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Politics: Cuba’s president Fidel Castro dies at 90 years old P16 >>

Advice: What to do if you’re staying in Cardiff for the holidays P12 >>

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gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1089 Monday 5th December 2016 Cardiff dental students to benefit from new £2M suite

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Photographer: Rich Jones

Cuts to budget leave SHARE students worried for future EXCLUSIVE Maria Mellor

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unding cuts to the School of History, Archeology and Religion (SHARE) have raised concerns amongst staff and students. Efficiency saving measures have been implemented, meaning that funding for certain services has been reduced. An anonymous source said: “[There are] more students than ever before, but less money and fewer resources to support them.” The school’s budget has gone up from £5.17M last year to £5.23M this year, however even more students were accepted into the school this year. Numbers have risen from 1387 to 1513, mainly due to a swelling undergraduate numbers coming into SHARE. This means that the budget increase is not proportional, and funding per student has dropped as a result.

When asked why there is less money per student for SHARE this year, a university spokesperson said “As soon as numbers were confirmed, the University made additional budget available to recruit academic staff in the School and to invest in the student experience, to ensure our students continue to enjoy an excellent experience.” The new academic staff are currently still in the application process and won’t be hired until next year for ancient history and modern history. A lecturer in hellenistic history was also hired recently. These recruitments will help with the raised number of students studying history. Members of the religious studies department remain concerned about funding. A religious studies PhD student said: “We are the most understaffed department.” Earlier this semester it was decided that the fund for postgraduate research expenses would be cut. After complaints from students and

support from Vice President Postgraduate, Alex Kuklenko, the postgraduate fund was reinstated at 50 per cent with funding from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS). A history PhD student said: “We kicked up a fuss - if we hadn’t done that it wouldn’t have happened.” SHARE uses honorary research fellows and associates who publish research as part of the university. They also can be required to teach undergraduates. Gair Rhydd spoke to someone who was an honorary research associate last year. She said: “If they told me to teach I had to teach and in return they gave me library access.” She added: “You have to show them that it’s worth their while to take you on for free.” An anonymous source also told Gair Rhydd that there are concerns in the archaeology department due to the high cost of running courses. There have already been cuts to fund-

ing for parental leave and sickness leave as CAHSS have withdrawn its previous 100 per cent support to schools. A University spokesperson said: “The efficiency saving measures you refer to are University-wide. “All Schools across the University, regardless of size and shape, have been asked to make four per cent savings as a result of increasing cost pressures and the impact of undergraduate fees not rising in line with inflation.” They added: “There is financial support set aside specifically within budgets for covering parental leave and sickness absence. This has been reduced due to the current financial climate and it is hoped that it will be possible to increase the specific budget set aside for this in the next financial year. “Funding for postgraduate expenses has been reduced by the School this year due to increasing financial pressures. It is hoped that this will be increased in the next financial year.”

ardiff University’s School of Dentistry have unveiled a brand new dental simulation suite. The state-of-the-art development, which will allow students to practice procedures on hi-tech mannequins, was opened by Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, on Thursday. Professor Mike Lewis, Dean and Head of the School of Dentistry, stated: “This new teaching facility will provide a state-of-the-art environment for the preclinical training of the dental workforce for Wales.” Undergraduate dental student Thomas Cole said: “We’re all delighted with the brand-new Clinical Skills Lab here at Cardiff Dental School. These state-of-the-art facilities enable us to develop our practical skills in a perfect environment before moving onto the patient clinics.”

Big Brother auditions come to Cardiff

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ardiff residents have been encouraged to abandon their shame and self-respect to try out for next year’s series of Big Brother. As auditions come to Cardiff, potential contestents have the added novelty of embarrassing themselves in front of millions of people alongside a close friend or family member; the reality TV show is asking people to audition in pairs for the first time. Auditions will take place in Cardiff on December 16, with the venue yet to be confirmed. The producers are looking for you and “anyone you call a family member” to try out, and are searching for particularly obnoxious and abrasive personalities. So if you and an equally attentionhungry housemate or family member fancy shedding your dignity for 15 minutes of fame, call the Big Brother tour team on 07816 333758 or email them at BBtour@endemoluk.com. You never know, you could be the next Christopher Biggins.


2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor

the free word

Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster

We need a merry Christmas after a rubbish 2016 Maria Mellor

Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Anwen Williams Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Tom Morris Editorial Assistant Carwyn Williams Proofreader Eleanor Parkyn Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Proofreading takes place from 6pm on Thursdays in the media office. Write to the editor editor@gairrhydd.com At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/complaints Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.

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inter isn’t just coming. Winter is here and in full force. The frost has been creeping onto cars. We’ve been surprised by the crunch of grit on the union steps. I try to write in my house but it’s so cold I can’t move my fingers to type. Coming to the SU to work on the paper has been a godsend as I let my bones defrost. With the arrival of December, we’re finally allowed to say the dreaded Cword. I keep changing every year between hating Christmas coming early and loving. This year I have decided to embrace spirit. And why not?! Christmas is joy; it’s family time; it’s all the food you can eat. Why just have one day of Christmas or even just a month. Extend it for as long as possible. Maybe you’ll get sick of it, but for me so far it has been great! Have you seen the Christmas adverts this year? They make me feel so warm and happy!

There’s the happy dog bouncing on a trampoline, quickly followed by a viral video of a boxer dog watching the advert jumping up and down in front of the TV. Doesn’t that just melt your heart?! What about Wes Anderson getting on the Christmas train? With classic Wes Anderson cinematography a group of delayed train passengers are given a beautiful Christmas surprise. It wasn’t really your average H&M advert but that’s probably the best part about it. Then there was the Marks and Spencer advert. I was in the gym when I first saw it and I nearly burst into tears of Christmas joy at it in a room full of strangers. This year the Christmas adverts have been amazing, the Christmas food options have been even better and I just want to take one of the reindeer in front of the castle home with me. Sure the Christmas tree shenanigans were a bit of a let down (see page 5 for the full story) but in the famous words of Hannah Montana: ‘every-

body makes mistakes’, even Cardiff Council. Now is a time when we need a bit of cheer more than ever. There’s a reason why we end the year with such a joyous holiday. As Helena talks about in her column this week, 2016 has been a bit of a let down. So many famous people we know and love have passed away. Political events we never expected to happen have happened. I miss the days when we were actually worried about the 2012 apocalypse, or when the most troubling decision we had to make was who to pick as your partner in PE. I use my advent calendar to give me a little boost of chocolatey happiness every day. I’ve been eating turkey sandwiches since they appeared in the shops. It’s been great. There has been news going around recently about how certain psychologists believe that lying to your children about Santa Claus will damage them for life. Supposedly the thought of having an omniscient will traumatise them,

and the lie will ruin their relationship with you forever. Honestly so many kids grow up believing in Santa and I wouldn’t have had it any other way in my life. I miss that feeling of knowing that there would be that extra little bit of happiness on that one day a year; the excitement that a god-like figure would come and visit our house in the night. Don’t deprive your children of Santa - the year my parents stopped the pretense was the year my Christmases got a little more sad, but I wouldn’t have given up the years and memories of leaving mince pies by the chimney or waking up to a big box of toys. Why are people so obsessed with taking the happiness out of Christmas? Maybe this year won’t be the happiness for most of us what with working to earn a bit of extra money and course deadlines looming in January. Embrace Christmas for however long you can - whether it’s a just day or for a whole month. After the year we’ve had, we need it.


EDITORIAL 3

Campus in Brief

Emily Giblett

A Cardiff nightclub tookon the city’s homlessness problem by encouraging revellers to donate to local foodbanks.

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smog alert was issued in regions across South Wales last week as temperatures continued to drop and light winds swept through the area. The highest risks of air pollution were located in Swansea, with Mumbles and Gower receiving a seven out of ten rating on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) pollution rating scale. Health advice states that when ratings of this level are in place, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems should reduce physical activity as much as possible to limit air intake in polluted areas. One of thirteen new regional HMRC offices will be based in the Central Square development in front of Cardiff Central. The Government Property Unit, responsible for determining the location of UK Government offices, settled upon the redevelopment as the preferred site for the new HMRC base in Wales that will employ around 3,000 staff. The site, where work is currently ongoing on the new £120m BBC Cymru headquarters, is being developed by property firm Rightacres Property, in collaboration with Cardiff Council. When completed, the development will house up to one million square feet of office, retail and residential space. A Cardiff nightclub took on the city’s homelessness problem last week by encouraging revellers to donate to local food banks in exchange for free entry. Patch Horrocks, a promoter for the club, had the idea to help the city’s homeless population after hearing about the death of Cardiff Big Issue Seller Mark Stewart, 29. Speaking to WalesOnline, Mr Horrocks said “we asked people to bring something for Cardiff Food Bank, anything they need. I felt at this time of year when people are needing food, we could do something. People in society should be more supportive rather than shaming people going through tough times.”

National Police across the country have received almost 350 reports of child sex abuse in UK football clubs after several former players came forward to make allegations about their coaches. The surge in reports of this type is linked to the launch of a dedicated NSPCC helpline which refers cases to the police. Set up at the end of November, the helpline fielded over 860 calls in its first week. Last week, sixteen police forces across the UK including North Wales, Dorset, Hampshire and Cheshire announced that they were investigating allegations relating to the sexual abuse of children in football clubs. David Davis has come under fire after suggesting that the United Kingdom may pay for access to the single market once we leave the European Union. Answering questions on Thursday, the Brexit Secretary confirmed that the government would ‘consider’ making a contribution to the EU in order to gain the ‘best possible access [to] goods and services’. These comments caused a boost in the value of the pound as it rose by one percent to $1.26 against the dollar. In support of Davis, Chancellor Phillip Hammond the final settlement between the UK and Europe will ‘have to be a deal that works for both sides.’ The outgoing chief inspector of schools in the UK has warned that the country faces an educational ‘skills gap’ in the wake of Brexit, that could threaten the economy. Speaking to an audience of education professionals in London, Sir Michael Wilmshaw said that the decision to leave the European Union had thrown the issue of a skills deficit into sharper focus. Whilst 90 per cent of primary schools and 78 per cent of secondary schools are currently rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by ofsted, the inspector stated that ‘many further education colleges are facing a period of continued turmoil while the quality of apprenticeship programmes remains patchy.’

International Breitbart started a petition urging its readers to boycott Kellogg’s, after the cereal brand withdrew its advertising from the right-wing news website. The company ceased its affiliation with Breitbart last Tuesday, stating that site’s hard-right views were not ‘aligned with our values’. Recent controversial articles published on the site include ‘Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer’ and ‘Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy’. Kellogg’s is the latest in a string of companies to take a stand against Breitbart in what the news website called ‘an escalation in the war by leftist companies against conservative customers.’ A group of schoolboys from Australia have recreated the key ingredient in a $750 drug used to treat Malaria and AIDS for just $20. US pharmacy executive Martin Shrekli, also known as Pharma Bro, sparked outrage and became a national symbol of corporate greed with the decision to raise the price of potentially live-saving Daraprim from $13 per tablet to $750 last year. Available for around $1.50 per pill in the US and Australia, the drug is currently the best treatment to treat the parasitic infection Toxoplasmosis. The Sydney Grammar School pupils synthesised pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim, in their school science laboratory. Nestle could cut the amount of sugar in its bestselling chocolate products by 40 per cent without affecting the flavour, according to new scientific research by the company. The Swiss food brand is currently in the process of patenting the findings, and, if succesful, could introduce the recipes as soon as 2018. Typically, milk chocolate has a sugar content of around 50 per cent, but changes to the structure of the sugar could create the effect of sweetness, whilst causing it to dissolve more quickly.

Pictured: Favourites such as Smarties could contain 40 per cent less sugar by 2018. (Source: Dorothy Cook via Flickr)

Nestle could cut the amount of sugar in its best-selling chocolate products by 40 per cent


4 NEWS

news

Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews news@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/news

Assembly Members clash with University over Wales Heart Research Institute Harry Webster

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oncern has grown over the future of the Sir Geraint Evans Wales Heart Research Institute, after Assembly Member’s accuse Cardiff Medical School’s MEDIC Forward Programme of “rating chasing.” The MEDIC Forward Programme, which Cardiff University claims will ensure that the university will have a “Medical School that is fit for the future”, was initiated in 2014, and has since reviewed all of the School’s research areas. As a result, the programme will see heart research shift focus from looking at all areas of heart research, and heart disease, to looking specifically at pre-

venting the cause leading cause of coronary heart disease. Subsequently, the MEDIC Forward Programme will see funds re-allocates to specialise research in four areas; population medicine, infection and immunity, psychological medicine and clinical neurosciences, and cancer and genetics. However, concerns have emerged over the University’s decision to ‘disinvest’ in heart research, with the programme redistributing heart research funding to look specifically into prevention for coronary heart disease. Speaking of the plans put forward by the programme, Assembly Member for

Pictured: Sir Geraint Evans Welsh Heart Research Institute Building (Photo Credit: 2010 UHB Stock Photos)

Cardiff North Julie Morgan said: “I am totally in support of researching the causes of heart disease in the community but believe it should be along with continuing the type of heart disease research that the WHRI was set up to carry out. “I totally agree that preventative work is very, very important, and is absolutely essential, but heart disease is very varied, and there is a strong link between research and prevention and new treatments. “The disinvestment in areas of research have clear benefit to the people of Wales indicates that the school of medicine has got its priorities seriously out of alignment with what is needed locally in Wales.” These feelings were shared by Assembly Member for Cardiff Central, Jenny Rathbone, who said: “I fear that the death of the WHRI may be a casualty of the research excellence framework, the process by which all universities’ research output is judged at the moment. “This has led to the industrial production of research papers, many of them read by no-one, and of no value whatsoever in terms of the impact on human knowledge or measurable outcomes. “Cardiff is not alone in this rating chasing, but I fear that this medic-forward exercise may have had the opposite effect.” Morgan also expressed concern for the future of the Sir Geraint Evans Building, the current home of the Wales

Heart Research Institute, saying: “The Sir Geraint Evans Welsh Heart Research Institute building was specifically set up for research into heart conditions and that’s why the people of Wales gave money so generously towards it. “Certainly Sir Geraint Evans’ family are very concerned about the position of the Institute and the funds donated specifically for heart research.” The University have however been quick to stress that the building “will remain an active research environment.” They added: “Our focus will be on patient-centred research that can be translated from ‘laboratory bench to patient bedside’ as rapidly as possible. The MEDIC Forward Programme will see heart research shift focus from looking at all areas of heart research, and heart disease, to looking specifically at preventing the cause leading cause of coronary heart disease. Cardiff Medical School currently boasts a 97 per cent approval rating, making it joint third for student satisfaction. The school has also risen to 18th in this year’s QS world rankings. At current, the Institute, which was set up in response to the need to counter heart disease in Wales, is the leading heart research centre in the country, and in 2015 had received £5.2million in charitable donations from the British Heart Foundation. At the time of the Institute’s conception in 1999, it was the only purposefully built heart research centre in the UK.

Cardiff is not alone in this rating chasing, but I fear that this medic-forward exercise may have had the opposite effect. Jenny Rathbone, AM

Plans for new Cardiff business park revealed Toby Holloway

You can’t just build a train station without a lot of planning. Nigel Roberts, Paramount Office Interiors

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lans have been announced to open a new business park in Cardiff, which could provide employment for 15,000 people. Cardiff Parkway Business Park will also host a new railway station, which will be named ‘Cardiff Parkway’, and will run trains to Cardiff and Newport, however it has been suggested that services may be expanded to include Cardiff Airport and London in the future. The station will be part of the South Wales Metro plan, first announced last year. The park would focus on science and technology, in the research and development sector, and will bring together many different firms and business from inside and outside Cardiff. One of the people behind the proposed development is Nigel Roberts, of NRP and Paramount Office Interiors. He spoke to BBC News about Cardiff Parkway Business Park: “It’s been eight years in the plan-

ning. It’s been in the [Cardiff ] local development plan since January when it was announced. You can’t just build a train station without a lot of planning. “You have got to have commitments from Network Rail, and from the train operating companies that their services are going to stop there.” He also said: “We have signed options with seven different families of farmers [who own the land] so we have secured options on the land for the next 12 years.” Mr Roberts insists that the station could be open by 2020, saying: “We put the bid in on Friday. We’re now continuing with the Welsh Government to put the detail in on the station design.” The 176-acre, 7.7M square feet business park will also contain a 1,600-space car park and a bus station. It will be situated south of St Mellons business park in North East Cardiff.

Pictured: Artist ‘s impression of Cardiff Parkway Business Park (Photo Credit: Cardiff Parkway Developments Ltd )


NEWS 5

Calls for improvements to ambulance response times Concerns over lack of response target time for heart attack victims Toby Holloway

After seventeen years in power, Labour and their supporting cast of Plaid and the Libeal Democrats have failed to deliver jobs or growth. Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Leader

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alls for improvements to ambulance response times have surfaced this week, as the NHS was criticised for the way its ambulance service responds to emergency calls. It has been revealed that there are no time targets for patients suffering from heart attacks and strokes, whilst those suffering from other serious injuries and conditions have had to wait hours for an ambulance to arrive. A new “Red”, “Amber” and “Green” system for dictating response times was introduced in 2015, with Red calls including “immediately life threatening” conditions such as cardiac arrests and choking. The Welsh Government have targeted that following calls in the Red category, an ambulance should arrive at the scene within eight minutes. Amber calls, however, have no targeted response time, though can also include serious and potentially life threatening cases, including “most heart attacks”. The difference here is that Red responses are for patients whose heart have stopped beating, whilst amber is for severe chest pains, and less severe heart attacks. Sheila Jones, of Rhos-on-Sea near Colwyn Bay, spoke of when her husband Rhys had a heart attack during their walk in Llandundo: “My husband and I were out walking when he began suffering from severe chest pains, feeling clammy and nauseous. It wasn’t until 34 minutes after 999 was called that an ambulance eventually arrived. It was extremely dis-

tressing and I was left worrying for his life. “A whole 1 hour and 18 minutes passed between the call for an ambulance and my husband arriving at Glan Clwyd Hospital. Once there he was confirmed to have had an ‘acute cardiac episode’.” Ambulance services have also been described as “laughable” by Cardiff University student Alex Tully. The 3rd year CPLAN student told Gair Rhydd of his harrowing experiences at the hands of the Wales Ambulance Service’s long response times. He said: “Well, basically I have dislocated my right kneecap twice at uni, both times I have required an ambulance to take to hospital for the knee to be relocated. On both occasions, I have been in excruciating pain and the ambulance response rates were mediocre at best, the second time for example, the person operating the phone was unwilling to give me an ambulance in the first place, which for an injury this severe is absolutely laughable.” He added: “ I had to wait over 2 hours, and I was at one point subject to a guy who was cycling around with a medi kit before the proper ambulance arrived, he gave me ‘oxygen’ which didn’t help with the pain aside from being a placebo effect, the ambulance was unable to navigate sufficiently and find me (I was on Pontcanna fields). “It was just an absolute ordeal.” “However saying that, the help both times has been excellent in

Pictured: The humble ambiwlans (Photo Credit: EVERYMAN FILMS LTD via Flickr)

terms of pain prevention and getting to the hospital, so I can’t fault them for that. It’s a shame that the response times don’t equate to the excellent work done by the paramedics and subsequent doctors. “From my experience, with an injury like that, the longer time goes by, the adrenaline wears out and the pain becomes almost unbearable so it is of paramount importance response times are improved.”

