Issue 42 -Spring 2014
• Senate House Chalking Case Goes To Trial • UoL Ordered Arrest Of Trade Union Organiser • Police Caught Out Over Statements
2 Spring 2014 The Cheese Grater
Down Your Union Norma de Plume
Ultra Virus The Union’s views on the West Bank faced scrutiny from the Charity Commisssion this year. Three years on, the memory of the Gaza referendum might be hazy for most but the Union is still feeling the repercussions. After a recent legal challenge, the Commission has ruled that UCLU was not acting illegally. The Union General Manager revealed in an admin meeting last month, however, that UCLU has been under increased scrutiny from the Commission and urged caution in their political activity. Due to Charity Commission regulations, any activity deemed not directly relevant to the education of students can be classified as illegal. In an attempt to toe this line, it was proposed that there be a process where motions would be vetted by four staff members, including the IT Manager and the Democracy & Communications Officer, before arriving at Council. This appears to be a less democratic re-working of the Governance Committee that was axed in the 2011 Governance Review. This was at least made up of elected students, rather than Union staff, who doubtless would also have been suspicious of their plan to vote on whether to support the plight of the people of North Korea, rather than discussing their penchant for nuclear weapons or dictatorships.
Less Gold Bequeathed To LGBT+ Tom Robinson, LGBT+ Officer, proposed that the Union fund his current position for ten hours a week at London Living Wage. The grand total of £88 per week that it would cost the Union, which could be found in the LGBT+ budget, became a source for contention as Sports and Activities Officer Doris Chen questioned whether the legacy of this motion would mean
that the Union incurred financial difficulty, asking “when we’re piss poor, who’s this going to effect?” She blamed having to share the time of a member of staff for a falling-out between Black & Ethnic Minority Student’s Officer Shanell Johnson and Women’s Officer Beth Sutton, and suggested that paying the LGBT+ Officer for their time would somehow exacerbate this. External Accommodation Officer Matthew Deaves questioned why it would take longer to pay a part time officer than it did to get four new sabbs, calling the disparity between the liberation campaigns “outrageous” and gesticulating wildly. After heated debate, the motion was referred back to its proposer, due to legal issues surrounding the implications of paying a part-time officer.
Basket-Weaving for Beginners Eagle-eyed hacks may have noticed that both ULU Vice President Daniel Cooper and ULU Women’s Officer Susuana Antubam are running for office in the NUS. Both recent graduates, they launched their campaigns, for President and national Women’s Officer at the start of the year. However, due to ULU’s particularly inefficient bureaucracy, none of its sabbatical officers benefit from student status. No student status, no National Union of Students campaign one might think – but no! Cooper has taken up IT lessons and Antubam is studying history of photography at local further education colleges to qualify as students for their campaigns. The Cheese Grater praises ULU’s commitment to the continuous professional development of its student staff members.
Valentine’s Day Present In the last issue we reported that London Student had found itself in a spot of bother with which The Cheese Grater
Society Bitch A circle of Rugby Lads™ were spotted in the corner of the Portico one evening, crowded round a kneeling member of their own clan eating crisps and sandwiches in a scene that was half-picnic, half bukakke. The kneeling member looked up expectantly from crotch height, hands clasped in a mock pose of prayer. Soc Bitch finished her cigarette, stubbed it out with her stilletto and pissed off to the bar. Labour Society threw the comfort blanket of secrecy over themselves when booking their annual Christmas bash at a Little Bay restaurant, due to their shameful antics last year. The restaurant chain is rumoured to have blacklisted Lab. Soc. after episodes involving raucous behaviour on the part of previous presidents. Any comparison to the Bullingdon club should be immediatly dismissed though, says Soc Bitch, as a source close to her claims they were merely trying to reappropriate 10 bottles of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and redistribute them over the ceiling. Soc Bitch hears that Tory Soc President Louisa Townson had to write a grovellingly apologetic email to her society after former President Will Hall told a moderate speaker to ‘shut the fuck up’ during a debate on the EU. As Townson then joined in the ‘banter,’ we rather expected her to follow the maxim of “never apologise, never explain.” is not unfamiliar. Part of the legacy of ex-editor Jen Izaakson appears to be dealing with her lawsuits, leaving the Union to shell out an alleged £20 000 to Daniel Valentine after lawyers decided that the remarks she made would never stand up in court.
