Since he left the EDL, Tommy Robinson’s approach and attitudes have shifted discernibly. He draws attention to stories which present Muslims in a good light and, as far as I have noticed, consistently avoids the bigoted lows of his EDL career. However there is still room for improvement. It is reasonable for him to draw attention to problems connected with extremism, but sometimes the tone or emphasis of his comments seems to cross a line. He is also a UKIP supporter who likes to grumble about ‘the left’. [Edit: TR has now clarified that he really means the far left.] But obviously this is better than being the leader of the EDL, and it’s good to see that he is no longer BFF with Robert Spencer.
Here Robinson offers his response to the cancellation (following pressure) of a talk he had been due to give to a school in the North East. It’s important to note a) that he would have been accompanied by Usama Hasan from Quilliam and b) that many of the school’s pupils were inclined to be EDL supporters. I think Robinson is correct to assert that he might have been well placed (with Usama) to make these children see things from a different perspective.
On Twitter, Tommy Robinson has drawn attention to some people who have been allowed to give talks at schools. Assuming his facts are correct, one can understand his frustration. One of these men, Abdul Qadeer Baksh thinks that (ideally) homosexuality should be punished by death. But why on earth did Robinson have to retweet this?
However even though Tommy Robinson’s reformation is a bit of a curate’s egg, I think the presentation he had been invited to give with Usama Hasan (who, like Maajid Nawaz, is also a former extremist) should have been allowed to go ahead.