Finally, he said: “It’s exacerbated by seeing swift ambulance response times to take those who are heavily intoxicated to hospital, as I’ve seen outside the SU a few times; when in all honesty it’s not a comparable event in terms of urgency and distress as dislocating your kneecap. “To summarise, it’s annoyingly just a little chink in the armour that separates local hospitals from being excellent, opposed to great.”

It was just an absolute ordeal Alex Tully, CPLAN 3rd year student

Cardiff Council issue apology over Christmas tree kerfuffle Harry Webster

Pictured: Cardiff Castle’s Christmas illuminations (Photo Credit: John Candy via Flickr)

“ The person who told us the tree was 40m high has since revealed he believes he is 18ft tall. Cardiff Council spokesperson

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ardiff council have been forced to issue an apology after this year’s city centre Christmas tree - imported from China - was not all it was cracked up to be. The tree, which is placed outside Cardiff Castle, was advertised to be a whopping 40m “pre-decorated tree-like structure.” However, upon its unveiling last week, it was quickly apparent that this was not the case. Indeed, a spokesperson for the

council confirmed the tree was instead a mere 40ft high, a staggering 91ft smaller then had been expected. “The person who told us the tree was 40m high has since revealed he believes he is 18ft tall,” she said. “We apologise to everyone who was expecting a bigger tree and are cutting the person responsible down to size.” Reacting to the tree, which is made up of gold and silver baubles of various size, one student told said:

“It looks tacky and cheap, hardly the grand christmas tree expected of a capital city.” This rhetoric was common, with 37 per cent of student’s describing the tree as ‘tacky’, while 93 per cent of students said they would prefer a ‘traditional, natural’ Christmas tree. The tree is costing the council £30,000, over a period of three years, which the council argue will save the taxpayer £5000. The council also received criti-

cism for the timing of the tree’s unveil, with the tree not being set up in time for the turning on of the city’s Christmas lights. Last year’s tree, sponsored by insurance company Admiral, was set up in time for Cardiff ’s ‘Step into Christmas’. However, due to this year’s tree being imported from China, it was not set up until two weeks after the annual event took place, causing widespread outrage among the townsfolk.


6 COMMENT

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Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom comment@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/comment

‘Welcome to the party’ Pictured: Karl Marx, who wrote the original communist manifesto (source: fhwrdh via flickr).

Castro’s death has shone light on the affection felt for the original communists Sam Saunders

The thing that I’ve found interesting is that younger people, particularly students, seem to hold the former communist leaders in high esteem.

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ersonally, I felt a bit sad when Fidel Castro died last week. He was such an omnipresent figure in Cold War history, making Cuba a very important issue in both recent US foreign policy and between the two superpowers of America and the USSR. It feels like, as when Thatcher died, that all of his actions, whilst divisive and, in some cases, horrific, have now been consigned to the dustbin of history. I really hate that term, as history shouldn’t really be regarded as rubbish, it’s incredibly important to the way we view the world and understand the events that have shaped our society as a whole, but it’s something that many people lack in the today’s world. This isn’t a piece about whether Castro was a figure to be revered or one to be hated for the rest of time, though as a dictator I assume that many people who support democracy and liberal values will be consoled by the fact that there are fewer and fewer examples of dictatorships throughout the world. The thing that I’ve found interesting is that younger people, particularly students, seem to hold the former communist leaders in high esteem. From a poster, available in the SU poster sale last week depicting Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro on a dancefloor with the line ‘Welcome to the Party’ to memes on social media, it seems like a lot of people have some affection for the failed dream that these leaders all possessed. This seems odd, as students are usually supportive of democracy and free speech, both of which are,

I suppose, things that could feasibly exist under the communist system. However, there’s plenty of historical evidence and good reason to suggest that this would never work, and that hardly anyone alive today would want to live under the rule of some of the most famous communists in history. This appears odd to me, as although you probably wouldn’t say that the most popular communists are Stalin and Mao, (it’s more likely to be Lenin, Castro, Marx or the revolutionary Che Guevera) it’s impossible to escape the fact that they are indisputably two of the 20th Century’s greatest mass murderers. Stalin, for example, was directly responsible for millions of deaths caused by the 1932-33 famine in the USSR, which resulted directly from the communist economic policy of forced collectivisation, and millions more as a result of his refusal to accept that Hitler would break and subsequently had broken, the NaziSoviet pact of 1939 with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Stalin’s evil is clear to see in his oft-quoted remark, ‘One death is a tragedy, one million is merely a statistic.’ Mao Zedong had a similar disregard for human life. When his Red Army forces were threatened by those of the then leader of China, Chiang Kai-shek in 1934, he led his men on a 9000-mile trek across some of the most difficult Chinese terrain. Fewer than 10,000 survived from the original 86,000. He was similarly bloodthirsty during his time in power. In initiating ‘The Great Leap Forward’ in 1958, an economic policy designed at maxim-

ising production, he was responsible for widespread famine and the deaths of millions. His attempts to regain control after this incident led to the launch of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ in 1966, which aimed to rid China of any opposition to his rule and led to the deaths of around 1.5 million people. I’m not trying to bore anyone here and please excuse me if I’ve gone too much into the history of these leaders, but I think these are facts that everyone should know about and be aware of. I mean, if I came home with a poster depicting the leading figures of Germany’s Nazi regime and stuck that up on my wall, my housemates would rightly think that I’d gone a bit insane, yet it’s not the same for communism. That might seem like an extreme example, but if you think about it, I think you’ll find that it’s actually quite relevant. Now, I am in no way inferring that Castro was as bad or as liberal with bloodletting as either of the leaders I’ve previously mentioned. Fidel Castro was certainly not all bad. He sent many of his opponents to prison, oppressed his people by forbidding them from leaving the island and was incredibly intolerant of everyone else’s views. He found praise, however, for standing up to the American pseudo-imperialism of the time in South America, sending Cuban doctors abroad, as well as troops to Ethiopia and Angola. Today, he is credited with the improvement of the Cuban health system, even though the economy is not in a great position, as it nearly collapsed after the downfall of the USSR

in the 1990s. Castro was an interesting figure, mostly because he remained a revolutionary until the day he died, as well as being one that the world ultimately left behind, as he was in power long after many of the original communist revolutionaries were dead. Perhaps that’s why we admire Marx and the original communists so much more than those who came later. They all represent an ideal, the belief that humanity could build a communist utopia out of the monarchical oppression of the 19th century and that ordinary workers could unite in such numbers that they could snuff out the most powerful governments across Europe. These leaders embody the revolutionary spirit, and, if anything, it feels like that’s getting stronger as time goes on. What are the crowds that flock to Corbyn and Sanders if not disenfranchised but hopeful of a better future with them? If you think about it, don’t both of them go further than labels like ‘labour’ and ‘democrat’? At the end of the day, what I think is clear is that most students believe in socialism, and the most extreme form of that is what they seek solace in, as we in Britain haven’t really known it since the post-war days of Attlee and Anuerin Bevan. What endears these historical figures to us is not their despicable acts, but that they were brave and strong enough to commit themselves to their ideals and shake up the status quo. I think that we could all reflect on that for a long while.

What I think is clear is that most students believe in socialism, and the most extreme form of that is what they seek solace in


COMMENT 7

Because boys don’t cry The Daily Mail hit out at men for crying on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ G Gavin Collins

It is important to still respect those who do not fall perfectly into traditional gender roles

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he Daily Mail has recently come under fire for questioning the masculinity of contestants on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here,’ who broke down in tears while undergoing challenges in the middle of the jungle. Critics cite this treatment of male contestants as just another example of an unhealthy societal approach towards masculinity. This attitude, we are told, leads to pressures on men to act more macho, while possibly contributing to the increasing rate of male suicide in western countries. The evidence for this latter point is suspect, and critics ignore any suggestion that humans’ evolutionary and cultural history might play a role in the observed differences between society’s views towards men and women. The relevant human history is that, as hunters and gatherers, certain traits were favoured in males that were not deemed as important in the more domestic female. A propensity to suffer panic attacks during a hunt, for instance, would not have been accepted in a tribe because it lowered the chances of everyone’s survival. Both female tribeswomen and male tribesmen were therefore more

attracted to less sensitive male leaders, who could maintain their composure during the most trying of circumstances. Despite the relatively recent rise of human civilisation, many of the traits which were valued by our ancestors are still relevant today. Take for example the case of our present day economy. A company involved in high-pressure work is much more likely to hire a candidate who they feel is more level-headed. Male and female applicants who do not meet this high standard are likely to be perceived as a liability. Similarly, professional athletes are valued for their ability to maintain their poise in situations that would cause a normal person to panic. While male suicide rates have been on a recent upward trend in many western countries, it should be noted that this rate was significantly higher as recently as the 1980s. Furthermore, in some western countries such as the United States, this has coincided with an upward spike in female suicides. This alarmism is further tempered by a recent report from Samaritans. org, which found that the UK male suicide rate fell between 2015 and 2016.

Advocates for a new definition of masculinity would be wise to find better statistics to support their positions. Despite the continued relevance of many of these traditional attitudes to the modern day, however, it is important to still respect those who

do not fall perfectly into traditional gender roles. Articles such as the one printed in the Daily Mail are morally wrong because they use journalism as a vehicle to make fun of others and stir up controversy. That is surely something everyone can agree on.

Pictured: Ant and Dec host ‘I’m a celebrity... get me out of here’ (Source: ITV 1)

Twerking: does it empower or objectify? The popular dance craze has been fairly divisive Emily Murray

It seems to me that the 21st century “power women” offer nothing but their bodies to the world.

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or most of us, twerking is a 21st century dance craze that involves shaking your ass as fast as you can. The dance has not always had sexual connotations, and contrary to popular belief was has been around for years and years. The original dance uses an intense amount of core and lower body strength and intricate footwork. It was originally performed as a celebratory dance in churches and religious festivals. Cultural appropriation has turned a dance celebration into a sexual movement craze, kicked off by Miley Cyrus on stage at the VMAs in 2013 with Robin Thicke. To sexualise traditions from another culture seems highly offensive, intensified by the fact that Miley promotes this “I don’t care what people think about me” attitude that she relays time and time again in interviews and on social media. I’m all for expressing yourself when you dance and I believe that the lack of social restrictions for etiquette on the dance floor nowadays allows women to feel empowered in that they can express themselves freely. But there’s swaying your hips to the rhythm of the beat and then there’s spreading your legs and dry humping the air/someone. Cyrus herself believes that her twerking is inspiring to women. But what role model dances up on a male

celebrity who’s famous for writing a chart topping song about rape and seems to only perform with half naked women if not completely naked as the models were in the music video for ‘Blurred lines’. Miley Cyrus broke out on the music scene as an artist detached from her role in American kids show Hannah Montana. Her new sexualised image was evidence to the theory that ‘sex sells’. She has made millions from selling her body. Only a little more than 100 years ago the Waltz was seen in Western Society as a provocative dance… how has it all gone so wrong? Nowadays girls can be seen dropping to the floor in a club left, right and centre, daring surrounding boys to eye their derriere. Within this context, ignorant to the customs and history of the dance move twerking is objectifying. Women little more than 100 years ago were not seen to be sexual objects. They were meant to cover up, talk little and to be discouraged if they should show an opinion or God forbid advance on a guy before he made a move. So I’m all for women showcasing their womanhood, so long as they are represented as whole people, not just sexual objects. Rihanna twerking in crotchless slacks is the epitome of sexy, but is watching her bent over for Drake as

he admires her from behind empowering? It seems to me that the 21st century “power women” offer nothing but their bodies to the world. It is not women singing lines like “face down ass up” and “drop it down low” and “shake that ass for me” it’s men commanding them to. Twerking has nothing to do with female empowerment, but all to do with gratifying

men. Magazine gal-dem, has begun a series of dance workshops at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to bring the dance move back to it’s roots, to educate people on a dance of empowerment and throw away the 21st century indecent cultural appropriation of the historical West African dance.

Pictured: Twerking is a recent craze but has cultural history many aren’t aware of. (Source: agent j loves nyc via flickr).


8 COMMENT

Cycling in the bleak midwinter Tom Morris

Cars already feature distracting on-board computers, not to mention children in the backseat getting restless from lack of exercise

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uring the summer months, the solution to all of society’s problems is plain as can be: the humble bicycle, hideously underutilized by the majority of people, and devilishly forced out of roads and public spaces by oppressive city planning. Families could cycle together, burning no fossil fuel other than rubber, breathing in fresh, clean air as a result, taking part in every neighbourhood they pass through rather than being sealed from it by a steel bubble. As Gair Rhydd Science reported not so long ago, driverless cars are being designed to prioritize the safety of those inside over those pedestrians they might slaughter- and that’s not something that’s new to driverless cars. Cars already feature distracting on-board computers, not to mention children in the backseat getting restless from lack of exercise- all of which contribute to the same logic as drunk driving, wherein everyone else on the road is just as much at risk from reckless behaviour as the feckless traveller himself. In shortsummertime, cycling is not a crime; scrap the cars, pedal forward to socialism. Then nights draw in, clocks go back, sire the night is darker now, and the winds blow stronger. A nice bit of central heating and some decent windscreen wipers go a long way. No-one’s happy, the colours

are gone from the streets, so what’s the point being exposed to adverse conditions since no-one’s going to shout a cheerily hello as you roll past anyhow. Christmas shopping can’t just be packed into one or two saddlebags; you need a decent boot and maybe a backseat. Maybe the whole family wants to crowd in, warm and jovial, for the trip to Grandma’s for Christmas dinner. Only one designated driver, so the rest of you can get Slozengered. Exercised, toned bodies give way to loose belts and a bit of chub, and noone’s complaining, for now anyway. Time to hibernate- shut down the shop, retreat to the car and then to the house- and you just can’t get that level of cosiness on two wheels. It is no wonder it is so easy to give up cycling. In fact it is a wonder that many students cycle in the first place. Fair enough- get a D-lock, and wearing a helmet is essential for protecting your valuable bonce. Then there’s the other stuff. Wear your high-vis jacket; get called “full kit wanker.” Cycle on the road; get smacked out by a flat-bed truck. Cycle on the pavement; receive snide remarks about your cycling prowess, or worse, an earful from the police. The icing on the cake came for me the other day when I got some extra advice from the security department at the university. After you’ve found a bike rack (good luck), leave your bike (not on the chain side) against

Pictured: Cycling in the winter is fraught with peril and stressful situations. (Source: Paul Frankenstein via Flickr)

“ the post- and detach the D-Lock. Then, instead of putting the D-Lock through the detachable front wheel, put it through the back wheel because the gears are the most lucrative robbing material. Worried about your front wheel? Simply detach it from the frame and PUT THE DLOCK THROUGH THAT TOO. Meanwhile, you’re late for your lecture, covered in bike grease and sweat, your front fork is scratching the ground, and you look a muppet. Sometimes when I consider whether to cycle or walk, I remember the fable of the Donkey, the Man

and the Boy. First the boy rides the donkey, but people say his old man should ride. Then they say the man shouldn’t be making his poor son walk. Then they say they’re both overloading the poor donkey, so they carry it on their shoulders. They drop the donkey in a river and it dies. So it’s easier to get behind the wheel, live in the suburbs, forget those ‘orrible poor people outside, and burn oil by the barrel. Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling? Sure, he loves a good drive hence- and he probably voted Brexit.

Meanwhile, you’re late for your lecture, covered in bike grease and sweat, your front fork is scratching the ground, and you look a muppet.

How Ed Balls danced his way into the nation’s heart Phoebe Grinter

The reveal of Ed’s silly yet loveable character peaked with his unforgettable rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’ in which he left the judges in fits of laughter.

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ntertainment, joy and silliness had been in short supply recently, until Ed Balls graced the 2016 Strictly dance floor. And after the year we’ve had, Ed strutting his stuff on Saturday night telly was just what the nation needed. He gained our utmost respect and admiration as he threw away all his inhibitions for the sake of entertaining. He gave the finger to those who say ‘all politicians are the same’, proving them so very wrong as he cavorted around the dance floor with his professional partner Katya Jones. But it wasn’t all just fun and games for Ed, and it wasn’t as if he wasn’t trying; his evident want to learn and improve made us all fall deeper in love with the ex-Shadow Chancellor. The reveal of Ed’s silly yet loveable character peaked with his unforgettable rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’ in which he left the judges in fits of laughter. That moment has in my eyes completely erased his past and will now be what the Great British public will remember most about him. A particular highlight of Ed’s performances was the look on his wife Yvette’s face in the audience: we saw her expression change from horror to joy as she watched her husband dance. It appears that the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ family have humanised this thought-to-be power-crazed couple into two people just enjoying themselves!

Pictured: Former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls. captured our hearts (Source: BBC 1)

‘Strictly’ has offered Ed redemption and he has grabbed it with both hands, doing wonders for the world of politics. He has gained admiration most politicians can only dream of in this current situation. He represents politics in the best light whilst being covered in sparkles and sequins: he’s humble, he’s trying his best, he’s not afraid of making an absolute fool of himself (which let’s face it, he truly has), and most importantly he’s having a bloody

good time! It didn’t matter to Ed that he was bottom of the leader board 9 times out of 10. What mattered to him was that the public voted for him each week, allowing him to continue learning, having fun and entertaining. Ed believes that his “comedy cockups” (yes, I’m talking about that horrific lift attempt to ‘Amarillo’ in week five!) have endeared him to the public. But, sadly, all good things must come to an end. After making it to week 10

(!!!), we had to say goodbye to Ed and Katya. By the time you’ve reached a certain age, you’ll have gathered an abundance of ‘where were you when’ moments. To the collection including ‘where were you when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon?’ and ‘where were you when the twin towers were hit?’, we must add ‘where were you when Ed Balls danced to Gangnam Style in front of ten million people on national television?!’.


