Leeds United Can Do Without the Likes of Hard Right Rabble-Rouser Tommy Robinson – by Rob Atkinson


LUFC Blake Hilaire

Eighties Leeds United, complete with fans’ favourites Blake and Hilaire

I saw a video clip the other day of right-wing demagogue Tommy Robinson/Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon/Andrew McMaster/Paul Harris (delete as applicable) declaring his love for and affiliation to the football club I’ve loved, for better or for worse, through thin and thinner, for over 43 years. Yes, folks, Tommy Robinson, or whatever you might care to call him, is apparently a Leeds United fan – at least he was, anyway, at some time in the past. Some reading this will be delighted to hear such tidings. Far more, I sincerely hope, will be horrified and disgusted.

I’ve had plenty to say about “Tommeh” (as his acolytes are wont to refer to him) in other places than this blog, at various times in the past. His views are anathema to me, not simply because I’m a socialist, or because I believe in equality, or because I’m against randomly opportunist racial stereotyping – but because I can see the blindingly obvious defects in his character, as could anyone who’s not utterly in denial as to what truly motivates this deeply silly and reprehensible excuse for an “activist”. To have him associate himself with Leeds United, a club once itself mired in the filth of racism, is deeply repugnant to anyone who witnessed the collaboration between club and fans in the Eighties to rid Elland Road of the racists and clear the fascist stench that had polluted the atmosphere of LS11.

Back in those dismal bad old days, the club and the players representing it on the field were going through bad times. Suffering from a post-Super Leeds malaise, languishing in the second tier and playing to dismally small crowds, United had problems enough of its own, without being exploited by far right groups as a vehicle for their perverted views. And yet it was so, as anyone who walked up and down Lowfields Road every match day could confirm. Right wing snotrags like The Flag were sold openly while the police looked on disinterestedly, the stadium echoed to the sound of massed morons chanting songs of hatred and intolerance, black players ran the gauntlet of ignorance and prejudice. These were times when the likes of Tommeh felt most at home down Elland Road way, although Robinson, being born in 1982, was destined to miss out. Because things were changing for the better at Leeds, both on the pitch and off.

The advent of the fanzine culture, with its more egalitarian outlook, together with a proliferation of football-affiliated anti-Nazi groups, made a real difference to the ambience at Leeds. Gradually, the right-wing cretins and thugs were marginalised, and the club played its part, actively discouraging any racist presence and making a crop of signings who were not only committed and talented – they were black. The likes of Vince Hilaire and Noel Blake ventured where many black footballers had understandably feared to tread by joining Leeds United, and they found themselves feted as heroes by a newly-dominant type of Leeds fan, bringing a revolutionary tone to what was still the most vociferous and committed crowd in football. All of a sudden, the racists were in full retreat at Elland Road, and the foundations were laid for a brighter and more successful future. Soon after Hilaire and Blake, Chris Fairclough, Chris Whyte and the Wallace twins arrived and, only a few years after some of the worst times in United’s history, they were once again England’s Finest; the Last Champions.

That’s a proud legacy, a positive tale of enlightenment banishing ignorance and prejudice to bring success and transform a previously moribund football club. It’s the kind of legacy that Tommy Robinson, and those others of his nasty ilk, would love to trample back into the noisome slime from which it emerged. Well, no thanks. Leeds United has been a far better club, even in our most difficult days on the pitch, than the complacent and decadent outfit the racists seized for their own thirty-odd years ago. Even now, as we struggle back to the top with memories of Super Leeds far in the past, we’re in a much better place, simply because the whole outlook of the place is brighter and more intelligent than it used to be. We still have the minority of sick individuals clinging on and claiming to be Leeds fans, but they’re out of the mainstream now, regarded as oddities by proper football fans, irrelevant to United and football in a broader sense. And that’s how it should stay.

I’m open to a discussion about this, because I know Robinson divides opinion (although my view is that the division is between enlightenment and ignorance). Still, I’m not here to close down debate, and any comment that isn’t abusive will be published. But the fact is that we don’t need the likes of Tommeh down at Elland Road. Let him spout his weasel words about how it was his club, it’s certainly not the case now. It might have been at one time, but he was born too late for that. We’ve moved on, Tommeh. We’ve got no time for you, or your perverted world view.

Kindly go away – and stay away.

