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gair rhydd

FREE

CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY

freeword - EST. 1972

ISSUE 883 NOVEMBER 24 2008

INSIDE: creativewords - an anthology of creative writing by Cardiff students

GAIR RHYDD 2008 HOUSING SURVEY RESULTS UNVEILED: Education and Welfare officer Nick Yates with Horizon's award

A HUGE LET-DOWN

Just 30% of respondents satisfied with their letting agency

INSIDE:

NEWS

Letting agents laid bare >>page 4

Horizon awarded 'worst letting agency' according to survey Eleanor Joslin News Editor The results of the gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey have for the first time revealed the extent of the problems students face in getting a satisfactory service from their letting agent in Cardiff. 70% of the survey’s respondents were dissatisfied with the service provided by their letting agent, while 72% said that their letting agent did not provide good value for money, According to the survey, the most dissatisfactory letting agency was Horizon, with 26 of the 27 respondents saying that they were not satisfied with the service they provided. Last Thursday Nick Yates, the Education and Welfare Officer of Cardiff University Students' Union, attempted to present Horizon with an

award for ‘Cardiff’s Worst Letting Agency according to the gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey.’ Horizon refused to accept the award, and declined to comment on their achievement. According to the survey, the agency averaged a ranking of ‘very poor’ staff politeness, 'poor' customer care, and 'poor' property quality compared to expectations. A Horizon tenant that responded to the survey commented: "Staff are very rude to customers. They never do what they have promised and delay solving the problems.” The gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey also indicated that other letting agencies that failed to satisfy even 50% of respondents to the survey include 2let2students, Keylet, Imperial, 4let, CPS and Pinnacle. As members of ALMA, the Association of Letting and

Management Agents, Keylet and Pinnacle are expected to provide a quality professional service to tenants. Regarding their policy, ALMA says the association 'encourages the growth of best practice in the letting industry throughout South Wales. ALMA members must satisfy strict conditions in order to join and remain in membership of the Association.' The results of the survey indicate that 77 of 92 respondents letting with Keylet were not satisfied with the service they provided. 36 out of 55 respondents were not satisfied with the service Pinnacle provided. One respondent said: “Keylet were a constant disappointment. The house was a complete disaster, with mould, rats, damp etc. The problems, even though they were very serious, were not resolved until several phone calls and emails had been sent to Keylet

and the landlord.” In a statement Peter Vidler, the Managing Director of Keylet, said: 'Over the course of the past 12 months, we have conducted over 3,000 customer satisfaction surveys - as we do every year - and only 2% of them contained negative comments. The gair rhydd figures do not reflect the experience of the vast majority of Keylet tenants, of which there are 3,250 in and around Cardiff.' He continued: 'Our door remains open to any tenant who believes they have issues with their tenancy that they are not satisfied with'. The gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey was an independently produced survey that was emailed out to all students in their third year and above and all postgraduate students in October. 546 students responded, which accounts for 7.1% of the target population.

QUENCH Noel Fielding exclusive free inside


02 NEWS

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From fitness to fair trade: student council courts controversy

NEWS.............. 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION.......... 8

Emma Barlow News Editor

THE BOY THUNDER........ 13 POLITICS......... 14

XPRESS.......... 26 FIVE MINUTE FUN................. 27 LISTINGS......... 28 SPORT............. 30 gair rhydd has been Cardiff University's editorially independent student newspaper since 1972. FREE INSIDE THIS WEEK: Volume IV of creativewords, a pullout of creative writing by Cardiff University students.

UP

TED HANDSOME..... 25

EA N

V.C. DAVID GRANT

UR

T C A

!

YO

JOBS & MONEY............ 23

CL

FEATURES....... 17

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

LETTERS.......... 15

TAF-OD............ 21

NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

NEWSDESK: 07908 551922

A DEGREE OF RESPONSIBILITY: People and Planet Cardiff kept the pressure on Cardiff University to improve its sustainability last Thursday when they presented a fake Vice-Chancellor with a third for environmental performance in a mock degree ceremony. Cardiff were ranked 84th out of 119 universities in the People and Planet Green League earlier this year.

An oar-some result Sarah Powell News Editor The Fly Navy, one of the biggest sections of the Royal Navy, has been named as the new sponsor of Cardiff University Rowing Club. The club held an official boat naming ceremony in celebration on Monday 17 November, where the sponsors named two of the 8-boats. One of the highlights of the ceremony was the appearance of Peter Reed who is famous for his gold medal in the men’s coxless race during the Beijing Olympic Games. After the ceremony, Reed rode out in the men’s 8-boat, which the sponsors named ‘Sea Fury’. Its counter-

part, the women’s 8-boat, has been named ‘Sea Vixen’. This comes after Cardiff’s recent success in two women’s tournaments, where the team won the 4’s Head and Pairs Head competitions.

Student council this Tuesday is likely to be a site of heated debate as two controversial motions concerning the Union's provision of a gym and its fairtrade status are brought forward by the Union's sabbatical team. A member of the sabbatical team will submit a motion requesting that the Union looks into the possibility of incorporating a new gym into the Students' Union. The gym would be paid for by the University and would occupy the ground floor of the Union; however, it is unclear who would run the gym. A further motion attempts to overturn the actions of last year's student council. James Wood, the Students' Union Vice President, will be proposing to

overturn a previous motion which ruled that all t-shirts printed for Union campaigns must be fairtrade. The motion was originally passed in March this year and has led to a substantial increase in the cost of campaign t-shirts. James and the rest of the sabbatical team have so far managed to print non-fairtrade t-shirts for other Union promotions thanks to a loophole in the motion that states that only campaign t-shirts must be fairtrade. However, as the sabbatical team prepares to launch a series of campaigns, including Go Green and Invest In Sport, it has expressed concerns over the financial restrictions that the motion places on campaigns. Overturning the motion will not cause Cardiff to lose its fairtrade status, which it has held since June 2007.

Chippy lane: up Vogue's alley Lucy Morgan Reporter One of Cardiff's most popular institutions is featured in December's issue of Britain's top fashion magazine, Vogue. Caroline Street, better known as chippy alley or chippy lane, is perhaps a surprise addition to this iconic publication. However, the infamous fast food haunt features as one of Cardiff's hidden gems, along with The City Arms and Brains Brewery. The Secret Address Book section, compiled by highly-acclaimed designduo Elley Kishmoto, describes Caroline Street as the place where "all of Cardiff's big nights out draw to a drunken close" and where "hungry locals often bump into long-lost friends." Carmello Azzopardi, who runs Charleston's Bar and Grill, in Caroline Street, is not at all surprised at Chippy Alley's inclusion: "This is probably

one of the oldest streets in Cardiff, everyone comes here. It's very popular." Loved by many city residents, the street is also frequented by celebrities including the Welsh rugby team and it is where Gavin Henson and Charlotte Church first met on a night out after the 2005 Six Nations. Other city gems mentioned in this issue of Vogue include Castell Coch, described as ticking "all the right romantic boxes", E. Ashton Fishmongers in Central market, Club X and Roath Park Boating Lake.

CHIPPY ALLEY: A hidden gem?

Away on a placement? Heading abroad? In bed with a hangover?

www.gairrhydd.com ...NEWS, LIVE DEBATE, FEATURES, SPORT, QUENCH, EXCLUSIVE CONTENT & MORE


NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

NEWS 03

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'Hands off' over Christmas Cardiff's own 1970's style crime-fighting force remind students to be extra vigilant over Christmas Sarah Powell News Editor In a bid to help tackle the increased risk of burglary in Cathays over the Christmas period, students from universities in South Wales have joined forces to form an elite ‘crime-fighting force’. This campaign, entitled ‘Hands off Cardiff’, is designed to raise awareness of the risk of burglary, and aims to encourage students to take their valuable possessions home when they leave university over the Christmas period to help prevent break-ins. As part of an initiative by South Wales Police, the campaign involves students from the university posing as members of a 70’s style crime-fighting unit, as well as featuring on banners, flyers, posters and beer mats in the Students’ Union. ‘Hands off Cardiff’ is intended to be an ongoing anti-burglary security drive, but its immediate focus will be

on reminding students to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period. Crime rates in Cathays tend to rise over the Christmas period as many student houses are left vacant. Last year, up to 50 student premis-

es were burgled in Cathays and Roath between 12 December 2007 and 5 January 2008, with many students having valuables such as televisions and laptops stolen. James Wood, the Vice President of

the Cardiff Student Union, said: “For too long, burglars have seen students as easy targets, and we are determined to change that perception by showing we are security savvy.” He added; “We are calling on all Cardiff students to take extra care of the security of their houses this Christmas, and for the rest of the academic year.” PC Bob Keohane, Student Liaison Officer for South Wales Police, said: “Burglary does tend to rise over Christmas as criminals are aware that some students will leave valuables in their empty rented properties when they go home for the festive break. It is important to take valuables home and keep all doors and windows locked to ensure homes and property are protected.” The campaign launches on Wednesday 3 December at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and continues at Cardiff University on Thursday 4 December and at UWIC on Monday 8 December.

RAG raises a charitable sum Eleanor Joslin News Editor

RAG week has been a huge success, raising £1,390.85 for various charities from events and contributions two weeks ago. The Raise and Give week started with a fancy dress stall at Cardiff University’s Student Union where confiscated fancy dress items and fund-raising fairies raised money for Action Aid and Children in Need. Then many daring RAG members, led by Mary Stevens, took part in a twelve hour sponsored silence on Remembrance Day for The Poppy Appeal, raising £40 each through sponsorship and donations. Contemporary bar Milgi’s, on City Road, transformed their fortnightly Coolbox night into Charitybox for the St. George’s Foundation in aid of RAG week. A host of local and student DJ’s provided a chilled atmosphere for the raffle and local art and

photography stalls. Then Smurfs bombarded Bounce, on St Mary’s Street, to raise even more money by selling glow sticks, sweets and stickers. Helen Fitzgerald, a member of the RAG team, said: “They also helped to count a record number of Smurfs in an attempt to break a world record, with each smurfed-up person donating 50p. This evening, and an earlier bake sale, helped us raise £584.79 towards Children in Need.” The week’s brilliant fund-raising efforts culminated in raising £39.05 for the British Legion, £153.97 for Action Aid, £265.96 for the St George Foundation and £1,131.87 for Children In Need - an impressive £1,390.85 in total. The RAG committee commented on the generous contributions, saying: “We would like to thank everyone who was kind enough to stop and donate money and contribute to the worthwhile causes we want to help.”

Students are "becoming more demanding" Nathan Allen Reporter Universities are experiencing a ‘new breed’ of student according to Dr Brian Lang, vice-chancellor at St Andrews University. He told fellow university chiefs at a summit held at Princeton University in the US: “We are becoming a serv-

ice society and students increasingly think they are buying a service – for which they want a return.” He continued to say that students are becoming more demanding, especially in terms of accommodation: “It has to be en-suite, have a TV and be cleaned for them,” he said. Dr Lang described how these ‘requirements’ threaten the stereotypi-

cal image of students living in basic, cramped and overcrowded conditions and stressed that a change in standards would make for an improvement in students' lives. Students in Scotland are already beginning to ask for changes, although tuition fees there are free. Similar ideas are being echoed at English and Welsh universities where

students are paying £3,145 plus accommodation fees. Wes Streeting, president of the NUS said: “Students now pay more than ever towards the costs of higher education and inevitably expect more as a result.”

News in brief: IDcline

Eleanor Joslin News Editor A protest against the government imposing ID cards will be held outside Cardiff General Buildings, Newport Road, on 25 November. From midday, No Borders South Wales will be protesting the controversial biometric ID cards, launching on this date in Birmingham, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Sheffield, and which will affect non-EU students and spouses. These ID cards will be required to prove if a foreign national from outside the European Economic Area can live and work in the United Kingdom. No Borders South Wales said: “We welcome all opponents of the increasing levels of social control that the government wishes to extend over our lives to take part. By resisting the repression of migrants, we defend the freedom of everyone”

New guide for gay job seekers Steve Wright Reporter Stonewall Cymru has launched the UK’s largest recruitment guide for gay job seekers. The fourth edition of Starting Out features 325 potential employers, including Cardiff University, DVLA and the National Assembly, and is targeted at the 150,000 gay and lesbian job seekers in the UK. Liz Morgan, Director of Stonewall Cymru, said: “It is important for young lesbian, gay and bisexual graduate recruits in Wales to know there are employers committed to building a supportive working environment for them.” Stephen Frost, manager of Stonewall's workplace programmes, said "By appearing in the guide, companies are not just reaching out to gay and lesbian people but are sending a message to others." The launch event was hosted by Cardiff University at the Optometry Lecture Theatre on Wednesday 19 November.


04 NEWS

NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

HOUSING WEEK 2008

The gair rhydd 2008 Hou Christofer Lloyd provides an analysis of the results of the first ever student survey of letting agents in Cardiff

The results from this year’s Housing Survey have unearthed near universal dissatisfaction with the level of service students received from letting agencies in 2007/08. However, the agency that was most positively regarded was the Union’s own Cardiff Student Letting Agency. Fighting it out at the other end of the table are Horizon and 2let2, although 4let, CPS, Imperial and Keylet agencies are all close behind. The gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey was an independently produced survey that was emailed out to all students in their third year and above and all postgraduate students in October. 546 students responded, which accounts for 7.1% of the target population. Respondents made much of the lack of customer care from agents, mentioning problems ranging from the serious, such as the students facing numerous threats of repossession due to landlords failing to pay their mortgages, to the bizarre, such as the student who discovered used condoms in their bedroom,. Some students described their experiences as a “constant battle” and the service they received as “absolutely terrible”. Only 12% of respondents described their general level of satisfaction with their letting agent as “Very Good”. Horizon was found to be the lowest rated agency in terms of student satisfaction. Out of the 27 respondents, 24 described service with the most negative classification, 20 of whom similarly rated the lack of politeness from agency staff. Horizon also came under fire for their poor delivery of promises with 93% of their respondents classing it as “Very Poor”. Likewise 90% of 2let2’s tenants rated the agent as “Very Poor”

or “Fairly Poor”. In contrast 71% of Cardiff Student Letting Agency (CSLA) tenants rated the union agency’s delivery of promises as “Very Good” or “Fairly Good”. Just under half of 2let2’s tenants said that their property failed to live up to their expectations and again Horizon were criticised by two thirds of their respondents for “Very Poor” performance. Even higher proportions of student tenants complained about the speed that problems were resolved; 74% of CPS' tenants rated the agent’s performance in the worst category with 89% of Horizon’s customers doing likewise. Again, Cardiff Student Letting Agency leads the field with 62% of its tenants rating their attentiveness as either “Very Good” or “Fairly Good.” Many issues were also raised with the standard of repair that was carried out to houses with Horizon, 2let2 and CPS all coming under particular criticism. Significantly, over half of the various agency’s tenants asked, with the exception of those using Cardiff Student Letting Agency, said that overall resolution of problems was “Very Poor” or “Fairly Poor.” 57% of CSLA tenants described this aspect as “Very Good” or “Fairly Good”, with no students rating it as “Very Poor.” Following on from this 70% of all respondents said that they did not think that their agency provided good value for money. Cardiff Student Letting Agency came top here again with 86% of its tenants saying that it was good value and that they were satisfied with the service that they received. However, 387 of the 558 respondents (66%) were dissatisfied with their agents.

The agency ranking Results cross tabulated by question 12 of the gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey: 'Overall, were you satisfied with the service provided by your letting agent?'

Letting Agency* Number of Number of respondents dissatisfied respondents

Percentage of dissatisfied respondents

Horizon 2let2 Students

27 63

26 57

96 90

Keylet Imperial

92 18

77 15

84 83

4let CPS

33 93

27 74

82 80

Pinnacle Cardiff Student Letting

55 21

36 3

65 14

MOST SATISFACTORY

*Eight agencies have been excluded due to a lack of data It is clear from the statistics that a vast proportion of students are unhappy with Cardiff’s letting agents, with some students taking part in the survey adding that they had been charged £75 for new toilet seats, received itineraries featuring the incorrect number of bedrooms and even experienced their ceiling cave in.

Most of the agencies named in the gair rhydd housing survey declined to comment on the results. But when asked about their success, Cardiff Student Letting Agency said: “We ask students what they’re looking for. We take the trouble to let them know what they’re getting into. We are flexible. Really we are here to provide a

The letting agencies that let respondents down...

Horizon were rated as the least satisfactory agency in the gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey

LEAST SATISFACTORY

2let2students regularly features in gair rhydd's news section over disputes with its customers

The ALMA accredited Keylet performed surprisingly poorly in the survey

service.” They also added: “We take everything that students say seriously and we keep them constantly updated. We are always there at the end of the phone. We hire students to do viewings, they talk the same language [as tenants]. They know about us.”

...and one that didn't

Cardiff Student Letting was the only agency to pass with flying colours


NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

HOUSING WEEK 2008

NEWS 05

using Survey: the results Comments and general breakdown:

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

"None of the walls, doors or ceilings met the fire regulations"

"Shamefully incompetent, unhelpful and rude"

Education & Welfare Officer Nick Yates offers five top tips for students looking for houses:

1. 2.

When you do look try Cardiff Student Letting first. It's handily located in the union, has the best staff in Cathays and doesn’t charge an agency fee.

3.

Set minimum standards for the group. Be willing to live with the condition the house is in when you see it, no matter what promises are made.

4. 5.

"They see students as an easy target"

The most important thing about house hunting is taking your time. There’s no need to rush; Cathays never runs out of great student houses.

"They were rude, obnoxious and swindling for every penny"

Before you hand over your bond, make sure that it's protected under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is a legal requirement, so be sure to ask your letting agent about it. You are the consumer. You're in charge. Don't get pressured into buying. And if you're not sure about anything don't hand over any money, come to the Union’s Advice Centre for friendly housing help.

Be sure to watch the free DVD in your copy of gair rhydd for more useful advice to follow when finding a house, courtesy of the University's Student Support Centre

"We had a rat in our kitchen and lived most of the year with a hole in our lliving room ceiling"


06 NEWS

NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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UNION WATCH

Emma Jones rounds up the week in student media

What Jew think Students arrested you're doing? after bar crawl brawl

OXFORD CHERWELL

Students at Oxford University have caused controversy by dressing up as Orthodox Jews for a night out. The Bring a Fit Jew night was organised by the University’s rugby team. Partygoers were expected to dress up like Orthodox Jews, carrying money bags and with pretend sidelocks attached to their heads. One of the rugby players, Phil Boon, contested this saying: “we changed the name of the party from the Fit Jew thing to Bring a Fit Girl to Dinner." He also told the Daily Mail: “I have organised many party nights and do not see why there should be any fall out.”

The same group of students have also been criticised for “blacking up” for a Safari Bop. Boon insisted that: “Blacking up for the Safari Bop was just going along with that theme. We dress up for a lot of parties. I have not had people telling me that either of the themes were offensive." NUS President Wes Streeting said that the individuals who took part in this event should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. “They're supposed to be among the best and the brightest of Britain's student population, but lately the Oxford University rugby boys can't seem to help making fools of themselves. “The university will doubtlessly be privately seething at the damage to its reputation caused by a small number of students,” he added.

SWANSEA WATERFRONT Eight people were arrested after the latest Carnage event in Swansea ended in a mass brawl. Swansea University are insisting that the majority of those who were arrested are locals rather than students, but other reports suggest that only students were involved. They were arrested for anti-social behaviour offences. Police said that while the vast majority of students had behaved on the night, a few “had stepped out of line.” Inspector Steve Jones, who polices Swansea city centre, said, “We like to see young people enjoying themselves and having a drink but unfortunately there are occasions when people step out of line and as police officers we must take the appropriate action. “Incidents like this in the Swansea

student communities are very few and far between. We will deal robustly with any incidents of disorder to ensure those visiting the city especially at night will leave having had an enjoyable experience.” Swansea Student’s Union was keen to stress that the event was not organised by them, but by a private company. They had even banned Carnage promotion on campus before the event due to concerns over binge drinking. President James Houston said, “If we had our way we would be running it and regulating it.” He also suggested that the event needed more stewards to keep things under control. “I think 50 stewards for 1,700 people is quite low,” he said. “At the Freshers’ ball we had 100 plus stewards, and that’s for an enclosed building.” But Matt Pooley, who organised the event in Swansea, said, “The Po-

lice were happy with the event. They said that only three of those arrested were students and five were locals not associated with the event in any way. “We are an independent company and we don’t claim to work with the Students’ Union.” The ‘dirty porn star’- themed event saw mass pub crawls take place in university cities across the UK, and it is not only in Swansea that it has come under fire. Carnage was cancelled in Preston after many of the participating bars and clubs dropped out facing pressure from councillors and police, whilst Sheffield University Students’ Union has refused to have any dealings with the event. Their President, David Hurst, said: “Sheffield Students’ Union does not endorse, support or in anyway have any relationship with Carnage, and is calling for it to be stopped.”

Bristol student reaches final of Channel 4 reality show BRISTOL EPIGRAM A student at the University of Bristol has reached the final of the reality TV competition Miss Naked Beauty. 20-year-old Shona Collins was chosen from 7,000 women for the reality TV show, and had to complete a series of interviews, speeches, and catwalk appearances during the selection process.

Shona believes that she looks fairly average, and is a far cry from what you normally see in the media, but has never contemplated losing weight, and says, "I love my curves and freckles." The classics student, said: "I'm 5ft 4in, a size 12 to 14, according to the fashion industry. I'm normal and healthy, but average sized British woman are obviously not represented in our magazines. At university, I'm surrounded by beautiful, intelligent women who are miserable about the way they look. I am just trying to prove that beauty is also down to in-

telligence, integrity and confidence, not your dress size." The Channel 4 show, hosted by Gok Wan and Myleene Klass, aims to redefine beauty by getting contestants to give up cosmetic enhancements such as make up, hair dye and figure correcting clothing. The series winner not only clinches the Miss Naked Beauty title: she will write a regular magazine column to expose the sinister side of beauty and promote the natural beauty message.


NOVEMBER.24.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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WORLD NEWS 07

Male gets bail after jail mail Charlotte Laken Reporter A manhunt is under way in Germany after a convict escaped by mailing himself out of jail. The 42-year-old Turkish citizen, who was serving a seven-year sentence for drug dealing, had been making stationery with other prisoners. At the end of his shift, the tall and broad-shouldered inmate climbed into a cardboard box that was about 150cm by 120cm. When the weekly express courier arrived to pick up several boxes of merchandise, the one containing the prisoner was also loaded into the back of the lorry. Shortly after it passed through the prison gates, the inmate cut a big hole in the tarpaulin of the lorry and jumped off, making his dash for freedom.

Also in the news...

