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TheCheeseGrater The Other Student Magazine of University College London Union



Down Your Union

WGM Special: Medics, Racism, Cuts and Fees p.2

Microsoft Touch

No. 22 November 2009

BLACK WOMAN ON Question Time SHOCK ial

UCL’s not-so-cosy Hotmail pec S deal ism c a R p.3

A Close Shave

Power outages ruin research for Anatomy bods p.4


Our interview with the LSE’s Dr. Strangelove, Lord Stern of Brentford p.5

Lucky Strikes

We speak to Postman Pat about affirmative action p.6

Moir Does It Again This time: Jacko p.7

Walled In

Alan Titchmarsh visits Berlin p.8

Bonnie Greer

OUTRAGE ACROSS COUNTRY Mitfords from Dagenham, east whilst reluctant to comment at

A.K. Chesterton London brought a giant papier- first, conceded that he had seen

Ordinary British racists have been in shock for the last two weeks over the BBC’s decision to allow BLACK playwright Bonnie Greer onto the panel of Question Time. Thousands gathered at the BBC studios in Shepherd’s Bush, many bearing monkey-shaped placards; others, dressed simply in white, chose to carry burning crosses.

mâché model of the ship Empire Windrush emblazoned with the slogan “FUCK OFF BACK TO JAMAICA!”

Greer “stealing from her own complimentary goody-bag” before recording took place. “She hasn’t got a shred of dignity,” he added.

Ms. Greer’s appearance has also sparked international debate. Former Rhodesian Defence Minister, the late P.K. van der Byl, currently in London to promote his autobiography Munt Hunter, “I have a right not to hear said that he was “very sad that the that evil woman’s ghetto-babble” BBC [he] grew up with and held in said one masked protestor as he such high regard has made one of tightened a noose on a nearby tree. the biggest mistakes in its proud history.” Whole families also converged on Wood Lane. The Presenter David Dimbleby,

If the police choose to take the matter further, it won’t be the playwright’s first run-in with the law - in 1998 she was convicted of stealing her surname from the noted Australian feminazi Germanine Greer.

A.K. Chesterton’s debut novel ‘Father Brown-Shirt’ is now out in

2 TheCheeseGrater November 2009

Down Your Union Fees, cuts, racism, blueprints and boredom: The Cheese Grater looks into this year’s Welcome General Meeting

Following much turbulence in recent years, UCL Union may finally be on the brink of democracy, albeit one akin to herding cats. This year’s Welcome General Meeting led to the passing of several motions but, like an outbreak of diarrhoea, left some exhausted and saw others running quickly for the door. Thankfully, there was no repeat of February’s AGM, when hundreds of students were left stranded outside after the Bloomsbury theatre had reached capacity (see CG 21). However, last year’s policy that each Union society must send two delegates to general meetings still applied – never mind that the WGM fell during ‘Try’ fortnight, when societies were still wooing potential members.

Still Josh... The meeting began with a slideshow, rock music and cries of “get on with it”. After half an hour of introductions, including an even cheesier explanation of Union democracy by “I’m still Josh” Blacker, the meeting finally got round to dragging up last year’s big argument: should the Union refrain from condemning or supporting either side of the Israel/Gaza conflict? The referendum held last March had in fact already provided an answer – 833 ‘Yes’ to 700 ‘No’ – but failed to reach the 10% quorum required for referenda by UCLU Standing Orders. As a result, the matter was passed back to the WGM, attended as it was by less than 2% of UCL students. With much squabbling between factions and the threat of a second round of speeches, a move to the vote was finally made, the result once more a resounding ‘Yes’. Some hope, then, that the Union could start to focus on

more students poured out of the room. Pi Newspaper has helpfully reported how these were all medics disinterested in the motions that followed. Indeed: everyone else had left earlier on. Pierre Deludet called quorum and closed the meeting, so the ‘emergency’ motions that followed did not become policy. Perhaps this was for the best – one of the motions aimed to erase a swathe of last year’s motions just to protect the General Secretary’s role as Returning Officer for Union elections.

