Student risks life for third world research
In or out of the EU? P11
A student has returned alive after what is reckoned to be the most risky work placement ever carried out by someone from Bournemouth University. Just 20 minutes after he set foot in Somaliland, a self-declared independent state next to Somalia in Africa, Owen Evans was stopped by an armed guard. “It was in the middle of the desert on the only road on a five hour trip to the capital, Hargeisa. This guard had a piece of rope and was using it to stop cars – I didn’t know who this guy was. I was told to keep quiet in the back of the car,” said Owen, after he returned from next to one of the deadliest trouble spots in the world. “Even though the windows were blackened, the guard indicated to wind the window down. As I did this, he looked at me and pointed an AK47 rifle in my face. There was a bit of confusion and my fixers ended up saying that I was a Somali-Greek returning to visit my family. This seemed to work as he let us go.”
Guards were frequently seen carrying the AK47 rifles patrolling the streets of Somaliland OWEN EVANS
Continued on page 3
Oral sex risks hard to swallow Emily Connah
Cancer caused by oral sex could become an epidemic, according to Dr Tony Pigott, Chairman of cancer charity About Face. Medical research has estimated that mouth cancer will be more prevalent than cervical cancer in ten years time, partly down to people’s lack of knowledge and
awareness of the way in which the HPV virus can spread. The Human Papilloma Virus is a common sexually transmitted disease, which can also affect the throat and mouth via oral sex. “I was shocked at the lack of knowledge that some students showed towards the causes of mouth cancer,” said Dr Pigott. “Cancer caused by oral sex is an epidemic in the making.” About Face found that just 38% of students knew that oral sex could cause HPV related cancer. The charity visited Bournemouth
University last November for four days to help raise awareness of the link between oral sex and mouth cancer, but also to help encourage students to have regular dental check ups - something that many students admitted to rarely doing. “As a charity, we do not give advice, but we suggested that people look up HPV. People do what they want to do but they should be aware of the risks incurred by these things,” said the chairman. Adam Davis, 19, a student at Bournemouth University, was just one of the students unaware of this
dangerous link. “Not only did I not know this, but so many others aren’t aware as well. More projects that help raise awareness of this issue would certainly help increase students’ knowledge, meaning they might be more careful in the future,” he said. Bournemouth University business students have teamed up with the charity to help raise awareness, as well as with the Student Union, to help highlight the risks. “We have worked with the Student Union for three years now,” said Ian Catley, Chief Executive of About Face.
FEATURES The future of augmented reality
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Thursday 7 February 2013| The Rock
AUB ‘Make a Wish’ Tree Sarah Hugill
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Dorset’s PCC reaches his 100 day marker
How big business is shaping beauty
The European Union debate explained
BU student set to run 52 marathons
Students at the Arts University Bournemouth are planning a fundraiser out of the ordinary – a tree in the town centre for people to hang their wishes on its branches. Ellie Jones, Natasha Rose and Frances Shaw are all second year students studying Arts and Events Management. The event, which will be in aid of Make a Wish Foundation, is called ‘Firefly’ and will take place on March 9. A tree will be placed in the centre of Bournemouth so that people’s wishes can be hung on the branches. “We have plans to have many fun and exciting elements of the day, but at this point we can’t disclose too much information as it is top secret,” said Ellie. This is not the first time the girls have organised a charity event – in November they raised £282 for Children in Need. “Hopefully our next event will be just a successful a previous, as I know we a really want to raise a The AUB students are hoping to raise money for charity SARAH HUGILL substantial amount for the charity.”
Their previous fund-raiser day was split into three parts. One aspect was a flash mob dressed as Pokemon characters that sang and danced to the theme tune. This event raised £77 from two donation sweeps after each session. The girls agree that this sort of idea was a quick way to raise money for a good cause, and similar idea may take place at their next event. “We wanted to create an instant impact and reaction, with an inyour-face performance,” said Ellie. “The staff and students faces were priceless – students jaws suddenly dropped.” said Frances. Other aspects included interactive and creative stalls, face painting, a coconut shy and a traders’ market which charged £10 per stall. The Arts University has complimented the girls on their “entrepreneurial” skills and has asked to use footage from their events on its website. “We hope our charity ideas can show future students what they could also achieve with the determination and skills learnt from our course,” said Natasha. “We knew after the first event that we would jump at doing a project again in a heartbeat and that’s exactly what we have done.”
No heating during big freeze Hailey Hammer
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Residents in brand new student halls were freezing last weekend as a fault in the electrical system caused a power overload. Dorchester House has recently struggled with powercuts. The worst one took place last week when the entire block, and the 590 student residents, was without electricity for two hours. General Manager Scott Blakeway said that the cause was a faulty “molded case circuit breaker”. This is a switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. The circuit breaker was replaced the morning after the biggest break. Journalism student Joe Nerssessian lives in the halls of residence. He said he feels that much of the blame for the problems has been put on the residents. “We’ve had regular powercuts since we’ve been back from Christmas. The first time it happened the Dorchester workers came and fixed it, but after the third time it happened they sent us an e-mail saying it was either an appliance or leaving our heating
on too long which caused the cuts,” said Joe. He also says students were banned from heating their common rooms for three days even though the power was back on. Mr Blakeway said: “In the kitchens we took the heaters out of service on Friday night. It has to do with the load of electricity going through the building. If you have too much electricity going through, then any building would have a problem, particularly when we had a faulty piece of equipment. By reducing the load, as a temporary measure, that meant that we could get the power back on and ensure that everyone’s fridge and freezers would remain cold.” Joe said it is unreasonable to pay such an amount of money and still have this problem. “For a brand new building which is so expensive you expect it to be better than that.” His flat is not the only one with problems. Some have complained of leaks, no hot water and rainwater flooding their common rooms. Mr Blakeway said that these occasional problems are, to an extent, caused by The heating took days to be fixed during freezing conditions HAILEY HAMMER the fact that the building has not yet been tested against bad weather, and been badly affected by the powerusing our showers and it’s not that constructors are “looking into cuts, he feels that others should be really convenient.” the matter” but they have no reimbursed. “One of my flatmates Mr Blakeway said that they need answer yet as to why these problem was actually doing work which she to wait and see that the problem is have occurred. lost because her computer was cut under control before they decide Although Joe personally has not off. At one point three of us were their “next course of action.”
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Student bites the bullet in Somaliland
Owen went to Somaliland to produce a video feature for his studies on the developing country, with help from a bursary from One World Media JAMES DAHL & OWEN EVANS
NEWS EDITOR Continued from page 1 Owen would normally be required to pay $80 a day for a bodyguard because it would not be safe for him to travel alone out of town. He was travelling with his cousin to conduct research for his final year project at Bournemouth University where he studies Multi Media Journalism. Owen had no idea who the man was that stopped the car he was in, but knew that it could be quite serious if they did not believe he was who he said he was. “Every few miles, guards are just sat on the side of roads. They can come up to any random car to check your identification, and they all carry AK47 rifles. It is pretty daunting. They are in uniform, but uniform in the loosest sense. “Of course I was definitely spooked. I mean, it was my first day – talk about a baptism of fire! I was in a country that the home office advised to travel against, and even Afghanistan was
considered safer. “When you are in Somaliland the government want and expect everyone to have a bodyguard, not just for your protection, but to show your nationality. “They are so expensive and really, I couldn’t afford it. A French journalist working for the Lonely Planet actually had two guards.” Somalia is a place riddled with marauding pirates and patrolled by heavily armed lawless militia, but Somaliland is “an oasis of calm in a very volatile area”. Since Owen has returned, the British Foreign Office have ordered UK citizens to get out and to not travel there where at all possible. UK nationals should “leave immediately” because “kidnapping for financial or political gain” as well as the chance of terrorism remains a real threat throughout Somalia, confirmed the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. “I was miles away from everyone I knew and at one point I really was thinking ‘what have I done?’ But after a while the kindness of the Somaliland people really helped – they just wanted to talk to me and at the end of it I was really rooting for them,” said Owen. Last year, Owen was one of two Bournemouth University students
who was awarded £1000 bursaries from One World Media to help produce his video feature. “Somaliland is an unrecognised state next to Somalia. My film, ‘The Country That Wasn’t There’, follows people in Hargeisa, Berberra and Burao. “I went there so I could ask people what it is like to live in a country that isn’t recognised by any other country on Earth,” said Owen. “My grandfather is actually from there, and so I wanted to create this documentary because of my own Somaliland heritage. I was curious about this far away land that seemed to be in a constant state of war. “It must be really difficult to have this stigma of real danger attached to your own country. The problem is though that it isn’t recognised so it is still considered as Somali which is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous places on earth. “In the future, I would consider going to Mogadishu one day, but maybe with a news organisation like Reuters or the BBC. “I kind of slipped under the radar as I was with my cousin and had guards, but who knows what could happen if I go back to Somaliland.” You can watch Owen’s work to learn more about his trip and Somaliland at owen-evans-dstz. squarespace.com
Editorial Team Editor in Chief Julia Denni Editor’s Assistants Chris Fay & Alesia Robertson News Editor Tazz Gault Assistant NE Hailey Hammer Opinion Editor Oliver Hill Assistant OE Sinead Lambe Features Editor George Underwood Assistant FE Tom Beasley & Gabriela Vlahova Sports Editor Jonny Byrne Deputy SE Tom Bennett Deputy SE Jasper Taylor Assistant SE Ash Hover Chief Sub Maisie Buchan Assistant Chief Subs Emma Buchanan & Will Richards Head of Design N Briana Millett Head of Design O Shanae Staple Head of Design F Fran Tatman Head of Design S Rachel Currie Online Editor Robyn Montague Assistant OE Joe Nerssessian Managing Director Minee Bhise Head of PR Kelly Phelps Head of Promotion Rosie Bailey Social Media Editor James Bayani Letters to the editor must be signed (including the course of Bournemouth University students, the working title and school for staff members, company name, or home address for individuals outside BU). Prior to the publication, letters will be verified for authencity by the editor. Anonymous letters will not be published. The editor reserves the right to edit all letters in regard to libel law, length, taste, grammar and punctuation.
Letters to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 7 February 2013| The Rock
PCC Martyn Underhill: 100 Days in the position Joe Nerssessian
The Dorset Police Crime Commissioner (PCC), Martyn Underhill, celebrates 100 days in the job this month and has already completed several important tasks. The Independent candidate, and former Detective Chief Inspector, beat Conservative Nick King in November, and has kept promises set out in his election campaign. These promises included hiring a new Chief Constable and setting up PCC forums in order to get “the voice of the public, to me, and through me to the police”. Underhill also promised to organise the police budget and create a policing plan before March. The Dorset PCC has arranged his first forum for March 22 at Shaftesbury Town Hall and, alongside a panel, has recommended the current Acting Chief Constable Debbie Simpson to have the job permanently. Talking about the recommendation of Simpson, Mr Underhill said: “I am delighted to
propose Debbie Simpson as the next Chief Constable for Dorset.” He was equally happy to see his first forum be announced at Shaftesbury, he chose the location due to being “incredibly impressed with the people I met from the area during my election campaign and the people I have spoken with since my appointment”. Additionally, Mr Underhill will also hold regular surgeries to meet with members of the public who have any issues to bring forward, further honouring his commitment to consider residents views. Although the policing budget is yet to be announced it is indicated on Underhill’s website that it is near completion and the Police and Crime plan is soon to be released. Clive Chamberlain, Chairman of the Dorset Police Federation, confirmed that Underhill has been “genuinely independent” and that the Police and Crime plan will be “focused on communities”. “The change has been interesting and he is listening and acting,” said Mr Chamberlain. “He is focused on what we do for the public.” For more information on Martyn Underhill’s role, visit http://www. dorset.pcc.police.uk/
Martyn Underhill has been PCC for almost 100 days
Dorset to set off a stinker Tazz Gault
Garlic-Eating contest organisor
Unsavoury breath will not be a priority for competitors in Dorset’s garlic-eating contest. The 1st Annual World Garlic Eating Competition has just been announced, and is expected to attract contestants from around the world. The contest will be held in Chideock on September 14 at the George Inn, where organisers predict around 40 people will take part in it. Contestants have five minutes to eat as many pre-peeled Iberian garlic cloves as they can – and the person who manages to tuck away the most will be declared the winner. Organisers Mark and Wendy Botwright of South West Garlic Farm near Bridport, said that they have “always wanted to have a Garlic Festival. “We have always followed the nettle eating competitions in Dorset and last year it was held in our local pub in Chideock,” said Wendy. “We hope that all sorts of people sign up, but we expect it to mainly SOUTH WEST GARLIC FARM be those people who like a challenge,
are slightly mad and enjoy some fun!” Advance tickets are £5 or £10 on the day, and all profits from the entrance fee will be donated to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Weldmar Hospicecare Trust in Dorchester. “The Garlic Eating Competition gives us the opportunity to support the local charities,” said Wendy. “The only negative thing is the obvious bad breath – other than that there are great health benefits and we love the taste.” The garlic will be presented in bowls with ten peeled cloves in each, and contestants must chew and swallow each garlic clove before eating the next piece. Leaving the table or spitting out any garlic will be an automatic disqualification, but drinking is allowed. In the event of a draw, those contestants will face a one minute ‘eat-off’ to see who can consume the most. The winner will receive a trophy and a prize of £100. For more information or if you would like to sign up to the compeition, visit www. worldgarliceatingcompetition.co.uk
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Professionals debate the future of British journalism Robyn Montague
A one day conference to explore the aftermath of the Leveson report is taking place at Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre on February 8. The event will discuss opportunities for reshaping media ownership and control and will be addressed by Leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett. David McQueen, one of the event’s organisers said: “The conference is an opportunity to find out a little bit more on the Leveson report and the inquiry, but also the potential policy outcomes of that. These issues are still very controversial and there is a divided opinion on Leveson’s suggestions, so we hope we can delve into what different sectors of the public think about this. It’s all about keeping the press at arm’s length from control, but some sort of regulation is clearly needed because the current model has repeatedly failed.” Keynote speakers include Goldsmith University’s Professor James Curran, and Cardiff University’s Professor Karin WahlJorgensen, who specialise in the field of media. “We hope that the mixture of different speakers will give people a chance to speak to those who
should know a lot about this issue, but who all have very different views. If you take Dr Shelley Thompson from America, their opinion immediately is often far stronger than ours,” said David. “The conference will be very interactive and it won’t be in a typical academic style. We hope that this is going to be a little more lively and have more public engagement, with people from the public as well as journalists there, and we hope many, many students.” Organisers have invited a diverse group of professionals, which includes conference community activists, politicians, media workers, policy makers and reserved spaces for public attendance. “I am hoping the conference will look into alternative and citizen journalism,” said McQueen. “One of the key notes is the blind spot of the internet, as the report actually only has something like one page touching on it. This is something we really hope to touch on.” Participating journalists include Darren Lilleker, Shelley Thompson and Karen Fowler-Watt from the University, and Andy Martin from the Bournemouth Echo. The panel will discuss the media’s response to the Leveson report and will be chaired by Stuart Allan, author of ‘Online news: Journalism and the Internet’. “Any student hoping to work
Professors from Goldsmith and Cardiff to discuss media and the Leveson report at BU in creative industries should be engaging with the debates on the Leveson Report as it is one of the most important landmarks in journalism history,” said conference
speaker Karen Fowler-Watt. Doors will open at 10am and will finish around 5pm. Tickets are free for staff and students from BU. For students outside of the university,
tickets are £15, and £40 for members of the public. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: http://tinyurl. com/bo8hxtz
HIV infection rate the highest of all time Tayla Woodard
4,500 new cases of the HIV infection were discovered in 2012
HIV infection has peaked at an all time high with over 4,500 new cases in the past year. Despite a call for greater education, testing and early diagnosis by the government on world AIDS day in December, the last government backed HIV campaign was in the 1980’s. An estimated quarter of sufferers are unaware that they are infected. Students at Bournemouth University were asked about their thoughts on the virus and whether they have ever felt at risk of contracting HIV. Emma Newick, 18, said: “It’s never crossed my mind because I don’t think there is much awareness about it. I think there is always going to be the stigma that if you’ve got HIV you’re dirty.” Jessica James, 20, said: “I have been
scared about having HIV because you hear all these stories about people getting HIV, then you’ve got it for life and it kills you.” Alessandro Scanella who lives on Cardigan Road in Winton said: “I’ve never felt at risk about catching it but it has crossed my mind because I wouldn’t want to have it.” Experts claim that the lack of government support and awareness campaigns could explain the sudden peak in the number of people infected with HIV. “In the UK, the lack of any government sponsored HIV awareness campaign has left almost an entire generation with much less HIV education that in other countries. By far the biggest percentages of enquiries are about transmission. People simply do not know how HIV is transmitted. It’s that level of basic knowledge that is missing,” said Martin Wood, spokesman from international HIV charity Avert.
