After careful consideration, each year the Freedom of the Press Society’s board finds the person who, as stated in the reason for the award, "has shown undaunted and uncompromising courage in the fight for the free word", and who has thus earned themselves the society’s freedom of speech prize, the Sappho award.
Last year, we chose the British, working-class boy, and freedom of speech activist, Tommy Robinson. He received the Sappho award last Saturday.
Since then, there has been no end of indignant comments from the chattering class/talking heads sitting comfortably in their padded office chairs and…well…talking: That whole segment that usually gives awards and honors to others who are exactly like themselves.
Our former recipients of the award are all distinguished by having fought for the free word with great personal consequences: several of them today live under police protection, others have lost both employment and reputation.
Here, Tommy Robinson is no exception, and for now, no other European is fighting for free speech on the same tireless - and vulnerable! – manner in which he does. He is therefore fully deserving of this award.
DR's pink journalism and nominally bourgeois commentators such as Jarl Cordua, have criticized us and made the sign of the cross: how could we honor a person who has a less than stellar past and who has also accrued several convictions?
Of course, we do not honor Tommy's fierce temper! We do not honor violence! On the contrary!
We honor the free word and the struggle to keep our society democratic!
Tommy's questionable past and the consequences of his temper are Tommy's problem, and he has taken his punishment for it.
And no, despite this, we could not have found another, more obvious candidate! With his upbringing in Luton, Tommy has been a first-hand witness to the dire consequences of multiculturalism, and has unfailingly been a voice of all the people who are negatively affected:
He has for years called out the disastrous consequences of demographics and Europe's population replacement, about radicalization in mosques and, not least, the outrageous sexual assaults on young English girls - down to the age of 13 - by Pakistani taxi drivers in particular: a despicable case made even more disgusting by being, for years, neglected by cowardly social workers, police and media who, cowardly, feared the predicate, “racist”.
Tommy is a gifted and well-mannered guy, but his personal protest against Europe's decay has not happened with his compatriot, Douglas Murray's British wit and elegance (our 2018 award winner), nor with the academic's dry and thorough research, such as the German Thilo Sarrazin, who received our award in 2013, nor with the Canadian, Mark Steyns (award recipient in 2010) surplus-like and humorous approach to the problem. Tommy Robinsons protest has been by walking the streets, it has been protests in pubs, in demonstrations, and until recently, by communicating his message on social platforms - until he was banned from these.
Thus, our 2019 award recipient is similar to none of the twelve former Sappho award recipients. He is his very own character - with all his faults and shortcomings. But Tommy Robinson deserves this award and recognition for his fight for free speech as any of our previous recipients of awards.