In a way, this is a special edition because the three letters we publish are all about Tommy Robinson. Most of our readers and contributors have posted their comments below the relevant articles, but these three contributions were sent to the editor directly.
It needs to be emphasised that these contributions were sent in before we had the news that the reporting restriction was lifted yesterday afternoon.
The first contribution is from Peter Mchugh whose Caustic comments have been featured here many times:
Brief – but Caustic – Monday 28th MAY.
Support for Tommy Robinson grows apace, and the petition for action on his irrational imprisonment, nears 400,000 , when others, : often on contentious issues, have struggled to reach 40,000.
His only crime it seems, has been to ignore a warning to desist from talking about uncontrolled immigration, and thus embarrassing a Government that promised to address the issue : BUT HASN’T.
It would be more logical to imprison Theresa May and her cabinet, on the more serious charge of: ignoring a clear and binding instruction from the electorate in 2016, to withdraw us from the European Union.
She has ignored this for almost two years, since coming to office in July of that year, whilst Tommy’s indiscretion runs to about a year.
Next, a poem from our contributor David Winder:
In twenty eighteen you can be jailed for thought
Or reading out newspapers on the steps of Crown Court
Thirteen months banged up is an appropriate time
For reporting child rapists is now deemed a crime
Tommy Robinson he shouted loud and proud
Of crimes being ignored but his words weren’t allowed
Keep quiet you fool as we ignore this mess
That we have allowed and will never confess
So silence this man who speaks from the heart
Harass him, deride him, detain him apart
He’s a racist and criminal, you don’t want to listen
This man is no good, division his mission
It’s people like him who add to the pain
Explaining our faults, our mess ups and game
To keep you controlled, in your place where we rule
One law for us and one for the fools
Go back to sleep, this isn’t your fight
Let us do what we want, who cares if it’s right?
But the people have woken, to words that were spoken
By Tommy who shouted our Country is broken
We won’t go to sleep and we won’t walk away
You’ve now gone to far, for that you must pay.
Finally, a letter from our contributor Rhys Burriss who takes a different look at what has been happening:
I don’t that often disagree with Viv’s musings. Or Freddy Vachha’s.
However, I do consider that this rush by UKIPpers to jump on the ‘Tommy Robinson’ (what is all that made up name business about?) bandwagon is misplaced, and a distraction from what should be our real work of trying to get a Real Brexit and trying to get serious restrictions on new immigration.
I have not yet been able to read the Judge’s actual reasoning for his decision last Friday but I have to say that the comments of “The Secret Barrister” seem mostly apposite. (I don’t care for his oh so right on tone / gloating but that’s another matter.)
What on earth of a positive nature was TR seeking to achieve by webcasting comments about a trial in which the Jurors had not yet declared their verdicts? What harm might have come about by virtue of his postponing such webcasting until after the trial?
He knew that he was already subject to a suspended sentence for just such behaviour committed last year!
Might he have been trying to draw attention to himself, by any chance? To actually achieve his own imprisonment?
No Judge has forbidden correct reporting of the events of the trial ~ evidence given etc.. The Judge had postponed such reporting until the trial’s conclusion. This is not particularly unusual.
The aim of such NB POSTPONEMENT – not banning indefinitely – is to guard against possible prejudice to the trial ~ eg in case one or more Jurors in the the case might be affected by the reporting and allow their verdict to be contaminated by matters not admitted in evidence within the courtroom.
In principle it seems to me that the availability to the Court of such reporting restrictions is perfectly proper, even necessary.
If the trial had had to be rerun because of fear that this might have happened (thus denying the defendants a fair trial according to well established English law procedural rules) there would have been two very substantial costs :
One would have been the financial one of having to rerun the whole thing, with all involved being paid twice. But more important would have been the distress caused to all the prosecution witnesses by requiring them to give evidence again and be cross-examined again. The more young / vulnerable the witnesses the greater the distress, one can imagine.
The Judge acted perfectly properly in seeking to protect the integrity of the trial.
For what it’s worth I think the additional ten months was unnecessarily harsh. But I would not have had any objection to the original suspended sentence being activated.
This ‘rush to judgement’ in TR ‘s favour is making UKIP and UKIP’s Leader look silly, and possibly adding to the general impression that UKIP has lost its way.
Respectfully, Rhys Burriss