The driver alerted the police after he noticed the tarpaulin flapping in the breeze. The jail's chief warden, Beate Peters, believes the man must have had accomplices outside the prison. She suggested that "as soon as the prisoner jumped off the back of the lorry his friends would have picked him up." She believed fellow convicts must also have known of his plan but would not talk because it is a criminal offence in Germany to assist somebody's escape from jail. Ms Peters admitted this was an embarrassing incident, saying: "I was not surprised that an escape has happened. For years I had been asking for more security guards from the government. "We have no idea where the fugitive is hiding. We assume that he is still in the country and is lying low before making his move."

Katie Chidwick Reporter

Sci-fi for an eye

An artist from San Francisco who lost an eye in a car accident in 2005 intends to have it replaced with a webcam. Tanya Vlach currently wears a realistic acrylic prosthesis but thinks incorporating a camera would provide "amazing possibilities". According to Roy Want, a mobile computing expert, the technology already exists to enable Vlach's idea to become a reality. "I'm sort of a sci-fi geek," said Vlach. "With the advancement of technology, I thought, 'Why not?'"

Ex on fire

Head and shoulders above the rest Siobhan O'Hanlon Reporter An oversized skull with a built-in sauna is turning heads in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The "Wellness Skull" is located near a hectic intersection in Karlsplatz, one of the most frequented districts in Vienna, and possesses a bathtub and shower on either side of the neck so that visitors can 'freshen up' whilst on the move. The eye-catching installation stands

at approximately 4.5 metres tall (15 feet) and is made of wood as well as synthetic material. Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout, who devised the idea, said his creation was part of a series of pieces linked to body parts. When asked about the skull's deeper meaning, van Lieshout replied: "It's really a piece that has many different interpretations." Van Lieshout is also an award-winning artist who has had exhibitions featured in London's Tate Modern

Gallery. The skull is part of an effort by Public Art Vienna to revitalise and enhance urban space around the capital. Tourists and locals alike appeared astounded by the skull. "It's the most random thing I've seen in Vienna," said 27-year-old Nick Abrahams from London. "It's really strange," commented Nick Trute, 29, from Sydney, Australia. Although the skull was built to be fully functional, visitors will not be able to try it out or witness the steam,

which comes out of the eye sockets something that only happens when the sauna is in use. It can fit up to eight people at a time. Art and culture have enjoyed a long tradition in Vienna, including theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts, and there are numerous events and exhibitions all year round. It is one of Europe's most visited cities. Visitors will be able to go inside every first Saturday of the month or by appointment until 15th March 2009.

Evicted from prison...for being obese Katy Gorman Reporter A convicted drugs gang member has been released from jail because he is too fat to fit in his cell. Michel Lapointe is a convicted drugs gang member who was arrested in 2006 and weighs 450lb (205kg).

He was unable to fit in a chair in the Montreal prison and his body protruded from his prison bed, six inches either side. Lapointe was freed late on Tuesday after officials ruled that his prison conditions were "difficult" because of his health. The Journal de Montreal newspaper quoted a letter from the authorities to Mr Lapointe saying: "You have been

detained for more than 25 months and your prison conditions are difficult because of your health." They also stated that two other prisons had refused to accept the obese man despite the fact that he was awarded a five-year prison sentence this year. Mr Lapointe is very excited about his release; "I'm going to have a proper bed and

finally have a chair I can sit in," he told the paper outside the prison. "I want a normal life. I've done some stupid things and I've paid for them," he added. The Quebec Parole Board justified his early release by also citing Mr Lapointe's good behaviour, his nonviolent crime and the support of his wife and mother.

In Japan this week a man set fire to the hotel in which his wedding was to be held in a bizarre attempt to avoid marrying his fiancĂŠ. According to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri, Tatsuhiko Kawata had gone along with wedding plans regardless of the fact that he was already married. Tatsuhiko, 39, is reported to have told police: "I thought if I set a fire I wouldn't have to go through with the wedding."

Bum Deal

A festival in Queensland, Australia that holds the 'Australia's Best Butt' competition has said it will fight organisers of a similar event for intellectual property rights to the name. The Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival has been running the competition, which has a registered business name and website, for a few years. Co-ordinator Margy Rider says she is prepared to enter a legal battle with a rival international company that recently hosted the similarly named 'Australia's Best Bum'.


OPINION 09

NOVEMBER.24.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

freewords Est. 1972

Housing horrors It has been two months in the making, but the gair rhydd 2008 Housing survey has finally made it to the front page. The majority of letting agencies that cater for students in Cardiff have long been known to offer an extremely unsatisfactory service, and you will rarely meet a student who hasn't suffered problems with their letting agent at some point. As a result, the fact that more than two-thirds of the respondents to the survey expressed dissatisfaction with the service provided by their letting agent perhaps did not come as too much of a surprise - although this certainly does not detract away from the seriousness of the statistic. Furthermore, the extremely positive ranking of Cardiff Student Letting Ageny in the survey proved that students are not simply asking too much of their letting agencies; good agencies exist that can offer students a satisfactory service. It is time for letting agents to stop treating students with complaceny. We are the consumers and we hold the power. Demand a better deal from your agent, and if you are not confident that they will provide you with a good service, then go elsewhere. This is your right as a consumer, and unless students stop letting from substandard letting agents, the situation will not improve.

Medclub: finally a resolution? As gair rhydd goes to print, plans revealing the future of Medclub have been laid in our hands, giving us the first look at a refurbishment that is hoped to solve one of the most contentious issues currently facing Heath students. We wondered if they would ever come. It has been years since a refurbishment was first proposed, and it has taken years for students to get what they've been asking for. Naturally, the plans aren't concrete evidence that Medclub will go ahead, but they are the first sign that the University hasn't just been listening, but has been taking action. A comprehensive report on the plans will appear in gair rhydd next week and, as ever, we will be keeping a very close eye on the University's progression with the redevelopment. Editor Ben Bryant Deputy Editor Hazel Plush Co-ordinator Elaine Morgan News Emma Barlow Emma Jones Sarah Powell Sian Symons Eleanor Joslin Editorial and Opinion Jamie Thunder Emma Davies Columnist

Have a little respect

Stop letting off the letting agencies for their poor treatment of students, says Daniella Graham

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enting a house for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Leaving the security of halls, knowing you are responsible for paying rent and bills, as well as choosing who to live with are all daunting prospects, and horror stories about dodgy landlords are widespread. With this in mind, going through a letting agency seemed the best way to make the whole experience as painless as possible. How wrong I was. The results of the gair rhydd 2008 Housing Survey show that the majority of students are not satisfied with their letting agents, and considering my own experiences, I am really not surprised. Having heard bad things about many of the letting agencies in Cardiff, my future housemates and I decided to go with an agency we believed to be reputable. Initially everything was great – everyone was really helpful when we were looking for our house, and we even got free sweets and beer whenever we went! Perhaps we shouldn’t have been taken in by the gimmicks, but when they showed us around a nice house that met all our requirements and had reasonable rent we were more than happy to sign on the dotted line.

Once we'd signed the contract, the agency seemed uninterested in us The fact that our agency dealt with any problems rather than having to contact the landlord directly seemed a major advantage, and we thought this would make any issues easier to deal with. However, once we had signed the contract, they no longer seemed overly concerned with keeping us satisfied. My housemate moved her belongings in to the house first, at the beginning of July. The place smelt pretty disgusting so naturally she went to open a window. It was then that she realised the windows of the lounge, kitchen and two of the bedrooms had no keys. Immediately she went to the agency having checked the inventory

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and told them about the lack of window keys, only to meet with a rude response from an unconcerned employee. All repairs are meant to take place during the period of cyclical repair, which is in July and August. Come September the keys were still missing, and we had to move our stuff in during the mini-heat wave of September without the ability to open windows. In total we had to go to our agency approximately ten times before the window keys were replaced at the end of October, over three months since we had raised the initial issue. Throughout this time the agency passed us from one person to another, none of whom knew what was going on and most of whom were pretty rude to us. Staff would contradict what another person had said to us previously, and when they said they would call us back invariably they didn’t. As for saving us the hassle of contacting the landlord, a lack of communication between our letting agents and our land(lady) is ridiculous. Once our landlady visited and was angry that nobody was in, despite the fact we had informed our agency we couldn’t Graeme Porteous Proof Readers Aisling Tempany Katherine Davies Georgina Coles Laurel Burn Ellen Devine Katherine Roberts Siobhan O'Hanlon Chris Lloyd Contributors Lucy Morgan, Nathan Allen, Steve Wright, Charlottte Laken, Katie Chidwick, Siobhan O'Hanlon,

SENGHENNYDD COURT: all this almost makes me miss it be in immediately after they contacted have been similarly unhelpful with us to say someone would be coming more serious problems such as faulty kitchen appliances and rat problems. the next day. A friend of mine at university in There is a complete lack of consideration for commitments we might Oxford was told a week before she have – my three housemates are med- was due to move in to her house that ics and are often out all day at lectures, Environmental Health officers had and while I have less contact time I declared her house uninhabitable, and have two jobs, so am often out of the her letting agents had failed to ensure house. Under the terms of our contract her landlord had a CORGI certificate, a we must be given 24 hours notice if minimum legal requirement. In theory someone is coming in to the house, letting agencies provide security and yet on more than one occasion we make the process of renting a house have received texts at 5.30pm inform- much simpler and less stressful, but ing us that someone will be round at the reality is clearly very different. There seems to be a prevailing at9.30am the next day, giving us only half an hour to tell the agency if we titude amongst letting agencies that students are not worthy of equal attencan’t be in. tion and respect, and their concerns are simply not a priority. Students often don’t know their rights, and don’t know where to go to redress their grievances. I personally think that it is outrageous that letting agenWhat I find most outrageous is cies are able to get away with treating that although my experience has been students so appallingly, and believe frustrating and annoying, it is a very students should be able to get on with familiar one, and if anything I have their studies and enjoying university been quite lucky compared to others. life without being subject to such ill I know people whose letting agents treatment.

It seems students are not considered worthy of respect

Daniella Graham, Corey Shefman, Jenni Summers, Ben Reynolds, George Carpenter, Christofer Lloyd, Paul Stollery, Alison Dairy, Damian Fantato, Katy Gorman, Richard Williams, Tom Victor, Eimear O'Toole, Laura Davies, Tomos Morgan, James Perou, John Mills, Charlotte Duer, Alexandra Quinnell, Will Viles,

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10 OPINION Canuck in Cardiff

Corey Shefman states the case for Timmy Ho's

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an I get a double-double please? How about an iced capp? Well if you don’t have any of those, at least give me some Timbits! By now, it's likely you all think that the Canadian has serious brain freeze, but really it’s just Tim Hortons withdrawal. Tim Hortons, the coffee, doughnut, sandwich shop that is literally on every other street corner in Canada is probably the first thing that most Canadians miss when travelling abroad. It’s also one of those things, like McDonalds for Americans and chip shops (or deep-fried Mars bars!) for the British that defines our national persona.

Tim Hortons defines Canada's national persona Founded in 1964 near Toronto, Ontario by hockey (that’s ice hockey) player Tim Horton, the chain quickly expanded across Canada and now operates over 3000 stores in Canada and New England. What’s important to realise though is the extent to which Tim Hortons, affectionately known to most Canadians as Tim’s or Timmy Ho’s, is a cultural institution. The phrase ‘double double’ referring to a coffee with two sugars and two milks, has an official entry in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Tim Hortons itself has been the subject of dozens of academic articles and, as I mentioned earlier, if you go more than two kilometres in any direction in urban Canada, you’re likely to see at least one (though often more) Tim Hortons. Now you’re probably asking yourself why you should care. Well, I was pleasantly surprised, walking down Woodville Road in my first week in Cardiff, to see a giant Tim Hortons sign in the window of the Spar at the corner of Woodville and Crwys! That’s right, many of the Spars in Cardiff (and across the UK) feature Tim Hortons self-serve kiosks. Indeed, having personally tested the coffee, I can confirm that it is the same top quality (and inexpensive) coffee you can enjoy across Canada! While they don’t have iced capps (frozen cappuccinos – so delicious) or timbits (Americans call them donut holes), they’ve got the basics down. On behalf of all Canadians, I urge all of you to go out right now, drop whatever you’re doing, walk to your nearest Spar and ask for a doubledouble. Tim would be proud. As a final note, this column is dedicated to my dad, Alan Shefman, a man who loves Tim Hortons probably more than is healthy and insisted that I ‘spread the gospel’ here in Cardiff.

NOVEMBER.24.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

The last broadcast? Jenni Summers questions whether the BBC can retain its integrity and still fight off its critics

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he British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a long established national institution, but it appears that not everyone one is enthusiastic about it. An ever-rising number of individuals argue that the BBC has become bloated, cocky and unjustifiably expensive; those individuals might get their wish of cutting the BBC down to size sooner than one might think, as the OfCom review has threatened to take away vital funding. The primary merit of the BBC is that it has always had the capacity to cater for different sections of society’s needs whilst maintaining a high standard of journalism. From gardening, nature and documentary programming to election coverage, period dramas, regional programming and, of course, cutting-edge comedy, the BBC endeavours to educate, inform and entertain while retaining great integrity. Apart from television coverage, it also has a plethora of radio stations, a useful website and of course the recent innovation – the iPlayer. Is the expanse that is the BBC necessarily a positive thing? Large parts of the print media do not think so, although admittedly some papers also feel it appropriate to include rather lewd content in their own pages. Their opportunity to express discontent with the BBC was truly sparked off by a sorry incident involving Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross (as Daniella Graham commented on in gair rhydd two weeks ago); the affair became overblown by its conclusion and led to a popular Radio Two controller re-

signing. Commentaries and speeches are now appearing almost daily mostly expressing a rising dissatisfaction with the organisation, even, rather hypocritically, Janet Street-Porter and Piers Morgan have even made their voices heard in protest against the BBC.

Public Service Broadcasting is clearly expensive The complaints streamed in once again after a joke from Jeremy Clarkson about lorry drivers, demonstrating that this ‘moral’ uprising is determined to get their message across. The worry is that comedy in the BBC could be in danger, with comedians becoming reluctant to test out new material for fear of offending. It is fair to say that there will always be comedy that is not to all people’s taste, but that does not mean that provocative comedy should be avoided. The BBC is famous for seeking out talent, everyone from Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan to Catherine Tate and Rowan Atkinson have cut their comedy teeth at the BBC. Perhaps we should be celebrating this media organisation that is committed to originality and entertainment, rather than jumping on the ‘moral’ bandwagon in response to an article which feels it necessary to print verbatim the details of these ‘scandalous’ events. Before ranting on into the night, now seems like an opportune time to move on to the subject of funding. Public Service Broadcasting is clearly

BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE: is the BBC's comedy output in danger? going to be expensive if we want to quire the most expenditure. The rupay for the breadth of programming mour mill also suggests that in the and online content talked about earli- not-so-distant future the BBC could er, so much so that OfCom is currently be privatised, which could lead to an explosion of populist programmes at reviewing the BBC’s funding. the expense of quality programming, as has arguably been the case with ITV in recent years. The question is whether the BBC can survive the current threats to its kingdom; it is obviously possible that Stephen Fry and many other com- the current furore could die down and mentators agree that preserving the the BBC be left to carry on in its curBBC is vital, but OfCom suggests a rent form. However, the effect of a ‘slice up’ of the licence fee is neces- drop in funding in the near future is sary to help the ailing Channel Four more than likely to have a detrimental and ITV. This threatens to take money effect on the number of new, quality out of the avant-garde and regional programmes that can be developed,. programming that defines the BBC, Hopefully this will not be the case. because these are the areas that re-

The BBC should be celebrated, not condemned

Future of the theft

Education, not regulation, is the only effective way to prevent plagiarism, argues Ben Reynolds

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ambridge’s student newspaper, Varsity, in its survey on plagiarism practices, has found that 49% of its students have plagiarised at some stage during their course. As Cambridge is the bastion of higher education in the UK, should we be at all surprised by this confession? Besides, as the culprits only admitted to being caught 5% of the time, it seems an attractive option to take if you really need to get in that essay on ‘regioselectivity and peri-specificity in cyclisation reactions and essential photochemical principles’ (that's from the quantum chemistry section of the Cardiff University website, if you were at all curious) by Monday. Facebook is now the newest and coolest way that students can plagiarise. What better than in between incessant ‘poking’ and ‘throwing

zombies’ at your friends, the opportunity for a cheeky notes-grab in return for cooking your mate tofu stew one night? (Let’s face it - the recession isn’t doing carnivores any favours.) We could even make plagiarism into a Facebook application – any suggestions for titles? Maybe a ‘steal your workaholic mate’s exam notes’ request or an invite to the annual student plagiarism party – come dressed as everyone has come before.

We need more reinforcement of the consquences

Universities have woken up to this student reality but I doubt there is very much they can actually do about it. The internet in this country is somewhat regulated by an Act of Parliament passed in 2000 and further

by the Anti-Terrorism Act passed the following year. However, unlike some other social networking sites, Facebook has the option of only allowing your friends to see your profile, instead of the big bad world and its prying eyes. This means that unless you are online mates with your professor, they are not likely to be able to snoop at what you’ve been sharing on your profile. Maybe universities will employ annoyingly pretentious students to become ‘Facebook friends’ with you, just so that the institutions can get a foot into the online world. Interestingly, Varsity’s survey showed that Law students were the most likely to flaunt the system, with 62% disclosing their plagiarism habit. Students that did plagiarise used the heavily worn-out excuse that they were simply too swamped with work

to be expected to hand in original essays every time. I guess if you know the ins and outs of copyright laws, plagiarising would be as simple as filling out a tax return form.

Facebook is the newest way to plagiarise work Ant Bagshaw, education officer for Cambridge University Student Union, pointed the finger at universities for not taking plagiarism seriously enough: “It has to expect headline figures like these [from the survey].” I agree. It’s not a question of more regulation: it isn’t going to be as effective. There needs to be more reinforcement of the consequences of malpractice. Moral lessons perhaps. Only then can we expect instances of plagiarism to drop.


OPINION 11

NOVEMEBER.24.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Catholic guilt

According to George Carpenter, Catholicism is in a no-win situation

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he Pope’s latest effort in the battle against sexual abuse among the clergy has made headlines recently. Earlier this year, Benedict XVI made a historic apology to victims of child abuse perpetrated by the Church to an audience in Australia, meeting and praying with several victims. In another attempt to quell the controversy which has rocked Roman Catholicism since the 1950s, a document has been released issuing guidelines on sexual behaviour within the clergy. Among these are proposed psychological ‘screenings’ designed to filter out those priests who might break their vow of celibacy. Given the sensitivity of the issue at hand, it is no surprise that the guidelines in said documents have drawn fire from rights groups who take issue with its treatment of both priests and victims.

Whenever they apologise, they court controversy Terms such as ‘psychological defects’ could refer specifically to paedophile cases; however, coupled with the negative implications for those with ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’, it would appear that gay priests are being tarred with the same brush as potential child molesters. These sweeping statements have been duly noted by gay rights groups, accusing the Church of making scapegoats out of homosexuals, whose sexual preferences have little in common with those of offenders. Elsewhere, however, the Church has been accused of towing the line too much, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) claiming the document doesn’t go far enough.

Accusing the church of an ongoing ‘cover-up’, a statement by SNAP declared that: "Catholic officials continue to fixate on the offenders and ignore the larger problem: The Church's virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy."

It is no surprise the documents have drawn fire It seems, which side you are on (except, perhaps, that of the Church itself), that on issues such as these the Vatican can do no right. Coupled with its perennial suspicion of evolution, and its only-too-recent apology for the Inquisition’s treatment of Galileo, the image of the Catholic Church today is that of one unable to face the modern world. Sexual, moral and scientific progress since the Dark Ages has robbed the ancient institution of much of its power, with its authority continually being called into question. Its notorious ban on the use of condoms in third world countries has led to a preventable spread of unwanted children and sexually transmitted disease. These cases demonstrate a certain ignorance toward both human nature and sexual tendencies exhibited, control of which is not a simple matter of choice. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge how unnatural celibacy is?

Maybe we just don't like old institutions Perhaps, on the other hand, it is clear that the celibate lifestyle, and of course religious life in general (which this article is not attempting

Flying the flag

National day? No thanks, says Christofer Lloyd

to criticise), suits many people just fine. The document released last week was, ironically, one of the more realistic concessions made by the church, suggesting as it does that if “celibacy … is lived as a burden so heavy that it compromises … affective and relational equilibrium”, priests should consider careers outside the church. Of course, one could have a field day with this: just how ‘deep-seated’ are these tendencies, anyway? Could someone tend toward other crimes beside child abuse? What are the implications for traditional (never mind Catholic) morals if we go down such a slippery slope?

It seems that on issues such as these, the Vatican can do no right What makes this situation slightly ironic is the fact that, whenever the Church makes another apology or concession for its previous sins, it ends up courting more controversy. If they expect a chorus of gratitude for finally admitting that the Earth revolves around the sun (a fact only recently made ‘official’), they’ve got another thing coming. Maybe people are offended by the naïveté with which the former rulers of Europe try to atone for past mistakes, saying a few kind words while their figureheads in the Vatican sit in ivory towers, clinging to the authority they have. Or maybe we just don’t like old institutions – consider the backlash against the Queen’s ‘traditional’ week of media silence following Diana’s death; we demand our leaders to move with the times. Hopefully, a new generation of Church leaders will do just that.

VATICAN: now revolving around the sun

NATIONAL PRIDE: taken way too far here

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ritishness Day. Even the name sounds stupid. A Gordon Brown promotion, the idea was to come up with a UK equivalent of America’s Independence Day or Bastille Day in France. To give us all a sense of national pride. Or something like that. And to create another bank holiday to distract everyone from the fact that the banks are all empty and no one has a job anymore. It’s a pretty sad situation if people need a spontaneously created “day” as the only way they can celebrate being British. Thankfully, Mr Brown has come to his senses and put the idea on the back burner.

St Andrew's day costs the public sector £40 million each year But I’m curious as to what His Scottishness intended people to do on British Day…to play croquet and have scones and afternoon tea a la Prescott? Or for football fans to set fire to each other and pebble-dash innocent pavements with the contents of their stomachs? Both are favourite British pastimes, after all. But, in a Britain where Co-op will not let me buy eggs or flour anywhere near Halloween for fear that, as I’m under 25, I will redecorate the front of someone’s house with them, I think the latter is sadly the more prolific lifestyle. And it’s not one that should be celebrated. Having experienced both Bastille Day in France and America’s Independence Day, I’m very sceptical about the whole ‘national day’ thing. Being in Boulogne-sur-Mer on July 14 without realising it was Bastille Day, I thought that Armageddon had come sooner than expected – monumental amounts of gunpowder being

blown into the night sky and dozens of teenagers terrorising the streets. And America’s July 4 celebrations are stranger still, where Americans celebrate being the ones to suppress the native Americans, rather than being occupied themselves by Britain. In the UK we already have patron saints’ days for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales through which different groups attempt to justify moronic costumes, stupid body paint and wanton alcoholism, so why do we need another “British” day? Admittedly, Northern Ireland and Scotland are the only parts of the UK to have these days as national holidays. However, the move to make St Andrew’s day a Scottish bank holiday costs the public sector £40 million in lost revenue each year, so creating an extra national holiday UK-wide would no doubt cost over £100 million for no tangible gain. In a 2006 Welsh poll, 87% of the 1,001 people questioned said they thought St David’s Day should be a public holiday. But then I’m pretty sure that if you asked people whether national Dance Like A Chicken Day, ( May 14, for those who didn’t know) should become a national holiday, about 87% of people would support that as a day off work, regardless of their inclinations towards chicken cha-cha.

