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People power, not presidents

17 February 2006
There is a nice article on the World Social Forum in Caracas by Daniel Aldana today in Maisonneuve. He essentially comes to the same conclusion I did in my article on the future of the Forum on openDemocracy (and quotes it), but is a little less nuanced about the influence of Chavez on this year's forum. "Socialism or death," said Chavez, and the assembly clapped... I think it's important to keep in mind that the location Caracas attracted a certain kind of audience, and the majority from Venezuela and Columbia. It would be nice to hear from someone who had been to all three of the 2006 Forums. What's the temperature of the left worldwide?

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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