COMMENT 9

World leaders voice their opinions on Castro Death of revolutionary prompts debate over his policies and legacy Dan Heard

Even before allowing the Russians to store nuclear weapons miles off the US coast, Castro had seen more than a handful of attempts on his life

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number of hugely significant events have seen people take to the streets in their masses during 2016. Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory aside, the vast majority have been following the deaths of a number of cultural icons, such as David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, or, most recently, Leonard Cohen. And so, as another week goes by, yet another figure passes away, only a slightly more controversial one this time around. Cuban state television announced last week that Fidel Castro, leader of the island for almost fifty years, had died at the age of ninety. Cue mass mourning and street parties, simultaneously. El Comandante wasn’t even cold before people spilled onto the streets of Miami’s Cuban community, and across other Latin countries, to celebrate the death of a man who swept to power on the back of revolution against a dictatorship, but ultimately became one in the eyes of many. Castro, along with his guerrilla army (each with exceptional beards) overthrew the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and replaced it with a communist rule that remained unchallenged for more than five decades. He almost immediately aggrieved the USA by allying with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis and a two-week period where the world

seemed on the brink of a nuclear war. Even before allowing the Russians to store nuclear weapons miles off the US coast, Castro had seen more than a handful of attempts on his life. There were over six hundred during his lifetime, according to varied sources. Plots ranged from the infamous exploding cigars to even a drone attack to bring about his demise. Now he has finally gone, every politician worth their salt has weighed in with their own views on the way Fidel did things. Many tried their best to be partisan, including President Obama, who said that ‘history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure’. Mr Trump meanwhile, who, like any President-elect, makes important announcements through social media, tweeted “Fidel Castro is dead!”, before calling him a ‘brutal dictator’ and even threatening to undo the détente agreed between the Obama administration and Fidel’s brother Raul. In the UK, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Castro a ‘huge figure of modern history, national independence and twentieth century socialism’, while Canadian PM Justin Trudeau came in for criticism for what some called a ‘heartfelt’ tribute to a man who had befriended his father during the 1970’s. A number of political figures, including Mr Corbyn, Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris John-

son and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have said they will not attend Castro’s funeral, while others have cited the human rights abuses committed under his reign, the suppression of free speech, and the torture and killing of journalists and political rivals in opposition to any praise directed towards him. Castro did commit terrible crimes during his time in charge, but also introduced a universal healthcare system that covered all Cuban citizens, saw that the literacy rate rise to ninety nine per

cent (it’s a mere eighty six in the US), and sent thousands of troops into Angola during their military coup, which helped turn the US against apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela became a close friend. Divisive then is certainly one way of labelling Fidel Castro. Some may say revolutionary, others, brutal. He once said ‘a revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.’ He will forever be judged on his past, but his legacy, whatever it may be, will continue long into the future.

Pictured: Castro was a divisive figure throughout his life. (Source: Amy Goodman via flickr)

A cuppa a day keeps the bad vibes away New research shows that people holding hot drinks are kinder to strangers Mark Wyatt

Whoever decided to conduct this experiment however has clearly not had themselves a good brew in a while

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o, science is now telling us that a good cup of tea makes us ‘nicer people’. An experiment was conducted to test how trustworthy and welcoming people felt towards strangers depending on whether they were holding a warm drink or a cold drink. It concluded, naturally, that people holding warm drinks gave off a better vibe towards random members of the public. Whoever decided to conduct this experiment however has clearly not had themselves a good brew in a while; as it’s something any tea lover could have told you long ago. Of course, having a cup of tea makes you nicer person, because you can’t help but feel nicer yourself. The everyday problems you face in today’s world become slightly less overbearing for a period of 5-10 minutes whilst you have a cuppa within reach. This new version of yourself is kinder, more compassionate and understanding. There is something strange about knowing you have a tea on the go, you are King Midas and everything around you is golden upon touch. Es-

say? Writable. Argument? Solvable. Break-up? Consolable. For students, this is all fantastic news. Tea makes us nicer? Brilliant, pour me a double this morning so maybe my seminar will just be a blur of caffeine fuelled niceties. For those of you who currently don’t reach for the kettle within 5 minutes of waking up, consider it and you’ll see for yourself. Experts say that those holding hot drinks were “also more likely to be generous, and less likely to display behaviour thought of as selfish”. In fact, the only thing I can think of that would turn me selfish when I have a brew on the go is if somebody wanted a sip (no you can’t mate, no you can’t). In all seriousness, however, I certainly feel more at-ease with an Earl Grey in hand. Do I feel like a ‘nicer person’? I’d like to think I’m already a nice guy of course, but the added warmth to my palm as I have a slurp of tea brings unbridled joy and therefore I must surely become nicer.

Pictured: Research has shown that holding a hot drink can make you react more nicely towards strangers. (Source: poppet with a camera via flickr )

This may all seem hyperbolic to some of you, but the idea is hard to disagree with. During winter months, a hot drink is perfect to regulate body temperature and keep us warm, so does that correlate to being nicer? What I’m trying to say is that there

are a lot of factors in improving your mood, but tea is one of the biggest. In a way, this news has just given me an excuse to justify my excessive tea-drinking every day. The message is clear I guess; keep on drinking tea, it makes you a nicer person.


Christmas Thur sday 8 December

ir it & join Get in the festive sp the party on the ground floor!

» Acute Barbers

» Inc

» Blackwell's

» Kodak Express

» Burrito Brothers

» Magic Wrap

» Cardiff Student Letting

» Salon

» Coffi Co

» Tibetan Dawn

» Co-op

» Yogogo

» The Print Centre » Santander


HEL ON EARTH

11

2016: an anomaly

Goodbye, to a year filled with Pokemon Go, Trump and dank memes Helena Hanson

Leicester City winning the Premiere league is testament to how much of a WTF 2016 has been, because we ALREADY have forgotten all about it

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016 is a broken year. It has not worked how it was supposed to. It is confused and broken and needs to be returned to the manufacturer with a receipt immediately. It has been such a glitch that I am not even sure that it is real. I am convinced that some kid in an alternate galaxy is doing a Sims 2 on us and making all the wrong people do woohoo together and giving the wrong jobs to the wrong people and killing the good people by putting them in the swimming pool and deleting the stairs. It all began in May when Leicester City, yes, Leicester City won the Premier League. This was huge. It is testament to how much of a giant WTF 2016 has been because have already forgotten about it. Not since Jesus walked on water has the world seen such a marvel that defies so many laws of normativity. The odds of Leicester winning the league at the beginning of 2016 were five thousand to one. To clarify this enormity, in 2013 the likelihood of Bono becoming the Pope was only one thousand to one. Bono was five times more likely to become Pope than Leicester winning the league. Despite this basically impossible feat, Leicester managed it, and even then, winning the Premier League was actually one of the lesser surprising things that happened in 2016.

Although I think Jamie Vardy is the King of Leicester now. Yes, Jamie Vardy who is an anomaly in himself, having signed to Halifax Town for £15,000 in 2010 and then less than two years later being signed to Leicester City for £1 million. So then, was born Leicester’s new king, Jamie Vardy, the world’s only hero that looks like the kind of guy that spits his phlegm on the floor in playgrounds and steals your wheelie bin. Even television was an anomaly. Honey G, the most middle class rapper that has ever lived and who describes her freestyle as including ‘plenty of street…lingo’ nearly won The X Factor. Honey G is effectively what it would be like if your mum decided to become a rapper, tomorrow. With vocabulary like ‘lingo’ and her long brunette bob and leather jacket with dollar signs on it she is essentially your mum in disguise. And she nearly won The X Factor. In 2015, this would have been enough. Alas, for 2016 this was not a big enough embarrassment. Queue Ed Balls, a prominent politician and an actual former member of our actual parliament. This year he became an internet sensation by becoming a successful contestant on Strictly Come Dancing and performing Gangnam Style. And we liked it. No. We loved it. Without doubt though, worldwide

politics takes the biggest WTF of 2016. It began in June, when Nigel Farage, who is essentially Mr Burns from The Simpsons, bobbed down the River Thames in a dinghy and told everybody in the UK to vote leave. As if Farage sailing down the Thames in a double breasted suit waving at no onlookers was not bizarre enough, he was also having an across-river, nautical battle with Bob Geldof. He screamed insults across the water, participated in the exchange of some hose fire, then urged us to exit Europe. AND WE DID. WE ACTUUALLY LISTENED TO HIM. But no fear, just when we thought it was only Britain that was making a complete mockery of the year, America outdid us all with perhaps not only the biggest balls up of this year, but potentially the biggest balls up since Ed Miliband tried to eat a bacon sandwich in public. America voted for Donald Trump as President. A man who has openly bragged about sexually abusing women, promised to build a ‘big wall’ to keep out the Mexicans, said it’s impossible to be ‘too greedy’ and a man who GENUINELY said that he has never seen a thin person drink diet coke. This man will be the next President of the United States of America. 2016 was the year of walking around searching for Pokémon,

while that Chewbacca Mom video played on repeat in the back of our minds. You couldn’t go anywhere without the niggling fear you would be attacked by a clown and you were heartbroken for weeks when those grandchildren never showed up to eat homemade burgers with their pawpaw. Throughout the year Kanye was becoming more Kanye than anyone ever thought possible and Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston were pretending to love each other on a beach. Your friend called Daniel changed his name by deed poll because he was so sick of people saying daaamn to him and the main story on the news is that a gorilla broke out of London Zoo because he wanted an undiluted glass of Blackcurrant squash. Lindsay Lohan was chopping off her finger on the anniversary of Mean Girls and proclaiming it to be a message from God and everyone got their ‘dicks out for Harambe’. We spent hours tagging our friends in dank Kermit memes and we spent our weekends dabbing. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar and a crocodile attacked a kid in DISNEYLAND. Literally wtf. Overall, it has been a strange one, but perhaps one to remember. With that, happy holidays to all, and here’s to an equally dramatic 2017.

Pictured: Here’s to a better 2017. (Photographer: M&R Glasgow via Flickr)

Your friend Daniel changed his name by deed poll because he was so sick of people saying daaamn to him


12 ADVICE

advice

Editors: George Watkins Anwen Williams @GairRhyddAdv advice@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/advice

Staying in Cardiff over Christmas? What to do when you’re stuck in the ‘diff George Watkins

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t happens to many students that the worst happens, and you’re tied to a job that means you need to stay in Cardiff, or you just feel like a bit more time to explore Winter Wonderland and get some shopping done. It doesn’t have to be a time of the Winter blues, and can actually be quite fun. Plan out what you’re going to be doing. Having a structure to your

days can make it a bit less tedious if you wish you were at home. Enjoy your days off if you’re needing to work, and try to get out and explore parts of the city that you haven’t seen before, and try to make the most of the situation. Be sociable. Even though most, if not all of your friends from university have gone home, there’s bound to be a fair few local friends you

would be able to visit or go out with to stop you feeling isolated. ou could even be cheeky and get your mum to come up and drop off supplies/ treat you to a shopping sesh. Treat yourself. It’s Christmas after all! If you’re stuck anywehre, there’s much worse places than the capital of Wales. In terms of shopping and, well, almost anything you’ll feel like doing each day you’re spoilt for

choice. Where else would you be able to see a gig, buy a ceramic sheep and go for a walk in one of the biggest city parks in the UK (all within a half mile radius)? It’s difficult to be pushed into needing to spend your holidays away from home, but there are ways of making the most of it. Reach out to people, and make sure that you’re looking after yourself.

“ Treat yourself. It’s Christmas after all!

” Pictured: Bay is Bae. (Source: These * Are * My * Photons via. Flickr)

Going home for the holidays Keeping in touch with friends and...getting it done Tanya Harrington

Christmas is coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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t’s been a long first semester – you’ve moved (or moved back) to University, dealt with housemate drama, survived Halloween and the horror of midterm assessments and now, finally, Christmas break is right around the corner. Regardless of if you’re a fan of holiday festivities, chances are you’re looking forward to what will hopefully be a welcome break from the university grind. However, there are a few things you’ll need to sort out first. Book your transport as early as possible. If you already know when you can expect to be going home, don’t leave it until the last minute to arrange a way back. Last minute prices can be higher and in a worst-case scenario, transport might already be fully booked by the time you get

around to it. Make sure everything is sorted in your Cardiff home, too – turn the heating off before you leave, clear the fridge of anything that could expire while you’re away, return any books to the library, and double-check that you’ve packed everything you need. Also, make sure that you lock up correctly and that any valuables you’ve left behind are well protected. If you have a job in Cardiff, double check that you’re not scheduled to work during any time that you’re away. Keeping in touch with friends from university while you’re away is important – but don’t worry if you’re not all chatting as much as usual. With everyone settling in at home, it’s normal for our attention to sometimes be a bit divided.

Talk to friends as much as you feel is natural. You might be surprised by things that have changed while you’ve been away from home, or by the ways that you yourself have changed. This is normal as well, and as time passes you’ll find new ways to settle in and

get along comfortably. Don’t forget to revise! This might not go exactly to plan – as January rolls around, you’ll potentially find yourself frantically revising despite all the good intentions you had going into this holiday. It might even feel as though you never left.

Pictured: Your parents’ house will be the bomb (Source: Forsaken Fotos via. Flickr)


ADVICE 113

Liz Mills

Dealing with festive sale madness W ith Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre-Christmas sales, post-Christmas January sales, and just winter sales in general, getting a bargain at this time of year involves mayhem, madness and misery. But never fear! There are a few ways to navigate the sale madness. Black Friday is what the Americans refer to as post- Thanksgiving sales, but is what we Brits have redefined as thanks-for-giving me that bargain… and that one, and that one and that one. I suppose we could view it as vital preparation for that ever- looming January sale season. I think Cyber Monday gives us some good ideas for how to navigate the sales. Online. Other than actually on Cyber Monday of course, unless you enjoy the stress. Tip 1: Choose your percentages wisely. Although it might seem like

the last sale saloon to get that sparkly Zara dress with 20% off, is 20% really a big Black Friday deal? I was quite underwhelmed by the percentages attached to the supposed sale bonanza. I think bargain is only really defined by a minimum of 40% off in retail stores otherwise you’ve just become a fool of the fashion sales. Proof of this is in House of Fraser’s £40,000 fine for misleading customers about discounts on its goods in the pre Christmas sales. WAS/NOW tags were illusions of huge savings that did not show the true reduction and this just confirms my point. It isn’t just about what has been taken off. Not just about how much you save. The key questions you should ask yourself are: 1. What is the actual price of the item? And 2. Is this a bargain for this item? Tip 2: Don’t get sucked in by

the craze. The internet can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Useful websites like ww.blackfridaydealsonline.co.uk have outlined retailers participating in Black Friday, giving you a useful list to pick and choose from before delving into your deals. Cyber Monday is lower on the crazy sale scale in the sense that you don’t have a human stampede ahead of you but I find having slow website connection because of the masses far more frustrating. Most of the sales are continued throughout the next week after Black Friday so shopping on the specific days is not recommended unless you also have a specific bargain. For example, Ryanair began their sale with 20% off European destinations but if you were looking for a flight to France not Finland or Belgium not Bulgaria then you may need to get in their a

bit faster. Tip 3: UNiDAYS, VoucherCodes and vouchercloud. For students like us, there are deals available all day everyday. If you haven’t head of UNiDAYS, VoucherCodes and vouchercloud, they’re definitely worth a look. We might as well avoid the madness if we can, and as students we can bag a banging bargain on the reg as long as we keep our eyes peeled on discount apps galore. Apparently this year we learnt from the mayhem of 2014/15 anyway and didn’t quite resort to full-body combat over reduced TVs. A Tesco in Cardiff prepared for the mobs and masses employing extra security and had a measly 10 people outside their doors at 5am. Disappointing. I thought Cardiff was a student city. if you can afford to be doing this then obviously your loans are all far too big for your own good.

I was quite underwhelmed by the percentages attached to the supposed sale bonanza

Cardiff housing experiences Students have their say

Not having any agency fees really helped.

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e asked students about their experiences with their letting agencies. Here’s what they had to say: Brad: I’ve been with CPS. They were pretty disorganised and their rent was a bit steep Louis: “I went to look around houses for this year with CPS. They took us into a house they thought they were letting out, but it turns out she’d taken us to the wrong house, two doors up from the one we were meant to be viewing. The house was nice, but I’m not sure it was actually up for rent”. Josie: “The first agency we went to was 2 Let 2 but changed to a private landlord. The private landlord proved good for getting our deposit back, but because it wasn’t through an agency, the maintenance wasn’t great. I also tried Imperial, who tried to be helpful but failed to get anything done quick enough”. George: “I found my house with Cardiff Student Letting. Not having agency fees really helped, and my landlady has been involved and very caring”. Maria: “I’ve had experiences with three different housing agencies, but

think the best was with Moginie James, because they were really helpful with any problems and text you with good warning for house viewings. They ask you to get housing insurance too, which is frustrating but useful in the long run”. Ellise: “I had a bad experience with 4 Let because my landlord did not protect my deposit in a government protected scheme. This would have meant I may have struggled to get my deposit back, however I did some research and held a meeting with the landlord, who gave me 2 months of free rent and my deposit back immediately.put in after ‘I did some research’ that ‘and found out I may be entitled for up to three months of free rent if a deposit is not protected. Thus I arranged a meeting with the landlord, who after hearing my argument agreed to 2 months of free rent and a refund of my deposit”. Sophie: “I’ve been with CPS who did nothing to fix the broken gutter outside my bedroom until my clothes and bedding were growing mould on a regular basis and I got sick, so they finally moved me out for ‘two weeks tops’ and took the bed apart and moved a cement

Pictured: Contracts, contracts, contracts. (Photographer: Anwen Williams)

mixer in, and then 2 months later I was homeless and they still demanded full rent for the 2 months. I was unable to sleep or store anything in a bedroom, they at last dropped it to half rent, but I didn’t have for a room I couldn’t use so I tried to find someone else to fill my contract. They were as unhelpful as possible, dragging it out for months and charging me. They paid me swapping name on contract fees (costly again) and then

refused to give me any deposit back, but thankfully I had all my pictures and got it all back. I also went with Horizon. They were reasonable, and didn’t bother us, but they were equally slow to repair things. Their receptionists were difficult. I had to contact them over 80 times via phone and email and in person (I counted) and then finally got most of my deposit back except for a tenner”.

Agency info A 101 to agency fees and deposits Anwen Williams & George Watkins

H

ere’s a little guide to some of Cardiff ’s letting agencies fees and deposit costs. Hopefully you’ll be able to save a few pounds! Capital Properties. Capital Property charge a quarter of a months rent as agency fees and one month’s rent as a deposit. You can contact them on: 02920 227 080. Cardiff Student Letting. Cardiff

Student Letting have no agency fees and charge a month’s rent plus £50 as a deposit. You can get in touch on 02920 781 525. Jupiter property services. Jupiter charge £90 for a room share, £120 for a studio flat, £150 for a 1 bedroom flat, £200 for a 2 bedroom flat, £90 for a 3+ bedroom house. CPS. CPS typically charge a quar-

ter of a month’s rent for their agency fess, and the standard deposit is usually one month’s rent. their phone number is 02920668585. Letting Angels. Letting Angels are fairly steep with agency fees. charging £118.80, plus a Deposit Protection Fee of £48. Their typical deposit is usually a month of rent or rent plus £50-£100. They can be

contacted on 02922331425. The Living Room. The Living Room charge £90 for their agency fees, and typically around £100 for their deposit. Call them on 02920493895. The No Fees Letting Agency. As the name suggests, The No Fees Letting Agency does not charge you! Contact them on 07835 124 914.


