News & Politics

Disgrace: After Tommy Robinson Exposed BBC Corruption, UK To 'Recharge' Him for Last Year's Non-Incident

Tommy Robinson holds a protest over the BBC's Panorama show after he released a documentary proving the show had fraudulently targeted him. Saturday, February 23, 2019. (Danny Lawson/PA Wire URN:41374052) (Press Association via AP Images)

The Tommy Robinson saga is a long one, but the latest chapter began on February 23, when he pulled back the curtain — or shall we say turned the tables? — on the BBC with a breathtaking documentary, Panodrama, in which vile Panorama presenter John Sweeney, who had planned a definitive, but fake, “exposé” of Tommy, was exposed not only as a preposterously dishonest excuse for a journalist but as an all-around unsavory human being.

Tommy’s hidden-camera video of Sweeney, which I wrote about here on February 26, should have resulted in Sweeney’s immediate termination and initiated a thorough parliamentary investigation of the BBC. Instead, it’s resulted in several major actions against Tommy by corporate and government players around the world.

First, on February 26, it was reported that Tommy had been removed from Facebook, on which he had posted Panodrama, as well as from Instagram, which Facebook owns. (Tommy had previously also been kicked off of Twitter and PayPal; his documentary can now be viewed on YouTube, although prominent figures are pressuring for that platform to drop him as well.)

This past Tuesday, March 5, Tommy posted a YouTube video in which he announced that a lawyer “with ties to radical terrorists” had handed his wife’s and children’s current address to the radical groups Antifa and Resisting Hate, and that, on the previous day, in a manifest attempt at intimidation, masked activists belonging to those groups had shown up at that residence accompanied by Guardian and Mail reporters and had livestreamed the visit. This is a dangerous act indeed at a time when the family, whose location had previously been a closely held secret, was under the protection of police who had warned repeatedly of credible threats to the lives of Tommy’s kin by far-left and Muslim groups.

Then, on Wednesday, it emerged that Amazon was no longer selling Tommy’s book Mohammed’s Koran, co-written with Peter McLoughlin. The Daily Mail quoted a spokesman for that firm as saying that “we reserve the right not to sell certain inappropriate content.” Reportedly, sale of the book has also been banned on eBay.

Observing these developments, it was hard not to conclude that in the wake of Panodrama, some kind of collusion — excuse the word — had taken place among individuals at the very highest levels of the BBC, Facebook, Amazon, and at least a couple of Britain’s biggest newspapers.

But these repercussions of Panodrama were nothing compared to the news that emerged on Thursday afternoon. Recall that on a single day in May of last year, when he was reporting on livestream from outside a Leeds court where members of a Muslim rape gang were on trial, Tommy was arrested, tried, and imprisoned; three months later, after a period of incarceration marked by intense levels of abuse and by a systematic denial of his human rights, as well as by a series of massive public rallies throughout Britain calling for his freedom, Tommy was released on order of an appeals court that ruled his trial in Leeds to have been, in a myriad of ways, a betrayal of justice.

When Tommy emerged from prison it was clear that he’d been through a kind of hell that the British system would never have forced a convicted Muslim child rapist to endure. A weaker man wouldn’t have survived. It seemed scandalously clear that some people at very high levels had been hoping that the ordeal would finish Tommy off once and for all. The appeals court had left open the possibility of a new trial, but given the disproportionate punishment to which Tommy had already been subjected for an offense — reporting from outside a court! — that should not be considered any kind of an offense at all, the very idea of his being put on trial again seemed cruel and absurd.

But British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox doesn’t think so. On Thursday, it was announced that Cox had decided to recharge Tommy for the same supposed transgression. The charge made no sense in the first place, and to revive it now is pure evil. Tommy is accused of breaching a reporting restriction — even though, in that May 25 livestream, he was simply communication information that had already been reported by mainstream journalists who (of course) received absolutely no punishment for doing so. For engaging in this activity, which in the U.S. would be covered under the First Amendment, Tommy is potentially facing two years in prison.

As Tommy put it in a video posted on Thursday night, this new move by Cox is nothing short of “state persecution.” Coming so shortly after the release of Panodrama, it is also an example of very fishy timing. An attorney general with justice on his mind would not be ordering a new trial for Tommy; he would be looking into the unprofessional conduct at the BBC that Tommy exposed in his documentary. Or, as Tommy pointed out in his Thursday night video, he might be prosecuting a few of the five hundred-odd ISIS terrorists who, according to Tommy, have returned “home” to the UK without facing any legal fallout whatsoever.