The arrest of right-wing activist Tommy Robinson has been making headlines over the past few days. Robinson has been a vocal critic of Islam and Islamic migration, and was arrested after live streaming from his phone for an hour in front of Leeds court, as members of an alleged child grooming gang entered the court for trial.
Let’s have our discernment caps firmly planted on our noggins, folks, as we wade through this.
Fox News Narrative
Let’s begin by detailing the narrative brought to us in this Fox News article. They first provide a video which shows Robinson ‘being surrounded by as many as seven police officers as he live streamed the incident on his phone. The police informed him he was being arrested for “breach of the peace”.’
But shortly after his arrest, a source with knowledge of the case told Fox News that he had been jailed for 13 months on a contempt-of-court charge.
A court listing indicated the case was “closed” by Friday afternoon.
One source said he was jailed in Hull Prison. The prison declined to comment to Fox News on whether Robinson was there. Leeds Crown Court also did not return a request for information.
Sources with knowledge of Robinson’s case spoke on condition of anonymity in part because of fear they would be arrested for contempt. One told Fox that Robinson’s lawyer warned that, considering the presence of Muslim gang members in prison, a 13-month sentence was tantamount to a death sentence.
Tommy’s lawyer said he will likely die in jail given his profile and previous credible threats, and the judge basically said he doesn’t care,” the source said. “He sentenced him to 13 months in prison.”–Fox News article
The impression we get from this article is that Tommy Robinson was exercising his basic freedoms as a citizen. He was not even saying anything. His capture and alleged imprisonment suggest that Britain is a police state. Just ask Roseanne.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 26, 2018
‘The Independent’ Narrative
I will construct a different narrative in part through an article in The Independent. Note this is not to say that the Fox News article did not mention some of these points; but as with most news, the way information is ordered, worded, and bundled together helps to promote a fundamental point of view.
The Independent focuses on the fact that Robinson knew that he would likely be arrested if he continued to interfere with the justice system. He had been convicted of contempt of court in a previous case and his sentence was suspended on condition that he not act in contempt of court in the future. Robinson’s words here are to police as he is being arrested:
“This isn’t contempt of court?” he asked during the broadcast. “You are allowed to do this, aren’t you?”
Contempt of court is a criminal offence that can see people jailed for speeches or publications that create a “substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will be seriously impeded or prejudiced”.
Robinson is already under a suspended sentence for committing contempt of court over a gang rape case heard in Canterbury last year.
Judge Heather Norton handed him a three months imprisonment in May last year but suspended it for 18 months on the condition he did not commit further offences.
“This is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness,” the judge told Robinson at the time.
“It is about justice and ensuring that a trial can be carried out justly and fairly, it’s about being innocent until proven guilty.
“It is about preserving the integrity of the jury to continue without people being intimidated or being affected by irresponsible and inaccurate ‘reporting’, if that’s what it was.”
In this narrative, Tommy Robinson is taking the opportunity to continue his agenda while trying to skirt any ‘contempt of court’ charges by simply live streaming outside of the courthouse without saying anything incriminating. Journalist Sunny Hundal takes it a step further below, stating that he might actively be trying to get arrested for publicity and/or more funding from supporters.
Here is the proof.
Tommy Robinson KNEW there were reporting restrictions (to protect victims).
He got himself arrested for publicity pic.twitter.com/5vz1Y5Oywq
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) May 28, 2018
The latest news I’ve seen on the story comes from this article in The Sun,
Jailing Robinson today, judge Geoffrey Marson QC said the “integrity” of the case had to be upheld. “Nothing may occur which will prejudice the trial…He was expressing his views. Everyone understands the right to freedom of speech but there are responsibilities and obligations.”
Robinson’s barrister Matthew Harding said that the 35-year-old felt “deep regret” over the video. He said Robinson had been aware of the reporting restriction in place in the case but thought what he was saying on camera was already in the public domain.
Polarization Is The Problem
On an issue such as this, there are many land-mines to step into. As the story continues to unfold, it becomes important to observe the extent to which polarization is created, and the way in which people gravitate to those places where their preferred narrative is promoted, and shun the sources that promote a different narrative.
When I set out to do this story, it was upon hearing about how freedom of speech was being stifled and how a police state that secretly supported pedophilia was arbitrarily jailing people like Tommy Robinson for trying to bring attention to this matter. And I happen to believe that England (and all Western nations) in some instances operate as police states, and also that large pedophilia rings are secretly organized by factions at the highest levels of power in our world. But I don’t allow that to limit my research to one side of the narrative. In this case, I saw that the story was much more nuanced that articles on Fox News and other publications made it out to be.
As truth-seekers, we must always aspire to see and read both sides of any story, and come to a greater and more whole understanding of what is going on. Polarization itself seems to be the problem here, and I truly believe that polarization is one of the tools being used by our authority to keep us in the dark.
Have there been child sex scandals perpetuated by gangs of predominantly Muslim men such as this alleged child grooming gang being tried? Perhaps yes — but that does not mean it is fundamentally a ‘Muslim’ issue, it only means that child sexual abuse is being promoted by very powerful hidden forces where all the money is. Do we have a problem in our society with the restriction of free speech? Yes, certainly, but it’s done in much more subtle ways that the public arrest of Tommy Robinson, who should not be everybody’s poster-boy for the rights to free speech.
As we take sides between Anti-Islam Right Wing Ranting and Hyper-Permissive Left Wing Political Correctness, the true crimes being perpetrated by the authority in our society go unexamined and unnoticed. The sooner we stop being fooled by these polarization campaigns, the sooner we will see through to the real source of crimes in our society, and expose them to the light of day.