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CARDIFF'S STUDENT WEEKLY

ISSUE 903 OCTOBER 05 2009

free inside:

crikey, sport gair rhydd’s first ever bags an handy guide interview to learning with Becks! Welsh page 31

TURF WAR

Allegations of threatening behaviour bring into question the operations of external promoters on University grounds Gareth Ludkin News Editor Allegations of threatening behaviour from Rough Hill promotional staff grew last week, as ‘Freshers’ Fortnight’ drew to a close. An incident on the Union steps has brought into question the operations of external promotional companies on University grounds. With a number of private promotional companies advertising their nights alongside Union events staff, competition for the attention of around 5,000 new students has been understandably fierce. This high level of competition resulted in evident tension between promotions companies during Freshers’, with members of various teams taking down other posters, shouting and engaging in what appeared to be semi-friendly rivalry on University residencies. Charlie Ricketts, head of the Talybont Welcome Crew, stated that during the week: “When all our ‘ents’ people were up at Talybont, there were people taking each other’s posters down and giving each other chat, getting Freshers to shout at other promotional teams.” Members of Rough Hill, the promotions company who promote events at Tiger Tiger, were reported to have been particularly aggressive, at one point even threatening a member of Welcome Crew outside the Union. Talybont also saw what was described as a ‘small army’ of promot-

ers on Talybont grounds, despite being told that they were not allowed to promote there. Numbers did dwindle over the week after members of both Rough Hill and Climax Promotions were asked to leave the Talybont grounds. An eyewitness to the incident on the Union steps stated that a member of Rough Hill staff had raised his voice in a threatening tone toward a member of Welcome Crew. Questioning why Welcome Crew had been swapping sweets for Rough Hill flyers, the male Rough Hill worker said: “I hope you realise you're ruining their Freshers' week. I'm going to have them banned from every Rough Hill event.” His threatening manner caused the Union Welcome Crew some concern, leading them to place more confident people outside of the building. Rough Hill reacted by moving two female members away from the area, while two male staff maintained a presence near Welcome Crew, directly outside the front of the Union. Dan Jefferys, Rough Hill City Manager, denies this version of events, suggesting that the person in question had simply asked Welcome Crew not to destroy their flyers and that he had apologised

for threatening to ban from future Rough Hill events. This apology, however, has not been confirmed. “We are not a threatening promotions team, we are a really friendly bunch,” said Dan. “I think a lot of the problems are to do with promotional rivalry.” Dan stressed that the Rough Hill team were strictly interviewed and guided on how to promote responsibly. “The Rough Hill team is briefed on how they should act and how they shouldn’t act,” he said. Dan did accept that the incident had happened, but commented that the Union were “acting immorally towards fellow students [by] basically bribing students with sweets to hand over any Rough Hill flyers that came their way.” continued on page 2


02 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

grgr Science fiction?

EDITOR Emma Jones DEPUTY EDITOR Simon Lucey CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan SUB EDITOR Sarah Powell NEWS Ceri Isfryn Gareth Ludkin Emma McFarnon Jamie Thunder FEATURES Daniella Graham Robin Morgan OPINION Oli Franklin Paul Stollery COLUMNISTS Tim Hart Oli Franklin POLITICS Damian Fantato LISTINGS Steve Beynon Ed Bovingdon TAF-OD Nia Gwawr Williams Cynan Llwyd Cadi Mai SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT Amy Hall Priya Raj JOBS &MONEY Katie Greenway SPORT Joe Davies Adam Horne Lucy Morgan Robbie Wells CONTRIBUTORS Nathan Allen Laura Beard Daniel Brockley George Carpenter Hannah Carr James Davies Alex Evans Emyr Gruffydd Cicily Giles Tim Hart Bethan Paterson Hughes Gareth Jones Jack Jordan Lia Martin Katie Prescott Oliver Smith Luke Snell Richard Thomas

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Government accused of "hyperbole" as flaws are found in report on schools and university subjects Katie Prescott Reporter The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) have released fresh figures about the numbers taking science subjects at university, but have faced criticism over their research methods. At first glance the HESA report suggests that science subjects are thriving at university level. Despite a slowdown in recent years, the number of students enrolled on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses has grown from 379,000 to 515,000 in just over a decade. Percentage-wise, STEM subjects have risen from 38% of all undergraduate choices in 1997 to 42% in 2008. Yet think tank The Policy Exchange (PE) claims that on closer examination of the traditional STEM subjects only a handful have seen any substantial change in popularity. Medicine and Dentistry have undoubtedly seen substantial rises, but the number enrolled in Biology, Chemistry and Physics has barely

changed in this period, according to the PE report. Biology had 18,081 students in 1997 and only 18,405 in 2008, whereas Physics had 9,990 students in 1997 and 10,145 in 2008. The reports proceeds to claim that the number studying Chemistry has in fact fallen during the same period– from 13,923 to 12,515. Meanwhile, Engineering and Technology subjects have dropped from 90,930 in 1997 to 80,425 in 2008. PE claims that the inconsistency in findings stems from a "clever manipulation of data" by the government and the growth of new subjects. PE criticized the government for not taking into consideration that what classifies as science has broadened substantially since the original statistics were gathered. The report criticizes the government for classing subjects such as Geography Studies, Sport Science and Nursing as sciences, when students on some of the courses don't even require a GSCE or A-level in science. In 2002-2003, the government reclassified a significant number of subjects were reclassified as science,

An exact science? which accounts for the significant increase in science enrolment numbers at the time. The think tank concluded by ac-

Promotions controversy continued from front page Critical of the Union’s “unscrupulous actions”, Dan was frustrated by the way that Rough Hill were being portrayed, saying: “We’ve been painted as the bad guys.” A member of Union staff said they were disappointed by the nastiness that had taken place between promo teams during Freshers’ fortnight, although this incident was one in isolation. The activity of external promotional companies in Talybont was also noted. The University’s position on the promotion of nightclub events in residences has been addressed by a University spokesperson, who stated: “The University does not permit promoters for any nightclub events to operate in its residential buildings. Whenever such activities come to the attention of Campus Services staff, the promoters are asked to stop, and if they are not members of the University, to leave the premises.” Members of Rough Hill and Climax Promotions were asked to leave the premises on this basis, and their actions were monitored around campus. But the mistrust among the Union and external promotional teams created an antagonistic atmosphere on site.

The amount of flyering by companies such as Climax and Rough Hill demonstrated how freely they were allowed to promote. Rough Hill employ first years as hall reps specifically to promote their nights, which means they can get round the University’s restrictions on external promoters. Frustration was also felt by the Union due to the fact that external promoters seemed to be given favour by residences. In the Freshers’ ‘hall packs’, Rough Hill had been able to put in promo CDs, clearly breaching the University’s policy on external promoters. This frustrated the Students’ Union further, as the University had been reluctant to let them promote on residences. ‘Bounce’ wall planners were also being handed out to students as they collected their keys. Ed Carey, Students’ Union President, said: “All the money spent in the Union goes back to the students, we are a branch of the University, so we have more of a right to be on site than external companies.” Union events staff found that they were restricted from talking to Freshers in Talybont and were often made to feel unwelcome. Keen to promote the benefits of the

services provided, the Union wants students to see that it is not for profit, and that all the money comes back to them. Ed continued: “We want students to feel that they can go wherever they want, but to come back to the Union as their home. Everything goes back in their hands.” Dan Jefferys said that he didn’t see why there should be conflict between Rough Hill and the Union when their nights do not clash. He believes that it is unfair that Rough Hill should be restricted from promoting to its client base, commenting that everyone who works for Rough Hill is part of the University and is simply working to improve their CV and earn a bit of extra cash. “There’s no corruption, there’s no illegal activities,” he said. Both versions of events reflect badly on Cardiff University. The actions of all promotional teams are central to the impression students take away from the University, particularly in their first few weeks, and fair and considerate promotion for all is an important part of this. In future years, strict rules for promotional companies need to be imposed and stuck to, stipulating exactly what promotional companies can and cannot do.

cusing the government of "hyperbole" and of "deliberately trying to make things better than they are."

Debt delusion Nathan Allen Reporter Ill-informed parents are underestimating their child’s university education costs by £15,000, a new poll suggests. Abbey commissioned the research into debts of UK students and found that 64% of parents believe their graduate offspring will have debts of a mere £5,000, when it’s likely to be nearer £20,000. The survey also says that parents are pretty clued up on financial matters, especially interest rates, and that they trust their children to “budget effectively” when they’ve flown the nest. Another Abbey poll of 16-18 year olds says three-quarters want more money management advice. The research also highlights that 35% of parents are going to pay off their child’s debt; and those parents are underestimating collectively by £10bn. John Thorpe of Abbey said “It’s no surprise that the two groups have different views and we are calling for families to sit down and use their own knowledge and ability to work out how to finance further education most effectively.”

NEWS 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION 8 COLUMNIST 11 FEATURES 12 POLITICS 16 LETTERS 18 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 21 LISTINGS 24 JOBS & MONEY 22 FIVE MINUTE FUN 27 SPORT 29


04 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Proposals to end 'irrelevant' research at universities Alex Evans Reporter

Changes to government funding guidelines are set to force academics to prove that their research is relevant to the real-world. The government is to assess research proposals based on their influence on the economy, public policy or wider society in an effort to weed out 'pointless' studies which waste funding. The plans are outlined as part of a new framework known as the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which will hand out up to £1.76billion in funding every year. The changes will be compulsory for English institutions, although it seems likely that Welsh and Northern Irish funding boards will follow suit, according to the proposals. The concern among academics is that speculative 'blue skies' research will no longer be pursued. This would be a particularly devastating blow for humanities and social studies departments who rely on this type of research more than the 'traditional' sciences such as physics and biology. From 2012, each university department's research proposals will be as-

sessed on the evidence they provide to a panel of academics, with 60% of marks awarded for the quality of their research, 25% given for the impact it makes on key areas, such as the economy, and 15% for the quality of the department. This will gauge a department's research strategy, staff and postgraduate development as well as their “engagement with the public”. David Sweeney, the director of research at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) responsible for the proposals defended the plans: 'The REF will recognise and reward excellent research and the sharing of new knowledge for the benefit of the economy and society.” “It will also ensure the effective allocation of public funds. It will encourage the productive interchange of research staff and ideas between higher education and business, Government and other sectors.” Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, criticised the plans: “Academic research should never be at the behest of market forces. History has taught us that some of the biggest breakthroughs have come from speculative research and it is wrong to try and measure projects purely on their economic potential”.

Open invitation Jamie Thunder News Editor Students in Cardiff who left their doors unlocked last week received some surprise visitors as part of an initiative to prevent burglaries in the area. Cardiff Students’ Union Welcome Crew and South Wales Police tested front doors in Cathays and Roath from 1-5pm between Wednesday and Friday. If they were unlocked the residents were warned about the risks of ‘walkin’ or ‘creeper’ burglaries, when a thief gains access through an open door. They were also given an information pack about protecting property. In almost all cases when the door hadn’t been locked there were people in the house. However, at least one house had been left unlocked even though there was no-one home. Other houses had unlocked doors with keys still in the door, which would allow burglars to either just walk in or to take the keys and return later, regardless of whether the door had been locked in the meantime. In a three-hour period on Wednesday the teams found more than thirty unlocked front doors, including nine on a single street. Daniella Graham, a member of the Welcome Crew who helped with

the exercise, said: “A lot of people thought it was okay to leave their door unlocked because they were in the house, but they didn’t always realise when we’d walked in past valuable items like laptops. “If we could just walk in then anyone could, no matter what their intentions.” Ed Dolding, Cardiff Students’ Union Welfare, Campaigns, and Communications Officer said: “Cardiff is a tremendously safe city for students, but every year there is a spate of student burglaries, particularly during and just after the Freshers’ period. “As many as 40% of these crimes occur without the criminal having to try and break into the property. Students need to make sure they lock their doors and windows whenever possible.” Around one in three students are expected to be victims of crime annually, although this figure is only one in 30 for Cardiff. Locking doors helps protect property and keep you safe. It is believed that the recent rape of a student at the University of Glamorgan was in part due to a door being left unlocked. Students are also advised not to leave boxes and packaging from expensive items outside the house, as these alert people to what is available inside the house.

PCSO Dave Marvelley


NEWS 05

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

It's mind over matter

Universities face difficulty after surge in applicants George Carpenter Reporter

Both universities and students could face serious financial problems following the 10% surge in university applicants this year, as the government will be unable to cope with the demand. A cap on the number of students to be accepted was imposed in England earlier this year, following the discovery of a £200m black hole in university financing. However, universities continued to accept the flood of students – thought to be 22,000 over the limit – in violation of government advice. Now vice chancellors may face millions in fines, putting a strain on the already tight budgets universities must deal with following the reces-

Matthew Price gets his legs waxed

Gareth Ludkin News Editor

Cardiff University’s Psychology Society have organized their first charity event of the year. Held in the Union foyer, Co-Presidents Matthew Price and Jason Millar volunteered their legs to be waxed. Raising money for the Cardiff branch of Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, students passing through the Union donated generously, with a small crowd quickly growing. For the price of £2 anyone could have the opportunity to rip off a strip for themselves. ‘Tans and Hans’ provided the ex-

pertise to make the experience as pain free as possible, but as the participants’ legs rapidly became hair free the pain was clearly evident. Jason Millar wasn’t particularly apprehensive before the event and commented, “I think I can handle it.” Matthew Price on the other hand was more nervous about the smooth legs to come, “I’m not excited to be bald from the waist down,” he said. The event, which rose in excess of £190, was the first of many planned by the Psych Soc committee. Looking to be much more proactive this year, particularly with their charity fundraising, the society has a new energy it hopes will roll into a many more successful events, raising plenty more money for charity.

Love film NO2ID Jamie Thunder News Editor

Jamie Thunder News Editor

Cardiff University Film Society is to expand its production arm this year, creating a feature-length film made up of short segments about the city. Under the name Diff Films, the society hopes to enter the finished piece to film festivals and events. Actors, writers, and directors are wanted for the project, as well as people to shoot and edit the pieces. The Film Society will provide the equipment. Individual segments can be between two and five minutes long and can be submitted to Cardiff Student Media Awards at the end of the year.

South Wales Police have urged students not to carry their passports with them on a night out. Over 800 passports were reported lost or stolen in Cardiff last year, and only 200 were recovered. Even if a lost passport is later recovered it can’t be returned to the owner. The cost of a new one is nearly £80. Most of the complainants were people using their passports as proof of age to get into clubs. PC Bob Keohane said: “There is always the chance that a passport can be used for identity theft. Students should not carry their passports.”

sion. Students themselves will also suffer. Those studying in Wales will bear the burden of financial cost of this year’s oversubscription. Speaking for the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Emma Raczka warned that: “[T]he recruitment of additional full-time students can trigger extra public costs for their tuition fees and maintenance grants. Therefore, higher education institutions have agreed to act prudently when recruiting additional students so that there is no extra pressure on the Welsh Assembly Government's student support budget. "[However] institutions can, within reason, choose to recruit additional students on a 'fees only' basis, where the student pays the fees, but no additional funding is available for that place from HEFCW.” The full extent of the fines im-

posed on universities is not likely to be known until December 1 this year, when the number of applicants will be counted.


