The Tommy Knockers

Yesterday a chap called Mohammed Shafiq who works for the BBC boasted he’d got Tommy Robinson booted off Facebook:


Given Tommy Robinson and several of his supporters have indeed been booted off Facebook, it’s reasonable to assume Shafiq is boasting in good faith. Here’s how elected representatives to Britain’s parliament reacted:


How dare a British citizen be allowed to generate a huge following through utterances of unapproved opinions! Does he not understand Article 58? Facebook should be forced to bend to the will of the British government!


We need an independent social media regulator to ban people politicians don’t like!

We ought not to be surprised by this. Free speech in the UK is dead, assuming it ever existed. Last week an elderly black Christian street preacher was arrested for being Islamaphobic and racist. Maybe there’s more to that story than the media is reporting, but I see no reason to give plod the benefit of the doubt. When you have politicians demanding companies be regulated to suppress dissenting voices and the police arresting wrong-thinkers and none of this creates much of a stir outside libertarian circles, you can assume a good chunk of the population has forgotten the importance of free speech and will have to learn it the hard way.

Over here in France we have Charlie Hebdo, and as I’ve written before, their mere existence is reassuring:

Rather than getting upset about Charlie Hebdo’s puerile and offensive front covers, we should be glad that at least someone is putting them out there. If they weren’t, how could we be sure that speech was still free? And how would we know that what we said was not going to land us in trouble?

So long as Charlie Hebdo can continue to do what it does, everyone else is free to speak, write, and draw as they please. Once we enter into the territory of differentiating between deliberate and inadvertent offence, it becomes a negotiation with those who don’t recognise our right to do either and would rather silence us completely.

It’s also worth repeating that the sale of Charlie Hebdo, one way or another, would be prohibited in the UK. Perhaps because memories of occupation and deportations still linger, the French seem to assign greater importance to free speech than either the British or Americans. Fortunately for the Yanks they have their first amendment. Unfortunately for us, we’re at the mercy of low-IQ grifters like Lammy and Watson. This will not stop with Tommy Robinson, and one gets the impression they’re just getting warmed up.

As I’ve said before, it won’t be long before the only place political discussion can take place outside dreary repetition of establishment-approved doctrine will be in the comments sections at Pr0nhub.

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33 thoughts on “The Tommy Knockers

  1. Facebook is dying Tim. It only survives flogging personal data on the mugs who bare all on it. What more do you want us to do other than leave it as a rump organisation selling info on idiots? Burn their HQ? Hang Zuckers? He is already killing off his own business. We need an Internet the shite–public or private–can’t control AT ALL. Remember the old excuses like “national security” are dying. Everybody is increasingly aware that the world’s political shit serve the wannabe globo-elite not their supposed citizens. It takes a long time for folks to get good and mad en masse. France is there and the UK is on the way.

  2. Of course Tommy Robinson must be silenced, unlike Abu Haza, who was given a Police guard of honour when he was blocking streets around the Finsbury park mosque. I am convinced that he would still be preaching if the USA had not requested his presence in the ADX Florence prison in Colorado.

    Wikipedia has a reasonably good entry on him.

    When Youtube tried to remove anything relating to guns on its platform, Pornhub, being, obviously, not constrained by any sort of problem with its content and subject matter, was proposed as a platform that could host gun related videos. Full30.com was set up in response to this and Youtube semi backed down on the matter. I suppose it was in response to the potential drop in revenue if they did. It’s still odd that Youtube still allows Islamic and Jihadi type material on its platform.

    But there again for some inexplicable reason, Muslims are the untouchables when it comes to things like this.

  3. “The public interest demands an end to laissez-faire regulation, so we can create a place where reasonable debate can take place without trolls, extremists and racist thugs seeking to damage and undermine society. That requires an independent social media regulator with teeth.”

    Let’s hope its teeth are sharp enough to shred the Quran, then, Tom Watson.