It's pretty sad if people need a created "day"

So surely the wisest option would be to establish St George’s and St David’s days as national holidays in England and Wales, which would save Ireland and Scotland having an extra national holiday and losing further revenue? Or, better still, the UK’s blindly patriotic population could just get a life. And get back to work.


12 OPINION

NOVEMBER.24.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

BoJo the clown

Paul Stollery thinks Boris Johnson is the best man to grace British politics for a long time

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f you google the phrase 'Boris Johnson the Clown', you get a little over 44,000 hits. And with the recent resignation of Ian Blair providing another potential blow to his already somewhat tarnished image, you might ask: is he a clown, or simply a politician with a personality? The quotes on the right show tothe optimum the reason why Boris Johnson is a genius. Often referred to as a wolf in sheep's clothing, the simple fact is that this is the only man in politics to have a cult following. From his appearances on Have I Got News For You, to pissing off the entire city of London, to referring to Tony Blair as “a mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet”, Boris has reached legend-status, and you can now find web page after web page of fan clubs, video clips and best of all, quotes.

Personality is a long-forgotten novelty of anyone going for No.10

There is never a dull moment in the world of Boris, and if there is a more elaborate way of saying something, he'll find it – and then call a press conference. In his campaign for London Mayor, Boris tore into the London

transport system and, in doing so, managed to win over the 'everyman' vote – something the Tories have been unable to do since their creation.

There is never a dull moment in the world of Boris In the run-up to the London Mayoral elections, the term ‘clown’ was tossed around a lot. Most notably by both Labour rival Ken Livingston and the Lib-Dem candidate, who was apparently called Brian Paddick (who knew?). There is not a thought that warms me more than the idea of two smug politicians sitting alone in in their respective houses, regretting being such dreary gits. Now is it just me, or is this the sort of figure that politics has been crying out for? With voter turn-outs hitting a new low with each passing election, it is about time we had a politician with a bit of charisma. And despite the quite frankly bizarre form in which he has done so, that is definitely what Boris has delivered. Okay, you can serve that quote with several dollops of sarcasm. And it is perhaps surprising that the first interesting politician since......well I'm struggling to think, does in fact come

from the blue corner. Many are asking the question as to whether Boris can handle the 2012 Olympic games, Johnson's response? To tell China, and indeed the rest of the world, that pingpong is coming home. It appears nowadays that personality is a long-forgotten novelty of anyone going for that No 10 spot. The most interesting thing about Gordon Brown is the fact that he is blind in one eye, and as for David Cameron, does he not have the most smug face to ever exist? It's as if it was created to be hit with a spade. Perhaps the 'Bozzer' – as those oh-so-cool cats at the Conservative camp call him – could be a figure that will bring political discussion to the lips of the otherwise uninterested.

This is the only man in politics to have a cult following The precedent has been set: if you want to get elected, be interesting and stop stop smiling like you've just completed a hostile takeover (yes, that means you, David Cameron). So, to summarise, stop Boris-bashing, find Elvis and realise that London may have just elected the greatest man to have ever walked the earth.

Boris: the man and his mouth "Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.” "To rely on a train in Blair's Britain is to engage in a crap-shoot with the devil." “The Tory Party - the funkiest, most jiving Party on Earth!" “I have as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as of being decapitated by a frisbee or of finding Elvis.”

Pimp my ride

Will speed and stereo volume limits in cars encourage safer driving among youngsters? Alison Dairy is doubtful

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atch out young drivers car company Ford is set to introduce parental controls to their cars. The MyKey system will limit a car’s top speed, how loud the stereo can go and sound a warning if seatbelts are not worn. The controls are due to debut in 2009 in certain US cars, the first of which being the Ford Focus. But do people really think this will stop young drivers abusing their independence? Research conducted by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed speeding to be the major factor in teen crashes. Why is it that as soon as many teenagers pass their tests they feel they are the best drivers? Young drivers consistently seem to believe that being a ‘good’ driver is the ability to handle a car at high speeds. Statistics show that most accidents happen during the first six months post-test. If they don’t drive their own cars like

maniacs, then they are abusing their parents’ cars. No wonder there is a call for parental controls! However, does Ford really think this is going to make a difference? Youths will find a way around the system if they really want to: they always do. The system will limit a car to 80mph, but is this really of any help? It is the main roads, with schools and houses that call for low limits, where loud music and speeding offer the largest problems. The main flaw of the system is that drivers can still speed at a suicidal 80mph down a residential road. If Ford wants to try to control youngsters and encourage them to be safer drivers, perhaps the system should work on a GPS/SatNav basis and restrict the speed depending on the type of road. The speed limitation as it is will not necessarily make roads safer and lower accident levels. Dangerous driving is another huge

problem, whether it is lack of experience, a car full of mates piling on the peer pressure or simply driving stupidly for “fun”, many drivers just don’t care, especially when it is their parents’ car. After all, the parents are the ones who see the consequences of speeding fines or insurance claims, not the children.

Drivers can still speed at 80mph down a residential road If parents feel the need to control their children’s driving, perhaps they should have taught them more responsibility in the first place and the children should suffer the consequences of their dangerous driving, in order to teach them a lesson. With over 3,000 car drivers aged

under 25 killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads each year, one in five drivers crashing within their first year of driving and an 18 year-old driver being three times more likely to be involved in a crash than a 48 yearold driver, do Ford and parents really think this system is going to make a difference? It seems that most newlypassed drivers feel that because they have that all-important certificate and pink card in their hand, they can drive however they wish, even if it endangers others. As far as I can see, the only positives of the system are that it will encourage people to wear seatbelts, so when the driver does crash, maybe the passengers will survive, and that it will hopefully restrict the number of wannabe ‘rude boys’ blaring out their music as they speed through the streets late at night. Here are some more shocking facts for you from the Department for Transport: “one in three male drivers

aged between 17 and 20 years crash in the first two years after passing their test. Young drivers are more likely to be involved in high speed crashes, single vehicle crashes involving losing control, crashes in the dark and when overtaking and negotiating bends.” Clearly, speeding is only the tip of the iceberg! Lack of experience is the main reason for these accidents; maybe the Government should actually implement something that will make a difference to accident statistics, such as improving their learner driver policy by significantly increasing the number of hours required or making Pass Plus an obligation. All in all, the system is not going to encourage most young drivers to drive more responsibly or safely. Yes, it will limit speed on motorways, but it will not make people better drivers or help with speeding and dangerous driving in populated and residential areas, where it is most called for.


COLUMNIST 13

NOVEMBER.24.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Style's out of fashion

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h, November, how I’ve missed you. Leaves crackling underfoot; frosty nights spent playing Mario Kart by candlelight; hedgehogs roasting on an open bonfire… I have missed less, however, the familiar onrush of essays. The mad scrambles to the library for one of the three copies of that vital book. The desperate reservations and accompanying fury when someone decides to just keep the book for a bit longer and pay the fine (there really should be some sort of compensation for the victim for that; a 25p fine is nothing compared to the anguish I suffer). I have particularly not missed the joke that is the idea of ‘academic style’. I understand, even if I don’t like, the theory behind other essay and assignment rules. Word limits, for example. I am not good with them, as anyone who regularly baulks at the sheer mass of text on this column page knows. But I realise their importance: they give an idea of how much in depth to go, and (hopefully) stop you from writing either a cursory overview of the topic or an uninformed treatise. And on an unrelated note, try not to just completely miss out punctuation (as I did in this very column last time – sorry, grammar fans!). It doesn’t look good.

You shouldn't lose any marks for style References are useful too. Yes, it can be a pain to have to diligently research every book, article and quote from the lecture handout you've used, but it shows you've put effort into it and have acknowledged others' ideas rather than just written whatever the hell you want. The often baffling conventions for exactly how to reference

them, however, are less useful. And this brings me on to my main point. Why exactly are there such rigid rules concerning style, including precisely how to reference, in essays? What do these achieve? Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining because I struggle with the 'appropriate' style. This isn't a whine from a desperate student who can't do it and wants things to change for convenience. I simply don't understand the point. There'll be some people who claim that writing 'academically' (do you want to just imagine the inverted commas around 'academically', 'appropriate', and 'proper' etc. from now on? It's a bit tiresome to keep putting them in) at university prepares you for real academic writing in the future. But again, why? What is the point of having a particular style for academic writing? Language evolved for communication (Thompson, 2004: 7). That's what it's there for. So what does it matter if you use, for example, 'I' rather than 'we' in an essay? Or 'pp.' rather than 'p.' when referencing certain pages in a book? It doesn't. Academic writing is supposed to be about the ideas you ex-

YOUR DEGREE: style or substance? press; how you express them, whether formally or informally, is almost irrelevant as long as they’re intelligible. And if something is unintelligible, assuming the author knows the basics of English, it’s very likely to be because it’s been written in a style so formal and academic that the meaning is hidden behind layers of unnecessarily long-winded text that serves no purpose other than to display the author’s brilliance at Being An Academic.

The ideas are what are important in academic writing Allow me to give an example (and have a little whinge while I’m at it). One very frustrating aspect of my course is that the set readings are often so obtuse. These are, ironically, readings about language and/or communication - you'd expect them to be able to bloody communicate. Sometimes the problem is that the text was written some time ago, and of course language has changed since then so it can be a bit hard to follow for modern readers. But for many it’s

just showing off; wanting their unique terms (often for ideas that’ve already been articulated by others) to become the standard and, crucially, adhering too closely to the idea of academic style. For any reading that’s in such a pretentious style, it’s entirely possible to reword it so it’s easier to understand. That’s what you do in essays when you paraphrase. It’d have been easy for the original authors to have sat back and looked at their writing a bit more objectively, rather than overdoing the supposedly right style for academia to the point of unintelligibility. If you’re writing an academic text, you presumably want people to understand it so they can herald you as the saviour of existential philosophy/ applied sociology/town planning (delete as appropriate). There’s no point in writing something hard to follow and dismissing anyone who can’t do so. Make it simple to follow in the first place, and then everyone can understand your groundbreaking new additions to the field. Unless they’re not all that and you’re using your hifalutin style as a smokescreen. But you wouldn’t do that, right? Of course we have different styles of writing for different purposes. But that style should never override the message, and you shouldn’t lose marks – any marks – for not following it. The academic style and the strict rules that are part of it are unnecessary as long as the ideas are properly put across. Other than tradition and an unpleasant smugness, I see no reason why we can’t just say that essays should be written in standard English and have consistent and clear referencing. Anything else is unneeded and detracts from the whole point of academic writing (and of university in general): the ideas.

It’s all over the front page B ritain is in the midst of a moral meltdown. The monolithic BBC is trampling unchecked over our basic British values and dignity, while our uncaring social workers stand by and watch impassively as photogenic children are tortured to death. At least, that's the impression I've got. Let's start with that immoral institution that threatens to undermine the very fabric of our society: the Beeb. Firstly, two of everyone's favourite public service broadcaster's stars made some childish phonecalls to ev-

eryone's favourite Spanish stereotype propagator, Andrew Sachs. Chaos ensued, and BBC bosses have had to answer to MPs over the debacle. Then, everyone's favourite boor Jeremy Clarkson made a remark about lorry drivers and murder, two years after the 'Suffolk strangler'. Too soon? Apparently so - 500 people complained, and the MP for Ipswich called for Clarkson to be sacked. It's a bit of an overreaction. But if you don't think the 'jokes' are hideously offensive, it seems like you're duty-bound to find Ross, Brand and

Clarkson as the saviours of humour. But, um, I don't. The remarks just weren't funny. I wasn't offended, but it didn't make me laugh. Controversy does not automatically equal humour. If simply pissing off the PC brigade made you a comedy genius, Bernard Manning would be the greatest giggle-merchant ever to waddle onstage. And he's not. Away from broadcasting, and on to Baby P. Don't get me wrong - I am completely and utterly against the breaking of children's backs. The abuse he suffered is genuinely shock-

ing. But do we need to hear about it quite so much? Yes, it's horrendous. But it's a oneoff, whipped into a frenzy by an evermore desperate media, looking for the latest titillating tragedy to satisfy their slavering readers and shore up their circulation figures. This might make me seem a bit heartless. I'm not - Baby P's mum is heartless. I'm just indifferent. This case hasn't uncovered a mass of similar instances, so beyond the initial shock factor and natural immediate sympathy, why should we care?

Is it

?

just me...

...or does an eye for an eye not actually make the whole world blind after all?

G

andhi was wrong. There you go. Probably the best spiritual and political leader of India in the world ever was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. I’m not talking about his views on Indian independence. Nor about his idea of celibacy as being a form of purity (although sleeping next to naked women to prove your celibacy is an unusual, if impressive, step). No, I’m talking about his oft-quoted claim that ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.

That Gandhi was all about the soundbites

It doesn’t. Let’s get that straight. If you poke someone’s eye out with a pointy stick, they might poke you back. That makes one eye down each. I get that. But then you poke their other eye out and WHAM. That’s it. Fight over. You just have to dodge a bit. Maybe move back a couple of steps. Run in a circle pretending you're a plane. They’ll never get your other eye. They can’t see you. It’s an honourable sentiment, it really is. It’s a pithy rebuttal of the hardcore Bibleophiles’ justification for revenge and violence: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. I'd love it to work. It just doesn’t.

They'll never get your other eye; they can't see you

If Gandhi had said: “A tooth for a tooth makes the whole world unable to eat shortbread,” that would’ve made sense. But it’s not nearly as catchy. I don’t know, that Gandhi. He was all about the soundbites. But then I suppose when you’re trying to peacefully effect change across the world, it’s slogans you want. Or maybe he didn't know about shortbread. Either way, his quote is worthy. Shame it doesn't stand up.


14 POLITICS

NOVEMBER.24.2008 POLITICS@gairrhydd.COM

Could tax cuts ever work?

As the political parties jostle for political ground can anything the government do actually help us? Damian Fantato takes a look

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his week the government will be giving a serious idea of the direction in which they will be taking the economy as the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers his Pre-Budget Report to parliament. The opposition meanwhile, is viewing this as a perfect opportunity to hold the government’s economic policy to account. Already the report has sparked considerable debate due primarily to the increasingly uncertain economic environment. The CBI predicts that by 2010 there will be close to 3 million out of work, and it has been predicted that the housing market will crash by another 20 per cent during 2009. It seems obvious that this PreBudget Report has become the subject of such debate between the three leading parties, though perhaps more than it merits. Unsurprisingly enough, each party seems to be offering the nation roughly the same mixture of policies but simply dressed up in very different clothing. In the red corner, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are pinning their hopes on their ability to handle the economy carefully while trying to further close the gap in the opinion polls between them and the Conservatives. Gordon Brown hopes also through his strong leadership over the economic

crisis to be providing an example for governments around the globe. To achieve this the government plans to offer “real help for families and businesses”. While he hasn’t said exactly how he plans to do this it is widely assumed that this is going to be accomplished through dramatic tax cuts. At the G20 summit a few days ago the Prime Minister mentioned that tax cuts were a fundamental part of the “route map” towards the restoration of the global economy, calling for countries around the world to slash taxes. Hopefully this, along with lower interest rates, will go some way toward giving people more money in their pockets and put a halt to the number of redundancies and repossessions.

All three parties offer much the same thing The Government’s plans however are not without their critics. Most notably (and most obviously) coming from the Conservatives. David Cameron has been very vocal about what he thinks of Gordon Brown’s plans. He will doubtlessly be hoping to ce-

ment his lead over the Labour party (currently at 10 per cent) and to regain some of the momentum that his party had over the summer which has been lost as the economic climate worsened and the polls and Gordon Brown showed his leadership qualities. The Conservatives have refused to pledge “upfront tax cuts” but will be giving people their money back in more indirect ways. In what has been described as a u-turn, the Conservatives will also be shelving many parts of their economic policy (such as their plan to reward married couples through the tax system). Their anti-recession package will include such measures as cutting Whitehall “waste” and some tax cuts which they hope will combat unemployment, reduce fuel bills for those on lower incomes and reduce the number of house repossessions. The main bone of contention the Conservatives have with Gordon Brown’s plan is that more borrowing will fund the Government’s tax cuts, which will force any future government to raise taxes once the recession is over. According to Cameron this is a “borrowing bombshell which will soon become a tax bombshell”, also claiming that “tax cuts should be for life, not just for Christmas”. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile are wavering somewhere in the

middle. Nick Clegg has criticised the Government’s plans in much the same way as David Cameron, yet apart from offering tax cuts for families the Liberal Democrats also claim that the real problems are systemic. They would like to close loopholes for the wealthy and seek permanent tax reductions, calling Gordon Brown’s tax cut a “cash bribe”. They would also change the rules to give us all cheaper energy bills and instruct the courts to make sure that repossession is a last resort. All three parties therefore offer much the same thing. Lower taxes, cheaper energy and less repossessions, the only difference is in the packaging, and while it is only the Labour party that will be able to implement its policies in April (the Pre-Budget Report is only ever a forecast). This begs the question that instead of wasting time debating the finer details of their own economic policies and insulting those of their opponents, why can’t the three parties take a unified stance on this issue? With so much at stake why can’t they agree on proposals that would be in the country’s interest? Does it really just come down to vote grabbing? While Clegg’s accusation that Brown is offering a “cash bribe” is probably true and Brown’s claim that Cameron is an economic novice is also probably

close to the mark, this episode does leave something of a bitter taste in the mouth of all those who have been following it. At the end of the G20 summit, Gordon Brown claimed that the solution to the current economic crisis lies in working together. Well… we’re waiting.

Honesty is the best policy

Is your face an indication of trustworthiness? Apparently so - and Gordon Brown doesn't come out favourably. Katy Gorman explains

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ired of listening to politician’s long speeches on policy? Well fear not, there’s a new way to judge politicians and apparently it’s all in the face. A new study has been carried out by University of Kent researchers which asked more than a hundred people to look at different faces and rate them out of five in terms of trust. The report was commissioned by Alibi, a new digital channel devoted to crime dramas. Findings show that people are more trusting of fuller faces with softer features such as soft jaw lines and large

bright eyes. Softer eyebrows, large mouths with thin lips and refined noses were all rated highly whilst facial hair received a hostile response. Researchers used findings to analyse the faces of the three main political party leaders. Apparently Gordon Brown has the least trustworthy appearance based on his “thick eyebrows, wide nose and the size of his mouth”. Nick Clegg was rated somewhat higher, but David Cameron came out on top due to his "fresh-faced smooth complexion, wider mouth and more

Do you find David Cameron's wide, bright eyes reassuring?....

Trustworthy

rounded eye shape". So there’s something to consider before you next vote; have the politicians shaved that day or not? Perhaps Gordon Brown can find some consolation in the fact that the new President- elect, Barack Obama was similarly deemed dishonest based on his appearance. Obama was let down by his chiseled jaw line, refined face shape and thick eyebrows. This criticism may be easier to take than it will for ‘wide nosed, big mouthed’ Gordon. Please feel free to try this at home, although be warned, an uncompli-

mentary analysis of a flat mates character based on their face may not be taken too well. Characteristics of a trustworthy face: * A fuller more rounded shape to the face * Jaw line is softer in appearance * Eyebrows are thinner and less imposing * The eyes are more rounded, brighter and larger * Refined nose and small nostrils * Larger mouth with thinner lips * Smooth face with no facial hair

* Warmer, brighter complexion Characteristics of an untrustworthy face: * Overall shape of the face becomes more contoured * Jaw line becomes sharper and pointed by about 20 per cent * Eyebrows become thicker by 25 per cent and are more knotted * The eyes become less rounded, relatively wider and more closed * Eyes are further apart * The appearance of the eyes are dull and darker appearing

...or does Nick Clegg's refined nose inspire trust? Researchers have suggested that Gordon Brown and Barack Obama are the least trustworthy.

Untrustworthy


LETTERS 15

NOVEMBER.24.2008 LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

letters@gairrhydd.com Taf-Od debate rolls on I would like the opportunity of venting my frustration at the quality of gair rhydd's answer to Isaac Parnell in his letter about the Welsh section of the paper, the Taf-od. gair rhydd cites its inability to have a completely bilingual paper, which is of course entirely true. Time does not allow. It says its compromise is a Welsh-speaking section. This is fine. I don't think anyone would disagree with the sentiment of the reply; that maintaining Welsh heritage and culture is incredibly important. However, to deny the English-speaking proportion of the readership a translation goes beyond protecting heritage, it starts to look rather like racial discrimination. The reason for the decision is stated as being the want not to detract from the symbolism of the Welsh speaking section. Although part of me disagrees, I can see the point in this opinion. However, gair rhydd has an online site. Surely it would not be too much trouble to provide an online translation for those who are genuinely interested in the article? This is a solution which not only maintains the cultural benefit that the Welsh section serves within the paper but also puts an end to the discrimination against English-speakers. At present English speakers, who are the majority in Cardiff, are prejudiced against simply by dint of being English. Very few, if any, Welsh

the

speakers do not also speak English fluently, which of course is why the paper is written almost entirely in English. Maintaining and protecting culture and heritage is to be admired. However, when it goes to such lengths as to exclude a majority of the readership altogether, it goes too far. Jonnie Bradbury 3rd-year Law student gair rhydd responds: We understand that the lack of a translation of our Taf-Od pages may cause some of our readers frustration, but the issue is more problematic than it first appears. We live in Wales. gair rhydd is a Welsh newspaper. So is it racial discrimination not to translate the entire newspaper into Welsh? Is it racial discrimination to assume that it’s acceptable to speak English and no Welsh whatsoever? And why, in fact, should a Welsh newspaper contain any English whatsoever? All of these questions are answered, as you point out, by the fact that English speakers in Cardiff represent a huge majority of the population. But just because English speakers are the majority in Cardiff, that does not make it prejudiced to refuse to translate a page in a Welsh newspaper into English, for the simple fact that we are in Wales. And perhaps it should be consid-

ered a privilege that English speakers are so readily accommodated in Cardiff at all. At a time when newspapers seem particularly keen to target communities of immigrants to stir up xenophobia and racial hatred, condemning the incubation of foreign languages and cultures in insular communities, it may be considered that we are in a strangely privileged position to live in a city in another country where English language and culture are, for all intents and purposes, considered the norm. And just because most Welsh speakers also speak English it does not make it acceptable to assume that an English newspaper is the ideal solution for all. Translation always compromises meaning. Language is not just a set of labels for the world around us: language is a medium for culture. Taf-Od is not just a piece of English journalism in Welsh: it is a piece of Welsh journalism. An English translation compromises its identity as a piece of Welsh journalism and ultimately renders the entire section irrelevant. However, gair rhydd is the voice of the student body and our decisions are driven by the opinions of the student body. We therefore welcome further student input on this issue.