06 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

You'll never guess what...

'Hitler' skull was a woman's

Oompah roompah

Claim suggests dictator didn't die in Berlin bunker Tim Hart Reporter

Around 120 Chinese dwarfs have set up their own community to avoid the frequent discrimination and prejudice they receive. They have settled in the mountain commune of Kunming, Southern China and have even founded a set of rules which states that no person over the height of 4ft 3ins shall be welcomed into the community. Like a normal-sized community, they have their own police force and fire brigade enabling them to cope with all their little needs. They have, however, failed to fully break away from their stereotypes, dressing up as fictional fairyland characters and building mushroom houses to attract tourists.

Moving goalposts

The skull long thought to be Adolf Hitler’s actually belonged to a woman, according to an American scientist who has taken DNA samples from the skull. Soviet forces took the skull in 1945 when they found charred remains outside the Nazi dictator's bunker in Berlin. The Russians said at the time that the findings backed claims that Hitler had shot himself on April 30, 1945, and then been cremated along with his wife, Eva Braun. Now, however, archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni says the skull really belonged to a woman aged under 40 and not Hitler - who was 56 when he died. Neither does Mr Bellantoni believe the skull belongs to Braun, Hitler's long-time girlfriend and last-minute wife, who is thought to have killed herself by taking cyanide and would

therefore not have had a bullet wound - as this skull has. Some historians have believed for years that the Nazi dictator did not die in Berlin. "There is no forensic evidence whatsoever that Hitler died in the bunker," said historian and journalist Gerrard William. "The Nazi high command had been making plans since 1943 to get out of Germany and to set up a Fourth Reich mainly in South America so they had no need to die in situ in Germany. "There was a very effective route out of Germany to South America and the Nazis had help from various factions, in particular a Croatian cardinal from the Vatican called Alois Hudel." One reason why there was such a belief at the end of World War II that the skull was Hitler's, Mr Williams suggests, is that everyone needed Hitler to be dead. "Everyone wanted to close the chapter very quickly because, of course, the Cold War was just starting up. It was convenient, that's all."

SKULLDUGGERY: Was this really Hitler's?

Knock knocked up Man boobs the

A Danish goalkeeper is in hot water after being caught moving the goalposts in a Swedish league clash between IFK Gothenburg and Orebro. Kim Christensen, of IFK Gothenburg, admitted to this bizarre act of cheating after being caught live on camera kicking the flimsy goal posts closer together. He has since confessed to doing it “from time to time” and received this top tip from a goalkeeping friend a few years previous. IFK Gothenburg currently hold second place in the Swedish League trailing AIK by three points.

Big baby A 41-year old woman in Indonesia has given birth to a 19lb baby boy. It's not quite the world-record, which is currently 23lb, but an astonishing feat nevertheless. The father of the child, Muhammad Hasanuddin, is happy that the birth via cesarean occurred without complication, his only worry now is whether he can afford to feed the larger than average child. The doctor who delivered the child told reporters: “He's got a strong appetite, every minute, it's almost nonstop feeding.”

Tim Hart Reporter

GOT MILK?: Swedish man hopes to proves he's the mummy

Tim Hart Reporter A Swedish father has begun an experiment that could help him produce milk. Ragnar Bengtsson, aged 26, began stimulating his breasts with a pump in a bid to produce milk. Bengtsson will pump his breasts at three-hour intervals every day until the beginning of December. As a full time economics student at Stockholm University, he is not always going to be in a position to pump in private. His efforts are being documented by Swedish TV8 on the Aschberg show. Bengtsson also maintains a blog on the station's website, the title of which translates as: 'The Milkman - One Drop at a Time'. "I'm going to have to pull out the pump during lectures. But really it

doesn't bother me if it makes people uncomfortable. If they have issues with it that's their problem," he said. Male lactation is a relatively common side effect of hormone treatments, but Bengtsson has no plans to chemically induce the process. "If it works and the milk turns out to have a high nutritional value it could be a real breakthrough," he said. Bengtsson has a two-year-old son who is in no way involved in the experiment, but the Stockholm dad doesn't rule out breastfeeding any future kids. "There have been a lot of strong reactions. Some people think it's completely sick," he said. Sigbritt Werner, professor of endocrinology at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said it could be possible for Bengtsson to produce "a drop or two" after three or four months.

A US woman has stunned doctors by falling pregnant while pregnant. Julia Grovenburg and her husband Todd were staggered to learn she would be giving birth to two babies, but not twins. The couple attended an ultrasound appointment believing Mrs Grovenburg was just over eight weeks pregnant. But the scan showed two babies, separated by two-and-a-half weeks with one clearly more developed than the other. "[When] she said, 'and baby number two has got a healthy little heartbeat,' - I just started gagging," Mrs Grovenburg.

"[We were] both in shock," her husband added. Doctors suspect an extraordinarily uncommon situation called superfetation, which means conceiving when already pregnant. There’s only one case a year reported worldwide. "It's a rare thing because when you conceive, your hormones change dramatically," he said. "Those changes stop you ovulating and they stop you conceiving." Tests will be performed when the babies are born to ascertain what happened. If the family's situation was not astounding enough, the babies are officially due in different years - at the end of 2009 and start of 2010. However, the pair - already named as Jillian and Hudson - are expected to be born together, either naturally or by caesarean section, in December.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Julia Grovenburg, who is pregnant twice


NEWS 07


08 OPINION

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

freewords EDITORIAL

Est. 1972

Turf war This edition brings you the latest on the petty promotions row between the Union staff and external promoters Rough Hill, Climax Promotions and Student Cardiff (the latter two owned by ex-Cardiff student Sam Gould). I hope you enjoy reading about what actually happened now we've finally put it into print, and that the whole issue can now be laid to rest. (Although it probably won't be because a member of Rough Hill has threatened to sue us for something or other. Oo er). I'll probably even get in trouble for writing this! We'd better watch our backs. Big news broke yesterday - which meant a last minute change for our Politics section (sorry Damian!) lovely Rhodri Morgan has decided to step down after ten years as Wales' First Minister. Now the race is on to see who will replace him. (I hope it's someone nice - they could make some big decisions affecting me and you over the next few years!) I don't know about you, but I'm also very excited that we have an interview with none other than the God that is David Beckham gracing our pages this week - all thanks to postgraduate journalism student James Davies. Very...very... jealous. Speaking of sport, I'd also like to draw your attention to the new and improved section, courtesy of gair rhydd's Sport Editors. We've still got the regulars: match reports, The Word On... and soon to come, all the IMG and BUCS latest. But you'll notice Sport Comment has been replaced with The Warm Up - a preview of upcoming sporting events, so you can read about them before they happen, rather than after, when you've probably already read about them on the BBC News website. Finally, congratulations to the Union on the success of their newly branded Wednesday night. The Lash sold out well in advance for its Beach Party hosted by Greg James last week, which became apparent when I rocked up and the queue was halfway down the steps. If I'm honest, Greg did little more than shot encouraging remarks such as 'Put your hands up!' over the mic, but the music was cheesy, the atmosphere was sweaty and the floor was sticky... After a couple of years of suffering an identity crisis, it looks like Wednesday nights are back to their good old selves.

Corrections Apologies to Daniel Laxton, the Swimming and Water Polo player, who was featured on last week's back page as Daniel Luxton.

Apologies also to Morgan Bailey, who was not given a byline for the story she wrote in Issue 901 on the University Rowing Club's perfomrance at

the Henley Regatta.

The award-winning rapist Since filmmaker Roman Polanski was arrested last week for raping a 13 year old 32 years ago, many in the film industry have come out in his defence. But winning Oscars does not make you exempt from the law Sam Eddy Opinion Writer Despite making headlines across the world last week, Roman Polanski (above) is not a man with whom many people are familiar. Most couldn’t name more than a couple of his films aside from 'The Pianist' without consulting IMDB. Perhaps if it had been a national hero who was just arrested in Switzerland, I would be joining the likes of Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese in singing his praises. But I don’t think so. A rapist, no matter how celebrated, is still a rapist. In 1977, Polanski had sex with a thirteen year old girl named Samantha Geimer (right). Celebrities being found innocent of crimes they are widely believed to have committed is nothing new, but what makes the outpouring of support for Roman Polanski in certain circles so baffling is that he actually admitted to his crime. He even had the audacity to try to claim that Geimer consented, an explanation contradicted by the victim’s version of events (the part of the legal transcript where she begs: “No, no. I don't want to go in there. No, I don't want to do this. No!” springs to mind).

Polanski was born in Paris and is a French citizen, and fled to France in 1978 rather than facing a potential half century stay in jail. France can refuse to extradite citizens to the US, which, of course, in the case of a talented director, they did. Finally, justice caught up with Polanski when he was arrested by Swiss police while en route to the Zürich film festival.

Should talented and famous individuals be exempt from the law? However, that it is justice that has finally caught up with Polanski seems to have eluded many in France. Frédéric Mitterrand, the culture minister, claimed Polanski’s detention was a “new ordeal being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them.” Polanski, who is of Polish descent, lost his mother to Auschwitz and his wife the Manson ‘Family’, and it would take a cold heart to claim this isn’t more than enough hardship for one man to endure. However, to argue that this excuses such a terrible crime is absurd. Trace the tragic family history of Baby P

back even so far as his mother’s childhood, and you’ll see that abuse begets abuse, but, as the mother’s detention testifies, certainly does not excuse it. Critics have argued that detaining Polanski on the way to a festival where he was due to collect an award was a measured act of spite against the director, an argument which is akin to claiming that someone shouldn’t be arrested on their birthday because it’s mean. A more convincing defence is that Polanski’s arrest was an attempt by Switzerland to improve ties with the US after the latter b r a n d e d it a Tax Haven. This suggestion may have some truth, but fails to explain why countries with existing (relatively) warm relationships with America - the UK and Israel for example - had already made failed attempts to capture him. And even if it was a political gambit, surely if the outcome is a convicted criminal facing justice it’s still a good thing? Ultimately, the Po-

lanski arrest debacle seems to come down to the same tired question; should talented and famous individuals be exempt from the law? The answer is of course, no. Celebrities, particularly those like Polanski who are actually imbued with considerable talent, are role models for the adoring societies that ultimately create (and can indeed destroy) them. What does it say when your role model flouts the law and gets away with it? Celebrity court cases are the ones that the world watches and that cement international opinions on a country’s legal integrity. If anything, celebrity offenders such as Polanski should be more susceptible, not less.


OPINION 09

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

The tale of the leering lecturer When Terence Kealey claimed pretty students are 'perks of the job' he attracted nationwide criticism. But is he not simply saying what everyone else is thinking? Hannah Carr Opinion Writer

and the original article has attracted over 180 comments, with one critic labelling herself “unimpressed undergraduette”, another “astounded”.

Female university students are creatures “which you should admire daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife.” These immortal words were uttered by Dr Terence Kealey, Vice Chancellor at the University of Buckingham, rather than a middle-aged male lurking in the corner of the pub. Unsurprisingly, Kealey’s outspokenness in a recent article in the Times Higher Education supplement has provoked controversy and calls for his resignation. Feminists, students and journalists have all jumped aboard the condemnatory bandwagon. The National Union of Students has criticised his message,

Ignore the depressing headlines, and get on with student life It has been argued that someone in his position should be beyond reproach. But why? Persons of intellectual standing should have no less right to express their opinion than anyone else. He’s trying to appear more plebeian, don’t you know. Thankfully others have taken a

more reasoned approach and assessed the article in the humorous light in which it was intended to be viewed. Yes, Kealey’s article portrays women as sex objects. But we are all sex objects as human beings with the ability to reproduce. However, he does not view them as sex objects alone. If he did he wouldn’t express a problem with acting on these sexual urges. Kealey’s comments were clearly intended to be a light-hearted take on academia’s seven deadly sins. His opinion on lust was always going to be more controversial than the other six academic attributes- namely procrastination, snobbery, arrogance, sartorial inelegance, complacency and pedantry. It is difficult to see how he could have written a controversy- free piece on this topic, and if he had it probably wouldn’t have made good copy.

If his critics read a bit more closely they would realise that Kealey isn’t a misogynistic, aging sexual predator.

Kealey's article should be seen for what it is; a forgivable faux pas He is by no means condoning sordid professor-students liaisons, merely arguing that academics can look but not touch, something which we all admittedly do, although not quite so vocally. Perhaps this is the problem, Kealey is speaking the unspeakable, the taboo topic of an academic’s interest in their students extending beyond the academic, into more questionable territory. We all know that this hap-

pens, but it’s simply an inconvenient truth, spoken in broken whispers that stick stubbornly in the throat. The problem arises when an academic acts on these urges, and Kealey rightly argues that academics should, “enjoy the views- and only the views.” We can not condemn thoughts alone, however inappropriate they may be. Even if you don’t agree with his methods – which many clearly don’t – his words have served to provoke debate, which can never be a bad thing. Indeed, both his right to free speech and others’ right to express their opinions on this are a marker of a free, democratic society. Kealey’s article should be seen for what it is: a forgivable faux pas. Whether his wife agrees is another matter.

From law maker to law breaker By hiring an illegal immigrant, Attorney General Baroness Scotland broke the law. As one of the country's law makers, she must resign Nathan Allen Opinion Writer Baroness Scotland, the Labour peer and attorney general, should without a doubt resign. Knowing you’ve employed an illegal immigrant is one thing, but being the attorney general at the time is quite another. It may seem trivial but it could be very damaging to her career if she doesn’t stand down. The crime was that the Baroness hired an illegal immigrant from Tonga, who acted as her housekeeper in London, called Loloahi Tapui. Miss Tapui knew she wasn’t allowed to work in the UK but still got the job; she told the Mail on Sunday that she had no documents and that Lady Scotland didn’t ask to see any. She was given the job after a ten minute interview.

