Taf Od: Pwy fydd doctoriaid y dyfodol? P31 >>
Societies: National Red Cross meeting in Cardiff SU P26>> gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1084 Monday 24th October 2016 By-election voting period extended due to ballot error
Concerns rise over management of Juice and YOLO EXCLUSIVE Toby Holloway
ardiff Students’ Union have come under criticism over the competence of their staff when dealing with incidents at their Wednesday and Saturday nights, YOLO and Juice. Reports of fights breaking out, girls in the boys’ toilets and students being attacked in the middle of the dance floor have led to a growing concern that SU staff are currently failing to adequately control and supervise their events. As well as the incidents mentioned above, the state of the toilets, which were flooded, crowded and unsanitary throughout Wednesday night’s YOLO, exacerbated the effects of an already full-to-capacity SU. Speaking of their experiences in YOLO on Wednesday, one third year CPLAN
student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It was like a sauna throughout the whole club. The only escape from the heat was to go to the smoking area, where I saw someone urinating through the railings because the toilets were flooded with about an inch of piss which was then being transferred to the rest of the club.” They then added: “It was ridiculous really.” These conditions suggest that not only was the Students’ Union so full that the atmosphere became uncomfortably hot, but that the toilets could not cope with the volume of students using them over the course of the night. Bouncers also seemed to have their work cut out when it came to who was using the toilets. One second year student said: “The toilets were so annoying last night, there were like 20 odd girls in the men’s.” As well as the events of Wednesday
night, last Saturday’s Juice brought reports of an alarming incident which occurred in the middle of the dance floor in the main room. One student, who requested to remain anonymous, was hit round the back of the head then attacked by a number of men. Despite receiving multiple injuries to the face, and the attack taking place in plain view of SU staff, nothing was done in the aftermath of the incident. Speaking to Gair Rhydd, the student said: “[The bouncers] literally did nothing and it was the middle of the dance floor.” I got hit behind the head then I turned around then they all piled in...didn’t see a bouncer once.” Speaking of how the SU staff dealt with the fight, the student said: “whenever someone fights us they just grab the tallest kid and kick them out.” Commenting on the issues relating to fights at recent YOLO and Juice nights, a university spokesperson said:
“Staff are trained to intervene in such situations and will remove individuals involved in any form of fighting in the venue. Whilst the actions of individuals is beyond our control, any form of violence is wholly unacceptable and the Union will ban anyone involved in such acts from the licensed venues.” Regarding the crowding in the venue and lengthy queues at SU bars, the statement read: “Capacity for Y Plas is 2,150. All of the YOLO and JUICE club night events have reached capacity so far this term. Once the venue is full we operate a strict one out, one in policy.” “Students are arriving earlier each week and all at the same time meaning that over 2000 people enter the venue within an hour period.”
Continued on page 4
he voting period for this month’s student by-elections has been extended due to an error with the online ballot system. The error led to some candidates for the Women’s Officer role not appearing no the ballot. A statement was made by the Students’ Union on the issue, which read: “The Union became aware that during Monday and Tuesday morning, some candidates within the Women’s Officer election were not appearing on some of the ballot papers when students were voting online. “The issue was corrected just after midday on Tuesday. In order that no candidate was disadvantaged, all votes cast in the Women’s Officer ballot whilst the issue was present were removed.” Although affected voters were asked to recast. this error will not aid voter turnouts, which fell last year to only 3 per cent of students.
Sŵn launches Music Museum in partnership with Cardiff University
ŵn Festival, Cardiff’s annual celebration of up-and-coming bands took place in venues across the city this weekend. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival, organised by former Gair Rhydd editor John Rostron and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, the event partnered with the newly formed Festivals Research department at Cardiff University to bring the memories of music fans across the UK to life. The Music Museum, based in Castle Arcade, is a carefully curated collection of fan memorabilia. Fans have sent items such as tickets and badges from various gigs throughout the years. Plans are in development to open the museum to the public throughout November. Members of Cardiff University’s Festival Research Group are developing the museum as part of their quest to find out how festivals contribute to the British music scene.
2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Anwen Williams Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Tom Morris Editorial Assistant Carwyn Williams Proofreaders Ana Sykes Eleanor Parkyn Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Proofreading takes place from 6pm on Thursdays in the media office. Write to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org
At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/complaints Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.
the free word
Getting those third year blues
Settling into uni life means embracing the stress Maria Mellor Before you get into third year you get so many warnings about how stressful it will be and how much work you’ll have to do. I’m in my third year now and seeing as I’m not doing a dissertation, at first it just seemed the same as second year. Maybe it’s even better than second year as I’m really enjoying my modules and I’m even more confident at writing essays. Then the talk starts. It begins as a murmer in the back of classrooms, growing until it’s all people seem to be able to talk about. What are YOU doing after uni? What are your PLANS?? It’s terrifying. Of course I have thought about what I want to do: I want to do this! I want to write; I want to edit! However, when it comes down to it, it’s easier said than done. I thought it would just be about whether or not your dream employer would hire you. Boy was I wrong! Your dream employer isn’t even hiring and you have no idea when they’re going to be advertising the job you want!
It was a conversation I had with a couple of girls that really had me stressing. They were saying that I may already be too late to apply for grad schemes, which sent me immediately rushing home to my computer to update my CV and send it off to as many people as possible. When it came down to it, while I found a couple of jobs that were okay for me, but nothing perfect if I’m honest. I have a particular set of skills and I’d like a job where I’d be able to use them. I think the best thing for me (and the rest of you third years) is to decide what field to aim for and just keep an eye on what jobs are being advertised. My CV is looking swanky and is ready to be sent out at any moment. Every time I have a spare moment I search through all kinds of job listings to find one I might be good for. I’m sure all of us are feeling a tad stressed at the moment. I’m getting questions left right and centre about how I’m managing my degree as well as being editor of Gair Rhydd and to answer simply I’m very busy most of the time. It gets on top of me from time to time but I’m so happy I’m here.
I’m the type of person who hates having free time and would much rather be a busy bee with a project of some sort on the go. My wonderful section editors I hope feel the same as they have had a lot of work to do this week - and what a good job they’ve done of it! If you’re a Welsh speaker you may notice that we have the same Aberfan article in both Comment and Taf Od! If you prefer to read the article in Welsh, flip over to page 31. Wales remembered the disaster last Friday with a minute’s silence. I have nothing but sympathy for those effected by the events of that terrible day. Inspired by the Mind Your Head mental health special they did last week, Advice has brought us a safety special! In the section you’ll find articles that will help you stay safe in all aspects of life, from bike safety to how to stay safe on a night out. In both News and Comment we have been looking at how bouncers treat people in clubs. The very people who are supposed to help us and protect party-goers can been seen doing the exact opposite of that. We asked around and it seems as if most
people have some sort of story about bouncers going way beyond what they’ve been asked to do. I have nothing against bouncers in general: for the most part the ones I have met have been genuinely lovely people who can spot someone who has had too much to drink from a mile away and will make sure they’re looked after and sent home in the proper fashion. I will say that it starts getting unacceptable when bouncers kick out someone from a club on their own, and leave them to fend for themselves. It gets worse when they start getting violent. What we’ve seen in our front story investigation is flaws in the SU’s policies. Far too many people are let in the club causing a crush and pure mayhem. The bouncers can’t always get to the source of trouble which makes for a bad night for everyone. People need to realise what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. When the people we’re supposed to trust with our safety end up being the cause of our safety problems, it shows that it is time for things to change.
Campus in Brief
Two men blagged their way into the Team GB athletes parade with medals bought from eBay
lans for an extra £240m to be allocated to the NHS were announced in the Welsh budget earlier this week. Speaking at the Senned on Tuesday, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said that the proposals had been impacted by “unprecedented challenges” to the economy faced at local and national level in the wake of Brexit. The budget also includes £10m to fund 30 hours of free childcare for three to four year olds, and £111m to improve apprenticeships and traineeships. Finance spokesperson for the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies, expressed hopes that this budget will “deliver for Welsh communities where so many others before it have failed”. The number of people out of work fell by 5000 in Wales from June to August, as unemployment across the UK continued to rise. 1,459,000 people are now employed in Wales, with the largest growth coming from the private sector. Speaking to WalesOnline, Carwyn Jones, First Minister for Wales, said “the decline in unemployment in Wales has outperformed the rest of the UK for the seventh consecutive month. We have big ambitions for Wales and its economy and will continue to work hard to support business and ensure the economic conditions in Wales.” Cardiff ’s Queen’s Arcade has been put up for sale by its owners Addington Capital. The shopping centre that stretches from Queen Street to The Hayes and includes brands such as New Look and Toys R’ Us is on the market for £33m which, according to investors, factors in the need for redevelopment of the somewhat dated arcade which is in competition with the larger and more modern St David’s Centre. The centre sees a yearly footfall of 10 million people and generates an annual rental income of £3.4m from the brands who currently let retail spaces in the building.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has accused Theresa May of “dither and delay” over her decision to postpone a vote on the possibility of expanding Heathrow Airport. Speaking to the Guardian, Khan said “now, more than ever, businesses need certainty and stability in order to make investment decisions and to keep jobs in Britain.” Last week, former Chancellor George Osborne said that the economic case for building another runway at Heathrow was “overwhelming”. When pressed on her plans in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister appeared to confirm that the vote will not take place within the next year. Two men blagged their way onto the athlete’s bus at Team GB’s Rio 2016 Olympic homecoming parade in Manchester earlier this week after convincing officials that they were on the fencing team. Jamie Rawsthorne and Zac Alsop managed to fake their way onto the float after buying Team GB tracksuits on the high street and plastic medals off eBay. After being exposed as impostors by the Modern Pentathlon team, who reportedly saw the humour in the prank, the young men enjoyed a ride on the bus as part of the parade. The drop in the value of the pound by almost 20% since June’s Brexit vote has caused a boom in the amount of money that tourists are spending on visits to the UK. According to figures released by Worldpay, foreign transactions grew by 3.4% in August 2016 compared to the same month last year. Online sales grew by 5.3% and High Street sales saw an increase of 3.0%. This is most likely to benefit luxury retailers, where the cost of flights to the UK is still low enough to justify the comparative lower of items with a high price tag.
Donald Trump has said that he will accept the results of November’s election “if I win”. Speaking at a rally in Delaware following the third televised debate against rival Hillary Clinton, the controversial candidate added that if faced with a clear result, he would accept it, whilst reserving the right to contest an ‘questionable’ outcome. Issues covered in the debate included debt, immigration and the economy as the rivalry between the candidates reached an all-time high. Clinton is currently ahead in the polls nationally after Trump’s widely publicised sexist comments caused him to lose a large proportion of the female voter base. Indonesia hopes to “wipe out” paedophilia with new laws to implement chemical castration as a punishment for offenders. Talking to the BBC, President Joko Widodo said that there would be “no compromise” in the government’s stance on treating crimes of this nature. Chemical castration is used to reduce sex drive without using an invasive procedure to remove reproductive organs. However, the Indonesian Doctors Association has advised members not to perform the procedure as it is in violation of medical ethics. The number of American tourists flooding to Iceland is soon to outnumber the local population, new figures have shown. Birgitta Jonsdottir, leader of the anti-establishment Pirate Party told The Telegraph “It’s like Disneyland downtown.” The tourist boom erupted in 2010 thanks to the volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull, which shut down airspace across the globe for seven days, helping to put Iceland on the map for holidaymakers. Although the government welcomes the economic boost, concerns over the environmental impact on the country are rife. Officials believe that by 2020, tourist numbers will rise to two million a year.
Pictured: Iceland’s idyllic image could be ruined by two million tourists a year. (Source: Moyan Brenn via Flickr)
The number of American tourists flooding to Iceland is soon to outnumber the local population.
Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews email@example.com gairrhydd.com/news
Continued: Bouncers behaving badly
Continued from front page
“The bar provision is currently experiencing an unprecedented demand so in order to improve the situation the Venues team are now creating additional temporary bars within the venue and increasing staffing levels to assist in improving the speed of service at the main bars.” Aside from the recent issues in the SU, other incidents have been reported by students stating that bouncers have behaved inappropriately towards them on nights out. Last year’s Halloween Flux descended
into chaos when queues overwhelmed bouncers, leading to many people having to wait hours for entrance into the SU. The recent issues with YOLO and Juice have led some to question whether the SU are supporting their staff properly, as bouncers seem understaffed and ill-equipped when dealing with difficult incidents. One third year student, Gabriella Mansell said: “I’d say the bouncers in the SU are particularly bad. When its busy in the queue they are overly aggressive, but when fights break out on the dance
floor they are nowhere to be seen.” She added: “The queue at last year’s Halloween Flux was really badly managed, with some people getting crushed and others denied entry.” Another occurrence last year led to one female student being treated in a sexist manner. Her friend, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke to Gair Rhydd, stating: “My friend said that one of the SU bouncers last year had said to her, something along the lines of, ‘you’re leaving nothing to the imagination in that out-
fit are you darling’ and then did like a creepy licky face.” Speaking of her own experiences on the same night, she added: “One of them had said to me something along the lines of - ‘you’ll get in faster if you pull that skirt up a bit’.” While it is clear that instances of sexism by bouncers towards students are unacceptable, other issues such as dealing with fights and managing queues could be solved by increasing staff numbers and improving support for those charged with supervising SU nights.
Eye-curumba! Students unaware of eye test consequenses Optometry students could fail degree without certain number of eye tests
Pictured: Optometry equipment (Photographer: orangefan_2011 via Flickr)
Tom Morris & Hugh Doyle
45 per cent [of respondents] knew where the Optometry school is located, yet only 25 per cent knew they could get a free eye test there.
Gair Rhydd survey has revealed that three quarters of students do not know that Cardiff University’s Optometry department offers sight and contact lens tests by third year students free of charge to the general public - including students. Out of the respondents to a poll carried out by Gair Rhydd at the Students Union on Wednesday October 12, 45 per cent knew where the Optometry school is located, yet only 25 per cent knew they could get a free eye test there. Only 8 per cent of respondents were aware that the third year optometry students who perform the tests could fail their degree if they do not manage to carry out the required eighteen sight tests before the end of the year. Optometry students not only receive their degree from Cardiff University and the UK-wide College of Optometrists upon completing their three year programme, but also need to enter a pre-registration programme to become a fully qualified optician. Third year Optometry student Ash-
leigh Wood told us that third years have to pass forty “primary care” competency checkboxes as well as twenty contact lens competencies throughout their eighteen sight tests to be eligible for the pre-registration contracts with companies such as Specsavers. These three year placements then enable graduates to become fully qualified opticians with the General Optical Council, giving them the freedom to set up their own opticians’ practices and related activities. The Optometry clinic offers sight tests with professionals all year round, but in term time the students do eye tests on the general public free of charge. The tests are then checked by a fully qualified supervisor to ensure that the student’s judgement is correct and the patient gets a legitimate diagnosis. The school hopes that as the tests are free they may attract people who do not currently have regular eye tests as they may be able to detect a problem that has only recently begun to develop. Emma Daniel Davies, manager at the student eye clinic where tests take
place, told us that the free price of the sight tests did not mean they were of poor quality. She also told us that tests are a “very positive experience for patients” and that it is “very occasionally some patients have to go before the end of the test.” People dropping out of tests partway through are the main reason why optometry students could lack 18 completed tests by the end of the year and fail to get onto the General Optical Council pre-registration programme. It is very rare that a student would be in need of extra patients, as there are 21 weeks in which the third year students are at the eye clinic and they only need to do 18 tests in total. Last year, one student was left without a patient and had to do a final eye test on the very last week of term, but this was the closest to failure any of the students came. However, when our correspondent undertook a sight test for the purposes of this article, despite getting a correct professional judgement at the end, it took slightly longer than expected- so set aside more than an hour just in case if going for a test.
Ashleigh Wood told us that students improve throughout the year, so during spring term it should take about an hour and thirty minutes but most students improve their speed as the weeks go by so should take about 45 minutes after Christmas. Emma Daniel Davies hastened to add that, “As a thank you for sitting for our Final Year Students, we will give you 20 per cent off your spectacle lenses.” The Optometry School is clearly having difficulty advertising these tests to the general public, which raises a question of whether the services should be advertised more, perhaps in the Students Union. The other question is whether, by not advertising the service more widely throughout campus, the University is failing in its obligation to help third year Optometry students pass their course and get onto a pre-registration course. Students wishing to take advantage of the free service at the Optometry school should read the website at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/optometrists/eye-tests/student-clinic-appointments
Only 8 per cent of respondents were aware that the third year optometry students could fail their degree if they do not carry out the required eighteen sight tests before the end of the year.
New research journal inspires health students Cardiff University health students contribute to first issue of undergraduate-run journal
[Getting published] straight into renowned journals is near impossible so having a stepping stone is a really great idea to introduce to medical students Jo Winder, 3rd year Medic
” Harry Webster
Pictured: A typical classroom (Photographer: KT King via Flickr)
new academic research journal has been launched by a number of universities in South West England and Wales, with the content being provided entirely by students. The ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’, with which Cardiff University students have been heavily involved, specialises in medical and dental research, and is run by the nationwide INSPIRE scheme. Dr Anna Hurley, School Manager of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said: “Inspire is a Wellcome Trust funded and Academy of Medical Sciences administered scheme to demonstrate to medical, dental and vet science students the benefits and potential of a career in science. Regional collaborations have developed and led by Prof Colin Dayan, Cardiff University medical students have embraced the opportunity to participate in this scheme. “Students from the medical and dental schools of Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth have joined forces to launch a new journal that showcases original research undertaken in world-class laboratories and clinics by fellow students. “The ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’ is produced by a team of student editors from the four universities. Cardiff Students have contributed greatly to this first edition. We will continue to promote these opportunities to students so that they can get the very best out of their time within the School of Medicine and aim to produce the next generation of clinical academics.” The Wellcome Trust is a funding
body which, according to their website, helps “14,000 people in more than 70 countries, [aiming] to spend £5 billion helping thousands of curious, passionate people all over the world explore ideas in science, population health, medical innovation, the humanities and social sciences and public engagement”. The national INSPIRE scheme aims to encourage student doctors, dentists and vets to consider a career in research, and encourages publication of their work. According to their website: since 2013 when the scheme began, “the southwest partnership has supported more than 70 vacation studentships as well as prize awards”. This support combined with local matched funding, has enabled medical students to carry out projects under the supervision of senior scientists and clinicians. In 2015 representatives of the four Universities invited students to make applications for senior editors and student peer reviewers and after that the idea of the journal being student specific was presented. Resulting in a completely student run journal, with all articles and editing done by students. Helena Jones, a fourth year medical student at Cardiff, who wrote for the first issue said: “Writing for INSPIRE has given me a fantastic opportunity to show students what kind of research they can get involved in, and what they can achieve from undertaking an intercalated degree. “Working with INSPIRE has certainly encouraged me to think about further research and publishing in the future”. Commenting on the journal, 3rd
Year Cardiff Medical Student Alice Cavannah said “I think Inspire provides a unique opportunity for younger medical students to get involved in research early on, something which isn’t easily accessible at our stage”. She then added: “The fact that the journal is edited and selected by other students, makes the content more relevant and tailored to younger years, making the prospect of reading a scientific paper less daunting”. Jo Winder, another 3rd Year Medic also commented on the positives of the journal stating: “Research and getting articles published is a very daunting prospect as a medical student. “We are told that to get a choice of the jobs we want, we have to publish research...but we aren’t given much guidance as to how to go about it. [get-
ting published] straight into renowned journals is near impossible so having a stepping stone is a really great idea to introduce to medical students”. Jo went on to add: “It’s a good way to inspire people as we get to see what our peers are doing, a lot of the best research projects are collaborations between people with varying ideas and [INSPIRE] provides a great platform to allow that process”. The first issue is available online and includes papers about the stress and pressure put on neurosurgeons, the attempt to reduce maternal mortality in India and finally the unusual concept of tooth donation. If you’re looking to get involved then add them on Facebook @InspireStudentHealthSciencesResearchJournal or email them at inspirestudentjournal@ gmail.com.
Pictured: A typical microscope (Photographer: University of Liverpool Faculty of Health and Life Sciences via Flickr)
Welsh Government cut funding to education initiatives
wo major Welsh educational initiatives will not be given financial backing by the Welsh Government. Both Teach First, and Schools Challenge Cymru, two schemes designed to further education in underprivileged areas, will not be granted fund-
ing past 2017, despite contrasting results. The news comes after the Welsh Government’s draft budget saw confirmation of a 1.9 per cent cut to education. Teach First Cymru, a teacher training program aimed placing university
graduates in underprivileged schools, will be given no further funding beyond its current crop of participants. The organisation, which is listed as a charity, had hoped to receive financial backing from the Welsh Government, after a review earlier in the year had appeared to show positive results. The enterprise has so far seen 158 graduates move into schools across Wales since 2001, costing around £3million pounds. In spite of the setback, the organisation remains confident it can gain the funding needed to extend its program, claiming to still be in talks with the Welsh Government over possible funding for 2018. It is expected that pressure on the budget has been the reason for the refusal. Meanwhile, Schools Challenge Cymru, the Welsh Government’s flagship education improvement policy, will end next summer after 3 years. Launched in 2014, Schools Challenge Cymru was designed to support schools in disadvantaged areas by pledging £20million a year to 40 “Pathways to Success” secondary schools.
The policy, which was based upon the similar “London Challenge”, saw initial progress, with one of its main advocates, Professor Mel Ainscow, last year writing: “Overall, the picture for the Pathways to Success schools is beyond my expectations. Indeed, neither the London nor Manchester Challenges made the same progress after just one year.” However, a report published this July appeared to show that only a quarter of the Pathway to Success schools had made a notable improvement, leading to doubts over the projects sustainability. A spokesman for the National Union of Teachers Cymru stated that there was little surprise at the programs dismissal, stating: ‘While noone would want to see such a significant amount of money invested in a project that doesn’t deliver, there are questions to be asked about whether Schools Challenge Cymru has been given the necessary time to prove itself.’ Despite the cuts, the 2017/18 budget is expected to see an additional £30million pounds being granted to higher education.