Up With Morals Firstly, I'm not a prude. I'm really not. Sex is one of my favourite topics of conversation if you get

me one-on-one, and a good cock joke is always guaranteed to make me laugh. But there is such a thing as going too far in the pursuit of humour. I don't listen to Xpress Radio as much as I should - last year I worked as a producer on a mainstream show on the station, and I know how much work goes into each show. But last week, while walking through the Union, I was shocked at what I could hear. Elmo, the puppet, describing an orgy with other puppets, while the listeners giggled like twelve year olds. Is this really the level to which we have sunk? Is that the only thing that raises a titter? And this was at about 2 in the afternoon, not late in the evening. Andrea Wilman Second Year JOMEC student

Gone But Not Forgotten As someone who has been involved in the University’s Act of Remembrance for many years, I was surprised to read Nicola Szostek’s letter (17/11/08) expressing disappointment at a perceived lack of poppies for sale in University buildings. Security and Portering staff put a lot of effort into selling poppies on campus and have been the recipients

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com Clubbing In Cardiff tweak ------I tend to agree with you but your insinuation that ”a devout Christian” would hold, or is justified to hold, a misogynistic attitude towards sexual equality is not as founded as you might believe. Yes, I do consider myself a devout Christian, but that doesn’t mean I condemn such clubs and behavior for the simple reason that I believe in freedom of choice, including the wrong choice as long as it doesn’t hurt others. The hedonistic circus you described does not affect you or me in any way, or stop us from enjoying life in the way we want. Chris ------Misogynistic, I think, is too strong a word for my implica-

tions. Hating women differs greatly from disagreeing with their sexual actions. However, I agree that I was incorrect to single out Christians as justified to hold that opinion. I believe in freedom of choice as much as you, though by describing it as the ‘wrong choice’ aren’t you condemning their actions? Thomas Carroll ------Now the obvious reaction to an article complaining about promiscuous students is to make a joke about how you just wish you were getting some as well… But seriously…you need to get laid! Fair enough though, maybe ‘gettin jiggy with it’ isn’t your style. You can always pop into the library and pick up a nice book loving chica who you can take out for a nice coffee whilst regaling her with humorous

anecdotes before asking her father for his daughter’s hand in marriage… I’m joking, but if anyone here is under the “misguided impression that we’re still living in the Victorian era”, it’s you. The days of old-fashioned romance are perhaps not over but they’ve taken a side seat since most students probably aren’t dying to find their one true love right now and maybe just want to get drunk and have a dance. I can totally understand that you might not be into the whole clubbing scene, it does get a little tiresome sometimes. But for someone who supposedly believes in freedom of choice you don’t seem awfully keen on actually allowing students to exercise any of that freedom. Now I’m just guessing here, but it sounds like you don’t like Oceana/clubs with loud chart music and dancefloors. There’s a really simple solution to your problem though! Don’t bother stepping through their doors in the

of the Cecil Rapport Challenge Trophy Cup for the best sales of poppies in Cardiff for the last two years. This year, poppies were available to students in twenty one locations around the University including the Security Centre, Main Building lodge, various refectories and coffee shops and all residences reception areas. For this the Security and Portering staff is to be thanked for raising the profile of poppy sales on campus. In addition, the University holds an Act of Remembrance at which poppy wreaths are laid at the war memorials in Main Building. The President of the Students’ Union along with representatives from the University of Wales Officer Training Corps, the University Royal Naval Unit, and the Air Squadron all play important roles in this service. It is advertised around campus in the weeks beforehand and this year was well attended by students and staff members. The service is intended to honour staff and students of the University who have given their lives in the service of their country during times of conflict. There are a lot of people involved in the service and they all work hard each year to ensure that Remembrance Day is most certainly not forgotten at Cardiff. The Revd Gareth J Powell University Chaplain

forum

first place. I often find not being somewhere means I don’t get unnecessarily worked up about whatever is going on in there. They can have a mass orgy for all I care and it will really make zero difference to my life and I don’t see why you should find some problem with it, no one is forcing you to go there. There are other venues, Cardiff is a big city so I’m sure you’ve found somewhere to your liking. There’s really no need for the personal attacks on clubbers either though. Calling them “avarice and stupid” for enjoying themselves in an unharmful manner isn’t particularly respectable for someone who wants us to hold onto our dignity. And in the defence of Oceana, they have got the “boudoir room”, which doesn’t have any music at all and is quite suitable for “joking and chatting”. Spread the love, Chris!

Big Bro Watches You Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID ------'Is our government seriously endorsing a database that records our religious beliefs and details of our financial and medical history “just in case” we ever become of interest to the authorities?' Not explicitly. An ID database, however, would allow financial details to be inferred, and other records to be tracked down, though it wouldn’t contain them directly – though its ‘statutory purposes’ are limited only by the imagination of a future administration. The Secondary Uses Service attached to the NHS Care Records system already appears to regard your medical records as public property to be used for any NHS purpose, including sale to drugs companies.


Enterprise FIND THE ENTREPRENEUR IN YOU

BUSINESS IDEA COMPETITION Have you got a bright idea for a business or a social enterprise? If you’re aiming to make a profit or make a difference you can win up to £1000 cash prize to give your business a boost. Your idea can be a product or a service and as small or as large as you want. You just need to be passionate about making it a reality! Complete the application form at: www.cardiff.ac.uk/enterprise by Monday 2nd December 2008. SPARK is open to current Cardiff University students from all disciplines.


FEATURES 17

NOVEMBER.24.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

Student plus baby

As university admissions rise, Aimee Steen looks at how parents who choose to study manage to balance academia with family life

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uggling multiple tasks at university isn’t always easy. There’s studying, working, socialising… it’s a wonder people manage to fit it all in. Now throw in a child. How do you think you’d manage? It’s little considered how those with children cope with university. It is difficult to put a number on how many people are in such a situation, since the University does not have to report statistics on the number of parents currently studying, but there is no doubt that there are many students with children these days - and it’s not just mature students.

Studying with a family has a profound emotional impact How well they manage to balance parenthood and university life depends largely on the individual and their situation. Finances are often an issue, with students citing concerns over how they could fund their studies and childcare. Emma Davies, 21, a Forensic Science student at Glyndwr University, became pregnant during term-time and found money a struggle. Since having the baby, however, she has found a number of sources that can help: “Considering we've had financial problems for a fair while, we're managing a lot better than we have been. Student Finance have given us both a lot of help financially as Adam (the father) and I are living together with a baby, and the uni are doing a financial contingency fund too which we will be applying for.” The Student Support Centre finds that money worries are often a problem for potential students, but they can advise on options available to assist parents - Parents’ Learning Allowance, Childcare Grants and Child Tax Credits can all be utilised, as well as the Financial Contingency Fund. Finding the time to study can be problematic, as parents try and juggle home life with work. Leanne Turner, a mature student of Mathematics at Cardiff University, finds it a balancing act: “I don’t get much work done on weekends, so I try to get most of it done in between lectures.” Though Leanne’s children are old enough to be in school, the holidays make things more difficult: “We do not get half terms off in uni, so I have to miss a few lectures.” She gets little in the way of practical support from the University, but was made aware of how things would work before embarking on her degree: “When I applied they did stress that I may find it very diffi-

cult, as I have a family, so I knew what I was letting myself in for!” With a baby only 18 weeks old, however, Emma finds that fitting in study time is less of a problem: “Obviously it's a bit harder because I have to juggle Harry (the baby) with when I can do work, but he has lots of naps so I do it then.” She found that completing work was actually more of an issue whilst she was pregnant due to daily sickness and complications, but has found her university’s flexibility very helpful: “I managed to complete the first year due to the fact that I was given extensions for coursework, and my lecturers have already told me this year that I can have deadlines extended if I need it.” Some people, though, find it a bit

"We don't get halfterms off, so I have to miss lectures." more difficult. One student, who did not wish to be named, finds it practically impossible to get any coursework done. “I am on my own looking

after a young baby,” she commented. “I have no help and no deadline extensions. My degree has a lot of hours and it is very, very hard to find the time to do any work.” Childcare is both a practical and a financial concern for parents in education. Elaine Robinson from the Student Support Centre advises that there are options within the University for daycare: “The University has a Daycare Centre on Park Place which is part of its support provision for students and staff, so the staff there have a really good understanding of support available and how the University works.” There is also an NHS run daycare provision on the Heath Park site, which may be more convenient for some students. University Daycare places are charged at up to £17.20 per day, though there may be assistance available for enrolled students who are unable to afford the standard fee. Both Leanne and Emma are lucky enough to have the support of their partners to assist with childcare. “My husband works for himself, so if I have early or late lectures, he arranges his workload to be able to drop them to school or pick them up,” explains Le-

anne. School holidays can again make things more difficult, though: “They have to go to Holiday Club for a few days, which is a bit expensive at £24 per day.” Emma and her partner also manage time looking after their child between themselves, with some help from her parents: “So far it's been a case of when my partner’s in uni, I'm not and vice versa so that works well, and when we're both in, Mum looks after him.”

School holidays can make things more difficult Practical and financial issues aside, studying while looking after a family has a profound emotional impact. The divide between wanting to study and wanting to spend time with their family can put additional strain on students. “The hardest part is balancing my workload and family commitments,” says Leanne. “I would feel happier doing more uni work than I am doing at present, and also being able to spend quality time with my children.” It does

mean, however, that the University holidays are even more highly anticipated than by other students: “I just look forward to the summer more!” Any student who becomes pregnant whilst at university can still effectively carry on with their studies if they choose to do so, with help from the Student Support Service. “We do have some students each year who are pregnant and need advice on funding, childcare and benefits,” explains Elaine. “They may also plan an Interruption of Study depending on when the baby is due and they take some time out. Some students decide to take a full year out and others may come back after 6 months or earlier - it depends on the individual and when they start the IoS.” Students are not liable for tuition fees when absent from university, and the service can give information about funds available during maternity leave as well as additional loans and grants they may be entitled to upon their return. There is no doubt that it is not an easy option, but it seems that with support, there is no reason why students can't study and be parents too.


18 FEATURES

NOVEMBER.24.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

THE RECESSION UNT

Bradley Jagger speaks to the experts about the impact of the reces

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aving pored over the ‘crunch? What crunch?’ article in Issue 878 of the Gair Rhydd, and boggled at the frankly worrying statistics related to the credit crunch, I decided to conduct my own investigation into the causes and effects of the economic meltdown. My ultimate aim? To get my head around the causes, and to search for any kind of silver lining to the dark cloud hanging so ominously above our heads. So, I spoke to the experts. Now firstly, it is worth saying that I began this process knowing nothing of the credit crisis. What I found out on my day trip around 'the crunch' is that the convenient, cheerfully alliterative term ‘credit crunch’ belies a mind-bending web of linked factors. I spoke to an Independent Financial Advisor in order to get my Literature-studying brain into the colourful world of economics.

What’s it all about?

And so, to business. The recession is the downside of a credit boom that happened as a result of low interest rates and high availability of loans and mortgages. Dry as this may sound, it meant that during this period, banks were lending almost recklessly. As long as the economy remained stable, this was great. As part of this rich financial environment, American banks rode the wave of confidence and found themselves lending money to customers who were, shall we say, ‘financially chal-

lenged’, balancing their risks by demanding high repayment rates. However, when seductive introductory rates wore off, customers found themselves defaulting on their payments and the American banks were in deep water.

It's like having Martine McCutcheon ruining NOW 47's stellar line up Why have American investments hit the rest of the world so heavily? A basic answer is that world banks saw the potential for huge returns on the high interest loans and jumped on the bandwagon when they were given the chance, guessing that the possible rewards outweighed the risks. The American banks sold many of these ‘sub-prime’ mortgages (or ‘toxic’ if you prefer the snappy media terminology) to banks around the world. The last few weeks have proven just how fatal this move was for banks heavily invested in 'toxic' mortgages. Take the collapse of the Icelandic Landsbanki as an exampleit seems the Icelandic weren’t such clever ‘geysers’ after all! (Sorry.)

Are the banks solely to blame?

banks that are to blame. Credit Rating Agencies, one of the seemingly invisible forces that help make the economic world go round, are also at fault. They are responsible for passing on 'toxic' mortgages to the world banks in the first place. However, it is thought that the mortgage packages were mislabelled with a good credit rating by hiding the more worrying mortgages out of sight. To use Professor Matthews’ own very fitting analogy, “these packages are like compilation CDs: the good artists are near the top to draw you in and the lesser known tracks are hidden at the bottom.” Of course, when placed in the context of global economy, there’s much more at stake than the disappointment of discovering Martine McCutcheon ruining an otherwise stellar line-up of N*Sync and Steps on your copy of Now 47. It is a struggle trying to clear up the causes of the credit crunch (there are many, many more), and an experience that I still haven’t quite recovered from. No wonder confidence in the economy is at an all-time low. This jitteriness in itself fuels the cycle, as people are less willing to spend their money and more desperate to sell their shares. This accounts for the massive drops in worldwide stock markets that the more keen-eyed of you may have noticed while aimlessly watching the Japanese news in the Tokyo bar of Oceana (in the pre-karaoke days.)

Professor Kent Matthews, Head of the Economics Faculty at Cardiff University, argues that it is not just the

How the crunch will really affect students: the long term consequences The effects of the crunch are widespread, to the point of being dominolike. With the BBC website forecasting that unemployment could reach 2 to 3 million before the recession shows any sign of improving, we should all be wary of the market conditions. Many employers are sandwiched between supplier demands for payment and customers wanting to delay that payment as long as possible. Once upon a time, banks would have filled that gap, in the knowledge that they would make their return reasonably quickly. But in this climate of extreme reluctance to lend, redundancy is now filling that gap.

The graduates of 2009 are going to have to make some tough decisions This is all serious news for students set to graduate at the end of this year. The job market has seen increases of around 10% year on year for the last decade, but 2008 has been the first year in which the number of vacancies available has decreased, by a seemingly small but certainly noticeable 1%. Practically all job areas will be hit, but amongst those hit the hardest will be the service sector at large and the financial services sector. The construc-

gair rhydd sent Eleanor Joslin and Lucy Russell out to barter for a bargain in Cardiff...

T

he cost of a drink has gone up and up over the past year but Joff Stock, 21, a Sociology and Criminology student at Cardiff University, shows that the cost of drinking need not be exorbitant. At the Student Union a few nights ago, he asserted his moral outrage regarding pricey drinks and it paid off. Joff said: “I told the bar staff eight quid for two drinks was extortionate and got £2 knocked off. It was epic!” Meme Sgroi, 20, Communications

student at Cardiff University, was also successful as she managed to haggle some cheap chips at the end of a night out. The staff at Family Fish Bar, on Salisbury Road, deducted a pound from Meme’s choice of cheesy chips. She said: “£3 is just too expensive for a couple of chips at the end of the night.” The staff must have agreed with her. However, when I tried my luck during daylight hours my haggling was unsuccessful. Family Fish Bar told me: “We never decrease our prices;

they are that price for a reason.” Despite Joff and Meme's success, haggling for a cheeky cheaper deal is not so easy. I asked a taxi driver to lower his rate by 50p, 25p and then by just 10p but he was far from amused. The staff at Kappuccino’s had the same attitude. I asked, very politely, about the possibility of a small price reduction. One of the staff replied: “Yeah, if you asked me that I’d give you a smack in the gob.” With an unnecessary threat like that from a burly chap, I left rather quickly.

It appears as if the possibility of haggling prices down is at its best on a night out and when a little tipsy. It also seems ironic to encourage drinking to save money with a recession looming, but tipsy haggling seems to work in a students favour. So, good news for students then, and perhaps the purse strings need not be tightened during a night out after all.

tion industry will also suffer as the demand for new houses hits rock-bottom. The graduates of 2009 are going to have to make some tough decisions, and some may have to face the prospect of temporarily settling for nongraduate wages, weathering the storm until opportunities pick up again. Alternatively, postgraduate courses may become a good choice as students opt to remain outside the employment shakedown, honing their skills for when the market is more settled. Whilst Professor Matthews stresses that we are “flying in the dark” with regard to the crisis, he also points out that recessions such as this generally take about two years before things start picking up again. And yes, this does mean that things are likely to get even worse before they get better, but it also means that this year’s jammy first-years may graduate just as things start to improve. New students can therefore continue to enjoy the students' ‘contained economy’, which remains largely unaffected by outside factors except where food and fuel prices are concerned. What’s more, it is unlikely that fees will be dramatically increased as a direct result of the crunch. Fees may well increase in the future, but this will be to help balance the cost of training an undergraduate and maintaining the quality of education they receive: the crunch shouldn’t play a part in this. But what of the continuing availability of interest-free student loans and overdrafts? I spoke to Nick Jago, a personal banking adviser for a high street branch of a major bank in Cardiff. “Interest-free overdrafts will not be affected,” he assures us, “banks recognise that students are going to become the next politicians, doctors and nurses. Giving students an interestfree overdraft to help them achieve


gairrhydd

Vol IV Autumn 2008

An anthology of creative writing by Cardiff University students


2.

Editor: Aisling Tempany

Illustrations: Roseanna Eastoe Design: Sim Eckstein

David Spittle Gut the Chicken Gut the chicken and string up the

in slime,

bones,

Sell spines to save the city.

Hang him from the tree.

Let them all rot under banners of

Let the breeze whistle through wind hope,

D.H. Lawrence once wrote that 'one sheds one sickness in books.' Which would make Creative Words the equivalent of having a Lemsip when you've got a cold. At first it seemed that no one would contribute to Creative Words. It seemed as if everyone was a little afraid to put their writing under the scrutiny of the 20,000 students who read gair rhydd and Quench. However, this is the first time Creative Words has no anonymous contributors, which I believe is an achievement on the part of its writers, and also the reputation of Creative Words. When I first wrote a poem as a 14-year-old I was too afraid to let anyone see and hid it under the floorboards. Very likely it's still there. It has been exciting, promoting, reading, selecting and putting together this volume. Previous editors have always said how hard they find it to choose pieces at this point. I assumed it would be easy, but its not. I dread the frosty looks I may be gettng from people whose pieces aren't on the following pages. The final choice of contributions was chosen not because any one piece was better than other, but because I felt that certain pieces worked well together. I hope that readers can see this. It is my intention to put together three Creative Words volumes this year, with the next in the early spring semester. So please, send me your contributions, Plays, prose, poetry, anything. There may be other outlets for your creative writing, but none of the others reach as many people across the university. gair rhydd has a long-standing reputation through the university. Thanks have to go to Roseanna Eastoe for the illustrations on the following pages, especially the distinctive cover, and Sim Eckstein for helping put the pieces together.

chime ribs,

Let them succumb to the sleep.

And leave him for all to see.

Traitors and heroes are chickens and

The scurrying rats in tip top hats,

fools,

Pretend they feel no pity.

Who should bow to the filth of their

And the working worms who revel

feet. Swinging and jangling a xylophone ghost, Nailed with ropes to the tree. Let the cold wind and let the cold rain, Leave him crying for all to see.


3.

Ruth Smith

Lamorna Elmer So, this is Tuesday Today I stare at pink skies through chalky windows

Food discussions are always about the meat and I don’t know if I can stand it anymore. It’s completely unbearable and I’m almost willing to give up. Finley Occhipinti absentmindedly swept up the gravy on his plate with a sloppy lump of cloudy mash. The grey white spluttered and oozed as the brown gravy infected it with dirty colour, a few lone peas became tangled amongst the mess. He liked to absorb himself completely in food. His favourite hobby and pathetically the reason for his torture at school. Fatty Finley! Fatty Finley! That’s what they used to chant. What they still chant. Finley clinked his fork in time to the violent humming of their harsh voices in his head. Bloody peas. He didn’t eat the meat

either. Quorn sausages. That’s what they were on about now. His mother and father – encouraging him to try some pork sausages and to not leave the peas on the side. He should eat his greens they said. Personally I’m quite happy for greens to be left on the side. In the freezer we all chat and hear terrible stories about what happens to us peas. There are stories which come to us from those who escape and whisper up to us from the crack between the sideboard and the freezer. They say they escaped when the fat boy spilled the peas in a heap on the floor and they managed to roll away from the chubby grip of his sausage-fingers. Now it’s my turn to escape. I’m already on the plate. I just have to avoid this bashing fork. It’s prongs slam next to my head.

and jam fingers down my throat. As I retch and fight acid surges up nasal passages and burning eyes inflame blood thudding, pounding brain. The cat sits by the fire in the corner claws kneading carpet pile

Lamorna Elmer

watching shifting weight from paw to paw.

Heather's house, teatime

She narrows eyes of flint

Large eyes. Deep-set,

as globules of potato gush

staring,

into Tupperware,

wide.

splattering my face.

You're chewing, concentrating.

Flames lick white walls.

Head down, knuckles white; clutching

I cough, wipe my chin,

fork and knife.

drop the tissue

We pretend not to notice.

to a slow quicksand death.

You take an age.

Rain slaps glass. I wish the cupboards had bolts and nuts so I wouldn’t have this wretched

Mouthfuls small, pea upon pea skewered, chewed, swallowed. Stop. Pour a glass of water, gulp, breathe. Set the glass down, pick up fork and knife. We caught you once, Spitting masticated bolognaise into a coke can.

I jump and roll to the rim of the plate. That’s more like it! ‘Have you finished, Fin?’ his mother held out her hand for his plate. Silently he passed it over. She gently stacked them and gestured for him to come over for a hug. Times were tough when you were a teenager. She at least understood something. The pea screamed as it suffocated in gravy and became squashed beneath the weight of the china and cutlery trapping it from above.


4.

What a difference a bridge makes. 5

John Davies

The difference between Ton Pentre and Pentre is far more than just Ton. Ton Pentre has a Spar, the Pheonix Cinema

Eleanor Joslin

the football club, and team that once reached A Gust Of Wind the 1st round proper of the FA Cup. Part 1 After seven qualifying rounds Wrath: beating amongst others Mangotsfield. Now feel the angry winds of woe reek, Ton Pentre awaited the news of the team Wreak havoc high and No! meek they would meet. Would it be Coventry City, Man do not dare stand high, bend low, Plymouth Argyle, or Leyton Orient. Bend down, dark thunder crash shall thrash you. Somewhere Exotic an away trip to Brum. Now past, you break her bark and sap her strength, Wolvers versus the Bulldogs. Trying to uproot Urizen with bodies trembling tense. Ball number 89…Ton Pentre, home draw. Unlike the South supreme never can you Act, Yessss, Ynys Parc full to the mountainside. Ours are eternal senses, whack and crack, fell you flat! Bring them on. Ball number Twenty Five. And My knowledge grows not from millet seeds of poison, Cardiff City. A seven disease some of you have basely chosen, Unlike the beasts that saw sight to bellow thunder Cardiff City “Come and see” pulling the Lamb back from umbra. Yet I still roar and claw at sins’ lust, like the first, For more and improved and renewed, that thrusts Forth my vengeance that vents from volatile caprice Not your avarice - Lo! - to show lust must cease. Now feel My angry winds of woe reek, Wreak havoc higher, and No! meek Men do not dare stand high but bend lower, Bend down and My dark thunder crash will thrash you.


