Well done to the Hearts fans who handed out anti-fascist leaflets and protested against hate-peddler Tommy Robinson before Sunday’s game against Rangers.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, stayed away from the match after it was made clear he wasn’t welcome at Tynecastle. Stay away for good, Robinson. As a Hibbie, I don’t see eye-to-eye with my Jambo pals Ian Murray MP and Lord George Foulkes when it comes to football. But we are as one when it comes to standing up against prejudice and bigotry, and I applaud the efforts they made to ensure the views of the overwhelming majority of Hearts fans were heard.
Hearts isn’t the only club that Robinson has tried to target. He likes to visit grounds across the UK to promote racial hatred on the terraces. He was convicted in 2011 following a fight between supporters of Luton Town and Newport County. Organisations like the English Defence League that Robinson founded have used social media to spread their poison in a way that wasn’t previously possible, which is why protests like the one outside Tynecastle are so important.
But while Hearts fans have told Robinson to get lost, he has been welcomed with open arms by new UKIP leader Gerard Batten, who has appointed him as an adviser. When even Nigel Farage is disgusted by that, it tells you what a colossal error of judgement UKIP has made.
Mr Batten survived a no confidence vote in him at the weekend, but voters will send their own message to him loudly and clearly at the next election. What has Scotland’s UKIP MEP David Coburn had to say about this? He is indifferent to Robinson’s involvement. Shame on you Mr Coburn.