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As you’ll have observer there are an awful lot of woke people out there insisting that the likes of Paypal, Google, Facebook, have become such essential parts of modern life that they must be overseen, regulated, as the public utilities that they are. Essential parts of the plumbing of modern society so society should run them. Might be useful if we want them to stop working. However, now let us add the case of Tommy Robinson into the pot. PayPal has ceased servicing him on the basis that he’s some scheming, hateful, lout. Not that they quite put it that way but we know what they mean.

Which means hey, maybe we should take the other woke people seriously and properly regulate these firms?

PayPal has told the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson it will no longer process payments on his behalf.

And why’s that?

Mr Robinson said the online payments system told him he did not fit within its user guidelines and would never be able to use the platform again.

He said he had been using the platform to collect donations to fight his legal battles and branded the ban “fascism”.

Online petitions calling on finance firms to sever links with him have gained thousands of signatures.

Oh aye?

The company recently stopped processing payments for Gab, the “free-speech” social network where racist and antisemitic content was posted by some users. Paypal said that it regularly reviewed accounts to check that they complied with its policies. It said that striking a balance between free expression and protecting principles of tolerance and respect for all was a challenge.

Well, yes, Tommy’s a hateful lout so be off with you. One possible description of his crime being that only people with degrees in grievance studies are allowed to publicly comment upon race so what some working class oik is doing, well, hateful lout, obviously.

However, let’s think through this regulating those companies again thing. If we’ve regulations then we’ve got a written down version of what may or may not be done. One that’s clear and available. Also, it’s one that can be argued in the courts. And it’ll quite clearly be a little more tightly defined than “we don’t want your sort here.” It’ll also have to be impartial. Anything that gets Tommy caught in its net will also get the wilder shores of Marxism and or Black Lives Matter. Which is one reason why they will be more tightly written.

Weird thought, I know, but given current woke fashions, proper legally backed regulation would be more liberal in outcome than this oversight by the mob. No, I don’t recommend it for this or any other reason. Just note what would happen in that first wave.

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I have some sympathy with the middle ground of, companies can’t refuse to serve A because of who they are, but companies can refuse any request for a customised product. If there is a limited quantity then companies are free to choose how to allocate.

Whilst commercially you would expect companies to be more profitable if they serve everybody, it is cheaper to placate the mob by refusing service to some minorities. Sometimes forcing companies to do X, is actually about insulating them from demands that they do what some vocal minority demand.


Using X is a fundamental part of human life, hold on, I don’t like you, you aren’t allowed to use X. Ok, how does that work?
I don’t like you, so you are banned from having a telephone.
I don’t like you, so you are banned from posting letters.
I don’t like you, so you are banned from using your throat and breathing to vibrate the surrounding air.
Oh, and in order to stay alive and interact with the surrounding society you are required to use the telephone, post, and speech.