First London-wide meeting of electoral reform groups

The first London-wide meeting of activists to fight for a "Yes" vote in the AV referendum took place yesterday evening in a crowded room in Bloomsbury.
Guy Aitchison
1 September 2010

The first London-wide meeting of activists to fight for a "Yes" vote in the AV referendum took place yesterday evening in a crowded room in Bloomsbury.

The event, organised by Take Back Parliament alongside Unlock Democracy and the Electoral Reform Society, brought together around 100 people of different ages and political persuasions.

We heard from Andy May, national co-ordinator of TBP, who told us how all the democracy organisations are pulling together in a single joined-up effort across the country with over 20 local groups already self-organising. 

The narrative amongst lazy journalists and bloggers has been that the "No" campaign is much more organised and serious. But Andy informed us that lots of work is being done behind-the-scenes to fight and win the issue in advance of the launch of the formal "Yes" campaign in the coming weeks.

We broke off into small groups, organised by boroughs, to discuss how we will take the issue to the wider public in the months ahead.

I led a discussion of the Camden and Westminster group. With a committed group of volunteers, we are already planning several street stalls and leaflet drops in the area - the other groups are planning similar actions.

If you are in London and keen to get involved, it's definitely not too late to get in touch with your local group.

Wherever you are across the country you can find and join a group in your area through Take Back Parliament's online network.

Read more about the AV referendum in OurKingdom's Referendum Plus section.

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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