Richard Ervan, manager of Body Positive Dorset, said stigma around HIV can become extreme. “A lady who was HIV positive lived in her flat in Bournemouth and she knew all of the other people living in the flats. One of them discovered that she was HIV positive and she had dog excrement shoved through her letterbox, they were banging on her door at 2’oclock in the morning, shouting obscenities at her and told her to clear out. Eventually she had to move. It all comes from lack of awareness and understanding.” The need for government funded education is becoming crucial. Richard said: “There’s a huge need for more funding and also for the government to do work on education. It’s not surprising the numbers are going up.” More details about the virus and how to get tested for free are available online at www.bodypositivedorset.org
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Disclosure tickets for 50p Tom Bennett
Quick-thinking customers have pounced on a pricing blunder to secure Disclosure tickets for as little as fifty pence. The Fatsoma ticket website mistakenly marked tickets for the event at Boscombe’s O2 Academy for 50p instead of the recommended £10 retail price. The mistake was soon rectified but a number of customers managed to get their tickets early enough to take advantage of the error. Bournemouth University Law student Ben Williams secured tickets for the event on February 9 for the discount price and said: “I was ecstatic when I managed to get the tickets at such a cheap price. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to see an act like Disclosure for 50p. “I’m glad I was on Facebook at the time they went up. I saw people posting about it and was really happy when I managed to get on board.” One not so lucky customer was Josh Milvil of Southbourne, who is now claiming a refund after
his bad experience with the ticket company. “I saw everyone posting about the 50p tickets so I tried to get on the site as quick as possible. “The site must have realised their mistake just as I was typing in my credit card details and I was charged the full price. I didn’t even want to really go, I just thought I might as well go as it was so cheap. I’m now trying to claim a refund as I feel like I’ve just wasted my money.” The garage-house duo hit the headlines late last year with their single ‘Latch’ which climbed to number eleven in the official UK Singles Chart. This isn’t the first time online customers have had the opportunity to take advantage of a cheap deal due to a technical error. In March last year, Tesco mistakenly sold the iPad 3 for £49.99 through their online service, crashing their website within seconds. A Tesco statement later read: “If, by mistake, we have underpriced an item, we will not be liable to supply that item to you at the stated price, provided that we notify you before we despatch the item to you.” Fatsoma operates an immediate online ticket dispatching service. Students like Ben will be hoping that their Disclosure tickets remain valid for the highlyanticipated event. Tickets for the duo’s gig at the O2 were mistakenly underpriced on the Fatsoma ticket site PHIL SHARP
Meningitis warning to students Adam Spencer-Hicken
You may catch the possibly fatal disease even though you have taken a vaccine against it BIOQUELL
Students should be aware that you can still catch a strain of bacterial meningitis, despite having had a vaccination shot. Concerns about the disease were raised after a student became seriously ill and was taken to hospital at the start of last term. The student made a full recovery, but raised concern amongst several institutions. Head of Students Services at Bournemouth University Mandi Barron said: “People may well have been vaccinated against the C strain of meningitis, but this vaccine doesn’t protect against other strains of the disease.” The incident was solely located in brand new student halls – Dorchester House, situated across the road from Asda. All students living in the halls, where the serious illness was contracted, received warning letters about how to avoid getting the disease. They have also been advised on symptoms to look out for in themselves and others.
These symptoms include a severe headache, high temperature and fever, vomiting, stiff neck and pale or blotchy skin. The virus is contagious through close contact but not, as often thought, through solely being in the same room as an infected person. Mrs Barron said: “It is important to stay vigilant at all times whether having been vaccinated or not. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best defence against this serious disease. ” Mrs Barron confirms that the virus can be very common for students. “When lots of new students come together they may then be subjected to unfamiliar germs to which they have not built a resistance. Thankfully cases are rare and the majority of suffers make a full recovery.” If you are worried that you may have contracted meningitis, then one test you can do is to place a glass firmly over the rash. In the majority of cases, if the rash stays as it is then it could be the disease. You should contact a medical professional as soon as possible. No further serious cases of the disease have taken place since this incident.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
British knowledge escapes UK students Tazz Gault
NEWS EDITOR British and international students went head to head last week to see who could achieve the highest score in the new British citizenship test. Conducted by Bournemouth University’s new television channel, JUMP TV, students took the test to see who would make the cut. Results showed that international students had much more knowledge on British history with a combined score of 27, as well as the traditional parts of the test such as the governmental systems and education. The average score for British students was just 23. “I should have known the four questions I got wrong,” said 19-year-old Claudia O’Sullivan, who was one of the British students. “I think the reason I got them wrong was just ignorance on my part because as a British citizen they aren’t questions that I come across daily.” The coalition government recently announced a new, updated version of the citizenship test for aspiring Britons, with a stronger emphasis on British history. To pass the test, candidates must achieve a score of 75% or higher to pass. “I think there should be more questions on everyday things such as the education system, the NHS
The government has recently updated the British citizenship test so that it focuses more heavily on the history of the United Kingdom PP and linguistics. These are things an international person is more likely to come across in everyday situations so would be more useful,” said Claudia from Ensbury Park in Winton. The Home Office has said that the
new test “focuses on values and principles at the heart of being British”. Other news aspects of the test include sport and music, as the more dull and “mundane” subjects such as job interviews, the internet and
water meters have been removed. “I thought it would be a really interesting experiment as so often foreign people can speak much better English than us, so I assumed they would probably be just as good at English history. I didn’t want to leave
it as an assumption so decided to put it to the test,” said Bronya Smolen, JUMP TV’s news editor. “I also thought it would be pretty fun and wanted to test myself! Embarrassingly nearly all the international students beat me.”
Foreign students help Red Cross Abigail Brown
Linda thinks more young people should volunteer ABIGAIL BROWN
Bournemouth’s British Red Cross charity shop has had over 80 overseas students volunteer for them so far this year. The workers have come from many different backgrounds, including those who have had to flee their countries and some whose home countries lack democracy. Manager, Linda Tramontini has had volunteers from far afield, such as China, Korea, Afghanistan and Brazil or much closer to home, for example France, Spain or Italy. “It is nice when students go back home raving about volunteering here,” said Linda. Linda is surprised at the lack of English volunteers in the British Red Cross shops and said: “Not enough
young people volunteer, they think they will be able to go abroad and respond to natural disasters.” Linda explained that what people do not realise most of the time, is that when a natural disaster occurs; the country already has their own responding teams. For instance, with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, the British Red Cross was on standby but the Japanese coped on their own. Linda revealed that to work in the shop you have to be first aid trained which she thinks should encourage more volunteers as “young people get to go on free first aid courses so that should in theory make them more interested”. Working at the British Red Cross has made her realise how lucky the British are, she explained further: “We always moan and we are seriously lucky, talking to people who have come here who have nothing, you realise that.
Bournemouth’s quite unique, it takes so many foreign students,” said Linda. “Compared to other charity shops the British Red Cross is very different as it has so many overseas volunteers.” Linda worries that “foreign students get discriminated against” and so tries to help her volunteers get as much out of their time with the Red Cross as possible. Linda said: “I want them to be able to say they have been more than a basic volunteer.” To this end, she obtained employment for one of her regular volunteers from China, and she has also sent two volunteers to do a leadership course for young people. “I have tried to make it quite a younger shop, bring it up to date and run it as a business to attract more young people into the shop.” The Bournemouth British Red Cross shop can be found at 252 Old Christchurch Road.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Editorial Malian conflict, the new Afghanistan
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The news of the intervention of France in Mali has been covered in every media outlet this past fortnight. But, what seems more blurry than the day-to-day progress of the troops, is the reasons behind the mission against the jihadists and the interests of France in this conflict.
President Hollande was welcomed in Timbuktu on Saturday as a liberator and savor by Malian people with banners and flags waving on the main square of the deserted city, now liberated from the influence of Al-Qaeda. He promised to end the mission in Mali in the near future but ensured troops would stay as long as it takes. But a victory doesn’t mean the battle is won and the extent of what has been accomplished, so far, remains unclear. Mali is the second country with the largest number of jihadist fighters after Syria, and the lack of resistance from their side raises concerns that they might be preparing for something bigger. So even though France seems to be in control and has planned a short-term intervention, and
Hollande relies on the help of other Sub-Saharan countries, the conflict is more likely to last. The dark shadow of long-lasting conflicts that have shaken the past decade such as Iraq and Afghanistan hovers over Mali. Military power doesn’t guarantee a successful handling of the conflict. Precedents such as Iraq and Libya speak for themselves about the scale of the task. To understand the magnitude of the conflict, we only have to witness the degree of involvement and military support from the neighbouring states for which the threat is real: Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Niger or Chad. But what is the real French interest in sending troops to solve a conflict that they ignored for decades? The most coherent answer seems to be that Hollande has no interest in the conflict spreading to its neighbours.
Nuclear energy accounts for 80% of France’s energy production and its main source of uranium is Niger. He has already sent troops in to secure the plants. By trying to avoid the extension of the Malian issue and a regional destabilization, Hollande wants to maintain the sphere of influence of France in Africa in a complex post-colonialist approach. But the conflict has deeper roots than it seems - the independent quest of the Tuareg people and the collapse of the state. A cancer has developed in the institutions of Mali nurturing the perfect soil for Al-Qaeda to settle and grow. Hollande has tried to build a picture of a stronger more decisive president, while he is slowly losing credibility, leading France to a more instable financial situation with an extra 50 million already spent in Mali.
Should we stay? Should we go? Chris Fay
British public demands a referendum
11 Snooping Parents to browse kids’ text messages
The EU was founded from the ashes of World War 2. Individual state interests, conflicts of political ideology and destructive nationalism tore the continent apart. The 1950s saw the first steps in developing what would become the EU, the European Coal and Steel Community. Since then, Europe has enjoyed an era of peace that wouldn’t have been possible without the Union. Member states depend on each other, pledging protection and support. Despite the recent banking crisis and unrest in certain member states (I’m looking at you, Greece..) Europe is strong. This relies on the strong alliance of the member states. The era of individual nationalist states is dead. Elements of the USA and UK may want to drag their antiquated manifest destiny into 21st century, but the global village has no place for this. The UK once held a mighty global empire. It’s understandable how this fall from glory can upset the jingoistic faux libertarians, conservatives and out right racists of the UK. It may seem that the EU is clipping the claws of the once proud lion that was the empire, the transition of power from London to Brussels swapping Britannia’s trident for a broom. This is not the case. The EU gives strength to Britain, and acts to heal the wounds that separated the people of Europe. The Elysée treaty stands as a testament to this unity. A quick glance at the some of the numbers involved shows the UK has more to gain than to lose by embracing Europe. The EU is the world’s largest economy.
In simple figures, it has GDP of US $17.578 trillion, the USA behind by $15.8 trillion. The difference between these super powers is roughly that of the UKs $2.432 trillion. Isolated, how can the UK compete? How will the land starved UK deal with China and the growing unity of Asia or South America? These sprouting unions actually make things. They have the productivity to feed and entertain the consumerist world. What does the UK offer, aside from a corrupt banking industry directly linked to money laundering for drug cartels and terrorists, meeting with and advising them on how not to get caught? The world is unifying. It’s not a time for division or nationalism. There are of course elements of the EU I don’t like, and reforms are needed to decentralise the decision making and respect members wish for self-governance. -The union currently tends to favour the wants of corporations over the rights of workers. Nations such as Ireland feel the responsibilities of being in the Union, but are still treated as the weird kids on the playground, the little boy who wants to play with the grown-ups. It needs work, and it needs the UK. Though not as much as the UK needs it.