The Cheese Grater Spring 2014 3
Chalk, Lies & Suspicious Police Activity Special Report From Senate House Chalking Trial Hannah Sketchley & Bo Franklin The trial of the activist arrested in ULU in July 2013 concluded this week. Former Birkbeck student Konstancja Duff, 25, was charged with one count of criminal damage and two counts of assaulting an officer. See CGOnline for further details of her arrest.
became apparent that she was not Morrissey; however, having identified her as the woman in the CCTV footage they proceeded with her arrest. Morrissey in fact works at UoL’s International School. She is also an organiser within the IWGB, the union which represents the outsourced workers employed by the university.
It’s all kicking off
The first charge Ms Duff faced was one count of criminal damage, for chalking the 3Cosas slogan “Sick Pay, Holiday, Pensions Now!” on the foundation stone of Senate House.
Duff was accused of assaulting Special Constable Liam Souter as he attempted to move her into a position where he could handcuff her. She had been frank to the court about her decision to non-violently resist an arrest she felt was unjust. The prosecutor, Dilichi Onuzo, claimed that Duff had kicked Souter in the cheek as he bent down, the force of the assault evident from his helmet falling off. Souter himself said that he felt ‘an immediate degree of numbness’.
She asserted that she had chosen the stone because of its central position on the wall, and she “thought it would look nice.” The prosecution fixated on aesthetic issues of crime, questioning whether her choice of colours really fitted her defence of chalking to advertise the demonstration. They suggested that her intention was to damage the foundation stone, damage which cost £810 to put right, rather than to raise awareness. Duff detailed how she was approached by a member of University of London (UoL) staff and asked to stop, at which point she finished the word she was writing. Later, she was approached by a group including security supervisor Agata Torres and Deputy Director of Property Paul Nicholson-Lewis. They told her the police had been called, but Duff did not believe them at the time.
Chalk one up for University management Nicholson-Lewis revealed that he had indeed called the police on the advice of senior management. After studying stills from CCTV footage, they gave the police the name Catherine Morrissey, and requested her prosecution. After two officers spoke to Ms Duff, it
Defence barrister Ben Newton suggested instead that Duff had not brought her knee up, but that Souter had put himself in the painful position. Video evidence showed Duff limp on the floor saying ‘that fucking hurts’ as two officers struggled to move her outside. When asked what the crowd around him were doing, Souter claimed that the crowd around Duff, evident on the video, did help her but made no ‘serious attempts to resist’. They did however bring her ‘a sandwich and a raspberry yoghurt,’ although The Cheese Grater suggests this won’t affect any final sentence.
Get in the back of the van! The second count of assault concerned the attempt to lift Duff into the police van. PC Paula O’Grady told the court that Duff shouted ‘get off my legs’ and kicked O’Grady in the leg, causing her to fall against the van. Once again, however, video evidence appeared to contest this. Special Constable Souter is seen to place
his hand seemingly up Duff ’s skirt, and O’Grady then moves back. At no point did the evidence show O’Grady falling against the van door, as she insisted happened, and Newton suggested that the kick wasn’t nearly hard enough to cause a fall, and that the evidence showed O’Grady ‘doubling over’ at most. Despite this, O’Grady maintained that it represented an assault, and claimed to be shocked as she was only trying to ‘help [Duff ] with her dignity’.
Dust off the evidence A young Special Constable, SC Inwood, was rolled out to corroborate both assaults, as the only police officer who felt able to do so. However, he was unable to stand up to Newton’s questioning. After being given several chances to admit that he had not witnessed Duff kick O’Grady in the legs, he remained adamant that he had. The court was then privy to video evidence showing that his line of sight was blocked by a van door. He responded nervously: “I thought I saw it.”