Minority Report

matters closer to home, such as saving the medics’ sports team and having UCL pay workers the London Living Wage. Indeed, motions such as these were voted for and became Union policy… but not without the odd cringe-worthy moment. For starters, the otherwise Socialist Stop the War types obviously deemed the London Living Wage unimportant, as they all buggered off once the Israel matter was over, leaving a patch of empty chairs directly in front of the podium. (It has since transpired that the Union doesn’t care much about the Living Wage either, and is only now considering adjustments to its bar staff ’s inadequate pay.) The motion ‘For a United Policy on Cuts and Fees’ confused voters who only agreed with part of what was proposed, leading the General Secretary Pierre Deludet to advise them to abstain. The result was a winning 98 abstentions, leading to much cheering until Deludet pointed out that the motion would pass as, by definition, abstentions don’t count.

Particular mention should be made of Clinical President Amanda ‘Mandelson’ Smith, who made no less than four speeches that evening. One of Smith’s motions supported the NUS Blueprint’s graduate tax, thus conflicting with the increasingly ironically-named ‘United Policy on Cuts and Fees’. When pushed, Mandy admitted that she had been ‘too busy’ to read the Blueprint and suffered the evening’s only vote against.

...And Still Mandy Next up was Smith’s motion to mark out the new Union bar as a replacement for the medics’ Huntley Street, which will likely be demolished in 2011. When asked who would pay to rename the new bar ‘The Huntley’, Smith replied ‘it’s just a sign, it won’t cost much’. Indeed – the site of the new bar, 23 Gower Place, is a Grade II listed building and cannot have a fancy new sign slung on it, thus making the cost to the Union very small indeed. As the last normal motion of the evening was passed, many

Last up was a motion from Shawn Sherwin-Williams, the Medical and Postgraduate Officer. During a training day run by a contractor, the casually-dressed MPO believed he was the victim of racial discrimination when he was mistaken for a cleaner. The sabbatical officers rushed to sever the contract, only to be advised that the company should be given a chance to respond. A mediation with the company the day before the WGM did not produce an admission of racism, leading the outraged MPO to bring an emergency motion demanding that the Union terminate the company’s contract ‘with immediate effect’. Activities Officer James Hodgson opposed the motion on behalf of the other sabbs, and has since been singled out by the student media for stating, in response to a query, that he did not feel the incident to have been racist. Sherwin-Williams’ motion was indicatively passed by the minority of students remaining, but he still threatened to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting over the matter. A week later, the sabbs had ‘completed an internal investigation’ and decided not to offer any further contracts to the company in question. A.A.

Cuts Like A Knife

November 2009 TheCheeseGrater 3

Alex Ashman reviews the Provost’s latest slasher Back in 2005, UCL Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant went on a mission to cut 15% of staff. The resulting 167 redundancies left College increasingly reliant upon PhD students taking up the slack. Now the Provost is looking to be even more ‘prudent’ with the budget. This time, planned spending cuts of 6% threaten a ‘reduction in head count’ of up to 400 jobs. Official discussion about the cuts began in January this year. Ever keen to skirt around employment law, UCL failed to inform the staff trade union, University and College Union, until May. What, though, is this dire situation that our College is in? A quick look at the figures shows that rather than suffering from cuts, UCL has practically been inviting them. Back in May, when the 6% cuts were first proposed, UCL was looking to receive an increase in

government funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, a body on which Malcolm Grant happens to sit. However, College’s Head of Finance predicted that this would soon become a small decrease in funding – and so it did. How, though, does this 2% drop in funding explain a call for 6% cuts? Well, the Provost reckons that next year will see a further decrease in funding of 10% and is planning UCL’s staff reductions in advance. In other words, the man who sits on the board of the funding council is inviting cuts at his own institution. After all, Grant has long made it clear that he is firmly on the taxpayer’s side when it comes to university funding, and would rather see uncapped tuition fees (see CG 12). If the 6% cuts go ahead, they will almost certainly be just the beginning – in fact, Grant now looks to form a Redundancy Committee, which would allow compulsory

