It’s Tommy this, and Tommy that

I’ve written before on here (1, 2, 3) about how western militaries no longer serve the purpose they’re thought to, and are instead merely vehicles with which to enact deranged progressive fantasies. Today, the Daily Mail brings us this story:

The Army is investigating after far-right activist Tommy Robinson posted a photograph of himself surrounded by soldiers.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, 35, shared a picture of himself posing with a group of grinning young men in camouflage fatigues.

He also posted a video of himself on Monday with a crowd of Army personnel-believed to be at the Watford Gap motorway services on the M1 – who started cheering and shouting his name.

Firstly, it’s amusing that all the papers ran this story without having a clue who the soldiers were. Not so long ago papers would have employed people who could recognise units by their headdress and insignia, but now they just run the story and ask any reader who knows who they are to get in touch pronto. For all I can tell, these young lads might be Army Cadets which would make the investigation rather amusing.

Secondly, there is a reason why soldiers may like Tommy Robinson in a way the chattering middle classes and secret barristers don’t. He is working class, patriotic, and appears to have the best interests of Britain’s native-born, working class population at heart. In other words, a lot of soldiers can relate to him. Ten or twenty years ago, a young Tommy Robinson would have been the exact profile recruiting sergeants would have been looking for to fill the ranks of the infantry. Nowadays, however:

The Army said it is aware of the photograph and footage and is ‘investigating the circumstances surrounding this’.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Far right ideology is completely at odds with the values and ethos of the Armed Forces.

Is posing for photos with Tommy Robinson at Watford Gap services evidence of having a far right ideology? It doesn’t matter: what is important is soldiers have been caught being friendly with someone the ruling class has deemed a wrongthinker, and this is unacceptable.

The Armed Forces have robust measures in place to ensure those exhibiting extremist views are neither tolerated nor permitted to serve.

And what, pray tell, constitutes “extremist views” in today’s modern army? Wanting to kill the nation’s enemies? So if patriotic, white working class soldiers are deemed problematic, who does the army prefer? Ah:

Imam Asim Hafiz, Islamic religious advisor to the Armed Forces, said that ‘any form of racism, discrimination or extremism is taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with accordingly’.

I find it highly amusing that an Imam is in the national press dictating what opinions British soldiers may hold.

‘The Armed Forces remain absolutely committed to welcoming individuals from across all faiths and cultures into its ranks,’ he added.

Unless they happen to be from a similar culture as Tommy Robinson, evidently. Give it a few months and there’ll be headlines complaining the Army can’t recruit enough soldiers.


43 thoughts on “It’s Tommy this, and Tommy that

  1. I wish I could find that “highly amusing”. Given that the march through the institutions has now reached the officer corps of our Armed Forces it’s quite hard to have faith in the future. However, soldiers have always had to try to do the right thing while paying lip service to whatever rubbish the “Ruperts” currently believe. Let’s hope they still do.

  2. To be honest, appearing in any politically sensitive manner while in uniform has been a disciplinary or, latterly, administrative offence for all the time I’ve been in. Regardless what you think, or don’t really bother thinking, about Tommy, he is undeniably and deliberately clearly “politically sensitive”.

    The unlamented Eric Joyce ex-MP was asked (forced?) to resign his commission for repeatedly writing for the Fabian Society as a serving AGC(ETS) officer.

    I’ve recently heard of an Honorary Colonel being asked to resign after his photograph, in uniform, appeared in a political leaflet. (No linky thing, sorry.)

  3. One has to wonder at the rapid (and relentlessly negative) “establishment” reaction to all things Tommy.

    He’d really nettle them if he called for the sacking of a certain senior fatso plod.

  4. To be honest, appearing in any politically sensitive manner while in uniform has been a disciplinary or, latterly, administrative offence for all the time I’ve been in.

    A bunch of near-kids giving a thumbs up during a chance meeting at a service station? It’s not quite the same as a colonel appearing in a political leaflet, is it?

  5. ” In other words, a lot of soldiers can relate to him.”

    And a lot of those soldiers will have seen at first hand what a society run on strict Islamic principles is like.

    Also, a good chunk of those soldiers will look distinctly askance at the idea that Islam is a “religion of peace”…

  6. No, its not quite the same. It is, however, still within the range of “things you are expected as a serving soldier not to do.”