Not by a long chalk SC Inwood’s testimony was branded “of poor quality” and “close to perjury” by Newton as he closed the case. He praised Duff as a “woman of education,” and reminded the judge of her attempts at non-violent conduct throughout. Onuzo closed her case for prosecution by reminding the judge of her key line of argument: had Duff not attempted nonviolent resistance but walked to the van, she would not have had cause to wriggle around. She reiterated that just because Duff felt her arrest to be unjust, it did not mean it was. Judge Nina Tempia will deliver her verdict on February 25th. Check The Cheese Grater’s website and Twitter for updates.
4 Spring 2014 The Cheese Grater
Galloway Debate: Sutton Irate Sabb under fire for showing lack of ‘Respect’ Alex Catling & Hannah Sketchley Respect MP George Galloway’s appearance at UCLU Debating Society’s ‘This House has no confidence in the United Nations Security Council’ event drew strong criticism from various student groups and sparked protest from members of UCLU’s Women’s Network. A disruption of the lecture led to an alleged assault on UCLU Women’s Officer Beth Sutton, and co-protestor Annie Tidbury being physically removed from the debate. The two women distributed leaflets before the debate, accusing Galloway of being a ‘rape apologist’ for his defence of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was accused of rape in 2012. Galloway suggested in a podcast that the allegations against Assange “don’t constitute rape”and were the result of mere “bad sexual etiquette.” Once the debate had begun, the protestors walked on stage to challenge Galloway, calling him a “disgrace.” Sutton confronted those on stage and was met by Galloway’s angry wife, who in an extremely passionate defence of her husband allegedly began to choke the officer. The day after, Sutton was diagnosed with whiplash.
She commented: “I was physically strangled by Galloway’s wife. I am shocked that security chose to remove an elected officer and a student who pays to attend this university instead of a member of the public.” A spokesman for Galloway and his wife denied the assault. Sutton added: “We chose to take direct action as we only found out about the event the day before. I will be looking at no platform policies to include rape apologists.” Tidbury was removed by members of UCL security: “As I was backing away towards the door, the security guard grabbed me from behind and half-pushed, half-carried me out.” She asserted that she will be making a formal complaint about her treatment. Reactions to the protest were divided; a short-lived ‘Vote Beth Out’ twitter account was created but gained little support and was suspended at the time of writing. However, Sutton’s former opponent for Women’s Officer and UCLU Conservative Society’s Secretary Helen Chandler-Wilde said: “UCLU outwardly supports freedom of speech on campus, whether Galloway’s or Beth’s. However why she sabotaged the event which she herself could have vetoed is
Garage Banned Curtain call for student theatre Bo Franklin The Garage Theatre in Wates House, long-time home to arts societies productions and earmarked for closure in ex-Provost Malcolm Grant’s Bloomsbury Masterplan, is to be replaced by an electricity substation. The Bartlett School of Architecture has been eyeing up the Garage for years, and now it’s finally going ahead with the plan to provide more teaching space for the school. Unfortunately UCL Estates has failed to find a suitable replacement venue, meaning that the only options for future performances are hiring the 535
seat Bloomsbury Theatre, unaffordable for most societies, or finding an external venue. In the past, an unwritten rule has seen Estates find replacement sites for any Union property taken away. Activities and Events Officer Doris Chen has been in negotiation to find a replacement for the Garage, but so far the best suggestions are a section of the Bloomsbury Fitness gym, involving the audience walking through the weights section, or a £2million transformation of the Harry Massey Lecture Theatre, which is both financially unfeasible and likely to be strongly opposed by the Physics department.
