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Did the Catholic Church get to Tommy Robinson?

8 October 2013

I met Stephen Lennon/Tommy Robinson once, in Luton. Dreadful place – I’d wear a niqab just to reduce my view of the appalling architecture (like in Birmingham, the hub of the town is a shopping centre surrounded by a sort of ring road).

I never liked the organisation’s tactics, nor am I completely sure of what their aims were, but as Lennon described it – of people openly recruiting for the Taliban while his classmates were off in the Army – the anger was understandable. In Luton, in particular, the Labour government also funded mosques in a way that was bound to lead to resentment among the white working class.

The arguments Robinson made about Islamic extremism were perfectly reasonable on paper, but of course in reality the EDL suffers from exactly the same problem as Islam – there is no central authority from which to control the more troublesome elements. So of course it’s going to end up with a load of drunk white guys threatening minorities – anyone can see that.

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But neither he nor the other EDL member I met (who, he was keen to point out, had a black wife) considered themselves to be racists; one of his main complaints was that white guys could not date Muslim girls without being attacked, one of the many examples of Islamic separatism that they identified. One of the main failures of multiculturalism was that, while the British went through a sort of collective course in de-racialisation, the prejudices of minority groups were left untouched by the authorities and the chattering classes (now, with a new generation of British Asian intellectuals, that is being addressed).

If anything they saw themselves as a sort of Christianist organisation, and they only stumbled upon the use of Emperor Constantine’s motto (‘From this sign I will conquer’) after dropping the original idea of a Crusader Emblem.

The interview was actually for a feature on the Christian influence on the European counter-jihad movement, for The Catholic Herald, which never ran for various reasons, and after the interview Lennon was off to church to prepare for confirmation as a Catholic. Curiously Joseph Pearce, the former youth leader of the National Front, left the organisation after converting to Catholicism in jail, a story he recounts in his recently published memoir, Race with the Devil.

Maybe the whole Catholic guilt thing got to Robinson, too.

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Show comments
  • Jez

    I owe you an apology Ed.

    Due to the avalanche of liberal left poison that is dealt to the unaware British public on a daily basis (and dealt as ‘fact’), i admittedly threw a knee jerky-werky comment originally in there.

    Your article did come across as very condescending though, as an opinion.

    Your colleague Alex Massie , spilled his literal guts all over the Spectator Blogsphere with an almost ‘Victory to the Left’ type article when he visited the same subject a little later…. which maybe reinforces the personal observation mentioned above.

    I heard Tommy get slaughtered on the radio, then i saw him on Newsnight.

    He really wants to do the right thing i think- but the Left and Liberal-Mafia in the media seem to need see him destroyed as an upright human-being, in the chains of the ‘politikal korrection industry’. Basically they want him to crawl, as an opinion, from what i heard on the radio.

    Tommy used their words and tried to accommodate their extremist world view. Nothing will ever satisfy their lust for the complete and utter capitulation of anything they deem a target.

    This Quilliam Foundation needs to target Muslim extremists. We know who they are. But who are those on the supposed Right…. EDL? BNP? UKIP? 1922 Committee? Nigel Farage? Norman Tebbit? In fact anyone whatsoever that doesn’t sign up to their complete replacement like in parts of East London, Birmingham or the Northern Mill Towns- e.g Most of the urban centres in the UK?

    People are talking in hushed voices- even in their homes. People are scared. People can now lose everything that they hold dear if they say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    Could we be around the corner of having a ‘knock in the door’, getting whisked away and have the kids taken from us?

    It’s getting crazy. As an opinion.

  • Return of the King

    There is no contradiction between being strongly Catholic and nationalistic, see Derek Holland from the National Front of the 1980s. I am not entirely convinced that Joe Pearce did change his views, it is just the National Front collapsed and he moved to the United States.

    Journalists often create a false notion that nationalists are somehow irrational haters or are out to mass murder other ethnic groups: it is our people who are being attacked, these nationalist patriots are just trying to defend us and desire to repatriate the mercenaries back to their country of origin humanely. It is the internationalist neoliberal elite who will have to pay come the revolution.

  • stag

    Is he just fed up with getting death threats and then getting the blame for it?
    Can’t blame him.

    But maybe he was also discouraged by the behaviour of EDL thugs. EDL only has its own members to blame for its prsent lack of credibility. Sure, the media is hostile, and sure, the majority of members are probably decent people. But there is a fringe of thugs and lowlifes, and sadly that has been the EDL’s undoing more than anything.

  • Daniel Maris

    It will be interesting to see what if anything TR tries to do now.