Teach First Cymru, a teacher training program aimed placing university graduates in underprivileged schools, will be given no further funding beyond its current crop of participants.
Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/comment
Ched Evans cleared of rape
The trial is over, but the repercussions will be felt for a long time
Firstly, I’ve found myself wondering if this case will change the power complex that seems to be symptomatic with some footballers
ast week, former Wales international striker and Chesterfield player Ched Evans was cleared of rape at Cardiff Crown Court. It was the end of a case that has stretched back to the 30th of May 2011, when Ched Evans was accused of raping a 19-year-old girl who was two and a half times over the drink-drive limit. In 2012, the jury deemed that the woman had been too drunk to give consent and therefore Mr Evans was convicted of rape and sentenced to five years in prison. The retrial last week heard new evidence which came from two ex-boyfriends of the woman that Evans allegedly assaulted which described the woman’s sexual history in court. It is important to stress that this legal action, whilst abhorrent to some, including myself, and very rare in sexual assault cases, was and is, entirely legal and permitted under section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act. My job and the job of those people giving their opinions on Ched Evans and his case should is not to dispute the facts or discern whether
he is guilty or not. Instead, I am of the opinion that we should be commenting on what the possible repercussions of this case could be and if it really changes anything in the lives of football players. Firstly, I’ve found myself wondering if this case will change the power complex that seems to be symptomatic with some footballers these days, as Evans himself said at the time that he ‘could have any girl’ on the night of the allegation, and said that “footballers are rich, they have got money and that’s what girls like”. He has since retracted these comments but admitted to cheating on girlfriends in the past. This is dangerous as, for whatever ungodly reason, footballers are seen, incorrectly or not, as role models by some people. This player, capped 13 times for the Welsh national team, should not be behaving in this way or making comments of this nature, particularly as these incidents have been publicised so heavily. As the then chairman of the FA, Greg Dyke, said, “the whole story was pretty sordid in
the first place, whether or not it was a rape it was still pretty sordid”. There are some glimmers of hope on this issue, as Brighton and Hove Albion and Reading football clubs have run sexual education classes to explain the laws on consent to players. On the other hand, the fact that Evans was with another footballer at the time of the incident (who was cleared in 2012) and the prosecution of ex-Sunderland player Adam Johnson earlier in the year for sexual activity with a girl aged 15, still show that there are problems with the way some players treat women and clearly lack a full understanding of the laws surrounding sexual activities. Another worrying development was the abuse that targeted this woman on Twitter, as well as the fact that she was named on the social network, which lead to nine people being fined £614 under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act of 1992. In my mind, this case has clearly highlighted the danger of Twitter when it is used to refer directly to court cases. This experience will be damaging for any woman who is
thinking of reporting rape or sexual assault, as the torrent of abuse and public shaming that has been associated with this particular case has been simply disgusting. The issue with social media in this case is that whilst you can fine people for giving out the name on Twitter, it is impossible to maintain the privacy of the accuser, as the public can easily find the person’s identity and this perhaps signals that there should be serious considerations taken into how this can be avoided in the future. Ched Evans has been proven innocent of rape, that was the headline news, but the facts the case has brought to light; that this will discourage some women from the already traumatic task of reporting rape against someone in the public eye. The fact that Twitter is a dangerous and inflammatory tool when linked to a case in this way. And, the issues that still surround sexual activity and footballers shouldn’t be forgotten, as the various organisations take stock of all that has transpired over the last five years.
Pictured: Ched Evans was cleared of rape at Cardiff Crown Court last week. Source: Image via YouTube
Another worrying development was the abuse that targeted this woman on Twitter
Is Honey G a modern day black face?
Are Honey G’s performances racially offensive, or just entertaining? Bradley Walker
Honey G’s popularity stems less from the appropriation of “blackness”, and more likely from Gilford’s poor caricature of a rapper
recent article, published in the Guardian, by Lola Okolosie has called out X Factor act Honey G, accusing her of being the equivalent of modern day blackface. The article slammed Anna Gilford (a.k.a. Honey G) for being a “symbol of how race operates in the UK”. But is Honey G really a symbol of postbrexit Britain’s views on race? Or is she more so a representation of the X-Factor’s zany and distanced approach to recruiting “talent”? While it’s up for debate whether Honey G is a serious contender or, indeed, a serious rapper, it is clear that she genuinely intends to win the competition. Gilford soared through both weeks one and two of the competition sending other acts -that may have been deemed more talented by many viewers- packing. Is Honey G’s popularity steeped in the racial climate of the country, and as Okolosie writes “the demeaning obsession with Black bodies?” Personally I don’t think that’s the case at all. Honey G’s popularity stems less from the appropriation of “blackness”, and more likely from Gilford’s
poor caricature of a rapper, and the fact that she is probably not a serious “talent” act. The ridiculousness of Honey G’s place as a finalist in the talent competition are where this “new national craze [has] come from”. If Honey G signifies anything, it’s the questionable quality of Saturday night television and talent shows, not racist ideology. Novelty acts have regularly been an integral part of the line-up on The X Factor, and regardless of Honey G’s intent, that is her role in the show. Her butchering of classics by Tupac and Biggie Smalls may not be held in high esteem by viewers as great covers, but instead they may be found entertaining as acts of comedy. I do not think this act performed by a middle aged woman is a reflection of the publics attitudes towards race or cultural appropriation, but rather a reflection of how much the British public love watching people make a fool of themselves. Honey G is not -as Okolosie claims- a product of ‘post Brexit Britain’. The humour in Honey G’s act is not rooted in undermining the struggles of the black community. I
think people are finding humour in Honey G’s apparent belief that she is a serious artist, and the fact that she is supposedly so oblivious to how bad she really is. Yes the fact she is so distanced from the type of culture she is trying to (poorly) emulate may add to this amusement, but it is at her expense we find this funny. It’s interesting, however, to discuss the parallels Okolosie draws between minstrel shows and Honey G’s act. Okolosie insinuates Gilford’s performances aren’t just casually insulting, but deliberately racially offensive. If this was genuinely the case I would understand the comparison, however it has been repeatedly stated by both Gilford and the show bosses that she is at least attempting to pursue a career in rap. If her ‘ten year career’ in the industry is legitimate then it’s probably fair to assume that during that time that she has obtained a fairly broad knowledge of rap and its roots. Regardless, the extent of her knowledge of rap and rap history is ultimately unknown to us as viewers, and to Okolosie as a writer. It therefore is inaccurate to dub the act a modern
day minstrel show as the intent of the act is not to appropriate black culture, but to appreciate it. Regardless of the intention of Honey G, her act has evidently caused offence, as demonstrated by Okolosie’s article. While from my perspective the act is not so much offensive as a signifier of the ridiculousness of talent shows, there is no doubt she has caused controversy. Maybe then it should be the job of producers to intervene, on occasion, if an act is likely to cause continued offence to viewers. In this case, Gilford has proven popular with fans and thus it is highly unlikely that XFactor producers will see any need to change the approach of Gilford in upcoming weeks; if anything Gilford will be encouraged to continue in the vein she has been. Overall though, the main point I want to make is that it is irresponsible to dub Gilford a ‘modern day minstrel show’ as this is very serious accusation. If anything, Gilford is more of a sideshow act, not a caricature of black culture. She is just another character in a slew of untalented talent show fodder.
Pictured: Honey G, swaggin’ her way to the X factor Finals (Source:: picture via youtube.)
I think people are finding humour in Honey G’s apparent belief that she is a serious artist
Can lyrics be literature?
Bob Dylan has been awarded this years Nobel Prize for Literature, is this a step forward or a step too far?
FOR: Rachael Hutchings
Dylan has been omnipresent as not only a performer, but as a writer for over five decades.
he Nobel Prize for Literature, the world’s most prestigious award in this category, is presented annually to an author (from any country) who is said to, in the words of the award’s creator Alfred Nobel, produced ‘the most outstanding work of literature in an ideal direction’. By definition, literature refers to any written works, especially those considered of superior or eternal creative and artistic merit. With this in mind Bob Dylan’s influential song-writing talent seems to me an extremely worthy champion of this year’s Nobel Prize. Some people have argued that songwriting or lyrics cannot be considered “literature” in the classical sense, but literature as we know it today has it’s roots in Bard’s and epic poetry, which would have been read aloud (often with music), so this claim is completely unfounded. Dylan has been omnipresent as not only a performer, but as a writer for over five decades. His work has been significant for both music and culture since the 1960s. Lyrically, Dylan is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest in his genre. With early songs such as The Times They Are a-Changing and Blowin’ in the Wind becoming the soundtrack to both anti-war and civil rights movements in America it
is evident that he is, and always was, fervent and passionate when it came to putting his beliefs into lyrics for the public to read and hear about. As Bob Dylan’s career progressed, his work began to incorporate a lot more metaphysical concepts, social and literary ideas and also political inspirations. Undoubtedly his work influenced many people, in many ways Dylan was the frontman in popularising the use of story-telling through song. Thus proving that he deserves to be celebrated for his genre-defining approach to lyrics during the counterculture- something which has shaped so much of what we believe and appreciate in society today. Although Dylan is notably the first Nobel Prize for Literature winner to be honoured for song-writing specifically, his writing capabilities have extended further. Since 1994 he has also published six books including Tarantula: a work of poetry, supplementing a demonstration of his commitment to literature, and the arts on a whole. I think that it is fundamental that Bob Dylan’s recognition as this year’s prize winner is progressive. This success is the first of its kind and couldn’t have possibly been awarded to somebody with more direction, flare and desire as an artist by all classifications.
ast week Bob Dylan won the Noble Prize for Literature, which certainly gave meaning to his lyrics ‘the times are a changing’. Many greeted his achievement with applause yet others have been left questioning what can truly be defined as literature. It seems that this prestigious award may have undermined literary finesse, emphasised by the fact that he is yet to respond to the Swedish Academy. The first given Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘literature’ is in fact, ‘Familiarity with letters or books; knowledge acquired from reading or studying books’. This highlights that the word ‘literature’ is rooted in the scholarly. Despite Dylan’s employment of some literary techniques in his lyrics, it is rarely ‘read’ or ‘studied’ and therefore does not correlate with the true meaning of literature. (I hardly think the simile ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ is Nobel Prize worthy, I probably wrote something similar when I was in year nine.) However, early literature is in fact rooted oral tradition. For example, knowledge of written literature was often passed on through language rather than study, emphasising its auditory and often musical quality. In this case, it could be argued that Dylan is worthy of his award as his work is still literary just as the litera-
ture once shared through oral tradition was too. Sara Danius, the secretary of the Swedish Academy, stated that Dylan was similar to Homer and Sappho, ‘they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often with instruments’. Although contemporary lyrics are often worthy of analysis, I hardly think they should be categorised with such acclaimed classical poetic works. But what defines literature as literature? This question recalls the art of Duchamp who asked what makes art, art (and helped rework its traditional meanings). Dylan’s win could be responding to this and as such revolutionise literature’s conventions, possibly even expanding literature’s audience. Nevertheless, his win seems to cheapen highly respectable literature. Dylan’s lyrics are supposedly poetical and he is said to get his name from Dylan Thomas (so we should probably be supporting him in Wales). But should Bob Dylan’s work really be valued in the same light as great poets like Dylan Thomas? His stereotypical protest lyrics do not seem to hold the literary quality of the canonical literary greats, and thus, his fame seems to have taken the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.
AGAINST: Elizabeth Mills
His win seems to cheapen highly respectable literature.
” Pictured: Bob Dylan and his lyrics are iconic (photo via flickr)
How much is that dinner in the window?
Being a student, half my monthly expenditure, including my rent, is £300
Our sportsmen and women were heroes; our country was living up to its namewe certainly were Great Britain.
ow much do you spend on your dinner everyday? Being a university student, I am assuming no more than five pounds. If you are drinking, I am sure it won’t exceed more twenty to thirty pounds. Well, how about a meal for £300? I am not talking about a dinner for ten of your closest friends, but for just one person. Danish restaurant Noma, rated as one of the world’s best restaurants, opened a ten week pop-up in Sydney at the beginning of this year, with the set meal price as £300 per person, plus drinks. This exorbitant cost did not serve
to deter people from attending, as all 5,500 available seats sold out in under a minute and a half. It seems like people are getting richer and richer by the day. Noma is not the only restaurant that creates meals with such hefty price tags. There are many examples of similar dining experiences around the world, like Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin in Singapore, Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee in Paris, to name just a few. These restaurant’s bill can put you back on average around £450 per meal. Being a student, half my monthly
expenditure, including my rent, is £300 and a hearty, filling and tasty meal can be bought in for under £5, but there are many people around the world who don’t mind spending more than 60 times this amount just to get the ideal dining experience. In addition to the food, they are paying for the ambience, concept, décor, and service, as well as for their Facebook “check in” and Instagram posts. After all, we all want to show the world where we are and what we are eating, so what would be the point of spending so much money if we don’t even tell our entire friend’s list about it?
Not to mention our tweets casually mentioning that we are dining in “XYZ” restaurant. And if we happen to bump into a celebrity, and managed to nab a selfie, well, that would be the cherry on top of a very expensive cake! In a world where poverty is so rampant and millions of people are dying from chronic hunger diseases, I really wish that such restaurants would first do something to feed the poor, as for them, food is a matter of life or death. As a student, I am wondering what I would do with an extra £300. Blow it all in one evening on one meal? I don’t think so.
Pictured: Where does ‘fine dining’ become ridiculous dining? (Source: Corinne Moncelli picture via flickr.)
Team GB return ‘VictoRIOus’ from Olympics
s the days get shorter and the nights drawn in, Cardiﬀ has a decidedly Autumnal feel. It’s only the middle of October, and yet the breezy summer days when the nation was gripped by the Rio Olympics and Paralympics seem very far away. Many people assumed that the London 2012 Games would forever be the apex of British sport. Could Team GB ever again live up to the triumphs of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, and Greg Rutherford? Would our athletes ever reach the same dizzying heights of ‘Super Saturday’? London 2012 put a huge amount of pressure on Team GB to deliver the goods, could they deliver? The build up to Rio 2016, while exciting, was tinged with a hint of nostalgia; it felt as though nothing could surpass London 2012. How wrong all of the sceptics (myself included) were. The Rio Games were one of the most successful for the Olympic and Paralympic teams, both in terms of sport, and for boosting British morale, which had taken a beating over the tumultuous summer months. It’s not only the sporting achievements of Team GB that matter; the Olympic and Paralympic games have another important role. The successes of Team GB left us all with an incred-
ible feeling of pride; our sportsmen and women were heroes; our country was living up to its name- we certainly were Great Britain. The unifying power of sport was something that the organisers of London 2012 harped on about in the weeks, months, and years running up to the games, and it’s safe to say that Rio 2016 had the same eﬀect. After the divisional EU Referendum in June, Britain deﬁnitely needed some of London’s magic; Rio provided us with a sense of self-belief, something many people had lost hope in after June. The impact that the Olympic and Paralympics had on our sense of pride was tremendous. And the celebrations hardly ended when the Paralympic ﬂame was extinguished a month ago. Britain is still riding high. Early on in Team GB’s outstanding performance over the summer months back in Britain people were calling for a public show of our pride; their achievements were heroic- and we wanted to celebrate that. A two day jamboree was planned- with two events held in Manchester and London. Many people questioned the idea of Manchester hosting an Olympic parade, but with the number of world class athletes spilling out of
the city, how ﬁtting that Manchester was selected for such a gleeful occasion. Both Jason Kenny and Laura Trott live in Manchester, as well as the Sarah Storey- the most decorated British female paralympian. The decision to host a parade in Manchester was completely the right decision; the talent from the city should be celebrated.
Many of us believed that Team GB would never again be able to match their performance in London. Rio proved otherwise. Britain has cemented itself as a great sporting country- I can only see this improving- and rightly so. Sport deserves celebrating- with all the bad news in the world, isn’t it right that we marvel at and celebrate our successes?
Pictured: The ‘VictoRIOus’ returns (Source: picture via youtube.)
MPs demands for Heathrow expansion make economic sense P
G Gavin Collins
Since the 1940s there have been numerous debates over the construction of a third runway at Heathrow to alleviate congestion.
The aim of the new deal is to cut the production of HFCs which are often found in fridges and air conditioning
rime Minister Theresa May announced recently that she would be giving a statement the following week on the subject of the government’s on the longdiscussed third runway at Heathrow airport. This comes after 50 UK MPs and representatives of the devolved assemblies sent a letter to the PM advocating the new runway. Mrs. May also instructed her cabinet that there would be a suspension of collective responsibility, which will allow ministers who are opposed to the expansion to state their beliefs openly without the need to resign if the Government decides to back the third runway. The fact that Mrs. May has announced such a suspension suggests that her government will support the expansion of Heathrow. Assuming this all comes to pass, the Prime Minister will undoubtedly be making the correct decision. Since the 1940s there have been numerous debates over the construction of a third runway at Heathrow to alleviate congestion. In recent years, however, the situation has become critical – Heathrow is running its two runways at 99% capacity, resulting in fewer trading opportunities when compared to other international airports, as well as higher fares for consumers due to a stagnation in competition. In 2015 a report undertaken by the independent Airports Commission concluded that a northwest runway
at Heathrow was the most sensible policy proposal available to alleviate overcapacity and revitalise air travel in the southeast of England. The report emphasised that due to the fact that Heathrow already operates roughly 70% of all scheduled UK long-haul routes, a greater number of airlines could more easily offer new services from the airport. Gatwick, which has also been lobbying for a new runway, is only responsible for 11% of the UK’s long-haul flights. Suggestions that an airport outside of London ought to be expanded ignore the reality that the present infrastructure greatly accommodates the English capital. Proposals in other cities are entirely dependent on the completion of yet unbuilt high speed rail lines, such as HS2 – set to be completed in 2033. The report also concluded that environmental challenges, specifically those pertaining to carbon dioxide emissions, could be solved through carbon trading in other areas of the UK economy. Furthermore, as the technology of both aeroplanes and the automobiles which service the runways become more efficient, emissions will be greatly reduced. The issue of noise pollution – perhaps the most pressing concern for the average West Londoner - is mitigated by the arrival of quieter jet engines in modern aeroplanes, as well as the increased capacity which would be afforded by a third
Pictured: The decision to expand the UK’s airports has faced numerous delays. Source: Mick Baker via Flickr
runway, allowing Heathrow to reschedule most of the flights which take place between the unsociable hours of 11pm and 6am. Although the frequency of flights during the day would increase, this must be recognised as one of the costs of living in a rapidly expanding global city. The comfort of citizens should be a priority in policymaking of this sort, but it must not be allowed to halt all economic development. The addition of a third runway to Heathrow has also taken on a new meaning in the wake of Brexit. As the UK looks set to increase its trading with countries outside of the European Single Market - and outside of the range of the Eurotunnel or freight-carrying lorries - more longhaul routes to destinations such as India and China will be required. When one considers that 29% of all
British exports depart from Heathrow, the third runway looks less like a convenience and more like a necessary step in ensuring the future competitiveness of the UK economy. Although Mrs. May appears set to make a serious push for the expansion at Heathrow, the fact remains that a vote in the House of Commons on this issue will likely not take place until 2017. Even if there is a successful vote, there will no doubt be legal challenges and delays in construction. Despite these unfortunate realities, the Prime Minister should strongly advocate for the northwest runway at Heathrow, albeit with an eye towards short-term solutions to prevent any negative impact on UK trade when the Heathrow plan inevitably hits a snag along the way to the finish line.
Is limiting the use of HFCs the answer to climate change?
elegates meeting in Rwanda this week have reached an agreement to limit the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Representatives of 150 countries accepted an amendment of the Montreal protocol that aims to reduce HFC use from 2019 in richer countries, with developing nations doing the same from 2024 onwards. Despite the positive reception of the deal, its impact and success is debatable; previous climate change deals have usually proven to be unsuccessful with many being abandoned before their completion. The aim of the new deal is to cut the production of HFCs which are often found in fridges and air conditioning. HFCs were used to replace Chlorofluorocarbons (CFs) but have since been found to be more damaging because of their impact on the environment. HFCs have a lifespan of 14 years and are 3,830 times more damaging than CO2. Instead of creating a hole in the Ozone Layer, the gases create a bubble around the
Earth’s surface, contributing to global warming. If countries were to uphold this deal and cut the production of HFCs from 2019, the benefits would be immense: production would decrease, causing a subsequent increase in price which would deter countries and large companies from purchasing the goods and we would therefore see a fall in the quantity of HFCs consumed. This would have positive repercussions for the natural environment as a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions is more likely. If these gases were reduced, vast landscapes like the Antarctic and vulnerable lowlands like Bangladesh would be protected from the effects of climate change. However, the benefits outlined above are unlikely to materialise as historically climate change deals have had little success. Note the example of the recent US report that stated America is unlikely to meet its emissions target for 2025 by expel-
ling an additional 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. This is only one example, but it illustrates how many leading countries don’t have sufficient polices in place to meet the targets that have been set. Therefore, it seems idealistic to assume a new deal can be effective if countries do not even have the correct protocols in place to achieve these agreements. Furthermore, it is important to note that countries such as India and China, who are the biggest producers of HFCs, are not expected to cut their production until 2024 onwards, undermining the emphasis on climate change being a global concern. In addition, the Paris climate agreement of 2015 stated a worldwide commitment to addressing climate change, but as the new deal staggers the commitments of different countries, it makes measuring progress more difficult as statistics could become muddled. Despite the agreement reinstating a commitment to the points outlined by the
Paris agreement, the success of closer co-operation is still contestable. With new deals about climate change taking place often, the prospects of success seem hopeful. However, until countries begin the physical processes of reducing HFC production or cutting emissions, the accomplishment and legacy of any climate change deal will amount too little more than a signature on a lengthy government document.
