Page 1

Societies: Jazz Society get ready for their Christmas event P29 >>

News: Everything that happened in the Union’s AGM P4 >>

gair rhydd

gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1088 Monday 28th November 2016 Cardiff University contributes £3bn to UK economy


Photo Credit: Huw Evans Agency

ew research has found that Cardiff University gives a nearly £3bn boost to the UK economy. It was found that the university had a total economic impact of £2.9bn in 2014-15. This is a 9.3 per cent increase since the 2012-13 period when £2.6m was generated. The report, produced by London School of Economics, found that for every £1 spent by Cardiff University, £6.36 was made. The value of the teaching and learning activities was estimated to be approximately £966.2m in 2014-15 - 33 per cent of the total economic impact. In 2014, Cardiff was ranked in the top five for Research Excellence Framework and research activity counted for £664.1m, 23 per cent of the contribution to the UK economy. The report also stated that Cardiff University supports more than 11,000 jobs.

called out at Rugby Club ‘banned from Students’ SU AGM over letting Union’ following public complaint Cagency fee claims EXCLUSIVE

Harry Webster & Emily Giblett


ardiff University Rugby Club have been banned from “student union licensed premises” for the remainder of the semester, following complaints made about the club by members of the public. It is understood that this includes both of the Union’s YOLO and JUICE student nights. In a statement, given exclusively to Gair Rhydd, a spokesperson for the Athletic Union said: “Following a recent complaint received from a member of the public, the Athletic Union met with the Cardiff University Rugby Club committee. At this meeting, the Rugby Club provided a number of suggestions in order to respond to this and other recent complaints. “The Athletic Union was pleased

that the committee of the club understood the need to take action and both the AU and the club agreed on a set of actions as a result. “This includes restrictions on social activity and training and as well as a number of proactive initiatives to demonstrate the clubs and the member’s commitment to changing behaviours.” Expanding on these initiatives, Chairman of the Rugby Club, Chris Williams added: “We are planning on working in the local community, including working with the ‘Clean up Cathays’ initiative and the university estates department. “The rugby club are planning to work with Cardiff University Sport to improve/maintain the facilities e.g. Painting the changing rooms at Llanrumney. We have also started a relationship with a Charitable organisation, raising money through joint fundraisers with them. “Through these initiatives we hope

to change the perception of the Rugby Club while also providing rewarding experiences for all our members.” This sentiment was matched by Head of Sport at Cardiff University, Stuart Vanstone, who told Gair Rhydd: “The University have been the Students Union and Cardiff University Rugby Club following recent complaints about conduct and activities. This has led to some restrictions on various activities and we are pleased the club are taking positive steps to change behaviours and their reputation.” The Athletic Union was also quick to highlight that complaints made concerned a “minority of the club’s membership”, and that it was “pleased that the club are making efforts to change their behaviour and reputation.” It is not yet known how both the club and the SU plan on administering the ban, however it is believed that both are working together to find a suitable way to do so.

The news comes after the Athletic Union last year announced plans to issue bans to sports clubs who’s members’ “off field behaviour” was not up to standard, following a wider clampdown by the National Union for Students on ‘lad culture’. Former Athletic Union President, Sam Parsons, last year told Gair Rhydd: “We want to make sure our clubs, our AU members are positive role models for the wider student community.” Questionable behaviour, particularly from sports clubs, has been a point of contention in recent years, with Gair Rhydd last year reporting that members of the universities’ Cricket Club had hung Ulster Unionist flags outside popular pre-YOLO destination Koko Gorillaz. In 2013, the Annual General Meeting also moved to suppress such culture, following criticisms that the SU did not offer a large enough variety of non-alcoholic social events.

ardiff Students’ Union Persident Sophie Timbers was questioned by an audience member following her speech at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday. John Penketh, Managing Director at The No Fees Letting Agency, accused the SU of advertising Cardiff Student Lettings as “the only letting agent with no agency fees”, despite them having known for two years that this was not the case . Penketh claimed that the SU had been fully aware of the existence of his business - which was set up on the principle of not charging for agency fees - yet ignored this fact in the Cardiff Student Lettings advert. Sophie Timbers responded to the accusations by stating: “We will investigate the claim that we are not the only letting agency in Cardiff without fees”. Turn to page four for a full account of AGM 2016, or go to the Gair Rhydd Twitter page to relive Thursday’s meeting via our live Twitter feed.

2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett

the free word

No more no platforming You have space for your opinion with us

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 Louis Mertens Editorial Assistant Carwyn Williams Proofreader Mélissa Azombo 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 Tweet us @gairrhydd 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 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.

Maria Mellor


ou wait all week for a newsworthy story then three come along at once! It was the AGM last week, and as usual the banter was strong. Aside from societies’ twitter game, I think that it’s great how many people showed up to participate in democracy and it’s wonderful to see people talk so passionately about motions they truly believe in. I wanted to talk about a motion I was happy to see passed: Challenge don’t censor. As a students’ union we have agreed to block no platforming, facilitating debate rather than just stopping people we don’t like from speaking. I’m lucky to have this platform to voice my opinion and granted I don’t often have the most controversial things to say, there are people who disagree with me. With no platforming where would we draw the line? Furthermore, how would our society ever progress without debate and reform? Everyone thinks that their opinions are the right ones - even those who are

considered slightly more controversial. Obviously I don’t want people to spread messages of hate (sexism, racism, homophobia and the like), but it just seems absurd that just because a person holds these kinds of opinions, even if they’re not talking about those kind of opinions specifically, that they just get blocked from speaking at all. In the original motion proposal it is said: “If the SU wants to uphold its values, working with every Cardiff student to be totally inclusive, then it has to remain neutral on divisive issues.” I absolutely agree and I am glad the majority of voters did too. The SU must be there as a support network and how can it if speakers are being turned down. It’s a matter of bias. Linking in quite nicely, I went to a Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture where English foreign correspondent and world affairs editor of BBC News, John Simpson was speaking. It was so interesting to listen to the thoughts of a seasoned veteran of the industry. He mainly talked about bias and how the majority of newspapers and broadcasters these days have some kind of

bias. He told us that in the 50 years he has worked at the BBC no one has ever suggested to him that he should report in a particular way for a political reason. This is great - I wouldn’t dream of asking anyone to take an angle they didn’t believe in themsleves. However it is my opinion that it’s one matter for the BBC and another for other media outlets. It made me reflect on this very newspaper. I suppose we do have a slight bias in some cases - for example the front page of issue 1086 on Trump’s win in America. It was a matter that hit a lot of students very hard, and we chose to take an angle showing how students reacted to Trump’s win. Looking back we didn’t try to find anyone who was happy he won. Is that bias? Or is it simply catering to our readers? I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with John Simpson’s views either way, but it did make me reflect on how this paper is run. He advocates moderation, fairness

and balance, and disagrees with ideals to be ‘truthful not neutral’. I guess if you do go by that saying, you end up reporting on your personal truths and ignore others. On the other hand I know that I mainly go to The Guardian for my news as it’s political leaning roughly lines up with mine. I always encourage people to share their opinions, political or otherwise. I will never stop someone from sharing a story or comment piece because it has a political leaning. In doing this, I hope this doesn’t make us bias. Obviously in the case of student elections we maintain a completely neutral stance, but in national politics perhaps we are more opinionated. In all honesty, I feel like with declining readership, people are tending to prefer media with some kind of opinionated angle rather than completely neutral. In the Gair Rhydd news section we’ll do our best to not be biased, but if you do want a platform for your opinion, the comment section is just a few pages along.


Campus in Brief

Emily Giblett

A scorpion that is not native to Wales was found on campus at Swansea University


tudents at Swansea University were shocked last week as a scorpion was found on a wall on campus. Though present in some parts of the UK, the European yellow-tailed scorpion is not native to South Wales, leaving the RSPCA baffled as to how it came to be found in Swansea. Growing up to 45mm in length, the yellow-tailed scorpion has a painful sting but is not considered to be dangerous. In a statement, Nicole Wallace, Animal Collection Officer for the RSPCA, said ‘It is totally unclear how this little scorpion found its way onto the University campus - but it certainly isn’t your average student!’ The Football Association of Wales (FA) has announced that it has been charged by FIFA for its observation of Remembrance Day during the Wales-Serbia game on 12th November. Wearing the poppy goes against FIFA’s rule 4.4 which concerns political, religious and commercial messages. A list of the specific incidents that FIFA is investigating includes a fans’ mosaic depicting the poppy, and Welsh supporters wearing the poppy during. FIFA is also currently investigating the Irish Football Association for similar offences during the Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan game. Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond, announced in the Autumn Statement that Wales will receive an extra £400m to spend on capital projects over the next five years. A further £3m raised from banking fines will go to good causes including the Welsh Air Ambulance and the relocation of a military medicine museum from Aldershot to Cardiff. Reacting to the planned increase in funds for Wales, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns told the BBC ‘not only does it help build an economy that works for everyone across Wales and the rest of the UK, it provides a significant over-£400m uplift in the Welsh Government’s capital budget’.

National The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned an advertisment for Heinz beans after viewers complained that it breached health and safety regulations. The advert, in which young people and adults use empty cans as percussion instruments ran the hashtag #LearnTheCanSong, encouraging viewers to remake their own versions of the advert to post on social media. The ASA ruled that viewers could be at risk of cutting their hands or fingers if they made a mistake. A spokesman for Heinz told the BBC ‘we believe this popular ad did not pose any safety risk and many fans were inspired to create their own video versions.’ Sir Phillip Green, chairman of the Arcadia Group which represents brands including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and formerly BHS, could face having his assets including his £100m superyacht seized by the courts if he fails to cover a £571m deficit in the BHS pension scheme. A parliamentary investigation earlier this year found that Green and business partner Dominic Chappell had ‘systematically plundered’ the business before its eventual collapse in August 2016, leading to the loss of 11,000 jobs. UK web users will be banned from accessing sites that display ‘nonconventional’ sex acts, under a clause as part of the digital economy bill, currently going through parliament. The new regulations will force providers to censor content that would not be given a license to be sold on DVD. Included on the list of acts, are pictures and videos that show spanking and whipping, as well as acts involving urination and female ejaculation. Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of the Index on Censorship said: ‘It should not be the business of government to regulate what kinds of consensual adult sex can be viewed by adults’.

International Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, has warned that flights between the UK and Europe could come to a standstill in 2019 if an interim Brexit deal is not reached before. Speaking to The Guardian at the Airline Operators Association conference, O’Leary attacked ministers for their ‘lunatic optimism’, accusing them of acting like ‘dad’s army’. O’Leary continued: ‘everyone is underestimating in the UK the political situation in Europe. You can see a set of circumstances on the day of Brexit when nobody is flying between the UK and Europe. Even interim arrangements have to be approved by the European parliament.’ An 80-year-old woman who played a pivotal role in the success of the Apollo space missions has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Margaret Hamilton helped to write pioneering software that facilitated the moon landings in 1969. Speaking about the honour, outgoing President Barack Obama said ‘symbolises that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space’. Other personalities awarded the medal during the ceremony last week included Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks. Dominos could be considering using reindeer to deliver pizza to its customers in Japan. According to Asian news website Rocket24, the pizza chain is currently training the animals on the Northern Island of Hokkaido. The news comes as Japan anticipates one of its coldest winters on record. Dominos is in talks with reindeer breeders as the animals are known as hardy and resistant to extreme cold. In a press release, Dominos said that it was taking ‘all possible measures’ to ensure the highest welfare standards for the animals. It is not known at this stage whether this is simply a Christmas publicity stunt, or a reality for customers in cooler climates.

Pictured: Margaret Hamilton standing next to the software her team produced for the Apollo space missions (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Dominos could be considering using reindeer to deliver pizza



Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews

AGM success as “passionate” students speak out Toby Holloway

Whilst this motion comes with good intentions, it is at detriment to the student body at large. Charlie Knights, Disabilities Officer

Pictured: Students vote on a motion (Photographer: Toby Holloway)


n Thursday November 24, hundreds of students flocked to the Students’ Union, as the Great Hall hosted this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The event, which is the biggest democratic meeting held by the Students’ Union (SU) and takes place once per year, will be remembered for its impassioned speeches, controversial claims and hotly contested motions. The AGM ran from 6pm until around 9pm, and involved the proposals of five ‘tabled motions’, as well as various other items. These included the minutes (a summary of the records from a meeting) from 2015’s AGM, the Annual Report of the Students’ Union’s achievements from the 2015/16 academic year delivered by SU President Sophie Timbers, and the SU’s Financial Report from 2015/16. The AGM began with a speech from SU President Sophie Timbers, in which she summarised the numerous achievements by Cardiff University students, as well as describing some of the schemes introduced by the SU throughout the year. After her speech, Sophie Timbers was then asked questions by some audience members, who queried the “lies” concerning student letting agencies, profits made from student residences, and the SU not paying students who work there the full living wage. Student Senator Matthew Proctor was particularly vocal during this stage of proceedings, asking: “Why is it ok for you to force room to listen while you cherry-pick data?”. The AGM then moved on to a speech from Chief Executive of the SU, Daniel Palmer, regarding the SU’s financial report from 2015/16, in which he described “some overspends on sports and societies”, as well as “£2.4m of loss”. Mr Palmer also answered questions from audience members at the end of his address.

The meeting then proceeded to the first of the Tabled Motions, with each person proposing the motion having four minutes to summarised their motion. The first motion, ‘Periods in Poverty’, addressed the lack of funding for menstrual products for women in hardship, and proposed a donation bins for menstrual products in University toilets. The motion passed with a significant majority. The second proposed motion, “Student Accommodation - Equity over Profit”, resolved that the Student’s Union adopt an accommodation policy which would freeze the £20m profits made over the last five years, by reducing rent or investing more in residences. After much deliberation from people challenging the motion, it failed after a hand count of votes was necessary to determine the result. The third motion put forward the idea of creating a part-time campaign officer in “Mental Health Campaign Officer”, who would work with the Disabilities Officer to “solely represent those who suffer from mental health”. The motion was opposed by current Disabilities Officer Charlie Knights, who argued that, “Whilst this motion comes with good intentions, it is at detriment to the student body at large”, due to the fact that it would divide the budget of the Disabilities Officer. The motion passed, with a majority of students voting for the creation of a Mental Health Campaign Officer. The fourth motion, entitled ‘Challenge don’t Censor’, was proposed by James Daly, suggested that “all students, no matter what their views, will not be censored in so far as their actions are performed inside the law”. Following controversy surrounding academic Germaine Greer’s guest lecture at Cardiff University, the motion proposed that everyone, regardless of their standpoint, be given a platform

Pictured: Matthew Proctor defends his motion (Photographer: Toby Holloway)

to speak. The motion was met with some opposition, with one speaker arguing that giving people with offensive views a platform gave them “validity”. This was countered by a student in favour of the motion declaring that “silencing and squashing the views of others - that is fascism. That... is fascism.” After some deliberation, the motion eventually passed. The final motion, ‘Being a Zero Tolerance Union’, was proposed by Emily Broad and argued to “continue to pursue” and “extend” the Union’s Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment policy so that it “includes harassment of any nature, not just sexual”. The motion passed with a near 100% majority. As the 2016 AGM drew to a close,

Gair Rhydd spoke to SU President Sophie Timbers, who said: “There were some really important discussions to be had, what’s really great is that people have the opportunity to discuss their ideas. You often find that there are people who wouldn’t normally stand up at these things do because they are passionate.” She added: “I’ve been worried about this a long time because AGM is generally quite daunting. We took a lot of criticism last year and I didn’t want to put my team through that this year, so we wanted to be as prepared as possible. “But I think it went well and I’m definitely heading for one single gin at the Taf as soon as this is over.”

You often find that people who wouldn’t normally stand up at these things do because they are passionate. Sophie Timbers, SU President

Silencing and squashing the views of others - that is fascism. Ben, Politics and International Relations 3rd Year


Cardiff Council recieve plans for £8 billion Tidal Lagoon Anya Phillips


ardiff council are scrutinising plans to build a tidal lagoon extending from Cardiff Bay to Newport, a 13.5 mile stretch. The project is estimated to take approximately 7 years to build, with

a capital cost of around £6-8 billion which would be privately funded. Development for the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon began in 2013, and the project is now on its 12th design. Following consultation and discussion with

Pictured: Cardiff University take on Swansea in last year’s varsity. (Photo Credit: Huw Evans Agency)

the local council and community, a formal application for a Development Consent Order is expected to be made in 2018. This comes after plans were confirmed to launch a similar Tidal Lagoon project in Swansea. The Swansea Project (which was granted a Development Consent Order in 2015), aims to start construction in 2017, and is estimated to take 5 years to build. The Swansea project is however a much smaller scale project, costing a comparatively cheap price of £1.3 billion, while only stretching 6 miles. Unlike the Swansea lagoon, the public would not be able to walk along the breakwater wall, however, the Cardiff project would create as much power in a month as the Swansea project would create in a year. A project of this scale obviously poses many environmental implications, mostly concerning the surrounding wildlife and landscape. Furthermore, the time that the project would take to complete has raised questions as to whether other smaller scale renewable energy schemes should be prioritised. However, despite these initial concerns, the ambitious project has many long-term advantages, not least the creation of 3,000 jobs, and the ca-

pacity to supply energy to 1,500,000 homes helping to tackle climate change. Councillor Ramesh Patel, the cabinet member in charge of transport, planning and sustainability, praised the plans, saying: “it could totally transform the city and put us on the world map in terms of clean energy”. Meanwhile Council leader Phil Bale suggested that the council should wait to hear conclusions from the independent review into tidal lagoons, commissioned by UK Government, and expected to report in the New Year. Speaking of the review, Mr Bale said, “should its finding be positive then that would start to trigger further developments”. Various other cabinet members reflected on the sheer size of the project, comparing it to the last large development project of Cardiff City Stadium, which had been “a lot of work”, yet seemingly minor compared to the scale of the tidal lagoon. For green groups and others, there is a conflict of feelings; whether to focus on the environmental and ecological implications of the project or alternatively to draw attention to the positive impact it will have on climate change.

It could totally transform the city and put us on the world map in terms of clean energy. Councillor Ramesh Patel

Calls for Wales to follow suit as England bans agency fees Pictured: Agency fees, such as those payed for student housing, should be scrapped (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew Proctor


n a shock statement last Wednesday (November 23), the chancellor announced the banning of agency fees across England. The policy, picked from the labour 2015 manifesto, will be implemented over the coming year, after a consultation period with the department for communities and local government. Campaigners who have been working on this issue were astonished to hear the government uturn for renters in England, given both the chancellor and the prime

minister voted against the measure just two years ago. Whilst the policy has been cherry picked from the 2015 UK labour Manifesto, it has outmanoeuvred welsh labour who have to clarify whether the ban will be implemented in Wales. Indeed, welsh labour, ignored the call to ban agency fees in the 2014 Wales Housing Act, despite previous electoral promises from candidates. Despite the lack of clarity in the autumn statement, this is ultimately good news for students,

as the pressure for wales to join England, Scotland and NI in banning agency fees can only grow. Despite this move being welcomed by Charities such as shelter, The policy itself has been criticised by Letting Agencies, who claim they will pass on the cost to tenants in the form of higher rents. The industry association for landlords released the following statement “Agents’ fees have to be paid by somebody. If any extra fees are passed on to landlords, tenants

will end up paying them forever as market rents will increase. This directly opposes research in Scotland which shows the negligible impact of banning fees on rental prices. This is because most of the price of renting is driven by demand side dynamics in that landlords extort the maximum rent available, irrespective of costs. Students should therefore welcome the news and celebrate the eventual curtailing of letting agencies abusing their market power.