  4. Each time Arsebook gets bullied into censorship is one step nearer to classification as editorial, not mere platform.
    When will the line be crossed and the torrent of lawsuits begin?

  5. If TR earns his main income via internet posts then he may be protected under EU law, which guarantees his right to work.
    Banning him from the internet might be an interesting one for our learned friends.

  6. I’m inclined to think the importance of social media is vastly over rated. Particularly Farcebook & Twatter.Can’t help but notice Tim regularly refers to Twatterings by various people. Don’t know about anyone else who comments here, but that’s the only way I become aware of Twats. I years ago got pissed off by the attempts of people to waste my time by engaging in conversations via SMS. Why the f**k would I want to spend 10 minutes pecking at a phone keyboard for something could be said in 20 seconds? If you can’t afford the cost of the call, you’re obviously not worth paying attention to. And Twatter providing a platform for the medium hasn’t changed my mind. It’s just tossers texting “Me, me me..” & their followers looking for opportunities to respond with “Me, me, me…”s of their own. The fact that some of them are famous & self important people doesn’t disbar them from tosserdom.
    As for Farcebook, the very fact that people wish to document their trivial pointless lives for wider consumption asks serious questions about their mental health. Why are they under the illusion there’s anyone who’s interested?
    What puzzles me is why everyone takes it so seriously.
    Brings us to commentating on blogs, doesn’t it. Personally, it’s a response to Latins being so poor at appointment keeping & having time on my hands, waiting. And there’s only so much pr0n you can watch.

  7. Incidentally, the above demonstrates the advantages of Whatsap. Anyone who’s time is of so little value to them they would initiate a Whatsap dialogue rather than pay for a brief phone call is self defining as a c*nt & not worth talking to. Unfortunately this seems to describe the entirety of the Hispanic world. Possibly, accurately.

  8. It us to be fun. It did. It was the Wild West. And now they want to turn it into a vicar’s garden party. For shame!

    Oh, and we still have Viz.

  9. Re: free speech in France: I don’t know the ins and outs, but aren’t they cracking down on anti-Semitism or something as we speak?

  10. “it won’t be long before the only place political discussion can take place outside dreary repetition of establishment-approved doctrine”

    Since my mother and sisters visit at Christmas and the many unproductive political discussions that we had. Followed by the Welsh Rabid post reminding me that Alun Richards one of the best story tellers of his time saying to me that he would never discuss politics and John Buchan’s response to Gareth Young in the same vein, I am coming to the way of thinking that one should chose very carefully and sparingly who they wish to engage in a political discussion with.

  11. Bloke in Spain: that it takes you a long time to type a text is your own failing. Most of us can perform the task in a quick fashion.
    Texting fits a niche in the way humans choose to communicate. A phone call isn’t always necessary or appropriate and it has nothing to do with the price of a call. For most of us on a contract, the majority of calls cost nothing extra. Your claim that anyone who cannot afford a call would not be worth talking to is staggeringly stupid. Sometimes incredibly intelligent and insightful people (people who would never make a comment like yours) fall on hard times and are no less interesting as a result.

  12. The gubmint are rolling out mandatory wanker registration from April, so even pr0nhubs comment section isn’t safe… Unless you’re a terrorist using a VPN, proxy or tor of course…

    But us citizens need protecting, and besides, won’t someone think of the children?

  13. Has anyone else been following Tommy Robinson’s #Panodrama saga?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6wdP5hTf_phre6Q3kFiV2g

    It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck, where each car represents msm credibility.

    Short version: BBC’s John Sweeney was doing a rigorously impartial documentary on Tommy Robinson, but one of his sources decided to play the mole, and recorded her conversation with him, allowing Tommy Robinson to wrench innocent comments out of context in order to paint a misleading picture of John Sweeney’s character.