5.

The poetic soul is given to every young man, So that they can feel like they are alive and dead and alive, With colossal expectations and Corinthian pressures weighing Down upon the shoulders of the young Welsh boy child. His job is to brood and to sit silent upon the hills, Feet dangling over eternity and four strong winds blowing on his back, Lust, Passion, Pride, Humility – They too once were children, Innocence they killed in childish games. The country sisters find them in the valley,

Marc Thomas

Where death meets life in a lush of green and grey, Cloud kisses earth and heaven seems to rest upon the basin Where the young wash their faces in the morning dew. He must use his words to fill gaps between ungrown and grown, And he shall never have enough to save his fathers,

Who long ago went down and walked the downward boards, Meeting the country mothers. Merthyr was a young maiden, Beddgelert a dashing soul Who played careless with Swansea in her beaches and her nighttime, And holidayed with Ynys MĂ´n in the winter, Leaving Bridgend all alone and sullen.

The poet who said that his fathers could keep their land was a liar and a scoundrel.

All I wanted was to tell someone

something about this land.


6.

Jessica George

She leaves, with muttered apologies and averted eyes, more sheepish than you expect. And you feel okay. Blank, lightly tattered, like a piece of paper whose pencil marks have been rubbed out, but okay. A few hours later, you throw up. Involuntary, while brushing your teeth, into the bathroom sink. Dry-heave, dry-sob, silent-scream. Three days on the bathroom floor. Ringing your friends, parents, sister, only to discover there’s nothing you want to say, stammer “Sorry” and hang up the phone. Making tea and toast and realising you haven’t eaten it after two straight hours of Jeremy Kyle. You worry at your memories of the last few days, weeks, months, pull at the threads, try to make sense of it all, but you know you’re just going through the motions. You always knew it would end this way, right from the first time you saw her. Eyes shining from not-entirely-natural causes, each joke filthier than the last, screaming with laughter and sucking down handrolled cigarettes like candy. Bright like candleflames in cupped hands and boy-racer headlights, like staring at the sun until you get a headache. You looked at her and felt yourself fade from view. And all of a sudden, she looked at you, and you were different. Exciting. Every little thing you did was an adventure. Lying in the park, drinking cheap w i n e from the bottle and talking about dreams and staring at the constellations until your stomach lurched and you had to find a bush to puke in. Curling up on the stairs at a party, playing Crocketts songs on a clapped-out acoustic guitar and feeling more than hearing her voice crack & curl round yours like smoke. Playing knock-knock-ginger at seven a. m. and running away giggling like schoolgirls. Feigning migraines so you could stay in bed all day, nursing hangovers, drinking tea & fucking. Lassitude came sweetly over you, and you lay back in your little dreamworld (lazy hazy mazy days) and let it. Well, you decide, no more. You go out to find yourself. Tease your hair, pull on your black boots, apply your kohl like a protective charm. Get on the bus,

scowl at the chavs in the back. Search for a little soul in the corners of stinking clubs, the front rows of sweaty gigs, the living-room floor at a house party, the bottom of glasses of cider and beer and Jack Daniels and Coke, the mouths and beds of strange boys and stranger girls. Giggle, crammed into luggage racks because there are no seats left on the train, passing back and forth Sprite bottles half-filled with vodka. Wake up on someone’s sofa, livingroom filled with wasted strangers you talked galaxies with last night. All of you are too thin and none of you have jobs to go to. You close your eyes and try to forget it’s morning. It’s Friday again. You started coming here when you were fifteen, and it was the most exciting place in the world. You sneaked in cans of Strongbow in your school rucksack and shared them, one between three of you, crammed into a single cubicle in the ladies’. Later you leapt around, grinning, to buzzsaw guitars & bass turned up so loud your breastbone vibrated with it and you thought you might faint. Spilled beer soaked up the hems of your jeans, & you slipped over, giggling, on your back in the middle of the dancefloor. The kids are still the same. They’re you, two, three, five years ago. The place still stinks to high heaven & feels hotter than hell, the music still makes the back of your neck prickle, but now you can’t quite summon up the energy to dance or to order another drink. You flick the dog-end of your cigarette into the gutter, close your eyes and lean your head back against the outside wall and try to feel the earth turning. The way you used to feel it, when you thought it was going to be yours. Something in its stillness decides you. You don’t bother going back inside, getting your coat, saying goodbye. Hell to pay tomorrow morning, probably, but right now you can imagine it‘s the end of the world & you don‘t care. You jam your headphones in your ears, take a moment to find the right song (the one you only listen to alone, in your room, late at night, MP3 player under the covers) and walk off down the street. You don’t know where you’re going, and there’s not much of this town to explore, but tonight, the lights are bright enough. Say it aloud. Stop the planet: I’m getting off.


7.

Megan King One Christmas, I gave you a pocket watch; Brushed steel with a glittering chain.

I placed it in a silver case, Engraved with my love and

Rohini Prasad

Wrapped in reflective paper.

When you opened it, you cried.

You hooked it onto a belt loop and Carried its weight in your old pair of jeans.

I missed it more then you when you lost it.

Now it sits on the floor Of a bus somewhere Concealed by sweet wrappers and dirt or Neglected in a box full of trinkets and bus passes Its shine exposed briefly, Fleetingly, Whenever someone rummages through.

I brought you another which you Did not lose or wear. It carried the glint of guilt I suppose or Empathy.

Ellie Woodward November’s cold – skeletal leaves, Scatter the street, the murky dusk creeps, Over the trees – corpse like, fragile and bare,

I gave it you in muffled spite. A clockwork cry when I stifled mine. I never dared to reset that watch So it wound down instead.

Battered by wind, sucked into death’s snare. It knew no more than I did that day, But it was more than leaves snatched away, A week later, wind blew through black attire. A room full of people with desperate smiles.

Slowly, Subtly, Stealthily,

The 1st of September until the 1st of November, With nineteen years in between. Just a coffin and a stream of tears to remember, What a life his could have been.

Until it stopped. Silent in the grime of the floor of the bus.

My eyes were closed. I could feel the breeze blowing through my hair, touching it gently, like the hesitant fingers of a long-lost friend. My arms wavered slightly as I held them out to each side, but this was no king-of-theworld moment for me. I could hear a faint wailing in the distance; the sounds of the city reached me - a baby’s cry, horns, police sirens. I swayed as the wind increased. If I concentrate I can block out all noise to a buzz. If I concentrate I can block out the pain. But only for a minute, maybe less. My skirt flutters around my calf, as if it wants to fly away with the breeze. So do I. My body beats with every thump of my heart. It feels like its going to burst. Heartache, or maybe just loneliness. JUST. Four letters that trivialize a bigger emotion, a bigger phenomenon. It was JUST an earthquake. It was JUST a plane crash. It was JUST the sound of no one caring. I raised my foot and extended it forward. It touched nothing. A nothing I was going to be closely acquainted with very soon. I felt no fear. No sadness. A mere twinge of curiosity of what might happen if I let go. Would anyone miss me? Would anyone wonder why? What if? Or would they think “it’s about time”. I stepped off. I felt good. I felt weightless. Free. Calm. I could see the ground coming closer. It seemed to open up to meet me. Suddenly a sharp noise entered my world. Growing louder and louder just as I was nearing the pavement. My eyes snapped open. I reached over and threw the alarm clock against the wall. It had robbed me of a moment of freedom. A freedom that one could only gain from sleep. As I grew accustomed to the dark, the world felt like it was placed back on my shoulders. I sat up slowly and swung my legs off the bed. I was still walking the line between full consciousness and sleep. The last remnants of my dream were floating around in my head. What if… What if… I looked at the picture on the bedside table. My friend. My love. My soulmate. The pain of losing someone, so suddenly, weighs upon my heart like a stone. I placed my ring next to his and stood up. I opened the door and started to walk up the stairs to the roof.


8.

Lamorna Elmer Flickering, fading. “I brought you some fruit,” the girl said, the door swinging shut behind her. “You don’t eat enough of it.” She passed over a blue and white striped bag. “Thanks.” Her companion peered into the bag. “What are they?” They’re guavas. I took them from home.” The boy turned one over in his hands, fingering it and looking into the fire. “Come and sit with me and warm up.” He set the fruit aside, gesturing at the carpet in front of the grate. The girl shed her coat onto an armchair and sat cross-legged beside him. “What took you so long?” He enveloped her hand in his own. “Traffic’s bad. The weather and that.” She stretched her left arm behind her and leaned back. “You should really get new carpets Joe.” “What’s wrong with these?” “They’re prickly.” “I think they’re okay.” “They are okay; they’re just not the best. That’s all I’m saying.” She ran her hand over the floor. “I want soft, downy carpets,” she said. “You know, ones you can sink your toes into.” “I don’t know why we’re talking about carpets. We’ll never get what we want, either of us.” He released her hand. The fire crackled, its embers glowing and fading in succession. The room blushed orange and red from the flames dancing over the white walls, making it seem smaller. The pair sat together in silence until the girl stood up and made her way into the kitchen, returning with two tumblers. “Here you go.” She passed him one of the glasses, “For now, this is what we want.” “Zahra . . . don’t drink that.” She pursed her lips and shrugged. “It makes no difference.” “Maybe not, but it might.” He gazed up at her. “I’m thinking about now Joe. You need to let go,” she said, talking a gulp from her glass. “Talk to them.” “I can’t.” "You could try.” He reached forward, brushing her dark hair from her face. “I could try.” The girl stared into the dying fire. She didn’t speak. “I know it won’t be easy.” He kissed her forehead. “But I can’t not do it. Things have changed.” The wind howled its way down the chimney, causing a piece of wood to fall from the hearth. He boy threw it back to the flames and turned towards the girl. “I’m fed up, Zahra. We can’t just do nothing.” “We’re not going to,” she said. “I’m going to put things back to the way they were.” “And then we’ll be back in the same situation as before, just guiltier.” “We won’t be guilty; we’ve been over this a hundred times. Please just be quiet? Enjoy the time we have, Joe.” “What, getting pissed and trying to forget?” He rose from the fire and sat on the sofa. “This is so stupid.” He leaned his elbows on his knees, holding his head. “That’s your perspective. You’re not the same as me, we’re different,” she said. “We’re not different. This is everyday. This should be everyday.” The girl left her glass by the fireside and joined the boy on the sofa, shoving his elbows from his knees and laying her head in his lap. “What if I wake up one day and you’re just not there?” He said. “They won’t do that.” “What if they find out?” “They’re not that extreme Joe. They’re not monsters.” “I’ve read things.” “In The Daily Mail?” She smiled up at him. “Shh now. Lie down.” She reached for the remote and shifted so he could lie behind her. He placed his hand on her upturned hip as the light from the television mingled with the dwindling rays of firelight.


FEATURES 19

NOVEMBER.24.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

TANGLED

ssion on students

A sticky situation

With infertility rates rising, Aimee Steen looks at how fewer sperm donors will cause us problems in the future.

S

this is an investment nowhere near as risky as some of the massive business speculations that banks make.” With loans and overdrafts staying interest-free, students will continue to benefit from a certain amount of economic stability during their study years. In relation to the sudden sensationalism of the crisis by the media, Mr. Jago described the emergence of the financial crisis as the “absolutely inevitable" product of twenty years of greed, following Thatcher’s policies to make everyone middle class in the 1980s. I’ll leave the Politics students to judge that one.

The Short Term Two words for you. Tesco. Value. Or, a single word that is just as likely to delight your wallet - Lidl. It’s the advice everyone’s giving: try to watch your spending on food and drink. The same goes for clothes, CDs and DVDs. It’s the old maxim ‘10% student discount doesn’t mean you can buy 10% more stuff’. If tough times are ahead, having a little bit of money kept back will help all of us get through the short term effects of the crunch. Clothes-wise, there are several useful websites which will ease the sight of an empty bank balance. Swapping websites such as www.whatsmineisyours.com allow you to trade clothes without spending a penny. Similarly, you could consider others less fortunate than yourself by donating unwanted suits to www.dressforsuccess.org. This charity provides work clothes for disadvantaged women so they can enjoy a better prospect of employment. With regards to employment success, competition in many sectors will be tougher than ever and you will be going up against candidates that have the same grades as

you. Think about what makes you more employable than they are. If nothing springs to mind, why not consider getting pro-active in a society? Getting a part time job? Even volunteering? All these things add a splash of colour to your CV and show that you have skills that extend beyond your degree. These skills will be essential in the post-crunch job hunt. Also, with house prices falling, first time buyers will have a much better chance of getting on the property ladder once the economy recovers. In the meantime, the cost of renting should be set to fall as homeowners choose to let houses instead of selling them. This will create more competition and should lead to cheaper accommodation, which both graduates and current students will benefit from. Happy days.

A 10% student discount doesn't mean you can buy 10% more stuff But it would seem that students need not fear too much. Graduates will, in the long term, have much higher earnings than non-graduates, and a degree is still valuable, especially in terms of career options. Overall, students seem to be well equipped to survive the money meltdown. It is all too easy to think only in the short term and be panicked by sensationalist media headlines. We do need to start buying own brand food and trying to curb impulse buying, but we also need to have a little bit of faith in the economy and trust that in the long term things will get better - and that hopefully, banks won’t make these mistakes again.

perm donation used to be a relatively simple procedure. You could pop along to the clinic, donate a sample and (theoretically) forget about it for the rest of your life. Yet with a change in the law in recent years removing anonymity from donors, giving the conceived child the right to find out their genetic origin once they turn 18, the numbers willing to donate have dropped considerably. This has caused a shortfall in stocks at fertility clinics, but what can be done to solve the problem? Over 15 years, the number of sperm donors has fallen by 40%, prompting calls from doctors at the British Fertility Society to raise the number of pregnancies that can be created from one donor. Currently the limit stands at 10, which was set to minimise the possibility of those children pairing up and creating their own family in later life, the genetic implications of which would not be favourable. Limits vary worldwide, with France’s maximum being 5, though the lower populated Netherlands’ standing at 25.

Over 15 years, the number of donors has fallen by 40% It has been suggested that due to the large population of the UK, raising the already arbitrary number could be a feasible option, without creating any additional genetic risk. This would depend, however, on the donor consenting to the number of babies conceived - how many men would be happy in the knowledge that upwards of 10 children born by different mothers could be running around somewhere

in the UK, all of whom would have the right to contact him when they turned 18? The man does have the right to be informed if any children are born who are biologically his, if he so chooses. This would presumably reduce the element of surprise when, nearly two decades after said donation, a person (or several) turned up on their doorstep with a “Hi, Dad!”

Upwards of 10 children could be conceived per man The problem is a difficult one. The ability to know one’s parentage is now seen as a fundamental right, and while this technology opens doors to those who cannot conceive naturally or do not have a male counterpart, it does throw up issues concerning both the rights of the child and the donor. Without such an option, however, certain groups of people would struggle to ever conceive; single women, gay couples and infertile couples would all have the possibility of having a child, at least partly biologically theirs, removed. Lack of anonymity for donors, though, means that fewer men are willing to assist in the process - only 307 men registered in 2006. One suggestion put forward is the setting-up sperm-sharing schemes, whereby fertile men could donate sperm to partly fund IVF for their partners. Though a solution clearly needs to be found, this does not seem like a particularly good idea. Men could easily find themselves under pressure to donate, even if they did not want to, in a bid to finance their own chance of having a child when they could not otherwise afford to do so. Surely guilt-tripping

people into donating cannot be the answer. “I don’t like the sound of this,” claims one Cardiff student, 20, who did not wish to be named. “I’m not thinking of kids yet, but if my partner and I needed IVF to have a kid and someone said ‘here, have it cheaper if you help someone else have one’, what kind of position does that put me in? I wouldn’t want to donate - I don’t like the idea of someone genetically mine existing somewhere and knowing nothing about them - but what else could I do?” But with the increasing problem sending many overseas to conceive a baby, something needs to be done. As a generation apparently plagued by STIs, and other issues causing infertility, we are the ones the shortage is going to affect - and that's not even counting the numerous gay couples and single women for whom this option is vital.

"Have IVF cheaper if you help somebody else" At the moment it seems a toss-up between making many babies from one man or financially forcing people to donate, neither of which seem to be a particularly good solution - but in the case of such a difficult topic, there is no simple answer. To speak to someone in confidence about how to become a donor, please contact: Tel: 0845 226 9193 Visit: http://www.ngdt.co.uk/ Email: info@ngdt.co.uk


TAF-OD 21

NOVEMBER.24.2008 TAF-OD@gairrhydd.COM

Brand yn cefnogi ladd miliynau? Dafydd Loughran yn datgelu hanes gudd y ganrif ddiwethaf. Ai Hitler oedd y gwaethaf?

C

lywsoch hen ddigon rwy’n si r am y scandal achoswyd gan Russell Brand a Jonathan Ross. Collais ddiddordeb yn ddigon buan gyda’r newyddion unwaith eto yn neidio ar y cyfle i wneud môr a mynydd o ddigwyddiad digon diniwed. Gwthio ffiniau yw swydd cyflwynwyr modern fel Brand a Ross a’r union dalent yma sydd wedi gwneud y ddau mor enwog. Os ydym am weld y cyfryngau yn dal i esblygu mae’n rhaid bod y cyfrifoldeb am gynnyrch y rhaglen yn cael ei rhoi yn llwyr ar gynhyrchwyr y BBC. Os yw’r rhaglen yn cael ei wrthod, iawn, mae’r ddau yn gwybod y ffiniau. Ond unwaith iddo gael ei ddarlledu gallai ddim a gweld sut all unrhyw fai gael ei rhoi ar y ddau gymeriad talentog ac unigryw. Rwy’n clirio’r ddau yn llwyr o unrhyw fai felly. Wel, mi wnes yn wreiddiol ta beth. Nid y digwyddiad ei hun a’m gwylltiodd ond penderfyniad Brand i wneud ei araith ymddeol yn sefyll o flaen poster o un o unbeniaid mwyaf llofruddiog yr ugeinfed ganrif. Unwaith i’r BBC rhyddhau'r fideo roedd y poster, heb syndod, wedi diflannu. Joseph Stalin oedd y dyn yn y poster, rheolwr yr USSR rhwng 1927 ac 1953. Credir ei fod yn gyfrifol am ladd rhwng 10 ac 20 miliwn o bobl. Dychmygwch y st!r fyddai tasai

Brand wedi dewis Hitler fel ei ‘pin up’ o ddewis. Wn i ddim a oedd Brand yn ymwybodol o hanes Stalin, ond mae’r ffaith ei fod yn credu bod y fath boster yn dderbyniol yn brawf bod rhywbeth o’i le yn hanes. Er i Hitler orchymyn niferoedd

llawer llai i’w beddau na Stalin mae hanes wedi sicrhau bod disgyblion ysgol yn gwybod pob manylyn o derfysgaeth Hitler ond yn dewis anghofio miliynau Stalin. Byddai unigolyn yn datgelu ei fod yn ‘Natsi’ yn cael ei erlid o’r gymdeithas, tra bod cytuno gyda

Y Ddarlith

delfrydiaeth Gomiwnyddol yn hollol dderbyniol. Does dim amheuaeth pam bod hyn yn wir, yn ystod yr ail ryfel byd roedd cefnogaeth yr USSR yn hanfodol ar gyfer llwyddo yn erbyn Hitler, yn wir roedd eu colled milwrol llawer mwy na’r Amerig a Phrydain gyda’i gilydd. Bu iddynt golli 27 miliwn yn ystod y rhyfel i gymharu ag 800,000 Prydain ac America. Yn ystod y rhyfel daeth gwybodaeth i’r golwg am hil-laddiad miloedd o Bwyliaid gan Stalin a bu i Roosevelt a Churchill orchymyn bod y wybodaeth yn cael ei guddio o’r wasg. Byddai’r fath wybodaeth wedi creu helbul ymysg y milwyr wrth glywed eu bod yn ymladd ar yr un ochr a’r fath unbennaeth, ac am y rheswm hwn rwy’n cytuno gyda’r penderfyniad. Yn ddigon tebyg byddai’r erthygl yma wedi ei ysgrifennu yn Almaeneg ac nid Cymraeg tasai’r wybodaeth wedi ei rhyddhau i’r wasg. Ond heb os, nid fel ffrind y dylem edrych ar yr USSR gynt, dywed Laurence Rees yn ei gyfres BBC newydd am yr Ail Ryfel Byd bod gwledydd y dwyrain ar ddiwedd y rhyfel ond wedi newid un unben creulon - Hitler - am un arall, sef Stalin. Mae’r ffaith i Estonia a Lithuania wrthod bod yn bresennol ym Moscow i ddathlu 60 mlynedd ers diwedd y rhyfel yn brawf nid amser o ddathlu rhyddid a welwyd yn y blynyddoedd ar ôl 1945.

Ni ellir mwyach meddwl am y rhyfel fel y da yn erbyn y drwg. Yn amlwg roedd yn rhaid gwaredu’r byd o Hitler a‘i griw, ond 60 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, onid yw yn amser i’r gwir gael ei sylwi. Mae’n si!r eich bod yn cytuno na ddylai dyn a orchmynnodd i boblogaeth cyfan Wcráin gael eu newynu gael ei drin fel ‘idol’ i’w rhoi ar wal. Enghraifft arall o ddiffyg dealltwriaeth llwyr y boblogaeth o ddigwyddiadau’r ganrif ddiwethaf yw unbennaeth gomiwnyddol Chairman Mao. Anfonwch eich meddyliau yn ôl at ddysgu yn yr ysgol am erchylltra Hitler yn lladd 6 miliwn Iddew. Yn awr cymharwch y rhif yma gyda’r 50-70 miliwn o Tseiniaid bu Mao yn gyfrifol amdanynt. Tybed faint ohonoch oedd hyd yn oed wedi clywed am Mao? Beth sydd yn fwy syfrdanol yw mai nid digwyddiad or gorffenol pell yw hyn o gwbl, bu Mao yn rheoli Tseina hyd nes iddo farw yn 1976. Tybed os mae’r ffaith mai asiaid oedd yn cael eu condemnio i farwolaeth sy’n gyfrifol am ein diffyg gwybodaeth llwyr? Mae na grysau-t Mao a Stalin ar gael ym marchnad Caerdydd, trueni ar ein cymuned os mae cefnogi llofruddwyr mwya’r ganrif ddwetha sy’ angen ei wneud i fod yn unigryw.

