Regular readers will know that I've long been at odds with campaigners whose targets are Muslims in general rather than Islamists, or whose targets are Muslims rather than the absurdity of the Islamic faith. All British citizens conforming to law, who can pass Cameron's test, are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their lives, homes and streets without threat, harassment or violence, irrespective of their faith.
Robinson now has an extensive entry on Wikipedia that details his past extreme right wing activities, and his damascene moment with Quilliam that apparently changed him from bigoted street thug to campaigner for democracy. I'm not questioning or belittling this - just stating it as a fact. It's the reason that until now he's never been mentioned on this blog - he's been outside my interest.
However, I did watch the events yesterday at Speakers Corner with interest. It was rightly understood as a free speech event. It was very well attended, and tens of thousands more followed it on live feeds or on Twitter. It was peaceful. It was a protest against what seems to be a concerted silencing of right wing voices by both the State and social media - culminating in the refusal of entry to the UK by three European right-wingers. Robinson read a speech by Martin Sellner, one of the excluded activists. It was not a good speech, certainly not worth quoting. Brits are motivated more by 1688 and the Chartists than fantasies of being Aryan knights. It didn't matter; very few heard it, either live or on the feeds. The speech wasn't the point.
I'm still not a fan of Mr Robinson. But free speech is under serious threat, and groups such as Martin Scriblerus are important because they offer individual bloggers who may be suddenly silenced a resilience. What has been happening with increasing frequency on You Tube and Twitter may soon come to Blogger, and even innocent and peace-affirming voices such as mine are under threat, perhaps just for mentioning Tommy Robinson's name. I'm still not a fan of Mr Robinson, but if yesterday was a case of a bad man doing a good thing, then so be it. In defence of free speech our enemy's enemy is our friend.