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33 responses to “Leeds United Can Do Without the Likes of Hard Right Rabble-Rouser Tommy Robinson – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Robert Parr

    Wow! Tell me what you really think Rob!
    I learned my politics in the Young Communist League in Leeds back in the early 70’s and witnessed many an innocent soul get beaten up by the then national front thugs.
    I was also a Leeds United Steward when the Kop fence went down against Man City, if I’m correct.
    I abhor racism. Being a devout atheist, my main concern is with religious dogma getting in the way of integration and causing sectarianism in society. I get on with any immigrant that wants to get on with me.
    My other concern is with the capability, or lack of therein of the country’s infrastructure being able to cope with the influx of people.
    By the way, I voted to remain!

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  2. What an ill informed article. Our club has nothing to do with politics and as you obviously know little about the subject , I suggest you don’t get involved either. I don’t here Burnley fans complaint about the left wing idiots they have following their club.
    I don’t agree with a lot of TR thoughts myself , but see no reason at all to bring Leeds United into it.

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    • He brought Leeds United into it, I’m merely responding. And before you favour us with your superior knowledge of the subject, perhaps you could learn to spell “hear”.

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  3. Totally agree, the bloke should be back in the nick where he belongs (out on a technicality, much to the joy of his “supporters”) His views have no place at MY, OUR club, or indeed, in society in general. As for the “left wingers” at Burnley, I would hazard a guess that the poster is unaware of the difference between left and right, God knows how he gets his shoes on 🙂

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  4. Reality Cheque

    Well done Rob, another very articulate and balanced post which invites further debate from anyone wishing to offer their own, (non-abusive), views which may differ from your own. I do have one concern about this post though Rob, and it is rather topical at the moment, (No penalties awarded to Leeds United for 50 matches, head butts on Leeds players ruled as not worthy of any action by FA, ironically, Pontus being asked to explain his use of the word “Robbery” immediately post the Brentford game, (do they think he should have said “endless robberies”?), so PLEASE remove this post before the powers that be read it and decide that Robinson’s “affiliation” with Leeds United requires and justifies immediate punitive action in order to deter other clubs by way of imposing a massive points deduction on Leeds United, (as per Rule 1A of the FA’s; “One rule for Leeds United and another rule for every other club” Rule Book). Rant over but I think you get the gist of my concerns Rob. ALAW

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  5. Keith Burrell

    If he’s a Leeds fan, then he’s a Leeds fan, and there’s nowt you can do about it.

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  6. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) is as much a fan of Leeds as David Cameron is a fan of West Ham, err, or do I mean Aston Villa! Yaxley-Lennon took his pseudonym from a leader of his local Luton Town football hooligan ‘firm’ ‘Men in Gear’. Yaxley-Lennon’s only, possible, connection with Leeds is a perverted admiration for our club’s notorious Service Crew ‘firm’ of hooligans who built a reputation for organised violence in the 1970s. Austerity in the 1970s, as now, and in the 1930s, provided a breeding ground for extremist ideologies. In anger and pain, people want hit out at someone, anyone they can blame, be they Jews, immigrants or just another fan wearing the wrong shirt! Meanwhile, the real culprits, the ‘funny money’ elite, sit back and enjoy the incendiary politics that populists like ‘Tommy Robinson ignite. The man is a tool!

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  7. “Robinson”, as he has rebranded himself, is a racist, a scapegoater and a hater. Leeds United were infected by people like him in the 1980s and it seriously tarnished our reputation, driving away established supporters and potential fans. I am proud that we are the club of Albert Johanesson, Lucas Radebe, Terry Connor, Tony Yeboah and so many more black players. “Robinson” wouldn’t know anything about any of them. Don’t give him the oxygen of publicity.

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    • Carl Gibson

      Robinson is not a Racist, to call him one is to know nothing of the argument surrounding him, he’s anti-Islam. Islam is a Theocracy not a Race. Just saying.

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      • Just indulging in semantics in an attempt to deny the undeniable, you mean. Pisspoor effort. I’ll say he’s an opportunist bigot then, if that helps.

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      • Carl Gibson

        Rob, there I agree with you, I think Robinson is an ‘political’ opportunist at best and certainly bigotry plays a massive part in his ‘opera’…

        However, he is unwavering in his convictions about bringing Muslim Grooming gangs into the mainstream media and public view.

        He has put his life in the line for this cause, without him, it would still be getting swept under the establishment carpet.

        These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.

