Did anyone else see...

6 April 2006

...the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) depicted as a two second cartoon on television last night, on '30 Days With Morgan Spurlok'?

My eyes nearly popped out of my head as I watched the episode 'Muslims in America', following a devout Christian's experiences as he moves in with a family of Pakistani-Americans in Virginia for a month. The cartoon popped up as the narrator explained why Muslims don't see Jesus as the son of God.

I wasn't sure how to react after the recent cartoon blowback. A few thoughts raced through my mind; has anyone taken offence, is there going to be a reaction to this? My momentary shock was definitely related to the post-Danish publications school of reaction. Was this pure political incorrectness in hindsight, or has that issue passed its sell-by-date now? When does a depiction of a cartoon cause mass riots in cities worldwide - when it is published in Scandinavian newspaper print or when it appears as a brief visual flash on an American sitcom? Who decides?


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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