14 POLITICS

p politics

Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol politics@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/politics

US vote recount proposed by Green Party Statisticians call for vote recount in key swing states over hacking fears Marie-Claire Alfonso

A group of computer experts noted irregularities in each state where Stein is calling for a recount.

” Hannah Woodward

Article 127 of the EEA Agreement is the process by which a country could leave the EEA and thus the single market.

T

he Green Party’s presidential nominee Jill Stein has initiated recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania and has raised $7 million and counting to fund the process. Before the election had taken place, warnings were issued from the US government of Russian hackers “probing” the election systems of American states. Only eight days before the election, the White House had used an emergency hotline to warn Russia against further interference. Concerns further developed after it was found that Trump appeared to have performed much better in Wisconsin counties, which were only using electronic voting. A number of computer scientists and election lawyers raised the possibility that hacks could have affected the results. Results would need to be overturned in all three states to alter the outcome of the election. Hillary Clinton’s campaign team have since said that they will join the recount, despite Clinton being critical of Trump’s previous claims that the election would be “rigged” against him.

Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Marc Erik Elias, said they had no plans on contesting the election themselves, “but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides”. Although Trump won the Electoral College tally, Clinton won the national popular vote by more than 2 million ballots. But Trump tweeted in response to the revote that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”. Trump did not offer any elaboration on what he meant by “people voted illegally” and also offered no evidence that this could be the case. On Saturday, Stein said that the recount effort is largely symbolic. “In my view, this is not likely at all to change the outcome, and that’s what the computer and voting security experts say as well,” Stein said. “But it’s the voters who benefit by standing up and saying we deserve a voting system that is secure in which we know our votes are being counted and our votes are being respected.” In retaliation, Trump aides have

launched a ‘defence fund’ branding the effort to recount the vote in states where he narrowly triumphed over Hillary Clinton as a political ploy to divide America. In a statement, Trump said that the $7 million Stein has sought to raise for the recounts is a way “to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount.” A group of computer experts noted irregularities in each state where Stein is calling for a recount. The Clinton campaign noted there wasn’t any proof of a cyberattack, but if systems were indeed compromised, the recount results could deliver the White House to Clinton. There has been no evidence of widespread tampering or hacking by Russians or others that would upend the election result, and few experts expect the recount to put Clinton in the White House. Her team acknowledged that the Republican has a bigger lead in all three states than has ever been overcome in a presidential recount. Officials have said the recount is scheduled to be completed no later than the 13th of December.

After Article 50 comes Article 127

S

ince the EU Referendum result divided the British nation, Article 50 has been a sensitive issue for many ‘pro-remainers’ due to its signification of beginning Britain’s departure from the European Union. Recently, a number of MP’s successfully challenged their right to vote on Article 50, however, PM Theresa May is adamant that plans for Brexit were “on track”.However, May now faces the possibility of another legal challenge centered on Article 127 and the UK’s involvement with the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA). Triggering Article 50 allows the UK the right to exit the EU as well as outlining the procedure for doing so, where as AThe single market is a trade agreement that enables EU countries to trade across borders as easily as they can within their own country, with no extra tariffs or negotiations. Senior lawyers have argued that they believe Article 50 does not provide reason for leaving the EEA, hence extending the single market’s tariff-free trade in goods to countries like Norway. So is it legally feasible for Britain to leave the EU but remain in the EEA? In a statement from the House of Lords, it was said that once Britain

departs the EU, an immediate withdrawal from the EEA would need to occur. Pro EU think-tank ‘British Influence’ stated it would open a judicial review into No 10’s assumption, stating, “It is likely there will be a legal action because, in our view, the Government has taken a stance that leaving the EU means leaving the single market. “The single market is core to the EU, it seems plausible to take Article 127 to Parliament considering the High Court ruled that the Government couldn’t trigger Article 50 without MPs voting on the matter first.” On the other side, Brexiters argue that Article 127 legitimizes prolonging the UK’s departure from the EU. Conservative MP Dominic Raab said, “Lawyers should be working to make a success of Brexit. The public have spoken; we should respect the result and get on with it”. Allowing the UK to remain within the EEA would mean the UK would keep freedom of movement, continue to contribute to the EU budget, but not be politically represented in the European Union Parliament. The Treasury estimated that EEA

Pictured: Above, a polling station sign (photographer: Martin Bamford); left, Countries in the EU single market (photographer: Rob984)

membership would be the most economically viable choice, with £20bn a year expected to be lost in tax receipts. Article 127 will be determined by Britain’s approach to departing from the EU: whether it is a soft or hard

Brexit. Remainers support the decision to keep Britain within the EEA due to the economic risk upon the UK. Brexiters oppose the single market and freedom of movement hence their support in launching Article 127.


POLITICS 15

Paul Nuttall elected as latest UKIP leader Alex Seabrook

Nuttall promised that UKIP would “replace the Labour party” and be the “voice of working people”.

P

aul Nuttall has been announced as the new leader of UKIP. The announcement was made on Monday the 28th November, after nearly two months of campaigning following the resignation of previous leader, Diane James. Nuttall had been the favourite to win, but the surprise last week was the landslide margin with which he beat his opponents, Suzanne Evans and John Rees-Evans, winning 62.6%, 19.3%, and 18.1%, respectively. Mr Nuttall is an MEP for the North West of England, and has previously worked as the deputy leader of UKIP. He denies climate change, advocates privatising the NHS, and has petitioned to bring back the death penalty. This has been the second leadership contest in rapid succession for UKIP. The first one, in September, was won by James, although the two favourites were unable to compete. Stephen Woolfe was seventeen minutes late for the nomination deadline, whilst Suzanne Evans was still suspended from the party for disloyalty. Nuttall declined to run in the first contest, citing concerns for his family as a reason. James lasted just eighteen days as leader, before stepping down claiming a lack of internal support. Many commentators pointed to the rivalry

and factionalism within the party as a reason. Nuttall is seen as the unity candidate, and promised to kick out dissenters. After the announcment last Monday, Nuttall promised that UKIP would “replace the Labour party” and be the “voice of working people”. He also claimed that there will be a renewed English nationalism and further calls for devolution. Nuttall stated that after Brexit, the “next big thing is Englishness”. In response, the Labour party highlighted Nuttall’s support for privatising the NHS. Nuttall claims the free healthcare “stifles competition” and wants to see more free-market policies introduced, making hospitals into profit-driven businesses. Nuttall is also a climate change denier, believing that 97% of the world’s scientists “manipulate figures to secure funding”. He has also previously shown support for tougher prison sentences, increasing the prison capacity of the UK, and he has signed a petition to bring back the death penalty. Holding some contradictory views on religion, he has called for a public ban of wearing burqas, as they make video surveillance difficult. Whilst advocating the denial of religious expression for Muslims, he

Pictured: UKIP’s new leader Paul Nuttall (source: European Union 2015 - European Parliament)

has opposed a ban on homophobic discrimination due to the right to religious expression. He has also cited his Catholic faith as reason enough to ban informing people about available abortion services and wants to limit abortions to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. As a result of the referendum vote in June for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the future for UKIP is not clear. The leadership contest has been largely over-

shadowed in the media by previous UKIP leader, Nigel Farage’s relationship with the President-Elect Donald Trump. With Nuttall’s claims that “the next big thing is Englishness”, a common theme of nationalism across Europe remains strong, as both Marine Le Pen’s Front National and Frauke Petry’s Alternativ für Deutschland are expected to do very well in the French elections next Spring and the German elections next Autumn.

Labour will not win General Election as UKIP-lite Diane Abbott says Labour shouldn’t change its position on immigration Molly Ambler

Her comments urged the party to stand their ground in the wake of Brexit and refrain from moving further right.

M

ore turmoil ahead expected for the Labour party with the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, warning that the party is unable to win a general election. Her comments urged the party to stand their ground in the wake of Brexit and refrain from moving further right in regards to their stance on immigration. Abbott said “We can’t fight and win an election in 2020 as UKIP-lite. The idea that moving right on immigration in post-industrial Britain will save us seats is I think misconceived.” She furthered her stance on immigration claiming that “It is absolutely fair to say that on doorsteps colleagues are finding people complaining about immigration, but it is simply not the case that immigration has driven down wages, or that immigration has created the insecurity or instability they perceive.” Her comments were made as other senior politicians were accused of paving the way for a “hard” Brexit and adopting a more populist tone. Abbotts’ response has caused controversy among many senior politicians within the Labour party. This included former shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, who, in September stated, “We need to have some controls on immigration. You can’t just close down that discussion or label people as racist if they say that.” These comments were made in

the wake of a speech made by shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, which urged Labour to “embrace the enormous opportunities” in the wake of Brexit. Mr McDonnell also managed to inflame many of his own backbenchers by suggesting that they were siding with “corporate elites”, something a number of UKIP politicians have been accused of in the past. A number of former shadow ministers have said that this particular shift in the Labour party would make it easier for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to pursue the “hard” Brexit she appears to be driving towards. The Labour party, alongside the support of 30 Conservative MP’s and other parties, could vote to remain as close to the single market as possible as a means to protect trade agreements and UK jobs: coined a “soft” Brexit. Former shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie said, “Labour has got to intervene in this process, to protect the economy and public services from the hard landing likely as we fall out of the European Union.” A former local government spokeswoman Emma Reynolds condemned “simplistic solutions offered by right-wing populists, who have successfully constructed a powerful narrative that we are a self-serving and out-of-touch elite”, in an article highlighting the dangers of Labour

learning the wrong lessons from the result of Brexit and the US presidential elections. MPs that have criticized Mr McDonnell insist that they have accepted the referendum vote, how-

ever, they do not believe that their party should merely just accept a “hard” Brexit, giving the PM a free hand to ending freedom of movement no matter the costs to other areas of Brexit.

Pictured: Wall tag by boat refugees (photographer: Anne Wuyts)


16 POLITICS

Far-right terrorist jailed for life for Jo Cox murder Adam George

The judge gave him a whole life tariff, saying he was likely to spend the rest of his life in jail.

L

ast week Thomas Mair was jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. The 53-year-old shot and stabbed the mother-of-two to death in her West Yorkshire constituency on 16 June, a week before the EU referendum vote. It has been determined that Mair killed Cox for “political and/or ideological reasons” and he had researched “far-right material” in the weeks leading up to the killing. Mr Mair told police officers “I am a political activist” upon his arrest, the court heard. Prosecutors said Mair was motivated by hate and his crimes were “nothing less than acts of terrorism”. The judge gave him a whole life tariff, saying he was likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. He said the offence was so exceptional that Mair could only be released by a secretary of state. Mair, dressed in a dark suit and blue tie, remained impassive as the verdicts were read out, after just over 90 minutes of deliberations. Mair decided not to enter a plea provided the court with no evidence in his defence at the trial. However, before sentencing, Mair asked to speak to the courtroom. The judge turned down this request, saying he had already had an opportunity. Addressing Mair, Mr Justice Wilkie

said: “You affect to be a patriot. The words you uttered repeatedly when you killed her, give lip service to that concept. “Those sentiments can be legitimate and can have resonance but in your mouth, allied to your actions, they are tainted and made toxic.” Mair’s inspiration was not love of country but admiration for Nazism, the judge said. “Our parents’ generation made huge sacrifices to defeat those ideas and values in the Second World War. What you did, and your admiration for those views which informed your crime, betrays the sacrifices of that generation.” He claimed that Mair did not have the courage to acknowledge what he had done and forced Mrs Cox’s family to relive the events. He said an aggravating feature was the weeks of planning in which Mair researched Mrs Cox, a past assassination of a serving MP and matricide, knowing she was the mother of young children. The judge described Mrs Cox as “a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, partner, and companion”. He said her generosity of spirit was “evident in the selfless concern she had for others, even when facing a violent death”, referring to Mrs Cox’s

plea to her assistants to get away and save themselves, as she lay dying in the street. A worrying fact about this killing is the amount of support that Mair has received on social media since the murder. In the aftermath of the murder of MP Jo Cox, more than 50,000

tweets celebrated her death congratulating her killer, Neo Nazi Thomas Mair. Tweets describing Mair as a “hero” and a “patriot” were sent in the aftermath of her murder from 25,000 accounts, according to a report on cyber hate speech.

Pictured: Memorial at Parliament Square for Jo Cox (photographer: Garry Knight)

Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro dead aged 90 The controversial leader led Cuba for over half a century Conor Holohan

Castro led a revolution to overthrow the Bastia regime in the 1950s, which resulted in him becoming Cuba’s Prime Minister in 1959.

F

idel Castro, has ended his single-handed ownership of Cuba in the only way he ever would have done so – by dying. Outside of the western world, Fidel Castro is often lauded as a great emancipator. His rule is seen as a stunning victory against US imperialism. However, these two parts of his legacy are hard to reconcile. In emancipating and defending the Cuban people from what he saw as an imperialist capitalist US, he embraced the USSR, and not just in their principle of redistributing wealth, but in their practical element of operating in tyrannical and oppressive way. Castro led a revolution to overthrow the Bastia regime in the 1950s, which resulted in him becoming Cuba’s Prime Minister in 1959. The promise was to overthrow an undemocratic regime which controlled Cuba like a mafia, but once the revolution had happened, Castro never called a general election again. It is hard to see how replacing one anti-democratic regime with another is progress, but that is the narrative Castro’s defenders would have you believe as they somehow manage to distort the revolution into something which freed the Cuban people. It is clear when you delve deeper into Castro’s rule, that freedom was never awarded; merely, one set of shackles were exchanged for another. The reality of Castro’s Cuba is actually of political suppression, taking the

form of torture, political murder, and other grotesque human rights abuses. His socialist, autocratic regime outlasted nine US presidents, and in an attempt to elevate himself from lowlevel revolutionary thug to a figure on the world stage, he brought the world to the very brink of nuclear warfare when he agreed to harbour Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba in 1962. The flourishing of thought and debate is incompatible with socialism in practice, this is why we see the human rights abuses of Castro’s regime and of the Soviet Union alike. Castro’s defenders point out how he has brought about a revolution of education, whereby many universities and schools were opened and provisions were made for all. Not only is this unjustified when it is at the cost of political violence, but I also fail to see what use any historical or political education would have been to Cuban’s when dissent was a punishable offense. Needless to say, the university would become just another tool of indoctrination. 54% of Cuba’s national budget was allocated to public services, according to UNICEF, Cuba has the lowest child mortality rate of any of the Americas. I do however struggle to use these points to justify torture, but I suppose in the views of Castro’s lauders; the ends justify the means. In reality, Fidel Castro was a second rate dictator who brought the world population to the brink of extinction

Pictured: Former Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro (photographer: Kevin Burkett via Flickr)

for his own fame and vanity. He made the world a more dangerous place and oppressed his people and expected thanks for it. This was an egotistical regime in principle and in practice, and the reason his funeral will have so few world leaders in at-

tendance, is because they do not – and should not – want to be seen mourning a despotic, autocratic dictator and thug such as Fidel Castro. Cuba announced that there would be nine days of mourning after Castro’s death.


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18 SCIENCE

science

Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci science@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/science

Flood spending decisions branded ‘perverse’ Kat Pooprasert

The think tank described that 1.5 billion pounds were spent on subsidies for farm management that ignores or increases flood risks.

” Joshua Green

I

t has been discovered that England spends nearly four times more on activities that may cause flooding than it invests to combat flooding, says Green Alliance. The think tank described that 1.5 billion pounds were spent on subsidies for farm management that ignores or increases flood risks while help from the EU farm policy for land management that reduces flooding totals 419 million pounds. In response to this, Green Alliance said that money was being spent “in ways that are perverse”. Currently, farmers receive grants based on the amount of land they own, but the report wants farmers to be rewarded for measures that can reduce flooding risks such as: - Allowing trees and vegetation to slow water flow - Creating healthy soils to absorb water - Allowing rivers to meander, to slow the flow - Creating wetlands to retain water - Keeping floodplains to provide space for rivers to overflow safely The Green Alliance research also calculated the balance between spending on flood prevention and repairs and concluded that 613 million pounds were spent on the aftereffects of flooding while hard flood

defenses receive less than half of the amount, at 269 million pounds. This report aligns with aims to promote natural flood defenses, where the government announced last week that it would set aside 15 million pounds for solutions to help slow the flow of water off the uplands to prevent it rushing downstream. Furthermore, Green Alliance said the principles of spending on land management need more fundamental review since under current arrangements, subsidized farming methods can predispose to flooding, such as: - Denude upland slopes, which speeds up water flow - Drain fields, which overloads streams - Straighten and dredge rivers, which pushes flooding downstream Angela Francis from Green Alliance said: “We are spending hundreds of millions of pounds of public money in ways that are perverse.” However, she also described how this can be easily prevented: “Just by allocating current funding more rationally the government could reduce the burden on the public purse, save vulnerable communities from the misery of flooding, and increase the health of our natural environ-

Pictured: Green Alliance is advocating more aggressive flood prevention measures. than you think. (Photographer: tinktracy)

ment.” Additionally, A spokesman for the environment department Defra has told the BBC it was “committed” to flood protection.

“Natural flood management plays an important role in our strategy that is why last week we announced a further £15m funding for these schemes,” the spokesman said.

