Tommy Robinson, Speakers Corner and the Time to Speak

One of the keenly anticipated events of the weekend (at least for me) was Tommy Robinson being down to speak at Speaker’s Corner, situated in London’s Hyde Park. This is an historical place where for centuries people who felt they had something needing saying on a wide variety of subjects would speak freely knowing the worse that might happen is to be heckled. I understand things went off as planned and while there was opposition it was relatively mild and while there was a police presence they did not intervene.

As I gave thought to posting on the subject of when to or not to speak and the issues and consequences of doing or not doing or not being able to do so, I reflected. Firstly, this blog article is on top of the two previous ones: “Killing the right and shooting ourselves in the foot” and “Active Citizenship in a left right polarized paradigm and the articles are related. Secondly, what I consider important is not shared by those who decide on the matter in mainstream media. I would have liked to have quoted from mainstream media on what happened but there was little worth quoting and I had to go to alternative media instead. Thirdly, the matter of free speech is bugging me as it is becoming increasingly apparent – in the UK we are entering into a paradigm when free speech is allowed only if it fits the narrative the gate keepers of what is allowed or disallowed approves, and the fear: is it worth the effort laying one’s own neck on the line when more likely it isn’t going to change things and we get grief as a result?

Back to the report, this by Brietbart titled: “Thousands Gather in London’s Speakers’ Corner to Hear Tommy Robinson Deliver Banned Right-Wing Activist’s Speech”. The report begins: “LONDON, United Kingdom — Thousands of free speech enthusiasts, alongside a handful of hard-left and Islamist opposition, gathered at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park this afternoon to hear a speech written by Generation Identity’s Martin Sellner, delivered by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson. Sellner was banned from entry by the UK government earlier this month, for daring to lead a right-wing organisation which sheds light on Islamic extremism and mass migration on the continent of Europe. Robinson — formerly of the Rebel Media — delivered the speech to thousands who gathered in the snow at the historic Speaker’s Corner, the home of free speech in London for hundreds of years. Marx, Lenin, Orwell, and others have famously given speeches at Speaker’s Corner, which is what drove Sellner and Robinson to pick the spot to deliver the speech (below). Thousands listened to the speech live in person, while tens of thousands watched online. Robinson told Breitbart London: “The true battle for free speech started today. This is just the start. “The public have to support free speech so I want to say a personal thank you to everyone who spent their hard earned money and time travelling to London today.” The event was mostly peaceful, though a handful of Muslim counter-protesters attempted to shout Robinson down, leading to a few scuffles. Breitbart London understands there were a handful of arrests, and also sectarian Muslim-on-Muslim scuffles.” The full speech by Seller, delivered by Robinson, followed. (It should be noted that Seller was detained in custody upon entering the UK, partly for intending to deliver his speech.)

I ought to add that I first began to follow Tommy Robinson when he made a speech following one of the two London terror attacks last year, unaware who he was but recognizing he was making valid points. I recall at the time being taken to task by some for saying as much. I have since listened to him on social media, typically YouTube, and for the most part not only did I agree with him but I recognized he was making important points that were not being otherwise made anyway near as much as they should have been. Like Sellner and Robinson, I do believe the hitherto non Muslim West faces being dominated by Islam in ways I consider to be negative and there is a political agenda that could be encapsulated in the words: “don’t upset the Muslims”. I say this despite knowing many Muslims and most of the Muslims I know I have a regard for and affection toward and concur that for them at least Islam is indeed a religion of peace. It seems to me this is the narrative our government and the liberal elite that attempts to control the media and the culture wants to push and in doing so shut down those who say something different. Tommy Robinson is no saint and I concur with Lord Pearson who says in the past Tommy has been a naughty boy, given some of his pronouncements have been rabid bordering on inciting to hate. But most of what he has said more recently has been spot on andserve as timely warnings. His speech to Oxford Union provided many insights as to why he sees the religion of Islam being a threat. The issue is not so much what Islam teaches or does not teach, something it is possible to put a positive spin on (just as some say I do when I come to preach on Christianity), but many take up the negative aspects and this is what causes the problems, such as in the Telford and other sex grooming scandals. As for finding out the truth and respectfully debating the matter, not only does this not happen, but the powers that be discourage this.

That free speech is being shut down in certain influential quarters is evidenced by the fact that the gateways to the Internet: Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. have done just this with those whose views are deemed unacceptable and these are usually associated with those deemed to be the alternative or extreme right and rarely those on the left. I have discussed this in the past and no doubt will do so again since the Internet is these days the most important means of putting one’s message across and if barred from doing so because those who have the power don’t like what is being said is a concern. It is noticeable that dealing with hate crime has in recent years been given extra priority. While some see this as a positive development, others feel it distracts from the real issues that need addressing and that “hate” is being seen increasingly in subjective terms, as determined by those who claim to be subject to hate and those who decide what is hateful and what isn’t and which claims to pursue.

The areas of contention are many and one that has recently come to prominence is the question: are there more genders than male and female? Recently, I posted on my Facebook page an article titled: “College student kicked out of class for telling professor there are only two genders”, which on the face of it was yet another prima facie example on what I am trying to put across. What followed was a lively exchange including comments by two “sensible” friends that the student was being deliberately obnoxious and the kicking out, even if regrettable, may have been warranted. It got me thinking about when to speak or not to speak and the “true, necessary and kind” principle that I suggest to people to consider before opening their mouths. But I also think of what happens when too few speak out. What might have happened if people had done so when Hitler’s Nazism was on the rise is something we will never know, but by the time people awoke to the evil it was too late. What I do know is right now the world faces tyranny and in good old Hebrew prophet tradition the people deserve to be warned. I have no crystal ball as to what will happen concerning the culture etc. but do fear tyranny is something we will see more of but in the sure knowledge that after that Christ the King will reign righteously.

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