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Pete North @PeteNorth303
, 24 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. I'm looking at both sides of the #TommyRobinson argument. I understand that there are reporting restrictions and that TR has ignored the terms of his bail. I just have a couple of thoughts on that...
2. I don't see that anything he did would be likely to prejudice an ongoing trial. All I see is a gobshite mouthing off in a public place. That, of itself, doesn't seem grounds for arrest. Breach of the peace is a bullshit offence that gives plod any excuse they need to arrest.
3. As to the terms of TR's bail, I happen to think that is bullshit too. Contempt of court rules are often used as a leash and creatively interpreted for that end. It's either a very brave or very stupid man who fails to heed it. But then these things do have to be tested.
4. The Home Office, though, is playing a dangerous game. We've all seen those BBC reports where the suspect is not named - which is odd because no other criminal suspects seem to enjoy that anonymity.
5. A friend of mine was falsely accused of rape - and it was proven to be false in court, but his name made the local press and he suffered harassment because of it. He had to move house. Double standard?
6. What it really *seems* like to me is that the government senses outrage and is managing news to contain it. I think they made the right call in banning foreign provocateurs like Lauren Southern but the UK public do have a right to express their outrage.
7. Ultimately I think Robinson is deliberately testing where the line is and found that the courts have zero tolerance for playing silly buggers. So yes there is a rule of law principle upheld here. That then opens up questions about the adequacy of the law.
8. What we are increasingly seeing is the "justice" system steamrollering people, making examples of them. Same applies with arresting people for "offensive" tweets. In other words people aren't being treated equally under the law.
9. As much as anything it looks like we are seeing arrests to keep the plebs in line, which I suppose is a function of government but it increasingly looks like we are flushing freedom of speech down the toilet.
10. On balance of argument I do think this is a politically motivated arrest - but TR has left the goalposts wide open. He has given them everything they needed. Whether you agree with him or not though, this is a test of the justice system.
11. Some of the "Free Tommy" tweets are overwrought and bordering on the lunatic but the opposite side are engaged in same pretty shameful equivocation and deliberate twisting of events. The lesson here is not to rely on secondary sources.
12. In this you cannot trust the media. Hardly anybody is going to report this impartially. I advise scepticism of everything you read even if it seems reasonable.
13. The reason this matters is that the UK is about to enter a prolonged period of political unrest. Too many issues have been brushed under the carpet over the last two decades and debate has been bottled up. Brexit seems to have exposed the dysfunction.
14. Here is when the law is going to be tested the most. You may not agree with Tommy Robinson but his rights under the law are your rights under the law - and this case shows how easily you can fall foul of them. It could very well be you.
15. This is where all this unfocused political activity is actually of little use. What we actually need is a campaign for a new framework that protects political speech. Politics should not be a legal minefield. People must be free to have no holds barred debate.
16. Basic civil rights the world over are founded on the right to free speech, the right of assembly and protest. The state picking off the ringleaders is the behaviour more akin with a tinpot kleptocracy. We cannot have a climate of fear where people are afraid to speak.
17. I actually think Tommy Robinson is a cretin and a bit of a thug. I don't buy this shtick about him being reformed. He's just learned a new catalogue of sophistry to get his same old view under the radar. All the same though, stifling those views only ends up validating them.
18. Already TR has been made a martyr. I saw a petition to free him with over 200k signatures. That's more than the recent petition for a referendum on abolishing the house of lords. People really are animated about this and the government must think carefully.
19. Frankly, I think the whole UK legal system is collapsing anyway. Some blame austerity but I think that's a cop out. I think it is decrepit. It is bogged down in process and procedure and technicality to the point where it has lost touch with its moral mission.
20. I think the system no longer dispenses justice. I think it is simply there to preserve the legal order for the convenience of the the establishment. I think it is living on borrowed time. Too many people have had the book thrown at them for victimless crimes & petty offences.
21. The consequence of that is that the public are gradually losing their faith in the rule of law and in the near future we will see a lot more acts of defiance simply because the technical justice dispensed is totally alien to the public definition of justice.
22. The legal system has become a rich man's toy where justice is there for those who can afford it, but if you're one of the plebs then you are thrown to the wolves. the way millionaires have been able to play the system to disrupt Brexit tells you everything.
23. The legal system is increasingly becoming another arena of politics whereby vendettas and crusades are wages through judicial activism rather than through the party system. This is how elites buy political change.
24. The courts are supposed to be impartial. British justice is said to be our greatest export to the world. But I think we are losing that. It is becoming part of the machinery in a war against the people. If we cannot arrest that decline then the future is quite ugly indeed.
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