularly labelled by the UK media as “far right”. That is how Fiona Hamilton, The Times crime and security editor, described him in her report of the following incident at Leeds Crown Court. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/far-right-provocateur-tommy-robinson-jailed-over-court-rant-9kgwggssz

Some facts about the events before Leeds Crown Court.

Tommy Robinson was apprehended by the police outside Leeds Crown Court on June 1, 2018. The police arrested him on grounds of a breach of the peace. He was brought before Judge Geoffrey Marson QC who jailed him for 13 months on grounds of contempt of court.

Robinson filmed an hour-long live stream outside the court, during which he read from the BBC website the names , the charges and details of the allegations against the defendants in a case dealing with Muslim rape gangs. He also approached them as they arrived at court, as did other onlookers who shouted abuse at them.The video was watched more than 250,000 times within hours of recording.

The judge considered that the information Robinson revealed on his live stream had the potential to force a re-trial, particularly in view of the fact that while Robinson was streaming, the jury was out considering its verdict after six weeks of hearing evidence.

Within hours, Robinson appeared before the judge under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. The hearing is reported as lasting four minutes. Judge Marson had heard some of the footage, and told  Robinson that his actions might result in the abandoning of the sensitive case. A re-trial would cost the taxpayer “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds”, the court heard.

Judge Marson said that the order restricting reporting of the case had been made to ensure that nothing prejudiced the trial. He added: “He [Robinson] was expressing his views. Everyone understands the right to freedom of speech but there are responsibilities and obligations.”

Judge Marson said: “Not only was it a very long video but I regard it as a serious aggravating feature that he was encouraging others to share it and it had been shared widely. That is the nature of the contempt.”

Judge Marson told Robinson that only an immediate jail term could be imposed as his actions had been so serious,. The judge condemned him to thirteen months in prison.

Robinson, pleaded guilty later that day to the contempt charge and his barrister said that he felt “deep regret”. Robinson’s lawyer, provided by the court,  acknowledged that his client was aware of the reporting restrictions in the case, however, and that what he did was provocative.

A strict order remained in place that temporarily banned publication or broadcasting details of the long-running case.

The events at Canterbury Crown Court May 2017.

Robinson had a previous conviction for contempt of court. He was the subject of a suspended prison sentence, imposed at Canterbury Crown Court, for the offence of  filming inside the court. This action was most definitely an infringement of the 1981 Contempt of Court Act. In Leeds, he was outside the court.

On 8 May 2017, during the course of a rape trial at Canterbury Crown Court involving four defendants, Yaxley-Lennon attempted to film the defendants for an online broadcast entitled “Tommy Robinson in Canterbury exposing Muslim child rapists”.

Judge Heather Norton made arrangements for the defendants and jurors to leave court through alternative routes. Robinson  proceded to the court steps, inside the court building, while talking to his online followers about “Muslim paedophiles”. He was interrupted and told by court staff that recording was prohibited under section 41 of the  Criminal Justice Act of 1925. But he persisted on the grounds that he had been told by  a different court that he was entitled to film the defendants, presumably he meant entering the court room.

Judge Norton brought Robinson before the court on 22 May 2017. She found that he was in contempt for having filmed inside the court building, contrary to section 41. He was also in common law contempt for having continued to film after being told to stop by the court staff. The judge considered the content of his broadcast, and the real risk of his actions’ derailing the trial. He was found guilty and given a suspended sentence. Here is the ruling:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/committal-for-contempt-of-court-in-open-court-at-the-crown-court-at-canterbury-yaxley-lennon/

A suspended sentence means that the prison sentence of three months hangs over Robinson for the operational period of 18 months. The presumption is that if Robinson were to  re-offend, he would serve that prison sentence, in addition to whatever sentence he would receive for the new offence. As Judge Norton stated:

“In short, Mr Yaxley-Lennon, turn up at another court, refer to people as “Muslim paedophiles, Muslim rapists” 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. Do you understand?”

At Leeds, Robinson modified his behaviour: he stayed outside the court precincts; in reading from the BBC transcript, he repeatedly referred to “the alleged” rather than make statements that the accused were guilty; he did make statements on live stream while the jury was deliberating in a very complex trial; and Judge Marson did become concerned that the defense advocates could apply to discharge the jury and request for the trial to start afresh, potentially meaning vulnerable complainants having to go through the trauma of a trial all over again, or even an application to “stay” (bring to an end) the proceedings altogether.