redundancies to begin. This would be the nuclear option for UCL, and would lead to a damaging fight with the unions. A little history would help here. Back in 2005/06, the Provost’s ‘Regeneration Plan’ aimed to cut 15% of staff in order to correct a deficit that equated to 1.5% of UCL’s turnover (see CG 7). This led to a “terror campaign” by senior management to force academics into voluntary redundancy or early retirement. As one senior UCU member puts it, “they shook the tree to see who would fall out”. Though staff refused to go quietly, causing a stalemate that prevented College from making compulsory redundancies, the damage had been done. With academics increasingly using their time to apply for research funding in order to combat funding shortfalls, UCL has replaced

the redundant lecturers with Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. As pointed out in the last issue, PGTAs are often overworked, underpaid, under-represented and simply not as experienced as the lecturers they are replacing. Meanwhile, the research funding gained by academics is being diverted elsewhere, leaving UCL’s largest faculties continually in the red. Combine this with the historical expense of combining UCL Medical School with the Royal Free and the Middlesex; and the result is a 10% cut to Life Sciences. While Grant has long hoped that market forces will drive up tuition fees, he is leaving students with a budget education, where all the expensive professors have been cut to save the embarrassment of asking for taxpayers’ money. Regardless of the reassurances made by UCL Union’s Education Officer, any further cuts will surely result in further damage to “the world’s 4th best university”.

Gates Installed At UCL UCL’s quick-fix Microsoft contract has shored up some gaping holes in college Alex Ashman Under-funded and neglected for years, UCL’s email and calendaring services have been pushed to the point that they are “either failing, or in danger of failing”, and are “increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain”. William Henry Gates III Rather than invest £1 million in a 1989: Arrested for drunk driving new in-house system, College is now 2009: Supplies UCL email system looking to make short-term savings by outsourcing to Microsoft, who contents of inboxes and calendars have offered three years’ service for are currently stored in Ireland, but free. But just how good an offer is could be moved to any country this, and how risky is it for UCL to within the European Economic place its trust in the virtual monopoly Area on a whim. Any files uploaded that is Microsoft? onto the ‘Live Spaces’ and ‘Skydrive’ provided as part of Live@UCL are The ‘free’ service, known as not guaranteed to be secure and are Live@UCL, provides a Hotmail- stored in the United States, beyond style email account and Outlook the reaches of the Data Protection Act. calendaring. It is under the direct control of Microsoft, so any Interestingly, one motivation problems will have to be dealt with for UCL to outsource is that it via the company’s own staff. The would prefer to have all staff

actively use the same calendaring service – that way, College can report to the Home Office that it is ‘tracking and monitoring’ non-EU staff according to immigration law. While most staff who currently use calendaring prefer Oracle Calendar, the outsourcing means they will all be forced to move to Outlook. And what of the deal itself? Microsoft is well known for ‘endloading’ contracts by providing a ‘free’ service and then charging once the customer is hooked. While UCL claims that Microsoft’s commercial rates are comparable to the cost of running in-house email and calendaring services, the potential charges once the honeymoon is over are as yet unknown. So what if Microsoft does start charging? Surely UCL can just take everything back in-house? Unfortunately, migrating from one

email system to another would cost UCL around £250,000 – this would be the penalty for terminating the contract with Microsoft. Combine this with the inevitable drain of inhouse knowledge once the service is outsourced, and UCL is liable to stick with the contract regardless.

No Such Thing As A Free Launch The deal is in fact a coup for Microsoft. Not only has the company been given carte blanche when it comes to charging for the service in three years’ time, but UCL will become dependent on Microsoft software regardless of whether the contract continues. Furthermore, UCL will act as an advertisement for other universities, helping Microsoft to forge ahead with a new monopoly. It is telling that Cambridge University, when offered a free service not for three years but ‘for life’, turned Microsoft down.