    Of course, if your side thought is correct and it was cadets then that’s going to really eff things up!

  7. In the bad old days, soldiers had to do something vicious to an enemy’s body. Now all you have to do is offend, and the opponents are mortally hurt.

    Strange is it not that murderers, rapists and thugs in prison may have political opinions but Tommies of whatever ilk may not.

  8. Once I’d have been happy if my lad would have one day decided on a military career, in todays army? I’d fight tooth and nail to stop him.

  9. @Surreptitious Evil

    I think we agree that if the soldiers are in uniform, then they have to behave like soldiers, regardless of their age. But I think the phrase “appearing in any politically sensitive matter” is far too broad. What they have to do is avoid any appearance of loyalty towards any particular political party, as opposed to loyalty towards the state, which is fine.

    So appearing in a particular party’s propaganda is obviously out-of-bounds. Same, I suppose, would be for representing a party, or advancing in its ranks. Simply voting for a party, or being a member without publicizing it, would not be out-of-bounds.

    Now, Tommy isn’t a representative of any party. He’s not even a member, at least not yet. The only way you could justify applying this rule to him would be to imagine him at the head of an inchoate, unofficial party (maybe they’ll call it “ExEDL”), in the manner of Hitler’s SA. This would require quite a degree of paranoia – or simply believing what you read of him in the MSM, which accomplishes much the same purpose.

    The interesting thing is that most of these men seemed to know they would risk trouble (from what I’ve heard in other videos), and just didn’t care.

  10. I’m getting promotional Tweets that seem to indicate that TPTB are looking for inspirational people to hand out awards to….


    A Knighthood – Sir Stephen Yaxley-Lennon,

    A White Feather – Sir Craig Mackey

    You never know …. it might become the new Boaty McBoatface

  11. To this American the British press has seriously channeled the Streisand Effect wrt Tommy Robinson. Much like Richard Spencer, TR is a guy whom, though I reflexively distrust labels of “far-right” by media outlets, I just couldn’t find myself giving a shit about due to limited bandwidth.

    I don’t know what he stands for or why he was sent to prison, and simply didn’t care. However the ensuing 100% negative media coverage of him, including MSM members mocking him for fearing for his life and being complicit in the re-arrest and media blackout thereof, and relentless negative coverage has finally piqued my interest.

    So congrats British press, you’ve finally got me interested in (and automatically sympathetic to) Tommy Robinson – a figure you’d rather I ignore and scorn. I look forward to finding out just how reasonable his far-right hate-mongering is.

  12. The military disassociating itself from politics is a comparatively recent phenomenon: e.g. this page has a table of commissioned officers serving in Parliaments of 1690 to 1713, with 103 (16.6%) in 1690, and 104 (18%) in 1707; and in from 1790 to 1820, 398 army officers entered Parliament holding every rank from ensign to general, along with 100 naval officers. Prior to that, it was General Monck who saved us from Parliamentary tyranny by effecting the Restoration of Charles II.

    Although the armed forces are only expected to dissociate themselves from one side of the political aisle—marching on LGBT parades, chummying up to Muslims, etc. is encouraged.

    HMG is also very selective in those they target for prosecution. The police get a free pass for most of their mistakes (e.g. the shooting of Harry Stanley), and HMG seem little bothered where the Navy’s cruise missiles and RAF’s bombs end up(*). It just seems to be the infantry who are crucified—that body of traditionally working class Brits.
    (* ‘Air strikes in Iraq and Syria by the RAF have killed nearly 1,000 enemy “combatants” but not a single civilian, the Ministry of Defence has claimed.’ Independent, 30 Apr 2016. Yeah, right. If they’re that good, when Ulster kicks off again, we can just send in the air force and they’ll kill all the Irish republican terrorists ‘but not a single civilian’—indeed, maybe the RAF’s jets should take over the armed police function?)
    This persecution, together with the SJW’isation of first the police and now the armed forces, seems to be really about divorcing those traditionally working class British organisations from the communities from which they were once drawn; so that come The Day they will reliably turn their weapons on what remains of the British people when so ordered. Socialists once had a saying: ‘A bayonet is a weapon with a working man at each end’; perhaps we could update this to: ‘A drone is a weapon with a working man on the receiving end and an SJW at the other.’