Thousands protest further rise in tuition fees Pictured: Protesters (Photo Credit: Chloe Vinden via Flickr)

Mathtew Proctor


housands of students descended on central London for the NUS/UCU education demonstration Saturday November 19. The NUS counted a 15000 turnout, with students protesting against the backdrop of cuts to education, the introduction of the so called ‘teaching excellence framework’, and free education. Approximately 20 students from Cardiff attended, the majority from Cardiff student socialists, as well as VP education Mo Hafany, and VP welfare Hollie Cooke. The protest occurred as the High-

“ er education bill is currently going through parliament. The bill contains the most wide-reaching reforms for the higher education sector since tuition fees were trebled. One of the two main concerns critics raise is the ham-fisted approach of the Teaching excellence framework (TEF), which will allow universities to raise tuition fees based on several criteria, including the NSS, and graduate earnings. Additionally, academics have warned against the reforms made to the research councils structure,

which will amalgamate the independent royally chartered research councils into a central body, run by the government. Critics fear it will lead to ministers having undue influence over research grant allocations, and lead to a Gove-esque policy of ministerial curriculum dictation. Whilst education is devolved to the welsh assembly, the decisions made in Westminster will ultimately come to bear on welsh Universities. The Vice chancellor of Cardiff university has admitted it is unlikely that the treasury will continue to fund English

students attending welsh universities not subject to similar regulatory standards as the rest of the UK. Additionally, changes to the research council make-up will affect all Welsh universities owing to the UK–wide nature of the body. The fightback against the HE bill continues, with the NUS starting a campaign for final years to boycott the National student survey, one of the metrics designed to allow institutions to raise fees. It is unclear whether CUSU will support such a measure.

The fightback against the HE bill continues, with the NUS starting a campaign for final years to boycott the National student.

Cardiff University in UK top 20 for graduate employability, according to recent survey C Hugh Doyle

We remain highly regarded by employers and have an excellent graduate employment record Professor Patricia Price, Cardiff University

ardiff University has been named as one of the best UK universities for employability in a recent survey. Cardiff came 14th in the UK out of 63 universities. In addition to placing in the top 20 UK universities, it was also the highest ranked Welsh university with Swansea, Bangor, and Aberystwyth placing 33rd, 39th, and 50th respectively. Cambridge topped the UK survey and The California Institute of Technology (more commonly known as Caltech) placed 1st in the Global Survey. The survey, commissioned by Times Higher Education, asked business and recruitment managers around the world which universities produced the most employable graduates in their opinion. As more people head to university than ever before employability is being seen as a key factor in differing graduates for employers and by prospective students when choosing universities. Preparing graduates for the workplace therefore through placement years and internships is becoming increasingly common in Higher Education.

Cardiff itself runs schemes such as the Cardiff Award Programme, which gives students evidence of their employability statistics. It also has a dedicated Careers and Employability Service which assists students by developing key workplace skills as well as careers advice. Cardiff boasts a 94% graduate rate per the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) statistics. In comparison, this is above the UK (93.9%) and Welsh (93.2%) average for first-degree graduates being in employment and/or continuing their higher education. When the HESA statistics were released in July the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience & Academic Standards, Professor Patricia Price said: “these figures prove that Cardiff University graduates are highly sought after by employers and equipped with the right skills for further study”. She went on to say “we remain highly regarded by employers and have an excellent graduate employment record with students finding employment or entering further training”.

Pictured: Cardiff University Main Building (Photo Credit: Jeremy Segrott via Flickr)

d a r g Post s a m t Chris party

e iv st e f f o ll u f g in n e v e an r o f s d a r g st o p w o ll e f r u o y Join le y st in r e st e m se e h t f f o d n food and drink to rou

Thursday 1st December

Y PLas, 20:30 Tickets: ÂŁ5 Dress code: Christmas jump ers

Tickets are limited and ar go fast. See Facebook.come expected to for more information. G /CardiffPGA et your tickets here: /postgrad


COMMENT 9 Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom

Does increased surveillance equal increased security? Pictured: The Extreme Surveillance Law was recently passed with little fanfare. Source: Jonathan McIntosh via Flickr

Anna Dutton

The passing of this law will mean that the government will gain access to the public and private lives of many people


n Thursday, an Extreme Surveillance Law was passed that has granted the police and secret services exclusive access to information held on any device. The law has not yet received royal assent, but is likely to go ahead with little opposition from inside or outside the House of Commons. The passing of this law will mean that the government will gain access to the public and private lives of many people living in the UK, even if they are not accused of any wrongdoing. The law has little limitations and appears more autocratic than democratic. As a result of events in France, Brussels and the Middle East, terrorist threats toward the UK have increased, prompting the secret services to push forward the law’s introduction. They argue it would be helpful in preventing would-be terrorist attacks, but, despite the appeal of this argument, the law invokes a serious intrusion of privacy as anyone’s data can be accessed. Thus, by implementing this law, an atmosphere of skepticism arises; one view is that this would be useful to track the movements of possible terrorists or even criminals, helping the prevention of a range of crimes. But, equally, if the data collected were

to be entrusted to the wrong person or to be hacked into, a lot of personal information would be at risk, causing psychological distress on the part of the people whose data was stolen. Therefore, for this system to be a success, a series of data protection precautions and defences would need to be put in place. This in itself is costly and once again does not ensure complete security as being hacked is always a possibility; even where government systems are concerned. A benefit of this legislation is that it gives a clear method for the legal hacking of personal computers or mobile phones. This provides an element of transparency often neglected by policies of this kind. However, it again re-iterates how any device can be accessed, even if the person has done nothing wrong. Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group said “the UK now has a surveillance law that is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy”; a provocative statement, but one echoed by the fact that no other Western country has implemented this law. Germany and America do have similar systems in place, but not to the scale of this new law. With Trump elected as

president there is speculation that some of the American privacy laws may even be lessened. As hinted on his campaign trail, Trump would rather use this system against political opponents than the general public. The outcome of this law is unlikely to affect our day-to-day lives because the context in question relies on data that is unseen. However, the fact that the system allows for access to any files (whether public or private) suggests that nothing is completely ‘safe’ from intrusion. The fact that everything can be monitored may deter some people from posting particularly provocative things online, but is unlikely to affect a person’s daily use of their computer or mobile phone as most things posted are harmless. For those who have nothing to hide (the vast majority of people) this ruling is unlikely to be of much concern, but for those caught up in illegal or criminal acts, it may serve as a rude awakening. The hope would be that by increasing surveillance of data, crime rates would decrease, but this is impossible to tell at such an early stage of the law’s implementation. It is interesting to note however the little opposition this law received in par-

liament. There are many reasons for this: perhaps the current political climate; a divided Labour Party and Conservative party distracted by the recent Brexit vote may have meant this legislation was less of a priority. Furthermore, with global concerns of terrorism and public fears increasing, the law may have been welcomed as a way of deterring future terrorists from attacking Britain. Also, perhaps the main reason is because the political agenda of Mrs May is presently occupied with the fallout of the Brexit result; our relations with Europe, new trading agreements and when to trigger Article 50 have all taken precedence. There has been some protest from privacy groups wishing to challenge the legislation in the European Court of Human Rights and elsewhere, but this is unlikely to amount to much as the legislation has already been passed. By introducing this law, it seems the government has now got even more eyes in the back of their head. If used appropriately and protected securely, the ability to access people’s data could be seen as a step toward greater security. However, the ethics associated with it and the lack of limitations suggests that the distinction between security and an intrusion of privacy have become a lot more blurred.

The fallout of the Brexit result; our relations with Europe, new trading agreements and when to trigger Article 50 have all taken precedence.


The death of controversial humour

G Gavin Collins

There appears at present to be an epidemic of neo-puritanism directed at comedy


omedian Peter Kay became the most recent victim of unfounded accusations of bigotry, after he made a light-hearted quip about celebrity judge Robert Rinder’s sexuality on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. The joke, that Judge Rinder’s sexuality was a ‘firmly closed case’, did not appear to cause any controversy during the program, but, as with most fauxoutrage witch hunts, took the form of social media ‘slacktivism’. Despite the fact that Mr. Kay’s accusers consisted only of a handful of Twitter users, the media, sensing an opportunity to stir controversy and drive up ratings, proceeded to write dozens of stories on an issue that most viewers of the BBC program were likely not even able to perceive. The charges levelled against Mr. Kay seem to be part of a category of baseless accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia, which have in recent years targeted everything from sport teams’ logos to Halloween costumes. Despite there being no evidence that Mr. Kay dislikes gay people, many news headlines following the incident seemingly imply that this would not be an unjustifi-

able opinion if one were to weigh up the evidence. There appears at present to be an epidemic of neo-puritanism directed at comedy. The American comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, recently spoke out about his policy of refusing to do comedy shows on university campuses, because of the hostility against him from many millennial audiences who appear unable to appreciate the distinction between comedy and actual hate speech directed at minority groups. The fact that Jerry Seinfeld, a comic who specialises in observational humour about mundane topics and rarely even swears during his standup routines, complains about feeling this kind of pressure while on stage is a strong indication that it is modern audiences and not the comedians, who are at fault. The labelling of every off-colour comment or joke as a form of bigotry also weakens the deterring effect of those labels on behaviour that actually warrants their use. The failure of many serial hair-trigger accusers to recognise their overzealousness has likely contributed to the recent rise of populist political candidates,

Pictured: Peter Kay sparked fury when he made a risque joke on Strictly Come Dancing. Source: University of Salford Press Office via Flickr

who have in some cases made a war against political correctness a part of their campaign platforms. Most rational people would recognise that there are still instances of genuine bigotry and discrimination, and that jokes dealing with topics such as sex or racism are best left outside of council meetings or the office. It does not follow, however, that off-colour humour should be banned from humorous television

programs or comedy clubs because of an easily offended minority, who fail to appreciate the context in which something is said. Risqué comedy is in danger of disappearing entirely if the media and advertisers, pressured by a small but vocal minority, cannot find it within themselves to target actual bigots, while leaving alone people who appreciate the occasional juvenile attempt at humour.

Buckingham Palace needs some TLC

Huge sum laughs in the face of figures for foodbank usage and economic outlook Dan Heard

Tourism alone to the Palace generates £500 million annually, meaning a year’s takings for Liz and co. would effectively be enough to spare the taxpayer.


ometimes, it’s easier to take things into account using numbers. For instance, there are 424 government foodbanks currently operating across the UK. 1,109,309 emergency one-day food packs were distributed for the financial year 2015/16, with 415,866 of these going to children. That figure is up by almost 100,000 since 2014/15. A bit hard to swallow those figures? Well, the news that emerged this week concerning another action taken by the government will no doubt have had you choking on your Corn Flakes. You know, if you were fortunate enough to have Corn Flakes, or food in general. A sovereign grant has been awarded to the Queen, following an agreement between Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond to fund a ten-year refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, which, as has been reported, is in dire need of “essential” and even “urgent” repairs. Except this extensive set of repairs will cost £389 million. Yes, that’s £389 million. I’ll put that into further context for you. For that kind of money, you could pick up a work of art by one of the old masters, a Rembrandt for example, which sell normally at auction for between £15 and £20 million each. Or a luxury penthouse apartment in Mayfair, the one with panoramic views of the capital, which would set you back again, around £15 million. Then there’s your very own Car-

ibbean island, a measly £20 million. How about a super yacht like the one Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich owns? £70 million. A top of the range Bugatti Veyron L’Or Blanc, the fastest production car in the world? A drop in the ocean at a mere £1.5 million. And even if you were to buy all of these things, you still wouldn’t even have spent half of what the Windsors will be receiving for the next decade to do up their pad. This amount is also, staggeringly, more than six times the annual income of some of the poorest countries in the world. That’s right, entire countries don’t make in a year what our government can afford to hand out to monarchs. 884 million people worldwide don’t have clean drinking water, which can cost as little as £15 (not £15 million) to treat in some areas. How can this kind of funding possibly be justified then? Well, Forbes revealed last year that Her Majesty has a personal fortune of around £340 million, which includes her estates at Sandringham and Balmoral. So asking her to pay for even some of the repairs would clearly be a despicable thing to ask of a poor old lady. It’s not as if her and her family have any other source of income. I mean, tourism alone to the Palace generates £500 million annually, meaning a year’s takings for Liz and co. would effectively be enough to spare the taxpayer. This announcement comes the

same week that Mr Hammond had to come out and defend his Autumn Statement, in which he revealed that the UK’s deficit would “no longer” be cleared by 2020, on top of which, due to the result of the Independence Referendum, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the government will have to borrow £122 billion more than what was predicted pre-Brexit. Amongst the doom and gloom that is now forecast though, Mr Hammond did announce that Wales would receive £400 million over the

next five years, to be spent on “infrastructure”. To put things into perspective, a country within the UK will receive slightly more to spend in key areas over five years what one family will in 10 for repairs. For even more perspective, a proposed project to build a critical care hospital in Gwent in North Wales is estimated to cost £350 million alone. There are also 157 foodbanks operating in Wales. There were 16 between 1998 and 2010. Aren’t numbers great?

Pictured: It was announced last week that Buckingham Palace will receive a £369 million renovation over the next ten years. Source: shining. darkness via flickr


Interview with a suspect: was the TV appearance of Gable Totsee insensitive? Emily Murray

The interview is played out like a blockbuster, insensitive to the families affected by the case.


hannel Nine aired a 60-minute interview on 13th November with Gable Tostee, an Australian man, whose tinder date Warriena Wright was pushed to commit suicide by jumping off of his 14-foot high Gold Coast apartment balcony in August 2014. When the date turned sour Tostee locked Wright outside on to his balcony. Family and friends say that Wright felt that she had no choice but to jump because of the violence that Tostee showed towards her. Only weeks after Tostee was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter, Australia’s 60 Minutes show on Channel Nine announced their interview with the acquitted Australian. The interview aired on 13th November, in which the 30-year-old seems entirely devoid of remorse and un-phased by the questions put to him. They play back the tape which Tostee recorded of the night where the girls audible screams can be heard sending chills down the audience’s spine. Tostee claimed that he would often record nights like this – a habit which suggests a streak of sadomasochism in a man whose defence appears weak in light of evidence such as this. The carpet layer admits, “I used to go out quite a lot drinking” following this statement by “I don’t have the best memory when I drink.” On the tape Tostee can be heard saying “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you

off my balcony you goddamn psycho little b****.” Most people, I would argue, would immediately call the police if they saw something out of the ordinary happen. Not Tostee. His first point of call was a lawyer. A not guilty man has nothing to worry about, so why would he immediately seek a defense lawyer as soon as Ms. Wright is dead? Defending his course of action Tostee claims, “Nobody is trained for a situation like this” but I beg to differ. From childhood we have it imbedded in our heads that if something bad happens we should immediately call the police. But to Tostee he believes that, “there is no right or wrong way to proceed from there.” In that situation to not call the police seems to me to show a man of a calculated nature, more interested in getting himself out of blame than seeing to Ms. Wright. What makes this night and his course of action even more chilling is that he had had sex with Wright just before he forced her onto his balcony, and went to buy pizza just after the incident happened. “What had happened had happened, and there’s nothing an ambulance could do to change that” The lack of remorse he feels towards the girl speak volumes through his actions on the night of her death, emphasised more now in his cold, almost bored manner in the Channel Nine interview. He even tries to defend him-

Pictured: Totsee called the lawyer before the poilice.. (Source: Tony Webster via flickr)

self when asked if he could understand why people believe him to be cold and heartless, retorting, “the media can make people think what the media wants people to think”. The interview is played out like a blockbuster, insensitive to the families affected by the case in turning what should be a very serious and unembellished interview into an entertainment show with dramatic sound affects. Reflecting so soon after a case that is so distressing for Wright’s family seems disrespectful to say the least. But to pay Tostee $150,000 to sit there and provide not one word of comfort to the families affected by Ms. Wright’s death is an outrage. Whether he is guilty of not the fact remains that had Tostee

not locked the New Zealander out onto his balcony she would not have jumped. Social media cried out at the interview, with an uproar on twitter. The South Australian Labour treasurer Tom Koutsantonis tweeted: “I can only imagine the horror Warriena’s family is experiencing having their little girls last moments broadcast for money by #GableTostee” @Tank999 tweeted: “Did anyone establish what was in #GableTostee’s “Home made Vodka”?? Perhaps that would explain #WarrienaWright’s “strange” behaviour” @Burgers61 tweeted: “How many people have a lawyer in their contacts on their phone? #GableTostee #60mins”.

Social media cried out at the interview, with an uproar on twitter.

Boxing day exploits retail workers

A petition to ban the Boxing day sales has passed 300,000 signatures

Abigail Wilson

In some cases, this is the only time of year that students will be able to see their families.


hhhh Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time of celebration and relaxation. Time to get the family together and make lifetime memories. But is it? Not anymore. Many companies are currently hiring Christmas temps to work through the festive period. Students in particular, those at University, sixth form, and college, are particularly likely to apply for these roles, in desperate attempt to earn some extra cash and experience in the run up to Christmas. These jobs are good for earning a bit of extra money, but are usually long hours. So is it all worth it? Christmas temp jobs are changing the nature of Christmas as we know it. In many cases, students are being forced to work throughout the Christmas period, sacrificing valuable time spent with family and friends. These jobs are often demanding and require students to work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, keeping students stranded at University, away from their family and friends. Trains home are extortionately expensive, and the traffic is absurd, meaning that many University students will be spending this Christmas alone.

Is it fair that students and workers have to miss Christmas and precious family time, just to earn some money? Are companies exploiting people desperate for a job?Most of the time, students have no choice. Many companies require employees to work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as part of their contract. Some students are vulnerable and will agree to working these long hours. If they don’t, in the majority of cases, they will not be hired or could even be fired. But students are deciding to make these sacrifices for the greed of retailers. It’s not fair and needs to stop. Christmas Day isn’t enough time to see all of your family, from all areas of the country, if not the world. It’s definitely not enough time to catch up with friends either. In some cases, this is the only time of year that students will be able to see their families. Boxing Day sales are a key event for many UK stores. Not only is the busy environment of working Boxing Day stressful for workers, shops such as Next and Matalan open their doors at 6am on Boxing Day, meaning that workers are compelled to do ridiculously long, tiring hours. Two petitions calling for retail to

close on Boxing Day have been created and they now have over 300,000 signatures. The petitions call for retailers to respect Christmas day as a religious holiday and to enable retail workers to enjoy some family time over this period. The petition was created by Ian Lapworth, a baker and former DJ from Kettering, who argues that the Christmas holiday should be respected by retailers so that staff can have “some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else. “We managed 30 and 40 years ago when shops were sometimes shut for a whole week. Let’s get back to the way it was.” Although over 300,000 individuals agree that closing stores on Boxing Day is a worthwhile idea, a similar petition was launched last year, also calling for stores to remain closed on Boxing Day. It received an official response from the Government saying: “We do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.” However, this year’s petition has

smashed its 150,000 target, meaning that the government will now have to consider debating it in Parliament. But will it ever change? Will we ever get to enjoy Christmas with our whole family again? Not only is having shops open during the festive period damaging for the workers, it is also harmful to the family unit as a whole. No longer are individuals spending time with their families. Instead, people are rushing out to the shops in hope to bag the best bargain. Running around the shops is increasingly seen as a normal Boxing Day activity, with increasing numbers of individuals forgetting their families and ignoring the traditional meanings behind Christmas. Christmas has become commercialised, and for many, it is more important to make money, than to spend Christmas with loved ones. Lapworth wrote: “Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love.” Stop shops opening on Boxing Day. Some things are needed over the festive period. Retail isn’t one of them. Let families enjoy this precious, festive period together.

