What to do with your unwanted vote

14 April 2005

eBay might be earnestly taking down auctions from disillusioned members of the UK electorate trying to turn their vote into a hard cash, but that hasn't stopped this site from launching. Votes for sale - can this really be the logical conclusion of "political party's wills to buy the electorate"? Although I've already got one vote I don't know what to do with, it seems there might be a market elsewhere for your vote. I'm taking bets on how soon it is before sell-your-vote-to-a-squaddie.co.uk gets launched.

But if you'd rather register your disapproval of the democratic process without letting money sully your intent then notapathetic.com, designed by the folks over at mySociety, is for you.

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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