Issuu on Google+

gair rhydd

FREE

CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY

freeword - EST. 1972

ISSUE 893 MARCH 23 2009

£235,000? PROMOTED TO POWER WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A SALARY OF

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

VICE-CHANCELLOR POCKETS A 12% PAY RISE

News, page 3

ELECTIONS Who's running your Union next year? >>pages 4-6

NEWS Biggest ever turnout in most controversial election to date, as promoters back candidates Ben Bryant gair rhydd Editor Cardiff’s most successful student election ever was marred by controversy last week, as candidates tested the rules outlined by the constitution to breaking point. This year’s election saw a record turnout of 4,918 voters, with candidates going to unprecedented lengths

to squeeze votes from the student body, as they enlisted the help of promoters, clubs, student media, and even Sabbatical Officers. In a marked contrast to previous years, this year’s election saw five candidates enlisting the help of clubs and promoters in a bid to give their campaign a boost. Four of these five candidates have been elected to next year’s Sabbatical team. The majority of the controversy, however, centered around winning

presidential candidate Eddy Carey, whose links with Cardiff promotions company Rough Hill drew criticism and several complaints from candidates running in the elections. Eddy Carey had acquired the assistance of Rough Hill through his housemate, Daniel Jefferys. The company provided Eddy with a number of advantages, displaying his publicity at student nights Vodka Island and Chic Beat, using his campaign logo to stamp guests on

arrival into the clubs, and creating a Facebook presence that included the use of Rough Hill groups to mail out to students encouraging them to vote for Eddy. In an interview with gair rhydd, Eddy Carey, who won by 149 votes in the final round of the preferential voting system, said: “I couldn’t have won without Rough Hill”. continued on page 6

Naked student invades lecture theatre for charity >>page 3

SPORT

We talk to the new AU President >>page 32


02 NEWS

gr NEWS.................1

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Riding a wave No more grants for top-up fees of success Sarah Powell News Editor

EDITORIAL & OPINION.............9 COLUMNIST......13 POLITICS..........15 LETTERS...........17 FEATURES........18

JOBS & MONEY.............25 XPRESS............26 LISTINGS..........28 SPORT..............30 gair rhydd has been Cardiff University's independent student newspaper since 1972.

PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER BEALE

TAF-OD..............23

Tidal celebrate victory at this year's Battle of the Bands

A controversial new scheme to abolish the top-up fees grant for Welsh students is set to be introduced in September 2010. The Assembly Government announced that it is to bring in higher means-tested grants in an attempt to offer more help to students from lower income backgrounds. Currently, Welsh students who study in Wales receive a grant of £1,940, regardless of their background, which off-sets the cost of their tuition fees. The Education Minister, Jane Hutt, spoke of the motivation for introducing the new system, claiming that it would allow more students to have access to higher education, offering a “level playing field for all Welsh students, wherever they study.” She also told Welsh Assembly Members of other plans which are set to be incorporated into the new system, including plans to write off student loan debts up to £1,500 along with the development of a scheme to encourage graduates to work in Wales. Ms Hutt further defended the scheme, telling the Assembly that £44m would be put towards increasing the assembly learning grant, which helps students with their living costs. She also told ministers of her plans to raise the family income threshold by £10,000 to ensure that Welsh undergraduates are not worse off than

those in England. She did assure the Assembly that current students will continue to receive the tuition fee grant until they finish their studies. The scheme has already come up against criticism from various sources. Conservatives said they wanted assurances that the ending of the tuition fee grant would not be a “barrier to students fulfilling their potential.” Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins has directed her displeasure at Ms Hutt, saying that she was “deeply disappointed that the government of Wales, under your watch, has turned its back on one of the most distinctive policies since its inception.” Ms Jenkins further accused the assembly government of being “intent on forcing students to incur more and more debt as a result of abolishing the current fee grant structure”. Tory education spokesman Paul Davies accused Welsh minsters of inadequately funding higher education: “for far too long... allowing a significant funding gap to grow between Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom”. Liberal Democrat Jenny Randerson revealed an alarming statistic: “funding for students to get to university is being slashed by approximately 40%.” She proceeded to condemn the policy: “There are some measures that are welcome, but as a whole, the Welsh Lib Dems cannot support this package, which sees top-up fees arrive in Wales.”

The tabling of the motion demonstrates NUS’s new conciliatory approach while its content reveals the maturity of their arguments. Without constraining themselves by suggesting a cast iron system, NUS have set out support for students to pay post graduation. Using this, the NUS have called on the upcoming review to consider the inefficiency of student debt and the impact that up front fees have on access. They are also calling for a system whereby the amount individuals pay for their degree becomes linked to the financial benefit the degree delivers. In practice this could mean that individuals who pursue high earning careers will pay more for their degree than individuals who pursue poorly

paid careers. This call is likely to be controversial among some sectors of the student community but the aim is inherently positive. Occupations that bring huge benefit to society, such as teaching and social work, require University level education yet offers little in the way of financial reward. By making the cost of studying relative to financial benefit more of our most talented graduates will be attracted to careers with arguably more social benefit. Wednesday marked a change in the behaviour of the NUS as at this point in the last fee’s debate the NUS had only managed to organise a racket that clung to outdated and unrealistic demands.

NUS tackles student debt Nick Yates Education and Welfare Officer This week the NUS followed in the wake of an extraordinary week for the University funding debate. Last week the Daily Mail exposed a BBC survey, which had found out that two thirds of Vice Chancellors favour fees of anything between £4000 and £20,000. The NUS described it as “breathtaking arrogance of Vice Chancellors”, while middle England winced at the thought of average student debt reaching £26,000. On Wednesday February 18 the NUS seized the initiative, casting aside their traditional reliance on shouting and slogans, instead focuss-

ing on getting as many students as possible round the table with decision makers. Armed with a position developed out of the Broke and Broken consultation, meetings will be held rather than having protests and marches. Parliament received the NUS position in the form of an Early Day Motion. This rather grand form of political petitioning is enjoying support from David Blunkett and 18 MPs including its author MP Paul Farrelly. In an open panel debate on Wednesday, Mr Farrelly fleshed out his position stating that an “elitist” US style system must be avoided at all costs. Mr Blunkett went further, stating that Britain needed a higher education sector that was accessible to all.

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

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Rock out with your sock out!

Controversy over Vice Chancellor's pay rise Sarah Powell News Editor Figures from the Times Higher Education have revealed shocking pay increases for many University Vice-Chancellors for the year 2007-08, including Cardiff’s own Dr. David Grant. The figures rank institutions in order of highest new salary, also showing the salary percentage increase. Topping the rankings with a percentage increase of 89.9% is the University of Nottingham, whose Vice Chancellor receives a salary of £585, 000. Cardiff University is placed at number 28, improving its standing from number 32 in 2006, with Dr. David Grant now receiving £234, 000 which gives him an increase in salary of 12%. The figures have caused controversy amongst the National Union of Students (NUS), who have criticised the increase in salary claiming that it is hypocritical for the Vice-Chancellors to take huge increases in pay whilst at the same time calling for higher tuition fees for students. Wes Streeting, NUS President, was highly critical of the figures: “It is ob-

scene for Vice-Chancellors to be lining their pockets with such huge pay increases while calling for students to be charged even higher fees.” He added: “With their six-figure salaries, many Vice-Chancellors are obviously divorced from the stark reality that faces most of us in this country as we enter a recession.” The figures show that in 2007-08 Vice Chancellors’ salaries increased by an average of 9%, and when compared to the 4% increase that other British workers received there is a clear disparity. Sir Keith Peters, Chair of Cardiff University Council, told gair rhydd: “Dr Grant’s salary and conditions of service are independently determined by the remuneration committee and are proportionate with the responsibilities of his role as Vice-Chancellor of a University with a turnover of £400 million and with c6,000 staff and c27,000 students. Speaking in defence of the figures he added: “Cardiff is Wales’ only member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading universities. Of the 18 Russell Group universities for which 07-08 emoluments information is provided 11 have Vice-Chancellors whose emoluments are higher.”

Medics monitored to ensure their 'professionalism'

Streaker livens up Psychology students' lecture

Emma Jones News Editor A lecture theatre full of students were given a rare treat last Wednesday as a student ran naked through their lecture. Charlie Whitaker, a second year Politics and Religion student, stripped off for The Great Naked Lecture Run all in the name of charity. Students in the 12 o'clock Cognitive Psychology lecture in the Law building will have seen Charlie give a little speech in their lecture with no

clothes on to raise money for a hitchhike to Morocco. “I’m not an exhibitionist,” he said, “but I thought it would be good fun.” The Psychology lecturer denied Charlie permission to do the run, but he did it anyway. He entered the lecture theatre and said to the students. “I apologise to your lecturer. This is for charity!” Surprisingly Charlie was quite relaxed about the whole situation. He told gair rhydd, “I’ve been building up to this so much now I’m not really nervous.” The Great Naked Lecture Run had

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

Robin Morgan Reporter

been in the pipeline for a while, but it was not until Charlie eventually made a Facebook group that he was committed to it. But he only promised to do the lecture run if his sponsorship total reached £50. Apparently Charlie walked into the lecture fully naked but for a sock covering his nether regions. He said: “I apologise to anyone whose morals and retinas are damaged! “I don’t know how it went … I think everyone was a little bit shocked.”

Students studying medicine will be under tighter scrutiny regarding their behaviour as undergraduates. New proposals from the General Medical Council and the Medical Schools Council urge students to act as professionals throughout their course. A catalogue of misdemeanours would be set out for which action should be taken. These include alcohol consumption that affects clinical work, drug-use even where there are no legal proceedings, or a constant poor attitude to work. However, these instances of delinquency will also be checked if having taken place before university. In the most serious cases, students may find themselves expelled as a result of a ‘fitness-to-practice’ hearing held by their medical school. This of course would leave them without a medical degree, and unable to progress as a doctor. Other misdemeanours include

breaching patient confidentiality, putting patients at risk of harm, or having criminal convictions. The proposal states: “Students must be aware that unprofessional behaviour during their medical course may result in the GMC refusing provisional registration. This is the case even if the circumstances in question occurred before or early on in medical school.” Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students, urged for a more cautious approach, hoping that “a reasonable and balanced approach to any disciplinary matters” would be taken in regard to past indiscretions. The GMC indicated that single instances of cannabis use, for example, may be overlooked, but would be noted for patterns of future behaviour. Multiple occurrences would then lead to disciplinary matters. Concerns that ‘normal student behaviour’ could be penalised have also been raised, but the GMC insist that the guidance is simply aims to standardise disciplinary procedures across medical schools, so that all students or prospective students understand what is expected of them.


04 ELECTION SPECIAL

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Introducing your newly ele President

AU President

Eddy Carey

Olly Birrell

I feel delighted. I’m indebted to my amazing friends and the people who I live with, the debating and philosophy societies, the Liberal Democrat youth and others. I’m genuinely in awe of their commitment. The campaigning experience grew

on me. The lecture shouts became easier and more comfortable. Talking to people I felt like I was actually getting somewhere, although I guess 81% of them didn’t vote! It was helpful to understand the collective psyche. My number one priority this year is communication, with the aim of making people more aware of what the Union can do for them. And I think it starts with Year One. A common part of my talk with people is to ask them why they haven’t joined a club or society, or done student media, or done anything more than going to Come Play. I will try to make first years aware of what they should expect from the Union by taking advantage of introductory lectures.

It’s a very strange feeling going from the intensity of the last couple of weeks to back to being a normal student again. Overall it was immense fun and I’m really glad I took part. I had a slow realisation over the last year that going for AU was something I really wanted to do.

gair rhydd Editor

Emma Jones I think it’s a shame the way the returning officer dealt with the complaints made by some candidates, and I also disagreed with the endorsing of some candidates by some of the current sabbatical officers. I think most of the newly elected team feel we will change the rules about this next year. There are so many problems with the AU at the moment. I really want to treat all clubs fairly and make sure all clubs, big or small, are treated with respect. I also want to fulfil all the promises I made in my manifesto and I’m looking forward to seeing these promises make a difference to students. I think we as a new sabbatical team are going to have an awesome year and ultimately will hopefully make Cardiff Students’ Union number one!

I was really shocked when they revealed the results, I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet but I’m really pleased! My main priority is to get more people involved, not only in gair rhydd but in CUTV and Xpress too. I think that the way to do this is to

Healthcare Student Integration

Finance & Commercial

Welfare, Campaigns

Jack Navein

Richard Pearce

Ed Dolding

I’m feeling good, not so much because I got the position, because it was uncontested, but because the position has now been validated. The final hurdle for the new position was people voting for me. I really enjoyed the campaigning, although it was more to raise awareness of the position. I went up to the

International Students

Heath and talked to some healthcare students about the problems. Other candidates visiting the Heath were shocked to see how bad it is up there and it was really nice to meet other such passionate and proactive students. Number one priority will be setting up an effective feedback system for courses up at the Heath. We need a system in place which gets healthcare students talking to each other, the Union and the University, and I’m really looking forward to helping out the nurses. Also improving Med Club will be a major part of integrating health care students with the university. I enjoyed the campaigning process but I do feel it got a bit nasty at points. I still feel that a couple of people deliberately broke the rules, but the rest was blown out of proportion.

I feel amazing, absolutely amazing. I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet but it’s such a good feeling and a relief too. It’s bittersweet though, because you don’t want to celebrate too much and then upset the people around you in the other campaign groups. It was a week and a half of the

hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was so emotional and tiring, giving it your all from early on in the morning until late at night, but it was a great experience and everyone got on so well. My number one priority is to make the Union more competitive and to compete with town. I want to make Union nights more fashionable and to be more approachable for societies etc who may want help to organise an event. I also want to set up a promotions team to advertise more, to compete with the likes of Rough Hill and make the Union’s reputation fashionable and really positive.

I am totally chuffed! It hasn’t really sunk in yet and I’m looking forward to getting on with everything that needs to be done before handover. I want to thank everyone who helped me out and all those who voted! I loved many aspects of the campaigning process but at the same

Environmental & Ethical

Quench Editor

CUTV Station Manager

Sara Correia

Students with Disabilities

Dominic Stone

Bethan Horsley

Simon Lucey

James Temperton

I’m very excited, I’m really looking forward to September now! My campaign was subdued compared to others, as I mainly focused on my manifesto and talking with international societies rather than getting out there. One of my priorities for next year will be to organise a democratic forum in the shape of a formal meeting. A good team was elected and some of the people I voted for got in so I am happy about that. I am hopeful that we will all get along.

I’m feeling really happy; I just want September to come round so we can get started. Being unopposed made the whole process a bit easier, but that didn’t leave room for complacency. I didn’t have the stresses that the sabbatical candidates had. Being part of campaigning has been amazing. It was a great opportunity to talk to everyone and get to know them and I think I can work alongside them.

I was uncontested so it’s not that much of a shock, but I’m feeling really happy about it. My first priority is to set up a campaigns forum, and I hope to bring all societies who want to be involved together and create a good network. I’ll be there to offer support and I’m trying to get training so everyone is at the same standard to make their campaigns effective. I’m sure those who were elected will do a good job and I’m happy to work with them.

I’m really excited about next year. The day of the count was very dramatic, it was really tense and I was nervous for everyone. Campaigning was really fun and the sense of camaraderie among candidates was really great. I want to keep Quench fresh and get more readers involved by focusing on getting better content which is relevant to students. I am looking forward to working with the new team and it will be exciting to talk about the future of student media.

I promised Student Come Dine With Me so I think I'd better make that a reality. I also want to rebrand and relaunch and bring CUTV out of the cupboard! I want to concentrate on quality content such as a weekly Union show. The potential is there and I want to get CUTV up to the same brilliant standard as the other student media. I enjoyed meeting the other candidates and everyone who got involved – the hard work was relentless.


ELECTION SPECIAL 05

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

ected executive & Head of Media

Academic & University Affairs

Michaela Neild have a huge media recruitment party to make everyone aware of the opportunities in student media. I found campaign week very, very tiring but I loved it. I met some great people and it was a really good experience. I didn’t have much time to get nervous for the results - I walked in just as they were announcing them but when they called my name I was shocked but really excited. I’m really looking forward to working with the rest of the team, I think everyone who got elected really deserved it and I think that they’re going to do a great job.

& Communication

I’m feeling a bit numb actually, but really good! Me and my friends worked really hard and I just want to thank them and everyone that voted. Campaigning was really worthwhile, the nights out were really fun and I enjoyed going out and talking to

students, especially encouraging them to vote and informing them about the voting process. It was hard sometimes, and very tiring, but overall I really enjoyed the whole process. My main priority is to ensure that the union does as much as it can to ensure graduates find employment so our courses and what we do translates into students getting jobs. I also want to organise campaigns to ensure that the cap on fees is lifted, and I also want to make sure that there are water fountains in the library. In my manifesto I didn’t make promises that I won’t keep, so I’m just going to get on with it and make changes.

Societies, Events & Activities

Carys Hazell time I hated it! I enjoyed talking to everyone about my policies and refining my own ideas with them. At the same time it’s difficult not be irritating especially when students are sick to death of you towards the end of the campaign. Next year I might look into cutting the campaigning period to five days! It was the most mentally draining time ever. My position means I will be overseeing a variety of areas but mainly I want to provide students with knowledge about their Union and the University. University is a time full of opportunity, students can involve themselves in sport, media, the services and student council but not enough students know about what is available and how to become involved.

Campaigning was more fun than expected; everyone seemed to help each other through a potentially embarrassing experience! In general I want to work towards making societies work a lot better. I need to improve on the budget and centralise the room booking system to facilitate student’s needs. In the meantime I need to get a good understanding of how everything functions and work with the others who were elected. I’m feeling really happy and a bit shocked! It’s been a very long couple of weeks and for me tinged with a hint of sadness as I had friends running for other positions who didn’t get them and had worked so hard. I am so grateful for everyone who voted.

The elections in numbers:

4918

voters

11521

cast in total

ballots

19%

turnout (based on 26,000 students)

1

official warning issued by the Returning Officer (to president-elect Eddy Carey)

65

votes between Emma Jones and Hazel Plush for the position of Head of Student Media (most closely contested position) SU President 1st round vote breakdown Tom Store 304

R.O.N. 59 Ed Carey 957

Tom Wright 946

Xpress Station Manager

Thomas Carroll I was slightly shocked with some of the results though, but I’m feeling optimistic I think we have a good team. I want to integrate student media and give people a real reason to listen. I also want to hold more competitions. The whole experience was tiring but fun. Meeting all the other candidates was great – there was a real community spirit even though some of us were in competition.

Abdullah Kahloon 569 James Smith 526 JUBILANT: Winning campaigners react to the result

Tom Bentley 735


06 NEWS News in brief: The ball is back in town

The Summer Ball is coming up soon, and the hot topic of discussion at the moment is which acts are going to perform live at the event. The line up is being finalised at the moment and will soon be announced on the Facebook group, but the organisers have promised that they will have something for everyone. There is also a chance to win your ticket this year by taking part in the Grab Your Golden Balls Game. The game will be taking place all over campus. Participants must pit themselves against the clock to catch the golden ball in order to get their hands on a completely free ticket. Even if you pay for your ticket, though, there are still benefits. A range of special events have been put together for Summer Ball ticket holders saving them a whole load of money. One of the discounts is £5 off the Zane Lowe tour at the Union on Saturday March 21. Last year’s event was the biggest in Summer Ball history, with over 7,000 students in attendance. Attractions include dodgems, funfair rides and a line up of live acts. Tickets are available from the Student’s Union Box Office or at www. cardiffstudents.com.

