The War Against Tommy Robinson

The War Against Tommy Robinson, by Stefan Molyuneaux, recently banned in New Zealand.

The rule of law is fragile, and relies on the self-restraint of the majority. In a just society, the majority obey the law because they believe it represents universal values — moral absolutes. They obey the law not for fear of punishment, but for fear of the self-contempt that comes from doing wrong.

As children, we are told that the law is objective, fair and moral. As we grow up, though, it becomes increasingly impossible to avoid the feeling that the actual law has little to do with the Platonic stories we were told as children. We begin to suspect that the law may in fact — or at least at times — be a coercive mechanism designed to protect the powerful, appease the aggressive, and bully the vulnerable.

The arrest of Tommy Robinson is a hammer-blow to the fragile base of people’s respect for British law. The reality that he could be grabbed off the street and thrown into a dangerous jail — in a matter of hours — is deeply shocking.

Robinson was under a suspended sentence for filming on courthouse property in the past. On May 25, while live-streaming his thoughts about the sentencing of alleged Muslim child rapists, he very consciously stayed away from the court steps, constantly used the word alleged, and checked with the police to ensure that he was not breaking the law.

Selective enforcement:

He yelled questions at the alleged criminals on their way into court. But so what? How many times have you watched reporters shouting questions at people going in and out of courtrooms? You can find pictures of reporters pointing cameras and microphones at Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter, who were also accused of sex crimes against children. …

Is the law being applied fairly? Robinson has received countless death threats over the years, and has reported many of them. Did the police leap into action to track down and prosecute anyone sending those threats?  …

Is Tommy Robinson being treated fairly? If gangs of white men had spent decades raping and torturing little Muslim girls, and a justly outraged Muslim reporter was covering the legal proceedings, would he be arrested? We all know the answer to that question. And we all know why. …

A guilty government is hiding:

If the British government truly believes that incarcerating Tommy Robinson is legitimate, then they should call a press conference, and answer as many questions as people have, explaining their actions in detail. As we all know, there has been no press conference. Instead of transparency, the government has imposed a publication ban — not just on the trial of the alleged child rapists, but on the arrest and incarceration of Tommy Robinson. Not only are reporters unable to ask questions, they are forbidden from even reporting the bare facts about Robinson’s incarceration. …

Free societies can function only if there is general respect for the rule of law. If the application of the law appears selective, unjust or political, people begin to believe that the law no longer represents universal moral values. If so, what is their relationship to unjust laws? Should all laws be obeyed, independent of conscience or reason? The moral progress of mankind has always manifested as resistance to injustice. Those who ran the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves get from America to Canada were criminals according to the law of their day. We now think of them as heroes defying injustice, because the law was morally wrong.

hat-tip Stephen Neil