By Janie Jones.
We’ve been watching Stephen Lennon do his press rounds recently, he’s actually charging them now. Seriously…. Fifty quid a shot. Wowzers what a blagger. Who makes financial gain from the mass murder of children? Initial interviews seemed to go pretty well for him, I guess the pressure is off when you have no intention of answering any questions truthfully. It’s more an exercise in coming across as genuine which he fails at, but there you go. What has turned from a defensive necessity to negotiate the media to protect his organisation’s reputation to a financial and propaganda bonanza, probably means we should stop indulging the two bit football hooligan, coke head, cowboy builder of the world of activism. Perhaps give him enough airtime to hang himself? What follows is a transcript of an interview with Stephen Lennon on BBC 3 counties radio and our challenges as to the honesty of his responses. Remember just one BULLSHIT discredits the man as having any integrity:
interviewer will be I
“Tommy” will be T
I- David Cameron says that the government here is taking extremely seriously that AB may have links to far right groups in this country. The organisation who’s name has been most mentioned is the EDL, they say they had no official contact with them, Stephen Lennon is from Luton, he is also known as Tommy Robinson and he’s the leader of the EDL and joins us in the studio this morning, Stephen, thanks for coming in. and speaking to us this morning. Can I just start by asking have you ever met AB?
T- I haven’t. Can I just start by saying our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to all the victims of this horrific incident
I -did you know of AB before Friday?
T- I didn’t, no
I- but fellow supporters did of the EDL didn’t they according to Ab’s facebook 700, 600 EDL supporters
T-600 out of 100,000 followers on the internet so it doesn’t mean any of them have met em. They’re cyber friends on fb, I had 7,000 friends on fb. I only knew about 100 or so of them
I but 600 EDL supporters are his friends on facebook
T yeah they were
I so the EDL has got links hasn’t it to AB
T- when you say has got links I think its only speculation and opinions, opinions are like elbows, everyone’s got 2 , we need the facts, the facts are cos there has been this smear campaign and word association
I the facts are that 600 members of the EDL are his friends on facebook
Anders Behring Breivik’s last known posting about the EDL.
T the facts are on page 1438 of his document, he states that EDL are in fact anti racist, anti fascist and anti Nazi they have many members and leaders with no European backgrounds, Africans and Asians, the EDL and his group principals can never be reconciled as we are miles apart ideal idea log logi logigically the EDL harshly condemns any movement that uses terror as a tool such as mine, this is why myself view the EDL as naïve fools the edl is a democratic movement and they still believe that a democratic system can solve it’s problems. Does that sound like we had a good relationship in any sort of way?
I- previously, prior to that, brevik had, well he’s changed his mind obviously about your…
T- He’s changed his mind, and this is the most this is the latest thing, he’s changed his mind once he’s seen what we’re about we cond
I- but he has supported your organisation in the past hasn’t he
T- well we have the s.., we share an ide.. a part of an ideology that we believe that islam is a serious threat to Europe, we believe that Islam or extremists Mr Lennon?
I lets’ not talk about your ideology because we have heard about it many a time here on breakfast, what I want to talk to you about this morning is newsnight, last night on the BBC. You made an extraordinary claim that we are heading for attacks here that Norway has suffered on Friday in fact we can see them here, you said in five to ten years time.
T (at same time as I) to be honest I’ve ma… I’ve made that claim for years
I you said, five to ten years time
T- I’ve made that claim prior to this
I you’re planning for this then are you?
T- I’m not planning for it at all no, I condemn all acts of violence and extremism, what I am saying is if we don’t plan against this it will happen and god forbid we need that on our soil,
I- what leads you to believe it’s going to happen in the first place?
T- Because, when you live at a street level, like myself, you understand the anger and frustration that there is in our communities. There’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of frustration. People are deeply concerned with Islam and by brushing it under the carpet, not just brushing it under the carpet, anyone opening their mouth being deemed a racist, we see our local politicians calling us well, there’s no evidence till it does happen. outsiders, there’s an alienation period going on with the working class community of this country and if they’re not careful they are going to create monsters, and in a democracy, when you are aggrieved by s…
I- Where’s your evidence?
T- where’s my evidence?
I- that this is going to happen in five to ten years time
T- well look what’s just happened in Norway, I said this before Norway
I- It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen here, where’s your evidence that it’s going to happen
I then why are you saying things like this
T- I’m predicting its, I’m predicting
I- so this is your gut feeling
T- there’s an under current of anger
I do you not think that by saying things like this, this is what will stir it up in the first place?