    HMG is transforming the armed forces into a body that exists not to defend the nation but to defend the government from the nation.

  13. When it was last applied to me, I had to stop inputting in to the discussions around the suitability of the proposed new locations for the War Memorial (at which I run the local Remembrance Parade), because it had become politically contentious.

    With the result that the memorial is now in a place convenient for the council (and doesn’t actually have the Memorial at it), and is almost bloody impossible to run a Remembrance _Parade_ (and fairly hard if all I had to do was to run a stationary gathering) at.

    I don’t know when this all came in – but it was already there when I joined up which was in the 1980s.

  14. @Sam

    To this Brit the American press has seriously channeled the Streisand Effect wrt DJT (and the BBC’s attempts to out-CNN @CNN)

  15. TomO

    Sure, but one of them is the over-the-top President of the world’s superpower and the other appears to just be an opinionated bloke (to use the parlance).

    It takes some effort to ignore the US President, as I found while consuming right-wing media during the Obama years, but it should be probable – likely even – for someone like me to never know who TR is, much less care. Alas, I know and now care.

  16. “Ten or twenty years ago, a young Tommy Robinson would have been the exact profile recruiting sergeants would have been looking for to fill the ranks of the infantry.”

    Really? Career criminals and football hooligans, like Yaxley-Lennon? He has convictions for mortgage fraud, violence, drugs and travelling on a false passport. The army wouldn’t have touched him.

  17. It was a group selfie with an himoff They’d have done the same with a loser from Britain’s Got Talent.

  18. And if we’re getting too prissy about whom we’re recruiting, maybe that’s part of the problem (and perhaps part of HMG readying for when the war on the native working class stops being metaphorical)?
    Wellington more than once described his soldiers as the ‘scum of the earth’—N.B. these words are usually quoted out of context with his next words left out: ‘It is only wonderful that we should be able to make so much out of them afterwards.’ On another occasion, after describing them as ‘the very scum of the earth’, he continued, ‘you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are’ (Earl Stanhope, Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington. 1831–1851, 14,18).
    Far from insulting his troops he was making a point, that the army recruited from the dregs of society but with hard training and discipline transformed them into the ‘the finest and bravest soldiers in the world’ (The Despatches of Field-Marshal The Duke of Wellington, 324). And it was with those transformed ‘scum of the earth’ in the ranks of army and navy that we beat one enemy after another.
    Is HMF more effective for today’s ‘better’ class of recruit and gentler training? Not if they surrender without a fight and cry themselves to sleep after getting their iPod nicked.

  19. Come off it Theo. The Iron Duke himself called his men the scum of the Earth. Altho’ he cared about them a lot more than most of his contemporaries on all sides.

  20. Tim
    By the time he was 20, Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson, Andrew McMaster and Paul Harris) was serving a 12 month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer. He started young, as most football hooligans do.

  21. Very true, Ecks, that Wellington cared about his men. While the bourgeois Napoleon airily dismissed the French dead after Austerlitz (1805) with the comment, ‘the women of Paris can replace those men in one night’ (Bernard Cornwell, Waterloo, 23), blue-blooded Wellington lamented after Waterloo: ‘My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won. The bravery of my troops has hitherto saved me from the greater evil; but to win such a battle as this of Waterloo, at the expense of so many gallant friends, could only be termed a heavy misfortune but for the result to the public.’ (W.H. Davenport Adams, Memorable Battles in English History, 400) In stark contrast, refusing Metternich’s peace proposal in 1813, Napoleon said, ‘I grew up on the field of battle. A man like me cares little for the lives of a million men’ (Frank McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 558).
    And for all his patrician aloofness and belief in stern discipline, his men appreciated him: after the Battle of Albuera (1811) where William Beresford commanded, Wellington visited some of the wounded, telling them, ‘Oh, old 29th, I am sorry to see so many of you here’; and a man replied, ‘Oh, my lord, if you had only been with us, there would not have been so many of us here’ (W.H. Maxwell, Peninsular Sketches, vol.2, 331). And a Geordie private echoed the sentiment, asking his mate on the morning of that battle:
    ‘Whore’s ar Arthur?’
    ‘I don’t know, I don’t see him,’ replied Cooper. ‘Aw wish he wor here,’ said the man. ‘And so,’ mused Cooper, ‘did I.’
    (Richard Holmes, Wellington: The Iron Duke, 2003, 153; citing John Spencer Cooper, Rough Notes of Seven Campaigns 1809–15, 1996, 63.)