Increasing numbers of individuals forgetting their families and ignoring the traditional meanings behind Christmas.



This is how we do it

Helena Hanson

The most exciting toy of our childhood was the urinating baby doll. If you didn’t have a Baby Annabelle or Baby Born that would wee on itself, you really weren’t worth knowing.


An ode to the 90’s, the decade that won’t die

n paper, the 90s was rough. It was an anomaly of disasters. Diana died, Madonna dated Vanilla Ice and you couldn’t watch a full episode of The Queen’s Nose without your dad interrupting to check the football score on teletext. But it is the decade that won’t die, kept alive by a generation of young adults who will forever celebrate their childhood, for the good, the bad and the ugly. It is only upon reflection that I have realised 90s and 00s television was terrifying. Our after school entertainment featured characters such as Mr Blobby, Rosie and Jim, and ‘The Head’ from Art Attack. An animated stone bust who has a likeness of Chris Maloney from the X Factor and who would burst into hysterical tears throughout the show. With talking rag dolls, moving stone bursts and walking…blobs as our childhood entertainment, is it any wonder our generation is condemned? Even the movies sucked. It was standard to add fifteen minutes on to any film-watching time, as you could guarantee the kid before you had forgotten to rewind the video back to the start. So you’d have to watch the whole bloody film backwards before you could even see the opening credits. Our favourite toys weren’t even cool. The most exciting toy of our childhood was the urinating baby doll. If you didn’t have a Baby Annabelle or Baby Born that would wee on itself, you really weren’t worth knowing. Aside from Christmas, when we were allowed access to our holy bible (the Argos catalogue) we were lumped with whatever was available at the newsagents or whatever our older brother didn’t want anymore. We played with sticky, gloopy alien foetuses, birthed from a plastic egg from that dodgy shop on the corner. We were unequivocally convinced that

these gummy bits of slime could reproduce if rubbed them together and prayed for a miracle. A group of people approved this concept as a toy for children. A group of people created this product. Your parents bought this for you. Again, is it any wonder our generation is so screwed? School was a laugh, though. Don’t you miss those pre-Jamie Oliver days? When turkey dinosaurs and chips, and a pudding, was on the menu five times a week! Even if you were a kid with a lunchbox, life was sweet. Our lunchboxes were crammed with fruit winders and ice cream flavoured Monster Munch (that was an actual thing) and Pringles that were neatly packaged in plastic Pringles containers and sandwiches filled with that weird bear-face ham. The best part was that it didn’t matter if we got fat, because the 90s was a free-for-all of fashion. If your clothes fitted you, you were doing it wrong. Everything had to be two sizes too big, or two sizes too small. If you weren’t busting out of it, or drowning underneath it, your parents were failing you. School was just one big lesson in social construction. We learnt the differences between boys and girls pretty quickly. Boys were in the playground beating each other up and shouting “smell my finger” while the girls sat in the classroom experimenting with WordArt and playing swaps with exotic smelling gel pens (why did they never market them as ‘smell pens’?) It was so easy to be cool in the 90s. You didn’t need a smartphone or designer clothes or nice make up to impress. All you needed was a pair of extra chunky, thick wedge school shoes, crimped hair, and a Groovy Chick duvet, and you were in. You earned bonus points if you had a Tamagotchi or one of those snap bracelets that you had to

smack yourself on the wrist with to put it on. To clarify, we had to hit ourselves with our jewellery in order to wear it. The boys of the 90s, wow. You knew who you wanted to be your boyfriend in school. You saw him, with his curly ramen hair, and frosted tips. ‘Just like Justin Timberlake’ you’d sigh to your friends. He’d be clad like prince charming in his neon yellow Henley’s t-shit and those denim baggy flared jeans that had a zipper at the knee that takes the legs off and turns them into shorts. There was just no rules to 90s music. The Backstreet Boys made a fortune from a song that celebrated them coming ‘back’ despite it being their first successful single and they hadn’t actually gone anywhere yet to come back from. And you’ve just got to admire the gusto from the other boys when Nick asks them if he is sexuaaaaal and they all reply YEAAAAAAAAH without so much as a flinch. The ‘Now! That’s what I call music’ CD was stuff of legend. It featured songs from the likes of Paris Hilton, and Katie Price and WE LIKED IT. You could make a smash hit from lyrics like “ring ding ding ding ding dingdemgdemg” as long as it was mimed by a little frog-like creature with its willy out and a hat on. The best part about your mate’s birthday was buying them that ‘Now!’ CD you wanted and copying it on to a blank disc before you gave it to them. Music was so clearly defined. I can only dream of girl bands today with such conveniently pigeonholed stereotypes as sporty, scary and baby. Female artists needed nothing but a mediocre voice, an extremely low rise pair of jeans and a feather boa. If you had a belly piercing and a boob tube, you were big time. There was no greater excitement than knowing your favourite band had a new music video coming out, and gathering

with your mates around MTV on a Friday night for four hours to catch three and a half minutes of magic. It was a simpler time. It was the age of no technology, and no bullshit. A single text on your Nokia 3310 would cost you 10p. You wouldn’t get a ‘K’ reply in the 90s. Nobody would waste 10p on a single letter. Rejection was even easier. You had a good few days to convince yourself that Kevin had probably just ran out of credit, rather than had decided you weren’t worthy of a valuable 10p text. The internet was merely an infant too. It had not yet grown into its omniscient, omnipotent self. It could not exist without being connected through a wire to the telephone. Even then it was shit, because you could only be on it for twenty minutes before your parents made you get off the internet “in case somebody is trying to ring”, even though nobody was ever, ever trying to ring. Our nostalgia will live on, because the 90s are making a comeback. 90s fashion is rife, oversized denim jackets, scrunchies, jelly shoes, chokers. We are literally dressing the same as we did when we were five. The 90s lives on through memes, and the music played in Live Lounge, and all the issues of ‘GirlTalk!’ that you have stashed away under your bed The news will continue to constantly remind us of our childhood, as yet another of our heroes dies or becomes a paedophile. And here were are, a generation of youngsters that ate multi-toned pink ham with a bear face, wore jewellery that either slapped us or choked us, played with gooey alien foetuses and all to the soundtrack of a song sang by a frog with a visible penis. This is why nothing phases us. This is why we are all encompassing, all accepting, and all creative beings. God bless the 90s babies, a generation of freaks and weirdos.

Pictured: Retro graffiti (Photographer: Jake Stegg via Flickr)

The Backstreet Boys made a fortune from a song that celebrated them coming ‘back’ despite it being their first successful single and they hadn’t actually gone anywhere yet to come back from.

Lansiad PoLisi iaith GymraeG 29ain tachwedd, y Porthdy, 14:00-15:00

weLsh LanGuaGe PoLicy Launch 29th november, the LodGe 14:00-15:00

athlu d d d y g i n i e fl y g i’n h d d Fe fy raeg m y G y t a g a tu b e d n u r y ymrwymiad a o n y r y w d a r ia s o r e if yn dilyn. bydd n b! w a b i o s e o r c . im d d m a i ff the a cho

this is a chance for us all to celebrate the union’s commitment towards the welsh Language. there will be a number of speakers there and free tea and coffee. warm welcome to everyone!


ADVICE 15 Editors: George Watkins Anwen Williams @GairRhyddAdv

How to contain your Christmas spirit

Anwen Williams


t’s that time of year again. Can’t sleep, can’t eat. Your housemates cry inside when Mariah Carey’s golden creation plays for the thirtieth time and you’re neighbours are calling the police when you greet them with Christmas carols at the crack of dawn. Everyday is an emotional rollercoaster, you’ve been drinking mulled wine for the last five days, and you’re one public meltdown away from being admitted into a psych ward. It’s ok, we’ve all been there. It’s not easy but there’s a few things you can

It’s not easy being so full of joy do to contain your Christmas spirit. Firstly, tell yourself it’s not almost Christmas. There’s no amazing Christmas decoration everywhere, and you’re not going to go on Pinterest and look at 500 ways you can make Christmas decorations. Remind yourself that winter wonderland isn’t just a brief walk away and you can’t smell the Christmas markets from your house. Secondly, block all of those websites you keep checking every five minutes. Santa tracker, -

all of them. They’ve got to go. Thirdly, take off the suit. The beard, the hat, all of it. We know you don’t want to but when you’ve been wearing it for three months people can smell your Christmas spirit form the back of Tesco. Channel your energy in to something useful. The time you spend spreading love and joy could be spent on something more useful. Write a book or run a marathon. The more energy you burn the easier it will be to contain your Christmas spirit.

We know you’re enjoying building that sleigh, but think about the time and the resources you’re using. You don’t want to be in any more debt and you don’t want the RSPCA knocking at your door again because your dog is tied to a sleigh and he doesn’t want to fly. Christmas is just around the corner so try to stay strong. In less than six weeks you’ll have your life back. Remember what you have to look forward to before you spiral out of control again. Good luck guys, and have a good one.

Pictured: Take off the hat, it’s not Christmas yet. (Photographer: Anwen Williams)

In less than six weeks you’ll have your life back.

Pictured: Not keen? (Photographer: Ellise Nicholls)

How to fight the Christmas spirit George Watkins


It’s very easy not being so full of joy

e’re approaching the troublesome time of term when the student loan is steadily vanishing like that dream of a first, and the next load doesn’t come through for another month or two. What do you do? It’s a dilemma, because you do really need to eat to survive, but it’s also expensive. Try getting creative with your food, and you could save a few extra pennies. Fizzy Drinks. Swap them out. Apart from being much healthier to

not drink them because of the sugar/ aspartame issues, it’s much cheaper to get rid of them. Instead, give cordial and fizzy/ soda water a go. You might just love it. Alcohol. It’s a pretty straightforward thing to say that alcohol is expensive. Really expensive. The task is picking what isn’t too expensive, whilst avoid the cheap stuff in a box that’ll make you go a little bit blind. Wine tends to be a killer in particular. It’s a big ask, but maybe see if there’s more sensible ways of getting

your tipple. Fruit and Veg. Your parents did tell you to not eat pizza every day, and to be honest, you’re realising that they were probably right. You’ve hit that stage when biting into an orange causes your gums to bleed from the scurvy, and you’re trying to eat healthy, but it’s costly, particularly when Tesco etc. are charging £2 for four apples. We’ve recommended Lidl before, and despite not deliberately advertising for them, you just won’t find

cheaper food like this anywhere else. Cook at home. Seriously. It’s so much cheaper. I know we all want a Domino’s every night. I want it too. It’s just slightly impossible to be able to afford it. Try to enjoy your food and make sure it’s stuff you take pleasure in cooking and eating. Pesto pasta is cheap and pretty easy to make. You can always dip into beans on toast if you have to. I know it’s hard. The loan won’t be away for long. Stay strong.

I know we all want a Domino’s every night.


Juggling your workload

Lydia Jackson


How to manage uni with a part-time job

hilst at university a parttime job is a fantastic way to build up some valid work experience and earn some extra cash, both of which will help you gain a job or internship upon graduation. However, whilst it is highly recommended to partake in extracurricular activities including work, it is important not to overdo things, burn yourself out or make yourself ill or stressed through simply doing too much. Here are a few fail safe steps to consider whilst applying for or accepting jobs which should ensure that you have all to gain, and little to lose.

A good start is to set yourself a realistic target of hours which you are going to work. These targets will fluctuate year to year and depends on what course you are studying towards, so make sure you look at your own case individually and don’t get tempted by the extra hours because your friend is able to work more. Once you consider any societies, socials and assignments you have, plus commuting, you may find that you are available much less than initially anticipated. It is also worth considering that even though you may be able to work a certain number of hours towards the beginning of a term, you may not be able to keep on top of them when

coursework and exams approach. Being realistic will prevent you having to quit your job and enter a mad rush to meet your deadlines. Occasionally you may have to work less than planned due to uni workloads or an exam schedule. If this is the case, you should be honest with your employer and give them a heads up on the situation as early as possible, rather than call in sick. If your employer knows that you are a student then they should be understanding about the odd situation which requires you dedicating your time to your studies. A diary is a great way to ensure you keep organised and on top of

things, preventing you from forgetting a shift or getting flustered when a deadline is approaching sooner than anticipated. This is particularly useful for courses where you have seminars or presentations meaning that your uni hours fluctuate from week to week. Whilst essential for prioritising, and ensuring you don’t say you can work when you can’t, a diary is also a great way to make sure that you don’t miss any nights out that you’re super keen for! All in all, the most important thing for juggling a part time job and uni is to be realistic, honest and organised. Make sure you make time for doing something fun too!

The most important thing for juggling a part time job and uni is to be realistic.

Pictured: Juggling. (Source: Chris Rimmer via Flickr.)

How to deal with a breakup Sanya Arora


t’s never easy to go through a breakup. It may even seem like the end of the world, but believe me, it’s not. Things do get better, as long as you give it time. Even though it may be killing you inside, you need to slowly try and accept the fact that you and your ex-partner were not meant to be. Here are a few techniques to help you cope with heartbreak: Write down your feelings on a piece of paper and then tear it up. Trust me, it helps to vent out. You can even write down all the things about your ex-partner which you didn’t like. Convince yourself that no matter how much it hurts, the breakup is for the better. It’s perfectly fine to be angry and sad, but you have to understand that it’s important to try and let go. Confide in family and friends. Surround yourself with people

It will get better

who love you. You don’t have to go through this alone. If you want professional advice, arrange to meetwith a therapist. Remember that you are not the only person who has ever suffered from heartbreak- it’s perfectly normal and there is no reason to feel shy or embarrassed about it. Distract yourself. This does not mean going in for a rebound relationship or doing drugs. Cultivate a hobby. Join that dance class that you were too busy to join earlier or learn a new sport. Keep yourself occupied so that you don’t have time to think about the past. Indulging in a hobby is also a great way to meet people who have the same interest as you and to make new friends. Have a break. Get a few friends together and go for a short holiday. Or if you fancy, even go for a solo trip. Visiting a new place and learn-

ing about a different culture is a great way to change your mood. Stay off social media for a few weeks. Or even for months, if the need be. There is no need to constantly stalk your ex and check what they are up to. You could ideally block them, but then you will have the never-ending urge to unblock them. Keeping away from social media altogether makes it easier to resist the temptation. Indulge yourself. Eat dark chocolate. Research has shown that dark chocolate contains a kind of carbohydrate which stimulates the release of the mood-improving hormone serotonin. Watch your favorite movies, preferably not love stories but something that would make you laugh. If you and your ex have mutual friends, tell them not to give you any updates about your ex. There is no

need for you to know what they are doing and who they are dating, that’s the entire point of staying away from social media. Realise that you have your full life in front of you. The end of a relationship does not mean that you will never find the perfect match. Going through a rough patch will make you more prepared for your next relationship and you will have a better idea of what exactly you are looking for and what to expect. Sleep. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and exercise. At this time of emotional crisis, it is important to stay physically fit. Delete old pictures, messages and emails that remind you of your former partner. It may seem very tough to do this, but it will definitely help you to move on. Remember, time heals everything. Give it time.

Remember, time heals everything.


Having a night out on a budget Lucy Corber


For the times you can’t make it rain

et’s be honest, the feeling of waking up the morning after a night out with the knowledge that you not only made a fair amount of morally questionable decisions, but also that you probably spent this week’s Lidl budget on orange VK’s and tequila shots to impress people you probably don’t even like that much, is probably a big low in your university high life. Your churning stomach and pounding head, are made all the worse by shyly peeking into your purse to see a single 20p piece and a sticky bit of chewing gum are all that remain from your night, and the pit in your stomach is already sinking with the knowledge you might not be able to afford that decadent, illness curing Greggs sausage roll.

I reckon at least 30% of Salisbury road Greggs profits are made off stilldrunk students who roll up at 12am with an ever-pleasant odour of vodka, beer and sweat. This being said, if you spend all your money on the night, where does that leave you in the morning? If Greggs loses crucial hangover student profits and cuts back on opening hours, then we all lose out. Stop being so selfish. The solution is beautifully elegant in its simplicity: Don’t go near the bar. Now, bars are great, I love the bar. It’s truly the Mecca of the wonderful expanse that is the Great British club. No-one can claim to have had a night without an “I’m at the bar” text from a lost friend.

It is a point of congregation, of reunions, and of fun. However, the one crucial flaw is that the bar is also the haven of over-priced drinks. During the 45 minute wait to get served, you will become more and more sober with every passing second, building the pressure to buy more once you finally touch the wonderful, sticky surface that means more alcohol is in close vicinity, as long as it avoids another painstaking wait like the one you just endured. If you pre-drink HARD, you can avoid this, and may only need a little £2 VK sugar hit around to keep you going. Now with pre-drinks specifically, bulk buying is key. A 70cl bottle of gin, rum or vodka is available from most places for under £12, and a litre

for around £15. A nifty trick I learned in 1st year is to make a maker on the bottle with a pen of how much you can drink tonight, which means that a single purchase can last 3 nights with a bit of self-control (good luck with this). A crate of beer/cider/larger works in much the same way, bulk buying is probably the cheaper option, you will get more nights out of your 24 can crate than out of the slightly cheaper 16 canner. So, if we say a £12 booze investment that will last 3 nights, and an average door price of £5, you can have 3 nights, for the meagre price of £9 a night, and still have a leftover £1 for that Greggs in the morning.

If you spend all your money on the night, where does that leave you in the morning?

5 things cheaper than a latte

Pictured: Admit it, you want one now. (Source: jojo 77 via Flickr)

Espresso or excesso?


hey taste good, but they’re extremely expensive. A regular latte costs on average around £2.50, which easily adds up if you aren’t careful. If, like me, you’re a sucker for getting one on a daily basis, here’s some motivation to make you think otherwise.

1. 250 1p sweets.

Think of that. You could practically (probably not quite) bathe in gummy sweets.

2. Bus Tickets

A Day To Go ticket for Cardiff buses (at the price of a young per-

son- £2.40).

3. Half of Lidl.

Come on, think of how many packets of instant noodles you could buy!

4. Instant coffee (depending on brands and weight).

It’s sort of the same thing and rather than having just one cup, why not have lots?!