OPINIONS EDITOR This head-to-head debate first spawned between Assistant Editor Chris and I during an editorial meeting last week. Following my announcement that the Vs Column had been resurrected this issue and that it would be contesting the EU referendum story, Chris and I engaged in an argument surrounding Britain’s EU membership. We decided to settle this in the only way we thought appropriate – a head-to-head write off. So without further ado, I’ll begin winning the argument. It’s no secret that the economic element of the EU has unequivocally fallen flat on its face. I firmly believe that the British economy is being shackled down and dragged back by the Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, Spanish and the French. Oh, and the Irish too. To my mind that’s way too many countries screaming for money and I say it’s not our problem. It’s time to ditch this quaint, post-Second World War ‘all for one and one for all’ approach and save our own skin. Europe is the anchor that has grounded our economy long enough. I’m sure Chris will argue that we need open trade with our European
neighbours and these vital exports have been keeping the British economy from diving into a triple dip recession. That is first class baloney. The UK makes next to nothing and this, coupled with the fact that a large chunk of the union has no money to purchase our goods and services, means that free trade agreements are rendered practically redundant. The idea that orders for the new £100,000 Range Rover, which is built in Solihull, are flooding in from Greece at the moment is quite frankly laughable. We need to be looking to the emerging markets in Asia for meaningful export figures. Europhiles are furiously flapping around, warning that if we were to leave the union altogether it will be the end of our little world. They claim that this would stick two fingers to the face of all the EU trade agreements and that we would be effectively shooting ourselves in the economic foot. I’m sorry, but I really struggle to believe that Europe would melt into a sulk and boycott all UK exports – if they want it, they’ll buy it. If standing outside of the EU is such a massive barrier to trade, then it is staggering that China, Japan and the USA have not yet grovelled at the feet of Brussels, begging for a membership form. The economy aside, there are a wealth of other advantages to going it alone. Europe is a boa constrictor snake crushing the British rule of law and sovereignty of the State. Revoking our membership means that our government would not be forced to give criminals the vote – a right that should be reserved only for law abiding citizens, but that’s another matter. Europe is crumbling and we’ve got to go our own way before we get sucked into a miserable existence of sickly economies and a nanny state. Beat that Chris.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Let the people decide on EU Aaron Golightly
OPINIONS EDITOR So the hot potato that has been bandied about for decades has finally landed in the lap of David Cameron and rather than kick the issue as far away as possible, he’s going to offer you a referendum with the proviso that you vote for his party come 2015. I must confess I’m not massively keen on the idea of the government we chose to run the country, ducking the important decisions that we specifically elected them to make on our behalf – it’s the classic ‘having a dog and barking yourself’ scenario. Despite this, I believe that when it comes to Britain’s membership of the European Union, Joe Public should get a say in the matter. Now of course sceptics will argue that the mass majority of people do not understand the inner-workings of the EU in enough detail. What little knowledge they may possess is wildly skewed by the papers, making for ill-informed decisions which will lead the country to disaster. You could apply exactly the same principle to general elections then, where propaganda runs free and concrete knowledge of the candidates is next to non-existent. These debatably poor choices still result in a legitimate government and that’s the way with democracy – if you don’t like it might I suggest a move to Mali. It all boils down to one crucial point – 82% of the British public, that’s over 40 million voters, want a referendum on the our EU membership. That’s the sort of figure that no government or party hoping for a second term can ignore. It’s a simple case of power to the people, give the public what they want and though it might be difficult, have a little faith for once.
Exclusive illustration for The Rock A referendum is on the cards to decide whether the UK stays in the EU or leaves
Those calling for a referendum on EU membership have far more faith in the British public than I do. I cannot help looking at the government it elected nearly three years ago and to question whether these are the people who I’d trust to take such an important decision. The entire debate for more than a generation has been dominated by the indoctrination of the extreme right-wing press ensuring that rather than discuss agriculture, finance and trade in respect of the European Union, we instead rage hysterically over made-up stories of straight bananas, reclassified sausages and, not to exhaust the food analogies, the ‘gravy train’. The population has been poisoned on the whole issue of Europe to the point of irrevocable return. It simply is no longer possible to have a sensible grown up debate on the pros and cons of European membership, as the domination of the conservativeleaning press will ensure that the entire debate is based around stereotypes and scaremongering. It may be worth asking yourself precisely how much else you know about the EU that doesn’t include the hysteria whipped up by the Murdoch titles and his ideological allies in Fleet Street. This issue is far too important to be decided based on ill-informed disgruntlement and lies fed into public consciousness by a media whose main objection to the Europeans has more to do with xenophobia than rationale debate. Besides, what makes Europe different from issues relating to the NHS, education system or the economy? This is a representative democracy and if we don’t trust the politicians to make this decision why are we to trust the electorate who put them there?
Response to: Robyn Montague’s ‘UK leaders get head start Issue 10, 6 Dec 2012, Page 14 Aaron Newbury
nnnnnnn community as being the provider of
Britain is, according to a column in the last edition of this newspaper, thought to be ruled by the educated elite. However, I ask myself, what is actually the problem with this? Modern Britain is seen by the global
the best education in the world, with the best university, schools, and primary schools. On top of all of this, our education system is guaranteed on the state until the age of 16. Our politicians being part of the Oxbridge group is a good thing. Yes, it is elitist, but it shows off our greatest national asset, our education. If our politicians are
some of the most educated people in the country, then we are showing the rest of the world that our politicians are good, clever and above all, good at their job. After all, would we rather be ruled by an elected idiot, or an election genius? With the concept of rule by educated elite, we as a nation are guaranteed to have the intelligent making decisions, a concept which I am much in favour of. I don’t want
an idiot making the decisions that will steer the course of our country. I would much rather wake up in the morning knowing that despite being in recession, a group of educated men and women were sitting around the table trying to get us out, than wake up and realize that actually a group of the ill-educated idealists where in charge. A country run by the educated elite makes intelligent decisions;
a country run by the ill-educated will only make decisions fuelled by idealism, not by the pragmatism needed to run a safe and successful world power.
Email our editor Oliver Hill at email@example.com with your response
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
To legalise illegal highs Adam Trimby
Britain’s war on drugs continues; but does anyone else think it’s heading in the wrong direction? For many years the government has been in a constant battle with party goers and the experimental youth, yet hasn’t really made many strides in tackling this growing problem. We all know that curiosity can get the better of us and it is a little naïve to think that we can completely cut out drug usage all together, so what can we do? Well, recently, police have reported a heart-shaped ecstasy tablet which has been circulating the north of England. According to police, these tablets have caused three deaths and leading to the hospitalisation of several more. However, the MDMA, a pure form of ecstasy, within these tablets was not the cause of the tragedies - an unknown chemical was to blame instead. Made in gangsters’ kitchens and Professor Frink’s garden
shed, the drug taker has no way of knowing what’s actually inside each party pill. With so much evidence to suggest that pure MDMA is no worse than nicotine or alcohol, aren’t the dangers in the Russian roulette of ecstasy far more concerning? Unfortunately the stigmatism around drug usage outweighs the many facts presented by highly regarded scientists. Campaigners such as Professor
Drug takers have no way of knowing what’s inside each pill
Nutt openly approve the usage of some well-known stimulants and claim the effects are far less destructive than those narcotics obtained legally. Additionally, the raise in popularity of legal highs and their accessibility has created a much greater issue. Many substances can now be sold legally, camouflaged as plant food like your friendly neighbourhood
M-Kat once did. These untested, completely lawful back-alley laboratory drugs can be sold to anyone with money, yet have caused the majority of drug related fatalities in recent years. Statistics recently released by the government will show that overall drug use has decreased from 12%, after its 80s and 90s hay day, down to just 9% in 2012. David Cameron says that we don’t need to rethink the war on drugs and that a 3% dip since the 2002 peak is on the right track. And you find it hard to disagree, until you realise legal highs were left out of the equation or that crime still goes hand in hand with drugs. If drugs were made available in a clean way like pharmaceuticals, surely the benefits would be tenfold. Tax could be generated from marijuana tablets or the tiniest amount of MDMA, it would help with the recession and would almost certainly reduce the amount of crime within the country. Unfortunately, the choice to use and abuse would still be there, but what countries like Portugal and the Netherlands have shown us is that when something becomes legal, it becomes deglamorized. Just a little food for thought.
Homemade ecstasy pills have taken three lives MATTHEW YAKTINE
Prying parents to snoop on youngsters Sinead Lambe
ASS’T OPINIONS EDITOR
David Cameron’s new adviser on the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood has urged parents to snoop into their children’s texts and internet browsing history. Claire Perry said that the notion of children keeping their texts private is “bizarre” and that parents should be checking up on their young ones texts, emails and internet history. My view on this absurd concept of parents prying through the personal items of their children is that it is intrusive and degrading. Don’t get me wrong, I comprehend the dangers of the internet and I am not naïve enough to believe that it is not a hazardous place for young people at times. However that is what filters are for. Parents with half a brain will put a block on what their children can access. But as for giving your child a stance for freedom with the web and a mobile phone why would you then choose to invade their privacy by snooping through their texts. There should be a mutual trust
Claire Perry has told parents to check up on their children’s mobile and internet activity between a parent and child when it comes to being allowed freedom. The responsibility is on parents to educate their children in what they should be accessing online or who they should be engaging with.
How can you expect your child to be able to trust you as a parent and to be able to turn to you when they need help if you are prying, behind their backs, through their personal belongings? Has good
old fashioned communication gone to plot completely I ask. It is not justifiable to engage in such actions as Perry suggests, if you are concerned or want to take an interest in your child’s life then talk to them!
It really gets under my skin to think that some people feel they have the right to treat young people like they are not equals. I might hasten to add, how would you feel to arrive home to find your teenager reading your texts? I know my own mother would not be best impressed. In life there should be boundaries – do’s and don’t’s. Snooping is a definitely the latter.There are aspects of Clare Perry’s suggestions that do make sense. She wants a crack down on raunchy music videos and children’s access to ‘lads’ mags, and to shakeup the school curriculum so that internet safety is taught in IT classes. What baffles me is that all of these are factors which adults should be dealing with. It is up to the education system and parents to teach internet safety, up to the people who run the shops selling ‘lads’ mags not to sell to those underage and up to the producers of music videos to tailor their videos or put them on after watershed. You cannot expect young people to live in a bubble cut off from the real world. But you can protect them from the powers of online and media. That my friend, is the adult’s job. So next time you consider being nosey and checking your children texts stop to think is it their responsibility to act like a grown up or yours? If you need to check up on your children its an issue with your parenting skills.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
It really is snow joke Michaella Williams
From a young age the first sign of snow almost always stirred an innate excitement inside us. We would instantly begin to imagine the days we would get to miss off school and build snowmen, have snowball fights with friends and bond as we wrapped up with one another. Snow reminds us of Christmas and its festivities (not that in England it ever snows on Christmas day) but it allows time for unions where people share joyful activities. However, any slightly practical person above the age of 12 would realize the snow is actually a huge inconvenience and not something to jump up and down about. Snow signals delays, slippery journeys, chilly limbs and boredom of being stuck at home, I’m unenthusiastic about tackling the freezing temperatures. Just walking to the shop becomes a Bond mission as it takes double the time to get anywhere whilst you watch every step and try hard not to land flat on your back. Who remembers that nursery rhyme that went something along the lines of rain rain go away, come back another day, well if I was slightly artistic I’d create a new one banishing the excitement that comes along when the snow makes its unwanted appearance. If you haven’t already noticed I am not a fan and rest far from proclaiming to love the white slush puppy that unfortunately falls from the sky every couple of years. Yes, it can be seen as romantic and picturesque but how can you possibly enjoy something that melts in your hands and causes you shooting pains at the end of each finger? For reasons that continue to baffle the psychological sciences, snow causes people to lose their mind and disintegrate into a pack of gurning idiots. This ludicrous act of moulding crude sculptures out of slush, incidentally turning your hands red raw, then promotes grows into this wicked confidence to the point where it seems appropriate and socially acceptable to hurl snow at my face or put it down my top. You can call me a killjoy but I cannot for the life of me see why individuals believe snow is fun. So, if like me, building snowmen and sledging aren’t for you, then cling to the hope that the snow won’t be returning for at least another year. Take comfort in Spring being just around the seasonal corner, so we can all begin to fight off the present chills with some much warmer thoughts.
Beauty and the business beast and the only thing getting filthy is their face. Kids are becoming more concerned with their appearance and at a younger and younger age. Instead of fighting friends, it’s fat, and rather than scrapping their knees, it’s their hair. I don’t blame the parents as the pressure of a toddler tantrum is overwhelming when a child has to choose between being bullied and becoming a beauty. It’s companies’ merchandise that’s making these little monsters by bombarding images and products that challenge the basic foundations of childhood. Putting Frankenstein in a frock with a short hemline sexualises children and they want to wear it to mimic their idiot idols. Companies like Lego produce toys specifically made for girls that only further promote the doll destiny that most children feel they need to follow in order to succeed and be accepted. The brand started producing five plastic ‘friends’ who bake, home make, decorate, style hair and shop. This reckless stereotyping is corrupting childhoods by suggesting these activities are normal for girls. Their defence was that their research concluded girls today Young children are becoming increasingly obsessed with their appearance COURTNEY CARMODY have a single overwhelming preoccupation of beauty. Feeling and stealing my mum’s lipstick I eventually found other things to insecure can damage self esteem Robyn Montague to make sure I looked just like my occupy my time like Pokémon cards, and happiness, which are two beautiful buddy. marbles, and running around on the components of childhood that make COLUMNIST Her tiny waist and long blonde playground, so Barbie was buried. it so enjoyable. hair were two attributes I didn’t Being the sister of a twelve-yearWithout them it can seriously possess, but it didn’t stop me old I’ve seen a similar cycle watching affect the future as without a stable running around in a pair of stilettos her grow, but the transition from doll structure moving up in the world Playing with Barbie was the that swallowed my feet with an to dirt has significantly changed. becomes near enough impossible. highlight of my day when I was attitude that landed me dessert Instead of little girls laughing and I believe we won’t see change until younger. Putting on outfits, deprived more times than not. playing at every available chance, businesses stop putting an ugly face making houses out of video tapes But much like Andy and Woody, they sit together smearing their slap to beauty.
