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freeword - EST. 1972

ISSUE 909 NOVEMBER 16 2009

PHOTO: MEGAN MASTERS

PHOTO: NATALIA POPOVA

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Thrill of the chase Student wrestles thief to the ground after robbery Megan Masters Reporter Cardiff University student Ross Burns put known burglar Anthony Pearce behind bars earlier this month, after catching him stealing from his house on Rhymney Street. early hours of August 11, Ross Burns, 20 (pictured right), caught sight of Pearce, 25, walking out of his front door. Running to his bedroom, Ross saw that his phone and wallet had disappeared, and his laptop was nowhere to be seen. Instead of dialing 999, Ross reacted on the spur of the moment, deciding to head out in pursuit of the thief. “I was just thinking of my laptop at the time,” said Ross. “It seemed like the only thing to do.” With no particular plan in mind, Ross jogged along the streets of Cabefore finding two men, one of whom he believed to be the thief, chatting on a railway bridge. Suspicions confirmed, he lingered to see the thief and friend head off in

the opposite direction. As Pearce stopped to chat once more near The Woodville pub, Ross burst from the shadows yelling, “Give me my f***ing laptop back.” The thief and his friend ran desperately, discarding their loot as they fled. Hanging back to see where his precious possessions landed, Ross let the burglar slow before tackling him behind the Union. Blows were exchanged before Pearce submitted and Ross dragged him to Mamas’ Kebabs on Salisbury Road to seek aid. The police were called and they arrested Pearce at the scene. The next day, Ross and his housemate Chris Fussel retraced their steps from the night before, recovering all the items except for a driving licence. Even the cash that was stolen was recovered from Pearce’s pocket at the police station. Pearce pleaded guilty on October 19 to two counts of burglary of dwelling and assault with intent to resist arrest. On November 4, Judge Christopher Vosper QC sentenced Pearce to 22 months in prison on top of a six

month sentence he is already serving for another conviction. According to defence lawyer James Evans, though, Pearce is “not a lost cause [and he] expressed genuine remorse” for his crimes. When asked what he thought of Ross’ actions, overseeing police officer, DC McLean told ! rhydd: “I admire Ross’ actions. Without them, given that there was no forensic evidence in this case, it is possible that Pearce would not have been caught. Ross’ prompt actions led to this arrest.” “It’s a cracking result,” said McLean. “I’ll personally be seeking recognition for Ross via senior officers and the court.” Ross, however, claims that all thanks go to his laptop: “Had I not thought he’d taken my laptop, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, but

I’m glad I did.” DC McLean stressed that this is not an example everyone should follow: “I would not advise persons in these circumstances to behave this way. Usually we would strongly advise anyone to call 999 in case the thieves are carrying weapons.’

Any rape victims should come forward, say police Ceri Isfryn News Editor

A recent spate of rumours about sexual assaults in the Cathays area has prompted the police to urge any victims to come forward immediately. To date, police have received no reports of incidents, butt speculation about sexual assaults in the area has been rife, with several stories circulating about girls being raped whilst walking alone at night. “Obviously following the incidents that occurred in the Glamorgan University halls of residence we anticipated that there would be an increase in speculation about similar incidents,” said Cardiff’s Student Liaison Officer, PC Bob Keohane. “To date, we have received no reports of similar events happening in the Cathays area, but we’d urge anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault of any kind to come forward immediately,” he continued. One Cardiff University student, who wished to remain anonymous, insists that the speculations are more than just hearsay, claiming that her friend has been a victim of sexual assault within recent weeks. “My friend was recently assaulted in the Cathays area, but for obvious reasons of privacy I don’t want to divulge details about the incident. These attacks aren’t just hearsay - they are real,” she maintains. Two other students have approached gair rhydd independently about what is believed to be the same incident claiming that that the rumours are true, but that the victim may not have contacted the police. Fears were raised about poor security at halls of residences after a Glamorgan University student was raped in a friend’s bedroom during her first few weeks at university. The 18-year-old woman was threatened with a knife before on-campus secuirty. Following the incident, which occurred at a Glamorgan University halls of residence in September, fears about security were heightened. Detectives believe that a man who claimed to have accidentally entered the wrong flat may have been involved. Despite these concerns, less than three weeks after the incident, a reporter from Red Dragon FM managed to wander around Talybont North for nearly an hour without being questioned. continued on page 3 >>


