If you follow the international news, or are a UK resident, you have undoubtedly heard of the ongoing case of ‘Tommy Robinson’, also known as Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon. The case is a complex situation, best defined as a “hot mess”, but it needs to be looked at objectively, before analyzed with opinion.
Here’s what happened:
- A trail in Cantebury England, specifically at the Leeds Crown Courthouse, for a group of ‘child groomers’ was being held and presented for trial.
- Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, an English ‘activist’ and journalist, was outside of the courthouse along with dozens of journalists.
- Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon was filming members of the group on trial.
- Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon was arrested on suspicion of “breach of the peace”.
- Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon and all news surrounding his legal status is prohibited from being reported on.
- Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon is quickly and quietly sentenced to a prison sentence of 10-13 months for “contempt of court”.
Okay, now we know what’s happened. Let’s dive into some context English law. England has what’s called “reporting restrictions” that can be ordered by a judge. During one of this so called “restrictions” certain cases, incidents and events can’t be reported to the public.
According to ‘McNaes Essential Laws for Journalists‘: “In a modern, developed society it is only a small minority of citizens who can participate directly in the discussions that shape the public life of that society.”
Meaning only some people have the freedom to say things, right or wrong that can influence the public in any way. Meaning the Government controls directly, through legal law, what can be said, and heard to the civilian populace. These laws were created under the mask of “protecting freedom of expression and journalistic integrity”. Instead, they condemn, any and all who say things the judiciary of England deems ‘inappropriate’ for the public. This is censorship, and this is the controlling of public opinion, and it’s wrong.
Upon his arrest, which was filmed by ‘Tommy Robinson’, the officers stated they were holding him on suspicion of “breaching the peace”. In layman terms he was ‘causing a raucous’. Directly following his arrest, which many are decrying as “unwarranted”, “unfair”, and “infringing upon the right of free speech” an order of restriction was made. So for the coming three days after the initial arrest, no one knew why Mr. Robinson was arrested, on what charges, grounds or assumptions, or what would happen to him.
By the time media silence was broken, and the news went internationally viral, Tommy Robinson had been quietly sentenced and moved between two maximum security prisons. Because of the prison populations feelings towards Mr. Robinson, many are calling it a “death sentence”. The official ruling was Mr. Robinson was being held for “contempt of court”. Where, because of his reporting on the case, the judiciary decided his reports may sway or change people thinking, including those members of the jury.
Let’s simplify this and what it means for the UK, which is now embroiled in civil rioting and legal trouble, as well as internationally. A sovereign nation (UK), is not only deciding who can say what about what, and they are jailing people for violating that rule. In America this would be a violation of the First, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendments. Namely the First, “Freedom of Speech/Press”.
A large movement, backed by political leaders in Europe such as Greet Wilder among others has rallied around Mr. Robinson. Many groups of international citizens have begun marching on UK embassies, and protesting. A petition with nearing on 600,000 signatures, for ‘Tommy Robbinson’ has surprisingly remained under the radar of many. But more and more people are hearing about this heinous incident and insult to Free Speech, and more are raising their voices. We have a government in England, that is considered a free democracy, but is infringing upon the basic rights of its own citizens. Any government that would create laws where they could monitor what news got to the public ear, is a government embroiled in corruption. Is this the beginnings of Police State Britain? We will have to see in the coming weeks as many protest and fight for the freedom of political activist ‘Tommy Robbinson’