Relations between Americans and the British have not always been the greatest. From the American Revolutionary War to the disagreement over the military campaign in Iraq, sometimes it might have seem like a good idea by Mother Nature that the Atlantic Ocean separates the two warring factions.
The latest battle has been taking place online. Currently, Americans are debating the future of its health care system. President Barack Obama has stated that he would like all Americans to have access to quality health care within the next decade. However, not only are Americans fighting each other over this issue in town hall meetings, Republican politicians have also accused Obama’s plan to be a reflection of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which has been viewed by some as being “socialist” at best and similar to a “death panel” at worst.
Of course, the Brits are not taking this laying down.
Over the last couple of days British and some Canadian folks have gotten onto Twitter, using the hashtag #welovetheNHS to campaign in support of their health care system against verbal attacks from their American counterparts. Here are a just few of the millions of tweets that have come up on this topic:
Pro-NHS campaigners are also adding “Twibbons” to their avatars to show their support. Last night, even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Sarah got into the debate with his own tweets.
@DowningStreet PM:NHS often makes the difference between pain and comfort, despair and hope, life and death. Thanks for always being there #welovetheNHS
The White House has put out generic rebuttals on their Twitter account about the attacks.
U.S. Congress is expected to vote on health reform in the next few weeks, and many analysts say that Obama’s plan might have an uphill battle to face, despite having a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate. Nonetheless, this Twitter face-off might be the first of many examples where people with disagreeing views might engage each other in civil debate.