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! ! 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 POLITICS Damian Fantato COLUMNISTS Tim Hart Oli Franklin LISTINGS Steve Beynon Ed Bovingdon TAF-OD Nia Gwawr Williams Branwen Mathias Cadi Mai SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT Amy Hall Priya Raj JOBS & MONEY Katie Greenway SPORT Jon Evans James Hinks Adam Horne Lucy Morgan Robbie Wells CONTRIBUTORS Morgan Applegarth Sebastian Barrett Aleks Berditchevskaia Zoe Bridger Lauren Cowie Emma Davies Alex Evans James Fooks Rachel Henson Tim Hilorst Holly Howe Ayushman Jamwal Holleigh Marsh Cosimo Montagu Chaintanya Marpakwar Mike O'Brien Dominic O'Loghlen Lloyd Rees Sophie Spence Chris Tarquini Kayleigh Toyra Chris Williams Norain Ahmed Megan Masters

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continued from front page The campus security cabin was allegedly vacant the whole time, and the reporter claims to have seen no staff whatsoever while he was on campus. The University responded at the time by saying that “Talybont North’s perimeter fencing is not designed to be restrictive or uninviting. It provides

Red Dragon FM's reporter in Talybont North

pedestrian access for students’ visitors and for people using the facilities on site. Security staff visit and patrol all of the University’s halls of residences as often as possible.” The University’s Welfare, Campaigns and Communications Officer, Ed Dolding, said: "While I'm unable to comment on any investigations that may or may not be underway, I can say we as an organisation haven't been asked to cooperate with any police investigation. What I can say is that people shouldn't panic. Cardiff is an extremely safe student city, and the type of incidents being speculated are very rare indeed." In light of this, the police were also keen to emphasise that as the days gets darker, it is more important than ever for students to start taking extra care with their personal safety. “We’d urge all students to stay

NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

on main roads and avoid unnecessary shortcuts when walking home at night, where there is good lighting available and often the added protection of CCTV,” PC Keohane advised. He also advised that concerned students can purchase a personal safety alarm from the Union at a discounted rate, and urged them not to tempt thieves by walking with valuables on show. “If at any point an individual feels that they could be in personal danger for whatever reason, do not hesitate to call 999. If there’s a situation where you do call the police with any genuine fears and they turn out to be unfounded, then you won’t be criticised. We’d rather have 999 calls which amount to nothing and one that amounts to something than none at all,” he concluded.

BBC Radio 4 airs from University Lloyd Griffiths Reporter BBC Radio 4 took over Cardiff University last week when it aired several shows and hosted numerous workshops from the university’s buildings. Highlights included a Thursday afternoon recording of 3rd Degree, a pilot for a new quiz show pitting undergraduates against University staff in a general knowledge and specialist subject quiz. Hosted by The Now Show creator Steve Punt, the new show drew a decent audience despite the Welsh weather. Three teams of University professors took on their course studentswith interesting results. The final score came as a bit of a surprise with the students beating their professor counterparts by 21- 17. Unfortunately, The News Quiz had to be relocated to London due to the illness of host Sandi Toksvig; however, The Material World, Radio 4’s weekly half-hour look at science

Professors and students go head to head in 3rd Degree in and behind the news, went down a storm with science fans and curious attendees alike. Presenter Quentin Cooper relished debating the latest scientific discoveries with his guests, engaging in heated argument about the role of science in prominent issues

such as global warming. The workshops also enjoyed healthy attendance, with most tickets handed out days before the events occurred. The Torchwood workshop drew an especially large crowd, with students eager to learn about how Russell T.

Davies made the programme the hit it is today. The University is one of only three to be chosen for the BBC Radio 4 autumn tour, the other two being Bedfordshire and Derby.

