openDemocracyUK

Film: Albion’s Call: Brexit, democracy and England

Brexit has ignited a fire under Britain. It is altering forever the way we see ourselves. This has to be confronted boldly and in an open-minded way

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
11 October 2018

Here is a film on Brexit, democracy and England. It’s an illustrated talk plus discussion especially aimed at those of us in England. It comes to 1 hour and 8 minutes. “Oh, no”, I hear you say, “not a hour on Brexit! How unbearable is that!” But think of all the packages and items you’ve heard, seen and read about Brexit over the last two years and how many hours and hours of your time they have taken up. What changed your mind or even made you think? Very little, I suspect.

I talk about the realities of powerlessness, the rip-off state, massive inequality, identity politics, the Irish example, why the Scots are different, what it means to be English, the need to reimagine ourselves and what unites Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Along with images.

Brexit has ignited a fire under Britain. It is altering forever the way we see ourselves. This has to be confronted boldly and in an open-minded way.

I want a People’s Vote with a big majority for Remain. To achieve this the Remain campaign must change from 2016, and how! The response to my lecture is led by Rowenna Davis who opposes a People’s Vote. I didn’t shift her view and may not change yours. But I hope I make you think twice.

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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