Pictured: There have been many famous climate change deals over the years. Source: Ian Britton via flickr
The Aberfan disaster 50 years on
Osian reflects on the tragic Aberfan disaster and considers the effect the industrial revolution had on the Welsh people Osian Wyn Morgan
I stood in the cemetery in Aberfan, staring at row upon row of graves that contained within them child-sized coffins, I wondered to myself; was it all worth it?
t was a damp, dark morning in Aberfan, a typical coal-mining village in the South Wales Valleys, on the 21st of October, 1966. At 9:15a.m, the children of Pantglas Junior School had just returned to their classrooms after their morning assembly, on what was their last day of school before half term. Little did they know that within 5 minutes their school would be buried in coal, as an avalanche of wet slurry would tumble down the mountain overshadowing the school, wiping out a farm and several houses on its way. For 116 schoolchildren, and 28 adults, this tragic event would be their final memory. In the Valleys, it was not unusual for the mining debris from the mines to be dumped on the mountain sides in coal tips, which is precisely what happened in Aberfan. Below one of these coal tips, however, were two underground springs. The days leading up to the 21st of October, a day that would wipe out an entire generation of the Aberfan community, had seen heavy rain. As a result of that heavy rainfall, the underground streams expanded, and the coal tip destabilised, resulting in roughly 150,000 cubic meters of water saturated debris flowing down the mountainside at speeds of 40mph. But who was to blame? Many believed that this horrific incident was a result of the negligence of the National Coal Board, who carelessly piled the debris above two underground springs. A few months after the event, an inquiry was launched, which deemed the Coal
Board responsible for the disastrous event. A few weeks ago, I was visiting my Grandfather, who lives quite close to Aberfan, so I decided to visit the village, to see for myself the location of this devastating event. As I stood there, in the very same spot where a school once stood, and where 116 children were mercilessly buried alive, I looked around at the village of Aberfan. This village was created and brought to life for one reason; coal. Coal has played an immeasurable role in the industrial, economic, social and demographic history of Wales. Coal gave employment to hundreds of thousands of Welshmen. Coal put Wales on the map as a modern and industrial nation. But as I stood in the cemetery in Aberfan, staring at row upon row of graves that contained within them childsized coffins, I wondered to myself; was it all worth it? The industrial revolution may have had a positive impact on Wales as a nation, but did it justify the suffering of the Welsh people, such as the suffering and sacrifice of the community of Aberfan? Aberfan was not the only community to suffer, the history of the industrialisation in Wales is plagued with disasters, such as the Senghenydd disaster of 1913, where 439 men were killed in an explosion in a coal mine. In addition to disasters like this, dozens of men were killed on a daily basis because of roof falls and gas leaks in the mines. And as for the miners who didn’t suffer immediate, barbaric deaths, working
in the coal mines meant working long hours of relentlessly tough, physical work. Children would start working at ages as young as 5. Outside of work, the miners’ living conditions were equally poor. The overcrowded streets of the Valleys were generally dirty and diseaseridden. In Merthyr Tydfil the age expectancy was less than 18 years, unjustifiably lower than the British average of 50 at the time. The economic benefits of the coal industry in Wales were astounding. At one point Wales produced 57 million tons of coal a year, roughly a quarter of the world’s coal production. However, was it the people of Wales, the hundreds of thousands of coal-mining Welshmen, that benefited most from the economic value of Welsh coal? The wages of the miners themselves were relatively low, with the majority of the profits from the labour of the miners heading directly to the collieries’ owners. Considering the value of the coal that once lay beneath the surface, should the people of the Valleys not be reaping the benefits of that wealth today? Should they not be benefiting economically from the labour of their ancestors? Instead, figures in 2012 showed that the Valleys were amidst the poorest areas in the UK. The attainment of educational qualifications are lower than the British average in the Valleys, and the unemployment rates are considerably higher than the Welsh average. I do understand however, that the Valleys are not an exception to the rule, and that there are dozens of post-industrial
communities across Britain suffering from poverty. However, on a personal level, I hold the Valleys close to my heart. The majority of my family originate from there – my grandfather worked in a coal mine – and I feel a strong sense of connection with the place. The people of the Valleys are proud people, who I am honoured to associate myself with, and it pains me to think that they, as well as the people of Wales in general, have not reaped the benefits of their contribution to the industrial revolution. I’m not suggesting for one second that the industrial revolution was entirely negative for the Welsh, I recognise its importance to Wales, and I’m proud to call the post-industrial Wales my home. However, as I travelled through the Valleys a few weeks ago, I struggled to see the economic benefits of the hundreds of millions of pounds of coal that were mined here by its people. I struggled to see the prosperous, wealthy Valleys that could have, and should have been. I struggled to see the people of the Valleys benefiting from the fruits of their ancestors’ labour. In all honesty, I struggled to see how the people of Wales had benefited at all from the Industrial Revolution. The tragedy of Aberfan stands out as a horrific event, in a difficult and laborious chapter of the history of Wales. I can only hope that the next chapter of the history of this beautiful country, will be a better one, a fairer one, and that the people of the Valleys, and the people of Wales as a whole, will one day live in the prosperity that they deserve.
Pictured: The Aberfan disaster resulted in numerous tragic deaths. (Source: William Photo via flickr)
Considering the value of the coal that once lay beneath the surface, should the people of the Valleys not be reaping the benefits of that wealth today?
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HEL ON EARTH
Autumn is coming...
The season of roast dinners, windy walks and bobbly socks is upon us, and isn’t it wonderful?
expects you to eat salad anymore.
have been waiting for October all year. Autumn is my favourite season. It is winter’s lovelier, sexier, more golden brown, knee high boot-ed cousin. It is the time of the year that Starbuck’s robs us in icy daylight and the referee’s whistle is blown to signal the beginning of house mate heating wars, signifying a long, bloody, painful battle, lasting throughout the winter months. I love autumn for an abundance of reasons. My favourite thing probably being that nobody expects you to eat salad anymore. The social expectation to consume cold, damp vegetables at some point throughout the week is no more, and it becomes completely acceptable to have potatoes with absolutely every meal. Th is is made better by the simple fact that all our favourite things in life are suddenly available in a warm temperature, hot wine, hot cider, hot Vimto, lovely. From October onwards, Sunday roasts become absolutely necessary, no matter how sad they are. Defrost your frozen carrots and peas, microwave your Aunt Bessie’s potatoes and Yorkshires and go without food on the Monday to afford your £4 Lidl cut of beef. It is essential. Autumn fashion is the best. Ladies, no longer need we shave our legs for weeks and weeks on end. Those fluff y, woolly tights will mask that leg hair like they were made to do so (maybe they were) and those wonderful colours will return that are seldom seen the rest of the year. That rich, pumpkin orange and that deep, voluptuous plum-y purple... delicious. My criminal subconscious has already slowly begun sneaking snuggly clothing from my boyfriend’s wardrobe. I ‘borrow’ all my favourite boyfriend-sized hoodies and jumpers, as the poor soul reluctantly agrees, knowing deep down that he will never wear them again. Yet many of us are not quite ready to let go of the summer. Yeah, I see you. Desperate to eke out your pretty denim dress for another couple of weeks, clinging frantically to your
Birkenstocks and sunglasses. Rugby players, give up your fl ip flops and shorts and caps, succumb to the cold. Put on a pair of trousers, grab a pair of mittens and some fluff y socks and enjoy being cuddly. You know you want to be cuddly. It is the season of Harry Potter and onesies and international rugby. The air is crispy and clean. Gone has the sticky, sluggish summer humidity, and the icy, sharp freeze of the winter is not yet upon us. Say goodbye to pugnaciously trembling on the SU stairs, legs and feet frozen stiff from the cool September evening air and say hello to snuggly nights in with your housemates, sharing Tesco Value hot chocolate and marshmallows and fighting over what movie to watch and who gets the fluffiest blanket to hide under. And, you might as well enjoy it, because watching movies becomes all you are expected to do. Gone is that summer guilt. You know, when it’s a warm, sunny, bright day, and you feel suffocating guilt when you lie around slobbing all day. You can now comfortably stay in the house ALL day and if you do not get up from the sofa for nothing but to wee and eat, that is ok. That said, all of a sudden, walks become pleasant. What was once a sweaty, uncomfortable, chaffi ng trek through the park, pools of damp under your armpits and hair sticking to your face, is now a romantic and blustery amble through the intensely golden coloured leaves. You can watch little fluff y creatures stashing their winter nibbles, strategically squirrelling their snacks into the smallest nooks and crannies to keep them safe through the winter months. You can make notes and take tips home, with a better understanding of how to successfully hide your good snacks from your flatmates and also successfully hide them from yourself well enough so that you don’t eat them all before December has even begun. And yet, even my favourite season has its flaws. Why does absolutely
every snack and beverage during autumn HAVE to feature cinnamon? Nobody likes cinnamon, and, without doubt, we will all get fatter. Our winter bodies will keep getting wintery-er and our excess pounds will turn into excess stones. But no fear ladies, the extra layer of fat will serve as an extra layer of insulation and will save on heating costs in the future, and bonus, your snuggly boyfriend jumper will do a great job of hiding your new winter pouch. Autumn also brings with it bonfi re night. A night to spite single people everywhere. You stand and shiver as you watch the couples nuzzle together under the sparkling sky, alight with glowing spirals and sugary twinkles. They draw love hearts with their sparklers and dance home together under the twinkling skies. They leave you crying into your unlit Catherine wheel, broken tooth in hand from your overenthusiastic bite into your toffee apple. Before we know it, Halloween will also be upon us. It is changing. It is not what I remember from when I was young. As a child, to me, Halloween was being subject to a ‘scary tea party’ that involved plenty of olives and pickled onions and other terrifying looking foods in jars. We would dress up, and parade around to next door, chortling something sickeningly middle-class and politically correct, like “treat for a treat” (which involved SWAPPING sweets with the next door’s kids) (because my parents maintained that threatening to punish the neighbours for not giving us sweets is apparently not very nice) (literally wtf). Now, it seems Halloween is nothing but a painfully commercial escapade, saturating us in orange for a whole month and forcing us to buy into the notion that if we don’t celebrate Halloween, at least to some extent, we are boring bore-ons who are not even worth knowing. Costumes of today would have made young-me squeal in shock. As a chubby and ginger six year old I was stuffed into a bin bag (with
cut up arm holes) with a 70p Safeway’s witch hat and that was my costume. Every year. Until I was about thirteen. A few pretentious friends would buy their costumes, from Asda, or if you were really posh then you’d have a Woolworth’s original Frankenstein costume, or something equally as fancy. For the rest of us, a leopard print Tesco T-shirt would make you a cat, a huge glop of hair gel would make you a vampire, and, apparently, a bin bag would make you a witch. That said, I’m pretty sure one year my mother must have felt sorry for me and treated me to a broomstick. A fraction scarier, perhaps, if I hadn’t spent the whole night pretending to sweep the neighbours gardens with it. Now, fifteen years later, it seems you can only dress up as something sexualised. For every character and costume idea, there is a ‘sexy’ version. Sexy Cinderella, sexy ladybug, sexy raccoon (this is actual thing, Google it) and I have even seen SEXY PABLO ESCABAR. No, really. Neighbours during my childhood did not decorate their houses for halloween. If you had a glowing pumpkin in your front porch in the 90’s then you were uber creative and your house was top of the list to either be celebrated or egged, depending on your neighbourhood. Now, entire homes are clad in spider webs and lanterns and lawn decorations that actually cost over £100, as if British kids would do anything apart from kick over and spit on the giant Frankenstein in the front garden. Autumn is wonderful. Yes, your skin will become shit from the fluctuating hot and cold. Yes, drunk people will throw pinecones at you in Cathays wherever you go. Yes, you will sniff, sniff, sniff your way through the whole season. But it is a beautiful time. Before the stinging Christmas costs, before the identity crisis that comes with New Year, before the January blues. This is now. Crunchy, crispy, cuddly autumn, I’ve never been so glad to see you.
Pictured: Lovely, lovely Cardiff in lovely, lovely autumn. (source: Dee Q via Flickr)
As a chubby and ginger six year old, I was stuffed into a bin bag with 70p witches hat and that was my costume.
Editors: George Watkins Anwen Williams @GairRhyddAdv email@example.com gairrhydd.com/advice
It’s Safety Week!
Here’s our guide to being careful on campus Pictured:
Do what you can to stay safe (Source: Gakuto Ochi)
Staying safe on a night out Lydia Jackson
To get the most out of a night out, be prepared.
or many, part of the university experience (and especially for a fresher) is the ability to have unencumbered nights out away from parents without judgement, other than that of friends who are mostly in the same situation. This is part of a bonding experience between people from different backgrounds and different perspectives, sharing a commonality in going to the SU and enjoying a few or more VK’s whilst throwing their shapes. Whilst this is all in the name of fun, it is essential to remember the all too forgettable fact that there are certain implications of ‘losing your inhibitions’. A common initiative is to attend ‘pre’s’ and have a few drinks before going out to help save on the expense of the club (to get your money’s worth before heading out of the door). Whilst this, at the time, appears to be
ragon taxis have launched their ‘Safe Taxi Scheme’. Available 24 hours a day, it enables students to get home safely regardless of whether they have money on them or not. Call Dragon Taxis on 02920333333
YOLO with care
a ‘cost effective’ approach, there are certainly risks which should be considered. A common misconception by many is their recognition of the levels to which they have been drinking (alcohol unit guidelines are no more than 14 units a week). It is extremely important to know your limits, implementing tactics to prevent ‘the haze’, and maintaining the ethos of an enjoyable night, whilst ensuring safety. After the rush of the day a good meal and ensuring that you are well hydrated with water are seriously underestimated. Both are also a great way of preventing a hangover in the morning – bonus! Charging your phone, remembering your keys, and making sure you have your ID to hand are also a good start. These things are all too easy to forget, and let’s be honest, the latter three are an absolute pain to
realise you’re without if you’re at the door of a venue. Once inside, it is essential to ensure that you and your friends are not left alone, and that if someone splits from the group you know where they are and who they’re with. It’s easy to be distracted by someone, or your favourite tune, therefore it’s a good idea to decide on a certain bar within each club to meet and get drinks at. This way no one is left behind, you can help anyone who may have had a few too many, and you can let people know where you’re going if you decide to leave early. It is also advised to not leave drinks on the side to return to later, even just for a few minutes, as it is not uncommon for people both male and female to be spiked. If a drink tastes strange, and you or a friend feels drowsy, a bouncer should be informed.
Safe Taxi Scheme
and quote ‘Cardiff University Safe Taxi Scheme’, providing your student number. When the taxi arrives, give the driver your student card so they can double check the booking. They’ll give you a receipt for the fare. Over the next few days, head to
the Finance Office in the the Students’ Union and pay the fare. If you don’t pay it, you won’t be able to access university services. The maximum fare is £20 in total for each account, with the maximum being four students travelling at
Whilst we all feel the pinch in our pockets after a night on (or at) ‘the lash’ it is impertinent to ensure that everyone gets home safely. You should always find housemates or friends to go home with if you can, but if you’re alone it is strongly recommended that you get a cab (another reason to remember your wallet and phone). Although Cardiff is a particularly friendly city, it is not without risk. The sexual assaults last year are an example of this, as well as fights, getting lost or simply feeling nervous. All in all, to get the most out of a night out, be prepared, have a reasonable head on your shoulders and take precautions to make sure you get home safe. University is a great time to make great friends and great memories, the most important thing is to have a good time!
any one time. The address must be a student residence, halls, a police station or hospital. When it comes to getting home, it’s best not to risk it - take advantage of opportunities to stay safe, and the rest of the night will take care of itself.
Wheely important advice
Theft and what you can do
The thing they’ll stress the most is investing in a D-Lock.
f you’ve ever been a victim of theft, you’ll know it sucks. It’s horrible to think that someone will go to the trouble of scouting out your bike and then cutting through your lock to steal your bike, but unfortunately it does happen - and quite a lot among university students. With Cardiff being a cycle-friendly city, it’s likely that many of you will choose to invest in a bike for transportation, therefore it’s important that your bike is kept safe during your time here. The university and the police frequently send around notices concerning the safety of your bike. The thing they’ll stress the most is investing in a D-lock for your bike. They state that the biggest reasons behind bike theft is the quality of the locks being used, bikes being left in an unsafe location, and failing to lock the bikes properly. For one student studying at Cardiff University, it came as a surprise when her bike was taken from the front of her house in a well-lit area behind the students’ union. She said “I feel like someone went out with the intention of stealing my bike, as they’d brought bolt cutters with them and had clearly been watching the house”. She also stated “I’ve heard that there are those locks that can’t be broken with pliers,
but I don’t have one and I don’t know what they’re called. If I knew that then, it’s possible that things could have been different”. In order to reduce the chance of your bike getting stolen, it’s advised that students leave their bikes near other bikes and in a well-lit area. It’s recommended that the frame along with the wheels are locked to a bike stand. If your bike is new or expensive, it might also be worth looking in to having your bike insured, as newer or expensive bikes are more likely to be stolen, and it’s worth the investment if you’d be devastated from the loss. In terms of investing in a D-lock, they’re available to purchase online or from university campus security. If you’re unfortunate enough to have had your bike stolen, there’s a few things you can do. Firstly, you can call into the police station - which is situated just by the glamorgan building, and report your bike stolen. Alternatively you can call to report by using 101. You can also register details on www. immobilise.com, where if found by the police then it can be checked against the register, and returned to you. Unfortunately many stolen bike cases remain unsolved, so its better to be safe than sorry. Stay smart about your safety, and D-lock it up!
Riding with care
’m a terrible person for safety advice on a bike. It could be a better idea to frame this article around what I do, and to advise you to do otherwise. Over the summer I fell off my bike playing Pokemon Go, so I feel like I am not the best example of road safety. I do know what I should be doing however, so here’s some things I’ve found. The first and most important thing is to wear a helmet. I know it sounds incredibly patronising, but they do save lives every day. The Department of Transport has released figures that cyclists are 17 times more likely to die on the road than motorists. It’s common sense that when you fly over the handlebars and hit the road, having a protective bubble around your head means that you’re less likely to crack it open. Secondly, give more space to motorists than you would usually. It is worryingly common for them to drive close to you and even sometimes in the bike lanes. To avoid being clipped by a car, try to keep away from them as much as you can (without being ridiculous). Thirdly, keep an extra eye out for junctions. I’ve had it happen a lot
that a car has decided to pull out in front of me and nearly knock me off because they’re in a rush. Anticipate them doing this, and make sure you’re aware of your environment. Fourth, keep your bike up to date. Brakes, tyres and gears can be a bit tricky when they aren’t working properly, so make sure to get it serviced every so often to make sure everything stays in full working order. Finally, don’t get distracted. Don’t listen to music, stare at the ground instead of looking up, or anything similar that means that your full concentration isn’t on the road. Bike safety is incredibly important. When you step out on to the road you are vulnerable to the other vehicles around you, and when something goes wrong, it can cost lives. All of this is incredibly important though. Back home a local headteacher was knocked over by a car as he was on his daily commute and killed. He left behind a loving family. Around 10 lives of cyclists have already been lost this year in London, and sadly the figure is bound to increase. Make sure that you aren’t included in these statistics and be careful when you cycle.
When you step out onto the road you are vulnerable to the other vehicles around you.
Cycling. Source: Hiroki Ono via flickr.
Become aware with what direct debits you have going out, also what’s coming in.
Card fraud and what you can do to stop it
t was a warm day in the middle of June, and like most students I was panicking about how I would cope without my student loan, which wasn’t set to come in until the end of September. I made the risky step of checking into my online banking to see what the damage was. Looking at my balance I was a bit confused. Apart from the usual disappointment that it hadn’t grown by six figures since I last checked, it seemed unreasonably low, so I had a look at my statement. Apart from the usual bleeding from my posh coffee addiction, there were a few strange entries. I don’t remember using ‘Escort Services’, but it made a difficult conversation with my mum to explain that I hadn’t nearly run out of money because of this particular leisure activity. There were a fair few transactions
over the two weeks previously, either using this title or the suspicious ‘Handling Fee’. In all I’d lost about £200 over two weeks. I was relieved that I’d found it when I did, before it got any worse. What do you do if this happens? First of all, call the bank. Explain the situation and be honest. If I can do it and use the word ‘prostitute’ then I’m sure you can muster up the courage. Before you do this make a list of all the transactions, because they’ll ask you for them. The last thing you want is to not be reimbursed because you forgot to mention it. They should give you your money back, and will very possibly change your card number to stop any further direct debit payments being sent out. Second, be careful. Make sure that when you give out card details over the internet you are able to ver-
Wallet and credit cards. (Source: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr.
ify whether the server is secure on your own system, and that the website is trusted and verified. Be careful of fake labels being stuck at the bottom of spam pages as well, no matter how colourful or how many big ticks they have in them. Finally, keep an eye on your bank statements to check that you aren’t being silently bled dry by anony-
mous thieves. Become aware with what direct debits you have going out, also what is coming in. It hurts to look at how much money you don’t have sometimes, but if it helps you not get robbed, it could save you the embarrassment of having to explain that you aren’t in fact a peruser of certain leisure activities.
Let’s talk about sex
We need to be more open about sexual health Pictured: Safe sex. Source: Zorah Olivia via Flickr.
It’s important to get yourself checked regularly.