Heathrow expansion increases energy saving strain

H

as the passed proposal of a third runway at Heathrow Airport reduced great stress on the runaways at the cost of great stress on the rest of the country? According to the Committee on Climate Change the plan will cause hardship as the government will have to find energy savings in other sectors of the economy. The committee, a body that was

created as result of the Climate Change Act of 2008, was set up to advise them on matters regarding emission targets set by various climate treaties. The body has warned that the building of the highly controversial third runway (as part of the overall Heathrow business plan) will increase aviation emissions by 15% by the year 2050. The committee also made further comments on how this

contradicts minister policy on keeping aviation emissions at 2005 levels and also how cuts will have to be made elsewhere to keep in line with ideal emission levels. Lord Deben, who chairs the Committee on Climate Change, wrote recently to Greg Clark who is the Business and Energy Secretary stating these fears, as stated by BBC News: “Aviation emissions at 2005 levels already imply an 85% reduction in other sectors. My committee has limited confidence about the options [for achieving the compensatory cuts needed].” Lord Deben’s fears corroborates with observations made on the aviation industry. Since the year 1990 emissions from aviation have doubled whilst economy-wide emissions have decreased by a third of their original levels. To counteract aviation overshoots there are plans that the Department of Transport will buy ‘permits to pollute’ in poorer countries that have much lower levels of CO2 emissions. These permits are basically a way for countries that over-pollute to pay a consequence for doing so. A clear benefit of this system is that overshooting has the silver-lining effect of helping weaker economies. However, the system of buying

credits has the committee worried. The committee had previously warned the government for indulging in this method of palming off the overshoot in emissions as this method relies on other countries or entities having these credits to sell. Thus the committee argues that this is not a solution that should be used for long term. Rules regarding government policy and committee interactions also state that the committee should have been consulted on government’s plans. Not only has the committee itself expressed concerns and doubt on government plans but also organisations such as Greenpeace (via Doug Parr a member of the organisation) who echoed the same fears as the committee have. Further concerns have also been generated, about the government’s commitment to climate change action, because of delayed long-term plans for lower emissions until early 2017. Along with this and the scrapping of the ‘Green Deal’ scheme, which tackled home emissions by improving home insulation across the country, many people could be right in suggesting that government is clearly not doing enough on their obligation to reduce harmful emissions.

Pictured: A terminal at Heathrow (Photographer: Philip Capper)

The building of the highly controversial runway will increase aviation emissions by 15%.


SCIENCE 19

Could cells be taught to ignore mutations? Anna Dutton

New research has come to light suggesting there may be a way to improve faulty cells.

D

NA mutations can sometimes lead to the production of faulty proteins in the cells of those who are suffering from genetic diseases. New methods are being investigated to see whether the cells can be altered to produce the correct number of proteins, thereby stopping the faulty gene being passed on. In each cell of the human body, the three-letter DNA sequence that creates proteins is called a codon. Sometimes, these proteins stop reproducing before a cell has the correct number of proteins. For example, a cell should be 100 amino acids long, but the faulty gene can stop producing proteins after 15 amino acids are produced. This lack of amino acids renders the cell inactive an these ‘nonsense mutations’ cause 10% of genetic diseases. New research has come to light suggesting there may be a way to improve faulty cells. In the 1980’s, a method was suggested that investigated TRNA’s. These molecules recognise codons while a protein is being produced, and then match the right amino acid to them. It is now possible to make artificial TRNA’s that recognise a premature stop co-

don, and instead of terminating the protein production, they add the amino acid required to make the cell useful. Artificial TRNA’s are smaller so treatments could be developed quicker. Once these TRNA’s are inside a cell, they compete with faulty proteins that bind together to stop the production of a codon. Instead of halting the creation of proteins, the TRNA’s endorse it. Unfortunately, this method cannot fix every degenerate gene, but it could help just enough to make a difference. Research into this method has shown some promising results. At the University of Porto in Portugal in 2014, Carla Oliveira and her team restored the production of healthy proteins in a cell that caused hereditary breast and stomach cancers. The only option for these people currently was to have either their stomach or breasts removed, so the results are promising for those already suffering. Christopher Ahern at Iowa University trialled the same solution, but for patients with cystic fibrosis. In their experiment, Ahern’s team carried out the same test as Oliveira’s team, and found that with

further experiments this approach could offer an alternative to drugs and gene therapy cystic fibrosis patients. Ahern believes that one day cystic fibrosis can be cured if the cells ‘… could recapitulate in the lungs’ where they are most needed. There is some scepticism surrounding this method as the TRNA’s could interfere with healthy cells. But, evidence from other research implies they should be safe as ‘…

TRNA’s that are targeted to stop codons is tolerated in animals’ assures Jason Chin of Cambridge University. Further tests would be required to ascertain the effect on human cells, but the outlook is hopeful. In summary, the use of TRNA’s is an exciting new development toward curing genetic diseases. Despite necessary further tests, the future is a little brighter for those who are already suffering.

Pictured: A scientist looking through a microscope (Photographer: National Eye Institute)

Could superbacteria save medicine? Fears of antibiotic resistance may be answered Mélissa M Azombo

Medicine could see a future beyond last-line antibiotics.

E

xperiments on animals showed that a dosage of Bdellovibrio Bacteriovorus acts like an antibiotic, once inside a bacterium engulfing its host from the inside, while increasing in size. Bdellovibrio Bacteriovorus is itself a fast-swimming bacterium, which bursts out from its dead host after the procedure. According to results published in Current Biology There would appear to be no side effects to using it. This news comes at a time, where the fear of antibiotic resistant bacteria reigning triumphant remains. This new research could prove beneficial in helping to eradicate certain resistant strains. Furthermore, enabling researchers to play catch-up and introduce new antibiotics, as the bacteria halt in their tracks could be a life-changing step for patients. Bacteria called Shigella affects 160 million people, each year making them ill with the intenstine disease it causes. Experiments showed that this need no longer be the case. The Bdellovibro Bactriovoris caused the amount of Shigella to deplete by a factor of 4000; In fish larvae, this experiment let to a 25% survival rate in Shigella, over 3 days. It is clear for scientists that there are more safety tests to be done before it can be declared appropriate

Pictured: Want you bac(teria) for good. (Photographer: NIAID)

for therapeutic use. However, it is thought it could be more beneficial as part of treatment against wounds than conditions which invade the whole system. Furthermore, Bdellovibro, which has been shown to kill the serious E. Coli and Salmonella bacteria, seems

much more responsive in a fish immune system. It appears that “when Bdellovibrio is there it is releasing broken parts of Shigella and that is giving extra signals to the fish that it should be dealt with,” according to Proffessor Liz Socket of the University of Nottingham.

According to Dr Michael Chew of the Wellcome Trust research body, “this innovative study demonstrates how predatory bacteria could be an important additional tool to drugs in the fight against resistance.” Medicine could see a future beyond last-line antibiotics.


20 SCIENCE

Diet drinks may actually make you fatter Eleanor Parkyn

Either way, this research certainly does not mean we should abandon all sugar free foodstuffs, as it only applies to aspartame.

” Tara Shaw

The data from this allowed the team to identify at least 1,445 distinct virus.

W

e’ve all been there; justifying going large on your McDonald’s order by swapping your drink for the diet version. Since they were invented diet sodas have been plugged as weight loss tools, as they allow us to enjoy the sweet taste (supposedly) without putting on weight. While there have been many conflicting debates surrounding diet drinks and weight gain, research now suggests that despite the lack of sugar, diet soft drinks can actually cause us to put on more weight than if we just stuck to the sugar filled original. Research now suggests that this is down to aspartame, an artificial sweetener that contains no calories and is often used in diet versions of drinks. A study from the Weizmann Institute of Science presents a new insight into what happens when aspartame breaks down within the gut, suggesting that it causes disruptions to the neutralisation of lipopolysaccharides, harmful toxins that are produced by the bacteria found in the gut, by interfering with the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase, which allows us to live healthily with the bacteria. Without the full functionality of this enzyme, these toxins are able to build up and damage the lining of the gut. When the intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) was added

to drinks that contain aspartame, the enzyme’s activity was found to decrease; something that did not happen when mixed with the sugary alternative of the drink. Tests on mice involving the insertion of aspartame into the intestine, found that levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase halved when the sweetener was injected. However, an increase in weight while consuming products containing aspartame was only evidenced when also eating a diet high in fat. Mice that were injected with aspartame while on a fatty diet where found to have gained more weight than mice that weren’t. Furthermore, regardless of diet type, mice that had been fed aspartame presented higher blood sugar levels, which is a sign of diabetes. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame have previously been found to alter the processes of the bacteria communities in the gut, which has the potential to cause problems with glucose control. If this is the case then aspartame would prove ineffective as a way to reduce weight, instead vastly increasing the possibility of piling on the pounds. Although this may be the end of pretending that diet coke is healthy-ish, it is not all bad news. If a decrease in IAP is found to cause diabetes, then giving sufferers a supplement of the enzyme

Pictured: The bevarage of a person trying to make themselves feel better after a Big Mac. (Photographer: funkyah)

could prove to be a possible treatment. Either way, this research certainly does not mean we should abandon all sugar free foodstuffs, as it only applies to aspartame which is the only sweetener found to block IAP so far. Also, as

students, it is important to know that diet drinks as mixers get you twentyfive per cent more drunk than their sugary alternative, which for some of us on a Wednesday night may well be worth the possible weight gain!

1500 new viruses identified

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lmost 1500 new viruses have been discovered in a pioneering study, it was published in the journal Nature last week. An international research team of scientists from China and Australia made the discoveries whilst researching the viruses which infect invertebrates – the group of animals which do not have backbones, including insects, snails and worms. Genetic analysis was carried out on over 220 invertebrate species, most of which had never been screened for viruses before. The data from this allowed the team to identify at least 1,445 distinct virus genomes – strains of viruses which had previously never been seen. A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants through to microorganisms including bacteria. They are typically made up of a core of genetic material, such as DNA or RNA, surrounded by protective coats made up of proteins and fats. When a virus comes into contact with a host cell, it inserts its genetic material into the cell, taking over the cell’s functions and sometimes destroying the cell itself. Viral diseases in humans take a wide range of forms, from the common cold, herpes and chickenpox to AIDS and Ebola. At the moment, most of the research carried out on viruses tends to be biased towards those which cause disease in humans or are economically important, such as those which affect crops. However,

Pictured: The discovery shows how little we know about viruses still. (Photographer: Kanijoman)

as viruses exist in every type of life form around the world, the research group believed that focusing on the “virosphere” of a different group might help improve our understanding of how they work. Until now, little has been known of the nature of viruses in invertebrates. However, they are often vectors – carriers which transfer an infection from one host to another – of viruses which can infect vertebrates such as humans and other animals The work carried out by the team revealed that there was a lot of ge-

netic divergence between the newlydiscovered strains and those which have already been described. This means that the invertebrate viruses are very different to the ones we already know about, and the study highlighted that there is no cause for alarm for human health. However, the results also revealed a lot about how viruses evolve and select their hosts, including the discovery that many viruses which infect vertebrates originate from those in invertebrates. The study has helped to highlight

how much we still have to learn about viruses and how they work – information which could have huge benefits for our understanding and prediction of emerging infectious diseases. The research team believes that the next step should be to survey a range of different animal groups in the same way in the hope that they may reveal even more. Viruses are everywhere and in everything, and we may have only just scratched the surface of their diversity.


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22 SOCIETIES

societies

Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc societies@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/societies

Milly’s 2016 round-up Milly Dyer

Milly Dyer

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he second society of the month has been announcedcongratulations to iSoc! With the end of term being so close I thought it would be apt to write a summary of all the Society related activities that have happened so far – not including all the events that our 200 Societies run every week! - At the beginning of term we trained 601 committee members,

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helping them to run their Societies as effectively as possible. - The 2 Society Freshers’ Fairs were really successful, with an increase in signups on the day! This bucks the trend of the last few years. - We introduced Society of the Month and this has so far been successful, with over 20 applications made each month. - We held 4 Society Forums, col-

lecting some really helpful and useful feedback from all our Societies. Improvements are already being made due to this, making the experience of Societies at Cardiff even better. - The Winter Showcase had record number of events taking place during the last 2 weeks of term! - Guild of Society membership is 200+ up on this time last year! - We ended the term with loads

of Society development meetings & have heard about all the great things that have been going on! - Finally, we have approved 15 new Society applications! Thanks to the Exec for all the help over the past few months. Thanks so much to all the committees who have worked so hard this term to make Society events happen! I hope that next term is just as exciting and busy!

Society of the Month: Islamic Society

slamic Society have been awarded Society of the Month for December after some really well thought out & comprehensive nominations were submitted, showing exactly how much they have achieved during November. This month has included Interfaith Week, and ISoc held an Interfaith Exhibition at the Dar ul Isra Mosque. They also took part in the Interfaith Question Time with one committee member on the panel. This month also saw the Islamic Society run their annual Charity

Week, raising £6800 in total. This amazing amount of money was the most raised for any Islamic Society in Wales! They have also continued their fundraising by having bucket collections every Friday – raising another £500 in 3 weeks. For their members, Islamic Society have also held a variety of different events & socials including Go Karting events, taking part in IMG Football, Arabic classes, and much more! Their many and varied socials and events cater for their diverse members, as well as

teaching members and the general student population about Islamic culture and faith. However, there was one nomination for the Society that really struck a chord with Societies Team and the Societies Exec. The Islamic Society gives Islamic students at Cardiff University a sense of pride in being Muslim and creates a community feel on campus. The many events they put on bring together Muslim students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds from across the world to discuss

their faith and have fun with their fellow Muslim students.

Belly Dancing: A weekend with Lorna of Cairo Iona Thomas

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elly Dancing is a fun, light hearted society aimed at learning the traditional form of dance, Bellydance, music ranging from traditional to modern is used, meaning the moves you learn can be used on any dance floor! This January, the Belly Dancing Society is proud to announce they will be hosting a weekend event with professional Egyptian belly-dancer Lorna of Cairo! Lorna has been teaching since 1997 and is a world class performer. Living and working in Egypt for the last 10 years has given Lorna first hand experiences of the dance scene and local lifestyles. From 28th -29th of January, in the Student’s Union, Belly Dance will be hosting an evening event on the Saturday with food and dance, including

a show from Lorna where she will be talking about her experiences in Egypt culminating in a performance. On the Sunday, there will be a day full of workshops from Lorna, showing us the ropes of the Egyptian style of this very well-known ancient form of dance. The workshops will be aimed at developing and advancing skills across all aspects of Belly Dance, which will then be used in the society and even in the much anticipated Fringe Festival. Come along and try some exercise in a fun new form! After a spectacular night at the Winter Showcase, there has been an increase in interest in the Belly Dancing Society. This event is open to all students and public members of all abilities; members and non-members, beginners and advanced alike!

This whole weekend event will only cost £30 including four hours of professional teaching and food! Details to follow soon; just go to the Cardiff University Belly Dance page

on cardiffstudents.com or our Facebook page of the same name. Email all questions or queries to ThomasIF1@ cardiff.ac.uk or Bellydancing@cardiff. ac.uk

Pictured: Belly Dancing performs at the Winter Showcase.

Spotlight: English and Creative Writing charity Open Mic Tom Morris

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On Tuesday 29th, the English Literature and Creative Writing Societies joined forces to host a night of poetry and storytelling at Ten Feet Tall. Students of all disciplines stepped up to the plate to read heartfelt expressions of love, hate, laughter, and in the case of one Bob Wigin, the stressful subject of playing Metroid Prime for hours on end. There were some incredibly “meta” works on display, including one from Creative Writing’s Owen Jones, who told a story about storytelling in a

room above a bar where he didn’t know how to use the microphone and didn’t quite know it off by heartcreepy indeed. Millie Goadby told an even scarier story about a cheating husband, though the exact workings of the story really crept up on me. Even CUTV’s Charlie Knights was there to inject some passion and humour into proceedings. Poppy Jennings also told a raunchy kind of tale in her poem, describing “every breath that passes between her breast and his sinking chest”- a breathless

rhythm simulating the described situation. The storytelling went on late into the night, with more than a few members starting to drift off by the end. Sanja Dragojlov, president at Creative Writing Society, enjoyed collaborating with English Lit, saying its members were “friendly, enthusiastic and outgoing… overall a very successful event.” The aforementioned Bob was just happy to see so many people at the event. The evening was held in aid of

Heads above the Waves, a Cardiff based charity which helps young people with depression. They were given a moment to plug their site, which sells stylish merchandise to support awareness of mental health problems amongst youths like ourselves: you can find it at hatw.co.uk. Meanwhile, the English and Creative Writing societies will no doubt be looking to put on similar events in months to come, following the success of the first- so there’s no better time to start putting your thoughts to paper!

The evening was held in aid of Heads Above the Waves


SOCIETIES 23

Rap-unzel: Act One’s panto fit to rival Honey G Charlie Knights

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remember the first time I went to a panto when I was younger, there was something about a golden egg, people in drag, and unless I was missing the point a whole lot less genital based humour than the Act One’s 2016 Pantomime Rapunzel that I saw last night. With an original production on the cards, written and Directed by Emily Broad, and co-directed by Poppy Parker, what we were presented with was a typical panto yet with the twist of the main character Rapunzel (Claire Totten) losing her voice and not being able to sing, and goes on a quest to get her voice back, all whilst being chased down by her Mother – Mother Julie Andrews (Rebecca Goldie). Joined by a mixed array of characters, from the skate gear clad Robyn (Erin Doherty), the randy and uncouth Aladdin (Sam Fawcett), and Dick Van Dyke (Alex Johns).All narrated peri-

odically by the five Dynamics: Stentato, Sforzando, Crescendo, Piano, and Mezzo Forte (Ashley Boyle, Rosie Towle, Laura Martin, Immy Skinner, Georgia Tapp), who were outstanding, the interplay of the five of them and constant flow back and forward was consistently on point. Huge shout out to the Rosie Towle’s French horn solo part way through the second act, which caught me off guard but I can’t say I didn’t love it. Andrea Gaini also made his Act One debut with the star role of Queen D, the Fairy Drag Queen, which was hilarious, and suitably Ru Paul levels of fabulous. Credit must also go to Emily Jones, Sophie Callery, Rhian Peake, Oni Ngonadi, and Theo Majcher for their extra roles, or as they are quoted in the programme – “Ass-istant”. Shout out as well to co-director Poppy Parker, for her excellent portrayal as a series of signs throughout

the production, telling us when to adequately applaud or boo, and also to audience member Liz Clements, whose consistent heckling and inappropriate jokes seemed to give the cast something to work into, which to their credit they did, and she was got back once the audience participation came about, and all of a sudden she was singing Elvis to the backing music of a ukulele and an audience all with kazoos.

It’s tough to find flaws in Act One productions, and picking them out in a review like this sounds pretentious but it would be wrong to ignore. The first act felt a little shaky at parts, with a touch of first night, first act nerves definitely setting in at this point, and at points it became hard to hear certain songs or singers, which can sometimes throw the flow of enjoyment. Credit to the tech team (James McNeil on sound, and Byron Jones on lighting), because it was relatively flawless, and in a new venue (Pulse– like they knew exactly what I wanted) that’s impressive. Overall, other than Hardcore24, it is the first production of the year. It set it off on a good path. Good luck to the rest of the performances, congratulations to all the behind the scenes crew. Keep watching the rest of the fantastic productions yet to come from Act One!

