That’s right, it’s come to this,
yes it’s come to this,
and wasn’t it a long way down,
wasn’t it a strange way down?
— Leonard Cohen, from “Dress Rehearsal Rag”
I’ve used the title and epigraph for this post several times in the past. I expect I’ll need to use them again in the future. And, given the current freefall of Western political culture, they could well become so clichéd that I’ll eventually have to abandon them.
Just step back for a moment and contemplate how far we have fallen in the past decade or two. Tonight’s focus is on Great Britain, but the situation in Sweden, or Canada, or Germany — or even in the United States, from time to time — could be as easily adduced.
The façade of liberal democracy is still being maintained everywhere, but the institution itself is actually a corpse. It’s like that old movie Weekend at Bernie’s, where two guys carry around a dead body, propping it up and manipulating its limbs to make it seem alive.
At some point, however, the smell will become noticeable…
As you all know by now, the renowned Counterjihad activist Tommy Robinson was arrested last Friday while he was doing a live-stream report on the final phase of a “grooming” trial at Leeds Crown Court. The suspected crime for which he was apprehended was “breach of the peace”, even though it is widely assumed that he was picked up for violating the ban on reporting about the trial.
Since Tommy was still on probation for an earlier (and similar) offense, his arrest was a violation of the terms of his probation. He was immediately taken before a judge, convicted, and sentenced to thirteen months in prison, reportedly in Hull. Since then there has been at least a partial media blackout on reporting about his arrest.
On Saturday morning my good friend Steen, the proprietor of the popular Danish blog Snaphanen, emailed to ask me if there was anything he could do to help, besides writing about the case. Like the rest of us, he was worried about what might happen during Tommy’s incarceration amongst mostly Muslim prisoners.
I told him it would be a good idea to donate to Tommy (here). However, I’m afraid that money alone may not do the trick like it did a few years ago. In that previous case his supporters mounted a big fundraising push and raised enough money to hire a QC (which is like a high-powered defense lawyer). Thanks to his improved legal representation, he was acquitted of the ludicrous charges that had been laid against him.
Given the rate at which people are donating to him, he should be able to hire competent counsel this time, too. His arrest has generated a lot of attention among us deplorables — despite the media muzzle, the word got out, to the point where at least three major demonstrations have been mounted in London over the weekend.
This case is different from previous ones, however. The arrest was obviously planned well in advance, and the “breach of the peace” charge is a just vague catch-all term that comes in handy against troublesome dissidents who need to be suppressed. The goal was to whisk him in front of judge for violating his probation and get him bunged inside as fast as possible. And if his culture-enriching fellow inmates happen to rough him up a little too much and cause his unfortunate demise — well, that will save the State a lot of trouble and inconvenience. “We deplore this cowardly act, and will act firmly to bring the perpetrators to justice under the full severity of the law…” etc blah yak.
The authorities seem to have him sewed up tight, and I’m not sure that a QC will be enough to engineer his release. This was a political arrest, and the only thing that could spring Tommy now would be the same thing that got him put away: political pressure.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Home Office — under the leadership of the recently appointed Home Secretary, Sajid Javid — gave the orders and arranged the banging-up of Tommy Robinson in Leeds. And putting political pressure on the Home Office is the only way his imprisonment could be reversed.
So who will put pressure on the Home Office? Obviously not the Tory leadership, who are neck-deep in the conspiracy to silence Tommy Robinson. And Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party would be at least as glad to see Tommy rot in prison. The Lib-Dems — in the unlikely event that they were to take a principled stance on the issue — no longer have any meaningful clout. And UKIP has even less.
Even if Tommy weren’t a Catholic, I doubt the Archbishop of Canterbury would intercede on his behalf. And I don’t expect Pope Francis to take an interest in his case.
So who does that leave? Who can hold the government’s feet to the fire?