CF10 RAID-ed for charity Gareth Ludkin News Editor

Tickets for Cardiff University’s RAID festival are now available at the Union Box Office. The annual festival promises to be back with a bang with a mix of live music, dance, stalls, DJs, comedy, art and more. Kicking off on November 30 at 7pm in CF10, the fun continues right through until midnight. Organised by a number of student societies, including Stop Aids, People and Planet and ShAg, the event is set to be bigger and better than ever. Last year's event raised £1,500 for AIDS and HIV charities across the world. This year, the money will go to the Rural Welfare Organisation, an AVERT community partner in Tamil

Nadu, India. Threatmantics, Silver Gospel Runners and Ascari will be playing alongside DJs Vinyl Vendettas. The night will also include dance from Funky Arse Disco Dancers, Slashdance and Cardiff’s Breaking Society. A graffiti wall will also feature alongside photography, comedy, cocktails, beers and ciders and a number of other stalls from University societies. Organisers hope that 2009 will exceed the successes of 2008, raising as much money as possible to combat AIDS and HIV across the world. Tickets are £4 on the door and only £3 when bought in advance from the Box Office. Check out the Facebook event RAID Festival 2009 for more information.

NEWS 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION 8 COLUMNIST 12 FEATURES 14 POLITICS 18 LETTERS 21 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23 JOBS & MONEY 24 LISTINGS 26 FIVE MINUTE FUN 31 SPORT 32


airrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

NEWS 03

Tuition fee review starts amid protests NUS organises demonstration to urge MPs not to use Higher Education funding review to avoid declaring their position Arzu Bokhari & Jamie Thunder Reporters

Students and Students' Union officers from around the country gathered in London on Wednesday to lobby MPs to 'come clean' about their views on higher education funding. NUS invited politicians to sign a pledge promising that they would ‘vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative’. MPs who do not sign the pledge will be ‘named and shamed’ in the run-up to the general election. There was also a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament and a meeting at which several MPs, most notably Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills David Lammy, spoke to students. Over 150 Students’ Union officers, includling more than 70 Students' Union presidents, signed a letter to ! " # $ Guardian saying that they were “appalled by Labour and Conservative attempts to duck difficult questions on student fees and finance at the next general election.” It continued: “We are in no doubt that a review panel dominated by

business and university leaders is designed to stitch up students with yet another inflation busting hike in tuition fees.” Four Cardiff Sabbatical Officers – Students’ Union President Ed Carey, AU President Olly Birrell, Healthcare Integration Officer Jack Navein, and Academic Affairs Officer Michaela Neild – signed the letter. David Lammy defended the panel’s membership, saying: “If you look across the range of panel members they have a range of skills, and of course there are people among the panel members who have huge experience in industry, but that also relates to huge experience of working with universities. “There are Vice-Chancellors, and there’s one who has had to reflect on the whole sector, not just his particular institution. There is also someone from not a very well-off background, someone who has been plugged in to the student movement and who has stood on a no tuition fee ticket for many years.” Announcing the review, Lord Mandelson said it “will require extensive

consultation with all who would be affected by any changes, including current and potential students”. Wes Streeting, NUS President, said it was vital students knew MPs’ views on higher education funding. “Any candidate from any party thinking they can go into the next election hiding behind the fees review and say nothing about the most important higher education issue facing students is absolutely kidding themselves,” he said. “It’s scandalous that government ministers and opposition politicians can use the fees review as an excuse to say nothing about the key issue for students.” Lammy refused to provide his view on higher education funding when asked, arguing that “there’s no point setting up a review and then prejudging the outcome”. By the time gair rhydd went to press, NUS estimated that 70 MPs had signed its pledge, including around 50 Labour and 15 Liberal Democrats. They are expecting more signatures in the coming days as students continue to lobby their local MPs.

PHOTOS: JAMIE THUNDER

Labour launched its promised review of higher education funding in England last Monday. It will be led by Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP. The review has been tasked to “analyse the challenges and opportunities facing higher education and their implications for student financing and support”. It is expected to publish its recommendations next year, but after the general election, which must be held before May 6. Also on the panel are Vice-Chancellors Professor David Eastwood (University of Birmingham) and Julia King CBE (Aston University), economist Diane Coyle OBE, former New Labour advisor Sir Michael Barber, businessman Peter Sands, and former British Youth Council chair Rajay Naik. NUS President Wes Streeting told The Guardian that he had “limited confidence that this review will do

anything other than give universities the chance to increase fees after the general election”. In a statement on the NUS’ website, he added: “Politicians should remember the student backlash in 2004 that almost brought Blair's government down and saw many pro-fees MPs lose their seats subsequently. “There will be an even greater backlash if the review proposes plunging students into greater debt.” Under the Higher Education Act 2004, which introduced variable topup fees of up to £3,000, a review of the impact of the fees must be carried out once the first students who paid variable fees have graduated. Students starting university in 2006 were the first to pay variable fees, and those on three-year courses graduated this summer. Variable fees allow universities to set their own fee level, although all universities in England and Wales chose to charge the maximum of £3,225 – the original £3,000 adjusted for inflation – in 2009/10. Students from Wales studying in Wales paid £1,285.