It’s tough to find flaws in Act One productions

Christian Union tells a STORY Kezzie Luxmoore

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’m sure many of you would remember the people who were handing out free hot drinks and cakes outside the law building, inviting you to Lunch Bars with free pizza and talks, and to their evening events at Highfields Church. Why ?They weren’t selling anything – so why bother brave the wind and rain just to be nice?! That’s just about it – being nice. Spreading positivity and God’s love around campus by being friendly representatives of Christianity in Cardiff. Last week, Christian Unions from across the city came together for Story Cardiff – an events week where people were invited to share their stories, hear the stories of others, and to discover the greatest story – God’s story that we see in the Bible. Over 500 people were fed at the Lunch Bars in the Students Union, where talks were held addressing key

questions often asked about Christianity. The Lunch Bars opened with stories from individual students, of how they became Christians. Then came the talks. On Wednesday Dai Hankey looked at the question Does God Want to Spoil My Fun? He used the illustration of crossing the road with his kids – for them to stay safe he needs them to hold his hand and follow his rules. However, when other kids from his street want to join them, he gives them the choice to follow his rules, but won’t force them. It’s a similar situation with Christianity. Christians should not impose their rules on those who do not follow God – but live them out to be a good example. The evening events took place at Highfields Church. It was truly beautiful – with fairy lights and picnic benches and cake! And the Hot Chocolate – the Hot Chocolate was

amazing! We were welcomed in by local artists playing chilled acoustic sets, and friendly faces ready to chat. These evenings often followed certain themes: The Scientist, The News Presenter, The Doctor, The World Champion, and The Student – where they discussed how faith comes into their lives. For The Scientist, they spoke to a professor of physics at Cardiff University – Emyr MacDonald on whether a Christian world view can run alongside science – which it absolutely can! Another helpful evening looked at suffering: “One thing pain and suffering does do, is show us that something isn’t right... the bible is clear that suffering isn’t a reflection of God, it shows the reflection of a broken relationship” – one which God wants to restore. “Christianity is far more than a spiritual crutch. Jesus is far more than that, he came

to bring life. To restore a broken relationship.” The Christian Unions Events week has been running for the past 6 years – so keep an eye out for it next year! If you attended any of the events and want to know more, or are sad you missed it and want to know more; please get in touch with the Cardiff Christian Union through their Social Media or website http:// www.cardiffcu.org.uk/.

Give it a Go does Take Me Out! Tom Morris

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ast Friday, Give it a Go let me in to see their edition of Take Me Out. Perhaps realizing that Speed Dating isn’t much good for anything other than mildly humorous Quench articles, they injected some showbiz into it, creating an entertainment format that had friends sitting round to watch. Student senator Chiron Hooson hosted, and a bevy of about a dozen beauties (one particularly masculine beauty being perhaps the sultriest of all) sat on a row of stools behind him, ready to pounce- or not as was often the case. The boys waited in the wings, on the balcony. They had each chosen a song to open with, and the first victim was an American. So of course he went in with American Boy by Es-

telle (“take me on a trip, I want to see L.A.”, and so on). Spectators approved of the song choice, but the girls made all-American mincemeat out of him, with red cards all round. Next up was a Jamaican-jacketed joker, whose jeans fell down every few steps up to the stage, showing us all his pink boxers. The girls once again brutalized him, winning no points for being funny. Both boys were “rescued” by a sympathetic hug from a friend who emerged from the audience. Things changed up a bit for the next round. Pizza was brought inthe promise of two free drinks and a pizza made the girls a little more forthcoming with green cards. Aidan Cammies (of “SocieT-Rex” fame) told me he’d pay for my entry. Be-

fore I could counter with a mention of my recent girlfriend, I was up on the balcony ready to waltz out to Common People. At this point I was hungry so it seemed worthwhile. A few more willing participants marched in. One guy wore a beanie onto the stage and did a cartwheelit seemed to work. Joe Slocombe was one of the most enthusiastic participants, and his enthusiasm only grew the more drinks he imbibed. On stage he exhibited a real showmanship, and walked away with one of the girls soon after. She later told him she had a boyfriend, whilst they queued in the Taf- so maybe that dampened his enthusiasm somewhat- but he did enjoy it, “mostly because I got pissed!” Suddenly I found myself in the

spotlight- and I shut down! My mind blank, palms sweaty, thankfully no vomit on my sweater though, especially since I was wearing my best coat. Chiron asked me what my favourite part of a woman is. I don’t study biology! He narrowed it down to “boobs or bum,” I squeaked out “bum” and the red cards flared up. Then he asked for my favourite celebrity- I could think only of the Tomb Raider movies so I said Angelina Jolie. Finally one girl gave me a green card and we walked off, only to be informed that the Taf had run out of pizza. Foiled again! Give it a Go have plenty more events running over the last week of term- take a look at: https://www. cardiffstudents.com/whatson/giveitago/

Pizza made the girls a little more forthcoming with green cards.


TAF-OD 25

taf-od

Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od tafod@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/tafod

Neges gan eich golygyddion Osian Wyn Morgan a Liam Ketcher

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ydym bellach wedi cwblhau ein tymor cyntaf fel golygyddion y Taf-Od, felly mae’n gyfle da i edrych yn ôl dros y misoedd diwethaf, a diolch i chi gyd am gyfrannu a darllen yr erthyglau. Credwn fod y tymor diwethaf wedi bod yn un gymharol lwyddiannus i’r Taf-od. Rydym bellach yn adran wythnosol o’r Gair Rhydd, ac rydym wedi gweld nifer uchel o bobl yn cyfrannu erthyglau.

Yn ogystal, erthygl Sara Alis ar y 10fed o Hydref, am gig olaf y Bandana yn y de, oedd yr erthygl a ddarllenwyd y nifer uchaf o weithiau yn y Gair Rhydd yr wythnos honno, felly llongyfarchiadau mawr iti Sara! Yn ogystal, yr wythnos hon, rydym yn ail-lansio adran yn y Taf-Od, ‘Dysgu’r Gymraeg gyda’r Taf-Od’, er mwyn rhoi cyfle i’r di-gymraeg ddysgu rhai geiriau ac ymadroddion defnyddiol Cymraeg

mewn ffordd hwyliog ac anffurfiol. Roedd adran o’i fath wedi ei gynnwys yn y Taf-od yn 2004-05, felly rydym yn gyffrous iawn i’w ail lansio. Nid hwn yw’r unig lansiad cyffrous diweddar. Lansiwyd Polisi Iaith Gymraeg yr Undeb yr wythnos diwethaf, a chewch yr holl wybodaeth am y polisi a’r lansiad mewn rhifyn arbennig o’r Tafod, ar y ddwy dudalen nesaf, ar gyfer dathlu lansiad y polisi.

Felly’r oll sydd gennym i ddweud yn awr, yw diolch o galon i chi gyd am gyfrannu erthyglau, ac am ddarllen y TafOd yn ystod y tymor cyntaf. Gobeithio eich bod wedi mwynhau darllen y TafOd, cymaint ag yr ydym ni wedi mwynhau ei olygu. Pob lwc i chi gyda’r arholiadau ym mis Ionawr, a gwelwn ni chi ar y 30ain o Ionawr ar gyfer rhifyn nesaf y Taf-Od. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Y pedwaredd flynedd o elw i’r Brifwyl Yn y llun: Llwyfan Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Sir Fynyw (Tarddiad: RAY drwy Flickr)

Osian Wyn Morgan

Rwy’n meddwl bod Sir Fynwy wedi croesawu’r cyfle yma gyda breichiau agored... Mae ‘na gydnabyddiaeth o natur Seisnigaidd Sir Fynwy, ond mae ‘na barodrwydd yma i groesawu’r iaith.” Peter Fox

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r wythnos diwethaf, gwnaeth Cyngor yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol gyfarfod yn Aberystwyth, er mwyn trafod materion ynghylch y Brifwyl. Yn y cyfarfod, cyhoeddwyd y gwnaethpwyd elw o £6,000 yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Sir Fynwy yn Awst eleni. Golyga hyn mai hon yw’r bedwaredd flwyddyn yn olynol lle mae’r Brifwyl wedi gwneud elw. O ganlyniad i hyn, mae’r sefydliad mewn sefyllfa well nag y mae wedi bod ers blynyddoedd, yn ôl Dr Alwyn Roberts, Cadeirydd Pwyllgor Archwilio y Brifwyl. I rai, mae’r ffaith y gwnaeth yr Eisteddfod, a gynhaliwyd yn y Fenni rhwng y 31ain o Orffennaf, a’r 6ed o Awst eleni, elw o’r ŵyl yn dod fel syn-

dod. Cynhaliwyd yr Eisteddfod mewn ardal gymharol ddi-gymraeg, gyda 9.9 y cant yn unig o drigolion Sir Fynwy yn medru’r Gymraeg, yn ôl cyfrifiad 2011. Yn sgil y cyhoeddiad am yr elw a wnaethpwyd yn y Brifwyl, mae’n bosib ystyried y Brifwyl eleni fel llwyddiant ariannol. Fodd bynnag, gellir ei ystyried yn llwyddiant diwylliannol ysgubol yn ogystal. Mae’r brifwyl wedi gadael ei hôl ar yr ardal, sydd â demograffig gymharol ddi-gymraeg. Ers mis Awst, mae galw mawr am wersi Cymraeg wedi ei amlygu yn yr ardal, a dywed yng Nghyfarfod y Cyngor bod cefnogaeth y bobl leol wedi bod yn allweddol i lwyddiant y Brifwyl. Yn dilyn yr Eisteddfod, dywedodd Elen Elis,

Trefnydd yr Eisteddfod: “Da ni wedi cael lot o bobl leol yn dod, pobl ddi-gymraeg, ystod eang o oedran ac mae pawb yn dweud bod awyrgylch arbennig yma” Dywedodd Peter Fox, arweinydd y cyngor, “Rwy’n meddwl bod Sir Fynwy wedi croesawu’r cyfle yma gyda breichiau agored ac mae’r awyrgylch ar y Maes wedi bod yn gyfeillgar iawn. Mae ‘na rhyw fath o gydnabyddiaeth o natur Seisnigaidd Sir Fynwy efallai, ond mae ‘na barodrwydd yma i groesawu’r iaith.” Teg fyddai dweud mai llwyddiant diamheuol oedd yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol eleni felly, ac wrth edrych ymlaen at y flwyddyn sydd i ddod, ymddengys bod trigolion Ynys Môn eisoes yn ym-

baratoi at wythnos lwyddiannus arall, erbyn i’r Brifwyl gael ei gynnal yno yn 2017. Mae pobl Môn eisoes wedi cyrraedd eu targed o godi £300,000 o bunnoedd, er bod 8 mis i fynd tan y Brifwyl. Fodd bynnag, er bod trigolion Môn wedi cyflawni eu targed mewn cyn lleied o amser, penderfynwyd gan y Cyngor na fydd targed newydd yn cael ei osod. Dywedodd y Prif Weithredwr, Elfed Roberts: “Unwaith y mae rhywun yn gosod nod i bwyllgor apêl, mae’n ddoeth sticio at y nod honno”, gan awgrymu na fyddai’n deg i osod targed uwch, gan ystyried pa mor galed y mae trigolion yr ynys wedi gweithio i gyrraedd y targed gwreiddiol o £300,000.

Dysgu’r Gymraeg gyda’r Taf-Od Y Nadolig

Learn Welsh with the Taf-Od Christmas

Nadolig Llawen = Merry Christmas Nah-doh-lig Llau-en

Siôn Corn = Santa Claus Shawn Cohrn

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda = Happy New Year Bluy-thin Nehw-ith Thah (Th as in The)

Pwdin ‘Dolig = Christmas Pudding Pud-din Doh-lig

Mae’r brifwyl wedi gadael ei hôl ar yr ardal, sydd â demograffig gymharol ddigymraeg.


26 TAF-OD

“Diwrnod Hanesyddol yn Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd” Yn y llun: Côr Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal yn canu cyn y digwyddiad (Tarddiad: Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd)

Liam Ketcher

Er yr oedd lansiad y polisi yn gam mawr a phwysig ymlaen i’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb, pwysig yw nodi mai cam cyntaf ar daith hir i gydraddoldeb ieithyddol ydyw. Ein cyfrifoldeb yn awr, yw gweithio tuag at sefyllfa lle mae myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith yn teimlo eu bod yn perthyn yn yr Undeb, Osian Morgan

D

dydd Mawrth diwethaf, lansiwyd Polisi Iaith Gymraeg yr Undeb. Roedd hwn yn ddiwrnod hanesyddol yn yr Undeb, gan mai hwn yw ei bolisi ieithyddol cyntaf. Dathlwyd lansiwyd y polisi, ym mhorthdy’r Undeb, a mynychodd nifer o fyfyrwyr ac aelodau o staff y digwyddiad, gan gynnwys siaradwyr Cymraeg a’r di-gymraeg. Croesawyd pobl i’r digwyddiad gyda pherfformiad hyfryd gan Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal, a ganodd tair gan Gymraeg, ‘Ar hyd y nos’, ‘Calon Lan’ a ‘Hwiangerdd Mair’. Roedd hwn yn ffordd o ddathlu gwerth diwylliannol yr iaith Gymraeg. Agorwyd y digwyddiad gan Swyddog y Gymraeg, Osian Morgan. Yn ei araith, soniodd am gryfderau’r Polisi, a chryfder cynyddol y Gymraeg yn y brifysgol. Diolchodd i’r holl bobl a oedd ynghlwm a llunio’r polisi, ac amlinellodd y camau nesaf y byddai’n ei gymryd fel Swyddog y Gymraeg i gryfhau’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb. Mewn datganiad i’r wasg, dywedodd: “Roedd y 29ain o Dachwedd yn ddiwrnod hanesyddol yn Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd. Lansiwyd Polisi Iaith Gymraeg yr Undeb, sef polisi ieithyddol cyntaf yr Undeb, sy’n datgan mewn du a gwyn y lleiafswm y dylai’r Undeb wneud ynglŷn â darpariaeth Gymraeg i’w myfyrwyr. Hwn yw’r polisi cyntaf yn yr Undeb sy’n rhoi statws cydradd i’r Gymraeg a’r Saesneg – sy’n gam enfawr ymlaen. “Roeddwn wedi fy ngwirioni gyda chymaint o bobl a fynychodd y lansiad. Braf oedd gweld cymaint o bobl, boed yn fyfyrwyr, aelodau o staff, siaradwyr Cymraeg, neu’r di-Gymraeg, yn mynychu’r digwyddiad, ac yn ymddiddori yn y Gymraeg, a dathlu ei ddatblygiad yn yr Undeb. “Er y cefais i yr anrhydedd o lansio’r polisi, lluniwyd y polisi cyn i fy nghyfnod fel Swyddog y Gymraeg ddechrau, felly mae’n bwysig i mi nodi fy niolchgarwch, ar ran holl fyfyrwyr

Cymraeg y brifysgol, i Steffan Bryn, a Cerith Rhys Jones, y swyddogion o’m blaen, am eu gwaith caled a’u hymroddiad wrth lunio’r polisi. Heb eu hymgyrchu brwdfrydig ac angerddol hwy, a nifer o bobl eraill y tu fewn a thu allan i’r Undeb, ni fyddem wedi gallu dathlu lansiad polisi iaith cryf a cynhwysfawr ddydd Mawrth, felly rydym yn dra dyledus iddynt hwy am hynny. “Er yr oedd lansiad y polisi yn gam mawr a phwysig ymlaen i’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb, pwysig yw nodi mai cam cyntaf ar daith hir i gydraddoldeb ieithyddol ydyw. Ein cyfrifoldeb yn awr, yw gweithio tuag at sefyllfa lle mae myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith yn teimlo eu bod yn perthyn yn yr Undeb, a’i fod yn eu cynrychioli, fel eu bod yn teimlo fel gallent ymwneud â’r Undeb, a manteisio ar ei ddwyieithrwydd, o ganlyniad i’r polisi hwn. “Rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn arw at barhau i weithio gyda myfyrwyr Cymraeg a chynrychiolwyr o’r Undeb dros yr wythnosau a’r misoedd nesaf i wireddu’r ddelfryd hwn.” Yna cafwyd araith gan Sophie Timbers, Llywydd yr Undeb. Dechreuodd ei haraith yn Gymraeg drwy ddweud “Prynhawn da, diolch i chi gyd am ddod”. Daeth hyn wythnos ar ôl Cyfarfod Cyffredinol Blynyddol yr Undeb eleni, lle cyhoeddwyd y Llywydd gweledigaeth yr undeb i fod yn undeb gwbl ddwyieithog. Pwysleisiodd Sophie yr hyn y mae’r Undeb yn gwneud ar hyn o bryd o ran darpariaeth Gymraeg, i ddangos bod camau yn cael eu cymryd i geisio sicrhau cydraddoldeb ieithyddol. Mae Sophie bellach ar ei hail flwyddyn fel swyddog sabothol, a dywedodd ei bod yn teimlo bod y Gymraeg wedi cryfhau yn yr Undeb ers iddi ddechrau yno. Dywedodd bod staff yr Undeb yn aml yn ceisio cyfarch ei gilydd trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ‘Shw’mae’, ‘Bore da’, ‘Prynhawn da’ ac yn y blaen. Gorffennodd ei haraith drwy ddiolch i bawb am

ddod, a dywedodd ei bod hi’n edrych ymlaen at weithio gydag Osian yn y dyfodol, i barhau i wneud gwelliannau i brofiadau myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn yr Undeb. Yna cafwyd cyflwyniad gan, Dr Angharad Naylor, cyfarwyddwr Cymraeg i Bawb, a soniodd am lwyddiant Cymraeg i Bawb dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, a phwysigrwydd y cynllun i’r Gymraeg yn y Brifysgol. Dywedodd ei bod yn bwysig bod y cwrs am ddim, mae’n rhoi’r cyfle i’r di-gymraeg ddysgu’r iaith heb orfod poeni am dalau am y cwrs. Soniodd am lwyddiant Cymraeg i Bawb dros y blynyddoedd, gan ddatgan bod dros 200 o fyfyrwyr wedi cymryd rhan yn y cynllun y llynedd, ar lefel dechreuol. Gorffennodd ei chyflwyniad gan ddarllen cyflwyniad gan Yann Nursimloo, un o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg i Bawb a gymerodd rhan yn y cynllun y llynedd, gan lwyddo i ddod yn rhugl yn yr iaith. Yn ôl Dr.Naylor, mae Yann bellach yn un o lysgenhadon

pwysicaf y cynllun. Yn ei gyflwyniad, canmolodd Yann y rhaglen, a’r balchder yr oedd ganddo dros y Gymraeg. Soniodd am gryfder y Gymraeg yn y brifysgol, ac ymfalchïodd yn yr holl weithgareddau a digwyddiadau Cymraeg y mae wedi cymryd rhan ynddynt, megis yr Eisteddfod Rynggolegol, a Taf-wyl. Y siaradwr gwadd olaf oedd Caeo Harri Hughes, Llywydd y Gymdeithas Gymraeg yn y brifysgol. Soniodd am bwysigrwydd ac arwyddocâd y polisi i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg, ac amlinellodd yr hyn sydd angen ei wneud yn awr i barhau i gryfhau ar y Gymraeg. Gallech ddarllen ei araith gyfan ar dudalen nesaf y Taf-Od. Roedd lansiad y polisi yn llwyddiant ysgubol, gyda nifer uchel o bobl yn ei fynychu i ddathlu’r polisi, a datblygiad y Gymraeg yn yr Undeb. Yn wir, teg yw awgrymu yr oedd yn ddiwrnod hanesyddol yn yr Undeb, ac mae’n gam cyntaf tua chydraddoldeb ieithyddol yn yr Undeb.