” George Watkins
t’s 2016 and sex is still regarded as a taboo subject. Although the media has commercialised it, and you might brag to your friends about last night’s catch, the topic of conversation is very rarely concerned with safety, smear tests or HPV. This is not a scare tactic. By all means, sex is great, (especially safe sex), but at university with hormones and alcohol flying around, it’s easy to forget the basic necessities. Most people are aware of what it means to have safe sex, but here are a few refresher tips: - Condoms and other barrier methods (‘femidom?’ I hear you shout) are the only way to ensure there is no transmission of STDs. - Most contraception can’t guarantee 100% success rate in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. - Limit the risk of STDs and STIs by limiting the number of people you are having intercourse with. - Asking ‘have you been tested for chlamydia’ is a bit of a mood killer, and people aren’t always keen to offer
up this kind of info, but positive test results the next week will certainly complicate things further. - A lot of STDs and STIs show little or no symptoms, so can go unnoticed for a long time. -Even oral sex has its risks; gonorrhoea, Hep B, and syphilis are all transmittable. It’s important to get yourself checked regularly, or at least if you start having sex with someone new, or if you notice any symptoms. If you have any concerns, to get it checked out ASAP. And you have no excuse, because the services nearby are phenomenal: The Department of Sexual Health provides clinics both at Cardiff Royal Infirmary (Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0SZ) and in a number of other locations across Cardiff. You do not need to see your doctor before attending a sexual health clinic, which may settle any worries you have about the awkward trip to the GP – although they are professionals, and your modesty and integrity is always taken into consideration
and confidentiality is never breached. So, for all your sexual health needs, visit The Cardiff Royal Infirmary (CRI). They offer: basic contraception, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, treatment for STIs, advice and testing for the LGBTQ community, and more. However, The CRI is not your only option; there is an abundance of Sexual Health Services provided in community clinics around the city. The nearest to the university is Roath Clinic on Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3SB. Here they can again offer: - Contraceptive pill or Jab - Condoms and emergency contraception - Pregnancy testing and Pregnancy advice and referral for abortion if required - IUD / IUS (“Coil”) and Implant (“Rod”) insertions, removals and changes - STI tests (Chlamydia and gonorrhoea) - Cervical smear tests (if capacity allows)
It’s important to be safe, careful and sensible when having sex; to prevent unwanted pregnancies and infections. Sexual health isn’t limited to sexually active people: Yeast infections, UTIs, rashes and more can occur for a number of reasons. For example, it’s believed that most women will experience a UTI at some point in their life, due to the nature of urethras. It’s also nothing to be ashamed about. These things happen to the best of us, and it’s best to face any problems head on, and get it dealt with rather than burying your head in the sand. It’s important to talk about sexual health, and put these recommendations into practice the next time you’re out on the pull. For more information, head over to www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales. nhs.uk/sexual-health. To book an appointment at the CRI, phone 029 2033 5208 or 029 2033 5355. To contact Roath Clinic call 02920 461 177.
Cardiff sexual health support I
What to do if a quickie leaves you sickie
f you’re concerned about your sexual health, the first thing to say is that you mustn’t panic. Your best bet is to find a sexual health clinic with trained professionals able to guide you to whatever service you need. SHAG (Cardiff Sexual Health Awareness Group) is both a guidance and support service right here on campus. They run the C-Card service every week. With a card you are able to get free condoms and lube at any of their sessions, which run Wednesday 1-3 in the Boardroom,on the third floor of the Union. They also provide free condoms and lube
in dispensers around the Students’ Union. If you have any queries or need any guidance, contact them directly, or visit their website at: http://cushag.com/. Park Place Surgery: if you are registered here already, every Wednesday they offer walk in contraceptive and sexual health screenings, devoting their whole opening time that day to the service. Call them on 02920870660 if you have any queries, or contact Roath House Surgery (their parent surgery). Only Cardiff Royal Infirmary of-
fers full STI checks, but you can get basic texts for chlamydia and gonorrhoea at most clinics. Text ‘SLOT’ to 07786202254 at 6pm the day before
you need an appointment to book yourself in. If you have any other queries, please get in touch with your GP.
Pictured: The SHAG logo (Source: Cardiff Students’ Union)
How to save a life
70% of sufferers need a donation from outside their family
Why stem cells donation matters
bout six months ago, on a particularly slow Saturday morning, I came across volunteers for a charity called Anthony Nolan, encouraging me to put myself on the stem cell register, in the hope that one day I would match with someone suffering from blood cancer needing an emergency transplant, and might be able to save a live. I said yes, and last month I found out that I have indeed matched with someone. My blood tests have been sent off to confirm the match, and in the meantime I wanted to do more, running the Cardiff Half Marathon for the charity. When I’ve told people what the register is, they’ve seemed
to not know what it is, and just how important it actually is. Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK finds out they have blood cancer, such as lymphoma or leukaemia. As part of illnesses like this, their cells become extremely damaged, so they need a healthy person with the same tissue type to help replace and repair their own. Currently, Anthony Nolan has about 500,000 people on the register, but this is not enough. 70% of sufferers need a donation from a source outside their family, which puts immense pressure on the register to find a match. So how do I join? At Cardiff University, you’re very lucky, as there
are regular opportunities to join on campus. The process involves a donation of saliva and a few forms, and then you’re ready to go. You can also request the kit from their website. What happens if I’m a match? You’ll receive a notification form Anthony Nolan by email or text, with the news, and they’ll confirm you’re still on the register, before asking you to arrange a blood donation so they can double check that you suit the match. If you pass this stage, then you’ll be asked to book a date in a donation centre to give your stem cells. How do they do it? 90% of donors will go through a process called peripheral blood stem cell collection,
where you have a small tube inserted in your arm connected to a machine which filters your blood for the stem cells. It only takes a few hours. Otherwise, you will be put under anaesthetic and have the stem cells removed form your pelvis by syringe and needle. It sounds worse than it is. The important thing is that a donation is often the last or only option for someone in this position, which is why it is absolutely vital that the register continues to grow in size. There is a particular shortage of young men like me. Give it a try. You could save a life. Their website is anthonynolan. org.
5 steps to better food storage
e all love food. We all aren’t keen on mouldy food. We all also don’t like wasting money. We all like handy tips on storing food. No? Just me then.
1. Revive your greens
Bring those greens back to life by putting them into a sinkful of iced water and giving them a bit of a shake around for 5-30 minutes.
2. Soggy lettuce?
Put a bit of kitchen roll with your salad. As the veggies chill out they produce condensation. The kitchen roll will soak up any moisture in the bag. Nobody wants moist food.
3. Longer life for fruit
Keep those apples away from other fruit. It’s a life or death situation of sorts. They give out ethylene gas, which is great for potatoes (famously not a fruit), but which isn’t too great for any other fruit.
It looks good and tastes good (muammerokumus via Flickr)
4. Use your freezer
Go freezer mad. Yoghurt, cheese, milk, eggs, bananas and bread are all ok if you cool them down that much.
5. Ration yourself
Portion your meat. Packaging individual chicken fillets and the like in separate freezer bags makes it much easier to prepare your meals, not to mention avoiding banging it against the worktop to split them up.
Hormonal Imbalance: What you can do There’s no need to suffer in silence
ormonal Imbalance. It’s a term usually assigned to pubescent teenagers or female sufferers of PMS/PMDD. But to exclusively stereotype these groups is inaccurate. Whether you’re still suffering the brunt of your puberty years or if you’re bordering on the cusp of adulthood, you can still be affected by the wrath of unstable hormones. Regardless of your age or gender, your hormonal balance can be dis-
turbed at any given moment and by a number of determining factors. It seems that illnesses centring around our hormones have become stigmatised, and the people suffering from them receive judgement even worse. Often, sufferers are apprehensive to admit to their illness, for fear of not being taken seriously. But there’s no need to feel hesitant. Hormonal imbalance is a real occurrence that is important to detect and treat. The first step to understanding and treating hormonal imbalance is to detect it. Some of the more common symptoms are: Fatigue: Can’t make it to your lecture without a trip to Hoffi Coffi? How about that mid-day crash? It’s not laziness that’s making you feel mentally foggy. When your hormones are out of balance, it’s normal
for your body and mind to experience exhaustion. Dietary changes can help this. Drink plenty of water and incorporate more fruit into your diet. It’s a much more sustainable pick-me-up than caffeine. Constant flux in weight: As much as lifestyle, diet and exercise are determining factors of your weight, hormonal imbalance can also have an effect. Many people have unaddressed insulin resistances that prevent them from maintaining a healthy weight. To treat this, it is best to ease your intake of processed or highly sugary foods. Eat in variety, eat in moderation and eat well. Cravings: We’ve all been there, surrounded in the remnants of a late night snacking feast. But as much as you’re entitled to gorge on a packet of chocolate digestives every once in
a while, constant cravings (and I’m talking every day) can be a sign of a disrupted hormonal state. Adrenal fatigue and insulin resistance are common causes of cravings. It can be difficult to prevent this. But again, reducing your sugar intake (although incredibly difficult) will not only stabilise your hormones, but will boost your nutritional levels too. Depression and Anxiety: More seriously, hormonal imbalance can stimulate emotional instability. It can be viscous and confusing, but there are ways to get help. Herbal treatments such as Evening Primrose Oil help to calm disrupted hormones. If you still feel the same symptoms persisting, it’s best to seek help from a friend or doctor. No one should suffer their problems alone.
Harry Potter society, englisH lit society and lgBt+ Present...
Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/politics
Sturgeon threatens for a second referendum if UK go for a “hard Brexit” First Minister plans to unveil new blueprint next week
“There’s lots of challenges along the way, but we are in an unprecedented set of circumstances and I think there is an obligation on all of us to try to square the circle.”
irst Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted on holding a second independence referendum if the UK take the “hard Brexit” route. Sturgeon said that such a departure from the European Union would lead to the UK breaking a number of promises it made during the 2014 Scottish referendum. In her keynote speech at the annual SNP conference in Glasgow on Saturday, the first minister said that in the upcoming months, she would seek “new powers to help keep Scotland in the single market, even if the UK leaves”. Mrs Sturgeon has said she will publish proposals in the upcoming weeks aimed at allowing Scotland to retain access to the European single market after Brexit. However, Sturgeon insisted that a “hard Brexit” would make a second independence referendum highly likely, deeming it “necessary to protect our country’s interests”. However, David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, said on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme that the UK government would have to agree to a second referendum. He said Sturgeon’s proposals seem “impossible, for example, that Scotland could remain within the EU whilst the rest of the UK left.” When pressed on whether Scotland could stay in the EU’s single market, Mundell said: “I think it would be difficult to see how that could be achieved.” Just hours after Sturgeon said it would be “inconceivable” for the PM to deny Scots the right for a second referendum given they voted to remain in the EU,
prime minister Theresa May said that Sturgeon must respect Scot’s decision in a “once in a generation vote”. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ““There was a referendum in 2014 that addressed this issue that was legal and fair. The result was decisive and both parties agreed at the time to respect it.” In light of this, the First Minister said: “If the Tory government rejects these efforts, if it insists on taking Scotland down a path that hurts our economy, costs jobs, lowers our living standards and damages our reputation as an open, welcoming, diverse country, then be in no doubt Scotland must have the ability to choose a better future. “And I will make sure that Scotland gets that chance. And let us be clear about this, too. If that moment does arise, it will not be because the 2014 result hasn’t been respected. It will be because the promises made to Scotland in 2014 have been broken.” Sturgeon announced that she will publish a draft referendum bill for public consultation next week. She argued that Scotland is in a situation it did not choose in the EU referendum. More than 60 per cent of Scottish voters backed remain in the June vote on whether to stay or leave the EU. She told the conference: “There are many no voters now looking at the Brexit vote with real dismay and wondering if independence might be the best option for Scotland after all.” Sturgeon is scheduled to meet May and other leaders of devolved administrations next Monday, and she appeared
adamant to keep Scotland in the single market. “I’m not pretending any of this will be straightforward, there’s lots of challenges along the way, but we are in an unprecedented set of circumstances and I think there is an obligation on all of us to try to square the circle. Scotland voted to stay in the EU, and I think we should try to honour that, and I think Theresa May has an obligation to try to honour that as well.” After the EU referendum result was announced in June, it was revealed that the White House would not advocate Sturgeon’s right for a mandate for a second independence referendum. White house press secretary Josh Earnest said: “The United States values the critically important security relationship that we have with the United Kingdom.” The first minister also proclaimed that Scotland would increase its economic presence over the continent through trade missions. Sturgeon said: “Make no mistake, the threat to our economy is not just the prospect of losing our place in the single market – disastrous though that would be. “It is also the deeply damaging – and utterly shameful – message that the Tories’ rhetoric about foreign workers is sending to the world. More than ever, we need to tell our European friends that Scotland is open for business.” Sturgeon’s defiant speech comes in light of the crash of the value of the pound since 23rd June. European Parlia-
ment papers revealed that this is likely to cause a huge increase in the UK’s contributions to the EU budget. Despite the UK government estimation that its 2017 contribution to the EU budget would be £7.1bn, it’s likely that the UK will pay an additional £2bn as a result of the falling pound. The amount payed into the EU is determined by exchange rates on the final day of December of the previous year. Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who is now European spokesman for Liberal Democrats, said: “It is a bitter irony that the lurch towards a hard Brexit could see contributions to the EU budget increase. “Brexiteers like to accuse others of talking down the economy, but they are the ones talking down the pound by steering the UK economy towards a damaging exit from the single market.” Gareth Thomas, Labour’s new shadow local government minister, suggested that Scotland’s strive for power was a move that needs to be reproduced across England. Thomas advocated the necessity for the government to give income-tax raising powers to regional authorities. He said: “When England voted to take back control in June, it wasn’t voting for even more of the same from Westminster. “Never mind another ‘shall we, shan’t we’ dance with Nicola Sturgeon, England needs its ministers to understand that Whitehall can seem just as distant as Brussels if you’re struggling to get by in Hull or Falmouth, Sunderland or Southampton.”
Pictured: A human YES in support of Scottish independence (photographer: Stuart Crawford)
More than 60 per cent of Scottish voters backed remain in the June vote on whether to stay or leave
Lord Elis-Thomas “under no constitutional obligation” to stand down Sean Earley
His Lordship felt disappointed with the party’s refusal to develop a better working relationship with Labour
“I’m protesting because BAE are trying to recruit my friends to make weapons which are being used to kill my old friends.”
Lord Elis-Thomas has dismissed calls for a by-election
ord Elis-Thomas AM has ignored calls for a by-election to be held, following his decision to leave Plaid and remain as an independent member in the assembly. Lord Elis-Thomas led his party from 1984 to 1991, but announced last Friday that he “would put Wales ahead of the party”. Lord Elis-Thomas had not seen eye to eye with the party leadership for some time now and has been disappointed with the direction of Plaid since the election. His Lordship felt disappointed with the party’s refusal to develop a better working relationship with Labour, who currently hold power in the Assembly. Speaking to the BBC he said: “I don’t think it’s the role of any party in Wales to be in opposition for opposition sake.” He went on to say “I think all pro-devolutionists should be working together.” Speaking to the BBC he said : “I don’t think it’s the role of any party in Wales to be in opposition for opposition sake. “I think all pro-devolutionists should be working together.” Lord Elis-Thomas has dismissed calls for a by-election claiming he has “no constitutional obligation” to stand down as an assembly member.
Many in his local party are angered by the Assembly Member’s decision to sit as an independent, especially as Lord Elis-Thomas had asked for their personal support following disciplinary action last year after he criticised the party’s general election campaign. The local party supported him and he went on to achieve a vote of 47 per cent in this year’s assembly elections. The majority of Plaid members are in favour of a by-election and say it would be the right thing for constituents if Lord Elis-Thomas would step down. Rhun Ap Iorwerth, AM for Anglesey, claimed his Lordship had broken the trust of his party and constituents. Iowerth said :“If this was happening towards the end of a parliamentary term, it might be different. But this was within five months of the election where Dafydd Elis-Thomas had an opportunity to stand as an independent.” Speaking to BBC Radio Wales he claimed that “there was an attempt by the National Executive of the party to remove me as candidate before the last Assembly elections.” “It was clear that there was no role for me within the party in the future, but there is obviously a role
Pictured: Dafydd Elis-Thomas (source:: Plaid Cymru -The Party of Wales)
for me in developing the constitution of Wales as an independent member.” As one of Plaid’s most recognisable and experienced members, he often came to blows with the party’s current leader Leanne Wood. When he served as Presiding Officer to the assembly in 2004, he ordered her to leave the Senedd chamber when
she referred to the Queen as ‘Mrs Windsor’. He failed to win the leadership race against her in 2012, and in 2014 he was fired as both chairman of the assembly’s environmental committee and transport spokesman, after he criticised Wood’s attack on UKIP voters in her party conference speech.
STEMs career fair sees student protest against arms sales to Saudi Arabia
im Erskine, an electrical engineering student from Yemen, has held a protest against British Aerospace (BAE) Systems’ sales to Saudi Arabia at Wednesday’s careers fair held at the Cardiff School of Engineering. The student stood next to the BAE Systems’ stall at the STEM careers fair at the Cardiff School of Engineering He was holding up a sign that read “I grew up in Yemen. One of BAE’s biggest customers bombed my school”. The sign refers to Saudi Arabia, who have been leading a coalition against the Houthi government since the start of the Yemeni civil war in March 2015. The UK has licensed £3.3bn of arms contracts with Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war. BAE Systems is by far the UK’s largest weapons manufacturer, and beneficiary of the contracts, with factories across the country in places including Glascoed in Monmouthsire, Yeovil in Somerset, and Filton, near Bristol. The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has been widely regarded as a humanitarian catastrophe by human rights groups as well as the Europe-
an Parliament and the UN, and has faced heavy criticism after more of a third of bombs hit civilian targets like schools and hospitals. Tim Erskine, who lived in the capital city of Sana’a until he was 14 years old, told the Gair Rhydd, “They bombed the school that I used to go to. An old classmate of mine was at a funeral that was attacked two weeks ago. He survived with minor injuries, but thirty five of his relatives were killed. I’m protesting because BAE are trying to recruit my friends to make weapons which are being used to kill my old friends.” A 72 hour ceasefire was announced this week by the UN after international condemnation of the funeral attack on the 8th October. The Saudis initially denied involvement, but have since accepted responsibility. Last week the US officially entered the conflict as an active combatant after striking Houthi-controlled radar sites as retaliation for missiles fired against a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen. A motion was raised at Cardiff Students’ Union’s annual general meeting two years ago, to ban the
arms industry’s presence at careers fairs, which was opposed due to some students’ concerns for the potential loss of financial support from BAE of engineering degrees at Cardiff University. Although Tim Erskine believes that “censorship isn’t the answer. Some students want to go into careers into the legitimate side of the
arms industry, and they should have the right to advertise here without censorship. But I have the right as well, to come here and protest. “I’m hoping to raise awareness, and after today build a network to coordinate writing to MPs, and build pressure for a vote in Parliament to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”
Pictured: Cardiff University student Tim Erskine (photographer: Alex Seabrook)
Republican Party office firebombed
North Carolina Replubican Office firebombed and adjacent building vandalized Marie-Clare Alfonso
Donald Trump was eager to point the blame towards Clinton and her supporters.
bottle filled with flammable liquid was thrown through the Orange County Republican headquarters on Sunday, with a swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” written on the outside of an adjacent building. Nobody was injured during the attack but Dallas Woodhouse, Executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party speculates that “There is no way for anybody to have known that that office was completely empty” and is “not willing to accept that they weren’t trying to hurt people.” It’s not known who did this attack, but local law enforcement has opened up a criminal investigation. One official claimed that the act was “political terrorism”. The forthcoming election between Trump and Hillary Clinton has proven a very divisive decision in the US. And worryingly, this isn’t the first time political violence has occurred during the build-up to this election. Protesters at Trump rallies have been punched, there have been clashes between demonstrators and
police, and recently several cars belonging to Trump supporters outside a Trump event at Maine this weekend were spray painted. Disturbingly, Trump has even warned that the “Second Amendment people”, ardent gun owners, might take matters into their own hands if President Clinton appointed judges who supported gun control. With three weeks until the election, law enforcement experts are worried that this type of political violence will only escalate. Ron Hosko, a member of the law enforcement legal defence fund has said he “thinks that it would be prudent for both of the campaigns to say something to their own supporters to tone this down”. Donald Trump was eager to point the blame towards Clinton and her supporters, he stated that “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Democrats in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County”. Hillary Clinton was quick to condemn the attacks, she responded to the event by tweeting “The attack on the Orange County HQ office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful
that everyone is safe.” In response to the attack, a number of Democrats and liberals created a GoFundMe page aimed to help raise money so that the North Carolina Republicans can rebuild their headquarters, the page raised over $13,000. The campaign’s organisers
tweeted about their “thirst for civility and democracy”, following the attack which had been labelled by the state Governor, Pat McCrory as “an assault on our democracy”. It is currently unclear who was guilty of the attack and the investigation continues.
Pictured: Damage from the vandalism (source: Josh Bergeron via Twitter)
Shock as leadership candidate Steven Woolfe quits UKIP Molly Ambler
Mr Woolfe has stated that he leaves the party with “a huge amount of sadness”.
n yet another political earthquake, the UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe has quit the party following a very public fight with UKIP MEP Mike Hookam. Steven Woolfe, in an interview with the BBC, has stated that UKIP is “in its death spiral”, with “something rotten” in the party. Mr Woolfe had previously been seen to be a frontrunner in the leadership campaign after the resignation of Diane James. Mr Woolfe has stated that he leaves the party with “a huge amount of sadness”. The reasons for his departure have been cited as irreconcilable divisions within UKIP, with the divisions creating “huge negative camps”, with a “spiral that is going on that’s bringing it down”. He also cited that only a “small handful” of UKIP politicians and officials contacted him after the incident with Mr Hookam to ask about his wellbeing. Further to this apparent discord Mr Woolfe has also cited UKIP as being “ungovernable”, however Mr Woolfe is still serving as an independent MEP until the UK has finalised its divorce from the EU in 2019. Mr Woolfe furthers this claim remarking he “believes that a strong UKIP would hold this government’s feet to the fire and make sure it delivers a clean Brexit. However, I have come to the conclusion that UKIP is ungovernable without Nigel Farage leading it and the referendum cause to unite it.”