OUT-OF-POCKET STUDENTS: Not a happy bunch


04 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

week: get on it!

Daniella Graham Features Editor

This week sees Cardiff University’s RAG society holding its much anticipated annual RAG week. ! University’s fundraising society uses the week to raise funds for various charities, including Children in Need, Help for Heroes and Tenovus, by organising a range of events at the Union. Last year's RAG week raised over £1,500 for the chosen charities. RAG will have a stall in reception between 11am and 4pm every day, where cakes and quiz sheets will be on sale to raise money. RAG will also be holding a 'Save the Sabb' event, where every sabbatical ! fficer will have their own collecting tin, and the member of the executive who raises the least amount of money will have to do a forfeit on stage at the Union's Boombox this Friday night. There will be a suggestions box at the RAG stall from Monday to Wednesday where people can pay 20p to suggest what the forfeit will be. A variety of events in the evenings will also be held, including a Wii tournament, an AU pub quiz in the Taf and a collection at Boombox.

THE WEEK'S EVENTS MONDAY

TUESDAY

FRIDAY

Wii Tournament

AU Pub Quiz

Save the Sabb: The Result

RAG week kicks off with a chance to test your Wii skills and raise money for Children in Need at the same time. Prizes on offer include Magic Wrap vouchers, drinks vouchers for the George, Gassy Jacks and Koko Gorilaz, a free breakfast at the Coffi House and Café Calicio and a free haircut.

A chance for all AU and IMG sports teams to test their general knowledge while raising money for Sport Relief. There are lots of prizes available to win, including tickets to see Cardiff Blues, a free haircut and a meal for four in the Taf.

The unlucky loser of ‘Save the Sabb’ will be announced live on the Xpress morning news bulletin. The winning suggestion for their subsequent forfeit will also be announced so be sure to tune in.

Wii lounge, 3rd floor of the Students’ Union 7pm-9pm

THURSDAY

The Taf, 8pm-10pm, £1 to enter

Xpress radio, 11am Rave and Give at Boombox

Your chance to buy a student essential from RAG's very own fairies: glowsticks! All proceeds will go towards cancer charity Tenovus.

RAG will be bringing the glowsticks along for you to buy at Walkabout’s student night Bounce while they attempt to break the world record for the highest number of smurfs, which is currently held by Swansea!

RAG will be collecting for Children in Need at Boombox and selling glowsticks. The losing sabbatical officer of ‘Save the Sabb’ will be doing their forfeit live on stage. In addition, if you type in the code ‘donate’ when buying your Boombox ticket online, £1 will go to Children in Need.

Fun Factory, 10pm onwards

Walkabout, 10pm onwards

Boombox, 9pm onwards

Smurfs @ Bounce Fundraising fairies

Sexology at Glam RAG, ShAg, Sexpression and Stop AIDS have joined forces to promote safe sex and raise money for the Children With Aids charity. There will be La Senza and Ann Summers giveaways, games including dildo hoop-la, free condoms, an adult rodeo and hot tubs. Glam, 10pm onwards


NEWS 05

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Act One prepare Students condemned for a XXXmas by Welsh newspaper Emma McFarnon News Editor

Cardiff University's award-winning drama society, Act One, are revamping the traditional fairytale Cinderella for this year's Christmas pantomime. The cast will push the boundaries when they take to the stage with 'Cinderotica', promising belly laughs and a vast array of penis jokes. ! ! ! this fun-filled tale, Buttons refuses to give up his pursuit of his unrequited lover, Cinderella, until he learns of a dastardly plot involving murder, deception, world domination and gair rhydd. With the help of powerless godparents, a UWIC student and a nice-but-dim journalist, can Buttons save the day? It looks doubtful. The play boasts a variety of songs written by Luc Tudor, as well as numerous opportunities for singing and dancing.

Emma McFarnon News Editor

Performances of the 18-rated play will begin on Wednesday November 25, and will run until Friday November 27. The event will be held in the Great Hall and doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 with NUS, £6 without.

