openDemocracyUK

Is Tory Campaign a dead shark? Cameron's Big Mistake

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
25 February 2010

The image of a shark dying because it has stopped moving forward appears in James Forsyth's account in the Spectator. Its being twittered to and fro. But it misses the main point. Cameron positioned himself as the heir to Blair which was a mistake. But he also had one side that was not Blairite, while modern, smart and socially progressive he claimed he was even more Euro-Sceptic than David Davis, which is saying something (and won him the leadership). The he renaged on holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It's beside the point that it would have been 'pointless'. The real point was that he should have kept his word and said 'up yours' to Westminster et al. Then everyone would have know he was 'different'. When the dust settles and people look at the stats I bet there is a correlation between Cameron's support weakening and his dumping his promise of a referendum.

PS: But the left is foolish to bang on about the Tories not being different. See David Marquand in the NS for the theory and this from the new Tory MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith talking about books with Total Politics. I can't believe there are many Labour MPs who'd give such attractive and interesting answers (allowing for one party political slip re John Major)

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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