She commited a criminal act and is thus a criminal. The Baroness paid the £5,000 fine (peanuts, I’m sure) with the full backing of PM Brown, who reckons that she acted in “good faith”. Yet other ministers have called for her resignation with one “senior cabinet member” saying “Her position is untenable. She's toast", according to the Daily Telegraph. The fact of the matter is that Baroness Scotland is the senior law officer for England and Wales and she broke

the law. One of her own laws, in fact – it was her that pushed through the governing legislation (Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act, 2006) Okay, she paid the fine but the lasting damage can’t be just be repaid with a cheque. Although at least there’s less worry of that cheque bouncing now the banks are on a road to recovery. It’s a trust issue. If she cannot stand true to her own ruling, then who’s to say she’ll adhere to the rest? She committed a criminal act and is thus a criminal, and without wishing to speak out of turn, criminals aren’t renowned for their reputations – not the good ones at least. And hers is severely damaged. Her critics come from all over the Commons- LibDem Chris Huhne said "Law makers should not be law breakers, and this applies even more to Baroness Scotland due to her special position as chief law officer. Her position now looks untenable." And Tory David Davis tells that after ministers break the law; their dismissal should be “automatic”. To be fair though, it is quite a funny old case. The law maker becomes the law breaker and one could argue that it throws the system into disrepute? Maybe that makes those little chav kids stealing from the generic corner shop model citizens and the student finance blunders of late nothing to worry about. Perhaps even those rogue landlords that gair rhydd led with last week should be let off the hook. But in reality, this is embarrassing, the attorney general wasn’t unaware. The official line from the Baroness was “I did check absolutely everything. The critical thing is, having

checked, each employer is asked to take photocopies, I didn't take photocopies. I absolutely believed she was bona fide.” The only document that actually exists (as in proven, not just said to exist) was a forged passport which contained an expired visa, which was found when Miss Tapui’s home was raided and then seized.

Miss Tapui has been in Britain since her student visa expired five years ago and told the Mail that "I do not understand why [Baroness Scotland] said that she saw my passport because I know I'm illegal… Why [would] I provide my passport because I know [that if I did] I would not get employed by her."

In the interview, which was set up by publicist extraordinaire Max Clifford, also has Tapui claiming that she has no intention of leaving the UK and returning to Tonga. And you can’t help but smirk a little at the Baroness’ failing here. Happiness at the misfortune of others, that’s schadenfreude.

BARONESS SCOTLAND: Hands up if you employ illegal immigrants


04 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009


COLUMNIST 11

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

e b o T . . . . K N A FR

It's not Gordon or David that's the problem: it's all of us A

massive event this week potentially changed the future of Britain, perhaps even the Western World. The best selling print newspaper in the UK, (not to mention a pillar of intellectualism if I ever saw one) The Sun, after 12 years has turned its back on the Labour government and officially supported the Conservative Party in the next election. I shouldn’t need to explain the huge power that media can exert over a populace, particularly when it comes to political thinking. Even in this modern age of ever evolving, all consuming electronic media, the simple fact is that headlines influence elections. The written word has an inunderestimatable power to influence – particularly a paper like The Sun, whose readership…how can I say this tentatively… perhaps is less likely to be exposed to political forums that aren’t expressed in a caption alongside naked breasts. And so, it seems, dangerously, the bandwagon has set off. Or should I say the careering freight train that is the Conservatives’ likely victory is now belting full steam towards the pathetic, helpless figure of Gordon Brown, tied to the tracks with his own ineptitude.

Being British is shit, isn't it? And the Sudanese think they have it rough Unfortunately, if the Conservatives get into power, I’d have to employ a similarly hyperbolic metaphor for the fate of the whole damn country. And yes, yes I know Labour are terrible at the moment. Don’t look at me like that. Just bear with me for a little while. You might have noticed I used that tired old cliché ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. I know, it’s terrible writing, but it’s done for a point. You see, that very phenomenon is to blame for the horrific state that our nation now finds itself in. It is an insidious blight that infects everyone, even you and me. It is this blind following of popular cynicism that has put this country in

the state that it is right now. The problem is so ingrained, that it could even be seen as a characteristic of our very Britishness. What are our broadest characteristics, as a nation? Besides our desperately tedious tendency to discuss meteorological minutiae and think that it counts for good conversation (it doesn’t). Well, surely it must be the great British wit, our dry cynicism and fabulously droll sense of ennui. Why you only have to watch any evening BBC comedy to know that the only time we seem to be happy is when we are commenting on just how miserably shit everything is. But hey, when you do, everyone will agree with you - after all, being British is shit isn’t it? To think those cheeky Sudanese think they have it rough. Travelling this summer, it really started to hit home how pathetically clichéd our state of mind as a nation has become. Even in the US, a country which we delight in mocking, a postmodern political revolution took place this year with the ousting of the Republican regime and the inauguration of President Obama. Here, our political landscape is so stagnant and apathetic that I will be surprised if anyone gives a toss enough to vote next year. This is down to a simple fact – that there is no such thing as British politics any more. Both the Labour party and the Conservatives,and even recently the Lib Dems, are all increasingly the same. They are just as bad as each other. Why? Simple: because all their policies are based on pandering to popular opinion. Now that’s just politics, right? Wrong. And the reason is this – popular opinion is wrong. Let me bring it back to the bandwagon thing, because like I said, I had a point. And the point is this. We have descended into this utterly ridiculous position in which the government is letting a public that has no idea about things dictate key policies. In his deathly boresome Labour conference speech, Gordon Brown vociferously

NIC HMS TITA

Come on lads! If the Sun says it, it must be right... attacked bankers’ bonuses – a move that is both pandering to the press, and, to be frank, utterly stupid. This strange vilification of the top levels of our financial institutions goes utterly against common sense. Now, in our time of greatest crisis, is when we need the world’s greatest financial minds helping to steer us out of this economic crisis and maintain our international competitiveness. To put a limit on monetary stimuli (something which goes completely against themarket principles that Gordie has championed for the last decade) will simply mean that the best people fuck off abroad where they can get paid, and we will be left squandering our worthless sterling in the doldrums.

The only time David Cameron takes his head out of his arse is when it's stuffed full of his cycle seat You know it is time for a change of government when the party in power is going against its own word in order to cling to some semblance of voter support. That said, David Cameron is no better – the only time that pompous moron takes his head out of his arse is when it’s stuffed full of his cycle seat as he preens pretentiously around parliament. The Conservative's job has been made easy - they

have recognised this popular cynicism and dictated their vanilla policies accordingly. The problem isn’t just one political party. It’s everyone. We are all to blame. I don’t know where this depressing national state of mind has come from, but it’s here. I mean honestly, do you really think there could be a British Barack? No. Why the hell not? Why can’t people start caring and start thinking for themselves, rather than what the fucking Sun newspaper tells them? Or any fucking newspaper for that matter. Yes, we all know that as things are now, we are all anally screwed. So when will people start giving a fuck? Maybe if we all stopped being so fucking cynical and were a little cheerier, then we could start sorting everything out. I’ll shut up in a second, but first consider this. Someone in the office today was showing off the fact that their mobile has a ‘fake call’ button that you can use in ‘social emergencies’: i.e. when the person you are talking to is so boring you want to leave. How terribly fucking British that we need someone to provide us with a polite excuse. Did you know one of the reasons that so many Brits died on the Titanic is that we were the only nation who bothered queuing for the lifeboats? How fitting a metaphor that is for our state of mind now – all politely following each other into oblivion, everyone following everyone else. Nice weather today though eh? Fuck off. Rant over.

'FML?' How about Fuck Off...

Don’t be alarmed, but there is a massive and horrendous schism rooted deep in the student culture of Cardiff. Nay, nationwide. This cultural gap surely rivals that of the civil rights movement in America and any other that has afflict the world at the moment. I’m talking, as you should know, about the division between ‘Rahs’ and the rest of us ‘normals’. Everyone knows what you mean when you say the word ‘Rah’. Characteristics include a penchant for Jack Wills or Abercrombie trackie bottoms, an all-weather appreciation for flip flops, a chronic misunderstanding of how to use hair brushes, maybe. That, and the insistence on wearing a woolly beanie, even in the depths of summer. Now here is the question – what the fuck is wrong with that? As a humanities student and ‘media type’, I am surrounded by those who view this kind of people with mass derision. Ask people why, and the truth is, no-one really knows. It’s just the done thing, to take the piss. Now this really annoys me. Can someone explain why it’s so fucking ‘cool’ to be cynical? Particularly amongst artsy types – you know the kind, the ones who still think it’s cool to make every Facebook status an indie song lyric, or actually use the phrase “FML”. “FML?” How about fuck off? For anyone who doesn’t know, this decidedly jolly acronym apparently stands for “Fuck My Life”: the new buzz phrase amongst sarcastic, immature women. I mean really, honestly tell me what is so bad about your lucky, privileged life that compels you to spout such a miserable phrase? I’ve honestly seen such things as ‘So and so has a fucking 9am lecture, FML’. Even the Iranian protesters being shot and killed earlier this year, who were forced to expose the injustice inflicted upon them through Twitter weren’t reduced to using such self serving drivel. I should think these people spend their after lecture banter taking the piss out of Rahs and boasting about their apathy and cynicism towards everything in life, before fucking off down Metros, deriding everyone in the queue to Oceana on the way. Now I don’t like getting angry in this way. I am of the firm belief that everyone, if you give them the chance, is just lovely, no matter what they wear or what their background is. Discrimination, even against the better off, is still discrimination.


12 FEATURES

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Keeping it fresh: three ta

Features asks three students to share their experien the fresher

Lia Martin & Bethan Paterson Hughes Features Writers Freshers' Week is notoriously a week of solid boozing and idiotic behaviour. It’s unsurprising then that our first night was concluded by crawling back to Senghennydd Court from Varsity, singing ‘I’ve got a feeling’ too loudly and laughing hysterically at a group of men in N e w

the second year Laura Beard Features Writer

The wonders of Freshers'; the nights out, the random bonding of strangers and the inhuman amounts of alcohol. I drank, I sang, I fell flat on my arse more times than I care to hazily remember and I fell into a spiralling love affair with cheesy chips. Blurrily reminiscent of events a year ago, I watched with a smug knowledge of the messy times to come, while remaining envious of the awesome time everyone

would have. The truth is the messy days are not far behind me; they are still a part of

Look dresses. This predictably became the week’s theme. Club nights and pub nights were attended, many a Jagerbomb consumed (a drink not previously discovered) and high heels were removed from sore feet by 10 o’clock. People forget, however that along with all this fun, the first week can actually be difficult for the Fresher. Learning multiple freshers' names proves to be a challenge as is locating buildings for introductory lectures whilst hung-over. Forcing our brains to process new information after a lazy, aimless summer was never going to be easy. Luckily we had our red, Sharpie pen to help us remember names but unfortunately, conflicting directions from several upper years and staff members caused us to become even more lost on the way to the Biomedical building for an English lecture. Then of course, most of us have had to face the terrible my student life. Just as drunken, just as much singing, sadly just as many times on my arse and just as much bonding with the new neighbours; though hopefully first impressions don’t last that long! If you ever forget the feeling of that first day in halls, take a spin round Tesco Extra and it will send you rocketing back like it were yesterday. The tight huddles of girls, hanging on to one another as if their lives depended on those awkward ‘getting to know one another’ conversations, the ‘hard’ guys, pushing round a trolley full to the brim of food; the value pack of pasta and the supersized packet of toilet roll, whilst their prim and proper mums fuss about in the embarrassing way which all mums do; preparing for every eventuality and natural disaster in existence. Finally you have the individuals whose eyebrows are a little too high to be completely relaxed with an ever preppy smile etched on their face, frantically searching the faces of fellow shoppers for anyone who may befriend them. Those first days of freshers were frantic, action packed, messy and com-

ordeal of being ill all week with a virus commonly known as ‘Freshers' Flu.’ We ignored solemn second year warnings, and downed our wine/ Jack Daniels/vodka concoction during ‘Ring of Fire’ without a second's thought. Our punishment was suffering the Fresher’s ball on Saturday and staying in bed until our first lectures this week.

We hoped our new flatmates weren't weird or dirty Alongside all this drinking and partying, we had to move in to our new homes. This was undoubtedly worrying; fending for ourselves was a scary prospect. We had no idea what any of our new flatmates were like, we’d only seen a few pictures of them on Facebook and were praying that they weren’t weird or dirty. Luckily they weren’t dirty. We all moved in armed with our student cookbooks and made friends pletely knackering. I came very close to resorting to wearing a sign around my neck with ‘My name is Laura, I’m from Cardiff and I’m doing English Literature’, after about the millionth person took me through the drill and then exchanged numbers, in our bid to try and find those uni friends who everyone says you will stay in touch with for the rest of your life. Although a random meeting of someone on my way past the social or to the Talybont shop didn’t lead to many fast holding relationships, I did make some amazing friends which all stem from the bizarrely extreme situations that could only occur in freshers.

It's unavoidable that someone will end up in A&E. Unfortunately it was my friend Fire alarms are those wonderfully awkward moments which unite the whole house of strangers as one, not only that but usually it is at an hour which if we’ve ever seen it, it has been in a severe state of drunkenness, so that no one can really remember a previous five o’clock in the morning. The gem of those drills was the fact that if not uncomfortable enough, we were all standing there in our pyjamas, no make up, with usually a pillow imprint on our face, or better yet

within five minutes. We also made a drunken effort to knock on every door within the block and invite ourselves in. As the week unfolded, we realised it wasn’t too bad living in student accommodation. We will never tire of pasta with pesto and fry-ups, and, most importantly we have met some pretty cool people. We also discovered that some schools within the university have more active and strange social events than others. On our way to the Union we bumped into a fellow flatmate (a medic) wearing a pink, neon sock over her head and a bin liner for an outfit. She was surrounded by strangely dressed first year medics, with names such as ‘rancid clot’ drawn on to their faces. She later told us that she had to endure having beans and other similar commodities thrown on her and participated in drinking games and human pyramids whilst blindfolded as part of a ‘medic initiation ceremony.’ Oddly, we were slightly jealous that English Literature did not provide such a party. We were content though with the range of nights the Union had to offer, a particular highlight being brilliant bed hair. The glamorous impressions we want to make with our housemates all go out the window when you’re stood all blurry eyed with mismatched shoes. Usually you end up next to the cute guy who seems to be in a similar dishevelled state, whilst everyone tries to work out who are their housemates and which people are just ‘visiting’. Luckily for my flat, although my cooking skills were pretty shocking I managed to refrain from both setting off the fire alarm and burning our kitchen down. As I settled into a balanced diet of classic dishes- spaghetti hoops, pizza and of course fish finger sandwiches- I sometimes had brought in some variation on those mornings following the craziness of the night before in which the only solution to cure my hangover was Subway. Over this delicacy we would sit and try to piece together the fragments of our memory from the night before. It’s unavoidable that at least one person will end up in A&E. Unfortunately for my flatmate, she became this person after having a fight with

the Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip gig at Solus. To conclude, Freshers' Week can be described with a few simple terms: new people, alcohol, carbohydrates, painkillers, mayhem and of course a tinge of homesickness. We look forward to remembering the enjoyable bits of fresher’s week and forgetting the embarassing moments.

gravity and losing. Our floor instantly banded together in trying to help her, although some attempts being more successful than others; one guy insisted he was a doctor despite only being a first year dentist who hadn’t started lectures yet! I would say the states I got in last year I learnt from, I matured after and have now

become a much more dedicated student, vowing even to enter the library more than twice the whole year, but the temptations of the amazing nights out with no early morning lectures to attempt to function for is too much to resist. The main difference from last year is that I look forward to the return of the friends I made last year, whose bad influences were accountable for the many states I got in (well that and tequila). So enjoy; drink, sing and try not to fall on your arse too many times!