Apple store raided Jenni Summers Reporter AT Computers' Apple Shop in Cardiff's Morgan Arcade has had £6000-worth of gear stolen by three “professional” burglars. The raid happened on Saturday March 14 at 5.05am. Damien Neale, the store’s manager, arrived to find the door destroyed, shattered glass everywhere and discovered that four laptops and fifteen iPods were missing. Having examined the CCTV footage, Mr. Neale was amazed that the thieves’ expedition took only a few minutes, and included their strategic avoidance of the Security Guard. But he followed this with a stark warning for anyone who might be tempted to buy the stolen equipment: “Everything here has serial numbers and is traceable … We have reported to Apple that they have been stolen and as soon as someone tries them they will be flagged up. So what they have is totally worthless to them.” The investigation is ongoing.

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Campaign controversy Using their initiative? continued from front page He continued: “But I don’t think I could have won without my friend who made my banners, without my t-shirts, without the support of the debating society. When you win by a small margin, every single factor is important.” “It’s difficult to measure how important Rough Hill were. And potentially, in some sectors, they could have been damaging because of rumours and hearsay.” The assistance that Rough Hill provided to Eddy Carey was found to be within the rules of the election, because Rough Hill asserted that they would offer the same privileges to any candidate who requested them. However, after numerous complaints, Eddy Carey received an official warning from Returning Officer Rhys Dart midway through the first week of campaigning. His actions have also drawn criticism from students who claim that Eddy Carey’s relationship with Rough Hill may compromise his ability to make an objective judgment on two of his key manifesto points. Eddy Carey is keen to seek sponsorship for the IMG rugby league and has openly declared his intentions to look into using an external promotions company to take over Wednesday nights at Solus. He revealed to gair rhydd that he has already been in discussion with Rough Hill over IMG league sponsorship and club night promotions. He said: “I have spoken to Rough Hill who candidly told me they’d sponsor the IMG league and run a nightclub night in a package deal.” Responding to accusations that such discussion could appear to constitute a conflict of interest, Eddy Carey said: “I purely assured that I would listen to offers on a fair basis. On a matter of principle, I have nothing against using another promotions company on top of Come Play.” He continued: “If they [Rough Hill] believe that their actions in supporting my campaign mean that they’re going to get into the Union, they’re going to be incredibly disappointed” Finance and Commercial Officerelect Rich Pearce, Welfare Campaigns and Communication Officer-elect Ed Dolding and presidential candidate

James McLardy-Smith also came under fire for their distribution of 300 guest list tickets which permitted free entry to Oceana before 10pm. Defending his actions, Rich Pearce said: “It’s like giving out sweets. It’s perfectly legitimate. They [Oceana] just thought we were having a party. They didn’t understand that we were running for election – they didn’t know what it meant!” He continued: “I know it looks terrible from the outside, but at the end of the day it was fair and it did really work – so many people came and spoke to us that night. And I’d do it again, even though it caused a bit of a storm, because it was just a guest list. Anyone can get their hands on it.” Head of Student Media and gair rhydd Editor elect Emma Jones also received assistance in the form of sponsorship from Glam nightclub, who paid for her campaign t-shirts in exchange for the presence of the Glam logo on the t-shirts. Vice-President James Wood and Returning Officer Rhys Dart agreed that the actions of Eddy, Rich and Emma were within the rules of the election. However, an official warning was issued to Eddy Carey because of the volume of complaints that were received, and because it was felt that his actions were not in the spirit of the election. Further controversy was sparked over the endorsement of candidates by Sabbatical Officers Andy ButtonStephens (President) and Nick Yates (Education and Welfare Officer), with candidates reportedly dissatisfied by their decision to approve a number of candidates. Interestingly, however, none of the candidates endorsed by this year’s Sabbatical Officers were elected by the student body. The election also saw other innovations in the campaigning process, as viral videos flooded social networking sites, while Twitter and election blogs kept students informed of candidates' progressaround the clock. Vice-President James Wood said: “I’m very happy with the turnout of the election, the procedure of the election and the way that it was run. I think that all candidates worked extremely hard and any complaints that we received were dealt with in a fair way to all candidates.”

The winners who hauled in help from clubs and promoters: EDDY CAREY

ELECTED RICH PEARCE

ELECTED EMMA JONES

ELECTED

WHO? Students' Union President elect SPONSOR? Rough Hill, a promotions company responsible for Monday nights at Tiger Tiger and Tuesday nights at Vodka Revolution HOW DID THE SPONSOR HELP? Display of t-shirt in club window, stamping of guests with publicity, Facebook campaigning including mail-outs to groups, word-of-mouth promotion WHAT DID THEY GET IN RETURN? According to Eddy Carey, "Nothing." WHO? Finance and Commercial Officer elect SPONSOR? Oceana HOW DID THE SPONSOR HELP? Donated 300 tickets allowing free club entry before 10pm. These were divided between Rich Pearce and James McLardy-Smith (not elected). Ed Dolding (elected) also received between 30-40 tickets. WHAT DID THEY GET IN RETURN? Additional customers into Oceana before 10pm WHO? gair rhydd editor and Head of Student Media elect SPONSOR? Glam nightclub HOW DID THE SPONSOR HELP? Printing and payment for campaign t-shirts WHAT DID THEY GET IN RETURN? Their logo printed on the t-shirts

Today's students 'lazier than any other generation' Steve Wright Reporter Two of Wales’s top academics have attacked today’s University students for being semi-literate and lazy. In a dossier compiled for an MP’s inquiry, students today are described as being badly behaved, arrogant and passive about their learning, with lecturers refusing to penalise them for apparently using text speak in their essays. Dr Peter Dorey, a Politics lecturer

at Cardiff University, said: ‘‘I am convinced that dumbing down is taking place in British higher education, and at an alarming rate. Universities are now run as businesses. ‘‘Maximisation of income is now a priority so we are compelled to ‘mark creatively’ when faced with a weak student.’’ He added: ‘‘Key concepts and intellectual ideas which students readily understood 10 to 15 years ago, they struggle to understand today. Indeed, many of them have serious problems thinking critically or independently at all.

‘‘Today’s students, overall, are less willing to read and work hard.’’ Dr Rob Penhallurick of Swansea University concurred with the opinions expressed, saying: ‘‘My belief is that a typical degree awarded in the arts and humanities is worth less than its equivalent of five years ago even, and certainly less than 10 or 20 years ago.’’ Both Cardiff and Swansea Universities have been quick to distance themselves from the claims, with a spokeswoman from Swansea saying: ‘‘The views expressed were Dr Rob Penhallurick’s’’, whilst Profes-

sor David Boucher, head of European Studies at Cardiff said he ‘‘does not recognise the picture of students that Dr Dorey paints.’’ However, both the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and NUS in Wales have openly expressed agreement with some elements of the claims. NUS president in Wales Ben Gray said: ‘‘There are a lot of pressures facing students today, and if they are distracted it is probably because they are arranging work to pay for their books, houses and course fees, not socialising.’’


NEWS 07

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

UNION WATCH

Jamie Thunder rounds up the week in student media

Union election candidate attacked Sheffield Students' Union is forced to change its election rules after a campaign of vandalism of posters and physical violence SHEFFIELD FORGE

DAWN TIL DUSK: Campaigning will be limited in the morning and evening

Durham college invasions rapped 'Unacceptable' behaviour from St. Chad students DURHAM PALATINATE

This year's annual St. Chad's Day 'invasions' by students of Durham's St. Chad's College damaged property and resulted in numerous complaints. The event is held on the 26th of February each year, and typically consists of students of the college gaining entry to other Bailey colleges and waking up their residents in what are known as 'invasions'. But celebrations this time went further than usual, sparking complaints from heads of colleges, alumni

and students of the colleges, as well as neighbouring residents. It is alleged that a number of students broke some students' doors down. There were also reports of a car wing mirror being snapped off during the events. Sanctions were imposed on the college for the 'unacceptable' behaviour of the students, with alcohol being banned from two formals. The Principal of the college claimed they needed to show they were "capable of controlling themselves." One contributing factor to the events was believed to be the timing of the Principal's Feast on the day, which will now in the future be held on a different day.

A candidate for a Students' Union position in Sheffield suffered facial injuries after he was attacked while posting flyers late at night. International Officer candidate Ajay Sharmer was struck in the face in the early hours of February 27. It was stressed that the violence was not believed to be related to his candidacy, but new rules regarding the publicity material for candidates were drawn up in an attempt to ensure student safety. The new rules mean that students are prohibited from removing promotional flyers before 11pm and from replacing them before 6am. The aim is that by preventing candidates from late and early activity, they will not be put in vulnerable positions as they campaign. The two weeks of election campaigning leading up to the elections had further controversy with complaints of vandalism. One candidate,

Martin Bailey, had his posters daubed with black paint, although it is not known whether students or rival campaigners were involved in any way. Although Bailey eventually won the election for Finance Officer, his campaign suffered an early blow when his flyers were defaced early on. There was further controversy surrounding the election when publicity for the education referenda was banned. Union rules disallow any publicity being stored on Union premises, but campaigners had stored placards in the offices of some Sabbatical Officers. After they were discovered, they were removed by the serving Finance Officer. In spite of all these issues and the appalling weather conditions on the voting days, turnout was significantly up on previous years. This was largely attributed to the advent of online voting, despite some students' concerns that it would increase ignorant voting. One student claimed that if students really cared, they should make the effort to go in person.

Arson about Fire outside college branded 'suspicious' OXFORD CHERWELL A raging fire that burned outside an Oxford college for over an hour before being put out was described as 'suspicious' by police recently. The blaze at the Radcliffe Street entrance of Hertford College began shortly before five o' clock in the afternoon on Friday March 6th, and is estimated to have continued for around an hour before the fire alarms were set off. A bin outside the college caught fire, causing flames that, according to Oxford's newspaper Cherwell, reached heights of around six feet and sent out

billowing clouds of black smoke. A spokesman for the police confirmed that they were treating it as a suspected case of arson. Fire engines arrived at the scene shortly after the alarms went off and were able to douse the flames within just a few minutes. One student who witnessed the fire commented: "I just came out for a cigarette and there was smoke billowing everywhere." This incident is the second fire at Hertford this term, and the first was also started by a burning bin. In that case, students were evacuated from the halls but police eventually ruled out arson after a lengthy investigation. No-one was hurt in either incident.


08 WORLD NEWS Also in the news... Daniella Graham Reporter

Snacking snake

A woman from Australia’s Northern Territory got an unpleasant morning surprise last week when she discovered her pet Maltese terrier, complete with collar and dog tag, had been eaten by a python. When Bindi did not turn up for breakfast, owner Patty Bundine went to look for her but found a snake with a rather bulging belly. The snake expert who took the python away said the dog would have been approximately 60 percent of the snakes body weight, which is the equivalent of a 100kg man eating an average 16-year-old male.

Human USB

MARCH.23.2009 NEWS@gairrhydd.COM

Doing it doggy style Chris Lloyd Investigations

Michelle Owen, from Indiana, has been engrossed in a custody battle with her ex-boyfriend Heath Pierle and reported him to the police, concerned that he had searched for child pornography on her laptop. Having asked the police to scan the computer for illicit photos, the police then discovered multiple videos of Michelle engaged in illegal acts with a dog. Last week she was charged on two counts of bestiality as a result of the videos, which were found by a detective in the computer’s recycle bin. When she had asked police to scan the laptop she was already incarcerated in Johnson County Jail, charged

with public intoxication while still on bail for a previous drink-driving felony. According to the police report, one of the officers told Michelle that he had found videos of her and when he asked if she knew what these were she asked “the one with the dog?” Having been informed that she was going to be charged, she retorted that the videos were just something she did when she was drunk and barely remembers. She added that she tried to delete the videos the next day when she was sober. The police have found no evidence to suggest that her ex-boyfriend had downloaded any illegal child pornography whereas Michelle could be imprisoned for up to 3 years for her crimes.

Chillies keep Predator drivers awake X-tinct Sarah Powell News Editor

A computer programmer from Finland has created a USB drive with a slightly unusual twist: it is contained within his finger. Jerry Jalava had to have half of his left ring finger amputated almost a year ago, after crashing into a deer on his motorcycle near Helsinki. He went on to make a prosthetic replacement finger, complete with a 2GB memory stick. The memory stick is accessed by peeling back the fake nail, and the detachable finger can be left in a computer when not in use.

Juror twit With Twitter fast becoming the new Facebook, everyone is keen to get in on the action. However a juror in America may regret his fondness for the microblogging site after a firm launched legal action alleging he sent biased Twitter updates during the multimillion dollar trial the company lost. Building materials manufacturer Stoam Holdings have filed a motion for a new trial claiming juror Jonathan Powell sent eight Twitter updates during the trial. He has since been keeping followers updated on the media attention he has received via Twitter.

Emma McFarnon Reporter Police are encouraging drivers in China to eat raw chillies to stop them falling asleep at the wheel. It is a traditional Chinese belief that people often feel more sleepy in the spring so police in the Chongqing region have started serving drivers free chilli peppers at highway service stations to keep them awake on some of the deadliest roads in the world. Overloaded speeding lorries often switch lanes without signalling, ignore traffic lights and drive down the middle of the road at night. About 73,500 people lost their lives in road accidents in China in 2008, and the Ministry of Public Security has said that since 1996 China has

ranked first in the world in terms of traffic deaths. Local newspapers reported that since the service began, drivers have stopped and helped themselves to 1.5kg of feather light dried peppers which are available at the side of the road. Most of the drivers are from neighbouring Sichuan, Yunnan and Hunan provinces, where chillies are a local favourite. Van driver Chen Jun said: “It’s really good to have some hot peppers when you are tired from driving. They make you alert.” Police hope that the chilli peppers, along with supplies of mentholated balm and beds for a quick roadside rest in Chongqing could help to reduce the mortality rate.

Scientists have recently unearthed the fossil remains of a giant sea monster from the Arctic, describing it as a creature that would make the T-Rex look feeble. The creature, which has been nicknamed ‘Predator X’, was 50 ft long and had a crushing 3,000 lbs per square inch bite force. “With a skull that’s more than 10 feet long you’d expect the bite to be powerful but this is off the scale,” said Joern Hurum, an associate professor of vertebrate palaeontology at the museum who led the international excavation in 2008. Speaking of the gigantic reptile, he said: “It’s much more powerful than T-Rex.” Scientists have reconstructed the predator’s head and estimated the force by comparing it with the similarly-shaped jaws of alligators in a park in Florida. They found that the creature would have had one of the largest bite forces ever calculated for any creature. Predator X’s bite was more than 10 times more powerful than any modern animal and four times the bite of a T-Rex. Its teeth were also estimated to be a foot long. The creature, believed to have weighed 45 tonnes, was similar to but had more massive bones than any other fossil sea monster found to date. “It’s not complete enough to say it’s really bigger than 15 meters,”

Hurum said of the new fossil. Previous skeletal reconstructions of other pliosaurs have shown that the creatures had a bite big enough to chomp into a car. “This one could crush a Hummer,” Hurum said, referring to General Motors’ large sport utility vehicle. Among other findings were that the pliosaur had a small thin brain shaped like that of a great white shark. Pliosaurs preyed upon squid-like animals, fish, and other marine reptiles. Predator X had four huge flippers to propel itself along, perhaps using just two at cruising speeds and the others for a burst of speed.


OPINION 09

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

freewords Est. 1972

A rousing election This year's election was the biggest the Union has ever seen. Almost 5000 students turned out to vote (about a fifth of the student population), dozens of candidates ran for positions and the campaigners deployed ever more inventive tactics to attract students to the online polling booths. Unfortunately, however, it was also an election which saw a large number of complaints, and one which was memorable for the candidates' creative interpretations of the rules. There is probably one key reason for this creativity. The internet has changed student elections forever. The introduction of e-voting has meant that candidates have had to adapt to a system that allows students much faster access to casting a vote, but also threatens to yield less informed votes. In addition, the impact of Facebook has never been so apparent. Facebook campaigning emerged as a crucial campaign tool three years ago, and it is now a major part of any aspiring officer's campaign, allowing instantaneous access to thousands of students. The emergence of viral marketing, the use of group mail-outs, and status updates have all been invaluable additions to the online campaign. The candidates' reactions to the instant gratification offered by online voting seems to have been to seek out ever more inventive ways of spreading their presence across the campus. Exposure has never been so important, and the adoption of sponsorship from external promoters and companies has proven to have been an enterprising way of gaining publicity. None of this was disallowed because all companies, promoters and sponsors promised the same privileges to all candidates, which has been a headache for the Union, who cannot therefore prove unfair advantages. However, the Union's handling of the elections has been excellent throughout. They dealt with complaints in the best way that they could given the unique scenarios they were presented with.. As always, the situation can be improved. In light of the dramatic changes to campaigning that we have witnessed this year, it would be wise for next year's team to review the election process to find ways to prevent the controversy that this year's elections have yielded from happening again. Editor Ben Bryant Deputy Editor Hazel Plush Co-ordinator Elaine Morgan Subeditor Jamie Thunder News Emma Barlow Emma Jones Sarah Powell Sian Symons Eleanor Joslin Editorial and Opinion

Permission to land A new system means the Government will track your trips abroad. Nathan Allen defends the plans

when you land in Milan or wherever. It’s not like the mountain of papers you’d have to fill out and get signed just to hop across the border for the afternoon in the former Soviet Union – and there's thankfully no KGB agent either.

We need some way of ensuring that Britain is safe

EYE ON THE SKY: They've got their eye on you

S

o, you’re one of the lucky few who this year can afford to go away on a summer holiday – your two weeks in the sun that you probably deserve; it’s been a tough year so far and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. You’ve got the time off work (or that wondrous-looking thing that is 12 weeks of vacation if you’re a student!) and now you’ve packed and told the family you’re off, you plan to get to the airport and jet off to sunnier climes. Nobody else needs to know, right? That’s how it used to be, at least. As of now, other people person know – but you’ve not told them. They’ve used their magical powers to pinpoint you, all the way to your aisle seat in row 18 on your easyJet flight down to Nice – you know the one: near the emergency exit. It can only be Mr Brown and his Whitehall chums. In a nutshell, the Government are going to keep tabs on you when you enter and leave the country. That equates to 250 million journeys per year, and they’re going to keep the data for a lengthy ten years. The details that the Government will collect are your name, address,

Paul Stollery Emma Davies Columnist Emma Davies Politics Gareth Ludkin Sport Scott D’Arcy Alasdair Robertson Josh Pettitt Richard Williams Liz Wray Letters Helen Langdon Features

Ceri Isfryn Aimee Steen Science and Environment Priya Raj Listings Sarah George Lottie Butler Jobs and Money Tom Victor Five Minute Fun Kate Eaton Taf-od Dafydd Loughran Picture Editor

telephone numbers, flight information, passport data, seat reservations and card details.

The country is just as free as it's always been The official line is that this is part of the fight against law-breakers, illegal immigrants and – what no rightsinhibiting policy could possibly be without – terrorism. But surely going on holiday does not warrant the Government, who you pay hundreds (possibly thousands) in taxes to each year, keeping check on you? The info will then be stored on a lovely big database, which will probably go wrong from the outset and end up being a complete farce (remember the new NHS computer system?). The issue here is privacy – the erosion of your civil liberties to “to pass freely without let or hindrance”, as stated on the inside cover of your passport. I doubt many will have heard of the plans, and I think that even fewer know that an optional system already exists. The Foreign and Commonwealth Natalia Popova Online Editors Graeme Porteous Tom Barnett Proof Readers Aisling Tempany Lucy Morgan Emma Davies Emma McFarnon Daniella graham Katherine Davies Neil Fairbrother Siobham O'Hanlan Georgina Coles Rachel Sutcliffe

Office (FCO) have had an opt-in system for years, although it is to afford protection and emergency contact if needed. The idea is that wherever you are in the world, HM Government can get vital information to you, which is good, as you’ve given them your passport number and told them where you’re going, how long for and where you’re staying. Even your mobile number. Its quite a long list of things to fill in (I opted in for the purposes of this article) - almost exhaustive. The question it poses is how free is this country? The answer is actually that this little idea of the Government’s will have very little effect on the likes of you and me, so… as free as it’s always been?