Motion to support Youth Fight for Jobs rejected

Ceri Isfryn News Editor A motion that sought to affiliate the Union with campaign group, Youth Fight for Jobs, was rejected at last week’s Student Council. The proposer of the motion, Mature Students’ Officer Edmund Schluessel, delivered an impassioned speech which urged the Council to officially pledge support and donate £100 to the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign. The campaign calls for all university fees to be scrapped, for the minimum wage to be raised to £8 per hour and for businesses to stop unpaid 'slave labour' internships. It also strives to build a “mass campaign against attacks on education and jobs, co-ordinated democratically on a national basis by fighting students' unions, campaign groups and trade unions”. The proposal was met with criticism from the Academic and University Affairs Officer, Michaela Neild, who claimed, “the horse has already bolted on free education.” However, she also stressed that simply lifting the fee cap will not resolve the issues surrounding university funding, and

acknowledged that alternatives need to be looked at. Sally Wood, Student Council Chair, who stepped out of her role as Chair for the debate, also disagreed with the motion. In response to the motion’s assertion that working weeks should be limited to 35 hours, Sally questioned how this would work for doctors, nurses and the like. When eventually put to the vote, the motion failed, receiving only a handful of votes in support. After the session, Edmund commented that “if we limit ourselves to shaking hands with the MPs who are exploiting us, having a glass of wine with them, asking politely if maybe they'll only charge undergraduates £3,500 a year instead of £7,000, how are we going to get anywhere?" He added: “My comrades and I (in a personal capacity) will be in London on the 28th, taking part in Youth Fight For Jobs' demonstration. I urge all students who are interested in defeating fees to come with us. Whether or not the Student Council chooses to take real action in aid of the students, we on the left will always be there, on the front lines, fighting for better conditions now".

A local newspaper has criticised the behaviour of students across Wales, accusing them of being violent, criminal and threatening. An ‘investigation’ by ales On Sunday published details of student disciplinary records covering the last three years, and found reports of eight alleged assaults, five harassment cases and occasions where students had terrorised their peers or university employees. The article drew attention to four formal disciplinary cases that were heard at Cardiff University over the three years, as well as 116 reports of plagiarism. David Hagendyk, political liaison officer for Wales’ University College Union (UCU), told Wales on Sunday:

“There is a growing sense that the introduction of tuition fees has changed the relationship between students and academic staff, with students now perceiving themselves as consumers who are paying for a service. But this in no way opens the door to a tolerance of bullying and harassment of staff." The article referred to the controversy surrounding the pub crawl, Carnage UK, as well as the banning of the rugby squads from Solus last month. From this, the newspaper concluded that students across Wales are involved in a 'catalogue of shame', and accused there of being criminality behind the 'respectable facade of the nation’s higher education industry'. Katie Dalton, President of NUS Wales, said: “We must remember that the vast majority of students are not violent, never threaten their tutors or fellow students, and contribute massive amounts intellectually, culturally

and financially to the university and local community. It is important that the acts of a minority do not overshadow the excellent work of the majority of students". Ms Dalton has written an open letter to Wales on Sunday to voice the concerns of Students' Unions across Wales where yet again the press choose to focus upon negativity at the expense of students. Michaela Neild, Academic and University Affairs Officer at Cardiff University, said: "The Wales on Sunday article irresponsibly presented an unfair and unrepresentative view of students that highlighted a relatively small number of incidents over three years, whilst ignoring the countless examples of the University's students contributing to their community, such as the Student-Police Initiative, where the Students' Union and the police work in partnership".


gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

06 NEWS

Remembrance Day respect Rachel Henson Reporter

PHOTO: ANGELA ABBOTT

On November 8 the Welsh National Service of Remembrance took place in Cathays Park, Cardiff. Military personnel and reserve forces joined together with veterans, politicians and members of the public in an act of remembrance to honour those lost in war. The Royal Welsh regimental band led the parade from King Edward VII Avenue, past Cardiff University buildings to the Welsh National War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens, where a service of remembrance was conducted by the Lord Mayor’s Chaplain, the Reverend Stewart Lisk. Members of the Welsh Universities Officer Training Corps were on parade alongside local army and sea cadets and 1344 (Cardiff) Squadron Air Training Corps. A two-minute silence began at the sound of gunfire from the 104 Air Defence Regiment RA (V) from Raglan Barracks and finished with the playing of the Last Post. Wreaths of poppies were placed at the memorial by representatives of each organisation present. The parade then marched around the park before performing a general salute in front of City Hall to the sound of public applause. Remembrance Sunday usually takes place on the second Sunday of November. This year it fell ahead of Armistice Day, November 11, when a silence is traditionally observed at 11 am. The parade was one of many taking place across the UK and offered people from all walks of life the opportunity to publicly pay respects to all who have lost their lives to war, and to those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces.