Justice prevails but principle fails Alesia Robertson
ASSISTANT EDITOR In 2008, 16-year-old Ben Kinsella was brutally murdered, stabbed eleven times after a night out celebrating the end of his GCSE exams in Islington, north London. His family was shattered and as if this crime hadn’t done enough damage, it is now being dragged into the light again. The murderer, Michael Alleyne Jr, is currently serving a life sentence, but his father is the one in the middle of this scandal. He has received £20,000 compensation from police for injuries and trauma after they raided his flat on warrant. It is outrageous considering that the Kinsella family only received half of that amount for Ben’s loss. It is important to understand that at the time, this amount
was the most the law allowed for Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC), and that this is a civil case, involving the police, and judged independently from the murder. Yes, out of principle it is very disrespectful, but people need to look at both cases. One is a financial payout towards a victim of crime ; the other is an injury compensation through civil courts. Mr Alleyne is not the criminal but the father of the criminal. He has raised a murderer but this does not make him responsible, and there must have been serious and justified reasons for the police to pay such compensations. Instead of blaming it all on Mr Alleyne, the public should look more into the British Justice System. They are being held responsible for this outcome, which caused so much pain for the Kinsella family, only one of many victim’s families out there. It isn’t surprising that victims feel offended by such payouts and
wonder where the justice stands in all this. There is clearly a need for more help for the families of the victims of crime, and if the father of the murderer felt any guilt or had the slightest sense of morality, he should
donate his compensation, or at least part of it, to the Ben Kinsella Trust. This story should be a wake up call for British policy-making and the justice system, which needs to use more common sense in the handling of both criminals and their victims.
Kinsella memorial near the spot where he was murdered
FASHION MUSIC CULTURE LIFESTYLE
ISSUE 2 IS OUT NOW www.pebblezine.com
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
The day the music died With HMV entering administration, Will Richards looks at what the potential closure of the historic chain could mean for British music
The lack of indie cinema in Bournemouth
Conserving Dorset’s rare species
I still remember it. Arctic Monkeys’ debut album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, bought from HMV on Commercial Road in Portsmouth, early 2006. For me and all of my friends in our early teens HMV was always the place to pick up a CD, and I bought all of my first albums from there, including this, after I heard the single ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ on Jo Whiley’s Radio 1 show. I knew that if I wanted to pick it up, which still remains one of my favourite albums of all time, I just needed to go to the high street in town and I’d be able to pop into HMV and it’d be there. There was an HMV on every high street, standing out a mile with the big pink letters on a black background. It was a comforting sight to see; a confirmation that physical music was still evident and existing on the high street. That could be gone soon. It looks like HMV might soon be joining Virgin Megastores, which became Zavvi (which then also went under), leaving no high street record shop standing. There have been some moves to create a deal to save HMV, especially ‘restructuring specialists’ Hilco, who have agreed to wipe out HMV’s £176million debt, but it still looks as though up to 100 stores will be closed. The potential demise of the chain is really scary to think about actually. I am a massive music fan and, granted, now I would buy a CD or a vinyl from an independent record shop over an HMV, but the store was vital in helping me to get into music, and, without a second thought, the place I’d go to buy a CD with a song I’d maybe heard on the radio when
I went into town. I wouldn’t be into half the music I am today if it wasn’t for HMV and some of their ‘2 for £10’ offers on CDs. If I had gone to Portsmouth on that day as a 13-yearold and found no record store on the high street, I might never have heard that Arctic Monkeys record in full, and might not currently be pursuing a career in music journalism. It could be said that if HMV goes under, this will do a world of good for small, independent record shops, who will sweep up all the demand for CDs and vinyl records and take in HMV’s customers. There is a problem with this though. Independent record stores are, predominantly, for big music fans, and people won’t travel out of their way to pick up a CD when the stores are often small and hidden away down side streets and the purchase might not be that important to them; more on a whim. You could spot an HMV, which is always on the main high street, and you know you could buy chart CDs, as well as a pretty strong selection of alternative and underground releases, for reasonable prices. 13-year-old me wouldn’t have known that the local independent record shop with the better selection of current CDs was down the alleyway just past the statue, then across the road next to the church. I would like to believe that if young potential music fans’ supply of high street CDs was starved and taken away, they would research other places, such as indie shops, where they could buy their record, but it just isn’t the case. People don’t care about their music that much at that age; I know I wouldn’t have. There needs to be an entry level, accessible store for them to pick up
their first albums on a Saturday at the shops. This needs to still exist. Of course there’s the argument of ‘why do we need stores like HMV when it’s just so easy and convenient to buy music on the internet?’. They have a point, I guess. Music, and the ability to buy it won’t go away if HMV goes under, and the ease with which music can be purchased can definitely be seen to be good for the industry, as fans’ money and income for the artists is only a few clicks of a mouse away. However, in my opinion there is no comparison between staring at an
If HMV goes under, “it could do a world
of good for small, independent record shops - but these are predominantly for big music fans
iTunes download on a laptop screen and holding a new CD or vinyl in your hands. There is no better way to connect with the music than being able to see the artwork, and play the CD every single day until it breaks. People will still be able to buy albums from iTunes and other online retailers, but I think the disposable nature of an album of mp3s decreases the importance and personal value of the music, and I don’t want anyone’s first album purchase to be less important to them than my Arctic Monkeys CD, which is scratched to hell and has a broken case, but is close to my heart. Independent stores and venues
alike have been trying to help HMV customers out. As well as alerting them to the presence of their shops. Banquet Records, based in Kingstonupon-Thames, started a scheme whereby people with HMV gift cards could be brought in to their store, and they could get 50% off one purchase, be it a CD or a vinyl record, from Banquet. When the shop asked to take the gift cards (to make sure they couldn’t be used twice), people accused them of ‘stealing’ these gift cards, to use for themselves when HMV started accepting them again. It’s ludicrous that an honest record shop, doing brilliant things for music, had to justify their extremely generous campaign, and ended up giving back the gift cards to customers who had received the 50% off offer just to prove they were being legitimate. Maybe it’s become hard for people, in this culture of money-grabbing and deceit, to believe that a business could be doing a brilliant thing, and offering a brilliant deal for their fans without a single ulterior motive. It’s easy to moan about HMV now I’ve been really into music for years, and know the ins and outs of where to go to buy music, but I just stopped and thought back to when I was buying my first records, and it probably wouldn’t have happened without HMV. It’s pretty frightening to think about, as people who don’t know that Banquet Records or Flat 13 Records (in Bournemouth) exist, will come back from their Saturday afternoon trip to the shops without that CD they might’ve bought at HMV, and not discover what could have been their new favourite band.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
The two sides of Europe Alex Geraghty Punk rock band, The Clash’s, ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ single, to some extent resonates the mounting pressure currently facing Prime Minister David Cameron as he toys with the UK’s unclear relationship with the European Union. At some point over the next five years there will be another general election where, if the Conservative party win the majority of seats in the House of Commons, their leader David Cameron has vowed to hold a referendum on whether the UK should remain a part of or leave the EU all together. But what are the benefits of staying in the EU for Britain and what would an exit from this treaty mean? David Cameron has made it clear that, in his opinion, the UK could survive on its own, outside of the EU. His argument centres around the UK reaping the rewards of having access to a single market, which allows nations to prosper on an individual basis rather then being a part of a collective economy, one of the main principles of the EU. A study conducted by UKIP MEP Gerard Batten showed that the total cost of EU membership to the UK equates to £65.7bn a year with further contributions set to rise. Not being part of the EU also means that Britain would not be bound by the group’s legislation. EU legislation affects issues including agriculture, fisheries, justice and home affairs. By taking control of fisheries legislation, this could allow Britain to make the aquaculture industry more competitive and therefore economically viable. Critics of the Common Agriculture Policy, which enforces EU farming regulations, argue that this is wasteful, surplus produce either destroyed or given away to farmers in developing nations, undermining their livelihoods. Furthermore, UKIP party leader, Nigel Farage, feels that even if Britain were not part of the EU it could still retain strong trading links with the nations positioned within the single market. Take Switzerland for example, scepticism about EU membership in 2001 was confirmed by a national vote, which turned down proposals to join the EU. Switzerland has subsequently traded with the world, the Franc currency supported by the number of annual exports. In 2006, the Swiss Federal Government concluded that full EU membership would cost up to six times more than
existing trading agreements with the EU. However, the free movement of UK citizens to live and work in the EU could be restricted should the UK decide to leave. This could result in UK persons having to abide to rules enforced by the Local Border Traffic Regime, which was established to facilitate entry for non-EU border residents who frequently cross into EU states. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have expressed feelings of unease at thoughts of renegotiating the UK’s membership within the EU by public vote. Suggesting that although the
Swiss model may be attractive in theory, in practise the nation still has to abide to most EU rules and has no
total cost of “theThe EU membership
to the UK equates to £65.7 bilion a year
influence over how they are formed. Deputy Prime Minster, Nick Clegg,
also firmly believes that an exit from the EU would have a crippling effect on the UK job market, fearing that this would also affect job growth. Sceptics of dropping EU ties, argue that France, Germany and other leading EU nations would never allow Britain the freedom of choice advocated by David Cameron. Furthermore, the US also put forward the argument recently that the strong relationship between the UK and the EU makes both dependable on the other. In short, if the UK could effectively replicate the Swiss trading model,
establishing bilateral agreements on free trade, the UK could bypass EU membership reducing public sector spending by billions of pounds every year. However, other factors such as UK citizen’s ability to work within Europe could be restricted, this being one of the main arguments as to why the UK should remain in Europe. All in all there a number of factors to consider when pondering on whether the UK is better out than in so much so that The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ single is beginning to sound a bit like a broken record.