The official position.

Here is an official statement, written up in the form of an MP’s response to a series of queries about the legality of Judge Marson QC’s handling of the case.Here is the letter and the url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU0lo-HhmBg

“It is the case that the courts have the power to impose reporting restrictions on criminal trials for a number of reasons, and witnesses in any criminal case can apply to the courts for reporting restrictions to provide lifetime protection from being identified in the media, if fear or distress about being identified is likely to affect the quality of their evidence.

A judge may also impose “postponement” orders in linked trials to avoid jurors having their deliberations contaminated by what they might read or hear about the earlier linked trials. All reporting on the case is postponed until the conclusion of all cases involved. Breach of those reporting restrictions can be dealt with as a contempt of court by a single judge.

Mr Robinson had already been sentenced for contempt of court for breaching section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 in 2017. He was given a sentence of three months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was warned that future behaviour of this nature would be treated as a contempt. After he subsequently breached reporting restrictions he was given a sentence of 10 months in prison for this offence, plus the three month suspended sentence from his previous offence, to be served continuously.

Contempt proceedings do not attract a jury trial. The procedure for a court dealing with a criminal contempt is set out in the Criminal Procedure Rules. They allow a judge to deal with an offender immediately, subject to them being offered legal advice. The Crown Court can commit someone who commits contempt of court to prison for up to two years.

Mr Robinson pleaded guilty to breaching reporting restrictions and committed a second crime within the period of suspension of his first sentence. He was also sentenced in open court”.

The letter is sent from the office of Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Wincbester and Chandlers’ Ford.

Goes viral.

Judge Marson’s actions-his 13 month sentence, and his publication ban on the case- went viral, on social media, and world-wide. If the Judge’s intent was to provide a “safe space” for the jurors in the trial to conclude their deliberations, he achieved the opposite effect to what he intended. Robinson’s supporters protested outside 10 Downing Street, and support for Robinson came from the United States, Canada, Australia, Peru, India, Tel Aviv, the alt-right news outlet Breitbart,Germany, and two UKIP MEPs, and Lord Malcolm Pearson.

I  have clustered some of the main statements on social media in the form of theses:

  • Policy-failure:The anger felt by Tommy Robinson and his supporters is due to the decades when UK politicians, the media, the courts, the police, the social services knowingly ignored the activities of Muslim rape gangs. They did so from fear of being labelled “racist”. A disproportionate number of Muslims have been involved in rape gangs all over the UK, rape gangs which look on white,Sihk, Hindu or black under-age working class girls, as “easy meat”, the title of a best selling book on Moselm rape gangs in the UK https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Meat-Britains-Grooming-Scandal/dp/1943003068.  Had the girls had justice as quickly as was served to Tommy Robinson, we would not be where we are. As it is ,the failure of those in authority to implement the law of the land made these authorities parties to crime. Here is Maajid Nawaz on the  UK state’s silence, leaving the field open to Tommy Robinson to make the legitimate case that justice should have been served.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FniPiSLut8; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RPoitFQQ8Y
  • Rule by judges:In the 1981 Act, contempt of court is defined as “tending to interfere with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so.” The Act outlaws recordings that may be “used in court”. Robinson, the argument runs, was outside the court; he read out from a BBC transcript, information which was in the public domain; he was apprehended for disturbing the peace, and then condemned for contempt of court; the judge was pictured looking out of the window as a witness to the arrest; Robinson was not jeopardising the trial, but reporting from the outside; more virulent reporting during the trial went unpunished; high profile people like Max Clifford had been judged and found guilty in the court of public opinion before coming to trial, and there had been no judicial action; the 13 months was excessive, and of dubious legality in that Robinson was given two sentences(3 months plus ten months) for the same crime. The list of objections to Marson’s behaviour runs on and on, all over the social media.It amounts to the statement that he picked on Robinson for no legally acceptable reason.   In fact, Ezra Levant of The Rebel site is funding a legal team to appeal on Tommy Robinson’s behalf.  Judge Marson QC  definitely did not succeed in silencing Robinson’s supporters.
  • Free speech curtailed: this is a frequent accusation levelled against what happened at Leeds County Court by social media commentators in the USA. The black out imposed by the Judge on reporting the trial shows just how important is the first amendment to the US Constitution, stating unequivocally “freedom of speech and of the press”. There was also a two decade long effective black out on reporting about the activities of Muslim rape gangs. It seems that the UK government has effectively disarmed its citizens from bringing their grievances to the attention of government. Citizen patriots cannot give an inch if their rights are being infringed. Robinson is this seen as a hero. Here is Tucker Carlson, the big hitting US talkshow host: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grt-c5ka_1Y
  • Tommy is a political prisoner: Robinson is being persecuted by the state for his views. In this interpretation, the separation of powers between government and law is taken for a fiction. There is a law for some, and different laws for others. Robinson’s swift incarceration makes it likely that he will be killed by the many Muslim inmates of UK prisons, who have tried to kill him before. Judge Norton in her statement of May 2017 went so far as to say “a very large part of me says, so what?”. In this regard, Lord Pearson, has stated that if Robinson is harmed in prison, he, Lord Pearson, will serve a private prosecution on the Home Secretary. In short, the case against Judge Marson is that his actions are part of a wider pattern of the state persecuting those it does not like. We are not dealing with “a level playing field”in the UK regarding the law. Rather, the UK has morphed into being a police state-an argument advanced with particular vigour in North America https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojYzOwN2i-k; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET2CmmYnYUE;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IkTKmgaCuw
  • Robinson has courted trouble: Many social media outlets, but far from all, have made the point that Judge Norton warned him against interfering in similar court cases, but he went on to do so regardless. So why did he do so? The answers vary: Robinson is an attention seeker; he is a serial lawbreaker; Robinson, according to his lawyer at Leeds court, admitted that “what he did was provocative”; but Robinson also believes that the UK is threatened by Islamification, that the authorities are already surrendering, and that his duty is to persevere not in hostility to Muslim people but in order to affirm the primacy, presumably, of UK law. An obvious paradox here is that Robinson frequently finds himself on the wrong side of the law. See his last interview before his arrest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zezpQbLZebo