Yn y llun: Swyddog y Gymraeg, Osian Morgan, yn agor y digwyddiad (Tarddiad: Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd.)


TAF-OD 27

“Nid da lle gellir gwell” Caeo Harri Hughes

Rydw i, fel nifer eraill yn hapus iawn o weld bod y polisi yn rhoi sail i’r Gymraeg.

Y

fi sydd wedi cael y fraint o fod yn llywydd ar Gymdeithas Gymraeg Prifysgol Caerdydd, neu’r Gym Gym fel mae’n cael ei adnabod, am y flwyddyn academaidd yma. Rydym ni fel cymdeithas yn gweithredu dan adain Urdd y Cymdeithasau yn yr Undeb. Fel cymdeithas dwi’n gobeithio ein bod ni’n llwyddo i roi cyfle i siaradwyr Cymraeg y brifysgol i ddod at ei gilydd, ac i gymdeithasu yn y Gymraeg, rhywbeth efallai sydd yn eithaf prin yn y brifddinas. A thrwy hyn dwi’n falch gweld fod yr Undeb yn rhoi amser ac ymdrech i wrando ar siaradwyr Cymraeg, ac yn rhoi polisi fel hwn yn ei le. Mae arwyddocâd y polisi yn fawr, oherwydd mae’n golygu fod gennym lais, rhywbeth nad oedd llawer yn teimlo fod gennym o’r blaen. Ac felly rydw i, fel nifer eraill yn hapus iawn o weld bod y polisi yn rhoi

sail i’r Gymraeg, ac ein bod ni fel siaradwyr yn gallu gweld lle da ni’n sefyll a sut mae’n hiaith yn cael ei thrin o fewn yr Undeb, ac am hyn rwy’n ddiolchgar iawn. Mae’r polisi yn golygu bod yr undeb wedi cael ei roi yn y cyfeiriad cywir, ond dyw hyn ddim yn golygu ei fod wedi cyrraedd ei nod o ran hawliau’r Gymraeg, ac i’r Gymraeg yn gymdeithasol. Yn ôl y brifysgol, mae yna dri mil o fyfyrwyr yn medru’r Gymraeg ymayn Nghaerdydd. Tair mil, bron i 10% o holl fyfyrwyr y brifysgol. Mae’n ffigwr enfawr, a pan ges i wybod am y ffigwr, ges i fy syfrdanu’n ychydig. Faint o’r 3 Mil yna cymerodd rhan mewn cymdeithasau neu ddigwyddiadau Gymraeg eu hiaith yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf? 10% o’r rhai hynny efallai? Felly da ni’n edrych ar sefyllfa lle 1% o fyfyrwyr y brifysgol yn

unig sy’n defnyddio’r Gymraeg, er bod gan lawer mwy y gallu i wneud. A pham? Diffyg ymdrech? Diffyg amynedd? Neu efallai diffyg cyfle, i wneud beth maen nhw eisiau ei wneud yn Gymraeg? Mae angen gwneud mwy yn y Gymraeg yn yr undeb i ddangos i’r siaradwyr Cymraeg, bod modd ei siarad â’i defnyddio’n gymdeithasol, gan fod llawer yn gweld y Gymraeg fel iaith y dosbarth TGAU neu’n iaith i’r crach Gymraeg, ac nid fel iaith byw ac yn iaith i bawb. Mae angen rhywbeth at ddant pawb yn y Gymraeg, boed yn grŵp actio, canu, chwaraeon, cymdeithas wyddonol neu wleidyddol, mae angen i bawb gael y cyfle i ddefnyddio’u Cymraeg yn pwy bynnag faes maent eisiau, ac ar y funud, dyw hyn ddim yn bod. Ac felly rwy’n holi, os oes yna dri mil o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg, pam mai dim

ond nawr mae’r polisi yn cael ei ffurfio? Dwi’n deall mae ewyllys da oedd y defnydd o’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb cyn y polisi. Ond os oes cymaint o fyfyrwyr yn medru’r Gymraeg, pam dydy’r undeb heb wrando arnom yn gynt, fel maent yn hoffi dweud eu bod yn gwneud? Serch hynny, rydym bellach hefo’r polisi yn ei le, sy’n golygu ein bod ar y trywydd iawn i greu prifysgol, ac undeb myfyrwyr, lle mae’r ddwy iaith yn cael statws cyfartal. Felly, i gloi, dwi’n llongyfarch yr Undeb ar y polisi, ac yn diolch iddynt amdano, ac am wrando arnom fel myfyrwyr. Ond fel dywedai’r hen ymadrodd, ‘nid da lle gellir gwell’. Ac efallai bod hynny’n brosiect ar gyfer Osian dros weddill ei amser fel Swyddog y Gymraeg!

Mae angen gwneud mwy yn y Gymraeg yn yr undeb i ddangos i’r siaradwyr Cymraeg, bod modd ei siarad â’i defnyddio’n gymdeithasol

Yn y lluniau: O’r chwith i’r dde: Dr.Angharad Naylor, Sophie Timbers, a Caeo Harri Hughes yn areithio yn y Lansiad (Tarddiad: Undeb Myfyrwyr Caerdydd)

Dyma grynhoad o bwyntiau mwyaf allweddol y polisi: 1. Mae Undeb Myfyrwyr Prifysgol Caerdydd wedi mabwysiadu’r egwyddor y bydd, wrth gynnal busnes cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, yn trin y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg yn gyfartal. 2. Bydd y ddwy iaith yn gydradd o ran gwelededd, lle bynnag y maent yn ymddangos 3. Bydd yr Undeb yn chwilio am gyfleoedd i hyrwyddo’r defnydd o’r iaith Gymraeg yn ei holl waith.

4. Mae’r Undeb yn croesawu derbyn gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg, a bydd gohebiaeth sy’n cael ei dderbyn yn y Gymraeg yn cael ei ateb yn Gymraeg. 5. Bydd UMPC yn datblygu gwefan dwyieithog 6. Cynhyrchir ac arddangosir pob arwydd parhaol yn eiddo UMPC mewn fformat dwyieithog. 7. Darperir cyfieithu ar y pryd o’r Gymraeg i’r Saesneg yn holl gyfarfodydd democrataidd mewnol ac allanol yr Undeb, er budd aelodau di-gymraeg.

“ Y cam cyntaf ar daith hir i

gydraddoldeb ieithyddol” Osian Wyn Morgan

Nid yw llunio a lansio polisi iaith yn ddigon ar ei phen ei hun.

Y

n fy araith yn lansiad y polisi, cydnabyddais fod y polisi yn gam cadarnhaol yn y cyfeiriad cywir i’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb, a chroesawais hynny gyda breichiau agored. Mae’r polisi yn un cryf a chynhwysfawr, ac fe gaiff effaith gadarnhaol ar y Gymraeg, a’r myfyrwyr sydd eisiau ei defnyddio hi, o fewn yr Undeb. Fodd bynnag, pwysleisiais bwysigrwydd cofio mai cam cyntaf ar daith hir i gydraddoldeb ieithyddol oedd creu’r polisi hwn. Nid yw’n datrys yr holl broblemau sydd wedi eu hamlygu dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf ynglŷn â’r Gymraeg yn yr Undeb, a’r berthynas rhwng yr Undeb a myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith. Nid cyfrinach mo’r ffaith bod y berthynas hon wedi bod yn un gwael ac annigonol dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, ac mae’n deg i honni nad yw myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith yn teimlo eu bod yn perthyn yn yr Undeb, a bod yr Undeb yn eu cynrychioli. Fel yr wyf eisoes wedi nodi, mae’r polisi yma yn un cryf. Mae’n rhoi’r

hawl, er enghraifft, i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg ohebu ac unrhyw aelod o staff, swyddog etholedig, neu adran yn yr Undeb yn Gymraeg, a derbyn ateb yn ôl yn Gymraeg. O ganlyniad i’r polisi, bydd gwefan yr Undeb yn cael ei arddangos yn ddwyieithog. Fodd bynnag, os nad yw myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn teimlo bod yr Undeb yn eu cynrychioli, ni fyddent yn cysylltu â’r Undeb o gwbl, felly ni fyddent yn cymryd mantais o’u hawl i ohebu’n uniaith Gymraeg gyda hwy. Os nad yw myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn teimlo eu bod yn perthyn yn yr Undeb, ni fyddent yn ymddiddori yn ei ddigwyddiadau a’i chyfleusterau, felly ni fyddent yn edrych ar y wefan, a manteisio ar ei ddwyieithrwydd. Y pwynt yr wyf yn trio ei wneud yn fan hyn, yw nid yw llunio a lansio polisi iaith yn ddigon ar ei phen ei hun. Oni bai bod yr Undeb yn cymryd camau mawrion i wella’r berthynas rhyngddynt a myfyrwyr Cymraeg, a cheisio sicrhau eu bod yn teimlo eu bod yn

perthyn yn yr Undeb, ni fyddent yn manteisio o gwbl ar y polisi cadarnhaol hwn sydd wedi ei lunio. Os na fydd yr Undeb yn gwneud hwn, ni fydd unrhyw un yn manteisio ar y polisi, a bydd y polisi yn ddim mwy na ffurfioldeb, er mwyn rhoi tic yn y bocs ‘dwyieithrwydd’ a chadw siaradwyr Cymraeg yn dawel am gwpl o flynyddoedd. Fy nghyfrifoldeb i fel swyddog, felly, dros y misoedd nesaf, yw sicrhau bod camau yn cael eu cymryd er mwyn sicrhau bod yr Undeb yn cynrychioli myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn ddigonol, fel y gallent fanteisio ar y polisi cryf hwn. I wireddu’r amcan hwn, bwriadaf sefydlu Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd (UMCC), o fewn yr Undeb, a bydd yn ymdebygu i UMCA, yn Aberystwyth, ac UMCB, ym Mangor. Bydd y corff hwn yn gyfrifol am gynrychioli myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn gymdeithasol, gwleidyddol, ieithyddol, academaidd, a gyda materion lles o fewn yr Undeb a’r Brifysgol. Rwy’n ffyddiog y bydd corff o’i fath yn rhoi’r gy-

nrychiolaeth, a’r ymdeimlad o berthyn i’r Undeb, y mae myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn eu haeddu. Ddydd Iau diwethaf, y 1af o Ragfyr, gwnaeth pwyllgor newydd, Pwyllgor Trafod UMCC ac Integreiddio Cymdeithasol, gyfarfod yn yr Undeb er mwyn mynd ati o ddifrif i drafod y camau nesaf y bydd rhaid eu cymryd er mwyn sefydlu UMCC, a sicrhau nad yw myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn arwahanedig o’r prif gorff o fyfyrwyr yn yr Undeb. Rwy’n falch iawn i ddweud yr oedd y cyfarfod yn un cynhyrchiol a rhagweithiol, ac yn sgil y cyfarfod rwy’n hyderus iawn y gallaf weithio gyda myfyrwyr Cymraeg, a chynrychiolwyr o’r Undeb, i gymryd y camau mawrion, hanfodol, y bydd rhaid eu cymryd, er mwyn sicrhau cydraddoldeb ieithyddol yma yn ein prifddinas, a sicrhau bod myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd yn derbyn yr un gynrychiolaeth a hawliau o fewn yr Undeb, a derbynia myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth a Bangor.

Fy nghyfrifoldeb i fel swyddog, felly, yw sicrhau bod camau yn cael eu cymryd er mwyn sicrhau bod yr Undeb yn cynrychioli myfyrwyr Cymraeg yn ddigonol.


SPORT 28

Exclusive: South Wales boxer Craig Evans talks to Gair Rhydd after European title triumph

Pictured: Craig Evans lands a left hand against Tom Stalker (via Jon Scriven from

I’m absolutely buzzing! It’s a great feeling, waking up and knowing you’re Champion. Craig Evans

boxingmediauk .co.uk)

Rich Jones

After winning the third one I feel like I’ve won the trilogy and that’s the end of it. It’s a great feeling because it went on for so long, and I can move on to bigger and better things now hopefully.

A

fter 414 days and three gruelling fights, it is no surprise Craig Evans is relieved to have seen the back of arch rival Tom Stalker. The Newport-based fighter enjoyed the biggest night of his blossoming career as he claimed the WBO European Lightweight title with a stunning win at the Motorpoint Arena. After two draws against Stalker – a relatively unprecedented scenario in boxing – Evans was a man on a mission and finally overcame his Liverpudlian counterpart via majority decision. The pair went toe-to-toe for the third time, trading huge shots from the first bell to the last and ensuring a big crowd in Cardiff were on their feet throughout. But Evans was certainly the classier operator as he landed cleaner, more precise shots throughout which gave him the edge with the judges. After taking a few days to reflect on his achievement, a delighted Evans was in little doubt that he deserved his win in a fiercely contested encounter. The likeable 27-year-old has hailed the role his vocal supporters played in his win - and he is now keen to draw a line under his dramatic trilogy with Stalker as he eyes a shot at a World title in the future. “I’m absolutely buzzing!” Evans declared. “It’s a great feeling, waking up and knowing you’re Champion. “I’ve watched the fight back, and I felt I won it comfortably. I’m just glad the judges agreed. “My view of the fight was that I boxed him, didn’t get dragged into the mix like I normally do with him, and stuck to my game plan.

“From round one, I thought I was comfortable and I felt I won the fight by a good six to eight rounds in the end. “I thought I had that extra edge, definitely. The crowd, when they are chanting your name it spurs you on and it does help you out big time. “In round five or six, when you were chanting, it was awesome. It gets you through the hard times in a fight and makes those shots a bit easier to take. I felt comfortable in every round really, and I thought I brought it home easily. “It definitely feels like a big relief. I was a bit disappointed with the first one because I thought he just nicked it to be honest. “But the second fight, I thought I definitely won that one and it ended up as another draw. After winning the third one I feel like I’ve won the trilogy and that’s the end of it. “It’s a great feeling because it went on for so long, and I can move on to bigger and better things now hopefully. “I’m not sure exactly where we’ll go, I’ll just have Christmas off now, recharge the batteries and go again in the New Year. “I’m waiting to hear off Frank Warren (promoter), and he’ll let me know what he thinks is the best route for me from here. “Hopefully, sometime, I’ll get a World title shot. That’s everyone’s dream in boxing, but we’ll just take it step by step from here.” There was a definite feeling of bad blood in the build up to the latest instalment of Evans vs Stalker. After both fighters felt hard done by in previous bouts, a ferocious rivalry

erupted between the two that was clearly visible in both of their efforts on fight night. And whilst Evans is now willing to respect Stalker, he insists the feeling of animosity between the pair was genuine. “It was definitely genuine (the rivalry),” he admitted. “With the things he comes out with, I disliked him and was determined to beat him. “After the fight, I can definitely respect him. He’s an awesome fighter and we had three great contests together. “It’s the way boxing is, after everything that goes on we’re everyone’s friends and all have that respect for each other.” Whilst his rivalry with Stalker lasted over a year, Evans’ journey to hold the European belt has been a long one. He has revealed how strong family connections with the sport led him to take up the sport as a youngster. “I started off when I was a young kid, about nine,” he explained. “My older brother started fighting, Christian Evans, so I just followed him and it started from there. “My Grandad was a fighter, Selwyn Evans. He boxed all his life and I looked up to him when I was a kid. “It’s my full-time job now, I’m a professional boxer and it’s just great that I’m able to do what I love every day.” Although Evans is living out his boyhood dream, life as a professional boxer still comes with a number of sacrifices. Training camp brings about a gruelling schedule in the build-up to fights, with up to three separate workouts a day in order to get in shape. He stated: “I train every morning, from about 10:30 until 12:30, then I go

home and do my roadwork (running) in the evening. “If I have a strength and conditioning day, then I’ll train three times a day, but it’s mostly twice a day in the build-up to a fight. “It’s pretty hard work and can be quite intense, but it’s all worthwhile when it comes to fight night and you can get the job done.” But the hard work certainly appears to be paying off for Evans, who trains alongside World Champion Lee Selby, Olympian Joe Cordina and a number of other top fighters at St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport. He is one of a number of Welsh fighters who are rapidly rising up the ranks, and there was plenty of talent on display on the same night Evans won his belt. Hot prospect Liam Williams, who headlined the show, put in another impressive display to stop Gabor Gorbics in the eighth round. Youngsters Jay Harris and Alex Hughes also won comfortably - and Evans is hopeful he can be at the forefront of a golden era for Welsh boxing moving forwards. “It’s a massive time for Welsh boxing, and hopefully now they can bring more shows to the country,” he added. “We’ve got some really good fighters at the moment who are doing well, so if we can keep fighting on home soil like we did last weekend it will only help us all. “Like I said, it gives you a boost when the home crowd is cheering you on and it would be a lot better if we could fight on home soil instead of going away all the time.”

Hopefully, sometime, I’ll get a World title shot. That’s everyone’s dream in boxing, but we’ll just take it step by step from here.


SPORT 29

Rich Jones

Although it was a scrappy affair, the visitors never looked troubled and claimed a comfortable victory to strengthen their grip on the top spot in the BUCS 1A South West.

Dan Heard

More tributes have been written or spoken about Gary to do him justice, but I don’t think I’m wrong in reiterating just how special a person he was.

Cardiff Cobras move to 3-0 with another comfortable victory C ardiff Cobras made it three wins out of three as they continued their dream start to the campaign with a convincing 20-0 win over the UWE Bullets in Bristol. The Cobras were always expected to win against their historic rivals, who suffered a crushing defeat against the Solent Redhawks in their opening fixture. Although it was a scrappy affair, the visitors never looked troubled and claimed a comfortable victory to strengthen their grip on the top spot in the BUCS 1A South West. Touchdowns from rookie trio Ross Ludlow, Max Milburn and Jak Canham plus a tremendous defensive performance ensured they were in control throughout. They took the lead when a superb punt from Canham pegged the Bullets back deep in their own territory. An excellent tackle from Scott Burgan in UWE’s own endzone gave the Cobras a safety and a 2-0 lead in the second quarter. They then capitalised on good field position as Ludlow was shoved over the goal line from three yards out to move them 8-0 ahead. Another composed drive on their next possession saw Milburn reach out to score and give them more breathing

space heading into the interval. Several big plays on defence – such as interceptions from Marcus Isaac and rookie Cameron Watson – prevented UWE from ever really threatening to trouble the scoreboard. They did miss some opportunities

from good field position on offense, but when Milburn found Canham in the endzone early in the fourth quarter it ended the game as a contest. After seeing off Exeter, Solent and UWE in their first three competitive games, the new-look Cobras are in an

excellent position. They will head to Southampton to take on the Solent Redhawks for the second time this Sunday (1pm) and another success would ensure they head into the Christmas break in a perfect position.

