Pretend-blogger Blair

8 April 2005

Apropos the UK election on the Web and trusting Tony, does anybody really believe Tony Blair's Campaign Diary (written in the first person) is really written by him? Robin Grant doesn't think so either. Pretending to blog doesn't seem like a very effective way to be cool.

I was trying to remember what the candidate blogs were like in the US election heyday. I didn't find any archives. But I did find this old nifty comparison survey. Apparently Kerry wasn't much of a blogger, but Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean were. Maybe because they knew they wouldn't get elected. Bush? As the authors conclude, "It’s probably not fair to expect the Leader of the Free World to post blog entries." But maybe the Leader of Britain should.

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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