Spain have been doing something similar for years You won’t have to proactively fill in a form every time you want to hop over to France on the ferry and load your car up with cheap booze. It’ll all be done in the background by the ferry company or the airline will do it, and a machine will read your passport

Laurel Burn Contributors Nick Yates, Robin Morgan, Jenni Summers, Steve Wright, Daniella Graham, Emma McFarnon, Nathan Allen, Sarah Kilby, Corey Shefman, Rachel Sutcliffe, Jenny Sleeman, Robbie Wells, Damian Fantato, Lucy Roden, Michelle Taylor, Simon Turner, Emma Bennett, Matthew

I hate to say this, but although it eats away a bit at our civil liberties, the Government may just be onto something here. If we’re tightening our borders, illegal migrants won’t be allowed in and hence there won’t be as many people relying on our already overstretched services and infrastructures. It’ll also keep those people on the ‘black lists’ away; people who have been deported or barred for inciting racial hatred or by being known as, or affiliated to, terrorists. It all sounds quite Tory. The likes of Australia, the United States, Canada and Spain have been doing this for ages. You might not know this but the Spanish Government have demanded full details of all people entering their nation on package holidays for the last five years. So that’s the vast majority of the 70 million tourists to Spain in 2007, including myself apparently. Nobody has batted an eyelid, and up until the current economic woe piled up, Spain was the destination of choice for many Britons. The reality of the matter is that it sounds bad to begin with, but in reality our Government is just making sure we’re okay and that our home soil is being well looked-after. In these harsh financial times, there are a lot of people out there for themselves. And as long as they exist, posing risks to our nation, we need to have some way of ensuring that Britain is alright. Okay, we have to allow the Government to know when we leave the country but then, as the old saying goes: you’ve got to speculate to accumulate.

Merry, Tom Victor, Chris Tarquini, Ed Flower, Megan Davies, Thomas Martin, Brian Winstanley, Chris Lipscomb, Sian Owens, Vicky Bemmer, James hinks, Neil Fairbrother, Laura Davies, Amanda Berry, Jack Broadfoot Address Cardiff University Students' 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 Canuck in Cardiff

Corey Shefman defends Darfur

O

n Monday March 16, Omar Al-Bashir, President of Sudan, announced that he would be ordering all foreign aid organizations out of the country. This announcement follows his expulsion of 13 of the most prominent aid groups, including Oxfam and Medicines Sans Frontiéres, from the Darfur region of the country after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the President’s arrest. All of this comes in the wake of international recognition and Sudanese denial of the ongoing genocide being perpetrated by government troops and government-sponsored Janjaweed militias against the black inhabitants of Darfur – a genocide which has claimed upwards of 500,000 innocent lives, though that number rises or falls depending on whom one speaks to. If the burning, raping, maiming and slaughtering of innocents, with the sole intent of destroying their entire racial and ethnic group wasn’t reason enough, surely the failure of a government to provide necessary resources such as food and water on such a systematic and grand scale is, on top of everything else, an excuse for NATO or the United Nations to finally become involved militarily. The African Union, who have argued for years that this crisis is their responsibility, have clearly failed as the genocide has continued unabated. Yet we too have failed. Our leaders have occasionally condemned the actions of the Sudanese Government on the rare occasion that one of their atrocities makes it into the mainstream media, and every so often we hear about a letterwriting campaign trying to mobilise the public. On the whole, though, we have inexplicably continued to turn a blind eye to this systemic and planned genocide. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked some students active in various societies here at Cardiff Uni why so little is being done in terms of mobilization on this issue. The overwhelming response has been something along the lines of; “It’s an old issue: students are tired of it already.” With a new President in the White House, a British election approaching and the European Elections right around the corner, young people have a unique opportunity to make a difference. Our society, on the whole, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to ignore lessons from the past. 15 years ago, around 800,000 Tutsis were killed because of their ethnic identity. For the last six years, black inhabitants of Darfur have faced the same fate. When will we learn? Help save the innocent people of Darfur. Check out any of these links to get more information on how you can get involved: http://www.eyesondarfur.org/ http://www.standnow.org

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

A royal hanger-on Christofer Lloyd faces up to Fergie's 'career'

N

ow, let’s get one thing straight: the royal ramily are a horde of inbred, unintelligent mobsters who sashay about in a fetid cloud of 17th-Century pomp and ceremony while doing very little of benefit to humanity. So, what about those lucky enough not to be royals, but stupid enough to associate with them – or even (dare I say it) breed with them? Well, these sycophantic, perennial runner-ups face a fate worse than death. Not only do they have no real link to whatever it is that makes royals 'royal', but they are also loathed by the public. Unless they're called Diana, of course. You would have thought that being married to serial throne-dodger Prince Charles would have been more than enough punishment for a lifetime of any imaginable sin, but obviously not. Surely Camilla must have been getting pretty impatient in the Queento-be waiting room too – itching to finally park her bowles in Buckingham Palace.

Fergie has serious throne-envy Worse than this, however, is the conduct of ginger-tinged royal reject Sarah Ferguson. Having finally seen sense and escaped the grasp of The Royal Travesty, this divorcée has now wasted another decade of her life obsequiously licking the royals’ crown jewels. All in a vain attempt to dramatise the life of Queen Vic in the film, The Young Victoria, which she co-produced. Apparently.

This Duchess with the muchest claims she wanted to cover the 'great love' between Victoria and Albert, but you’d have thought that having already bored the nation with two books on dear old Vicky, there was little left to say. Obviously, Fergie has a severe case of throne-envy. And, following her hippy hollerings that Victoria and Albert’s world 'was just so full of love', a mid-life crisis of biblical proportions also looks in the pipeline, too. Having no vocation and clearly having messed up the royal dossingaround role, Her ex-Royal Highness must have struggled to find a new way to support herself and her litter, Princesses Eugenie-in-a-bottle and Beat Rice after the royal purse strings were cut. So, since fleeing the royal mess, Fergie has sold her soul to the media, becoming involved in a relentless stream of mass-produced vacuous American drivel and British ennui. She has appeared on Friends, as a stand-in presenter for ABC and CNN (presumably everyone else in the vicinity must have died), performed the voice of the Queen character in a Disney film and, like all those with no prevailing talent or ability, Ms Ferguson has had a go at writing children’s books. Oh, and she’s presented some self-empowerment lectures. I wonder if there’s one about how to cope with being evicted from a royal family. What an inspiration to us all. This gingernut is the worst kind of 'celebrity': only famous by proxy and through no accomplishment of her own. So why her futile quest to find meaning in her life by producing some incestuous pro-monarchy propaganda

UMMMM: just what does she do, again? The royal family and all its sycois of any importance to the world, God phantic addenda are a historic relic. only knows. Fergie has no political nous, no en- Like diphtheria. Or slavery. In the tertainment value and less charisma 21st Century the royal family has no than MRSA. Frankly, the best thing purpose and there is no value in its rethis bit of audiovisual tumbleweed lentless retrospection to a time when could do is disappear back to America the world was flat and life expectancy with all the other moronic media mer- was 15. The royal family should be nationalised, sold to the highest bidcenaries. der and the proceeds ploughed into the state. As for a certain Ms Ferguson, as long as she’s off the tabloids, not fabricating a royal heritage that doesn’t belong to her and is a long, long way There are millions of 49-year-old away, I couldn’t care less. Because the women in the world and this one’s only thing less newsworthy than being film preferences are just as unimport- 'royal' is being famous for no longer being 'royal'. ant as those of any other.

The royal family are just a relic

All filler no thriller?

Sarah Kilby asks whether Jacko should just beat it

H

e is set to make millions from a 49-day residency at the O2 Arena, yet fans barely blinked at the ticket price for their last chance to see Michael Jackson on UK soil. Have we become so used to and anaesthetised towards the cost of tickets that we are willing to pay without a second thought? Or are the companies charging so much because they know people are willing to pay it? Essentially, the huge cost could be our own doing. Many people are greatly anticipating the ‘King of Pops' arrival, with queues on the streets and on websites. The original 10 dates sold out, only for him to release another 14, then up to the full 49. There was some initial

criticism for this as 10 dates was so exclusive. Early figures showed that he was going to make up $100m from the tour, and if extended to a world tour $500m, suggesting that perhaps it isn’t just about entertaining. In recent years Jackson has been plagued by child abuse charges and ill health, and has lost his Neverland Ranch due to having no money to support it. This does suggest that the Jackson people see this year will be a shadow of his former self. Pictures of him being pushed in a wheelchair were published recently: is there really much chance he’s going to be able to use the moves that made him famous? Similarly, famous artists such as

Madonna and Kylie also charge somewhere in the £50-80 region for their shows, yet they are still fit and healthy and you can guarantee that there will be entertainment for the eyes as well as the ears. Unless Jackson pulls out all the stops it would surely be a waste of money. Of course, this attitude is not embraced by everyone. Many see it as the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to see a man with a great history and legacy through over 30 years of music. The cost is deemed acceptable for Jackson’s sheer reputation and the anticipation and thrill of what he might do. Not many artists can say that people slept outside an arena for two days just to get tickets to see them – it’s

rarely seen in this technological age. This does say something for the star’s sheer popularity. Tickets sold at 333 a minute and are already up on eBay, with pairs of front row tickets in the £16,000 range. So many missed out on tickets that diehard fans may be willing to spend far higher than the face value. His promoter, Randy Phillips, has claimed, confidently, that “he’s 50 but he’s going to dance his ass off”, reaffirming to some that the show will be as good as they believe. He hasn’t completed a tour in 12 years, but perhaps the break between shows will mean no fans are disappointed. There are obviously enough fans who don’t think he’s past his best, and are ready to be thrilled!


OPINION 11

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Will plans make Soho so soulless?

With the Olympics fast approaching, politicians have called for a Soho Square clean-up. Robin Morgan asks if it's warranted

I

t is equivalent to hiding your porn mags under the bed and hoping your parents don’t find them. Of course they know they're there, but our Great British reserve won’t ask any questions. Visitors from all over the globe will arrive in London to watch the Olympics in three years' time, and they may find a certain area of our capital much cleaner and family-friendly than we all have in recent decades. This is Soho I’m referring to: an infamous part of West London, known for sex shops and other sources of frivolity. The cause of cholera was discovered in Soho in 1854, leading to its eradication. 150 years later, it is the soul of Soho that is planned to be eradicated. Or is it? Westminster Council leader Colin Barrow claims that “the view that the sex and drugs are part of [Soho’s] charm is simply wrong.” I happen to agree. ‘Gritty’ London

may be an ideal location for any one of Guy Ritchie’s films, but in reality, modernisation and rejuvenation of cities have been occurring frequently over the past few years.

Soho is infamous for its sex shops and other frivolity Soho itself has seen a crackdown on sex shops and brothels since the 1980s, so these new plans can just be seen as an evolution from previous policies. The fact it is coming in time for the 2012 Olympics may just be an excuse to rush along these plans. Drug-related crime is also fairly high in the area. This is more of an issue, especially with the amount of young people that will almost certainly be arriving in a few years time. Of course, it’s not just to protect

those visiting; it’s important to try and stamp out drug abuse in areas that have become synonymous with it – this is the hard part. The whole area is set for a transformation, with illegal ‘eateries’ (a term that I think is just genius) being clamped down on. The removal of the typical aspects of Soho – sex, drugs, poor hygiene, litter etc. – surely isn't a negative aspect. However, the reasons for this clean-up pose more difficult questions. Is it simply an evolutionary change from the transformation of the 1980s that will benefit home residents? Or is it really a case of brushing all our ‘dirt’ under the carpet, in the hope that our visitors won’t see it? It’s probably a mixture of both, and for whatever reason, it’s a good thing. The ‘soul’ of Soho may disappear, but with it should go the problems that are part and parcel of the area. In reality, however, every major city has its seedy core. Amsterdam is

synonymous with its red-light district, while Thailand has its own sleazy reputation. Even Cardiff, with its numerous ‘massage parlours’ and ‘saunas’ dotted across Cathays, can be said to need cleaning up.

These plans might remove some of Soho's problems It may be fighting a losing battle, however. Wherever there is demand, there will be supply. Even after the clean-up, there will still be available sources of sex shops or brothels, simply because people will still want to go to them. Whether or not a new area of London will see an upsurge can be questioned, but even so, it’s like banning smoking in pubs – people will just go outside. Or to ‘Twice as Nice’.

SOHO: Cleaning up smut?

Online warning signs Rachel Sutcliffe asks if the Germany shootings were avoidable

A

couple of weeks ago, Tim Kretschmer, a 17-year-old boy, went on a rampage at his former school in Germany, killing 15 people. Controversy has arisen as it was discovered that Kretschmer gave warnings of the attack the night before in a chat room, commenting "You will hear from me tomorrow. Remember the name of a place called Winnenden." It was not until after the shooting that a Bavarian man's 17-year-old son mentioned the chat room conversation that occurred the night before, having not taken the threats seriously. People are now questioning the chat room supervisors' responsibility - should they report such threats or unusual behaviour to the police? On the one hand, had the police known of the threats, they perhaps could have put some safety measures into place to protect the school, saving the lives of those who were attacked. But the difficulty is, how do the police know whether or not the threat held any weight? I am positive I am not the only person who has said something along the lines of "I hate *insert name here* sooo much, I just want to punch them in the face", despite knowing that I never would. People often make off-hand threats, sometimes joking and sometimes as a way of venting anger or frustration.

So at what point is it somebody’s responsibility to report these kinds of comments? It's also not made any easier when the comments are made on the internet and not said aloud, meaning the police don't even have inflection to help them decide how serious the person who said it is.

people are being told it is their responsibility to report them all to the police. I don't doubt at all the upset the chatroom conversation has caused among the relatives of those who died. After all, the conversation existing means

that, in some way, the rampage was preventable. But unfortunately, the fact remains that not all comments made on the internet can be taken seriously and reported, otherwise the police would be out constantly chasing after empty

threats made by students frustrated and venting about their lecturer or an employee whose had a bad day and slags off their boss. In this particular case though, I sort of wish they were, so that maybe those 15 lives could have been saved.

Should chat-room supervisors report potential threats? Another issue is one of surveillance. Taking the recent example of the so-called Facebook stalking incident that occurred in the University's JOMEC school, it is difficult to see where the line is in terms of what is written on the internet being taken seriously. Had the police or school taken seriously the comments the student made, the police would have had to barricade Claire Wardle in her office for fear of her being assassinated. So there is no right answer. When people are called up on comments they made on the internet that they didn't intend to be taken seriously, they always say that they didn't mean it. On the flip side, when threatening comments are dismissed with the assumption that it is an empty threat,

INTERNET THREATS: How seriously should we take them?


12 OPINION

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

A new stem of hope

Jenny Sleeman discusses the potential for stem cell research

T

wo weeks ago, President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in the US. This could not have come at a better time for American medical research, and indeed the international scientific community. Stem cell research has long been a contentious issue, with opposition from pro-life and religious groups on ethical grounds. But it is one of the most important fields in modern medical research, because it may hold the key to understanding more about, and ultimately preventing or treating, birth defects and other human genetic diseases. The issue tends to become politicised due to its controversial nature, and Obama has now signed an executive order reversing the ban on federal funding for stem cell research.

Many people are concerned over the ethical issues The ban was instigated by President Bush, which only allowed research to be carried out on stem cells already extracted from embryos before 2001.

In the extraction process, embryos are destroyed, which many people think raises moral and ethical issues. But the cold hard reality is that this destruction of life happens everyday, and would continue to happen whether the embryos were being used for research or not. For example, in the process of IVF thousands of embryos are frozen, and when one is successfully fertilised, the others are left over. Couples using IVF treatment are given the choice of donating the remaining embryos to other couples, but statistics show that only one embryo out of every 100 is put up for 'embryo adoption'. The other embryos are either donated to stem cell research, or discarded as medical waste. Pro-life groups have opposed the recent lifting of the ban because they are against the use of human embryos for scientific experiment. But when there is a chance of curing debilitating, chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s through stem cell research, then surely the aim is to reduce human suffering and improve quality of life, rather than destroy it. I’m not suggesting we should produce live embryos for the sole purpose of scientific experimentation, but the fact is we don’t need to, they

already exist, and as such should be put to good use. Already, even overcoming limited funding and opposition, biomedical scientists have developed bone marrow stem cell transplants, which allows healthy cells donated by volunteers to be injected into patients suffering from leukaemia. The news two weeks ago was controversial, inciting anger from antiabortionist groups in America who oppose stem cell research, because

embryos are destroyed in the process of stem cell extraction. But researchers have found a way of using adult cells and reprogramming them to act as stem cells, and science is moving forward.

This could lead to the prevention of deadly diseases Some religious groups also opposed the executive order because they believe that stem cell research will pave the way to human cloning and genetic experimentation. People have also highlighted the billions of dollars spent on medical research every year that does not yield any clear results. But as the President said last week, “medical miracles do not happen simply by accident”, and stem cell research may become as great a leap forward as the discovery of antibiotic medicines, which has saved countless lives. In his speech, President Obama also made it clear that he is adamantly against cloning, and even though he aims to make funding for research available, it will be tightly controlled

and monitored. The knowledge and prevention of disease this research can bring surely far out-weighs the moral and ethical issues of experimentation and testing. If stem cell research is allowed to continue and is given funding, support and time, genetic diseases and other debilitating conditions may one day be a thing of the past. So what does this mean for British medical research? Some doctors are apparently anticipating a brain drain of British biomedical scientists crossing the Atlantic to capitalise on the new funds that the President hopes to make available. The fact is that, although our Government has been supportive of British stem cell research, the funding available in our country is still much less than it was in some part of the US, where privately- or state-funded scientists were still able to carry out research. Our scientists have the ability to carry out this essential and potentially life-saving research, and it is shocking that more has not yet been done in Britain to advance this important field. It is a worthy investment to take a chance on something that has the potential to alleviate human suffering in the future.

It never Waynes but it pours Wayne Rooney has revealed his hatred for arch rivals Liverpool. Robbie Wells questions why we are all so surprised

T

his week the eloquence, decorum and lexical diversity that epitomises Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney apparently deserted him. In an interview with MUTV, where one can only assume he was bested in a battle of wits with an adept and objective journalist, Rooney let it slip that he has always hated Liverpool Football Club. Naturally, there have been countless cries for a formal inquiry to ensue in light of this attack. The Pope is set to address the Vatican later this week. Who is really surprised? And furthermore, who cares if he hates Liverpool? It’s a bit like some bloke who works for Coca-Cola saying “I’ve always really hated Pepsi”; who cares? It’s such a shame that people want to sterilise football of any passion and emotion; anyone would think it was golf. I was a little bit disappointed when Sir Alex Ferguson publicly tried to diffuse the situation by saying that it is far easier to say ‘hate’ than ‘dislike’. Well, I personally found it fas-

cinating to discover that Wayne has an agreement in place whereby the more syllables he uses in speech, the more his wife can haemorrhage his money, hence his apparent reluctance to tone down his comments.

He knows what he said, and obviously he meant it However, I firmly believe that despite the perception of Rooney as someone who gets confused watching Tom and Jerry, he knows what he said, and he meant it. It is absurd to be offended by the comments. What Liverpool fan, or indeed football fan, does not hate Manchester United and have the feeling reciprocated. Rooney grew up as an Evertonian, so there is no surprise at hating Liverpool? If Steven Gerrard tried articulating his feelings, they would be the exact same against United, so there’s not a surprise here.

