Back in October I hosted a podcast with the excellent blogger and author Eiynah as well as the notorious founder of the EDL, Tommy Robinson. You can read why I felt the conditions and context for this discussion made for a better idea than some may haveinitially feared.
Needless to say, I’ve never had any affinity for the EDL, and I hope my thoughts on that were made clear here:
The EDL’s numbers increased rapidly and they became well-known to the public, media, and the law – for all the wrong reasons. Whether they were always a thuggish, racist & far-right movement, devolved into such, or were simply hijacked by those elements is a topic of debate for some – but regardless – that’s certainly the picture I have of them (which is not to say all members fit that profile of course). I’ve been vocal in my condemnation of The EDL in my personal life, and on Twitter. I hope it’s clear that I harbour no sympathies towards the movement whatsoever…
Needless to say, this doesn’t change what I did know and see of The EDL and I certainly didn’t like it. I didn’t recognise anything in what they were doing that I could identify with or support. Sure, they were making sounds about some mutual concerns, but these sounds were woven amongst a tapestry of sinister ideologies and tactics. As far as I was concerned, The EDL and Islamism were different sides of the same coin.
Tommy Robinson however, remains an interesting character that continues to polarize opinion and challenge perceptions. Whether or not you feel he is the right person to be speaking up on these serious issues is a topic for debate, but the reality is; very few people are speaking up unfortunately.
This is not intended to be an endorsement of Tommy, past or present as I don’t agree with a lot of what he says and does – some of which I brought up on my Podcast when I disagreed that the 10 commandments are a worthy foundation for British society, and argued in favour of secularism instead.
I finally got around to watching his speech at the Oxford Union, which was, as with most things involving Robinson, preceded by controversy. Indeed, there were protests and attempts made to prevent him from speaking at all, even from Academics, once again highlighting the moral confusion of the far-left. The full talk has finally made its way to YouTube and is well worth your time. I think he raised some good points and is clearly passionate about these topics on a personal level. Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d really be interested in gauging opinions given the preconceptions and expectations some may have had before this talk.