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Britain’s Most Hated Man Isn’t All That Hateful

Which sums up how I really feel before assembly the book’s writer, Tommy Robinson. What if he seems to be not practically as dangerous as his popularity as ‘Britain’s most hated man’ What if, as some acquainted with him have warned, I turn out to love him and want to plead his cause, and find yourself being tainted as a far-proper thug by association

We meet in a gastropub in a pretty Georgian market town. It’s solely ten minutes from the ‘shithole’ of a dump where Robinson has all the time lived — Luton — and much more congenial for lunch as a result of we’re less more likely to be interrupted by any of the quite a few Muslims who have put him on their dying listing. Robinson, 34, is carrying Stone Island, the popular costly attire (about £800 for a jacket) of violent football hooligans just like the one he was once himself.

Robinson is frank about his misspent youth: his first stint in jail for assaulting a plainclothes policeman; his second one for mortgage fraud; his brawls with rival teams as a member of Luton City’s Men In Gear soccer crew (he thinks Millwall’s unhealthy-boy reputation is overrated; Tottenham has the most effective agency). He is frank about every part he’s achieved, good and bad. It’s part of the pure charm which, just over two years in the past, won the hearts of an at first spittingly hostile viewers on the Oxford Union.

And yes, I do like him. So would you for those who spent a couple of hours in his company. He’s clever, quick, articulate, nicely-knowledgeable, good-mannered — and surprisingly meek in his politics for a man so usually branded a fascist. A lot of his residence pals are black, some are Muslims; he’s not obviously racist or anti-Semitic. He only received into activism and avenue demos as a result of he happened to be a white working-class English lad in precisely the unsuitable place at exactly the mistaken time. It was Luton, sadly, that Islamist proselytiser Anjem Choudary chose as the bottom for his various proscribed organisations.

In consequence the character of the city changed forever; and so did Robinson’s life. The set off was a neighborhood Islamist recruitment drive for the Taleban and a subsequent protest towards a parade by Royal Anglian Regiment troops returning from a tour in Afghanistan.

As he once informed one other interviewer: ‘I was like, they can’t do this! In working-class communities we all know any individual in the Armed Forces. I’ve acquired a mate who lost his legs. And these lot have been sending people to kill our boys.’ So Robinson based the protest organisation that would make him notorious — the English Defence League (he subsequently give up it in 2013).

You know how hateful the EDL is: each-one does. What’s curious, although, is stone island black hoodie how much worse it’s by popularity than in deed. It’s virtually as though the chattering courses wanted some form of bogeyman whose identify they might brandish in outrage occasionally so as to reveal that, while of course they condemn fundamentalist Islam, they feel just as appalled, if not more so, by the ugly spectre of far-right nationalism.

It’s the same with Tommy Robinson. For those who looked at social media in the speedy aftermath of the current terrorist murders on Westminster Bridge, you might need been stunned by the extent to which the righteous rage of the bien-pensant Twitterati was directed not at the killer, Khalid Masood, and the tradition that radicalised him, however relatively at that culture’s most vocal critic, Tommy Robinson. In response to Robinson, this is no accident.

It’s a reflection of the Establishment’s intense reluctance to admit the dimensions of the problem with fundamentalist Islam in Britain. Robinson’s current experiences have made him deeply suspicious of the authorities. Forcing him to share a prison wing with Islamists suggests, to him, that his private welfare is just not precisely their top precedence.

Whereas he was in prison, he refused to eat any common food (he believed it could be poisoned or in any other case contaminated, so he caught to tinned tuna), and made certain to trigger ample hassle so he wound up in solitary the place no one might stab him. His entrance teeth are all fake, the true ones having been knocked out when he acquired trapped in a room with eight Islamists. The only reason he didn’t die, he says, is as a result of they didn’t have any ‘shivs’ (bladed weapons).

He’s a robust advocate of separate prisons for Muslims and non-Muslims: the dimensions of bullying (nobody dare be caught cooking bacon, for example) and the extent of radicalisation, he argues, makes it culturally suicidal to proceed as we’re.

After numerous beatings and attempts on his life, Robinson is beneath no illusions about his prospects of reaching a ripe previous age. ‘I’m a useless man walking,’ he instructed me. It’s not for his personal sake that he minds: only for that of his spouse and three young youngsters. Though his youngsters are as yet unaware of his notoriety (Tommy Robinson is a pseudonym), he’s finding it more durable and tougher to protect them. Last August, police in Cambridge ejected the complete household from a pub on what Robinson claims was a bogus pretext of potential public disorder between rival football followers.

Stone Island Hat Military GreenYou could argue that Tommy Robinson doesn’t exactly assist himself the way he goes looking for hassle half the time. However then, I don’t think that many of us are ready to pass judgment. Not unless we’ve personally shared his worm’s-eye view of Islamic encroachment on our internal cities, which only a few of us ever will. We merely wouldn’t be brave enough.

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