baffling. There was plenty of chance for her to make a floor speech or comments throughout the night. She has no right to shout her views above everyone else’s – it’s just plain rude.” Ms Chandler-Wilde appears in the video of the event and alleges she was breaking up the confrontation between Sutton and Galloway’s wife. Prior to the event, Debating Soc drew flak from some of its members for booking Galloway to speak. However, the society argued that whilst his appearancen “might not sit right with some members of the UCL community… the best way to critique an opinion is to have it publicly challenged through critical, intelligent argument.” After The Cheese Grater spoke to Galloway’s press officer, who sounded suspiciously similar to Galloway himself, he revealed that he as not put off returning to UCL. He is in fact provisionally booked to appear for the Energy Society in March. In a recent meeting, UCLU’s General Manager David Squires noted the lack of communication between UCL Estates and the union ‘regarding key losses to some of UCLU’s buildings.’ Kate Shotliff, President of Stage Crew Society, told The Cheese Grater that losing the Garage could be detrimental for the arts community at UCL, especially smaller societies. Currently a petition to save the Garage has almost 1000 signatures, although supporters admit that the Garage can’t continue in its current home, and it will be a year before any new venue is up and running, even if one is found soon.
The Cheese Grater Spring 2014 5
Danny’s Dyery A month in the life of our resident thespian, social gadfly and moral conscience, Daniel Dyer As you may or may not have heard – and indeed, if the latter is true for you then I envy your ability to spirit yourself away from the grinding ubiquity of celebrity news in this information age – I have recently been lucky enough to be cast as an London publican in the BBC serial drama ‘EastEnders’. Regular readers will of course know that I am more accustomed to working as a freelancer on European art-house features and ‘gonzo’-style documentaries, and as such, the intense filming schedule has been doin’ my fackin’ nut in. Luckily, the start of this month marked a threeweek break in filming for my character, giving me plenty of time to resume my main passions: cask ales, slaaaaaaaags, and the beautifully touching poetry of Geoffrey Hill. One of the highlights of this muchappreciated period of gardening leave (alas, my chrysanthemums still leave a lot to be desired) was a spontaneous trip to a heritage railway in Northamptonshire
with my dear friend Michael Portillo. To my surprise, Michael arrived clad in a novelty romper suit (he calls it a ‘onesie’… I had to pick him up after he tripped over the zeitgeist!), carrying a Dyer-sized spare! Of course, Mr P had good reason for this boyish affectation – he had arranged to travel thusly on the outward leg in order to raise funds for a local church youth group, and the fackin’ mug was in a ket hole deeper than Kilimanfackinjaro. When he came to collect our tickets, the conductor was understandably perturbed and offered us the child fare! He mustn’t have realised, however, that actin’ ‘ard and playin’ it tough is my bread and butta
– we ended up kneecapping the cunt just in time for the end of the afternoon tea service at the terminus’ old station building, a faithful reproduction of the heyday of British steam railways and a great backdrop for snorting a few fat stripes off Portillo’s thigh. A great day had by all, and a reminder of the great work done by tireless volunteers on our restored railways, who give up their time to play Thomas the Wank Engine – the sad twats. Next Month: I shall be celebrating the melancholic beauty of impermanence by pruning my azaleas, then getting plastered and glassin’ some poor cunt.
The Emperor’s New Gove Strange-faced prat speaks out Phileas Balls Following his controversial comments on World War I and Blackadder Goes Forth, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has spoken out once again. In a radio interview with Gardeners’ Question Time, Gove denounced the popular Star Wars film series as “insidious Jedi propaganda” and called upon academics to “see the whole picture”. “The Republic was already crumbling! Senator Palpatine had to do something to ensure the government’s capability to act!” the 47-year-old Tory
teacher-botherer said in the interview. Gove added that “today we only see one side of the story: that of those bloody Jedi do-gooders who have infiltrated academia and the media. They make the war look like a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-oftouch Sith elite. Alderaan was an inside job! Ben Kenobi faked his own death! Where’s Luke’s birth certificate?!” The minister concluded that “really, it was all like: ‘Luke, I am your... what’s that behind you? Oh no, it’s Michael Gove! Bz-shoooo. Kschhhh, kschhhh! Argh.
Gove seen in discussion with a constituent Oooh, Michael, you’re so cool! I love you! Pew, pew! Yeah! Rebels suck, end of story.” The Cheese Grater says: ‘Dulce et decorum est pro satire mori.’
