I MUST confess I’ve never really been a fan of the milkshake.

To me, it always seemed like ice cream’s perennially disappointing sibling, the one that never quite lives up to expectations. Despite my 30-plus years of staunch milky beverage avoidance, I’ve come to re-evaluate my position.

For the first time in my life, I’ll be looking at the McDonald’s menu in the name of politics.

The reason for this volte-face? For the first time, I see that milk shakes may just have their uses. While I’ll never find it the most satisfying thing to drink, the prospect of using one to ruin the nice blue suit of a far-right clown is more than enough reason for to part with my cash and revisit my stance.

But here’s the thing – not everyone agrees. Sadly, there is no consensus on the left about whether it’s acceptable to dump a drink over a right-wing provocateur.

After the strawberry-flavoured schadenfreude of watching Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) dripping like a freshly splattered pollock, it was something of a comedown to see some on the left rushing to his defence.

I’d like to think that given the current state of play in the UK, people could better spend their energy on more pressing issues than debating the morality of spilt milk.

Sure, on paper – even on Twitter – it may seem like a worthy position to defend even the most deplorable among us from the indignity of a wet suit. Some consider it a debasement, wishing that the politics of the left could be spared such problematic interventions.

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie: Why we need a progressive case for freedom of speech

To those who would defend Yaxley-Lennon’s right to remain dry, I would say this: the playing field is not level, so we have to get creative. The Enlightenment ideal of everyone saying their piece unmolested is a fiction, and one that presumes everyone’s voice carries equal weight, to begin with. Reader, it does not.

Simply because the young man who targeted Lennon by resisting with what he had to hand has put himself at risk. Yaxley-Lennon’s fans are not known for their moderation when “dealing” with those who challenge the Tommy Robinson orthodoxy.

He and his cohort have a history of doorstepping critics, resulting in sustained periods of harassment. Your sympathy is better reserved for those who put themselves in the firing line while challenging extremist views.

In an ideal world, there would be no far-right extremists, so there would be no need to launch a milky projectile. But, unfortunately, we live in a world where far-right views have been gaining a foothold in public discourse once more, and have fuelled violent acts of stochastic terrorism against minorities.

This cannot continue unchallenged. Milkshake isn’t the most effective means of doing that, but sometimes it’s all you have.

It may not be ideal behaviour, or terribly becoming, but I stand firm in my position: it is OK to douse an extremist.

If you are a person of colour surrounded by those who champion white supremacy, who routinely dehumanise people like you and whose world view would see you expunged from your own country, then you throw that shake.

Is it going to change the world? No. But what it will do is make some men who are high on their own sense of entitlement look very silly.

And in these internet-centric times, silliness is currency. Some 20oz of sweetened dairy is not going to disabuse people of far-right views, or those who see their politics as a rallying cry for an ethnostate – but it will get a lot of eyeballs on the situation.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: Why the left needs a plan to confront the real fascists massing across Europe

You’ll make the news, and in doing so send a memorable message about resistance. You might even prompt the most surreal campaign slogan in history: “NO AMOUNT OF MILKSHAKE IS GOING TO STOP ME.” At which point all the reasonable people will pause and reflect on the perils of coddling extremists in the name of free speech.

Yes, it’s all very well and good to pontificate about treating people as you would like to be treated.

It feels good to assume the moral high ground.

But if I started spouting the sort of nonsense that legitimised violence against BAME people, I would welcome a wake-up call. And if it was one that left me without a bloody nose, I’d feel like I’d got off pretty lightly given the circumstances.

I wish we lived in a world where a weary woman could sip a canned cocktail on her way home without making national news. Similarly, I’d like to live in a world where people who lead violent, extremist groups – such as the English Defence League, which was founded by Yaxley-Lennon – should not be given a platform, but here we are.

These are not normal times, so maybe there’s some power in pasteurised resistance.