07/07/2012 15:39 BST | Updated 06/09/2012 06:12 BST

The Week That Was: A Source of Contention


They say a week is a long time in politics, but what about sport, not to mention finance? The past seven days have been remarkable if for nothing more than their volatility, with headlines changing faster than terrorism alerts on British motorways.

Is mentioning the tennis a bit like mentioning the weather? So obvious a topic as to make this entire blog worthless, and likely to jinx any chance of a sunny outlook?

How about Barclays? We've certainly all got an opinion on that, and if Ball's and Osborne's performance on Thursday is anything to go by, those opinions are loud, frank and angry.

Still, it shows how fast the agenda moves. Barclays chairman Marcus Agius' resignation and rapid reinstatement 24 hours later almost feels like old news by now.

Unlike everybody affected by the Libor rate-fixing scandal, there are however still a few people out there who've been able to see the funny side of the whole affair.

And actually, it's not all bad news in the world of finance, with the government proudly announcing yesterday that its own departments have managed to save millions of pounds over the past year. Maybe it's time to inject those saved cheques into the rest of the economy, which shows no sign of such positivity.

If bankers and their often inexplicable behaviour isn't enough to divide opinion, women's reproductive rights certainly are. Debates were kick-started on chat-show sofas across the world after it was revealed an Italian woman has given birth after being transplanted with ovarian tissue that had been frozen for seven years.

The ramifications of this are enormous, with talk of the end of the menopause and hope offered to millions who leave pregnancy to later in life.

Mothers of every age made headlines this week in Bristol when they organised a 'breast-feeding flashmob' after 28-year-old Kelly Schaecher was verbally abused by a waitress in one of the city's cafés when she tried to breastfeed her baby daughter.

Such was the support she received, after sharing the experience on Twitter and Facebook, that more than 250 mothers turned out to support her flashmob leaving many queuing outside The Park Street Café for their turn to feed their newborns.

If the women's-rights movement are looking for significant milestones to celebrate, this Monday could prove an interesting one, with the Church of England preparing to vote tomorrow on whether women can be ordained as bishops.

Although female ordination to the role of priests was sanctioned 18 years ago, the General Synod will require a majority vote of two-thirds to allow the same rule for the role of bishop, with many traditionalists still opposed to the practice.

From religion to education, Jamie Oliver was back on the war-path this week, this time with Michael Gove in his sights.

The education secretary has announced a new review into food in England's schools, to be headed up by John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby, the brains behind Leon restaurants.

Oliver backed the choice of candidates for the role, but not the idea of the review, pointing out that investigations cost time and money, when what is needed is action.

It's a sentiment those seeking a clean up of the banking industry are likely to agree with.