Stephen Lennon? I’d want my money back

Matthew Collins - 13 06 17

There was little to distinguish between the drunken violence of the past weekend and the EDL at its height, six or seven years ago. Bottles flew in all directions, gangs roamed the streets looking for confrontation and England’s national flag was once more dragged through a gutter as part of the tribal monotony that has been our national shame; booze and racism.

Some people, most notably Greater Manchester Police (GMP) it seems, were caught off guard as to how large and how destructive the march and rally would be. Testament to just how understaffed the police force is is that police officers were drafted in from across the North of England and Wales to help man both Lennon’s violent followers, the kids getting down and dirty at Parklife and Take That at the Etihad Stadium, all on the same day.

The average GMP officer must be physically and emotionally drained. There are still anti-terror raids and investigations continuing in the city and their help from London (among other places) returned to the capital quicker than planned or anticipated. No doubt there is still leave outstanding for officers who have worked through since the terror attack on the city to help their fellow Mancunians get back on their feet.

Kevin Carroll returns:

When the go-ahead was initially given for Sunday’s demonstration, it was merely another tiny EDL demonstration being held by the fringe of the fringe- the EDL’s laughable ‘LGBT’ division.

The demonstration was actually supposed to be to a commemoration of the terror attack in Orlando, Florida the year before.

Very quickly, in the aftermath of the terror attack that hit Manchester last  month, that demonstration instead was apparently hijacked quickly becoming another vehicle for the grief tourism and finger-pointing of the ‘born-again’ Stephen Lennon and his new vehicle for promoting anti-Muslim hatred. This new vehicle is called ‘UK Against Hate.’ You may recall, if he is to believed, that it only cost £8,000 last time for him to dump the EDL in 2013, when he had had enough and was facing prison again.

I’d be asking for my money back, quite frankly.

Carroll & Lennon in the good ole’ days

The spectacular and almost inexplicable decline of the EDL actually began in Manchester, way back in 2013. Not long out of prison, Lennon was meant to address his troops but didn’t show up.

It was the final straw for some of his then lieutenants.  The group had split into many bloody factions and sub-groups already (including the North West Infidels drug gang) and the demonstration that day was awash with neo-Nazis, many of them hostile to Lennon.

His no-show was reportedly due to his anger that those running the gang in his absence had pissed away all the money and not kept some for him on his return. It was a sorry looking state of affairs. The football hooligans had already deserted the gang and its growing reputation for playing wallflower in car-parks.

A couple of months later the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by Islamists in London. That breathed some temporary life back into Lennon and the EDL, but it was short-lived.  It appeared to be a relief to everybody concerned when Lennon cynically said a few months later he was turning his back on his recent past.

Fake news is always half the truth

Obviously, eight grand does not get someone far, particularly someone with Lennon’s expensive tastes. And on Sunday in Manchester, as the bottles and fists flew once more around him, no matter how hard he tried to dissuade the idea, it was simply another EDL rally with him back at the helm.

To make the event even more homelike, long-lost cousin Kevin Carroll returned to his side, one would assume, once more taking up the role of consigliere.

In Sunderland the day before Manchester, Lennon even buried the hatchet with longtime nemesis and convicted cocaine dealer, Warren Faulkner of the North East Infidels, the gang cousin Kevin Carroll once claimed had tried to kill him and Lennon. But, as we do like being fair to “Wazza” Faulkner, he is infinitely more debonair than what is left of the EDL.

Lennon and cocaine dealer Warren Faulkner (centre) make up in Sunderland last Sunday 

The problem Lennon is mainly having is that he still attracts those he says he is politically and socially opposed to; mainly the mass of his own supporters. As Lennon is keen to point out, this new group of his is somehow different to the last.

It has gays, Christians, Jews, Pakistanis etc, etc. So did his old EDL, you may recall him saying at the time. But see how his new group’s supporters respond to the Pakistani speaker here, on 1.49m.

For those who remain holding onto the EDL, Lennon’s return to street activism like this is a disaster. The EDL is now led by Lennon’s former bodyguard, violent criminal Alan Spence of Newcastle, and the group’s spokesperson is national joke and ‘rape- joker’ Ian Crossland.

Edge, was front and centre looking for trouble

Both men must now be feeling their time and days are numbered. Serial wally and toothless would-be assassin Andrew Edge of Stockport is currently trying behind the scenes to get Crossland and Spence to join forces with Lennon.

And Edge, who was previously convicted for EDL violence in Birmingham, knows when he sees a good thing; he was front and centre in Manchester on Sunday egging others on to throw objects and cause trouble. Crossland has yet to respond.

The other issue is, how will people now react to this new group? There is no doubt it will simply be heading back to cocaine-fuelled discos in car parks, just like ‘the good ole days’ of the EDL.

Edge begs Crossland to dump the EDL
Edge finally recognising the EDL is embarrassing.
Lennon’s new ‘movement’ will continue to target the left, antifascists, Muslims and immigration. That constituency will continue to target him, too. You only have to look at his Twitter feed and media outpourings to realise he is perhaps, if at all possible, even more extreme than before.  He also has a bigger reach than even before.

This new movement will bring forward the same old challenges and will no doubt be met with much of the same responses as before.

Perhaps those of us who want to pull the rug from under him, should also begin by showing as much vigour in tackling and opposing the messages radicalising terrorists and murderers, as we do in our efforts tackling and opposing Stephen Lennon and his new gang going forward.

No small matter


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