So who is complaining? As far as I can see, no one. The press attempted to make a meal of it as best they could, in order to invoke some kind of reaction from Liverpool fans, which they got. This, in turn, intensified the game, and no doubt made it four times sweeter when Liverpool thrashed Rooney’s team at Old Trafford. The comments

are no doubt the alcohol to Wayne’s wounds right now, but as Olof Mellberg and Aston Villa fans both know, passionate comments about rivals can often be returned with a victory, and the feeling then is one of sweet revenge. Passion and intensity on a higher level is what separates football from more insipid sports like golf, cricket

and even rugby (apologies to the Welsh population for that), where sportsmanship is paramount. But if Rooney is going to be lambasted by the media for saying he hates his rivals, then the va-va-voom, as Thierry Henry coined it, is lost from football. Thierry is too much of a gent to admit it, but I for one bet he hates Spurs.

SHOCKED: Rooney was aghast at his gaffe


COLUMNIST 13

MARCH.23.2009 OPINION@gairrhydd.COM

Is it

Imitation of life I

’ve noticed a trend recently. When I say recently, I mean over the last few years. And when I say trend, I mean malignant cancer nibbling away at our society like the mice on Aslan’s ropes until they snap, unleashing Jesus to exact his terrible revenge on all of us. No, not Jesus. Aslan. I mean Aslan. It’s this thing called real life. Not the grey, soulless, futile existence that you and I experience as we trudge dully through the burnt out cigarettes, discarded chewing gum, and back issues of gair rhydd that litter the streets, though. Oh no. It’s much more exciting than that. It’s Real LifeTM, as relayed to us by the kindly misanthropic cynics at Chat, Love It, Pick Me Up and their ilk. This is a world where people are buried while still alive, where people are covered in their mothers’ blood, and where people are tricked into eating human flesh. I say people; I mean women. The protagonists of these stories, whether they be brave, disfigured, desperately unfortunate, or just weird, are always women. Men, meanwhile, are relegated to the status of murderers, love rats, liars, and all-round knuckle-dragging sputumfilled skin sacks. Or generic hunks, if they’re lucky. The stories themselves are masterpieces in sexing up that would make Alistair Campbell blush. Take, for example, Cosmopolitan (yes, they’re in on it too), who went this month with the intriguing headline ‘My family buried me… but I was still alive!’. Was this a Poe-esque nightmare concerning someone who was interned before they had deceased? Nope, it

just me... ‘tragedy lit’ currently squatting in our bookshops, often in their own dedicated section. Heart-rending memoirs of child abuse, available now for £6.99. Perfect for the person who wants to look sensitive but can’t be bothered with all the wishy-washy actually being sensitive nonsense.

It's as if real real life somehow isn't shocking enough

READ THEM AND WEEP: This is literature was a case of mistaken identity; the ed. The stories are generic and exagfamily had only thought they were gerated, and usually just annoy me. The ideal contents of a story are, I burying her. It’s still fairly shocking, but a distinct anti-climax. A bit like reckon from my extensive browsing, finding out that your family’s unspo- woman + relation + injury + happy ken dark secret was that one of your ending. Which leaves me hoping for uncles once got done for shoplifting a ‘Hit in the face by an axe SIX times… and I still think I’m beautiful’. It’s a marker pen and a copy of Penthouse. tale of hope in the face of sharp implements and overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Crucially, it’s also shocking. If you were to take the version of real life put forward by these magazines, you’d be living in some dystopia where all women are at risk They get away with it of course, of fraud, assault, or being burnt alive because people want to read these sto- every day, and nothing good ever hapries of terror, desperation, and cour- pens without extensive suffering first. But however bleak and terrifying age. I admit that I sometimes browse the covers of these magazines, before the gospel according to Take a Break tersely reminding myself that I have (who recently ran with the unparodybefore been lured into reading them able headline ‘Ghost in my womb’) and have invariably been disappoint- may be, it’s nothing compared to the

This is a world where people are buried while alive

There’s a certain vicarious thrill from reading these versions of real life – it lets you experience the emotions and terrible incidents from a safe distance while pretending it gives you a real insight into the topics. It doesn’t. The obsession with other people’s problems is pretty unappealing, really. It doesn’t make me despise people – hating humanity based on Woman’s Own is like reading a Dan Brown novel and deciding you hate words. But by being billed as ‘shocking’, these stories for some reason imply that real life, real real life, isn’t shocking enough. They’re an easy distraction from the real problems in the world. You can read A Child Called It and have that as your moral deed for the day. But what can you do about it? Nothing. You can just read about it later. The real, current issues are ignored. Invasion of privacy by the state? Climate change threatening, oh, the world? The war in Iraq? Nah. Forget it. These issues aren’t marketable. You don’t get bestselling paperbacks about human rights atrocities. They might make people feel bad.

It’s all over the front page I

t's fair to say that journalists have a bad reputation. They're desperate hacks, lunging for the latest story. When people ask me of my future plans I tend to answer with a shrug rather than have to face the competing looks of pity, amusement and surprise that inevitably follow. Sometimes this seems unfair. But sometimes there's a story so disgusting that I have to join the screeching masses. Actually, that happens most weeks in this column. Oh well. My latest moral outrage has been provoked by The Scottish Sunday Ex-

press from March 8th. The article in question is surprisingly unavailable on the website, but you can read it at www.tinyurl.com/d72kyv (thanks Cyph for the link). That's right, it's a front page article about how the survivors of the Dunblane massacre have had the temerity to grow up to be normal, fucking, fighting, drinking teenagers. They're 18 now y'see, so anything goes. Screw the ethics of posting bits of people's social networking profiles in a national newspaper. Screw the hypocrisy of you yourself having considerable references to your own

liquor-induced stupors on your Facebook page. It's all about the story.

Journalists will never have respect

But this isn't even a story. The angle of the piece is that these teenagers are lucky to be alive so should be getting involved in local government, helping the poor, and generally being unbearable. But why? They don't owe the universe anything for sparing them. Surely they're allowed the same

protection as anyone else? As long as journalists keep spewing out this awful excuse for news, they'll never have respect as a profession. There'll be the odd honourable exception of course, but the prevailing image will still be of some sleazy, greasy, middle-aged pillock sniffing around for the next invasive story. And unfortunately, that's not going to change, however nice it would be. There'll always be opportunists like Paula Murray who look to capitalise on whatever dregs of a story they can find, and as long as they exist, journalism will retain its bad press.

...or do child prodigies just make you feel inadequate?

C

or it’s grim, isn’t it? No, not the credit cruuunch. Not the Josef Fritzl case. Not even Russia’s rearmament plan. It’s the news that a nineyear-old has achieved 90% in his A-level maths exam. I don’t know, prodigies. They seem to get younger every year, just as you get older. When I was a lad I fantasised about being the youngest player to play football for England. I knew, realistically, that I wouldn’t. I was short, a bit scrawny, wore glasses, and was generally quite proud if I managed to get a touch on the ball, and if it went the right way then even better. But in the last few years Rooney and Walcott, as well as probably others, have shattered the record and my hopes of eternal fame.

There's always someone who'll do better than you

So even with the knowledge that the current A-level in maths is easier than the GCSE I took four years ago, it’s a sobering thought. This kid is over ten years younger than me, but he has an extra qualification. Oh, and his brother got 96% in further maths, although to be fair he is 11. Is your self-esteem plummeting yet? It should be. There’s always someone who’ll do better than you, and who’ll do it younger. From the child chess genii – I always harboured hopes of being one of those, too – to the myriad of talented toddling tunesters (oh okay, composers), you’ll never be as good as some child who should just about be learning that Kenan and Kel isn’t actually very funny, not cementing their status as the finest mind of their generation. There must still be some records left for me to break though. Maybe I could be the youngest PhD student? No, two years too late. Damn. Or the youngest ever astronaut, perhaps? Ooh, yes, I still have another 13 years to do that. Right, let’s get started.


© 2009 Accenture. All rights reserved.

Getting satisfaction from what you do. Just another day at the office for a high performer.

Choose Accenture for a career where the variety of opportunities and challenges allows you to make a difference every day. A place where you can develop your potential and grow professionally, working alongside talented colleagues. The only place where you can learn from our unrivalled experience, while helping our global clients achieve high performance. If this is your idea of a typical working day, then Accenture is the place to be.

Graduate careers in consulting Our clients include many of the world’s largest organisations and we’ll prepare you to take a central role in developing innovative business and technology solutions that improve the way they operate. Professional development is a key part of the total rewards package we offer. You’ll get continuous training both formal and on-the-job to enable you to do your job well. And you’ll gain satisfaction from working on some of

the largest, most challenging and interesting projects. For people with the right intelligence and personal qualities, there’s no career quite like consulting. If you’re genuinely interested in business and technology, with typically a predicted or actual 2.1 in any degree discipline and 320 UCAS points or equivalent, prepare for a future where high performance is all

Visit accenture.com/ukgraduates

in a day’s work. And you’ll be rewarded well, with a salary of £31,000 plus an additional £10,000 bonus. Visit our website for more information on graduate careers in consulting. Accenture is committed to being an equal opportunities employer.


POLITICS 15

MARCH.23.2009 POLITICS@gairrhydd.COM

Beware the Dark Horse

As the Liberal democrats prepare for a potential hung parliament, Damian Fantato considers whether they could ever take power

T

he Liberal Democrats have reunited recently for their spring conference in Harrogate, and this has sparked discussion over whether or not they are a viable political force. The Lib Dems have been on the up in recent years, gaining 22.1% at the 2005 general election, their highest result since 1997, though they have yet to match the 25.4% that they polled in 1983 when the party was first formed through an alliance between the Social Democrats and the Liberals. They also have the highest number of seats in parliament (62) than they have had since their formation. Whilst they gained from their opposition to the Iraq war, their support seems to have stalled over the past couple of years since the other two parties have stopped losing voters. As a result they have been trying to set themselves up as an alternative to traditional party politics and hopefully capitalise on the seeming ineptitude of the two other parties at dealing with the financial crisis. Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader who looks and sounds startlingly like David Cameron, has said that they are the party that Britain can turn to in a crisis, claiming that they can ‘carry on the torch of progress’. The only authority they seem to have in the financial crisis, however, is the fact that Vince Cable is their Treasury spokes-

person, who was able to see it all coming and has achieved a god-like status within the party and can’t seem to put a foot wrong (though a fat lot of good it’s done them). This begs the question, what would the Lib Dems actually do were they to gain power? The emphasis has been switched very heavily to the economy, much more so than the other two parties, and the tone seems to be banal and unobjectionable. Some of the policies highlighted over the conference period are simply old policies recast in the

ever want to gain power then the most likely situation is that they form a coalition with one of the other parties, particularly if current predictions are proved correct and a hung parliament is the result of the next election. The Conservatives look like they might

To many people the Lib Dems just don't matter

emerge as the largest group and so the most obvious partner in a coalition. This is why there has been considerable debate within the Lib Dems over whether or not they should join a coalition and with who it should be. Some, particularly amongst the party leadership, take the view that the Lib Dems should go it alone, suggesting that maybe they could form a minority government in a hung parliament and govern by making pacts with the other parties. However, this would not only be undemocratic, but doomed to failure: any Lib Dem minority gov-

ernment at the moment would be so small that it would collapse once it crossed the other two parties. Others take a more pragmatic view, claiming that for the Lib Dems to become a viable political entity they must first gain power. The electorate, who has already had a nervous breakdown, must be able to recognise that they can trust the Lib Dems in power, and this is right, because the truth of the matter is that to many people the Lib Dems just don’t matter, and while that’s the case they stand no chance.

What would the Lib Dems actually do were they to gain power? light of the recession, for example tax cuts for low and middle earners. Some policies meanwhile are completely new, such as the nationalisation of all failing banks and enforcing a split between retail banking and the banking of high risk investment. A party that wants to provide real change is going to have to do better than that. The Lib Dems have seemingly set their sights on being the sole party in government. Whether this is possible in the short-term however, is highly debatable. If the Lib Dems

PM TO BE?: Nick Clegg greets campaigners

Russia to modernise military Russia promise investments of £94.5bn to boost military in response to growing threat from Nato. Gareth Ludkin analyses the situation

I

n the past week Russia have promised the growth of their army and navy alongside an overhaul of nuclear armaments as a response to a growing threat from Nato. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s President, stated in an address to the defence ministry in Moscow that Russian military were to be put on a state of “permanent [combat] readiness”, stating an increase in “combat readiness of our forces”, particularly “strategic nuclear forces”. These comments came as Gordon Brown called for the world to reduce its nuclear armaments, specifically Iran, who has increasingly concerned Britain and America with their nuclear policy. However, with Russia proposing to spend £94.5bn on new arms by 2011, should we not be more, or equally concerned by Russian armament? Is a return to Cold War possible? I don’t think so, but there remains a very real sense that the world is becoming ever divided. Tensions between America, Russia and ‘the West’

seem to perpetually bubble under the surface, and these new Russian proposals of military armament do little to distil fears. Russian military expenditure comes just behind the UK, however this increase reflects Russian fears of a perceived threat from Nato. Russia has also raised concerns over Nato’s military presence and infrastructure on its borders.

The future continues to look unsteady for world diplomacy Medvedev’s comments come only two weeks ahead of his meeting at the G20 summit with Barack Obama, who is keen to ‘reset’ relations with Russia. Russia have cited outdated military practice as a reason for their increase in arms, and also the threat of the west, who according to Russia are coming ever closer to Russian

Borders. Russia is vehemently against Nato, especially since Georgia and the Ukraine expressed their desire to join. Russia is also greatly opposed to America’s proposed new missile defence shield in central Europe, which is now being put under review. The Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov commented that “the likelihood of armed conflicts and their potential danger for Russia was rising”. Mr Serdyukov also stated that “The military-political situation is characterised by the US leadership's desire to expand its military presence and that of its allies in regions adjacent to Russia”. The Russian army is in a state of decline and has been continually crumbling with poor discipline and a shocking record of accidents and suicides within the army. It is no wonder that the army and government desire a revamp and more investment in the army but there have been questions raised over the funding of the military after 2011. The Russian government’s stance

on America’s presence in Europe is also understandable, as long as their desire is to maintain internal security, and not outwardly threaten world security. Russia wants to see an end to US military deployment in Europe, and a restriction of Nato expansion. Russia has welcomed talks of an arms deal with America. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said that a strategic arms deal was a priority. The future continues to look unsteady for world diplomacy, with each day bringing new challenges. Obama’s presidency seems to have feigned a united world for a short while. However now that the mist has cleared, the divide between Iran and America remains clear and the various tensions throughout the world linger on a knife edge. Obama has promised open engagement with Iran, but Russia needs as much or even more dialogue. Russia’s belief in the need to boost its military is understandable but its desire for nuclear armaments is twice as concerning.

RUSSIAN NAVY: Plans to grow


LETTERS 17

MARCH.23.2009 LETTERS@gairrhydd.COM

letters@gairrhydd.com Feedback Fiasco Dear gair rhydd, Does anyone else feel that in some subject areas they're not really 'getting their money's worth'? You spend hours and hours researching and writing essays, then another substantial chunk of time editing and referencing. Then you hand them in and move on to the next pile. A couple of MONTHS later, you are told to go and retrieve your lovingly crafted pieces of work, only to find that the admin staff are not only very hard to actually get to speak to during the short hours they are available, but are in some cases incredibly rude. Having been treated like dirt by the secretary who finally decides to relinquish your precious essay, you find that the only feedback you are

the

given for your hours of toil is a few extra commas added here and there. I certainly don't feel that it's right that students can spend so much time and effort creating a polished piece of work only to have someone give it a cursory punctuation check and write 'well done' at the end. This so called 'feedback' just isn't worth the effort put it, and comes nowhere near satisfying the £3,000+ per year pricetag put on Higher Education these days. I'm not saying that all subject areas in my school are like this - some departments provide fantastic, detailed essay feedback, with recognition of the hard work put in by students, but which is still critical though encouraging. However some departments are distinctly lacking three words and a punctuation check is not enough. Disgruntled ENCAP student.

Debunking the 'Myth' Dear gair rhydd, In response to Alex Evans’ ‘Time to reflect on global warming’ article last week, we would like to point out a few fundamental flaws in his argument. While we agree with some of the points he put across regarding the economic disadvantages of the proposed solar reflectors, we feel we have to respond to his unfounded comment that global warming is a myth. Firstly, general consensus among the scientific community (i.e. the people who are carrying out the research, and therefore know what they are talking about) is that climate change can no longer be described solely as a ‘media hype’ or a ‘myth’ as critics have suggested in the past. Climate change IS happening, despite

what the media might suggest in order to make us feel better. We think that Alex Evans, and perhaps many others, do not understand the link between global warming and greenhouse gases. In suggesting that money should be spent ‘reducing carbon emissions’ he is contradicting himself in saying that there isn’t any evidence that global warming is a very real threat. If global warming is not a problem, then why bother reducing carbon emissions!? This is where he seems to be confused. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs solar radiation which has been reflected from the earth and then emits it in the infra red range, creating a warming effect, in the same way as the glass in a greenhouse does. This is what is commonly known as ‘global warming’, and is resulting in effects such as rising sea levels because of melting polar ice caps.

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com Stop The War Meetings While not being a Journalism student, I am a scientist, fully aware of the difference between objective facts and subjective opinion. I totally understand CSAW's desire to see articles that criticise Israel because it has carried out a 40 year military occupation, denies human rights and racially discriminates against 20% of its own citizens. However it was not my role to reprint such disputed opinions as established facts. The brief I had was to recount who was there and what was being planed. That is the point of it. My article, even as trimmed by editorial staff gives, I assert, a flavour of the meeting and reports opinions of those present.

I’m not sure how much of a good idea it was to have a news piece and an opinion piece on the same group, in the same issue, by the same person. Even if the news piece showed no shred of bias (which is difficult to achieve anyway) doing this means that it is very clear what the writer of the news piece is trying to say. There is little need to read between the lines. I also think that by quoting an unnamed negative opinion from the audience and not a positive that this is not simply recounting the event. I think that if the general feeling in the audience was negative than fair enough but I believe that there was only one or two people that spoke up against what was being said and that most of the audience were interested and in solidarity.

Dan -------

Jonathan Bird -------

These ‘disputed opinions’ are only disputed by people who either have a vested interest in seeing Israel continue to force the Palestinian people off their ancestral land, or who don’t know what they are talking about. As a reporter, which are you? A zionist or just an idiot? Get your facts straight in future, and please stop dressing up hard facts as opinions. If I wanted to read distorted rubbish I’d pick up the Daily Express in Lidl.

Thank you Amy. It wasn’t my decision. I submitted the opinion piece last week. I also reported only what was said. I would have liked to have reported more opinions of the audience. However, I did not attend the talk as a reporter. I only received a brief to do so afterwards, on Thursday afternoon. Also, the level of hostility to any dissenting opinions, see Dan’s post above, intimidated me in questioning anybody. Perhaps that is why so few expressed dissenting views. As it had been described as attempt to educate

Jonathan Bird -------

Amy -------

students, I felt the quote nicely summed up the character of the talks and that student’s evident disappointment. Tony ------Nobody expects Gair Rhydd to give CSAW free publicity, anyone is entitled to write opinion pieces criticising CSAW positions. The trouble is that Jonathan Bird, who is actively hostile to the campaign, deliberately doesn’t give an accurate summary of some of the complex arguments put by the speakers. Instead we report people as saying the most banal things – ‘Israel is nasty’ ‘the media is biased’ etc. – to make people think that CSAW is some rather simplistic loony fringe group. This deprives those who have different opinions to CSAW of the opportunity of presenting their counter-arguments as they don’t have any accurate presentation of why CSAW has taken the positions it has taken? He also claims to quote a student at the end of his piece when everyone at the meeting saw that he didn’t speak to A SINGLE student at the end of the meeting, except someone from CSAW who the quote clearly isn’t from! This seems to be part and parcel of Bird’s hatchet job style of journalism. In his other piece he attacks CSAW for making claims about F15s that he reveals are false, only problem – as Jonathan Bird knows, CSAW never mentioned this weaponry. Where did he get the idea that they did? Answer: He just invented this himself.

