Tommy Robinson, or to give him his actual real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is what the media call a ‘controversial figure’ as is there’s an actual controversy as to whether or not he’s a far-right bigot being used by other far right-bigots to attract more people to their cause which is an aggressive ethnic nationalism of the type we see in Russia and sweeping across parts of Eastern Europe.In saner times he’d be someone long forgotten about, but we’re not in normal times; we’re in the age where actual real fascists are given the sort of voice they could only dream of.
Now I’m not talking about censoring people;I’m talking of ensuring we don’t give platforms to people with criminal background who has a violent past and would happily see blood on the streets. We don’t do that to Islamists so why does Yaxley-Lennon get a pass, especially at the BBC?
The other night Lennon was on the BBC’s Newsnight, giving him the sort of exposure he could only dream of. People complained and the BBC said this:
Seems reasonable? Except it isn’t. The BBC have had issues with their producers pushing a right wing agenda, and on Question Time they’ve excluded pro-EU SNP/Plaid/Green/Labour MEP’s completely over the last five years. Centre-left to left wing views have been excluded deliberately, while fascists and demagogues are given free range to spread lies and hatred often unchallenged.
Fact is the BBC has become an unreliable source of information, even part of the problem in that it’s helped nurture an especially British/English form of ethnic nationalism wrapped in the Union Jack and with an unhealthy fetishisation of the armed forces, not to mention a longing of mythic days that never happened. And the BBC are giving these people a platform in the name of fairness while ignoring the larger picture, or just what these people actually do.
So remember this next time you see a Stephen Yaxley-Lennon of one of his ilk being presented on the BBC as something more than the fascist thug he actually is.