4 TheCheeseGrater November 2009

Anatomy Blackout How incompetence and a dodgy transformer ended classes, destroyed research and almost killed a lot of fish Anne C. Wolfes On Thursday, 15th October, London’s “Global University” provided a taste of life on the receiving end of the Iraqi National Grid. The electricity supply to most of UCL’s Anatomy Building, Medical Sciences Building, and Darwin Building was cut off for six hours, owing to a faulty transformer on the verge of exploding. Despite the severity of the situation, UCL staff were only warned five minutes prior to the cutoff, at around 5pm – two hours after the initial decision for the large-scale shutdown had been made. This late notice meant that many researchers had to interrupt and discard their experiments. Within the affected buildings, expensive equipment was put at risk. Indeed, a laser, worth

around £100,000, was damaged due to the sudden disconnection. Moreover, one of the world’s largest zebrafish laboratories - holding around 30,000 of the creatures - was affected by the electricity outage. Whilst this primarily brings up matters of animal welfare, it is also worth noting that the fish are fundamental to many world-class research projects at UCL.

(Associate Dean of the Division of Biosciences) has said that the installation of an uninterrupted power supply for valuable equipment is planned in the future. However, it is shocking that such measures were not

already in place, owing to a similar incident a number of years ago. On that occasion, a loss of power to fridges and freezers caused expensive lab material to defrost, with massive financial implications.

A laser worth around £100,000 was damaged An external emergency generator (the large noisy container opposite the Science Library) was only put in place after a two-and-ahalf hour hiatus. Professor



Zebrafish: dead in the water... almost

Spotted: Shit Journalism

Society Bitch Economics and Finance Society got off to a bad start this year, when they stole a commercial stall at the Fayre. They then proceeded to spend £500 on sushi and a Mahiki Treasure Chest... for their committee. Jazz Society had a special moment after they ‘accidentally’ bought a piano on eBay for £1. They then paid £60 for it to be transported to London, only to have to throw it in a skip, since they had nowhere to put it. The Men’s Rugby Club have been at it again in the bars. They broke the windows open in the Second Floor Bar so that they could throw pitchers of vomit and piss out onto the street. Classy as ever. The newly formed Albanian Society have had a flying start to the term. They managed the superb achievement of gaining 1 member during Join Fortnight.

More Obama Success! Following the People’s President’s bonanza in the Nobel Prizes this autumn, Lyle Somerset takes a look at more of Obama’s latest achievements

Oh dear. It seems London Student has taken a leaf out of Pi’s book, by firing all of its sub-editors. • Obama was recently nominated for a In its issue of the 19th October 2009, the article Guardian Student Media Award, because ‘Big Student Supermarket Sweep’ (p5) carried the illuminating strapline ‘Something something everybody is nowadays. demionstrates [sic] solidarity with Palestine’.

• From NOBOs to MOBOs, the funky president won both Newcomer of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement award. • After a frankly delicious ‘brace of American birds’ served at his inauguration supper, Obama has earned his first Michelin Star • Obama is now the host city of the 2016 Olympic games. • Obama is now the world’s fourth best university. Yes we can!

Contributors: Alex Ashman, A.Z. McKenna, Adam Gillett, Anne C. Wolfes, Thom Rhoades, George Potts, Sean Gittins, William D. Moore, Tim Smith, John Bell, Sally Luong, William Rowland, S. Bitch

November 2009 TheCheeseGrater 5

Radovan Karadžić’s Poetry Corner

Each week, the former President of Republika Srpska shares some of his favorite Serbian poetry with us, from his prison cell in the Hague. This week, I have decided to include great poem by great man, great friend of mine General Ratko Mladić. I must be saying this particular piece, in noted Serbian poetical form the Ljíméryck, speaks to my heart about great troubles we suffer in Yugoslavia. Let nobody say after their reading of her that we are not a peoples of great culture.

Ljíméryck No. 72

There was a young man from Srebrenica, Who went and ordered a pizza, Instead he got us, Was shoved on a bus, And was brutally murdered along with 8,000 other Bosniak men and boys. © Ratko Mladić, 1995

Climate Crusader? The Cheese Grater’s

interviews mad environmentalist Lord Stern

Lord Stern of Brentford bursts into the smoking room of his club like a premature ejaculation, and shouts his almost trademark “Let’s fucking change some climate!”