Comments on the law and social media theses.

Lets start with the position that Robinson is an inveterate trouble maker, and deserves what he gets. We can then comment each one of the theses in inverted order. It should be noted that there is considerable overlap among the theses, even though their emphases differ widely.

Robinson has courted trouble: Clearly, he had received a strong warning from Judge Norton, that Judge Marson took into account when he condemned him to 10 months imprisonment, and a further three months which Judge Norton had promised him if he were to tangle with the law by interfering in the smooth proceedings of a similar court case. It is also clear that Judge Marson is responsible for what goes on in his court, that he judged that Robinson was sailing too close to the wind, that the live streaming in effect blurred the line between Robinson being outside the court buildings and the court room himself, and that there was a reasonable case to be made that defense could use the opportunity provided by Robinson’s activities on live stream to call for a re-trial, with a new jury. The weightiest testimony in support of the two judges with regard to Robinson is that trial by media has to be avoided, and that trial must be based on evidence heard in court. That is the fairest way to determine a person’s guilt. The process is laborious, costly, and may lead to controversial results. But what cannot be accepted under any circumstance is for the rights of the defendants to be infringed, the jury to be intimidated and false assertions about the goings on in court to be broadcast.

The fact that Robinson has reportedly admitted that he transgressed in front of Leeds Crown Court plays strongly to the theme that Judge Marson was right to do what he did. In this view, whatever  the verdict that is finally delivered on this complex case, Judge Marson  seems likely to be vindicated in his actions to ensure the smooth course of proceedings. Against this position is the concern that Robinson’s lawyer was not available; that Robinson may have agreed to plead guilty because he was confronted with a threat that if he had had pleaded not guilty, he would have been freed on bail, go to trial in the future, found guilty and condemned not to thirteen months but two years. In other words, Robinson may have courted trouble, but Judge Marson QC has done so too.