Climate change may be a better description of the combined influence of human activities on the environment due the varying effects in different areas (i.e. some areas are experiencing a warming while others are experiencing changing seasons, cooling or other extreme weather patterns). As ecologists, we resent people publishing that global warming is ‘in all likeliness a myth’ as this is clearly untrue and misleading. His argument is based on gross misunderstanding, and in publishing such a misconception, he is encouraging people to turn a blind eye to a problem that MUST be addressed. Perhaps the £244 trillion solar reflectors are not the answer, but at least someone is searching for a solution rather than hiding behind denial. Victoria Hazell and Stephanie Johnson, 3rd year Ecologists.

forum

I heard the very powerful speech by Dr Marcelo Svirsky, an Israeli citizen and am astonished with the way it is reported here, that doesn’t capture the spirit of what he said at all. In fact, the way he is quoted seems to be more reflective of Bird’s personal opinions and political priorities than Svirsky’s. We are told that Leanne Wood produced a random letter, in fact, as Bird knows it was actually a report by Jill Evans MEP, who visited Gaza last month as part of a delegation from the European parliament, If he was going to mention the letter in his report, as a good journalist, he should at least mention that. He finally reveals his true colours by smearing CSAW. The meeting was organised by students, chaired by students, students spoke from both the platform and the floor including four occupiers and a Palestinian student. These speakers were joined by guest speakers which included two Cardiff academics, the Assembly Member for this area and a representative of a national anti-war organisation. But the meeting was open to people from the wider community interested in the Palestinian Right to Education (as many student events are). One of the strengths of CSAW is how a student-led campaign has pulled in (and engaged with) support from the wider local community. During the occupation, Cardiff UNISON, a trade union branch representing 4,000 local government workers voted at its AGM to send a message of solidarity, a local mosque took a collection for food for the occupiers,

messages of support flooded in from politicians from different political parties including the deputy-leader of Cardiff Council & all kinds of social justice organisations. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Jonathan Bird -------

Tony: The F14 or F15’s use was referred to by a poster put up in the main building, with the stop-the-war coalition impeirator. It advocated support for the protest. I have been told CSAW has no leadership, so how can you say that it was not produced by one of them? Anyway, even if that is not so it was produced as part of the protest. As I said I’m no Journalist. However I made a digital audio recording of the meeting. I listened to it three times before writing my news piece. You may, if you wish, listen to my recording. My story was quotation led. The things I said were said are accurately recorded. My copy was larger than the narrative published, but the further plans of CSAW, who the speakers were and their outlook was, were I assert, faithfully recorded. I would relish analysis of all the different points of view as to what took place in Gaza, and why - the Geneva Convention, rules of war, the principle of proportionality etc.. I believe, however, it would become a extended essay and possibly a thesis. That was not what I was asked to write.


18 FEATURES

MARCH.23.2009 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

The smears on the Gov

With the sad news of Jade Goody's cervical cancer currently domin Roden investigates why university students are more exposed tha

I

t’s been hard to pick up a celebrity magazine recently without feeling teary-eyed reading Jade Goody’s heartbreaking story of her battle with cervical cancer. It’s scary that the young, vibrant girl we first came to know in Big Brother is soon coming to such a tragic end because of a disease which is now the second most common form of cancer in women under 35. With 2,800 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK every year the harsh reality is that these cancer victims could very easily include one of us: your best friend, a girlfriend or a sister. So is enough being done to help prevent this terrifying disease

People in Wales can be screened every three years

and treat it early on? Currently the NHS offers cervical cancer screening to all women over 25, and the government has recently introduced routine vaccinations to immunise 12-13 year old girls against

human papilloma virus (HPV) - the cause of most cases of the cancer - before these young girls become sexually active, the time when women are at risk of contracting the virus. According to experts, the vaccine protects against two HPV types which are the root cause of 80% of cervical cancers. Of course this means that in effect, 80% of cervical cancers could be prevented with this vaccine. This all sounds good but it doesn’t offer much peace of mind for those of us currently in what should be our carefree university years who have missed out on the vaccination but aren’t old enough to be invited for a smear test. It seems illogical and unfair that the government decided in 2004 that women under 25 should no longer widely be offered tests because statistically the cancer is less likely in these women. In fact girls at university might be more at risk as the student population is generally more likely to take part in risky sexual behaviour, such as alcohol-induced unprotected sex, which might expose us to sexually transmitted HPV strains such as genital warts, which could later become the cause of

cancer. Thankfully though, Cardiff students might be at an advantage when it comes to taking preventative measures to help fight this disease. Those registered with a GP in Wales should be invited for the screening every 3 years from the age of 20, so hopefully most of us girls registered with a GP here in Cardiff will be or have already been for a cervical cancer screening. It’s shocking, though, that so many girls invited for the screening aren’t bothering to attend. According to statistics, one in three girls between the ages of 25 and 29 don’t turn up for theirs. Cardiff student Gemma Pamment sheds some light on this: “I’ve had an invite for the cancer screening and I’m going to go definitely, especially with everything that’s been in the news about it. I know a lot of my friends won’t bother because you hear stories about it being painful. Of course, it’s so easy to sit back and think it won’t happen to you.” Robert Music, director of Jo’s Trust, a cervical cancer charity, says he finds the lack of attendance by the 25-29 categories figures disturbing: “We just don’t know why girls aren’t attending

Celebrity sufferer Jade Goody in the later stages of cervical cancer

the cervical screening programme. It’s very worrying. There seems to be very little public awareness about it, and quite a lot of ignorance.” During a smear test, some cells are taken from the cervix. These are sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. To be able to judge the cells properly, this is best done in the middle of your menstrual cycle, halfway between one period and the next. The doctor or nurse will insert an instrument called a speculum into the vagina to allow them to see the cervix.

It seems illogical and unfair that women under 25 are no longer widely offered smear tests A spatula is then wiped or scraped over the surface of the cervix to remove some cells, which are then transferred to a glass slide. The doctor or nurse may also do an internal examination to check for any problems. Whereas girls in Wales are simply not taking up the opportunity on offer, girls living in England still aren’t offered the screening until they are 25. Almost 70,000 people have joined the Facebook group, ‘Cervical Cancer - Be aware, please, SPREAD THE WORD’ set up by brave cervical cancer victim Katie Hilliard, who two years ago at 23 was diagnosed with cervical cancer, after being refused a cancer smear test three times. Katie, who got her got her first invitation for a smear test after she’d been fighting the cancer for a year, is campaigning for under-25s in England to be entitled to the cancer screenings and has through her group raised enormous awareness about the issue. Katie, who is at the moment all clear of the cancer, has remained positive throughout her ordeal and wants to encourage more and more young girls to go and have their smears. Also raising awareness is Laura Craft, who was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer at the age of 20. Laura notied abnormal bleeding following the birth of her son, but was advised that a smear test would not be necessary as she was deemed too young to be at risk. After six months of bleeding and six refusals for a smear test, an adamant Laura was finally tested, and was found to have advanced cervical cancer - one stage away from terminal. "I had read about cervical cancer online, and although I knew at my

age it was unlikely, I didn’t see why I couldn’t have a smear test to eliminate the possibility. All my GP did was test me for sexually transmitted disease. I felt as though I was talking to a brick wall."

Girls at university may be more at risk of getting cervical cancer Laura has been left unable to have any more children, as the intensity of the treatment destroyed her ovaries, and subsequently she is experiencing an early menopause. "It’s not lost on me that I’m in menopause before my mother," says Laura. ‘Every hot flush reminds me what I’ve lost. All my friends are having children, and although I’m happy for them, I’m heartbroken that I will never be able to have another baby." Since Jade Goody's diagnosis the papers have been full of horror stories such as Laura's, and as a result it seems that action really is being taken to drop the screening age and encourage us to ourselves, friends and family screened for the cancer before it has the chance of being fatal. Last week a petition in memory of Claire Walker, a 23-year-old who lost her battle to cervical cancer in September 2008 because it wasn’t diagnosed due to the Government’s raising of the screening age in 2004, was presented to the Prime Minister in the aim of getting the screening age lowered throughout the UK. Thousands of people have signed this petition at www.clairesmessage.org. Whereas nothing can be done to help Jade now, she can take the slightest bit of comfort in knowing that her plight has caused a significant increase in screening numbers in hospitals across the UK. University Hospital Lewisham, in South-East London, has carried out 21% more tests in the months since Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer last August compared with the same period in 2007. Moreover, as a result of the publicity generated by her diagnosis, the government has agreed to review its policies on screening. Goody commented that she is "immensely proud" after the Government said it would review the current age limit for cervical cancer testing."It's too late for me, but it will not be for millions of others." Katie Boyd, consultant pathologist for Bournemouth and Poole primary care trust, said cervical screening


FEATURES 19

MARCH.23.2009 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

vernment's conscience

nating the headlines, Lucy an most to the illness workloads had increased markedly in the past four months, particularly among women of Goody's age. "We have seen a lot more women coming for smear tests who have not come before and therefore an increase in the number of abnormalities among that group. Women read magazines and are influenced by these things. "I am very sad for Jade Goody but if it encourages more people to have tests then at least there is something positive to be gained."

Cardiff University Health Centre encourages girls to go for their screenings when they get invited. More general women’s health information is available from the Health Centre, next to the Union on Park Place as well leaflets offering health information in many languages. The centre will also know the best place for you to go for specific medical help or treatment. The family planning clinic is open Wednesdays 5pm-7pm during term time in the centre.

Did you know... Cervical cancer is the

second most common cancer, after breast cancer, in women under 35.

In 2006

168 women in Wales contracted cervical cancer. 60 of those died.

There is a significant jump in the statistics of those diagnosed under 25 to those diagnosed over 25. This shows

earlier screening could save lives.

The statistics say it is rare for women under 25 to get cervical cancer with only

2.4% of

those diagnosed in 2006 having it. However, if people are not being screened is it really as low as they say?

9% of female cancer deaths. A woman dies every 2 minutes. That's around 273,000 women a

Worldwide cervical cancer accounts for

Claire Walker on her wedding day. She later died of cervical cancer at the age of 23

year.

Smoking can increase your chances of contracting cervical cancer.

The survival rate of cervical cancer is lower than that of breast cancer if not caught early enough.

a used f e r was , de raft ix times oms of C a Laur r test s g sympt age of a sme showin er at the ission. t i sp e ical canc w in rem cerv he is no 20. S

Cervical cancer screening saves 5000 lives a year, but only

78% of all eligible people went

for a screening between 2007 and 2008.

The symptoms of cervical cancer do not appear until quite late on, therefore regular screenings are very important to catch it early. It might be embarrassing, but it's better than having cancer.

Cervical cancer is caused by HPV, an STD which can cause genital warts to cervical cancer that

Kati gran e Hilliar d after ted a scr , who w canc being d eening aas only iagn er. osed year with

many people are unaware that they carry, therefore

using a condom can

lower your chances of contracting the disease.

by Sarah Kilby


FEATURES 21

MARCH.23.2008 FEATURES@gairrhydd.COM

It's cold for the old

The elderly in our country are often overlooked in the winter months. Michelle Taylor investigates what can be done to help

A

s January 2009 drew to a close a package arrived in Hull, from Iceland, that sent a definitive message to the British government about the treatment of old age pensioners in Britain. It all began with Icelandic DJ Heimir Karlsson, who was sparked into action after receiving a phone call on his radio show on Bylgjan FM. The caller was an Icelander who lived in Manchester commenting on how badly OAPs in Britian suffer in the cold weather and how little regard they are treated with. Karlsson immediately began the ‘Islensk Ull til Englands’ (Icelandic Wool to England) campaign. When Karlsson revealed the statistic that one in 12 British pensioners are at high risk of dying in the winter cold the donations began to flood in. The shocking statistic was not wrong either: last winter, between December 2007 and March 2008, over 25,000 elderly people in England and Wales died of cold-related illnesses, and the level of pensioners classed as living in fuel poverty as high one in three.

Only six in ten pensioners claim what they could “When we broadcast the story that UK pensioners were dying from the cold, our listeners could not believe their own ears. The elderly deserve to live their last years enjoying the best care. They deserve to live in warm housing, free from worries over cold and rising gas bill. The Icelandic people heard about how terribly the UK government treats the pensioners, and could not just do nothing about it,” said Karlsson. At the end of the highly successful campaign enough woolly jumpers, socks, and blankets were bought to fill an entire shipping container which was then sent to Hull, as it is twinned with Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Spokesman for Britian’s National Pensioners Convention, Neil DuncanJordan, called it "a fantastic and generous act of compassion from the people of Iceland, particularly at a time when their own economic situation is extremely difficult". However, it seems that not all pensioners are actually claiming what is rightfully theirs. In June 2008 the JobCentrePlus news website published the statistic that only around 60 percent of pensioners in Wales are claiming the Pension Credit to which they are entitled. Pensioners Minister, Mike O’Brien said that “of the 600,000 pensioners in Wales, approximately 60 percent of those entitled currently claim Pension

Credit, with average payments being just over £50 per week per person. In Neath Port Talbot the average figure rises to £51.78 and in Swansea to £53.42”. After being informed of these payments, one pensioner in Port Talbot found that she was much better off. Mrs. Nancy Havard was visited at home by Mike O’Brien for a Pension Credit entitlement assessment; she had been living off £138 per week from a state and private pension. After her assessment, however, 86-year-old Mrs. Havard discovered she was eligible for £58 per week in Pension Credit that she had not been claiming. In addition to this she also qualified for an £67 per week in Attendance Allowance due to mobility problems, increasing her weekly total to £263 – almost double. Mrs. Harvard said: “I didn’t think I’d be entitled to extra money because I do have a small private pension, so this really has come as a welcome surprise. “Up to now I’ve been getting by,

but this extra £125 per week means I won’t have to worry about paying for things quite so much,” she added. Mike O’Brien said: “Older people might think they can’t get Pension Credit because they have some savings, own a home, or have an occupational pension. This might not be the case and they could be missing out on extra money that could make a real difference to their everyday lives.

Iceland has sent winter provisions for UK pensioners “Getting Pension Credit can also give you access to other benefits, and get you help with heating, housing or council tax costs.” If you think that yourself or an elderly person you know may be entitled to Pension Credit, Mike O’Brien urges you to call and claim at 0800 99 1234. Mrs. Havard’s story is one in many

Fuel poverty means a cold winter for Britain's elderly simply because it is not widely adver- key issues of keeping healthy through tised that elderly people are entitled to the winter and increasing uptake of the extra money above their state or pri- flu vaccine. Gwyn Hughes, a final year student, vate pension. During the current recession it volunteers for Age Concern through seems that pensioners have been over- SVC, and find it a positive experience: looked in the bigger picture, with many "It's really rewarding because the concerns turning towards working-age people you might be helping may have families losing their homes and jobs. no one else, even if just to chat to, so One local charity geared towards help- they really appreciate a visit. Also, the ing the elderly is Age Concern Cym- people you meet are really interesting to talk to, so it works both ways." ru. 'Here to Help' information days are With a motto to 'work together for the benefit of all pensioners in Wales', held regularly around Wales by Age Age Concern Cymru is a registered Concern Cymru and campaign packs charity working in conjunction with and leaflets are available to download the Welsh Assembly Government, from the website, enabling students encompassing a wealth of informa- to get involved and help local elderly tion about care and rights for elderly people stay healthy during the winter. people in Wales. Their most recent effort is the Keep Well This Winter For more information on the work campaign which provides a lot of help that Age Concern Cymru does for and advice for keeping warm in the the elderly community, visit www. winter and also links to financial ben- accymru.org.uk. Specific informaefits pensioners may not realise they tion on the Keep Well This Winter are entitled to. The key aims of this campaign is available at campaign are to increase awareness of http://www.kwtw.org.uk


TAF-OD 23 Tymor Llewyrchus i Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal! MARCH.23.2009 TAF-OD@gairrhydd.COM

Ar ddiwedd tymor llwyddiannus iawn i Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal, anodd bydd crynhoi'r cwbwl mewn un erthygl! Ymysg y cyngherddau i'r aelwyd gymryd rhan ynddyn nhw ers dechrau'r flwyddyn, bu llawer o gystadlu ar y gweill. Mae'n bosib bod y “ffans” S4C yn eich mysg wedi gweld cip o'r aelwyd yn eu du a glas, ar lwyfan cystaleuaeth Cor Cymru fis diwethaf. Roedd yr aelwyd yn ymgeisio am deitl Cor Ieuenctid Cymru. Bant a ni ar y bysus, bron yn 100 o aelodau i gyd, i Ganolfan y Celfyddydau yn Aberystwyth yn nerfus ond yn gwbwl gyffrous. Yr aelwyd oedd yn gyfrifol am agor y noson- digon o bwysau ar ysgwyddau Huw wrth arwain felly! Wedi canu'n rhaglen o bedair can wahanol gan gynnwys y Tangnefeddwyr (“briliant” yn ol Huw!) a medli o'r sioe gerdd “Wicked”, roedd y cwbwl ar ben! Gellid clywed ochenaid o ryddhad gan bawb wrth gerdded oddi ar y llwyfan. Yn ol sylwadau'r beirniaid,

roedd hi'n berfformiad i fod yn falch ohoni a chafwyd digon o sylwadau canmoladwy iawn. Er nad y Waun Ddyfal oedd yn fuddugol y noson honno, roedd pawb yn hynod falch o safon y perfformiad a bu'r gwin yn llifo ymhell mewn i oriau man y bore! A hithau'n dymor y 'steddfodau unwaith eto, bu'r aelwyd yn paratoi ar gyfer cystadleuthau'r corau, y partion, y cerdd dant a'r dawnsio yn ystod yr wythnosau diwethaf yma. Diolch byth bod Mistar Beirniad yn gwerthfawrogi'r canu, felly rhagbrofion y genedlaethol amdani ym mis Mai! Yn goron i holl berfformiadau'r tymor yma, cafwyd noson gymdeithasol yn dilyn y 'Steddfod Sir. Cafodd sawl un pryd o fwyd blasus iawn yn y Terra Nova yn y bae cyn ymgartrefu yna am o leiaf dair awr arall i ganu'n ddi-stop! O'r “Oes gafr eto” traddodiadol i'r sioeau cerdd ac o “Hafan Gobaith” i ddetholiad o ganeuon pop, roedd digon o amrywiaeth yn y caneuon a digon o amrywiadau ar yr

harmoneiddio! Er bod hanner y cor eisioes wedi gadael eu lleisiau ar ol ar strydoedd cul y bae, penderfynwyd ei bod hi

llawer rhy gynnar i'w gwneud hi am adref. Pa ffordd well o orffen noson felly nag yn yr hen Buffalos? Mewn a ni yn un parti mawr swnllyd i darfu

ar dawelwch y lle! Doedd dim bwriad gan neb i gadw'n dawel felly parhau a'r canu a wnaed. I ambell un o ffans “Eastenders”, cafwyd tipyn o sioc i weld “Treva the wife beata” yna yn mwynhau ei beint! Bydd pawb yn siwr o gofio hefyd (hynny yw, pawb oedd ddim yn feddw gaib) perfformiad gwych Duke o'r rhaglen “Tracy Beaker” a'i lais gospel anhygoel- tybed os byddai diddordeb ganddo wneud cyngerdd ar y cyd gyda'r aelwyd? Wel dyna ni grynhoi holl fwrlwm yr aelwyd dros y tymor diwethaf, arwahan i'r gem bel-droed hanesyddol yn erbyn CF1 ddydd Sadwrn diwethaf ger y Mochyn du, ond stori arall yw honna...... Cofiwch os ydych chi eisiau cysylltu am unrhyw wybodaeth neu ddarganfod mwy am yr aelwyd, syrffiwch draw i www.waunddyfal. co.uk


JOBS & MONEY 25

MARCH.23.2009 JOBS@gairrhydd.COM

Banking on success

Simon Turner considers our options for claiming back unfair bank charges

L

ast Thursday, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier High Court ruling that bank overdraft charges have to be fair. In doing so, the Court dismissed the banks’ appeal, leaving the way open for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to judge on the issue of fairness. That the OFT will conclude that bank overdraft charges are unfair is highly likely – if it does, millions of current account holders could be in line for refunds totalling billions. To prevent this, the banks have since announced that they plan to contest the decision in the House of Lords. Remarkably, they are doing so even though the judges have refused them leave to appeal. In the meantime, the reclaim process remains on hold. The hold officially expires on the 26th July 2009 but is expected to last beyond this date as the legal battle continues. For claimants this is undoubtedly bad news as it means many will now have to prolong their wait, perhaps until next year, to find out if they can successfully recover their unauthorised overdraft charges. Conversely, the banks continue to levy their charges, some of which are as high as £38.

