Bolton: There's no such thing as the UN

9 April 2005

Just when we were getting used to the bizarre idea of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, Citizens for Global Solutions remind us it's last chance to oppose the nomination of John Bolton for American UN Ambassador. It's one of those internal US decisions, which could become a real headache for the whole world. Democracy Arsenal offers top ten reasons why Bolton should not be named. And here are some of the interesting comments Bolton has made throughout his career:

“There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world and that is the United States when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along.''
John Bolton, 1994, Global Structures Convocation, New York, NY.

"Renouncing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court “was the happiest moment of my government service."
John Bolton, The Wall Street Journal, 2002.

I'm not sure this counts as constructive criticism. And it doesn't smell like diplomacy either. But not everyone thinks it's a bad idea. Doug Bandow from the Cato Institute says Bolton is right man for the job, and says he was surprised at how measured Bolton was in a chapter of a Cato book they both contributed to: "He did not call for closing the U.N. offices, dismantling the building, and deporting the diplomats," he says.

So maybe we're lucky after all.

On Obsedian Wings, a very thorough overview of who is for and against Bolton's nomination in Washington. "If [Bolton detractors] spent similar amounts of time and energy exposing the crimes and mismanagement at the UN, such as written about here and here and here, perhaps there'd be a new Secretary General by now and the UN would be in a better place," goes the argument.

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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