Tommy is a political prisoner: The arrest of Tommy Robinson and his incarceration nonetheless may be seen in a broader political context.  The debate about Islam in the UK is extremely sensitive, and cuts a wide swathe across British politics. Just to mention one central political fact, without the mass immigration of 1998-2016, it is highly unlikely that the June 23 2016 vote in favour of Leave would have turned out the way it did. The UKIP leader of the campaign, Nigel Farage, knew what he was doing when he made immigration a central piece of his campaign: the EU’s insistence on the intangibility of the free movement within the EU was readily conflated in the minds of voters with the much larger immigration from the sub-continent, which was helping to transform wide swathes of UK towns and cities.For a lengthier statement of mine on the June 23 vote, see the English version of my article published in the French journal Politique Etrangère: https://storybookreview.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/brexit-a-certain-idea-of-europe/

In the London bombings of July 7 2005, when three British born Pakistanis of Muslim religion and one convert to Islam born in Jamaica, separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city, and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks. Following this event, Sir Trevor Philips, former head of the Race Equality Commission, came to the view that the country was sleepwalking to segregation, and he followed that up in 2016, with a BBC Channel 4 programme, based on an ICM poll, “What British Muslims Really Think”. Islam, he concluded, is becoming a “nation within a nation”. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/what-british-muslims-really-think

This statement of Sir Trevor’s is not a thousand miles from Tommy Robinson’s views. Why, then, is Sir Trevor lionized, and Robinson imprisoned? The answer is simple: Sir Trevor is a prominent member of the UK’s urban, liberal élite, and Robinson is a builder by trade, an autodidact from Luton, with a strong working-class accent, and easily vilified as “right-wing”.By contrast,Sir Trevor has a long history as a champion of racial equality, participated actively in the milestones of New Labour’s policies to convert the UK into a multi-racial country, and on his own admission favoured open door immigration. In particular, he supported the language of the 1998 MacPherson Report whereby someone accused of racial intent was guilty until proven innocent; the report labelled the police “institutionally racist”.

Following the 2005 terror attacks in London, Philips was active in having the New Labour government rush through legislation against “Islamophobia”.  The effect of these two measures has been: to conflate religion and race; to disincentivize the police from addressing the scourge of Muslim rape gangs; to leave white working class and under-age girls undefended; to confirm the opinion that the state accepted the principle of different laws for different groups; discouraged open debate about Islam in the UK; and most importantly, ensured that the law was seen not to prevail, thereby endangering the Muslim population of the UK, from mob violence. Tommy Robinson by his actions and words is seen as a leader of “the mob”.

A very different interpretation fits the facts better: the policies with which Sir Trevor was associated created the conditions for Robinson’s emergence as a prospective tribune of the people. Non-application of the law by the authorities in the matter of Muslim rape gangs was a central reason why Robinson created  the EDL in 2009, his backing for a UK Pegida branch, and his development of an extensive working class following, rooted in a nationwide alliance of football fans-the equivalent of Donald Trump’s association with the wrestling fraternity in the US which helped to hone the President’s political persona. “There is a reason why the state fears me in England,” Robinson has been quoted as saying. “It is because we can bring people together and we are going to enter into a new era in Europe where everyone is going to unite against the Islamisation of our countries”.https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/edl-founder-tommy-robinson-addresses-pegida-anti-islam-rally-in-holland-a6691406.htmlIn March 2018, he was banned from Twitter, where he had fallen foul of Twitter’s rules governing “hateful conduct”. Robinson has remained active on other platforms, including Facebook and Youtube.

Free speech curtailed:This is the accusation levelled at Judge Marson, notably on US social media. Thank goodness, the argument runs, that the US is no longer a colony of the UK. We, the US, protect freedom of speech in the first amendment. Against this, it is worth quoting Judge Norton’s statement of May 2017:

“ 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.(my italics) 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. It is not about people prejudging a situation and going round to that court and publishing material, whether in print or online, referring to defendants as “Muslim paedophile rapists”. A legitimate journalist would not be able to do that and under the strict liability rule there would be no defense to publication in those terms. It is pejorative language which prejudges the case, and it is language and reporting – if reporting indeed is what it is – that could have had the effect of substantially derailing the trial.

As I have already indicated, because of what I knew was going on I had to take avoiding action in order to make sure that the integrity of this trial was preserved, that justice was preserved and that the trial could continue to completion without people being intimidated into reaching conclusions about it, or into being affected by “irresponsible and inaccurate reporting”. If something of the nature of that which you put out on social media had been put into the mainstream press I would have been faced with applications from the advocates concerned, I have no doubt, to either say something specific to the jury, or worse, to abandon the trial and to start again. That is the kind of thing that actions such as these can and do have, and that is why you have been dealt with in the way in which you have and why I am dealing with this case with the seriousness which I am.”

In the UK, courts are required to deal with contempt as swiftly as possible. The case in court lasted all of four minutes; Yaxley-Lennon was legally represented by an experienced barrister, not one of his own choice; he  was not tried in secret, members of the press being present. But the judge did  impose temporary reporting restrictions (under section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 again), postponing reporting of the details of Lennon’s contempt until the trial, and the subsequent related trial, had concluded.