I’r rhai ohonoch a gollodd y Stomp, dyma gyfansoddiad y bardd Huw Alun Foulkes Dwyt ti’m yn cofio Sioned, does neb yn ei nabod hi Achos misdêc ’di trio cyfleu y Mabinogi fel rwbath secsi. Chwythed y gwynt o’r dwyrain, rhued y storm o’r môr, Pan fod Ceri yn meiddio deud bod sgwennu creadigol fi’n bôr! Hollted y mellt yr wybren a gwaedded y daran encôr Pan fo Simon wedi cael brên wêf am ryw nofel yn 1964. Cofiwn ni Siwan Rosser adael ein darlith mewn un darn – O’dd hi ’di ca’l llond bol ar draethodau diffyg mynegi barn! Mae mil a chwe chant o flynyddoedd

yn amser rhy hir i’r co’ Pam ddiawl fod rhaid ca’l darlith ar ‘Buchedd Garmon’? Wir, I don’t kno’! Pan aeth Magnus Maximus o Gymru yn y flwyddyn tri chant wyth tri, Enw ei ffrind oedd E. Wyn James, mae’r boi yn lej, sud mae o ’di goroesi? Llifed dagrau’r gwangalon a llyfed y taeog y llawr Pan fo Diarmait yn dechra’ ca’l sterics am gyfrifiad 1901 – un mawr! ****************** Er dued yw’r darlithoedd bob wythnos, ry’n ni’n barod am doriad y

wawr Achos ’ma Ceren am gymryd darlithoedd yn lle’r anwybodus – y bobol ‘fawr’! Bydd hynny yn wychbeth sicr, gawn ni gyd ddosbarth cynta’ bid si!r Gan fod Ceren yn barod i wthio’r ffiniau a chreu ryw fath o st!r yn y d!r! Bydd y swyddfa yn troi’n sdafall fyw, a bydd parti yn 1.69, Bydd Alicia a Llinos yn stiwardio i neud yn si!r fod rhain yn cadw draw! Cawn ein dysgu gan un sydd â phrofiad, ma’ hi ’di hen arfar byw fatha ni, Gawn ni ddarlith ar sud i glecio sambuca a chan o lager a large G & T. Bydd Oceana yn cyflenwi’r goleuada,

a Chlwb Ifor yn anfon D. J. Gawn ni gystadleuaeth carioci, heb boeni am y s!n yn y lle. Ar ôl y rhialtwch a’r miri, awn ni adra i feddwl yn ddwys, Cawn gyfle i sgwennu ein traethawd am ein profiad digon cyfrwys. Bydd y gwaith yn y blwch o fewn wythnos, a bydd rhain yn eu casglu am ‘look’, Adeg hynny gawn nhw weld cynnyrch darlith oedd yn wreiddiol, llawn dyfnder, heb yr un ‘book’. Ond er gwaetha’r hen gecru a’r gwylltio am ddarlithoedd sy’n boen ac yn loes, Mae’n nhw’n bobol iawn yn y bôn, ac ambell dro, mae’n nhw’n trio tynnu

coes! Yndyn, ma’n nhw yn cynnig amrywiaeth, ac yn gosod y safon heb os, Ma’n nhw’n cachu ar Bangor ac Aber, nhw ’di’r chiefs wir i chi a hi ’di’r bos! Ond annwyl ddarlithwyr ga’ i neud cynnig? Ma’ croeso ichi ymuno’n yr hwyl, Byddai un ddarlith fach gan Ceren yn sicr o godi g!yl.

Ond er gwaetha pob darlith ben bora’, Er gwaetha’r hen Sioned a’i chriw, Unwn ninnau hyd ddiwedd amser I gadw’r iaith Gymraeg yn fyw!


JOBS & MONEY 23

NOVEMBER.24.2008 JOBS@gairrhydd.COM

Jobs? What jobs?

With unemployment rising and more major companies poised to make job cuts, Simon John wonders what we're supposed to do.

I

In a time of severe financial distress within the UK, and as the economy has been expected to decrease by 1.7% by the end of 2009, Britons were shocked to learn that another stab to the economic vital organs came as an estimated 3 million people are expected to be unemployed in the UK by 2010. This information was released this week by the Confederation of British Industry, or CBI, after 5000 people were released from their jobs at several corporations, earlier this month. Furthermore, one of these corporations, GlaxoSmithKline, has announced plans to close one of its English plants by 2013, potentially sacrificing a further 620 jobs in the process. Even Britain’s well established telephone company BT has disturbingly announced that 4,000 people have been released from their jobs and as many as 6,000 could follow by next March to soften the severe economic blow that it has suffered in recent months. This will leave many people scurrying to procure job security at these tough times, but with 3 million people out of work by 2010 and no more jobs being created, how does the government expect its public to adapt to turbulent financial times? The CBI is at the forefront of protecting and defending business and financial relations in the UK, and after releasing its report on rising unemployment, The CBI deputy director general John Cridland admitted that 'The banking system has come under immense strain, sending consumer

and business confidence plummeting in its wake,' adding that ‘what is clear is that the short and shallow recession we had hoped for a matter of months ago is now likely to be deeper and longer lasting.’ Mr. Cridland went on to say that along with an unexpected elongation of the recession, with it has been brought the threat of unemployment in sectors that have until

recently been safe from the harsh grip of financial doom. What then can be said for newly graduating students who are boldly thrust into the increasingly critical situation of wrestling with the unstable British employment system? Aside from facing the increasing debt which they are threatened with, students are now also expected to pull a miracle

rabbit out of Alastair Darling’s ass by defying all odds and bagging a financially secure job whilst fending off millions of other students around the UK, and many more established professionals who have a lifetime of experience. Is this what halts bright young students from embracing their dream jobs? Never mind becoming ice-cream van drivers or astronauts,

how are graduating hopefuls going to get the chance to build a business empire á la Alan Sugar or Bill Gates when the British recession is continually at odds with them? First year radiography student Laura Lewis, 19, has expressed a level of concern surely held by many other students: ‘I’m relieved that the healthcare sector seems to be untouched by the recession and there’s a good chance I can get a job here as soon as I qualify,' says Laura, 'but there are always going to be people looking to other countries with better job prospects to increase their chances of earning a tidy pay.’ Statistics for British citizens emigrating out to other countries recently reached up to 200,000 a year in studies carried out by the Office for National Statistics. Many of those choosing to emigrate did so with the intention of seeking employment elsewhere. Why does it seem that the quality of life increases for someone if they move from Britain to Australia? Of course there is the absence of the herds of chavs, which infinitely decreases a person’s stress levels, but if desirable destinations such as Australia and New Zealand can provide its population with steady, well paying jobs, what stops Britain from embracing the recession as a silent business partner and using it to their economic advantage? If this doesn’t outline the necessity for Britain to build up its employment levels, then what does? It indeed becomes a sad day in Britain when it can’t support its people by providing them with suitable, safe and steady jobs.

Not Yet Registered With The Jobshop? The Jobshop is the Students’ Union’s great, FREE Student Employment Service! If you want to be kept informed of the many part-time and temporary student employment opportunities available within the University and Students’ Union as well as with many local companies, please come and see us on the ground floor of the Students’ Union building. You will need your student ID and passport to register. Our opening hours are 10am-4pm Mon-Fri (11am on Thursdays).


PROBLEM PAGE 25

NOVEMBER.24.2008 TEDHANDSOME@gairrhydd.COM

Ted Handsome He's a ruddy good lad

A letter about common sense Dear Ted, I’m a massively reactionary bumwipe who has been given such a ludicrously oversized and unwarranted chip on my shoulder, that I’m often quite unaware of how to put my wealth of impotent rage to full use. However, this week has been somewhat of a revelation for me, as I have learnt that not only has Jon Gaunt been suspended for accusing a Tory councilor of being a Nazi, but also some unpatriotic pinko lefty scumbag has leaked the membership list of the BNP. This has allowed me to fully realise the potential of my warped logic and allowed me to accuse anyone who doesn’t buy into my flawed worldview of being a member of the PC mafia, while vehemently defending my right to spout whatever ignorant bullshit comes to mind as part of my human rights. As an equally respect-

ed member of the anti-PC brigade, I was wondering whether you had any advice as to further alienate myself from forward thinking, and to irritate the jazz fuck out of the remainder of the population. Yours, Billy Tampax Billy my boy, You seem to have confused me with your child-molesting uncle. I don’t actually want to tolerate your moronic bullshit, as I don’t want to get into your Topman boxers to get some of that sweet boy-ass of yours. People like you sicken me to my very core. PC doesn’t necessarily equate to communism, and idiot pseudo racists like you really need to learn this. Equally, there’s a definite separation between left wing and not being racist. Taking offence to stuck-in-the mud old school fascists like yourself does not immediately equate me to Hugo sod-

ding Chavez. Before you resort to blithely slinging muck at whatever minority that you feel has deserved your ire this week, perhaps you should take a deeply look at your own inferiority complex that fuels your bizarrely skewed world view. Get off your selfimposed soapbox and stop polluting the world with your appalling out of touch and dull philosophies. In short, how a bout a nice cool, tall glass of grow the fuck up? Yours, Ted

A letter about charity HIYA!!!!! HI TED I’M A REALLY WACKY AND ZANY PERSON LOL!!! MY MATES ARE ALWAYS TELLING ME HOW FUNNY AND RANDOM I AM!!! I’M ALWAYS DOING REALLY CRAZY THINGS LIKE TALKING ABOUT RANDOM STUFF LIKE OLD KIDS TV AND CHEESE AND MONKEYS AND STUFF! BUT ALSO I’M SOOO CARING AND SEEING ALL THOSE PICS OF THOSE SAD LOOKING KIDS IN AFRICA MAKES ME FEEL SAD :(. SO THIS WEEK I’VE BEEN DRESSING UP IN RANDOM COSTUMES AND DOING ALLSORTS OF CRAZY THINGS TO TRY AND RAISE AS MUCH MONEY AS POSS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED! I WAS JUST WONDERING WHETHER YOU COULD GIVE ME SOME ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO RAISE AS MUCH MONEY AS I CAN WHILE STILL BEING AS COOL AND RANDOM AS I AM!!!

CHEERS BABES! PIPPA SMEARTEST xxx Dear Pippa, While I salute your no doubt, totally earnest and in no way self-driven, motives for assaulting poor student fuckers on the way back from the lectures into donating their beer money into a fund for Terry Wogan’s wigmaker’s salary, I do have to question your methods. How does dressing up like a smurf and sitting in a bath of beans for 24 hours in anyway simulate the awful terror of child abuse or child soldiers in the Congo? To be honest, charity is a deeply personal thing, and I feel that you throwing your smug, self-satisfied charitable ways in my face is so incredibly vulgar as to induce a bolus of vomit at the back of my throat. You disgusting little fuckpigs, wasting my precious time with your sub-UWIC student bollocks. No

I don't want to throw a sponge at some gurning exec you utter shitcan, if anything, I will pay you to fuck off back up your own collective arsehole you conglomeration of the distilled notion of over-compensation. Toodles! Ted

How does dressing up like a smurf and sitting in a bath of beans for 24 hours in anyway simulate the awful terror of child abuse or child soldiers in the Congo?

Handsome's Week

T

his week I have mainly been avoiding Oceana flyers. Note to potential flyerers; I do not have a problem with you per se. I understand that we all have to make our way in a life, and some of us have a greater struggle than others. However, if I have another one of those colourful paper monstrosities thrust at me, I am going to go fucking postal. If you are so desperate to get people

to come to your fucking meat market of a nightclub, that you are foisting a paper wristband onto any priapic little motherfucker looking to get nuts deep in some loose Land Management fanny, then you really need to reassess your entire business model. It's got to the point where I cannot swan down Queen Street without a thousand short-of-trouser, low-of morals painted whores of Babylon hurling vast reams of paper in my general

direction. Do I honestly look like your usual clientelle, you useless fucking foetus? Unless you magicallly start giving out lapdances by silent whores built of £50 notes and cocaine, then I will never be seen in your utter shit show of a nightclub. Good day sir.

Ted on... ... Somali Pirates

Pirates eh? They're a bit of fun aren't they? Johnny Depp's well dreamy, and aren't they effing hilarious! Jamie Dance Thunder reckons that they are well boss, so we all know that he's a pretty good judge of what's good or not isn't he? Well no actually, pirates aren't actually that funny or cool. I'm not talking about some spotty little oik downloading Metallica's back catalogue on Napster, or whathaveyou, but rather actual blood thirsty, rusty AK47 wielding motherfuckers who will kill you and your granny if it'd mean an extra filthy dollar in their back pocket. Unfortunately, a lot of fuckwits will inevitably cling onto the idea that if they wear their boyfriend's shirt, a £1 eye patch and their pashmina wrapped around their head then pirates are still cute and funny. Pirates are not cute. Pirates are serious business. Still, never mind eh? There's nothing quite like a bit of revisionist history to commodify a legion of bloodthirsty bastards into a cutesy little costume for Rorys and Charlottes to indulge their dangerous side by dressing up like utter sheep's twats for one night a year. Indeed, Frank Miller you have a lot to answer for yourself, you big old clever bastard you. While nobody can deny that 300 is any thing other than a searing work of m a j e s t y, I swear to unholy God that if I see another sexually confused 2nd XI football player wandering around in a red bedsheet I will kick his jaw

through his spinal column, the useless fucking tosspot. While I'm at it, why do people bother dressing up for nights out anyway? I don't see how suddenly dressing up like a pseudo-golfer in any way makes your night any more fun? On a slightly tangential note, have any of those awful excuses for humanity ever even been to a golf club? Dressing in your Primark checked pajamas and socks pulled up to your knees is not an adequate substitute for the noble Plus Four. If any of these idiots turned up at Stoneleigh Deer Park Golf Club, then my good friend Mr. Johnny Reay would turf these arseholes out like the oiks that they are. It certainly makes me pine for the days when a refined gentleman would never be seen without a well-cut suit, a sturdy pair of loafers and a good old-fashioned piece of facial topiary. Now, one can't walk down the street before encountering a legion of arsecandles wearing ironic Cookie Monster t-shirts and underwear with cartoon sound effects smothered all over them, like Roy Lichtenstein's nightmare. However, no trendy dickwipe is complete without their government issue twat haircut. Highlights, mullets, shaved details; these utter pigbollocks have seemingly homogenised the worst in hairdressing in order to pay homage to the distillation of all the cultual icons to have felt the wrath of my ire. When will this government realise that the only way for Britain to truly be great again, is to allow me to shoot anybody who irritates me on sight? But once again the bloody liberal elite baulk at the suggestion of some good old fashioned gunpowder parlay. It rather makes you nostalgic for the days when you could smite a blighter down for offending your honour, making a pass at your ladyfriend or even besmirching your fine linen breeches. However now health and safety have got on the case, apparently carrying a concealed sabre within my ivory and redwood cane is now considered a 'crime.' Good bloody job I wasn't dusky of skin or carrying some electricians tools! So pirates eh? Good or bad, I don't really care, as long as my shipment of fine cuban cigars, illegally imported Panda fur slippers and bemused EastAsian handmaidens arrives on time then all is well in my world. Until next time, serfs!


26 XPRESS

NOVEMBER.24.2008 XPRESS@gairrhydd.COM

Cardiff Student Radio Available online 24/7 Mainstream show of the week:

A selection of the best songs added to the playlist this week, all of which can be heard on mainstream shows.

Hilary and Heather Show

1. Sportsday Megaphone - I Think It's Love 2. MIA - Boyz feat Jay - Z 3. The Golden Silvers - Magic Touch 4. Casiokids - Groent Lys I Alle Ledd 5. Katy Perry - Hot N Cold

Xpress Is Once Again Award Winning These girls will keep you up to date with all the goings on in and around Cardiff whilst playing out some of the best indie chart songs. Hilary and Heather's show includes music reviews, what’s hot and what’s not in film and television, plus features such as changing chocs and half-a-minute Hollyoaks. Definitely enough to keep you entertained for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: 11am till 12:30pm

Specialist show of the week:

Just Added

This year Xpress scooped two prizes at the national student radio awards, a bronze for best female going to Hannah Davies and silver for best technical achievement.

Subversion

Subversion will rock your Thursday nights by bringing you a combination of old and new, soft and heavy, melodic and trashy metal and rock. The show includes a whole host of fantastic features, exclusive news, upcoming gigs, the weeks finest new releases as well as special guests. With Scott and Natalia playing everything from AC/DC, and Flyleaf, to Slipknot, and Black Sabbath, remember to wear ear muffs because it will be brutal!

Designed for Cardiff. Defined by you.

Thursday: 10pm till 11pm

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Mainstream

Mainstream

Mainstream

Mainstream

9am-10:30am Alice and Mel Breakfast Show 10:30am-12:30pm Loud Noises 12:30pm-2pm Show and Tell with Amy 2pm-2:30pm Quiz 2.30pm-4:30pm Sports Show 4:30pm-6pm Lee Macaulay on Xpress

Specialist

9am-11am Three Girls & A Gay 11am-12:30pm Hilary and Heather Show 12:30pm-1pm The Xpress Debate 1pm-3pm Madame Audrey's Lunar Cake Shop & Delicatessen 3pm-4:30pm B.A.M in the Afternoon 4:30pm-6pm Rich & Britt Afternoon Show

6pm-7pm The Xhibition 7pm-8pm Transmission 8pm-9pm Gig "n" mix 9pm-10pm Holly & Bo's Radio Show 10pm-11pm Superstar DJ's Here We Go! 11pm-12am Anything Alternative 12am - 1am Richard Gale Show

Specialist

Friday

Saturday

Mainstream

Mainstream

11am-1pm Al & Steve Show 1pm-2.30pm 2 Girls, 1 Mic with Sally & Susie 2.30pm-4:30pm TNT 4:30pm-6pm Student Media Show

Specialist

6pm-7pm International Superhits 7pm-8pm The Hype Machine 8pm-9pm The Argument 9pm-10pm The Essential Gig Guide 10pm-12am Flo Jam Sessions 12pm-1pm $traight Cash

6pm-7pm Global Grooves 7pm-8pm Tom & Billy's Show 8pm-9pm Methu Dawnsio 9pm-10pm CUTV on the Radio 10pm-11pm Hedonism 11pm -12am The Dark Hour

10am-11am Hair of the Dog 11am-12pm Wake Up with Henry & Oscar 12pm-2pm Jack and Tom Delusion

Specialist

2pm-3pm PushPop 3pm-4pm Naomi & Beth Show 5pm-6pm Milo Mitchem Show 6pm-7pm Frankie & Tegan Show 7pm-8pm Ruari & Liam Show 8pm-9pm The Pigeon Hole 9pm-10pm Alice & Monique Show 10pm-11pm Ian Hall Show

9am-11am 3 Man Bundle 11am-1pm Gossip Girls with Seetal & Lily 2.30pm-3pm The Weekly Summit 3pm-4pm Louisa & Beth's Afternoon Show 4pm-6pm Luke & Ed Show

Specialist

7pm-8pm The Gloomy Show 8pm-9pm Housemasters 9pm-10pm The Take Over 10pm-11pm Martin's Show 11pm-12am - Rhys's Show

Sunday Mainstream

11am-11:30am The Beautiful Hesitation 11:30am-1pm Ollie and Stefano show 1pm-2:20pm Laura, Dora & Lucy Show 2:20pm-2:30pm Across the Corridor Six students, one sunday roast - just how complicated can it get? 2:30pm-3pm Xposure 3pm-5pm The Student Radio Chart Show 5pm-6pm Toni and Zoe Show

Specialist

6pm-7.30pm Sunday Classics 7:30pm-9pm Jazz Society Show 9pm-10pm Are You Sitting Comfortably?

www.xpressradio.co.uk

9am-11am Filing the Gap with Emma & Alexis 11am-12:30pm Kat & Ash Show 12:30pm-1pm The Trawlermen's Sweethearts 1pm-2pm The Stark and Moo Show 2pm-4pm Sporties 4pm-6pm Sam & Greg Show

Specialist

7pm-8pm Curly Joe and Ginger's Countdown Conundrum 8pm-9pm Xposed 9pm-10pm Thursday Night Annihilation Appreciation Society 10pm-11pm Subversion 11pm-12am Dan and Petch's 80s Hour of Power 12am-1am Peter & Coralie's Show

Listen again Missed your favourite radio show or searching for some top quality entertainment? Well the Xpress website now includes a listen again feature, so visit www. xpressradio.co.uk for a chance to hear speech, sport, house, dance, rock, indie, folk, shoe gaze, funk, punk and so much more. Whatever you want, whenever you want it.


FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

NOVEMBER.24. 2008 FMF@gairrhydd.COM

found on facebook Housemate done something stupid? Send more oddities!

sudoku.

1. Log on to the book of face 2. Join the group ‘Found on Facebook’ 3. Upload embarrassing photos 4. Pick up gair rhydd on Monday and laugh

Quick Crossword Across

Down

1. Agile performer (7) 5. Bestows a knighthood on (4) 8. Grumpy (5) 9. Furniture runners (7) 11. Swiss town in the canton of Valais (4) 12. Keyboard musicians (8) 15. Rewrites (5) 16. Insert (3,2) 19. Naval patrol vessels (8) 21. Distort (4) 23. Small minnow or stickleback (7) 25. Well-built and masculine (5) 26. Norway's main port (4) 27. In vain (7)

2. Continued, persevered (7,2) 3. Band who released the US smash hit Slam in 1993 (4) 4. Educating ___, long-running radio series (6) 5. The year ___, ages ago (3) 6. Singed (5) 7. Protuberances (5) 10. Slowly dawned (4,2) 13. Pedants (9) 14. Saunter (6) 17. Deposits (6) 18. Teeters (5) 20. Items installed in a fitted kitchen, for example (5) 22. ___ Tasman, Dutch navigator who discovered Van Diemen's Land (4) 24. Couple, pair (3)

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EASY

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Tracey Williams papped Glynn at Pulse sporting a white vest. Playerrrrrr!

Glyn, BB7 screen god is studying Welsh and Spanish at Cardiff University. Snap a picture of him and send us your sightings! Join the Gair Rhydd G-spot facebook group and upload!


28 LISTINGS The Listings Top Five... ...things you can do with an egg! You're feeling peckish and fancy a bite to eat, only to go into your kitchen fridge and find it stripped of all nutritional content. However, stored behind that moulencrusted piece of cheddar and yellowtinged carton of milk, you come across an egg! But what to do with this single dairy product? Well my needy student chums, the options are endless... or so it seems! 1. Boil the egg Boil the egg in a saucepan for 10 minutes to achieve a runny centre worthy of dunking a few egg soldiers. Alternatively, boil for slightly longer (approx. 15 minutes), remove shell and slice the egg to fill a sandwich or top a green salad. 2. Poach the egg Heat your egg in a poaching device for 10 minutes and serve on toast for a warming winter supper. Add HP sauce for additional zest. 3. Fry the egg

Monday 24th Nov

NOVEMBER.24.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Tuesday 25th Nov

Wednesday 26th Nov

FUN FACTORY @ SOLUS For a night of sweat-dripping unadultered fun, rock into the one factory that makes the stuff! 7pm-2am, free entry.