Farage is currently acting as UKIP’s interim leader until they elect a new permanent leader. It is believed that he will not be standing in the leadership election. In reaction to Mr Woolfe’s departure Mr Hookam has stated “Steven Woolfe’s political career was over once he showed disloyalty to the UKIP party and membership when he held talks to join the Tories. Steven has been warned about inappropriate behavior by senior UKIP personnel for a year now. We wish him well and hope he can get his life sorted out.” While the incident between Mr Woolfe and Mr Hookam has been a focal point of Mr Woolfe’s resignation, with many believing that this has been the root cause of his departure he has remarked he is “seeking legal advice in respect of the investigations and will not be commenting further on the matter until the completion of those investigations.” Mr Woolfe’s resignation coincided with the party announcing there will be a new leader in place by the 28th November. Nominations for the leadership will open on Monday and will close in two week’s time. There will then be a series of hustings in the first two weeks of November. The current front-runners are Suzanne Evans, Paul Nuttall and David Coburn. The new leader will certainly facing a difficult challenge in uniting and increasingly divided party. While UKIP appear to be putting on a brave face in the wake of this
Pictured: Steven Woolfe pictured during the #PanamaPapers debate (source: European Parliament)
“ resignation, yet there seems to be catastrophic bleeding from the party that no one appears to be able to stem. UKIP may be, for the time being, placing a plaster over their glaring wounds but it is unclear whether this will last. It is believed that Woolfe has held talks with Brexit Secretary David Davis about a possible defection to the
Tory party. Mr Woolfe has previously admitted that he had been “enthused” by Mrs May’s start to her spell in 10 Downing Street. It appears that UKIP is facing an extremely turbulent future full of infighting and provocative challenges. To the electorate this provokes the question, is this the end of UKIP? It appears that Mr Woolfe believes it is.
It appears that UKIP is facing an extremely turbulent future full of infighting and provocative challenges.
Labour and Plaid agree deal to pass £15 million Welsh Budget Melissa Moore
Health services have come out on top in the 2017/18 budget with an extra £240 million allocation for the NHS.
abour Assembly Ministers have announced details of the Welsh Government’s £15 billion annual budget for 2017/18 following a deal struck with Plaid Cymru. The budget was welcomed for its increased spending on health services and infrastructure but doubts have already arisen as to whether these increases are enough and if continued cuts to local government are warranted. Lacking a majority in the Senedd, First Minister Carwyn Jones of the Labour Party needed the support of Plaid Cymru Assembly Members to ensure the draft budget could be passed. A £119 million deal was struck between the two parties as part of the negotiations; a deal that Plaid argue has secured funding for further investment in the NHS, Welsh language initiatives and the arts. Health services have come out on top in the 2017/18 budget with an extra £240 million allocation for the NHS, which includes an additional £20 million for mental health. Infrastructure will also see additional financial support for future large scale projects, comprising £900 million for the long awaited
M4 Relief Road, £300 million for the Metro Project and £300 million for road improvements across the country. Figures show that whilst the health budget has increased 2.5% in real terms and infrastructure has increased 8.6%; local government will undergo continued cuts with council budgets down 1.5%. Communities and education see further austerity measures taking place after it is has been announced Communities First, Teach First and the Schools Challenge Cymru project (which provided £20 million a year for deprived secondary schools) will be axed. The Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford, who outlined the plans in the Senedd yesterday, remarked “We continue to face ongoing cuts to our Budget as a result of decisions made by the UK Government … This is also a Budget which has been developed against the backdrop of the outcome of the EU Referendum and the uncertain future of vital European funding streams. Our plans have been shaped by these unprecedented challenges.” The deal, which was struck during talks between Mr Drakeford and Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price, has
Pictured: The National Assembly for Wales (photographer: Matty Ring)
undergone scrutiny by Welsh Conservative AMs. Welsh Tory Leader Andrew RT Davies dismissed the deal as “groundhog day” on BBC Radio Wales and argued that, “The nationalists are rowing in behind Labour and propping them up for another 12 months of failure.” Plaid Cymru opposed entering into a coalition with Labour, which has led some Welsh Conservatives to argue what role Plaid Cymru has to play as a party of the opposition following this deal. A spokesperson
for the Welsh Conservatives commented, “It is no surprise once again Plaid Cymru have chosen to flout their responsibilities as a party of the opposition by seeking the solace of their Labour comfort blanket.” The details of the budget will continue to be scrutinised over the next few weeks and following the resignation of Plaid Cymru AM Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, it will be of interest to see how the balance of power in the Welsh Assembly continues to develop.
Boris v Boris: The big Brexit debate
The foreign secretary wrote a previously-unseen article in support of EU membership just days before backing the Leave campaign Adam George
In his pro-EU article he fully supported membership of the free trade zone.
oris Johnson once believed that Britain should remain in the European Union to avoid worsening “geostrategic anxiety” and a possible break-up of the United Kingdom, according to a “secret,” unpublished newspaper column by the foreign secretary. Johnson, the former mayor of London, was one of the key voices for the Leave campaign in the run-up to the June 23 Brexit vote, but had flirted with supporting the other side earlier in the year. While deliberating over whether to support his good friend and leader, David Cameron , by campaigning for Britain to remain, Johnson wrote an alternative column for the Daily Telegraph, where he had a weekly column, in which he set out the case for the U.K. remaining a member of the union. It was not published at the time, but has been obtained by the rival Sunday Times. The unpublished article was written on February 19, at the same time that the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, was completing a controversial renegotiation of Britain’s membership terms in Brussels, and shortly before the date for the referendum was announced. In the piece, Johnson argued that the Outers had not fully made the
case that the U.K.’s economy would be secure if it left the union. “I am sure that the doomsters are exaggerating the fallout — but are they completely wrong?” Johnson wrote. “And how can we know?” he asked. Mr Johnson is now seen by many as a supporter of a “hard Brexit “, this week insisting that the United Kingdom could obtain a trade deal “of greater value” to the economy than access to the EU single market, which he described as an “increasingly useless” concept. However in his pro-EU article he fully supported membership of the free trade zone. An extract from the article reads “This is a market on our doorstep, ready for further exploitation by British firms, the membership fee seems rather small for all that access. Why are we so determined to turn our back on it?” Many people have been quick to criticise Boris’ apparent “flip-flopping” on such an important issue. The former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, said “Bumbling Boris has displayed extraordinary levels of confusion and contradiction over the UK’s access to the Single Market. However the joke is no longer just about Boris. His political gymnastics are now clowning around with the jobs and livelihoods of millions of people.”
Sources close to Mr Johnson said he wrote the article for the sole purpose of trying to articulate in his mind whether there was any merit in the Remain argument and dismissed it out of hand as soon as he finished. Johnson has also claimed that the article is “meaningless” and “not worth the paper it is written on”. He
also suggests that the article was semi-parody. However, it is still very embarrassing for the figurehead of the Leave campaign to be caught writing in support of Remain. Many commentators have suggested that Boris used the Brexit referendum to further his career in an attempt to become Prime Minister.
Pictured: Boris Johnson at 2011 Tory party conference (photographer: Andrew Parsons)
Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci email@example.com gairrhydd.com/science
‘Monumental’ deal to reduce HFCs
The agreement means that 90% of the world’s air conditioning and refrigeration market is now expected to start moving
” Josh Green
The first initial guess made by physicians was correct a whopping 72 percent of the time compared to the 34 percent for digital platforms.
n all-night negotiation has led to the “monumental” amendment of the Montreal Protocol, one of the greatest examples in history of globally collaborative environmental protection. Over 150 of the world’s 196 countries have signed up to the updated agreement. Since its creation 30 years ago, The Montreal Protocol has successfully eradicated the use of over 100 fluorinated gases and its latest re-
newal aims to continue the pattern. HFCs – or hydrofluorocarbons – are gases used as refrigerants in air conditioning, refrigerators and aerosols and were introduced to replace CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in the 1980s. The Montreal Protocol has almost eliminated CFCs after the discovery that their ozone-depleting properties increased our exposure to ultraviolet radiation. While many people remain una-
ware of the environmental impacts of refrigerant product consumption, John Kerry, the US secretary of state says that “agreeing a deal to phase down the use of HFCs is the single most important step we can take to limit the warming of the planet.” While HFCs do not destroy the ozone layer, they have been referred to as “super Greenhouse gases”, trapping heat from the Earth in the atmosphere. They have a global warming potential 1,400 times greater than carbon dioxide, which is a more commonly recognised greenhouse gas. HFCs will be phased out in a gradual process starting in 2019 headed by developed countries such as those in the European Union and the USA. The second milestone will come when over 100 developing countries – including mass polluters like China – will begin to cut HFC usage in 2024. Developing countries with rising economies such as India have been granted an extra four years from 2024 to prepare for HFC emission reduction and allow their growing industries to adjust; they will begin to diminish their use of the gases in 2028. The success of the agreement relies on each individual country’s
commitment to the aim; if every country complies we could dodge a 0.5°C increase in global temperatures by the end of the century through an 80% decrease in Earth’s HFC levels by 2047. Methods of gradual reduction will include improved regulations on newly manufactured products containing HFC coolants, which will limit or remove the permitted level of the gas in each product. The Berkeley National Laboratory states that 1.6 billion new air conditioning units are expected to be installed by 2050, but the agreement means that 90% of the world’s air conditioning and refrigeration market is now expected to start moving away from HFCs. This demands a shift in innovation from the industry, which may be a step towards sustainable development and low cost technologies. One of the key issues facing environmental protection initiatives is that alternatives can be promptly produced as a result of new regulation. When CFCs were being phased out, HCFCs took over; when HCFC usage was regulated, HFCs came into use. Will demand for these harmful fluorinated gases end or will HFCs simply be replaced with an alternative?
Pictured: Greenhouse gases are a major contributor to global warmining (Credits: Michelle Rivera)
Docs safe from the machine revolution for now
ave you ever thought that the local doctor is a little mean to you? Ever thought that the doctor never listened or had it in for you? What if you could get all of the services that they provided, were impartial and also led to practically no waiting times? There is a vast library of information out there for all your
medical needs from the dodgy knee to the abnormal pain in your heart and apps have been created to offer a computer to be your own personal GP! It has been estimated that diagnostic errors from human doctors ranges from 10 to 15 percent and, obviously, the ideal goal is for a system that can reduce this down to 0
percent. So you must be wondering whether these ‘computer GP’s’ are ready to replace our friendly (or not so friendly!) human doctors? Many people already try to use online resources, developed over the past two decades, to discover what could be wrong with them by self-diagnosis. However, direct comparisons between these self-diagnosis tools and human doctors has not been done scientifically. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have been on the case and found that, as of yet, self-diagnostic apps or internet-based services lag far behind their human counterparts. In a study published on October 10 th this year in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal the scientists, in the study, demonstrated that twenty three commonly used symptomchecker apps could not even manage to correctly predict half of the cases doctors were presented with. The study gave 234 medical physicians 45 clinical cases to solve with a diagnosis along with two other possible diagnoses. At least 20 physicians solved each case accurately. Accounting for both the initial guess and the additional
two diagnoses given the doctors vastly outperformed the self-diagnosis tools. The first initial guess made by physicians was correct a whopping 72 percent of the time compared to the 34 percent for digital platforms. Including those further guesses, the success rate rose to 84 percent compared to 51 percent with the digital adversaries. A really interesting factor in the study was that the cases most often solved by the physicians rather than the tools were the most medically severe or the least severe cases. The cases that were ‘more common’ was where the gap between the two was the smallest. The desire of a fully scientific and exact diagnosis system is ultimately desired but it seems that the gut feelings and wisdom of our doctors dominate flawed self-diagnosis apps. This should come as a relief to the doctors out there, for now. As one of the principal researchers of the study, Ateev Mehrotra, states “Clinical diagnosis is currently as much art as it is science” [Credit: Science Daily] and right now apps cannot replace the ‘art’ of experience, gut feeling and knowhow of the very people on the ground; our doctors?
Pictured: Physicians are still more accurate at diagnosing diseases (Photographer: Alex Proimos)
Great Barrier Grief!
Continuing to invest emotional and intellectual energy into protecting natural environments is absolutely worthwhile.
” Hugh Doyle
At the time of writing of this article, over 374,194 people have applied to become Asgardians.
Things aren’t going so swimmingly for this underwater wonder
weeping claims that the Great Barrier Reef has died of humandriven climate change complications have been made, shared, reblogged, and tweeted– but the minute actualities have been less sensational when freed of the clickbait perspective. One week later, anyone following the outcry has hopefully been able to reach a singular conclusion: the initially viral article, a viscerally sarcastic reflection guised as satiric obituary published in Outside magazine, “Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC–2016),” was ultimately wildly inaccurate in its prognosis. But it doesn’t stop there. This fudged attempt at satire was also rampant with misinformation from dates to data and, of course, the broader picture. The Huffington Post quickly rebutted Outside’s article by giving immediate voice to scientists studying the Reef. The message was clear: the initial article missed the mark. While humanity, now in the full throes of its Anthropocene adolescence, can indeed be traced to rapid decimation of ecosystems, we haven’t quite managed to kill off the Great Barrier Reef. The largest of Earth’s coral reefs, The Great Barrier Reef clocks in at a whopping nearly 3,000 reefs total. If that’s not enough to impress you, just know that
it is also a favourite landmark on International Space Station revolutions. The Reef’s inherent biodiversity is, naturally, unprecedented as well as unique. Most importantly, it’s still alive, and should be for some time. However, the Great Barrier Reef is ailing. Mass bleaching due to elevated ocean temperatures from global warming has given some coral a skeletal appearance. Some have perished entirely. Other destructive factors include overfishing, shipping, unethical tourism, and pollution. It could be argued the initial author chose to garner outrage like the medieval town crier spitting at the masses to raise awareness of a cause that may have otherwise remained hellishly ignored. If that was their agenda… well, perhaps grudging applause is merited. Treatment of the Reef was indeed exposed for its insidious complacency– how else could humanity have allowed this to happen? Now, the conversation has been undeniably sparked. Perhaps with public attention swayed towards the Reef, even more critical efforts can be made as involvement is not relegated solely to officials conducting the Paris climate talks, but is a colloquial discussion. Despite the considerable damage done to the reefs, those scientists who
Pictured: The Reef itself. (Photographer: Robert Linsdell)
have seen its effects firsthand maintain a stalwart outlook. They have highlighted one central tenant throughout this media buzz: to maintain hope for the planet, and not to give up on saving and protecting ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef, specifically, may survive. Actions must be taken, but there is still time. Thankfully, under pressure from UNESCO, the Australian government pledged to a sustain-
ability plan that reaches into 2050. The Great Barrier Reef, though doing considerably poorly, is not dead. So through sustained, great efforts to curb human damage to the reefs, perhaps we will be seeing more positive articles soon. Continuing to invest emotional and intellectual energy into protecting natural environments is absolutely worthwhile. Obituarists need not apply.
Scientists hope to create space nation
Looks like Elon Musk has some competition
Russian scientist has announced his concept for a space nation called Asgardia this month. Igor Ashurbeyli, a scientist and businessman, revealed his plans in a press conference this month. The aim of the project is “Peace in Space”, Ashurbeyli’s philosophy that Earth’s conflicts should not transfer to Space. He plans to do this by creating a global community of ‘A sgardians’ who will be legally recognised citizens of a satellite orbiting the earth and will help defend Space from the “geopolitical struggles” that Ashurbeyli believes have plagued Earth. Applications to become an ‘A sgardian’ are open to anyone in the world over the age of 16 and all that is required is a preliminary application on Asgardia’s website. At the time of writing of this article, 374,194 people have applied to become ‘A sgardians’. Despite the large number of people applying, the technology to launch this project has not yet been finalized. Ashurbeyli said at the press conference that “We are not going to talk about technical aspects and details today. It is not because we have nothing to say. It is because we want the widest participation in this open project”. To do this, he is inviting any scientists with ideas on how to execute the concept to join his project and potentially become the first set
of ‘A sgardians’. Despite the lack of exact technology Ashurbeyli did reveal what he believes to be the basic technical structure revealing on the website that it would consist of “one or several core satellites, clusters of network-centric small satellites [and a] protective space platform”. However, before filling out those application forms, know that Asgardia faces a significant challenge legally. Since it’s seeking sovereignty, it is breaking a clause of the Outer Space Treaty, which forms the basis of international space law. The clause broken says “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means”. Ashurbeyli however at the conference did say that he wants to create a “new judicial reality in space” adding “‘universal space law’ and ‘astropolitics’ have to replace international space law” due to the bias towards a select number of countries. However, this would still prove an issue when seeking sovereignty from the UN who govern the Outer Space Treaty. Furthermore, experts such as Professor Sa’id Mosteshar of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law said to the BBC that in addition to the legal issues, Asgardia faces financial issues with the fact that those involved “don’t have any real credible business plan”. Despite this,
Pictured: An example of a satellite orbiting earth. (Photographer: GMP Core Observatory)
Ashurbeyli believes that he will able to source funding from a mixture of crowdfunding and private investment but says at the moment he is unveiling his concept and philosophy rather than a business plan. With the first satellite launch
scheduled for 2017 or 2018, Ashurbeyli faces an uphill battle to achieve his goal of Asgardia due to the legal challenges and lack of current investment - as have many scientific revelations. But, who knows? Maybe we’ll all be Asgardians one day.
Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/societies
Milly Dyer VP Societies
SOTM: Apply Now!
ello/Shwmae! This week is the launch of the new ‘Society/Student Led Service of the Month’ award. Applications opened on Thursday 20th & will close at 12pm on Wednesday 26th. If you think your Society deserves to be recognised for the work they have done over the last month then head to www.cardiffstudents.com/ activities/societies/societymonth/ to submit an application! This has been created so that the
Guild of Societies can promote & reward those Societies who have worked hard to put on events or opportunities for students here in Cardiff. Anyone is able to submit an application for any Society, whether you are on a committee, a Society member, or someone who has noticed an event – so there should be nothing stopping you! I hope you have an excellent week!
Cardiff ’s Red Cross Group host National Red Cross Student Meeting
ardiff University Red Cross Group hosted the first ever National Student Meeting at Cardiff Students’ Union on Saturday 15th October. We saw 17 Red Cross university groups from across the UK represented alongside a number of other Red Cross volunteers, Youth Engagement managers, the Young Leadership team and of course Mike Adamson, the CEO of the British Red Cross. It was an honour for Mike to come and give an inspirational speech at this event; on what a difference we’re all making to the organisation, our local communities and the nation as a whole. We also started a discussion on how the British Red Cross could be improved to help us get our word out there, particularly to MPs on issues which we’re passionate about that affect young people. We were also lucky to have our own VP Societies, Milly Dyer, present a speech on how charity groups can use their union in the best way to be even more of a success. Each university group had an opportunity to speak about what they’ve been focusing on recently, and what they’re planning for the future. It was a great opportunity to share and talk about ideas between us all. Our group were particularly commended on our ‘Help the homeless’ series, and I’ve been promised this will be starting up in most university cities across the UK now! Our last Help the homeless event was held last weekend on Saturday 22nd October where Cardiff University students went out in to the streets of Cardiff to feed the homeless.
Pictured: Zoe Hall, Red Cross President, with a placard for the Don’t Stop At 999 campaign.
The National Meeting also presented some Calls to Action; a #dontstopat999 campaign which is launching officially in November and the International family Tracing service, so keep an eye out for us on campus in the next few weeks! We also saw a number of groups and societies join our networking lunch including Amnesty International Society, Model UN Cardiff, Citizens Advice Bureau and a few other services by the British Red Cross. Red Cross staff held two workshops; one on First Aid training
for students and another on effective fundraising. Our social media presence was strong throughout the day, thanks to Duncan Leigh and Emma Pimlott who are on the Cardiff committee. An event on this scale took months of planning and a particular thanks goes to Katie Morgan, who was assigned on an internship to help with the event and is now in the process of setting up her own group at Swansea University. Additionally, this meeting was an opportunity to officially launch ‘Red Cross on Campus’ the national iden-
tity that university groups have been awarded, which involves a whole new branding. On reflection, this event showed students that we are part of a much bigger picture, making positive changes by spreading the word and showing others how rewarding volunteering can be. The meeting was extremely well received and will now roll into an annual event hosted at different universities across the UK. It was a privilege for the first to be held at Cardiff.
Our group were particularly commended on our ‘Help the Homeless’ series.
Cardiff Volunteering : 10 Reasons you should volunteer!
