End Game stands shell shocked and trembling after having witnessed history in the making – an event whose significance is on a par with Britain joining the Common Market or Ringo joining the Beatles. Yes, we were there when one @DavidNichols0n joined Twitter.
NHS England’s chief executive has used his unexpected entry into social media to show his legendary “grip” is tight – he is evidently clenching his smart phone tightly at all hours as he frenetically passes his verdict on the great issues of the day, of which there are many.
Obviously the whole world has now conversed with DN on Twitter now. However, in the style of any self-respecting newspaper’s 108-page royal baby special, End Game feels obliged to this week devote itself to producing a souvenir issue sharing a few highlights of Sir David’s new calling, just so the one yak herder on the Tibetan plateau who might have somehow missed the excitement can belatedly partake.
There was a day when chairs on the United Nations Security Council or Oscar party invites marked out the world’s great and good. Not now. The order in which the great DN selected who to follow on Twitter perhaps represents the biggest indication of the importance of individuals the world has ever seen.
After Sir David’s diary secretary and wife, four members of the NHS England exec stand tall, with Sir Bruce Keogh being selected first, despite him only having tweeted nine times.
Interestingly, both @andyburnhammp and @SocialistHealth were followed significantly before @Jeremy_Hunt, as was the official Twitter feed of Nottingham Forest FC and (bizarrely) the spoof twitter account pertaining to be written by Sir David’s Nottingham Forest mug.
But what of Sir David’s musings? He managed an astonishing 130 tweets in his first eight days on Twitter, all of them offering great insight.
Sir David showed himself to be human – even beyond his punctuation, which leaves much to be desired – for instance by tweeting pictures of his birthday cake, in the shape of him sat behind his NHS England desk, and, less-salubriously, a close-up of Sir Bruce devouring a spare rib.
A series of insights into Sir David’s weekly routine were provided. Typical of this was “Off to buy car seat for little one #bemused by choice” – which got a predictably frosty response from freemarketeers. We also learned that DN is “a Sherlock Holmes nerd” but not so knowledgeable of all culture: “sorry don’t know what breaking bad is only just started tweeting popular culture is new territory help”.
End Game was unsurprised to read the tweeted confirmation that Sir David was not a freemason, although his answer as to whether he knew any – “don’t think not something that comes up in conversation my dad a plasterer flirted with the buffs” – did rather bemuse us.
But our favourite DN tweet, showing a flash of his combative nature, was his goading of someone claiming to be Henry VIII with: “Richard III was a better king than you or your dad.” With put downs like that to one of the most ruthless men in history, no wonder Lansley never stood a chance.