PODCAST: (almost) the full NHS debate

Earlier today we brought you Mark Pack’s live coverage of the two key debates happening this morning in Sheffield, followed by his view of the aftermath.

To amplify that, we can now bring you an almost full recording of the debate. Thrill at procedural niceties! Coo at the applause for Baroness Williams! And bask in the self-righteous glow from delegates that no other party still has debates like this.

Apologies that the recording starts halfway through Paul Burstow’s introductory speech. It took longer than expected for me to wake up and eat breakfast clear security at City Hall.

The file can be accessed by clicking the “play in new window” link below.

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Second day for #welovetheNHS

Yesterday we brought you news about the bizarre battle between American rightwingers spreading misinformation about the NHS, and British users of the NHS who were actually quite proud of it.

24 hours later and Tweetminster (which monitors the twitter updates of MPs and PPCs and provides a service where you can search them) reports

65 #welovethenhs tweets from MPs & PPCS. 8 from @UKLabour MPs & 4 PPCs, 3 from @LibDems MPs & 3 PPCs, 1 from @Conservatives PPC

Our own Nick_Clegg was amongst them, as was Prime Minister Brown (whose tweet looks like it’s had help from a speechwriter):

NHS often makes the difference between pain and comfort, despair and hope, life and death. Thanks for always being there.

Judged by how fast these memes gather pace, both Clegg and Brown responded pretty late actually. Taking part was a no-brainer, almost everyone on Twitter was doing it, and it took a day for them to get into it.

On google, Lib Dems have dominated the search for the last day: google #welovetheNHS and LDV’s post from yesterday still comes fairly near the top – we were second after Twitter itself for quite a while. Put in the spaces and the top blog is Charlotte Gore’s acid response to the campaign. Charlotte raises a very valid point of course, that if it hadn’t been for completely overblown, factually wrong criticisms of the NHS from America, it’s hard to imagine that the entire UK twitter-base would have spontaneously exploded into unequivocal support for the institution.

Our own Mark Pack reports that the origin of the storm of support was sitcom writer Graham Linehan, although we’re a little a baffled at his assertion that Pack doesn’t look a character from the IT Crowd. Whatever can he mean? [/deadpan]

Comedy songwriter Mitch Benn pointed out in the middle of the night that a US guy seemed to think that all of the tweets were coming from the army of bureaucrats who run the NHS. And as I type he’s heading into the Now Show recording studio to sing a song about – we’ll find out on Friday night at 6.30pm and Saturday at 12.30pm whether it makes the final cut.

And a few Lib Dem bloggers have weighed in too: