People and power: shaping democracy, rights and responsibilities - the Brown Government's Report

The Government has just released the results of its deliberative assessment of our constitutional future.
Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
31 March 2010

The Government has just released the results of its deliberative assessment of our constitutional future. It is here (pdf).

It's Executive Summary opens as follows:

"Constitutional reform has been a key theme of the Government since 1997. From devolution in Scotland and Wales, the introduction of the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Constitutional Reform Act establishing the Supreme Court– the relationship between the citizen and the State is being reshaped. This report outlines findings from a programme of deliberative engagement that took place in late 2009 and early 2010, which explored the potential for constitutional change. Three issues were examined:

- The potential for a written statement of values. - A Bill to protect and enhance the rights and responsibilities of citizens.- The balance of power and accountability between the Government, Parliament and the judiciary, and the potential for a written constitution."

A spokesman from the Ministry of Justice tells me that the Prime Minister tasked departments to follow this up in his speech on 22 March.

There seems to be an important exploration of public opinion here which we'll look at in OurKingdom.

Serious immediate comments provided you have read the Paper and are responding to it, are welcome here.


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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