1. Meet new people! It doesn’t matter if you’re a first or final year – it’s always good to meet people who have similar views and interests to you, and you can never have too many mates! 2. Build confidence! Volunteering is a lovely way to build your social skills and confidence in leading a group of people, whether they are children, adults or the elderly. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your confidence grows! 3. Transferrable Skills! If you’ve been to a careers talk you’ve probably heard us all harp on about this – but it’s important so hear us out! Volunteering can provide concrete evidence of skills including time management, organisation, commu-
nication, problem solving… the list is endless. 4. Experience for your CV! Linked to the above – you need evidence and examples to back up your claims on your CV in a job interview, application – they want proof you can be there on time, not just your word for it! 5. Give back to the community! If you’re anything like us you will have fallen head over heels for the beautiful city that is Cardiff. However amazing the city is, they all need some love and volunteering is one way you can give back to this incredible place you call home for 3 years (or more!) 6. Makes you feel good! Links have been made between volunteer-
ing and improved mental health, but we don’t need scientific proof to know that nothing beats that feel good feeling of a child seeing a giraffe for the first time, or the joy of a year 8 student who has finally got that maths problem, or an elderly lady’s smile when she receives a Christmas present. Fact. 7. Puppies! Some of our volunteering work involves walking local rescue dogs. What more do you want? 8. Fun! Volunteering is unavoidably fun. 9. Make a difference! Volunteers provide such a valuable service to the community! Your work will not go unnoticed and our partner schools, care homes and external
organisations are constantly so impressed and grateful for the support you provide. 10. Employers love it! Having volunteering experience on your CV could just be the tipping point separating you from another potential candidate. It could also be the other way round – don’t let that happen to you! You could Volunteer for anything from animal welfare, hospital volunteering, primary school tutoring to homelessness. The application process has now reopened, please find more info about our projects and application process here: https://www.cardiffstudents.com/jobs-skills/volunteering/
Art Attack: Art Society have a strong start
he creative minds of art society have been having a strong couple of weeks, starting with Give it a Go sessions to launch the new year. They held a number of games, including many artists’ favourite- the blind portrait drawing. Draw the person in front of you- but only look at them, not the paper you’re drawing onto. There was a version of Pictionary that got a little chaotic, as players were challenged to playu not just with a board, but running ar4ound the room. After that came the “combination” game, with people drawing a different part of a body each- without having any idea exactly what the others in their group have drawn. The next Give it a Go was DIY room decorations, crafting and
painting a number of things to spice up rooms including dream catchers and painted canvasses for people to bring home. There was a massive turn-out for this one. The society has also been able to regularly run sketch club, where a good mix of people meet, of all abilities, to draw to prompts once a week at the students union. The time for this is arranged via the Art Society Facebook group. One of the best efforts is shown on the right. Next in the committee’s plans are a joint exhibition with Photography, and a Halloween themed session next week, carving pumpkins and making origami bats. If you pick up Gair Rhydd on Monday, check Facebook as they are planning a painting session that very afternoon.
Spotlight: Scout and Guide and Mountaineering Tom Morris
coincidentally hold joint Boulders visit
his had to be intentional, surely? A sport club and a society getting together to arrange a Give it a Go to one of the best days out in Cardiff? But no- it was purely coincidental and largely separate. Boulders, for those freshers who may not be aware of it, and may not have seen their massive advert currently adorning the walk to Lidl from the ASSL, is a climbing centre here in Cardiff. Inside you’ll find walls full of colourful handholds, ropes already attached ready to start climbing. Some walls are easier than others of course, with the more challenging sloping backwards so that you need to have a little more faith in your arm strength. It’s just £5 for students to climb on Wednesdays but of course that doesn’t include equipment- which is where membership of these two societies might come in handy.
Charlotte from Mountaineering fastened us to some ropes and harnesses and got us kitted out in some old climbing shoes. We approached the easy climbing walls. I scarpered up (I’d done it before) but getting down was a little harder. Once I got the hang of the abseiling technique (push off the wall with your legs pretty much straight) I had no difficulty. The girls with me didn’t have much experience and were initially a little cautious. They soon got into the groove (or, well, the handholds) and started to really enjoy themselves. More than a few people at the session told me they would definitely join up now they had tried it. After mastering the basics we tried a few mind-games on the wall. Following a coloured route, only using the hand and foot holds of a certain colour, turned out to be a fun cerebral as well as physical challenge.
There’s a lot of swinging, rotating your whole body. After that we tried a hands-free challenge, where you can’t touch a handhold, only press yourself up against the wall. This is a real test of leg strength. Finally there was some more relaxed climbing in the “bouldering” area, for which Boulders no doubt prides itself considering the name. This means harness free climbing, where giving up often means climbing back down or safely falling onto a soft mat. Both clubs enjoyed themselves, and all the Give it a Go-ers no doubt had sore shoulders the next day as they logged onto the SU website to sign up. SSAGS have regular lunchtime socials at 12 every Wednesday at the SU Lodge, CUMC have weekly pub meetings in Koko Gorillaz every Monday at 7:45, where people can sign up to go on climbing trips to places like Boulders.
Less Screaming. More Streaming.
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*Price is based on a student living on campus, insuring a phone and a laptop (or tablet) up to the value of £500 each. Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited acts as a Credit Broker exclusively on behalf of Premium Credit Limited (PCL), who arrange finance for monthly payments. **If your item is lost, stolen or unrepairable we’ll replace it within one working day of your claim being approved. Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting their website at https://register.fca.org.uk Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited. Company No. 856706 registered in England at Shurdington Road, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucestershire GL51 4UE
Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od email@example.com gairrhydd.com/tafod
Beth fydd tynged tîm rygbi Cymru eleni? Yn y llun: Timau Rygbi Cymru a Seland Newydd yn canu eu hanthemau cenedlaethol (Tarddiad: Sum_of_marc frwy Flickr)
n ystod mis Tachwedd eleni mi fydd Cymru yn wynebu cewri hemisffer y De. Yn dilyn siomedigaeth dros yr haf yn erbyn y Crysau Duon, mi fydd Rob Howley a’i dim yn ceisio gwella ar eu perfformiad allan yn Seland Newydd, yn enwedig ar ôl y crasfa o 46-6 yn Dunedin. Siom a fu yng nghystadleuaeth y Chwe Gwlad hefyd, wrth weld yr hen elyn yn codi’r tlws. Efallai bod y ffaith nad ydyn yn gwynebu’r Crysau Duon yn fendith? A fydd gemau prawf mis Tachwedd yn gallu codi calonau’r genedl? Dechreua cyfres yr hydref gyda Cymru yn wynebu Awstralia ar y 5ed o Dachwedd yn Stadiwm y Principality, wrth gystadlu am dlws James Bevan. Er i Awstralia ddod yn ail i Seland Newydd o bell ffordd ym Mhencampwriaeth Rygbi hemisffer y de, mae ei canlyniadau diweddar wedi bod yn eithaf cyson gyda dim ond un colled yn eu pedwar gem diwethaf (o wyth
pwynt yn Ne Affrica), gan guro’r Ariannin yn gyfforddus dwywaith. Un ystadegyn sydd yn peri gofid i’r Cymry yw nad yw’r Cochion wedi curo’r Wallabies ers 2008, a wedi colli’r un gem ar ddeg diwethaf yn eu herbyn. Gyda Bernard Foley yn serennu fel maswr, â’r canolwr ifanc Samu Kerevi a’i ddawn o dorri trwy’r linell amddiffynnol, bydd y dasg yn un hynod o anodd i Howley a’i dim. Byddai rhai yn honni mai tasg hawdd bydd yn ein gwynebu yr wythnos ganlynol, wrth i Gymru wynebu’r Ariannin ar y 12fed o Dachwedd. Wedi’r cyfan, y tro diwethaf i’r ddau dim gwrdd yn 2013, cafodd yr Archentwyr eu trechu o 40-6. Ond, ers hynny mae’r Pumas wedi blaguro mewn i un o dimau mwyaf corfforol yn y byd, wrth chwarae ym Mhencampwriaeth Rygbi Hemisffer y De, gan guro rhai o fawrion byd rygbi megis De Affrica (eleni). Mae’r Ariannin wedi datblygu
Y Gemau Awstralia - 5/11 am 2:30y.h Yr Arianin 12/11 am 5:30y.h Siapan 19/11 am 2:30y.h De Affrica 26/11 am 5:30y.h
o’r tim a oedd yn dibynnu ar flaenwyr mawrion, wrth i nifer o gefnwyr dawnus ymddangos yn y tim, megis Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo, â’r blaenasgellwr ifanc Facundo Isa. Gem hynod o dynn sydd yn gwynebu’r Cymru. Y nesaf i wynebu’r Cymry bydd Siapan, y tim a wnaeth syfrdanu’r byd, gyda’u perfformiadau yng Nghwpan y Byd, gan guro’r ‘Springboks’ o 34-32. Yn ystod haf 2013, gyda Warren Gatland ynghlwm gyda’r Llewod yn Awstralia, danfonodd Rob Howley garfan o chwaraewyr ifanc, di-brofiad i Siapan, gyda’r Siapaneaid yn curo Cymru am y tro cyntaf erioed. Hawdd dweud fod datblygiad rygbi yn y wlad yma wedi bod yn eithriadol, yn enwedig i feddwl bron degawd ynghynt chwalwyd Siapan gan y Cymry o 98-0. Er bydd y gem yma yn brawf anodd i dim Cymru, y cochion dylai ddod allan ar y brig. Y her olaf i wynebu Cymru yw De
Affrica ar y 26ain o Dachwedd, unwaith eto yn Stadiwm y Principality. Wrth gwrs, bydd y Cymru am ddial ar y ‘Springboks’ wedi’r golled yn rownd go gyn derfynol yng Nghwpan y Byd. Ond, ystdadegyn cadarnhaol yw, y tro diwethaf i’r ddau dim i gwrdd yng Nghaerdydd, Cymru oedd y tim buddugol. Ond er mwyn ail-gyflawni’r gamp yma, rhaid i flaenwyr Cymru gystadlu gyda rygbi corfforol De Affrica, yn enwedig gyda Eben Etzebeth a Tendai Mtawarira yn dominyddu’r ryc â’r sgrym. Anodd yw hi i broffwydo pa dim fydd yn fuddigol pan chwythir y chwiban olaf. Er nad yw Cymru yn gwynebu Seland Newydd eleni, mae’r dasg sydd o’u blaenau yn parhau i fod yn anodd dros ben. Petai Cymru yn ennill tair o’u gemau, gellir galw’r gyfres yn lwyddiant ysgubol. Cawn weld beth gall Rob Howley a’i dim gyflawni dros y mis nesaf.
Blaenwyr: Scott Andrews, Tomas Francis, Rhys Gill, Gethin Jenkins, Samson Lee, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Kristian Dacey, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Taulupe Faletau, James King, Dan Lydiate, Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (C). Cefnwyr: Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb, Lloyd Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Davies, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Morgan, Jamie Roberts, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Liam Williams.
Dechreua cyfres yr hydref gyda Cymru yn wynebu Awstralia ar y 5ed o Dachwedd.
Aberfan: Cofio un o ddiwrnodau tywyllaf ein gwlad
Osian Wyn Morgan
Nid oeddent yn ymwybodol y byddai eu hysgol wedi ei orchuddio mewn glo o fewn 5 munud, mewn digwyddiad erchyll a fyddai’n lladd cenhedlaeth gyfan yng nghymuned Aberfan.
oedd hi’n fore tywyll a gwlyb yn Aberfan, pentref glofaol yng Nghymoedd De Cymru, ar yr 21ain o Hydref, 1966. Am 9:15 y bore, roedd disgyblion Ysgol Gynradd Pantglas newydd ddychwelyd i’w dosbarthiadau ar ôl eu gwasanaeth boreol, ar y diwrnod olaf o ysgol cyn yr hanner tymor. Nid oeddent yn ymwybodol y byddai eu hysgol wedi ei orchuddio mewn glo o fewn 5 munud, mewn digwyddiad erchyll a fyddai’n lladd cenhedlaeth gyfan yng nghymuned Aberfan. I 116 o ddisgyblion yr ysgol, a 28 o oedolion, y digwyddiad erchyll hwn fyddai eu hatgof olaf. Yn y cymoedd, nid oedd yn anghyffredin i’r rwbel o’r pyllau glo gael ei adael mewn tomenni ar ochrau’r mynyddoedd, a dyma yn union a ddigwyddodd yn Aberfan. O dan un o’r tomenni hyn, fodd bynnag, roedd dwy ffynnon yn rhedeg. Yn ystod y diwrnodau yn arwain i fyny at yr 21ain o Hydref, cafwyd llawer o law trwm. O ganlyniad i’r glaw hwn, gorlifodd y dŵr yn y ffynhonnau, gan beri i’r domen ansefydlogi, ac fe lithrodd oddeutu 150,000 metr ciwbig o rwbel hylifol tuag at Ysgol Pantglas, ar gyflymderau o oddeutu 40 milltir yr awr. Llyncwyd fferm a sawl tŷ gan yr ‘afalans’ hwn cyn iddo gyrraedd yr ysgol gynradd. Ond pwy oedd ar fai? Cred lawer bod y digwyddiad arswydus hwn yn ganlyniad i anniofalwch y Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol, a bentyrrodd y gwastraff o’r pyllau glo uwchben dwy ffynnon danddaearol. Ychydig o fisoedd ar ôl y digwyddiad, lansiwyd ymho-
liad, a chyhuddwyd y Bwrdd Glo am fod yn gwbl gyfrifol am y digwyddiad trychinebus hwn. Ychydig o wythnosau yn ôl, roeddwn yn ymweld â fy Nhaid, sy’n byw yn gyfagos i bentref Aberfan, felly penderfynais ymweld â’r pentref, i weld, gyda llygaid fy hun, lleoliad yr erchylltra hwn. Tra’n sefyll yno, yn yr union fan lle saif ysgol ers talwm, a lle claddwyd 116 o blant yn fyw yn gwbl ddidrugaredd, edrychais o’m cwmpas ar bentref Aberfan. Crëwyd, a datblygwyd y pentref hwn am un rheswm, ac un rheswm yn unig; glo. Mae glo wedi cael dylanwad anfesurol ar hanes Cymru, boed yn hanes diwydiannol, economaidd, cymdeithasol neu ddemograffig. Cyflogwyd cannoedd o filoedd o Gymry gan y diwydiant glo. Rhoddodd glo Gymru ar y map fel gwlad fodern a diwydiannol. Fodd bynnag, tra roeddwn yn sefyll yno, yn syllu ar resi o feddi a daliwyd ynddynt eirch maint plant, meddyliais i fy hun; a oedd o werth o? Er ei fod yn ddadleuol y cafwyd y chwyldro diwydiannol effaith gadarnhaol ar Gymru fel gwlad, a oedd hyn yn cyfiawnhau dioddefaint y Cymry, fel dioddefaint ac aberth trigolion Aberfan? Nid Aberfan oedd yr unig gymuned i ddioddef, mae hanes diwydianeiddio Cymru yn llawn trychinebau, fel y ffrwydrad yn Senghenydd yn 1913, lle lladdwyd 439 o ddynion a bechgyn. Yn ychwanegol i drychinebau fel hyn, lladdwyd degau o ddynion yn ddyddiol o ganlyniad i doeon yn syrthio, a nwy yn gollwng. I’r glowyr na brofodd farwolaethau
sydyn a barbaraidd, roedd gweithio yn y pyllau glo yn golygu gwaith caled a chorfforol, am oriau hirion. Byddai rhai plant yn dechrau gweithio pan oeddent yn bum mlwydd oed. Y tu allan i’r gwaith, roedd cyflwr byw y glowyr yr un mor wael. Roedd strydoedd y cymoedd wedi eu gorlenwi, ac roeddent yn fudr ac yn llawn clefydau. Ym Merthyr Tydfil, roedd y disgwyliad oes yn llai na 18 mlwydd oed, yn sylweddol llai na 50, y cyfartaledd ym Mhrydain ar y pryd. Roedd buddion economaidd y chwyldro diwydiannol yn syfrdanol. Ar un pryd, roedd Cymru yn allforio 57 miliwn tunnell o lo bob blwyddyn, oddeutu chwarter o gynhyrchiad glo y byd. Gwau hynny, ai pobl Cymru, y cannoedd o filoedd o lowyr Cymreig, oedd y bobl a elwodd fwyaf o werth economaidd glo Cymru? Roedd cyflogau’r glowyr yn gymharol isel, gyda’r rhan helaeth o’r elw o lafur y glowyr yn mynd at berchenogion y pyllau glo. Wrth ystyried gwerth y glo a oedd yn nhir y cymoedd ers talwn, onid y dylai pobl y cymoedd fod yn manteisio ar y cyfoeth hwnnw heddiw? Onid y dylent fod yn elwa’n economaidd o lafur eu cyndeidiau? Yn hytrach, dengys ffigyrau yn 2012 mai’r Cymoedd oedd ardal dlotaf Prydain. Mae pobl y cymoedd, ar gyfartaledd, yn tueddu i dderbyn llai o gymwysterau economaidd na chyfartaledd Prydain, ac mae ffigyrau diweithdra’r cymoedd yn uwch na chyfartaledd Cymru. Deallaf, fodd bynnag, nad yw’r cymoedd yn eithriad i’r rheol, a bod dwsinau o gymunedau ôl-ddiwydian-
nol ym Mhrydain heddiw sy’n dioddef o dlodi. Er hyn, yn bersonol, mae’r cymoedd yn ardal sy’n agos iawn i’m calon. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o fy nheulu yn dod o’r cymoedd – gweithiodd fy nhaid mewn pwll glo – a theimlaf gysylltiad cryf gyda’r lle. Mae pobl y cymoedd yn bobl balch. Ymfalchïaf yn fy nghysylltiadau gyda hwy, ac mae’n anrhydedd i wybod bod y gwaed a lifwyd drwy wythiennau rhai o’r glowyr ers talwm, bellach yn llifo drwy fy ngwythiennau i. Oherwydd hyn, mae’n boendod i mi nad yw pobl y cymoedd, yn ogystal â phobl Cymru yn gyffredinol, wedi elwa o’u cyfraniad i’r chwyldro diwydiannol. Nid wyf yn awgrymu am eiliad yr oedd y chwyldro yn gwbl wael i bobl Cymru. Cydnabyddaf ei bwysigrwydd i Gymru, ac rwy’n hynod falch i alw’r Gymru ôl-ddiwydiannol yn gartref i mi. Er hyn, wrth i mi deithio drwy’r cymoedd ychydig o wythnosau yn ôl, ni welais y buddion economaidd o’r miliynau o dunelli o lo a fwyngloddwyd yno gan ei bobl. Ni welais y cymoedd cyfoethog, llewyrchus a dylai wedi bod. Ni welais sut oedd trigolion y cymoedd yn elwa o lafur eu cyndeidiau. Â phob gonestrwydd, ni welais sut yr oedd pobl Cymru wedi elwa o gwbl o’r chwyldro diwydiannol. Mae trychineb Aberfan yn sefyll allan fel digwyddiad erchyll, mewn pennod anodd a llafurus o hanes Cymru. Gallaf ond gobeithio, y bydd y bennod nesaf yn hanes y wlad brydferth hon, yn un gwell, yn un tecach, a bydd pobl y Cymoedd, a phobl Cymru yn gyffredinol, ryw ddydd, yn byw yn y llewyrch y maent yn ei haeddu.
Yn y llun: Un o byllau glo y Cymoedd yn Ne Cymru (Tarddiad: Walt Jabsco drwy Flickr)
Wrth ystyried gwerth y glo a oedd yn nhir y cymoedd ers talwn, onid y dylai pobl y cymoedd fod yn manteisio ar y cyfoeth hwnnw heddiw? Onid y dylent fod yn elwa’n economaidd o lafur eu cyndeidiau?
Adolygiad: Doctoriaid Yfory
r ôl peidio disgwyl i fwynhau Doctoriaid Yfory, roedd hi’n syndod pa mor dda yr oedd y gyfres mewn gwirionedd. Mae’n rhaglen ddogfen sydd yn gwneud yn fwy na twli ffeithiau atoch, ond hefyd yn dangos storiau bywydau. Dengys storiâu’r myfyrwyr, a’r cleifion, gan eu dilyn yn ystod cyfnod hanfodol o’u bywydau. Nid yw’n dieithr i mi fod meddygaeth yn faes anodd i astudio, ond mae’r gyfres wedi dangos i mi ei bod hi’n fwy nag oriau hir o astudiaeth drwm mae’n rhaid gwneud er mwyn llwyddo. Mae byw gyda meddyg yn anodd gyda’i chwyno cyson am bwysau gwaith, a minnau’n tybio bod y ddau ohonom ni o dan yr un maint o bwysau gwaith. Ond mae’n rhaid i mi
fod yn deg iddi, ar ôl gwylio’r gyfres dwi di dysgu bod meddygaeth yn bwnc trwm iawn. Yn ôl rhai mae’n teimlo’n amhosib bod ar ben y gwaith. Mi wnes i gyfweld gyda Manon ac Elin, dwy fyfyrwraig sydd yn astudio Meddygaeth ac ymddangos ar y rhaglen. Dywedodd Manon, “Mae’n anodd tydi, mae’n waith caled ofnadwy, ond dwi’n cael hwyl. Mae’n neis i ddod i adnabod pethau yn lot manylach wrth gymharu gyda lefel ysgol.” A hefyd, chwarae teg i’r myfyrwyr meddygaeth, mae’n rhaid iddyn nhw gydbwyso astudiaethau academaidd gyda chyfnodau ar leoliad o fewn ysbytai a meddygfeydd. Credaf Manon mai bod a’r lleoliad yw’r rhan gorau’r cwrs “Achos eleni da ni’n cael mynd ar wards i wneud ‘clinical sgils.’ Felly da
ni’n gweld pobl sy’n wael a da ni’n gallu gwrando ar bethau anarferol ac wedyn dysgu o hynny.” Y pumed bennod o’r gyfres ydy’r anoddach i wylio gan ein bod yn dilyn myfyrwyr blwyddyn tri yn y bennod yma ar ei brosiect oncoleg, hynny yw dilyn claf gyda chancr am dri mis. Dyma oedd y tro gyntaf yn y gyfres lle rydym yn gweld y myfyrwyr yn ymdopi gyda sefyllfa go iawn, gyda chlefyd afiach sydd yn dychryn niferoedd o bobl. Daeth hyn a deigryn i’m llygaid wrth wylio’r myfyrwyr yn cyd-weithio gyda’r cleifion mewn ffordd parchus, ond hefyd yn dangos emosiwn a dealltwriaeth i’w sefyllfa nhw. Daeth hyn yn sioc fawr i Manon pan oedd hi yn gwylio hwn, “Cefais sioc wrth weld y prosiect
oncoleg o’n ni ddim yn gwybod bod ‘na ffashwn beth. Mae hynna’n eithaf brawychus.” Cytunodd Elin gyda’i ond dywedodd hefyd, “...mae’n neis i weld fod y pobl sydd yn gwneud y swyddi yma yn arferol. Maen nhw’n debyg i ni, a bydda ni’n medru gwneud yr un pethau a nhw un diwrnod hefyd.” Mwynheuodd y merched ffilmio’r gyfres a chytunwyd bydde ffilmio cyfres arall yn syniad gwych ar gyfer y dyfodol. Credaf fydd hi’n syniad gwych os bydda’n nhw’n dal lan gyda Manon ac Elin yn eu pumed flwyddyn i weld sut mae’r ddau wedi gwneud ers ffilmio y tro cyntaf. Mae’n gyfres real iawn sydd yn dangos storiâu gwych ac yn dangos faint mae’r pobl ifanc yma yn gweithio.
