So, who doesn’t like puppies or kittens?
Most people who read The Medway Broadside are good, compassionate people – so if given the opportunity to show their support against animal cruelty they would do so in a second, especially when it is through a simple click of a mouse.
However, all may not be quite what it seems.
In recent months on Facebook an increasing number of such images, from the victim of barbaric attack Lee Rigby to images of animal cruelty, have been placed there by Britain First – but most people won’t always look at who has posted the image, rather they just want to show their online solidarity.
So just who are Britain First and why should we care who posted the picture of the puppy?
Britain First are an organisation led by several former high profile members of the failed British National Party, most of whom fell out with their leader Nick Griffin (often about money rather than ideology).
They have targeted their anger at the Islamic community attempting to say that Abu Hamza and Anjem Choudary are representative of the whole faith of Islam, which is a bit like saying Adolf Hitler and the Westboro Baptist Church are representative of the whole faith of Christianity – absolutely ludicrous.
So why post the picture of the puppy?
Well in the world of social media, it is all about making connections and links. If you like a Facebook page, you receive their other updates. Put simply, you draw people in with something which has nothing to do with your organisation (aka the puppy) then bombard them with your messages of hatred.
Recently we have seen some activity from Britain First here in Medway. Firstly, gathering emails on a “Support our Troops” petition on various high streets – again, something that the vast majority of Medway residents would support given the longstanding links our communities have with the armed forces.
This was followed by aggressively doorstepping local council officers and members of the Islamic community about a planning application for a relocation of an existing mosque.
They didn’t, as an organisation, actually make any representations to the planning application – instead they used bullying and intimidation of individuals, anything but democratic and something which clearly the vast majority of Medway residents would not support.
Medway is a strong, vibrant, tolerant, multicultural community which has consistently rejected the attempts by Britain First’s predecessors like the EDL, BNP and NF to gain a real foothold. I am confident that once again, when their agenda of hatred is fully exposed, Medway will reject them, regardless of how many pictures of puppies they supply.
Words: Vince Maple (Leader of Medway Labour Group)