FEATURES 13

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

les from Freshers' Week

nces of the most hectic week in the student calendar the third year Daniella Graham Features Editor When I was actually a Fresher, I didn’t really enjoy Freshers’ Week. During the day there was little else to do besides being bombarded with leaflets, and the evenings were spent getting drunk and having the same pointless conversation ("What’s your name?" "What course are you doing?" "What halls are you in?") over and over again. Having fully expected it to be the best week of my life, if I was being completely honest I was actually pret-

drunken conversations with people explain all about our fundraising society. Obviously we were there to have some fun too, and I dutifully knocked back several pints and a cocktail over the course of the evening. On the way home I bumped into a man playing Biffy Clyro, with 20 drunk students acting as back up vocals. On to Tuesday, with no time to sleep off the hangover as I was off to work again. This time Welcome Crew were at Uni Hall armed with Varsity t-shirts, leaflets and foam fingers to promote the one day sale at the sports' fayre later in the week. We finished slightly early, so I managed a quick trip to the companies' fayre to stock up on Domino’s vouchers. A short while later I was back at home enjoying my £2 pizza before getting ready to go out

back doing Varsity promotion, and I thus had an excuse to dance around brandishing a massive foam finger. After a hectic few days I had vowed to go home once my shift ended at 11, but ended up being persuaded to stay out and stumbled home in the early hours.

I had to give in and have a quick nap before heading off to Boombox This proved regrettable as I had to be back at the Union at 9.30am to set up the RAG stall for the societies fayre. Whilst I managed to maintain enthusiasm for several hours, by 4pm I was pretty much asleep with my eyes open. Although I still managed to meet people that evening for drinks, followed by a meal (with a cocktail of course), followed by a trip to the Taf. Friday saw my final Welcome Crew shift, and the week of working and drinking was taking its toll. I had to give in and have a quick nap before heading off to Boombox for a friend’s birthday. Saturday was a much-needed day of dossing about, but Sunday was the end of Freshers’ Week Welcome Crew party and a free bar was involved. Many pints, a boat race, a trip to Buffalo and some cheesy chips later I was in bed, several alarms set so I wouldn’t miss my 9am lecture. Now many of you freshers may have skipped some lectures because you were too hungover to attend. I subscribe to the work hard, play harder mentality, and thus dutifully rocked up to my 9am lecture on time and didn’t fall asleep at any point during the four

ILLNESS: the huge hand was occasionally useful hours of lectures that followed. I did, however, have to give in to the freshers' nap before the media recruitment party. As I settled down to drink the pint I had just purchased whilst enticing people to write for the features section of gair rhydd, I realised that I had approximately -2 minutes to get to the RAG meeting I had arranged with the committee. Unfortunately I was not allowed to go upstairs with my pint, so had to down it. 20 minutes later I was given a free bottle of wine. I had already bought a pint, so naturally drunk both, although I did share half the bottle with others, as it was only 8pm at this point. As I finished my drink it was time for the RAG five legged pub crawl to commence, and I found myself tied to three very nice freshers. Two pubs later and two of these freshers had convinced me that it was a good idea to drink 3 shots of Sambuca followed by a Corky’s and a

cocktail. I still felt the need to have tequila and several pints at Fun Factory, and whilst I can’t quite remember all of it, I know I had a really good time.

At the third pub, a cocktail and four shots seemed like a good idea

Seven nights out and over 40 alcoholic drinks later my final Freshers’ Week as a student was over. Being involved with gair rhydd, RAG and Welcome Crew, as well as being with friends that I have got to know over the past two years, made freshers’ week 2009 an unforgettable experience. The week was hectic, exhausting, but above all, fun. For me, my third and final Freshers’ Week was by far the best.

RAVE: third year is exactly like Skins ty relieved when it was all over. Roll on two years later and I’ve had the time of my life. For me Freshers' officially kicked off on Monday September 21. As part of the Students’ Union’s Welcome Crew team I spent most of the day talking to freshers living in Uni Hall, and thoroughly enjoyed chatting to some residents over a cup of tea. As soon as my shift ended I legged it home to wolf down some dinner before heading back out for a meeting of the RAG committee. Freshers’ Week is a hectic time for societies, with just a few days to make students aware of your society and get them interested enough to join at the Societies' Fayre. Our tactic was to head to Fun Factory armed with ‘I love RAG’ stickers, and through

again. This time I was having a brief break from the Union, and instead met my friend at the pub for a quiet couple of drinks before meeting up with my flatmates from first year. It was nice to just get a bit drunk whilst catching up with friends, rather than downing vodka with a dash of lemonade in preparation for a first-year night out. After two years I was able to fully appreciate that whilst getting smashed and having conversations with people you will never see again can be quite amusing, it can actually be a lot nicer just to get a bit tipsy with your pals. Wednesday was spent sorting out various things for RAG and helping edit the features section for gair rhydd, then in the evening I was working The Lash with Welcome Crew. We were

LASH: generic drunken behaviour


14 FEATURES

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Keeping it Fresh: III Features continues to remind you of the debauchery-filled time that is Freshers' Week, before generalising to the entire student body... the mature student Richard Thomas Features Writer Punctuality – the enemy of the relaxed and a way of life for the organised. I always thought I was the latter, but it took me 30 years to submit my UCAS application and so perhaps I am wrong. As a fresh faced 17 year old, I was easily distracted and university was an irrelevance; as a world weary 47 year old here I am, recovering from the excesses of Freshers' Week, pinching myself in disbelief that I am here at all. When asked once by a magazine for a brief article about the acquisition of wealth, John Paul Getty allegedly wrote back “Some people find oil, and some people don’t”. In the same way, some people went to university, and I didn’t. I have swapped camps, and feel extremely fortunate. It’s been a long wait but I have finally struck “black gold” for myself. My excesses recently have not been acted out at "The Lash" or in the "Boombox". I have no idea what those are of

course, since “the lash” was still in regular use when I was in school, and when someone asked if I wanted a ticket for the “Freshers' Ball”, I wasn’t sure if it was a dance or a raffle. No, my extravagances have been confined to walking everywhere, and spending too much of my recently arrived funding. I will end up with the same debt as everyone else, but in my case, at least the prospect of having it written off at age 85 is a bit nearer and more relevant.

It took me 30 years to submit my UCAS application There is much to happen before then of course, and my first realisation in Freshers' Week was a stark one; at the mature students induction, it was clear that I was almost biologically possible to be the father of the next oldest on my course. I feel younger for all this walking around, but I am as old as the statues in Alexandra Park. I caught a half conversation having a coffee in the Humanities Building Café the other day. “When we were born, nobody had even heard of the internet” was the gist of it. Blimey I thought, when I was born, nobody had heard of The Beatles. My friends and former colleagues are in equal parts amused, bewildered and concerned. I gave a company car back at the end of August and was asked “are you sure about all this?” No, I wasn’t, and am still a little doubtful sometimes, but it’s too late - in for a penny, in for a student loan. H a v ing come from an industrial environment

where Andrew Carnegie’s maxim of “the first man gets the oyster and the second man gets the shell” was a challenging everyday reality, I am starting to realise that there are plenty of oysters here for everyone, and am in awe of the facilities and resources available to all of us. It’s nice not to have to fight for a parking space and wonder why you don’t have a key to the executive washroom. To do this for any of us requires support and assistance and I am lucky to have plenty. Without it, this “journey” (as they say on the “X Factor”) would not be possible. The network of people who have provided moral support and practical help are numerous, and they will be a constant source of motivation to get me out of bed on a damp Monday in November when my timetable is empty.

I gave a company car back - in for a penny, in for a student loan I am hoping that won’t be a problem, and am more concerned at this stage about the challenging nature of the course (Journalism, Film and Media) and keeping my head above water

financially. I want to prove to myself that success is possible, and less critically for the time being, but ultimately the whole point, I need to find a career to take me into my dotage.

The generation gap is not the problem I was expecting All of that is the negative stuff, and it lives in a little box inside my head and doesn’t come out too often. The positives live in a much bigger box. My fellow students have been kind, interesting and great fun. The generation gap that I perceived beforehand is not the chasm I was expecting, and I have even used my student ID to buy a “Big Mac and fries” for £1.99. It’s just as well I am walking everywhere. I am fitting in, but will have to draw the line at buying a beanie hat and I would prefer not to wear my trousers slung around my groin to expose my designer boxers. I guess everyone else would prefer that too. At a time when we are all no doubt looking for some routine, some order to things and a plan, I have resorted to, for me, a familiar source of inspiration. Nick is an old school friend of mine who travelled the world with a view to finding a new home in the place he

felt most comfortable, and has been in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, running his own furniture business. He has had scrapes, escapades, and an adventure book full of experiences and is a source of wise words and calming reassurances. When I told him of my plans and my worries, he came up with the bacon once more. “Need you ask what I think of you taking the big leap of faith and chasing your dreams?” said his email. “You know how many cliff edges I've thrown myself off in my years, and while I've had a couple of broken bones and bloody noses, lo and behold, I'm still breathing, laughing, counting my blessings and thinking that life is good... It doesn't matter so much what may lie at the end of the university course, it will lead you somewhere unknown and you'll be fine.”

I draw the line at buying a beanie and wearing my trousers around my groin Here goes over the cliff. I am hoping for an enjoyable float to the bottom and a soft landing, and will be enjoying oysters all the way down.

BEANIE MAN: Richard won't be wearing one


gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2009

NEWS 05


16 POLITICS

gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Germany's big choice

Following the German elections last week, Luke Snell considers what impacts the result might have on global politics

F

our years ago, Angela Merkel became the most powerful woman on the planet and following her re-election as German Chancellor last week she’s about to get even stronger. Germany is due to take a shimmy to the right, and as Europe’s most populous country, with the 5th largest economy in the world, this will affect everyone. Known more for her power suits than charisma, Merkel is leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), the equivalent of our Conservative Party. Since the 2005 election, the Christian Democrats, along with their sister party the CSU, have been in an uneasy ‘grand’ coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD), broad equivalents to Labour. This was by no means a marriage made in heaven, and is now a marriage for the chop. Enter Guido Westerwelle and his Free Democratic Party (FDP), who took a remarkable 15% of the vote. Benefiting both from defecting CDU and SPD voters, the right-libertarian, pro-business FDP are Merkel’s preferred coalition partners, and will be the supportive spouses the SPD never were. So what does a CDS/CSU-FDP coalition mean for Germany, Europe and

the rest of the world? First of all, if Westerwelle takes the position of Foreign Minister in Merkel’s new cabinet, Germany’s two most powerful people will be a woman and an openly gay man. This remarkable duo will be a beacon of social progression, a shining example that couldn’t be further from Germany’s dark discriminatory past.

leadership. The CDU/CSU has long been a centre-right party with principles of social justice similar to Cameron’s, or at least what he’d like the British public to believe he has. Free from the shackles of the SDP, the new CDU/CSU-FDP coalition could take a serious stab at making these ideals a reality. Cameron and Merkel wouldn’t be perfect chums, however. The Lisbon Treaty, one of Europe’s biggest political hot potatoes, is one that Germany will continue to staunchly support.

ening integration is also set to be reoiled. Sarkozy and Merkel have had a frosty relationship until now, but it should be thawed by the pro-business, pro-integration German agenda. This will be sour news for Turkey, a nation eagerly hoping to join the European Union. With the SPD ousted, and the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the French government opposed to its member-

ship, Turkey faces certain rejection. Worse news still is for Germany’s Social Democratic Party and the social democratic parties of Europe. The SDP this year suffered one of its worst defeats in history. Considering a similar trend present in France, Gordon Brown and Britain’s social democrats, the Labour Party, should ignore this warning at their peril.

The SDP suffered one of its worst defeats in history Germany's role in the world is sure to However, the issue persisting on everybody’s lips is not social progres- evolve now sion. The global financial crisis continues, and Merkel’s new centre-right Germany will have a taste for deregulation, open markets and privatisation. Thatcher she ain’t, (you won’t catch Merkel claiming there’s no such thing as society) but Germany, which has already seen slight growth in its economy this year, could be heading towards a financial and banking sector rivalling Britain’s. Should Conservative leader David Cameron win next year’s election he would actually find a lot in common with the newly augmented German

Germany’s role in the world is sure to evolve with this ideological shift in German politics. Fervour for transatlantic unity and business opportunities will further bind Merkel and Obama. Germany is bitter after losing (to China) the status of world’s biggest exporter of goods earlier this year. Merkel and Westerwelle will be desperate to get back on top, and a more intense alliance with the USA is the way to do it. The Franco-German engine powering the European Union’s ever deep-

Rhodri Morgan steps down

After 10 years at the top of Welsh politics, Rhodri Morgan has decided to stand down. Damian Fantato has a look

R

hodri Morgan has confirmed that he will be stepping down as leader of the Labour Party in Wales and therefore also as First Minister of Wales. He will leave his job in December after a vote on the assembly government’s budget. Morgan has spent 10 years at the top of Welsh politics and took over as First Minister of Wales in 2000 replacing Alun Micheal. He turned 70 this week and currently heads a coalition of Labour and Plaid Cymru in the Welsh Assembly that was formed following the 2007 elections. Though he described it as a “burden”, Morgan claimed that he “loved his job” but that “10 years was about right”. He stressed that he did not want to appear “greedy” for power and be forced out of office like Margaret Thatcher. He had revealed to the Labour Party conference last week that his leadership “would not have long to run” but formally announced his departure to the press on Thursday 1 October

after meeting with his party’s AMs. His decision to stand down will trigger a leadership election, with three leading Assembly Members (AMs) considered to be the leading candidates to replace him: Counsel General Carwyn Jones, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney AM Huw Lewis, and Health Minister Edwina Hart. Morgan himself has refused to endorse a candidate in the leadership election. “It will be the first Labour campaign in the last 48 years that I have not been involved in”. Morgan’s decision to resign has sparked a tidal wave of tributes from across the party boundaries. The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Ieuan Wyn Jones, described his impact on Welsh politics as being “extremely significant”, whilst the Leader of the Conservative Party in the Welsh Assembly, Nick Bourne, said that “no-one can ques-

tion his commitment to Wales and the assembly during his 10 years as first minister, or the important role he has played in Welsh political life.” Morgan’s path to the top of Welsh politics can only be described as bumpy. He began his career as a civil servant, entering politics at the relatively late age of 47, becoming MP for Cardiff West in 1987. Once Labour won the 1997 general election he was purportedly refused a position i n

the Welsh Office by Prime Minister Tony Blair, who later went on to overlook him again by endorsing Alun Michael as leader of the Welsh Labour Party in 1999. When Alun Michael's minority government faced a vote of no confidence after only nine months he was inevitably replaced by Rhodri Morgan. Whilst claiming that he was “shafted” by Tony Blair, he refused to bear a grudge. He claimed that his proudest achievement was changing the way that children

between three and seven are taught by introducing the Foundation Phase, which encourages learning through play. His greatest disappointment was the “savagery of the recession” that has hit the Welsh economy. It is hard to deny that Rhodri Morgan has changed Wales and the United Kingdom though his leadership of the Welsh Assembly and he will most certainly be a hard act to follow. The question that remains now is will Wales continue to have the stability of leadership, the vision and the direction that it has had for the past 10 years, particularly in these times of economic crisis? One thing that is certain is that Wales will have to wait a long time for another leader of such influence.


gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

POLITICS 17

To protect and serve?

