openDemocracyUK

Contemptible Paxman "interview" with Caroline Lucas

Stuart Weir
3 May 2010

Jeremy Paxman must have been one of those vile boys who tear the wings off insects or pick on kids out of the loop to bully.  What else can we surmise after watching his contemptible "interview" with Caroline Lucas last week? He was clearly utterly unsympathetic to the idea that she deserved a proper opportunity to discuss Green Party values and policies. Of couse, for her part she would have had to reply to relevant concerns.  However, he simply baited her in a parade of his own prejudices - would the Greens make everyone become vegetarians?  What did she think what was the proper family size?  Behind these questions lay the unspoken slur that the Greens would interfere in an oppressive way in family life and society.  

The questions were hung on general statements of concern in the Green manifesto for the future of the world, so someone had read it -  but clearly on the look-out for opportunities to take the piss.  The peremptory bluster revealed more about Paxman's own view of the proprieties of British politics and the audacity of the Green in seeking seats in Parliament - are they not aware that the 'British way of doing things' relies on an electoral system that acts to keep trespassers out of the House of Commons?  I thought of Lord Acton - power has done its dirty work on Paxman. I trust that this interview doesn't count as BBC political balance.

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.


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