We might disagree on various things to do with the NHS, but there’s no doubting the robust commitment of ‘Keep Our NHS Public’ (@KeepNHSPublic) and the ‘National Health Action Party’ (@NHAParty) Despite their obvious clear antagonism to the Labour Party, I think the last thing they want is another Conservative government, this time propped up by UKIP. Twitter’s where it’s at, and both Dr Jacky Davis (@DrJackyDavis) and Dr Clive Peedell (@cpeedell) are extremely ‘media savvy’. Marcus Chown (@MarcusChown) is indeed known to be one of the high-impact ‘influencers’ of Twitter.
But bloody Nora. You can even order on the internet a box of 500 wristbands in a colour of your choice, with lettering in a font of your choice.
It’s tempting to buy a box of 500 with the words, “Make PFI history”, or “Make the internal market history”.
Or “Make the purchaser-provider split history”.
But you’d have to make the lettering increasingly smaller to make it all the criticisms about previous Labour health policy fit onto a small wristband.
But there is every chance that the general election will make “Make Miliband history”.
So far, there’s not even been a smidgeon of what Ed Miliband intends to do about the private finance initiative in the context of NHS infrastructure, or what he intends to do to prevent accident and emergency departments being selectively killed off during the lifetime of the next Government.
All of this is very awkward. If the bacon-butty haters are onto something, Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) won’t be in the next Prime Minister after all that. And we could see the privatisation of the National Health Service receive atomic rocket boosters.
You won’t get whole person care either. The decline in social care inevitably will reach apocalyptic proportions.
And yet on the coalface we’ve got Jos Bell (@jos21), Chair of the Socialist Health Association London division, actively campaigning. Here is her excellent interview on LBC.
This was shortly followed by Andy Slaughter (@hammersmithandy), elected as the MP for Hammersmith in 2010.
With the lack of reporting on the NHS on the BBC at all-time new lows. there will inevitably be a lot of benefit in campaigning from those who are savvy with the social media. But I don’t think the battle for the soul of the NHS will be won on the pages of the Guardian newspaper, either.
If certain “campaigners” spent less time writing voluminous emails and documents which go nowhere, and learnt how to use Twitter instead, this would help the cause immensely. Éoin Clarke (@DrEoinCl) in a relatively short space of time has gained a massive following, and his observations are highly influential – much more so than the official press office of Labour, some might say.
Gabriel Scally (@GabrielScally) has been tireless in myth busting on Twitter. Kailash Chand (@KailashChandOBE) is personally a very supportive bloke, in addition to producing a prolific output of articles, in for example Pulse or GP magazine. Both are not ‘terrified of Twitter’.
The Shadow Minister for Care and Older People is Liz Kendall (@leicesterliz) and is highly influential too.
They all tweet even when the going gets tough.
You will find few truer advocates of the #saveourNHS campaign than Grahame Morris (@grahamemorris), Chair of @LabourLeft, and MP for Easington. Grahame is always polite, fair and precise in his questioning for the House of Commons Health Select Committee. Possibly a future Chairman of this committee?
Tweeters can only ignore @Jeremy_Twunt at their peril. No cruelty in his compassion. Never knowingly behind a tree.
There’s a battle still to be won, if you’re up for it.