Ysgoloriaeth Bryn Terfel
Dyma oedd profiad gorau fy ngyrfa hyd yn hyn.
Yn y llun: Myfyrwraig ar leoliad yn Doctoriaid Yfory (Tarddiad: S4C)
Mae’n gyfres real iawn sydd yn dangos storiâu gwych ac yn dangos faint mae’r pobl ifanc yma yn gweithio.
Yr wythnos diwethaf, cystadlodd Rhydian Jenkins, myfyriwr BA Cymraeg, am Ysgoloriaeth Bryn Terfel. Dyma oedd ganddo i ddweud am y profiad:
leni, mi oeddwn yn un o 6 cystadleuydd a oedd yn cystadlu ar gyfer Ysgoloriaeth Bryn Terfel 2016 yn Theatr y Stiwt yn Rhosllannerchrugog am wobr o £4,000. Roedd y profiad a’r paratoadau yn hynod o fuddiol a gwerthchweil i mi fel perfformiwr, o’r dosbarth meistr gyda’r tenor proffesiynol, Robyn Lyn, i’r cynhyrchiad proffesiynol ar y noson. Heb amheuaeth, bu’r profiad o gystadlu ar gyfer yr ysgoloriaeth wedi dangos i mi fflachiad o fywyd gyrfa perfformiwr proffesiynol, ac yr oedd yn fraint i mi fod yn rhan o’r broses. Ar gyfer yr ysgoloriaeth, roedd y gwaith paratoi yn hynod o bwysig, er yn hir a chymhleth ar adegau, ond yn gwerthchweil yn y diwedd. Gofynnwyd i mi ganu repertoire amrywiol a chyferbyniad o fewn 12 munud, felly penderfynais ar ganu cân Jazz, Cerdd Dant, Cymraeg Clasurol a Sioe Gerdd. Heb amheuaeth,
bu’r paratoadau o geisio sicrhau bod pob cân yn cael ei pherfformio i’r safon ddisgwyliedig o fewn ei genre yn heriol, ond dwi’n hapus fy mod i wedi’i chanu i’r gorau a allwn ar y noson. Dyma oedd profiad gorau fy ngyrfa hyd yn hyn, ac yr oedd yn rhoi syniad i mi o le ydw i fel perfformiwr yn ogystal. Roedd y profiad yn sicr wedi fy nghynorthwyo ar gyfer y dyfodol gan dangos i mi’r hyn sydd yn ddisgwyliedig i ennill y gystadleuaeth os ca siawns yn y dyfodol, a pa lwybr genre/perfformio rydw i am ei ddilyn. Dyma oedd fraint fwyaf i fi fel canwr ifanc, a dwi’n gobeithio byddaf yn cael y cyfle eto i fod yn rhan o’r Ysgoloriaeth er mwyn i mi ddatblygu ymhellach fel canwr a pherfformiwr. Hoffwn ddiolch i bawb sydd wedi fy nghefnogi ar hyd y broses, ac i fy hyfforddwyr personol am yr holl gymorth a gwaith caled dros y misoedd diwethaf.
Yn y llun: Y chwech perfformwr a gystadlodd am Ysgoloriaeth Bryn Terfel eleni. (Tarddiad: Rhydian Jenkins drwy Facebook)
Y Senedd: Siwts, Swyddfeydd a Sieciau Yn y llun: Y Siambr yng Nghynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (Tarddiad: Wojtek gurak drwy Flickr)
Osian Wyn Morgan
Rwyf wedi ymddiddori mewn gwleidyddiaeth am flynyddoedd bellach, ac mae’n debyg mai un o’r prif destunau, gwleidyddol, sy’n cael ei drafod yn y wasg yw gwleidyddion gyrfaol – neu ‘career politicians’.
chydig o wythnosau yn ôl, cyfarfodais â un o aelodau’r cynulliad i drafod mater a oedd yn agos iawn i’m calon, a mater y tybiais a fyddai’n agos iawn i’w galon ef hefyd. Ymddengys, i mi, nad oedd gan yr aelod cynulliad hwnnw unrhyw angerdd dros yr hyn yr oeddwn yn ei drafod, ac nad oedd yn poeni dim amdano. Roedd yn amlwg i mi, wrth i mi eistedd yn ei swyddfa foethus yn y Senedd, nad oedd yn poeni am ei gyfrifoldebau fel aelod cynulliad, y cyfrifoldeb i gynrychioli pobl Cymru i orai ei allu. Rwyf wedi ymddiddori mewn gwleidyddiaeth am flynyddoedd bellach, ac mae’n debyg mai un o’r prif destunau gwleidyddol, sy’n cael ei drafod yn y wasg yw gwleidyddion gyrfaol – neu ‘career politicians’. Roeddwn yn tybio mai gwleidyddion yn y Senedd yn Llundain oedd y gwleidyddion gyrfaol yma, a bod yr aelodau cynulliad yng Nghymru yn bobl foesegol a gweithgar, a oedd yn wirioneddol poeni am Gymru a’i phobl. Er hyn, wrth i mi gerdded allan o’r Senedd ychydig o wythnosau yn ôl, pendronais am ein haelodau cynulliad ni, ac os ydynt yn wleidyddion angerddol, moesegol, sy’n benderfynol o wneud gwahaniaeth i fywydau pobl Cymru, neu os ydynt yn wleidyddol gyrfaol, sydd wedi ymyrryd â gwleidyddiaeth er eu lles eu hunain, er mwyn codi eu statws cymdeithasol, ac er mwyn iddynt allu ystyried eu hunain fel pobl bwysig. Perodd y cyfarfod hwn i mi ystyried pa fath o bobl yw ein haelodau cynulliad, a chwestiynais, a yw ein haelodau cynulliad yn wleidyddol gyrfaol? Cymerwch Dafydd Elis Thomas
fel enghraifft, cyhoeddwyd yr wythnos diwethaf y bydd yn gadael grŵp seneddol Plaid Cymru, ac yn eistedd fel aelod seneddol annibynnol. Mae’r berthynas rhwng Dafydd Ellis Thomas Phlaid Cymru, ac arweinydd y Blaid, Leanne Wood, yn benodol, wedi bod yn wael am ychydig o flynyddoedd bellach. Cred rhai bod hyn yn ganlyniad i’r ffaith y collodd Dafydd Ellis Thomas yr etholiad i fod yn arweinydd Plaid Cymru, i Leanne Wood yn 2012. Yn ogystal i hyn, yn 2004, anfonwyd Leanne Wood allan o’r siambr y Senedd gan Dafydd Ellis Thomas, a oedd yn Llywydd y Senedd ar y pryd, oherwydd y cyfeiriodd Wood at y frenhines fel ‘Mrs.Windsor’. Mae llawer o bobl wedi beirniadu’r Arglwydd Dafydd Ellis Thomas am adael y blaid mor gynnar yn y pumed cynulliad. Pum mis yn unig sydd wedi heibio ers yr etholiadau fis Mai, a dadleua rhai na ddylai Dafydd Ellis Thomas wedi sefyll dros Plaid Cymru os oedd yn bwriadu gadael y blaid. Gan ystyried y ffaith y bod tensiynau rhwng ‘Dafydd El’ a’i blaid wedi bod yn brysur gryfhau am flynyddoedd bellach, a oedd yn ymwybodol ei fod am adael y blaid cyn iddo benderfynu ail-redeg fel aelod cynulliad Plaid Cymru fis Mai? Os nad oedd yn sicr y fyddai’n gallu aros yn ffyddiog i’r blaid drwy gydol y pumed cynulliad, a ddylai wedi sefyll o dan enw Plaid Cymru, gan gam arwain yr etholwyr a bleidleisiodd dros Blaid Cymru yn ei etholaeth? Mae’n gwbl bosibl felly, nad oedd Dafydd Ellis Thomas yn bwriadu cynrychioli Plaid Cymru am y pum mlynedd nesaf, a defnyddiodd enw’r blaid, a’i gysylltiad gyda hi, yn ystod yr etholiad, er mwyn cynyddu’r
tebygolrwydd y byddai’n cael ei ethol? Mae aelodau cynulliad Plaid Cymru wedi galw ar Dafydd Ellis Thomas i sefyll lawr fel aelod cynulliad yn dilyn ei benderfyniad i adael Plaid Cymru, gan honni nad oes gan Dafydd Ellis Thomas, sydd yn gynarweinydd ar Blaid Cymru, yr hawl i barhau fel Aelod Cynulliad annibynnol, gan fod ei etholaeth wedi pleidleisio drosto oherwydd ei gysylltiadau gyda Phlaid Cymru. Gwau hyn, bwriada Dafydd Ellis Thomas barhau fel aelod cynulliad annibynnol, gan honni ei fod “mewn sefyllfa cryfach i gynrychioli pobl Dwyfor Meirionnydd” fel Aelod Cynulliad annibynnol. Rydym bum mis yn unig i mewn i’r pumed cynulliad, ac nid Dafydd Ellis Thomas yw’r unig aelod cynulliad i adael ei blaid i eistedd fel aelod annibynnol. Ym mis Awst, gadawodd Nathan Gill, arweinydd UKIP yng Nghymru, grŵp senedd y blaid. Gadawodd Gill, sy’n aelod cynulliad dros ranbarth Gogledd Cymru, y blaid oherwydd nid oedd yn fodlon gyda’r holl ddadlau ymysg 7 aelod cynulliad UKIP. Mae’n ddadleuol fod hyn yn fwy annemocrataidd, hyd yn oed, na sefyllfa Dafydd Ellis Thomas. Roedd Dafydd Ellis Thomas yn aelod cynulliad dros etholaeth Dwyfor Meirionydd, sy’n golygu y pleidleisiodd llawer o bobl yn ei etholaeth dros ef, a oedd yn digwydd cynrychioli Plaid Cymru ar y pryd. Fodd bynnag, mae Nathan Gill yn aelod cynulliad dros ranbarth Gogledd Cymru, a olygai nad oedd unrhyw un wedi taro pleidlais dros Nathan Gill yn benodol, ond yn hytrach dros UKIP fel plaid. Mae’n gwbl annemocrataidd ac anfoesegol, felly, bod Nathan Gill, a Dafydd Ellis Thomas, wedi penderfynu parhau fel aelodau cynulliad
annibynnol, gan ei fod yn debygol iawn mai’r unig reswm y cawsant eu hethol yn y lle cyntaf oedd oherwydd yr oeddent yn cynrychioli eu cyn-bleidiau ar y pryd. Awgryma hyn, i mi, y bod y ddau yma wedi defnyddio eu pleidiau ar gyfer datblygu eu gyrfaoedd gwleidyddol eu hunain, ac nad ydynt wedi blaenoriaethu’r bobl yn eu hetholaethau, a’u dyletswyddau democrataidd. Byddwn i’n tybio nad y ddau aelod cynulliad yma, a’r aelod y cyfarfodais i ag ef ychydig wythnosau yn ôl, yw’r unig wleidyddion Cymreig sy’n rhoi eu gyrfaoedd eu hunain o flaen bywydau’r bobl y maent yn ei gynrychioli. I’r gwleidyddion hyn, ymddengys fod ryw apêl am y bywyd gwleidyddol. Y cyflogau uchel. Y statws uchel. Y swyddfeydd moethus. Onid dylai’r senedd fod yn llawn pobl angerddol, sydd wedi brwydro drwy gydol eu bywydau dros yr hyn y credent ynddo? Yn hytrach, pryderaf bod ein senedd yn llawn pobl di-asgwrn cefn, sydd heb ymyrryd a gwleidyddiaeth oherwydd eu bod eisiau gwneud newid cadarnhaol i fywydau pobl Cymru, ond wedi ymyrryd a’r byd gwleidyddol ar gyfer y siwts, y swyddfeydd, a’r sieciau. Rwyf yn wirioneddol poeni am gobygliadau’r ffaith ein bod yn ethol, tro ar ôl tro, gwleidyddion sy’n gweithredu dros eu lles eu hunain, yn hytrach na lles pobl Cymru. Pryderaf, os nad yw’r sefyllfa yn newid yn fuan, na fydd pobl Cymru yn cael y gynrychiolaeth y maent yn ei haeddu, ac na fyddent yn gweld y newidiadau gwleiddyol y maent eisiau eu gweld. Pryderaf na fyddent yn cael byw yn y Cymru y maent eisiau byw ynddi.
Perodd y cyfarfod hwn i mi ystyried pa fath o bobl yw ein haelodau cynulliad, a chwestiynais, a yw ein haelodau cynulliad yn wleidyddol gyrfaol?
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Clean sweeps for Men’s Rugby and Netball in Wednesday’s BUCS games James Lloyd
ardiff ’s Netball first team secured their first win of the season with a thumping 69-24 win away at Southampton. Attackers Sarah Llewellyn, Sally Fisher and Kim Jerwood shared the points. The women’s rugby first team suffered a tight and tense 14-12 loss to arch-rivals Swansea in an ill-disciplined affair and it didn’t get much better for the men’s football firsts’ as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to the Swans. There was better news for the men’s hockey and women’s lacrosse first teams. The former beat Cambridge 2-1, despite a dominant display. Will Godfrey and Matti Thomas scored the goals, though it could have been more, with Cardiff struggling to captitalise on chances. Godfrey’s score stood out with the centre midfielder dribbling past four Cambridge defenders from the halfway line before doing enough to squeeze it in on the second attempt.
Cardiff closed the game out with ease, despite Cambridge’s late goal to make it two wins from two after their opening 3-1 win over King’s College London. And the lacrosse team cruised to a 20-8 win over University of Bath 2nds. Emily Owen was given player of the match for her outstanding defence with captains Bex Jordache and Ella Fairlie keeping the team motivated throughout. Jordache chipped in with a number of goals with last weeks’ Athlete of the Week, Phoebe Smith also adding her name to the scoresheet. The men’s rugby team returned to winning ways, following last weeks’ loss to Bristol, with a comprehensive 34-13 victory at home to University West of England. Tries from Lloyd Pike, Luke Waller, Harry Griffiths, Tom Bell, Chris Williams and a penalty try capped off the win. Head of Rugby Alun Wyn Davies was delighted with his sides’ effort.
He said: “We dominated most of the game against a good UWE side, who put 50 points past USW the week before. The intensity was superb, but we move onto next week now and we have to be positive against King’s College London.” But there was drama at the volleyball, as Tim Erskine describes. Women’s volleyball had a nightmare playing Swansea. Our rivals in green failed to supply qualified referees. The novice referee repeatedly just followed the directions of Swansea’s coach. The Swans won in three straight sets but the set scores were extremely close. The Volleyball Club are disputing the result with BUCS and the help of the Athletic Union. There was no such problem for the men who stormed to success in their first match of the season against University of South Wales. In an intense and heated game they came back to win 3-1.
Week Three of Athlete of the Week
Pictured: Pictures: Top (Lacrosse in Varsity action via Huw Evans Agency) Middle (Megan McCrea after a game) Bottom(Elin Harding)
eek three of Athlete of the Week saw netball second team star Megan McCrea win the coveted title. McCrea and co. were reeling as they trailed to Bristol heading into the fourth quarter, and they knew they had to win in order to pile the pressure on the other teams in the league. They needed a miracle from somewhere and up stepped McCrea. The
in form wing defence (WD), made ten clean interceptions as she commanded the defence and halted any Bristol threats. The vital turnovers put Cardiff’s attackers on the front foot as they chased down the shock comeback win. And after clawing their way back, the girls sealed the win with six seconds of the match remaining, winning 30-29. The win means all eight netball teams at Cardiff University won last Wednes-
day. The team now sits in 2nd of the BUCS Western 2B Division after their opening 48-31 win over University of Gloucestershire and this nail-biter. And McCrea was surprised to be crowned Athlete of the Week. She said: “I was shocked to get the award but I am so pleased to have made a positive impact in the match.” McCrea added: “I definitely felt the pressure going into the final quarter, knowing how important the win was for us. “But I knew our team was capable of winning. There is so much talent in this squad but getting six goals back in 15 minutes was going to be a challenge.” “Everyone put in 100% effort and I wanted to do my bit too, it was a team effort and great from our attack to be able to convert all our interceptions into goals”, said the wing defence.
Elin’s Thoughts: Successful week for Netball
ell, what a fantastic week for the netball girls in BUCS. Eight out of eight wins from all the teams including a 85-1 win for the 7th’s team and the 2nd teams’ comeback win over Bristol. To secure a clean sweep of victories is a remarkable achievement in any sport but it’s even sweeter knowing that it’s from the sport that I play. I certainly can’t remember anything on this scale happening before at the club so it’s a fantastic feat and a special feeling. It shows the hard work that the girls have put in over the summer to improve their game, so I can only hope their success continues.
The netball club has even expanded this year, adding two teams to the IMG league due to a combination of high numbers and talented freshers. The AU executives were happy to announce that netball player Megan McCrea as Athlete of the Week, and I can’t emphasise how brilliant their comeback win was including Megan’s 10 clean interceptions, another pretty unheard of achievement. Sadly, due to my ankle injury I haven’t been able to play. It’s slowly getting better but it’ll be a long road to recovery. The men’s rugby team also enjoyed a solid week with four wins from four games that included the freshers’ 101-
0 win over Trinity St David. The 2nds’ triumphed 13-0 with the 3rds’ winning 23-12 against Bath. Dodgeball was a big success two weeks ago and I’m glad everyone had fun on the evening. Hopefully we will be able to conjure up more events alike in the future so keep your eyes out for any updates. Soon all eyes will turn to the Medics’ Varsity where Cardiff will take on Bristol in the third installment of the event. We have been back-to-back winners so I’d expect Cardiff to retain their title. Everything is starting to fall into place for the games, with communications amongst venues and sports flowing well.
To secure a clean sweep of victories is a remarkable achievement in any sport.
Cardiff City U23s: The kids are alright
It’s time for Cardiff City to look to their own to help propel them up the table Mark Wyatt
The towering centre-back managed to keep Charlton at bay for the full ninety and showed intelligent movement.
Since taking over Neil Warnock, 67, has implemented a well disciplined and well drilled defensive unit to the Cardiff back line
t’s been a difficult season for Cardiff City and it’s only been 3 months. Seemingly fighting a relegation battle as early as September, a managerial sacking and new faces arriving and leaving the club all the time. Neil Warnock has registered two good results at the time of writing, especially the derby win against Bristol City in his debut at the helm. Yet Cardiff fans expect a lot more over the next few months in order to mount a charge towards promotion and that will take something special to achieve given their current league standing. That something special may just come from the players right under their very noses, sitting in their development squad. The U23 team have, like their senior side, had a mixed bag of results this season. Starting with 4 straight wins, they have now failed to win in 6 yet there are some diamonds sitting in the rough. Gair Rhydd went to their 0-0 draw with Charlton last week to see what all the fuss was about. On a bright Monday afternoon Cardiff ’s youngsters played in the shadow of the City stadium, what a better way to inspire them to break into the first team. Kevin Nicholson, the manager, was one of the first coaches in Great
Britain to obtain his FA Elite qualifications and his team looked well drilled against Charlton. There were a lot of chances for the Bluebirds, with Marco Weymans netting a disallowed goal early on and Semi Ajayi’s bullet header should have put them ahead had it not been for the Charlton keeper’s heroics. Ajayi impressed throughout for Cardiff, the towering centre-back managed to keep Charlton at bay for the full ninety and showed intelligent movement whenever they had the ball. Ajayi’s professional career has seen him play across England by the age of twenty-two and he joined the Bluebirds from the academy of Arsenal in 2015. Captain Tom James made his mark too, with a close effort in the second-half. His rise in the development team has granted great praise but, like his teammates, he is still waiting to get a chance in the firstteam after making his debut in 2013 but not playing since. Finishing all even was a good result for the team though, Charlton have impressed this season going unbeaten since August. We spoke to Charlton full-back Aaron Barnes who is also looking to step up to his first team in the near future. His view on Cardiff was full of praise and Barnes explained that
Pictured: (Left) Kadeem Harris has enjoyed his time in the first team recently. Photography: Jon Candy
“ to play against them was tough. “They were a high pressing, direct and aggressive team, who make it difficult to play against, they are a strong outfit, especially at home. They always produce good youth teams.” He is certainly right, Cardiff have produced some great young players that have elevated into the squad in recent years. Kadeem Harris is currently enjoying his time in the first-team and one
can’t help but expect some his former team-mates to join him soon. It may not have been an enthralling encounter but the young Bluebirds showed enough determination and passion to convince anyone that Neil Warnock should seriously consider his youngsters as viable options in the Championship. But will the 67 year old take the gamble, especially with his early recruitment?