Five years on: Gary Speed tribute F ive years ago, Gary Speed passed away. I can remember it being announced live Sky Sports, before Swansea City took on Aston Villa. In both teams were players who knew Gary, who had played alongside him, including Jermaine Jenas and a visibly distraught Shay Given, or been managed by him, including his captain for Wales, Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Joe Allen, and James Collins. Tributes poured in from across the world of football. Here was a man who wasn’t just liked and respected by his teammates, managers and fans, but loved. And all of a sudden, he was gone. He was forty two years old, and had overseen a dramatic upturn of results in charge of Wales. His final game in charge saw them run out 4-1 winners against Norway in Cardiff only two weeks prior. At his first club, Leeds United, he’d won the league title, a vital player in an outstanding midfield quartet. He later moved on to Everton, his boyhood club, whom he captained, before joining Newcastle United, where he was a mentor to another raw Welsh talent in Craig Bellamy. Spells at Bolton Wanderers, where he made his five hundredth Premier League appearance, and Sheffield United followed, and it was at Bramall Lane that he finally retired.

It was for Wales though, for whom he played for eighty five times, and lead on numerous occasions, that he gave his all. He played with a pride and passion that was as genuine as him in every game, big or small. He moved swiftly into management, taking over at the Blades after a tough start to a season, and quickly improved results. It wasn’t long before his country came calling again, something which he couldn’t turn down. His first games in charge may not have brought wins, but they did install a confidence, as he continued to gel younger players into the national set-up. The qualifying campaign for Euro 2012 may have ended in disappointment, but a series of friendly wins had highlighted just how much the team had grown under his management. There was a newfound optimism going into the New Year, with sights set on qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With Gary in charge, anything seemed possible. But it wasn’t to be. Chris Coleman said on his unveiling as national team manager how his doubts over his own ability to take the job were quashed by wanting to carry on Gary, his friend’s, legacy. More tributes have been written or spoken about Gary to do him justice, but I don’t think I’m wrong in reiterating just how special a person he

was. A great player, who no doubt would have been a great manager too. Wales, the Wales side he helped shape, proved just how far they had come, in qualifying for and perform-

ing outstandingly in France during the summer. They did it for Gary. They’ll continue doing it for Gary. Because there was, and always will be, only one Gary Speed.

Pictured: Cobras Cornerback Alex Fitzpatrick (via Tallboy Images). Below: Gary Speed during his time as Wales manager (via Jon Candy)


30 SPORT

Six Nations to introduce bonus points from 2017 Mark Wyatt

If the new system was put in place from 2000 then there would have been three different winners in the 16 competitions since.

Shaun Davey

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he Six Nations will start a new bonus point system next year to encourage more attacking play and reward try-scoring. The system is already in place in the Aviva Premiership, World Cup and Guinness Pro12 tournaments. Under the new rules, a victory will earn a team four points and if they manage to score four or more tries then they will be awarded an extra point. A draw will now be worth two points and losers will be rewarded one point if they lose by seven points or less, as well as an extra point if they score four or more tries. An added incentive is there for those who, like England in 2016, manage to complete the Grand Slam by winning all five matches – this will be a bonus of three points. This has been implemented to stop a team who win all their matches being usurped by a second place team who get more points by scoring more tries than the team at the top. It’s the biggest shake up in Six Nations history since Italy were entered into the completion, then the Five Nations Championship, in 2000. The new system has created quite the stir in the rugby world, notable from for-

mer Lion and Ireland captain Willie John McBride. Capped 17 times by the Lions, McBride expressed that the new system was not needed, he said: “I can’t see why we have to keep changing things. Rugby’s strengths are its traditions, but that seems to be forgotten.” There are those in favour of the bold move though, former British and Irish Lions number 8 Jim Tefler encourages the new system. “It will encourage more open play,” Tefler said. “Nowadays the pitches are such in good condition that it does lend itself to playing more openly and this provides the incentive to overcome the defensive mind set.” If the new system was put in place from 2000 then there would have been three different winners in the 16 competitions since. England would have knocked Ireland off the top spot in 2001, Ireland would have then taken the crown over France in 2007 and England would’ve won again in 2013 at Wales’ expense. Perhaps the new point system will help improve the northern hemisphere’s attempts at World Cup glory. The 2015 World Cup semi-finals were dominated by players from the Rugby

Championships, with the attacking play of Six Nations competitors noticeably lacking over the tournament. The first game to see new structure take place will be Scotland v Ireland at Murrayfield on 4 February. Wales kick off against Italy on 5 February in Rome whilst England face France at Twicken-

ham on 4 February. Whatever happens in the next tournament, fans will be hoping the bonus point system will see more tries, more action and more drama. Maybe fans can expect an upturn in World Cup fortunes as well, but that is a test that only time will tell.

Welsh wonderkid makes Liverpool history

B

en Woodburn is the name on every Wales fans lips this week, as the 17-year-old wrote his name into Liverpool’s history books by becoming the clubs youngest ever goalscorer at the age of just 17 years and 45 days. The highly-rated forward is regarded

as one of the hottest properties to come out of Welsh football since the emergence of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey and the teenage sensation kicked off his career in style with a stunning finish against Leeds United in the EFL Cup last week. His strike set up a semi final clash

Pictured: Ben Woodburn celebrates a win with his Wales Under 21 team-mates. (via Twitter)

Gareth Axenderrie Cardiff Blues Columnist

Pictured: Italy take on Ireland in the 2016 Six Nations. (Photography: Antonio Cinotti)

A

month or so back, you could literally touch the optimism around the Arms Park. Now, there is an air of caution as the Blues head toward the festive period desperate to hold on to the coattails of the mid-season pace setters. Four wins on the bounce back in October is a bit of a distant memory now, and that early season form has not carried over into the last month or so. Victory away to Benneton Treviso a few weekends ago arrested a slide toward the bottom half of the table, but there is plenty to address if a busy Christmas period is to provide a

resurgence heading into January. The reintroduction of the international contingent will boost options and lift morale, but the squad on the whole is going to have to step up a gear in what could quite possibly the make or break part of the season. Following a tough trip to Connacht that yielded nothing other than a couple of ‘what ifs’, it is now imperative that Danny Wilson’s men close the gap on the top four as sides like the Scarlets, Ospreys and Munster start to look good money to be there or there about come May. What will be tricky to negotiate is

with Southampton and in turn had pundits and football fans alike wondering just who this rising star is? The Chester-born Woodburn is already in a tug of war between the English and Welsh FA in regards to who he represents in international football, but Wales boss Chris Coleman has played down fears of speculation that the Three Lions are ready to poach the teenage sensation from under their noses. He also added fuel to the fire over his potential by admitting he will not be afraid to pick the young star for his international squad if he continues his development in the top tier of English football. Coleman is not afraid to fast track promising young Welsh talent and has already given another Liverpool academy product, Harry Wilson, his debut back in 2013, making him the youngest ever player to start for Wales. Coleman, has also praised Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp with his treatment of the star with regards to protecting him from the over-hyped British media. His comments suggesting that he would look after the player but would not ignore him if he continued his progress, are a positive sign.

Klopp also stated how the player has been on his radar for sometime. The young star has already replaced Michael Owen as Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer and he has been capped for Wales from under-15 set ups and onwards, most recently starting in last month’s victory over bitter rivals England. He has already been in fine form this season with his potential being noticed in the Liverpool Under 23 squad, with a string of striking performances which has led Jürgen Klopp to give him his first team debut at Anfield, coming off the bench against Sunderland in their 2-0 Premier League victory. The dual-qualified talent has already indicated that he sees his International future with Wales. Woodburn’s links to Wales are understood to be through his mother’s father. Rules state that a player can represent the land of their birth, the land of either of their parents’ birth, or the birthplace of any one of their grandparents. This applies to all age-grades in British football. However, if Woodburn decided to swap his football heritage to England, a FIFA rule implemented in 2009 would allow him to do so.

back to back games against Bath in the European Challenge Cup. The games against their West Country rivals are undoubtedly something to relish, but coming between crucial matches against Ulster and the Dragons, there’s the double jeopardy of losses denting league momentum and picking up injuries. The balance between wanting to qualify for the quarter finals and being in prime shape for festive derbies against the Dragons and the Scarlets is a delicate one, and Wilson must look to take full advantage of growing squad depth. The signings of former Arms

Park favourite Nicky Robinson and scrum half Pele Cowley add to the on field options, but caution must be exercised to ensure that what is a very good first team doesn’t become a merry-go-round of tinkering. Decisions must be made as to what the best back row combination is, with Warburton, Navidi and Jenkins all fit. Likewise, it is pivotal that the backline has consistency in selection over the coming weeks. This time next month we will know where the Blues stand, but there is a lot of work to be done to make that positive in the meantime.

Coleman, has also praised Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp with his treatment of the star with regards to protecting him from the overhyped British media.


SPORT 31

Cont’d: What can Wales take from their Autumn fixtures? Rich Jones

Despite grinding out three hard-fought results in unconvincing fashion, Wales left a lot to be desired and should be capable of better.

H

owley’s troops ultimately looked indecisive, unimaginative and predictable in attack whilst their usually reliable defence was torn apart when they faced their biggest test against Australia. There were some positives for Wales – most notably in the back row where Ross Moriarty and Justin Tipuric played starring roles. In-form Ospreys man Tipuric took his chances well and was man of the match against South Africa even before his excellent try, fed by returning No.8 Taulupe Faletau. Moriarty, meanwhile, was arguably their player of the series and made his breakthrough at international level as he filled in for the injured Faletau in an unfamiliar role in their first few games. But their performances have left the management with a selection headache regarding Sam Warburton, who was named as captain for the series but led the side out only once, against Argentina.

With the performances of Tipuric and the emergence of Moriarty, there are growing calls for Warburton to be dropped from the side which opens up a whole new debate regarding the captaincy. Whilst positives were few and far between in the back line, Liam Williams once again showcased himself as a top class attacking threat. Scott Williams, whilst relatively unspectacular, also demonstrated glimpses of his potential as the ballplaying No.12 Wales crave after dislodging the experienced Jamie Roberts from the side. The debate surrounding the No.10 jersey remains, with Davies gaining minimal opportunities despite his game-winning drop goal against Japan. Dan Biggar was back to his best against South Africa, but there is an increasing sense that his limitations as a creative force could be holding Wales back. Attempts to create a more expan-

“After the Australia game there was a lot of pressure on us to come back and perform. Obviously it was a tough game against Japan, but I feel the other two wins we’ve dug deep and played well. “A win’s a win at the end of the day. We beat Argentina, Japan and we’ve gone on to beat South Africa. “We had a tough week in training, training has been hard the last five weeks, but I felt we deserved that win (against South Africa). “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been great to play

” Harry Borg Cardiff City Columnist

History would suggest a need to be cautious heading into the Six Nations; the last time Wales won three Autumn Internationals in 2002 they were whitewashed by their Northern Hemisphere rivals the following spring.

Pictured: Wales taking on England in the 2015 World Cup (via Flickr)

What the players said after a mixed series ROSS MORIARTY

There’s been a lot of criticism over the way we play, but I think we showed we can silence those critics. Jonathan Davies

sive style of play have failed to materialise, something these Autumn Internationals have proved without question. Despite grinding out three hardfought results in unconvincing fashion, Wales left a lot to be desired and should be capable of better.

JONATHAN DAVIES at the Millennium Stadium, which I hadn’t had the chance to do before. “I’ve been able to start, play the full 80 minutes in the games I’ve been involved in and I think of made the most of them. “I just try to develop my game every time I play. I’ve played a few 80 minutes now, I feel comfortable and I’m enjoying myself playing rugby at the moment. “International rugby is all about experience, I’ve got 12 caps now and hopefully I’ll get a chance to get a few more.”

SCOTT WILLIAMS

“We said in the week leading up to South Africa that it was all about the result, and we took care of that. “I think our shape was a lot more accurate. We weren’t losing players in attack and we were a lot, lot smarter. “I think that paid off in the first half where we built a lot of pressure. Although we didn’t get as many points as we’d like, the signs are good for us and I think we can improve a lot. “We just have to make sure we beat what’s put in front of us, regardless of the form they show.

“It’s been an upward curve, and that was the most important thing. We’ve always said we get better as a team when we stay together longer, and I think it showed. “People were slagging us off and stuff like that, but we had a good week’s training and got a good win against South Africa. “It’s very hard to change a style of play overnight. There’s been a lot of criticism over the way we play, but I think we showed we can silence those critics and whatever they think is their own opinion.”

GARETH DAVIES

“We were very happy to get the win (against South Africa). I thought our defence was superb. I don’t think they had any line breaks, so we’re really happy with that. “Obviously I have big shoes to fill with Jamie (Roberts) being a defensive captain, but it went well against South Africa. “I think we’ve probably got another couple of gears in us, but we’re happy to end the Autumn with three wins. “I think we’ve improved as we’ve gone along. We’ve tried to change a

couple of things in the way we play. It’s not going to change overnight but we’ve got to make sure we keep improving. “All the other teams are kicking on, so it’s going to be an exciting Six Nations. “We were disappointed with the way we started the autumn, but we’ve finished with three wins. It was a bit close against Japan, but if a couple of the offloads went our way we probably would have blown them away. “We’ll just keep improving and take a lot from the last three games.”

“I’ve played quite a bit. Obviously Rhys Webb was unfortunate to get the injury in the first game, but I felt it went OK. “I’m looking forward now to going back to the Scarlets for a couple of weeks, and hopefully I’ll get it back together ready for the Six Nations. “We’ve already spoken about the Six Nations and how much we’re looking forward to it. The next game here in Cardiff now is against England. “We were fairly comfortable against South Africa, but I think we have

another couple of gears in us and if we’re going to beat England we’re going to have to go through those gears. “When we do get together for the Six Nations we’ll work on those aspects, and hopefully we can improve a bit more. “We’ll have a review from the autumn series in a couple of weeks now, and I’m sure there’ll be a couple of points we have to work on for the Six Nations.”

M

City lack momentum. The victory over Huddersfield wasn’t capitalised on and following the 3-1 loss to Steve Bruce’s rejuvenated Aston Villa they sit 23rd in the league. Bruce’s side are an example of the positive impact the right type of momentum can do. Villa are unbeaten in seven games and are sitting comfortably in mid-table, they can now look to chase down those play-off places. The Bluebirds must look on with envy. A reoccurring issue which has plagued Warnock’s tenure was once again prevalent in the game against Villa. This Cardiff side have a real issue with scoring. Despite a slow start City

did create chances in the second half but again they failed to convert. This inability to score is the main reason Cardiff are down in relegation places. The Christmas period is a blessing for football fans, games come thick and fast. However, if your club is trapped in a relegation scrap then you’ll be wishing it were over quickly. Currently, Cardiff are in the midst of a relegation battle. The upcoming games against Wolves and Barnsley could even be described as Six-Pointers. Now, Cardiff will not literally gain double the amount of points if they win, it is merely an idiom of football discourse that emphasises the

importance of such games. If Cardiff fail to win many games over the holiday period don’t be surprised to see the rest of their games billed as Cup-Finals by fans and players alike. Wins against teams around them could really generate the positive momentum that the team needs. Warnock knows that, the players know that and the fans do too. Performances have been fine but football’s a results business, only wins can keep you safe. Cardiff need to initially generate momentum, grab hold of it and serenade it with a rendition of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

omentum refers to the quantity of motion that an object has. It can be defined as mass in motion, high-speed trains or cars have momentum. But in sport, when referring to clubs, it is more figurative and in games it is more psychological. A shift of momentum is easy to spot during a game, causes vary, ranging from a disallowed goal, hitting the post, a tackle, a decision that hasn’t gone your way or even the fans increasing the noise. Capitalising on the change can significantly alter the course of the game and even a season. Currently, and unfortunately, Cardiff

All the other teams are kicking on, so it’s going to be an exciting Six Nations. Scott Williams


sport p

Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport sport@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/sport

Also this week

Boxing Exclusive: Craig Evans, new European Champion P28>>

Cardiff Cobras move to 3-0 with another convincing win P29>>

Autumn Internationals: A review of Wales’ campaign After three victories and one defeat in their autumn fixtures, Gair Rhydd analyses how successful the last month has been for Wales. Rich Jones

W

ith three wins out of four games, Wales, statistically, enjoyed their best Autumn International series since 2002. But as the old saying goes, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. Whilst the record books may show this to be a summer of success for Rob Howley’s side, anyone who has watched their performances over the last month will know otherwise. After a crushing defeat to Australia in their opening game, Wales stuttered their way past Argentina and Japan before overcoming a South Africa side in disarray. They were on the back foot from the off after a humiliating loss against the Wallabies, during which their incisive attacking play cut holes in the Welsh defence at will. Their frailties against top-level oppo-

sition were left severely exposed, and from that point on they were always playing catch-up in a bid to change perceptions. Although they put in a professional display against Argentina and showed much more stability in defence, they struggled to break down the Pumas with ball in hand. They struggled to convert plenty of first half possession into points and were ultimately left reliant on the boot of Leigh Halfpenny to get them over the line with a 24-20 victory. The follow-up, however, proved even more disappointing as they required a last-gasp drop goal from debutant Sam Davies to edge a 33-30 win over Japan. It was another error-strewn, lacklustre performance from Wales as a number of fringe players failed to take their chance to impress. In sharp contrast, the Cherry Blossoms played an energetic, exuberant brand of rugby, which caused the Welsh problems on a number of occa-

sions, and they could count themselves extremely unlucky to lose the game. Whilst Wales were scraping past Japan, South Africa were being condemned to their first ever defeat against Italy in Rome – their second straight defeat of the tour. In some ways, the result left Wales in a no-win situation heading into their showdown with the struggling Springboks. Realistically, you could not have asked for more than a 27-13 win, but it was clearly a South Africa side who are a shadow of their former selves. A well-worked try for flanker Justin Tipuric sealed victory in the 78th minute and ensured Wales “restored some pride”, in the words of head coach Howley. But whilst they deserve some credit for salvaging three victories after their Australia horror show, few would argue these games proved Wales are currently a million miles away from the elite sides of world rugby.

Pictured: Wales taking on Italy in the Six Nations last year. (via Flickr)

Six Nations set to introduce bonus points P30>>

Continued on page 31

Welsh youngster Ben Woodburn breaks Liverpool record P30>>

Gair Rhydd 1089 - 5th December 2016  
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