One begins to get the sense that the governing authorities in the UK are speaking and acting more and more like their equivalents in the Third Reich or Stalin’s show trials. Over recent days the scandal of the arrest and instant imprisonment of Tommy Robinson has raised all sorts of questions.
The first questions concern the universal gag order upon the press by the sentencing judge. So, readers need to be aware that some of the information in this piece is officially verboten and that the “good judge” has forbidden them to know about it.
Bruce Bawer, writing in Gatestone has been covering the story. [Being a US organization, Gatestone is exempt from the gag.] Here are the bare details:
On Friday, British free-speech activist and Islam critic Tommy Robinson was acting as a responsible citizen journalist — reporting live on camera from outside a Leeds courtroom where several Muslims were being tried for child rape — when he was set upon by several police officers. In the space of the next few hours, a judge tried, convicted, and sentenced him to 13 months in jail — and also issued a gag order, demanding a total news blackout on the case in the British news media. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was immediately taken to Hull Prison.
By all accounts of witnesses, Robinson was outside the court in a public place, was recording the entrance of the accused into the court, and was set upon by the police. Fox News carried a piece in the US:
U.K. right-wing activist and journalist Tommy Robinson was arrested and reportedly jailed Friday after he filmed members of an alleged child grooming gang entering a court for trial — but the details of his purported sentence remain murky after the judge ordered the press not to report on the case.
Robinson, the former head of the English Defense League and a longtime activist against Islam and Islamic migration, was arrested after he was filming men accused of being part of a gang that groomed children. Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex scandals perpetuated by gangs of predominantly Muslim men.
Video shows Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, being surrounded by as many as seven police officers as he livestreamed 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.
The speed with which the authorities moved, convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned Robinson bespeaks premeditation, and has whiffs of tyranny. Yes, there will be legal arguments as to whether Robinson broke his suspended sentence terms and conditions. But for the police and the judge to act with the speed they have indicates a flagrant misuse of policing and judicial power.
Some politicians and authorities have raised a red flag at the “goings on”.
Gerald Batten, a UKIP member of the European Parliament, has done so:
“I am trying to recall a legal case where someone was convicted of a ‘crime’ which cannot be reported on,” he tweeted. “Where he can be cast into prison without it being possible to report his name, offence, or place of imprisonment for fear of contempt of court. Can anyone remember such a case”
Shortly after noon on Sunday, London time, Batten tweeted:
“UKIP Peer Malcolm Lord Pearson has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid today saying: if Tommy is murdered or injured in prison he and others will mount a private prosecution against Mr Javid as an accessory, or for misconduct in public office.”
The fear of Robinson’s injury, even murder, in prison, is apparently not hyperbolic. In prison Robinson is a “marked man” due to the presence of Islamic thugs. This inevitably calls for comparisons with the urki, the criminal gangs, that effectively ran and controlled Stalin’s gulags in the Soviet Union. To fall foul of them was an effective death sentence. Therefore, Stalin tolerated the urki as useful idiots to maintain a reign of terror in his gulags. The official prison guards had long ago lost control of the prisons. Is this what the authorities intend for Robinson?
Meanwhile a public protest has been held outside No 10:
Hundreds of demonstrators in London descended on the “Whitehall” government office area Saturday to protest the arrest of right-wing activist and journalist Tommy Robinson. Part of the area was closed to traffic while the group gathered outside Downing Street on Saturday afternoon, the Independent reported. Protesters were seen carrying signs and waving flags, including ones that said, “Free Tommy.” Some protesters got into minor scuffles with police but no arrests or injuries were reported. [The Blaze]