I ask whether he has just admitted to fabricating all of the above.

He greets me warmly and apologises for the absence of his wife, who couldn’t join us owing to her “working overtime at the Kingsnorth power station. Fucking protesters are back, apparently.” “Can’t they just leave out the activism shit, and get on with their lives?” he barks, downing his glass of cognac. I am, as ever, startled by his frankness. “Honestly, it’s not like anyone really believes what they say anymore anyway. Take

It had its chance. me, for example. You know that thing a couple of weeks ago about the future of the planet resting on people giving up meat? What a load of bullshit. Just wanted to sneak onto the front pages before all the Copenhagen bollocks. I’ve got a mortgage to pay, you know?”

“Worse,” he responds, “I spent all night trawling through the incoherent ramblings on, and masturbating to the pictures of emaciated children, until I found something that no-one could possibly agree with – the meat thing. If I wasn’t so fucking wrecked right now, I probably wouldn’t admit any of this, but the wife and I are practically carnivorous, and as everyone knows, veg is for queers.” “Does this penchant for truth-bending stretch to your other dire predictions?” I ask, feeling

more and more uncomfortable with every second. “Kind of. Most of it probably will happen more or less as reported, but no one ever seems to ask me how I feel about it. About the 5 degrees rise. Let me tell you now, mano-a-mano, I’m fucking jubilant. Who needs Africa anyway? They had their chance, and now the day of reckoning will come, and those who have not prepared will feel the full might of the organic dildo that is Mother Nature!” At this point Lord Stern passed out. Lord Stern is IG Patel Chair at the London School of Economics

6 TheCheeseGrater November 2009

A Striker Speaks Out Postman Pat talks to The Cheese Grater’s Sean Gittins ‘Not since the mid-1980’s have I seen clashes between workers and management like it - it’s really serious!’ exclaims Patrick Clifton, a.k.a. Postman Pat.

biased in their representation of the story, making it out as if we, the workers, want to strike, that we are dinosaurs of a bygone age and we should move with the markets. Well, why don’t they move with this?’ Pat says, sticking his middle finger up at a group of nearby reporters.

The Cheese Grater recently caught up with Pat to see what he thought about the dispute between the Postal Workers’ Union, Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) and Royal Mail’s management, headed by Adam Crozier. Adorned in a ‘modernised’ Royal Mail outfit comprising navy shorts and a jacket, white socks decorated with the Royal Mail cypher, brown Birkenstocks and the famed skyblue Royal Mail shirt, Pat takes a long and thoughtful wheeze from his fourteenth Woodbine. His faithful cat Jess, thirty years old in 2011 (making Jess around 130 in cat years), purrs melifluously as she nestles in Pat’s crotch. I ask him what he thinks of the management’s demands that workers be open to modernisation. His response is vitriolic. ‘We have modernised! We’ve taken a pay cut, taken on private firms such as TNT for which we deliver and they cream the profit off the top and, on top of it all, we, the workers, have

I ask him what he thinks of Adam Crozier. The mention of his name brings a raging hiss from Jess. ‘That cunt and his three-million-plus per year salary!’ spits Pat, ‘I would piss on him if he were on fire - but only enough so that the fire didn’t go out and he knew I was pissing on him while he was on fire.’

been trying to get management to use the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service. But they refuse that just shows you who’s asking for a strike, doesn’t it?’

At this point, the familiar Postmistress, Mrs. Goggins, walks in with coffee and a plate of biscuits. ‘Digestives, custard creams and rich teas again, pet,’ she says, winking at me.‘I’ll not have bourbon creams in my biscuit tin, if you know what I mean.’ She turns to leave on this enigmatic note. ‘Thanks, love,’ says Pat to Mrs. Goggins, giving her rear an ample squeeze as she wanders off with a teapot.

