openDemocracyUK

There is a simple way to get the election coverage you want

Theresa May has called a snap election. That means we need real journalism. There's only one way to get it...

Adam Ramsay
Adam Ramsay
18 April 2017
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Theresa May has called a snap election.

The vote comes at a time when the people of this country trust our key institutions less than ever. Only one in nine of us thinks that 'the system' works. Only 25% of us trust the government. And only 24% of us trust the media.

Britain is on the cusp of leaving the EU and Scotland and Northern Ireland are debating leaving the UK. Wages continue to fall and the City continues to froth and bubble.

Not since 1974 has Britain gone to the polls at such a turbulent time. Back then, months after entering the European Communities and amidst the three day week, the Conservatives ran on the slogan "who governs Britain?".

As Theresa May triggers a snap election, we must ask that question again. Is Britain to be run in the interests of the City of London? Will it be ruled by the media barons: with a Daily Mail government turning our communities against each other?

Or is it the people of this country who are really in charge? Can we challenge the powerful, ask the big questions, and build a genuinely open democracy?

If you think this election needs a media that's focussed on the big questions, not the appearance of leaders; on challenging power not bullying migrants; and on understanding what's really going on across all of our increasingly disunited kingdom, then there's only one way to get it:

Help us to build it.

The media of the future will not look like the media of the past. The struggle is not between the old newspapers and the new online journalism: the funding model for the journalism of the 20th century has already died. The question is what form the new media will take. Will it be oligarch owned? Will it be run by the governments of other states? Or will it be funded by its readers and free to question those who govern us?

If you want this election to see a media which interrogates power, challenges the powerful and is free to ask the big questions, then help us to build it. Contribute to openDemocracyUK today.

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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