Salford MP and Mayor’s letter re Robinson visit exposes bankruptcy behind far-right front

Rebecca Long-Bailey and Paul Dennett’s open letter addresses Robinson’s funding and lack of ability to address the real issues people face

Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and Salford Mayor Paul Dennett have issued an open letter about the planned visit by far-right figure and convicted criminal Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as ‘Tommy Robinson’, to the town:

The letter addresses Robinson’s funding sources – and more importantly the absence of any genuine policies or ideas among the far right to address the real issues of poverty, deprivation and exploitation facing millions of people in this country.

The full text reads:

Salford Labour Party: Statement on Tommy Robinson’s Decision to Visit Salford

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) is currently on a tour of the United Kingdom, spreading a message of hatred and division. Tomorrow, he plans to visit Salford.

As representatives of Salford Labour we felt it necessary to make this response. Robinson, who is allegedly funded by foreign-based millionaires and billionaires from around the world, wants people in this country to believe that Muslim people are their enemy.

The same millionaires and billionaires who allegedly fund Robinson (like the US tech-giant Robert Shillman, Donald Trump donor Robert Mercer and American-based thinktanks) don’t have anything to say about the shocking levels of poverty and deprivation faced by people in Salford, from all backgrounds.

These people don’t care that thousands of Salfordians are forced to queue at foodbanks every week. They don’t care that increasing numbers of Salfordians are choosing between heating and eating, struggling to pay the rent, and are stuck in low-paid jobs or even worse, on zero-hours contracts.

Tommy Robinson’s message of division and hatred has no place in Salford, a city characterised by working class unity, community and solidarity.

Salford Labour is proud of this city’s diverse heritage – from the Irish immigration which populated the docklands, to our Yemeni and Jewish communities which have both been here for over 100 years and contributed so much to our city, and more recent communities who flourish and seek sanctuary here. Working people from all backgrounds have more that unites them than divides them.

Robinson, and his sponsors, want you to see Muslim people in this country as your enemy. Really, he is protecting the interests of a small few, against the many.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Perfectly pitched and addresses the real issues this country faces. Whatever questions the people of the UK have, Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon and those like him are not the answer and offer no hope of positive change.

Labour does.

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  1. It is vital that we make our complete opposition to everything that these fascists stand for clear at every opportunity.

    Avoiding confrontation (as some timid minded individuals advocate) so that we don’t antagonise them is cowardly capitulation. We should expose them for what they are.

  2. Salfordians should do exactly the same as Scousers do and turn the fascists back as soon as they enter the city.

    I take issue with the last sentence of the letter. Ranting Robinson is not protecting anyone’s interests, he is merely stiring up hate.

    1. Jack T, stirring up hatred is in the interests of the people behind the people who finance the far right – in the same way that the fear and hatred between nations that led to WWI was fomented by arms dealers.
      Without enemies no arms are sold and the whole evil empire falls.

      1. Yes, good point. I had in mind those in the community who think his ‘policies’ will benefit them.

  3. Good letters and solidarity to diverse working people!
    The far right are the useful idiots of the rich and powerful, trying to set all of us diverse working people, who have to sell our labour, against each other whilst the rich and powerful, who are distant from most peoples lives, are made invisible!
    I attended a demo against the Far Right in my city today (about 150-200 of us) but the Far Right Barbarians didn’t turn up.
    I have tried to move the Left towards saying what we are for and not only what we are against which they took on board to an extent but the middle class liberals of Anti-Fascist Network with their niaive anarchist influence (anarchism is a selfish middle class ideology) had petty comments like our enemies include “the police” (all of them?) and “politicians” (even real socialists?)
    But what concerns me is the Far Riight have a demo and we have a counter but they seem to be in control of the agenda?
    Someone once argued “Fascism is the emergency committe of capital” and it is interesting that this comes as The New Left Review argues Neo-Liberal capitalism in the USA is in structural decline.
    Far Right US Barbarian billionaires are funding far Right groups and individual Barbarians around the World including here and perhaps we need days of action where teams of us promote our narrative and talk to diverse citizens; equality for all and left wing democtratic socialism which most people would just see as a fairer, more equal and caring society and in every country too.
    Diverse working people of the World unite. X

    1. You’ll no doubt wish to endorse the Socialist candidate for the post of President of the EU Commission

      PES Common Candidate Frans Timmermans, said:

      “I’m so proud to go into this election campaign with this manifesto – our movement is proud, optimistic and eager to create progressive change. This is our New Social Contract for Europe. I sense optimism here today, and right across Europe – spring is coming. I see young people marching for climate change, women standing up against inequality and violence, I see progressives campaigning for change across our continent. Spring is coming – I see it in Madrid, I see it in Portugal, in Germany, in Poland, I see it in Pedro Sanchez. He is key to Europe’s progressive future, and we stand with him in this election. We stand together, behind this manifesto, for a New Social Contract for Europe.

      I like the the manifesto he will be standing on, what do you think? If you take the time to read it (its only 4 pages) you will soon recognise that it was heavily influenced by Jeremy Corbyn.

  4. Good letter.

    And great to see Corbyn refusing to attend a banquet in honour of President Trump.

    “Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a president who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric,” said Corbyn.

    “Maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. It is disappointing that the prime minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration.”

    Unfortunately, some Labour MPs have been only too happy to kowtow to Trump:


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