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January 24, 2015
EDL: Tommy Robinson Quits
All through the brief, ignominious political career of Tommy Robinson, very little has been straightforward or apparent. Whether utilizing a made-up title, getting deported from America for having a hooky passport, parading round warfare memorials in camouflage gear regardless of never having served within the navy, failing to get served in Selfridges or making a video begging supporters for cash while lurking round outside the home of disgraced pop star Tulisa, the fixed impression has been of a man who was constantly on the verge of punching somebody, bursting into tears, yelling incoherently or presumably doing all three concurrently. Suffice to say, each time individuals beforehand wondered where the white British people’s personal Malcolm X was, they probably weren’t suspecting him to arrive in the type of a sunbed shop proprietor from Luton in a Stone Island cardigan.
It says much about the final path of chaos and lunacy which has trailed Robinson — or to offer him his full title, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon — that once i first learn of his defection from the English Defence League this week, I initially assumed that the story was some form of Onion-fashion spoof. As a result of slightly than do the conventional factor — publicly resign, quietly hand over the reins of power, and so forth — Robinson had issued a sort of strange abdication, by way of the Quilliam Basis, an organisation typically devoted to rehabilitating radical ex-Muslims. ie: precisely the people who Robinson has been raging in opposition to for the last four years. ‘I have been considering this transfer for a long time as a result of I recognise that, although avenue demonstrations have introduced us to this point, they are stone island micro reps sale not productive… I acknowledge the dangers of far-proper extremism and the continued must counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic concepts.’
On the one hand, Robinson’s move — and Quilliam’s overture to him that apparently led to his resignation — is to be applauded. In a motion which has hardly ever been marked by coherent thought, peaceful compromise or typically any course of action which didn’t find yourself with chairs getting thrown round, somebody just doing the peaceful thing is a welcome change. Nonetheless, there was also a lot scepticism about his announcement — Mohamed Shafiq of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadan Foundation indicated that without a full rejection of all his criticisms of Muslims, Robinson standing down was only a PR stunt.
Robinson actually hasn’t precisely renounced his previous views — he complained that it was extremists inside the EDL who have been selling violence in opposition to his needs, and ‘whilst I would like to guide the revolution in opposition to Islamist ideology, I don’t need to guide the revolution in opposition to Muslims. I imagine that the revolution needs to come back from throughout the Islamic community and they want to face up. And that i imagine it is a step forward not a step again.’ Extremism skilled Professor Matthew Goodwin mentioned that ‘I would deal with the announcement with extreme caution.’
What now for Robinson And his former disciples
For the organisation in its current kind, this is more likely to be an enormous blow — the entire EDL has been constructed round Robinson’s forceful personality and little formal command construction appears to be in place that would enable another person to take over the place he leaves off. But it’s unsurprising — extremist political groups on each the best and left appear exhausting wired to fracture and splinter into ever smaller and more antagonistic events (this listing alone shows just how many far-proper groups the UK has sustained, regardless of having no serious far-right movement to talk of). There are already hints that Robinson may be about to launch a new organisation not primarily based round street demonstrations.
However, none of this addresses the true downside of the people who adopted the EDL. As I’ve beforehand written about here, the group only grew to become a problem as a result of there are a sizeable variety of white, predominantly working class folks on this country who’ve been screwed over socially, ignored in the course of the country’s increase years and blamed throughout the lean times. Islam could be nothing to do with any of this, but it surely doesn’t alter the truth that these people’s issues are very real and hardly ever engaged with by mainstream politicians — which means that someone like Robinson found an viewers because he a minimum of appeared sympathetic to them.
All the research on individuals following the EDL reveals that for probably the most half they are socio-economically dispossessed, deeply pessimistic about the long run, and massively distrustful of their fellow citizens. Being abruptly abandoned by the one person who seemed to talk for them is prone to have just strengthened these emotions. And presumably make them even more susceptible to the subsequent aspirant chief who comes alongside trying to enchantment to them. As depressing because the thought is, after we see who this is, we’d almost really feel nostalgic for someone like Robinson who at the very least had the great sense to pay lip service to obeying the law whereas spouting his inflammatory rhetoric. Because till mainstream politicians communicate actually in regards to the individuals at the underside of the social pile — and take some responsibility for the way they got there — there are going to be an terrible lot of offended individuals ready to present the subsequent Tommy Robinson a hearing.