Pat takes a moment to wipe some saliva from his bottom lip and adjust his trademark horn-rimmed glasses. ‘The media are almost completely

In between dips of biscuit into his coffee, Pat pontificates some more, ‘You know, from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s the Royal Mail was

“And where are these going?” Pat asked his cat. She mewled quietly. “That’s right, Jess” said Pat, “I’m going to shove them up Peter Mandelson’s cock.”

the most profitable postal delivery service in the world! You don’t see that mentioned in the media do you? And the Union bosses begged the Labour and Tory governments to stop siphoning off the profits and to reinvest that cash in a Royal Mail modernisation, but would they do it?’ He slams his hand down on the table, giving me a jolt. ‘Would they my arse!’ Pat mentions that in recent years he has been forced to work not only as a Postman, but also in the Special Delivery Service (SDS). ‘In keeping with “modernisation” I’ve had to work in the SDS to keep my job, travelling between Greendale, Ingledale and Pencaster on a daily commute! I’m almost sixty years old, I can’t keep up the pace.’ As he finishes his sentence, Pat bends forward and lets out a heavy wheeze, clutching his left arm. For a moment I fear the worst, but he soon regains his composure. I end with a question about Lord Mandelson. What does Pat think about Mandelson’s comment that he is ‘beyond anger’ at the prospect of a workers’ strike? ‘He can go fuck himself, and we all know he probably does anyway.’

Grater Restaurant Review W. R. Glenfiddich tackles a few bottles of research Reader, you find me: W.R.G., your ever-faithful restarauntee, utterly indisposed at a table in the fashionable Huguenots Brasserie, West Kensington - newly opened by Hugo Smedley, a chum from my alma mater Rawley House (come on you Robins). My table is littered with the remnants of several vases of wine, a few pints of port, at least one barrel of Bolly and a bath of sherry. I shout noisily to the waiter that my tarte au citron “looks like it’s covered in vom”. He points out politely that it is, indeed, covered in vomit - my own. Peering groggily over the table I notice that my lady-friend for the evening seems to have left. I vaguely recollect someone being awfully cross with me, although that may have been the head chef - on my way back from the toilets for a quick chunder break I had taken a wrong turn and found myself tangled in a metal, wiry thing that turned

out to be the main kitchen grill. At this point my good friend Hugo - flanked by two wide, bald men in black - presents me with a choice: paying and leaving, or a punch in the head. I end up settling for both options. As I stumble back to my lodgings in Russell Square, a little woozy with concussion, I reflect on my Huguenots experience. The decor was blue which is good - and I had certainly had some food - possibly beef, although it could well have been seabass. I had undoubtedly had some drink (I am beginning to suspect I am a tad tipsy). I tally up the bill: £512 a head doesn’t sound right. It turns out I’ve forgotten to add on the breakages, which push it up to £865 each. A word to the wise, though - I stuck to the set menu. If you go a la carte at these places it can be bloody expensive.

9/10 Huguenots Brasserie, Chaps Street, West Kensington, W14 1DC

November 2009 TheCheeseGrater 7

Drugs, children and the love that dare not speak its name...


‘Lego Killed Stephen Gately’ - Page 10

that Gately had, in fact, died of gay.

By Thomas Rhoades Political Correspondent

FOLLOWING the sudden death of former Boyzone member Stephen Gately in Menorca last month, there was only one woman man enough to state the facts. Using her razor-sharp reasoning and intuition for all things perverse, the Daily Mail’s Jan Moir revealed the shocking truth to the informationhungry masses. Looking past police reports and the opinions of so-called ‘doctors’, Moir was able to prove conclusively

But it would seem that the fearless Moir, hailed by some as a modern day Tiresian soothsayer an orgy oracle, if you will - is not stopping at just one revelation. Far from it, in fact, as this week she has once again fearlessly gone against the spectre of expert opinion to spill the beans on the passing of the King of Pop. Ignoring the piles of meaningless facts and evidence that the case has thrown up, Moir presents an article which proves inconclusively that Jackson, rather than overdosing on prescription medication, melted in Macaulay Culkin’s mouth. Turn to page 9