    I think a more specific anti-Sharia campaign group (rather than “English Defence”) would be good but it seems that TR’s volte face has involved him cosying up to a group – the Quilliam Foundation – which specifically states it sees nothing wrong in following Sharia law, even though it fundamentally conflicts with British law at many levels, such as polygamy, domestic violence, equal rights for women and slavery to name a few.

  • Knives_and_Faux

    Robinson, bought and paid for by the Quillian islamic front.
    He went cheap, a job on a quango.

  • Dean Jackson

    The article reads, “I never liked the organisation’s tactics, nor am I completely sure of what their aims were, but as Lennon described it – of people openly recruiting for the Taliban…”

    For those of you who don’t think, that would be MI5/MI6 agents recruiting for the Taliban, otherwise, of course, there would be no such recruiting going on. By the way the EDL too, of course, is a child of MI5!

    Now you know that the “War on Islam” is a fraud, tasked by Moscow & allies for the purpose of destroying the image of the West in the eyes of the world, and the image-destroying policy is working beautifully.

    This Moscow and allies operation, when added to Western/Japan’s central banks’ net (new) investment-soaking low interest policies (another Moscow & allies tasked operation), will see the West as a spent force in the near future.

    • Petra Thompson

      Loon. Unlike you, I have Tommy Robinson’s number in my phone book.

      • Daniel Maris

        Give us a scoop then Petra.

  • Trofim

    BBC news leading story about the every-growing threat of terrorism, without a mention of Islam. Then Tommy Robinson standing down – is it the end of the “far-right” organisation?

  • yoyoegg

    It’s well known the EDL was created by MI5

    • Colonel Mustard

      They created Sinn Fein and the IRA too I believe. . . .

      • Trofim

        And the SS, and the Paris Commune, and the last Empress of China.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …don’t forget Mossad, the NKVD, the Kennedy assassination and global warming.

          • Abhay

            May I just add one too….fresh from the oven…bigfoot!

    • Trofim

      Blimey yoyoegg, 1600 comments – in how long? Were they all one-liners.

  • zanzamander

    No, not the Catholic Church, but the harsh reality of his lost cause must have got to him. So instead of whipping a dead horse (of saving Britain from Islamism), he gave up. Sod it he must have thought. And I agree with him.

    Good luck to him.


      I am inclined to agree, the stupidity and ignorance of the British people is depressing to see, when it comes, this islamic uprising will be brutal and ugly, cruel and pitiless. If i am still around, i will cheer the slitting of leftists throats, i will not lift a finger to save them, only innocent citizens trapped in the mayhem.

  • Anne Harriss

    I get so sick of the term “catholic guilt”, used by the reporter Why not speak much more accurately about the “catholic sense of justice”, so closely linked to the notion of natural law? It is after doing something unjust that one recognises one’s guilt. But the practice of justice itself brings peace. It’s all about justice, not guilt.

  • Toby Esterházy

    Is the EDL an “illegal” honeytrap from MI5 all along? Still, a lot of the sentiments expressed by the EDL are ultimately valid, no matter how incoherently they are presented.

  • Martin Jennerson

    If you think about it, it’s a real coup for Quilliam. The elite in this country has and continue to treat Tommy Robinson and the EDL with this totally embarrassing and ridiculous level of disdain, Quilliam get to come across as an empathetic organisation capable of reaching out to others in comparison. Total mess by the ridiculous and frankly silly and patronising liberal elite as per usual.

  • NinePillocksInARoom

    Oy, Birmingham is a bit more than a shopping centre with a ring road. Otherwise all interesting, though …

  • Fasdunkle

    Here’s what the arab league are working on

    They don’t mean religions – they mean a religion, islam. If they meant religions it would make large parts of the koran illegal

    • Colonel Mustard


      “The routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) might be also used to “detect” homosexuals, a senior Kuwaiti official has said. ” . . We will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states,” ”

      The Right Rev Cameron and Dame Stephen Fry don’t appear to have held a mutual hand-wringing session about that. As with the police the soft targets are always much less troublesome to tackle.

      • Fasdunkle

        the gulf is full of fascist states

  • Petra Thompson

    In 2010, when Panorama exposed muslim schools teaching kids exactly how to kill gay people, Quilliam issued a press release condemning BNP schools.

    The establishment has been bringing overwhelming pressure on TR and EDL since 2009. Since the police had 15 undercover agent-provocateurs in the Green movement, we can be sure that had twice that many within EDL.

    40% of the British public think that civil war is inevitable. No doubt the destruction of EDL will ensure that happens.

  • Austin Barry

    “Did the Catholic Church get to Tommy Robinson?”

    No, he always walked like that.

    (H/t Eric Morecambe.)