'Report cards' for graduates proposed Sarah Vaughan Reporter

Proposals to eventually replace the current degree award system with new ‘report cards’ have been put forward by Professor Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of Leicester University. ! "#$ % "& ' & ( ) "$ % "( #) #% * "#$ ) #"#$ % " number of university students receiv, has more than doubled in the past decade, leaving employers with the difficulty of distinguishing between the 300,000 students graduating each

year. In this new system, a report of approximately six A4 pages will be compiled to display a more in-depth description of the student’s achievements, inside and outside of their chosen degree. With plans to initially introduce the report cards alongside the traditional first, 2:1 and 2:2 classifications, the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) may, for example, comment on a student’s participation in university societies or extra-curricular activities, as well as providing a detailed breakdown of grades in individual modules.

Prof. Robert Burgess, who has lead the development of the report cards, claims it has been strongly supported by major companies, claiming that it is important to provide them with a “wide picture of the individual.” Backing these suggestions is Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters. He says: “Employers are very interested in the full experience students have of university. Running a university society, for example, does help a student develop important skills for the workplace. At present employers are limited by just having a mark like a 2:1. We

need to be patient with the existing classification, but I am optimistic that in the future we will have a better system in place.” The new system is currently being piloted in 18 universities around the UK, including Manchester, Leicester, Keele and University College London. These 18 institutions will be awarding their graduates a HEAR next summer, and hopefully, by the end of the 2012 semester, the system would have extended to every university in the UK, providing individual reports to all 1.2million graduates. Keele’s director of academic services, Dr Allan Howells, has com-

mented on behalf of the university saying: “We are keen to take part in the pilot. It is very important that we can accurately portray the achievements of students when they enter the job market.” The next couple of years will include crucial and final reviews of the Higher Education Achievement Reports, ensuring that the highly valued reputation of a UK honours degree will not be lost, but instead that graduates and potential employers will have a greater appreciation of students' achievements.


NEWS 07

a

You'll never guess what...

Rude tube

Passengers at West Ham tube station were left stunned as the sounds of a couple having sex broadcasted over the tannoy. Rather than hearing delay updates, commuters heard noises of lovemaking during the evening rush hour A Transport for London spokesman said it was “a result of some sort of interference”, adding, “it certainly wasn’t coming from our staff”. One passenger said a man was “grunting loudly” and that a woman “sounded like she was having a great time.” The loudspeakers were turned off once staff had realised.

Mini madness Holly Howe Reporter A Brazilian university has reversed its decision of expelling a student for wearing a short skirt. Geisy Arruda caused a literal riot after wearing a short mini dress to her Tourism lectures in Brazil's Bandeirante University (Uniban) . Hundreds of students flocked outside the lecture theatre to try and catch a glimpse of Geisy while some men even tried to fight her and take photos between her legs. Chants of “puta” meaning whore and “we want to rape her” could be heard during the chaos. In a video shown on YouTube you can see students climbing on each other’s shoulders in an attempt to see through lecture theatre windows be-

fore Geisy was finally escorted off the premises by the police. The University’s reaction to the event was to expel Ms Arruda and they took action by taking out an advert in Sao Paulo newspapers rather than contacting the student. The advert was titled "Educational Responsibility - Education Is Made With Attitude Not Complacency" and outlined the university’s reasons for their decision. The University’s lawyers also stated that Geisy was responsible for her harassment adding: "She always liked to provoke boys, the problem was not with her clothes, but the way she acts, talks, crosses her legs, and walks." The University’s decision to expel Gesiy Arruda was reversed this week. Ms Arruda’s lawyers have said that the only way she will return is with “some safety guarantees.”

