Home

Searching for democracy in the US

4 April 2006
The citizens are stirring on both sides of the Atlantic in defence of democracy. In the US an eminent group, including Michael Rattner, Gore Vidal, Ramsey Clark and many others has just set up the International Endowment for Democracy - an appeal for  international help that "asks the people of the world to contribute towards helping to save (and institute for the first time) democracy in the United States."

It only hurts when you laugh. Meanwhile, in Europe, where electorates appear to be equally turned off by the kind of representative democracy they have to live under, direct democracy is flourishing, according to a new report in Accountancy Business and the Public Interest, a journal that may not, hitherto, have been everybody's favourite beach read. This issue, though, is worth checking out for the substantial report on direct democracy in five countries in Europe, downloadable free 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.


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

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData