Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Another EDL U-Turn

British politician George Galloway.Image via Wikipedia
George Galloway
The supposedly pro-democracy movement English Defence League have been receiving a lot of high profile media attention recently, with their self appointed leader (and that's self appointed, not elected, in a pro-democracy movement) Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, getting himself interviewed on Talksport, Radio 5 and many local radio stations, plus publicity in a large proportion of the mainstream printed press.

The EDL we're typically over the moon this week at have 'Tommy' interviewed by George Galloway live on Talksport, they advertised the interview repeatedly across all the media they had access to and then .... Well, it's fair to say that the interview didn't go exactly as the EDL had hoped for.  First Galloway exposed the EDL leader's real name, and then challenged him constantly to explain why the EDL thought that Muslims in Britain were extremists and why they needed confronting in the style the EDL uses.

The debate quickly degenerated into a slanging match with 'Robinson' throwing accusations about Galloway's supposed support for Hamas, and Galloway trying to stop 'Robinson's' rantings about Islamic extremism in countries around the world.  The whole debate was a rather unedifying spectacle, The EDL member failed to provide a shred of evidence for British Muslim extremism (this despite the big obvious 7/7 bombings he could have pointed to, or the attack at Glasgow airport), and Galloway resorted to shouting "Shut up, shut up, shut up" over and over as he tried to end 'Robinson's' anti-Islamic rant.

The most hilarious aspect of this is the reaction of the EDL, last week they were cock-a-hoop at having their leader interviewed by George Galloway, after the interview went rather pear shaped they have launched a campaign, The Petition To Get  George Galloway Off UK Airwaves.  Although beyond starting yet another Facebook group, this campaign doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  Anyway, in a democracy, and the EDL are a pro-democracy movement are they not, isn't free speech the whole point ?

That's the trouble with the EDL though, they are big supporters of free speech, just so long as you don't disagree with them.

*During the debate, Galloway stated quite clearly his view that Hamas is not a terrorist group.  Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by the UK, USA, EU, Japan, Canada and others.  Some countries such as Norway and Switzerland have recognised Hamas as a legitimate political group and have held discussions with them.
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