A hole in one Emma McFarnon News Editor

The lingerie retailer, Triumph, have designed a new bra that doubles up as a golf putting mat. The green corset-style garment, designed to appeal to Japan's female golf lovers, can be removed and unrolled to create a 1.5m-long putting mat. When the user sinks a putt into one of the cups, a built-in speaker pumps out a congratulatory "Nice shot!" The bra also features pockets for extra golf balls and tees, and a detachable flag pin that serves as a score pencil. The bra set comes with a skirt with the words "Be Quiet" printed on the

Markered men Two failed burglars were arrested in the U.S after their disguises failed them. Matthew McNelly and Joey Miller were spotted trying to break into an apartment but scarpered when they realised they couldn’t get in. A witness was able to provide descriptions of the pair to the police, after their ‘masks’ were drawn on with black marker pen. Both sped off and were later spotted by local police who found two men with “mask-like scribbling” on their faces.

rear, which doubles up as a flag for use on the course. Quite how the user is supposed to do cover herself when she removes the underwear is unclear. Twice a year, Triumph unveils a new novelty bra in Japan to highlight social trends. The novelty bras are generally designed to raise awareness of an issue, rather than be worn regularly. Triumph claim that the Nice Cup in Bra is a response to the growing popularity of golf among Japanese women. In previous years the company have invented the postal bra – with pockets for letters – and a chopstick bra made from miso soup and a rice bowlholder for chopsticks.

Learner 4 life After 4 years of trying, a women from South Korea has finally passed her driving license written exam. 8 year-old Cha Sa-Soon spent approximately 4million won (£2,600) in the process. In her quest to pass, Sa-Soon soared in popularity, according to one official, who states, “not only agency employees but even some test-takers know her.” Despite taking a reported 950 attempts, Sa-Soon was upbeat, as she encourages “don’t give up your dream, [be] like me. Be strong and do your best.”

Bullet (proof) train Tim Hilhorst Reporter A South Korean intelligence report has revealed that the North Korean despot Kim Jong-Il uses six heavily armoured trains for travel. has been reported that Mr. JongIl suffers from aerophobia, or the fear of flying, which has resulted in his commissioning of the incredulous private train set. The discovery was made after a Seoul newspaper carried a story reveal-

ing that South Korea and Washington carried out intelligence missions that included satellite photography and other stealth operations. The 68-year-old travels in style with a 15-carriage train unit that is completely furbished to meet his needs. ! imesonline reported that it contains, 'conference suites, reception halls, opulent living quarters and satellite communications centres." It is in essence a mobile fortress for the totalitarian leader to travel around his isolated nation. On each journey the Dear Leader is pre-and proceeded by two other 15-

carriage trains. The first is to detect any mines and threats on the leaders route, and the later is filled with numerous bodyguards. It has been said over 100 security officers are employed for the safekeeping of the despot on any one journey. The excessive measures came into use after the explosion of a chemical carrier train killed 160 people in 2004. The explosion resulted after overhead cables ignited and set fire to the carriage. Rumours around an assassination attempt surfaced after news came to light that Kim Jong-Il had passed over

the very same tracks only hours earlier. The train unit will be used to carry out the leader’s domestic affairs such as inspecting military facilities and examining factories. The train tracks also run north into China, by which Mr. Jong-Il is able to conduct his sporadic travel abroad. The Dear Leader, however, does not like to travel much and it is thought that the major use of his private train set will be to travel to and from his secret mountain lairs, accessible only through underground railways.


PHOTO: Jamie Thunder

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08 OPINION

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! " # d! " # ! # ! $ % d& hanges from both sides of the tuition fees argument are flawed Phillipa Lewis Opinion Writer Amid warnings of a public backlash, Lord Mandelson last week launched a review of tuition fees to assess the amount of money that students will have to pay. Chaired by former BP chief Lord Browne, the review has been told to take into account widening participation in universities and the need to make information about the support available to students simpler. Currently the average graduate will leave university with £20,000 worth of debt, but this amount could increase ! wufiw" pnfi# £$ , making the prospect of ! for some simply unobtainable. Two thirds of Vice Chancellors have expressed the need to raise fees, suggesting costs of between £4,000 and £20,000 a year. Yet in the current economic climate, with students struggling with levels of debt, is it really feasible to advocate a hike in tuition fees? ! ! imes reported in July that the number of graduates left unemployed six months after finishing their degrees had risen by more than a third to 8.2%. Not a nice prospect at the best of times but imagine having a debt of £32,000 (without interest) to worry

about; a reality that students will have to face if tuition fees rise to £7,000. The aim of the government is purported to make university inclusive for everyone including those from less well off backgrounds, but the potential increase in fees has sparked concern about the willingness of many to attend university.

