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“I would have written a shorter letter,” the 17th century mathematician Blaise Pacal famously explained, “but I did not have the time.” Using similar reasoning then, many might have expected something a little more distilled to emerge from the 14 months that passed between the final hearing into the collapse of NHS care at Mid Staffordshire and the publication of Robert Francis QC’s report last week.
This past few weeks have played host to a number of high profile technology failures with major issues affecting banks in the RBS group and more recently with the nationwide failure of the O2 phone network.
Whilst the banks’ responses to their crises were admirable – opening branches on weekends and vowing to cover any financial losses incurred as a result of their failure – it has been completely eclipsed by the efforts of O2 and its social media team.
Newsnight is more known for reporting the news than making it but, thanks to Paxman’s notorious interview techniques, it has a habit of making headlines of its own. Tuesday’s edition was looking like another run-of-the-mill round up of the day’s news until Chloe Smith, economic secretary to the treasury and the government’s youngest minister, stepped up to the table (from 6 mins 10 secs).
Manchester turned blue on Sunday after City secured their first top-flight league title since 1968 after scoring two goals in stoppage time to edge out United on goal difference, the closest finish for 23 years.
The Leveson Inquiry moved into its third stage with former News International employees Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson presenting evidence. Part of Brooks’ testimony focused on conversations between herself and David Cameron which lead to the amusing revelation that the prime minister believed that ‘LOL’ meant lots of love rather than laugh out loud.
Elections dominated this week’s headlines with major votes taking place in France and the UK. Across the channel, the last days of campaigning in the French presidential election concluded with François Hollande emerging the victor with 51.63 per cent of the vote.
Closer to home, local elections across the the UK saw a swing of political momentum. The Labour party managed to scoop 823 new seats but missed out in the key race of the London mayorship. After a close first round vote, Boris Johnson secured another four-year term at City Hall, defeating his rival Ken Livingstone by a narrow margin of 62,538 votes.
A row over calendars erupted as the legal team behind Abu Qatada launched a last-minute appeal to the European court of human rights over the decision to deport their client to Jordan.
The debate arose after home secretary, Theresa May, announced that the deadline to contest the decision had passed on Monday whilst Qatada’s lawyers argued that it had in fact expired on Tuesday.
As the week progressed, global attention switched to Bahrain and the controversial Formula One grand prix scheduled to take place in the island state. A number of commentators including Labour leader, Ed Miliband, voiced the view that the race should be cancelled in light of ongoing anti-government protests responsible for the cancellation of the 2011 race.