Friday, 14 August 2009
A curse on both your hospitals
People seriously in need of medical help on both sides of the Atlantic have been proving just how serious they are about medical help by voicing their opinions on 'Twitter'. In the US, jocks who loathe free healthcare have been comparing the NHS to Bolivian death squads and the Lubyanka. They have posted tweets such as 'The NHS kills more people than it cures' and 'Being treated in a British hospital is like being tortured in the Gulag Archipelago' and 'Lenin was treated by the NHS and look where it got him.' Meanwhile, in London the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has come out guns blazing by saying, "The NHS, it is quite nice. Honestly." And in a shock tweet tonight the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, showed the depth of his feeling for free healthcare by tweeting that he loved the NHS about as much as Everton Football Club (which in some parts of Northern England is about as close as you are ever going to get to a witty riposte). So will the battle for free healthcare really be won on the playing fields of Twitter? Will we seriously 'fight them on the internet' where once upon a time we would have fought them 'on the beaches'? And what hope have we when the men at the top and the men in grey suits and bureaucrats and the 'advisers' and the PRs and the scumbag hangers-on now tell us: In soundbites we trust? Maybe the last word (or last 'tweet') should be that of the wife of the British Prime Minister, herself a PR, who entered the fray this evening with this lofty meditation (quoted verbatim in actual fact): "We love the NHS more than words can say." With that level of profundity, who needs 'the beaches'?