Cicily Giles shares her thoughts with us on the upcoming trial of the policeman responsible for the death of a protester he G20 protests on April the were intended to be peaceful – but for some they ended in sadness, violence and even death. As of September 28, Sergeant Delroy (Tony) Smellie is to be the first officer charged in connection with G20. He is charged with the assault of Ms Nicola Fisher, 35, after a video of her being apparently pushed, slapped, and beaten around the legs with a baton appeared on YouTube. Complaints against the same officer were made by another woman, but prosecutors said there was not enough evidence. Ms Fisher says she was on her way to a vigil for newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson when she was assaulted. Mr Tomlinson died the night before, on April 1, of internal bleeding after being beaten around the legs by baton and pushed to the floor by police. He was merely a bystander, not involved with the protest, and his death lead to widespread accusations of police brutality and calls for police policy and training to be changed. Change comes too late for one unnamed young woman of 23, who after being pushed, kicked and struck with police shields suffered exten-

T

sive bruising and later severe vaginal bleeding, which doctors told her was a possible miscarriage. These are a few of the 145 complaints to be made against officers after the G20 summit; a staggering testimony to the heavy-handed use of force against the mostly peaceful protesters.

The Metropolitan Police was heavily criticised over it's use of 'kettling' The Metropolitan Police was extensively criticised over it's use of 'kettling' - containing protesters within cordons and preventing them from leaving, sometimes with force. In some cases, protesters were kept for five hours or more. The Joint Committee on Human Rights condemned the practice, saying protesters, the majority of whom were peaceful, should have been given access to toilets, water, and medical facilities. They also highlighted the failure of many officers to properly display identification – something which, according to the

JCHR, should have been dealt with by supporting officers at the time. They also suggest it should perhaps be made a legal requirement for officers to display correct identification whilst on duty. Perhaps? After the events of G20, is there any doubt of this? The police force is there to protect and serve the public – and when they fail to do so, the public should be able to identify those they cannot trust and take the necessary steps. With the so-called 'war on terror' and increase in police powers, we need all the measures possible to prevent their abuse. The G20 protesters were treated like terrorists, regardless of their intentions. I do not pretend that all the G20 protests were peaceful, and I deplore the damage done to police, civilians, homes and businesses. The violence was unreasonable and unsupportable – yet I can understand the frustration of those kept from their homes, toilets or even water for hours on end. I agree that in some cases, the police can and should use force if necessary to protect themselves, the public and property. However, the widespread violence against protesters at G20 was certainly not that.

Smellie comes to court on 16 November 2009, and is suspended until his case is decided. The events around Mr Tomlinson have been investigated in a separate enquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the evidence presented to the Crown Prosecution Service. They are not expected to make any decision for

some time. Until that time, and until those other violent officers are dealt with by the appropriate authorities, the public will continue to ask themselves: if the police are here to protect us, who will protect us from the police?

Brown and out

In the wake of Gordon Brown's speech at the Labour Party conference, Jack Jordan ponders on its effects

G

ordon Brown delivered his speech to the Labour Party conference last week, and it was a speech that desperately needed to be a good one. One cabinet minister was quoted as saying that this conference "cannot be just another bog standard conference". Something has needed to change for some time for Brown to even hope for re-election. Labour have been falling in the polls consistently and haemorrhaging votes for months. Labour needed to shake things up, to change the status quo. But it seems that Gordon Brown’s beginning to look happier these days. Just a few more painful months in office, he’s telling himself, then come the glory days; the inevitably flattering political obituaries, after-dinner speaking engagements and the freedom to amble off to a well-meaning job crunching numbers somewhere. You know what? He's resigned himself to the inevitable. This Labour conference has been a sad one, really. Stiff upper lips have

been on prominent display, and the soundtrack to Brighton 2009 has been the string quartet going down with the Titanic. The Prime Minister’s speech was vintage, forgettable New Labour material; something old, something new, something borrowed and nothing red enough to irritate Middle England. He started with a quick reminder that he hasn’t murdered his wife, moved through a Stalinesque list of dubious Labour achievements, job-creation schemes, populist ideas for targeting overpaid bakers and corrupt MPs, then yet another House of Lords reform promise and some Tory-bashing to get the audience clapping at the end.

Something has needed to change for some time for Brown to hope for re-election On a technical level it was a good speech. Its emphasis on choice in the next general election gelled well

with Lord Mandelson’s speech of the previous day. It couldn’t hide the conference’s undertones of reluctant resignation, though: the Prime Minister’s acceptance that he can’t sack his Chancellor, Lord Mandelson’s U-turn on accepting the inevitability of cuts, pretty much everyone’s quiet calculations of which seats will turn Conservative come May. A better speech would have taken an ungainly jump to the left, woken up the core vote and reignited a sense of Labour identity - though it seems unlikely that delegates to the Labour conference will go home unhappy since the speech was rich in the Toryslamming, banker-hating banality that they probably love but which will probably prove insufficient to win over the floating voter. A better conference might have seen leadership-bid tantrums from Brown’s enemies, or at least have avoided the spectacle of Cabinet Ministers too afraid of appearing ambitious to say anything interesting in public. Who needs that kind of hassle, though, when you can wait for quieter times

once the Tories are running things? This is a party that’s ready for defeat, and its strategy is now clear – stick to the middle of the road, take the afternoons off and hope like hell that they Tories disappears. As for David Cameron, he will probably sleep easily in his bed over the coming months. Labour chose

safety over risk and gained nothing. The Labour grassroots have been contented, but not invigorated. The stage is set for him to bring the house down at the Tory conference next week. Labor had an opportunity to win, but wasted it. The truth is that they didn't want to use it. In their heads, they've already lost.


18 LETTERS

gairrhydd | LETTERS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

the Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com

Letters:

Dear gair rhydd,

I’ve ever been gruntled, but following the start of term I find myself very disgruntled indeed! I’m slightly puzzled as to the presence of the Debating Society, LMS and others at both days of the Societies’ Fair. Does Cardiff University not have enough societies to fill the hall twice over? I was under the impression the days were to be themed; perhaps some societies are suffering a crisis of identity? I’d just like to check this with the Societies’ Sabbatical Officer, in case it had not been brought to her attention. Unfortunately, I find myself unable to recall those societies she was previously involved with, and I would not want to be so uncharitable as to use the words, ‘blatant favouritism,’ as I’m sure it has been honestly overlooked at what is, after all, a very busy time of year for the Execs.

Patrick Barry

presence of different society rather than have them sit empty. As a result, a number of societies that approached the fayre management team were offered the opportunity to return to the fayre the following day, on the off chance stalls may be left vacant. Where societies failed to attend, these stalls were allocated on a first come first served basis, on the understanding that they would be asked to vacate their stall should the intended occupants appear. In response to the accusation, I would like point out that I have never, at any point during my time as a student at Cardiff University, been a member of either the Debating Society or LMS. Over the 2 days of the Societies fayres and the months leading up to them, a huge amount of effort went into the provision of 133 society stalls. There is a significant cost associated with the hosting of the fayres and, as I’m sure the majority of people would agree, an empty stall is of benefit to no one. Carys Hazell, Societies, Events and Activities Officer

Dear Patrick,

On both days of the Societies Fayres a small number of societies failed to make use of the stalls that they were allocated. Therfore, it was decided that we would prefer these stalls to have the

Comments: Vladimir Putin and the games he plays

Balqis ---He was asked a question and he answered If he hadn’t, you would have still said he is playing games Billie Joe ---Well, as the leader of the free world, Mr. Medvedev can certainly afford to take the free advices from the genius Vladimir Putin so why is that perplexing you and confusing you so much, Jack? Jack Jordan ---I’m pretty easily confused, Billie. Are you asking whether I’m pro-United Russia? Balquis – Putin has refused to answer questions about this plenty of times before without me accusing him of playing games. This quote from him was the first signal of a new game, as far as I can tell.

An extremely depressing anniversary Someone says... A fair assessment of things. My advice is to stock up on warm

forum

clothes while you have your loan to fall back on, then when you leave uni squat one of the many empty houses with some good mates and dumpster all your food for the foreseeable. I know a few people who do this and they may not have a car or the latest iPhone but they are very happy in their lives and don’t have to worry about getting a job as a kitchen lackey in McDonalds. There are plenty of other things to do with your time after all such as graffing up the walls of your new home, banging out some wicked tunes on your guitar, doing community outreach projects for the homeless with all that skipped food, and learning how to build rocket stoves, solar showers and compost toilets. Free living isn’t just a dream, it’s a tangible reality, and the more people who do it, the bigger the support community and the easier it gets. Sweet ;)

Books not bombs? Jonathan Bird ---Dan, I see in you an idealist and sincere person trying to achieve peace. I don’t understand how it could be by the ways you prescribe. I don’t see how pacivism or anarchism can ever work. Also I don’t recognise the Israeli people and the history of zionism which you paint. Other than a fringe of a nation of 7 million people. On the subject of anti-zionism

anti-semetism debate. Many members of one semetic nation the hebrews the people of Israel. (Please note Israel was the name of a man, a people an ancient nation and a modern state) become alarmed and yes hostile when there attachment to their homeland described as Imperialism and another nation called THE only indigenous people. Dan ---Jon, I never make the mistake of describing the Palestinians as the ‘only’ indigenous people of the Holy Land. The ‘semitic’ peoples encompass not just Jews but also Palestinians and Bedouins (another indigenous group marginalised by the Israeli state). I recognise all these groups as indigenous to the area, and my only desire for that strip of land is to see them all live in peace. I am not myself a pacifist, as I believe that in some rare situations force is a necessary part of self defence. However you are right in labeling me an idealist… but if we aren’t working towards an ideal then what exactly are we working towards? I’d be more than happy to sit down with you sometime and discuss the practicality (or otherwise) of anarchism, but I feel that this is not the place for such a broad, contentious and open-ended debate.

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20 TAF-OD

gairrhydd | TAFOD@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Dwyieithrwydd yn y Cynulliad Y Gymraeg – statws cyfartal mewn gwirionedd? Emyr Gruffydd Taf-od Writer

Gwelwyd newid yn system ddwyieithrwydd y Cynulliad yn ddiweddar. Mae Comisiwn y Cynulliad, sef sefydliad sydd yn trefnu sut mae’r Cynulliad yn rhedeg, bellach wedi penderfynu y byddai fersiwn areithiau ysgrifenedig Cymraeg yn ymddangos o fewn deng niwrnod yn hytrach nag o fewn pedair awr ar hugain. Arbed arian yw nod y cynllun, ond dywed cynrychiolwyr o bob plaid wleidyddol ei fod yn benderfyniad sy’n diraddio statws y Gymraeg yn y Cynulliad. Mae’r cynllun hefyd yn gyfaddawd, gan mai cynllun gwreiddiol y Comisiwn oedd i ddileu cyfieithu areithiau Saesneg i’r Gymraeg yn llwyr, gan arbed bron i £250,000 o arian trethdalwyr bob blwyddyn. Fodd bynnag, bu cryn wrthwynebiad i’r cynllun gwreiddiol gan bob plaid wleidyddol, gan Fwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg a’r grwp pwyso Cymdeithas yr Iaith, gyda’r Gymdeithas hyd yn oed yn cymryd cyngor cyfreithiol ar

y mater. Mae’r Comisiwn nawr wedi gollwng y cynllun gwreiddiol ond maent yn benderfynol o lacio’r rheol presennol o gyfieithu cofnod y Cynulliad o fewn 24 awr. Mae’n wir i ddweud y gallai’r penderfyniad danseilio Deddf yr Iaith Gymraeg a basiwyd gan San Steffan yn 1993. Dywed Dafydd Morgan Lewis o Gymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg: "Yr ydym wedi cwyno mewn llythyr at y Comisiwn ynglyn â'r mater hwn eisoes. Yn y llythyr hwnnw bu i ni bwysleisio fod y penderfyniad yn dangos gwendid yn y Ddeddf iaith bresennol lle mae cyrff yn gallu creu polisïau iaith ac yna eu hanwybyddu yn llwyr." Dadl arall Cymdeithas yr Iaith yw bod y ddeddf iaith newydd sy’n cael ei ddrafftio gan llywodraeth glymblaid Llafur - Plaid Cymru yn annigonol, a fod rhaid ei gryfhau er mwyn sicrhau fod y Gymraeg yn cael chwarae teg fel un o ieithoedd swyddogol y genedl. Maent wedi condemnio’r drafft presennol o’r ddeddf iaith newydd, gan ddweud ei fod yn rhy gul ac yn ddiffygiol mewn mannau pwysig. Fodd bynnag, credaf fod lly-

wodraeth y glymblaid wedi gwneud y gorau y gall mewn sefyllfa bur anodd. Er bod y Cynulliad wedi derbyn pwerau ychwanegol er mwyn deddfu ar faterion megis yr Iaith Gymraeg, mae’r cyfyngiadau ar bwerau’r Cynulliad yn dal mor llym fel ei bod hi’n anodd iawn i wneud unrhyw wahaniaeth o bwys i sefyllfa’r iaith. Mae Llywodraeth yr Alban, fodd bynnag, yn gallu deddfu ar faterion sydd o bwys enfawr megis y penderfyniad dadleuol diweddar i ryddhau’r terfysgwr honedig Al-Megrahi o’r carchar am rhesymau tosturiol. Onid yw hi’n ddigon teg dweud felly ein bod ni yma yng Nghymru yn haeddu’r un cyfrifoldebau dros ein materion ein hunain? Mae’r iaith Gymraeg Y Senedd: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn un o’r materion pwysig hynny lle mae angen gwir rym ar y Cynulliad er mwyn gwneud yn medru gwneud gwir wahaniaeth gwahaniaeth, ac yn fy marn i, fel nifer i’r iaith, boed ar fater fel y cofnod fawr o bobl eraill, ni fydd y Cynulliad ysgrifenedig neu ar fater fel addysg

ddwyieithog, tan ei fod yn sefydliad grymus ac yn Senedd go iawn.

BROADEN YOUR MIND. AND YOUR HORIZONS. AGORWCH EICH MEDDWL. A’CH GORWELION.

