As a critic of the BBC whose main beef is one-sided reporting, I (me) of all people should always bear in mind that there is usually more than one side to a story.
Here’s a nice cherry-picked image of the SNP’s Steward McDonald, which I’ve deliberately chosen because it makes him look a bit … …
I was shocked to watch Theresa May in the HoC sympathising with the unfortunate member over his ‘ordeal’ yesterday in the chamber. And that was shortly after expressing sympathy over the bomb-blast in Derry/Londonderry. And these remarks were solemnly and emphatically seconded by Speaker Bercow in the way that only Speaker Bercow can. And they were echoed by various other crowing MPs.
All I can say is, do get some perspective, please!!
The ‘ordeal’ in question was the threat of being, (and, for your convenience, in “a” and “b” format)
a) violently confronted by
b) interviewed by
a) far-right, ex-EDL thug Tommy Robinson whose real name is double-barrelled in a most audacious fashion
b) campaigning activist against Islamist-extremism and self-declared journalist Tommy Robinson
who was waiting in the freezing cold outside Pollockshaws Library with
a) a hand-held microphone and a cameraman
b) a coordinated gang of angry far-right hooligans
c) “Jo Cox” (the verb)
the unfortunate SNP.
However, the honourable member was holed up inside the library which “offers a wide range of services and activities in relaxing and inspiring surroundings” and not coming out. A highly visible police presence had been summoned by the SNP for his personal protection.
In addition to the friendly library staff who are “always on hand to help you get the most out of your visits”, this entailed valuable police manpower being diverted away from Glasgow’s notoriously simultaneous wall-to-wall crime-scenes in order to prevent Tommy Robinson (etc etc) from getting anything whatsoever out of his library visit and, consequently, to ensure that the friendly library was also inaccessible to members of the public, (McDonald’s constituents) even to return their library books.
The “a)” and “b)” format is more cumbersome than it’s worth, but one must be aware that there are (at least) two sides to every story, albeit some sides are nearer the mark than others.
So what was all this fuss about? Well, there has been much social media-driven and highly exaggerated angst recently about MPs being hassled and jostled and generally interfered with as they go about their lawful business.
There is a principle behind that of course. One might argue that in Anna Soubry’s case it was a rather a benign form of direct action, (which is legitimately regarded as undemocratic) (but she was laughing throughout, dammit) but on the other hand it’s seen by many as the inevitable precursor to violence and the “Jo Cox scenario” all over again”.
(Please don’t ask at this point to explain whether I a) think / b) don’t think this is parallel to the scenario whereby non-violent (verbal) antisemitism is the inevitable precursor to the next Holocaust)
There is also a middle ground, which takes into consideration the ‘helplessness’ felt by the disenfranchised, the inarticulate, the fearful and the un-listened-to, where shouty, intemperate behaviour is seen as the only alternative to just sitting quietly and sucking it up.
While Tommy Robinson (etc etc, double-barrel etc) was hanging around in the freezing cold with his trusty smartphone, he was live-streaming (?) (not quite sure about that) but he was filming as he went, and the raw footage was posted on blogs. I think I saw it on Biased-BBC. For all I know there were several armed members of Tommy’s entourage waiting off camera, but as far as one could tell the ‘coordinated mob’ was just Tommy Robinson and a cameraman. Maybe that was not the case at all. I have no idea.
The footage I saw would have been hilarious, had the circumstances been less ominous.
While this was happening, social media was evidently on the case and several individuals rolled up wanting selfies with Tommy. Respectable-looking local ladies expressed solidarity with him. Car-horns beeped. People shouted to congratulate him.
As if to echo the vile abuse that Jewish MPs have received from Corbyn’s followers, poor Mr McDonald has been forced to un-publish his Facebook account because of the vile abuse he’s had from Tommy Robinson’s followers. Parallels everywhere you look, and some are nearer the mark than others.
Here’s the final edit of Tommy Robinson's YouTube version, complete with inserts showing the slanderous comments about Tommy Robinson (calling him a racist thug and a fraudster) made by McDonald and Speaker Bercow in the HoC, (who called him "A loathsome, obnoxious, repellent individual") while happily protected from prosecution by Parliamentary immunity.
Is that fair? Discuss.