Britain has been celebrating the 70th birthday of the National Health Service (NHS) with services in Westminster Abbey, a specially commissioned symphony, eulogies from government ministers, and endless hagiographies on the BBC.
All that was missing was a May-Day-style parade down the Mall featuring T72s, Katyusha rockets, missile launchers, red flags, and Owen Jones leading the goose-stepping marchers of the Red Army Choir.
This isn’t about health and it never was about health. This is about left-wing triumphalism.
If the NHS was really about making people better it would never have been set up the way it was and would certainly have been dismantled many years ago. No, the NHS is just a life support machine for preserving the long discredited Soviet-era ideology of state control, enforced egalitarianism, communal misery.
The sooner that life support machine is turned off, the sooner the rest of us stand a chance of making a swift recovery from this 70-year-old horror show.
Sure there are many other good reasons why the NHS must die: that it kills thousands of its patients, leaves many thousands more in abject squalor and misery, wastes stupendous quantities of money, breeds inefficiency, covers up negligence and incompetence, and has some of the worst outcomes for serious health conditions anywhere in the civilised world.
If theres one thing President Obamas good at, you would have thought, it would be harnessing the powers of new technology. Hes got the Blackberry addiction. Hes got the Twitter feeds. Hes the most tech-savvy POTUS in US history, who quite possibly wouldnt even be doing the job hes doing now if it werent for his supreme, almost Neo-like mastery of that thing we call the Interweb.
So how come he has just gone and managed to lose the most important debate of his political career so far over health care largely as a result of being beaten hollow by his opponents in the conservative blogosphere?
This is the question being asked by the new media monitoring organization Market Sentinel, in its latest report, pithily entitled How Obama lost the healthcare debate online.
Our research suggests that Obama – the candidate who wrote the rules for achieving political success on the Internet – has lost the argument online.
To show this Market Sentinel took just one strand of that debate (comparisons between Obama’s proposals and the UK’s NHS service) and used citation analysis to identify who has influence in relation to the topic. For the technically minded, this means that we crawl the internet looking for pages which are about the topic, then we track mutual references between people, institutions, entities mentioned in the context. The resulting structure gives us a mathematically verifiable measurement of “authority” in the context. This analysis began on August 28th and was completed on September 3rd. We have sorted the results according to a sentiment metric where the negative quadrants represent hostility to state run healthcare (as exemplified by the NHS) and the positive quadrants show support for it.
Note the dismal performance in terms of influence by the dead tree press. Note too the mighty power ascribed to Telegraph blogs (led, of course, in this instance by the great Dan Hannan). OK, so were not exactly Fox News yet. But if Market Sentinel is to be believed, than two key points emerge:
1. The Blogosphere is now more powerful in shaping the worlds political agenda than the Dead Tree media.
2. Right wing blogs (Fox News; DT blogs, etc) trump Libtard blogs (Huffington Post, Matthew Yglesias, etc) every time.
Look carefully at the chart and you will also noticed an appearance on the right by Michael Moore. Almost certainly the first time in the mans life he has ever been thus categorised.