A modern version of the ‘Hollow crown’ speech (Rich II Act 2 Sc 3) starring Tommy Robinson. Robinson’s shock resignation from the English defence League has been likened to the Pope leaving the Vatican after noticing it contained Catholics or Hitler denouncing National Socialism because some Nazis went a bit too far. It’s hard to believe that the presence of neoNazis among the EDL ‘footsoldiers’ surprised Tommy though. They’ve been a national joke for years as Russell Howard (among others) demonstrated beautifully:
Not that the rank and file of the EDL really need any help to make fools of themselves.
It’s worth remembering that the nonsensical rhetoric that these gullible people spout comes straight from the official EDL propaganda. It’s easy to laugh at the ignorance (and intoxication) of ordinary EDL members but lets not forget that this is the result of a strategy of misinformation deliberately aimed at the uneducated and disempowered. And the whole campaign since 2009 has been orchestrated by Tommy Robinson himself. It has been a campaign of hatred and bigotry that actively encouraged and glorified behaviour like this:
So like many people I find this Damascene epiphany difficult to believe. The idea that racism has come as a surprise to Tommy is quite impossible to believe. He knows the EDL is (and has always been) a racist, neoNazi organisation because he designed it that way. Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) seems to be rewriting his own history despite the vast archive of evidence that always follows high profile public agitators.
Tommy Robinson wants us to believe he isn’t racist yet he courted racists for four years;
He wants us to believe he hates racists yet his official EDL social media pages have spouted blatant racism for years;
He wants us to believe he supports democracy yet as recently as two days ago he was busy attempting to intimidate those who disagreed with his anti Muslim sentiments;
He wants us to believe that he is leaving the EDL because he no longer supports street movements and yet he has been unvolved in organising such events right up until yesterday’s announcement;
He wants us to believe that this is about conscience when his stated reasons clearly demonstrate the immature motivation of a megalomaniac ‘spitting the dummy’ because he can’t keep personal control.
This is not a new phenomenon. Shakespeare described it well several hundred years ago. It’s remarkable how few changes are necessary to fit the speech below to Tommy’s own situation.
“No matter which thinktank. Of extremism no man speak.
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs, make dust our paper and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the EDL. Let’s choose journalists and talk of government subsidies.
And yet not so, for what can we betray, save our deposed footsoldiers to the ground? Our lands, our lives and all are Quilliam’s, and nothing can we call our own but publicity and that small model of the barren media which serves to ridicule and exploit our loyal supporters.
For God’s sake, let us sit before Jeremy Paxman and tell sad stories of the death of racists; how some have been deposed. Some slain in war; Some haunted by the infidels they have deposed; Some poison’d by their Frauleins: some sleeping kill’d; All murder’d.
For within the hollow crown that rounds the mortal temples of an EDL attention whore keeps Death his court. And there the antic sits,scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp. Allowing him a breath, a little scene, to monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, as if this flesh which walls about our life, were brass impregnable.
And humour’d thus comes at the last and with a little pin bores through his castle wall, and farewell Tommy!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood with solemn reverence. Throw away respect, religious hatred, street violence and ceremonious demonstrations, for you have but mistook me all this while.
I live with cocaine like you, feel paranoia, taste grief, need bodyguards. Subjected thus, how can you say to me, I am a bloke worth listening to?”