I HAVE no doubt that everyone reading this will be aware of the revelations in The Sun regarding comments that Tommy Robinson made in a WhatsApp group that he not unfairly assumed was private and between friends. I don’t really intend to discuss the content of those messages as they are not the issue at all.
The real issue is the shameful invasion of privacy by The Sun newspaper. If there is anyone reading this who has never had a private conversation in which they have got a little bit gobby and said things that they wouldn’t like to be made public but have done so either because they are drunk or at least comfortable to let their hair down a little then I would surely like to meet you as you need to be congratulated because you are a literal saint.
Watching Tommy’s latest video it was hard not to feel sympathy for him on a human level. Leaving aside the obvious betrayal by someone he would have trusted and considered a friend, it was clear as he responded to comments suggesting he needed to be more careful that he could feel the mental space he inhabits close in around him. While I understand those comments and concerns of people in UKIP who are nervous given his association with the Party in the popular mind they are missing the point of what has happened here.
You can think what you like of his politics and alot of people simply don’t like them and that is, of course, their democratic right to disagree. However, he also has a right as a human being to privacy and to, once in a while, be a pillock and say stupid things if he so chooses without having to live under the constant threat of having that exposed and facing censure for what he has said. What he said didn’t harm anyone nor was it encouraging that, you may well think he said stupid things and you may well be right but that doesn’t change anything I have said above. If, however, you feel he doesn’t have that right then that takes us to a frankly terrifying place where no-one can actually be free.
Denying him that right is something akin to emotional torture and it is unacceptable and it is certainly not right to use that as a political weapon to silence his criticism of the BBC. The issue therefore becomes irrelevant and nothing to do with what you think of Tommy Robinson as a person and his politics but basically whether the press have a right to do what they are doing. I would submit that in this instance The Sun have crossed the line from what is acceptable and defensible because it is in the public interest and invaded Tommy’s privacy unfairly. This is the point and this is why regardless of what you think of Tommy Robinson, his politics or indeed the comments he made he should be defended against this outrageous attack.