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Labour spilt over referendum on disproportional AV voting system

Was there ever a political gathering that combined the sheer magnitude of cynicism and spinelessness on display at the PLP meeting last night?
Guy Aitchison
19 January 2010

Was there ever a political gathering that combined the degree of cynicism and spinelessness on display at the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last night?

Let's take a look:

The chances of a referendum on electoral reform being held after the next general election, regardless of which party wins, were in the balance last night as Labour MPs appeared split down the middle.

Electoral reformers in the cabinet are seeking to amend the constitutional reform bill passing through the Commons to include a clause to bind the next government to a referendum on whether to adopt the alternative vote (AV) system.

Some see that as the party's last chance to commit any future government to such a move, even if, in the event of a Tory victory, the next administration is opposed to electoral reform...

One MP in favour of amending legislation was upbeat, suggesting his side had narrowly won because they had managed to persuade some Labour MPs to back the alternative vote option as better than full-blown reform. Labour MPs in favour were said to include Hugh Bailey, Tom Levitt and Richard Burden.

Explaining the government's motivation, sources said that if the Tories won the next election they would have to hold the referendum or repeal the legislation, which is intended to paint the current government as "for change" and the Tories as for the status quo....

So, no then.

 

 

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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