I didn’t think I could get any more outraged than I already was over the recent abuse of Tommy Robinson by the British deep state. Arrested during a live Facebook broadcast from outside Leeds Crown Court, he was rushed through a travesty of a trial, then shipped to a prison before the day was over, only to be released – after nearly three months of cruel and unusual punishment – when the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales finally declared the whole process thoroughly illegitimate.
Clearly, there were people high up in the system who were out to get him. To put the country’s most outspoken critic of Islam in a hoosegow where he’d be surrounded by Muslims and, with any luck, would end up being found dead in his cell of unknown causes.
As I say, I didn’t think I could be more outraged. But then I caught up with Tommy’s autobiography, Enemy of the State, which was first published in 2015 and which I read in a 2017 revised edition. By turns riveting, frustrating, and inspiring, it tells the story of an ordinary working-class lad – a good soul and solid friend, if a bit of a mischief-maker – who gradually came to understand that his country faced an existential threat from an enemy within, and, driven by a conscience of remarkable magnitude, became an activist.
What was it, exactly, that drove Tommy to activism? Well, to begin with, his hometown, Luton, where he still lives, was a place where he had friends, white and black and brown, from a wide range of backgrounds – but where one tight-knit group, namely Muslims, seemed to hold all the cards, standing apart from (and above) all the others, refusing to blend in, treating the kafir with arrogance and contempt.