The European Union has evolved dramatically since 1967 growing from 6 to 27 members states and expanding to Eastern Europe
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
A dangerous right? Recent events have thrown gun control back into the American political spotlight, but the issue is far more complex than just ‘guns or no guns’ Sarah Hambly The United States of America has long been a country with a strong gun culture. An estimated 80 million people exercise their Constitutional right to ‘bear arms’. However, the gun control debate gained greater momentum following the horrific shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last December. On January 16, President Barack Obama revealed a raft of gun control proposals, which were described by The Week magazine as ‘the broadest gun control legislation in a generation’. Unsurprisingly given the high rates of gun ownership, the United States has faced many shocking incidents of gun violence. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control lobby group, estimates that 7,101 people were killed by firearms last year. Tragically,
announced “a Obama $500 million
package of executive orders and legislative proposals to reduce gun violence
there have also been numerous mass shootings. Yet December’s shooting in Newton, Connecticut appeared to be the nadir of gun related violence. Adam Lanza opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School, injuring 70 and killing 20 people. Many of his victims were children aged 6-8, a fact that appalled many Americans and international onlookers. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asked rhetorically, “At what point do you say, ‘no more innocent loss of life’,” echoing the sentiments of many. President Barack Obama immediately pledged to take action and appointed Vice President Joe Biden as head of the Gun Violence Task Force. On
January 16th, Obama announced a $500million package of executive orders and legislative proposals to reduce gun violence. He signed 23 executive orders, which can be implemented without Congressional approval, including a direction to the Attorney-General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun. Obama has also called for mandatory background checks for all prospective buyers in gun sales and a ban on high capacity magazines. The most controversial part of the legislative package is his proposal to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. On Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein of New York, a long time advocate for gun control, introduced the ‘Assault Weapons 2013’ bill that proposes to ban the production and importation of 158 military-style assault rifles and introduce a system of federal registration for all current owners of these weapons. Senator Feinstein and her supporters will undoubtedly encounter fierce Republican opposition in their effort to get both houses of Congress to pass this bill. This is especially true considering that the Republicans dominate the House of Representatives. The Republican Party has traditionally championed gun ownership, dubbing it ‘the law-abiding citizen’s God given-right of selfdefence’. Republican politicians, such as Senator Marco Rubio, argue that the proposed legislation constitutes an assault on citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association (NRA), the hugely powerful centre of the US gun lobby, has also been a staunch Republican supporter. Last year the NRA gave electoral funding to 213 Congressmen. Many Republican Congressmen are, thus, obliged to uphold its interests in their response to new gun regulations. The NRA has, of course, mounted its own vigorous Public Relations campaign to stymie the introduction of gun control legislation. Following the Newtown shooting, Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA, proposed that putting armed security in every school would be
the most effective way to reduce gun violence. Days before Obama launched his legislative reforms package, the NRA launched an attack style ad branding the president ‘an elitist hypocrite’ for opposing the introduction of armed guards in schools when his children are protected by armed guards in their schools. Even senior NRA lobbyist, Jim Baker, called the ad ‘ill-advised’. The NRA also swiftly attacked Senator Feinstein’s ‘wrongheaded’ bill for ‘curtailing the Constitution’ when lawmakers should focus on addressing the root causes of gun violence - the country‘s broken mental health system. Although the NRA’s tactics could make the organisation look ridiculous in the eyes of some Americans, it has been very successful in preventing
past efforts to tighten federal gun laws. After the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 30 people were killed, the Bush Administration proposed legislation requiring all states to share the names of people who had been committed
The NRA’s tactics “could make the
organisation look ridiculous in the eyes of some Americans
to mental health facilities. The NRA agreed to support the bill, provided that states created gun restoration programs. Yet any opposition to Obama’s gun control reforms seems to fly in the face of public opinion. On
Saturday January 27, thousands of people marched in Washington in support of gun control measures. Newtown residents also joined the protestors. Therefore, many Americans recognise that the proposed laws aim to increase public safety and are not an attempt to restrict the freedom of American citizens. Although the NRA are formidable opponents in the fight for gun control, they may have met their match in Obama. Winning a second term has emboldened the President. He is now free to pursue a more progressive agenda, including immigration reform, gun control, higher income taxes and a tougher approach to the excesses of Wall Street. It is this tenacious and resilient mindset that will serve him well in what could prove to be the toughest political
President Obama firing a gun in a picture released this week, following the lead of all presidents WHITE HOUSE
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Adding a new dimension to the tourist experience, augmented reality apps could be the future. Bournemouth PhD student Zornitza Yovcheva is leading the charge Gabriela Vlahova
ASS’T FEATURES EDITOR Using a map, a guidebook or a search engine to find your way around a city might soon be a thing of the past thanks to Augmented Reality (AR) apps. These show you the real world through a display but enhanced with additional virtual information, integrating graphics with the real life. Zornitza Yovcheva a PhD researcher at Bournemouth University thinks this could be a solution to the more awkward current methods. “Wouldn’t it be great if your Smartphone can see the world the way you do? And actually be smarter by giving you all the information you need.” Now this is possible. Her research focuses on how this can be applied to tourism in cities, thus allowing people to immediately get information on local landmarks and services simply by pointing their smartphone at them. How is it different to virtual reality? “Augmented Reality is much closer to the real world,” says Yovcheva. “For instance, with maps you have very abstract and generalized objects, then virtual reality allows you to see these objects in 3D. It is again
reality but generated through a computer. Augmented Reality is the information that comes with the object, overlaid directly on top of it. The technology is able to add sounds, images, comments and data to the natural world, as if you have superpowers.” This technology changes the way we see and experience the world around us. Yovcheva explains that the first simple use
A doctor can look “ at a patient with all
of the information in front of him; a soldier can have all the plans of a building put on top of it
of the idea dates back to 1968 but reached the mass market only recently because the technology had to develop significantly. Previously, the necessary equipment was very heavy and obtrusive, initially having to be hung from the ceiling, therefore allowing only specialists in laboratories to work with it. “Now your Smartphone has all the characteristics to process the information and deliver it whenever and wherever you need
it. It is amazing how powerful this little device is, allowing anyone to benefit from an Augmented Reality experience.” This new technology caused excitement in various academic circles and is constantly becoming more popular – the AR Magazine launched recently, Google released a project for AR glasses and currently argue with Microsoft over the patent, and big companies compete to present the best AR equipment or application at the annual summit in London or exhibitions around the world. Yovcheva believes AR is the future of technology. “It gives you the chance to see the real world with all the missing information in it. The person using it can find data attached to something physical that exists in the real world. In a situation where time is everything, finding data slows down the process and distracts from the real task of the user. For example, a doctor can look at the patient on the operating table with all the information in front of him, instead of searching in folders; a soldier can have all the plans of the building put on top of it, instead of trying to decipher and make sense of a map.” However, after the excitement wears off it becomes evident that there are certain drawbacks that make this technology difficult to use. According to Yovcheva,
AR apps like Junaio are readily available, but Yovcheva says they could be improved GEORGE UNDERWOOD
Founder Sergey Brin sports AR Google Glasses it is very important how data is presented so that people can understand it. This becomes more complicated when applications move from the big monitor to the small display of the Smartphone. Her work is focused on finding the most intuitive way to present data in AR applications for tourists. “As my background combines geography and digital design, I found it fascinating to investigate how people will interact with Augmented Reality applications in an unfamiliar environment. Generally, the problem with maps is that they are very abstract. A dot on the map can mean a hotel but when you stand in front of the building, how can you be sure if this is really it? When I started reading more about Augmented Reality, I became interested in how the information is put on top of the object, thus making it easier for the tourists to understand what they are looking at.” “I want to make sure that the information given to the tourist on the display is useful, relevant and contains something unique to grab their attention. I looked through 23 AR applications for Smartphone and some of the problems I noted are overlap of the bubbles on the screen, too much or lack of detail, difficulty to link information with the object you are looking at. Another thing is the layout – it can be very pretty but if you cannot make sense out of it – it is useless.” Yovcheva’s approach is User-Centered Design which is a relatively new methodology in the field. Her innovative research was recognised at the biggest international conference on eTourism, ENTER2011. Her study is focused on improving
the interaction between a person and a device, while using an AR application. For tourists it is important that they are able to understand what they see on the display and make sense out of the information provided. Yovcheva says that if a place is unfamiliar, people usually do not engage with it. It is the information that comes with the object that gives motivation to explore a place and, what is more important, to engage and interact with it. “You probably know that in the Oceanarium here in Bournemouth they have different species but it also has ten of their recreated environments. Now, this is something you would want to see besides just fish.” The first part of the research used a new methodology of Quasi Experimentation. Participants used different AR applications in an unfamiliar environment. Now Yovcheva is working on the analysis of the collected data to define the problems actual people come across. “I want to modify the application and prepare several design alternatives, which hopefully will solve the problems participants experienced while using Augmented Reality.” When asked about the feedback she received from her participants on the application, Yovcheva said: “Very few people know that such technology exists. I was expecting that as it is the first time they come across an Augmented Reality application, it will take about 30 seconds to read the information from the screen. It turns out that on average it took about two seconds. Can you imagine how fast it would be with a better design? This will change the tourists’ experience entirely.”
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
ROB BAKER ASHTON
Independent cinema is now more popular than ever, but Bournemouth seems to have been left behind. Tom Beasley explores the forgotten town of the indie film scene
Catherine Bray: Lack of indie cinema is “disgraceful” British independent cinema is currently experiencing an extraordinary wave of success. Films including Ben Wheatley’s caravanning serial killer comedy, Sightseers, and Peter Strickland’s homage to sound design, Berberian Sound Studio, were considered to be the best of last year, with both winning at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards. These are films, however, that the residents of Bournemouth couldn’t easily see, instead being fed a diet made up exclusively of star-heavy blockbusters and other multiplex fodder. Surprisingly for such a large town, Bournemouth lacks a dedicated independent cinema. Only the films that reach the town’s local Odeon branches are widely available to the public, leaving Bournemouth’s cineaste population lacking the fruits of the independent world. Catherine Bray, contributor to the BBC’s Film 2013 and editor of Film4. com, speaking close to Channel 4’s London headquarters, said: “Growing up in Bournemouth, I wasn’t really aware of the variety of cinema out there because the films that came to Bournemouth did tend to be the mainstream ones. “It is disgraceful that people can be so culturally excluded by the fact that they don’t live in an enormous city like London.”
Bournemouth’s Odeon is a prime example of multiplex culture and does not play obscure, independent films
It could be argued that Bournemouth is merely a microcosm of wider society, with audiences shying away from independent cinema. However, the success of films such as Once Upon A Time In Anatolia and Bart Layton’s innovative documentary The Imposter, rising from obscurity based solely on word of mouth, shows that this is not the case. There is still a taste for independent cinema, and so it is strange that Bournemouth does not embrace independent films as much as other major towns and cities in the country. For Bournemouth residents, Poole’s Lighthouse Arts Centre is the nearest outlet for independent films. Contrary to the arguments of those who suggest that indie cinema is confined to the desires of devout movie fans, Lighthouse sells over 200,000 tickets a year with non-ticketed events increasing this attendance figure to around 300,000, which is more than double the entire population of Poole. It is, however, too far away for Bournemouth residents to consider it as a regular place to visit to catch the latest indie flicks. Paul Ridd, responsible for programming at the Lighthouse, said: “they generally have quite a broad taste at Poole; an interest in foreign and art-house films as well as mainstream films. I think people are perhaps a little bit more reticent about taking a risk because of the recession and they
don’t have so much expendable income, so if they’re going to go to the cinema they have to go and see something they really want to see.” If this is true and people are now reluctant to take a risk on films, then a traditional independent cinema may actually be an ideal solution. In Catherine Bray’s words: “People are realising
are realising “thatPeople independent cinema is a brand that is not only the content in terms of the films but also the experience
that independent cinema is a brand that is not only the content in terms of the films, but also the experience.” Indie cinemas provide an experience that the everyday multiplex cannot hope to replicate. A trip to an independent cinema isn’t just a film and some popcorn: it’s a night out. The Picturehouse cinema in Hackney has three separate bars and a high quality restaurant, which is a far cry from a bucket of Pepsi and a massive box of ludicrously over-priced popcorn. This suggests that independent cinemas are the type of establishment that could
cater to what is perhaps a more sophisticated and mature audience than the average multiplex. The people who cannot afford regular visits to the cinema would surely be far better served by an independent cinema and so it remains baffling that Bournemouth lacks such a place. In a world where any film is available online within days of its cinematic release via illegal means and within months via legal services like Netflix, it’s easy to suggest that independent cinemas no longer have a role to fulfill. If audiences want to access these films, it is now possible for them to see them whenever is convenient for them to do so. They no longer have to adhere to the schedules of a cinema; especially an independent establishment that may have only one or two screens. This does the majesty of independent films an injustice, however, as Bray explains with a clearly visible enthusiasm. “Some art-house cinema is made to be seen on the big screen. When you’ve got a fantastic cinematographer like Laurie Rose who did [2012 independent film] Sightseers, it’s a shame that work is being lost by being viewed on these small screens.” Whilst it’s common to see Bray’s enthusiasm from someone championing an independent film about which they are passionate, blockbusters rarely engender
the same level of frantic and enthusiastic support. “You could go to the Bournemouth Odeon and find a blockbuster playing to a relatively empty screen,” she notes with a sombre tone. “So it’s a shame that they perhaps have lost the will to experiment.” This does appear to be a trend; distributors being unwilling to take a risk on a film that could either succeed immensely or crash and burn and then being surprised by their success. It would seem then that the issue is not with audience demand, but with distributors being shy about taking risks. Niels Michael Wee, responsible for Bournemouth’s BUtiful Film Festival, doesn’t think the town is ready for its own independent cinema. “I believe that a culture of appreciation needs to be fostered here before a cinema can get a somewhat stable income.” For whatever reason, it is clear that Bournemouth has been forgotten in the field of independent cinema. Ridd says: “I wasn’t aware there was a big gap in Bournemouth. I didn’t realise that there wasn’t a cinema that was showing art-house films.” This is an issue that leads to two groups missing out. Firstly, the audiences who don’t get to see some of the greatest films and secondly, the distributors who don’t get to receive the contents of their wallets.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Photographer of the Fortnight Rosen Manev
My journey in photography began when I was 14. Being a young man who likes exploring the world around him, I quickly became interested in astronomy. But since simply looking at the stars through the telescope wasn’t enough for me, I decided to get involved in
astrophotography. This was when I bought my first DSLR camera - a Pentax K200D. As time went by, I got more and more attracted to the idea of ordinary photography. I bought different books and magazines about photography and
my spark quickly began to grow into a true passion. About two years after that I replaced my Pentax with a Nikon D700 and decided to pursue a career in photography. I got involved with different photographers and gained valuable experience.
Today, five years after my first step in photography, I take part in a couple of projects at my university. I try to gain more knowledge and experience through participating in as many projects as possible so that I can eventually expand my passion into a successful career.
An early photograph My passion about photography truly came to life when I was on a trip to Athens. I went to see the Acropolis on a beautiful sunny day. The scenario was so intoxicating that I fell in love with the idea of perpetuating the beauty of the world through the lens. This picture in particular was the kick-start I needed to get more involved in photography. I really like it because it brings about a feeling of optimism and majesty.
One that inspires me The “Coffee Shop” is again a great moment that I seized while on holiday in Greece. Because of the strong wind everyone had gone inside the coffee shop and some of the chairs outside were even knocked down. This was the prefect opportunity to take a wonderful picture where the objects tell a beautiful story. The view of the sea and the contrast between sunlight and shade make for the tranquil feeling of the photo. In addition, the fallen chairs and the sign Coffee Shop bring life to it.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
features 21 My favourite photograph My favourite photo is a very recent one. I took it while I was walking around town with a friend, looking for places and people to photograph. I like it so much because it represents my idea that photography is all about being in the moment and being aware of the opportunities around us. That bike really stood in front of the door as if it was put there for me to snap it. Combined with the door in the background, it tells a story about the mystery of life.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Warming to cold blood
Dorset’s wildlife is more diverse than it first seems. Alys Penfold talks to the group protecting Bournemouth’s most interesting species
Tucked next door to a newsagents, to the right side of the precinct in Boscombe, stands a little door leading up to an equally little office. It is easily passed by, despite a couple of signs marking its territory. Behind that door is the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC Trust), who were formed in 2009. Their small, but committed team work to conserve the habitats of amphibians and reptiles all over the UK and by directly managing over eighty reserves in Hampshire, Surrey, Norfolk, Cumbria and where their main offices are based, in Dorset. Part of the team, focusing directly on species conservation are the Amphibian Conservation Officer, John Buckley and Reptile Conservation Officer, Nick Moulton. Both are experts in their field, and their dedication and passion for the job, despite its difficulties, can easily be read in the way they speak about their specialities. One of John’s main focuses is the natterjack toad. This amphibian species is often found near the coast, hidden in coastal dune systems, where they breed in shallow and temporary ponds. These specific conditions for
their habitat are one of the reasons why the species is rare, and they are a conservation priority for John and the team at ARC Trust. The species can be found in fewer than 60 locations over the UK, including Hengistbury Head in Dorset. Hengistbury is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its diverse habitats that cater for the rare species, and a wide
70% of the “natterjacks toads
in Britain are in native sites, where they have been for decades
range of other wildlife. Natterjack toads became extinct from the area in the 1960s, but were successfully reintroduced into the ecosystem. John is keen to stress however that this translocation of the species is not their first move, if it can be helped. “70% of the natterjacks in Britain are on native sites, where they have been for decades, so our first option is always to try and defend them where they are.” Re-introduction of a species to an area does not always
go to plan. The sand lizard is another rare species, and a release of them to Hengistbury Head in the 1980s backfired, despite the conditions looking perfect. If re-introduction is successful, monitoring of the species and the habitat is key. This is carried out extremely effectively at Hengistbury, which John says is because, “the site is just so well looked after by Bournemouth Borough Council and the rangers there”. One of the rangers employed at Hengistbury is Hugh Goldsmith. Like John and Nick, Hugh’s dedication for the job that they do every day is easy to measure, unlike the animals themselves. “There have been two definite sand lizard sightings this year,” Hugh tells Nick. His statement is met with equal enthusiasm, and Nick reveals that they are hard to monitor simply because, “they just hide! Simple ‘presence’ monitoring, proof of breeding and assessment that habitat is in good condition is all we can do.” Fortunately, natterjacks are a little easier to monitor and count as they flock to the ponds each spring. It’s a relief that at least some data can prove that a number of the animals are thriving in the area. Every little detail is attended to in order to
Conservationist John Buckley tends to a rare natterjack toad ARC TRUST conserve the area, but has the double benefit of enhancing the amenity side of Hengistbury. To a first-time visitor everything looks completely natural, practically untouched, but, as Nick explains, it seems with a scientific eye, “you can actually see the balance of what’s been done to maximise public enjoyment but also to protect the habitats and animals on the ground as well.” John and Nick are impressed by the way it is maintained. “When people go
The endangered sand lizard is one of the ARC Trust’s primary projects, but its skill at hiding mean that its numbers are hard to measure ARC TRUST
there and enjoy the views, what they don’t realise, and what they don’t need to know, is that everything is happening just for their enjoyment… it’s all behind the scenes.” Although ground work is important, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust are always working towards influencing policy, and making sure that new legislations and policies surrounding the habitats and animals are sufficient. The team is lucky to have staff from government organisations to bring that kind of strength in. “Everything changes in two years!” says Nick. “Everything is in a constant flux of change, and you don’t have a stable platform to work from.” The UK’s place within the European Union also means that an influence from this angle is vital. Natterjacks and sand lizards are both protected under European law, making it an offence to disturb, capture and kill them. As both habitats and species can be protected funding is available to land owners, to look after the nature reserves that are open to the public. It’s something John is quite concerned about. “People fail to appreciate, although we pay into the community, we also get a lot back.” The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust are skilled people. It is really amazing how much work has to go into just protecting one amphibian or reptile. John shrugs it off. “These creatures are great really. They might be a bit ugly, a bit cold to the touch but they are rather good fun.”