But as I have observed, the judge’s actions had exactly the opposite effect. A social media storm broke out, on a scale quite disproportionate to the live streaming of Tommy Robinson in front of Leeds Crown Court. An application to discharge the reporting restriction was made on 29 May 2018 and the judge agreed that, in light of what had happened over the Bank Holiday weekend, restrictions should be lifted to allow publication of the facts. In short, social media make it impossible for judges to ensure a “safe space” in which juries may deliberate uncontaminated by views other than those expressed in court.

Rule by judges:One of the allegations made on social media is that the boundaries between the UK judiciary and UK politics are porous. Both sides, since the Blair government reforms introducing the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law, seek to avoid challenging the other. With an unwritten constitution, it is argued, the boundaries between the judicial and political spheres in the UK are unclear: sometimes they may nod agreement on principles, at others they leave each other alone. This is all the more the case in the event of an ambiguously worded Act of parliament, such as the 1981 Contempt of Court Act.The 1981 Act is here. As may be seen, its ambiguities provide plenty of leeway for judicial interpretation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/49?view=plain

The judge is king (or queen) in court. In the case of Judge Norton, the fact that Robinson was filming inside the court, and asserting the guilt of the defendants, placed him squarely on the wrong side of the law. In Leeds, he was sailing arguably just on the right side of the law.

Judge Marson was not of that opinion. So he prevailed. But there are many questions which raise reasonable doubt about Judge Marson’s decisions.  The 1981 stated that recording etc could not be taken inside the court; Robinson was outside the court precincts; arguably, his live-streaming could be seen by jury members, or their friends. But if they were, all that Robinson was doing is reading from a BBC script, already in the public domain;  Robinson furthermore was not shouting “paedophile” at defendants;  he also regularly used the term “alleged”, even though it was clear that he did not think so. The judge though interpreted the meaning of his actions as prejudicial to the defendants.

This interpretation has been questioned as indefensible. Rather, the switch from Robinson being arrested on grounds of disturbing the peace, to being judged for  contempt of court may be explained by the fact that procedures for contempt are peremptory, whereas a trial for breach of the peace would take time. The judge acted as he did, in short, because he wanted Robinson behind bars, and no questioned asked. And imposed a ban on reporting.This is the argument presented on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5_uZQThmck

Judges Norton and Marson did not exceed their powers, but there is reason to consider that Marson was not wise to handle Robinson in the way he did. Definitely, and in retrospect, imposing a gagging order on reports about the trial, plus the jailing of Robinson, the judge bumped into the cardinal rule of politics: political actions most often have unintended consequences.

Marson’s actions reveal  the limits of judicial authority: one limit is technological, that the worldwide web recognizes no boundaries; another limit is political, in that Tommy Robinson is a political persona, and jailing him has political consequences, including the suspicion-voiced on the web- that his arrest has political causes, as if the judiciary is an arm of the UK political power; and a final limit is symbolic, in that the judge’s action contributed to a further strengthening of Robinson’s persona as a hero of the British working class. In the days of Clem Attlee, Ernie Bevin and Aneurin Bevan, the political leaders of the UK were the heroes. By 2017 and 2018, the judiciary was dealing with a reality where popular heroes were treated as outlaws. In the British political imagination, the establishment are the Normans, and Robinson is, well, Robin Hood.

Policy-failure:This situation has been building up in the UK for decades. It may be traced to the 1960s, when Roy Jenkins became Home Secretary and rammed through policy changes that appealed to liberal progressives, but definitely did not enjoy the backing of Labour or Conservative working class voters. Over time, many of these reforms settled down, and came to enjoy support, for instance gay rights. But this was not the case for immigration. From the early 2000s on, concerns about immigration moved to the forefront of voters’ concerns. Politicians turned tin ears. Complaints about immigration were branded far right in inspiration; when the overtly racialist British National Front (BNP) reported on the activities of rape gangs,  the accusations were dismissed as scaremongering, the fabrications of hate peddlars. When the girls who were raped, or their family members, reported to the police, the judiciary, the media, the social services or their elected representatives, they were shown the door. For twenty years. For fear that they would lose their jobs, be branded “hate preachers”, and “racists”. By contrast, when Tommy Robinson sailed too close to the judicial wind in front of Leeds Crown Court, he was judged within four minutes and sentenced to thirteen months prison.