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gairrhydd | SCIENCE@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 21

US torture techniques do not get the truth

Neuroscientists in Ireland say coercive interrogation techniques used on terror suspects under Bush made memories worse Amy Hall Science and Environment

Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin say they have evidence that torture techniques used by the Bush administration on terror suspects were not likely to have gotten the truth and in fact would have made detainees forget information. Professor Shane O’Mara said that memory was impaired by techniques such as sleep deprivation and waterborading, which induces the perception of drowning while being bound head down and blind folded. In his article ‘Torturing the Brain’ for journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences he said the extreme stress put on prisoners from these techniques would cause memories to worsen. O’Mara lists 10 methods of torture used by the US which apply to his research. He said the US Department of Justice released memos detailing coercive interrogation techniques using extreme stress, shock, disorientation and lack of control that were assumed to give more reliable information from captives than standard interrogation techniques. He said that modern neuroscience follows that this would not be the case. Experiencing stress causes an increased release in stress hormones which provoke the brain to immediately prepare the body and

brain in response to a threat. This is thought to impair memory and can result in damage to brain tissue. The age old fear with torture techniques are that the captive will say anything to avoid the torture continuing even if it is a lie. O’Mara believes

this is the case and points out that this can also be a stressful situation for the perpetrators of the torture and the captive will be encouraged to say anything, truth or lie, so they can stop administering the interrogation. O’Mara points out in the article

that these negative effects on the brain may not be visible to the naked eye. “Coercive interrogations involving extreme stress are unlikely to facilitate the release of veridical information from long-term memory, given our current cognitive neurobiological

knowledge. The fact that the detrimental effects of these techniques on the brain are not visible to the naked eye makes them no less real.”

Fears over Copenhagen failure

UN Climate talks start in two months, but there are concerns that America will not sign an agreement to tackle climate change Amy Hall Science and Environment Environmentalists’ eyes will be on whether President Obama commits to a global agreement on climate change that is intended to be reached at the UN Climate talks in December. As one of the most important countries to enter into any global agreement through power, money and carbon emissions it is seen as vital that the USA is behind any agreement intended to follow on from the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012. Officially known as COP 15, Copenhagen is where world leaders will be looking for a solid international agreement on what to do about climate change joined by thousands of

advisors, diplomats and campaigners from nearly 200 countries. Although Kyoto came into force in 2005 this was seven years after it was first negotiated and even then it was not ratified by key players in greenhouse gas emissions such as the USA, China or India. There are worries that history may repeat itself and any potential agreement at Copenhagen could take this long to come to. Obama has made more effort to show the international community that he is serious about tackling climate change than his predecessor Bush and he had promised to engage with the negotiation process fully. In his inauguration speech he talked of ‘tirelessly’ working towards a better future for the planet and has recently called for an end to fossil fuel extraction in a speech to the UN. However,

the President may delay signing up to any agreement until next year if he feels the US economy is not ready. Barack Obama has made plans for an 80% reduction in America’s emissions but he faces strong opposition at home to any big action on climate change. Senators are concerned that drastic changes will have a detrimental effect on the economy. This domestic pressure is one of the main reasons cited for the possibility that Obama may not sign up to an agreement this year, a delay which scientists and campaigners say there is not time for. Pressure is mounting on President Obama to attend the talks in person especially as Gordon Brown has now committed although there are fears that domestic commitments such as the current health care reformation may

get in the way. Britain is thought to be one of the main players in thrashing out an agreement due to its friendship with the USA. There is worry though that the British government may face looking hypocritical due to the expansion of British aviation and the plans to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. The effects of climate change are now a lot more current and visible and scientists say that the earth’s temperature is rising faster than first predicted. Despite this threat an agreement in Copenhagen could still be unstable. Global agreements are notoriously hard to reach and a major problem in reaching agreements about climate change specifically is that developing countries often feel it is unfair that they should change as emissions contributing to climate change have

mainly been from richer countries in the West. However some of these countries are now emitting more than many rich countries, China now has the biggest carbon emissions in the world, doubling its emissions since 1996, and countries like the US think they should also be shouldering some of the restrictions despite this being a new development. Campaigners and community groups across the UK are joining the build up to Copenhagen holding speaker tours, stunts, cycle rides and demonstrations including the national climate change march in London in December, this year called The Wave. Copenhagen could be the last chance for a lasting global agreement on climate change for many years. Years which scientists have warned are running out.


22 JOBS & MONEY

gairrhydd | JOBS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Retail: an Oasis?

Our Jobs and Money editor looks at what two of Britain's supermarket giants can offer graduates in the midst of a recession Katie Greenway Jobs and Money Editor

spectively.

I am sure you are aware of the economic downturn by now. We are the graduates that will suffer from the idiot bankers’ idiot decisions. But quite frankly I am up for a bit of optimism so I am going to discuss the retail industry which even amongst the credit crunch doesn’t seem to be doing too badly. Just last week the new John Lewis in Cardiff opened and St Davids 2 opens on October 22. These are examples of growth in the industry therefore I am going to assume that there may be scope for its graduate recruitment. I am going to try and get an insight into the Waitrose and Sainsbury’s graduate schemes this week. I have spoken to representatives of each company ‘Adam’ and ‘Mo’ re-

 

  



Adam, why have you chosen to work for Waitrose? I decided to join the Waitrose graduate scheme due to the managerial experience that it offers to its graduates, particularly at such a young age; in a few months I will potentially manage up to 70 people. I really appreciate that Waitrose is very customer orientated and it is a very ethical company and is very good with regards to the environment. Furthermore the company itself is very loyal to its staff. My job is safe and in such times as these it is very comforting. Also the benefits package is great; I get a competitive salary as well as a noncontributory pension plus all the other perks. Mo, why have you chosen to work for Sainsbury’s? Our company values – best for food



 



& health; sourcing with integrity; respect for the environment; making a positive difference to our community and making sure Sainsbury’s is a great place to work, have continued to stand the test of time. This year we have 23 different graduate & summer placement schemes ranging in areas all across the business; from Logistics, Marketing and Finance to IT, HR and Store Development. Adam if you could describe Waitrose as an animal, what animal would it be? I would say an Iguana. Due to its great vision and ability to adapt to its surroundings Waitrose is currently the fastest growing supermarket in the country. Mo if you could describe Sainsbury’s as an animal, what animal would it be? In my opinion, I think Sainsbury’s







would be best represented by an elephant. It’s strong and big but equally respectful and gentle. Both very respectful companies and both providing excellent graduate schemes so I feel confident in saying, with certain conviction, that the retail profession may be the oasis in this metaphorical economic desert. I appreciate that a supermarket may not seem appealing to some but it gives you the opportunity to join a very large and successful company, get great benefits and either managerial experience and/or with the scope to progress to head office roles. You can find more information on the Waitrose graduate scheme at www.waitrosejobs.com, and Sainsbury’s will be at the Careers Fair in the Students’ Union on November 11.



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Notice of Elections Nominations are invited for the following Non-Sabbatical positions for the 2009-2010 academic year. • LGBT Officer • Mature Students’ Officer • Postgraduate Officer • Women’s Officer • Xpress Radio Station Manager • Student Council Chair • Student Council Representatives

Nomination Forms are available from 10:00am Monday 5th October 2009Jemma Mallorie, 3rd Floor Students’ Union.

Nominations Close at 4:00pm, Friday 9th October 2009.


24 LISTINGS

What (else) is on... So freshers' week is over, and lectures have begun. It's time for the first years to keep partying on, the second years to desperately cling to their last hope of fun and youthfulness, and the remainder of Cardiff's Uni population to seemily endear the hangovers of this lot after their single night out. It's not all bad though. If the club nights are not for you, there's plenty more to do around and about Cardiff. This week sees some packed weekdays, with plenty of club choice, and music choice alike. And your days should be filled with lectures. Wahey! The weekend, however, should be a time spent getting to know Cardiff, so get off your arse, and give public transport one last chance! Here are a few places I think you should go on your days off... 1. Cardiff Bay: even if you've done it to death, it's about the people you go with. Mermaid quay will keep you nice and busy. 2. Brecon Beacons: Always looming on the horizon of Cardiff, not quite out of reach. Just get on the next train to Merthyr Tydfil or Abergavenny.

gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

EVENTS THIS WEEK Monday

5th October FUN FACTORY, Solus, Free If you like it alternative, if you like it rocking, and most of all, if you like it loud then there is only one thing for it – and that’s Fun Factory. Comprising a playlist including the likes of System of a Down, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Reel Big Fish and Biffy Clyro. LE FREAK, Buffalo Bar, £3 Tonight music and fashion become best friends as the Le Freak club night launches at Buffalo. Includes live bands, DJs, and stalls from some of the best loved brands in the city! Let’s hope it’s not just a late night Topshop… SCREAMING LIGHTS, 10 Feet Tall, £TBC Rotterdam, or anywhere, Liverpool, or Rome… Well, Liverpool actually, and they’re here on their debut tour, fresh out of school. If they can make it past the bouncers, expect both rave and rock, euphoric organs and dirty guitar, and support from The Crookes. THE MISSION DISTRICT, Barfly, £5 Canadian synth-pop influenced by '80s Brit bands such as The Cure, Tears For Fears and Talk Talk sway their way into the newly refurbished Barfly. At only £5 this is a great gig to get down to!

Tuesday

6th October PAOLO NUTINI, Wales Millennium Centre, £16 He’s got his new shoes on, and a new tour to boot! Come get a fresh look at the man who’s difficult to spell, in a refreshingly different venue. CHIC BEAT, Revolution, £4 Chic Beat is back and it's the place to party underground style. With the coolest crowds and club bangers this place is all about the music. Expect a fusion of pounding beats, high-energy dancing and an electric atmosphere as the DJ spins tunes guaranteed to get your body moving. ZENYTH, Clwb Ifor Bach, £5 If you don’t fancy Paolo and would prefer something a bit more rocky, check out Zenyth. Recent winners of Cardiff Uni’s battle of the bands are finally launching a debut single, Free, into the likes of HMV. Live is where they hit it best though – see them now before they have to charge you hefty prices for bigger gigs! COMEDY CLUB, CF10 Comedy Club selects the finest young talent on the comedy circuit and brings them directly to your union for a stupidly cheap ticket price. See the next big thing before they start charging too much to see them in venue where you can’t even see their face. The intimate atmosphere of CF10 is perfect for this hilarious night. Combined with the cheapest drinks you’ll find in Cardiff, there is no reason not to smile.

Wednesday 7th October

OXJAM LAUNCH PARTY, Barfly, £TBC It’s back, and it’s the perfect time to get involved. If the live music society caught your eye at the freshers’ fayre, this is for you. Head to www.oxjam.co.uk or to Barfly for more details. LASH, Solus, £3 Another year, another re-brand for the Wednesdays at Solus. As well as chart and cheese, expect games on the stage so filthy that the changing room showers don’t stand a chance. Make sure you don’t miss what could be the best team bonding session of the week. METROS, £5 w/flyer It's time to introduce Metros to Cardiff newbies. It's more fun if it remains a bit mysterious at first, sooooo... just go! What do you need me for?! ORANGE WEDNESDAYS It doesn't look there's a lot happening tonight unless you fancy a club, so why not treat yourself to 2 cinema tickets? You don't get to see the film twice, but it'll be a hell of a lot more comfy.

3. Porthcawl: Missing the beach? I am. Get down there before winter bites! Alternatively try the beach a stones throw from Swansea. 4. Touring: Try out the Brains Brewery tour. If that's not for you, how about the Millennium Stadium? The point is, enjoy - the year will fly by!

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


LISTINGS 25

gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9th October

10th October

BOUNCE, Walkabout, £2 It’s a standard Thursday night, I know, but go with your face smudged with a cheeky bit of face paint and my girlfriend will buy you a drink! Yay!

BOOMBOX, Solus, £3 Boombox promises you THE Friday night to fulfil all your musical needs with a selection of the finest new electro, electro pop, wonky pop, classic pop tunes and brand new finds. Expect to dance in a neon playground to the likes of La Roux, Passion Pit, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Friendly Fires, Girls Aloud and Simian Mobile Disco. Say yes to dancing, yes to Fridays @ Solus, yes to Boombox.

COME PLAY, Cardiff Students' Union, £3.50 It’s Saturday night and that only means one thing – it's time for Come Play. Come Play is the biggest student party held on a Saturday night and is well renowned for big tunes, funny moments and bumping into everyone you know. With a range of music from chart, dance and pop, the Come Play DJs cater for all tastes.

8th October

CYNT, Clwb Ifor Bach, £3 After the huge success of the SMD party, CYNT is back in its regualr home of Clwb. If you enjoyed the fresher-tastic scene at the SU last week, make sure to check out the more intimate setting of one of the oldest (but still great) independent clubs in town. And, silly cheap at £3 before 11pm. JARRED CHRISTMAS, Glee Club It's a funny man with a funny name, what more do you want?! This is the best of stand up comedy aside from the obvious huge names - most of which he has supported (note Jack Dee, Lee Evans). Other stand up comes from Rob Heeny, Richard Morton and Ian Moore. Continues until Saturday.

TOM JONES, CIA, £25 “Why, Why, Whyyyyyy”… Ahem. The grandfather of Wales returns once again with a greatest hits extravaganza. I’ll stop there.

BUBBLES, Techniquest During the day, if you find yourself wondering where the hell your youth has gone, you can go and make some square bubbles at Techniquest. You'll be surprised how many university students find themselves baffled by a place aimed at selling science to kids!

Sunday

11th October OKTOBERFEST AUF WIEDERSEHEN, Buffalo, £FREE before 11pm This, my friends, is the future of clubs. With free entry all night to anyone in Oktoberfest fancy dress (pull those lederhosen out of the closet), beer steins filled with foamy world beers, girls in awful orange Jagermeister dresses, and live music and DJs organised by full fat, where can you go wrong? See you there. Auf Wiedersehen, bitches. OXJAM, Clwb Ifor Bach, £8 Tickets will be exchanged for wristbands from 2pm at Toucan, which will gain entry to Revs, Clwb, Toucan, Dempseys and Y Fuwch Goch. There's a huge lineup of music all day, continuing until 2am! All proceeds go to Oxfam, of course.

QUIZ NIGHT, The Blackwier By far my favourite quiz. Not because it's easy, but mainly because first prize gets you a minute behind the bar. And the theme for the quiz is family fortunes! Enjoy! And pour me a pint when you win...

(The Welsh Club), 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ◆ Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 www.barflyclub.com/cardiff ◆ MetIncognito, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Liquid, St. Mary Street 02920645464 ◆ The Philharmonic, 76-77 St. Mary Street 02920 230678 ◆ Café The Hayes 02920 878444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ◆ Wales Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk ◆ The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay 0870 2415093 www.glee.co.uk ◆ Greyfriar's Road 02920 391944 www.tigertiger.co.uk ◆ Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens (off Newport Road) 02920 416192 ◆


26 XPRESS

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FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

crossword. sudoku.

gairrhydd | FMF@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

EASY

MEDIUM

Across

Down

8. Assist (4) 9. Spendable (10) 10. A viral disease (6) 11. Neither urban nor rural (8) 12. Angelic headgear (4) 13. Powered by electricity (10) 17. Small parasitic arachnid (4) 18. Grown up lambs (5) 19. A single time (4) 20. Beguiling (10) 22. Pack down (4) 23. Echinoderm (8) 27. Shrewdness (6) 28. Deprive (10) 29. Pouch (4)

1. Renunciation of your own interests (10) 2. Faucet (8) 3. Reporter (10) 4. Creative work (4) 5. A rounded protuberance (4) 6. Coiffure (6) 7. Entreaty (4) 14. Lacquer ingredient (5) 15. Contour (10) 16. Term of office (10) 19. Flare-up (8) 21. Intense and profound fear (6) 24. An indefinite period (4) 25. Chilled (4) 26. Found on most heads (4)

Tickets to the Rally of Great Britain: four days of high-octane rally action across Mid and South Wales, with Service Park in Cardiff Bay!