Contributors: Alex Catling, Alex Daish, Alex Dutton, Bo Franklin, Johannes Hartmann, Charlie Hayton, Beatrice Kelly, Patrick Maguire, Hannah Sketchley, Jon Wright.
6 Spring 2014 The Cheese Grater
Just The Tips For Valentines! Some STEAMY tips to spice up your love life! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, those lucky enough to have the love-bug steadfastly chewing on their brains will be worrying about how to make the most of the yearly obligation day. Flowers and chocolates are all very well, but why not spice things up in the bedroom by trying out some fetishes? Here’s a few to get you started:
This is when you have an intense attraction to your partner’s neck. Why not try pouring honey or syrup onto their neck, then intensely licking it up whilst making sexy snuffling noises like a pig hunting for truffles in the Italian foothills? If you want to try biting, be sure to avoid major arteries, lest you face criminal charges for murder and cannibalism.
This is the act of having intimate relation in a copse, which is a small wooded area. Such environments typically have the advantage of being awash with bushes where you can hide from people walking their dogs. Or, alternatively, not hide from people walking their dogs, depending on personal preference.
This term denotes a preference for roleplay scenarios where one or more of you pretends to be a zoo-keeper. Why not try out situations like ‘The zookeeper and the naughty nun’, or ‘The zookeeper and the naughty nurse’, or even ‘The zookeeper and the naughty zookeeper’?
And if those don’t work, then just go back to monotonously rutting in the same two or three positions for the sake of pretending that your relationship didn’t die long ago, feeling no semblance of passion or love for the person whose naughty bits are entangled with yours, just a deep, burning resentment; staring glassyeyed at the ceiling/the pillow/the back of their head until the whole thing reaches its grotty conclusion, and then uncomfortably cuddling them afterwards, feeling the emptiness and loneliness scream inside you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ten Years On...
Good cop, sad cop
The Cheese Grater’s initial print run of 150 issues has ballooned in size to an industry record of 800 in ten years - that’s an average increase of 7% a year - the envy of even the most successful FTSE-100 company. Take that, BAE Systems! CG has changed the way we engage with our friends and how we share information around the world. Over the years we’ve printed 676 unique pictures. With numbers like that it’s easy to see how we’ve transformed what it means to be 21st-century media. Take that, Web 2.0! CG has sold the details of all society members to private companies each summer on the advice of Justin Timberlake, before swiftly wiring it overseas. Take that, HMRC! Founder Rene Levanchy is age 27, that’s two years ahead of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (29). If the statistics are correct, this makes CG twice as influential as Facebook! Take that, social networking paradigms!
The Cheese Grater Spring 2014 7
An Exclusive Interview With Richard d’Urquhart Chorles Higson meets the UK’s most depraved food critic
When I first see d’Urquhart, he is squatting outside the Tesco on Goodge Street, devouring a bag of various pastries from Gregg’s. He appears to have mushed the mix of Steak Bakes, Cornish Pasties, and Sausage & Egg Melts into one sloppy mess, and is shoveling it into and around his face. Disturbingly, he seems to be missing his mouth a fair bit on purpose, and much of the mix (“a mere base for the meals to come later”, as he describes it) is falling onto his ample torso, where he rubs it into his clothing. I wait in silence for him to finish, and after three of the most horrifying minutes of my life, he does, greeting me warmly. Small bits of his snack erupt from his mouth and fly into my face. A wet chunk from a Chicken Bake hits my eye, causing me to be too distracted to pay full attention to what he’s saying. Next thing I know, he has dragged me into a nearby Italian restaurant, and is shouting incomprehensibly at the maître d’. We are brought four bottles of red wine, and one of white, which he tells me is in case I’m a homosexual. d’Urquhart, who writes for the Times, the Telegraph and the Observer, is known to make or break a restaurant with a single pithy phrase. The waiting staff around
d’Urquhart enjoys a quiet drink, before several louder ones us hover nervously until he spits red wine made for me.” I use this as an opportuat one girl who gets too close, after which nity to gracefully segue into a sensitive they keep a more respectful distance. I ask question about his large body of work, Urquhart if he’s ever found the perfect which is obviously massive. However, restaurant, and he laughs uproariously two more starters arrive, so he doesn’t at me for several minutes, interrupted by hear my question over the sound of his the arrival of his calamari starter. He con- jaws mechanically obliterating the consumes it in seconds, and then resumes tents of the plates in front of him. his cackling for another full 60 seconds. The way he behaved, that long, tortuWhen he calms down, he tells me that he ous evening, has convinced me that he has, “but I’m not letting that cat out of truly does enjoy life more than everyone the bag. Everyone will want to go there. else in the world. He never tires of food They might get rid of the seat they had nor drink. Mortal pleasures are unlimited for him. He is the utility monster. Personally, I had an exquisite meal of refined and knowingly modern Italian food, which I found utterly delightful. d’Urquhart, however, dismissed the restaurant as “half-arsed”, complaining that the bread basket “wasn’t life-fulfilling, as it ought to be”. He stomped out of the restaurant, knocking over a young child in his path with his immense girth. I was left with the bill of close to a thousand pounds, and with a lesson ingrained in my heart: man’s depravity is bottomless, but disgust just sort of levels off after the first few times you throw up.