    Theophrastus, assaulting one of our ‘boys in blue’ in 1903 would deserve strong condemnation; assaulting one of our ‘SJWs in blue’ in 2003, not so much. Further, the Telegraph reports that ‘during a drunken argument he assaulted a man who turned out to be an off-duty police officer’, which raises the possibility that the cop was at least as much to blame for the incident. Further again, someone who gets in drunken fights is probably less likely to cry himself to sleep over a nicked iPod. And further again, once a man has served his time, he should be allowed to move on—or do you not believe in rehabilitation and prefer restoring the Black Act and imposing the death penalty for almost all felonies?

  22. By the time he was 20, Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson, Andrew McMaster and Paul Harris) was serving a 12 month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer.

    The army used to be quite happy recruiting 17 and 18 year olds who, if they didn’t join the army, would likely end up in prison for assault.

  23. Scotched Earth

    “or do you not believe in rehabilitation”

    *sigh* Yaxley-Lennon has a long criminal record, as I mentioned above.


    “The army used to be quite happy recruiting 17 and 18 year olds who, if they didn’t join the army, would likely end up in prison for assault.”

    Yaxley-Lennon is a career criminal. The army recruiters would probably have rumbled him at the interview stage. If not, he would probably have been thrown out.

  24. Theophrastus: ‘*sigh* Yaxley-Lennon has a long criminal record, as I mentioned above.
    *sigh* *stares thoughtfully into middle distance* *scratches cheek* *sips tea* *types on keyboard*
    You really think that helps? Just write what you’re going to write, I don’t need extraneous details of your bodily functions.
    Tommy has ‘a long criminal record’ now—now that the State has chosen to target him. But he didn’t have ‘a long criminal record’ in 2003, did he?
    As for him accumulating ‘a long criminal record’ since then—if the State pored over everyone’s life with a microscope as they have done to Tommy, who of us wouldn’t end up with ‘a long criminal record’? You mentioned his conviction for ‘mortgage fraud’—what exactly was the nature of the fraud? Technically, many things can be deemed ‘fraud’ including bumping up one’s salary or covering up gaps in employment history; yet those ‘frauds’ need not involve any dishonest intention to avoid payment. And his conviction for the false passport is a joke: as Ayn Rand wrote:

    There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

    (Atlas Shrugged, Signet, 404)
    When you push someone over the legal Rubicon and don’t allow them back, don’t act surprised when they behave like the criminal that you created.

  25. I recall recruiting sergeants staying in Scottish village pubs (1980s) and attending the local courts to harvest those that preferred Bulford to Barlinnie.

  26. The powers that be are actually helping Tommy Robinson in this case, although they are too stupid to see. If they punish these troops they will push a lot of like minds towards Tommy. Now here he is supporting them against authority and standing by them and willing to back them. How will this turn out when the next court case stitches Tommy up?

  27. @ScotchedEarth

    I agree with your points. As for the details of the Mortgage fraud, as I recall, it went like this: His brother-in-law took out a partial mortgage to buy a house. His brother-in-law signed an affidavit stating that the money he used to fund the rest of the purchase was his own money. In fact, it was money Tommy Robinson had lent him. Therefore, Tommy Robinson was thrown in jail as an accessory for mortgage fraud.

    Tommy Robinson believes the whole thing was a stitch-up to throw him in jail because he was leading the EDL at the time. He was pressured into pleading guilty under threat of having his wife’s name and face made public, as it was her brother who took out the mortgage. The strongest point in favor of the stitch-up interpretation is that when he was released early from jail (as all convicts are), one of the conditions for his release was that he not contact the EDL. Rather unusual release condition for mortgage fraud.

    My source for this is his first book, ‘Enemy of the State’, but I’m pretty sure the bare facts are not in dispute.

    As a general note, when reading people’s reaction to Tommy Robinson, you see a set of arguments which tend appear together: (1) He’s a racist (2) He’s a career criminal (3) He’s got all these aliases, who knows who he really is? These arguments are tells that people have only read msm/antifa propaganda about him.