    At least, that seems to be John Sweeney’s interpretation when Tommy Robinson plays it back to his face…

    Haven’t quite finished watching it, yet. Of course, what TR’s doing is grossly unfair, if he’s playing it straight. If he’s doing it to highlight that this is exactly what the BBC does to him, then it’s absolutely brilliant. Haven’t heard him make that analogy explicitly, though. Still 15 minutes left, though…

  14. ” For most of us on a contract, the majority of calls cost nothing extra.”

    That is, of course Matt, the clue. They aren’t. And the degree of my tolerance for impecunious intellectuals is well known.

  15. In regards to the attack on freedom of speech on places like Farcebook & Twatter, if you ever thought you had one you were kidding yourself. You don’t own them. Their shareholders own them. You don’t even pay for the services. If you want to have rights to exercise, pay for them.
    My concern is that if politicians get the power to interfere with what’s on the freebie platforms they’ll get the power to interfere anywhere they choose. But my on-line discussion experience goes back to Usenet & we managed very well before the World Wide Web, thanks very much. Maybe we’ll go back to it & politicians can go take a flying fuck.

  16. Bloke in Spain,

    To add my agreement, way back in the day to access Usenet you paid for access to a server – either directly at your ISP, or a third party (okay, university students notwithstanding). Some providers, like Demon, for a while made a full uncensored newsfeed a selling point of why you should go with them; if you didn’t like policies or service or pricing at one, you went and found one you preferred.

    If you’re a paying customer you’re potentially worth indulging and listening to, lest you take your money elsewhere. If you’re merely viewed as a target to have advertising shoved in front of, you’ll get what you’re given.

  17. The gubmint are rolling out mandatory wanker registration from April, so even pr0nhubs comment section isn’t safe

    The thing is, pr0n will always be available. No matter what they try, like drugs there’s too much demand. There’s not huge demand for dissenting politics so we can’t set up our own systems, but we can piggy back on the pr0n kings.

  18. In regards to the attack on freedom of speech on places like Farcebook & Twatter, if you ever thought you had one you were kidding yourself.

    That’s quite correct, but like there are two things:

    1) Like it or not, political discussions which have huge effect on voting outcomes are taking place on private social media platforms. Excluding people from these is interfering with the political process, which is why they’re doing it. That it’s happening on private platforms doesn’t alter this.

    2) Electricity is also provided by private companies. If politicians started leaning on them to cut off wrongthinkers, they’d probably do it. These aren’t decisions made by private companies of their own accord.

  19. “Like it or not, political discussions which have huge effect on voting outcomes are taking place on private social media platforms. ”

    I reckon you’re kidding yourself on this one, Tim. To Twatter followers it may look like this. Because they follow Twatter. How many others do? Among my not inconsiderable circle of acquaintances I don’t think I’ve ever heard it mentioned in conversation. Not once. There’s a few people have directed my attention to their Farcebook page. But excluding the bints who are, after all bints & get damp posting selfies, it’s generally the sadder ones. Most people are too busy having lives to document them.
    I’ve always taken the companies’ claimed “active accounts” numbers with an enormous pinch of salt, anyway. If you go looking for a name on F/B mostly you come up with a page with maybe one entry 3 years back. Come to think of it, that’s more than’s on the 3 accounts I’ve running. Used for snooping for other people’s accounts 🙂
    A Twitterstorm’s literally a storm in a teacup. Just happens the cup contains mostly assholes & journalists. Although I wouldn’t like to imply any separation there.

  20. Your claim that anyone who cannot afford a call would not be worth talking to is staggeringly stupid.

    I disagree entirely. The time I waste dealing with somebody is not just about them, it is the sands in the egg-timer of life ticking away. By someone calling rather than texting they are expending money doing so and therefore the communication has some (potentially tiny) intrinsic value to them.

    A free WhatsApp has zero cost and therefore zero value.

    By placing small barriers like that in the way it prevents time wasters and free-loaders. That has value to me – in fact my pay-as-you-go phone has been running on the same £10 top up since sometime last summer, since I only make necessary calls and SMS’s plus Mr.Number app blocks all of the irrelevant shite (like accident claims and other scams).