GET LOST @ LIQUID Want to appear in the G-spot? Find the man in his fave haunt throwing some shapes on the rather sticky Liquid dancefloor! 9pm - 3am, £3.50

SIN BIN @ SOLUS Those sporting socials are enough to get a primitive Inuit hot under the collar! Journey to the sin-bin if you dare! Free entry 7-9, £3 after

LIFE@ GLAM Torn between Oceana and Tiger Tiger? Why not settle for the club bang in the middle of the 2! A few glasses of vodka alibi and a few hours later you'll be positively owning the pretty sparse dancefloor! 9pm-3am, £3

CHIC BEAT @ REVOLUTION Mmm mudslide cocktails galore...or maybe not at £5 a pop! Stick to old faithful Redbull and vodka doubles instead! 9pm - 3am, £4 - £5

SHOTGUN RULES @ REVOLUTION Despite attending this event for over a year now, we are still undecided about where the rules of shotgun come into it! Please find out for the sake of the omniscient student populace. 9pm - 2am, £2.50

VODKA ISLAND @ TIGER TIGER Don your finest pulling-gear and head to the club that marks double vodka and redbull as compulsory! Free before 9pm, £3 after CRIME IN STEREO @ CLWB IFOR BACH Release your inner punk rocker and go currrrazzy for Crime in Stereo! 7.30pm - 3am, £6. ZUCCHERO @ ST DAVIDS HALL Join Italian rock god Adelmo Fornaciari to bop and mosh to your heart's galore! 7.30pm, £20, contact venue for details THEA GILMEY AND JOAN COFFEY @ THE POINT Irish singer/songwriter Joan Coffey and Brit Award nominee Thea Gilmey (albeit in 2001) collaborate for a gig worthy of a Listings' mention! 7.30pm, £12/£10, contact venue for details

PAIGE AND MAJOR MOTION PICTURE @ BARFLY Mosy on down to Barfly to sample a few alternative sub-categories of pop! 7.30pm, £5/£4 with flyer MASSIVE HORSE PROMOTIONS @ BUFFALO BAR K*nt And The Gang, May Contain Nuts and The Black Catholics are a trio not to be messed with! Prepare yourself for a night of severe knocks to the head... protective head-gear optional. 8pm - 11pm, £3 MUD: RESIDENT DJ'S @ THE BASEMENT The best Dubstep DJs ever to grace this planet congregate at the Basement tonight to dabble in a bit of electro-beat pumping amongst other things. 9pm - 3am, £3

COCK AND BULL @ TIGER TIGER COCKtails and redBULL, see what they did there?! Those Tiger Tiger bigwigs are clever people! Free entry, 8pm! TWISTED NERVE AND B-MUSIC CYMRU @ THE POINT With a name like Twisted Nerve this formation is either horribly uncomfortable or down-right dangerous - I'll go with the latter! 8pm, £5.50/£4.50 concessions CAERPHILLY COUNTY BOROUGH MUSIC SHOWCASE @ ST DAVID'S HALL Those little sweethearts of the Caerphilly community delight us with their renditions of 'Shine Jesus Shine' and 'Autumn Days'...probably! Isn't 7pm past their bed time though? The little scamps! 7pm, £7.50/ £5.50, contact venue for details

Simply the best hangover cure ever invented! Fry lightly in a saucepan for 10 minutes and serve with full-English sides 4. Scramble the egg Crack egg into a saucepan, and add milk and butter. Heat over a gentle flame for 5 minutes whilst frequently mashing the contents. 5. Paint the egg Can't be bothered to cook? Give your egg a face and call him 'Bob'. He won't curb your hunger pangs but will most definitely bring a smile to your face.

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents.com ! Med Club, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ! Clwb Ifor Bach ros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 www.clubmetropolitan.com ! Dempseys, Castle Street 02920 252024 ! Move, 7 Mill Lane 02920 225592 ! Jazz, 21 St. Mary Street 02920 387026 www.cafejazzcardiff.com ! The Riverbank Hotel, Despenser Street www.riverbankjazz.co.uk ! St. David’s Hall, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org.uk ! The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ! The Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ! The Millennium Stadium Can’t miss it. www.millenniumstadium.com ! The Point,


LISTINGS 29

NOVEMBER.24.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Thursday 27th Nov

Friday

28th Nov

C-Y-N-T @ CLWB IFOR BACH MEGA tunes and explicitly perspiring students guarantee a good night. 10.30pm - 4am, £3

LUSH @ SOLUS Dance the night away like the body-popping, booty-shaking r'n'b preacher you are . Free entry 7-9pm, £3 after.

MISCHIEF @ TIGER TIGER The place where misbehaviour goes unnoticed! Cheeky little rascals the lot of you! 9pm - 2am, £4 - £5

VOODOO @ RISA Cheap drinks and lecherous raars; what more could you ask for from a student night? 9pm-3am, £4

ROOTS AT THE CHURCH @ NORWEIGAN CHURCH ARTS CENTRE Scottish musician Dick Gaughan will spiritually enlighten you with his gaelic folk style. 8pm, £12/£10.50 concessions, contact venue for details METROPALOOZA @ METROS £1.50 doubles - what more could you ask for? Um, maybe a club that didn't reek of student bodily fluids! Cracking night, but is it too much to ask to hire a cleaner, Metros?! 9pm - 2am, £6

Saturday 29th Nov

COME PLAY @ SOLUS A mixture of r'n'b anthems, bubblegum pop tunes and old school classics! The best Union night EVER! 9pm - 2am, £3 THE WHOLIGANS @ THE GLOBE This tribute act to The Who want you to judge for yourself whether they can replicate the iconic rock band's star status. 9pm, contact venue for details

FIGHT LIKE APES AND THE XCERTS @ BARFLY The Dublin and Aberdeen trios hook up at the Bar of the Fly to deliver club-goers with another fun-packed evening of indie-rock. 7.30pm, £5

BEDLAM FT. SCRATCH PERVERTS AND ANDY C @ THE GREAT HALL Bedlam indeed guaranteed when all hell lets loose at the union tonight! The bar workers won't know what's hit them! 9pm, £17

DIGITAL SEX @ BUFFALO BAR Sounds like a European sexual fetish shop...expect no less from German electro musicians Klaus and Luger! Contact venue for details

VINYL VENDETTAS @ CLWB IFOR BACH A mix of Indie, Retro and contemporary Welsh music. 10pm - 3am, £4/£5

Sunday 30th nov

DIONNE WARWICK @ ST. DAVID'S HALL The sixties soul-star brings her My Music and Me tour to South Wales. 7.30pm, £35/£32.50 10 FOOT CWTCH @ 10 FEET TALL Open mic sesh with Rowan Ligget, with prizes including free booze and not much else. 8.30pm-3am, £3 THE HOTROD DISCO @ BUFFALO BAR Fifties night beats will entice many a Presley fan to this social gathering; good times to be had by all! 8pm - 3am, free OUTCRY COLLECTIVE, MONDAY MASSACRE AND HOTEL AMBUSH @ BUFFALO BAR Another MASSIVE night at Buffalo! £5, 7.30pm.

THE SNOW QUEEN @ THE SHERMAN THEATRE To get you in the mood in the run-up to Christmas, try this adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's enchanting tale. Runs until 10/01/09 £15/£12 concessions, contact venue for details

(The Welsh Club), 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ! Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 www.barflyclub.com/cardiff ! MetIncognito, Park Place 02920 412190 ! Liquid, St. Mary Street 02920645464 ! The Philharmonic, 76-77 St. Mary Street 02920 230678 ! Café The Hayes 02920 878444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk ! Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ! Wales Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk ! The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay 0870 2415093 www.glee.co.uk ! Cardiff Bay, 02920 460873 www.thepointcardiffbay.com ! Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192 !


30 SPORT

NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

THE WORD ON...

...David Haye's mission to rescue heavyweight boxing

Josh Pettitt Sports Editor DAVID HAYE breathed a new lease of life into heavyweight boxing at the weekend. A weight division with such a proud history and such great potential seems to have faded into a dull and disappointing shadow of its former glories. The heavyweight division used to be the pinnacle of boxing but it has taken a back seat in recent years to the more entertaining lighter divisions. The shortage of quality contenders is largely responsible for its dwindling popularity. Heavyweight boxing’s deficiency in talent has been plain for all to see in the past few years, with a constant absence of heavyweight boxers in the Ring magazine’s definitive top ten pound for pound boxers.

The heavyweight division used to be the pinnacle of boxing And yet boxing is a spectacle first and a sport second. For heavyweight boxing to reclaim its appeal it needs its pantomime villains like Mike Tyson and its arrogant and yet loveable heroes such as Ali. However boxing does not need to resort to the grotesque to satisfy its audiences. Evander Holyfield has just announced that he will be fighting the seven foot Valuev for the WBA belt. Although this might cause a ripple of excitement, it will surely only satiate

the appetite of those with nostalgic memories of the feats of the former legend. Win or lose, the match can only succeed in becoming a freak show. The monstrous Russian will swing mighty and inaccurate blows while Holyfield will have to draw on all of his waning talent to force the match to a points decision. This surely isn’t the spectacle that heavyweight boxing needs. Currently all five heavyweight belts are held by big bruising, and worst of all, modest Eastern Europeans. Although the Klitschko brothers are more than proficient, they are, dare I say, a little boring. While it might be a language barrier that prevents the brothers from the stereotypically verbose voicing of prowess, they appear nonetheless a little too humble for the position of the greatest heavyweight boxer on the planet. Boxing has played host to some of the most egocentric characters in sport, and this is no bad thing. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a self-proclaimed world contender beaten to the floor, except perhaps watching such overawing self-belief vindicated in a victory. The stark contrast between David Haye and Vitali Klitschko was there for all to see in the post match interview when Haye rated himself as “the best pound for pound boxer in the world” while Vitali

smiled on. Haye’s belief in his own abilities stretches so far that he showed little interest in which Klitschko he would fight next: “Flip a coin, I don’t care”. Although this might smack of disrespect, this remark simply reflects his conviction that he is now the main event in

heavyweight boxing. So why is a cruiser weight champion causing such a stir in heavyweight boxing? Is it that he has such talent that he cannot fail in his march on the title of undisputed heavyweight champion of the world? Only time will tell, but no matter how small a prospect, it is now a possibility.

Boxing is a spectacle first and a sport second Since Lewis retired as undisputed champion of the world there has been no contender to assume the greatest of all mantles. The Klitschko brothers made an admirable and yet frustrating promise to their mother to never to step into the ring together. This has robbed boxing of the greatest accolade of boxing: “The heavyweight champion of the world”. The two brothers are likeable, admirable, highly proficient

and for all this they have undermined heavyweight boxing. Boxing is a circus and it revels in the ridiculous antics of its performers. It requires athletes to be blinded by their own hubris and be oblivious to the absurd circus they are central to. David Haye is the very man for the job. He confidently embraces his own talent and pays little lip service to modesty. Whether he is the finished article is yet to be seen. He certainly proved his tenacity in knocking Monte Barret to the ground five times in five rounds. He showed some of the evasive skills that made him undisputed cruiserweight champion,

ducking and weaving under the slow jabs of Monte Barret. Haye is nobody’s fool either. Rather than getting drawn into a long and messy slugging match with a heavier and more bruising opponent he circled menacingly and drew the initial bite and confidence from Barret. Haye has that crucial ability of placing doubt and fear of failure into the mind of his

opponent. Constantly swiping at clean air has to affect even the most stubborn of opponents. However it is yet to be seen whether he can survive the meatier fists of the Klitschko brothers. He gives away around 15kg in weight and a few inches in height to the two brothers. Haye will be under no illusions that the Klitschkos will be dispatched as easily as the stubborn Monte Barret. The two brothers are an entirely different kettle of fish. What they might lack in charisma they more than make up for in technical nous. That being said heavyweight boxing is now assured of a genuine contest. The stage is set for a new pantomime. Haye, bright and brilliant, will have to fell the three giants if he is to secure his position in heavyweight history. With rumours surrounding the return of Lewis, let us hope Haye can make a significant enough impression that boxing doesn’t need the return of yet another ageing legend to distort the magnificent spectacle that is heavyweight boxing.


SPORT 31

NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

SPORT COMMENT

Jury still out on Cipriani Lucy Morgan Sports Writer

SINCE BURSTING onto the scene with London Wasps in 2007, Danny Cipriani has certainly made an impression on the rugby world. At only 21 he already has five England caps to his name and has become one of the most recognisable faces of English rugby. But is he as talented as all the hype suggests? His performance for England last week against Australia was certainly nothing special. Despite making two good line breaks, he missed three easy kicks and showed that when it comes to his skills in defence, there is definite room for improvement - especially as

he could be trying to tackle the likes of Ma’a Nonu in two weeks time. Yet despite this stuttering performance, Cipriani himself seemed con-

tent; “I enjoyed myself out there. It was fun.” Compare this attitude with that of his predecessor, a certain Jonny Wilkinson, and there are clear differences. If Wilkinson missed even one kick he would have berated his performance. Cipriani perhaps has perspective but Wilkinson has the ability. England need to find a balance in their number 10. It is also clear that Cipriani enjoys his rise to celebrity status far more than Wilkinson. Where Wilkinson shied away from the media glare, Cipriani revels in it which often detracts from his image as a committed professional. He is often seen as following in the footsteps of Wales’s Gavin Henson with his high-income sponsorship deals and celebrity girlfriend,

taking his image more seriously than his sport. So, should Cipriani be first choice at fly-half for England when they face South Africa this weekend? Martin Johnson certainly thinks so after naming him in the team on Tuesday. With Wilkinson out of the squad through injury, England’s only alternative would be Toby Flood. But maybe Cipriani should be given a chance. He can’t be solely blamed for England’s performance last week and he has only just come back from a horrific, career threatening injury. Ian McGeechan, his head coach at Wasps insists that Cipriani has more to give; “People have got to be patient with Danny. He won't shy away from this, that's for sure.”

TOP FIVE... FIVE... Goalie Gaffes

1 Tomislav Piplica. What a name, what a gaffe. Possibly the most ridiculous error ever seen.

2

England Exiled Hilarious Gomes Richard Williams Sports Editor ENGLAND'S RUGBY League World Cup campaign has ended after a dismal showing in Australia. Tony Smith’s side bowed out after a 32-22 defeat to New Zealand in the semi-finals, following on from the defeat to the Kiwi’s in the group stages the previous week. A group of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with three teams progressing, gave England a golden ticket to the semi finals. However, only a narrow and unimpressive win in their opening match to Papua New Guinea gave the English fans anything to smile about. A demolition by Australia preceded the two defeats to New Zealand, indicating the sheer gulf in class between European rugby league and the sport down under. Members of Grand Finalists St Helens and Leeds Rhinos were a shadow of the players who ripped through the Super League last season. This is particularly apparent when compared to their Australian counterparts in the magnificent NRL competition. The most striking example comes in the form of the magnificent full-

back Billy Slater, who has just been named Rugby League International Federation's (RLIF) world player of the year. The RLIF’s team of the year unsurprisingly contained just two Englishmen. One is James Graham, 2008 Man of Steel in Super League, and Gareth Ellis, who play in the NRL next year. The only thing that English rugby league can take out of the World Cup is the knowledge that the sport in this country, on an international level, needs drastic improvement. England do not have enough world class players in the squad to challenge either New Zealand or Australia. There are some members of the squad who travelled to Australia who can count themselves lucky to have even been on the plane. Since England lost in the semis, cross-code rugby legend Jason Robinson has advised that more preparation is needed for a World Cup campaign if the international game is to succeed in England. Others have criticised the league format and the amount of foreign players in Super League. However, the simple fact is that England lack the necessary quality to achieve international success, especially in face of the challenge presented by Australia and New Zealand.

Seaman's blunder dumped England out of the 2002 World Cup; a tournament they could have won.

Tom Victor Sports Writer TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR'S goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was guilty of yet another terrible error at the weekend when he spilled Simon Davies’ miss-hit shot over his own goal-line. It is just the latest in a catalogue of errors committed by the man whose mistakes have not only contributed to the sacking of the club’s manager, but also the technical director and goalkeeping coach. In fact he has inspired so much frustration that he has somehow got Spurs’ fans wishing they had retained the services of Paul Robinson between the posts. When they shelled out over £10m for Gomes, then-manager Juande Ramos and his backroom staff refered to the goalkeeper’s outstanding pedigree, having seen him play in the semi-finals of the Champions League for former club PSV Eindhoven. However they forgot to pay attention to one thing: Gomes is Brazilian, and Brazilian ‘keepers are notoriously error-prone. It makes sense really. In a country where skill and elegance are mandatory in football, only the least technically-gifted would choose to play in goal. And so it has proved since the retirement of Claudio Taffarel, hero of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup win. Taffarel has arguably been the country’s only world-class performer in that position. Even Dida, who has 91 international caps to his name, is notorious for his occasional slip-ups. Who can forget him fumbling Lee Bowyer’s speculative shot to gift Leeds a Champions League victory. Also as

3 Barthez single handedly gifted arch rivals Arsenal victory with two chronic blunders.

4 recently as last season, Roma’s Brazilian ‘keeper Doni gifted Manchester United a goal in the same competition when he failed to collect a high ball in the box. But what seems to set Gomes apart from his compatriots is the frequency of his errors. In what proved to be Juande Ramos’ last game as Spurs boss, Gomes gifted Udinese a UEFA Cup lead when he tried to dribble the ball round Fabio Quagliarella and ended up conceding a penalty by fouling the Italian striker. However even prior to this he has constantly looked uneasy when asked to deal with crosses, long-range shots and even backpasses. With Gomes’s catalogue of errors showing no sign of ending, Tottenham fans must wonder how awful understudy Cesar Sanchez must be if Redknapp cho0ses to persevere with the inept Gomes rather than call on his reserve ‘keeper.

Peter Enckelman's performance in a local derby between Villa and Birmingham left much to be desired. At least this fan thought so.

5

Gomes is quickly making a name for himself in the Premier League this year and it can only be a matter of time before he is sent packing with his tail between his legs.


32 SPORT

NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP

Pitch chaos threatens IMG Liz Wray Alasdair Robertson

and examine the current crisis surrounding the facilities provided for IMG and the future of the games...

The current state of affairs can be described as nothing short of archaic.

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Obviously such an action threatens the completion of the IMG Netball season and means yet another sport has been stopped. We all hope that netball doesn’t go down the same road as rugby but the possibility is there. If IMG Netball stalls then IMG as a whole is in real danger.

The student who fell on Wednesday was of course the main priority for all involved but the further fixture postponements hardly inspire confidence.

If IMG Netball stalls then IMG as a whole is in real danger. IMG administrator, Charlotte Hill, has emailed all netball captains about the importance of wearing correct kit, especially footwear. In response to the incident Biology captain Julie Howard commented, “The player in question was wearing appropriate footwear and her trousers in no way caused the fall, it was definitely the poor condition of the court that was to blame. “The state of the court is now becoming a real issue, as players can hardly stand and the ball gets so wet on the surface that it’s almost impossible to catch. “The rearranged fixtures also cause problems as we all lead busy lives and find it difficult to expend more time. Furthermore, 34 teams have to share one court and we’re not allowed to use the indoor courts as the university sides do. “It’s hardly fair. I understand that it’s been difficult with no IMG Chair until very recently but if nothing is done to resolve the situation it risks

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

THIS WEEK'S IMG FIXTURES have done nothing to enhance the everdwindling reputation of the competition.The football fixtures were cancelled for the third time in a month and a Biology netball player slipped and broke her arm on the courts at Talybont. The accident itself has sparked an investigation into the cause of the fall and inline with this decision the courts have been shut temporarily to prevent further accidents. An independent assessor is required to examine the condition of the courts before they can be re-opened. Sport and Exercise are looking to accommodate netball indoors until this assessment has been made.

turning into a farce.” The problem is a hot topic at the moment after the University chose to invest in the new rubber-crumb pitch at Talybont that is largely useless to IMG sides and the ‘Word On’ in last week’s issue of gair rhydd debated the way the University funds its sporting facilities. This weeks events have only proven the inadequacy in IMG investment and as new IMG Chair James Lambden said, “The University

needs to take IMG into consideration when it builds new facilities.” The state of sporting facilities is now so bad at Cardiff that it lags behind most schools in terms of equipment with football teams having to play on hired pitches at Trelai and Llanrumney.

The ball gets so wet on the surface it's almost impossible to catch.

Worsening the problem is the fact that the council is prepared to cancel games, as has been the case in three of the last four weeks at Trelai, on a day when the University is able to play rugby at Llanrumney in the sunshine. Moreover, Socsi FC captain Dean Corbisiero revealed that many of the teams were able to train on the Blackwier pitches which are comparable to those at Trelai. Last year's IMG Chair and current SU president, Andy Button-Stephens says, 'it is a shame that Cardiff's IMG programme contines to be riddled with problems despite increased support from the AU.' AFC History captain Richard Morgan defended the University saying, “It’s obviously

IMG: Puddle of Mud hard now we can’t play at Pontcanna.” Clearly Richard is right but the situation remains that Cardiff University does not own any suitable land to play an average game of football on. In this day and age almost all universities have numerous astroturf or all-weather pitches, yet Cardiff possesses only one rubber-crumb and one astroturf pitch. The current state of affairs can be described as nothing short of archaic. By way of a response, AU President Scott Pigott claims, ‘the AU are working tirelessly to make sure IMG players are getting the best facilities available.’ As the way things stand, the new IMG chair will have to perform a minor miracle to complete a successful season and the problem of facilities will only be accentuated when rugby makes its long awaited return to the IMG schedule. We can hardly call ourselves a Russell Group university when our IMG sides are forced to play on quagmires and face cancelled games more often than not. The organisers of the Games must be aware we live in Cardiff, and so rain is a common occurence. If games are being cancelled now, in November,then the situation can only get worse as winter sets in. If this week becomes a trend IMG faces a crisis that may become its death.


NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP Netball

Earth Soc 4-21 Pharmacy A Cardiff A 8-3 Law B Navy 12-19 Pharmacy B Socsi B 1-6 Medics A Medics B 4-13 Dentisty C-PLan 9-5 English B Both Socsi A and Economics A are rescheduling their games from this week.

Earth Soc crumble under Jet pressure Eimear O'Toole IMG Reporter Cardiff Jets A 23-0 Earth Soc Cardiff Jets A have secured their fourth victory of the IMG group stages against fellow newcomers Earth Soc, with an impressive 23-0 win in a skilful display at Talybont. The match was fast-paced from the outset and Earth Soc struggled to keep up with the intricate centre court play by the Jets. After scoring from the first centre pass and breaking the Earth Soc centre to take a 2-0 lead. Cardiff Jets never really looked like losing the advantage. This was largely down to excellent attacking play in the final third, with goal shoot Amy Patterson and goal attack Emily Harris interacting well in the circle and each shooting with accuracy. Despite conceding early goals, Earth Soc never looked like a defeated side and worked hard throughout the first half. This was especially evident in defence, where they utilised back line passes to initiate attacks up the court. Unfortunately they had problems turning possession into goals and their rebounded shots were easily picked up by the strong Jets defence. The Jets continued to dominate in every area of the court and by half-

time had stretched their lead to 11-0. Neither team made changes at half time and this was evident in the similar pattern of play in the second half. Cardiff Jets A emerged after the interval looking more determined, scoring five goals in very quick succession, to which Earth Soc simply had no reply. Earth Soc did manage to gain a reasonable amount of possession but The Jets successfully contained them within the centre third with tight marking and patient play. As the match progressed, the difference in skill was apparent as the Jets passed

neatly and efficiently, turning each interception into a goal. Despite their impressive fitness levels and committed marking, Earth Soc struggled in attack and weren’t able to obtain that elusive goal that their performance merited. Jets continued to stretch their lead and secured a comprehensive victory, solidifying their position at the top of the Group D table. Next up for the Jets are unbeaten Carbs A in what looks set to be the group decider after only six weeks.

After a shaky start in last year’s group stages we found our form and got to the semi -finals of the end of season tournament. We also had a closely fought final game of the league against the Engineers who are renowned for being a tough team to beat. Off the pitch, now that we have received substantial sponsorship from Pinnacle Property, we are having drastically improved socials that will hopefully continue for many

seasons. Who is your Best Player? Diplomatically, I would have to say each girl plays a vital role in the team, but if I have to name names, then I think our coach Rhi is probably our best player. As well as providing a formidable link between defence and attack in her role as centre, she teaches us many useful techniques and set plays during practise.

IMG NETBALL

Group A

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law B

5

4

0

1

41

12

2

Cardiff A

4

3

1

0

41

10

3

Medics A

5

3

0

2

29

9

4

Dentistry

5

3

0

2

25

9

5

Pharmacy B

5

2

1

2

-14

7

6

Medics B

5

1

0

4

-28

3

7

Socsi B

4

0

0

4

-27

0

8

Navy

5

0

0

5

--43

0

P

W

IMG NETBALL

Group B D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Economics A

4

4

0

0

121

12

2

Socsi A

4

3

0

1

-10

9

3

Psychology B

4

2

0

2

13

6

4

Sawsa

4

2

0

2

12

6

5

Cardiff IWC

4

1

0

3

-14

3

6

C- Plan

5

1

0

4

-38

3

7

English B

4

1

0

3

-49

3

5

1

0

4

--45

3

J- Unit

IMG NETBALL

Group C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

4

4

0

0

73

12

2

Psychology A

3

3

0

0

69

9

3

Christian Union

5

3

0

2

63

9

4

Cardiff B

3

2

0

1

1

6

5

Cardiff Jets B

3

1

0

2

-11

3

6

Jomec

5

1

0

4

-83

3

7

Optom

2

0

0

3

-62

0

8

Gym Gym

3

0

0

2

--51

-3

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

IMG NETBALL

No Broken Arms Here..

!"#$%!#&'( English Netball What is your best achievement/ moment to date?

Group Positions after Week 5

8

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Results

SPORT 33

Is there any funny team banter? Our socials normally provide us with more than enough banter to bring to training. Each social always begins with a ‘man-ban’, a concept some of the girls still struggle to understand, and this means one of us will undoubtedly end up with a story to tell the next day. Also, some of the freshers have yet to discover their drinking limits and on one girl’s birthday she was at home in bed by half past nine, only one hour into the social. If your team were an animal, what would it be? We would definitely be a peacock! Graceful, elegant and beautiful, we are a rare sight among the more common birds. Who are your biggest rivals? Economics and Law are definitely the teams to beat this season. But in our group at the moment, Carbs are just above us, so we’re looking forward to playing them.

Group D

1

Pharmacy A

4

3

0

0

33

12

2

Cardiff Jets A

3

3

0

0

26

9

3

Engin Numatics

3

3

0

0

12

9

4

Carbs A

2

2

0

0

25

6

5

Carbs B

3

2

0

1

2

6

6

English A

3

1

0

2

14

3

7

Economics B

4

1

0

3

-14

3

8

Biology

3

0

0

3

--16

0

9

Earth Soc

3

0

0

3

-20

0

10

Engin Auto

4

0

0

4

-26

0

P

W

IMG FOOTBALL

Group A D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Real Ale Madrid

3

3

0

0

16

9

2

Gym Gym

3

3

0

0

13

9

3

Earth Soc

3

2

0

1

1

6

Any nicknames within the team?

4

Opsoccer

3

1

1

1

4

4

5

Magnificent XI

3

1

1

1

0

4

There are quite a few names among the girls, but a favourite of mine is a Louise's, who we like to call ‘honey pot’ after she spent an eventful night with Winnie-the-Pooh.

6

Pharm AC

3

1

0

2

2

3

7

Numatics

3

0

0

3

-16

0

8

Philosophy

3

0

0

3

--20

0

P

W

Is there a song that best describes your team? There is no specific song, but we did do a tuneful rendition of 'What shall we do with a drunken sailor?' on a recent social. Which was quite apt when you saw the state of some of the girls by end of the night. What are your hopes for this season? We haven't had the best start to the season, but we are hoping some extra training sessions will help with setplays and overall technique. We're also attempting to improve our overall fitness and have started doing weekly circuit sessions. Once we have been put into leagues, we hope to showcase these improvements and hopefully have another successful season.

IMG FOOTBALL

Group B D

L

Diff

Pts

1

AFC History

3

3

0

0

18

9

2

Carbs

3

3

0

0

17

9

3

SAWSA

3

2

0

1

2

6

4

Socsi FC

3

2

0

1

1

6

5

Momed FC

3

1

0

2

-3

3

6

Psychology

3

1

0

2

-3

3

7

Crusaders

3

0

0

3

-16

0

8

AFC Cathays

3

0

0

3

--20

0

IMG FOOTBALL

Group C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Locomotive

3

2

1

0

11

7

2

J-Unit

3

2

1

0

5

7

3

Samba Tigers FC

3

2

1

0

2

7

4

Law B

3

2

0

1

10

6

5

J-Soc

3

1

0

2

0

3

6

Euros FC

3

0

1

2

-15

1

7

Euros FC

3

0

0

3

-3

0

8

Men Utd FC

3

0

0

3

--10

0

P

W

IMG FOOTBALL

Group D D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

3

3

0

0

17

9

2

Automotive

3

3

0

0

13

9

3

Uni HallStars

3

2

0

1

12

6

4

Economics

3

2

0

1

6

6

5

KLAW

3

1

0

2

-2

3

6

Liability FC

3

0

1

2

-6

1

7

LAW C

3

0

1

2

-19

1

8

Jomec FC

3

0

0

3

--21

0


34 SPORT

NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

UWIC Ladies' 3rds...................24 A TENSE victory against their local rivals saw Cardiff 3rds secure their place in the Western Conference Cup. Having lost against UWIC in the league last week, Cardiff were playing

goal-defence Nicola Lumb kept UWIC out of the circle and with centre-court picking up the pace Cardiff proceeded to take the lead by one goal at the end of the second quarter, leading 11-10. UWIC displayed a high level of fitness coming into the third quarter with well-timed centre passes and fast movement amongst the attack. This led to four goals in quick succession and whilst Cardiff fought back it was not enough to maintain the lead, entering the last quarter down by five. This lead was increased to six

HOCKEY: Swans take flight

BUCS Cup Swansong Tom Barnett Sports Reporter CARDIFF Men's 4ths.................0 SWANSEA Men's 1sts...............6 CARDIFF FOURTHS were made to endure a miserable defeat at the hands of Swansea Firsts in the BUCS Cup on a bitterly cold night at Talybont. It was always going to be a tough game for Cardiff against a strong, classy Swansea side, and this was clear from just the opening few minutes. Although Cardiff made a bright start they were quickly pinned back by Swansea, and it took a number of defensive heroics just to keep the score at 0-0 in the opening stages of the game. Indeed, Cardiff showed some signs

of positive play and were unlucky when Nick Crouch fired wide from an incisive breakaway play. However, just when Cardiff looked like they might have something to offer in this match, Swansea took the lead – and not too many could argue. Swansea then proceeded to strike the ball with a sense of confidence, and even had something of a swagger about them. Within minutes of the first they’d doubled their lead. Despite the difference in class, however, Cardiff’s spirits didn’t drop, and they were unlucky to go to the half time break scoreless. It seemed like the second half was hardly underway when Swansea added a third goal to their tally, a smart move that thwarted any hope of a realistic Cardiff comeback. Despite the final score, Cardiff actually improved greatly in the second half, and a succession of penalty corners could have

led to a goal. However, each was too slowly executed. Cardiff enjoyed a good spell in the second half following this, pinning Swansea back and looking like they could at the very least get a consolation goal. However, Swansea broke away yet again with an intelligent, swift move to make it 4-0, and this seemed to spur them into further action. They had shortly added a fifth and then a sixth while Cardiff had been limited to breakaway attacks – a good run from Alex Holden resulting in a near miss from Geoff Joseph. In truth, though, only the heroics of Heracleous in goal kept Swansea from adding to the six, and despite the heavy score line there were signs of encouragement from a Cardiff side struggling against superior opponents. In the end, however, the difference in class told.

goals, but by keeping their heads and with accurate passing between centre Lara Heywood and wing-attack Carys Howell, the score line was brought back in an electrifying turnover. With both teams in desperation for possession of the ball and ultimately victory, the final goals were intense. But ultimately, Cardiff’s composure meant they left the court having knocked UWIC 3rds out of the Cup with a close but rewarding 25-24 win. NETBALL: close quarters

Imperial leathered Tomos Morgan Rugby Reporter CARDIFF Men's 1sts...............43 IMPERIAL Men's 1sts................8 WITH CONFIDENCE high after a four match-winning streak, and a home game against bottom of the league side Imperial College London, the first team went into the game with confidence. Last week Cardiff beat Imperial’s medics, but now it was Imperial’s first team that were to test Cardiff’s winning streak. Cardiff welcomed the return of fullback/fly-half Codey Rees back after injury and work commitments, and within five minutes had kicked his first three points of campaign for the home side. The penalty was followed by the first of openside flanker Ed Hampson’s tries in close quarters with the help of the pack picking and driving over the line. A poor restart and poor clearance kick by Imperial led to an opening for right wing Brett Chaplain, who ghosted past two tackles before rounding the fullback's weak tackle for a well taken personal try, Rees kicking both conversions. Lock Alex Lester scored the next try after a lovely piece of interplay between the Cardiff pack and backs showing their passing skills and leaving Imperial to chase the air. The next points came to the away team through a penalty by the team’s hooker. The first half came to a close as 24-3 Cardiff continued to be the dominating team. They whipped out solid tackles and strong work by the pack in the scrum and line-out, with all the backs searching to run the ball. Fly-half Cameron Pimlo was a constant threat with ball in hand making

half chances throughout the half. The second half brought more of the same from the driving Cardiff side, and an outstanding finish by prop Andrew Cassidy burst clear from the half way line to score after another turnover from the tireless work of back row Nick Huntley, Stuart Henry and Ed Hampson. Cardiff began to defend after this last try with a few heroic tryline tackles by Lester’s replacement Tom Penry Ellis and rest of the back row. Imperial finally got their try with a quirky move from the back of the scrum five meters out, reversing play to put their outside centre over, with their hooker unable to convert the score continued to be against the away team at 29-8. After Imperial’s try, Cardiff got a second wind. Their tackling became more aggressive in the break down area, none more evident that the combined work of the back row. Credit must go to prop Aled Mason, who continued to work hard in the tackle. Hampson then grabbed his brace after a bulldozing run by number eight Huntley, closely followed by another effortless-looking finish by Hampson’s number double on the wing Chaplain, with Rees converting both and finishing with a tally of thirteen today. Captain Aaron Fowler added after the game: “Another winning performance again, with the boys showing good spirit to grind out the win, when at times it was a bit scrappy. Hopefully we can continue to maintain this consistency and be at the top of the league and look for promotion at the end of the year”. If confidence remains high and the defence stays strong, Cardiff can be hopeful in the bid for promotion.

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

CARDIFF Ladies' 3rds..............25

to win and their determination proved that they deserved it. With strong support from the sidelines and an even stronger sense of team spirit on the court Cardiff came through fighting hard for their tense and satisfying victory. A tight defence on both sides kept the score line low and made for an excitable first quarter, which came to a close with a draw, each side having scored five goals. Strong defence from Cardiff’s wing-defence Katie Ebeneezer and

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Laura Davies Netball Reporter

PHOTO: JAMES PEROU

Cardiff net narrow local victory

RUGBY: Imperial demolished


SPORT 35

NOVEMBER.24.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Semi debut Bath on the of-fence AFTER TWO resounding victories at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff Cricket Club have qualified for the semifinals of the BUCS indoor tournament for the first time. The draw saw Cardiff pitted against Exeter and arch rivals Glamorgan in group B, the winner of which would progress to the next stage. The absence of star all-rounders Josh Bess and Matthew Crump meant freshers Mike Reed and Tom Lee were called up to make their Cardiff debuts. The opening game saw captain Evert Bekker invite Exeter to bat, and the openers responded with a stand of 32. The introduction of Mike Reed brought Cardiff the initial breakthrough, thanks to an athletic catch by John Mills. This triggered a mini collapse for Exeter as the wickets of James, Rai, Traners and Barlow soon followed for

only 22 runs. At 78 for 5 Exeter were struggling but Nick Fellows (63 not out) carried his bat, leaving Cardiff chasing a tricky 110. Cardiff’s reply got off to a flier as Mills and Justin Yau added 31 for the first wicket. The unfortunate run-out of Mills got Exeter back in the game, leaving Cardiff reeling at 45 for 3. However, following his fine bowling spell, indoor specialist Peter Exley came to Cardiff’s rescue with a mature 24, and a stylish 32 by the experienced Justin Yau eventually saw Cardiff home by 2 wickets. The following game saw Exeter comprehensively beat Glamorgan, meaning that Cardiff would qualify with a victory. After winning the toss, Bekker again chose to field, but some complacency by Cardiff gifted Glamorgan a 50-run stand for the first wicket. A few harsh words by Bekker inspired a smart run-out by Tom Lee, and some brilliant bowling by Exley pegged Glamorgan back, leaving Cardiff a target of 107. After an inauspicious start in which Cardiff reached 18 for 2, Yau and Exley again combined with a partnership of 50. Following an accomplished 24 from Reed, Cardiff were well on top, requiring only 16 from 12 balls. However, a nervy penultimate over saw Cardiff lose 3 wickets for 4 runs, leaving last man Tom Lee with the prospect of scoring 12 off the last over. All seemed lost before Lee dispatched a 6 down the ground and nurdled a couple of threes, prompting euphoria in the Swalec Stadium.

Charlotte Dyer Fencing Reporter

CARDIFF Ladies' 1sts..............94 BATH Ladies' 1sts.................110 CARDIFF LADIES' fencing suffered a close defeat to Bath Ladies at home. Bath have moved down to the Western Conference this year from the Premiership, and Cardiff were expecting a challenge. However, Cardiff were able to put up a strong performance. First weapon was foil, fenced by Signe Springe, Charlie Dyer and Natalie Brown. A slow start by Cardiff put Bath into the lead early on, which Bath capitalised on throughout the match. In the final bout it was Natalie

Brown against Bath’s captain Emma Pearson, and the scores were 40 to Bath and 14 to Cardiff, leaving Natalie to make up 21 points to Bath’s five. Despite an impressive display of fencing and Cardiff making up a number of points, Bath won the foil 45-21. Next up was sabre, normally Cardiff’s strongest weapon, fenced by Jo Chen, Rose Gordon, and Charlie Dyer. This time Cardiff took an early lead, winning the first bout 5-0, followed by a 5-4 and 5-3. They were able to take the strong lead and pull ahead too far for Bath to catch up, winning sabre 45-20. This made the scores 65-66 to Cardiff going in to the final weapon, epeé. As one Cardiff epeéist remarked, ‘it would be the ultimate epeé fight’ as in epeé both teams can score the same point with a double and reaching a

CRICKET: Nurdled?

RUGBY: in the crunch

Cardiff drain tepid Bath CARDIFF Men's 1sts..................1 BATH Men's 1sts.......................1 A STUNNING last gasp equaliser rescued a point for table-topping Cardiff at home to Bath University’s second-string side. Cardiff entered the fixture in the knowledge that a win could see them go clear at the top of the Western Conference table and began playing neat passing football from the onset. Powerful striker Shawn Prince proved to be a handful for the visitor’s defence in the first half, but could not find a finish for either of his foraging runs forward. Cardiff did have the ball in the net on the quarter-hour mark. Prince rolled the ball across the area for the stretching Sean Hogan to tap the ball into an unguarded net, but the linesman judged the captain to be offside. As the first half progressed, the league leaders became increasingly frustrated with their inability to make

the breakthrough. This was evident when Hogan wasted their best chance of the half, blasting high and wide of goal after delaying a shot for too long. However, despite Cardiff’s domination, disaster struck two minutes before half time as Bath’s first real spell of pressure resulted in a corner. Lyson Zoulou’s cross evaded the leaps of Jenkins and Oli Sherwood, before being powerfully headed past Luke Bliss by the shortest man on the pitch – Bath’s Jonnie Summers. The goal provoked an animated response from both captain Hogan and coach Dean Wheeler, who, at half time, could not believe that their first half dominance had not paid off. Cardiff reappeared with visible desire to restore parity, but Bath defended stoutly, and the counter attacking pace of substitute striker Jordan Sameur proved to be a worry to the back four. This became evident as within seconds of Jones comfortably stopping Danny Sproule’s speculative effort, the goalkeeper’s long kick released Sameur over the top. Only a superb reaction stop from Bliss prevented

another shock goal against the run of play. To their credit, the home side showed superb character to keep

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Will Viles Football Reporter

44-44 draw and then having a double hit, leading to the point being replayed as has already happened once to the Cardiff team against Plymouth this season. Epeé was fenced by Jayne Huxtable, Bethan Amphlett and Natalie Brown. Despite a few technical issues with weapons the match was soon underway. This time Bath took an early lead and were 15- 8 up after three bouts. This was then followed by two quick 7-5 wins to Cardiff from Natalie and Jayne, narrowing the gap to 25-22 to Bath. Cardiff, however, were unable to maintain the close position and lost 45-28. Cardiff therefore lost 110-94 to Bath, despite an excellent display of fencing and strong fight. However, they look forward to next week's away match against Swansea.

Mean Marjons march on PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

John Mills Cricket Reporter

FOOTBALL: Numbers?

pressing for an equaliser, and their endeavour was rewarded in the dying moments of the match. Huw Corn received the ball on the edge of the area before sending a beautiful curling effort past the rooted Bath ‘keeper to cue celebrations of relief from the home players and fans. The goal set up a heated last five minutes, but neither side could find a way to break the deadlock. Cardiff captain Hogan was aware that his side had not performed to their best ability, but was pleased that they had shown great character to avoid what could have been a demoralising defeat. “We have to be aware that Bath are a top team with much larger funding for sport than us. After going a goal down I think we’ve done terrifically well to come back to grab a draw. “However, today showed we’ve got to start believing we’re the best team in the league and use that confidence to grind out results.” Cardiff will be relishing the chance to get back to their winning ways against bottom club Plymouth next week.

Alexandra Quinnell Rugby Reporter CARDIFF Ladies' 1sts..............10 MARJONS Ladies' 1sts............19

CARDIFF LOST to College St. Mark and St. Johns (Marjons) despite making a fantastic start to the game. Instead of fearing the visitors, Cardiff opened the match in the perfect fashion with an early try, knocking the wind out of the Marjons' sails. Nikki Bamber rose to steal a Marjons lineout and set up scrum-half Ceri Hill to put Clare Molloy in for the opening try. Indecision in the Cardiff defence allowed Marjons in for a quick reply. In the confusion, Marjons' inside centre was allowed through, grounding the ball right between the posts. The conversion was easily kicked and at 5-7 the game was astonishingly still anyone's. Cardiff kept fighting, first with a textbook dump-tackle from Nik Shekhan and then a good few minutes in the Marjons 22 saw a fast, piercing run by Kelly Davis. From a scrum, Fran Manzai, already playing with an old shoulder injury, popped out of the scrum and was crushed by the weight of both packs on either side, suffering broken ribs and a sprained shoulder. In the second half, Marjons seemed to wake up. They scored straight away due to Cardiff's usual sleepy attitude. Foster made numerous clear-ups and some strong runs were put in by Rosie Hutton. Despite the Cardiff urgency, Marjons had their rhythm and their third try came easily from the backs. Molloy made a final effort with a consolation try for Cardiff, making it 10-19 at full time in what proved to be a hard game. Despite the defeat, captain Becky Blakeway remained proud of the overall performance from her Cardiff side.


Sport 14 gairrhydd

gairrhydd

FEATURES

OCTOBER.22.2007

INSIDE: BUCS continues, IMG chaos, the Word On David FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM 'The Hayemaker' Haye and Sport Comment

KICKED OFF ! AU President walks in on illegal IMG rugby game ! IMG on the verge of breakdown Alasdair Robertson Sports Editor

THE PROBLEMS surrounding IMG Rugby worsened dramatically last Wednesday when Scott Pigott, AU President, discovered two sides playing a full contact match. It would appear that teams have been playing such games all season in a situation where players are unin-

sured due to the lack of qualified referees. This represents an issue for the University, as teams are wearing shirts with the University crest and most teams have Cardiff University in the name. If anyone were to be seriously injured, the legal consequences for the University would be drastic and hence the Athletic Union has released a statement outlining its stance on the

issue. The statement says that the University will take all reasonable steps to make sure that contact rugby is not taking place, and that any rugby matches or training are in direct contradiction of the Athletics Union and Cardiff University's advice. It also points out the lack of insurance from both the Students' Union and the Welsh Rugby Association. Furthermore, they state that no

-GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION CARDIFF, PARK PLACE, CARDIFF CF10 3QN

reference can be made in any way, including on clothing, to Cardiff University or the Athletic Union, in either literary or log forms. Obviously the teams are at fault in the sense that they have contradicted almost every piece of guidance in the statement. They are also playing in a situation where players are inadequately insured and hence unprotected. However, the teams’ frustration at a second season without any form of

PHOTO: SCOTT PIGOTT

! Athletics Union condemns matches

real rugby is understandable. While the AU is working hard in co-operation with the team captains, the future of the sport in IMG looks bleak due to problems regarding referees and the WRU. Although a touch tournament appears on the horizon, this is hardly of interest to players who last played touch rugby on a weekly basis at the age of eight.

REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST OFFICE GAIR RHYDD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS THE GAIR RHYDD IS WRITTEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITY!LIZ WRAY CLOSE TO RESTRAINING ORDER AS ALEX ZANE BECOMES HER LATEST VICTIM!RETURN OF THE MOUTH!JOSH: I'VE GOT A GAY,BLACK,DISABLED FRIEND...ALL MY BASES ARE COVERED!SPORT IN EARLY FINISH SHOCKER!NEWS:DON'T DO BANTER!SCOTT SKIVES AGAIN!GRUBBY JOSH

gair rhydd - Issue 883  

gair rhydd - Issue 883

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