I see your doleful little head crowning through the doorway of the prison as you emerge, a free man now, the injustices against you overturned until your retrial. I see the nervous flicker of your eyes, your jeans a little looser now, your eyes a little darker. It’s been a living nightmare, hasn’t it, Tony Robinson? You never did those things they said you did and you’ve been the victim of a conspiracy. The deep state hatched a cunning plan and set out to silence you, to lock you up and throw away the key, and your release is a victory for free speech rather than an apt demonstration of how the system can – and does – rectify its mistakes.

It’s time for the lefty fascists to do some frantic back-pedalling, isn’t it, Tony Robinson? You stood on the steps of that courthouse and told the truth – that Time Team is better than Blackadder – and they bundled you into a van because they can’t handle the truth. Then they changed the charge from breach of the peace to contempt of court and all of a sudden they’re telling you you’re the former leader of the EDL and you’ve broken reporting restrictions on an ongoing trial for the second time. Before you know it you’re banged up, nicked, incarcerated, slap me with some handcuffs and tickle me with a feather. It was all a little baffling for a simple creature like you, wasn’t it, Tony Robinson? All you’ve ever wanted to do is dig some trenches and get overly excited about some broken pottery and instead you found yourself in the clink.

But you’re free now. Freer than a freeman studying freedom at the Free University. Free because the people marched in your not-quite-name, and thumped their chests, and did Nazi salutes but definitely aren’t racists. How could they be, when Blackadder Goes Forth had such a poignant ending? It was all a bit confusing, all that Tommy stuff, but it must have worked because you’re free now. Whatever the mix-up was it seems to be resolved, entirely the result of the will of the people rather than the proper application of the appeals process. The legal system is only there to oppress and silence fearless archaeology enthusiasts like you, so it couldn’t possibly have been the law that freed you.

Now it’s time for the awkward bit, isn’t it, Tony Robinson? The bit where your detractors, myself included, have to swallow our pride and admit we jumped the gun a bit. For all the assurances offered about due process being followed it turns out that mistakes were made and you may not have been allowed the proper process for establishing your defence. Mistakes so large, you’d think their mother had been rogered by an omnibus. It turns out that you may, in fact, be a harmless actor rather than a vainglorious thug trying to claim the credit for the work others have done in putting criminals on trial. It turns out we crowed a little too loud and a little too early, desperate as we were to see some justice meted out to a propagandist who thrives in the murky waters of racially-tinged misinformation.

I’ll never buy your bullshit, Tony Robinson – Time Team will never be better than Blackadder, and no matter how much you hate them, there are millions upon millions of Blackadder fans that just want to live in peace – but nor would I want to condemn a man to jail without due process being followed. If the proceedings against you were rushed without that happening, then your acquittal is fair and just, regardless of how fundamentally wrong you are about Blackadder.

I guess we’ll see what happens in your next trial, won’t we, Tony Robinson? I wouldn’t want to comment or speculate on what might happen there. I’ve heard that sort of thing can get you in trouble. In fact, I’ve been told as such by a judge, so it’d be pretty fucking stupid of me to ignore that warning.

I see you, Tony Robinson. I fucking see you.

I See You

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