However, new guidelines have made it possible for financially hardup students to reclaim their money now. This is because the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has told the banks that they must deal with cases where the claimant is in financial difficulty during the hold period. Specifically, the guidelines cite that the banks must ‘in making an assessment of financial difficulty... take into account... evidence of changes in lifestyle, including... starting full-time education.’ Among other forms of evidence that they ought to consider are: * items repeatedly being returned unpaid due to lack of available funds * making frequent cash withdrawals on a credit card at a non-promotional rate of interest * repeatedly exceeding a credit card or overdraft limit without agreement Furthermore, if necessary financial commitments such as utilities and rent cannot be afforded or if certain debts (e.g. credit card debt) cannot be repaid then there is a good chance that the lender will consider an early settlement. To pursue an early settlement, fol-

low the steps below: 1. Write to your bank... ...and request a list of charges or statements going back 6 years (5 years if you live in Scotland). Banks are allowed to charge up to ÂŁ10 for each request so ask that it debits your account (ensuring you have sufficient funds for them to do so). Alternatively, if you have insufficient funds or if your account is closed, enclose a cheque for the same amount with the original letter. 2. Visit moneyadvicetrust.org.. ...and print off a ‘Common Financial Statement’ (CFS). Fill in the CFS to the best of your ability. Banks require this in order to assess you for financial hardship. 3. Once you have received the data from the bank... ...add up all the unauthorised overdraft charges and detail them in a list. To increase your claim, calculate statutory interest upon each charge at the rate of 8%. Enclose the list and write to your bank demanding a full refund of all unauthorised overdraft charges on the basis that they are unfair. Make reference to your perceived financial

vĂ•Â?Â?ÞÊvĂ•Ă€Â˜ÂˆĂƒÂ…i`ĂŠÂ…Âˆ}…ʾÕ>Â?ÂˆĂŒĂž ĂƒĂŒĂ•`iÂ˜ĂŒĂŠ>VVœ““œ`>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜

hardship and enclose a copy of your completed Common Financial Statement. 4. Await the decision of the bank. 5. The bank will reply by offering settlement in full, partially or not all. 6. In the event that it offers a partial settlement or no settlement at all... ...refer the complaint to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service or the Financial Ombudsman Service. Both services are independent, impartial and free to use. 7. Alternatively, as your claim is now logged, simply await the conclusion of the test case. If you have incurred unauthorised overdraft charges yet do not consider yourself to be experiencing hardship, it is advisable to log your claim as soon as possible for these reasons: * There are currently over 750,000 claims on hold. As each is lodged on a first come, first served basis, the sooner one is received, the sooner it will be dealt with once the test case is over.

* The law can change. Act now while it is in favour of the consumer - a future appeal may well favour the banks. * Claimants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are only permitted to make a claim for six years worth of charges, five in they live in Scotland. To make certain that older charges are not precluded by the unresolved test case, it is essential that prospective claims are lodged immediately. Simon Turner is a part-time undergraduate reading English Literature & Philosophy. In his spare time he operates a small claims management business that provides services to people in need of claiming back their unfair bank charges. In addition, he offers services to reclaim credit card charges and premiums paid on mis-sold insurance. Simon has offered to discount his services to other students by 20% if any would like him to work on their behalf. Simon’s website is www.studentbankcharges.co.uk or www.bankchargesolutions.co.uk Simon’s email address is: support@bankchargesolutions.co.uk

-Փ“iÀÊVVœ““œ`>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ĂŠĂŠ

>Ă›>ˆÂ?>LÂ?iĂŠĂŒÂ…Ă€ÂœĂ•}Â…ÂœĂ•ĂŒĂŠ Ă•Â?ÞÊ>˜`ĂŠĂ•}Ă•ĂƒĂŒĂŠĂ“Ă¤Ă¤Â™

All bedrooms include your own private en-suite bathroom Available in 3,4 & 5 bedroom flats with a television & Sky package included in each flat and broadband available in every bedroom

ÂœĂ€ĂŠÂ“ÂœĂ€iĂŠÂˆÂ˜vÂœĂ€Â“>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ĂŠVÂœÂ˜ĂŒ>VĂŒĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠ6ˆVĂŒÂœĂ€Âˆ>ĂŠ>Â?Â?ĂŠ>˜>}i“iÂ˜ĂŒĂŠ"vwViĂŠÂœÂ˜\

äәÓäÊÎx™ÊxääÊ V>Ă€`ˆvvJĂ›ÂˆVĂŒÂœĂ€Âˆ>Â…>Â?Â?°VÂœÂ“ĂŠ v>Ă?\ÊäәÓäÊÎx™ÊxäÇÊ

Victoria Hall, Blackweir Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 3EY

welcome to your

vĂ•ĂŒĂ•Ă€i ĂœĂœĂœÂ°Ă›ÂˆVĂŒÂœĂ€Âˆ>Â…>Â?Â?°Vœ“

ĂŠ


26 XPRESS

MARCH.23.2009 XPRESS@gairrhydd.COM

Listen LIVE Online Teatime with Lee

Xpress Radio: First for local music

Sunday Classics

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

It’s Monday night, Fun Factory’s calling, and teatime with Lee is your ideal warm up. Featuring a whole last hour of factory floor fillers, it’s sure to be the perfect start to a night of fun and frolics! Even request your favourite factory tunes to prevent hanging around on the dance floor later that night. Other entertaining features include ‘Everyone loves a number 2’, sure to prompt your memory on those pop chart injustices you're still privately seething over… I was so sure Victoria Beckham had it in the bag…. Tune in Monday’s 3.30-6pm and revel in two and a half hours of some of the best Xpress has to offer.

1. The Muscle Club - Damn These Circumstances 2. Blue Wall - No Hot Ashes 3. Silver Gospel Runners - Would You Settle For Less? 4. Wolves of ST August - Sunshine Lazy 5. Mike Groves - On Clouds If you like the look of the local playlist then check out shows such as the Xhibition, Live Transmission and the Essential Gig Guide to keep you updated with all that’s happening in Cardiff's music scene.

Had a heavy workload all week? And an even heavier weekend? Well come Sunday you can now sit back and relax as Jon, Hannah and Rachel wind down the weekend with some classical favourites. This show leaves no stone unturned playing a variety of recordings from the early music of Monteverdi through to avant-garde tracks from living composers such as Elliot Carter, as well as the more recognisable Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. With guests and highlights from performances at the School of Music each week, plus ‘Desert Island Music’ and ‘Unusual Piece of the Week’, this show really is jam-packed full of goodies!

Monday: 3:30pm till 6pm

Mainstream

Monday 9am-11am Filing the Gap with Emma & Alexis 2pm-3:30pm Stark and Moo Show 3:30pm-6pm Teatime with Lee

Tuesday 9am-11am Three Girls & A Gay 12pm-1:30pm B.A.M with Rebekkah and Mikey 1:30pm-3pm Loud Noises 3:30pm-6pm Teatime with Luke and Ed

Friday 9am-11am Welcome In The Weekend 12pm-1:30pm Two girls, One mic 1:30pm-3.30pm Milo's Mashup 3.30pm-6pm Teatime with TNT

Saturday 10:30am-12pm Stay Asleep with Henry and Oscar 12pm-1:30pm Jack and Tom Delusion 1:30pm-3pm Three Man Bundle

Sunday 1pm-2:30pm Laura, Dora & Lucy Show 3pm-5pm The Student Radio Chart Show

Wednesday

Sports

9am-10am ABC 10am-11:30am Lily Star 11:30am-12:30pm Gossip Girls 12:30pm-2pm Lynn and Louisa 2pm-3:30pm Hilary and Heather Show 3:30pm-6pm Teatime with Rich and Britt

Mon 12pm-2pm Sports Show Thu 12pm-2pm Sporties Thu 6pm-7pm American Sports Show

Thursday 9am-11am Kat and Ash Show 2pm-3:30pm Madame Audrey's 3:30pm-6pm Teatime with Sam and Greg

Speech Mon 11am-11:30am The Trawlermen's Sweethearts Tue 11am-11:30am The Xpress Test Tue 11:30am-12pm Speech Round-up Thu 11am-12pm The Weekly Summit Fri 11:00am-11:30am A Beginner's Guide to... Fri 11:30am-12pm Across The Corridor Sun 11am-12pm Hair of the Dog Sun 9pm-10pm Story Time with Daneka

Sunday: 6:30pm till 7:45pm

Specialist

Indie Mon 6pm-7pm Xhibition Mon 8pm-9pm Gig 'n' Mix Mon 9pm-10pm Holly and Bo's Radio Show Mon 10pm-11pm Sam & Will Show Wed 10pm-11pm Hot Pap Sat 6pm-7pm Mrs Goggins Backroom Sun 5pm-6:30pm The Toni and Zoe Show

Classical and Jazz Sun 6:30pm-7:45pm Sunday Classics Sun 7:45pm-9pm Jazz Society Show

Hip-Hop/RnB Fri 10pm-12am Flo Jam Sessions Fri 12am-1am $traight Ca$h with DTR

Rock/Metal/Punk Mon 12pm-1am Superstar DJ's, Here We Go! Tue 8pm-9pm Rock! Paper Scissors Tue 10pm-11pm Hedonism Wed 11pm-12am Subversion Sat 7pm-8pm The Argument

House/Electro/ Dance Wed 9pm-10pm Housemasters Fri 8pm-9pm Hype Machine

Pop Sat 3pm-4pm Push Pop

Pick 'n' Mix Mon 7pm-8pm Live Transmission Mon 11pm-12am Anything Alternative Tue 7pm-8pm Bill & Tom's Most Excellent Adventure Tue 9pm-10pm CUTV On The Radio Tue 11pm-12am Escape From The Pigeon Hole Wed 6pm-7pm Xposed Wed 7pm-8pm YAPS Wed 8pm-9pm Bringing It All Back Thu 7pm-8pm Curly Joe and Ginger’s Countdown Conundrum Thu 11pm-12am Dan and Petch’s 80s Hour of Power Thu 12am-1am Pete and Coralie Fri 7pm-8pm Full Body Immobilisation Fri 9pm-10pm The Essential Gig Guide

World Music Tue 6pm-7pm Global Grooves Fri 6pm-7pm International Superhits

Contact The Studio E-mail: studio@xpressradio.co.uk Phone: 02920781530 Text: 07722263888


FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

MARCH.23.2009 FMF@gairrhydd.COM

found on facebook Housemate done something stupid? 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

Send more oddities!

sudoku EASY

MEDIUM

Quick Crossword Across

Down

8. Covet (4) 9. Exhilaration (10) 10. Renounce (6) 11. Deal (8) 12. Exploits (4) 13. Enthronement (10) 17. Fabrics made from goat hair (4) 18. Not telling the truth (5) 19. Location (4) 20. Improvement (10) 22. Skating area (4) 23. Colander (8) 27. Nuclear (6) 28. Devotee (10) 29. Void (4)

1. Unbeatable (10) 2. A sketchy summary (8) 3. Jargon (10) 4. Highest point (4) 5. Auditory (4) 6. A diacritical mark (6) 7. Cozy (4) 14. French for "Queen" (5) 15. Go-between (10) 16. Apparent (10) 19. Encircle (8) 21. Hypnotic state (6) 24. Minor quarrel (4) 25. Cozy corner (4) 26. Absorb written material (4)

HARD


28 LISTINGS The Listings Top Five... ...ways to spend your Easter! The Easter break is fast approaching, and as we look forward to taking a break from lectures we begin to question exactly what we are going to do with all that free time... 1. Eat chocolate And lots of it! Embrace that fluffy, hopping giver of chocolate eggs and gorge to your heart’s content. Whoever said holidays were times of detox? Go mad and lose yourself in the orgasmic offerings from the likes of Nestlé and Cadbury! 2. Get ahead on your assignments The longer you put it off, the harder it gets, so listen to these words of wisdom and ’Go get your fudging work done'! 3. Visit the family There’s nothing better than a reunion with your rellies! Scrap that, everyone knows where there’s families involved, there is usually home-cooked grub! So get your skates on and suggest a gettogether like no other. 4. Get a haircut Who are you trying to kid? You’re never going to make it till the Summer Ball looking like that. Pay the hairdresser a visit and revitalise your bonce, as well as your crippling posture! 5. Party hard

Monday

23rd March

MARCH.23.2009 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Tuesday

24th March

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN @ THE NEW THEATRE Some of the best-loved comedy, old school dance classics and golden age songs to take your parents too. 7.30pm daily/Matinees 2.30pm (Thurs/ Sat), £8.50-£31

THE STORY SO FAR + LOOK! I'M A GHOST + WINCH HOUSE + TAKE THE FLOOR @ BARFLY A cheeky, trendy five-piece from Cardiff that are so energetic on stage, you'll be exhausted just looking at them! 7.30pm, £5 adv.

10 FEET LIVE @ 10 FEET TALL A night of some of the finest offerings in local, raw, rock talent. 8.30pm–late, contact venue for prices

TWELFTH FLOOR: TANJA LIEDTKE @ THE SHERMAN THEATRE Five dynamic dancers from the Australian Dance Theatre explore human reactions to confinement in a powerful and compelling show that merges dance, theatre, movement and a moody soundtrack. 8pm, £14-£8

X FACTOR LIVE 2009 @ C.I.A The latest round of competition for the popstar hopefuls, who are getting whittled down week by week by the public vote. Special performances from past favourites including Alexander Burke and Eoghan Quigg. 7.30pm, £28.50 THE LONG KNIVES + THE STAGE NUMBERS + ERIC UNSEEN + KING LOUSIC COLLECTIVE @ BUFFALO The Long Knives describe their music as being like, 'the winds howling through the deserts, the ghost knocking on the door of your soul', whatever that is meant to sound like! Otherwise described as eclectic, guitar-based pop with electronic beats and haunting memories. 8pm, £3.50 FUN FACTORY @ THE UNION Last week of term and you've maxed out your overdraft - Fun Factory has never been so appealing! Brace yourself for a booze-up to forget about the deadlines!

ROOTS @ THE CHURCH: KREIG VIESSELMAN @ NORWEGIAN CHURCH ARTS CENTRE A rambling singer/songwriter with a passionate, road-worn voice makes for a super chilled night of country blues. 8pm, £10-£8.50 COMEDY CLUB @ THE UNION Let the giggles begin as a series of comedians grace the union stage for another night of side-clutching, belly-aching laughter. 8.00pm, £4 ROOTS UNEARTHED - MARTIN SIMPSON @ ST.DAVID'S HALL One of the finest finger-pickers and slide guitarists of the time and a renowned interpreter of traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic takes to the stage tonight. 8pm, £12 AESTHETICS: KL + VETO + DJ KAY @ BUFFALO BAR Buffalo's newly-refurbished top floor is transformed into the Cardiff hot spot of hip hop tonight! 8pm-3am, £2-£3

Wednesday 25th March

THE HEADMASTER'S SON: RICHARD HERRING @ ST. DAVID'S HALL According to The Guardian, Herring's real life failings are the root behind his success on stage, and fittingly his latest standup reflects on solitude and whether fantasies are best left unfulfilled... it's meant to make you laugh though! 8pm, £10 PANEL 9 FROM OUTER SPACE @ TEN FEET TALL Some live comedy fattening 10 Feet's Full Fat Wednesday this week. With quality cocktails and £2 per shooter, you're guaranteed to be giggling! 8pm - 11pm, £3 BONE MARROW DONATION CLINIC @ CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY, PARK PLACE Your chance to join the bone marrow register and have any questions you may have answered. Love Life, Live Life, Give Life! 2pm - 6pm DIRTY PROJECTORS + POLAR BEAR + LUCKY DRAGONS @ CLWB IFOR BACH A big mish-mash of styles tonight ranging from the rhythm-obsessed Dave Longstreth, to a post-jazz band, to an experimentalist duo. 7.30pm, £10 - £12 A470 + PORTRAITS + GO-X + COWBOY VS COWBOYS @ BARFLY Metallica, Black-Sabbath and Machine Head fans brace yourselves! A470 are rocketing out of South Wales with a hard rock metal vibe, and they aren't stopping for anything or anyone! 7.30pm, £5 adv. TY HAFAN CHILDREN'S HOSPICE AND KENYAN ORPHAN PROJECT@ HIGHFIELDS CHURCH Medics' choir and the orchestra for undergraduates and colleagues of Healthcare. There will also be cakes and refreshments. 7.30pm, free

Let’s face it, us students never rest, so take full of advantage of your break from lectures and party like a rockstar! Monetary worries? Who cares! A final loan instalment is imminent, so go crazy and blow what's left of your overdraft!

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents.com ◆ Med Club, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ◆ Clwb com/cardiff ◆ Metros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 www.clubmetropolitan.com ◆ Dempseys, Castle Street 02920 252024 ◆ Move, 7 Mill Street 02920 230678 ◆ Café Jazz, 21 St. Mary Street 02920 387026 www.cafejazzcardiff.com ◆ The Riverbank Hotel, Despenser Street Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ◆ Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org.uk ◆ The New Theatre, Park ◆ The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay 0870 2415093 www.glee.co.uk ◆ Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ◆ The


LISTINGS 29

MARCH.23.2009 LISTINGS@gairrhydd.COM

Thursday 26th March

THE YOUNG KNIVES + BARRINGTONE @ CLWB IFOR BACH A quirky night brought to you Cardiff-goers by the likes of eccentric three piece The Young Knives and manic pop act Barringtone. Influenced by past pop masters like XTC and Blur, they truly are an eccentric quintessential proposition in today’s climate of 80s' revivalists. 7.30pm, £10 THE HOLLIES @ ST.DAVID’S HALL Prepare to be dazzled by Mancunian sixties' act The Hollies. Expect old-time favourites and more than a taster of the band’s characteristic harmonic sound. 7.30pm, £17.50 – £22.50 STEVE AND SIMON (OCEAN COLOUR SCENE) @ HARD ROCK CAFE English Britpop act Ocean Colour Scene bring their enticing music to the Hard Rock cafe tonight along with some naughty nineties' nostalgia. 7.00pm, £20 SIMPLY RED @ CARDIFF INTERNATIONAL ARENA Ginge icon Mick Hucknell graces Cardiff with his presence and a few big-time classics, including ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ and ‘Holding Back the Years’. 7.30pm, contact venue for prices ALL THE THOUGHTS I’VE HAD SINCE I WAS BORN: MARK WATSON @ SHERMAN THEATRE Award winning comedian Mark Watson deliberates issues of lifetime concern – a funny and simultaneously thought-provoking stand up act worthy of all his acclaim. Contact venue for details

Friday

27th March

Saturday 28th March

SAME DIFFERENCE @ ST. DAVID’S HAL Expect swarms of ten-year-olds reciting the words and shockingly cheese-tastic dance moves of the slightly incestuous X Factor pair. 7.30pm, contact venue for prices

THE FRON MALE VOICE CHOIR @ ST. DAVID’S HALL ‘Voices from the Valleys’ stars The Fron Male Voice Choir, hot on the heels of the St. David’s day celebrations, will be performing for the masses tonight at St. David’s Hall.

STONE GODS @ BARFLY A reworked band with the members of The Darkness, but minus frontman Justin Hawkins. Prepare your sound levels, your liver and your soul! 7.30pm, contact venue for prices

BILINGUAL MUSIC THEATRE DOUBLE BILL: TEMPTATION - THE SOLDIER’S TALE + CRIME/FICTION Music Theatre Wales presents a bilingual double-bill exploring the idea of temptation. Mini opera ‘Crime/Fiction’ and Stravinky’s ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ are the two offerings to tickle our theatrical tastebuds. 8pm, contact venue for prices

KENNY ROGERS @ CARDIFF INTERNATIONAL ARENA Fifties multi-tasker Kenny Rogers, brings some widely acclaimed material spanning his musical career. A night not to be missed from one of Britain’s leading male artists. £37.50, contact venue for times THE FAMILY: TIM YEN YEN @ TOMMY’S BAR A night of unique talent as Tim Yen Yen brings his kooky Indie pop sound to the capital. £5 / £4, contact venue for times SLOW LIFE: CYRION / HAWKLINE / ALUN GAFFEY @ CLWB IFOR BACH New monthly night. Slowlife will champion all that is good in the world of folk, acoustic and beyond in the Welsh language medium. 7:30pm, £5

THE BEST IN LIVE STAND UP + LATE BAR & DISCO @ GLEE CLUB Another Saturday evening to keep you on your toes. Laughs, lager and lunges courtesy of the funny club. 7.45pm, £16 by phone / £15.50 online MEN’S CONVENTION: LIFTING THE BAR @ ST. DAVID’S HALL A one off event for Christian men to increase their faith and vision, with speakers including RT Kendall and Richard Taylor. 9.30am, £18 - £10

Sunday

29th March DANANANANAYKROYD + CALORIES + ME MY HEAD @ CLWB IFOR BACH The headlining Scottish six-piece were just formed three years ago. Despite being barely out of the womb, they promise to bring something completely new to the table: something they have termed ‘fight pop’. Interesting and yet oddly appealing! 7.30pm, £6.50 10 FOOT CWTCH @ 10 FEET TALL Another night of open mic sessions hosted by Rowan Liggett. Step up to the mark and earn alcoholic goodies! It’s enough to make you wee! 8.30pm – 3.00am, £3 RHOD GILBERT AND THE AWARD WINNING MINCE PIE @ WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE A star in the making. Rhod Gilbert entertains the crowds tonight providing hours of the humour that has set him apart from the rest. Contact venue for details

BOOMSHAKABOOMTANG + VINYL VENDETTAS @ CLWB IFOR BACH Saturday night at clwb is probably the longest running DJ night in Cardiff, clocking up 25 years in 2008, and it just keeps on getting better. Offering three floors of the best tracks from a variety of genres, Clwb has cherry picked the best DJs currently gracing the decks in Cardiff and put them all on the same night. 10.00pm, £5

Ifor Bach(The Welsh Club), 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ◆ Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 www.barflyclub. Lane 02920 225592 ◆Incognito, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Liquid, St. Mary Street 02920645464 ◆ The Philharmonic, 76-77 St. Mary www.riverbankjazz.co.uk ◆ St. David’s Hall,The Hayes 02920 878444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ◆ The Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk Millennium Stadium Can’t miss it. www.millenniumstadium.com ◆ Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192


30 SPORT

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

THE WORD ON... ...the FIA's latest attempt to fix what isn't broken Scott D'Arcy Sport Editor

J

ust over a week before the opening race of the new Formula 1 World Championship in Melbourne, the FIA have announced radical rule changes that will drastically effect the sport. Among the reforms were a team budget cap and a new points system that will see the driver with the most wins be crowned champion. Along with the introduction of the new KERS system and aerodynamic specifications, Formula 1 looks set to undergo something of a revolution. The question though, as with most revolutions, is whether such drastic measures are really necessary. From fan forums to the drivers and the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), concerns have been raised over the future of the sport when these rules are implemented. Indeed the consensus seems to be that after the sport has delivered two highly competitive and dramatic seasons, with last year's championship decided on the final day, these measures are mistimed. Admittedly it does seem slightly bemusing that the FIA see it necessary to ring the changes while the sport has hit a peak. The new ranking system has stirred up a bit of controversy, not least because Felipe Massa,

rather than Lewis Hamilton, would have been World Champion last season under the new rules. That was the most recent in a long list of results that would have been entirely different under the new rules.

The new rules have the potential to make F1 even more competitive Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has expressed his doubts about both the timing and the nature of the points system claiming on his website: “I cannot see how it makes sense to eventually have a world champion who has less points than the driver coming in second.” Obviously that wasn't something the imperious German would have had to worry about during his career but it could be a legitimate concern for the promising crop

BRAINS AND BRAWN: Brawn GP looked impressive in practice

of talent F1 boasts at present. Legitimate, perhaps, only had the new win-based ranking system been brought in on its own. For then it could be argued that it will serve to simply strengthen the big teams', namely Ferrari and McLaren, already tight grip on the sport. However, with the new KERS technology and the budget cap, although not applicable until 2010, the FIA have clearly made a move to level the playing field. Evidence of this can be seen in the recent team practice sessions, in which the new team, Brawn GP, have excelled with the new technology, while McLaren appeared to be struggling with the new aerodynamic specifications. The idea of a budget cap, which will effectively work like a salary cap as in other team sports, will also curb the big-budget teams' dominance and could be an effective means of costcutting in the current recession that has already seen Honda drop out. While the idea may be a good one, it has been suggested that implementing it will be littered with problems. And as with previous attempts at reforming F1 it breaks down to a power struggle between the FIA and the FOTA. Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone have been criticised by the FOTA for their “unilateral” decision-making over the current proposals and it was fairly evident that there had been no consultation between the two bodies before the announcements last week. Renault managing director, Flavio Bria-

tore, highlighted the need for greater coordination between the teams and the sport's governing body in an interview with the BBC: “We need stability, we need to be working with the federation together.” With regard to the budget, Briatore was wary of creating a seperate set of rules for those who opt-in to the cap and those who do not. And quite rightly, as Red Bull's Mark Webber in an interview with the BBC aptly put it: “It's like saying... in tennis, we'll lower the net for you because you don't have as good a NOW SEE HERE: Mosley on top racket, and we'll put it back up again for going to affect key parts of the races. the other guy.” Also, with the top teams spending Everyone's trying to win, that's clear, up to ten times the proposed £30m but the difference between a win and budget, the amount will likely have second is now huge.” However, the Australian raised to increase if only to keep the sport at the forefront of technological devel- concerns about the lack of reward for consistency and also the potential for opment. domination by one driver, effectively ending the season early. But a quick look back over the past two seasons would suggest that one-driver domination is not likely with a plethora of talent looking to challenge Hamilton for his crown. As for consistency, the need for wins will hopefully instil a 'win at all costs' mentality that will hopefully see some breathtaking overtaking manoeuvres. While such an overhaul was perhaps unnecessary, and the timing In combination though, the new questionable, fans can still be hoperules have the potential to make F1 ful that the proposals will benefit the even more competitive and exciting. sport in the long run. If anything, this Webber was one of the few drivers season's title race looks set to be the who spoke positively about the new most open in years. points system, suggesting that “it's

The FIA have clearly made a move to level the playing field


SPORT 31

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

SPORT COMMENT

Khan finally using his head Matthew Merry Sports Writer BOLTON'S BEST Amir Khan reigned supreme against boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera last Saturday in the MEN Arena in Manchester. The 22-year-old Khan looked composed as he entered the ring for what many critics saw as a 'do or die' bout for the Olympic silver medallist. He was going up against a three-weight world champion, who had ended the golden era of Prince Naseem Hamed in 2001. And the bout lived up to the billing.

Not a lot should be made of this bout other than youth can overcome age After the first bell rang, both boxers looked calm and collected but it did not take long for Khan to explode into life with fast hand speed and great accuracy to rock the Mexican veteran. However, towards the end of the first round a clash of heads left both fighters with cuts, although Barrera came

off worst. Barrera continued to show the bloody affects of his earlier clash of heads with his entire chest painted scarlet. This did not stop the dogged Mexican - who went into the match with a record of 43 knockouts and only 6 losses from 72 fights - from catching Khan with a few combinations of his own. Still, Khan managed to compete on a level footing with this former great until the very end. However, the fourth round was interrupted by referee Dave Perris who asked for the ringside doctor to check out the persistent cut on Barrera’s head. By the fifth OVER THE HILL: Did Khan really have too much for the Baby Faced Assassin? round, it was deemed that Barrera was no longer in a position seen Khan rekindle that spark that and speed can overcome age and mato continue and the doctor ended the saw him achieve great success at the turity. It is clear that Amir Khan has the contest. As a result the decision went Olympics. Khan appears to have matured not drive and the passion to become a to the scorecards, as it was considered the wound resulted from an acciden- only in mentality but also in physical great boxer, but it would be much wistal collision of heads. After just five shape. Promoter Frank Warren was so er for an athlete of his experience to rounds Khan came out on top with overwhelmed by Khan’s performance take more time and not be rushed into the judges, scoring 50-44 and 50-45 that he has vowed to get Khan a title any big and foolish fights that could jeopardise his career. fight before the end of the year. twice. As the old saying goes, you reap However, despite this impressive This win marked a turning point for Khan who in September 2008 was de- display from a still young Khan, it what you sow, and Khan should take feated by Breidis Prescott after a care- must be realised that Barrera is at the this into account before the fruits of less display led to him being knocked golden age of 35 and has been around his labour are ruined before they’ve out. However, it seems that his newly the blocks a lot longer than the Brit- had the chance to develop. formed relationship with respected ish boxer. Therefore, not a lot should American trainer Freddie Roach has be made of this bout other than youth

The blade is mightier than the hammer vez in West Ham’s Premier League survival at their expense in 2007. The signing of the Argentine striker - who scored seven goals in the 2006/7 season, breached a Premier League technicality and the Yorkshire club felt that the £5.5 million fine handed out to the Londoners was unjust.

It is hoped the fans will be able to put the issue behind them and move on TEVEZ-GATE: Get the knives out Tom Victor Sports Writer ONE OF the longest-running sagas in football’s recent history came to a close last Monday as West Ham United and Sheffield United reached an out-of-court settle-

ment over the Carlos Tevez affair. The settlement will see West Ham pay the Blades an undisclosed amount of compensation, thought by most sources to be between £15 and £25 million. Sheffield United have sought compensation for the role played by Te-

Since the summer of 2007, fans of both teams, who had no prior history of bad blood, have nailed their colours to the mast in a battle many feel has been played out in the press as much as it has in the courts. While fans of the London club have accused Daily Mirror journalist Oliver Holt of jumping on McCabe’s bandwagon, Blades fans have shown similar disdain for former Times chief football correspondent and lifelong West Ham supporter Martin Samuel.

While Holt was accused of clever wordplay to swing public opinion, even going as far as incorrectly deeming Tevez and Javier Mascherano ‘ineligible’ to play for the Hammers, Sheffield United’s case against Samuel surrounded his alleged crusade to discredit the club over the transfer of Steve Kabba to Watford. Now that a compensation package has been agreed between the clubs, it is hoped that the fans – and the clubs’ current regimes – will be able to put the issue behind them and move on. Indeed, Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell has admitted he hopes to secure loan deals for one or more of West Ham’s squad players. However the fallout from the case looks set to roll on a little longer, with Leeds United chairman Ken Bates the latest to seek compensation from West Ham for the loss of add-ons which would have been received for three Leeds players had Sheffield United remained in the Premiership. All in all, however, one must hope that we are finally nearing an end to a saga which has exposed the uglier side of football, in terms of the conduct of its clubs, its fans, and – perhaps most importantly – its governing bodies.

TOP FIVE... Boxing upsets

1. The aptly titled Rumble in the Jungle saw Ali take a seven round pounding before flooring Foreman in the eighth using the now infamous rope-a-dope technique.

2. Rahman inflicted a loss that questions Lewis' credentials as an all time great, as the 20-1 outsider floored the towering Britton on South African soil.

3. Only one betting parlour in Vegas would take bets before the fight and Tyson didn't even have a cutman in his corner. Douglas knocked Tyson out to become undisputed champion. Oh, the irony.

4.

A young Cassius Clay took on undisputed champion Sonny Liston and knocked him down for one of the most iconic images in boxing history.

5.

Prince Naseem's first defeat and his last fight. The Mexican was good, but not Hamed good, in the Prince's eyes at least. How wrong he was.


32 SPORT

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP

gair rhydd's Alasdair Robertson interviews the new SU President-elect Ed Carey and AU President-elect Olly Birrell about the future of IMG in response to the players' views... SU President-elect Ed Carey THE NEW Student Union President-elect looks set to shake up the Union, and one of his key policies is the rejuvenation of Cardiff’s longstanding yet troubled IMG sports competitions. When gair rhydd asked about his plans for the year Ed responded in a positive manner, “IMG has massive potential.”

He is not short of ideas either: “One of the main aims for IMG this year is to try and get universal sponsorship for all the teams and the competition as a whole. That sponsor needs to be a company that does not conflict with the Student Union’s ethical policies and must not be another bar.” He did however state that he would not be averse to the idea of a “promo-

tions company” sponsoring the tournament as long as they ran the Solus club night on a Wednesday. He added, “Such a sponsorship deal would help both the teams and the union as it would encourage sports teams to go to the Union as opposed to clubs in town.” Ed also suggested that the money raised by sponsorship could possibly

be put towards refereeing and coaching courses and help subsidise netball court bookings claiming “I am interested in any idea that benefits IMG as a whole, no good idea should be ignored.” Ed has a big challenge ahead, but his ideas are refreshing and he seems determined to succeed. Is he just what IMG needs?

AU President-elect Olly Birrell HAVING BEEN elected as the new AU President, Olly Birrell is full of ideas about how to improve the current IMG structure to ensure all three sports run more smoothly next academic year. His desire to resolve the longstanding issues surrounding IMG is almost infectious and his appetite for the challenge unrivalled. “I’m com-

mitted to providing IMG with the services it needs and I place it on an equal standing with BUCS sport.” Olly also seems determined to be honest in his new role: “I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep, but I will be working over the summer to ensure that IMG is as good as possible next season.” Olly’s enthusiasm is not without

direction either as he has specific plans for each of the three IMG sports. “Rugby needs the most work after the issues with referees this season, but I will try to reach a compromise with the WRU over the summer if possible. I also intend to get refereeing and umpiring courses set up over the summer, and shall meet with Sport and Exercise to try to get more court time

for IMG Netball sides. I also want to make the registration fees as fair as possible for all teams and ensure that communication with captains is more efficient.” Olly certainly looks to have most of the answers to IMG's key issues and if his ideas can be transformed into results, the tournament looks set to return to its best next year.

IMG footballer Steve Wright THE WEATHER has been the main issue this year and that is obviously out of anyoneís control. However, the decision to relay the Blackweir pitches at the same time Pontcanna was practically a building site was short sighted at best from the council. There does need to be more communication on such matters though, as had they been aware of the

situation from the start, they might have got a better headway in solving them. Registration fees need examining, £200 is a ridiculous amount. It supposedly encompasses pitch fees, ambulance cover, refereeing and equipment such as first aid, which is strange considering there were no referees, ambulance cover, reduced

games and most teams already possessed their own equipment. The refereeing situation is also an issue, currently players referee each otherís games, which works but isnít ideal. Perhaps the IMG could hold a referee course pre-season, with attending players having money deducted from their registration fee as an incentive?

Saying this, the organisers of IMG football this year have done a good job overall, with the second phase knock-out tournament particularly being good fun, something that will hopefully be retained next season. Ultimately, whoever is running IMG needs to make sure it hits the ground running.

IMG netballer Samantha Organ ACCORDING TO IMG netball players, umpiring, court fees and court availability are the key areas for next year’s sabbatical officers to focus on. Last Friday over 30 captains and future captains attended a two-hour umpiring course but many complained it was being held six months too late. For the next academic year, an umpiring course needs to be organised at

the beginning to prevent the bias complaints that have recently escalated on and off court. IMG players are also questioning court fees and availability. As it stands, the IMG players have to pay for court fees, but due to the significant increase in numerous sports teams, courts cannot always be booked for training sessions. Compare these struggles to the fa-

cilities and sponsorship the immediate Cardiff teams receive. Many IMG players are feeling hard done by. Court availability is also becoming a recurrent issue. Currently there is only one outdoor netball court, and so, as can be imagined, organisation has to be precise when it comes to arranging matches. Players would like to push for the development of another court in Taly-

bont, allowing for more practice and match time. IMG players are convinced that if these considerations were acted upon, the league would be even more popular, with organisation running even more smoothly. However, it is only fair to say that with the conditions IMG has endured this year, organisation has been faultless.

IMG rugby player Joe Tyler IT'S A testament to the commitment of all IMG players that we have got some sort of structured tournament this year. Having said that, for the last three years, the level of organisation and investment in IMG rugby has not been satisfactory. It is not reasonable to expect competent adult rugby players to give their time and money for seven

half-length rugby matches. For IMG to be successful next year, three key areas need to be looked at. Firstly, level two qualified referees are a necessity for safety and fairness of matches. I would like to see a scheme that subsidises IMG players on the completion of a referee’s qualification. This would bring self sustainability to the IMG league.

Secondly, Cardiff University rents a number of rugby pitches, and these pitches need to be available for IMG teams. Last of all, adequate coaching is vital to improve safety of the IMG league. A scheme for putting captains through coaching qualifications would be the best solution in my view. Failing that, regular contact with profes-

sional coaching staff would improve safety and quality of play in the IMG league. With rugby being the national sport of Wales, a thriving IMG tournament should be a feather in the cap of Cardiff University, and more time and money should be invested into making sure that next year is a success.


34 SPORT

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

PHOTO: THOMAS MARTIN

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM ICE HOCKEY: Plate winners

Mixed fortunes Brian Winstanley Ice Hockey Reporter

Water result

WATER POLO: Joint success

Jack Broadfoot Water Polo Reporter

PHOTO: SALLY WOOD

THE BUCS Championships at Sheffield saw both water polo teams return laden with silverware from their sixth consecutive finals competition. The men’s competition got underway with Cardiff facing Manchester. Manchester’s superior speed and experience was clearly evident from the outset as they quickly built an insurmountable lead and ran out 20 – 5 winners. They then faced eventual winners, Birmingham. Despite a spirited performance from the defending BUSA champions, Cardiff were unable to stamp their authority on the game with the Midlands outfit securing a 12 -8 victory. Off the back of two early defeats Cardiff returned to the pool on

Saturday knowing only victory would salvage any hopes of securing the championship. The men’s team went into battle against fierce local rivals and reigning champions Bristol. In an extremely tense game in which both teams matched each other blow for blow, Daniel Laxton was the difference. His crucial goals brought Cardiff a much needed 8 – 6 win, aided by titanic displays from Matty Veale and goalkeeper Tom Nelson. The girls then took to the pool against Loughborough, eager to get their campaign back on track and avenge their semi-final defeat. However, goals from the tireless Jen Myo and an absolute screamer from Rachel Roberts on the half way line were not enough to prevent Cardiff going down 14 – 4. The final day of competition saw the men take on Edinburgh knowing that a win would guarantee the silver medal, whilst defeat could mean slip-

ping to fourth place. Cardiff raced into an early 3 – 0 lead but with both teams tiring the Scots fought back bravely to take the lead and stayed in front for the majority of the game. Cardiff new boy Jakob Haas kept the team in the game and gave Laxton and the mercurial Giorgos Liaskos the opportunities to level the scores as the game finished 9 – 9. With Manchester beating Bristol to take the title, the silver medal was secure, and to round things off Laxton was named player of the tournament. The girls’ final opponents were Bath, with both teams looking to fight it out for the bronze medal. From the outset it was clear Cardiff would not be leaving empty handed as they notched up an impressive 7 -1 win. The standout player was Duffryn Law, who marked her final BUCS match for Cardiff with an assured display and an extremely well taken goal.

Driving forwards Chris Lipscomb Motorsport Reporter

KARTING: Solid performance

THE ANNUAL Celtic Cup varsity came to Cardiff this year with Edinburgh Eagles up against the Cardiff Redhawks. In the previous three years since the Cup’s inception the Eagles have walked away with the Cup. The first period saw a pretty even contest with both goalies making some good saves but Edinburgh broke the deadlock right at the end of the first period, when some good passing set Ewan Heeles up to find the back of the net to make it 1-0. Edinburgh capitalised on a number of powerplays through Steve Radoja who doubled their lead going into the second break. The third period saw Edinburgh find the net again, but Cardiff fans were brought to their feet just 3 minutes later as Sam Hayman skated over the blue line and unleashed a slapshot, which found its way past the net-minder to give Cardiff some hope. That goal turned out to be just a consolation as Edinburgh made it 4-1 securing their fourth Celtic Cup. 24 hours after losing the Celtic Cup, it was the turn of the Cardiff and Edinburgh ‘B’ teams to do battle for the Celtic Plate, in its inaugural year. Cardiff had much of the early pressure, but a break from Edinburgh saw them take the lead three minutes into

the game, Ian Arthur the scorer. Cardiff were spurred on by this and just 17 seconds later Jiri Podval found the top corner of the net to level. Cardiff dominated but were made to wait for their second goal. Jim Towers skated round the net, and back-handed the puck out in front providing the perfect chance for Bill Levene to score his first Redhawks goal. It looked as though Cardiff would go into the intermission ahead, but Ian Arthur managed to dance around two defenders and put the puck in the net again and the period ended 2-2. Cardiff had the edge over Edinburgh, but just struggled to stamp their authority on the game. The Redhawks went into the second with even more intent and were rewarded with a goal from Gareth Reid. Ten minutes later Cardiff were two goals ahead thanks to a beautiful finish from Matt Wood. In the final period Cardiff were still the dominant team and would have scored more were it not for a solid performance by Edward Begley in the Edinburgh net. Cardiff managed to extend their lead mid-way through the period with Jiri Podval getting his second. Cardiff conceded a third goal but, despite this late effort, Cardiff came out of the game 5-3 winners and captain Fil Eddy was the first person to pick up the Celtic Plate as the Redhawks were crowned Celtic Plate Champions 2009.

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY'S motor sport teams put in solid performances on their travels to Kent this month, for the third and fourth installments of the British University Kart Championships. Top ten finishes by the A team ensured that they cemented their place amongst the championships tops teams. A win from Jason Waite also brought great delight to Cardiff’s B team. In round three each driver took part in solo races for their respective teams. Following his win in the first round of the championship, Chris

Lipscomb revved up for the A team but was wrongly issued with a stop/go penalty for his apparent contribution to an earlier incident and lost out considerably, finishing in sixteenth. Tom Adams represented the A team in race three and had a storming drive, battling with some of the top talents, including Ben Cooper, the 2008 World Karting Champion. Adams featured in the top five but slipped down to finish in seventh. The B team’s best grid slot came in race five and was taken by Jason Waite by an emphatic eleven seconds. In the hour-long endurance races the B team kart was driven by Christian Okulla and Tom Rowlands who finished in twenty-fourth. After

his first race win, Jason Waite teamed up with Dave McArthur for race two. Strong drives by both helped the pair to eleventh position. The final race of the day gave Adams his second chance to shine. In the first round of pit stops Pete Merry took over driving duties. After forty minutes, Merry had steered the kart up into fifth spot and after a well-executed pit stop, it was over to Adams who put in a solid drive and eventually brought the team home in seventh position. The next rounds take place at the club’s Llandow track where both teams will be hoping to improve further and climb up the championship table.


SPORT 35

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

DESPITE ONLY having a small squad, Cardiff University’s Wado Kai Karate Club put in a strong performance at this year's BUCS Championship which took place over two days in Sheffield. The Championship saw students from over 20 Universities compete in different weight and grade categories in both fighting and Kata competitions. The squad performed well, with all competitors successfully making it through the first round of Kata on Saturday morning. The male and female Kumite team performed well that afternoon with the male team narrowly missing out on a bronze medal. Sunday saw individual Kumite with Sian Owens and Victoria Bemmer performing well in the women's novice and senior sections with Bemmer being taken out of the running by the

KARATE: Impressive showing

eventual winner. Sonal Lodhi put in a strong performance in men’s senior section but was knocked out of the competition by the eventual bronze medallist. Mark Crawford put in an excellent performance throughout the event and won a gold medal for men’s novice Kumite

BUCS bound CARDIFF UNIVERSITY have paved their way to the BUCS Championships, having once again come out on top at Cardiff’s core windsurfing event of the year. As the fourth core event in the Student Windsurfing Association 08/09 series before the finals, Cardiff were eager to score high and confirm their positions in the league tables, and they did not disappoint. Over 150 people from different UK universities came down to Llandegfedd Reservoir over the weekend for a slice of the action. Within the men’s intermediate racing, Bristol dominated the top positions but after some tough competition in the women’s races, Cardiff’s Amy Chesterfield took a worthy third place. The advanced racing then followed, within which Cardiff dominated the top spots. Seb Willis once again proved his speed and strength, taking first position in the men’s finals. In the women’s advanced racing, Cardiff faced strong competition from Southampton’s Sarah Bibbey, but Gemma Lewis powered through to knock her off the top spot. Furthermore, Beth Sanguine showed a brilliant effort, taking third position. In the advanced freestyle competitions the Southampton ladies team, including Maeli Cherel and Sarah Bibbey, set off to an impressive start, but failed to show the consistency and controlled technique of Cardiff’s Gemma Lewis who once again was awarded first place. The men’s competition saw a strong opposition between Cardiff and Southampton.

James Goody from Cardiff impressed the judges with a variety of tricks up his sleeve, battling it to the top, taking first place over Southampton’s Stefan Hilder. Cardiff’s Seb Willis secured third position. Having come away with straight wins across the advanced competitions at Cardiff, Gemma Lewis has become a strong contender for winning the overall ladies advanced racing division for the second year running. She said: ‘It was great to see so many girls competing and the standard has been really high this year so I was pretty stoked to win! Bring on BUCS!’ The BUCS finals will be held in Calshot, Southampton on the 25-26th April and Cardiff’s strong contenders hope to continue their successes in the final competition.

after a tense final. The result in Sheffield adds to the club's impressive record of not returning from BUCS empty-handed in the last eight years and furthers the success of the Welsh Higashi championships in November, in which the club dominated the medal table.

CARDIFF FRISBEE team finished tenth in the BUCS finals and lost in the final of the Plate competition, in what the team describe as a ‘transitional period.’ The first game of the tournament was a fantastic clash. Trailing by three points, Cardiff No Frills frisbee team turned up the tempo to pull it back. An incredibly intense game was won by Cardiff when Ian King dived upwind to catch the winning point. Jubilant Cardiff had to go straight into their next game without a rest, and the lack of a break proved to be the difference as they sank to defeat. Manager Daniel Wiseman said “Cardiff just didn’t turn up for what proved to be a tough game.” Cardiff went on to win their final

game of the day to create a three-way tie in their group. A cross-over had to be played to determine who went in the top eight for the final day. Cardiff lost narrowly, meaning that for the first time in a long time they were in the bottom eight at the nationals. On the second day, Cardiff easily swept teams aside to get to the final of the Plate. After a valiant effort, where Cardiff won three points on the bounce to bring the game to sudden death, the weekend ended with disappointment when Cardiff lost to the Irish side Cork University. There were definite highlights to the weekend, but Cardiff could not reproduce their great success from last years' nationals.

Silver stars

SNOOKER: Final defeat

PHOTO: AMANDA BERRY

Amanda Berry Windsurfing Reporter

No thrills James Hinks Frisbee Reporter

PHOTO: NEIL FAIRBROTHER

Sian Owens & Vicky Bemmer Karate Reporters

PHOTO: SIAN OWENS

Cardiff Wado Kai impress

Neil Fairbrother Snooker Reporter

SURF: "Bring on BUCS!"

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY'S Snooker Club first team were silver medallists at the 2009 BUCS Championships in Leeds last weekend, losing out 3-1 in the final to Warwick firsts. Cardiff started out amongst the favourites for the competition, fielding their strongest first team for a number of years. They confirmed their status in the very first match of the group stage, demolishing Southampton seconds 8-2 with two frames each from Layton Brooks, Huw Carpenter and captain Rupert Taylor. David Blake and Piyush Goyal added a frame each. Cardiff were held to a surprise 5-5 draw by York seconds in their next

match, but reaffirmed their dominance with a 7-3 win over Exeter firsts. Their final match was against Glasgow firsts, a match which would decide the group winner. Cardiff won the group in style, running out 7-3 winners, as Blake, Goyal and Carpenter all won 2-0 and Brooks drew 1-1. In the quarter-finals, Cardiff faced a strong challenge from Nottingham firsts, and were pushed all the way to 5-4 with Goyal left to play his final frame. Luckily for Cardiff, Nottingham were unable to force the draw as Goyal won to send Cardiff through with a 6-4 win. Cardiff met Queens firsts in the semi-final, a rematch of last year’s semi-final, which Cardiff lost. The match was a tense affair, as Brooks, Carpenter, Blake and Goyal all drew

1-1, leaving just Taylor to play. He lost the first frame, leaving Queens in sight of the winning post, but he managed to pull back the final frame and force the playoff. Carpenter played the playoff for Cardiff, and dominated from the start, playing an amazing frame under pressure to send Cardiff through to the final. In the final, Cardiff met their old rivals Warwick firsts in a rematch of the Midland Cup Final in February. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be Cardiff’s day, as only Brooks of Cardiff was able to win his rubber, and Warwick won 3-1 in what was something of an anticlimactic final for Cardiff. However, the team were still very pleased with second place, and will be hopeful of keeping their place amongst the elite for the next year of competition.


Sport gairrhydd

INSIDE: BUCS Championship reports, the future of IMG & IMG roundup, Word On Formula 1 and Sport Comment

HART BEAT

Cardiff 3rds thrash Hartpury in BUCS Cup success Laura Davies Netball Reporter CARDIFF Womens' 3rds...........53 HARTPURY Womens' 1sts.......12 Cardiff Netball thirds claimed the title of the BUCS Western Conference Cup, a knockout tournament that began with over 50 teams. It was a long day for the thirds and their supporters who, in spirit of the day, were also sporting netball kit. The final was held in Sheffield at the English Institute of Sport where the facilities were impressive and the pressure was on. To add to the intensity, the kit of both teams was red and black but this didn’t hinder either team as they got off to an explosive start. The Hartpury defence were tight but goal defence Rosamund Parker and wing defence Katie Ebenezer’s interceptions gave Cardiff plenty of possession, which they maintained for the majority of the first quarter. The score was 9-2 to Cardiff as they entered the second quarter and by turning over the first centre they began an attack of 11 consecutive goals. Hartpury, however, stepped their game up, meaning Cardiff’s defence had to play further up the court to keep the ball and the game in motion. At half time Cardiff made two changes, one in attack and one in defence. With fresh faces on the court, the pace of the game was kept to a maximum. A furious attack from Carys Howell and Lara Heywood kept the circle in action and the score was 37-8 to Cardiff going into the last quarter. With quite a lead the thirds were spurred on by aiming for the 50 mark as they knew complacency was still not an option. The last quarter saw two stops for Hartpury injuries and, although they kept up the fight, the shots just weren’t going in. Goal keeper Rachel Keable was there for the rebounds every time and prevented Hartpury scoring for the last eight minutes of the game. Player of the match was Gabbie Rand whose shooting was faultless. The day was a great experience for the teams and the result is a credit to the club.

GAIR RHYDD AND QUENCH MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY UNION CARDIFF, PARK PLACE, CARDIFF CF10 3QN n REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER AT THE POST OFFICE n GAIR RHYDD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS n THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE PUBLISHERS nGAIR RHYDD IS WRITTEN, DESIGNED, TYPESET AND OUTPUT BY STUDENTS OF CARDIFF UNIVERSITYn"SARAH: OMG HE'S HAD HIS PENIS IN IT"n "THUNDER: WHY WOULD I HAVE MY PENIS IN A BALLOON?!" nLIZ - "I'D LOVE TO HAVE SEX WITH HEDGEHOGS"n GARETH: "I'M HAVING HIS ARSE-CRACK"nNEW GAIR RHYDD EDITOR EMMA J: "I'D RATHER HAVE A LARGE PENIS"n ANYONE FOR AN AMARETTO AND A SHAG!?n NEWS: WE'VE HAD BOOBS BEFORE, BUT NO-ONE SHAGGING A DOGn 'FRITZL'S COMING HOME'... SET TO TAKE OVER THE CHARTSn GARY GLITTER SONGS HIT THE OFFICE JUKEBOXnALI: IMAGINE SITTING ON THAT GIRLS


SPORT 33

MARCH.23.2009 SPORT@gairrhydd.COM

IMG ROUNDUP Euros on a roll IMG NETBALL

Premiership

W

D

L

Diff

1

Law A

5

5

0

0

90

15

2

Cardiff Jets A

6

4

0

2

15

12

3

Economics A

4

3

1

0

55

10

4

Cardiff A

4

2

0

2

18

6

5

Law B

4

2

0

2

-1

6

6

Psychology A

5

1

0

4

-27

3

7

Socsi A

5

0

1

4

-82

1

8

Pharmacy A

5

0

0

5

--61

0

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

Carbs A

3

3

0

0

31

9

2

Medics A

3

2

0

1

26

6

3

English A

2

2

0

0

21

6

4

Dentistry

3

2

0

1

-5

6

5

Christian Union

6

2

0

4

-17

6

IMG NETBALL 1

Pts

Division 1

6

Sawsa*

3

2

0

1

17

6

7

Cardiff B

4

1

0

3

-16

3

8

Psychology B

4

0

0

4

-56

0

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

Medics B

4

3

1

0

20

10

2

Cardiff Jets B

5

3

0

2

5

9

3

Pharmacy B

5

3

0

2

2

9

4

Numatics

2

2

0

0

40

6

5

Carbs B

3

2

0

1

15

6

6

Jomec

4

1

0

3

-49

3

7

Cardiff IWC

4

0

2

2

-23

2

8

English B

5

0

1

4

-10

1

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

Biology

4

4

0

0

48

12

2

Socsi B

4

4

0

0

39

12

3

J-Unit

5

3

0

2

13

9

4

Gym Gym

2

1

0

1

11

3

5

Navy**

4

3

0

1

11

3

6

C Plan

3

1

0

2

6

3

7

Earth Soc

3

1

0

2

-2

3

8

Optom

2

1

0

1

--29

3

9

Automotive

4

0

0

4

-11

0

10

Economics B*

3

0

0

3

-41

-3

IMG NETBALL 1

Division 2

IMG NETBALL 1

Division 3

Chris Tarquini IMG Reporter

EUROS 3-2 Magnificent XI FC EUROS and Magnificent XI were thrust into another must-win match as the road to the Lower Cup Final continued. Despite their missing captain Daniel TennantRalph, Euros started as fired up as ever. It was Magnificent XI who had the opening chance though, with a shot whistling past the post. However, after some good efforts it was Euros who struck first, Oliete lacing a Scrivens assist into the net. A tight game ensued, with Magnificent XI coming back into the game to equalise by half time, doing nothing to ease the tension of what was still a good-natured but heart-attack-inducing game. With the second half still in its infancy an impressive lofted throughball sliced open the Euros defence to swing the game two-one in Magnificent XI's favour. The tempo of the match then began to fall but an incisive run from Nogara led to a trip,

resulting in a penalty. Scott Scriven's conversion from the spot was hammered home confidently to draw the scores level. The heat started to take its toll as the match continued with some good chances for both sides, but just as extra time seemed inevitable a heartbreaking own-goal from a Magnificent XI defender gave Euros the lead a minute from the end. An ecstatic Euros, once again under Chris

Tarquini's guidance, held on until the final whistle. For a team that finished without a win in the group stages, this aboutturn in results is like watching a whole new side. Euros now wait for the final against the winner of the Klaw vs Psychology game to see who really are the Kings of the Lower Cup.

Carbs 0-1 Momed TWO OF IMG's most successful teams met to play out a grudge match with higher stakes than

PHOTO: MEGAN DAVIES

Ed Flower IMG Reporter

IMG: Big tackle

Netball 11.03.2009 Carbs B...........25-9.....Cardiff IWC Jomec............ 6-0 ...Pharmacy B

Optom.............2-13 ......Earth Soc Christ. Union...2-14 ......English A Economics B... 5-6 ............J-Unit Biology............23-4 ...........C-Plan Socsi B...........14-8 ...Automotive Navy...............22-12......Gym Gym

Football 08.03.2009 Real Ale Mad.. 1-2 ............Carbs Momed........... 2-1 ...........Law A

IMG: Heads Up

The Final Countdown usual; the IMG semi final. After a hard fought battle and solid performance by both teams, Momed managed to capitalise on a late corner deep into extra time, proving to be the decisive goal. With a tentative start from both teams Carbs eventually managed to get a hold of the game and looked to go forward. However, this was soon matched by Momed and the game

Results

Cardiff Jets B..11-7 ......English B PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

P

become a stalemate, with the centre of the pitch appearing to be where the game would be won or lost. Each team was giving 100% and yet chances were few and far between, as both the defences were flawless. At the end of the first half the 0-0 score line reflected the closely fought match. Challenges flew in as both teams tried to dominate the second half, however on 60 minutes Simon Hilton went down under a tackle, falling awkwardly on his ankle. His pain and the seriousness of the injury were quickly realised. The incident caused a 30 minute delay to the game, but both teams agreed to continue the game as the desire to reach the final was evident. Although the teams seemed anxious to shoot, long throws and corners seemed to be the most likely method to score the much needed first goal. Again, strong defending meant that neither team could capitalise on the few chances that were created, and the full time whistle blew, leading to extra time. The first half of extra time became a fiery affair and off the ball antics lead to aggressive behaviour from Momed which should have seen a red card. However due to the lack of

authority given to referees in IMG, both teams agreed to continue the game with 11 men and finish the tight encounter. As legs and energy levels sapped, Momed managed to make the most of a corner on 100 minutes. Their centre forward engineered himself some space to latch onto the perfectly placed cross and head past the Carbs keeper. Carbs picked themselves up but with time running out they needed to create something quickly. Still trying to play football on the floor and find runners in the channels, Carbs could not break down Momed's defence as they held out for the full time whistle. In a game where neither team deserved to lose, one crucial moment allowed Momed to get the winner and progress to the final to play AFC History. Carbs player Andrew Maddock later said "it was a hard fought close game, where the defendes and midfields dominated, however we are disappointed to lose such a tight game". All involved wish a speedy recovery to Simon Hilton.

Earth Soc....... 1-2 ...AFC History Gym Gym........ 1-0 .......Socsi FC Uni Hall.......... 2-7 ............Law B Samba Tigers.. 3-5 ......Pharm AC Automotive...... 1-2 ............J-Unit Economics...... 1-5 ...Locomotive

11.03.2009 Opsoccer......... 1-2 ....Psychology Men Utd......... 1-3 ............KLAW Euros FC......... 2-0 ......Numatics Inter MeNan.... 1-2 .....Magnif. XI AFC Cathays....15-1 .....Philosophy Sawsa............ 3-0 ...........Jomec Crusaders....... 4-5 ..........Liability Earth Soc.........1-5......Automotive Gym Gym.........3-1....Econmomics Locomotive......2-4..........Socsi FC

All results correct and up to date at time of publication according to www.cardiffstudents.co.uk


gair rhydd - Issue 893