  • dalai guevara

    Who is this Robinson? Is he the replacement for Nick?
    Come on Eddie Paulus Wilhelm Chuzzlewitz, tell us.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you are unenlightenable, lad.

  • HookesLaw

    A good article. The nutjobs need some kind of outlet. I suppose you provide a kind of social service.

    • Jez

      And you’re one of the bottom feeders that latch on this.

      You winner.

      • HookesLaw

        If there were no bigotry there would be no need to contradict it.
        There will not even be the smokescreen of the EDF soon to protect UKIP.

  • Pootles

    A brave man who faces very real threats, and unlike our ‘leaders’ isn’t surrounded by the security forces. But, I wonder if the next we will hear is that he is going to convert?

  • Jez


    With all your good intentions at heart, this austere almost social-worker condescending piece of work you’ve delivered above does not mean that your some kind of Yoda reflecting wisely the folly of Tommy, the EDL and then adding a footnote linking them to the 70’s National Front. I’m pretty sure with the EDL (on an structure level) bending over backwards constantly for the last 4 or 5 years trying get that message across, then this is not the case.

    I wish Tommy well, in the sense that none of the thousands of real death threats directed towards him & his family (that the Police then threatened Tommy Robinson with arrest when he re-tweeted them due to causing public upset) ever, ever come close to happening.

    We are practically living in parallel universes in the Mill Towns with our Islamic neighbors and (you seem to be a bit young, with respect) your older colleagues within the MSM have help make a nation wide fractured society that someone like Ralf Milliband would have been proud of.

    Ed. You and your colleagues have no idea whatsoever of what’s happening out here. Stop pretending you do. Stop pretending you care.

    • rogermurrayclark

      “I wish Tommy well, in the sense that none of the thousands of real death threats directed towards him & his family (that the Police then threatened Tommy Robinson with arrest when he re-tweeted them due to causing public upset) ever, ever come close to happening.”

      That was outrageous, and of course the MSM were never going to mention it

    • Daniel Maris

      I have to agree with that last paragraph. In the Speccie world, the fact that Mohammed is the top baby’s name for boys is nothing to be worried about (Fraser Nelson’s claim); a huge population increase caused by mass immigraiton is a good thing (Charles Moore); anyone who expresses concern about these things is a racist (Michael Heseltine). In the Speccie world, people seem blissfully unaware there is a separate unofficial education curriculum being followed by millions of children and a separate judiciary issuing edicts not founded on British law or in conflict with British law.

    • Ed West

      You do realise I spent four years writing a flipping book about mass immigration? I think it’s fair to say, whatever my other faults, I haven’t shied away from addressing the most controversial, but neccessary, issue of the day.

      • Colonel Mustard

        A bit like writing a book about the Holocaust. Recording what was done and criticising it with hindsight rather than standing up to try to prevent it at the time. And those expressing concern are still being screamed at as racists, even here on these pages, even now.

        • rogermurrayclark

          Well said

        • Cornelius Bonkers

          Yes. For example, Dagenham IS a holocaust. Schools, transport, hospitals. But I forgot, the likes of Mr West don’t have to live there do they?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …leave the Catholics out of your rants, lad. It’s ugly and cheap.

        And you wouldn’t dare do that with certain other religions, as we all know, so there is absolutely nothing principled about it.

        • Daniel Maris

          He appears to be Deputy Editor of the Catholic Herald…doesn’t that give him some locus?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …it probably does to you.

      • rogermurrayclark

        Yes, you wrote some good articles for the Telegraph. And it was shame that you were replaced by some of the deadbeats they have on there now. That is why this dismissive, patronising article is so disappointing

        • curious

          You can hardly write anything better if you want to retain a chance to get a media job. So it goes.

        • Simon

          Ed West, Douglas Murray, Mullen, Landes, all used to write articles critical of Islam on Telegraph blogs, all gone now.

      • Jez

        You should heve spent a fortnight in Bradford Ed. Then write about that.

        You’d have freed up 206.

      • Tom Tom

        Edward Gibbon wrote a book on the Roman Empire which is still in print

      • Cornelius Bonkers

        Writing a book is one thing but living amongst all this s..t is another. Have you no idea what this avalanche of multi-culturalism has done to the lives of the indigenous population? No one asked them; as usual, the powerless have been turned over yet again…But there again, why should that concern you?

