The coverage here during the last few days of the Tommy Robinson affair in Britain appears to be having at least a small impact in certain circles in Merrie Olde England. Dispatches have come in from some of the tonier addresses in the UK explaining, in that marvelous tone of condescension which no one from beyond the shores of England can ever quite pull off, that those of us who sympathize with Robinson have got it all wrong; that we simply do not grasp the exquisite nuances of British jurisprudence, specifically the kingdom’s laws about the coverage of trials – for if we did understand, we would recognize that Robinson’s summary arrest and imprisonment did not represent an outrageous denial of his freedom of speech, his right to due process, and his right to an attorney of his own choosing, but were, in fact, thoroughly appropriate actions intended to ensure the integrity of the trial he was covering. Those of us outside the UK who think that British freedom has been compromised and that the British system of law has been cynically exploited for ignoble purposes are, apparently, entirely mistaken; on the contrary, we are instructed, Britain’s police are continuing to conduct themselves in a responsible matter, Britain’s courts are still models of probity, and Britain’s real journalists (not clumsy, activist amateurs like Robinson) persist in carrying out their role with extraordinary professionalism and propriety, obeying to the letter the eminently sensible rules that govern reportage about court cases in the land of Magna Carta.
“It is true,” acknowledged one correspondent, “that in previous years the UK police wrongly hesitated to prosecute Muslim grooming gangs. And it was a shocking scandal, which the Daily Mail did much to expose and excoriate. But that has changed.”
Hesitated? Changed? Talk about English understatement. For decades – not years – police, social workers, local politicians, and journalists all over Britain knew that thousands of non-Muslim girls throughout the country were being repeatedly raped by Muslim gangs. The perpetrators were not arrested – partly because police and others in authority were apparently terrified of being called racists.