T- no, I believe that by ignoring things like this, and not talking about things like this, we will allow it to happen and God forbid we want to prevent anything like that happening on British soil and to prevent it they need to start accepting that there is an elephant in the room ,its called Islam, let’s talk about it, lets not brush it under the carpet and pretend that everything is hunky dory and that Islam is not a religion..Islam is a religion of peace
I this is what you’re really good at isn’t it, the EDL, you preach intolerance yet you don’t want to take responsibility for the effect of the rhetoric on other people. That’s the definition of power without responsibility what you do is you light the touch power„, touch paper. You give people your opinions. You put them out there, these extreme far right views, and people run away with them.. they become too dangerous (Tommy speaks at same time as last part)
T- which extreme far right views is that, and when you talk about intolerance, Islam is an intolerant religion towards all other faiths so
I what you do, is you preach your views to people and then when it becomes a little bit out of control, or a lot out of control as in this case, you wash your hands completely of all responsibility
T, well no, you’re completely wrong actually if you look at what we’ve done from day one, we have gone against extremism, we’ve promoted integration, we’ve promoted non non non, european members, non English members because that’s what makes up England. When I see England, I see black, I see white, I see brown , that is why that is what makes up the EDL movement
I are your supporters dangerous?
T- are our supporters dangerous? No, not any supporters I know are dangerous. It’s the same, its the same. When 7/7 happened
I Are you dangerous?
T when 7?7 happened, listen
I Stephen, listen, are you dangerous?
T- no I’m not dangerous at all.
I listen, we’re reporting in the news this morning that you’ve just been convicted of football hooliganism this week, and involved in a street brawl
T- I have been convicted of raising my arms in the air, and if you listen, if you read the Guardian website they actually say that the police officer was caught out lying on oath, in the last 12 months I have had my rights to go to football taken away, I have had my right to protest taken away
I but you have been convicted
Tyeah I’m appealing that, I have had my right to protest taken away and I have had all my money and finances taken away
I are your members dangerous, i’m going to show you a picture now, taken from the internet which is your EDL supporters
T- says who?
I- wearing EDL tops, holding guns up
T- and does anybody know who they are? Could be anyone
I- this is the thing, your preaching your views then you do step away from any real responsibility
T they could be anybody, if you look at what we’ve preached, we’ve preached non extremism, non violence, from day 1, that’s all we’ve ever done, we’ve condemned it we, in a democracy when you are angry you a go out on the street and you’re supposed to protest, that’s what you’re supposed to do, it’s your democratic right. That takes away, if that democratic right is taken away, when we come to Luton, which we have serious issues in Luton which we wanted to highlight, we came here, we peacefully protested in our thousands, yet we had politicians telling us we’re scum, they don’t want us, these are dangerous times when there treading on these times and try to take people’s rights away from them, I have had my democratic right to protest taken away from me, as have many of our members
I- as the EDL do you no longer know who you are?
T- yeah we know who we are, yeah
I you are a far right winged
T- ok so what far right about the EDL? No, can you answer
I your so called
Tno, can you answer, you just called me far right answer the question
I the so called link between breivik and EDL is something that you are now severely (unintelligible) about.
I- which link? The link where he calls us naïve fools? That link
I but he was one of your supporters
T- clearly not, naïve fools, he says we are ideologically miles apart, now can you explain to me what is far right, you’ve just called us far right on the radio, explain to me what is far right about the EDL You’re not .. explain to me what’s far right
I- you preach , what you preach in your views Is not…
T -against homophobia , against anti Semitism, tell me which part is far right, just explain to me which part is far right
I- what you preach in your views
T- which part, you’re not going be able to answer because we are not a far right organisation
I- I’m going to
T- well go on then
I what you preach in your views is far right
T- like what
I because what you go around preaching
T- like what, like what?
T- well, no, you haven’t got an answer cos we’re not far right. That’s it, you can keep labelling us far right on the radio and the media, if you come out and tell the truth we’re not even far right. There’s nothing far right about standing up for women’s rights, there is nothing far right about standing up for our culture
I what your group does is it preaches against a recognised global religion
T- no its not a glo.. is it a religion when you get the death penalty for leaving it? See in my mind that’s an ideology that that’s a cult and the Italian government has come out and said, this is not a religion this is an ideology and across Europe you will see all politicians coming out and explaining it, it’s not, its an ideology that is masquerading as a religion, I am glad you have just confirmed that there is nothing far right about our organisation.
I- do you worry that a minority of your supporters might go too far?
T- no the biggest worry to me and this country is a minority within the Islamic faith, that’s the biggest worry, lets not pretend that the biggest worry is any far right organisation the EDL have never committed any acts of violence, we have never blown anything up,
we have never bombed anyone, killed anyone or maimed anyone. That has only happened on our soil by the religion of so called peace
I – Stephen. Many thanks for talking to us this morning.
Huge thanks to everyone who helped find screenies.