The truth about climate politics

4 May 2005
"Climate change is the most important issue we face", says Tony Blair. Why, then, has it not featured in the UK general election campaign?. The question has been debated in several places on openDemocracy, including here.

Today, openDemocracy reveals all with election week responses by the major political parties. Well, OK, not all, but whatever spin the party spokespeople want to put on this issue at the last minute.

More revealing, perhaps, is openDemocracy's new roundtable between activists on why they think the politics of climate change has failed so far, and what to do about it.

For fifteen years, says one, environmentalists have been pursuing a tried-and-tested model for social change: "Our call to action has been made against a backdrop of serious warnings from scientists. And yet there is still no vocal mass movement against climate change in any country. Where are we going wrong?"

For more on this, go here.

Caspar Henderson

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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