That Was The Week That Was
In terms of national and international news, this week’s been relatively quiet. Eric Joyce – the disgraced MP, who last month head-butted two Tory rivals in a Parliament brawl – resigned from the Labour Party on Monday, apologising "without reservation". Rebekah Brooks and her husband were arrested on Tuesday by police investigating phone hacking. On Wednesday, the UK jobless total reached a new record for seventeen years, and 2.8 million are now recognised as unemployed. Thursday saw Ashraf Rossli, 21, and John Kafunda, 22, dubbed the "Good Samaritan thugs" by the papers, sentenced for the crimes they committed during the London riots in the summer. And on Friday, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams announced his resignation, to the disappointment of thousands of Church of England members and millions of Anglicans worldwide.
None of these stories will be remembered by the wider world in months to come: they’re not Earth-shattering. But, naturally, for those involved with them, the outgoing week will be remembered for the rest of their lives. One story which will be remembered for a long time by many is of the horrific Swiss bus crash, in which 22 children and six adults were killed, after a coach carrying Belgian students returning from a ski trip crashed into a wall of a tunnel. There’s a couple of things that are stuck in my memory: a quote from the BBC journalist who reported for the evening bulletins ("For the child survivors who’d escaped the bus, there was no screaming, no shouting, just children numb with fear.") and the sight of the destroyed bus. The cause of the crash will probably never be known, but it’s now thought that the driver was trying to change a DVD in the on-board entertainment system just before the crash.
Much, much closer to home, though, the biggest story of the past few days is the announcement of plans to relocate Furze Platt Senior School to Spencer’s Farm. I’ve written my full thoughts in a separate blog post but in short I think they’re ill-considered. It’s an attractive deal, no doubt, for both the school and the council (not to mention the developer), but I can’t see how children from a planned 700 new ‘family homes’ can possibly fit into one new school, if they’re to demolish the current Furze Platt Road site. Developments in this story are bound to appear on this site, as and when they happen.