Him indoors called me to come and watch Andrew Neil talking with Tommy Robinson this morning. This jaw-dropping exchange caused all household activities to be suspended.
The constraints of political correctness applied only to Andrew Neil and not his adversary, which made for a conspicuous case of asymmetric warfare. So it wasn’t a level playing field, but then Tommy Robinson was automatically playing with a handicap just by being who he is. Nevertheless, even on Andrew Neil’s terms, with language as weapons, I’d say it was game set and match to Tommy.
Realising he was being trounced, Andrew Neil resorted to belligerence and bluster, finally goading Tommy Robinson into reiterating that he was “terrified for his children about what was happening to our country” in order that, on behalf of the BBC, he could scream his prepared retort “Some people are equally frightened of the EDL”
Saying that the EDL “doesn’t speak for very many people, does it?” begs the same question of the BBC. Perhaps Andrew Neil was simply trying to reassure himself in a last man standing kind of way.
However this sort of thing is becoming par for the course. Let’s be honest, as they say.
Tommy Robinson starts making a reasonable case, people complain that he’s not being allowed air time, the BBC feels pressured into proving them wrong; each time they realise, too late, that their “far-right” “football hooligan” labels alone are not sufficient ballast against the credibility of his argument.
Andrew Neil then went on to interview a spokesman for the Muslims. Until and if iPlayer comes up with this episode I can’t recall his name, and his face was not familiar to me.
With one bound, Andrew Neil’s interlocutory manner switched from hostile to ingratiating.
The one pertinent question that was put went nowhere. It was something to do with Muslim-only areas, and lack of meaningful attempts to assimilate therein. This was deflected by a retort of such staggering irrelevance that one might assume Andrew Neil might venture the customary “You haven’t answered the question”.
Through the powers of Twitter I can reveal that the gentleman to whom Andrew Neil was so deferential is “Britain’s Stupidest Man” Farooq Murad, secretary general of the MCB.
Huffington Post is making a major issue out of this episode of Sunday Politics.
“A VIOLENT MAN MAKING VIOLENT THREATS’ screams the headline in enlarged pillar-box red caps.
Click on that and you get “EDL's Tommy Robinson Admits Real Name Is Stephen Yaxley, Was In BNP To Andrew Neil On Sunday Politics”
Jessica Elgot - oh no, a pun is half-forming - got a bit of her own ‘el in the BLT comments.
“So Tommy Robinson changed his name and was a member of the BNP...SO WHAT ?” represents the gist of them.