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      • They’re not undisputed, because I and many others dispute them. So you’re guilty of a particularly glib and casual factual inaccuracy. In my view, Tommeh’s prime motivation is to live high on the hog at the expense of his gullible and dim witted supporters, who happily dig deep to support financially a fellow bigot.

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      • “Robinson” the “Football Lad” IS a racist. He isn’t bothered about grooming of under-age girls per se, only by so-called “Muslim gangs”. Do you really think these people don’t exist in non-Muslim countries such as that nationallst/fascist paradise Hungary? Get real.

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  8. Carl Gibson

    Enlightenment & ignorance… I have a Masters in Philosophy & History of Ideas from a Russell Group, I support Tommy Robinson.

    I’m also an Employer, Manufacturer & exporter. And I can tell you will full force of a great intellectual education, Socialism is ignorance. It’s theory of Human Nature is so far off the mark it’s ‘fanciful’ at best, constructed to fit the theory as opposed to working the theory around Human Nature.

    Rob, I like your musings, but on this one we’re divided.

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    • Yep, I’m right and you’re wrong 👍

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    • Carl, did the Russell Group university you attended (allegedly) require its (not it’s) students to have a basic grasp of English grammar?

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      • Carl Gibson

        Cardiff. I attended as a mature student, 1997 to 2000. Did my Masters at There also. I did my MBA at the Open University. All that can be fact-checked. I left Lawnswood High basically illiterate in 1986 due to alcohol parents and lack of direction and a rough council estate upbringing. And my grammar is superb, it’s that I’m typing on an iPhone… but thanks for you interest…

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      • “Did my Masters at There also”. Hmmmm. Is your real name Walter Mitty?

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  9. Fairplay to the lad for bringing it to the attention off the public about Muslim child grooming gangs if he hadn’t it would of been brushed under carpet and the public wouldn’t of heard about it.ime neither pro or anti Tommy Robinson but lad put is life at risk to make it public for that he as my respect

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    • Behold, the effortless command of the English language that so typifies the average Tommeh fan 🙄

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      • Rob, you asked for debate – probably a mistake as Tommy Robinson has nothing to do with football at Leeds, your principal subject – and in doing so you can’t but accept hearing both sides and, thereby, falling into the trap of divisionism. Tommy Robinson has, very cleverly, taken the high moral ground: no one in their right mind can defend gangs of Pakistani men raping young whites girls. Facts (like the overwhelming majority of child abusers in the UK are white men) don’t work. The issues become emotional. As with religious debates, to argue against a theology is to argue for it. I think you’ve scored an OG!

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      • I did ask for debate, and I seem to have fallen into a trap of my own making because, when it comes down to it, I can’t debate these morons, as I’m too busy laughing at their blind ignorance.

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      • What I would say, however, is that nothing gaining me 2000 blog hits (and counting) is an own goal 😎

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    • Tommy Robinson has gone all out to sabotage the trials of child grooming gangs he is also a bought and paid for Israeli shill. There are numerous photos of his junkets to Israel. One more thing,he’s a Luton town “supporter” and was active among their hooligan contingent.

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      • Did you happen to see his “I’m Leeds” video taken on Lowfields Rd though? I must say, it did seem a bit opportunistic.

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      • No I didn’t see it and I wouldn’t watch it anyway. Horrible little shit that he is. He’s currently being re-invented from an extremist to the mainstream. No doubt he’ll be used to scupper Brexit and augment the “brexiteers are all racists” bollocks. He also assaulted the police officer who tried to stop him hitting his lass,classy.

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  10. steven emsley

    I am also a socialist and believe that that is the best way people should integrate and live their lives, however people like Tommy Robinson have the right to say what they want.
    The rest of us have to make sure he and others with his views never get in to power.
    Has for him supporting LUFC I WOULD TAKE THAT WITH A PINCH OF SALT. I think the lad would say what he thought you might like him to say just to get the publicity. Or let’s put it this way has anyone ever seen him at a game in London or anywhere else for that matter.

    MOT

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  11. Wow, I’ve been away come back and your all arguing about politics and grammar .. I’m terrible at both so I’ll give this post a miss rob..lol

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  12. It needed saying Rob ,and you’ve said it. Far right rhetoric has been ‘normalised’ and the media hardly bother to challenge it. We cannot stop ignorant bigots claiming to support a particular club. But we can send a message to let them know they are not welcome and are despised by the overwhelming majority of true fans. MOT with all fans of whatever race, religion etc etc.

    Like

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