A month ago Mick Barnbrook (@sleazebuster) who spends far too much time philosophising and stirring controversy on Twitter had the same number of followers as @BonkersBexley. Both were in the eight hundreds. Bonkers has acquired 200 or so more thanks to Councillor Maxine Fothergill but @sleazebuster is now up to 2,400.
How did he do that?
When Tommy Robinson the free speech activist (†) was banned from Twitter for a variety of perceived and occasionally invented internet ‘crimes’ Mick Barnbrook Tweeted that half the police officers he meets on forums and at reunions support Tommy Robinson. He was inundated with threats and support in approximately equal measure.
Several people reported him to the police for inciting racial hatred and four claimed to have asked the Met. Police Commissioner to stop paying his pension.
Why is it that the left wing of politics attracts so many intolerant loonies? Mick had merely reported his experiences.
Sadly when I tried the same ‘provocation’ trick it had no effect on the number of Twitter followers.
In response to a Bexley Labour Party Retweet endorsing Jeremy Corbyn’s free bus travel for under 25s wheeze I said he must be mad.
It generated no new followers but just as Mick found, provocation can be divisive.
I was accused of enjoying a Freedom Pass so why was I against under 25s having one? I get a state pension, a Christmas bonus, a Winter Fuel Payment, free prescriptions and will never have to pay for a TV licence again. Do Labour politicians advocate extending those benefits to under 25 year olds too? Give them time!
(For the record I have not looked at TV this year and it must be three since I was last prescribed anything.)
Then I was accused of not caring about young people which was a bit below the belt. Over the past five years I have given away a little over half of my net income to several younger people and made three figure donations to food banks.
At one point I retorted that my experience of the Labour Party over more than 50 years is that they are far too fond of spending other people’s money.
A leftie soon came back to prove my case. She said free stuff is always good.
I only have a choice of Labour or Conservative at the election in May. I know nothing of the three Tory candidates but I do know that they were selected by a people who should not be allowed anywhere near elected office. They can whistle for my vote.
I am therefore left with spoiling my paper or voting Labour. If it was not for the fact that I know two of my ward candidates and neither have given me any cause for concern the choice would be easy.
† Tommy Robinson was the leader of the English Defence League until 2013 but has since become a largely reformed character concerned about the Islamification of the UK. The police constantly abuse him so we have one grievance in common.