Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Paxman/Robinson: Making strenuous effort to maintain a straight face

The dialogue between Jeremy Paxman and Tommy Robinson must have forced the veteran broadcaster to make a strenuous effort to maintain a straight face. For four years or so Tommy Robinson has been seen as the leader of something that the mass media have generously defined as 'campaign'.

Talking to an Austrian journalist, I explicitly defined the problem by saying: Die Frage ist: Politische Partei, Politische Bewegung oder Soziale Bewegung? (The question is: Political Party, Political Movement or Social Movement)

Tommy Robinson's political lack of acumen is shown very clearly every step of the way. Tommy Robinson's strength was in the end its own weakness because he could not possibly control a very chaotic arrangement of different groups that operated in an ad hoc basis without any formal organization or party political structure and without a membership structure.

Several times during the interview, Jeremy Paxman asked Tommy Robinson if he had changed his mind and had left behind what he campaigned for for several years. Tommy Robinson stated that he had left behind EDL because he wanted real dialogue to combat extremism.

The real strength of EDL was built on its notoriety created by rallies, demonstrations and sometimes violent confrontations. Take away the street element and it would have nothing left because it was not organized as a political party.

Without a political structure and without the strength provided by its notoriety, Tommy Robinson would become a non-entity and nothing more than a talking head.

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