! N I W

HARD

Just answer this question: What is the name of Wednesday nights at the Union? Email your answers to editor@gairrhydd.com


THE WORD ON - SPORT 29 Gareth Jones gives his word on England's recent TOP FIVE... English rollercoaster form in one-day test cricket victories 1. gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

If you were asked to select a ‘World One Day International XI’ how many of the current England players from the Natwest series against Australia, and the ICC Champions trophy squad would you include? Go on, be honest… probably none. Our best performing batsmen Strauss, Shah (against South Africa anyway) and Morgan - are there better out there in the world? Hmm let me chuck a few names in the hat - Ponting, Smith, Gayle (on his day), Yuvraj Singh, De Villiers, Tillekeratne Dilshan, MS Dhoni to name a few the list goes on. To the bowlers then. Jimmy Anderson rightly leads the attack with support from Broad, Sidebottom, Bresnan, Onions and Swann. Again, how many would be in the World XI? Probably none. Anderson is a very good bowler, but put him, and the rest of the line-up next to the current crop of world class ODI bowlers such as Lee, Muralitharan, Mendis, Johnson, Steyn, Parnell and Umar Gul, and they are somewhat dwarfed. Before we go further, I must mention the absence of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff from the England squad due to injury, who would arguably get into the World XI. Looking back at the England teams fortunes in ODI cricket over the last 5 years, shows that they have a win to loss ratio of 0.83. They have played 119 matches, of which 50 have been won, 60 lost, three ties, and six no results. For a nation that supposedly invented the game, it’s not great really is it?

at India, which only ended prematurely due to the bombing atrocities that occurred. This inconsistent form dates back even further, to just over 12 months ago, where England dispatched of South Africa 5-0 in the home one-day international series. Going from these statistics, it seems that England seem to be turning into the French Rugby Union side; one week they will be unstoppably on fire, the next they’ll roll over limply almost gifting you the match. An opinionated comparison I know, but it has its truth when taken as inconsistency over whole series’ rather than how the French can turn up and play completely differently week after week. So it was with bated breath that England arrived in South Africa 10 days ago after their shambolic display against Australia. Although not as highly regarded amongst the cricketing world as the new World T20, or the ICC World Cup, the new format of the Champions Trophy gives no easy games and if a team puts a run together, any one of the eight teams involved could become champions. England have proven this spectacularly. In a group with hosts South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, you would be hard pushed to find many people backing England to be in the top two. What a difference a week makes though. England comfortably beat the strongly-fancied Sri Lankans last Friday, helped by winning the toss and making use of the seamer friendly conditions. Enlgand’s new protégé Eoin Morgan finished off the run chase with a well executed unbeaten 62. England then continued

It seems that England seem to be turning into the French Rugby Union side Most recently, the newly crowned Ashes winners performed dismally to be thrashed 6-1 in the ODI series that followed the Ashes against Australia. Prior to this they had beaten West Indies with an overall score of 5-2 home and away. However, this scalp is not nearly as impressive as those who remember the great West Indies teams of the 80s and early 90s. Last December saw another embarrassing series defeat of 5-0 away

Andrew Strauss

their ‘perform well for a series’ form by knocking out the hosts South Africa last Sunday in what was a blistering display of attacking batting that was simply a pleasure to watch, and put them through to the last four.

England must start producing consistent results without Flintoff and Pietersen On Tuesday, England’s 3 match winning streak came to an end when they were confidently beaten by the Kiwis in the last group match. In the teams defence though, the pitch was not up to an international standing, with wickets arising from balls spitting viciously off a length, and then pitching half way down the track and failing to rise above ankle height. Strauss’ men did also display a ‘never give in attitude’ in the field and caused the Kiwis to lose six wickets when chasing the fairly meagre target set. One of the key problems of recent times for England has been the lack of taking advantage of the power play overs at the start of an innings. This has been highlighted specifically since the retirement from international cricket of Marcus Trescothick, who did this so well. The recent great Australian team demonstrated this perfectly with Hayden and Gilchrist opening, to bully the bowlers. South

Africa have Smith and Gibbs for the same task. England need Strauss and Denly, or whoever they choose as the skipper’s partner to do this, and they did a good job of it against South Africa last week. Another thing that was successful against the hosts was how Shah and Collingwood ran well between the wickets to keep the runs ticking over in the middle overs where in the past England have lost their way. This partnership of 163 set England up perfectly to have a hit in the last 10 overs, and that’s exactly what Morgan did, leading England to a brilliant score. This brilliant offensive batting display, followed up by a solid display from the bowlers is what England must start producing consistently; and all of this without the two world class performers of Flintoff and Pietersen. The current England squad does not include many, if any genuine world class players, but surely if they play collectively well as a team, and back each other up, as they did last Sunday against South Africa, then perhaps they can continue to out perform the stars of the other teams. Former England captain Nasser Hussain used to talk of his team needing to play well together for the sum of the team to better the sum of the individuals that, say, Australia had at the time. This can be linked to the ‘Galacticos’ method advocated by Florentino Perez in his first stint as President of Real Madrid. He spent all that money on Zidane, Beckham and Ronaldo amongst others, but they never really gelled as a team, and were therefore not as unstoppable as had been foreseen. This is was what Hussain was getting at; how a well-worked team that plays for each other can beat a team of stars. This seems to be the direction that England needs to go, especially until messers Pietersen and Flintoff return, and even then they must be thoroughly integrated into the closeness of the team, to continue this. Can this be accomplished by the England team? Can they beat Australia, and triumph in the final this Monday? Can they continue this form into the ODI series this coming winter in South Africa? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Dare we dream of actually consistently challenging and winning in this form? Only time will tell…

In 1966 England famously won the FIFA World cup, beating Germany 4-3

2. In 2003 Jonny Wilkinson's last gasp drop goal won England's rugby team the World cup

3. In 2001 England thrashed Germany 5-1 in Munich, a result that included a Michael Owen Hat-trick

4. In 2005 England won the Ashes back from Australia, a test series that went down as one of Freddy Flintoff's best ever.

5. In 2008 Lewis Hamilton became the first Englishman to win the F1 World Championship since Damon Hill in 1996.


30 SPORT - THE WARM UP Previews in brief SPEEDWAY FINAL This week sees the Elite League Speedway season draw to a close, and while many really will not know the point of skidding round a dirt track four times on a motorbike with no brakes, it really is going to be a great event. The final sees a Swindon Robins side who have been in sparkling form

throughout the season take on the Wolverhampton Wolves. Swindon, who finished top of the Elite League table managed to overcome the Coventree Bees in the play-off semi-final in rather unconvincing fashion, whilst the Wolves' passage was a little more straight forward. Matej Zagar, Leigh Adams and Simon Stead of the Robins are the ones to watch, especially in the home leg of the tie. Peter Lindgren and Peter Karlsson should be back to full fitness and full form for Wolves by the time of the final, or any chance they had would be significantly reduced. Smart money is on the Robins finally taking the Elite League spoils after three seasons of consistent performance, without silverware. The first leg from Wolverhampton is on October 5th while the return meet is the following week.

Lucy Morgan looks ahead to the 2009/10 Heineken Cup and predicts a slow start for the Welsh contingent This weekend sees the start of one of the most exciting tournaments in the rugby calendar. Now in its 15th season, the Heineken Cup continues to grow both in quality and popularity and, if last season is anything to go by, this year’s tournament promises to be another showcase of top class rugby. But who looks set to come out on top this season? The Welsh regions have got off to a slow start in the Magners League so will be looking to prove their worth and make an impact on the Heineken Cup this season. This weekend Cardiff Blues kick off their Heineken Cup campaign against Harlequins at the new Cardiff City Stadium and, after finally breaking their losing streak last weekend, they should go into the game with a renewed confidence. After their disappointment last season – losing their semi-final against Leicester in a never-before-seen penalty kick-out – they will be determined to make their mark on the tournament once again. However, Cardiff have somewhat dipped in form this season and are suffering badly from the loss of Nicky Robinson to Gloucester. Despite a probable Cardiff win, Harlequins will be deter-

JAPAN OPEN

The ATP Japan open takes place this week from 5th-11th October. With Rafa Nadal suffering abdominal problems, Andy Murray plagued by a wrist strain and Roger Federer close to burnout, all three have dropped out of the tournament leaving a massive opportunity for the remaining competitors to steal victory. Del Potro must be favourite looking at his recent form. He's an awkward opponent to play against and appears the most consistent performer left in the tournament. Tommy Haas, Gilles Simon and Lleyton Hewitt also pose a threat however my money’s on Del Potro to seal a comfortable victory.

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

BO'D: Superman mined to brush off their summer of scandal (the less said about that, the better) and, as a proud bunch of players, will want to make an impact and right the wrongs of last season.

"It's mine": The Welsh regional captains are all hoping for Heineken Cup glory The Ospreys have also failed to make an impact so far in the Magners League – suffering from their change of game under Scott Johnson- and they face a tough opener against last season’s finalists Leicester. Contrastingly, and somewhat surprisingly, the Newport-Gwent Dragons have got off to a much brighter start this season, playing a good brand of rugby. If they can get a win under their belt this weekend against Gloucester they will definitely be fancying their chances this year. The Scarlets, after their weak form last season and a run of disappointing defeats, will be determined to make an impact this year. They will certainly be hoping to regain their status as the standard bearers for Wales in European rugby and, with their first game at home to Brive, the Scarlets have the opportunity to get their Heineken Cup campaign off to a positive start. French clubs are consistently strong contenders and this season looks to be no different. A number of French sides have made fantastic signings over the summer with many English players now sampling the joie de vivre of life across the channel. James Haskell is settling in nicely at Stade Francais who, despite a rocky start to the Top 14 after getting rid of their coaches, are still looking like a very hard team to beat.

Clubs like Toulouse and ClermontAuvergne always look dangerous at home and, when the Gallic flair flows, French teams never fail in offering up thrilling matches. French sides are, however, renowned for not travelling well so Glasgow and the Scarlets will want to capitalise on their home advantage this weekend.

French teams never fail in offering up thrilling matches Back in England, the Guinness Premiership is looking hard to gauge at the moment with teams such as Bath and Gloucester showing little consistency in form. 2009 finalists, Leicester, remain a threat and have a strong chance of doing well again this season. Unexpectedly, London Irish are looking to do well this season. Despite finding themselves in a difficult pool (Leinster, Brive and the Scarlets) there is a positive air about the club and, if they can get off to a good start, they may well prove to be the surprise of the tournament. Scotland are certainly making an impact on the Magners League this

year and Edinburgh (the only Scottish side to have reached the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup) are looking particularly strong. With a squad boasting players such as Mike Blair and the ever-reliable Chris Paterson, Edinburgh will be a very competitive side this season. Ireland will want to build on their fantastic success last season with Leinster aiming for the top once again. The history books may suggest that winning back to back is a rare occurrence (Leicester being the only team to achieve it so far) but, with Brian O’Driscoll - amongst others returning from an absolutely fantastic summer with the Lions, Leinster are certainly looking to prove this theory wrong. Munster are also looking strong with a number of Lions amongst their ranks and an exciting new signing in the form of Springbok centre Jean de Villiers. Unfortunately, the Italian teams remain the weakest force in the tournament and are unlikely to make an impact this season. So, as this weekend’s matches kickoff it certainly seems we can look forward to a thrilling season of European cup rugby and, if you fancy some Heineken Cup action this weekend, why not head down to Cardiff City Stadium and see the Blues take on Harlequins!

Heineken Cup: Editors' predictions as battle commences Robbie Wells: Watching the Scarlets' start to the season, with a massive victory over Leinster, how can anyone look past the Llanelli team? Perennially attractive, but never clinical, it must finally be the year for the Scarlets to come of age. An indifferent start will be forgotten when Stephen Jones returns and wins become second nature.

Adam Horne: Like Lucy, I'm going for a French win. This is based on that fact that she knows more about rugby than any of us. So I can't go wrong. Stade Francais have made a solid start to their season, scoring plenty of points. However they have also been poor defensively. If they can sort that out, I believe they have a great chance.

Joe Davies: I think that the Scarlets will win in Paris. Earlier in the season they beat Cup-holders Leinster and coach Nigel Davies insists that they begin their campaign in a “positive frame of mind, knowing what we’re capable of” and that his young players have learned a great deal from the previous two seasons, in which they have not progressed past the group stage.

Lucy Morgan: My head says a French victory is likely this season - with the final taking place on French soil. Clermont Auvergne with their huge budget and fantastic resources are looking particularly strong contenders. My heart is hoping for Scarlets success but it will certainly be a tough ask for the Llanelli boys this season.


FEATURE - SPORT 31

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

Cardiff University's James Davies chats to former England captain and LA Galaxy star David Beckham as he limbers up for the World Cup “Can you come out to our training session at 11am on Thursday, at The Home Depot Center? David should be available to the media after training.” As I sat in my sun lounger punching the air in delight, having secured a meeting with the game’s most famous son, I unsurprisingly sent my response at a speed Usain Bolt would have been proud of. Although our meeting wouldn’t be the one-to-one sit down interview I had really wanted, it was a starting point and an opportunity to meet and question, in my opinion, England’s finest number seven and, more importantly, my footballing hero, along with a handful of other journalists from around the world, ahead of the Galaxy’s game against the European champions, FC Barcelona. For some, David Beckham has been, for most of his career, one of the best footballers on the planet and let’s face it, someone who has worked his socks off to achieve all he has throughout his illustrious career. For others, he is a global sex symbol, fashion icon, multi-millionaire and one half of the world’s most famous and readily talked about celebrity couples. For me, however, David is quite simply, as anyone who knows me will tell you, the footballer I wanted to be as a child. From the modest parks of Leytonstone to the glamorous showbiz setting of Los Angeles, David Beckham has made it through his sheer hard work and determination. Hopping into the Jeep we had been driving throughout the course of our trip, I placed my sunglasses on the top of my head to complete the L.A. look, and made my way down the highway in search of the American dream. Once I had arrived in Carson - the home of the L.A Galaxy and England’s David Beckham - I was ushered passed some of the strictest security I have ever come across, to one of the

The anticipation was enormous as I explored the fascinating surroundings while I waited. As the players began to emerge, a smile grew on my face. Like a school team on games day, the players walked out with bags slung over their shoulders and shirts un-tucked and with the background noise of chatter and joking. What struck me the most was their dedication and skill. Although the standard in Major League Soccer has been criticised, the players made the people’s sport look so easy, yet stylish, composed and clinical. Players flung themselves around all morning, chasing the ball during games that featured three-a-side and one-touch passing. The sheer competitiveness was overwhelming.

