The Plastic Hippo

September 8, 2010

Tweet tweet, woof woof

Filed under: Rights — theplastichippo @ 6:35 pm

Smithy, the West Midlands Police twittering dog has, for some reason, incurred the wrath of the national press and those paragons of virtue, the Tax Payers Alliance. The black Labrador is mainly employed in sniffing out human remains but in his spare time shares his view of the universe with his increasing number of followers. His transgression, according to the TPA, is that he is wasting police time and resources. Are the TPA barking mad?

The answer is yes. Clearly, the West Midlands Constabulary have a greater understanding of social media, irony, wit, intelligence and engagement than the unrepresentative Tax Payers Alliance could ever hope to shake a stick at. The idea of a police dog with a Twitter account is nothing short of genius. Amid the trivia, there are serious tweets regarding ongoing investigations and a genuine interaction with the public. West Midlands Police deserve great credit in embracing social media as a tool to combat crime and the growing numbers of officers joining internet networks can only be a good thing, not just for accountability, but also for law and order. A dog on Twitter is a PR triumph that gives a cute, canine face to a vital service that is still wrongly viewed with suspicion in certain sections of the community.

The Tax Payers Alliance, however, disagree and have described Smithy and his social media forays as “cringe worthy nonsense”. It is worth considering the motives that are behind the TPA. Formed in the dark days of the Blair administration in 2004, it is fiercely against what it calls “big government”, the European Union, taxation and now police dogs. It is funded by very wealthy businessmen who have a vested interest in not paying tax including our own Midlands Industrial Council, headed by the God bothering Robert Edmiston, currently indoctrinating Darlaston school children with cringe worthy nonsense at his trophy Grace Academy.

Last October, it was revealed that a Director of the TPA, one Alexander Heath, has not paid UK taxes for a number of years and, in fact, lives in France. Other major supporters and donors who by pure coincidence also donate to the Conservative party are Stuart Wheeler, Malcolm McAlpine and Sir Anthony Bamford of JCB. The organisation has been accused of tax evasion in processing donations from its wealthy supporters and its membership represents 00.04 per cent of the UK population.

Far from being the silent majority of middle England, middle-class Daily Mail demographic tax payers, the TPA are yapping attack dogs intent on saving the money of their already obscenely rich pay-masters by making endless, trivial Freedom of Information requests which only result in a waste of tax payers money. Older readers may remember the fragrant Esther Rantzen fronting a TV show which featured a dog that could say “sausages”, the uncovering of dodgy double glazing salesmen and the waste of tax payers money. The links between items were legendary and worthy of the TPA. “Oh those poor, abused children. And now a root vegetable that resembles human genitalia.”

The hippo is proud to follow Smithy on Twitter and hopes that his example will lead to other doggy chums joining social media networks. Perhaps a royal corgi would like to share the experience of a holiday at Balmoral or a cross-bred Walsall status dog could list the children he has savaged. In the meantime, the Tax Payers Alliance should urgently contact BUPA and arrange for an urgent reversal of the sense of humour by-pass they currently suffer from or, better still, just roll over, play dead and stop letting the tail wag the dog.


1 Comment »

  1. The idea of the police using new media to connect with the public is an excellent one, especially if it leads to more criminals being bought to justice. A police dog having it’s own page is only an extension of the practice of taking a dog and an officer out to schools which has been done by the force for many years.

    Rather than wasting time attacking the boys in blue for doing their job, shouldn’t the Tax Payers Alliance be turning their spotlight on the billionaires who have set up avoidance schemes to deprive HMRC of revenue for essential public services like the police (who according to the news today are likely to have to cut thousands of officers) – while millions of ordinary taxpayers are facing the prospect of demands of back payment because the HMRC computer has got its sums wrong?

    Comment by Kevin — September 10, 2010 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

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