Tommy Robinson is one of the most divisive figures in UK politics today. A self-styled right-wing patriot with staunch anti-Islamic views, Robinson was freed from prison last week to a storm of controversy and tabloid headlines, as well as a surprisingly large amount of Bitcoin among donations made toward his legal fees.
Best-selling author and social media personality Tommy Robinson has been called many things in his lifetime; racist, Nazi, Islamophobe, xenophobe, thug, patriot, renegade, maverick, realist, hero, to name just a few. Depending on your political views and religious standpoint, Robinson might simply be a trailblazer, someone who speaks the truth as he sees it, minus any PC filter. He might also be a dangerous rabble rouser, stoking racial disharmony, even hatred, in a Britain already blighted by Brexit.
One thing is beyond question; Robinson creates division on a massive scale; it seems as if he is loved at hated in equal measure. He has almost 900,000 supporters on Facebook. Until Twitter closed his account, he had over 400,000 followers. When he was recently imprisoned for contempt of court, 150,000 people signed a petition to free him. Many of those sympathizers also showed their support with a financial donation. An indication of the sophistication of some of Robinson’s supporters is that £20,000 came in the form of Bitcoin.
£20,000 In Bitcoin Among Many Donations
In 2015 Robinson’s book “Enemy of the State” topped the best-seller list for several weeks. In 2017, his second effort “Mohammed’s Koran: Why Muslims Kill For Islam” had similar success. Even with two bestsellers under his belt, Robinson is far from wealthy, and he uses all streams of revenue to fund his latest campaigns against perceived injustices.
Since his imprisonment however, Robinson has discovered he had many supporter only too willing to cover his legal costs and provide for his wife and three children while he was incarcerated. One of the first donations he received was a £5,000 Bitcoin payment into his personal cryptocurrency wallet. A further £15,000 in Bitcoin has been donated, in addition to similar sums in more traditional currencies accrued from crowdfunding pages set up in the UK, US and Canada. Ironically, Robinson has also received substantial donations from Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, a secular nation with a Muslim majority.
Contempt Of Court Charge
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, spends most of his time as a thorn in the side of people or organizations he believes are doing wrong, most recently cases involving gangs of Muslim men charged with “grooming” under age English girls for sexual purposes.
In late May of this year he was jailed after allegedly live-streaming an active criminal trial to his Facebook page. In the UK, no cameras are allowed into courtrooms. He was sentenced to the maximum of 13 months, but was released after ten weeks.
Tommy is set to have a new hearing in the near future, and could yet return to prison. But in the meantime, he is free on bail, and on his best behavior; Robinson knows only too well any breach of conduct would result in his immediate return to prison.
Poster Boy For The Alt-Right?
Robinson has always denied that he is a racist, and he has in fact many lifelong black and Asian friends. He is without doubt fiercely anti-Islamic, often describing Islam as a “death cult”. He claims he has nothing personal against Muslims individually whom he describes as victims, he simply believes their religion should be outlawed from Wester society.
Robinson has supporters in high places, including several Tory MPs, controversial Dutch Opposition Leader Geert Wilders, former Trump Chief of Staff Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., YouTube star Paul Joseph Watson, former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and UK music star Morrissey, to name several.