On the "long expected" attacks.

8 July 2005

Roger Scruton

The attacks that London has suffered have been long expected and were well prepared. Moreover we know very well what caused them. Long before Britain's involvement in the war in Iraq, long before September 11th, the Wahabite loonies have been preaching murder and resentment in our mosques, and the ghouls of al-Muhajiroun have been recruiting young men and women to the cause of mass murder. Our government wishes to criminalise 'religious hatred', but is blind to the real form that it takes - not the legitimate criticism of Islamic extremism that most of us would wish to make, but the incitement to holy war in the name of Islam. It is time for law-abiding Muslims to get together and expel the haters from their midst. If they do not do so, then they will irrevocably damage the image of their religion, and maybe even justify our government in its latest attack on our freedoms.

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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