5. A notebook to store your spending history at university.

Actually that’s probably a scary idea. Sod it, I’ll just have a small cappuccino then.

Your guide to a great packed lunch George Watkins

Making lunches is easier than you think.


part from sandwiches clearly being superior to any other form of meal in the entire world, they can help you save money. Instead of that £20 coffee shop panini, why not go for a healthier, cheaper and sometimes tastier option that you can make yourself at home? I know it can be tedious to do it on your own without having it pre-made in front of you, but it can really be worth it in the long run. So where do you start? What type of meal do you actually want to make? You’ve got a few options. Let’s start with the basics: pasta or rice. It’s potentially expensive to be forking out on chicken and the like to fill up that lunchbox, but by being clever with meals like this, you can keep yourself full on a budget: Recipe 1: Mix a tin of tuna, sweetcorn, pasta, a bit of low-fat mayonnaise and throw a bit of pepper or herbs on top. Bish bash bosh. Or there’s rice! Recipe 2: Take a chicken breast, chop it up, stir in some brown rice

Cheap and cheerful

and a bit of tomato pasta sauce. You’ve got your protein, and your blood-sugar levelling carbohydrates and you should be full for a while. Then we move onto sandwiches. Where possible, try not to use white bread. Often it has been bleached and stripped of its nutrients, making it as healthy as nibbling on a piece of cardboard, if not worse. Try to stick with brown bread, but make sure it’s not just been dyed brown with chemicals, and is genuinely loaded with the fibre and healthy stuff you need. If you can stomach it, rye bread is particularly good for managing blood sugar levels, and helping you stay on top of your weight, also keeping you full for a while. What about fillings? It depends on whether you want to be healthy or not. If not, the options are endless. If you do want to be healthy, I’d suggest something along these lines: Recipe 3: Low fat hummus, chopped cherry tomatoes, spinach/ lettuce, cucumber and ham. It tastes

good and it does good for your waistline. If that sounds a little bit nightmarish, there’s scope for playing about with it. If you need a lot of food to stop you snacking like me, try to aim for protein-rich fillings to stop those cravings. Chicken is fairly cheap, as is turkey, particularly from supermarkets like Lidl. Surprisingly, numerous studies have revealed that the enemy to a healthy lunch isn’t the actual calorie content, but more the fat content. mayonnaise is deadly for this. Egg or tuna mayo can be great for protein, but if you aren’t careful it can really be costly. Try to find ways around this. Maybe try pesto and the like as a base (or hummus). Whatever you decide, make sure you fill up on greens. Besides the health benefits, the water content in cucumber and other similar foods can help you keep fuller for longer, and keep you hydrated. Try this recipe on for size:

Recipe 4: Take a wholemeal wrap, a bit of tzatziki (sort of like yoghurt), cucumber, and chicken (packeted is ok), and maybe try warming it up in the microwave. It’s pretty healthy, not very expensive to make, and it tastes good. What more can you want? Making lunches is much easier than you think. It can seem like the last thing you feel like doing in the morning while you’re dreading that 9 am, but it can do you good to have a supply of food on demand to help you get through those heavy days at uni, and not feel guilty about eating poorly or spending money.

Pictured: Don’t forget cutlery! (Source: mathiasbaert via Flickr.)



Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol

The Autumn Statement paints a bleak picture

The Chancellor used his first Autumn Statement to reveal the negative impact that the referendum result has had upon the British economy. Adam George

As the Chancellor went on, the news continued to get worse and worse. The national debt will rise to 90.2% of GDP in 2017-18, the highest it has been in many decades.


ince the Conservatives came to power six years ago, a lot has changed. However, one political consistency in this time is the Tory pledge to austerity and their so-called “long term economic plan”. The party were able to bypass any opposition to their cuts and policies by arguing that their tough decisions were necessary to get the British economy back upon solid ground. In some respects the term was deceptive, because Osborne had previously failed to reach his self-set targets, but the claim that the Conservatives were on a path towards eliminating the deficit seemed to impress the public and this strategy helped Osborne and Cameron to win the 2015 general election. Last Wednesday, Philip Hammond consigned this long term economic plan to the dustbin. Although the Chancellor tried to raise spirits with a few jokes aimed at Boris Johnson amongst others, the statement provided a bleak insight into the state of the economy. Hammond was forced to tell MPs that the referendum result has blasted a huge hole into national finances and that he has all but abandoned any hope of getting the budget into surplus. As the Chancellor went on, the news continued to get worse and worse. The national debt will rise to 90.2% of GDP in 2017-18, the highest it has been in many decades. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) growth forecast is below 2% for the next two years and the government finances are forecast to be £122bn worse off in the period until 2021 compared to the forecast given in March’s budget. Behind what critics have deemed a bravado at the dispatch box of a “great nation” lay a truth that should be universally acknowledged: Brexit is going to hurt us. As the billionaire investor Warren Buffett once wrote, “you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out”. The tide has gone out, Britain has no clothes on, and the sight is definitely not pretty. Slower growth and higher inflation will lead to more borrowing and falling living standards for millions, not least the “just about managing” families that the prime minister has promised to help. Mr Hammond was not deaf to such pleas. Next year’s rise in fuel duty was cancelled. He tinkered with support through universal credit,

raised the “national living wage”, and banned upfront letting fees. However, the Resolution Foundation calculates that these roll back only 7% of the losses that families will bear under the government’s planned welfare cuts which total £12bn. Average real earnings are now forecast to be £830 a year lower in 2020 compared with March’s forecasts. The poorest third of households will see falling household incomes. There is no money for social care or local government, only indications that pensioners might lose out in the future. The Brexit vote has left us in unchartered territories despite promises from the Leave campaign of more money for the NHS and other public services. Pro-Brexit MPs were quick to criticise the chancellor’s economic forecasts with many arguing that they were far too “gloomy”. Ex-minister Iain Duncan-Smith, claimed that the OBR “hasn’t got anything right.” When asked about the OBR’s predictions, the former Work and Pensions Secretary told the Daily Telegraph it was “another utter doom and gloom scenario” from the organisation. In regards to Wales, the Chancellor used the statement to promise Wales an extra £400m over five years to spend on capital projects. The extra cash for capital projects in Wales comes through the Barnett formula as a result of increased spending on transport in England. Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns hailed the Autumn Statement as “good news” for Wales. “Not only does it help build an economy that works for everyone across Wales and the rest of the UK, it provides a significant over-£400m uplift in the Welsh Government’s capital budget,” he said. Gair Rhydd spoke to the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Jo Stevens, who was not so optimistic about the government’s plans. The MP for Cardiff Central said that “The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today confirmed what many have been thinking – that the Government has no ideas to improve life for people in Wales. Following six years of stunted growth, Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond still have nothing new to bring to the table.” She criticised the Chancellor’s apparent lack of interest in Wales and the other devolved nations.

Stevens believes that Wales appears to be a complete “afterthought” to the Chancellor. She went on to say “Our communities in Wales need to see improvements in infrastructure, future prospects and economic performance, but nothing in today’s statement will deliver that. The Secretary of State for Wales needs to start standing up for the people of Wale so we don’t become a permanent afterthought.” Labour’s response to the autumn statement was similarly critical. The shadow ministers attacked the government for omitting NHS and social care while prioritising funding for new grammar schools. John McDonnell accused the chancellor of failing the sick and elderly after his autumn statement gave no additional money to the NHS or social care, despite warnings from the opposition party that both are at a tipping point. “Tonight, many elderly people

will remain trapped in their homes, isolated, and lacking the care they need because of continuing cuts to funding,” McDonnell told the Commons in his response to the autumn statement. The Shadow Chancellor also poured scorn on the small scale of measures to help families that are “just about managing” and highlighting a raft of struggling public services. Hopefully the pro-Brexit MPs are right and these forecasts are just a “worst case scenario” and things won’t be as bad as the statement suggests. However, it is clear that the referendum has damaged the British economy to a great extent. Despite claims from key figures in the Leave campaign that Britain will shed its EU membership and become a “great trading nation” to solve its economic problems, the OBR predicted a decade of sluggish imports and exports, stymied by drawn-out trade negotiations.

Pictured: The Chancellor, Philip Hammond (source: foreign & commonwealth office)


Obama meets Merkel to discuss TTIP and Putin

US President and German Chancellor argue for bilateral unity and free trade Lydia Jackson

A number of European countries have expressed fears in regard to the lowering of product standards, job loss and outsourcing.


ast Wednesday, Barack Obama met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Hotel Adlon in Berlin for a three hour press conference during his final visit to Europe as president. The pair, who have formed a strong working relationship over the past 8 years, met to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which has long been in the pipeline between the European Union (EU) and US, as well as other themes such as Trump, Putin, Climate Change and Ukraine. Towards the end of the meeting Obama claimed that if he had a vote in the upcoming 2017 German national elections, he would use it to support Merkel. Both leaders spoke of the strength of the US-German bilateral relationship, particularly with regards to security and trade, pointing out that the US was Germany and Europe’s most important trading partner last year. They used this argument to promote the TTIP, which they hoped would increase trade between the EU and the US by lowering trade tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), a smaller version of TTIP, was signed between the EU and Canada last month cutting tariffs by around 99%. This came after Wallonia in Brussels blocked it for some time due to feared lowering of product standards and increased power to multinational corporations,

such as the ability of corporations to sue governments. The TTIP has been subject to some criticism, notably from anti-globalisation protestors who gained coverage in September this year, as well as Greenpeace International’s executive director Jennifer Morgan, who stated “CETA and TTIP threaten environmental and consumer protection for millions of people in Europe and North America,”. A number of European countries have expressed fears in regards to the lowering of product standards, job loss and outsourcing, with many viewing TTIP as an advantage to the US. Brexit has also made the deals less likely. The German chancellor has tried to avert these points, claiming that strong progress had been made, yet this would not go ahead following Trump’s election as US President. Trump has expressed his support towards protectionism and has said he wishes to increase tariffs to ensure that US companies are not undercut. Obama also expressed concerns regarding Trump, including his potentially pragmatic Realpolitik approach towards Russia, and said that he hoped that the President elect would not be too soft on Putin if he was “deviating from our values and international norms”. Washington and Brussels have imposed sanctions on Moscow due to Putin’s failure to comply with ceasefires and withdrawal of heavy weapons as

expressed in the Minsk Agreements, first signed in September 2014 to end the conflict in Ukraine. Obama said that Trump should maintain the current sanctions and impose more if necessary, despite ample press coverage in relation to Trump and Putin’s relationship, and speak between the two of increased cooperation. On the whole, the conference discussed the importance of ensuring a smooth transition during the upcoming change of presidency whilst maintaining security and economic

prosperity through the continuation of globalisation. Not to be forgotten are Merkel’s words on the “groundbreaking” Paris Agreement, signed by 175 countries in April this year within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including BRIC countries such as Russia and China This universal deal legally binds states to aim to reduce emissions and support developing countries in minimising the effects of climate change on a long-term basis.

Theresa May seeks transitional Brexit deal

The US was Germany and Europe’s most important trading partner last year.

Gregory Barradale


The UK would revert to trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.

he concept of a Transitional Brexit exposes the hard choice facing the government. Speaking to business leaders at the CBI conference, Mrs May invited the possibility of a transitional deal to smooth the interim period after Brexit. “People don’t want a cliff edge, they want to know with some certainty how things are going to go forward,” she said, acknowledging she wants “the arrangement that is going to work best for business in the UK.” Article 50 charts a clear course for Brexit. Although Mrs May’s early 2017 target now looks unlikely – owing to the recent court ruling - if it were managed, negotiations would unfold over a two year period. In

2019, at the end of this period and regardless of the state of negotiations, Britain would officially leave the EU. The UK would revert to trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms. Businesses dealing with the EU would face tariffs and a lack of access. It may not be a desirable outcome. To avoid this, the UK would hope to have a deal in place by 2019. However, the free trade arrangement the government is aiming for is estimated to take five years to negotiate, and is reckoned to be impossible within the two that Article 50 allows for. Wary of leaving the British economy stricken on the rocks for three years, Mrs May has coined the ‘tran-

sitional’ Brexit. Single market access sits at the forefront of this, and is what would keep businesses and the wider economy happy. Unfortunately, the latest bit of Brexit newspeak may just be the one that points out the intricate balancing act of Britain leaving the UK. Preserving single market access requires keeping free movement of people. For the EU, these fundamental freedoms are an area with little room for manoeuvre. “The four fundamental freedoms are not negotiable for us,” says Manfred Weber, an influential figure within the European parliament. “We will not move a millimetre from this position.” This has placed the PM in an un-

enviable position, having committed to limiting immigration whilst making assurances to the business community. Britain is unlikely to have enough negotiating clout to force the EU to allow such amendments by Mrs May. However, the EU is not expected to compromise on its fundamental principles. Backtracking on immigration would upset a lot of Brexit supporters and leaves the Prime Minister on uncertain ground going into an election – whether in 2020 or earlier. However, the impact could be much more significant than upsetting those concerned by immigration, damaging the economy alongside the Conservative Party’s electoral chances.

Pictured: Above. Angela Merkel recieves Presidential medal of freedom (photographer: Pete Souza); Left, Brexit protestors march in London (photograpjer: David Young)


Saudi-led coalition will not renew Yemen ceasefire Alex Seabrook

Yemeni foreign minister al-Mehkhlafi wrote on Twitter that the U.S. government were coordinating with the Houthis.


ighting continued in Yemen after a short lived ceasefire on the weekend was breached by Houthi rebels. The Saudi-led alliance also fired missiles during the ceasefire, but claimed they were in retaliation. The Saudis said the ceasefire will not be renewed. John Kerry had announced that a peace proposal had been agreed to by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels a week before. The Hadi government rejected the proposal, claiming that they had been bypassed and ignored by Kerry. The Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, have previously been supporting the Hadi government with air strikes. But this disagreement signals a possible future loss of support, as informed sources say that Kerry plans to ease Hadi out of power. Both the Houthi rebels and the Saudi coalition had agreed to a ceasefire and to send representatives to a de-escalation and coordinating committee. But Yemeni foreign minister al-Mehkhlafi wrote on Twitter that the U.S. government were coordinating with the Houthis without any involvement from the Yemeni government. Fighting resumed for a week after the proposal was rejected, until a ceasefire was proposed on the week-

end, which lasted less than a day. Time is running out for Kerry as he is on presumably his last trip to Yemen, before President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. The Houthis have publicly stated after the rejection of the peace proposals that they want to end the fighting in Yemen, and have claimed that the Saudis are ready as well, although this wasn’t confirmed in Riyadh. The peace proposals weren’t publicly available, although informed sources claimed that the plan was to transfer power from Hadi to the Vice President, who would then appoint a new Prime Minister. A unity government was to be formed by all parties, including the Houthis, and equal representation was to be given to the North and the South. The proposals were an explicit departure from the previous UN Security Council resolution 2216, which required the Houthi rebels to withdraw from territory gained since 2014. The new proposals would let the Houthis retain control of some cities gained since the fighting began two years ago. The Yemeni civil war, which started in March 2014, is a significant security issue for the U.S., as a branch

Pictured: Left, Saudi Arabia’s eurofighter typhoons (photographer: Laurent Errera); Below: Donald Trump at his first town hall meeting (photographer: Michael Vadon)

of Al-Qaeda, AQAP, has a strongbase in the war-torn country. President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi fled to the port city Aden at the beginning of the war, but as Houthi rebels approached he fled to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where he currently commands the government-in-exile. His government is supported financially and militarily by Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition have been accused of intentionally bombing civilian targets, like schools, hopsitals and funerals. Some critics claim that the UK Government has been complicit in

these war crimes, by continuing to allow BAE Systems, a British weapons manufacturer, to supply arms to Riyadh. The Houthi rebels, who are supported financially by Iran, are suspected of abducting a journalist last month. Yousef Ajlan was abducted in October, and has not been seen since. A press briefing at the U.S. State Department heard that the peace proposals are still being pursued, although Kerry has not had any direct conversations with President Hadi since.

Donald Trump state visit under consideration

Downing Street is considering holding a state visit to Britain for Donald Trump Molly Ambler

MP’s held a debate in Parliament discussing the potential ban of the new president from the UK.


fter the results from the 8th November US presidential election, Donald Trump may visit the UK for a special state visit. During the campaign, however, it was made very clear that MP’s were not necessarily supportive of Mr Trumps’ policies being named a “wazzock” by some MP’s. It was argued that his presence would risk “inflaming tensions between vulnerable communities”. But opponents of a ban said it would give Mr Trump “the role of martyrdom” and could mean “shutting down an honest debate” on immigration. MP’s held a debate in Parliament discussing the potential ban of the new president from the UK. While many cited that Mr Trump was inciting hate crime against minorities, the majority of left and right wing politicians dismissed the idea of banning him from the UK. Those most in favour of the ban were the SNP with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, SNP member for Ochil and South Perthshire, saying that Trump was racist and that she felt strongly in favour of the ban. Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh voiced her being personally offended by some of Trump’s comments regarding Muslims. Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, joined the calls for him to be banned, saying people had felt “we need to stop a poisonous, corrosive man from entering the country”. With Brexit on the cards, Mr Trump looks to be a valuable asset for the UK. The special relationship between the US and the UK has been very advantageous in culture and in the finance sector,

alongside having a direct affect on the political environment and the UK military. Mr Trump’s visit to the UK may well cement this relationship. Brexit has caused a number of political shock waves and it is now likely that the UK may have a more significant role in the special relationship. The proposed visit is planned for 2017 with the Prime Ministers spokeswoman stating, “An invitation for a state visit is one of the things that is under consideration following the election of a new US president. One of the issues under consideration is the 2017 state visits.” There are normally two state visits per year and invitations are made via the foreign office. The Queen acts as host, with visitors either staying at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. The President-elect reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May during a phone call last week that his late Scottish mother was a “big fan” of the Queen. There is no definite date for the visit for the president-elect, however, such a visit is likely to cause controversy within the UK. News of the possible state visit came as Barack Obama - who had his final state visit to Europe last week - said he would speak out about Mr Trump’s presidency if he feels an issue “goes to core questions about our values and our ideals”. The visit of the President-elect will be sure to cause some controversy within the UK, however, with the UK on the eve of the political unknown, the relationship with the US may become vital.


Conor Holohan

The alt-right is more traditionally conservative than it is neoconservative or Thatcherite.


