>This morning I had a debate with John Prescott on Twitter regarding NHS Direct. I reckon we both fought our respective corners and fought them hard. Figurative punches were being thrown much to my relief. Me pointing out the lack of money to do everything and the rational for looking at what was essential and therefore needed to keep being funded was what was important.

The fact that nurses currently on the NHS Direct lines will be returned to front line duties and actually treating people. At one point John seemed to suggest that NHS Direct nurses in their current number were essential as “It’s about the quality of service – the reassurance and knowledge that saves lives.” But NHS Direct isn’t where lives are saved that is through the diagnosis and treatment by Doctors and Nurse Practitioners in our surgeries and hospital.

Anyway we got to a point where the entrenchment was shifting, John said, “In case you hadn’t noticed, YOU’RE the Government now. Enjoy!”

To which I repliedSadly John I didn’t get elected. But yeah I know that. At least this Government has realised there is a fiscal hole unlike you”

That led to this:

While I’d obviously welcome such a ringing endorsement for my debating skills from an ex-Deputy Prime Minister from a former Government. I’m sure I can could on the endorsement of the current Deputy Prime Minister in the current Government and leader of my party Nick Clegg.

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