He didn't, as many might have expected, traipse in with an entourage or designer gear None of the squad were content with passing the ball round the opposition. They all felt the need to try new and inventive tricks to embarrass their colleagues, creating a monumental amount of banter amongst the side. But the professional side of what they were doing shone through. It wasn’t a simple game or a half-hearted training session they were taking part in, but a gruelling practise monitored by Bruce Arena. Before the team even kicked a ball, they were led around the pitch several times to warm up. They then stretched off at every corner and, once they were well prepared, gathered together

James and Dave club's exclusive parking spaces. Having arrived about two hours before the team were due to train, I was able to soak up the atmosphere and walk around the place that has, in recent years, been at the forefront of a tsunami of press attention, since David’s arrival two summers ago.

for a team talk. Having watched the entire training session, I was taken deep into the stadium, away from prying eyes, where I would get my opportunity to speak to David. Holding tightly to his three boys, David slowly came into sight. Ush-

What you can't see is that the last word is 'friend'! ering his children through to one of the many rooms, he disappeared for a minute or two, only to reappear with a broad smile emblazoned across his instantly recognisable face. As David headed towards the media scrum that had converged at the end of the long passageway, I must admit I was rather taken aback with the rather casual and laid-back way he sauntered down the dimly lit corridor. He didn’t, as many might have cynically expected, traipse in with an entourage, or turn up decked-out in designer gear. Instead, in stark contrast, he was accompanied solely by his three children where he was, from what I could see, performing his fatherly duties. After shaking hands and quickly exchanging pleasantries with him I, along with the handful of other media present, began questioning the superstar. I just stood there, transfixed, staring at him, studying his every move and listening to every word he spoke. Say what you will about Beckham and a lot has been made over the years by members of the media - although not by me - that he isn’t the brightest or most articulate guy in the world he spoke intelligently, thoughtfully, openly and frankly. Never once did he waver or decline to answer a question, or try to skirt an issue. When answering a question about the recent reaction by L.A Galaxy fans over his decision to play in Europe, which has caused a minor ruckus, David just charmingly said: “I’m just trying to ignore it as much as I can. I think that’s the way you have to deal with these things. I’ve had it a lot worse than I’ve had here. After ’98 it was at its worst - but I’ve had it bad in a number of different places I’ve played - it’s just part of the game. When it happens, it can sometimes become a distraction not just for myself but for the team,” he mused. “The team have done well to deal with the situation. I’ve got the support of the players, the management and the owners and for me that’s the most

important thing. I’m happy to be back and I’m happy to be playing with these players and with this team. I’m enjoying it,” he added philosophically. With all media outlets firing at all cylinders in a media scrum that seemed to suffocate David for space, I waited for my chance to fire a couple of questions of my own. Amongst the crowd of American twangs came my English accent. Immediately David looked up and smiled at me - I think he had found it rather comforting to hear the tones of a ‘Brit’.

Beneath all that star-like veneer was an ordinary person, which was refreshing to find With his attention fixed firmly on me, I began to explain to the superstar that I was in the States on a road trip, to which the affable midfielder smiled. “What would you advise me do while I’m here in L.A?” I asked. Without a hint of hesitation, David enthusiastically retorted, “Go to the beaches.” Adding: “There are quite a few nice beaches out there. L.A life is great. The weather’s great and people are always good to you. You’ll have a good time while you’re here.” I was impressed with the genuine niceness of the man who is, at times, all too easily and unfairly criticised. Having played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and A.C Milan - three of the biggest clubs in the world- as well as captaining his country, where does this insatiable drive that seems to be instilled in our finest football icon come from? “My drive has come from my parents, my family and the clubs that I’ve

played for and the managers I played under. When you play under some of the managers I’ve played under, if you don’t have that drive then you don’t get in the team, so I have been brought up on it from an early age. My drive to succeed will always be insatiable. It was the way I was brought up and it’s the way I’ve always played. Every club that I’ve been at has driven me to success. Once it’s in you, I don’t think it will change.” Having reached the pinnacle of sporting success himself, what advice would he give the next generation of footballers who wished to become the next David Beckham and, if possible, achieve all he has accomplished throughout his illustrious career? “I’ve been lucky with my career but I’ve worked hard to achieve what I have. Kids out there, if they want to become a professional footballer then you have to work hard and enjoy it. I’ve enjoyed my whole career and I’ll be very honoured to enjoy it until it finishes.” Asked about his plans after retirement, he said he wanted to make up for lost time with his family. You could tell from the way he lovingly talked about his wife and kids that he is a devoted family man and that he hates to be away from them for any length of time. It was refreshing to meet an athlete who keeps things in perspective. David Beckham is the most famous sports star in the world but, instead of puffing his chest out, he remembers what’s most important in this world: his family. But for all the fuss and humdrum that goes with being the most famous footballer in the world, David is a down to earth man who is unquestionably more approachable than others who have less talent than he does in his little toe- the one on the left foot! Although he is proud of his admirable success and he is proud of his wife and children he is, beneath all that star-like veneer, an ordinary person, which was refreshing to find. A first-rate footballer? Yes. A firstrate person? Without question.


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Third time lucky for Cardiff Cardiff Men's Rugby give Welsh Regional Under-20's the blues to kick off their new season in style Gethin Thomas Sports Writer Cardiff 15 - 8 Region Under 20's Thirty Cardiff University students travelled to Pentrych Rugby Club this past Monday evening to play against some of the brightest talent in the Cardiff Blues region at Under 20’s level. Having been together for a number of months the Blues were undoubtedly firm favourites, coached by former Cardiff University Head of Rugby Adrian Evans and containing many Blues academy players and Welsh premiership players including Pontypridd and Glamorgan Wanderers stars Dean Gunter, Dan Fish and Ryan Healey. Conversely the Cardiff University squad had only met the day before the game after the Fresher's trials and were looking at playing a mixture of Freshers and second year students. Captained by Law student Mark Schropfer the University squad were told by their coach that after only one training session he did not expect high levels of organisation and that he would not look to isolate any mistakes made. However, it was stressed that he fully expected high levels of endeavour, commitment and attitude from the young squad.

The game started with the University pack gaining dominance in the set piece with good work from props Geoff Lewin (Engineering), Jake Cooper (Business) and Hooker Ross Grimstone (Business), the Regional Coaches showed their intent when the University Vice Captain Nic Huntley (Medicine) infringed at the breakdown by shouting instructions to “take the 3 points” to their outside half. The University's view was completely the opposite, spurning numerous penalty opportunities giving their squad the opportunity to play and the coaching team the opportunity to identify the talent on the pitch. Much to the satisfaction of the coaching team, endeavour, commitment and attitude were indeed delivered in spades by the university students. Tries from Jake Cooper and Joe Casella and Cameron Pimlow adding the extra points with his trusty boot, helped ensure a 15 – 8 victory against the regional team, their first in three years. The Freshers involved produced some fine performances for the University, showing great promise for the upcoming year. Speaking after the game captain and scrum half Mark Schropfer commented, “after this game it proves that we will have a greater strength

Men's rugby: looking to emulate last year's success in depth to the squad this year, which bodes well for the future. We have targeted success in the BUCS league, the

WRU SWALEC plate, the Hong Kong 10’s finals, the Cardiff and District Mallet Cup and of Course the Welsh

Varsity match. I am very positive that we could achieve all of the above if we reach our potential this season”.

Shooting stars Luke Stevens Sports Writer

Despite the summer break, members of the Cardiff University Rifle Club have continued to represent the University at a high level, building on the achievements of the last year. Three members of the club attended the Welsh outdoor 50-metre competition. Rob Beer and club secretary, Rhys Bowley competed in class C where they placed 3rd and 8th of 11 respectively. With his score, Rob Beer qualified for the WSRA (Welsh Small bore Rifle Association) final. Club captain Luke Stevens competed

in Class A where he placed 11th of 20 also qualifying for the final. However he was unfortunately unable to make the final. Throughout last year several members competed in a national competition against thousands of other competitors. The competition, known as the Eley postal, was shot in three stages; two 25-yard indoor qualifying stages and a 50-metre outdoor final at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley. At the first stage the top 50% qualified and then at the second, the top twenty scores qualified. The club had four members reach the second round. These were Nick Randle (Class E), Ben Harridge (Class D), Nadia Cracknell (Class C), and

Luke Stevens (Class B). Two of these members then succeeded in qualifying for the final. Ben Harridge qualified with a score of 378 ex 400 and Luke Stevens with a score of 393 ex 400. Unfortunately Ben was unable to attend the final. At the final Luke obtained bronze position in Class B. Also over the summer, James Lothian attended the BUCS full bore competition. This was shot at varying distances up to a kilometre. James, who recently became the captain of the GB U25 full bore team for their next tour, took home the gold medal. The club is now looking forward to the coming year and hoping to build on its successes.

Rifle Club: Aiming high

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NEWS 03

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009

University of Glamorgan Fresher raped in halls of Regulations changed after donator is exposed as residence convicted fraudster with alleged links to terrorism Emma McFarnon News Editor

University shakes up finance rules following fraud scandal Ceri Isfryn News Editor

Cardiff University has been forced to change its regulations regarding large donations after one donor was exposed as a convicted fraudster who has been accused of having “close associations with terrorists groups.” In April 2008, the University accepted £2.5million from businessman Gerard Walsh in order to fund a prestigious chair in public health in memory of epidemiologist Archie Cochrane. Despite the size of the donation, no background checks were made on the Irishman, who had been convicted of fraud in 1997. A judge at the case asserted that Mr Walsh had “fraudulently misrepresented himself” as the owner of a car dealership which sold expensive Lamborghinis. The complainant, Amanda Forshall, paid Mr Walsh deposits of 873,000 euros for nine Lamborghini Diablos which she never received. In court, Forshall said that Walsh had threatened her, claiming to have “close associations with terrorist groups, in

particular the so-called IRA” and that he would use those contacts to dispose of her and her children. Only three months after the pledge was made, Mr Walsh received an honorary fellowship from the University for his “work in public healthcare policy”. This was the same month that he failed to produce the first payment as promised in the Agreement. Within months of the fellowship being offered, Cork City FC, which was then owned by Mr. Walsh’s investment company, collapsed due to financial troubles. Although signs of financial insecurity were evident, the university did at any point question Mr Walsh’s credibility as a donator. According to a newly released report by an internal investigatory panel, the relationship between the investor and the University developed “fairly rapidly” after Mr Walsh’s key point of contact, Professor Mansel Aylward, became the Director of the Unum Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research. Those dealing with Mr Walsh should, according to the report, had reason to reconsider their relationship on three separate occasions but failed

to do so. In October 2007, a 50th birthday party was held for the businessman by the University. He was billed for the event but failed to pay up, forcing the university to refer the debt to a collection agency. Further concerns should have been raised, the panel notes, when Mr Walsh changed the payment from a single lump sum to paying on a per annum basis. In addition, the Irishman made several last minute changes to the parties involved in the Agreement, which should have heightened suspicions. Only when a national newspaper exposed Mr Walsh’s wrongdoings in October 2008 did the University terminate the Agreement yet the fellowship, with the panel has since concluded raised a number of “ethical issues”, was not withdrawn until May 2009. The findings of the investigation affirmed that the university’s financial regulations had been breached. “In the panel’s view, a favourable impression of Mr Walsh had developed in the minds of key individuals at the university, and this led them to conclude that it was unnecessary and

inappropriate to carry out full duediligence checks,” it says. “The failure to receive the initial payment on the date of the signing of the Agreement was a clear indication that something was wrong and that assurances given at the time that this was a temporary situation should have been challenged rather than accepted.” The panel also deemed the decision not to involve the university’s Finance Division (apart from to receive advice on the Cochrane Chair funding) as a “regrettable” one. In light of the panel’s discoveries, several key changes have been made to the University’s financial regulations. Any individual wishing to make a single donation of £25,000 or above should be subjected to credit and money-laundering checks by external agencies. As of the 2009 fellowship round, nominations have been independently researched and verified prior to being accepted. A two-year period must also exist between receiving the donation and nominating the donor for a fellowship.

A Lash-tastic success! Eleanor Smith Reporter The newly branded Wednesday night at the Union has proven to be a massive success. The recently renamed ‘The Lash’ saw 2700 students through the doors last Wednesday for its Beach Party hosted by Radio 1’s Greg James. The Union’s Entertainments Manager, Ben Eagle, said: “Greg was enjoying himself so much that he played on for almost double his contracted set length. “Feedback from students is great. Next week has sold almost half already and will probably sell out even earlier than tonight’s event.” Sales for The Lash are moving even quicker than Rubber Duck, the legendary Wednesday night from days gone by, when it was in its prime. Word amongst the students was that Oceana nightclub in the city centre, probably the Union’s biggest rival on a Wednesday night, had no queue, whilst the queue for the Union was half way down the steps. Lashin' it large at Solus

Police are investigating the rape of an 18-year-old student from the University of Glamorgan. The student, thought to be a fresher who only began studying last week, was sexually assaulted at the Glamorgan Court Halls of Residence in Treforest during the early hours of Saturday September 26. Officers were called to the halls at around 0450 after receiving a report that a non-residential student at the university had been assaulted. Police say the woman was attacked sometime after 0230 in a friend’s room at the halls. Forensic specialists carried out a fingertip search of rooms in the halls, but the rapist wore gloves to hide his fingerprints. Police are questioning students living in the area, and have set up an incident room at Mountain Ash Police Station, where a team of detectives are working on the case. The suspect is described as about 6ft tall and of "solid" appearance. He was wearing gloves and a dark hooded top. Supt. Tony Smith, from South Wales Police, said: “The victim is at home with her family, she has been appointed a specially-trained South Wales Police liaison officer and we are keeping them updated on the inquiry as it progresses. "Since this incident was reported to us there has been a 24-hour police presence at the university’s campus, which will continue, as well as the campus’ own security staff. He added: “I’m sure it will be of concern to new students who are arriving to start their university career, and their parents, but this is an extremely rare incident for not only the university but the Pontypridd area." University Vice Chancellor, Professor David Halton, said: "We are offering full support to the victim and, though the campus has an excellent reputation as a safe, friendly campus, in light of this incident we are reminding all students to follow basic safety advice such as keeping all windows and doors locked at night, stay in groups when walking around the campus late at night, and to report any suspicious activity to security staff or the police." The university has set up a dedicated help-line for parents and students requiring advice or information: 01443 482896. Anyone with information should call the incident room on 01443 743 678 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


gair rhydd - Issue 903