Conservative Bexley Councillor Gareth Bacon (Longlands ward and the head of London’s Conservatives at the Greater London Council) has today retweeted a widely mocked tweet which mistakenly labelled mess in Hyde Park as coming from climate protesters.
The mess was actually left after a completely separate event on 20th April named, conveniently, 4/20 (though the muppets have used the American date layout).
You may or may not agree with the protest but there was a clear difference in approach from many climate protesters at Marble Arch and other locations towards litter than how some left Hyde Park.
I’ve also heard much other nonsense in an attempt to discredit protests by stating mess was left at locations which were also full of tourists and other members of the public such as Oxford Circus.
What’s been noticeable from many is incredibly transparent and incorrect attempts to smear the groups rather than address points and levy a counter-argument. And social media has hordes of people who swallow it up without thinking.
Aside from being a Bexley councillor Bacon is also currently the head of Conservatives on the London Assembly. Retweeting this was an extremely basic mistake. Anyone who spent two minutes in the area or researching should have known. It shows just how easily fake information can spread on social media – and in this case spread by one of London’s leading Conservatives.
Ironically it comes shortly after the Conservative government warned of action on social media companies and ISPs due to fake information on their platforms.
Mr Bacon is no stranger to being in the news. He had four local government jobs at one time under Boris Johnson, and was criticised by some residents who wondered how he could fully devote attention to various roles including working for the GLA and as a Bexley Councillor.