We take a look at a few things Britain First, their members and their supporters have gotten wrong online so far in 2016.
Far right extremist UK based group Britain First and their supporters are not well known for their fact checking abilities. And that is why they are so often initiating or further spreading many myths, urban legends and hearsay. Much of which could be duly summarised as purely comical if it wasn’t also so alarmingly worrying that a human could be taken in by it.
Despite being a mere 3 months old, 2016 has no shortage of contenders vying for the position of most absurd thing to get wrong. So without further ado…
Kids praying in school?
Britain First reposting an image of several school kids on mats along with the caption “A British school. Heartbreaking.”
Given the image (below) the clear implication here is that the children were performing an Islamic prayer.
However most reports assert that the children were engaged in a yoga pose, or more specifically the “child’s pose” or balasana. You can see an image of this below. Consider the children appear to be on yoga mats, this would certainly be the most likely explanation. However, Britain First were clearly trying to implicate that it was something else (unless they believe that Yoga is “heartbreaking”) without doing their fact checking.
The Queen’s Europe Tweet
In February 2016, the queen apparently tweeted this –
Didn't hear Europe moaning about Britain when we had to pop over and settle a couple of wars. #JustSaying
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) February 22, 2016
Only she didn’t, because she doesn’t have a Twitter account, nor does she get publicly involved with these types of affairs. It was tweeted from a spoof Queen account that also refers to Americans as ungrateful colonials, lots of tweets about gin and plenty of tweets calling George Osborne a moron.
Now we don’t really know for sure if the admins at Britain First did really believe it was the Queen, but they posted a screenshot of the tweet with the description “God Save the Queen” and we do know that plenty of their supporters fell for it.
Consider all of the below comments as [sic].
“Your a true diamond Elizabeth x”
“Good on you I’m proud to be English. I want England back. God save are queen”
“Yes God save our queen, she is a wonderful monarch and she truly cares about Britain.”
“God save the Queen. Seems like she knows what is going on.”
On her Twitter account, deputy leader Jayda Fransen wrote this during a Twitter Q&A –
So the best player on the football yesterday was a man called Ali. Looks like its not just the country Islam is taking over #English4England
This was followed by a further tweet stating that she would be ”cheering the ENGLISH players in England along with the rest of the Christian country.” The clear implication with both of these tweets is that she believes “Ali” to be non-English and a Muslim.
Only he isn’t. He was born in Milton Keynes to a white English mother, and his name is not “Ali”, it’s Alli. Dele Alli. Additionally we could not find anything confirming he was – or ever has been – part of the Islamic faith. Not of course that any of that would matter to anyone outside of groups like Britain First, anyway.
Banning Easter Eggs
Fransen also tweeted this in March 2016 –
“I’m disgusted they have removed the word ‘Easter’ from Eggs on this sacred of days.”
Again, though, this was just a nonsense story started up by sensationalist tabloid The Daily Star and had no basis in reality. Easter Eggs still have the word Easter on them, we checked and posted pictures in our article debunking this rumour over here.
And thanks to the many Twitter users who posted Jayda Fransen our article about it. Though we’re not holding our breath that she actually read it.
Fake endorsement from a Chuckle Brother
Fransen again, and this time she asserted that one of the Chuckle Brothers had publicly endorsed Britain First, tweeting –
“I would like to compliment you for endorsing the #BritainFirstmovement publicly. Feel free to join me & @GoldingBF at a march”
Only he hadn’t. He soon tweeted back when asked –
”@breeallegretti It’s a load of rubbish,mate! I am not,and never will be, a member of this group! I just agreed with that one comment!”
And in the same hour we post this article, Britain First post a story claiming that villages in Essex called High Easter and Good Easter are being forced to change their names as it “offends” others.
However the story comes from a spoof satirical website SouthendNewsNetwork.com – and it’s not meant to be taken seriously.
The website has the following disclaimer –
Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea.
Further reading –