Blogging Bollocks

Interesting week with the NHS. Firstly the Republicans in America start spinning stories that the Brits hate the NHS. British people are shown in an advert paid for by a right wing group slagging off the NHS. Later the people who took part claimed they were duped into taking part and they are very annoyed at how they were portrayed. Worse, relatively unknown Euro MP Daniel Hannan has been spreading nonsense on right wing American news programmes about how bad the NHS is. This video tell’s the story so far.

Of course some of Hannan’s quote’s in isolation sound far worse than his interview as a whole but the fact that he chooses to peddle his thoughts on Fox etc in America devalues him in many people’s eyes. His blog claims he has spoken about NHS misgivings for 10 months now in the UK and you should go and buy his book to read what he says. He handily gives you an Amazon link too. Nothing like a politician making a bit on the side.

Anyway, of more interest was the backlash that kicked off on Twitter. Thousands of people tweeted with the hashtag #welovethenhs and a real show of force from NHS loving twitter users forced the NHS into the headlines. Gordon and Sarah Brown tweeted, David Cameron panicked and distanced himself from Hannan and Labour made the most out of the situation. Obviously this couldn’t stand so in waded the right wing bloggers, particularly Guido Fawkes. He blogged that this wasn’t a viral storm and then quoted some figures comparing the hashtag usage against the numbers signing up to the e-petition calling for Brown to resign. His Tory loving commenters lapped this up, quoting it on other blogs and tweeting it to all who wanted to listen. What a load of bollocks.

The e-petition has been running for over 10 months. In April this year, over six months after launching, it had reached 30,000 signatures. In four days, the Twitter hashtag has been used by 16,000 users. So which is the most popular? The e-petition has had roughly 230 sign up’s per day. The hashtag – 4000 tweets per day.
*Update* – looks like Sky news is wrong and the e-petition started up in April 09, running for six months. Thanks to Kalvis Jansons who started the petition for clearing that up. I guess that makes around 500 sign up’s per day.

Hold on you may say, the Twitter hashtag system is abused by spammers and advertisers posting up rubbish but using the popular hashtags. True, so those numbers are inflated. The numbers on the e-petition though are greatly inflated too. Scrolling through the latest 500 sign-ups on the e-petition website shows lot’s of made up names and dubious celebrity sign up’s. Some may be true but I don’t really believe David Miliband MP has been one of those to sign up. If it really was him he would have signed up a long time ago, not just in the last 500.

I’m all for healthy debate but I really despair when people can’t see sites like Guido Fawkes as right wing attack sites. Off course, he peddles it as an honest and fair attempt to expose those in parliament but look through his posts and in particular the venom that can be found throughout the comments (he also has a nice habit of blocking anyone who is anti him or anti Conservative) and then make up your mind. And next time, before you start to tweet round comments and stat’s, have a little think first.

3 Comments

  1. You are wrong. I started the resign petition and it was set to run for 6 months in total. You are free to choose how long a petition runs for. This petition went from nothing to top in one week. So please correct the information about.

    • Post updated – got the start date from the Sky news article which must be wrong also. Would be nice if the e-petition site showed you some more information like create dates.

  2. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show was fantastic with Betsy McCaughey about this, and she resigned soon afterwards.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 iand.net

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