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11 March meeting: a London debate

10 March 2005

If you haven't yet peopled a meeting to discuss democracy and terror on 11 March, and you're in London, how about peopling this one? It's open to all and you don't need a ticket.

"Democracy and Terror"

A panel debate on the first anniversary of the Madrid bombings to reflect on the human cost of terror and consider a just, democratic response. With Richard Norton-Taylor, Steve Crawshaw, Alex Colas, Marcus Gerhardt, Dominic Hilton, Douglas Murray.

openDemocracy and The Grimshaw Club invite you to join them at LSE, 6-7.30pm.
Read on for the details, and for more information about the speakers.

Friday March 11th, 6 to 7:30 in LSE's New Theatre, E171, East Building - see map

Themes: the impact of the Madrid bombings on Spanish politics and society, the War on Terror in the Middle East, the anti-terror bill and the general threats to civil liberties in Europe and America from the politics of terror.

The speakers will be:

Richard Norton-Taylor - Security Affairs correspondent at the Guardian for the last 10 years, award winning journalist and playwright

Steve Crawshaw - London Director of Human Rights Watch, author of books on reconciliation and democratisation in Poland, Germany and the CIS, and former foreign affairs correspondent for the Independent

Alex Colas - Spanish IR lecturer at Birbeck, author of books on civil society and empire and a piece in Radical Philosophy just after the Atocha bombings arguing for a strong response from the Internationalist left

Marcus Gerhardt - Iranian born co-founder of Civility, a think tank which aims to inform Western policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East

Dominic Hilton - Columnist and satirist for openDemocracy; slick defender of American foreign policy

Douglas Murray – Ardent neoconservative; author, journalist, regular commentator for openDemocracy, and columnist for The Social Affairs Unit

With Caspar Melville, commissioning editor for openDemocracy's "Democracy and Terror" debate and Director of External Affairs, as chair.

Caspar will introduce proceedings and lead us all in a one minute silence to commemorate the victims of the Atocha bombings one year ago. He will then chair a 40 minute debate between the panellists before opening for questions from the floor for up to 40 minutes.

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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