Thursday, 13 August 2009

'Britain defends NHS on Twitter' - and Gordon Brown joins in too

As the US healthcare debate rages on, Twitter has become an ideological battleground - with the UK's National Heath Service at the centre of it. As Democrats and Republicans alternately praise / criticise the British NHS system, people in the UK have started to respond.

NHS and welovethenhs Twitter trending topicsTwitter trending topics - #welovethenhs and NHS

The hashtag #welovethenhs is the top trending topic on Twitter and 'NHS' is being regularly used as British Twitter users join the debate and 'defend' / highlight examples of NHS experiences.

The NHS Twitter debate is also now front page news in London:

NHS Twitter debate London Evening Standard front pageLondon Evening Standard - Twitter NHS debate is front page news

The official Downing Street Twitter account has got involved - passing on a message from Gordon Brown and retweeting (his wife) Sarah Brown's NHS message.

NHS Twitter DowningStreet responseDowning Street official Twitter showing NHS tweets

The really interesting thing is that the US healthcare discussion, and the resulting NHS Twitter activity, may have re-ignited the UK political debate about a 'free-to-all' health service in the UK. However, Gordon Brown will probably not be able to contribute much more before it is interpreted as interfering in US affairs and the @conservatives Twitter account is strangely silent on the subject.

With a UK election (at most) 9 months away it will be interesting to see how both Gordon and David Cameron respond to the #welovethenhs Twitter debate - there are votes to be won or lost here!

Related posts

David Cameron's Twitter 'error'

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Ryan Fitzgibbon said...

I love the fact that the Investor's Business Daily declared that Stephen Hawking would not receive treatment under the NHS.

"People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless," it said.

I'm just glad Stephen Hawking came out to correct them by pointing out he's British!

"I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS"

"I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived."

Paul said...

It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

Nick Burcher said...

The thing that is fascinating me is that a national debate in the US is now getting global contribution. I'm still not sure I understand the logic behind half the protests in the US and it's not really something I want to get drawn into as I don't live there.

However, social platforms like Facebook / Twitter are global and it will be interesting to see where the 'no NHS' / #welovethenhs debate ends up.