Junior Doctors Strike Back: The Hashtag Awakens


[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Jun Lao, Doctors’ Mess Editor, on the ways in which junior doctors are striking back (haha get it?) against spin, lies and more spin[/box]

Amidst the spin, lies and general stench of excrement emanating from Mr Hunt and his cronies in the right wing press during this junior doctor contract dispute, comes a sense of increasing desperation. There have been the hapless attempts for months to divide doctors with increasingly ludicrous statements, which have only succeeded in uniting and infuriating the profession more than ever. There have been the various under-handed attempts to smear the reputation of hard-working junior doctors which have spectacularly backfired. And finally on strike day, Jezza was nowhere to be seen, whilst his aides resorted to censorship of the media as they ran out of made up studies conducted by Government lapdogs to spin. But aside from the baffling incompetence of Mr Hunt and co., something else has become increasingly clear; doctors are a merciless, unforgiving and frankly hilarious bunch. Every fumble and every wrong move made by the Department of Health has been pounced upon and instantly torn apart in the brutal arena of social media. I’d almost feel sorry for them if they weren’t heartless minions of the antichrist. Countless memes, trends and hashtags have sprung up all over Facebook and Twitter over the past few months – largely as a result of the efforts of Mr Hunt and his band of demonic helpers. Let’s take a look at some of the best.


“There were stories about what happened…”

“It’s true. All of it.”

In years to come, doctors will speak in hushed tones of the glorious moment Mr Hunt tried to label the wages paid for exceeding a 56 hour threshold as ‘danger money’ thus birthing the phenomenon of #dangermoney into the world. This outlandish claim was, of course, made during an interview with BBC Breakfast, where our esteemed Health Secretary also demonstrated his hilarious lack of basic mental arithmetic skills and blamed it on the fact that it was 7.15am. Aw poor Jezza. Trying to subtract one number from another early in morning? Such complex stuff. Must have been tough.

At this point I should note that many of these fantastic memes come courtesy of Dr Justin Kua, a bloody hero who I unfortunately couldn’t track down on twitter to give him proper credit. So here are some other choice cuts from his #dangermoney series. It’s fire.





























#moetmedics and #smearthedocs
In the aftermath of the first round of strikes being called off in order to allow for further negotiation via ACAS, the previously deafening din of doctors raging against the government machine had died down somewhat. Interest was declining and a sense of apathy was beginning to take hold once again. But then of course, the most infamous rag of them all rode to the rescue by attacking members of the BMA junior doctor committee and restored the sense of righteous fury and biting sense of humour which had been sorely lacking. There were descriptions of these doctors doing scandalous things such as living in houses, going on holidays or holding champagne flutes in their free time – all of which came under the now infamous headline of ‘Moet Medics’. The fact that it took four of these diligent, principled ‘journalists’ to write a 200 word article composed mostly of pictures and information gleaned from Facebook profiles is simply a true testament to the quality of journalism and meticulous research we have come to expect from Mr Murdoch’s papers. We should really be thanking these honourable gentleman for bringing us the hard-hitting and shocking news that junior doctors have normal lives outside work and some may even own property. After all, without them we would have missed out on the fury and hilarity which ensued in the form of #moetmedics. So let’s raise a glass of Dom Perignon to these modern day Pulitzers. Cheers.

And of course, our very own meme machine Dr Kua was on hand to offer his own take on #moetmedics. 12496046_10100762814530966_7293565761559177225_o12493548_10100762814520986_5723723987463591435_o12485981_10100760185724116_7427397105187685551_o12419375_10100763845914066_6291967113668030158_o                                                                                                                                    

















The rest

But let’s not forget the fantastic contributions of many junior doctors and the other incredible hashtags, trends and movements they started. There was of course #wearyourNHS and #NHSselfie.

The incredible thrill of the #NHS4XmasNo1 becoming a reality with a helping hand from good old Biebs himself.

The fantastic support lended to our nurses in their fight against the bursary cuts as part of #bursaryorbust.

The #yesyes campaign and unprecedented 98% of junior doctors who voted for industrial action as they said #istandwithjohann.

The incredible #JuniorDoctorProtest against the contracts in various cities across the UK in October.

And of course, quite possibly the hashtag which started it all: #ImInworkJeremy.

So there we have it, a whirlwind tour of the incredible presence and immense solidarity junior doctors have been displaying on social media over the past few months. As the BMA enter another round of talks with the Government via ACAS we can only hope that they will finally recognise the invaluable and selfless work our junior doctors do and agree to a contract which is safe for our patients and fair for our junior doctors. It’s #TimeToListen.

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