Is it…love? First, we had the Gucci loafers thread - and lord help us I haven’t been following Twitter as faithfully as I might(!) - now I’ve stumbled upon Casciani’s ‘letter from prison’ thread.
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the stage name Tommy Robinson and is currently in HM Prison Belmarsh, is on the beg for £84k to fund his appeal against his jailing for Contempt of Court. Here's part of his letter to fans: pic.twitter.com/mvleQT1Veu— Dominic Casciani (@BBCDomC) August 2, 2019
Each time I look at Twitter I’m reminded once again of why I don’t join in. The unique immediacy of It can be a force for good, as in, say, Sussex friends of Israel - the most fact-packed source of interesting pro-Israel tidbits on the Twittersphere, but more often than not Twitter appears to be the most creepy vehicle for perpetuating malicious gossip on the whole world-wide-web.
Take, for example, the predictable avalanche of Twitter venom that was expectorated as soon as the news broke of the 12 Israeli boys being arrested for rape. One particularly moronic tweeter said, “They’re practising for what they’re going to do to the Palestinians”. I mean - that’s the level of malicious counter-factuality that this ‘garden-fence’ type of gossip encourages, each wrong-headed idea egging on the next till it reaches the pinnacle of absurdity. Dr Rosena Allin-Khan will know what I mean.
Dominic Casciani has alighted upon the idea that Tommy Robinson is ‘in it for the money’, and seems to be stuck there; and the bitter, near-envious iteration and reiteration of gossipy comments about the value of Tommy Robinson’s “crowd-funded’ house and self-indulgent legal fee funding abound. If ever there was a blatant example of a BBC employee flouting his bosses plea to refrain from being openly partisan on Twitter, this is one.
Responses from the crowing Twitter-vultures who’ve flocked to criticise Tommy Robinson’s letter from prison range from people criticising his literacy and grammar (glasshouses and stones immediately come to mind) to resentful whining about the cushy regime he seems to be enjoying in Belmarsh Prison. The protection he appears to be receiving, which smacks of precautionary measures by people who acknowledge the genuinely murderous intent of long-term Muslim insiders, reminds me of the Salman Rushdie affair. Protection from 'the fatwa' is a particularly heavy and expensive burden shouldered by modern-day taxpayers, it seems to me.
Interestingly, in one of my insomnia-facilitated ventures into the www, I came across a familiar name. A one-time member of the Biased-BBC commentariat believes he has found sufficient evidence to firmly denounce Tommy Robinson as “a fascist”.
Make of that what you will, bearing in mind that if ‘sharing platforms’ with Nazis and Islamists is enough to tar Jeremy Corbyn with the antisemitic brush, (which I think it certainly is) then one cannot entirely dismiss Tommy Robinson’s similarly injudicious connections with overt and covert antisemites like, eg., Shazia Hobbs, by pleading “present but not engaged’.
The fact that some unsavoury characters have been associated with the Robinson bandwagon might explain the refusal (which has been puzzling me) of other high profile critics of Islamisation (eg., Melanie Phillips) to utter a single good word about Tommy and his working-class, anti-Islamisation movement.
So what’s the explanation? It could be that Tommy’s educational limitations have let him down; it could be that he hasn’t been as diligent in his research into antisemitism as he has been forced or motivated to be over the contents of the Koran and the sayings of the profit Mo. His antennae might not be as sensitive to the one as it is to the other - for obvious reasons. (Take a look at Luton)
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Tommy Robinson phenomenon, I can’t see why Dominic Casciani is able to get away with this obsessional gossipy and inflammatory Twitter behaviour while wearing a BBC hat. It’s plain weird.