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Novak Djokovic secured his third successive Australian Open title at the misfortune of Andy Murray, who he overcame in four sets MBEVIS
BALOTELLI The Enigma
Cherries The Ginger Zidane
TRIVIA Which three former Premier League players played in the 1994 world cup final? See if you’re right in the next issue, out Feb 21
LAST ISSUE’S ANSWER: Just ONE! Mario Balotelli (Man City)
The first Grand Slam of the year always promises an electrifying atmosphere, high-octane dose of emotions and unexpected results. The Australian Open 2013 was always going to be a fascinating tournament, where clarity – at least temporarily, could be established on who is the dominant force in both men’s and women’s tennis. Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka triumphed in this year’s tournament. They both had ups and downs along the way, both had to dig themselves out of trouble on numerous occasions, but at the end of the fortnight, it was the Serb and the Belarusian who were the last ones standing. Djokovic ended Andy Murray’s impressive run with a 6-7(2), 7-6(3),
6-3, 6-2 win and claimed his third consecutive, and fourth overall, Australian Open title. Over the course of the two weeks, the world number one lived up to his ‘tennis contortionist’ status – not just for his ability to twist and stretch his body to hit seemingly unplayable shots, but more to the way he wins his tennis matches. At times, we were not quite sure he would be able to straighten back up again. Against both Wawrinka in the fourth round and Murray in the final, Djokovic fell behind a set and was on course to lose the second set before he chose to stop being out of sorts, using his speed, agility and the ‘number one player’ aura to prevail. With the win, he has assured the doubters that he - not the rising star of Andy Murray - is the dominant player in the competitive men’s game. On the women’s side, the ladies’ champion, Victoria Azarenka, will not be remembered solely for her triumph in Melbourne, but,
more importantly, for the style in which she achieved the feat. She had to overcome the jeers, which came after she took a ten-minute medical timeout in her semifinal against American teenager Sloane Stephens. Azarenka came back after ten minutes and broke Stephens to win the match. Afterwards, The Belarusian was accused of bad sportsmanship and bending the rules to allow time to regain her composure. In her defence, the world number one said she was having breathing difficulties, as a result of a rib injury that needed to be fixed. Looking at the other main players, the tournament offered a few surprises along the way, but in general, there were no major upsets on the men’s side. The top four seeds reached the semi-finals in a major once again, despite the absence of Rafael Nadal. In fact, seven of the eight quarterfinalists on the men’s side were all top ten players – the only upset being Juan Martin del
Potro’s third-round loss to Jeremy Chardy; the Frenchman became the only non-top-ten player in the last eight of the tournament. Amongst the women, there were more surprising results. The biggest upset was the quarterfinalexit of Serena Williams, who was the favourite to win in Melbourne. Another slight surprise is the run of Li Na, who reached the final after defeating two top-four players – Agnieszka Radwańska and then Maria Sharapova, but came up short at the last hurdle, in the final against Azarenka at Melbourne Park. The most anticipated story is the comeback of Rafael Nadal, who is playing in a clay-court tournament in Chile at the beginning of February. He is hoping to gain momentum to carry on to the remainder of the hard court season and to the European clay courts. If Nadal is fully healthy, he shall be back to his best soon, joining Djokovic, Murray and Federer again at the top of the game.
Odds are against him He ain’t no Tim Henman Jonny Byrne
SPORTS EDITOR We live in an amazing decade for tennis. Not only have we been witness to Roger Federer, the greatest player ever to grace the game, but we have also seen the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who would be successful in any era of the game. So, with Fed starting to fade a little and Nadal out through injury, you’d have to assume that the 2013
season is Murray’s best chance to add another slam to his US win last year. Well I’m not so sure. Call me a Murray pessimist but Djokovic looks better than ever right now, and I definitely see him snatching both the US and French Open from the grasp of the rest of the pack, (unless Nadal’s knee can hold up in France). As for Wimbledon, I’d never write off Federer on grass, whether he’s starting to age a little or not. Novak is 12/1 to complete the golden slam this year and I’d personally love to see him do it. It’s just a shame that it’ll most likely be Murray who feels the familiar sting of being oh-so-close because of it. Chuck into the mixer players such as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych and suddenly Murray’s chances look slim. I hope he proves me wrong.
ASSISTANT SPORTS ED. Andy Murray - the Brit when he wins, the Scot when he loses. But with the backing of the United Kingdom, Murray can surely add to what I’m sure will be a long list of major titles, in years to come. After such an amazing 2012, he can only be looking onwards and upwards, and despite losing out on the Australian Open title to Novak
Djokovic, his epic five-set semi-final demolition of the legend that is Roger Federer must give him some well-needed inspiration. Murray is plying his trade in the most competitive era of tennis in decades, maybe even history. It seemed a lifetime before he finally got his hands on a major trophy, but let me tell you - Murray will be showering using the soap of titles over the next few years. The Brit called upon the nation’s Olympic spirit to propel his way to a tear-jerking Gold medal after Wimbledon heartbreak just a few weeks beforehand - And with the backing of a nation once more, Murray can surely emulate this form once more. His US Open title placed him amongst the best of the best - the so called ‘big four’, Murray’s odds are only getting better.
24 sport Ash Hover takes a look at this month’s sporting champ and chump
If I asked you two weeks ago, chances are you wouldn’t have known who 19-year-old Raphael Varane was. Fast forward one game and a Wednesday night later and the whole world knows the youngster’s name. The towering centre-back made the switch from Lens to Real Madrid in June 2011 to play under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, and announced himself to English football fans last September as he helped the Madrid giants overcome Manchester City 3-2 in their opening Champions League tie of the season. But last week, Varane announced himself to planet Earth. In Madrid’s Copa Del Rey tie with Barca, he put in a man of the match performance in which he scored and stopped countless attacks. The Frenchman’s name is now written in the history books as the second youngest foreign player to score for Madrid in an El Clasico. I suppose there’s only one question on everyone’s lips…How long until Alan Pardew signs him?
LOSER Peter Odemwingie, where to start. After such a promising start to his West Bromwich Albion career, which saw him score more than once every three games for the Midlands club, it seems the Nigerian may be on his way out – But not how we would have hoped he would have been. The 31-year old striker’s future came under doubt when he attacked his employer on Twitter, in addition to accusing them of ‘reaching into his pocket’. Miraculously, despite being against the wishes of Albion, Odemwingie made the long drive down the M1 in an attempt to seal a deadline day move to Harry Redknapp’s QPR. But despite it seeming like ‘Arry would sign almost anyone who turned up at his doorstep, Odemwingie was refused entry and forced to wait in the car park, merely praying for a last minute move from the club he turned his back on - But the deal didn’t materialise. Poor Peter.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Brazil being battered Tom Bennett DEPUTY SPORTS ED. Is South American football in decline? The indubitable brilliance that has encircled Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the past is slowly fading, and a new breed of unlikely heroes are emerging from the continent renowned for flair and panache, in both name and nature, over the past century. Traditionally those sides have been and gone, but left a splash of magic on their successors who have thrived and aptly taken their irresistible, influential place in world football. Ranked 18th in the latest official FIFA World Rankings and having just been knocked out the South American Youth Championship – is this the end of Brazil’s artistic, meritorious and much-coveted footballing history? They’ve just failed to qualify for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup for only the second time in their history – the first being 1979. The signs grow stronger. And it’s not just Brazil in a state of decline. Argentina have
just been knocked out the same tournament on home turf. They deservedly reached the quarter finals of the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup but failed to qualify for the one previous – this sort of thing doesn’t happen to the six-time champions. But this decline in the two giants of South American football is leading to the rise of the chasing pack. After the two favourites exited at the group stage, six teams are now vying for the desired title in the Under 20 tournament. Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Colombia battle the hexagonal final group stage. At senior level Colombia lie fifth in the latest world rankings while Ecuador and Uruguay aren’t too far behind in 12th and 16th position respectively. But all are ahead of Brazil and all are causing Argentina to shiver in apprehensive fear. Some might say it’s just a phase, but some of the talent on show in this year’s tournament makes for finger-licking promise that will set alight the flame of South American football once again – without the two big dogs. Brazil 2014 might be the last chance to change that destiny.
Are the Glory days with the likes of Ronaldo over? ANTONIO CRUZ
Scottish football’s self-destruction Andrew Cozens
Scottish football has recently become increasingly stale with one of its few highlights being the Old Firm derbies between Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers. However, in light of Rangers financial wrongdoings and subsequent punishment (relegation down to the 4th tier) the football up in Scotland has become even more predictable with Celtic guaranteed at least one trophy. A shock result now counts as a team from their own division knocking Celtic out of the Scottish League Cup. As it stands Celtic have as good as won the league and with it interest is disappearing. Although Rangers deserved to be punished, the governing bodies (and the clubs who voted against keeping Rangers in the top division) have
caused problems for a league that is already struggling for funds, interest and excitement. So the people in charge had an idea – a bad idea – to reform the leagues. Now I’m all for new concepts being tried but this isn’t a new concept and has been proven to fail. It defies logic. Instead of their current 12-10-10-10 league structure they want a 12-12-18 structure with the top two divisions being split into 3 leagues of 8 after 22 games and a merge of the Scottish Premier (SPL) and the Scottish Football League (SFL). Still with me? It’s not easy to get your head round. As previously mentioned it has been tried before in Switzerland and Austria. It failed….. in both. So the question is, why use a failed idea? The SPL who proposed the idea have given two main reasons behind it. Firstly, a fairer spread of revenue, which sounds positive. I can’t see how playing fewer games in a season for the highest and lowest teams (SPL currently play 38 games. With the new
idea. It’ll be 36 games. 3rd Division currently plays 36 with the new idea – 34 games) could generate more revenue. Less revenue spread more evenly between who exactly? And how does less revenue help any team no matter how big or small? Secondly, they claim a lessening in the impact of relegation. They don’t really explain how though so my guess is it’s based on the fact that less teams can get relegated due to fewer divisions. To be honest, I don’t see how they can achieve their goal of keeping finances stable but by taking such measures. There is also a claim that by adding playoffs it will make it more exciting. They already have playoffs, clearly they don’t pay attention to their own football. These playoffs decide who gets relegated/promoted between Division 1 and 2 and Division 2 and 3. Also their top league already splits into two as they are proposing. So where is all this added excitement going to come from? Scottish football seems destined to fail with the current people running
their leagues, they need to have a proper think and not just find and use an already failed idea.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
BYE BYE BALO Andrea Avellano
Yet another blow to the Premier League as its prodigal son, Mario Balotelli, has joined AC Milan for a fee of £19million. The 22-yearold Italian had obviously worn down Roberto Mancini and felt the time was right to go back to his homeland.
My initial reaction to the news was devastation, the biggest character in world football has left the best league in the world. The ‘Why Always Me?’ jersey will go down in Premier League folk law, joining Eric Cantona’s unforgettable speech about the seagulls. A player with endless selfbelief and immense talent yet so vulnerable, this seems a wise transfer in my opinion. For Mario Balotelli to succeed he needs to establish himself not only as a footballer but as a man.
In England, we loved Mario even when he underperformed - we sympathised with him. But the Serie A and the passionate fans of Italian football will scrutinise him at every opportunity, and find his erratic behaviour embarrassing. Let’s not forget he is representing the proud Italian nation. For footballing reasons, he may be leaving a better squad of players, with the likes of Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, but with fellow Italian teammates from the national side in Nocerino and Montolivo,
Balotelli may feel in more of a natural environment. A new manager and clean slate may be what’s needed to get Balotelli’s career back on track. At 22 years old the world is still his oyster, a new chapter in his career which I believe will be a fantastic read for the right reasons. It may sound controversial but a move to Milan will create the path to Ballon d’Or awards. So on behalf of the Premier League, thank you Mario Balotelli and good luck.
