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June 11 - 17 on openDemocracy

This week we have two articles that have taken decades to draft.

27 June 2012

 

Returning to his home city of Havana, Cuba, after 50 years, Teofilo Ruiz shares a deeply personal account of melancholy and the Malecón, of a tired city inhabited by people as alive as their music, warm as their embraces and witty as their words. His account is accompanied by the gorgeous photographs of Scarlett Freund.


As Argentina and Britain again square off on the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war, Anthony Barnett, preparing a new edition of his Iron Britannia, returns to analyse the grip on British politics of a war culture which can only be removed by the act of taking the ‘Great’ out of Britain: the Falklands syndrome.


As the Eurozone enters an endgame, Sarah Stefanutti calls for the Greeks to defy the ‘German terms’ and threats of expulsion. Pointing to the experience of the 1980s, Ash Amin agrees that structural adjustment won’t end the crisis, while Vassilis K. Fouskas writes that the real issue of the crisis is not economic, but geopolitical.


Tony Curzon Price uncovers the traces of the undemocratic dominance of the City in the UK’s economic and European policies – and how these might be allowed to scupper both without the rest of us being any of the wiser.


Meanwhile, who is responsible for the more than 16,000 deaths on Europe’s borders since 1993? Leanne Weber explores death by policy and the culpable state.


Derek Gregory finds that distance is not dead: carrying on up the Khyber is hard and it’s expensive to feed the NATO war machine in Afghanistan with bullets and fuel. Across the border in Pakistan, peacebuilders find themselves caught in the middle.


Flashbacks of the Cold War haunts us in Paul Rogers’ Syria, the proxy war – where deep antagonism between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to engulf the region. In Egypt and Bahrain things take a turn for the worse, while a Palestinian  offers a symbolic gesture for statehood.


With the help of ex-Director General Greg Dyke, ourBeeb – OurKingdom’s public debate on the BBC, has taken off. The business of independent media comes under scrutiny, Jim Sleeper chronicles the failures of another great liberal institution in his pithy account of the Singaporization of Yale, while American women are urged to remember who their enemies are.


You won’t want to have missed:


For UK watchers, Henry Porter welcomes ourBeeb and anatomises the BBC’s Royal Jubilee coverage

Alastair Crooke on the emergence of a new Arab cultural revolution.


Tweets from Tahrir (video, 48 min) – discussed with the filmmakers and the original compiler this week in a packed openDemocracy/Arab Awakening event in London.


And for some perspective of the kind that make the Euro crisis seem like a grain of sand slightly shifting position, stretch your brain with some speculative physics.

 


openDemocracy’s week in 400 words is emailed to Members and Friends to help pay for our great content. Please forward this to any contact you think might be interested and want to join; they should see here or email [email protected].

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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