Skipper Morrison feels new additions will give the club a needed lift
ardiff City captain Sean Morrison believes that Cardiff ’s recent mis-fortunes will soon be a thing of the past, after seeing his side go unbeaten in Neil Warnock’s first two games in charge and although the Bluebirds remain in the Championship relegation zone, Morrison firmly believes that Warnock is the right man to lead the welsh sides swift rise up the table. Speaking exclusively to Gair Rhydd after last weeks’ mid-week draw to Sheffield Wednesday he opened up on and how a buzz is now back in the club and how the additions have given the whole squad a needed kick up the backside.” The last two games are just the start. We’ve got four points from two games which is a good return,” Morrison said. “It’s been a tough time at the beginning of the season, we’ve got ourselves in a bit of a hole and hopefully the fans can see we’re doing everything we can to get ourselves out of it.” Since taking over Neil Warnock, 67, has implemented a well disciplined and well drilled defensive unit to the Cardiff back line and the Captain was quick to sing the praises of the newly appointed manager. “Both games this week I think you can see
that we have been very solid and difficult to break down and pressed up a good shape. “He has installed a belief and a solidarity, and we are extremely hard to beat and every knows their jobs, and in the short space of time, he hasn’t had much time to work with us so we can only get better.” Morrison said. He also stated that he was “100 percent confident “that Cardiff will get out of this situation and highlighted the recent captures of Junior Holiett and Sol Bamba had brought a ‘positive vibe’ to the club. “Its always nice to see new faces coming in as it adds completion for places. The boys have come in and settled nicely and I’m sure the more we spent on the training pitch and more game time they get, they will shine more and more”’ Morrison said. After the signing of Sol Bamba, who scored on his debut against Bristol City, Morrison highlighted the impact he has made to the squad and how competition for places is fierce considering their poor defensive start to the season. “Personally with Sol coming in, it’s a kick up the bum,” he added. Morrison also reiterated his desire to keep a much needed clean sheet. Something that Cardiff have not managed since the
opening day in August. “You know if you don’t play well now there’s four centre-halves who are very experienced players and can come in and play in your position”, he added.
The Bluebirds now face three difficult fixtures including a home tie against Wigan Athletic before a daunting trip to St James Park to take on Championship leaders Newcastle.
They were a high pressing, direct and aggressive team, who make it difficult to play against.
Ched Evans will return to football but is the damage already done?
Looking fit and sharp, it was almost as though he had never been away from the game.
ollowing his retrial at Cardiff Crown Court at the beginning of the month, former Wales international Ched Evans was found not guilty of the rape of a nineteen year old girl in 2011, a crime for which he served twoan-a-half years of a five-year sentence in prison. At the time of his conviction, Evans was one of the rising stars of Welsh football, with 13 caps and a single goal against Iceland in 2008 to his name. He is now 27, with what some might argue the best years of his career lost, and looking to rebuild not only his personal life, but also his life in football. His route though back into the game has been blighted by contract withdrawals, false promises and an incredible backlash from supporters, clubs, politicians and the media. While in prison, Evans met with representatives of his former club Sheffield United (who now could see legal action taken against them by Evans for the termination of his contract and for potential lost earnings), including chairman Kevin McCabe and then-manager Nigel Clough, to discuss a return to training and even the possibility of resigning following his release. Ultimately, this never happened, with fans and a number of prominent individuals, such as Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill, threatening to withdraw their support of the club should any deal take place. This became one in a long list of clubs to offer Evans an olive branch, before snatching it away.
In December 2014, months after meeting his former employers in prison, Hartlepool manager Ronnie Moore expressed an interest in signing Evans, who before his conviction had scored thirty five goals in one season and had been named in the League One PFA Team of the Year. Moore was slated by a local MP for his comments, before the club’s board of directors issued a statement distancing themselves from the Rhyl-born forward. By January 2015, speculation began to mount that he was preparing to kick-start his career at Maltese side Hibernians, who had apparently offered him a deal for the remainder of that season, but due to his status as a convicted sex offender on licence at the time, he was eventually barred from working abroad. Later that month, League One side Oldham Athletic abandoned an ambitious attempt to sign him, claiming a backlash from sponsors and even death threats directed towards Evans and members of the board caused them to pull the plug. This was perhaps the most controversial of offers, as Evans would have been playing for as little as four hundred pounds a week, while the club’s manager at the time, Lee Johnson, expressed grave concerns about the potential deal. A petition by the club’s fans against his signing reached sixty thousand signatures in a matter of days, while ten teams across League’s One and Two issued statements saying they would
not pursue deals to sign him if available. Even Conference side Grimsby Town, the same team that had previously signed Evans’ friend Clayton McDonald, who was acquitted in the same case, later withdrew an offer of a contract after deciding it was too ‘high risk’. Wherever he turned, he was seemingly turned away just as quickly. But in June of this year, he was finally handed an opportunity to return. Danny Wilson, who was in charge of Sheffield United the season Evans was convicted, signed him on a one-year deal for League One side Chesterfield. In August, he stepped out onto a pitch to play in a professional game for the first time in over four years, and duly scored a twenty-five yard free-kick in their draw with Oxford United. Looking fit and sharp, it was almost as though he had never been away from the game. So far this season, he has four goals in seven matches, and is looking to return to action this weekend as the Spireites take on Scunthorpe, after missing the previous two weeks due to injury and, of course, the retrial. With his name now clear, he will no doubt be looking to rebuild and recapture the form that saw him net forty two goals in a hundred and three games at his previous club. But is that a realistic target, and just where will he go from here? Though eager to get back to playing for a club, Evans will no doubt want to force his way back into the international reckoning before his career is over. Had his conviction not happened,
he would most likely have been signed by a club in a higher league, possibly even the Premier League, due to his age, potential and impressive goal return, which would also raise questions of whether or not he would have been in contention for Wales during their Euro 2016 qualifiers and even the squad for the tournament itself. Unlike Sam Vokes or Hal Robson-Kanu, Evans is a natural number nine, a starter and a proven goal scorer at club level. He would certainly have added to his thirteen caps, and undoubtedly to his goal tally for his country too. Realistically, at this point in time he shouldn’t be looking any further than this season at Chesterfield though. If he can, as I say, recapture his goal scoring form in the short-term for his new side, push them up the table and into contention for promotion, then a new deal would be on the cards, maybe even interest from other teams again and genuine interest this time. Then, and only then, would Wales consider calling him up. Recently, Chris Coleman’s men, though an excellent unit, have shown there’s little strength in depth beyond their starting eleven. Having someone like Evans back in form and back in a side to call on would make things very interesting. Now that he has been cleared, I have looked at things purely from a footballing point of view, and believe he can be an asset for whoever he plays for, club or country, but only time will tell if that’s true.
Had his conviction not happened, he would most likely have been signed by a club in a higher league, possibly even the Premier League, due to his age, potential and impressive goal return.
Hoilett hails Warnock impact
Canadian winger believes the new manager has already made his mark at the Cardiff City Stadium
Hoilett has declared he has “more to come” as he regains match sharpness following his spell without a club.
ardiff City winger Junior Hoilett has hailed the impact new boss Neil Warnock has had on the
club. The Bluebirds have picked up four points from their opening two games under Warnock, following up an impressive win over local rivals Bristol City with a draw against Sheffield Wednesday. Hoilett, who was signed as a free agent just days after Warnock took the job at the Cardiff City Stadium, played a crucial role in their Severnside Derby triumph on his debut. The 26-year-old has revealed how the decision to reunite with his former QPR boss in the Welsh capital was a “no brainer”. He believes the impact of Warnock has already become evident in their play and is backing a hard-working approach to pay dividends as they look to climb the Championship table. “I love working under Neil Warnock, so it was a no brainer to come here to Cardiff,” Hoilett said. “He’s a great manager. It’s great when
you have a manager that believes in you and makes you settle in easy in a new atmosphere, new environment. “It’s good for me as a player to know that the manager is behind me, to give me confidence, and it’s great for the club and the team as you’ve seen with a great start. “He (Warnock) called me up, and when he did I was 100% ready to go. I’ve worked with him at QPR and he gave me the extra boost there as well. “It’s just a different atmosphere in training and everything. He brings a different atmosphere around the building, and he makes it clear what he wants. “He makes it clear that if you fight for him he’ll fight for you. That’s what you need as a manager, to back your players and give everyone confidence to lift people around the building. “The atmosphere has been magnificent, and you can see how the players ran for each other and worked hard for the manager and the team. “The minimum we require from each other is to just work hard, put in the extra shift, and the results will follow.
Pictured: (Left) Hoilett has made a bright start to life in Cardiff. (Via Cardiff City FC)
“You could see everyone was giving it their all. Everyone was running the extra yard for each other and putting tackles in. “We got the result which was what we wanted from a local derby. We stuck to the game plan that the manager set us for the week and it paid off. “We stood behind the team, worked hard for each other and got the early goal which settled the nerves, got the crowd
behind us and pushed us forward.” Following a strong start to his Cardiff City career, Hoilett has declared he has “more to come” as he regains match sharpness following his spell without a club. The Canadian added: “It was great to get the first 70 minutes under my belt (against Bristol City. I felt like I put in a great performance and put in a good shift up and down the wings.
How sport is tackling the taboo surrounding mental health
By speaking out, Powell has sent a clear message to the rugby world that it is acceptable to open up and admit such problems can exist.
Rhys Thomas Cardiff Blues Columnist
hey spend their lives doing what millions of kids dream of around the world. Some know what it is like to score a try front of 70,000 people at the Principality Stadium, others have hit the back of the net from 25 yards out at Wembley whilst a few have celebrated a hundred in an Ashes Test at Lords. Big money, fast cars and, all importantly, the chance to live the dream by being paid to play the sport they love on a daily basis. Professional sports people seemingly have it all – but it is easy to wrongly assume that they are immune from the grips of depression. Last week, the retirement of former Wales rugby star Andy Powell at the age of 35 thrust the issue of depression back into the limelight. The ex-British and Irish Lions back row announced he would be quitting the sport with immediate effect, with his club, Merthyr RFC, citing a longstanding knee injury. But Powell soon opened up about the real reason for his decision to give up rugby, discussing his struggles off the field. It has been a downward spiral for the 35-year-old which has eventually seen him fall out of love with the game he once dreamed of playing. In something of a ‘tough guy’ environment, it could not have been easy for Powell to take the step of making his experiences public. In a revealing interview with BBC Radio Wales, he acknowledged the difficulty in showing his “softer side” given the Rugby life which he has led. “I’m a very proud man on and off the pitch,” Powell said. “I’m a macho man but everybody has got their soft spots to them. At the time it was beating me up just sat on the sofa when to do it. “It’s easier said than done because some people don’t like to speak because they are too proud, they think ‘no, I haven’t got it’, but I thought that and I’ve spoken out.” By speaking out, Powell has sent a clear message to the rugby world that it is acceptable to open up and admit such problems can exist. He follows in the footsteps of former All Blacks winger John Kirwan, who has been at the forefront of raising awareness of depression in sport over a number of years. The topic of mental health issues in
est Wales rivals the Scarlets come to Cardiff Arms Park this Friday for a mid-table battle, the two teams separated by five points and one position in sixth and seventh place with the home team sitting above that divide. After two straight league losses against Leinster and Ospreys, it’s a chance for Cardiff Blues to put themselves back on the path up the table with a hotly anticipated Welsh derby. Both sides last PRO12 outing saw them face Welsh opposition, Blues getting hammered 46-24 in Swansea and the Scarlets narrowly triumphing at
sport has perhaps never been more prominent, with former Stoke striker Vincent Pericard also revealing just last week how he suffered from “suicidal tendencies” during dark days in the Potteries. High-profile cricketer Jonathan Trott, who famously came home from the 2013 Ashes tour due to mental health issues, also launched his autobiography, Unguarded, just last month. Former England opener Marcus Trescothick made headlines with his critically-acclaimed book, Coming Back to Me, following similar experiences within his career. Slowly but surely, a wide variety of sports are seeing high-profile examples of how depression and other mental health issues can impact even the biggest stars. For Rugby, there has been a muchneeded example set by Powell, who has generally been seen as one of the most colourful characters in the game in recent times. If his experiences strike a cord with just one person, then he will have undoutedly played his part in tackling the issues that exist. Whilst the life of a sportsman may seem full of glamour, it is becoming increasingly clear that the mental strain and pressure of performing in front of thousands of expectant fans can have a major effect. Similarly, the increasingly intense schedules being driven by commercial opportunities around the world are making the life of toplevel sportsmen increasingly lonely. Spending months at a time on the road, away from family members, can take its toll on anyone as the likes of Trott and Trescothick have testified. Although sport, and society in general, is taking positive strides in its approach towards mental health, it is unfortunately an issue which will never be totally solved. Next month will mark five years since Wales football legend Gary Speed took his own life as a result of a long battle with depression which only became apparent after his death. Just two years earlier, German international goalkeeper Robert Enke also committed suicide and left a note which revealed his secret struggle with depression. Thankfully, with the example set
by the likes of Powell, Trott and Trescothick it appears that the taboo towards talking about such serious issues is gradually eroding. As sport continues to take posi-
tive strides towards recognising and helping those struggling with depression, it can only be hoped that tragic cases such as Speed and Enke will become increasingly rare.
home against Newport Gwent Dragons which was their third win on the bounce after not picking up a single point in their first three fixtures. It should be an evenly matched contest, but unfortunately both sides may be without their Wales stars as they will already be in training camp by the time the match takes place. The Blues will be boosted by a bonus-point victory away at Bristol in the European Challenge Cup (the Pau match took place after the time of writing) and will hope this gets them back into winning ways. A losing rut can be hard to claw yourself out of, as Blues teams of the
past few seasons know all too well. A European double header against Bath comes up next in December, an exciting fixture reminiscent of decades gone by when Cardiff and Bath were both big teams and would’ve been at the top table of European club rugby. The announcement of the Wales squad saw eight Blues picked. Frontrowers Scott Andrews, Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill and Gethin Jenkins along with Gareth Anscombe, Alex Cuthbert, Lloyd Williams and skipper Sam Warburton. Probably the unluckiest to miss out on international selection is wing Tom James who has been in blistering form
this season as the region’s top scorer, carrying on his high standards from last season. Cuthbert has been injury stricken and hasn’t managed three hours of rugby this season compared to over triple that for James. The Merthyr-born wing is an unfortunate victim of the Wales management’s policy of loyalty and sticking with players who have been around the squad for a number of years, however undeserving they may be. Australia will be the first visitors to Cardiff, with Jenkins and Warburton both looking like the nailed on starters from the capital city region.
Pictured: Andy Powell in his Wasps days, he finished his career with Merthyr RFC (Via Flickr)
Although sport, and society in general, is taking positive strides in its approach towards mental health, it is unfortunately an issue which will never be totally solved.
Con’t: Wales sqaud announcement, Howley going for name over form?
ith so many restrictions on the squad Wales’s fans will be hoping that they will give Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa their money’s worth. Wales are without a win since mid-March when they smashed records to beat Italy 67-
14 in the 6 Nations. It all makes for a mouth-watering set of autumn internationals, enough to whet the appetite of anyone. The big question remains: will the English contingent, including Saints star George North feature versus Australia?
Pictured: Top: George North in action (via Flickr) Bottom: Amos, Jones, Warburton and Davies at the event (via Pro Rugby)
Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Rhys Gill (Cardiff Blues), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Bath Rugby), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby), James King (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (capt, Cardiff Blues). Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), George North (Northampton Saints), Liam Williams (Scarlets).
TACKLE scheme launched by Wales internationals including Cardiff University’s Hallam Amos
The media outlet have injected £150,000 into the project and will aim to retain teenagers aged between 14-16 playing sport
Harry Borg Cardiff City Columnist
ales captain Sam Warburton was amongst the stars on show to launch the new TACKLE scheme to keep teenagers playing rugby. Warburton was joined by fellow Wales internationals, Alun-Wyn Jones, Gareth Davies and Cardiff University student, Hallam Amos at Aberdare Community School to promote the campaign backed by BT Sport. The media outlet have injected £150,000 into the project and will aim to retain teenagers aged between 14-16 playing sport, especially in deprived areas. Ryan Jones was another famous face in attendance and he explained the importance of the scheme. “It’s superb isn’t it”, said the ex-Welsh captain. “We’ve seen boys and girls alike playing rugby and having lots of fun which I think is what we’re all about. “I think this concept is great, it’s away from the norm of a cold, wet, muddy pitch, we’re on a fantastic surface. It’s about using rugby for the power of good really, it’s about en-
arrative is a powerful thing in literature; it’s the predestined chain of events that unfolds in front of the reader that reveals climaxes, nadirs and surprises. There is probably no predetermined plot to life, God probably doesn’t exist and it’s probably not Liverpool’s year. Occasionally football appears to work outside the conventional laws of the universe; simultaneously managing to be predictable and unpredictable: Drogba scoring that penalty and Deeney scoring that goal, for examples. The inevitable is defined as an unavoidable conclusion.
gaging people in a different way.” Jones is now the Head of Participation at the WRU (Welsh Rugby Union) and he added: “Rugby is a sport that we pride ourselves on fantastic values and trying to use those values to give children an opportunity in the future. “I think in the last few months we’ve realised we’re all rugby people and we all largely want the same thing. We’re looking at where we can help each other to benefit the game.” And Warburton, on the verge of returning from a fractured cheekbone, said: “I think you get used to dealing with pressures and dealing with defeats and being able to bounce back.” He added: “I think it gives you a lot of life skills which I don’t think you realise you pick up along the way. But when I look back, I think I’m a very different person to when I first started playing.” Fellow Cardiff Blues forward, Macauley Cook echoed the Welsh flanker’s thoughts and said: “It gives you focus and discipline. Some people without this focus in sport, not just rugby could go on different tracks
and go off the rails, so I think it gives kids focus, it’s great.” The 6ft 4 lock continued: “I’d love to keep getting involved and keeping it fun for the youngsters as that’s the main thing for young kids. They can lose interest if it’s not fun so for this age group you have to keep it enter-
taining. “It’s good, we got smashed a few times on the pads by the youngsters, but it’s been fun really.” In next week’s edition we exclusively speak to Hallam Amos on his life as a student and a professional rugby star.
Unfortunately for Bristol City the moment Neil Warnock was appointed as Cardiff City’s new manager their defeat was inevitable; inescapable from the clutches of narrative. City’s performance against Bristol was a huge improvement on anything fans have seen this season. Warnock previously expressed an affection for the “blood and guts” football of the Championship and Cardiff offered exactly that. The City players showed real fight, emphasised by making more tackles than they had managed in any former game this season. Their commitment was really conductive to
the atmosphere. Momentum is vital in football and the win over in-form Bristol City will only help generate it. If Warnock manages to get the best of the Owls, like he did with Rotherham back in March, then you can forgive City fans for dreaming of promotion. Warnock knows there is still a lot of work to be done with this Cardiff side if he’s to get that record-breaking eighth promotion. Warnock’s crusade towards promotion was briefly distracted by issues raised in the inquisition into football’s alleged corruption and inadequacies chaired by MP Damian
Collins. Warnock was accused of being “crooked” and of having players “pay him to get into the team” by Jason Puncheon in 2014 – claims strongly denied by the City manager. Collins appeared unaware the claims were actually withdrawn, and Puncheon had in fact issued an apology. A climax and a nadir all in one week for Warnock and the Carrdiff. If you include the signing of Chamakh then there was also a surprise, albeit an unwelcome one. A couple of weeks ago promotion was out of the question but Warnock’s appointment leading to Cardiff’s promotion could be inevitable; the fun’s in finding out.
Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport firstname.lastname@example.org gairrhydd.com/sport
Also this week
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Whilst Howley faces some big decisions ahead of Wallabies clash Mark Wyatt
sprey’s pair Rory Thornton and Sam Davies have both been named in the thirtysix man squad for the autumn internationals. With Warren Gatland preparing for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour, Robert Howley has selected his squad for the matches against Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa at the Principality Stadium across November. However squad selection over the past few weeks has been a lot tougher for these matches than it has been in the past. Premiership Rugby, the organisation that control the 12 Premiership clubs, have stated that they will not be releasing non-English based players for Tests outside World Rugby’s autumn window. Unfortunately for Wales, their first Test against Australia falls outside of that window and therefore some of the players not based in Wales will not be facing the Wallabies on Bonfire Night. Those players include Northampton Saints winger George North, Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis, Gloucester back-row forward Ross Moriarty,
Bath’s Taulupe Faletau, Luke Charteris and Rhys Preistland as well as Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts. What stops Howley naming all of the players in his squad and simply not playing them against Australia however is the Welsh Ruby Union’s senior player selection policy (SPSP). Aptly nicknamed Gatland’s Law it stops more than 3 players that play outside of Wales being picked for Welsh internationals. The exact number of players allowed will fluctuate depending on the tournament Wales are playing in but for the autumn internationals only 3 players will be granted to play. Those players were announced last Tuesday as George North, Jamie Roberts and the injured Taulupe Faletau. With the SPSP and Premiership Rugby’s law seemingly conflicting each other, there is a lot of confusion over what will happen in the coming weeks regarding the 3 players called up from English clubs. Rob Howley admitted that North and Roberts were free to face Australia, but that there had been no contact with their clubs. “Having spoken to the players, some of them are available for the Australia game,” said Howley. “We’ve had no formal conversations with
any of the English clubs.” What is left to see is if the Premiership Rugby will take any action against the players or their clubs if they do go ahead and represent Wales against the Wallabies. Amid all the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the squad however, there are some interesting features about this side that give Howley quite a lot to work with. Toulon full-back Leigh Halfpenny is back after almost thirteen months on the side lines with a knee injury that ruled him out of last year’s World Cup and the 6 Nations. There is also space for wing Alex Cuthbert and props Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews. Sam Warburton will continue as captain despite having surgery on a cheek injury recently, yet he is tipped to return to the Cardiff Blues side very soon. Taulupe Faletau is not expected to be back from injury until mid-November but his selection highlight’s the confidence his coaches have in him. Howley said “Taulupe is still in his rehab process and has been working closely with Bath.” “We hope he will be available in the later part of the campaign, but his experience will be vitally important to have around the squad.”
Pictured: Taulupe Faletau will hope to recover from his injury as soon as possible. (Photography via Marc, Flickr)
Andy Powell retirement: Is depression in sport overlooked? P38>>
Continued on page 39
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