Super Mario’s Secret Diary Jasper Taylor
DEPUTY SPORTS ED. Mario Balotelli’s time in England was certainly eventful. Here at The Rock we loved every minute of it. This is what I imagine his diary may have looked like from his big money move to City right through to his recent exit to AC Milan. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Two weeks ago I sign for Manchester City. I know nothing about them. Today I go to training ground in my new R8. I forget England drives on the left. I crash. The police ask me why I have £5,000 in my back pocket, “Because I am rich.” Lol. At least I don’t have to train today. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Today, me and Enock were bored. We drive in my new Mercedes to Brescia. Enock sees the women’s prison is open and I drive in. Tehe. I am curious, we look around. The women are like the ones in Manchester but less scary. Many of them have faces like Carlos. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Mancini took training today. I decide not to go, he has nothing more to teach me. I play darts instead but that is boring too. I see the youth players training below the window. They are like big moving dartboards. I have great banter so I throw darts at them. They love it. I am fined £100,000. I will put next week’s wages all on red. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Today, I leave game at half time. No one tells me that game would be played on grass. I am allergic to grass. I don’t think people take my allergies seriously. I am swelled up like a big version of myself. Super Mario.
Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. know what you are thinking, why always me? Well, because this is my diary. Yesterday was a hectic day. Me and the lads bought fireworks but it is always raining in Manchester. Not a problem, we let them off in the bathroom. Banter. The fire brigade found it less funny. Today, we play Man U. We win 6-1 and I score twice. It is easy. Wayne Who-ney? Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Mother is getting on my nerves, she won’t let me play FIFA with the lads. She sends me to John Lewis to get an iron, a hoover and a mop. Cheeky wench. Does she not know who I am? I return with two scooters and a giant trampoline. That will teach her.
Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Today we win the Premier League. I passed the ball to Aguero to score the winning goal but I don’t get much credit for it. This club doesn’t understand me. I have won them the title, my work here is certainly done. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. Today in training I clattered into some of the lads in training. BOOM, great challenges. I think Mancini is coming up to me to praise me but he grabs me by the neck. We have a fight and I win. He won’t start on Mario again. Dear Diary, It is me, Mario. I am heading back to Milan today for my dream move. I hate Manchester and I am too good for the team. They will win nothing without me. Goodbye, England. You will miss me. Mario x Thanks for all the memories Mario, the Premier League just won’t be the same without you. Why always you? Because you’re a complete legend.
Balotelli previously played for AC Milan’s rivals Inter Илья Хохлов
Seal the transfer window shut Jasper Taylor
DEPUTY SPORTS ED. I’ve only had time to watch two things on telly in the last week. One was the January transfer deadline day on Sky Sports News and the other Sir David Attenborough’s brilliant series ‘Africa’. I didn’t think that these two programmes would be linked, but then the ‘Shoebill’ bird came onto my screen. The bird had two chicks and, rather brutally, she only fed the strong one whilst neglecting the weaker one, leaving it to die. For me, the weaker one represents the January transfer market and, as football fans, we should leave it to die. Don’t get me wrong, I love the buzz of a transfer deadline day. I’ve spent many days at the end of summer lying on my sofa with Sky Sports News on from sunrise till sunset. But once a year is more than enough. Clubs should formulate a team during the summer that they think will meet their aims for the upcoming season. Let’s take Formula 1 as an example, where drivers can only switch teams during the off-season. Imagine the uproar if, for example, Lewis Hamilton switched teams halfway through the season just because a team wasn’t doing so well. Why then should football players be allowed to move? If you suddenly need a striker then tough, you should have thought about that in the summer. The emergency loan system should be kept in place in case a team suffer from multiple injuries and actually need another player to continue their campaign. But scrapping the January window will prevent an oligopoly of clubs and allow ‘smaller’ teams to retain their players for the remainder of the season. Imagine how much more exciting the summer window would be too. If there was only one deadline day, clubs might suddenly realise that they desperately need a midfielder and launch an audacious big money bid at the last minute. Jim White, the Sky Sports News presenter nicknamed ‘Mr Deadline Day’, would be so excited on August 31 every year that it would take until the following year for his heart rate to drop to a normal pace. It’s a bit like Christmas. We love and appreciate it so much because it is once a year. That’s why it is so special. This is how we could feel about the transfer window. Once a year, twice as exciting. Anyway, I still haven’t forgiven that brutal Shoebill bird.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
marathons in 52 weeks
Putting yourself through months of training to run one marathon is hard enough. So imagine how TOUGH it is to do one marathon every week of the year. Ben Fisher met one Bournemouth University student who is doing just that Ben Fisher
It’s a marathon, not a sprint – quite literally. Benjamin Godbold will run 1352 miles over just 365 days in a worldwide quest to raise £100,000 for four different charities of his choice. Starting in April, at the London Marathon, the Sports Development and Coaching Science student will run 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Having carried the 2012 Olympic torch 300 yards through Portsmouth, the 20-year-old Bournemouth University student will now take on another awe inspiring challenge on his chest. Benjamin will run 52 marathons in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Clic Sargent UK, The Alicia Pannell Fund and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Resarch. The four charities are very much a close to his heart. His grandmother, Margaret, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease whilst his cousin David battled with Leukaemia for ten years before passing away at the age of 20. Close family friend Alicia, 9, requires 24 hour care and by fundraising Benjamin hopes he can raise enough money to send Alicia and her family to visit the magical Disneyland Florida. “I want to go out and inspire
people,” he says. Benjamin aims to cover seven different continents, provided he receives enough support in a calendar that could see him run marathons in Paris, Berlin, New York and Johannesburg. Overall target of £100,000 Crowdfunding online platform Indiegogo are set to place the project on to their website which labels itself the ‘world-funding platform’. “Some big companies are talking to me, which is obviously great, I just need to get some money from them now,” he chuckled before namedropping billionaire Richard Branson
“ I enjoy running to be honest. It takes things off my mind ” as one of those people. “I wrote to Richard Branson and he replied, saying he will help as much as he can, so I still have my fingers crossed on that one.”W said Benjamin regarding the Virgin moguls response. Benjamin, who has never ran a competitive marathon in his life, has received donations from the Cooperative and Sanctuary Vets. Comedian Eddie Izzard has also issued a good luck call to Benjamin. Despite only starting training last September and injuring his ankle ligaments late last year, Benjamin
continues to put himself through a gruelling training schedule, although not according to Benjamin himself. “I enjoy running to be honest. It takes things out of my mind; it relieves stress and makes me feel ready to finish the day. “I know that’s not a typical thing for someone my age to say, but it’s true.” He clearly enjoys a training schedule which sees him run eight miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays before running a combined 25 miles on an average weekend. “My family and friends were a bit sceptical”, he says regarding his initial desire to complete such a feat. “Although of course, saying it and then doing it are two different things,” he added. Benjamin has linked up with Podium 2012, a higher education unit which in turn has installed a link between the committee and the University, which could well bring major events to Bournemouth as a result, whilst enhancing the reputation of the town and university. Benjamin turned to Twitter via @ bestfoot52 – as his main way of ‘attacking people’ in a bid to squeeze some money out of them to reach his six-figure target. The student added his overall aim is “to inspire other people to take that step in their lives and that they can come over and beat barriers too,” before joking about the difficulty of also having to go a whole year without alcohol, in dedication to the challenges ahead.
Marathon man Benjamin Godbold carrying the Olympic torch SEEKER
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Bad weather refuses to dampen the Intramural
Mid-season BUCS Points Update Position
Skating in Swanage making an Impact
DEPUTY SPORTS ED. Bayer Neverlusen and CSKA BU contested one of the most entertaining ties of the season in the Bournemouth University Intramural Football League without a referee. Jay Scarsbrook and Kyle Waller shared the officiating duties in the heated affair. Neverlusen were awarded an early penalty, which Andrea Avellano cooly converted into the bottom left-hand corner. Just after the break, skipper Josh Green scored from the spot to bring CSKA level. Paul Wiggins latched on to Ben Williams overhead kick at the back post to net the winner midway through the second-half and send all three points Neverlusen’s way. The result sees Neverlusen leapfrog CSKA in the table and
DEPUTY SPORTS ED. Six Bournemouth University students are running a skate festival, all in aid of raising awareness for the charity, Impact. The skate and BMX event is set to take place on Saturday March 23 2013. It will be held at Swanage Skate Park and will feature a skate and BMX skill show, competitions, live local bands, DJ sets, fairground rides and a range of different stalls from local businesses. The U.K’s top professional extreme sports show, Team Extreme will also be there to perform skill shows and coaching. Swanage skate park has been praised for its small ramps and technical minis by Extreme Sports. The skate park is based at King George’s field, donated by the Urban District Council in 1951, in memory of King George V.
push up to fifth. Elsewhere over the weekend, Corfe Cougars continued their impressive form with a hammering of Multiple Scorgasms. Matt Eason, Gary Towers and Sam Sweetzer added to a Phil Eason brace to beat the mid-table side by five goals. Zuvic Grasshoppers drew with Vooventus and Mottingham Forest beat AC A Little Silhouette of Milan. Dave Bland’s Love Machines were given three points after Winton Wanderers failed to field a team. The previous Wednesday’s fixtures were hindered by the bad weather which saw postponements all across the board. Gary Towers of Corfe Cougars leads the top scoring charts along with Tom Barry of high-flying Banchester United. Dean Caslake, Matt Booth and Francis Okafor of Zuvic Grasshoppers, Hurbeck and Multiple Scorgasms respectively all have fourteen goals as the race for the league topscorer hots up as we enter the second half of the season.
Impact is a charity which supports local young people who are often dealing with issues such as substance misuse, low self-esteem, family breakdown or are coping with teenage pregnancy. They aim to make a difference to these people’s lives by engaging with them whilst they socialise and providing activities to help them reach their full athletic and mental potential. This event is being held in order to promote Impact’s work within the community of Swanage. This project began in 2008 and involves a team of local volunteers that head out onto the streets on Friday nights to meet young people. By getting to know them and offering hot drinks and cakes, the team develops relationships that enable them to support the young people through the scary transition into adulthood. Retail and exhibition spaces are still available for the event and anyone interested should get in touch with Cath Watts via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
Carter pots German title Andrea Avellano
back to old stripes Andrew Cozens
Will Tiger return to form to challenge Rory McIlroy? MOLLY A. BURGESS
Tiger Woods wins his first tournament of 2013 and the same question gets thrown around – Is he back?But which Tiger are we seeing, the dominating Tiger or the struggling Tiger? Well strangely it seems to be neither. Wood’s recent win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego, California adds perspective. He started the final day on Monday, six shots clear with eleven holes to play due to the change in schedule. With no play on Saturday and as many holes as possible being played on Sunday, altogether Tiger played a whopping 25 holes. He didn’t look good on those final eleven holes, starting to miss fairways and struggling in areas he had been so strong over the previous three rounds. He finished the last five holes four over par and still won by four shots - He was that far ahead. Woods finished his last round at level par 72 (the worst of his rounds and still not over par) and an overall score of 14 under par. This was the 8th time Tiger had won a tournament at Torrey Pines and the 7th time he’s won the Farmer’s Insurance Open something no modern day player has matched. He also closed a considerable gap on Rory McIlroy for the world number one spot while extending his lead over the 3rd placed Brit Luke Donald. So, is this the Old Tiger Woods
that dominated golf around the turn of the century? No. It’s that simple. We will never see him reach those heights for a couple of key reasons. Firstly, at 37, he’s now ten years older. That’s not saying he can’t compete, he can but he’s not as physically strong or fit as he was, like anyone, age affects him. Also, mentally he is not the same person, he doesn’t seem as ‘in the zone’ as he once was. He openly admitted to being frustrated by the slow play when he won at Torrey Pines. So is this the struggling Tiger that couldn’t compete? No. Far from it. As he showed, he has adjusted to the various issues that have come his way. For example, he now has a swing that is not as physically demanding on his body, therefore reducing the risk of injury and allowing more practice and playing time. His lack of power has left him to concentrate more on his short game, which has been a little off in recent years and was one of the aspects to his win at the recent Farmers event. Finally, despite the focus not being there as it was before he seems to be more relaxed and to enjoy it more. This, at this time in his career, and for all he’s earned, is what he certainly needs. In my opinion this isn’t either of those old Tigers that struggled week in, week out, nor is it the Tiger that’s very presence in a tournament could intimidate others. This is a brand new Tiger that knows how to win along with a new found belief that the current records are there to be broken and are for him to break. After all, he only needs five majors and nine PGA tournament wins to become the best golfer ever.s
Ali Carter secured his third ranking event title by pushing aside China’s Marco Fu in the penultimate match of the German Masters in snooker late on Sunday night. The world number 14 defeated Fu 9-6 in a thrilling final in Berlin which saw Carter’s pot success reached an impressive 91%. Having suffered from Chrohn’s disease, Carter proved his doubters wrong by continuing his good form which saw him reach the finals of the World Snooker Championships in April, only to be defeated by the Rocket, Ronnie O’Sullivan. Since that 18-11 defeat at the hands of O’Sullivan, Carter vowed to continue playing the game of snooker after threatening to retire only a year ago, mainly due to his illness. His highly improved match play has meant that even if he’s playing badly amongst the balls, he is still winning matches. At times the match was extremely scrappy, in particular the eight frame which Fu took after 50 minutes, a frame which consisted of easy balls being missed and poor safety play. However, in the evening session Ali dominated, winning six of the seven frames, playing vintage snooker at times. Many say his cue action is amongst the best in the game and it certainly was in Berlin. The cheque for 60,000 euros combined with his £125,000 runners up cheque at the Crucible, has meant it’s been a prosperous year for Ali. I’ve never really enjoyed watching Marco Fu play, a player who has been on the circuit since 1998. Fu has been a huge influence on the influx of Chinese players. However his timid style of play and the way he overthinks important shots was evident as his performance simply deteriorated at 8-6. After the match Fu was extremely gracious in defeat, one thing that can be said of Fu is that he’s a gentleman on and off the green baize. A thoroughly deserved win for the Essex man, he hopes now to continue this good form going into the World Championships in April. After his loss to O’Sullivan in last year’s final, Ali said he could win the tournament if O’Sullivan retired. Well as Ronnie is taking a break from the game, Carter may just get his wish and I wouldn’t be
Thursday 7 February 2013| The Rock
A world of sport Six Nations
Ash Hover examines what’s happening this week across the globe including the forgotten start to the 2013 F1 calendar.