      • Daniel Maris

        You deserve a plug (since in the current atmosphere for a journo to write a book that doesn’t hymn the joys of mass immigration does count for bravery)- from Wikipedia :

        West’s book, The Diversity Illusion, which examines the adverse
        effects of mass immigration on British society, was published in February 2013.
        It was described by The
        Observer as a “brazen and breezily written polemic” whose “arguments are
        repeatedly undermined by reality.”[2] Peter Hitchens in The Mail on
        Sunday wrote that West’s book was “powerful” and that it contained an
        “excellent analysis” into the actual economic benefits of immigration.[3]

    • Cornelius Bonkers

      Unfortunately our entire public life is the victim of comments like this. Ed West and people like him live on a different planet too. So that’s three planets so far: Mill Town folk, Moslems, and opinion makers. Human beings are by nature fundamentalists; enlightenment was the exception whereby for some reason we began to escape it. Our masters in their wisdom have decided this should end …RIP.

  • Martin Jennerson

    “the Labour government also funded mosques in a way that was bound to lead to resentment among the white working class”

    Oh but remember – don’t EVER accuse them of lacking patriotism.

    Just fund the destruction of your own people’s towns/communities/etc through importing Wahabist Islam, then throw a MASSIVE HISSY FIT the minute your patriotism is questioned.

    Tommy Robinson has conducted himself so impressively – let’s face it. He’s x30 more impressive than any of you boring media commentators, crass keyboard warriors like me, and certainly x40 more impressive than your average Tory MP.

    As for the Labour Party, how do those scumbags get away with it. Funding mosque building in the likes of Luton. Your failure to mention Robinson’s courage is absolutely a prime example of they degree to which their orthodoxy controls/emasculates the likes of you

    • Petra Thompson

      The Labour government changed the planning laws. Muslims can force non-muslims out of community centres using violence and aggression. Then they turn the community centre into a mosque, and no planning permission is required. In some working class areas the OAPs barricade themselves into their community centres, because they’ve seen this takeover happen time and again in other areas.

      • Tom Tom

        Interesting information – thanks

  • Russell

    Every single televised report of EDL marches/demonstrations I have seen actually shows the violent behaviour of people who object to the EDL march/demonstration. Not EDL thugs behaving violently, bit the nutcase lefties and Islamist lovers.

  • rogermurrayclark

    “now, with a new generation of British Asian intellectuals, that is being addressed”

    Oh yes, like Mehdi Hasan for instance?

    “The arguments Robinson made about Islamic extremism were perfectly reasonable on paper”

    They are perfectly reasonable in stark reality, it doesn’t need any of your snide little provisos.

    This is a great shame because the leading opponent of Islamic colonisation in this country appears to have withdrawn from the field, one can understand why this is so – it was a superhuman effort to take the continual threats to himself and to his family. He was subject to an outrageously biased 2-tier “justice” system and to the howls and squawks of moronic lefties.

    The regime line now is that nativist resistance is equivalent to alien colonisation which has many morbid symptoms, not least the epidemic grooming, the religious fanaticism, the terrorism.

    It is a big fat lie.

    TR wants to explore democratic answers, as the UK is not a democracy but a corrupt elective dictatorship that is going to be problematical to put it mildly

    • HookesLaw

      ‘islamic colonisation’ (and all the rest… too droll to repeat) yep there you go, another thick bogoted nutjob.

      What is it about this site that attracts them?

      • rogermurrayclark

        Brilliant response

        Go to much of Birmingham and it is apparent that it is an Islamic colony, except to all those too blind, stupid and ideologically hidebound to see it. And it is expanding rapidly

        Are you denying that Pakistani Muslim gangs have groomed, raped and trafficked their way across England?

        See Andrew Norfolk – Times, Sikh Awareness Society, C4 True Vision on grooming and you may be less ready to fling about crass comments

        • HookesLaw

          Ever heard of Fred West (and his associated family) – a loony who murdered his daughters after commiting incest. What colour was he?

          The most favouable comment to make about you is that you are a hysteric.
          All rapist should be put in jail as should all pedophiles. What colour was Jimmy Saville?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …and what about your Cameroon rapist buddy, the multiply accused offender? We shouldn’t forget about him, should we?

            Oh that’s right, you Camerloons need him in Parliament.

          • rogermurrayclark

            But West wasn’t in a gang of friends and work colleagues was he, nor are the grooming gang rapists murdering “loonies” ? So a pretty dire counter-example to come up with

            “There has to be something, given that so often this is a normalised group activity-not among a major criminal gang, but among friends, work colleagues and relatives-that does not have the same sense of shame attached to it as would be the case for your typical white offender, who works alone because if he told too many people, somebody would report him.”


