Last night Tommy Robinson, the leader of the English Defence League, was invited to a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May. The invitation did not come from the Home Secretary herself, but rather from a constituent who had arranged a meeting with her, and invited Mr. Robinson along for the occasion. The EDL leader took the opportunity to speak to Mrs. May about the deficiencies of Britain’s immigration policy and the government’s outrageous demonization of the EDL.
The Home Office has recently suffered a series of embarrassing revelations, including last week’s headlines reporting that the government had shelled out £60 million in grants to prevent “extremism”, but gave the money to radical Islamic organizations that support terrorism. This came on the heels of the release of the latest immigration figures, which are at a record high, despite the coalition government’s promise to change course on immigration.
So Mrs. May has a lot on her mind these days, and is already having to negotiate a political minefield, even without finding the EDL on her doorstep.
She seems to have panicked after learning that Channel 4 had had a video crew on the scene and taped Tommy Robinson’s arrival at the meeting. Her media team hurried to feed its own spin to the press, and The Daily Mail slavishly provided just what was required, under the headline “Theresa May ambushed at constituency meeting”:
Theresa May was last night dramatically ambushed at a constituency meeting by the head of the far-right English Defence League.
The Home Secretary fears the group — whose marches she has banned in the past — will now seek to exploit the face-to-face confrontation for a propaganda coup.
The self-proclaimed head of the EDL, who normally gives his name as ‘Tommy Robinson’, managed to by-pass security checks by posing as the companion of one of Mrs May’s constituents.
He then began haranguing the Home Secretary about why the EDL — whose demonstrations have been marred by violence — was treated differently to other groups.
Mrs May says she walked away from the exchange in Maidenhead Town Hall — which comes ahead of a planned local march in the town by the EDL today.
Normally, the leader of a known extremist organisation would have no chance of getting near to the Home Secretary.
She told the Mail: ‘My concern now is that he will try to make something of it, which he should not do. He did not have a meeting with me — I was completely door stepped. I did not even recognise him.
‘This is a group whose purpose is to divide and to encourage hatred in our society and I condemn them for that.’
One concern is the group may claim to have formally met Mrs May, in a bid to gain some political legitimacy.
The interesting thing about all this is that the Home Secretary considers it imperative to distance herself from a dedicated and popular patriotic organization that shares the same ostensible goals as her own government — at least the “Conservative” half of it. Why label the EDL “extremists”, and thereby imply an equivalence with Hizb ut-Tahrir, Islam4UK, etc.?
What advantage do the Tories gain by smearing the EDL?
The English Defence League’s website has its own take on last night’s events:
Sham Policy to Address Islamism Exposed by the English Defence League
Tommy Robinson, Leader of the English Defence League (EDL), has exposed David Cameron’s apparent ‘get tough’ policy towards Islamism as a complete sham. People can now see the real approach of the Conservative led regime with regard to defending the British people against the Islamist threat.
We have heard much talk recently about how the Conservatives will be getting tough on Islamic extremism in Britain. Many people in Britain were heartened by David Cameron’s recent tough and realistic rhetoric on the subject, but an article recently posted on the Daily Mail website indicates a marked shift in Government and Conservative Party policy on this matter. Far from being serious about dealing with the problem of Islamism in Britain, the Conservative Party seems to be adopting the failed and hugely damaging policy of the previous Labour Government. Can the Conservative Party ever be trusted to deal with Islamism and the serious threat that it poses to our national security and democratic way of life? Perhaps their ‘hard line’ has been vetoed by the Lib Dems?
The political climb-down on dealing with Islamism rigorously and realistically has been exposed as nothing more than sham political window dressing. The policy reversal came shortly after EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, put the Home Secretary Theresa May on the spot and asked her some very direct and pertinent questions on the subject. It seems that Channel 4 television cameras recorded Mr Robinson entering and leaving the meeting which meant that the Home Secretary could not deny the exchange of views with the EDL leader. Fearing a propaganda coup by the EDL the Conservative Party has appeared to have fallen back into its usual ‘tree-hugger’ mode.
At least the initiative of Mr Robinson has exposed David Cameron’s rhetoric for what it is — words and not deeds. It would appear that he has no intention what-so-ever of dealing with the Islamist threat to our democracy. It seems likely, therefore, that the well established and disastrous policy of appeasement will continue into the future.
Was the Government’s previous rhetoric merely a response to the growing support enjoyed by the English Defence League amongst ordinary Britons and an attempt to appear to be listening to their concerns? The Conservative Party perhaps thought that it could reduce the appeal of the EDL by duping people into believing that the political mainstream could get Islamism under control. In the end it is apparent that only grass roots groups like the EDL have a realistic grasp of the situation and that any belief that the political mainstream can address the issue has now evaporated. The message is clear, the Conservative Party is incapable of formulating policies to keep Britain secure from the threat posed by Islamism and has now lost all credibility on the issue. Whenever it talks tough on Islamism it is just talk, and always will be.
David Cameron once said ‘the EDL are terrible people’ but did not elaborate and say why he chose to demonise the whole cross section of the British public that make up EDL ranks…
Read the rest at the EDL website.
Theresa May and her fellow Conservatives obviously failed to read El Inglés’ recent analysis, which pointed out that any political actors who waffle and equivocate now on the immigration issue will have no hope of gaining traction later on, when the hammer finally drops.
That moment is closer than most people realize, and will certainly arrive well within the active careers of most of the major players. Their handling of the immigration crisis reflects poorly on their political acumen.
Or do they know something we don’t know?
Hat tips: Kitman and Aeneas.