That is the central feature of this Tommy Robinson affair. The public sees the British authorities bend over backwards to be fair and inclusive to the country’s rising immigrant population. But they see the British authorities not impose the rule of law, when white working class girls are treated, in the words of former Home, then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, as “easy meat”.

Our two judges most definitely do seek to uphold the rule of law. The policy failure is political, and it is fundamental.

The objectivity of the judges is challenged on social media because of the contrast between the peremptory incarceration of Robinson for contempt, and the decades-long cover-up, followed by lengthy, fair and expensive hearings of men accused of serial rape, “on an industrial scale”, as the phrasing goes. The British state, the argument runs, has decided to  crack down on Robinson on trumped up charges. It has abjured the British tradition of innocent until proven guilty, and is veering to tyranny.

What to do? The “nuclear option” is for British people to ostracise anyone serving in the police, social services, bureaucracy, in the judicial system in the media-whether family or not- who does not take action now to have Robinson freed. Get-the-hell-out-of my-house; that’s-the-end-of-our-friendship, hand-in-your-resignation-now(as a police officer, social service employee, bureaucrat, politician…): in short, stand up for liberties and be counted, by word and by deed.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgJiG1AHMw

The Robinson incident has the potential of becoming a major turning point in UK politics. The judges are surely right to protect due process in their courts, but the law is widely seen as biased. People in the UK are very angry, at a time when an incompetent government is floundering over Brexit and led by an incompetent and blundering Prime Minister.

The point can be made by stating unequivocally that it is in the interest of the UK’s Muslim population that the rule of law prevail, and be seen to prevail. And the rule of law means one law applied to all equally. The UK cannot credibly ask immigrant populations to integrate if the UK does not uphold its own laws. It has not done so. That amounts to cowardice.

Tommy Robinson is the product of official cowardice. But that cowardice is rooted in bad thinking. The key proposition is that justice must be done, and seen to be done. In the UK, it must be British justice. There can be no “diversity” in the application of justice. In other words what Sharia says is lawful is irrelevant. It is not, must not, but has been the effective equivalent of UK law in the matter of Muslim rape gangs. Therein lies the scandal and the cowardice.

Beyond cowardice lies ignorance, ignorance of English mythology. Tommy Robinson is being made into Robin Hood, the outlaw who stood for justice, against the Norman establishment. Watch this space.

Advertisements

About Jonathan Story, Professor Emeritus, INSEAD

Jonathan Story is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at INSEAD. Prior to joining INSEAD in 1974, he worked in Brussels and Washington, where he obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has held the Marusi Chair of Global Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Graduate Schoold of Business, Fordham University, New York. He is preparing a monograph on China’s impact on the world political economy, and another on a proposal for a contextual approach to business studies. He has a chapter forthcoming on the Euro crisis. His latest book is China UnCovered: What you need to know to do business in China, (FT/ Pearson’s, 2010) (www.chinauncovered.net) His previous books include “China: The Race to Market” (FT/Pearsons, 2003), The Frontiers of Fortune, (Pitman’s, 1999); and The Political Economy of Financial Integration in Europe : The Battle of the Systems,(MIT Press, 1998) on monetary union and financial markets in the EU, and co-authored with Ingo Walter of NYU. His books have been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Arabic. He is also a co-author in the Oxford Handbook on Business and Government(2010), and has contributed numerous chapters in books and articles in professional journals. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, and has been four times winner of the European Case Clearing House “Best Case of the Year” award. His latest cases detail hotel investments in Egypt and Argentina, as well as a women’s garment manufacturer in Sri Lanka and a Chinese auto parts producer. He teaches courses on international business and the global political economy. At the INSEAD campus, in Fontainebleau and Singapore, he has taught European and world politics, markets, and business in the MBA, and PhD programs. He has taught on INSEAD’s flagship Advanced Management Programme for the last three decades, as well as on other Executive Development and Company Specific courses. Jonathan Story works with governments, international organisations and multinational corporations. He is married with four children, and, now, thirteen grandchildren. Besides English, he is fluent in French, German, Spanish, Italian, reads Portuguese and is learning Russian. He has a bass voice, and gives concerts, including Afro-American spirituals, Russian folk, classical opera and oratorio.
This entry was posted in United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.