    As far as I can tell:
    (1) He’s only racist to people who don’t distinguish between ideas and race.

    (2) He has some early convictions which are consonant with his background and upbringing. Yes, he was a bit of a thug, and he probably got drunk and trashed things a lot more than his criminal record shows. But he’s not like that now. The rest of his convictions are due to state persecution, in one form or another (e.g. the UK jailing him for breaking US passport laws, without the US having made such a request). He’s not a career criminal in the typical sense of the word – e.g. burglary, car theft, drug dealing. Yet the term is deliberately used.

    (3) He only used the other aliases briefly, even before the EDL started. His early desire for anonymity is quite understandable, especially after everything we’ve seen. He’s been Tommy Robinson for a decade now. But they are always mentioned, as if he changed names every other Tuesday. This is just posturing.

  28. I think its beginning to dawn on the ruling elites that they have diverged from the people and are widely hated. Trump and Brexit are just two of the more obvious signs.

    They are losing control and they don’t like it. When it comes time to do a ‘Brecht’ they are realising the army will be on the other side. Hence their hysterical overreaction. This just helps their isolation. It also shows TR is a far cleverer tactician than the army chiefs: he turned a (fortuitous?) meeting into a media own goal and personal coup.

  29. Thanks for that background, Jonathan (and for reminding it’s past time I bought his Enemy of the State, and his later Mohammed’s Koran). So, basically a good deed that got punished.
    Trying to find more detail on his convictions, I found this, describing his unsuccessful appealing of the 2005 conviction for the 2004 assault (either reproduced from Evidence of Bad Character by J.R. Spencer, pp.301–304, or comes from the same source; cross-reference with gulag books).
    An off-duty cop rushes to white knight for a damsel and gets a kicking for his trouble. It’s one side’s word against another’s; Tommy is obviously no angel, but neither are 21st Century cops aka ‘the paramilitary wing of the Guardian newspaper’.
    Convicted on majority verdicts—if England had not thrown away one of its greatest gifts to law, the requirement for unanimous verdicts (ended with the Criminal Justice Act 1967), it would have been mistrials on both counts.

    With the level of persecution that Tommy is enduring, I’m only surprised he is not cooking up a fertiliser mix (although, given how the State has him under a microscope, he’s probably ruled out gardening as a hobby—too much risk he’ll exit the garden centre with some petunias to find himself facing the Met’s SC&O19 with levelled HKs and itchy trigger-fingers).

    I thought this a good point:

    Chen Sheng was an officer serving the Qin Dynasty, famous for their draconian punishments. He was supposed to lead his army to a rendezvous point, but he got delayed by heavy rains and it became clear he was going to arrive late. The way I always hear the story told is this:
    Chen turns to his friend Wu Guang and asks “What’s the penalty for being late?”
    “Death,” says Wu.
    “And what’s the penalty for rebellion?”
    “Death,” says Wu.
    “Well then…” says Chen Sheng.
    And thus began the famous Dazexiang Uprising, which caused thousands of deaths and helped usher in a period of instability and chaos that resulted in the fall of the Qin Dynasty three years later.
    The moral of the story is that if you are maximally mean to innocent people, then eventually bad things will happen to you. First, because you have no room to punish people any more for actually hurting you. Second, because people will figure if they’re doomed anyway, they can at least get the consolation of feeling like they’re doing you some damage on their way down.

    (Alexander, Scott. “Radicalizing the Romanceless.” Slate Star Codex, 31 Aug 2014, )

  30. ” He’s been Tommy Robinson for a decade now. But they are always mentioned, as if he changed names every other Tuesday.”

    Presumably had he said he was now a woman called Thomasina Robinson the people who decry his change of name would have no problem………..weird that in todays society the idea you might want a different name is considered more ‘suspect’ than if you want to change sex.

  31. Some goood news:

    Update: “I Am Soldier X.”

    We’ve retained legal counsel to help any soldiers who need it

    If you are a soldier who is being disciplined, or even discharged, for standing with me [Tommy Robinson], or Soldier X, and if you need legal help, please send us an e-mail in strictest confidence — to [email protected]

    Admirable action by Ezra, TR & Rebel Media

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