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Public, progress and discontent: October 1st - 7th on openDemocracy

Public service health journalism is high on the agenda as Oliver Huitson's landmark investigation of the BBC's coverage of the Health and Social Care Bill continues to attract much interest, but small response from the BBC, while our Editor-in-Chief reflects on rationality and the considerable fall-out from his Norwegian tv series on alternative medicine

7 October 2012

At OurKingdom, businessman David Potter, who served on the Bank of England when the financial crash began, welcomes the enmity of bankers

Sadhavi Chauhan investigates Russia-Pakistan relations for oDRussia, Denis MacShane writes one of several analyses as Georgians vote, and Roman Kabachiy spots some young hopefuls in the Ukrainian elections

Guest editor Nick Mahony opened his week of debate on ‘Creating publics’, launching the first of this autumn’s openDemocracy editorial partnerships, with some troublemakers - Ludek Stavinoha on the public haunting contemporary global trade politics; Britta Ohm on the Gujarat Pogrom of 2002, and Christoph Haug on the coercion involved in achieving consensus. Andrew Byerley and Jonas Bylund argue that friction is essential to public life, while Helen Graham, finds human courtesy a far better basis than rights for reimagining public services

The World Social Forum globalizes politics through its media; while a moving study shows Aboriginal people fighting to participate in Canada’s national polity. Marianne Maeckelberg’s overview on Occupy and Madrid discusses the emerging practices of ‘horizontal’ democracy, while Liza Griffin defends ‘the commons’ from proposals to reform EU common fisheries policy.

A week full of tvfilm and film-making includes Jo Tyabji’s first openSecurity video interview with the economic adviser to the President of South Sudan, which joins three angry pieces on discord fomented by Sri LankaRwandaCameroon, and a disillusioned former UN expert on Sudan/Darfur sanctions, while the UN once again fails the Syrian people.

Paul Rogers highlights the power contest in Central Asia; Charles Armstrong visits North Korea, Celia Szusterman warns us about ambition in Argentina; Leila Zaki Chakravarti looks at how Egypt’s President Morsi is creating his own publics; and Rebecca Johnson considers today’s nuclear challenges

After a week of trouble in Europe, most ominously in Greece, there is added poignancy to Donald Sassoon’s celebration of the life of historian Eric Hobsbawm, as Yudit Kiss also looks back.

We visit the US elections with Ruth Rosen, ponder the probity of Yale University and close the week in Our Kingdom, with worry about UK pensionsdisinformationsecret courts and criminalized youth.

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Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat MP (TBC)

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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