The Demo for Democracy calls out Nick Clegg - and half the population agrees!

The call for fair votes in Britain takes to the streets
Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
8 May 2010

A purple demonstration brought all the democratic reform groups, blogs, campaigns and organisations together today at the instigation of Guy Aitchison, George Gabriel and others in their twenties. It gathered in Trafalgar Square and then marched to Smith Square where the Lib Dems were meeting to decide on their strategy.

A word went out that a delegation could go and meet Clegg to hand in a petition. Over a thousand voice cried 'No' he had to come out. "You serve us", suddenly arose as a chant. "We want Nick". He came. I think it scored a historic first, a major party leader being summonsed by a crowd and speaking to it.

It was both friendly and determined, "No sell out". Many on the left think there is no political basis for the Lib Dems to close a deal with the Tories. But there is: a Freedom Act to roll back the threat to liberty from the database state and a referendum on PR, which the Tories can campaign against. Of course, Labour can offer more, but not with Brown at the helm. The role of the demonstration was both radical and practical. Clegg can't now agree to the mere 'Inquiry' on electoral reform as offered offered by Cameron as his payment for a deal. To do so would ruin him. We don't need another inquiry, we need a referendum.

If you have not signed the petition you can do so now.

PS: Sunday Telegraph poll says half of voters want PR

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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