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George Orwell

With the award of the Sappho Award, Tommy Robinson, the Free Press Society is once again positioning itself exactly where we should be

14. februar 2020 - International - af Aia Fog

Foto: Snaphanen.dk

With the award of the Sappho Award, Tommy Robinson, the Free Press Society is once again positioning itself exactly where we should be: On the front line of freedom of expression. And this is where we have placed ourselves each time we have awarded the Sappho Prize.

Let it be said straight off the bat: We at the Freedom of the Press Socity are pleased and proud that we have given our distinguished freedom of speech award, the Sapphop Prize, to Tommy Robinson. Not only does he fully live up to the criteria for receiving the award, which is that one must have "... delivered an undaunted and uncompromising courage in defense of the free word", he is also the one person, of all our award recipients, who has had to endure and suffer the most for saying what he thinks, and for standing firm on his viewpoints:

Both he and his family have endured threats and he has been attacked by opponents.

He has been harassed by British authorities and police.

He has been shamed and defamed by politicians, opinion makers and mainstream media.

He has been blocked on virtually all social platforms, he has had his Paypal account closed so that he could not raise money for his work; he has, during the past 2 years not only been subject to court cases, but has also been sent to prison one time after another on extremely dubious basis for cases that would otherwise never have triggered a prison sentence.

All in an attempt to shut him up.

His tireless defense of the weakest in British society, and of giving voice to the working class who are suffering the most from the social and cultural consequences of the rampant population change in English society, is unique and unprecedented.  All of that has made him one of the most beloved individuals in England - and one of the most contentious. And his struggle for the free word has, as I said, come at great personal costs for himself and his family.

All of this was likely worth it’s own story, but it is sad to note that no mainstream media in the Kingdom of Denmark seem to be interested in Tommy Robinson's historical significance as a socio-cultural whistleblower, and catalyst for the ever-narrower conditions of freedom of expression in England as well as the rest of Europe. They are far more concerned that, fifteen years ago, Tommy Robinson received a felony conviction following a drunken brawl with what turned out to be an off-duty officer, and that he, in 2011, received another verdict for head-butting a neo-Nazi.

These circumstances, as well as his direct and confrontational style as a street journalist, should - according to mainstream media – deprive Tommy Robinson not only of his credibility, but also make it perfectly okay to deprive him of virtually every platform where he could otherwise speak, and where he has had millions of followers. A circumstance that should otherwise arouse interest in his cause, because why is he so popular?

This interest is obviously not present in Danish media. It is both striking and depressing that the Danish press treats Tommy Robinson in exactly the same manner as the British press does, and that there is a corresponding indifference to whether he actually has anything important to say.

With the award of the Sappho Award, Tommy Robinson, the Free Press Society is once again positioning itself exactly where we should be: On the front line of freedom of expression. And this is where we have placed ourselves each time we have awarded the Sappho Prize.