  21. Of course it’s only a matter of time before people start claiming that they’re reading Pr0nHub “for the comment threads”

  22. A free WhatsApp has zero cost and therefore zero value.

    The app is free, to acquire the capability of using it costs money.

    Also, by your logic, if you call someone with WhatsApp you’re a wanker, but not if you use your mobile network for the same conversation.

  23. My distributors (cold chain food) run practically their entire business in WhatsApp. All my communications with one of my overseas licensees are in WhatsApp. You old farts shouldn’t judge by your wives sending cat videos to their friends all day.

  24. I reckon you’re kidding yourself on this one, Tim.

    I might be. While I’m sure the vast majority of people don’t form their political opinions from what they read on social media, the vehemently active ones seem to do just that. Who knows how this affects outcomes?

  25. “My distributors (cold chain food) run practically their entire business in WhatsApp. ”
    I have businesses try to do that with me. I prefer dealing with grown ups. I like to see e-mails that are proper documents with attachments can be saved to file. And I don’t work off a fucking phone!
    “Also, by your logic, if you call someone with WhatsApp you’re a wanker, but not if you use your mobile network for the same conversation.”
    It’s an indication of something. That they’re a member of that ever growing section of society that think that there should be no cost to them of what they do. The Free Stuff Army. Someone else always has to pay.
    The same people who have largely colonised social media. Who regard it as their playground, by right, for them & their kids. Who having colonised it, insisted on the social media companies sanitised it so they wouldn’t risk stumbling across something challenged their sensibilities or exposed their children to the grubbier side of life. That’s the beach head the politicians are now exploiting to clamp down on what they regard as “bad thought”.
    What we’re talking about is a sense of entitlement. That society is obliged to provide them with what they want. I find I get these people come round the house. The first thing they demand is the wifi log-on so they can leach off of the house internet connection rather than use their own data plan. Half of them haven’t even got one & just rely on other people. Second demand is to change the TV channel to what they want to watch & drink to to enjoy whilst they do so.
    So I use whatsap as a filter. I employ a lot of what you could call “casual labour”. I set them a little test. “Phone me” I watch the message or call come in on whatsap & ignore it. If they haven’t got or won’t invest the 50 cents on a phone call, WTF would I want to employ them? They’ve already marked themselves as a ligger.
    My thinking, there’s two sorts of people. Responsible adults & assholes. Responsible adults, they want something – they expect to pay for it. And to have worked for the money to pay. The thing about having money is it keeps the assholes at a distance.
    It’s one reason I doubt the influence of the big social media companies on the current resurgence of the right. The sort of people who voted Trump or Brexit are active not passive. Apart from a few right wing nutters, they’re not the sort of people pound keyboards into the early hours. They’re too busy doing things. I think of my own path to this site. Picking up a link to the old Biased-BBC blog from the comments on one of the MSM sites. From there to Devils Kitchen, TimW & now TimN. And a lot of other places. Finding people writing stuff I found interesting. I can’t imagine I’d have bothered from watching assholes yelling at each other on Twatter.

  26. I actually quite like whatsapp. Its like a grown up version of texting. Its also good for sharing pictures, and having private communication groups for organisations for example (I’m in a cricket club whatsapp group). But then I don’t have a smart phone so run whatsapp on an android emulator on my PC so my use of it isn’t exactly the norm.

  27. John Sweeney Under Investigation at BBC after “Cannibal” Slur
    This week John Sweeney compares the working class to uncivilized “cannibals” and “aliens”. Recorded by an undercover journalist working for Tommy Robinson – the BBC is now investigating Sweeney.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBkBZfwVpdw

  28. “Electricity is also provided by private companies. If politicians started leaning on them to cut off wrongthinkers, they’d probably do it”

    Yet another reason NOT to have a smart meter…

    And before anyone asks – a remotely controllable cut-off device is part of the SMETS specification, for both gas & electricity “smart meters”.

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