The ‘alt-right’ and Steven K Bannon

ilary Clinton says that Donald Trump’s post-election statements and cabinet appointments are ‘provoking racial resentment’ and that his views ‘align with the so-called alternative right movement’. You don’t have to be a Donald Trump supporter to be a member of the alt-right, but the chances are that if you are a hard-core Trumpist, you identify with a lot of their principles. The alt-right are a new strand of the right-wing and generally sit further right than the likes of the Conservative Party in the UK and on the right side of the Republican Party in the US. The alt-right is more traditionally conservative than it is neo-conservative or Thatcherite. Value is placed on retaining cultural cohesion in an age of multiculturalism. There is also however an element of cultural libertarianism in their attacking of political correctness. There is a large emphasis on western values and nationalism and a strong instinct against establishment media and political entities. Their presence is large online, and this is demonstrated by the growth and size of the online news provider Breitbart News, which is seen as the mouthpiece of the alt-right. Breitbart News is the fourth largest website in the world in comments, and its executive chairman, Steve Bannon, has been appointed Donald Trump’s chief strategist. He has also been given the role of Counsellor to the President, a role

which is outside of the Cabinet, but is still a high-ranking position considered to be senior inside the Executive Office of the President. A Former Goldman Sachs banker, Bannon has also been a media director, making right-of-centre documentaries and he helped to publish the book Clinton Cash as executive chair of the Government Accountability Institute. In 2015, Bannon took 19th place on Mediaite’s list of the “25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015”. Bannon took over Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in August, and his reputation as a an extremely competent operator and spin doctor was confirmed when the campaign was won despite some large-scale challenges in the final weeks – such as the infamous Trump tapes, which knocked his momentum for at least a fortnight. If Trumpism is ever to be a remembered as an ideological concept, Steven Bannon will be the man expected to and able to design and communicate it, and you can bank on that ideology strongly resembling the alt-right when it takes shape over the coming years. Though many progressives are suspicious of Bannon, particularly because of some of Breitbart News’ output, many of Trump’s winning policies fit perfectly into the alt-right ideological mould. The stance on immigration, the rejection of political correctness, the desire to protect gun rights. These are alt-right values as well as

Trump’s values, and Bannon will find it easy to mobilise Breitbart readers and other like minds, despite giving up his position as executive chair of the news provider in order to focus on his new job in the White House. It’s why Donald Trump always referred to ‘our movement’ when talking about his campaign. His support was not merely white Christian America voting, and indeed Trump did receive more minority votes than the previous 2 Republican candidates Romney and McCain, but

it was also this new surge of discontent taking the chance to be politically represented. The alternative right. Those voters who helped to make Florida and Ohio turn red were those who hadn’t voted before or hadn’t voted for years because of political disillusionment with establishment politicians like Hilary Clinton, and if Steve Bannon and Trump can deliver more alt-right policy positions, they’ll undoubtedly keep that demographic turning up to the polls for them.

Pictured: Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Arizona (photographer: Gage Skidmore)

Sarkozy crashes out in French primary election Rhys Thomas

Whoever wins the run-off vote will probably become the President of France


n the smouldering aftermath of Brexit and the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the White House, France is widely seen as the next domino that could fall in the worldwide populist uprising. In the battle of liberalism v populism, the value of France as a country and beacon of democracy means that even more focus will be on this contest than usual. The longer election cycle kicked off with the conservative Les Républicains holding their primary this month. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy had been plotting his way back to the Élysée Palace ever since his 2012 defeat, but was knocked out of contention by Alain Juppé and surprise first place finisher François Fillon. Sarkozy has endorsed Fillon, who served as his Prime Minister for the whole of his 2007-2012 term. Whoever wins the run-off vote will probably become the President of France next May. There are a range of crucial differences between the two men. Frontrunner Fillon is an avowed Thatcherite who is anti-trade unions. He’s hostile to immigration and is a big defender of Russia and Putin’s military excursions in Ukraine and Syria. He also voted against gay marriage and wants to ban adoption for gay couples. On the plus side, he’s married to a Welshwoman. The former favourite and his opponent in the run-off will be Alain Juppé, the current Mayor of Bordeaux. Widely considered France’s

most popular politician at the age of seventy-one and an overall more centrist character, he served as Prime Minister under Jacques Chirac in the 1990’s. During this period he was intensely unpopular, and a few years later was convicted of a party funding scam - but was widely exonerated as taking the hit for the mismanagement of others. He has called for an increase in the retirement age and cuts to public spending. He has also extolled the virtues of immigration, favours moving the UK border from Calais to Kent, and supports adoption for same-sex couples. Hanging over all of this is the spectre of Marine Le Pen and her fascist Front National party. Immigration and radical Islam have become huge issues in France, even more so than in other countries. The mix of native French and post-colonial immigrant communities combined with European free movement has created a tinderbox and resentment on both sides, with politicians like Le Pen well placed to take advantage of the cultural divides. She tops most of the polls, an unprecedented situation for a far-right leader. However, the electoral system for the French Presidential election is a barrier to her success. The first stage of the election sees a variety of candidates from across the political spectrum running to be President in 2012 there were ten candidates. If none of these candidates reaches fif-

Pictured: The Élysée Palace (Source: EX13)

ty-percent of the vote, then the election proceeds to a run-off between the top two candidates. Le Pen is likely to proceed to the run off - however, when pitted against a moderate candidate in the run off all the voters spanning Socialists, Republicans and others are likely to band together to defeat the far-right as they did in 2002 when conservative incumbent

Jacques Chirac trounced Jean-Marie Le Pen (father of Marine) in the biggest landslide in French history. The Presidential election will take place next April and May, and the world will hold its breath yet again. Will the populists continue their march, or will the liberals fight back? The next few months will give us the answer.

Parkway Drive

White Lies Sundara Karma

December/Rhagfyr Clutch

17/12/16, £20 ADV

February/Chwefror Treatment Presents: Dusky live

10/02/17, from £15 ADV

Sundara Karma 23/02/17, £11 ADV



Lucy Spraggan

2-Tone Tribute Tour

03/03/17, £14.50 ADV

08/04/17, £19.50 ADV

All Time Low

Parkway Drive

11/03/17, £28.50 ADV

11/04/17, £25 ADV

Lower Than Atlantis

Bury Tomorrow

18/03/17, £16 ADV

21/04/17, £16 ADV

The Stranglers


27/03/17, £25 ADV

The Alarm

19/05/17, £22.50 ADV

White Lies

27/02/17, £20 ADV




All tickets subject to booking fee Codir ffi archebu ar bob tocyn



Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci

It’s official: napping is better than cramming Anna Dutton

Napping before an exam may be just as effective as cramming or regular revising.


ecent studies have shown that napping before an exam may be just as effective as cramming or regular revising. The studies were carried out in the DukeNUS Medical School in Singapore and results showed that napping was just as beneficial, if not more so, than cramming. The most common way people re-

vise is by going over what they have already learnt because the repetition enables the brain to retain information. As James Cousins notes from the Duke-NUS Medical School ‘with any memory, the more you recall it, the stronger the memory trace.’ However, it has also been shown that sleeping can be just as impor-

tant for learning information. By having a good night’s sleep, the information learnt that day is consolidated and therefore remembered. Consequently, having a refreshing night’s sleep before an exam is always recommended. An associate of Cousins, Michael Chee and other colleagues of the medical school carried out a study to determine whether it was better to nap or cram before an exam. The study involved a mock-student experience where 72 ‘students’ sat through 12 presentations about the varying species of crabs and ants. The participants then had to learn all the information they had been taught, for example the animals’ diets and habitats. They did this for 80 minutes and then the students were given an hour to either watch a film, study, or take a nap. After the hour elapsed, there was another 80 minutes of learning, followed by a test comprising of 360 questions about the ants or crabs. The results of this showed that those who had napped had the best score. The participants were then called back a week later for another study and the results still favoured the students that had napped. The results from a further test another week later also favoured the

nappers with Cousins suggesting ‘…cramming information might be good in the short term, but in the long run, the benefits might not be great.’ The differing scores between the nappers and the crammers did not conclude as statistically significant so more tests are being carried out to determine whether napping is better than cramming, or equally as good. The reasons for these results are still unknown: some evidence suggests that memories are imprinted better during a short sleep; but the likely cause is that a short nap leaves the individual feeling refreshed resulting in their brain being betterequipped to learn. Gareth Gaskell from the University of York would support this, noting that a nap ‘is making them (the students) more alert.’ These findings are by no means conclusive however so further research is being carried out to better understand the value of preexam napping. In summary, napping before an exam does seem an appealing form of ‘revision,’ however, because the evidence is not conclusive, a combination of revision methods is still recommended and likely to have the greatest impact upon an individual’s information retention skills.

Pictured: Pressed for time? maybe consider taking a nap instead (Photographer: Joshua Brown)

Terminally ill cancer patient saved by “ambulance to the future”? Ezinwa Awog

The highly controversial industry responsible for administering cryogenic freezing calls itself the ‘ambulance to the future.’


n a historical battle, 14-yearold JS from London (who will go unnamed for legal reasons) was granted her dying wish of being cryogenically frozen. This was done in the hopes of being thawed and re-animated when technological advancements catch up to her dream of living longer and curing her rare form of cancer. However, the quest was no easy feat and even

upon accomplishment there were misgivings as ‘the way in which the process was handled caused real concern to the medical and mortuary staff ’. JS was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer last year and told this August that her illness had turned terminal, consequently, all active treatment was stopped. With no hope of rescue in the hands of today’s

science, after extensive independent research, she decided to have her remains cryogenically frozen. The father of JS had serious reservations regarding this procedure due to its moral, ethical, and financial issues and initially refused to co-sign parental consent. This consent was needed from both parents (divorced) as JS was under the age to make a legally recognised will. Upon her father’s refusal, the young Girl took to the courts – although too ill to physically enter the courtroom, she was represented by her mother and solicitor Frances Judd – and wrote a heartfelt letter to the judge pleading for the chance to ‘live longer’. When the case was brought to the Judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson, her father changed his mind and decided to give his consent for the procedure with the stipulation that he can see the body of his daughter after she died with whom he had been estranged from for 8 years. The request was denied by both the JS and her mother and the Judge ruled in her favour to make her mother (who supported her wish to be cryogenically preserved) the only parent

responsible for decisions regarding her daughter’s body disposal. The highly controversial industry responsible for administering cryogenic freezing calls itself the ‘ambulance to the future’ and rests its entire existence on the hope that the future will hold technological and medical advancements that will be able to revive the dead and cure the currently incurable illnesses. The process was invented in 1960’s and 350 people have since been cryogenically frozen. The remains of JS have been sent to Michigan and are being stored in the cryonics institute at its facility in Clinton Township which also stores dead pets. Although the case was won and her wishes carried out, with immense help from her grandparents who helped raise the £37,000 needed for the procedure, there was ‘deep unease’ as the doctors described it, surrounding the procedure as the cryonics team were described to have been ‘disorganised and ‘under-equipped’. The mother spent most of her daughter’s last hours stressing over arrangements for the procedure and was said to not have been able to be there for the majority of that crucial time.

Pictured: Nitrogen tanks are frequently used in cryogenic procedures. (Photographer: U.S. Department of Agriculture)


Epigenetic pattern spotted in individuals with autism Joshua Green

The researchers analysed post-mortem brain samples of individuals and found that 68% of the total sample shared a ‘common histone acetylation pattern’.

Kat Pooprasert

If this works, the training method could potentially be used for other for other forms of fear-based conditions.


New analysis possible due to “BrainSpan” technology

study published, in the November 17th issue of the journal Cell, suggests there are epigenetic modifications that are common between individuals of rare and common forms of autism. The study itself was headed by co-senior study authors Shyam Prabhakar (from the Genome Institute of Singapore) and Daniel Geschwind (from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA). The study also opens up the idea that this common trait, seen in individuals with autism, could be the cause or basis of the diverse manifestations of autism. What what did they actually spot? The paper talks of a “epigenetic modification”. Something that is epigenetic, in a biological context, is something that ‘arises from non-genetic influences on gene expression’. It is known generally that environmental and genetic factors contribute to autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Many studies have focused on looking at structural changes to the genome, for example, however there has been a shift in the studies which now focuses on factors that do not affect the DNA sequence of an individual. Epigenetic modifications are changes in genetic activity that does not alter DNA sequences. Researchers have been previously looking at a chemical modification of

DNA known as methylation. Methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that cells use to express genes. It can be used to ‘fix’ non-expressed genes from the “off” position. It is argued that this method ignores the complicated nature of gene expression associated with ASD conditions. In this new study the role of histone acetylation with ASD was explored. The study reports how the researchers focused on a ‘tag’ which is known as an acetylation mark. This tag, called H3K27ac, was used as a sign of gene activation. The researchers analysed postmortem brain samples of individuals and found that 68% of the total sample shared a ‘common histone acetylation pattern’ despite the other large amount of environmental factors and genetic factors causing a ASD condition affecting the samples. It was also found that a strong correlation, after 12 months from birth, linked gene activation in the brains to increased acetylation observed. This link that was established lends itself to the conclusion that acetylation has a significant role in the relevant genes, associated with ASD conditions, being expressed. This 12 month after birth analysis is possible due to researchers using ‘BrainSpan’ which is an ‘atlas’ of a developing brain. The authors are planning to follow

Pictured: Common epigenetic changes can explain for the complex (Photographer: hepingting)

up this study with further research questions. This study is seen to be powerful, however, it shows more about shared processes between autistic individuals rather than establishing causal links between the modifications and ASD conditions. There is speculation that, due to how these processes point

to specific genes and pathways in ASDindividual’s brains, new targets could be established for novel drug delivery. These drugs could be used to treat ASD conditions in some manner, however, there still needs to be much more extensive research.

Phobias can be conquered with the right training


ired of having phobias? A new way of curing phobias is underway and is aimed at nudging people into unconsciously thinking about their fears. This will help them to unlearn their associations of fear in a stress-free way. Conventionally, phobias are treated with ‘exposure therapy’, which involves showing someone the thing they are frightened of in a safe environment. This will teach them that they don’t need to be scared. Obviously, many people find this process too stressful and drop out, or is too apprehensive to sign up in the first place. Hakwan Lau from University of California, Los Angeles is one of the leaders of the team that is currently studying a new way to treat phobias. She describes how “we thought if we can do it unconsciously, there’s no unpleasantness”. Lau’s team uses software that can be trained to identify what people are looking at or imagining as they lie in fMRI brain scanners. This software can identify things that someone is thinking about unconsciously. With this software, the team has found a way to make people think about scary things without realising. In the study, the group recorded the patterns of brain activity that volunteers had when shown 40 images, some of which included common subjects of phobias such as spiders, snakes and dogs. They then set the team a task to do while an

Pictured: A common phobia (Photographer: Jamie Zeschke)

fRMI brain scanner. When unconscious patterns of activity in a person’s visual cortex matched that of a scary picture, that person was given positive feedback and a small cash reward. Thus, this ‘neurofeedback’ training encouraged subjects to think about the scary thing even more, but unconsciously. To see if this unconscious exposure technique can reduce phobiarelated stress, the team tried it on people whom they had conditioned to be scared of a pattern of colored

lines by giving them small electric shocks whenever they saw that pattern. Then the team asked 30 people to choose two pictures (from the set of 40) that they found most scary. After the neurofeedback training, however, the participants perspired less and even had reduced brain activity in the amygdala region (fear center). Such change did not occur on subjects who were not given neurofeedback training. To follow up, the team plans to

go back to the study participants in three months to ask if they still feel scared of their phobia animals. Only then will the success of the technique be known. Joe leDoux of New York University described that “selfreporting of fear is the gold standard for whether a person has been successfully treated or not”. If this works, the training method could potentially be used for other forms of fear-based conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and various anxiety disorders.


PM pledges £2bn per year increase in science funding Tanya Harrington

May referred to a want for the UK to become “the global go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors,” as the motivation behind this decision.

James MacLachlan

This AI can understand words and phrases by focusing on the speaker’s lips and processing the many shapes and movements of their mouth into data.


n a speech delivered to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Prime Minster Theresa May announced an increase in science funding of £2bn per year. This funding increase comes as a part of a government-backed “industrial strategy,” with the aims of aiding and improving economic “winners” within the industrial field. Speaking to the CBI, the Prime Minister stated that “we compete with the best in autos, aerospace and advanced engineering. We are breaking new ground in life sciences and new fields.” As such, the extra £2bn will be primarily invested in several scientific areas in which the UK has already made a name for itself - such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing. May referred to a want for the UK to become “the global go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors,” as the motivation behind this decision. However, in the recent political climate it appears as though even a science funding announcement is not possible without mention of other topics. The Prime Minister stated that the above objectives would not be possible without “bringing immigration down to sustainable levels overall so we maintain public faith in the system.” On the topic, Professor Ven-


katraman Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, told BBC News, “an influx of money on its own won’t be sufficient in itself,” noting that “we need to hire the best talent. Hopefully a lot of that will be home-grown. But there is no substitute for attracting the best in the world so we can be the best in the world.” With Britain currently receiving £850m in research funding from the EU, this extra £2bn of investment into science funding could be the Prime Minister’s method of attempting to protect scientific research from any economic consequences of leaving. She stated, “we will commit to substantial real terms increases in government investment […] investing an extra £2 billion a year by the end of this Parliament to help put postBrexit Britain at the cutting edge of science and tech.” The post-recession freeze imposed on the science budget in 2010 has meant that funding for science has now remained static for half a decade. This has been made worse by inflation, resulting in a science budget that has been able to cover less and less each year. In contrast, many countries globally have increased their investments into scientific research, with May noting that “our

Pictured: An increase in funding could lead to great scientific developments. (Photographer: William Warby)

competitors aren’t standing still. They are investing heavily in research and development.” The Prime Minister also indicated that there could be tax breaks which would encourage firms to further invest in scientific research. She said, “now we want to go further, and look at how we can make our support even more effective - because my aim is not simply for the UK to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, but also

a tax system that is profoundly proinnovation.” While there are still concerns within the scientific community, regarding the availability of free movement of scientists both into and out of the UK, the overall reaction to this announcement appears to be positive. There are hopes that scientific progress will stand in good stead, even in the midst of any economic uncertainty which may lie ahead.

Loose lips sync computer chips

mazing, isn’t it? What we can achieve in the world of science and technology. The telephones, televisions, and computers we used to plug in at home have all been enhanced and condensed to fit conveniently, and stylishly, into our pockets. We are constantly inventing sophisticated and intelligent ways to help us interact with the world around us. Superior forms of technology which, in our ever-changing, ever-advancing modern world, feels as primitive as a Neanderthal’s stone tools when compared with the tools that we use every day. Smartphones and the internet have become integral to our lives, and it’s a struggle to imagine a life without such advanced technology. More recently, technology has been developed that merges the real world with the digital. Apple’s iWatch made sure we were connected to our phones pretty much all the time, and made us feel like James Bond while we were doing it. Google’s somewhat short-lived Google Glass project attempted to seamlessly integrate the digital world with reality, also making us feel like spies, with cool, albeit rather embarrassing glasses. And, most recently, Sony’s PlayStation VR manages to immerse gamers inside the game, meaning that you could become James Bond. However, there’s one company in particular that is making enormous strides in new technology, with products and applications you probably use every single day, perhaps without even realising it. I’ve already mentioned it. I am, of course, talking about Google. In

Pictured: Lipreading is now one of Google’s many talents (Photographer: Tim SheermanChase)

2014, they acquired the British Artificial Intelligence company DeepMind for a hefty $500m, with the intention they of working together on new advanced applications for AI. Their rather cryptic and mysterious goal is, to ‘solve intelligence’, and with their latest invention, they may just be one step closer to doing just that. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Oxford, Google-DeepMind have created an AI technology that can accurately lip-read human speech on television better than a professional. This AI can understand words and phrases by focusing on the speaker’s lips and processing the many shapes and movements of their mouth into data. It can then automatically process and convert the raw data into

complete sentences. After lengthy experimentation on various television programmes, including BBC News and Question Time, and collecting nearly five thousand hours of data in the process, the researchers compared the AI against a professional lip-reader. The two entities examined a random selection of two hundred clips from the entire collection of data and were tasked with transcribing the lot. The professional managed to record only 12.4% of the data without error, whereas the AI could understand a staggering 46.8% of it, effectively quadrupling the results of the human. The article also mentions that many of the AI’s mistakes were negligible. Missing a letter ‘s’ at the end of a word, for example. The potential applications of this

technology are vast, with the researchers suggesting improvements to hearing aids and better speech recognition in louder environments – a feature Google will certainly put into place for their own version of Siri. It could also aid in subtitling live television, concerts, and events. However, there have been some concerns about the negative implications of such technology, such as the safety of our data, but the researchers state that the AI will perform less effectively over greater distances, so we shouldn’t worry about that. Of course, not all technology can survive. Fax machines, pagers and floppy disks have all been sent to the recycle bin in the sky in favour of newer tech. Will AI like this stand the test of time? And just how far can technology advance?

