As part of his drive to promote a book claiming to give a reliable interpretation of the Qur’an, which has mainly been authored by someone else and has, as far as is known, had no input from any Islamic scholars or clergy, former EDL head man Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, has decided to organise an event in Manchester to promote his work, and of course Himself Personally Now.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson
This has involved not only promoting himself - not difficult, he’s had plenty of practice - but also securing a venue where he can meet his adoring public. But here a problem has entered: not all the public, and certainly not those in Manchester, are as adoring as others. Moreover, Yaxley Lennon’s peddling of hatred towards followers of The Prophet , and his past in the EDL, means that where he turns up, so, inevitably, does trouble.
Yes, that's the Britain First duo on the left. But he's not racist, honestly
Indeed, the last time he was involved in a gathering in Manchester, as the BBC reported, “Eight people have been arrested following a march by protesters in central Manchester opposing extremism … Bottles and flares were thrown as the UK Against Hate group and counter-demonstrators clashed and police said the protest ‘turned nasty’”. Mayor Andy Burnham was particularly severe on Yaxley Lennon’s “UK Against Hate”.
“These EDL-types who came today need to have a look at themselves … To those saying they weren't EDL - I honestly don't care … I care about our Police being unnecessarily distracted when they are worn out & still working hard to investigate a major incident”. The gathering took place in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Nevertheless, “An Evening With Tommy Robinson” was duly advertised earlier this month. Yaxley Lennon took to Facebook to tell “Thank you for the tremendous support you have shown for this event. At this rate we will sell out within two weeks so if you do not have a ticket I urge you to buy now to avoid disappointment”. A link was provided.
So, almost two weeks later, has the event, which will not be held until early November, sold out as predicted? Seemingly not. Worse, there appears to be a problem with the proposed venue. But it’s still going ahead. Apparently.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham - not impressed
“My Manchester event on November 3rd will now be moved to a secret location. Everybody who has bought a ticket do not worry they are still valid, and tickets are still on sale. 50% of tickets have now sold, we will reveal the new venue location 7 days prior to the event which will be in city centre Manchester. This is an all ticket event with no pay on the door”. So it hasn’t sold out. And the subterfuge won’t stop protests.
After all, giving the opposition seven days’ notice, and telling them well in advance that the event will be held somewhere in Manchester city centre, means that anyone wanting to use it as an excuse to kick off will be there, ready and waiting.
And if Stephen Yaxley Lennon is so “against hate”, it has to be asked why he devotes so much time to dispensing hatred towards a significant part of the population - and encouraging others to join him in his endeavours. I’ll just leave that one there.