            See also Dr Taj Hargey comment piece


            By just tossing in ignorant and wholly uninformed and banal comments you are making yourself look even more crassly stupid, if indeed that is possible

            Wellington case

            106 victims

            8 or 9 convictions

            200 suspects

            And that’s just one gang, hence the use of the term epidemic

            • Petra Thompson

              Fred West did not have 10,000 victims (CROP’s estimate of the number of non-muslim schoolgirls raped & pimped by muslim gangs).

              Fred West didn’t have the word of Allah backing him up. Nor did he have his cousins and uncles paying to rape the schoolchildren he’d groomed. Fred West wasn’t protected by his community, the police, the social services, the media and the UAF.

              • HookesLaw

                With any luck my answer will come out of moderation. Clearly talking about Fred West’s activities is sensitive.

            • HookesLaw

              He was white and the country is full of white pedophiles and rapists.
              Well done the Speccy for letting loose the usual sick load of bigoted ranters.
              You are a nasty ignorant bigot. The life blood of the nutjob islamist terrorist.

              Poor ‘Tommy’ what a let down he is to you all.

              • Keith D

                No its not you disgusting racist prat.Racist troll spreads anti White race hate.You hypocrite projecting your own hate by accusing others.Fud.

              • Simon

                The majority of paedophiles and rapists maybe white in this country, but then so is the majority of the population so it is not disproportionate. The number of Muslim paedophile groomers is very disproportionate, and what is even more telling is that nearly all of their victims are Kuffars, showing us the true vile, supremacist nature of Islam.

                • rogermurrayclark

                  Well that’s very true. I suspect simple sums are beyond hookeslaw and he wouldn’t understand proportionality anyway.

                  But thus far there have been 20 plus gang group Muslim grooming trials – and that of course is merely the tip of the iceberg; prosecutions have been severely restricted by political correctness.

                  For there to be any degree of proportionality there would have nad to be hundreds of similar White British gang rape cases.

                  But of course there haven’t been and so freak hookeslaw is left gibbering and emoting along with the rest of his ridiculous traitorous left-liberal tribe

              • rogermurrayclark

                You didn’t read any of the links did you?

                Probably you are you just too cretinously propagnised to understand them

                These people are not your friends you pitiful imbecile

                Just watch and listen to this ranting alien loon who dupes creduluous quarter wits like you; and yet this is a leading “liberal” muslim commentator cheered on by clowns such as yourself


                To them you are just a kaffir, and a kaffir is

                ‘Kaffir is the worst word that can ever be written, a sign of infidelity, disbelief, filth, a sign of dirt.’


                And you are a particularly stupid Kaffir dragging the rest of us down with your duped inanity

              • ROBERT BROWN

                And you are a wretched and nasty apologist for Islam, you are so obviously a leftist agitator full of irrational hate.

        • HookesLaw

          I don’t suppose you notice the gypsy and Irish traveller population of Birmingham. How wide do your prejudices go?

          • rogermurrayclark

            So you aren’t willing to look at the links I provided, well there’s a big suprise

          • Tom Tom

            Are they doing gender-specific abortions ? There is quite a parallel health system in this country reducing dowry costs

            • rogermurrayclark

              which they won’t prosecute, just like they won’t prosecute FGM.

              The truth is they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing anything about Muslim grooming; firstly by Nick Griffin who raised this to a storm of denial in 2001 and 2004; and secondly by the EDL from 2009 onwards

      • Daniel Maris

        Why don’t you watch ITV’s Exposure tomorrow and then come back and mock the idea of Islamic colonisation again.

      • johnslattery

        In the 2000s a couple of Saudi gays got 7000 lashes for gender crime. Think about that. They couldn’t do it all in one go, because the ‘criminals’ would have died under the tortures, so they had to have several marathon lashing sessions, all in public of course–Muslims seem to enjoy the spectacle.
        Last week, a 2000 lash sentence was handed down.
        This is just one of a dozen reasons why I don’t want this sadistic totalitarian cult in my country. But you are an apologist for it, HookesLaw. A useful idiot. I’m happier being a ‘bogot’, thanks.

      • Petra Thompson

        In 1991, Tower Hamlets was peppered with gay bars. 20 years later, all but 3 have closed. The only 3 remaining are in areas with no mosques. Police reports show there are far more violent attacks on gay people than on muslims, yet muslims get £375k to exagerrate the attacks on them.

        In 1991, Tower Hamlets was as gay as Soho. Now it is indeed a Gay Free Zone. The muslims even went so far as to mark it as such.

        But there is no islamic colonisation. Tower Hamlets muslim population is 35% (2011 Census), yet they are 60% of the councillors. Parties adopt muslim candidates because the know that muslims will not vote for a non-muslim. It’s straight out of the koran. 5:51

  • Daidragon

    He’d do well in UKIP.

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