Event Date: 28 September 2017
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
How Open is Britain in 2017 and Where Next?
In the last decades British government and society has been opened up in all sorts of new ways. From the Freedom of information Act to Open Data and from surgeons’ performance rates to ownership of UK businesses, we know a great deal more about what is being done and spent in our name. New initiatives promise new openness about everything from gender pay gaps to executive bonuses. Exposés such as the MPs’ expenses scandal show what effect the new openness can have.
But how open is Britain? How well do these new systems of openness and streams of data work? Can they be avoided or turned to politicians’ advantage? This seminar asks a panel of experts to discuss how open Britain really is and to look to the future and ask, as Britain moves into the opaque world of the Brexit negotiations and faces new and uncertain post-EU world, how open will the new UK be?
Martin Rosenbaum (Journalist, BBC)
Rosemary Agnew (Former Scottish Information Commissioner and now Scottish Public Services Ombudsman)
Professor Sarah Childs (Professor of Politics and Gender, Birkbeck College)
The event is chaired by Dr Ben Worthy, whose book The Politics of Freedom of Information: How and Why Governments Pass Laws that Threaten Their Power was published in 2017.