Speaking of all things speech related, and isn’t it interesting that this crops up this last week or so – though of course it is an ongoing process.
I’ve been puzzled by one aspect of the Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) story, which is this. For all that he is reified as a free speech hero by the reactionary and far right one very notable aspect of his history to date seems to have been largely ignored. Matthew d’Ancona is the first to mention it, at least that I’ve seen, in quite a while.
For youngish Tommy/Stephen was not always quite so staunch in his beliefs. As d’Ancona notes:
The first persona adopted by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (“Tommy Robinson” is essentially a stage-name) was that of the founder and leader of the far-right English Defence League.
But then all changed…utterly…
Next, in 2012-13, he allowed his character to follow a classic redemption…
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