Home

Shame

It is 12 January 2003 and US president Bush has rallied his troops for what he calls “The first war of the 21st century”. What is your view of this crisis, where, briefly, do you stand? This is the question we are putting to people around the world, especially those with their own public reputation and following. Our aim, to help create a truly global debate all can identify with.
Anita Roddick
12 January 2003

Shame on Bush and Blair for threatening their illegal and immoral war. The United Nations Charter, that noble document which authorizes war only in "self-defence if an armed attack occurs" or if the UN Security Council deems force necessary to maintain international peace and security, is like so much dust in the wind against the oil-slicked aggressive greed of an arrogant, rogue superpower and its shameless British lackeys. If the Security Council approves this unjust war, it will not be because the world is in agreement, but because it has been strong-armed by a bully.

Shame on the media for refusing to ask the right questions, or to question the right villains. Shame on them for their 24-hour war-watch programming peppered with million-dollar ads and extremist talking heads. Shame on them for cashing in on conflict and ignoring nuance and the truth-telling masses in the streets who are resisting the incessant war cries.

Who is asking the real questions: like, why now? Why not ten years ago, twenty years ago, or ten years from now? Or, if this war is truly about weapons of mass destruction, where is the evidence? If this war is really about the liberation of the Iraqi people from a tyrant, why did we never liberate Chile from Pinochet or Cambodia from Pol Pot? Why are we not liberating Zimbabwe from Mugabe? Why are we not seeking "regime change" by force in North Korea? The answer is obvious, and yet we are told not to believe it. Shame on us if we don't. And shame on us all for entering the new millennium still at each other's throats.

Originally published as part of a debate on 12 January 2003 Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. 1.

See also Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. 2.

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.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData