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CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY

MEDCLUB:

ISSUE 884 DECEMBER 01 2008

Ted Handsome: Back and brimming

The plans, the reaction and the beginning of the end? Full story >> page 4 with bile >> page 25

KICKED OUT OF CATHAYS Council votes to reduce number of students in Cathays and Roath

Lucy Taylor and Emma Jones Reporters Cardiff Council will attempt to prevent more students moving into Cathays and Roath because of the problems they cause for local residents. Moves will be made towards spreading out the student population across the city after a motion was passed at the Full Council meeting on Thursday November 20. The motion, which proposes that student housing should be spread across the city to reduce tension in areas with an 'over-concentration' of

students, was passed unanimously by Full Council after being proposed by Lib Dem councillor Ed Bridges (councillor for Gabalfa ward) and seconded by his colleague Simon Pickard (councillor for Cathays). Arguments over noise, litter and car-parking spaces have been blamed for driving away people who have lived in their houses for decades. Councillors voted unanimously that the ratio of students to residents in parts of the city is now too high. Cathays resident Richard Brydon, 63, lives on a street where eight out of 20 houses are occupied by students, and welcomes any plans to dilute the student population.

Student proposes motion to end student 'ghettos'

He said: "In the last few years it has changed for the worse. If you came along to the PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings in Cathays you would see the anger that people have." Councillor Ed Bridges, who is also a Cardiff postgraduate student, told gair rhydd he did not intend his proposal to sound anti-student. He said: "We're very proud to represent student areas of the city but having a very high concentration of students does create problems. "This proposal is about trying to encourage students into properties in, say, Adamsdown and Whitchurch to redress the balance."

The motion also proposes improved housing for students. Councillor Pickard said: "It's not acceptable that almost ten percent of student houses are regarded by the Council as 'unfit for human inhabitation.'" "The Council needs to prosecute negligent landlords and introduce powers to target the very worst landlords responsible for the most neglected houses in the most run-down parts of the city." Councillor Bridges, whose ward includes the Talybont halls of residence, added: "Cardiff is a great university city, and its students deserve better planning on housing issues.

"I want to see the Council work with the Universities and Students' Unions to come up with a wide-ranging policy to plan for the future so that the spread of halls and student houses can be done in a more managed way." The number of students in Cardiff has risen from 24,000 to 30,000 since 2001. In some streets of Cathays, the student population occupies 75% of the available housing. One councillor suggested that more anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) should be given out to students who make too much noise or fail to put their rubbish out on time. continued on page 3

Taf-Od: Should gair rhydd's Welsh language page be available in English? >>page 20


02 NEWS

gr

DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

NEWSDESK: 07908 551922

Quench wins 'Student Magazine of the Year' Sarah Powell News Editor

NEWS.............. 1

Cardiff University’s student magazine, Quench, won the title of ‘Best Student Magazine of the Year’ at the Guardian Student Media Awards last Wednesday. The prestigious award was presented at a ceremony held in Shoreditch Town Hall in London, and was attended by representatives from both national and student media. Quench came top of its category, leaving I, Science, the student magazine for Imperial College, as runnerup. The award was judged on the 2007-08 editions of Quench, and the editor during that period, Ben Bryant, received a cash prize and a week of work experience at the Guardian. Also nominated for an award was Cardiff University postgraduate student Huw Davies, in the ‘Student Diversity Writer of the Year’ category.

EDITORIAL & OPINION.......... 9 POLITICS......... 13 LETTERS......... 15 FEATURES....... 16 TAF-OD............ 20 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT.22 JOBS & MONEY............ 23 TED HANDSOME..... 25 XPRESS.......... 26 FIVE MINUTE FUN................ 27 LISTINGS......... 28 SPORT............. 30 gair rhydd has been Cardiff University's editorially independent student newspaper since 1972.

QUENCHING HIS THIRST: Current gair rhydd editor and former Quench editor Ben Bryant struggles to stand as equally blotto former gair rhydd editor Amy Harrison supports him and the award at the Guardian Student Media Awards last week

Cardiff Professor named 'Welsh Woman of the Year' Steve Wright Reporter Professor Judith Hall, Head of Anaesthetics and Intensive Care at the Cardiff University School of Medicine, has been named Welsh Woman of the Year. She was presented with an award at a ceremony celebrating the achievements of inspiring women in Wales. She is the third member of Cardiff University to win this prestigious award, following in the footsteps of Ann Taylor in 1999, who was also based in the Department of Anaesthetics and Intensive Care. The Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff, an honorary professor and former Vice Dean of the School of Medicine also received the accolade. Professor Hall, who was also nominated in the ‘Woman in the Community’ category, celebrated a win that recognised her work as the founder of ‘Mothers of Africa’, an educational charity set up in response to the mater-

nal mortality figures in Sub-Saharan Africa. ‘Mothers in Africa’ is supported by the Welsh medical community, and sends teams of educationalists, teach-

ers and clinicians from the School of Medicine and NHS Wales to teach in places like Benin, Togo, Ethiopia and Liberia. Professor Hall, speaking after the ceremony, said ‘‘There are many others that make this possible. If I didn’t have a remarkable department of teachers and researchers in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, then I wouldn’t have the energy left for Mothers of Africa. ‘‘Cardiff University’s support for Africa in its 125th anniversary year was a really important thing to do. "The University’s support for me has been unwavering. Without my many friends and husband Simon, Mothers of Africa simply wouldn’t have happened.’’ The Western Mail Welsh Woman of the Year Awards is an annual event which has been running for the last 15 years and aims to promote the role of women in the workplace and in every sector of society.

Pick 'n' mix degree Gabi Ford Reporter UK universities offering pick-andmix degrees is the latest idea from a recent report published by Paul Ramsden, the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Academy. The report states that this system would enable students to gain qualifications from modules taken at different times and from different universities. According to Ramsden it would be a fairer system for the 42% of students who are part time, as it would stop upfront fees and make it easier to switch between full-time and parttime study, ensuring they receive full credit for module achievement. It suggests that students pay for each module they complete, which is an approach supported by Christine King, the Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University, who believes student success relies on flexible university structures. Ramsden advised following a system similar to that practised in Australia and the US, he said: “We specialise too early and that’s very damaging.”

PROFESSOR JUDITH HALL

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

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


NEWS 03

DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Council to cut student numbers in Cathays and Roath Continued from front page These incidents are "few and far between" according to Sarah Plumley from Pinnacle letting agency. "Of course there are sometimes problems but I wouldn't say these are massive issues," she said. "The kind of plan the council is suggesting would be extremely challenging and could bring difficulties for both students and landlords. "They would have to put a lot of measures in place to improve facilities for students in other areas, like

providing transport to and from the university." Local people in the shops at the centre of Cathays had mixed views about the effects that large numbers of students had on the area. "It does create considerable problems with cleaning up at the end of term," said Dr Andrew Watt, who used to live in Cathays and now has family there. "I suppose that's the standard grumble, but I'd say there has also been a reduction in the integrity of what used to be a local working community.

"I think to reduce the numbers of students would be a popular idea with the people who are permanently resident here." However, Dalton Street resident Marsha Becher said she was happy living among students. "It's close to the university so it makes sense for them to be in this area," she said. "I don't have any problems except with the first years, in the first term after that, it's fine." Surprisingly, the new move has been welcomed by some Cardiff stu-

dents. Philosophy student, Ed Mason, said: "It's obvious that too many students living in one place changes the character of an area, so I suppose it makes sense to try and spread students out across the city more." Ian Porter, a PhD student living at Ty Pont Haearn halls in Adamsdown, agreed: "Living in halls is great, but it doesn't help students to integrate with the community. Anything which helps break down the barriers has to be a good thing."

Sheffield Students' Union ITV slammed for lack of council member exposed Welsh programming as supporter of BNP Rachel Sutcliffe Reporter

Emma Barlow News Editor A member of Sheffield University's Students' Union council has been exposed as being a supporter of the BNP. Students were deeply concerned about the revelation. The Women's Officer Fiona Edwards called for all those threatened by the BNP - Black, Jewish, Muslim, Disabled, LGBT and women students to attend a student

council meeting on Thursday 27 November, where the council member's continued career would be discussed. In a written statement, Fiona said: "We will make plans for a campaign to ensure students are given the opportunity to hold this individual accountable for his membership of a fascist organisation, and to ensure that our campus is a safe place for all our students." As gair rhydd goes to print the individual's status in the Union is yet to be decided.

For the second year running, ITV1 have failed to source any network programming from Wales. A report from TV producers’ trade body Pact revealed that not only had they not shown any programming from Wales, they had also halved the hours of network shows commissioned from Scotland last year. However, it is not only ITV1 who are neglecting to focus their outof London production quota on Wales, but all five main terrestrial networks BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, failing to source drama, factual or light entertainment programmes from Wales. ITV network production in Wales has fallen 20 hours since 2006, with the independent production sector be-

ing highlighted as having the greatest reduction. Scotland’s network hours have also seen a decline, with both ITV and Channel 4 separately reducing their independently supplied output by about nine hours each. Despite this, hours of independent production have risen 13% since 2006 due to the BBC’s growth in output but yet a corresponding rise in revenue has not been seen. London continues to dominate UK network production, accounting for 64% of total outputted hours across the five terrestrial channels in 2007 but reaching as high as 77% on Channel 5. Despite attacks on ITV1’s diversity, an ITV spokesman said that they “treat all production companies, throughout the UK, equally in terms of giving them a firm indication of what kind of programming we are looking for.”

Students protest against ID cards Eleanor Joslin News Editor Over 60 protestors demonstrated on Newport Road in Cardiff, attacking the introduction of Biometric ID Cards that the government began to issue on Tuesday 25 November. At midday on the same day, protestors gathered outside the Cardiff office of the UK Border Agency, where the cards will be issued for non-EU students and spouses who are now required to have ID cards to live and work in the UK. No Borders South Wales, who organised the protest, said: "We displayed banners, held placards, waved giant mock ID cards - the reaction

from passers by was completely supportive and many people used their lunch break to join the protest for a short while before returning to work or study." The protest in Cardiff was part of a nationwide demonstration, with people protesting against the ID cards in Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle and Solihull. Another protest outside the Border Agency on Newport Road has been organised for Wednesday 10 December, when non-EU students and spouses will have to register for the compulsory ID cards. "These new ID cards are not only a repressive measure against non-EU students and spouses, they are the first shot in an attack against everyone's liberty," said No Borders.

News in brief: Redundancy may be detrimental to students Eleanor Joslin News Editor

An audio/visual Psychology technician at Cardiff University may be made redundant by the School of Psychology, which could have a detrimental effect on Psychology undergraduates. The Psychology department is currently being restructured, which involves the School analysing its existing support-staff and whether or not the system would be better if changes were implemented for the future. However, the document drawn up by the School fails to justify the technician's redundancy as well as the impact that the loss of the position would have, especially on finalyear Psychology undergraduates. Todd Bailey, Vice-President of the University and College Union opposes the redundancy, he said: "Much of the [School's] rationale for the redundancy speaks to a gradual decline in demand and there is little or no justification for suddenly threatening a redundancy in the near future." Final-year Psychology students may find their research choices limited with the loss of the in-house audio/visual technician, who in the past has provided invaluable assistance. As their research projects count for a third of their final year mark, the technician's position seems to be invaluable to Psychology students as well as staff. Bailey said: "The [school's] rationale does not consider at all the potential effect on student projects. Academic staff, in the School of Psychology, reports that the audio/ visual technician has historically provided important support for some final year student research projects." The University Redundancy Committee is considering the School's proposal and will advise the University Council, who will then decide whether or not to make the post redundant.

Act One presents The Wizard of Splott Act One presents a modern and twisted take on Christmas classic The Wizard of Oz. The adventure begins when emo Dorothy, who lives with her mother in Bridgend overdoses on Calpol after a thoroughly miserable Christmas Eve. The Act One Pantomime will run from 4 December until 7 December in the Great Hall. Tickets are available from the Box Office and are five pounds with NUS and six pounds without.


04 NEWS

DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

MedClub plans revealed University finally releases its vision for the new Medclub

Area 2: Bar space Area 1: No change

Modular seating (plans to be revised to show this) Area 3: Refurbished toilets

Area 6: Food outlet space

Area 4: Social networking space

Area 5: New entrance HELPING THE HEATH: The new plans for MedClub were revealed at Student Council last week

Sarah Powell News Editor The complicated three year saga that has centered around the issue of MedClub is set to be resolved after the new plans for redevelopment were released last Tuesday. At a Student Council meeting on Tuesday 25 November, Andy ButtonStephens, President of the Student’s Union, spoke about the changes made to the proposed plans for MedClub. The plans include better bar provi-

sion, more social networking space and a food outlet area, which is intended to be similar to the Kitchen Bar at the Student’s Union. The need for such provisions were highlighted in the ‘Heath Park Survey’, which the Student’s Union used to develop their stance on MedClub. As the plans show, the redevelopments will provide a specially dedicated student space, compared to the current situation where students are forced to share facilities with staff and patients from the Heath. Andy Buttons-Stephens has placed

great emphasis on the adaptability of MedClub, hoping that it will have a multiple function use. Facilities include modular seating, which can be moved around to make space for music events, or for society meetings. It is hoped that the redevelopments will encourage more students to attend MedClub, and increase its popularity among the student population. gair rhydd has previously reported on the issue of MedClub, whose popularity has been slowly decreasing despite being seen as part of student

heritage among a small minority. At Student Council it was revealed that MedClub has been a drain on Union funds, costing roughly £50,000 a year to run despite only putting on a small number of events last year. Such high costs are put down to the amount of staff hired to run club nights and events, which only have a small student turn-out. The plans are aimed at modernising MedClub to attract more students to evening events. It is hoped that the re-developments will take roughly four weeks, which

will mean that MedClub will be fully functional and open to students in February/early March. James Wood, Vice President of the Student's Union welcomed the plans as, "the first big success of the 'Heal the Heath' campaign." Andy Button-Stephens said, "A dedicated student space is a welcome addition for the Heath Campus." He also added the importance of Student participation and welcomes other views. Email him with your comments on the plans at buttonsa@cardiff.ac.uk

Gym won't fix it for the SU

Student Council say no to University's offer of a feasibility study for a Union gym Christofer Lloyd Investigations reporter Student Council rejected a controversal motion calling for a feasibility study that would examine the possibility of incorporating a gym into the Union, following a lengthy debate last Tuesday. Proposing the motion, Union President Andrew Button-Stephens pushed for a feasibility study to consider the possibility of using Union space to accomodate a gym. Andrew said, "we believe that there is a clear need for more facilities," mentioning the need to assess available space, cost and planning infor-

mation, before being able to make an informed decision. gair rhydd editor Ben Bryant opposed the motion, suggesting that the sabbatical team had been divided on the issue because they felt that it was not the Union's responsibility to provide these facilities. He said: "I don't believe that the Union should be meeting the University's shortfall." Ben continued: "Space is at a premium in the Union, and we don't want a quick fix. What is needed is the University's investment into a large, multi-purpose gym that really meets the needs of its students. They own acres of land over at Maindy road that

has been tentatively earmarked for research - why not pressure them to build a gym here?" Student councillor Corey Shefman also raised concerns over the fact that using Union space for a gym may compromise other Union spaces and, if it replaced ground floor retail units as proposed, could potentially result in a loss of revenue for the Union. The debate revolved around the role of the Union, with councillors feeling that the Union serves to provide representation, advice, meeting rooms and to affect change, rather than just facilities and commercial services. Frances House suggested that a general consensus of students should

be gauged to see whether people would rather sports facilities be built in the Union or elsewhere in the University. In response to this James Wood, Union Vice President argued that in order to consult the student population, a feasibility study must be carried out to see whether a gym would fit in the available space. The feasibility study could cost up to £20,000 of University money, but it is likely that a redevelopment of the Union for a gym would cost millions. Andy Button Stephens told gair rhydd, "I am dissapointed that this motion didn't pass. This is such a contentious issue that I think that the whole student body should be allowed

to make an informed decision about whether of not to have a gym in the building. A feasibility study would have allowed for this." Student Council also put a motion proposed to end the use of Fair Trade T-shirts on hold until several quotes from Fair Trade suppliers have been taken. Last year a motion stating that all Union campaign T-shirts should be Fair Trade was passed by student council. However, quoted prices up to six times those of non-Fair Trade T-shirts have raised questions over whether Union money could be better spent elsewhere.


NEWS 05 Government exposes student fraud News in DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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British students with family earnings abroad may be fraudulently cashing in on grants and loans Emma Barlow News Editor Students are fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds worth of grants it was claimed last week. The government has spotted a loophole in the process of applying for student loans, which is enabling the children of wealthy non-domiciled British citizens to receive grants that they are not entitled to. The Treasury cites that the number of British non-domiciles is about 116,000, who live in the UK but do not pay tax on earnings made abroad. It has been claimed that some students are not declaring their full household income during their applications for student loans. The application assesses grant and loan suitability by considering a student’s family income at their home address and if a family’s income is based abroad then a student could be eligible for grants. The Student Loans Company (SLC) has launched an inquiry into their application processes and has set up a pilot system to identity fraud in 11 areas of the country.

The SLC said that grant officers were now conducting spot checks on applications to ensure that students had not lied about any aspect including failing to declare their full household incomes. The National Union of Students (NUS) said the loophole was shocking but insisted it did not believe the loan company’s review would identify mass fraud. The inquiry was announced in last week’s pre-budget report, which said: “The SLC, working with DIUS (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills), is undertaking a review to establish the extent of income related fraud within the student support system, with a particular focus on fraudulent claims.” Wes Streeting, President of the NUS, said: “I hope this isn’t the solution to the government’s spending worries because I’d be very surprised to see mass fraud on student loans.” “We need to look very carefully at the issue of non-domiciles entitlement to make sure the British taxpayer’s money is being spent well. Obviously we need to make sure the grants get to those people who need it.”

RAID haul in Huw Stephens for charity gig Emma Barlow News Editor People and Planet, Cardiff Stop Aids and SHAG are holding an evening of music, food and fun to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. RAID will take place on Tuesday 2 December in Solus, at the University’s Student Union, and includes a line-up to suit all musical tastes. Emma West, RAID coordinator said: “RAID is back – and it’s better than ever with a headline set from Radio 1 DJ and all-round Welsh legend Huw Stephens. This year’s event offers students a chance to have a great night out and raise money for a good cause at the same time.” Other acts performing include local

Indie bands The Muscle Club and Me and The Major, DJ Tommy B and performances from the Wind Band and the Jazz Society. There will also be a cake stall, a raffle and the photography society will be holding an exhibition - all the money raised will go to AIDS charities. HIV affects more than 80,000 people in the UK and 33 million people worldwide. “Not only is it going to be an amazing evening, your money will make a real difference to the 33 million living with AIDS worldwide. Just one ticket buys two-months-worth of anti-retroviral drugs,” Emma added. RAID has won Best Event at the Societies Awards two years in a row.

A third year Bioscience student is to be presented with the first ‘Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award’ and a £2,000 bursary for his commitment to student volunteering. Martin Engel will be the first ever recipient of the award, which will be presented to him at the Student

Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) annual winter ball on Saturday 29 November. Banco Santander is supplying the bursary as a result of the new partnership between Cardiff University and the group. Cardiff is the first educational institution in Wales to join the expanding group of ‘Santander Universities’ - an international network of higher education organisations. Martin dedicated over 300 hours of

EMA won't pay

Jack Doran Reporter The company blamed for the chaotic payment of educational maintenance allowance (EMA), Liberata, have had their contract revoked. The scheme, which encourages 16-18 year-olds to attend school by monetary incentives of up to £30 per week, has been fraught with problems. At one point the backlog of EMA payments grew to 200, 000 students, roughly a third of those enrolled. The Learning Skills Council said in a statement that students had suffered weeks of delay in receiving their grants as a direct result of Liberata’s technical difficulties, leading to the discontinuation of the contract. Chief Executive of the LSC, Mark Haysom said: “It is unacceptable for young people to have their EMA payments delayed.”

27 new universities in the pipeline Steve Wright Reporter

Student's volunteering pays off Emma Barlow News Editor

brief:

his time to volunteering during his second year of university. He was especially involved in coordinating the SVC Weekenders projects, which offers young carers the opportunity to go on various trips and take part in activities. Martin had also given numerous talks to promote the work of SVC and organised the first ever SVC charity fun-run which raised more than £1,200. He is currently on an industry

placement in Copenhagen but will be coming back to the UK for the awardpresentation. SVC is one of the largest studentled volunteering organisations in the UK which coordinates more than 40 different projects with more than 1,000 student volunteers all contributing to the local community in various ways.

A total of 27 towns have expressed an interest in taking on government funding to create new higher education courses as part of a drive to increase the number of teenagers going on degree courses. Twenty new universities, which will be smaller than conventional institutions, are planned to be opened within six years, catering for up to 10,000 new students. Sally Hunt, from the University and College Union, said: ‘‘We welcome plans for more universities and more chances for people to study for higher educational qualifications." Towns applying to host the new institutions include Accrington, Rochdale and Stockport in the North, Sandwell, Dudley and Corby in the Midlands, and Swindon, Basingstoke and Milton Keynes in the South.


06 NEWS

UNION WATCH

Sarah Powell rounds up the week in student media

Rugby team suspended after player vomits on public bus

Cambridge student bares all CAMBRIDGE VARSITY A Cambridge University student magazine has caused controversy after printing a picture of a topless female student on its page three. The photo shoot took place on Clare College bridge, which goes

over the River Cam, and appeared in the latest edition of Vivid Magazine, a publication put together by students once a term. It features an unnamed student straddling the bridge wearing nothing but a black lacy thong and stockings. The picture has caused outrage as it is the first time a student has appeared topless in a university publication. A student from Clare College said,

Gloucester come under fire once again as another initiation ceremony gets out of hand GLOUCESTER SPACE

"Lots of students and professors have seen this. It's a very risky thing to do when you are studying at one of the top universities in the country." The model, who is reportedly from Homerton College, has declined to comment on reactions to the photo. Vivid Magazine, which is largely made up of comment pieces of a political and satirical nature, has also refused to comment.

Swansea 'super-university' plans are leaked SWANSEA WATERFRONT Plans for a 'super-university' in Swansea have come under criticism after being leaked to the press. The plans, which were put forward by the University Vice Chancellor Richard Davies, involved merging Swansea University with the Metropolitan University to make a 'superuniversity'. Richard Davies has been criticised for committing the plans to paper

without ascertaining the opinion of the Vice Chancellor of Swansea Metropolitan, David Warner. David Warner has publicly mocked the plans but insisted that he would not rule out future talks about them. There are fears that the Metropolitan University will 'take over' Swansea University, as the Metropolitan is twice the size of Swansea, and has been established since 1853. Swansea University have responded to the plans saying; "The paper includes the suggestion that the two Swansea universities should merge. This is not however a policy of Swan-

DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

NEWSDESK: 07908 551922

sea University and has not yet been discussed by the University Council." It is suspected that the plans have arisen after the Welsh Assembly Government revealed they wanted to have four main universities in Wales. Swansea University Students' Union president James Houston supported the Vice Chancellor's ideas and said; "I firmly believe that the Vice Chancellor has the interests of Swansea students at heart and this report is a fundamental part of continuing to increase education provision and the quality thereof within Wales."

Plans to merge Swansea University and Swansea Metropolitan University were leaked to the press

A rugby team from the University of Gloucester has been suspended from fixtures after a public bus was forced to stop due to a vomiting player on the way home from a rugby initiation. The student to blame for this incident reportedly began talking incoherently to the driver, before slumping in his seat and being sick on himself. It caused frustration among fellow passengers who were forced to get off the bus and wait for up to half an hour for to resume their journey. A spokesperson from the University has said; "A small minority of our students seem to think such poor

behaviour is acceptable. They have let themselves, their fellow students, and the University down." This is the second incident that has put Gloucester University under the spotlight; only a month ago a video emerged showing an initiation ceremony where first year students being forced to drink alcohol in a mockNazi ritual.

Something smells fishy EXETER EXEPOSE A fire was started in a student residence in Exeter after the occupant tried to cook a fish finger sandwich. Three fire engines, Estate patrol and the Aerial Platform from Exeter were called to the scene to put out the relatively small blaze, which took place in a ground floor flat kitchen. Students from the flat said that the fire was caused when the oven was turned on to make fish fingers, and a hob was ignited by accident, setting fire to a plastic chopping board that had been left on top of it. Students tried to put out the fire using a fire blanket before alerting the fire crew, who used a hose reel and a dry powder extinguisher to put out the

blaze. Fire safety has come under criticism, after the fire alarms failed to alert people of the blaze for 15 minutes. One student said that the fire alarms are set off by deodorant and steam, but when something serious happens, they fail to go off.


WORLD NEWS 07

DECEMBER.01.2008 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Hardcore sitting - now an official sport Also in the Rachel Sutcliffe Reporter 'Hardcore sitting' has been recognised as official sport after wheelchair-bound Aaron Fotheringham recieves offical sponsorship. Aaron has become somewhat of a celebrity in the skate scene. Using a specially made wheelchair, the sixteen-year-old performs moves more often seen on skateboards or BMX bikes, on the skate ramps in Las Vegas. Aaron is the founder of the sport ‘hardcore sitting’ in which people use wheelchairs to perform stunts on ramps. The sport started when Brian, Aaron's eldest brother, convinced him to go down a ramp at a local park when Aaron was only aged 9, at which point the obsession was born. Aaron is committed to training and practises for three hours every day.

news...

Like other skaters Aaron has suffered his fair share of injuries claiming that he has "shattered (his) elbow and had concussion too many times to count." Despite having done hardcore sitting for years, Aaron only got official recognition last month when Colours Inc. sponsored him, supplying him with a £5,300 reinforced aluminium wheelchair. Now, 'Wheels' has achieved such celebrity status that he is being flown all over the world to perform his stunts. Aaron is quickly becoming a rolemodel for other young people who use wheelchairs. He said: "Everyone thinks ‘oh you're disabled that's such a terrible thing,’ but I think it's positive. People don't realise how much can be done in a chair."

Siobhan O'Hanlon Reporter

Nice bra, man

Customer caught in the nude Nathan Allen Reporter The multinational fast-food corporation McDonald's is being sued for $3 million after risqué photographs of a woman have ended up on the Internet. The images uploaded to the web were of a male customer's wife, and were found when the man happened to leave his mobile (with the photos on it) in the burger bar in Fayetteville, Arkansas on the 5 July 2008. The phone's owner, Philip Sherman, claims that staff at the restaurant agreed to keep hold of the phone in a secure place until he had chance to collect it from them. To Mr Sherman's dismay, it appears that the staff did not live up to their word and instead took the liberty of

perusing his phone, reading messages and noting contact details before putting them onto the internet. Mr and Mrs Sherman discovered the pictures had been posted on the internet after Mrs Sherman received numerous telephone calls, mailings and text messages as it appeared that all of her contact details had appeared next to the photo on the website, along with captions including "hot like McDonald's coffee" and "I'm

lovin' it" alongside the famous golden arches logo. The Sherman family had to move to a new house after receiving so much offensive contact from strangers who had gained access to Tina S h e r man's personal information. Both the restaurant's manager and the restaurant franchise owner, The McDonald's Corporation, are being sued by the couple for

"emotional distress, embarrassment and damage to their reputations." The amount being demanded by the couple is to recover the costs of moving and loss of earnings since the incident. The $3 million – around £2 million – also highlights the "reckless and abusive" behaviour of the workers at that particular branch of the world's most famous fast food outlet. The pictures, which were strictly for Mr Sherman's eyes only, have now been removed from the original website. The McDonald's Corporation has made no comment. There is some speculation that the events may have been an engineered scam aiming for a large payout.

A lingerie brand that sells bras for cross-dressing men has become an online bestseller in Japan. Wishroom has sold over 300 male bras, at a price of £19 each, since its launch two weeks ago. Wishroom representative Masayuki Tsuchiya modelled the bra and said: "I like this tight feeling, it feels good." The bras are available in black, white and pink and can be worn discreetly under men's clothing.

Penilised The makers of a prosthetic penis to help men cheat on drugs tests have pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy in a US federal court. The two men, George Wills and Robert Catalano, had been selling the device, known as the Whizzinator, over the Internet for three years. It came with a heating element and fake urine to help people test negative for illegal substances. They could face up to eight years in prison and a $500,000 (£334,000) fine.

Beary guilty

Doctors discover worm in woman's brain Jack Doran Reporter Doctors in Arizona were understandably surprised when they pulled a worm from deep inside a woman's brain. Rosemary Alvarez of Arizona was admitted to hospital having experienced numbness in her arm and blurred vision. Upon having her brain scanned, a team of doctors noticed something troublesome at the stem of her brain. When operating, neurosurgeon Dr Peter Nakaji could be heard guffawing at the sight before him. He said: "I'm sure this is a very strange response for the people in the

operating room but it was because I was so pleased to know that it wasn't going to be something terrible." It is unknown where the worm had come from although doctors speculated that exposure to under cooked pork or a lack of hand washing may be the cause. "It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem," Dr Nakaji said. Now that the worm has been removed, it is believed that Mrs Alvarez will suffer no long lasting effects. She offered advice to us all: "Wash your hands, wash your hands!" she said.

A bear has been found guilty of stealing honey from a beekeeper by a court in Macedonia. The animal was convicted of theft but was excused from attending court. Zoran Kiseloski told the court that he had to protect his hives by playing folk music. He said: "I tried to distract the bear with lights and music." The bear was found guilty but since it had no owner and is a protected species, the fine of 140,000 denars (£1,700) to compensate for damage caused to the hives, has been paid by the state.


OPINION 09

DECEMBER.01.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

freewords Est. 1972

Students kicked out Studentification, or the saturation of communities with large numbers of students, has for a long time been a source of conflict between local authorities, long term residents and students. Noise, litter, a lack of parking spaces and 'ghost towns' arising in summer when all the students leave are all familiar problems for which students usually receive the blame. Cardiff council's attempt to engineer communities by forcibly reducing the density of students in Cathays and Roath has been presented as a solution. However, the motion has arisen under puzzling circumstances. Community relations between students and long-term residents have, by all accounts, vastly improved this year. The surprising backlash against students is exacerbated by the fact that the motion has been proposed by Ed Bridges, himself a student of Cardiff University. Yet the motion has angered students most of all because it seems to treat them as second-class citizens. Students are already patronised by letting agencies and long-term residents, who have a history of resorting to lazy stereotypes, describing students as apathetic, binge-drinking, work-dodging freeloaders who hijack communities. This couldn't be further from the truth. It is extremely worrying that these stereotypes are still being peddled by ignorant critics who fail to see the enormous contribution that students bring to communities. And this contribution is more than just fiscal. Cardiff University Students' Union has one of the largest volunteering centres in the UK. The contribution that students make to the community is enormous and vital. The council should tread carefully. When a city relies upon students to contribute so much to its economy, diversity and sustainability, diffusing the student Utopias of Cathays and Roath will damage Cardiff's reputation and anger students. Acknowledging the contribution that students make to the city, and working with them to improve it, would be a much more sensible strategy than assuming they can tell them where they can and can't live. Students will not easily tolerate eviction from their own communities. 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

Out of arms way

Should the University invest in arms on such a large scale? Laura Harman thinks it ought to stop

W

e all now know that our University uses external parties to oversee its investments. And we also know that Cardiff has insisted that any investments which are made on their behalf could not contravene their ethical practices. 'Utter nonsense, of course,' we cry, idealistic as we are. 'Cardiff University should be aware of what their ‘third parties’ are investing in. If that is the case, they know they are supporting the arms trade. And if they don’t? Well, something has gone very wrong'. I, like many students – judging from the response to the news that Cardiff is still investing in arms – oppose the arms trade. I find it an incredibly sad situation that we still feel the need to arm ourselves against our neighbours. But let’s put that aside for the moment. It has been revealed that 45 universities in Britain invest in companies which produce arms, totalling £15 million. University College London, Trinity Hall in Cambridge and Liverpool are the three universities topping the list, with each spending over £1 million.

Five countries, including the UK, accounted for 80% of arms sold last year Cardiff University itself has invested roughly £170,000 in shares in two ‘defence’ companies. Over half of this was invested in BAE Systems, which produces a variety of military equipment, ranging from ammunition to armour. The other company is the Smiths Group, whose website states that they 'deliver products and services' to markets for energy, communication, threat and 'contraband detection'. In 2006, when the issue of Cardiff investing in arms companies was first raised among students, BAE Systems was under investigation from the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly brib-

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ing officials in Saudi Arabia in order to win contracts for their equipment. False accounting and corruption charges were also brought before the company. Regardless of what a company produces, should a university really be investing in it if it’s undergoing an international police enquiry? Should the name of the university be dragged through the mud with the company? Or do they deserve all they get, being aware (as I’m henceforth going to assume they are) of what is happening?

Two-thirds of children in Angola have witnessed murder

ARMS TRADE: how much is too much?

Luckily for the representatives of Cardiff University, the Smiths Group has not been the centre of any such scandal. In fact, they appear to have a remarkably clean sheet in terms of business practice. Except, of course, the sale of arms to developing countries. In 2002, Britain made £2 billion from arms trade to developing countries (the world total from the sale of arms was roughly £2.8billion). Clearly, then, we are selling an enormous amount of military equipment to countries which are often politically unstable. The annual average which the UK spends on international aid is £3.3 billion. It just doesn’t seem to add up. With one side of our face we are saying, 'We will give you aid in order for you to build infrastructure and to create a stable economic climate, so that you may help yourselves'.'The other, less often reported, side is crying 'Stability, be damned!' And it’s not just us doing it. The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – America, Russia, France, China and the UK – accounted for 80% of arms sold across the world last year. Two-thirds of those arms went to countries that are developing or that have appalling human rights records. Arms trade destroys communities. It is ridiculous to suggest anything Graeme Porteous Proof Readers Katherine Davies Georgina Coles Laurel Burn Katherine Roberts Siobhan O'Hanlon Hazel plush Emma Davies Huw Davies Contributors Lucy Taylor, Emma Jones, Gabi Ford, Rachel Sutcliffe, Jack Doran, Laura harman, Siobhan McGiurk,

else. Some producers of military equipment claim that 'arms sales are essential to foster good relations' – a preposterous statement. Not only does it cause international mistrust and anger, but it also tears communities apart. In many developing countries, children are used to transport arms; often they are allowed to pass through military checkpoints without much hassle, making it safer for arms dealers. These children are often taken away from their parents either until a job is completed or, in some horrendous situations, until the parents are able to pay a release fee.

Should a university invest in a company undergoing police investigation? These children are often kept at the scene of conflicts so that, at a very young age, they witness awful acts of violence. It has been estimated that two-thirds of children in Angola have witnessed murder. If that happened to a child in our own country, there would be a team of doctors working tirelessly to ensure that the child suffered as little emotional and

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psychological trauma as possible. So why don’t we consider this as a consequence in developing countries?

In many developing countries, children are used to transport arms

Should the University be involved, even indirectly, with this? After all, the University has a responsibility to ensure that the companies they invest in will provide a good return; arms companies are doing roaring trade, even in this time of economic worry. However, let’s face facts. The University was made aware of what it was investing in and yet it continued to do so. It was made aware that students were unhappy about these investments and it still carried on. It is naïve to think that arms companies only create weapons for our own protection. And, while it may seem a little over the top to bring up the effects that the arms trade has on children, it is a legitimate question to ask: do we mind footing the bill for the continuation of the arms trade, knowing its effects upon civilians? Can they justify spending our money in this way when we have said “No more”?

Sally Mason, Lisa Franklin, Martyn White, Steve Benyon, Susanna Byers, Gareth Ludkin, Alex Bywater, Tom Barnett, Huw Alun Foulkes, Sion Ifan, Llyr Gwyn Lewis, Emma Bennett, Simon Lucey, Alexander Prior Address University Union, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3QN

Web www.gairrhydd.com Email info@gairrhydd.com Advertising 02920 781 474 Location 4th Floor Cardiff University Students’ Union Park Place Cardiff CF10 3QN News Desk 07908 551922


10 OPINION

DECEMBER.01.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Canuck in Cardiff

The forgotten vote

P

O

Corey Shefman is watching you

rivacy International is a UK based NGO that releases annual “privacy rankings” assessing how much privacy citizens of various countries around the world are afforded from both corporate and government encroachment. According to their rankings, the UK ranks 33rd out of 36 countries, just four places above Communist China and is described as an “endemic surveillance society”. Not to boast, but Canada comes in second on that list. Seriously though, one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between North America and the UK (or at least Cardiff) is that people here put up with an utter lack of privacy, all the while seeming to think that as a whole, the British people value their privacy. When I first noticed the CCTV cameras on nearly every pole in town, I asked a friend if it took a while to get used to being watched all the time. His answer was that he never even notices the cameras; they’re just a part of regular life in the UK. I’ve since discussed the CCTV (in amazement) with some American friends here in Cardiff, they agree that a program like that would never even get off the ground in North America. Even in the United States, home to the infamous Patriot Act, citizens would never tolerate the government filming their every move. Couple that with the near weekly loss of personal data by the government and it really is amazing that the British public can actually believe they have any privacy whatsoever at this point. In a way, all of that should explain why most people in the UK aren’t making such a fuss about the ID card scheme. The idea is to eventually make everyone in Britain, citizen, immigrant, refugee etc., an official ‘ID Card’ that would include a photo, biometric data and citizenship status. As of next month international students in the UK will be forced to apply for, pay for and carry their ID card at all times. By 2015, everyone over 16 will have a card. But it doesn’t stop there. When you get your ID card, your personal information will also be added to the ‘National Identity Register’ – a scary thought given that last year, the government lost two discs containing the personal details of some 25 million people! And of course, all of that isn’t even touching on the fact that all costs included, it will likely cost you out of your own pocket upwards of £100 before you actually get the card – and that’s on top of the almost £500 Million the scheme will cost the government. I could go on for pages about the danger and stupidity of the ID Card scheme for us as students and as citizens in general, but I have a word count to stick to! For more information or to get involved with the fight against the ID Cards, check out www. no2id.net.

Siobhan McGurk thinks the recent success of Proposition 8 in America should concern us all

n the 5th of November, the U.K woke up to the news that the U.S. had elected its first black president, Barack Obama. I don’t think that it’s presumptuous to suggest that most of us students were delighted, and believe that the people of United States have overcome deeplyrooted prejudices to move into a position that would have been inconceivable forty years ago. The world has viewed Obama’s election as a sign of hope for the idea, among others,that minorities can and are being represented. I hate to rain on the parade, but on the very day that the U.S.A. overcame racial prejudice; a certain minority’s rights were swept away with the tick of a box. What the mainstream British press chose to largely ignore was that three U.S. states were voting not only for their next president, but also whether they believe same-sex couples should be able to marry. In California, Florida and Arizona, Constitutional Amendments were passed to outlaw gay marriage and in Arkansas ban unmarried couples from becoming adoptive parents. Disbelief and devastation have spilled out into anger and action.

Falling in love with someone is never a choice for anyone The last few weeks have witnessed Gay Rights protests all over America. On the weekend following the election, protests were held all over California, even attracting celebrities to the cause. New York City followed shortly afterwards on the 12th, with a reported 10,000 demonstrators gathering to protest. The most impressive demonstration has been organised by non-professional organisation ‘Join

the Impact’, who successfully used internet networking to arrange protests in every single state on the 15th November, not to mention a handful globally. Why should we care what civil rights the gay community have in the California? After all, civil-partnerships for same-sex couples have been recognised in the U.K. since 2005. I would answer that our overwhelming interest in the presidential election proves that we care deeply about U.S. politics and recognise that it indirectly affects us. While gay marriage may not be an overtly political issue, I would venture to say that we are culturally influenced by the U.S.A. even more than we are politically. Whether we like it or not, Hollywood is in our living rooms every night and on our coffee tables every morning. Many of us may be ashamed to admit that TV and film has altered our worldview more significantly than university, but that does not make it any less true. If gay rights have been so negatively swept away in California, the most liberal state in the most influential country in the world, then we should be worried. We should be angry and, more than anything, we should care enough about it to give it the attention it deserves. I would like to believe that I need not explain why I believe that two people who love each other should be allowed to officially commit to one another, regardless of their sexual orientation, but I fear that this may be being naïve. There are still so many people, ‘enlightened’ students included, who casually use homophobic language, whisper behind backs and make gay jokes. Not to mention those groups who insist homosexuality is a sinful choice. You may see the difference between jokingly calling someone a ‘poof’ and publicly denouncing homosexuality as a sin, but there is

GAY MARRIAGE: will the UK be influenced by the US? none. It all contributes to stereotyping, wonder why British Civil Partnership fear and bigotry and it can all lead to has to be a distinctly different process measures which can ultimately deny to marriage. The argument that it provides same-sex couples with the same legal rights as heterosexual couples does not address the fact that in essence, a Civil Partnership is a private, legal affair whereas a marriage emphasises a public demonstration of commitcertain human beings their rights. Falling in love with someone of the ment. Are we subversively suggesting same sex is no more a choice than fall- that gay partnership should remain in ing in love with someone of the op- the shadows? It may seem to some posite sex. While it may look like it’s an ephemeral issue but it perpetuates between two people you don’t know beliefs that homosexual couples are or you don’t understand, it is the same different and should be treated so. I suggest that we should be listenuniversal love that you experience. The ongoing protests in America ing closely to the U.S. protests, read(which I sincerely hope will prove ing their banners, and asking what is that anti-gay marriage voters, to quote actually unfair about their demands? actress Wanda Sykes, ‘pissed off the To quote one protest sign: ‘Marriage wrong group of people’) should force should not be a privilege of the hetus to reflect on our own prejudices erosexual community; it should be a and to ask ourselves if it is not time to universal right.’

Are we suggesting gay partnerships should be hidden?

A childish overreaction

What sort of a name is P anyway, asks Josh Morris

B

y now, even if you have been living under a rock in Merthyr, you will have heard of the unfortunate case of a child being beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend, and another man. While no-one doubts that this is a truly appalling incident, what is questionable is the reasons it appeared on Prime Minister’s Question Time. For the first time in months, the words on everybody’s lips have not been 'credit crunch'. The event upon which Gordon Brown has performed a comeback comparable to Lazarus, which played to his strength as an experienced economist, and against

Cameron’s position as a conservative with few well-defined policies. In the relevant Prime Minister’s Question Time, Cameron pressed Brown over why the inquiry into the incident was not independent. The usual bickering ensued, and Brown stated he "[regretted] this becoming a party political issue”, which Cameron demanded he retract, four times in all. Once may have been reasonable, twice even, but four times? Perhaps even more indicative is the position The Sun has taken. The paper that famously claimed “It was The Sun wot won it” after the 1992 election, set up a petition on their behalf to sack all the heads of various social

work teams at Haringey council and one GP has gathered nearly half a million signatures. That’s half a million votes for Cameron at next summer’s general election, if my maths is correct. Yup, they want to sack a whole team of them. Normally, in the wake of such a tragedy that would be entirely reasonable. However, last week sixty head teachers signed a petition in anticipation of the call for heads to roll in support of the Head of Children’s Services. Sixty highly educated and experienced professionals versus half a million Sun readers. Sadly, I think all of us know who will win out in the end.


DECEMBER.01.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

A genius idea?

OPINION 11

Would you like to know about your future health problems, thanks to a genetic testing kit? Robbie Wells certainly wouldn't

I

s your crystal ball showing you the wrong future? Are you tired of paying your hard-earned money to backstreet palm readers? Or is that magic eight ball you paid a tenner for in Argos playing up again, and providing you with all the wrong answers? Then fear not, eager waster of money, because you can now spend just £270 on knowing every possible disease to which your genes are predisposed. That’s right, some scientists have devised personal gene testing kits for less than the cost of a PS3 this Christmas. Imagine a child’s delight of discovering this gift under the tree this year: unnecessary fear for the rest of their life. Yeah, that’s definitely better than Call of Duty 5.

Following this route, we step into the realms of over-population To be fair to Ms Avey and Ms Wojcicki, the inventors of 23andMe, these kits have been slashed from around the £236,000 mark, which would certainly have been a bridge too far for the regular family. Something

fear of potential genetic faults. It’s not a million miles away from a fortune teller explaining that you will be run over by a bus and causing you to stayaway from public transport.

How many lives will it turn into completely sterile existences?

GENES: prevention or paranoia? cynical in me suggests that the quality has been sacrificed, but what should I expect from a test that requires the subject to spit in a tube? But wait, they say it will save lives, it will help people live healthier and have a better life. Okay, if it saves just one life then it will all be worth it and all that spiel, but how many lives will it turn into completely sterile existences? If, for example, you spit into your tube, send it off and find out that you are prone to liver problems, will you be able to enjoy a stiff drink ever again

without thinking you’re hammering a nail into your own coffin with every sip?

It's not a huge leap to genetically targeted advertising That is just one formulation, and I for one do not know the medical accuracy of it, but the point is that your actions will forever be coloured in the

This said, all new technology is greeted by distaste and the constant murmurs of 'we’ve got by without it in the past, so why do we need it now?' While this is a fair point, if it was implemented from birth, nationally, we’d wonder how we got by without it. If a new baby is born and is diagnosed with potential Parkinson’s disease, medical steps can be taken to repress the gene and avert any problem. Following this route, we then step into the realms of over-population. If everyone’s diseases are being prevented, then we’re left with a large excess of people who Mother Nature wanted to die, to put it bluntly. But all of the above are not the real issues. You see, I’ve neglected to mention that Ms Wojcicki is married to the co-founder of Google – a com-

pany that has a large vested interest in the gene kits. The privacy statement on 23andMe includes a line that suggests that the data gained from the kits will be sold on to other companies, with the user’s identity being anonymous (of course), in order to discover any links between genes and health conditions. Imagine the salivation of a million chemists, researchers and insurance companies. Furthermore, 23andMe want to create an online community for its participants. It’s not a huge leap from Internet cookie tracking of these users to genetically targeted advertising. Just add soma and you’ve got

Imagine a child's delight at discovering the gift of fear for the rest of their life

Brave New World. Suddenly, the price of those kits doesn’t seem so cheap. But wait, it’s okay because Ms Avey tells us:“This isn't for everyone and if you are not comfortable with it, you shouldn't do it”. Fine, I won’t.

Stirring up a storm Aisling Tempany wonders if all publicity is good publicity

C

ardiff Waterstone's has recently found itself in the midst of an argument about freedom of speech versus religion. It would have been so easy to write this piece as a foam-atthe-mouth ‘Christian Voice are evil’ piece. That wouldn’t be hard: Christian Voice’s attitude is truly deplorable. But, like so many things, the Waterstone's cancellation of the launch of Patrick Jones’ collection Darkness is Where the Stars Are is a little bit more complicated. It’s a situation that leaves me with the opinion that there’s a lot of hot air on both sides, and a book that isn’t worth the attention.

This collections is most noteworthy for its controversy Firstly, I was disappointed. Being Books editor for Quench, I love going to book launches. Patrick Jones’

Fuse was one of the first books I ever bought, so I was really looking forward to it. From his previous work, I didn’t really imagine that he could write anything that could really be that offensive. Apparently I’m wrong, though.

There are rumours that Jones encouraged the protest Waterstone's cancelled the event in the middle of the afternoon on November 12. Their cancellation only shows what idiots they are. Who would have attended the launch? A few media types, a few Jones/Manic Street Preachers fans and some Welsh writer types. Who wasn’t attending it? BBC News sure as hell weren’t attending a poxy little book launch in Cardiff. Nor, probably, were the Independent, the NME or the Telegraph, all of

whom commented on the cancellation. With my comment, gair rhydd are mentioning it too. So, Waterstone's, well done. You actually managed to make a rather sub-standard poetry collection the centre of a political and cultural debate. And it is substandard. This is probably the best line: ‘i’m so ugly in your eyes or is it my vision is so clitoral… / slit my wrist with rosary beads blind my eyes with testosterone veil’ (from HYMN). I have no idea what to make of the first quote, but the last line sounds like an unfortunate sexual incident with a 19-year old virgin who came in your face. Not the intended meaning, I’m thinking. The book itself, among the press attention, is selling well now (It’s not the Waterstone's 'Welsh book of the Month', though.) This is probably good news for the publishers, the twoand-a-half strong team of Cinnamon Press, in Blaenau Ffestinog, who still seem sore about travelling five hours

to Cardiff to stand outside a closed bookshop' in November. As mentioned, I’m a bit of a fan, but I think that this collection is more noteworthy for its controversy and publicity than its artistic merit. A reverend commented to the publishers that he despised Christian Voice’s actions. I wonder if he actually read the

Jones should be given an award for Best Book Publicity of 2008 rest of that poem above? In amongst the furore over the cancellation are rumours that Jones himself actually encouraged the Christian Voice to protest. I’m not going to comment on whether or not I think that’s true; the publishers say it's not, some fans of Jones say it is. There’s probably some truth somewhere in the middle. Patrick Jones, though, should per-

haps be given an award for Best Book Publicity of 2008. Christian Voice and Stephen Green are easy targets for stirring up anti-religious sentiment and bigotry that I actually have lost respect for Jones in amongst all this if it is true that he stirred it all up. There is so much genuine, serious religious bigotry and intolerance out there – why has a terrible book stirred up so much fuss? Waterstone's have apparently compared the controversy to that surrounding the publishing of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. I think a lot of people though that was rubbish too. The moral of this tale? If you write bad poetry, hope for a religious protest


12 COLUMNIST

DECEMBER.01.2008 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

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A trivial pursuit Y

ou know those funny little silver balls that go on top of cakes? They’re called dragées. The weird stringy bits in between a banana and its skin? They’re phloem bundles. Pretty cool, huh?! The proper name for the “?!” I used just then is an interrobang. God, I love that word. I was reading an article the other day with names for all of these funny things we normally call ‘thingummies’ and ‘whatjamacallits’ and, I have to say, I thought it was pretty ace. I love random trivia; who doesn’t? There’s something infinitely rewarding about knowing something utterly bizarre and I know I’m not alone here. In fact, when I told my housemate that I was thinking about writing on this, she immediately got very excited and animatedly related a series of facts about how alcohol withdrawal can kill you fairly easily, whereas heroin withdrawal can’t. Best choose your poison carefully, then.

Isn't most knowledge a bit useless, anyway?

Even Coca-Cola, which sounds fairly harmless (albeit laden with sugar and carcinogens) seems slightly less appetising when you consider that it used to be green. If you want a caffeine hit, maybe it’s better to go for a cup of coffee. Then again, when the

S

tealing other people’s ideas is neither big nor clever. Didn’t anybody ever teach you that? If do so in an assessed essay, you can get into quite a lot of trouble for plagiarism. If you do it in real life, you can even get sued for copyright infringement. So why do Sin Bin think that they can steal my idea and use as a theme? I was happily pottering my way

London tap water has already been through the human body an average 10 times. I learnt that one as a kid, so no doubt the figure’s increased by now. Lovely. At risk of sounding like your mum or a secondary school teacher, knowing stuff might even make you into more well-rounded person. I hate myself for even thinking the phrase ‘well-rounded person’, but it’s always interesting to talk to someone who knows lots of little bits and pieces, no matter how irrelevant they are.

dry forms are compared, it’s actually tea which boasts the highest caffeine content. None of this information is particularly useful, is it? This is the kind of thing that I can trot out ad nauseum when my memory’s jogged, but unfortunately, nobody’s going to test me on it in a job interview. It’s not going to win me so much as a pub quiz.

At risk of sounding like your mum, knowing stuff might make you well-rounded I do sometimes worry a little bit about how much of my brain this sort of trivia takes up, actually. Assuming that I only have a limited brain capacity, there’s only so much stuff I can store. I can still rattle off lyrics to whole songs that were popular back in the ‘90s – are those occupying brain-space that could be taken up by something more important, something useful? I really bloody hope not. If I were to erase all the useless facts from my mind, maybe I’d be capable of achieving something truly amazing. Perhaps I could find a cure for cancer before lunchtime and then go on to find a new form of non-nuclear energy before bed. I doubt it, but who knows? To use a ridiculous analogy, it’s like a computer’s hard drive being slowed

down unnecessarily by pictures of kittens in bonnets when really it could be calculating the final decimal place of pi. I’ve never really liked maths or science, though, so I think I’ll just content myself with knowing that nearly two dozen people die each year in champage-related accidents. Let’s face it, it’s far more interesting, anyway. Well, apart from if you’re one of those unlucky 24 – just imagine the disappointment of keeling over just as you finally get the bloody cork off. The only bad thing, aside from all that wasted potential (but let’s be honest, potential is always better as an unrealised abstract), about having so many odd bits of trivia floating around in my head is that I do occasionally get confused between what’s real and what I’ve just read in books. I did once get it into my head that

HEROES through the Union a couple of weeks ago when a natty little poster caught my eye. I have to hand it to them; the posters actually look pretty cool, all comic book-esque and colourful. But that’s not the point. The point is, upon closer examination, I saw the title. And suddenly I knew how Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt must have felt when they saw the Honey Monster

and

there was a little tin box at the top of Everest containing a little stove and facilities to make a cup of tea. I’m not sure why I thought this – one can only assume it’s some romantic imagining from a piece of fiction I read at some point – but I was highly disappointed to find out that, actually, there’s nothing at the summit but snow.

It's infinitely rewarding to know something utterly bizarre Okay, so maybe that wasn’t knowledge; it’s possible to get confused sometimes. I’m only human, right? But a jiffy really does exist – it’s one hundredth of a second. And a glass of

A jiffy really does exist - it's one hundredth of a second As A. E. Housman once said: “All human knowledge is precious, whether or not it serves the slightest human use.” I think that has a lovely ring to it. Isn’t most knowledge a bit useless, anyway? Come on Lit students, do you really think that in ten years’ time anybody will expect you to have a practical usage for all that you’ve learnt about the meanings of blood in Dracula or the preoccupation with place in Welsh poetry? Of course you’re not! These things don’t even have practical uses; that’s part of what makes them so gloriously appealing. And it’s always fun to know things, isn’t it? So store up that trivia, ‘cause facts are cool, mmkay?

villains crimping it up to promote Sugar Puffs. Heroes and Villains at Sin Bin? If you attended, shame on you. Okay, maybe it’s fun to dress up as a cartoon bad guy and dance to awful music, much in the same way that it’s fun to dress up as a pirate or a cowboy, but I want in on a cut of the takings. ‘Heroes and Villains’ is my concept. I thought of it months and months ago – The Boy Thunder can attest to that

– so I’m hideously unimpressed with their unoriginal thinking. Alright, so maybe it wasn’t that original of me in the first place, but I still got it into print before they got their posters up. So there, Sin Bin. Maybe I’ll make a case against them and sue. Then again, I could do something more interesting, like carry on with my life, all the while hugging my petty little grudge.


POLITICS 13

DECEMBER.01.2008 POLITICS@gairrhydd.COM

A wolf in sheep's clothing

Can the government really dig us out of recession or are their latest plans purely for show, asks Damian Fantato T he Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling delivered his Pre-Budget Report last Monday in which he outlined the direction in which he will be taking the economy over the next year and beyond. The Pre-Budget Report is only ever intended as an outline of the government’s plans as economic policy can only be officially changed in the annual Budget each March. The reason this otherwise inconsequential government document garnered so much attention was down to the increasingly beleaguered state of the global economy. With the British economy predicted to enter recession in 2009 and an increasing number of companies shedding jobs in a desperate bid to save money, this downturn is starting to take a more human toll. The Government will, therefore, be looking to stabilise the economy and ultimately win favour with the British public who abandoned them for the Conservatives over the summer, leaving them 10 points behind in the polls. In such a climate of uncertainty this Pre-Budget Report is surrounded by controversy. So what, exactly, has the Chancellor offered? Well the Pre-Budget Report attempts on the one hand to give ordinary people more money in their pockets and on the other to save

the government money, however this isn’t something this report does very well. The policies put forward in the Pre-Budget Report could end up costing the British population more than it saves as Alistair Darling tries to foot the bill for attempting to pull Britain out of recession. The 2.5% VAT cut that was hyped so much in

The Government can do little on its own to counter the current economic crisis the hours following its announcement boils down to very little indeed. In real terms, it means that the price of a Mars bar will be crashing by 1p, whilst a pair of Levi’s jeans will cost you £1.49 less than it did before. In fact, there is little reason to believe that businesses will reflect the VAT cut in their prices, as Cardiff Central AM and Welsh Lib Dem Spokesperson for Finance, Jenny Randerson points out: ‘a small cut in VAT won’t help poor and middle income families...we need real and lasting income tax cuts’. The Report also mentions that National Insurance payments will rise by 0.5%

for all workers earning more than £20,000. This means that someone earning £30,000 (the average national income) will be £120 out of pocket. The government will also be planning to borrow a lot more money. Borrowing will increase from the £43 billion that was predicted for this year to £78 billion and up to £118 billion for next year. Public spending will be brought forward, as the government invests in more social housing and increasing motorway capacity. The Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, has accused the Chancellor of "bringing this country to the verge of bankruptcy" by increasing national debt which will have to be paid off through tax hikes once the economy recovers. There are also plans afoot to fill 500,000 vacancies with 20 major employers by speeding up recruitment and £15 million will be made available for free debt advice, along with plans to make it easier to get a mortgage which is great news for students and graduates. At the end of the day, the Government can do little on its own to counter the current economic crisis. As Gordon Brown so rightly said, the answer to this problem lies in global action and in working together. The truth of the matter is that Finance Ministers have little control over when this crisis will end. What the

government should have done was to give the British people more money, thereby kick-starting the British economy, but they have chosen to cut VAT, which may not necessarily be passed on to consumers, but looks good in the headlines (remember the 10p tax rate debacle?) The most effective way of giving people more money would surely have been to cut income tax.

Instead, the government has chosen to give itself more money. This is not the right way to beat a recession. All this will achieve is more debt and the same mistakes again. We’re only in this mess because we (the government and the public) had so much debt in the first place.

Are the BNP a threat?

Daniella Graham takes a look at the BNP as Hazel Blears speaks up and calls for a re-engagement with the working class

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he recent leaking of the British National Party membership list has brought up some surprising facts about the average member. Far from perpetuating the stereotype of being the party of tattooed white skinheads, the list has shown members include amongst others teachers, academics and even ministers of religion. So why are so many different people becoming attracted to the far-right politics of the BNP? Last week the Secretary of State for Communities, Hazel Blears, spoke out, claiming that white working class voters turn to the BNP because they feel ignored by mainstream political parties. Hazel Blears suggested that for many people politics is often a "closed world" far removed from their everyday existence, and that politicians need to be addressing the "bread and butter" issues which really matter to

typical voters. She recognises that where the BNP wins votes it is often a result of local political failure in places where estates are often ignored for decades and votes are taken for granted, leading people to look elsewhere for answers. In the current political climate, with the ongoing problems of the economy, the health service, the fight against terror and attitudes towards immigration, increased dissatisfaction with the government and political parties in general is clear. Many people feel that there is simply nobody in the mainstream parties representing their interests. This as a result has been clearly illustrated by increasing voter apathy. The feeling that the mainstream parties are failing the population is reflected in the presence of former Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative party members on the leaked list. Whilst the mainstream parties are doing little to address the

growing grievances of ordinary voters, the British National Party is taking the opportunity to exploit genuine concerns in order to gain increased popular support.

Politicians need to be addressing the 'bread and butter' issues Under Nick Griffin’s leadership the BNP have made an effort to distance itself from its overtly racist past in an attempt to make the party more acceptable to a wider range of people, including those who would not consider themselves as racist. By focusing campaigning on areas with racial tensions the BNP has been able

to develop support in a small number of specific areas such as Leicester and East London, and now has 56 local councillors across Britain. Numerous journalistic investigations have revealed extensive racism of members of the BNP, but this is something which is kept firmly behind closed doors. Outwardly the party tries to present itself as the alternative to the three ‘old-gang’ parties, providing answers when the other parties do not. The BNP has seized upon the lack of clarity of the main opposition parties’ position on the Lisbon Treaty, styling itself as the only party which cares about British sovereignty. On its website the BNP claims to be the only party willing to address concerns over multiculturalism, immigration, the EU and crime and punishment. The party has even begun to target schoolchildren with their ‘Racism cuts both ways campaign’, citing the importance of targeting young people

due to their lack of “loyalties to the old parties.” What is abundantly clear is that the BNP are manipulating often legitimate concerns of voters in order to gain popular support. The BNP plays on people’s fears and convinces people that only they can guarantee the security of British citizens through, in the words of Hazel Blears, “peddling pernicious but plausible lies.” What has to be constantly brought to attention is that even seemingly reasonable aims of the BNP have racist undertones. Politicians of all parties should take notice of Blears’ comments, as all parties need to win back the trust and confidence of disaffected voters and to prove that mainstream politics has the answers they seek.


LETTERS 15

DECEMBER.01.2008 LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

letters@gairrhydd.com No Jobs For The Wicked I registered with Jobshop last year. I had a job for a while, but got too busy with work, so when I needed a job this year I went to the Jobshop. I told them that I'd been registered the year before, and asked if they had any work going. They did. I did the work, got the timesheet, and right now I really, really need the money... Jobshop, however, have decided that I don't exist on their systems, and that I need to re-register. That's all well and good, but they only open until 4 on weekdays, and they don't open at all at weekends. It's difficult to get to them in time. Not to mention

the fact that I have no idea where my Mum keeps my birth certificate. I understand that I'm not registered, and it's a bugger to organise, but that's not what's annoying me. What's annoying me is that Jobshop didn't check that I was registered until after I'd done the work. And now I can't be paid until after I have registered. I'm betting the Jobshop got paid for finding a bunch of people willing to work, and I can't help but feel that they're being a bit too smug about all of this. I know I'd still have to re-register... But honestly, that they didn't just look my name up on their register and see for themselves that I wasn't there beforehand is just plain stupid. Why, Jobshop? It would have taken you all of 30 seconds to type

my name into your computer and press enter. Why didn't you? Annoyed and Anonymous in Cathays

Living On The Dark Side This is in reference to the headline article in the latest edition of gair rhydd, speaking about student housing and the potential pitfalls of letting agencies. I rent my house through a private landlord, and it's about as stereotypical a student house as you could wish. We're reasonably happy, apart from a few issues.

Our friends rent from the same landlord, only they're through a letting agency, and the way they get treated is staggering in its difference. They recently received a new kitchen, while we had our cooker replaced only after several phone calls (the old one is still outside our front door, slowly filling with water). They've had regular visits from the landlord, who comes round to ask if they have any issues and even offers advice on their health - apparently, leaving clothes on the radiator is bad for you. Us? The last time I saw him was when we signed our contracts in February. Apparently he showed up once in July, a couple of weeks after we took possession of the house, just to see that it was still standing. Every time we ring him, no matter the time

the Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com ID Cards Are All The Rage MK ------I don't like this one bit. This is a system that can be abused, by the Government and by fraudsters. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I recall certain historical antecedents: the passports of apartheid South Africa, the papers of Communist Russia and the Iron Curtain (it is interesting that somebody mentioned Orwell, as this man derived much inspiration from the latter…). If the Government can make life difficult for illegal immigrants, who's to say that they can't use the same system to make trouble for legal citizens? Better ideas, I think, are opening up more avenues for legal immigration, asking the very poorest migrants to pay fines for breaking the law, and expanding the list of countries/ethnicities that seek asylum. The last will

be trickiest to pull off, but consider the facts that global warming will make certain parts of the planet uninhabitable, the shift from a unipolar to a multipolar world can/will cause political and civic problems, and the distinction between a economic and political migrant may blur in time. Plus, the birthrate in the UK is significantly down…new blood might be a better idea to maintain political relevancy against competition. Mark ------True but it's not unprecedented for liberal democracies to employ ID cards in certain circumstances. Britain during the war for example. MK -------

time as I recall and EU cards (to an extent) may have a similar effect today. However, I am still not convinced that it is called for, useful, or wise in this instance: the vast majority of migrants to the UK are just seeking a better life for themselves, not seeking to undermine the quality of life here (such a thing is actually counterintuitive: why undermine the socioeconomic status when it's what attracts them here in the first place?). In regards to terrorism, sacrificing the rights of the majority because of the actions of the few is never a good idea and actually might egg the latter on. These migrants are not just going to dry up, and as I illustrated earlier, may even increase. They must be dealt with. Mark -------

Fair enough. In the 1940s, ID cards probably were a decent idea against Nazi spies and the like. They were also a temporary measure: passports generally replaced their importance in peace

I agree illegal migration must be dealt with. Firstly we could try and suggest our fellow EU nations follow EU law and instead of passing the buck to us actually

of day, he tells us to ring his handyman to deal with the problem. He sends over people to check the gas and look at the garden whenever he wants - admittedly these times are usually during the day, but I'm usually in bed at these times and the only one in the house, necessitating a leap out of bed and into my dressing gown. True, we never had to pay an agency fee, and the lack of landlord interference may be seen as a blessing, but maybe it just highlights how we should have gone through an agency. Then maybe we'd feel like we were actually wanted as tenants, rather than merely tolerated. Jane May First Year JOMEC student

forum

register an asylum seeker when they enter the EU. I'm not scaremongering: I don't think that asylum seekers are responsible for an increase in criminal activity or anything like that. I believe that they are, in the main, just people after a better life; I believe that these people just wish to continue to survive. I cannot condemn them for that but, practically speaking, Britain, and the EU cannot hope and cannot be expected to invite the destitute, desperate and disposed of the world to our shores, however much those people would wish to contribute to our society. As long as it is the state that pays for it then I have no reason to find the proposed ID card acceptable as long as there is no change in the law. As it stands, for example, if a PC attempts to stop you and asks for your name you can completely ignore them. However if the Government decide to make not producing an ID card on request to a PC an offence, then that would be an entirely different matter and set a far deadlier precedent than

simply carrying another piece of plastic around with your name upon it.

Rugby's Too Dangerous Dave ------It is an absolute farce that a student progressing onto university from school with a history of playing rugby cannot continue to do so at the same level here in Cardiff. Regressing to playing touch rugby may bring back emotional childhood memories, but nonetheless does not fulfill my enjoyment of playing rugby. How can the capital university of Wales not embrace its own national sport? Perhaps in its most extreme argument, grass-root problems such as this with the sport is why northern hemisphere teams struggle against the mighty southerns, highlighted in the recent international matches. Episodes of "illegal matches" suggest how poorly the university caters for students who want to remain healthy, sociable and active through sport.

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16 FEATURES

DECEMBER.01.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

Broken homes, broken bones

Domestic abuse is a lot more common than most realise. Charlene Anderson quashes the rumours around this misunderstood issue

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any people think they know the facts about domestic violence. But since it’s an issue which is often kept hushed up, there are many myths swimming around with the facts. So what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to domestic abuse? Myth: "Domestic violence is quite rare." Fact: Not at all. In fact, evidence suggests the opposite, and since only 40% of cases are reported, there are many more victims of domestic violence than we think. At least 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men, are victims of domestic abuse at some point. UK police attend a domestic violence incident every minute of every day. Over 45,000 children and women stay in refuge each year because of domestic violence. Two women a week are murdered by a current or former partner. In fact, while you are currently reading this article, between 1 and 9 women are experiencing domestic violence. Myth: "Domestic abuse only affects women."

Fact: Men can also be victims of domestic abuse, albeit less frequently than women, but it is still wholly unacceptable. According to Home Office figures in 2001, of an estimated 635,000 cases reported to the police, 19% of victims were men. In 2007 this went down by 11%, but men are significantly less likely to report domestic violence or seek help, so there may be many more men suffering. Myth: "Domestic violence only happens in marriages between men and women." Fact: Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual, gay, lesbian and transgender relationships, regardless of whether the couple are married or not. In fact, couples don’t even have to be living together, or even, be ‘officially together’ for abuse to be classified as domestic violence. The government definition includes non-cohabiting couples, former couples, and cohabiting couples, but Women’s Aid expands this to include all relationships of a family-type, which can be sexual or non-sexual, and even includes housemates. Statistics show that of the reported

incidences of domestic violence, 81% were females abused by males, 8% were males abused by females, 7% were males abused by males whereas 4% were females abused by female. 25% of victims do not live with their abuser.

Domestic abuse is a serious and growing problem for students Myth: "Abusers themselves."

were

abused

Fact: Sometimes, but not always. In fact, extensive research shows that the majority were not abused, nor did they not grow up in violent homes. Myth: "Violent men can’t help it." Fact: Domestic abuse is a choice, and violent men (and women) can change. 85% of men only hit their partners in private. Often it’s on parts of the body which are clothed so people won’t see, and most abusers are less likely to do it again if there is a consequence, such

as a warning or arrest. This shows that they know- and are in control of- what they are doing. They often allow themselves to believe they can’t help it to avoid taking responsibility. Many violent men change once shown positive strategies, but they have to want to change themselves; others cannot do it for them. Myth: "The woman always has the choice to leave the abusive partner." Fact: Sadly, this is not always the case. There are many reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. These include fear of further violence, lack of knowledge or access to help, economic dependence, children, emotional dependence, social isolation and lack of confidence. Some stay because they think that a divorce would be frowned upon in their culture or religion. Some even feel that domestic abuse is acceptable in their culture or religion. They do not simply ‘choose’ to say, but often feel they ‘have’ to stay. Myth: "Abused women are doormats." Fact: All types of women can experience domestic violence. Even strong independent women. Even strong, independent men.

Over 45,000 children and women get put in refuge each year Myth: "It doesn’t affect the student population."

DOMESTIC ABUSE: women are suffering in silence

Fact: Domestic abuse is a growing problem for students, especially for those studying in Wales, according to a survey of 10 Welsh universities conducted by the NUS and Amnesty International earlier this year. Two thirds of students in Wales know women whose boyfriends have hit them, and two fifths know women who have been pressured into sex by partners. 22% of students said they were not sure about how to or where to turn for advice on domestic violence. 39% would encourage a woman to report it to the police but 22% said they wouldn’t. 70 % of students feel there should be services on campus to help student suffering from domestic violence. One third said the woman was partly to blame for sexual abuse or rape if she was drunk. These revelations have prompted Amnesty International to call for the Welsh Assembly to run a violence prevention programme.

Ceri Isfryn explores the startlingly high rates of LGBT abuse...

Students are affected just as much as anyone else.

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hen we think of domestic abuse, we inevitably conjure up images of beaten women cowering in the shadows of their abusive husband's fists. It was starling, for me anyhow, to If you any reported way by read thatare oneaffected nationalin survey domestic abuse, or and are 22% concerned that 29% of gay men of gay about wellbeing,domestic please womenanother's had experienced contact Wales Abuse abuse. Ofthe these, 24%Domestic and 19% had exHelpline 0808recurrent 80 10 800 periencedon some abuse. One survey showed that of the transgender participants questioned, 50% had been raped or assaulted in their life. But why are these figure so high? It may be because it's gospel that a man hitting a woman it wholly unacceptable in British society, whereas the moral correctness of hitting someone of the same sex seems to vary with the situation. The misconceptions grow deeper than that. Claims that someone experiencing domestic abuse who is LGBT is more able to leave a relationship, perhaps because there are no children involved are grossly unfounded. In fact, it could be argued that LGBT victims are at a particularly increased risk when faced with domestic abuse. Abusers may threaten to disclose their sexuality or control their access to social networks, such as gay scenes. Exclusion may lead an inexperienced gay victim to believe that domestic abuse is part of a 'normal' LGBT relationship. They may also experience irrational fears that no-one will help because someone ‘deserves’ the abuse for being gay. One nursing journal notes that maleon-male domestic violence is particularly common in couples where one or both persons are HIV-positive. Abuse can include humiliation by threatening to disclose HIV status, or harm by withholding HIV therapy.

Statistics hide the real life sufferings of victims Surely it's time we, as a nation, stopped overlooking such blatant and life-threatening cruelty? There is a glaring lack of specialist services available to LGBT victims and many generic services are not geared to provide appropriate safety planning and support to LGBT people who have experienced domestic abuse. The problem with statistics is that they hide the real stories of people who have suffered, and are still suffering, and will go unnoticed unless things change.


FEATURES 17

DECEMBER.01.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

Super-highwaymen

At a time when counting pennies has never mattered more, Peter Crawley examines the devastation identity theft can cause...

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ersonal Data. Identity Theft. Fraud. All buzzwords du jour in our 'knowledge is power' world. Because today, the more somebody knows about you, the more they can convince your supermarket, your phone company – even your bank – that they are you. For example, let’s say I carelessly throw out my bank statement. When the bins are left out overnight and I’m tucked up in bed, any one can root through my bin and find that innocent piece of paper. And what does it tell them? Only my name, my address, my bank account number and sort code – basically, enough to convince many internet shopping websites that they, in fact, are me and they do, in fact, own my money (technically my overdraft, but you get the point). Before I know it my bank will be sending me threatening letters about going over the limit and a bill for wasting their time, and my student debt will have taken a massive hit – and November’s only just beginning!

Facebook is a burgeoning resource for thieves, fraudsters Or maybe I put my full date of birth on Facebook, and someone who’s already found my name and address from sifting through the heaps of junk mail I get (and throw out, unopened) on a weekly basis uses that to sign me up for a storecard with a three thousand pound spending limit. Or even, worst of all, the same numpty who stole my bank statement also looked me up on Facebook, and now has managed to blag full access to my account and I can’t prove it wasn’t me. All drastic situations and all, I know, unlikely: but all entirely possible and all avoidable – simply by taking care of your personal details like you’d take care of your credit card, your passport or your driving licence. Of course, some people handle information about us completely legally every day - banks, building societies, credit card companies, supermarkets (loyalty card anyone?), phone, TV, internet, gas, electricity, water, insurance, landlords, the University, government departments... we’re talking about a lot of people, and the number is probably getting larger by the day. So surely, there must be some way of keeping tabs on who knows what? With the organisations above, it’s easy. According to the Data Protection Act 1998, you can write to them and ask, politely, to be sent a copy of all the information they hold about you, and they are legally obliged to

up the number – don’t use the one they give you) and ask who’s about or calling in your area today – no match, no info. Simple as, eh? Unfortunately, hard luck can strike even the best of us, and you may still find yourself a victim. If you suspect that you have fallen victim; be it dodgy transactions on your bank account, missing or stolen documents, bills for things you didn’t order or just you haven’t received your bank statement or utility bills on time, the key is act first, worry later. Any documents you’ve lost or had stolen should be reported, obviously to the agency that issued them (you won’t be telling the DVLA if you’ve dropped your passport, will you?), and to the police. All irregularities on your statement should be reported to your bank, and if you’re not sure, you can request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications. SECURITY: this time it's personal this, although they may charge a small fee, which is usually around £10. You can then check this information for accuracy, report any errors to them, and ask that it not be used for any marketing or sales purpose. Alternatively, if it’s junk mail or cold callers you’re worried about, you can register with the Mailing and Telephone Preference Services at www.mpsonline.org.uk and www.tpsonline.org.uk.

A large scale hijack can take in excess of 200 hours to deal with Unfortunately for us, not everyone gathers information about you in such an above-board manner. Facebook – among other social networking sites, of course – is a burgeoning resource for thieves, fraudsters and worse still: potential employers! The internet is, in fact, the public domain unless you make the effort to engage privacy settings, and people can look you up if they so desire. Think that photo of you scantily clad and horrendously drunk in Solus is hilarious now? The manager at your job interview may not. Or what about the one of you and the rugby team in sheep masks with no pants? That’s maybe not what Human Resources want to see. You may think it’s unlikely, but if you don’t lock your profile and pictures to friends-only, anyone on your network can (and about one in four businesses do) take a sneak preview at what type of person they’re interviewing. And of course, there is the daddy of

personal-information-related-anxiety. I am talking, of course, about identity theft. According to the latest figures published by CIFAS (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Scheme) 66,000 individuals were victims of identity theft during 2006 alone, costing the British economy an eye-watering £1.5 billion pounds. Whilst the financial burden of identity fraud is rocketing, the real cost is much greater – a small scale attack can take up to 48 working hours to right, causing a great deal of stress and anxiety, whilst a complete hijack (involving 30-50 organisations) can take in excess of 200 hours according to CIFAS. It’s not nice, it’s not fun, and, if you’re not careful, it could well be you. The first steps to take against ID theft are in the home. Look around for old documents, phone bills, bank statements – and either keep them all together (in a folder, in a safe place) or shred them and throw them out. It’s going to take a dedicated (and bright) criminal to put those tiny pieces of paper back together in a way that doesn’t make you a customer of LloydsTSVodaphirgin Media, and anyone that clever and single-minded is probably off hacking into MI6, or working for them. It’s worth having a quick look through bank, building society or credit card statements too, just to check for any dodgy transactions, and query with your bank anything you don’t recognise. It’s really important to have all your mail redirected when you move house – easy to forget in those first hectic weeks, and then all of a sudden all of your details land on someone else’s doormat. After that, it’s a matter of taking ex-

tra care when you’re sending personal information through the post. Your friendly neighbourhood Post Office can advise you about this, making sure you carry the minimum of personal information on you at a time (don’t just leave things lying around – in your car for example). It’s also worth being a little original and secretive when it comes to passwords and PIN numbers i.e. not having the same one for everything, and not, for example, using 1509 if your birthday happens to fall on the fifteenth of September.

All of a sudden all of your details land on someone else's doormat On the subject of passwords, it’s a good idea to make sure your computer is protected and, if you’re using wireless internet, that you’re on a secure network. It’s all very well keeping your passwords hidden and then having some amateur hacker steal them from across the ether for want of a decent firewall. Decent protection software, though costly, is never as expensive as having your bank account login stolen or having a virus mess up your motherboard – and that’s personal experience talking. Moving further afield, it’s also a good idea to engage the brain before giving out personal details – especially to unsolicited callers – including callers in person. If you’re suspicious – about who they are, where they’re from, or why exactly they need to know your details – don’t tell them. Phone the organisation they claim to be with (look

It's worth being a little original and secretive when it comes to PINs and passwords If you’re still in doubt, you can get more information from the Information Commissioner’s Office at www. ico.gov.uk, and you can register for extra protection with CIFAS - the UK’s fraud prevention service. Common sense will get you so far – these people should take you the rest of the way.

Top tips to protect you from identity theft: Shred all personal information, including bills, receipts and bank statements. Always look for the small padlock icon within your web browser when shopping online to ensure that your details are being encrypted. Check your bank statements regularly for unfamiliar transactions. Keep your passwords and PINs secret Remember to redirect your mail when you move Increase your privacy settings on social networking sites and never give your full name and full date of birth.


18 FEATURES

DECEMBER.01.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

World AIDS Day

With World AIDS Day taking place this week, Katie Marriott and Kate Kellaway-Moore explore the ways in which students can really make a difference in the face of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

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o most of us ‘AIDS’ does not mean a lot. Most of us are aware of the devastation that it causes but we can easily distance ourselves from it. AIDS is accepted as something that is mostly a problem in the developing world, but surely it doesn’t affect us too? Perhaps this is what prompted a student to say to us on a recent collection for an AIDS charity; “why would you collect for AIDS? AIDS is funny”. The facts reported by UNAIDS, that “over 8,500 people die from AIDS every day, of which 95% live in the developing world”, paint a stark picture for us of an epidemic driven by power and poverty. However, the statistics not only disguise the countless stories of sadness and suffering that the virus brings, but also disregard the hope and possibilities that are out there for sufferers. This year, Cardiff University has joined a nationwide network of student societies which has resulted in the formation of the Cardiff Stop AIDS Society. The society aims to unite all Cardiff students who want to do something about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and believe in the chances THE RED RIBBON: donations for these badges go towards fighting AIDS of science finding a cure. Although this year will see the 20th for AIDS need to be quadrupled if to do our part in ending the discrimianniversary of World AIDS Day, there ‘Universal Access’ by 2010 is to be nation within our own country as well as fighting to gain access to drugs for is still a lot of work to be done in deal- achieved. Perhaps because access to drugs is those don’t have the power to make ing with this worldwide issue. Even now, a third of people living with HIV not a problem for HIV/AIDS suffer- their voice heard. We can do this by in the developing world do not have ers in the UK and other developed pressurising the government to fulfil access to the drugs that they need countries, then this campaign is not as its promises. Diarmaid MacDonald, co-ordinator to survive. In 2000, the G8 leaders well supported as it should be. Lolisa pledged to ensure that everyone will Gibson, an american student who dishave access to the drugs needed by covered she was HIV positive when 2010 and promised full commitment she was 17, recently came to speak to to ‘Universal Access’ scheme, yet this students in Cardiff as part of the Stop AIDS Campaign Speaker Tour. seems an unlikely prospect. Her experiences of accepting and Even though the UK government understanding her status were an insight in to how developed nations of the Student Stop AIDS campaign, perceive the HIV/AIDS crisis. She has said that “students are the loudest, campaigns to raise awareness about smartest, busiest campaigners in the the drugs which are needed by those country. It was partially student camin the developing world, as well call- paigning that got the UK government ing for an end to the prejudices against to use the G8 meeting in 2005 to get world leaders to promise to deliver HIV/AIDS sufferers: “We all have a responsibility when universal access to HIV treatment by it comes to HIV – those who are posi- 2010. And it will be student campaigntive and those who are negative. We ers that will ensure they stick to that has vowed to spend £6 billion to im- all have the power to make a differ- promise.” The main Stop AIDS campaign this prove health care systems and services ence, but no matter what you want to by 2015, the lack of specifics on how change you must remember: the end year is the ‘Push for the Pool’ campaign, which focuses on ensuring that this money will be spent means that starts with the things we do today” Access to treatment is a global issue, the current drug patenting system is this won’t be enough to deliver on the ‘Universal Access’ promise. It is and as students we need to apply pres- improved and availability of drugs is therefore unlikely that this commit- sure at many different points to make achieved. Through joining the ‘Push ment will be fulfilled. UNAIDS has our contribution count. Of course, it for The Pool’ campaign by signing an stated that current global resources is important to remember that we have action card on World AIDS day (Mon-

Over 8,500 people die every die from AIDS

The statistics disguise the countless human stories of sadness and suffering

AIDS. There will be a cake sale, balloon launch, condom giveaway and a raffle.

"Students are the loudest, smartest, busiest campaigners in the country" World AIDS Day is a vital opportunity to refocus the world’s attention on an issue that can be forgotten all too easily. As banks collapse and economies falter we can’t loose sight of the people who are the most vulnerable in these circumstances. World AIDS Day is our chance to stand in solidarity with the millions around the world affected by HIV, and remind ourselves that we should be doing all we can to help. RAID '08 feat. Huw Stephens is on Tuesday 2 December, 7.30pm2am, in Solus. Tickets are £5 advance and are available from the Union Box Office, Spillers, ticketmaster.com and cardiffstudents. com.

day, December 1st) you will be playing a vital role. There are a variety of societies at Cardiff which participate in various fundraising, awareness raising, and campaigning activities. This is one way in which students can help to make a difference. This year, these societies are aiming to work together in an effort to achieve greater awareness for their chosen causes and further their fundraising capabilities. ‘RAID’ is a great example of this, an annual event held on December 2nd to raise awareness and money for HIV/ AIDS charities. This is co-organised by People and Planet, SHAG, Cardiff Stop AIDS and the Live Music Society and is also supported by the Student's Union. The event itself features performances from local bands, DJs (including Radio 1's Huw Stephens) and a host of university societies. Emma West, the secretary of People and Planet, explains “it's a great chance for students not only to support AIDS charities, but also to get involved in university life by supporting both societies and Cardiff's burgeoning music scene." On World AIDS day Cardiff Stop AIDS Society and SHAG will be hosting a day of events in the Students' Union to raise awareness about HIV/

AIDS: The Facts HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It infects and gradually destroys an infected person's immune system but symptoms can be controlled by anti-HIV drugs. AIDS is short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the result of HIV damage. People do not actually die from AIDS; they die from the cancers, pneumonia or other conditions that may take hold when their immune system has been weakened by HIV. In the UK : Around 89,000 cases of HIV have been reported since the early 1980s In 2006, it was estimated that 30% of people living with HIV did not know about their infection Worldwide: 33.2 million people in 2007 were diagnosed with HIV Every day in 2007 over 6,800 people were infected with HIV


FEATURES 19

DECEMBER.01.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

Getting back on track

Life isn't always straightforward for young people. Aimee Steen looks at how students are working with the charity Fairbridge Cymru to help troubled teenagers turn their lives around...

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t’s all too easy for a young person to end up in a downward spiral these days. For those growing up in deprived areas, seeing a positive future can be difficult; ending up involved in drink, drugs, violence or crime is a common occurrence, particularly when that’s precisely what society expects. But one charity is working hard to reach out to these young people on the edge of society and help them get back on track. Fairbridge Cymru has been working for over 22 years to engage with some of the hardest to reach 13-25 year olds. Typically, they will be out of school, education or training, or are in danger of dropping out. 10% of young people in Wales fall into this category, despite the government’s attempts to bring this number down. Claire Hemsley, Partnership Development Officer for the charity, explains how they try to raise aspirations: “Young people have no one to believe in them…We help them to think differently. Fairbridge Cymru believes every young person has value and our aim is to help them realise it by offering them a fresh start.” The charity combines long-term support with positive and challenging activities, enabling them to develop a sense of self-worth along with vital social, personal and life skills.

10% of young people in Wales are out of education or training What the charity does is no mean feat. The people Fairbridge Cymru help come from a huge variety of com-

SPREADING THEIR WINGS: teenagers participate in a Fairbridge activity plex backgrounds and includes young offenders, those with mental health issues, people who’ve been bullied, young carers, truants and abuse victims. The charity is unique in its approach; by providing both support and activities under one roof, they provide a holistic approach and are able to tailor a programme to each individual’s needs. There is no specific time period that Fairbridge will work with somebody; the length of support is relative to the challenges that a young person is facing. Fairbridge staff encourage each young person to set short and long-term goals to enable them to fulfil their potential, and ultimately reen-

gage with education, employment or training. Their status as a voluntary organisation is imperative to their success. “As a voluntary organisation, Fairbridge is not perceived as part of ‘the system’ that has let so many of these young people down in the past,” says Claire. “For this reason, we succeed in engaging young people who find it difficult to connect with mainstream organisations for help. They are attracted by the activities on offer and the informality of Fairbridge, whilst at the same time participating in structured sessions delivered by highly experienced staff who are able to gain the trust of young

people.” Students from Cardiff University are currently involved with the charity, and have been for several years. Volunteer fundraising assistants work to promote fundraising and events, look for sources of funding and raise awareness of the charity. Fairbridge also works with the Occupational Therapy Department: second and third year students visit as one of their placements, offering support and development to the young people on the programme. Volunteers find the programme rewarding themselves; after originally becoming involved via a GO Wales programme, Cardiff University Stu-

dent Lauren continued her work in this often forgotten sector of charity work and enjoys making a positive impact. “I feel it’s really important for everyone to take part in something where they are making a positive impact on their community,” she explains. “Giving up a few hours a week is not difficult, yet it will help the charity and it is really satisfying knowing you are doing something positive for someone else.” For more information, visit www. fairbridge.org.uk, phone 02920 303910 or email claire.hemsley@ fairbridge.org.uk.

Two young people share their experiences of Fairbridge

CH, 16 I started at Fairbridge in December last year; I'd been at college doing ICT and AS Level Art but wasn't getting on with the teacher. Instead of going to classes I was hanging around at home or on the street waiting for my mates. My mum wasn't happy about it – she thought I should be at school – and we just argued the whole time. I hated it. I was really anxious about going to Fairbridge at first. I wasn't that confident and didn't know if I'd fit in and get on with people. But the Fairbridge lot were brilliant and made me feel at home straight away. My Access course was mad – we went canoeing, caving and gorge

walking in Brecon; stuff I'd never done before. It was really scary at first; we had to trust each other and work as a group to get things done. Two of the boys were really quiet at first but I soon got talking to them (as I do) and they got into it. I learned how to cook spag bol and rice pudding as well, so my mum was pleased. The Aspect TV project has been my favourite thing; they are making a documentary for BBC Wales about kids like me from disadvantaged areas. Jamie Owen is in it. Come January I'm going to be a TV star! Fairbridge has given me loads of confidence and the motivation I need to get a job and move into my own

place. I might even ask Aspect if they will give me work experience. I'd really like to work in media. One of the Aspect people asked me to sum up Fairbridge in three words… potential, perseverance and success.

SI, 19 I heard about the centre from a friend. I was living in a homeless hostel and things needed to change. It sounded like there were lots of opportunities to try new things... My Access course was amazing. We did canoeing, gorge walking and abseiling. At first I was a bit wary of a few faces but everyone got on brilliantly in the end. I've done a lot at Fairbridge – I've

worked on my IT, literacy and numeracy skills, got a lot better at cooking and have my food hygiene certificate now too. The staff make learning new things so much more fun than at school… they are patient and relaxed when you need to give stuff a bit more time too. I've recently been involved in a long-term course involving canoeing and boating skills – I'm sailing on Spirit in a few weeks… I can't wait. I've been living at a hostel for ten months now. My mum kicked me out as I kept arguing with her and my step-dad. It was a difficult time but at Fairbridge I felt at home immediately… no one is a stranger because everyone is made to feel welcome and

you feel like you can be yourself. Fairbridge has given me such a boost. I now have a much better relationship with my mum and I'm looking to get some part-time work too. I'll hopefully move out of the hostel in a couple of months and into rented accommodation. I also want to start volunteering at Fairbridge so I can help other young people like myself and get some youth work experience. Fairbridge works because the staff give 110% – it makes you want to give the same back to them.


20 TAF-OD

DECEMBER.01.2008 TAFOD@gairrhydd.COM

Taf-Od: Lost in

The question of whether or not Taf-Od should be translated into En the last few issue. This week, Taf-Od takes a look at the opinions of Llyr Gwyn Lewis Contributor

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lan Bennett in The History Boys warned against those ‘who would talk in middle age of the lure of language and their love of words. ‘Words’ said in that reverential way that is somehow Welsh.’ At the risk of falling squarely into this category, I’d like to state why I think Taf-Od, which, thanks to a visionary new editor was only re-born last year, is worth keeping, as it is, and why it should not be translated. It is with mild amusement and not a small amount of frustration that I have followed the recent debate in the letters page of gair rhydd over the Welsh-language section (if a page can be construed as a section), Taf-Od. Frustration, because the attitude of some of the contributors to the debate is an attitude a Welsh speaker must face almost daily, which turns the frustration into near-fatigue. Amusement, for much the same reasons, and because if one cannot be amused with such attitudes, one would almost surely have given up completely and become a monoglot Englishman many moons ago. Having such strong feelings on the matter, it would be reasonable to ask why I am so belated in my contribution to this discussion. It is precisely because so many similar discussions exist, and although the people who wrote letters to gair rhydd had some very valid points, these kind of discussions (often found on internet forums) are usually so confoundingly ignorant that they merit no other response than to be ignored. However, this discussion has been so far a very mature one, and I am very grateful to the editors of gair rhydd also for defending the Taf-Od section so vehemently and so sensibly. Indeed, the page has been so well defended by the editor that no additional response was necessary. But I feel it would be beneficial to explain the importance of Taf-Od from a Welsh speaking reader’s point of view. The argument, as far as I can see, over the need to translate Taf-Od, the question of its existence in a broader context, has been one based on practicalities; the defence of Taf-Od, on the other hand, has been argued in principles. Validly so, I believe, because I am aware that Welsh speakers within the student population in Cardiff, as in most other places in Wales, are in a very small minority; an argument over the Welsh language at this point in time can only be argued in principle and not in practicalities. In fact, Taf-

Od stands as a very important principle, a symbol, a blazon for every Welsh speaking student in Cardiff. Yet those very students are partly to blame for the attitudes which prevail in the aforementioned letters. It is because of the very laziness of the Welsh students of Cardiff that there is so little Welsh in the paper. The page is edited by a small number of people, two or three, who must contribute to it every week with virtually no support by any other potential Welsh reporters, myself included. It would be impractical to have the whole of Gair Rhydd in Welsh, it has been argued. Of course it would - what Welsh speaking student in the whole of Cardiff has the time, the commitment, or indeed the money, to translate all the material weekly? If gair rhydd existed in Aberystwyth, at least half the paper would have to be in Welsh, or else risk facing the wrath of the many students of Pantycelyn. Here in Cardiff, apathy is rife, and English speakers have benefited from the absolute complacency of Welshlanguage students. We stick to our own, we speak Welsh amongst ourselves in our Welsh-language flats in Senghennydd; we can socialise almost exclusively in Welsh. We are safe here; we can half-believe that the Welsh language is strong. We can almost believe that Cardiff is changing for the best – what need have we to take Welsh to the world? Let them come to us if they want to know about it – we’re not stopping anyone from joining the Welsh Society (that’s the Gym Gym that you see every year in the societies fayre – and no, it’s not a society where you go to the gym twice; it’s short for ‘Y Gymdeithas Gymraeg’, which means ‘The Welsh Society). The sad truth, however, is that although there are more Welsh speakers in Cardiff than in Gwynedd, officially the ‘Welshest’ county in the world, the language is invisible, barely audible, in the city. Things are slowly getting better, of course – Ffion James has just been elected as Welsh Language Officer for the Union, and hopefully with her hard work the language’s presence can begin to be felt there. But it will inevitably be a slow process. That’s why, when an English-speaking student has come to Cardiff on the premise that he or she can go about his or her everyday business just like in England, without the time-wasting bother of that silly dead language, and hasn’t found anything yet to prove otherwise – when he or she stumbles across a page completely in Welsh in a supposedly English-language paper, it’s uncomfortable. It’s dangerous. It’s the written form of the old myth of the Englishman walking into a pub in

'DO EVERYTHING IN WELSH': stubborn nationalism or the protection of a culture? Wales where they all speak English, and when he walks in they all turn to Welsh and speak about him. Is this article saying something about us, you think, a joke that we’re not allowed in on because we speak English? In most cases, you can afford not to flatter yourself. The pages are a mixture of reviews, news items, political journalism, sport – just like the rest of the paper, only in Welsh. The subject matter, however, is irrelevant – it’s the fact that, in a sea of Englishness, there is one Welsh page, a reminder that there are people who would like to conduct their everyday life through

the language their mother taught them, but can’t; there must always be compromise. You say that most Welsh speakers can speak English as well; I don’t know a single Welsh person over the age of five who can’t speak English – that’s because without it, you just couldn’t get by. Is that fair? In my own country, I can’t go down to the shop and ask for something at the counter in my own language. Many of my friends can’t attend lectures in the language of their choice. Please don’t insult me by asking me to translate something that is such a part of my identity, which stands for so much of

the culture and of the literature that I love, to be consumed by the monoglot masses. To translate a Welsh article would deprive it of its Welshness; as the editor has already suggested, so much is lost in translation. Now you can see why I don’t very often reply to these kinds of discussions; they almost always turn into a self-satisfied, highly defensive rant. But they must be so by their very essence, because I’m replying to an attack on something which is very close to my heart. Now that the rant’s over, allow me to make a few suggestions based on practicality rather than high


TAF-OD 21

DECEMBER.01.2008 TAFOD@gairrhydd.COM

n translation?

nglish has been a source of controversy and impassioned debate for f three Welsh students to see if a resolution can be reached. principles: If the Welsh section is to be translated into English, it entails that the rest of the paper should be translated to Welsh. Impossible, impractical, I hear you say; then let us at least make an effort to translate some of the other English stories within gair rhydd. It’s only fair. Rather than translate the whole articles, why not provide a glossary at the bottom of the page, containing some common vocabulary and a pronunciation guide, so that the English reader can get the gist of the article and pick up on a few Welsh words at the same time. In a similar vein, I’m sure that you’re at least aware of a Welsh speaker or two on your course. If you’re eager to find out what’s in the article, ask them to give you a quick summary. Or even ask them if they’d like to go for a pint and have a chat about these things, hear their views – they might agree with you wholeheartedly and think I’m a nationalist pig. We should also realise that this discussion has been a very healthy one, in a sense. It’s succeeded in doing what Welsh speakers have failed for so long – it has brought the Welsh language to the attention of a broader readership. It’s been a mature discussion, with two people putting forward some interesting points, and the responses, too, by the editor and by a sympathetic reader, have been encouraging. Not in a million years would I ask these people not to contribute for fear of being opposed; indeed, I thank them for their views and I would implore any other reader who feels strongly for either side of the argument to submit their views. I realise that I am, after all, in a minority here. Nevertheless this discussion has raised some valid questions regarding the rights of Welsh and English speakers within the University. Perhaps the most important suggestion of all, though, is a suggestion to the Welsh-speaking students of Cardiff. Come out of your coccoons – it’s far too safe there. Take your language with you and show it to people. Make them aware that we are still here, trying to live our lives in Welsh, make it an audible, visible language; explain that it’s not a way of slagging English people off in front of them, or a quirky way to swear, that it’s a way of life. But most of all, for God’s sake, get writing, help those dedicated few who tirelessly churn out this page week after week, help the section to expand and to be more worthy of the Welsh capital’s student newspaper. Make Taf-Od worth saving.

Huw Alun Foulkes Contributor Wedi darllen y llythyron yn ymwneud â chyfieithu Taf-Od yn ‘Gair Rhydd’ mae nifer o’r dadleuon yn disgyn rhwng dwy stôl. Fel mae’r rhan fwyaf wedi datgan yn barod – un dudalen yr wythnos yn unig sy’n uniaith Gymraeg, mae dros ddeg ar hugain yn uniaith Saesneg. Yn sicr, nid oes gennyf broblem yngl n â chyfieithu’r dudalen i’r Saesneg er mwyn bod y rheini nad ydynt yn medru iaith y nefoedd yn gallu darllen am wir draddodiad a phrofiadau diwylliannol, Cymreig myfyrwyr ein prifddinas. Fodd bynnag, a fyddai golygydd ‘Gair Rhydd’ yn sicrhau fod cyfieithydd yn cael ei dalu i gyfieithu’r dudalen? Nid tasg hawdd fyddai sicrhau fod y cyfieithu’n gywir ac o safon gan fod nifer o’r erthyglau yn ymdrin yn benodol â thestunau neu ddigwyddiadau Cymreig sy’n digwydd drwy gyfrwng yr iaith Gymraeg. Os mai dwyieithrwydd yw gofynion y rhai sy’n cwyno, yna pam na allwn ni’r Cymry Cymraeg fynnu ein bod yn cael darllen ‘Gair Rhydd’ drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn ogystal â’r Saesneg? Mae niferoedd y myfyr-

Sion Ifan Contributor “Everyone can speak, read and understand English...so why bother?” The recent Taf-od debate has sparked a few heated discussions on my way to lectures over the past week or so. One point that keeps cropping up is the suggestion that everybody can understand English and therefore there is no point in having a Welsh-only page as it instantly “discriminates” against the majority of students who cannot speak or read Welsh. According to the arguments that I have read in the Letters to the Editor and on the gair rhydd Web forums, many feel that providing a translation of the Taf-od articles would let nonWelsh speakers understand and enjoy them too. I see this as a perfectly valid point, and as many Taf-od articles are on topics such as “Welshness” or the Welsh language, translations could provide a beneficial and indeed necessary insight for non-Welsh speaking students into values and opinions that they would not have come across before arriving at Cardiff

wyr Cymraeg sy’n dod i Brifysgol Caerdydd yn esgyn yn syfrdanol bob blwyddyn ac o ganlyniad, dim ond cynyddu wnaiff y galw am ddeunyddiau Cymraeg gan yr Undeb yn y dyfodol. Soniodd un o’r llythyrwyr yn ‘Gair Rhydd’ yr wythnos ddiwethaf fod llunio ‘Taf-Od’ yn uniaith Gymraeg yn sarhau’r darllenwyr Saesneg eu hiaith. Onid yw gweddill y tudalennau yn sarhau’r darllenwyr Cymraeg? Oni ddylem yn ein gwlad ein hunain, mewn prifysgol yn ein prifddinas gael dewis iaith? Siawns y gall y Saeson yn ein plith ddioddef un dudalen nad ydynt yn eu deall? Fel arall, mae croeso iddyn nhw fynychu’r niferus ddosbarthiadau nos sy’n cael eu cynnig i ddysgwyr yr iaith. Beth am gynnig fod ambell gymal neu air yn ymddangos ar dudalennau ‘TafOd’ bob wythnos i gynorthwyo’r darllenwyr? Gwn fod hyn wedi digwydd ar raddfa fechan yn y gorffennol ond efallai y gallwn sicrhau fod colofn wythnosol yn canolbwyntio ar hyn?

Onid yw gweddill y tudalennau yn sarhau'r darllenwyr Cymraeg? University. However, as I am writing this, I cannot help but feel slightly uneasy. It is almost as if translating the only Welsh page in gair rhydd haunts me as being a painful compromise; a defeat by the monoglot English speak-

Translation suggests that the Welsh language cannot stand on its own er over my much loved and valued mother tongue. Is there really a need to translate everything into English when so many other articles are published every week without a single word of Welsh? Placing an English translation next to the Welsh article not only threatens the whole ethos of Taf-od as the only contribution of Welsh language journalism, but also gives the impression that the Welsh language cannot stand on its own; that it needs an English translation in order to be complete and in order for the masses to understand it. Successive British governments have always used the English language as a tool of unification and subjugation. It is and

Yn sicr, mae llawer o sylwedd i’r erthyglau Cymraeg sy’n ymddangos yn wythnosol ond byddwn yn dadlau nad oes digon o swmp yma. Beth am geisio sicrhau fod MWY o Gymraeg o fewn y papur? Mae digonedd o fyfyrwyr â’r ddawn i lunio erthyglau bachog yn yr iaith Gymraeg ac heb os, diogrwydd myfyrwyr sydd i gyfrif yn rhannol am y diffyg Cymraeg. Pe byddai mwy o erthyglau Cymraeg, efallai na fyddai dadl yn codi? Hynny ydi, byddai’r myfyrwyr Saesneg sy’n gwrthwynebu erthyglau uniaith Gymraeg yn sylweddoli fod gennym le a statws digonol o fewn y papur ac o bosib, yn derbyn fod rhaid neilltuo erthyglau penodol ar gyfer yr iaith Gymraeg yn unig? Mae’n gwestiwn gen i os fyddai mwyafrif y darllenwyr Saesneg yn dangos diddordeb mewn adolygiad sy’n trafod gig rhai o fandiau amlycaf y sin roc Gymraeg neu’n ysu am glywed hanesion y Gym Gym yn y Ddawns a’r Eisteddfod RyngGolegol. Yn sicr, mae angen hybu’r diwylliant a’r iaith ond mewn gwirionedd, faint o’r darllenwyr fyddai’n gwerthfawrogi’r ymdrech i gyfieithu? Cwestiwn arall sy’n codi yw pa mor effeithiol fyddai’r cyfieithu? Yn sicr, fynnwn i ddim gweld cyfieithiadau slafaidd sy’n llesteirio’r has been a contentious matter over the centuries in all parts of the world. But here is not the time or place to discuss British Imperial history. I would just like to humbly suggest that it is only when the monoglot English speaker has shown respect to other languages and countries which came under its jurisdiction that a lot of needless antagonism has been done away with. The English language is the fantastic means of communication. The benefit of having a grasp of English is of such high importance to me as I live my life from day to day in a truly bilingual manner. Of all the world’s languages, English is the language that has adapted best; it has borrowed from languages all over the globe and has enriched the lives of people every-

If Welsh articles were not confined to only one page, translation would not be a threat where. It is not threatened with extinction by any other language. It will only however receive the true respect it deserves by showing due respect to the minority languages spoken in all

erthyglau gwreiddiol. Yn yr un modd, mae’n amhosib cyfieithu ambell erthygl Saesneg i unrhyw iaith heb golli gwreiddioldeb a chyfoeth y dweud. Byddai’r darllenwyr Saesneg yn beirniadu’r erthygl Saesneg yn unig. Dim ond wrth gyfieithu’n safonol a phroffesiynol felly y byddai sicrhau ymateb deg.

Mae'r rhod yn dechrau troi... a'n lle ninnau fel Cymry Cymraeg yw dal ein tir

Mae’n destun gofid erbyn hyn nad oes digon o sylw yn cael ei roi i’r iaith Gymraeg ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd o ystyried y ddarpariaeth mewn prifysgolion eraill. Peth da yw fod dadl fel hyn yn codi a hynny’n dangos fod lle i’r iaith Gymraeg o fewn sefydliad sy’n echrydus o Seisnig ei naws. Cyfieithwch yn gywir ac yn safonol a does gen innau fel amryw un arall ddim problem! Mae’r rhod yn dechrau troi . . . a’n lle ninnau fel Cymry Cymraeg yw dal ein tir.

bilingual countries where English is the lingua franca. I’m sure, as an English-speaking student coming to Wales to study, it is very easy to think that the Welsh language only exists in a little bubble of tight-knit groups of students, as it is English that is heard most often on the streets and campuses. However, the Welsh Society (Y Gym Gym) is one of the Student Union’s largest societies this year with over 200 members on its books. There are also thousands of students leaving Welsh-medium and bilingual secondary schools, coming to study at Cardiff, their capital city, using their Welsh from day to day. One thing certainly remains open to debate; don’t the Taf-od articles need to be translated into English as much as there is need for more Welsh throughout the paper? Without a doubt, if Welsh articles were not confined to only one page in gair rhydd, then I wouldn’t find a translation of Taf-od such an issue and a threat. Why not dare join a welsh class and get learning some basics. There is nothing better than seeing people trying their best to get to grips with some Welsh. It simply shows appreciation and respect to what is a beautiful and ever-flourishing, precious gem.


22 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

DECEMBER.01.2008 SCIENCE@gairrhydd.COM

Global warming: the facts

Sick of being told to recycle? Priya Raj explains exactly why you should be doing your bit for the environment

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he Earth's climate has changed many times during the planet's history, ranging from ice ages to long periods of warmth (as was the case in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park). Historically, natural factors such as volcanic eruptions, changes in the Earth's orbit, and the amount of energy released from the Sun have affected the Earth's climate. Beginning late in the Eighteenth Century, human activities associated with the Industrial Revolution have also changed the composition of the atmosphere, and so are very likely influencing the Earth's climate change. So what exactly is causing this change? The term "Greenhouse effect" has become synonymous with climate change and continues to remain a hot topic. It ultimately relates to those gases which are responsible for keeping the earth warm. Almost the Earth’s entire atmosphere (99%) is made up of nitrogen (about 78%) and oxygen (about 21%). While both of these gases play important roles in the vast number of processes that support life on Earth, they play almost no direct role in regulating the climate. The remaining trace gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone are thought to be the main villains in this climate change story. Such villainous gases were never meant to cause harm in this way. The Earth produces its own rays of heat (infrared rays) which are unable to escape the atmosphere. Thus, they are absorbed by the greenhouse gases responsible for warming the Earth enabling life to exist. Without this process of heating, it is thought the Earth may be some 30°C cooler- which would have an enormous impact on the state of life.

CO2 levels are now at their highest since 20million years ago Unfortunately, as with everything, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. The human population is producing a massive excess of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide. In a twisted turn of fate (or circumstance), this once-appreciated gas now has many negative connotations associated with it. As a result too much of the infrared rays are being absorbed, meaning the Earth is warming to a higher temperature than is desirable, and to global warming. This change in climate is likely to be accompanied with extreme weather. Increasing temperatures mean the world is likely to see less frosty days and cold spells, but an increase in heat waves and hot spells is also expected.

In addition the University’s Residences and Catering division purchases as much Welsh produce as possible in order to support local suppliers and to reduce the number of ‘food miles’. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, milk and eggs are all sourced locally, with most recent addition being Joe’s Ice Cream from Swansea. The Division also purchases three brands of mineral water - two from the Brecon Beacons and one from North Wales for official dinners. On an individual level, there are

Many scientists feel it is now too late to prevent global warming

There will be a greater risk of drought in summer in continental areas, with the greatest warming over the next 100 years expected to be at higher latitudes and the smallest amount of warming in the tropics. Hurricanes are likely to be more intense in some parts of the world due to more rainfall and more intense winds. Paul Pearson, Professor in Paleoclimatology at the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Science has studied levels of Carbon Dioxide over the millennia and its links to climate and mass extinction. He believes that over the next couple of hundred years, temperatures could be 10-15 degrees hotter, causing a tropical climate in Britain. Professor Pearson has established that CO2 levels are now at their highest since 20million years ago. The last time fully greenhouse conditions existed on Earth was 55 million years ago — when turtles roamed the North Pole and mangoes grew in Southern England. Cardiff University’s School of Architecture’s Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE) has been advising on sustainable building projects around the world for more than two decades. The Centre for Business

Relationships Accountability Sustainability Society (BRASS), set up by the Schools of Business, Law and City and Regional Planning, advises on sustainability in its widest form, taking in social, economic as well as environmental dimensions. When it calculated Cardiff’s ecological footprint, it discovered the city is using almost three times its fair share of the world’s resources. It also discovered that nearly a third of the Cardiff diet is imported from abroad, 16% goes to waste, while every resident is responsible for 2.5 tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere through energy use. Many scientists feel it is now too late to prevent global warming and therefore climate change, but by reducing the production of greenhouse gases the damaging consequences may be reduced. With its immense student and staff population, Cardiff University is constantly developing ways of reducing its own energy consumption. For example, the new £14m Talybont Court hall of residence is built with timber frames from sustainably-managed forests and has individual solar panels providing hot water to flats for 511 students. The University’s new build-

ing for the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is making use of an energy-saving Ground Source Heating System. Pipes 100 metres below the ground will use the earth’s latent heat to warm and cool the new building, offering major savings on gas consumption.

Recycling one aluminium can will save enough energy to keep a TV running for 3 hours With an increasing number of staff and students bringing their cars on campus, the University has launched a new online Cardiff University liftshare scheme which enables staff and students to find colleagues living near them with whom they can share the daily drive. For those who prefer to cycle, there is now an official bike strategy which aims for larger and more visible bike racks, more drying rooms for wet clothing and a map of bike user’s facilities around campus.

many things one can do in order to take a step towards a responsible lifestyle. For example, do not leave appliances on standby. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode. Another thing to consider is try to use the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. Also a shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. It may also be worth replacing old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) which help increase energy efficiency. Even using reusable bags rather than paper or plastic will impact the 12 million barrels of oil needed to produce the plastic bags made each year. In addition ,recycling household waste can help to save energy- recycling one aluminium can will save enough energy to keep a television set running for 3 hours. Or perhaps the UK should follow Indonesia’s lead where anybody who wishes to get married or apply for a birth certificate has to plant a tree. It is thought that a single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Some scientists however disagree with the global and UK predictions for climate change, mainly because the climate had changed naturally before. Others believe it is impossible to be certain about how our climate will change as it can be very unpredictable. They also believe the climate is supposed to change and it has done before. Many believe activities from humans cannot be to blame for changes in the climate. Whatever you believe, one thing is certain: choosing the more environmentally friendly lifestyle is full of benefits whether you acknowledge them or not- so go ahead, give it a try!


JOBS & MONEY 23

DECEMBER.01.2008 JOBS@gairrhydd.COM

Christmas cheer Christmas shopping might not have to leave a big hole in your pocket. Tom Victor looks at changes made to duty-free rules

I

n the current economic climate, I’m sure that many of you are concerned with the added burden of expenditure which will fall upon us when the time comes to buy Christmas presents for family and friends. Fortunately, recent legislation means that internet shopping - an option which many people will have considered already - is largely free from the customs duties which previously increased the price of goods bought from abroad. This change takes effect from December 1st, and means that as long as the item you purchase costs less than £105 and is purchased from outside the EU, you will not have to pay customs duty. You will still have to pay VAT on most items that cost over £18 (the previous duty-free limit), and even the cheapest TVs, vintage champagnes and Cuban cigars will not fall below the £105 threshold, but there are still many ways to save your precious pennies. Now you can splash out on luxuries like that PS3 your parents can't afford to buy you, knowing that you can save money when you buy those less important presents for the family. This week, Jobs and Money gives you the lowdown on five products which will cost you less as a result of the changes, making them ideal presents to buy on a budget this Christmas.

you’re buying clothes for a younger, easily impressed sibling or cousin who considers those Yves Saint Laurent polo shirts from JJB ‘designer clothing’ or (d) all of the above. Of course, if you think you can get away with it, you can still spend less than £18 now that the duty-free limit has gone up. As long as you take the tags off and shred the receipt, they’ll never know.

PRESENTS: Remember, it's the thought that counts.... 1. DVD players: DVD players bought from overseas used to carry a 14% duty rate. Now this rate only applies to those which cost more than £105. If you’re looking to buy a present for a friend who spends a lot of time abroad, why not get them a Region 1 DVD player so they can buy cheap DVDs on their travels and play them at home without any hassle. 2. CDs: In the past, when the duty-free limit

for online goods was a mere £18, we may have needed to buy CDs one at a time, incurring postage charges for each individual album. Now we don’t have to worry about that, and instead we can focus on explaining to friends why Top Gear’s Best Driving Music and The Essential James Blunt have come up on your credit card statement. You’d be surprised (and I know from experience) how few people believe the ‘it’s a present for my dad’ excuse.

3. DVDs: Essentially the same as for CDs, except instead of Top Gear’s Best Driving Music read: The Complete Tracy Beaker. It’s for my sister, in case you were wondering. 4. Designer clothes: Let’s be honest, if you’re buying your nearest and dearest designer clothes which cost you less than £18 then either (a) you’re a cheapskate, (b) you don’t care that much about the person you’re buying clothes for, or (c)

5. Silver or gold jewellery: Okay, I cheated a bit on this one. If we’re worried about the credit crunch then we’re unlikely to be buying silver or gold jewellery anyway, but we don’t have to pay the 2.5% duty charge, and for many of us this saving will be all the encouragement we need to actually spend more than we’d intended to. If I had a penny for every time I've set out to spend £20 and ended up buying something that's been reduced to £55, then I'd probably have enough pennies to make up the £35 difference. Of course, there's always the option of buying imitation silver or gold jewellery. You ‘save’ 4% on that! So, if you were worried about the credit crunch impacting on your Christmas shopping, hopefully I've reassured you. Now you can go out and stock up on CDs, DVDs and jewellery in time for the festive season!

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

DECEMBER.01.2008 TEDHANDSOME@gairrhydd.COM

Ted Handsome He's a ruddy good lad

A letter about complaining Dear Ted, I'm at my wit's end. Like many of your regular readers, I am a stuckin-the-mud conservative pillock, who has such dull and predictable views that I bore most of my friends half to death. Therefore, given the various newsworthy events that have occurred in the last few months I've been able to bring my snipey grumbling to almost Olympic levels of irritation. However, now that the whole Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand malarkey seems to have blown over, and the utterly ludicrous nature of the fuss being kicked up about John Sergeant, I can't really bring myself to get wound up about anything in particular. You always seem to be teeming over with bile and hatred, have you any ideas for something for me to complain about? I do realise that complaining that I have nothing to complain about is somewhat of an amusing

paradigm to be in, but could you please look aside this to give me some advice. Preferably in a profane and amusing fashion Yours, William Hysterectomy Dear William, One cannot simply have a topic for complaint thrust upon them, one must develop a slow burning, seething

I am sure it will end up as another lazy Channel 4 list show presented by that awful, haunted ventriloquist's dummy, Jimmy Carr

plain about nothing in particular is a marvellously British phenomenon, and one that truly defines us as a nation. I would pursue this matter further if it were not for the fact that I am sure it will end up as another lazy Channel 4 list show presented by that awful haunted ventriloquist's dummy, Jimmy Carr. I swear if my evening's television viewing is ever ruined by seeing that useless twat's gurning plastic face I will stamp on a kitten. Not to mention the utter forest of dicks that accompany these kind of shows. Attention Northern comics, simply repeating products and advertising slogans from the 1980s and saying 'what's all that about?' is not a joke, nor is it funny. You know who you are. Yours, Ted

hatred over many, many minutes of reading a letter. Being able to com-

A letter about my resurrection Dear Ted, OMG! I can't believe that it's nearly Christmas! I love Christmas sooo much! I love all the decorations, the trees, the presents and everything about it! I love how people all love it, and everyone is really very happy at this time of year. People who don't like Christmas are awful people! I don't understand how people can't enjoy such a wonderful time of year. What with the needless repetition of pointless traditions, the insulting nod to an outdating belief system and the enforced gaiety that everyone has to endure through gritted teeth at the risk of being accused of a spoilsport. What can I do to make all my friends who don't like Christmas to feel the same way as me?

Yours, Katie Misogyny Dear Katie, Ah, Christmas time. Good old bloody Christmas. Drink driving, disappointed children and domestic abuse.

I hate the reverential tone given to listening to some decrepid old tart lecturing the nation every year at Christmas Truly a time to be merry. I actually really don't like Christmas, which I am sure will come as a massive shock to

the vast majority of people. Not only do I really not enjoy being cajoled into pointless activities and spending money on people I wouldn't usually waste my piss on them if they were on fire. I hate the reverential tone given to listening to some decrepid old tart lecturing the nation every year at Christmas. I hate watching the Great Escape. I really don't like being forced into interacting with your colleagues in some deluded attempt to bring these people together under the banner of a commercial festivity. In fact, I think that the only thing that I do like about Christmas is the fact that inevitably a significant amount of children will end up disappointed at their lack of the latest video game console or whichever fad has infected their glucose-riddled mind. Bah humbug. Yours, Ted.

Handsome's Week

T

his week, I have mainly been avoiding the gaudy, glittery monstrosity that is 'Winter Wonderland.' In my vast world experience, there is very little that is wonderous or wonderful about winter. For one, the fillies all decide to start wrapping up in countless layers of warm clothing and the only few that actually buck the trend and decide to flash a bit of flesh are already so well insulated with flesh and cellulite

as to pretty much counteract the next few erections that I attempt to have. So to glorify winter as this magical period in such a tacky and repulsive manner offends me deeply. The last thing I want to see are the various members of the Cardiff underbelly, resplendent in market knockoff designer wear, taking turns to stick their tongue down the throat of some underage slag and producing boluses of phlegm to land on unsuspecting patrons of the

whole bloody event. In fact the whole damned place looks like some ghastly tribute to Coney Island, yet without any of the things that made the original Coney Island fun in the first place. I mean, where are all the tattooed freaks, the carnies hustling you and where, I ask you, is the flaming heroin? Exactly.

Ted on...

...vulgar displays of grief/anger

I

have avoided the rather prickly subject of the latest poster child for tragedy, for the simple reason that my light-hearted jocularity would be misconstrued as tantamount to paedophilia by the pitchfork wielding masses. However, my spending an increasing amount of time on time-consuming anti-social networking site Facebook has presented me with little else for the last few weeks. In between the various groups warning me about ‘What UCAS didn’t warn me about Uni’ or imploring me to join a ‘RECORD BREAKING FACEBOOK GROUP!!!! GUINESS RECORDS OFFICIAL GROUP’, I have noticed an abundance of groups set up with the undoubtedly noble intention of commemorating a child that none of them have ever had contact with. While it cannot be denied that the events that came to define this poor child’s life were horrific, is a poorly spelt, badly photoshopped elegy to the child in question really what it requires? However, what shocks me even more is the seething level of violence these groups seem to foster. Simple minded knucklebiters can go from biblical teeth-gnashing and chestbeating utter despondency at the maltreatment of this child, to complete and utter murderous bloodlust for the parents. Both men and women, young and old, of all creeds and colour join under the banner of complete and utter blind fuckwittery to engage in contempt of court and conspiracy to murder. Apparently another thing that I didn’t realise is that being a mother qualifies you to spout such utter unbelievable toss, which is clearly the incorrigible truth, simply because you’ve pushed some unwanted bawling sprog out of your hateful twat. Just because you let some hairgelled wanker spaff his illiterate seed all up the inside of your thigh in a postOceana two Bacardi Breezer kneetrembler, does

not give you some inherent authority to discuss child protection issues. Of course, I wouldn’t know, I’m not a ‘proper mum’. Would a proper mum really be calling for prison inmates to kill people? Have you ever even heard of a Vicious Cycle you barely cogent pleb? Violence breeds violence, and that’s quite the example you are setting for your kids, isn’t it? It’s the McCanns I feel sorry for. Remember all the hoo-haa about the cute little middle-class girl who disappeared in Portugal? No, you don’t? Oh right, of course, because the gutter press have latched themselves onto another child, and dropped their ‘Find Maddie’ campaign as if it were built of explosive scorpions. Quite why I have been drawn into this whole affair is actually quite beyond me. I only signed up to the bloody Facebook site, because I was assured by some acquaintances that it was a veritable mine of quim, and so far the only smell of minge that I've had is off middle-aged women and confused Persian men. Ladies, here is some advice from the Tedmaster General. Men aren't entirely stupid. We do realise that the less of you your contact picture entails, the uglier you are. Indeed, the same is true for group photos. If a woman uses a picture of a group of friends as her contact picture, then I will guarantee that she will be ugliest one in the photograph. In fact, I'm still not sure I trust this whole internet malarkey. Old Handsome Stables is becoming quite the mess, and so I decided to hire some help. However, a lesson that I quickly learnt was that under no circumstances do you ever want to search google for 'young lad + grooming'. Well, not unless you want a stiff knock at the door, and your finest silk collar felt by a hairy-knuckled policeman. Oh how we laughed later on. After the random beatings in my gaol cell, not to mention the buggery. Oh the buggery.


26 XPRESS

DECEMBER.01.2008 INTERVIEWS@gairrhydd.COM

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

Specialist show of the week:

The Weekly Summit: Live Special

Anything Alternative

Described as "the funniest show on Xpress radio" (not that it's a competition mind…) by a plethora of independent adjudicators, The Weekly Summit has something a bit special up its sleeve this week: a live edition. Instead of the usual half-hour slot, they have two hours to fill with all the usual features from their agenda (Daves Top 5, The Weekly Review, International Song of the Week et al) and a few oneoff special features too. Don't miss it, it might well just be the most important moment of your life… It probably won't be, but you never know.

Wednesday: 1pm till 3pm

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

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

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

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

Plain and simple, doing exactly what it says on the tin – this show plays everything ranging from rock, to reggae, to punk. While tuning in to a great variety of music you are also given the chance to win the entire play list each week, allowing you to listen to the songs over and over again! Listen in from 11pm till midnight every Monday to get your alternative fix of the week.

Designed for Cardiff. Defined by you.

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

Saturday

Hip-Hop/RnB Fri 10pm-12pm Flo Jam Sessions Fri 12pm-1am $traight Cash

Fri 8pm-9pm The Argument

World Music Tue 6pm-7pm Global Grooves Tue 8pm-9pm Methu Dawnsio

11am-12pm Wake Up with Henry & Oscar 12pm-2pm Jack and Tom Delusion

House/Electro/ Dance

Sunday

Wed 8pm-9pm Housemasters Wed 9pm -10pm The take over Fri 7pm-8pm Hype Machine

Sat 2pm-3pm PushPop Sun 3pm-5pm The Student Radio Chart Show

Indie

Pick & Mix

Mon 8pm-9pm Gig 'n' mix Mon 9pm-10pm Holly and Bo's radio show Mon 10pm-11pm Sam & Will Show Mon 6pm-7pm Xhibition Tue 9pm-10pm CUTV on the Radio Wed 10pm-11pm Hot Pap Sun 5pm-6pm Toni and Zoe Show

Mon 7pm-8pm Transmission Mon 11pm-12am Anything Alternative Tue 7pm-8pm Bill & Tom's Most Excellent Adventure Wed 11pm-12am Pigeon Hole Thu 7pm-8pm Curly Joe and Ginger’s Countdown Conundrum Thu 8pm-9pm Xposed Thu 11pm-12pm Dan and Petch’s 80s Hour of Power Fri 9pm-10pm The Essential Gig Guide Sat 4pm-5pm 3 Man Bundle Xtra Sun 9pm-10pm Are you sitting comfortably?

11:30am-1pm Ollie and Stefano show 1pm-2:20pm Laura, Dora & Lucy Show

Sports Mon 2.30pm-4.30pm Sports Show Thu 2.30pm-4pm Sporties

Speech Mon 2pm-2.30pm The Xpress Test Tue 12.30pm-1pm Xpress Debate Wed 1pm-3pm The Weekly Summit Thu 12.30pm-1pm Trawlermans sweethearts Sat 10am-11am The Hair of the Dog Sun 11am-11.30am The Beautiful Hesitation Sun 2.20pm-2.30pm Across the Corridor Sun 2.30pm-3pm Xposure

Friday

Classical

11am-1pm Al & Steve Show

Sun 6pm-7:30pm Sunday Classics

Mainstream

Monday: 11pm till 12am

Jazz Sun 7:30pm-9pm Jazz Society Show

Rock/Metal/Punk Mon 10pm-11pm Superstar DJs here we go Tue 8pm-9pm Rock! Paper Scissors Tue 11pm-12pm The Dark Hour Thu 9pm-10pm Thursday Night Annihilation Appreciation Society Thu 10pm-11pm Subversion Fri 6-7 International Superhits

www.xpressradio.co.uk

Pop

Xpress Sessions and Interviews As well as the regular radio shows Xpress gets bands in for acoustic sessions, all of which are available on listen again. Making these rare gems one not to be missed.

Specialist


FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

DECEMBER.01. 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. Got to know (about) (12) 8. Consolidate (5) 9. Car operators (7) 10. Surname of Barbara, the actress playing Rita in Coronation Street (4) 11. Bring about, manipulate (8) 14. Conundrum (6) 15. Market booths (6) 17. Amends and improves (8) 18. City where Taj Mahal is situated (4) 21. Dispatched (4,3) 23. Plucked instruments (5) 24. Philadelphia's state (12)

1. Fail an exam, in the USA (5) 2. Convenient form of home shopping (4,5) 3. Sets down (4) 4. Fervid, burning (6) 5. Establish (8) 6. Female pathologist in Waking the Dead (3) 7. Assumes (someone else's authority) (6) 12. Edify (9) 13. Rogers and Hart song recorded by Elvis Presley among many others (4,4) 14. Parliamentary break (6) 16. Muggy (6) 19. Doctor ___, 1955 nautical Dirk Bogarde comedy (2,3) 20. One of the races which settled most of eastern Europe (4) 22. Term used when stating a wife's maiden name (3)

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EASY

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YOU SPOTTED GLYN?

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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 Cardiiff SU Presents...

SHAg week

Head down to the Union this week and you'll be in for a big suprise... Cardiff comes over all fruity under the heady influence of SHAg, our Sexual Health Awareness group. Last year, over £800 was raised for the Terrence Higgins Trust, and over 6000 condoms were given away... Don't be shy – indulge your inner sex god for the greater good!

pick of the week

MONDAY:

SHAG TAKES OVER FUN FACTORY Free condom giveaways and competitions. Also, the Stop AIDS campaign kicks off today – join it!

TUESDAY:

RAID: HUGE AIDS FUNDRAISER GIG Featuring Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and the pick of the local scene, starting at 7.30pm in Solus is an awesome night of music and madness on a mission as the Stop AIDS campaign continues...

WEDNESDAY:

LGBT DAY Join the Facebook group to get the latest info on Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender events.

Monday 1st Dec

DECEMBER.01.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Tuesday 2nd Dec

Wednesday 3rd Dec

SIN BIN @ SOLUS The bin of sin welcomes you to an actionpacked night of chivalrous team drinking games and unadulterated forms of debauchery. Free entry 7-9pm, £3 after.

RAID @ SOLUS There's an blimmin' awesome local line-up: Huw Stephens, Me & The Major, Tommy B, Blue Wall...and more! Proceeds go to World AIDS Day charity so splash your cash and get that warm fuzzy feeling. 7.30pm, £5 adv. from SU Box Office, £6 on the door.

RAID '08 FEAT HUW STEPHENS, TOMMY B, THE MUSCLE CLUB & MORE @ SOLUS With a bill that reads like a who's who of Cardiff Uni's top acts AND Huw Stephens, you really are getting an awful lot for you money here. And it's all for charity. How could you refuse? 7.30pm-2am, £5 adv. / £6 door

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR: DAVID ESSEX @ THE NEW THEATRE Essex hits saturate this contemporary love story set against the backdrop of a travelling funfair; a must for all aspiring thespians, devoted theatre-goers and disillusioned Essex fans. 7.30pm, £30.

GET LOST @ LIQUID Chavtastic tunes and cheap drinks – BB Glyn Wise's very own humble abode. 9pm - 3am, £3.50.

SHOTGUN RULES @ REVOLUTION The vodka version of Harry Potter's 'Every Flavoured Beans'...will you score a mint, aniseed or chilli flavoured vodka shot tonight? 9pm - 2am, £2.50.

CHIC BEAT @ REVOLUTION Brought to you by the guys of Rough Hill, the beat that is chic is a student night not to be missed. 9pm - 3am, £4 - £5.

SELFISH C*NT @ BARFLY Duo Martin Tomlinson and Patrick Constable unleash their rock-inspired music style upon Barfly tonight...yeah, yeah, yeeeeah! 8pm, £5/£4 with flyer.

SIMPLE MINDS + DEACON BLUE @ CIA Simple Minds celebrate their 30th anniversary tonight! It's the 80s resurrected...legwarmers, leggings and leotards optional. 7.00pm, £35, contact venue for details.

JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON @ OCEANA Popular student night – rave it up in the Ice Room, chillax in the Boudoir or strut your stuff in the Disco room. 9pm, £4/£2 nus.

BOOTLEG BEATLES @ ST. DAVID'S HALL The longest running Beatles tribute act hits St. David's Hall hard tonight. Expect 50something women in hippy gear and balding, beer-swilling men mumbling the lyrics to Yellow Submarine. 8pm, £22.50/£19.50, contact venue for details.

GRETCHEN PETERS @ THE GLOBE Country singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters graces the Globe tonight to showcase some of her thought-provoking music offerings for those who want to indulge in a spot of soul-searching. Meh. 8.15pm, contact venue for details.

JASON DONOVAN @ ST DAVIDS HALL The Donovan, a.k.a Neighbours' Scotty Robinson, has landed in Cardiff in order to plug his fresh assault on the music charts and newest album release. Does the guy ever give up? 7.30pm, £24.50. ALABAMA 3@ SUB 29 For a thigh-slappingly good night, dosey-doe on down to Sub 29 to check out the band most famed for their offering to The Sopranos' soundtrack. Think Cotton-Eyed Joe with a few techno beats thrown into the mix. Or in the band's words, sweet country acid house music. The Guardian called them the best live band in the country. They're right. 7.30pm, contact venue for details.

EXIT INTERNATIONAL, RED OCTOBER + YELSTIN @ CLWB IFOR BACH Let loose with the heavy drum'n'bass beats of Exit International and emo infused tunes of Red October. Request a light-impenetrable emotastic haircut from your local barber beforehand. 7.30pm, £4.

THURSDAY:

MEET YOUR SABBATICALS Carys Hazell (Women's Officer), Micheala Neild (Health and Welfare) and Frances House (Disabled Students Officer) will be in the Union publicising this year’s sexual health campaigns.

FRIDAY:

ANN SUMMERS PARTY 7.30pm, Buffers. No boys allowed!

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

DECEMBER.01.2008 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Thursday 4th Dec

BOUNCE @ WALKABOUT Bob like there's no tomorrow accompanied by the Funky Arse Disco dancers...too hot too handle fo' sure! 10.00pm - 3am, £3. MISCHIEF @ TIGER TIGER Double vodka Red Bull, double vodka Red Bull, double vodka Red Bull, double vodka floor. 9pm - 2am, £4 - £5. DRUMS OF DEATH @ CLWB IFOR BACH Sounds optimistic! Scotsman Colin Bailey vows to wow you with his utterly terrifying offerings of electronica. Dance, dance 'til you drop! 8pm, £5. XMAS WITH BRYN @ ST. DAVID'S HALL Operatic Welshboy Bryn Terfel does his best to instigate festive cheer alongside the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra and Welsh choir 'Serendipity'. Can't afford the hefty price tag? Stay in and have a mince pie. 7.30pm, £55. STANDING ROOM ONLY TOUR @ THE POINT Show of Hands, Miranda Sykes and Ruarri Joseph prepare to dazzle you with their acoustic vocals and vast array of musical genres. 7.30pm, £17 door/£15 advance. ACT ONE PRESENTS THE WIZARD OF SPLOTT @ GREAT HALL Act One's latest alternative pantomime extravaganza, which promises to be a delightfully smut-ridden rompish bastardisation of Dorothy's journey of self-discovery. 7pm, £5 NUS / £6 others

Friday 5th Dec

WILL YOUNG @ ST. DAVID'S HALL Officially sold out but who knows what dodgy deal you can blag at the last minute? Look out for long-coated middle-aged men worthy of ticket-flogging outside the venue. *insert gay joke here* Free entry 7.30pm, £32.50 after. SLIPKNOT AND MACHINE HEAD @ CIA Cardiff will buzzing tonight with nu-metal act Slipknot in town. Dig out your Hallowe'en mask and get moshing! 7pm, £29.50. LETZ ZEP @ THE GLOBE Led Zeppelin tribute act show their muse exactly how it's done. 8.30pm, contact venue for details. DODGY + OLYMPUS MONS @ BARFLY 'Staying Out for the Summer' pop gods are back with a vengeance as a result of their bank balances looking slightly less brilliant than they once were...we presume. 7.30pm, £15. THE NUTCRACKER @ ST. DAVID'S HALL Just in time for Christmas, the story of a young girl in the fantastical world of her toys will warm even the coldest of hearts, apparently. (Runs until 22nd December). £31 - £12.50/£15.50, contact venue for details. ACT ONE PRESENTS THE WIZARD OF SPLOTT @ GREAT HALL Act One's latest alternative pantomime extravaganza, which promises to be a delightfully smut-ridden rompish bastardisation of Dorothy's journey of self-discovery. Wait, haven't you just read this? 7pm, £5 NUS / £6 others

Saturday 6th Dec

COME PLAY @ SOLUS Come and play amongst the Union's lecherous lotharios and gyrating Britney wannabes in the pursuit of a good night. 9pm - 2am, £3. THE STEREOPHONICS @ CIA The 'Phonics bring their greatest hits tour back to where it all began. Croon along with some of their old classics or gawp all night at the illustrious Kelly Jones; it's your call! (With special guests The Couteeners... who?!) £29.50 advance, contact venue for details.

Sunday 7th Dec

THE BEST OF BROADWAY: PENARTH MUSIC & VARIETY COMPANY @ ST. DAVID'S HALL All that Jazz, Phantom of the Opera and I Know Him So Well are just a few of the Broadway selections you can expect tonight. Prepare to be tapping your toes a good few hours after. BEN OTTEWELL @ SUB 29 Gomez frontman Ben Ottewell showcases some of his solo material, as well as a few of the band's all-time classics. If he sings Get Miles I may just melt. 7.30pm, contact venue for details.

DECIMALS + LOW LIGHTS + KIDDO 360 @ BARFLY A trio of Cymru bands to whet your Welsh whistles. Synths, guitars and an energetic rock combination will ensure a heavily hardcore night to remember. 7.30pm, £6.

BENSEM @ REVOLUTION A live act at Revs? What is becoming of this world? For one night only Revs' regular r'n'b anthems will be cast aside to make way for Indie rock band Bensem's alternative beats. Contact venue for details.

FORECAST: A PLACE TO BUY STRANGERS + TEN KENS @ CLWB IFOR BACH A two-hour gig courtesy of two foreign imports. Whatevs. 10pm - 3am, £4/£5

ROB BRYDON @ WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE Welsh funnyman Rob Brydon entertains the Cardiff crowd tonight with his hilarious travelling stand-up show. See Gavin and Stacey's Bryn at his best in his home country. 7.30pm, contact venue for details.

ACT ONE PRESENTS THE WIZARD OF SPLOTT @ GREAT HALL Act One's latest alternative pantomime extravaganza, which promises to be a delightfully smut-ridden rompish bastardisation of Dorothy's journey of self-discovery. Uh... 7pm, £5 NUS / £6 others

ACT ONE PRESENTS THE WIZARD OF SPLOTT @ GREAT HALL Act One's latest alternative pantomime extravaganza, which promises to be a delightfully smut-ridden bastardisation of Dorothy's journey of self-discovery. We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Splott – Act One style. My bet is that Dorothy gets come on her shoes. 7pm, £5 NUS / £6 others

WIN!

GET DUCKED ON NEW YEAR'S EVE... FOR FREE!

Auld Lang Syne has never been so filthy! The duck is back for more dirty aural fumblings – revel in it decadently while you can! On the eve of '09 Solus will host Cardiff's best New Year's bash, and you could be there – for free! Just don't forget to pack your wetwipes. We've got 2 pairs of tickets to get your sweaty mitts on... To win, simply answer this question: Which clubnight has replaced Rubber Duck? Is it... A) Gash B) Sin Bin C) Frottage Factory Send your answers to competitions@gairrhydd.com

(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

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

THE WORD ON... ...the role of a captain in football following Gallas' fall from grace Richard Williams Sports Editor

Arsene Wenger’s decision to appoint Cesc Fabregas as the new captain of Arsenal has finally put to bed the furore that has surrounded Gallas-gate during recent times at the Emirates. Despite being only 21 years of age, Fabregas takes over from Public Enemy No. 1, William Gallas, as leader of a fractioned team who are already struggling in the title race. Gallas’ now infamous outburst, obviously intended to be a challenge to Wenger to sort the team out and impose new levels of discipline, only served to see the defender stripped of the captaincy and left out of the squad for Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City. The Frenchman’s unprofessionalism, also seen at St Andrews when he led a one man protest on the pitch last season, backfired spectacularly and created a media circus around him, rather than the targets he chose to lambast publicly.

"We have the spirit and committment to get back to winning ways"

The affair has led to a media debate of what a captain should be. Wenger’s choice of Fabregas, a quiet yet professional player, suggests that he wants his new captain to lead by example and be a leader of leaders, rather than the sole influential figure in a team. Wenger’s comments to the official Arsenal website portray a man frustrated by the level of media intrusion into what is anything but a private scenario.

Wenger said: “I don’t think I especially have to explain why. I have given you information but I do not have to explain to you why I make these decisions. “This subject is now closed. You have to respect a little bit of the team’s privacy.” Fabregas, meanwhile, is unsurprisingly honoured to be captaining the side he joined as a sixteen-year-old. “It is a great honour for me to captain one of the biggest clubs in the world. “It is a proud moment. I know it’s a big responsibility but together with my team-mates, I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential.” Wenger’s decision has favoured the role of a captain to lead by example. There are, of course, many different types of captain, with examples throughout the Premier League of how there is no single model of a successful leader. Whereas Fabregas is Arsenal’s best player and leads by example, Chelsea captain John Terry is the stereotypical vocal leader, orchestrating his side through noise and discipline. Arsene Wenger has been outspoken about vocal leaders, apparently aiming a swipe at Terry in the process: “I don't believe too much in leadership. I believe more in good passing than a guy who jumps around with his hands in the air and plays the leader.” Aside from a captain who wears his heart firmly on his sleeve, there are those who adopt different styles of leadership. Take Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard. Gerrard’s strength as a captain is the influence he holds over the team as the club’s best player, a local favourite who the fans adore, and the respect he commands from his team-mates for his ability to win games single handedly. Manchester United captain Gary

Neville leads through his experience as a long-serving member of Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, much the same as vice-captain Ryan Giggs does when Neville is out of the first-team.

Fabregas now has the opportunity to create his own legacy There are those captains who embody everything that a club stands for, a player who has shared the ups and downs of a team’s recent times. One such player is Hull City captain Ian Ashbee. Ashbee has captained the side through its remarkable rise from League Two to the Premier League in just five seasons. Even more remarkable is Ashbee’s near exit from the game with a degenerative bone condition in 2005. Such a story wins immediate respect from fans and players alike, and Ashbee’s status amongst his teammates has never been higher, despite the fresh challenges facing him and his side. One recent example of what a captain should not be came as Ashbee’s side welcomed Manchester City to the KC Stadium. Man City’s regular captain, Richard Dunne, was suspended for the game. Instead of awarding the captaincy to either Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland or Shaun WrightPhillips, the team was led out by £32 million man, Robinho. A player who joined the club mere weeks ago and whose words of spoken English can probably be counted on two hands is hardly an ideal candidate for captaincy. A captain should inspire some sort of motivation or determination in his team-mates, be that through forced

passion, leading by example or a combination of the two. Instead Mark Hughes risked alienating some of the longer serving members of his team by placing an immediate importance on the influence of the money men from Abu Dhabi. Cesc Fabregas now has the opportunity to create his own legacy at Arsenal. He has become Arsenal’s youngest captain since Tony Adams led the side for the first time in 1988. If Fabregas can echo the achievements of Adams, a new legend will have been born in East London. Fabregas’ style of captaincy will be greatly different to that of Gallas’. The Spaniard is a man of great maturity and professionalism, and can be relied upon to lead a team round the pitch – a

task he has relished since his stunning performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup at the age of 16. One further benefit of appointing Fabregas as captain is the motivation that his rise to prominence provides for the immensely talented youngsters that Wenger has waiting in the wings. So many young players fail to make an impact, but with Fabregas captaining the side, youngsters like Jack Wilshere and Carlos Vela can look up to their captain as a model of what they could achieve. Fabregas may only be young, but his chance to become an Arsenal legend awaits. As long as he keeps any negative comments to himself, unlike his predecessor, he should have no


SPORT 31

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

SPORT COMMENT

TOP FIVE... TOP FIVE...

Haka-ttack Alisdair Robertson Sports Editor

THE HAKA is one of rugby’s oldest traditions and the past thirty years has seen the iconic war dance return to its original meaning. Before the 1980s, a predominantly white team performed a somewhat tame imitation, making a mockery of its intended intimidating Maori roots. Since then the Haka has established itself as integral to the New Zealand All Black's identity. Such is the intimidation involved that many opposing teams have felt it necessary to respond in one way or another as shown in Wales’s standoff with their Kiwi counterparts last weekend. The week beforehand the island contingent of the Munster squad, including ex-All Black Doug

Howlett, performed their own version of the Haka. Such desperate responses in an attempt not to lose face have led to some calling for and end to the pre match dance. Those critics include BBC pundit and Ex-Ireland captain Keith Wood who queried the fairness of the dance claiming it to be highly motivational and intimidating. Others though have argued for the continuation of the tradition. Former England centre Jeremy Guscott said he found it inspiring when lining up against the All Blacks and it undoubtedly remains a spectacle that fans want to see. The response at the Millennium Stadium last weekend summed up the very essence of test rugby: the patriotism, the fire in the belly, the aggression. The standoff not only created a spectacle but heightened the inten-

Hatton's a hit Scott D'Arcy Sports Editor BRIMMING WITH exuberance after his latest win against Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton seems to have got back on the road to restoring his reputation. While Malignaggi did not put up too much of a fight, the improvements to Hatton's style were noticeable, and justified his switch from Billy Graham to Floyd Mayweather Snr. After defeat to Mayweather Jnr last year, however, it was clear to see the damage done to the Hatton brand, as most of the 9,000 crowd at the 17,000 capacity MGM Grand had made the trip from Britain. Hatton now has his sights set on a superfight with the winner of the Oscar de la Hoya vs Manny Paquiao, although the news that Mayweather Jnr has come out of retirement has sparked excited rumours of a rematch. Given that Mayweather's last fight was a farcical encounter with the WWE's Big Show (it's on YouTube if you haven't seen it), it is likely he will

relish the prospect of a big fight. But Hatton should be wary not to get too carried away with this latest success. Malignaggi is not in the same class as either Pacquiao or de la Hoya, whatever the outcome of their encounter in the first week of December. And the previous experience of Mayweather Jnr may not necessarily give Hatton the edge in a rematch, even if his trainer has an inside knowledge. At 30, Hatton may think he is running out of time but, as Calzaghe showed a few weeks ago, age is not a debilitating factor. What will hold him back though is his diet. He again entered the ring in a fat-suit in response to those who have criticised him for his weight explosion between fights, due at least in part to alcohol. But the criticism is not necessarily unfounded, even if it is not always constructive (no prizes for the person who coined "Ricky Fatton"). Hatton said himself after the fight: "I like a drink. Floyd wants me to stop drinking completely but I don't think I need to go that strenuous". The point remains though that if Hatton does not curb his thirst then his days will be numbered and the speed and agility of both Pacquiao and de la Hoya may prove too much. Hatton showed that he has the ability to learn and improve even at this late stage, but he will need to be at his best just to have a chance against those he is challenging. His fans will hope he does not make it harder for himself.

Haka Responses

1

sity of the early exchanges as Ma’a Nonu explained, “What the Welsh did wound us up.” He also felt that a similar response from England would be “Ill-advised” and claimed that it will of “Offended many in New Zealand.” The fact of the matter is that the Haka is part of rugby folk law and any match against the All Blacks would not be the same without it. However the New Zealand rugby faithful need

to recognise that the Haka inspires retaliation that adds to the theatre of the war dance, rather than detracting from it. If New Zealand can dance and shout then surely a silent face off isn’t too controversial or aggressive for the All Black fans to handle. Such a response can only heighten what is already great theatre.

Cricket spiced up Alex Bywater Sports Writer ENGLAND'S HUMBLING at the hands of the Indian cricket team in the recent One Day Series has raised serious questions as to the makeup and ability of the English team. This is nothing new, as the English team has clearly struggled over the last few years, especially in the One Day game. England’s 4-0 Series win over South Africa last summer, under the leadership of new Captain Kevin Pietersen, inspired hopes of a prosperous new era. However England now face the prospect of a series whitewash against India. It has been argued that India’s startling supremacy is due to the vast majority of their players’ participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL). There can be no doubt that the Indian team, on a high after their test series win at home to Australia, are producing some top quality cricket. Two centuries in the first two games by India’s Yuvraj Singh, led to huge totals that England were unable to overhaul. The diversity of the Indian bowlers’ attack, coupled with some ferocious batting has left England struggling in their wake. During the last week, England fast bowler Steve Harmison has warned the English Cricket Board (ECB) that the team will be “left far behind” unless the English players are allowed to compete in the IPL. Talismanic England All-Rounder Andrew Flintoff has supported this view. The inaugural IPL competition, took place without England’s leading cricketers competing. This was mainly because the ECB were not prepared to abandon test cricket to allow players such

Richard Cokcerill was the first in the professional era to front up and react to the Haka. His defiance paved the way for what was to come.

2 Last weekend's "stare off" created a fantastic atmosphere. Shame the BBC insisted on focusing on Wales's least intimidating character.

3 Chabal was integral to France's shock victory over the All Blacks in the 2007 World Cup. The Haka might be scary but the bearded wonder is something else.

4 as Flintoff to compete in the IPL. The financial profits of these tournaments aside, Flintoff argues that continued participation in these tournaments will only increase the one-day skills of the one-day game. Flintoff said earlier this week: “A few of the England players are keen to go to the IPL. One thing that has been mentioned is financial reward but I think you look at player’s development as well. With the Twenty20 World Cup coming up and a lot more one day cricket it would be good if the lads had a chance to play in it (IPL).” With the England players keen to compete in the IPL, it could have serious effects on the future of English cricket. Does this mean that there could be less of an emphasis place on the importance of test cricket, the purest form of the game? Will English players prefer to cash in on tournaments such as the IPL instead of representing their country? The future of cricket remains unclear.

The threat of the Welsh national anthem banished New Zealand to the changing rooms. Nevertheless New Zealand's petulant rendition seemed to do the job.

5

The Kiwi contingent of Munster's team did their own rendition of the Haka as their bemused Irish teammates gazed on like an embarrassed parent. The first ever "Haka-off".


32 SPORT

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP

IMG: the players respond

Alexander Prior voices a player's opinion as IMG looks set to face a backlash from yet another week's cancellations ... An open letter to Trelai County Council dated 25.11.08 To whom it may concern, I am not a massive football fan. I couldn’t name England’s startin g XI. I couldn’t tell you who’s top of the Premier league. I don’t even know what a ‘reducer’ is. But I do like to actually play footba ll, even when more so when I’ve had to pay for it. No-one connected to IMG has kicked a ball for three weeks now, and while conditions are less than perfect, the pitches up at Trelai are easily playable. My captain informed me that the reaso n we are not playing this week, the third week in a row in case you missed its first mentioning, is due to waterlogged pitches. It hasn’t rained since last Sunday morning and it was sunny both Monday, Tuesday and will be tomorrow. Everyone connected with IMG is not expecting an immaculate, Wemb ley-esque pitch every time we take to the field. IMG just wouldn’t be IMG if you weren’t head to toe in mud by the time the final whistle blows, having sprained an ankle due to a pot-hole. This is part of the fun. There were times last year it looked like we’d been involved in the Somme come the end of 90 minutes, and we had a bloody good time in the process. So next time if you’re thinking about cancelling our week’s fun because of a few stray puddles, please think again. I understand that part of the reason for this and previous week’s cancellations is so that the pitches are in better condition for the weekend matches that take place, not involving our university. I presume we are both paying the same amount of money, money which seems ill-spent now we’ve only played three matches since the as to their apparent priority. Matches have had to be moved to Sunda start of term and it’s almost December, so I am confused ys now, which begs the question will these non-IMG teams have their games cancelled on Saturday in order for us to play? I have my doubts. I think I speak for the majority of teams in claiming that it shall not be long before there are crowds of disgruntled players gathered outside the Athletic Union with cries of “Refund, Refund” being heard. Entering and running a team isn’t cheap – the registration fee, kits, balls, nets etc, and if you’re a small squad, the cost can be enormous, and for what? Three games. Hardly seems worth it now. The blame has been falling at the feet of the Union and those responsible for running IMG, somewhat unfairly, and this will unfortunately continue until you as a council decide to act. The council have already ruined our playing surface at Pontcanna for this season and now Trelai is heading the same way. Anyone connected to IMG is happy to play on any kind of pitch, just so long as we get to play. Now, come next Tuesday afternoon when there’s a hint of mud in the goal mouth or there’s no grass on the centre-circle, just think how many disgruntled and now skint students you’ll be letting down for no apparent reason. Trust us when we say that if you’re worried about the state of the pitches, we’ve most definitely played on worse. Yours faithfully, A slightly annoyed IMG Player

Simon Lucey asks what the players think of IMG this season

Chris Moore, Football

: NATALIA POPOVA

"IMG plays a big role in my university life. Compared to last year it is wholly disappointing. It has a lot of potential given the right leadership and ideas, but we pay a lot of money and have seen little return this year. Something needs to change."

Rachel Greenwood, Netball "Something needs to be done about the netball court situation, somebody seems to fall over in every game I'm involved in. I don't know how all the games are going to be played before Christmas because it is behind schedule at the moment and time is running out!"

Sam Moore, Football

Matt Parr, Football

Ben White, Rugby

“I'm a bit worried that so many fixtures have been cancelled, and the weather hardly looks like improving so I'm guessing more will be called off. It's also quite annoying when your game is cancelled after Sunday League teams play on the pitches beforehand.”

"I think the IMG is a shambles, it is my first year doing it and I am disappointed in the organization with regard to the pitches. Cardiff is definitely lagging behind other universities in terms of sports facilities. I think it is a disgraceful calamity."

“It's a real shame that the relationship between the Athletic Union and the rugby captains isn't more productive. Also, this year has been a real let down after the promise of some form of contact tournament last year.”


SPORT 33

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP English poetry causes Bio-hazard

19.11.08 Economics B 7-25 Carbs A Earth Soc 0-23 Cardiff Jets A Engin Numatics 7-15 Pharmacy A Law A 19-8 Psychology A Christian Union 32-1 Optom Gym Gym 12-11 Cardiff Jets B 23.11.08 Pharmacy B 1-16 Medics B Jomec 2-19 Cardiff B Carbs B 13-6 Engin Automotive Economics A 13-9 Sawsa C-Plan 12-1 Cardiff IWC Socsi A 15-3 English B

Well, this is our debut season in IMG, so with there only being three fixtures to date there's not a great deal to choose from. We still remain unbeaten in the league and in friendlies. But our 3-3 draw with Engine Locomotive, last season's runners up, would have to take the accolade.

Group A

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

Law B

5

4

0

1

41

12

2

Cardiff A

4

3

1

0

40

10

3

Dentistry

5

3

0

2

25

9

4

Medics A

5

3

0

2

6

9

English 19-9 Biology

5

Pharmacy B

6

2

1

2

-30

7

6

Medics B

6

2

0

4

-12

6

AFTER LAST WEEK'S fateful game saw a Biology player break her arm, the two teams met again to replay the remaining minutes of this controversial match. Beginning the game with a 5-2 lead meant Cardiff's English Netball team looked confident and showed almost immediate power, converting the first centre pass into a goal within seconds. The new attacking duo, Rachel Jones and Anna May looked to be benefiting from their practice sessions, as the girls took it in turns to score consecutive goals for English. The accuracy of Jones failed to be disturbed by some tight marking from Biology's goalkeeper. When Biology retaliated they showed some impressive centre court play and their GA was proving to be a crucial member of the team. Unfortunately the established partnership of the English defence in Captain Gemma Batstone and Rachel Greenwood proved to be just too much for Biology's attack. Biology suffered some unlucky misses in the 'D', of which English took full advantage, rapidly sending the ball back to their attacking third. The game benefited hugely

7

Socsi B

4

0

0

4

-27

0

8

Navy

5

2

0

3

--43

0

P

W

Liz Wray Sport Editor

IMG NETBALL

Who is your best player and why? Spiderman – Chris Jones, 7ft 2, built like a tank, world-class goalkeeper, not half bad up front either. He looks damn good in a dress and is quite partial to a 35-yard thunderbolt. Is there any funny team banter? There is a distinctly unhealthy obsession with Blackburn Rovers' colossus Christopher Samba! Our socials

Group B D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Economics A

5

5

0

0

129

15

2

Socsi A

6

5

0

1

14

15

3

Psychology B

6

4

0

2

57

12

4

Sawsa

5

2

0

3

8

6

5

Cardiff IWC

5

1

0

4

-25

3

6

English B

5

1

0

4

-65

3

7

C-Plan

6

2

0

4

-47

0

8

J- Unit

6

2

0

4

--71

0

IMG NETBALL

NETBALL: No broken arms here when the centre court players slowed it down, favouring accuracy over speed to both teams' advantage. The first half ended 9-5 as English maintained their lead but Biology refused to be silenced. The second half started in much the same way, with English taking another early first goal. But Biology remained resilient and quickly answered it with their own impressive centre court play that resulted in a rapid comeback goal. The change of Biology team at half-time looked to be paying off, as their passes became more direct and

there was no sign of unforced errors. Unfortunately the initial deficit proved just too much for Biology, while English's confidence grew with every goal. The new players in the English squad looked fully integrated as the whole team drove each ball forward. The game ended 19 to 9, giving English a much-needed win and a chance to regain their former glory. And with not one trip or fall throughout the entire game, the questions surrounding the facilities for IMG Netball are still very much unanswered.

Team Talk: Samba Tigers What is your best achievement/ moment to date?

IMG NETBALL 1

PHOTO:

Results: Netball

Group Positions after Week 6

have included three-legged pub golf where our gaffer Ryan Edwards drank sick. Also, Pep Edgley urinated on keg-master Adam Hobson. Our £5 charity shop quickly became ladies' night – the highlight had to be resident geisha girl Rory Buckley fighting the world. If your team was an animal what would it be? Seriously, you cannot be expecting anything other than a Tiger can you? What song best describes your team? Hmm...Journey – Don't Stop Believing. This song has extra special meaning to our captain Marc Edwards. Any team prima donnas? Ryan Edwards. This guy goes down easier than a captive gazelle in mating season and bruises like a peach. Fresher Pete '100% social sick record' Gardner. Who has the best nicknames? Ashley Hilton, aka Hammer Head,

aka Mushroom Head, aka Captain Planet, aka Globe. Unsurprisingly, these are all reference to the same body part. Tinashe Tandayi, Mr T! "Gentlemen, to the love of women!" – LEGEND. Who are your biggest rivals this year? Anyone going for the Premiership title. Tough Phase One game against J-Unit could be crucial. Any teams you are looking forward to playing, and why? AFC History: a rematch of the 5-5 epic this pre-season. Samba no. 9 Jon Fisher looks to continue his goalscoring exploits against his former side. Which Premiership team is your team most like and why? Hull City: the lesser known Tigers. These new boys love to cause an upset too. Thanks, Tigers If you would like to see your team in the spotlight, email us at sport@gairrhydd.com.

Group C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

5

5

0

0

84

12

2

Christian Union

6

4

0

2

94

9

3

Psychology A

5

4

0

1

58

9

4

Cardiff B

4

3

0

1

18

6

5

Cardiff Jets B

4

1

0

3

-13

3

6

Jomec

6

1

0

5

-100

3

7

Optom

4

0

0

4

-92

0

8

Gym Gym

4

1

0

3

--50

-3

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

IMG NETBALL

Group D

1

Pharmacy A

5

5

0

0

33

15

2

Cardiff Jets A

4

4

0

0

26

12

3

Engin Numatics

4

3

0

1

12

12

4

Carbs A

3

3

0

0

25

9

5

Carbs B

4

3

0

1

2

9

6

English A

3

1

0

2

14

3

7

Economics B

5

1

0

4

-14

3

8

Engin Auto

5

0

0

5

--16

0

9

Biology

3

0

0

3

-20

0

10

Earth Soc

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

4

Opsoccer

3

1

1

1

4

4

5

Magnificent XI

3

1

1

1

0

4

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

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

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Jumping for joy Sally Mason Trampolining Reporter

THE CARDIFF Trampoline Squad have taken to the beds in Warwick and Bristol over the past month and having not competed since May, proved they still have what it takes to win, bringing home 23 medals, a trophy and a shield. Competitors from universities as far as Edinburgh down to Plymouth travelled to Warwick and Bristol to show off their form on the springs but no one could beat Cardiff’s talented fresher Jon Thorn. Competition from Loughborough, Bristol and Bath was tough but Thorn didn’t crack under the pressure. He performed two top routines, winning first place in the Elite Men’s category at both competitions. Thorn was also awarded with a trophy for Best Form and a shield for Best Overall Competitor. Kim Atkins, who has been trampolining at a high standard for years, achieved her first gold in the InterAdvanced Ladies category at Warwick, with Marianna York-Smith coming close behind in second place. Naomi Phillips and Maxine Harle also performed well in this category, both landing spots in the top eight. The men also performed at a high standard, with Will Holland securing third place in the Intermediate category and Darryl Patterson coming fourth in the Advanced category at Bristol. Unfortunately, Craiger Solomons, a top Cardiff trampolinist, was punished for abusing the judges because they were distracting him during his routine, causing his position to drop down by two whole places to fifth place.

TRAMPOLINING: Flying high

Derby drubbing Lisa Franklin Football Reporter CARDIFF Ladies' 1sts................8 GLAMORGAN Ladies' 1sts.........1

Naomi Ellis also claimed a fantastic second place in the tough Advanced Ladies category at both competitions and the day was concluded, with Cardiff scooping prizes for the top Intermediate and Inter-advanced Team as well as third place for Elite and Advanced team.

Captain Craiger Solomons commented: ‘The standard of trampolining was especially high this year and the Cardiff Squad came out on top, picking up many of the most prestigious awards at Warwick. It is a very promising start to the season and I am sure that success at BUCS is inevitable’.

HAT-TRICKS from captain Jennifer Fildes and winger Georgia Copsey helped Cardiff secure an important win over local rivals Glamorgan University. Cardiff dominated from the start, with the opening goal coming within the first five minutes as Fildes headed home a great cross from Francesca Ronchi on the right. Cardiff's second goal came just minutes later direct from a corner, with Fildes floating the ball beautifully inside the far post, securing her second of the match. Cardiff continued to dominate and the inevitable third came from Copsey, opening her account by connecting with another well placed corner from Fildes. Midfielder Harriet Sharp secured Cardiff's fourth with a powerful shot that was deflected out of the goalkeeper's grasp into the bottom right corner, following some insightful play by Ffion Williams and Holleigh Marsh. More great play from the forwards led to Cardiff winning another corner, which defender Miki Burdus headed in, securing Cardiff's fifth of the game and put the result beyond any doubt. With Cardiff controlling the game, the Glamorgan players began to get frustrated and resulted in a booking for bad language. Cardiff looked dangerous for the rest of the half, with Ronchi and Copsey providing numerous crosses into the box, none of which were capi-

talised on. However, a desperate foul by a Glamorgan defender gave Cardiff a free-kick on the edge of the area, which Fildes powered into the top of the net, completing her hat-trick and securing Cardiff their sixth. Cardiff started the second half as they had finished the first but were not rewarded for their domination. Glamorgan occasionally pushed forward, but Cardiff's defence fought off the attacking threat, with debutant Hollie Martin performing particularly well on the left. Great link-up play between Burdus and Ronchi led to numerous crosses into the box from the right, and allowed Copsey to tap home her second. Copsey then connected with yet another cross from man-of-the-match Francesca Ronchi to secure the second hat-trick of the game, as well as Cardiff's victory. Glamorgan managed to clear yet another Cardiff attack, and formed their own counter-attack, presenting their striker with a one-on-one against Burdus. Unfortunately, Burdus was unable to make the decisive tackle, leaving goalkeeper Ruth Daly with no chance. The last 10 minutes of the game were all in Glamorgan's half, with Cardiff looking to add to their tally. The final whistle blew with Cardiff easy victors, ensuring next week's topof-the table clash with Varsity rivals Swansea will be a well fought affair. Swansea are currently joint top of the Western Conference 2B with Cardiff, ahead on goal difference. This, added to the tension of a derby match, should result in fireworks when the sides next meet.

Hat-trick hero Huw sends Cardiff top

CARDIFF Mens' 1sts.................7

GLOUCESTER Mens' 1sts..........3

HUW PROCTER grabbed a hattrick as Cardiff clinched the top of the table clash with Gloucester. Procter's triple kept Cardiff at the top of the BUCS Western Conference with a fifth win from seven. The opening 10 minutes saw Gloucester settle into the game quickly, with neat passing allowing an unmarked man to squeeze in a goal at the back post. Cardiff rallied together and won a penalty stroke after a neat ball from Mark Hobbs saw Martyn Freshman taken down cynically after rounding the ‘keeper. Captain David Hughes stepped up to fire home. Both sides went into half-time nervous, but it was Cardiff who began the second half with confidence.

Good work on the left hand side from the ever dependable Tom Moore found Tom Bacon. Bacon, who was having his best game of the season, got the ball through to Felix Flower with a pinpoint pass to allow Flower to easily slot home.

HOCKEY: Top of the league

Cardiff kept up the pressure and Freshman capitalised on Gloucester’s slow ball pace, and the ball bobbled to Proctor who smashed his shot into the bottom corner. Gloucester returned fighting and got a goal back, and had other opportunities to equalise, including a disal-

lowed goal for kicking the ball. Cardiff’s defence invited pressure and would have conceded, were it not for Mark Hobbs sensational tackle to prevent the goal. This woke Cardiff up, as Moore set up Proctor who, after a quick interchange with Bacon, grabbed his

PHOTO: STEVE BENYON

Martyn White Hockey Reporter

second. A slight lapse from Cardiff saw a Gloucester score immediately after the restart. However, Cardiff’s skill and fitness prevailed as Bacon pounced on Proctor’s saved shot to score. Cardiff began to control the game and scored again, when Freshman’s run at the Gloucester defence found Flower, who unselfishly squared to Proctor to claim his third goal. With time running out, Kieran Zeale buoyed the Cardiff team with his return from injury as he latched onto a Freshman run and played in Bacon who won a penalty stroke. With the full time whistle looming, skipper David Hughes buried the stroke into the top corner for his second, rounding off a deserved win. After the game, Hughes was delighted with the team’s performance: “Players one through to 14 were exceptional, and even with the attacking threat of Gavin Vollmer out injured, we had too much for them.” Cardiff's next game is at the division's bottom-placed Marjons.


SPORT 35

DECEMBER.01.2008 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

Too little too late Susanna Byers Lacrosse Reporter CARDIFF Ladies' 1sts................7 OXFORD Ladies' 1sts...............10 CARDIFF LADIES' lacrosse team were left deflated last Wednesday as a hard-fought match left Oxford University triumphant, despite a magnificent second half comeback. Having been thrashed by Oxford earlier in the season, Cardiff were hungry for a victory over the away team. With Oxford being third in the league table, the ladies knew we had a challenge on our hands. Early on, Oxford managed to cre-

ate fast breaks, and finished off many of their attacks with fine goals. Cardiff were left floundering and frustrated, as the defence tried desperately to hold off the opposition. When Cardiff did gain possession, the attacks could never quite finish with a goal, leaving therm behind at half-time. But as a team with victories against the likes of Cambridge and Exeter, Cardiff knew they could rise to the Oxford challenge. In the second half, Cardiff's defence became much stronger and the Oxford team were unable to attempt any drives towards goal. Cardiff’s defence had stepped up, pressurising the ball-carrier and taking control of the game. Philippa Tyler played an important role in connecting play to our attackers, who finally

finished off play with a goal. Having finally got off the mark, the goals from Cardiff came streaming in. The Oxford defence became irritated as Cardiff set successful picks, creating scoring opportunities, and finishing off with the goals they desired. Oxford barely gained possession in the second half, only scoring one goal. In comparison, Cardiff pounded the goal area, tormenting Oxford in the second half with seven goals to one. Unfortunately, Cardiff’s final push came too late, as they were denied a win by the impressive first half display from Oxford. However, the result was yet more proof that Cardiff are a strong team, ahead of the clash with top-of-theleague Bristol next week.

VOLLEYBALL: Smashing stuff

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Table toppers RUGBY: Derby heartbreak

Cardiff pay the penalty Tomos Morgan Rugby Reporter CARDIFF Men's 1sts...............16 SWANSEA Men's 1sts.............17 CARDIFF LOST to derby rivals Swansea in a tense match after a late penalty try decided the match and ruined Cardiff's chance to continue their winning streak. The team was boosted by the return of flanker Mike Winters, who had recovered from a string of injuries to begin the day on the bench. However, they were without powerful winger Brett Chapwin who had scored a brace in the previous game. The first half started well for Cardiff, with Codey Rees producing another kicking display, scoring two penalties. Apart from a Swansea penalty, the only other points came at the end of the half for Cardiff.

Despite losing Gethin Thomas to the sin bin for coming in on the side of the ruck, a contentious decision for the visitors, Cardiff still managed to threaten the Swansea line. The try came from a set move off a line-out, where centre Harri Morgan broke the line before offloading to flyhalf Cameron Pimlo. Pimlo drew the full-back to put in Chapwin’s replacement Tom Bareham to score, with Rees converting. The second half was, unfortunately, a different story for Cardiff. Although the Swansea back line had not offered much of a threat in the first half, their forwards had driven Cardiff off the ball in the scrums. Considering the dominance of the Cardiff pack in previous games, it was strange to see a team fighting so well against them. However, Cardiff continued to hold out through their dogged defence, before slack judgments by the backline led to the be-

ginning of a Swansea comeback. Minutes before Swansea marked their comeback with a try, another of Cardiff’s players was sent to the bin. Number eight Nick Huntley was punished for hitting Swansea’s fly-half in an off-the-ball incident. As the game reached its climax, Swansea won a scrum five metres out. Their number eight fumbled the ball near the line, but was contentiously awarded a penalty try, as Cardiff were ruled to have been pulling the scrum down. The decision was met with disbelief by Cardiff, as the game finished with a heart-breaking defeat. Chairman Gethin Thomas said: “We made lots of personal errors, including my binning, and also we should have closed the game out earlier in the second half when we had the chance. But to be fair, the decision to give a penalty try with no warning was ridiculous.”

Gareth Ludkin Volleyball Reporter A DOMINANT performance in the qualifying rounds saw Cardiff men’s team progress through to the finals weekend of volleyball’s Student Cup. Despite looking stronger than ever, the women’s team unfortunately missed out on qualification but added towards a hugely successful weekend for a squad which looks set for its most successful season for years. The Student Cup is the pinnacle of the student volleyball calendar and both the men and women’s team approached the tournament with high hopes. A talented but relatively unprepared women’s first team took the fight to their opponents taking most games to an exciting climax. Struggling to convert their early leads into wins, the girls unfortunately missed out on qualification. Despite having not trained together as a unit, Cardiff produced a fine display of grit and determination with Philippa Sheldon throwing herself around the court all day. Lizzy Moorcroft also played exceptionally well as middle-blocker, and the rest of the team stepped up to provide entertaining volleyball against well drilled sides from Leeds, York and Newcastle. Having missed out on qualification they now look towards BUCS to make their talent count. For the men’s first team it was a successful weekend. Wearing their

shirts with pride they stormed through the qualification games, hammering home point after point against lacklustre opposition. Coming up against Manchester Met, Liverpool and York St John’s, victory never looked in doubt after they conclusively out played Liverpool winning in two sets 25-5 and 25-10. Without dropping a set, the welldrilled Cardiff team rotated the squad to capitalise on their successes, beating Manchester Met and York in dominant fashion. The weekend was the perfect start to the season for an incredibly promising men’s team. Outstanding performances were made by setter Davide Curione who managed to gel the powerful attacking line-up of Dimitris Challoumas and Salman Matar, who rarely put a foot wrong and hit powerfully through the opponents' defence. Roberts Kurmis and Alex Ward also displayed their power as the whole team rallied round to produce a solid performance. Finishing seventh in BUSA last year, Cardiff will be aiming to break the top 5 this year against some stiff opposition. With the club growing in both popularity and talent, Cardiff volleyball will be looking to develop their success throughout the season and the coming years. With the amount of talented players within the club, second and third teams could easily be filled; a position the club has never previously been in.


Sport 14 gairrhydd

gairrhydd

FEATURES

OCTOBER.22.2007

INSIDE: The Word On captains, IMG still disrupted, VolleyFEATURES@gairrhydd.COM ball in cup success, BUCS results and Sport Comment

PHOTO: TOM BARNETT

HIGH FLYERS

Tom Barnett Basketball Reporter CARDIFF Men's 1sts...............74 SWANSEA Men's 1sts.............58 CARDIFF TOOK a huge step to winning their division after defeating Swansea by a comfortable scoreline in a tense, close game at the top of the table. The two sides traded points in the first few minutes with exciting end-to-

end action and, at 12-9, Cardiff looked as though they could be pulling away. However, Swansea came roaring back and went on to establish a lead at the end of the first period, with Cardiff trailing 16-23. Swansea scored quickly at the start of the second period to make the score 25-16 and looked as though they were establishing a strong lead. The two sides continued to trade points before Cardiff began a strong fight back, aided by a succession of fouls on Matt Garton and Duncan Pitt.

Cardiff were playing decisively, and were far more efficient in the second compared to the errors made in the first period. With 23 seconds of play remaining in the second period, a good passage of play by Garton led to a foul on Shonobi, who converted one of his penalty shots to level things up at 3434 at half time. The third period was chaotic, with the lead changing hands several times in the early minutes. The play became rough as Swansea were increasingly being frustrated at letting their lead

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

slip, with Cardiff starting to push on in a bid to stamp their authority on the game. Cardiff scored a string of points and started to establish a lead, finishing the third period 53-44 ahead. In the fourth period, Cardiff continued their domination with a pressing game. This shift in tactical play made a huge difference as a slender lead soon became an unassailable one. The Cardiff team stepped up their game, with Will Marsh in particular making his mark in the fourth period. Swansea continued to be frustrated

and the last five minutes lasted for over twenty due to a spate of fouls, penalties and arguments. Marsh had the last say with a penalty shot to make it 74-58. Ultimately, Cardiff looked like they wanted the game more, particularly in the fourth period, and by the end they were convincing and in scintillating form. With only the second strings from Glamorgan and Swansea left to play in the league, topping the division isn’t quite a formality, but if they continue to like this it should be.

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 UNIVERSITYnBEN EVENTUALLY PULLS AT MEDIA AWARDS AFTER LOSING THE TROPHY nAND FALLS OVER ON STAGEnJOSH AND ALI OFF TO BOUNCE TO CELEBRATE EARLY FINISHnTHE REST OF SPORT NOT FEELING ITnBRYANT IN FOUR IN A BED SCANDALnLOSERS SLEEP ON THE FLOORnFUCK YOU OXYMORONS!

gair rhydd - Issue 884  

gair rhydd - Issue 884

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