Less Screaming. More Streaming.

Protect your gadgets from £9.49 a month.* Our student gadget insurance includes theft, loss, accidental and liquid damage for gadgets less than three years old. With cover anywhere in the UK and up to 30 days worldwide, plus 24 hour laptop and phone replacement.** Policy excesses apply.

Take control. Get covered.


*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 Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited. Company No. 856706 registered in England at Shurdington Road, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucestershire GL51 4UE



Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc

Airsoft: Cardiff beat Southampton Uni 2-1 in Away Game

Tom Morris

One single capture for either side meant victory for the whole day.

Tom Morris


ardiff University Airsoft Society won an away game against Southampton University’s team on Saturday 19 November, winning overall by the “skin of their teeth.” A combined squad of 16 players from CUAS’s 1st and 2nd Teams headed to Southampton’s local field for a closely-fought game day, the final score of which was 2-1. Cardiff came out victorious in two games where they narrowly won, fortunately there was just one game where Southampton were able to use their home site advantage to claim a decisive victory. The ranked games were preceded by a warm-up game, victory in which left morale for the Cardiff team high. Having had their first glimpse of the site, a 90-acre dense woodland sparsely populated by small structures, Cardiff defended against attacking Southampton in an attack-defend game which Southampton finished in 45 minutes. When it came to Cardiff ’s turn to attack, they finished in 39 minutes, scraping the point. After lunch, the two teams played in a “collapsing defense” game, where the attacking team was tasked with pushing back defenders from two fortifications. Due to a poorly devised assault strategy, Cardiff were slow to take their first objective but somewhat made up for it with the second, completing the objective in 21 minutes. Southampton, when it was their turn to attack, utilised their home advantage and took both objectives in 16 minutes for a decisive victory, using frag grenades and close-quarters tactics. With the score at 1-1, the final


game was to be the equaliser. Both teams were tasked with bringing a flag propped up on a field gun back to their respective bases. Southampton were quick on the draw, scoring the first point. The objective was reset, and Harry Carpenter, a Cardiff fresher on his very first day playing for the team, ran it home to claim a point. The team captain, James Clarke, said the game became “stressful” as it was match point- one single capture

for either side meant victory for the whole day. Jacob Stanswood, squad leader, charged in through corridors of smoke grenades thrown by the rest of the team to safely secure the objective one more time, winning the point, the game, and the whole day. Southampton’s team captain, Ed Andrews, said: “I personally was very happy to see how my team has come together over quite a short period especially with at least 6 of my players

only starting airsoft this year.” he also complimented Cardiff on “being able to take the fort in just over 20 minutes despite it being your first experience of it.” Chloe Chippindale, 2IC of one of the Cardiff squads, said that although the game was tense at times, when “the whistle blew sounding end of game and the seriousness ended, we all got to have a good laugh before going again.”

Pictured: Tim Cook of Cardiff University Airsoft Society.

Spotlight: Film Society

t’s an institution: every Monday, at 7pm, a group of students arrives at the Royal George, a pub on the edge of Cathays, where student digs begin to give way to the locals’ terraces. There’s something special about this place thoughFilm Society will show you the entrance to the Secret Cinema, a small room at the back with a big TV in it, where the Society meet for their Monday night screening. From indie to blockbuster, whatever’s on you know it’ll be good. I’ve seen some of my favourite films for the very first time at Film Soc screenings, from Apocalypse Now to A Beautiful Mind, from Jaws to Pulp Fiction. Their cinema trips are equally well picked, Whiplash being

particularly appreciated last year. Of course you can watch a film anytime nowadays in the age of Netflix and, er, less legal means of procurement. What makes Film Soc so great is the great people you’ll be

watching and making films alongside, probably some of the best friends you will make at university. You read that right- Film Soc also has a film-making arm, Diff Films. As well as their (bi)annual 48 Hour

Film Challenge, they also produce a few short films every year, some of which are currently beginning production. Diff Films membership also offers career opportunities, as president Alex Stewart (and many previous members) can testify: “Diff Films is well ingrained with the Cardiff film making community and helps those who want to get into film and television through organizing talks with industry insiders and gives people a first taste of being on a professional film set, whilst keeping it fun and entertaining.” You can join Cardiff University Film Society on Facebook, and catch up with past masterpieces on their YouTube, DiffFilms.

Pictured: Diff Films, hard at work on a student blockbuster.


Mali-Taylor Powell

Emily Giblett

Aletheia Nutt


Cleaning up Cathays with Cardiff Volunteering’s Environmental Champions

ince September of this year, Cardiff University students have volunteered a whopping 138 hours on the Environmental Champions project, contributing to help environmental projects in the local Cardiff community. Environmental Champions is a partnership project with Cardiff Council. The project is for anyone with a keen interest in the environment. The project aims to improve the areas we live in, making Cardiff cleaner, safer and greener. This academic year the Enviro Champs have been seen helping out at Clean up Cathays day, the Community Info Walkabouts and the Cardiff Half Marathon; where they picked up any clothing left behind and donated it to the YMCA, and ensured that all water bottles and bananas were sustainably disposed of at the finish line! Last week the Environmental Champs also took part in a one-off garden tidy up project for Bobath


Children’s Therapy Centre to help the charity prepare for an important event being held there. Lead Volunteer for the Environmental Champions project is Cardiff University student Gwen Thomas, who is studying Geography and Planning, and has worked tirelessly to make this year’s events a success – she has contributed 52 volunteering hours since September already! Gwen is a fab Lead for the project and really makes the events fun. Fluent in both Welsh and English, Gwen is bilingual and has been brilliant at communicating with volunteers, Cardiff Council and local residents. The Environmental Champions Project is such a flexible project that you can easily slot in around your studies. We find that Geography and Planning students favour the project, for obvious reasons, and that many international students really love taking part in the project to improve their English and immerse

themselves in the local community and culture. Volunteering is a fantastic way to make friends, have fun and add experience to your CV. Any Cardiff University students are welcome

to volunteer on the Environmental Champions project – if you’re interested, contact Cardiff Volunteering in the Students’ Union to sign up

Pictured: Volunteer Sam at Bobathy Children’s Centre

Nightline launches Post Secret campaign

n 1970, noticing high levels of stress and anxiety in students, a lecturer and a chaplain at Essex University set up the first Nightline, a service running through the night allowing trained students to provide emotional support and a listening ear to other students. Almost 50 years on, thirty six Nightline branches exist across the UK and Ireland, with over two thousand student volunteers trained to provide this confidential service. Whatever issues you may be having, Nightline is one of many services at Cardiff that exists to support you. Call them on 02920 870555 or visit their website to access their instant messaging service. Supported by the Nightline Association charity, Cardiff Nightline currently offers support to students from Cardiff University, Cardiff Met and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama every night


during term time between 8pm and 8am. Students from all three of these institutions are invited to join the service as a volunteer during the two annual recruitment drives during October and February. Five core principles exist at the heart of Nightline’s operation. Volunteers are committed to protecting confidentiality and anonymity, and advice given is non-judgemental, non-advisory and non-directional. These students are at the end of the phone simply to listen to you and offer support, and as Cardiff Nightline’s ‘public face’ Geoff Jukes tells me, ‘no problem is too small.’ Support from the service is not just available over the phone. Cardiff Nightline also runs an instant messaging service between 8pm and midnight during term time for students who would prefer to text than talk. Whether students are

suffering from emotional anxiety, academic pressure, or just feel unsafe walking home at night, Nightline volunteers are there to help you anonymously, confidentially and without judgement. This month, Cardiff Nightline have launched a ‘PostSecret’ campaign, encouraging students to anonymously post their secrets in specially designed Nightline post-boxes around campus. The campaign was inspired by the American website, where strangers share secrets and thoughts that might be weighing them down anonymously by submitting postcards to be published on the site. Cardiff Nightline plan to publish the secrets received on their website (cardiffnightline. There is no fee to join Nightline as a volunteer, and you won’t be expected to answer calls until you

have received full training. As well as basic training, volunteers are invited to take part in extra instructional sessions in collaboration with organisations such as Cardiff ’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Victim Support and the University Support Service. You can apply online during their next recruitment drive in February, and, if successful you’ll be invited to an interview with the committee, followed by a three day training event. Although the service is funded through the University, volunteers are unpaid for the service they provide, and Nightline welcomes donations through its JustGiving page. Your money will go towards training, maintenance of phones and computers, and promotional materials to ensure as many students as possible are aware of the organisation and how it can help them.

That’s Jazz... at Christmas!

ith Christmas fast approaching, I’m sure you have all been inundated with invitations to festive events, and with the addition of Christmas decorations popping up in all over the place, how can you not be getting into that Christmas spirit? If, however, you are like me and have not yet succumbed to the festive frenzy, there is one event on the Societies Calendar that is sure to fill you with plenty of seasonal joy! Jazz Society’s annual Christmas event, Jazz At Christmas, is just round the corner, an event that ap-

pears to get bigger and better each year. On Monday 5th December, at 7pm, Jazz Society will be taking over Y Plas, to put on a ‘relaxed evening of jazzy music’. This evening will be an opportunity for Jazz Society to showcase the talent of not only some of their best society run ensembles; Big Band, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Choir and Sax Choir, but also some smaller member led groups. Expect to hear Christmas classics, well known jazzy jingles, classic big band repertoire, funk, dixieland, latin and everything in between. A mix of music suitable

for both the festive fanatics among us and the seasonal scrooges. Members go free and for non-members entry is only £1, so get your friends together, your best Christmas attire on and head down to Y Plas for a Christmas event not to be missed. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of the Jazz Society committee members, they will be happy to help, or post any queries on the Facebook event: events/334307130262290/

Nightline volunteers are there to help you anonymously, confidentially, and without judgement.

Pictured: Jazz, conducting masterpieces.



Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od

Taith i Siambr yn y Senedd Yn y llun: Adeilad y Cynulliad ym Mae Caerdydd. (Tarddiad: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru drwy Flickr.)

Liam Ketcher


r y 11eg o Dachwedd, fe es i i’r Senedd ar daith gyda’r Ysgol Newyddiaduraeth (JOMEC). Pwrpas y daith oedd cael gweld sut mae’r wasg a’r cyfryngau yn gweithio o du fewn y Senedd, er mwyn rhoi blas ar fywyd newyddiadurwyr gwleidyddol i ni. Yn ystod y daith cawsom gyfle i ymweld â’r siambr, a swyddfeydd ITV, y BBC a’r pobl sydd yn gweithio yna. Efallai byddwch yn synnu ar y ffaith fod gan y cyhoedd berffaith hawl i fynd i’r Senedd pryd bynnag yr hoffent. Mae ardal eistedd a siop goffi cyhoeddus yno, er mwyn cael paned. Yn ogystal, os hoffech drefnu cyfarfod/cyfweliad gyda’ch Aelod Cynlluiad mae hawl gyda chi i gysylltu â nhw, ac mae’r ardal yma yn

un addas iawn er mwyn cyfarfod â rhywun. Mae gan y cyhoedd hefyd yr hawl i wrando ar sesiynau o du fewn y siambr ei hun. Cynhelir cyfarfodydd pob wythnos ar brynhawn ddydd Mawrth a Mercher, dyma ble mae’r Aelodau yn cwrdd er mwyn trafod materion a pholisiau. Mae’r eisteddle wedi’i leoli uwchben y siambr, ac felly yn edrych i lawr ar yr Aelodau. Mae gan y wasg yr hawl i ddefnyddio’r ardal hon hefyd, ond mae yna ystafelloedd yn arbennig i’r wasg wedi eu lleoli ar yr un lefel ar siambr. Dyma ardal arbennig iddynt weithio ohonno, ac mae gan y wasg wedyn y cyfle i gael cyfweliad cyflym wrth i rai o’r aelodau adael y siambr ar ôl i sesiwn ddod i ben. Nid yw’r wasg yn unig yn

defnyddio’r ardal gyhoeddus yma i weithio, ond mae ganddynt swyddfeydd eu hunain y tu ôl i’r Senedd gyda mynediad hawdd i’r brif adeilad. Yn gyntaf gwelsom swyddfeydd ITV. Dyma ble mae’r newyddiadurwr yn creu eu cynnwys gwleidyddol ar gyfer darllediadau, megis ysgrifennu erthyglau, ffilmio cyfweliadau gydag Aelodau Seneddol, neu rywbeth tebyg. Wrth ffilmio cyfweliad maent yn defnyddio cefndiroedd gyda logo’r Senedd a’r Llywodraeth, yn dibynnu ar bwy maen nhw’n cyfweld â. Esboniwyd beth yw’r gwahaniaeth rhwng y ddau. Yn syml y Senedd sy’n cynnwys yr Aelodau Cynulliad sydd yn cael eu hethol gennym ni - nhw sydd yn gwneud y penderfyniadau sydd yn effeithio ein gwlad. Mae’r

Senedd yn cynnwys y 60 aelod a etholwyd gennym ni, yn cynnwys y Prif weinidog, Carwyn Jones, ar hyn o bryd. Mae’r sesiynau yn y siambr yn cael eu rhedeg gan y Llywydd, sef Elin Jones. Y Llywodraeth ar y llaw arall ydy’r sefydliad sydd yn rhoi’r penderfyniadau’r Senedd i waith. Yn y rhan olaf o’r daith fe aethom at y BBC, lle roedd y BBC yn darlledu cynnwys enfawr i BBC Cymru ers talwm. Gyda chymysg o radio, theledu ac ar lein, dim ond erthyglau a gwaith ar lein sydd yn cael ei chynhyrchu yma yn bellach. Mae’r gwaith teledu a radio wedi symud i Landaf. Rhaid dweud braint oedd y profiad o ymweld â’r Senedd, ac anhygoel oedd cael gweld sut mae’r wasg yn gweithio o du fewn i’r Senedd.

Polisi Iaith Gymraeg yr Undeb i’w lansio

Osian Wyn Morgan


dydd Mawrth y 29ain o Dachwedd, bydd Polisi Iaith Gymraeg Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd yn cael ei lansio yn swyddogol. Crëwyd y polisi yn ystod y flwyddyn academaidd ddiwethaf, gan gynrychiolwyr myfyrwyr Cymraeg, a chynrychiolwyr o Undeb y Myfyrwyr. Er nad yw’r polisi - fel unrhyw bolisi, mae’n debyg - yn berffaith, mae hi’n gymharol gynhwysfawr a chryf, ac mae’n gam mawr yn y cyfeiriad cywir, wrth ystyried y Gymraeg yn yr Undeb. Bydd digwyddiad yn cael ei gynnal yn y Porthdy (The Lodge) rhwng 14:00 a 15:00, yn Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd, a bydd hi’n gyfle i gyd ddathlu’r polisi, a’r gwellhad yn narpariaeth Cymraeg yr Undeb. Bydd nifer o siaradwyr gwadd yn

y digwyddiad, gan gynnwys Sophie Timbers, Llywydd Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd, Caeo Harri Hughes, Llywydd y Gymdeithas Gymraeg, chynrychiolydd o Cymraeg i Bawb, a by-

ddaf yn gwneud araith fel Swyddog y Gymraeg yr Undeb. Yn ogystal, bydd Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal yn perfformio, a bydd te a choffi am ddim! Felly dewch draw i’r Porthdy yn

Pwrpas y daith oedd cael gweld sut mae’r wasg a’r cyfryngau yn gweithio o du fewn y Senedd.

yr Undeb am 2, ddydd Mawrth yr 29ain o Dachwedd i ddathlu lansiad y polisi. Bydd croeso cynnes i bawb, felly dewch yn llu!!