8 TheCheeseGrater November 2009

Garden Walls of the World This week, Alan Titchmarsh crosses the Iron Curtain to visit Berlin Berlin is home to one of the great garden walls of the world. I spoke to Mr. Erich Honecker, its owner. “Of course, I’ve only owned the garden since 1971” he says to me, smiling as he welcomes me into the remarkable urban-horticultural space that he affectionately calls “the death strip”. “It was really Herr Ulbricht, the previous owner of the house, who did most of the work in the early Sixties, turning a mere barbed wire fence into a concrete masterpiece complete with watchtowers and searchlights”. I realise as we wonder around the hard landscaping, taking note of the plantless, meticulously raked earth, that Mr. Honecker is a very modest man who cares deeply for the “workers’ paradise” that he has created. Indeed, his fastidious nature is revealed when I ask about the

Moscow to give it to me!” And yet, the local council now seeks to pull down Erich’s wall. “The change really came after the council went Lib Dem in 1989,” he grimaces, adding “but I’ve been on to the National Trust, they reckon it’s at least a Grade II red-star listed structure; so once that goes through, there’s fuck all the council can do.”

‘Hi Alan’, says Erich, patting me on the back. graffiti on the other side of the wall. “Ah yes, some bourgeois types think it’s amusing to paint all kinds of nasty things on the wall, but Herr Mielke - the head of the local Neighbourhood Watch - soon sees to them.” There is suddenly fire in his eyes. “Some people even try to jump over it from time to time, like that little shit from Goodbye Lenin, but we make sure they never do it


I use the distraction to break free of Erich’s grip, and make a run for the relative safety of a house on the corner of the street owned by an American ex-pat, Charlie Checkpoint...


Liz Lecture Queen thrusts calamari class

again.” I ask Erich about the numerous awards he has won for the garden and which is his favourite. “Well of course it was wonderful to get an honourary gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society meeting Camilla Parker-Bowles was a great treat - but I must say that the one I treasure most is the Greenfingered Stalinist Prize. Comrade Brezhnev came all the way from

Erich’s tenacity is remarkable for a man his age. I get up to leave, and suddenly his hand is on my forearm, crushing it in a vice-like grip. “Why do you want to leave, Herr Titchmarsh?” he asks forcefully. At this point Mr. Mielke falls out of a bush clutching a tape-recorder.


The Cheese Grater jumps on the latest puzzle craze, just as you got bored of it

UCL’s Marine Biology students were stunned this week when the Queen and Prince Phillip wandered into a lecture on squid. Dumbstruck undergraduates watched as the monarch, casually dressed in a hoodie and jeans, shuffled her way along the back row, apologising as students lifted their knees to allow her royal passage. At the end of the hour, she and her racist husband received a gracious round of applause.

Thrilled with her NVQ years, the Queen has completed diplomas in Queer Theory, IT Management and Dutch.”

“This wasn’t a one-off” said a palace aide, “Liz and Phil often pop into London’s Global University for a quick swot. In the last three

Pressed for comment, Prince Phillip said “It’s our little bit of reality. When you live in a fucking great palace, it can be refreshing to spend a day feeling fourth-rate.”

“The palace has never received any complaints,” he added. “It’s just their way of trying to live a normal life.”

Tips & Tricks: Time yourself. Tell everybody how fast you are at Sudoku. Time how long it takes them to stop caring. Compare the two times. Cry.

UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society Student Publication of the Year - UCL Union Arts Awards 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 President and Editor: A.Z. McKenna Treasurer: Thom Rhoades E-mail : Humour Desk: UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society, UCL Union, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of UCL Union or the editor.

Cheese Grater Magazine - issue 22  

In this issue: Union's Welcome General Meeting proves contentious; Provost continues to slash staffing levels in College; UCl's email servic...

Cheese Grater Magazine - issue 22  

In this issue: Union's Welcome General Meeting proves contentious; Provost continues to slash staffing levels in College; UCl's email servic...