South Coast Derby
The second round of fixtures sees a Super Saturday as Scotland hosts Italy, followed by France versus Wales. Then Ireland welcomes England to the Aviva stadium on Sunday afternoon. Stuart Lancaster’s side trounced the Irish 30-9 in their final game of the 2012 Six Nations tournament.
It may not be round the other side of the world, but Saturday sees the last South Coast derby of the season, and possibly the last ever between AFC Bournemouth and Portsmouth. With Eddie Howe’s Cherries flying high in third place of League One, Pompey continue to struggle to find a side to field – let alone points on the board – and the Goldsands Stadium will be rocking come 2.45pm.
F1 Pre-season Testing
Although it may be 37 days until the chequered flag falls over Melbourne, the 2013 season has already kicked off for the teams and their drivers, as pre-season testing began on Tuesday at the Circuito Permanente de Jerez in Southern Spain. This is the first chance for the teams to see how their new 2013 models work on track and will uncover any undercover problems not noticed in the simulators. The first of the pre-season tests will run until Friday.
The competition comes to an end on Sunday after three weeks of action, and with favourites Ivory Coast knocked out at the weekend, who are the new boys to back? Let’s just hope the climax of the tournament is a tad more exciting than the start, which saw two 0-0 draws. Here’s to the 4-4’s!
Six nations all England blazing in have chance the Ashes of netball Joe Nerssessian
The 2013 RBS Six nations began in exhilarating tradition last weekend, with England, France and Wales all picking up crucial early wins. As the second round of matches approaches, how will these crucial clashes mark the favourites out for the title? The theory, presumed by many, that the English game plans are built around Owen Farrell, was met with resounding ratification last weekend. The young fly half was crucial to the teams’ performance and scored a brilliant 17 points, missing just one conversion through the whole afternoon. For France, Coach Philippe SaintAndré, prior to the opening game, identified the key to French success succinctly - ensure a tough mental and physical approach away from their Paris home. Jacques Brunel continues to
develop and expand the Italian squads style, shown in the attacking first round victory to France. Their surprising win showcased the power and intelligence of Sergio Parisse but it was fly half Luciano Orquera who stole the show, dominating the game and kicking impressively. Despite being ditched by former England coach Andy Robinson in November, Scotland aren’t in the turmoil that would be expected. Scott Johnson’s organised the team and given them an aggressive approach, meaning they can compete on the field. Wales showed both sides of their game against Ireland last weekend, a tragic first half epitomised everything that has gone wrong in the last 12 months. 30-3 down just after half time, they stirred and produced an exhilarating second half that had Ireland defending furiously. The outstanding Brian O’Driscoll performed heroics once again to drag Ireland to a first round victory, yet credit must also go to flanker Sean O’Brien, who made 23 tackles to prevent a Welsh comeback.
In the first Anglo-Australian encounter of the year it was England who earned the bragging rights as the netball girls secured a series whitewash over the world number ones. The first win of the series, in Bath, was only the third time England had beaten Australia in over 60 international matches and set their intentions for the following two games. The matches attracted thousands of enthusiastic supporters at some of the countries most recognisable venues, including Wembley Arena, with the England players putting on a performance that was on par with the musical superstars that usually grace the stage. Ex-England player Tracey Neville (sister of Gary and Phil) described the victories as a turning point for the sport in this country ‘due to the
respect and kudos’ it will bring. But before this stunning victory, the game which has often been ridiculed by many, has been growing in not only popularity but also in wide respect. The sport received a massive increase in funding of £16.7million from Sport England, this increase was only to second to that of star studded cycling programme. This was due to the sports work at a grassroot level and the England Netball’s ‘Back to Netball’ initiative which encourages women who may have lost interest in the game since school to pick it up again. It seems to have worked; 160,000 women and girls now play netball at least once a week, which is up 34% on last year, a number that is three times bigger then those who play rugby league. The sport is also finally getting mainstream media attention with Sky Sports screening all of the test matches against Australia live and showing at least one live match from the National Super League for each week’s round of fixtures.
There is enough now a celebrity romance within the game as Surrey Storm coach Tamsin Greenway is dating television personality Tim Lovejoy, with Lovejoy regularly tweeting throughout his partner’s competitive matches. But we cannot get too carried away with ourselves, netball still has a long way to go before it can even reach the heights of many other more popular sports. A majority of the England team have to work full time jobs as well as train as an elite athlete, with only those lucky enough to play in the ANZ league in Australia and New Zealand being able to be paid to play the sport they love. The next big step for the most popular women’s sport in the UK is to make the National Super League professional so the stars of the game can begin to gain the same attention as our other sporting heroes. The profile of netball is evergrowing. Although not an Olympic sport yet, it’s been at the Commonwealth games and is pushing to make its Olympic mark.
The Rock | Thursday 7 February 2013
The ginger Zidane of AFC Bournemouth Ash Hover
ASSISTANT SPORTS ED. Shaun MacDonald recently put pen-to-paper and committed himself to high-flying AFC Bournemouth until 2016. ‘Macca’ joined the Cherries from Swansea City in 2011 and has since played under three managers in a Reds shirt, being employed as an attacking midfielder. MacDonald picked up a knock in the fixture with Colchester in December but has returned to training this week, ahead of schedule, and explained his
rigorous recovery procedure. “For the first two or three weeks I didn’t really do much – it was just ice every day. But obviously I’ve got to thank Steve Hard and all the physiotherapy team here for helping me get back as quick as possible. “You’ve got to do things you don’t really want to do when you’re injured. I’ve just taken it on the chin really. I knew I’d done something bad as soon as I’d done it but you’ve got to get on with it as a footballer.” Reflecting on the Cherries’ January transfer signings, the midfield man described Eddie Howe’s squad as a ‘family.’ “I think all the lads here are always welcomed by the whole club
from the players to the fans. “Obviously we’ve just signed Ryan [Alsop] and it’s quite a big move for him at only 18 years old. He’s come here and fitted straight in with the lads and I think in a way, we’re part of a family here and everyone’s slotted in really easily.” Ability-wise, MacDonald believes the current squad is ‘one of the best in recent years’ but insisted no one can start thinking about promotion just yet. “There are a few good teams up there who are really well organised - the likes of Tranmere, Swindon, Sheffield United, so we’ve got to look at it realistically. “We know we are where we
are because of our hard work and hopefully we can keep building on that whilst not looking too far ahead.” Before we left, we asked Macca how we picked up his nickname – The Ginger ‘Zinedine Zidane’ of the south coast. “It’s a weird one really. The lads at Swansea started calling me it for some reason and it just stuck. There’s no pressure being called after one of the best players of all time is there? “But no I don’t really pay much attention to all that. I try to concentrate on my own game. It’s brilliant to be called something like that but I’ve got to keep working on my game really.”
No new sign of the old Cherries Ash Hover ASSISTANT SPORTS ED.
From 0 in 18, to two in two. Defeats have been few and far between for Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side, but after not tasting it since early October, the South coast side sunk to two in five days just two weeks ago. This time last year, Lee Bradbury’s side embarked on a nine-match unbeaten run which saw the Cherries storm up the table, only to lose form towards the end of January and eventually sink to five defeats on the bounce and leave themselves sitting meaninglessly in mid-table. Should they be worried this might happen again? In short, no. It took a Premier League side to end the Cherries’ unbeaten run, and it even took them a replay and a Man United contracted Chilean. Anyone who says that Wigan fielded a weakened team can only be a hater, or a Southampton fan (or is that the same thing?) - It took a £6million signing to score a 20-yard belter past Shwan Jalal and some brilliant saves from Ali Al Habsi for the Latics to emerge triumphant in a superb fixture. Just as they did in that FA Cup replay, they hit the woodwork twice against Walsall.
Furthermore, they lost Harry Arter to injury early on and the Saddlers’ second penalty was gifted to them by Eunan O’Kane - who I don’t even think knows what he was thinking himself. The real test comes later this month when Howe’s boys face Sheffield United and Coventry City - who will sorely be missing the goalscoring prowess of former topscorer David McGoldrick. Wigan’s side included Maynor Figueroa’s bullet left-foot, Emerson Boyce’s hulk-like strength, and Roger Espinoza’s Jesus-like hair and brilliant passing play. Roberto Martinez himself was full of praise for Eddie Howe’s side, despite calling him ‘Eddie Howey’ in the post-match press conference - and I’m told David Pleat referred to the gaffer as Ernie Howe on 5 live - but yes, AFCB were more than a match for a top-flight side which included numerous high-profile international talents. The unbeaten run had to come to an end sometime, and there were fears of an FA Cup hangover - It happened, but now let’s move on. Two defeats out of 20 isn’t exactly bad is it... The South coast outfit face topof-the-table Tranmere Rovers on the final day of the season and I fully believe that with a bit of luck and a continuation of their fine form, AFC Bournemouth might be facing Wigan Athletic again, very soon.
Simon Francis will be a key player for years to come SEEKER
A word from
Land the right agent Choosing an agent is a tricky business. Pick a well-respected agent with good contacts and they can have a massive bearing on the path your career takes, which clubs you play for and what sum of money you end up earning. Find a bad one and you could be left wondering if you achieved everything you hoped to after hanging up your boots. Fortunately, I never had to make that decision. I’ve been represented by my dad, who is a licensed agent, ever since I signed my first professional deal. I’ve never hoped for a new contract or a move and wondered if my agent was always acting in my best interests. But not everyone is quite so fortunate. I’ve heard stories, both first and second-hand, about players who have dealt with agents more interested in making money from a transfer than what was best for their client. In my opinion, agents are never more important to a player than during their first few years as a pro. At 17 or 18 years old you learn plenty about formations and tactics, but no one prepares you to deal with bonuses, clauses and the complexities that come with contract negotiations. With more experience, a player might feel that they’re confident handling contract talks themselves with the help of a lawyer, but that’s not something I would ever do. The only time I have ever been involved personally in negotiations was when I moved from Bournemouth to Portsmouth in 2002, and it wasn’t a situation that I was comfortable with. It can be difficult to ask for the wages that you believe you deserve, and then deal with the pressure of trying to back up your demands with your performances on the pitch. I would much rather leave that to my agent and focus on the football on the pitch. In every player’s career there will be influential figures, both good and bad. I’m just glad I’m one of the lucky ones who can say my agent was a good one.
Thursday 7 February 2013 | The Rock
Exclusive: Stuart Pearce calls for radical change
Stuart Pearce believes that the young players of this country would benefit from playing more regularly with each other AUSTIN OSUIDE
ASSISTANT SPORTS ED. With an ever-increasing amount of foreign talent choosing to ply their trade in England, it may be raising the standard of our football, but is it having a knock-on effect on young homegrown players? Roy Hodgson’s side may look good on paper – currently sitting sixth in the FIFA World Rankings, placing above the likes of the Netherlands – but how will the Three Lions’ squad be looking without the Cole’s, Rooney’s and Carrick’s in years to come. England Under-21 manager, Stuart Pearce exclusively gave his feelings to The Rock. “I think last week in the PL there were only 33% of English players.
For me, yes, they get experience from the coaching that these young players receive in their clubs which is very good nowadays, but the real experience and the real learning comes from the matches that youngsters play. If I equate it to myself, even though I’m comparing my non-league career, by the time I turned professional at the age of 21 I’d played 242 matches.” And AFC Bournemouth Youth Coach, Ross Embleton believes there are two key sides to the argument. “I think at the moment with the way it is, the world’s a smaller place now so we’ve got to accept there’ll be more foreign people in other countries. It’s easier to travel and it’s a more accessible world that we live in. “The argument at the moment is that if there were less foreign players in our game then our home grown players would get more exposure
– but the flip side of that is that the foreign players raise the bar.” Embleton, who used to oversee youth football at Spurs, has seen countless English youngsters slip down the ladder from the prolific Premier League to lousy lower leagues, and it seems most of them can only find more snakes to fall down. The abundance of foreign players in English football seem to be re-constructing the game as we know it, and knocking over any ladder they come across, leaving tons of promising teens looking up despairingly from the caves of the Isthmian League, but Pearce wants to change that, and insists something has to be done. “A radical option could be having a representative Under-21 England side in the Championship, have an odd number of teams in the league, and every two weeks they play on
their home ground against a select side, so there’ll be 22 matches a season in which I could manage all the young players who are not getting games for their respective clubs.” A radical option indeed, but maybe radical is what’s needed to tug youth football up and out of the sticky mud. The opening of St Georges Park last year should bring some hope to the future of English football, but is enough being done? I guess time will tell.
I don’t believe it! Breaking the Becks budget The biggest move of the transfer window was David Beckham’s charitable move to French side Paris St Germain. Donating all his wages to a children’s charity is just another chapter in Beckham’s upcoming novel entitled ‘How To Be The Perfect Man’. In his PSG press conference, the to-be-named English saint revealed he was offered contracts from clubs around the world. Evidently, he missed a lucrative offer from Norwegian eighth-tier side Orn Kristiania. The club revealed on their club website that they had sent an offer to the 37-year-old’s management team with the following preposition. “We would like to express our interest in Mr David Beckham, as we consider him to be a very valuable addition to any team in the world, as to our club in the Norwegian 8th Division.” The proposal continued to read: “We are well aware of Mr Beckham’s previous benefitional agreements, and have to admit, that we probably can not compete with other clubs on the economic terms. “We still believe that our players and the social environment around our club will prove to be worth more than any amount of dollars or pounds. With that in mind, we will still pull strings on our behalf, in order to welcome Mr Beckham to our club.” The offer from Orn Kristiania was a very tempting one for Beckham, with the terms outlayed very specifically. “Our offer remains as following: 1 official Orn Kristiania sports bag; 1 official Orn Kristiania button for suits and blazers; Number 7; A members fee of only NOK 2500 (obligatory for every player)” Reports say that Beckham failed to even acknowledge the optimsitic deal, despite the bargain $460-equivalent membership fee. Alternative reports suggest Orn Kristiania were moments away from sealing the signature of Beckham, with the nonJeremy-Menez-taken number 7 shirt being the deal-maker. Maybe the lowly Norwegian side will take advantage of the loan window? Or stump up their offer a notch in five interesting months time?