Yn y llun: Hysbyseb ‘Lansiad Polisi Iaith Gymraeg’ (Tarddiad: Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd)


“Cynllunio iethyddol ar gefn pecyn sigarets?” Yn y llun: Alun Davies, Gweinidog y Gymraeg (Tarddiad: UK in Italy drwy Flickr)

Osian Wyn Morgan

A fyddai’n ddigonol, pe darganfyddwn ein hunain, yn y flwyddyn 2050, mewn Cymru lle mae miliwn o bobl yn gallu siarad rywfaint o Gymraeg, ond nad ydynt yn ei siarad yn naturiol o ddydd i ddydd?


r y 1af o Awst eleni, cyhoeddwyd dogfen ymgynghori gan Alun Davies, y Gweinidog dros y Gymraeg ac Addysg Gydol Oes, ar ei strategaeth ddrafft i greu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn y flwyddyn 2050. Chwarae teg iddo, meddyliais, a chwarae teg i’r llywodraeth hefyd. Am unwaith, ymddengys fel petai’r llywodraeth am fynd ati o ddifri i gryfhau sefyllfa’r iaith, a chynyddu nifer y siaradwyr gan anelu i greu miliwn o Gymry Cymraeg. Er nad oedd y strategaeth mor gynhwysfawr a manwl a fyddai’n ddisgwyliedig i ddogfen sy’n anelu at ddyblu, bron, y nifer o siaradwyr Cymraeg fod, des i’r casgliad bod yr egwyddor, a’r weledigaeth, y tu ôl i’r strategaeth, yn un da, a dylem gymeradwyo’r llywodraeth am eu gweledigaethau a’u hamcanion. Fodd bynnag, yr wythnos diwethaf, darllenais golofn Huw Onllwyn Jones, ar wefan Pobl Caerdydd, ynglŷn â’r strategaeth, a ddisgrifiwyd hi fel “Cynllunio ieithyddol ar gefn pecyn sigaréts”. Yn yr erthygl, ymateba ‘Huw O’ i’r strategaeth, gan amlinellu ei bryderon amdani, a chynnig ambell gwestiwn (neu 25 ohonynt, i fod yn union gywir), y byddai’n gofyn i Alun Davies. Mae hi’n erthygl hynod ddiddorol, coeglyd, a doniol, ac os nad ydych wedi cael cyfle i’w darllen hi, awgrymaf yn gryf eich bod yn gwneud (Ar ôl gorffen darllen y Tafod, wrth gwrs.) Perodd yr erthygl hon i mi ystyried cynlluniau’r llywodraeth i greu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg yn fanylach, gan beri i mi gwestiynu os mai ymgais o ddifrif gan y llywodraeth i gynyddu’r nifer o siaradwyr yw’r strategaeth hon, neu os mai ymgais i gadw Cymdeithas yr Iaith, a’r ‘radicaliaid’ Cymraeg yn dawel am gwpl o flynyddoedd ydyw? Bydda lawer yn dadlau nad yw’r llywodraeth wedi cefnogi’r Gymraeg yn ddigonol dros y degawdau diwethaf, gan olygu bod y Cymry Cymraeg, a mudiadau fel Cymdeithas yr Iaith, wedi gorfod ymgyrchu’n ddiflino, ac weithiau’n dreisgar, dros y Gymraeg. Oherwydd hyn, felly, pan ddechreuais ddarllen colofn Huw O, roeddwn ychydig yn betrusgar ei fod mor feirniadol o

gynlluniau’r llywodraeth, yn hytrach na chroesawu gweledigaeth y llywodraeth i greu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg. Fodd bynnag, wrth i mi ddarllen ymhellach, sylweddolais nad oedd Huw O yn rhy afresymol ei feirniadaeth, oherwydd amlinella llawer o wendidau yn y strategaeth. Un o’r gwendidau hyn oedd yr amwyster ynghylch y term ‘siaradwr Cymraeg’. Yn ei golofn, hola Huw O “pa fath o siaradwr Cymraeg mae Alun am eu cynnwys yn ei darged o 1 miliwn o siaradwyr?” Â Huw yn ei flaen i ddatgan y creda y “dylai anelu at greu miliwn o siaradwyr sydd oll yn rhugl – ac yn defnyddio’r iaith adref ac efo’u ffrindiau”. Coda Huw O bwynt diddorol a phwysig yn fan hyn. Sut yn union y ddiffinnir Siaradwr Cymraeg? Ai rhywun sydd yn rhugl yn y Gymraeg ac yn ei ddefnyddio yn ddyddiol? Neu rhywun “sy’n gallu siarad rhywfaint o Gymraeg, ond ddim yn ddigon rhugl i’w ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw bwrpas call”? Mae hynny’n ddadl ar gyfer erthygl arall, ond y pwynt y mae Huw O yn ei wneud yn fan hyn, yw nad yw’n ddigonol i greu miliwn o bobl sy’n gallu siarad rywfaint o Gymraeg os nad ydynt yn ei ddefnyddio bob dydd. A fyddai’n ddigonol, pe darganfyddwn ein hunain, yn y flwyddyn 2050, mewn Cymru lle mae miliwn o bobl yn gallu siarad rywfaint o Gymraeg, ond nad ydynt yn ei siarad yn naturiol o ddydd i ddydd? Fyddai hyn yn gryfhad wirioneddol o’r sefyllfa bresennol - yn ateb i ‘weledigaeth’ y llywodraeth - neu ai ystadegyn fyddai, er mwyn profi fod y strategaeth y llywodraeth wedi bod yn llwyddiannus? Dyma’r amwyster, felly, ynglŷn â strategaeth Alun Davies – ai creu miliwn o siaradwyr gwbl rugl sy’n ei ddefnyddio yn naturiol o ddydd i ddydd gyda’u teulu a’u ffrindiau yw ei weledigaeth? Neu creu miliwn o siaradwyr sy’n ddigon galluog eu Cymraeg i dicio blwch yn y cyfrifiad yn dweud eu bod yn ei siarad, ac sydd yna’n anghofio am y Gymraeg tan ddaw’r cyfrifiad nesaf drwy eu blychau post? Mae’r ddau fath hyn o siaradwr yn dra gwahanol. O’r 562,000 person a ddy-

wedodd eu bod yn siaradwyr Cymraeg yng nghyfrifiad 2011, 318,800 sy’n ystyried eu hunain yn rhugl, ac 87,000 sy’n defnyddio’r Gymraeg gyda’u ffrindiau, yn ôl Huw O. Byddwn wrth fy modd pe taswn yn deffro ar y 1af o Ionawr, 2050, mewn Cymru gyda miliwn, neu hyd yn oed mwy na miliwn, o siaradwyr Cymraeg. Fodd bynnag, hoffwn ddychmygu mai Cymru gyda miliwn o siaradwyr sydd yn hyderus i’w ddefnyddio o ddydd i ddydd y bydd, nid Cymru gyda miliwn o bobl sy’n ticio’r blwch Cymraeg mewn cyfrifiad. Nid dyma’r unig amwyster ynglŷn â’r strategaeth. Fel y cwestiyna Huw O, pam Miliwn? A pham y flwyddyn 2050? Byddair llygaid craff yn eich plith yn sylweddoli nad yw teitl strategaeth y Llywodraeth, ‘Miliwn o Siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn 2050’, yn rhy annhebyg i ymgyrch Cymdeithas yr Iaith, ‘Miliwn o Siaradwyr Cymraeg’, lle amlinellent eu gweledigaeth o weld miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg yng Nghymru erbyn y flwyddyn 2051. Awgryma Huw O fod Cymdeithas yr Iaith bellach yn ‘llywio polisi’r llywodraeth’, cysyniad sy’n eironig ac estron iawn i unrhyw un sy’n ymwybodol o hanes y berthynas ‘diddorol’, dywedwn ni, rhwng y gymdeithas a’r llywodraeth. Pam, felly, yw’r llywodraeth wedi creu strategaeth sydd mor debyg i un o ymgyrchoedd Cymdeithas yr iaith. Byddai rhai yn dadlau, mai ymgais gan y llywodraeth i dawelu Cymdeithas yr iaith a fodola fan hyn, gan ei fod anoddach i’r Gymdeithas feirniadu a phrotestio yn erbyn llywodraeth sydd wedi ‘ymrwymo’ i ddyblu, bron, y nifer o siaradwyr Cymraeg. A sut all y gymdeithas feirniadu strategaeth sydd mor debyg i’w strategaeth hwy? Fodd bynnag, siawns fydd y llywodraeth yn parhau i fod yn atebol i’r gymdeithas, a siaradwyr Cymraeg yn gyffredinol, ac os na lwydda’r strategaeth i greu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg, byddai’r llywodraeth wedyn mewn sefyllfa wael a bregus iawn? Wel dyna’r broblem gyda strategaeth tymor hir, fel y dywed Huw O, fydd Alun Davies yn 86 mlwydd oed erbyn 2050, ac mae’n dra thebygol na fydd un o’r Aelodau Cynul-

liad presennol yn parhau i eistedd yn y siambr (Wel, efallai fydd Dafydd EllisThomas dal yno - ond mae hynny hefyd yn fater i erthygl arall!). Pwy a ŵyr, efallai nid Llafur fydd yn rheoli’r Cynulliad, ac efallai bydd gwedd a strwythur y Cynulliad yn gwbl wahanol? Sut felly, gall pa lywodraeth bynnag fydd yn rheoli, yn y flwyddyn 2050, fod yn atebol i strategaeth a luniwyd 34 mlynedd yng nghynt? Hyd y gwelwn i, pe na tasai’r strategaeth yma’n llwyddiant, byddai sefyllfa Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn un gwan yn 2050, gan fyddai unrhyw unigolyn a all fod yn atebol dros y strwythur hwn yn ei 80au neu 90au. Yn amlwg, fydd modd mesur y strategaeth fel yr â hi yn ei blaen, ac os na welwn unrhyw gynnydd yn nifer y siaradwyr mewn rhyw ddeg mlynedd, dywedwch, gallwn dybio na fydd y strategaeth yn llwyddiant, a chaiff y llywodraeth fod yn atebol i hynny. Fodd bynnag, credaf wrth lunio strategaeth tymor hir, yr hyn y mae Alun a’i gyd-lafurwyr wedi ei wneud, yw osgoi atebolrwydd. Ddim bwriad yr erthygl hon oedd beirniadu’r llywodraeth am gynllunio i greu miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg. Yn wir, rwy’n gefnogol o’u bwriad, ac rwyf yn wir gobeithio mai gweledigaeth wirioneddol yw hon, a’u bod am fynd ati o ddifrif i’w gwireddu. Fodd bynnag, ni allaf osgoi’r teimlad nad yw hynny’n wir. Ar ôl darllen colofn Huw Onllwyn Jones, ni allaf osgoi’r teimlad mai ymgais gan y llywodraeth i dawelu’r Cymry Cymraeg ‘ymgyrchgar’, ac osgoi atebolrwydd dros y Gymraeg, yw’r strategaeth hon. Gobeithiaf fy mod yn gwbl anghywir, a gobeithiaf y deffroa Alun Davies, ar ei ben-blwydd yn 86 mlwydd oed, mewn Cymru sydd â miliwn, neu fwy, o siaradwyr Cymraeg sydd yn ei defnyddio’n naturiol bob dydd. Felly beth yw’r strategaeth? Gweledigaeth wirioneddol, neu “cynllunio ieithyddol ar gefn pecyn sigaréts”? Wel, bydd rhaid i ni aros tan y flwyddyn 2050 mae’n debyg, a byddai’n 53 erbyn hynny, felly siawns na fyddaf yn olygydd ar y Taf-od! Yn y cyfamser, un ffordd neu’r llall, mai’n gwbl bosib mai’r 34 mlynedd nesaf bydd y cyfnod pwysicaf yn hanes yr iaith..

Gobeithiaf y deffroa Alun Davies, ar ei ben-blwydd yn 86 mlwydd oed, mewn Cymru sydd â miliwn, neu fwy, o siaradwyr Cymraeg sydd yn ei defnyddio’n naturiol bob dydd.










Tap the app

Pop In


Create your own is available up to a maximum of 4 toppings. Premium crusts, bases and additional toppings may be charged as extra. Offer cannot be used with any other offer or promotion. Offer only available at Cardiff - Cathays, Canton, Cardiff Bay, Maes Y Coed Road, Rumney Hill, Llandaff & Pentwyn stores. Subject to availability. Collection or delivery – delivery areas and minimum delivery spends may apply. Offer must be used at the time of ordering to apply and cannot be used retrospectively. Offer can be amended or withdrawn at any time without notice. Ends 2nd January 2017. Conditions apply see Competitions and Offers at Boring Legal Stuff at for full details. Valid for a limited time only.

Ewch i i ganfod sgôr hylendid bwyd ein busnes neu gofynnwch inni beth yw ein sgôr hylendid bwyd wrth archebu. / Go to to find out the food hygiene rating of our business or ask us for our food hygiene rating when you order.



Join the History Society for their annual trip to the picturesque city of Budapest, full of history, culture and creativity.


Photo: Moyan Brenn

Trip includes: All flights and airport transfers, and four nights accommodation in the centre of Budapest.


Redhawks storm to historic win against Cambridge University C ardiff Redhawks skated their way to a monumental 5-2 win over former National Champions, Cambridge Blues in a thrilling encounter at the Ice Arena Wales. The Redhawks, freshly promoted to Southern Division 1, the highest level of British University Ice Hockey, after topping the second Division by just one point last season took on the Cambridge Blues, Southern Division 1 Champions 2015/16, National Champions 2015/16 and consisting of 0 British-trained players, two weeks ago. The last time these two teams met back in 2014, Cambridge came away with a decisive 24-6 win. No matter how you look at it, the Redhawks had their work cut out. The First Period at Ice Arena Wales started off as expected with Cambridge dominating possession and the Redhawks struggling to clear the puck and create any fancy plays in the attacking end. The extra training and professional coaching of the Cambridge team really showed as they retained possession and passed the puck with ease, finding teammates almost telepathically. With sheer grit and determination, the Hawks held on and started to simplify their game and create chances in the opponent’s end, although these were not enough. At 18:27, moments before the end of

the period, Cambridge found a rare rebound from the pads of Cardiff Goalie Jamie McGirr and managed to send it home. 1-0 Cambridge. Just 10 seconds later the Away Team scored another, but this was disallowed due to a player interfering with McGirr. A scramble around the Cardiff net ended the period, with Hawks’ Captain Bryn Griffiths picking up a two-minute penalty for what can only be described as picking up and launching a player as if he was competing in the shot-put. Despite the late goal, the Cardiff dressing room was full of optimism, realising that the days of 22 goal defeats were gone. Cardiff would start the second short-handed. For those unfamiliar with Ice Hockey, when a player receives a penalty he sits in the ‘Sin-Bin’ for a certain length of time – usually 2-minutes – and for the duration of that time the team play with one less player (short-handed). The man advantage would prove beneficial for the Blues as they put away another shot after just 18 seconds. 2-0. Not deterred the Cardiff team fought harder and broke down the Cambridge defence leading to scoring opportunities by Alternate Captain #21 Sam Seymour and #17 Ellis Price. Mid-way through the period newly recruited, Latvian forward Gediminas Jadkauskas found himself open in front of the

Pictured: Redhawks in action (via Elliot Marshall). Below : AlunWyn Davies in his Pontypool days.

Cambridge goal and buried it into the top of the net after a beautiful tape to tape pass from Ellis Price. 2-1. Cardiff had found their scoring ways! Minutes later a scuffle in front of the net led to an altercation in which Cambridge’s Goalie Daniel Orvooma threw a haymaker into the face of a Cardiff player, reminiscent of the McGregor/Alvarez fight just days earlier. He was ejected from the game and Cardiff suddenly noticed that Cambridge were without a backup Goalie. The atmosphere on the Hawks’ bench was electric as Cambridge dressed their coach to go into goal. An attacking ten minutes of hockey saw another new face Cardiff ’s #34 Cameron Basnett tie the game with 30 seconds to go in the second period. 2-2. The period break came and went and the Redhawks came out into the third with one thing on their mind, the third goal. The attacking pressure kept on coming from a rejuvenated Cardiff team as Cambridge started to back off under the unstoppable force of a Redhawks attack! 7:24 into the 3rd period the deadlock was broken, as a fluid 1-2 play between Cardiff ’s #37 Craig Adams and #34 Cam Basnett, saw Adams

free to take the shot, and he made it count. 3-2 Redhawks! The faces of the Cambridge bench were not a pretty sight, as it dawned on them that the Hawks from Cardiff were beating the British National Champions. The onslaught didn’t stop there, at 53:50 exGB player #5 Ben Edwards doubled the lead sending the Hawks flying! (pardon the pun). 4-2. In an act of desperation, the Cambridge team called a time-out and then with 1:30 left pulled the goaltender, giving them a 6-5 player advantage (Teams are allowed to swap their goalie for an outfield player mid-way through the game). A heroic defensive effort by Cardiff ’s third line saw them jumping in front of shots left, right and centre as they repelled the Cambridge attack. An attempted clearance from President #19 Elliot Marshall found its way to Cardiff ’s token Canadian #87 Justin Racine, who managed to somehow find the empty Cambridge net with one second to go. Making the final score 5-2 to the Cardiff Redhawks, their first win against Cambridge in the history of British University Ice Hockey! Man of the Match for Cardiff: #9 Joonas Barbadillo.

Alun’s Thoughts: It’s time for revenge


The target is to be at the summit of the Premiership South by Christmas

t’s arguably our biggest game of the season so far on Wednesday, as the men’s rugby first team take on University of Bristol in a top of the league clash. We want to avenge our loss to Bristol earlier in the season where we struggled to overturn an early 22 point deficit. On that day, it ultimately cost us the win, but if recent results and performances are anything to go by, then I know we will come away from Llanrumney with a victory. The target is to be at the summit of the Premiership South by Christmas, and two wins in our last two puts us in decent stead. Last week I was fairly pleased with our overall performance as we beat a very good Hartpury team,

20-12. That for us is a good measuring stick, our handling was good and our attack was supreme. Any winning team will pick faults, though, but that’s the only way of getting better, and against Hartpury, I feel our defence leaked a little bit, which for me, is a bit disappointing. Since the Swansea loss, the reaction has been positive. USW was a tricky one in difficult conditions but we showed great character to get the win. We have a number of sore and tiring bodies, but the depth of the squad allows us strong rotation. We’ve been lucky enough to have consistency in the pack, which is increasingly difficult at university level. It was good to see Owen Davies back

from Dragons duty and he brings a lot of passion and experience to the team. I have been particularly impressed with Aron Hughes in the back row; he’s reaping the rewards for his off the field effort. His work ethic has been fantastic, and it’s good to see a series of solid performances from him. Tom O’Flaherty enjoyed a good game for the Ospreys the other day, scoring a brace of tries. As a former coach of his, that’s great to see - he’s a good kid. It’s also good to see Sam Underhill back in action after his injury. He wants to get involved with university rugby, not the playing side, of course, but helping out behind the scenes which we’ll explore next year he’s obviously a special talent!

The last time these two teams met back in 2014, Cambridge came away with a decisive 24-6 win. No matter how you look at it, the Redhawks had their work cut out.

Elliot Marshall


University Cycling Team light up the Manchester Velodrome in BUCS outing Jazz Jones


he squad of 10 CURCT riders assembled at Manchester velodrome for a full weekend of BUCs track racing. The weekend kicked off with girls Sophie Lankford and Jade Payne competing the flying 200m with Sophie putting in an exceptional time qualifying her for the second round. Next we had the mens sprint event, with our two sprint boys Lewis Oliva and Tom Scammel both entered we knew this was going to be an exciting event and they did not disappoint. Tom put out an incredible time earning him second fastest qualifying time behind Lewis who not only qualifies first but also DESTROYED the BUCs record with the fastest 200m time ever achieved at this event! Next we had the womens 500m with Jazz Jones, Jade and Sophie all producing cracking performances with a new P.B for Jazz. Ben Millar and Ollie Blagden then represented the CURCT team in the mens individual pursuit, with Jenny Holden and Sophie competing in the ladies event, all narrowly missing out on qualifying for the next round in a strong field of very decent riders. Tom then competed again in the kilo event with teammate Geoff Smart also taking part, both of whom displayed

remarkable power with Tom’s time fast enough to earn him a podium spot taking third place and getting our first team points. The second day sore even more success for the CURCT team with Lewis and Tom both dominating all the minor sprint finals to come head to head in the final race for gold. The boys gave us an exciting final with Lewis’ power and track experience giving him a slight edge over Tom to get Lewis Gold and Tom Silver. Lewis also wowed the crowds again in this race by putting out another incredibly fast time with the even the event commentator ‘fan-boying’ Lewis. Later in the day saw the Cardiff team compete in the bunch races which have been known previousl for bring brutal and dangerous due to the sheer volume of riders on the track. Joe Locket successfully made it through to the final round of the mens Elimination race competing against a tough group of experienced riders to finish just outside the top ten – very strong performance by Joe. Girls Jenny and Jazz represented CURCT in the women’s Elimination race with 11th and 13th place finishes respectively in a large bunch, Jenny also competed alongside Sophie in the points race with both riders taking sprint points and finishing

strongly. Our men’s captain Ben Millar was our representation from Cardiff in the men’s points race, after putting in two heroic sprint efforts he was unfortunately caught up in a crash which meant he was unable to finish. The prize giving was awash with Cardiff colours, Tom took his place on the podium for the kilo then stood alongside Lewis for the sprint presentations when the two Cardiff boys were awarded gold and silver. Stunning perfor-

mances from these two athletes along with good overall results from the rest of the mens team put our Cardiff men in second place overall. The team of 10 riders competed against larger squads with more experience to come home with medals round their necks and grins of their faces. Congratulations to the whole team, the club are very proud of what they have achieved already this year and are looking forward to seeing what else they are capable of.