8 Spring 2014 The Cheese Grater
The UCLU Guide to #Neknomination Combining the age-old pastime of posting videos on the internet with the new youth fad of heavy drinking
If you want to do your own version of #internet virus sensation Neck #and Nominate, make sure you do it #riskaware! Here’s our guide to getting spontaneous and having online #lols with you and your mates.
3. Complete a risk assessment and check your privilege.
1. Download an Application form and Beverage Approval form from the Clubs and Societies page of the UCLU website. You must submit your forms to the CSC within seven working days.
5. Once nominations have been received, you can down your drink, which may be up to 250ml in volume, and must only contain milk. Union regulations stipulate that you must take a 15-minute break between each sip.
2. Once your beverage has been approved, obtain a DBS check for each participant in the video.
4. Seek nominations for the next participant. You must hold an AGM to do this.
6. The next nominee, if seconded and elected successfully, will take
Hip cat takes part in new trend up the post at the start of the next academic year. 7. Enjoy the fun... but take it easy!
Boredom, Desks, Spreadsheets, and Management Consultants Annie Desclos The daily drudge of the nine-to-five is a cruel Mistress. So is my cruel Mistress. She leans over my office cubicle wall and casually tosses a slab of reports onto my desk. I squirm in a paroxysm of pleasure, tinged with a slouch of shame. “I need these done by tomorrow, and cc that spreadsheet over to accounts. Don’t be late with this one.” Yes Mistress, I respond under my breath. She doesn’t like it when I call Her that, I’m in risk of getting another disciplinary. When I first entered the fetish scene, discipline was all hogties and ballgags. Now it’s just human resources and stern looks. I nod and She walks off, my Mistress,
my Queen. I know what She really meant though – we have a code. My mind drifts back to when I first instigated this relationship. I was on graduatejobs. co.uk (great website by the way) and the position of clerical administrator came up. After looking at the job description, I realised this was a coded advertisement for a submissive relationship, and there was nothing more humiliating, degrading and down-right ugly than pushing paper in a office-themed sex dungeon. I played along at the interview, convincing myself that Her fictional business world existed, and head-over-heels I tumbled into it, like a slick of spilt printer ink and ruined invoices. My chastity belt grinds slowly against
the plastic chair, the lumbar support recommended by Health and Safety cruelly removed, making the sensation of my tired lower back arouse me even more than making coffee for the staff meetings. How much longer would She tease me, when would I get my satisfaction? These questions chased each other round my mind, spinning me into a degenerate daydream: She’s in the stationery cupboard. She can’t reach the top shelf. I move in hesitantly. Is this my chance? “Could you grab that stack of post-its from the back please?”
UCL UNION CHEESE GRATER MAGAZINE SOCIETY President—Beatrice Kelly Editor—Hannah Sketchley Investigations Editor—Bo Franklin Humour Editor—Charlie Hayton
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
© UCL Union, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of UCL Union or the editor.