oD's open structure releases energy: April 2 - 8 on openDemocracy

The Arab Awakening brings out the energy in oD’s open structure, as a dedicated debate space is supported by ongoing sections: from 50:50 Lindsey Hilsum and Nadia Taher, reporting on women in Libya and Egypt; from openSecurity with Sylvaine Bulle’s analysis of Israel’s extraordinary tent movement as it seeks to end their ‘state of exception’, and Mariano Aguirre’s wise words on SyriaBushra Saaed senses the dread in Damascus as he puts China’s diplomatic stance in context, and the weight of the past is explored by Hazem Saghieh.
16 April 2012

We have a weakness for practical ideas. Hendrik Tiesinga’s is a big one, a sensible political economy, with a basic wage! Angela Phillips tackles journalism, its survival and how to pay for it as citizens become producers as well as consumers. Her message finds a warm echo in openDemocracy's own new era. As someone who gets this summary you are already a supporter, so forward it on to someone new and ask them to join us.

The use of existing economic power to dissolve social bonds and entrench inequality alarms OurKingdom: with Stuart Weir (on privatisation-as-enclosure), and Colin Leys and Barbara Harriss-White (on the commodification of everything), while Melissa Benn(on education-as-business) joins in from 50:50.

OK also looks at the Falklands/Malvinas 30 years after the war between Britain and Argentina: Anthony Barnett calls for peace,Gerry Hassan says the war shows what kind of country Britain remains, Peter Presland sets out clearly London’s despicable and infuriating treatment of the Chagos islanders to illuminate British hypocrisy and Jeremy Fox offers a sweeping history of how Argentina came to be. Another symposium on the Falklands and the birth of Thatcherism is promised.

Elsewhere there are signs of political unfreezing: in Russia, where in oDR Alexei LevinsonGrigorii Golorov, and Dmitri Travin assess the protest upsurge and a returning Putin’s options; in Burma, Joakim Kreutz advises caution over Aung San Suu Kyi’s victory; and in France, Nicolas Lebourg and Patrice de Beer (who surveys the Presidential campaign) peer through the atmosphere after the Toulouse tragedy.

Paul Rogers’ column returns to the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran, and coolly charts the likely scale of a war of ‘targeting’.

The personal dimension is with us in tributes to figures from the cultural and academic worlds: the Palestinian-Israeli theatre director Juliano Mer Khamis and the Bangladeshi scholar Jalal Almagir, and Ali Gohar finds in an Afghan custom a resource for the future.

Three links not to miss:
Gregory Shaya on the Myth of the Fourth Estate

Evan Osnos on the lunar eclipse of election year, 2012

Robert Haddick on Syria as prologue


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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