Bale nominated for UEFA Team of the Year but ankle surgery puts him out for three months Dan Heard

Bale’s inclusion in the list only adds to the stellar year he is having.


areth Bale has been ruled out for three months after suffering an ankle injury in Real Madrid’s 2-1 Champions League group win at Sporting Lisbon last Wednesday. The Whitchurch born superstar requires surgery on the ankle which will rule him out of El Clasico. The news fell just days after he, along fellow Welsh teammates, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were nominated for UEFA’s Team of the Year following on from an outstanding summer the Welsh team had in France during Euro 2016. The trio sit alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Leicester City’s title winners Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, now at Chelsea, also feature after playing their part in helping the five thousand to one shots lift the Premier League trophy in May. What makes the inclusion of Bale, Ramsey and Allen even more remarkable is that there isn’t a single English player amongst the nominees, with Foxes striker Jamie Vardy, who scored against Wales in their group game with England at the Euro’s, and last season’s top scorer, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, both missing out. Bale’s inclusion in the list only adds to the stellar year he is having so far, after also being included on the shortlist for the most illustrious individual honour in football, the Ballon D’Or, alongside Real Madrid club mate

Ronaldo. Since his eighty five million pound move to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013, he has scored the winner in the final of the Copa Del Rey, lifted the Champions League on two occasions and, in all honesty, been the most recognisable face of Welsh football on a global stage. He scored three outstanding goals in consecutive group games at the Euro’s, including sublime free-kicks against Slovakia and England, and is now only two goals away from equalling the all-time scoring record for Wales of twenty eight, currently held by former Liverpool ace Ian Rush. After enduring a tough second season with Madrid, he has shone once again this year to become a real fans’ favourite. Though injuries have curtailed his season with Arsenal so far, former Wales skipper Ramsey gets no less than he deserves in his inclusion on the list. Alongside Allen, he was the heartbeat of Wales’ midfield throughout their successful qualifying campaign and into the Euro’s, scoring a brilliant solo goal against Russia in the group that sent his side on their way to clinching top spot. Though perhaps not as skilful as his Emirates team mates Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez, he continues to be a vital part of the Gunners first team plans, having matured from the youngster with raw potential signed from Cardiff in 2008 and coming back from his horrific

leg-break against Stoke City two years later, into a leader both on and off the pitch. If there is one of the three going through a purple patch though, it’s Allen. Since joining Stoke in the summer from Liverpool, he has gone on to score six goals already this season, his

best ever league tally. For Wales meanwhile, he was named in the team of the tournament in France for his displays, and scored a belting volley in the draw with Austria last month. It’s turning into a real golden period for Welsh footballers.


Marshman and Johns mark impressive night for Wales as chiefs plan Cardiff fight night.

Mark Wyatt


ack Marshman and Brett Johns made history as they won their UFC debuts against Sweden’s Marcus Cedenblad and South Korean Kawn Ho Kwak respectively. The event marks the first time that a Welsh fighter has fought in the UFC and it’s a debut that both fighters will never forget. Johns, fighting in Belfast in front of a number of travelling Welsh fans, was victorious with all three judges scorecards. In response to overcoming the undefeated Kwak, Johns said: “I’ve got the best team in the world, why shouldn’t I beat guys like that? I’ve got a good team, good family behind me who support me all the way and I’m very thankful.” “The Welsh fans are amazing, they’re the reason why I’m here. I’m very thankful.” Marshman’s victory came about via TKO in the second round at 3.38. Cedenblad was under deep pressure as he took a series of quick punches from Marshman, who ensured his first fray into the UFC ended with a victory. The imposing Welshman held nothing back after the fight, eager to establish himself in the sport. “After I get a few more fights I’ll start calling people out. There’s a ton of people in front of me, give me whoever.”

Picture: Conor McGregor at UFC 189. Could he be visiting Cardiff soon? (Image via Flickr)

The double victories for Marhsman and Johns has prompted the Vice President of and General Manager of UFC Europe James Elliot to suggest a fight night in Wales should be on the cards soon. “We always look at putting fighters in their home towns. I don’t think Wales

will be on the agenda in 2017, but beyond that we’ll certainly look at it if Jack and Brett go on to be a big success.” Over the past few years the UFC has managerd to produce a number of megastars, none bigger than Conor McGregor, the current featherweight and lightweight champion of the world.

If the Ultimate Fighting Championship makes it’s way to Welsh shores, the Irishman could be on centre stage alongside Jack Marshman and Brett Johns. The UFC have visited England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, but they have never come to Wales.

Shortlist announced for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award Rich Jones


he shortlist has been announced for the 2016 BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award. Eight athletes are in the running for the prestigious award, which will be presented at the Wales Sport Awards on December 5 following a public vote. The judging panel was chaired by

former Wales rugby international and Olympic athlete Nigel Walker and also included Barroness Tanni GreyThompson, Nathan Blake, Christian Malcolm and Rhian Gibson. Football superstar Gareth Bale heads up the list having led Wales to the semi-final stage of Euro 2016. He scored three goals in the tournament and has also been nominated

or the Balon d’Or following a stunning year with Real Madrid. The rest of the shortlist is dominated by Olympic and Paralympic athletes after an exceptional summer at Rio 2016. Jade Jones earned her second Olympic Gold medal in Brazil, becoming the first Welsh woman to defend an Olympic title in the process.

She triumphed in the 57kg category in Taekwondo, adding to the European title she won earlier in the year. Hannah Mills won sailing gold alongside Saskia Clark and is also rewarded with a place on the shortlist, as are two triumphant cyclists. Elinor Barker and Owain Doull won the women’s and men’s team pursuit races respectively and were part of the incredible Great Britain cycling team who dominated in the velodrome. Paralympic athletes Aled Sion Davies and Hollie Arnold join them on the shortlist after Davies won the F42 shot put and Arnold took gold in the F46 javelin. The shortlisted is completed by popular Welsh boxer Lee Selby, who is Wales’ 12th World Champion and defended his IBF Featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Eric Hunter in April. He dusted himself off the canvas for the first time in his career to claim a thrilling win and could now become the first boxer to win the award since the legendary Joe Calzaghe lifted the trophy for the second straight year in 2007. Other awards to be presented on the night include Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and a number of prizes based on those involved in sport in the community.

Eight athletes are in the running for the prestigious award, which will be presented at the Wales Sport Awards on December 5 following a public vote.


Liam Williams set to swap Scarlets for Saracens After reportedly turning down a national dual contract, what does his decision to leave Scarlets mean for Welsh rugby?

Pictured: Liam Williams battles for a high ball with Beuden Barrett during Wales v New Zealand in 2014 (Via Flickr).

The loss of Williams represents the exit of one of Welsh rugby’s prize assets and comes as a big setback to regional rugby.

Rich Jones

Rhys Thomas Cardiff Blues Columnist


elsh rugby was dealt a blow last week with the news that Liam Williams is set to leave Scarlets for Saracens at the end of the season. The popular full-back reportedly turned down a significant national dual contract offer in order to put pen to paper with the English Premiership club. The loss of Williams represents the exit of one of Welsh rugby’s prize assets and comes as a big setback to regional rugby. The news brings the issue of the WRU dual contracts back into the spotlight. Just over two years have passed since the measure was introduced as part of plans to eventually select players only based in Wales. The fact a number of stars, now including Williams, are playing outside of Wales suggests this is a long way off and the scheme may not be working. However, there are now 16 players with dual contracts. Sam Warburton, Hallam Amos, Dan Lydiate and Samson Lee recently signed extensions,


he advent of a new tournament in the Anglo-Welsh Cup gave the Blues a chance to get back to winning ways with matches against Exeter Chiefs and Ospreys. Unfortunately, they were on the wrong side of 62-25 and 7-31 hammerings respectively and these results realistically see an end to Cardiff interest in this competition. One of the unique things about the tournament is that different teams take different approaches to it. For most, it is a chance to blend youth and experience during the international period giving the next generation a chance to play

and there are plenty of positives. With some of Wales’ brightest young stars signed up to the scheme, it appears there is a chance the WRU will be able to successfully keep their best players moving forwards. On the other hand, Williams’ decision to move to Saracens suggests that it may continue to be difficult to persuade top level talent to stay in Wales, particularly given all four regions are showing few signs of challenging for major trophies. The loss of Williams to Welsh regional rugby is undoubtedly a blow, and does serve as a reminder that the dual contract system is unlikely to ever be entirely successful. It remains a fact that the highest level of club rugby in the Northern Hemisphere is played in France and England. With bigger financial clout on offer in those countries the best players will always be attracted to clubs in those countries. However, Williams’ departure does not necessarily mean that the scheme is failing. In previous years, many more Welsh players would be playing

outside the country and the regions would not be able to compete financially. It is believed that the WRU largely matched the Saracens in a financial sense, but the opportunity to play at a higher level and also be located nearer to his girlfriend in London swayed Williams’ decision. This is currently an isolated case and it would be naïve to suggest the WRU dual contracts have not had a positive influence on the future outlook of Welsh rugby. In terms of the national team, there are some problems created by Williams’ move across the border. After being one of their top players in recent years, he is almost certain to be given one of four wildcards put aside for players plying their trade outside of Wales. But that means another key player will be in line to miss out, with George North, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Robert and Taulupe Faletau already playing in the Premiership. If Leigh Halfpenny also opts to stay in France or move to England instead

of returning to Wales then there could be a selection headache for bosses. Furthermore, there can be issues over the release of players for training and matches, as showcased by the brief stand-off between the WRU and Premiership prior to the Australia game last month. In some ways, the switch may be a positive for the national side by bringing out the best in Williams. He will be playing top-level club rugby on a weekly basis, something the Welsh regions are unfortunately unable to offer at present given the weaknesses of the Pro12 and their lack of impact in European competitions. If Williams, who is undoubtedly one of Wales’ most talismanic players, is at his best then it will give a huge impetus to their attacking play moving forwards. Realistically, Williams’ departure will not be a disaster for Welsh rugby. Perhaps the biggest travesty of this story is a generation of young supporters in Wales will miss out on the chance to watch one of their heroes in the flesh on a regular basis.

with foreign stars or former home internationals. Cardiff Blues in contrast initially went with an all youth approach at Exeter with a team resembling the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV which plays in the British & Irish Cup, which could charitably be called a second-string side. For the Ospreys match a few more experienced players like Matthew Rees were added. This approach from the Blues management led to schoolboy Ben Jones making his debut for the region, and it is clear that the focus is more on development than results. This was also the case for the coaching

team - Danny Wilson took a back seat and Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges took the reins, as he has worked closely with many of these up and coming talents over the years. Considering that the Anglo-Welsh Cup is a distant third in importance of trophies this season, it is perhaps prudent to give the players who will carry the club over the next decade their bow in Blues colours. The next fixtures in this tournament come in January and February against Sale Sharks away before welcoming Worcester Warriors to the Arms Park. At the time of publication the Blues

will have faced off against Connacht at the Sportsground in Galway, with the Irish province suffering a collapse in form since their stunning PRO12 league victory last season. Their Northern neighbours take on the Blues the week after in Belfast, with Ulster challenging for a play-off position just ahead of the Blues. Two victories will put the Blues right back in the top four mix, but a win at Connacht should be the minimum expectation despite a wobble in form in October. The rest of their December fixture list includes European action against Bath and the Boxing Day derby against Newport Gwent Dragons.

It remains a fact that the highest level of club rugby in the Northern Hemisphere is played in France and England.


Con’t: O’Flaherty speaks to Gair Rhydd

Mark Wyatt

Playing rugby for Cardiff has genuinley been an integral part of my rugby career. Tom O’Flaherty

GR: Raised in London, playing in Wales and studying French – where can you see yourself playing in the future? Tom: I have no idea! We’ll have to wait and see what happens I suppose. I was playing in France last year at Montpellier whilst I was studying and I loved that. I guess I’ll just have to see what opportunities come my way and wherever I’m playing my rugby I’m sure I’ll be happy. GR: What are your personal goals for your game over the next few years, are Pro-12 and international rugby at the forefront for you? Tom: I’m looking forward to the next step and I’m trying not to get carried away. I’m still relatively young as a player and so obviously every opportunity that comes my way I’m looking to grab it with both hands.

Pictured: Tom O’Flaherty in action for Bridgend (Photography from Twitter)

Hal Robson-Kanu makes Puskas award shortlist

Shaun Davey

Gareth Axenderrie Cardiff City Columnist


ales international striker Hal Robson-Kanu has been nominated for the prestigious FIFA Puskas award. The West Bromwich Albion forward’s sensational goal against Belgium at Euro 2016 has been deservedly shortlisted. The award is given to the player deemed to have scored the best goal throughout the course of the year and the Welsh forward’s breath-taking Cruyff turn goal that put Wales through to the semi-finals of last Summer’s tournament has made it on Fifa’s Puskas award 10man shortlist. Robson-Kanu, who was a free agent at the time, famously turned past three Belgian defenders before slotting a strike to the left side of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who was unable to stop a goal that arguably goes down as the biggest goal in Welsh footballing history. The wonder goal put Wales 2-1 ahead at the time against many people favourites for the tournament Belgium, and it was a game that re-defined Chris Coleman’s career as his team eventually went on to win 3-1 and set up a European semi-final against eventual winners Portugal. The goal was named as the BBC’s goal of the tournament and RobsonKanu will be hoping to pull off a remarkable double when the winner


ardiff City’s defeats against Wigan and Newcastle were rectified against Huddersfield in what Neil Warnock described as ‘a cracking Championship game’. Warnock’s work is far from over as though as big fixtures approach. After two defeats in two games against Wigan and Newcastle, Cardiff needed to bag some points against the Terriers who were experiencing a dramatic drop in form. Cardiff City held on in a brilliant game to secure all three points despite seeing very little of the ball in the second half. First half goals from

Pictured: Hal RobsonKanu takes aim aganst Israel last year. (Photgrapher: Jon Candy).

is announced next year in January. The award named after Hungarian footballing legend Ferenc Puskas is a highlight of the football calendar, and Robson-Kanu faces incredibly tough competition and is in good company with Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Neymar also shortlisted amongst the 10-nominees. Also included on the list is Villarreal defender Mario Gaspar acrobatic effort for Spain against England

last November as is Daniuska Rodriguez’s goal for Venezuela against Colombia in the South American under 17 Women’s Championship. Hlompho Kekana (South Africa), Marlone (Brazil), Saul Niguez (Spain), Simon Skrabb (Finland) and Mohd Faiz Subri (Malaysia) complete the top 10. The current holder of the award is recently retired Brazillian Striker Wendell Lira, but previous winners

of the award include no other than Real Madrid forward and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Voting is open now and the shortlist will be whittled down to just three in early December. Welsh fans and football fans alike are encouraged to vote for the best goal, with the winner of the award to be announced at the Fifa Awards ceremony on January 9.

Junior Hoilett, Rickie Lambert and Sean Morrison were enough for the Bluebirds. Cardiff ’s three goals were all well worked but the highlight of the game came from Huddersfield’s substitute Phil Billing who scored a stunning strike in the second half which made the game 3-2. Warnock’s teams are notorious for being hard to beat and Cardiff demonstrated this during the last twenty minutes of their game against Huddersfield. Wave after wave of attack from the visitors was met by the towering presence of Sol Bamba and

Sean Morrison, who stood tall and defender the line superbly well. Warnock was full of praise for his defence after the game. He said: “It’s difficult to play Huddersfield because they have the ball so much, but we limited them to few and far between chances, I thought we were super everywhere.” Cardiff still sit perilously close to the relegation zone. After the vital victory against Huddersfield, Sol Bamba said: “Neil said from day one we don’t deserve to be down there and we’ll do what we can to get up the table.” He added: “You deserve to be up there

when you play good football. There are a few good teams in the league and we’ve started late.” A home game next against Brighton will not ease the pressure on the Bluebirds. Brighton currently sit second in the table behind Newcastle and have a goal difference three times that of any other club in the league besides the league leaders. Fixtures against the Seagulls have not been happy ones for Cardiff fans in recent years. Cardiff have only won 1 of the last 8 fixtures, that one coming in February this year. You have to go back to 2007 to find another Cardiff victory over Brighton.


Editors: Shaun Davey Rich Jones James Lloyd Mark Wyatt @GairRhyddSport

Also this week

Dream start for Wales in UFC P37>>

Exclusive interview with Ospreys whizz-kid Tom O’Flaherty

Ice Hockey team claim shock win over Cambridge P35>>

We caught up with the student wing after his brace of tries against the Blues last week catapulted him into the rugby limelight



hen he’s not scoring tries on his debut or playing in front of packed crowds at top stadia, Tom O’Flaherty is studying for his degree in French at Cardiff University. The London-born winger has made a scintillating start to his Osprey’s career with a try against Harlequins on his debut followed up by two more against Cardiff Blues. Gair Rhydd had an exclusive chat with the man who is turning heads across South Wales and making a big impact in the world of professional rugby. Gair Rhydd: Hi Tom, it’s been a bit of whirlwind for you since you made your debut last week and you’ve hit the ground running for the Ospreys, how have you felt with your performances? Tom O’Flaherty: I’m pretty hap-

py and content with my games. The performance against the Blues I was happier with because the team got the win but overall I’ve had a good few days out and I’m happy with how everything is going right now. GR: Is it good to play alongside Sam Underhill, whose going through the same kind of journey you are as a student? Tom: Yeah absolutely, we share lifts to training all the time and get on well. It’s nice having someone who is studying at Cardiff as well. Obviously we are both in the same boat when it comes to playing rugby and balancing our student lives – so having him is very helpful. GR: You’ve scored points in some big matches so far in your career but what’s been your best match to date? Tom: Straight away I’d say Varsity has to be up there and obviously my last two matches for Ospreys have been pretty memorable so I’ll put them in there as well. There was a

match that I played back at school for Dulwich in the St Joseph’s tournament final for Ipswich which was definitely a standout for me. I guess most of the finals I’ve played in have been pretty eventful I guess and so it’s difficult to pick one match! GR: How has playing at Cardiff University helped you as a player? Tom: Uni rugby has been brilliant for me, my first year was like a stepping stone into the teams for university rugby and club rugby so I was prepared early on. Tom: It’s honestly a great experience playing with the boys at the university and it’s a top laugh. Personally I think the rugby club get a load of bad stick a lot of the time but it’s not fair on them mostly, the camaraderie you get from playing in those teams is second to none and all the boys are sound blokes so it’s great fun! Playing rugby for Cardiff has genuinely been an integral part of my rugby career.

Pictured: Tom O’Flaherty playing for the Ospreys. (Photography from View Sports Management)

Continued on page 39

Liam Williams switches Scarlets for Saracens P38>>

Welsh SPOTY nominees revealed P37 >>

Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016  
Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016