Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/14/nhs_linehan_twitter/

IT Crowd writer defends NHS

And offers Twitter advice to Gordon Brown

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 14th August 2009 15:09 GMT

Graham Linehan, the wise and funny man behind Father Ted and the IT Crowd, has been using Twitter to round up defenders of the NHS against ever more insane attacks from US rightwing pundits.

Using the #welovethenhs tag to identify relevant messages, Linehan is helping to correct some of the more outlandish claims coming out of Fox News and other outlets - Hearing that Stephen Hawking would be dead if he was British is still our favourite.

Linehan neatly summarises British responses to attacks on the NHS from US pundits - "It's like if you criticise your parents. You can do it - but if anyone else criticised them you'd murder them."

Linehan is also critical of Gordon Brown's use of the medium, although surely it's not as bad as his arse-winking YouTube videos? Linehan said Brown's tweeting was embarrassing because he was using the same kind of language used in TV interviews and it sounded like political babble.

He advised Brown to listen in a bit more before making statements. But Linehan reckoned Sarah Brown's messages came across as more heartfelt.

He said Twitter as a medium was only as narcissitic and superficial as the people using it: "As soon as the argument over the NHS started Twitter stepped up to the plate and became a great tool for spreading the word. And that happened in Iran too - it put a human face on the revolution in Iran."

Brown infamously said that Twitter could have stopped the Rwandan genocides.

The full nine minute interview with Channel 4 news including several other pearls is here. ®