Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt provoked outrage and derision last year with his attempt to cast Professor Stephen Hawking – a man the intellectual superior of almost everyone and considered by many to be so far beyond the wit of Hunt that it beggars description – as “wrong in his characterisation of government policy towards the NHS”.
So it was inevitable that Hunt’s vulgar attempt today on social media to pay tribute to Hawking, who has died aged 76, would provoke a huge backlash – and it led to the politician’s comprehensive dismantling. A few of the hundreds of eviscerating replies to Hunt’s tweet are below.
Some reminded Hunt of Hawking’s opinion of the Health Secretary and their clash last year:
Others provided their own opinion:
Many pointed out that Hawking – who when diagnosed was told that he would live only two years more and lived over fifty – would never have survived under a private or insurance-based healthcare system, a fact Hawking referred to publicly:
Others reminded Hunt of the legal action that Professor Hawking was involved in, along with other health campaigners, to block the latest privatisation measure – one that Theresa May refused to deny is a move to prepare for insurance-based healthcare – a legal action that will continue in Hawking’s sad absence:
At least one respondent observed that Hunt’s tweet was unseemingly self-regarding:
And a few – showing the depth of outrage at the Tories’ attrition of the NHS as well as respect for the departed – offered prayers in the hope God might return Stephen Hawking in a swap:
The Tories’ social media incompetence can often be hilarious. But when it meets their innate crassness, self-regard and lack of empathy, the results are ugly and the anger it provokes is profound.
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