The subjects covered in this blog include Islam, Islamism, Slavoj Žižek, IQ tests, Chomsky, Tony Blair, Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marx, Foucault, National/International Socialism, economics, the Frankfurt School, philosophy, anti-racism, etc. - Paul Austin Murphy
Sunday, 16 June 2013
A Tale of Two Tommy Robinson Interviews
1933 to the outbreak of World War II, Churchill was not permitted to talk over
the British radio, which was, of course, a government monopoly administered by
the British Broadcasting Corporation. Here was a leading citizen of his
country, a Member of Parliament, a former cabinet minister, a man who was
desperately trying by every device possible to persuade his countrymen to take
steps to ward off the menace of Hitler’s Germany. He was not permitted to talk
over the radio to the British people because the BBC was a government monopoly
and his position was too ‘controversial’.” – Milton Friedman
This is a tale of two Tommy Robinson
interviews with the BBC.
The first interview with Tommy Robinson, on
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (interviewed by
Sarah Montague), focused primarily on what the EDL stands for and on what it believes.
Robinson came across well in this interview. And precisely because of that it
produced a furore from the usual suspects who criticised the BBC for given
Tommy Robinson ‘a platform’ and ‘an easy time’. The critics came
from all Leftist quarters, from the UAF-SWP to Mehdi Hasan (the man who called
all non-Muslim ‘cattle’ and ‘ignorant’.) In fact the ‘ten questions’ which
Mehdi Hasan ‘bashed out’ as alternative questions, and which he cried that the
BBC should have asked instead (as written in the Huffington Post on the 11th of June), are precisely the questions
which Andrew Neil did eventually ask. Now isn’t that a bit of a coincidence?
As a direct response to that intimidating
backlash, the BBC decided to make amends by conducting an interview, this time
with Andrew Neil, which was the direct opposite of the first once. This time
every single question was about the EDL itself or about Tommy Robinson and his
past. This clearly demonstrated that the
BBC gave in to intimidation and even to threats.
Andrew Neil will of course claim that he’s
his own man. Nonetheless, the BBC did apologise for the first interview and so
there's absolutely no doubt that the producer/controller of the show would have specified
the type of interview he wanted from Andrew Neil. He would have wanted an
interview which would be the direct antithesis of the first interview on the Radio
2 Today programme.
Tommy performed well on the Radio 4 Today
programme. And that's precisely why the Left were so outraged that he was given freedom of speech - which they hate with a passion.
Nevertheless, the Radio 4 journalist, Sarah
Montague, did indeed grill him. It's just that the Left, and perhaps the
interviewer herself, didn't expect Tommy to respond with good and articulate answers
or make any cogent points. Again, Robinson’s good performance was the real
reason why the red fascists reacted in the way that they did.
If the EDL’s message is genuinely so
extreme, and so ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’, then why doesn’t the Left trust the people
to work that out for themselves? Of course SWP/UAF/Hope Note Hate have never
trusted the people, or the working class, to work anything out for itself.
By banning the EDL, and demanding the
Lesser Gulag (the Leftist ‘no platform policy’), the SWP-UAF/Hope Not Hate,
etc. intend to do the people’s thinking for them; which is what they’ve always
tried to do. They simply don’t trust the people; especially the working class! And
that’s the fundamental reason why the British working class has always rejected
the middle-class revolutionary Left.
THE SWP-UAF particularly is intrinsically
totalitarian in both its condescension of the working class and in its belief
that all those who dare to disagree with them either have ‘false consciousness’ or are 'bigots' or 'fascists'. And
if all non-Marxists have False Consciousness, by Marxist definition, then all
of us must therefore allow the SWP-UAF, as the middle-class condescenders that
they are, to do our thinking for us.
This Andrew Neil interview, on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme, is all about
the usual stuff. It's all about Nazi salutes, Tommy once being BNP (a non-activist
member), etc. There were no questions about Muslim grooming, Islamic militancy,
the bomb threats against the EDL, about the killing of Lee Rigby (except on how
the EDL had ‘exploited’ the death), about halal meat in our schools, about
sharia law in the UK, etc. As I said, it was all about the EDL and Tommy
Does Andrew Neil think there are other - more
respectable - people or groups speaking out about these issues? There are others.
However, Andrew Neill would do the same kind of thing to them too. If he
interviewed Liberty GB, for example, he would no doubt ask questions about its
links to the EDL or whether it thinks ‘all Muslims are terrorists’. You know;
the usual mindless stuff. In other
words, because the parliamentary parties aren't tackling these issues, Andrew
Neil basically thinks that no one should
be. But it’s precisely because the parliamentary parties aren’t tackling these issues
that the EDL and other groups exist. Yet despite that dearth of an opposition
to militant Islam, Andrew Neil still deemed it fit to ask questions exclusively
about the EDL and Tommy Robinson’s past.
But what do you expect from a monomaniac of
parliamentary politics? Andrew Neil is a man who has been born and bred on the
minutia of parliamentary politics and on the sad insubstantial differences
between the current Labour and the Conservative Parties.
I believe in the parliamentary system. Despite
that, sometimes we must accept that politics does occur outside Parliament. Indeed
sometimes it must occur outside it.
There must be more to politics that the tit-and-tat pseudo-disputes between
Cameron and Miliband and putting a cross on the ballot box.
mainly because the EDL is outside
Andrew Neil's political milieu that he doesn't like it and that's also
partly why he says that the EDL is or can be 'fascist'. (How can a
single-issue pressure group be a ‘fascist movement’? Strictly speaking,
only political parties can be fascist.)
Nevertheless, non-violent activism (e.g., the Suffragettes) and demonstrations (e.g. the Countryside Alliance) are part of English
history and its political traditions. Surely Andrew Neil must realise and accept that.
Parliament has been in the wrong before. It was wrong in the 1930s when
many of its members were appeasing Hitler and the Nazis (some because
because they were appeasers; others because they were sympathisers). And
the BBC has been wrong before when it too systematically stopped Winston
Churchill from warning the British people about the threat of Hitler and the
Nazis. Does all this sound familiar to you?