|Tommy Robinson arrested
Stacy McCain on the lack of First Amendment freedom in the UK Why Freedom of Speech Matters (And Why ‘Hate Speech’ Is Protected, Too)
When news of Tommy Robinson’s arrest in England made headlines, Americans were shocked. A judge had sentenced Robinson to 13 months in prison for attempting to publicize the trial of men accused of operation a criminal sex ring that trafficked underage girls in Leeds.A primary function of the First Amendment in America is to protect political speech from politicians, which is why it was number one in the list of things that the Founding Fathers were afraid had not been made sufficiently explicit in the constitution itself. The UK has nothing like it. They claim to have a "negative right" to free speech under common law, but with broad exceptions, broad enough, apparently to sentence a subject (note, not a "citizen", a subject) to over a year for exposing the actions of public courts.
The case involved one of several so-called “grooming” gangs that have been exposed in England in recent years, the most notorious of which was The Rotherham Horror. Basically, lower-class white English girls are seduced (“groomed”) by young Muslim men, mostly the sons of Pakitani immigrants, and then gang-raped and/or pimped out as prostitutes. The racial aspect of this phenomenon obviously has the potential to inflame public opinion, especially since investigations have shown officials failed to act promptly in many cases because of political correctness.
Why was Robinson arrested?
The Contempt of Court Act 1981 lays down strict limitations on what can be reported in the press regarding active criminal proceedings. This is to prevent outside influences from affecting jurors, ensuring that the defendant has a fair trial based only on the evidence put before the court.Apparently, either (a) English courts do not have the authority to sequester the jury in high-profile trials, or (b) the courts are deliberately attempting to suppress public knowledge of the Leeds case. As an American unfamiliar with British law, I can’t say which is true, but I do know that there is a smoldering resentment among many Britons about the role of the “respectable” media in cases like these.
Robinson was already serving a suspended sentence for contempt of court concerning a 2017 case in Canterbury when he was arrested by police while live-streaming on Facebook outside a grooming trial in Leeds on Friday morning.
In the broadcast, played to the court, Robinson “got into a shouting match with several men who appeared to be defendants in the case”, Buzzfeed reports. He also read out the names and charges against the men, some of them inaccurate.
“No-one could possibly conclude that it would be anything other than highly prejudicial to the defendants in the trial,” said Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, presiding. . . .
A temporary order had been imposed by the court banning media coverage of Robinson’s trial and conviction while the Leeds grooming trial was ongoing over fears it could further publicise Robinson’s prejudicial broadcast.
“If the jurors in my present trial get to know of this video I will no doubt be faced with an application to discharge the jury,” Marson told Robinson on Friday, the Hull Daily Mail reports.
“If I have to do that it will mean a re-trial, costing hundreds and hundreds and thousands of pounds.”
One sees Robinson described in headlines as a “far-right” figure, or an “anti-Muslim” activist, but who is to blame for this situation? When you examine the facts surrounding The Rotherham Horror and other such cases, it is apparent that the media was largely complicit — along with the police and other public officials — in permitting the problem of the so-called “grooming” gangs to flourish. Class prejudice was clearly a factor in this. Most British journalists are from the college-educated upper classes, while the girls being raped and pimped out by these Muslim gangs were mostly from a class that Americans would call “white trash.”
It’s not as if the “grooming” gangs were a big secret, after all. Young Pakistani men were parking their cars in front of schools to pick up their 14- and 15-year-old “girlfriends” and, because these girls were generally from the welfare-dependent lower classes, nobody seemed to care. Police, educators and social-service agencies ignored what was going on, and as for the media, well, they wouldn’t want to be accused of “racism” or “Islamophobia” for reporting on this phenomenon. . .
More here at National Review: Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to ‘Grooming Gangs.’ Britain Has Persecuted Him.