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Gunner Palace

24 February 2005

There is something about the presentation of this new film, Gunner Palace, that disturbs me.  It looks like a music video. In actuality, it's a documentary about US troops who live in the bombed and abandoned luxury mansion of Saddam's son Uday in Baghdad. The filmmaker, Michael Tucker, was embedded with the "gunners" for a total of two months. The reviews say Tucker doesn't push any particular political point of view, but lets the soldiers tell their own story. In interviews he says he wants to challenge "the Fox news view of the world" and "just wants people to talk about the war". I haven't seent the film yet so I can't judge. But I will. Apparently the soldiers rapping about their experiences is a highlight.

Watch the trailer here.

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.


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