The news has just landed that infamous EDL leader Tommy Robinson has stepped down from leading his party to focus on more legitimate ways to target the “increased threat of Islam” facilitated by anti-extremist organisation Quilliam. Robinson states he has been considering the move for some time now as he has realised that whilst street demonstrations have helped build the EDL and get him to where he is now, they are not very productive. He wishes to continue to counter islamic ideology but using less violent, democratic ideas… sounds promising right? I personally am not convinced.
It may seem extreme but I recently watched the 2 part documentary “Hitler’s Rise To Power” which focused on his political career from angry street protestor to the extreme, racist Nazi murderer he became. When I read the story about Tommy Robinson this morning I was struck by one thing immediately… This is exactly what Adolf did back in the 1930’s & 40’s.
In a nutshell, Hitler began building himself a vast army of followers and engaged in mass public marches and demonstrations which often resulted in violence. He protested, amongst other things, about the influx of Jews which he saw as a threat to the nation and the inactivity or reluctance to act by Government. As his popularity increased so to did the attention of those in power who saw Hitler as nothing more than an extreme and violent protestor. Blessed with the gift of the gab and able to rally his followers with his passionate but poisonous rhetoric Hitler’s following snowballed out of all control. It seemed much of the country supported his cause if not his practices and many more were beginning to bend towards his way of thinking. He did a spell in prison, was smeared by the press for allegedly having sexual relations with his niece and became a target for the Government.
As things progressed and he realised his extreme and violent ways were not gaining him respect and credibility within Government and no doubt seeing that these street demonstrations were not going to be enough for much longer Hitler did something surprising.
He distanced himself from the extreme side of his party, calmed down and disguising himself as a sheep rather than a wolf he began to tow the line and worked with various Government departments who actually believed that THEY were in control of Hitler when in actual fact he was using subterfuge to subliminally manipulate those who were working alongside him and sneaking his way into Politics. From there he lost several elections to become a Government official but his following was increasing by the thousands every day. Eventually he was appointed a place in Government and very quickly he shed his wool and the evil wolf was back. It did not take long for Hitler to become the force of evil which we all already know about. And the rest is history.
Now obviously we are never going to see Tommy Robinson residing in 10 Downing Street and becoming leader of Great Britain and I am NOT for one second comparing Tommy to Adolf, but what did strike me was that the political move seems very reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power and I can not help but wonder what plan or agenda Mr Robinson may have.
I hope that Tommy has realised the errors of his ways and I hope many of his followers follow him along this path but I guess only time will tell.