Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Day 22

Today Nick got a standing ovation from the Royal College of Nursing Annual Conference as he pledged to put the professionals at the heart of the NHS.

With more managers and administrators in the NHS than there are hospital beds, it is clear that action needs to be taken. But that should not mean yet another disruptive revolution in the Health Service. This message went down very well with the audience who also warmed to the Lib Dems' pledge to raise the income tax threshold so that nobody earning less than £10,ooo a year will pay any income tax at all and those earning more will get a £700 tax cut.

The day started with a train ride to Southampton with a carriage full of journalists. On the way, Nick was interviewed by the Times as well as drawn by their resident artist.

Among the snappers with us today was Guardian photographer Dan Chung, a very old friend of mine, who spends most of his time working for the paper in China these days. At the first visit, Dan talked his way into a very privileged snapping position (see photo).

The visit in Southampton was to the General Hospital with Sandra Gidley and Vince Cable. The ward they visited was the paediatric oncology ward where they met young patients and their families living with a variety of cancers. Despite their illnesses, the ward was an incredibly cheerful place and the staff wonderful.

Silly story of the day featured ITN reporter Angus Walker who has been with us for the duration so far. Unfortunately he spilled chicken supreme sandwich down his tie and had to get a replacement. Simple enough you would think. But having recorded some pieces to camera already, he needed on which matched the original. Step forward Jon the battle bus driver who was wearing exactly the right shade of blue. I only hope that his boss doesn't regard a tieless driver as bad for his firm's image...

Tomorrow, apparently, we will be joined by former England Cricket Captain Mike Atherton - in his capacity as a journalist.

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