London wins Olympic bid

6 July 2005

When at 12.49 BST the IOC President Jacques Rogge made the anouncement:

"And the host for the 2012 Olympics is...LONDON!"

Trafalgar Square went mental.

People screamed, jumped, shouted, hugged, and cried. I was standing in the middle of the square on the steps, trying to take decent pictures. All I managed to capture of this moment of excitement is this:


The top of Nelson's Column, of the man himself watching over the celebrating crowd. He must have had the best view of all!

Then it started raining. It rained bits of paper all over the square, turning the place into a sea of red-yellow-blue-green and black.


Most Londoners, like myself, never really believed in the city winning the bid, simply because Paris was the long-time favourite and Londoners know best how unreliable the transport system is.

However, in that moment I felt proud to be a Londoner and amongst winners. When I get home tonight I might rescue that 'Backing the bid' badge from the darkness of my desk drawer.

Well done London!!!

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.

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