Higher fees could price poorer students out of top universities Indeed, these very worries were expressed in the wake of the 2006 introduction of top-up fees, yet university applicants rose, with an increase of 8% in the last year alone. However it should be realized that in normal times, never mind a prolonged recession, a 60% increase in fees proposed by some Vice Chancellors would unquestionably discourage those who wish to attend university from doing so. The NUS has described the review as a “costly stitch-up”, the last thing that students need in times of growing economic crisis. The very notion that people will consider attending university when it will leave them with a burden of huge debt and with dwindling job prospects is an unfea-

sible one which will result in universities being open only to those from wealthy backgrounds. Furthermore, increasing fees at any time - let alone in the current economic climate - face the very real possibility of pricing poorer students out of top universities, and in the words of NUS President Wes Streeting, “being confined to the bargain basement”. Increased tuition fees have the potential to leave the university application system as a ‘marketplace’ in which students are shopping for the affordability factor putting the emphasis on students as customers rather than learners and a focus on cost rather than content of degrees. Universities have reported a need to increase fees in an effort to remain competitive with their international counterparts but will increasing fees bring value for money or is it simply an attempt to bridge the gap from public funding cuts? When some courses provide as little as nine contact hours a week it is simply not justifiable to ask for £7000+ in tuition fees. Furthermore, if the tuition fees cap is lifted and universities are able to charge £7,000 for a course providing just nine hours contact a week, then what about the cost of those degrees which require more? Such astronomically high increases in fees undoubtedly take the choice of course

away from many students. For the average student a course that charges £7,000 in fees will be more preferential than one that charges £20,000. The domination of China and Japan in the technological export markets is no secret and thus Britain should be encouraging and supporting those who wish to enter into the world of science and engineering; not dumbing down and discouraging students while placing them under increasing financial pressure. Additionally, it is possible to conclude that with potentially less applicants universities could face a loss in income of today’s levels resulting in a fall of standards.

The 'marketplace' approach will put the focus on cost over content of degrees The NUS has proposed plans in which a university education should be free at the time of undertaking and graduates should give back to the system based upon how much they earn. The NUS claim that these proposals would double the amount of funding that the universities currently receive whilst allowing children of poorer families to go to university without

the fear of debt. Although in principle these proposals seem to address the matter of both university funding and the levels of debt it is important to realise the wider issue at stake. Surely under this proposed system those who do well would be punished by having to pay the price of those who do not. Why should the high achievers have to pay the most and effectively give some a free ride through university? The findings of the review are to be released after the next general election, most probably to avoid a public backlash over the issue. It is clear that any government decisions to increase tuition fees run the risk of serious repercussions both with public and party discontent. The introduction of fees of £1,000 back in 1998 sparked student demonstrations in 14 towns and the 2006 introduction of top up fees led Tony Blair to face his biggest backbench rebellion when he only managed to pass the policy by five votes. Considering this, the public outcry over potentially limitless fees is surely inevitable; a prospect only made more real but the findings of the NUS which show that only 12% of the public think that the review should even consider raising fees.


OPINION 09

gair OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Climate change isn't a religion; it's real freewords EDITORIAL

Environmental officers should not be sacked for their green beliefs Emma Davies Opinion Writer Believing in climate change is not the same as believing in God. Environmentalism is not a religion; it is not a philosophical belief. However, it seems that the law is not on my side with regard to this matter - though the law does seem somewhat vague to those not well-versed in legalese. A precedent was set last week by employment judge David Sneath, who ruled that former environmental policy officer Tim Nicholson’s commitment to the environment was equivalent to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations. So now you can complain about being discriminated against for being an environmentalist much in the same way as you can for being a Christian or a Muslim. Nicholson claims that he was made redundant from his post as property behemoth Grainger PLC’s head of sustainablity as a result of his beliefs on climate change. He has asserted in court that the company’s actions are not in line with its environmental policy, and that any attempts of his to change this were

thwarted by other board members.

Being green is not based on belief, it's based on fact While it may have been annoying for executives to have this thorn in their side forever needling them about the pollution caused by their cars or the carbon impact of their frequent flying (although having

someone fly your forgotten Blackberry out to you in Ireland most definitely constitutes wielding your power irresponsibly), by no means should he have been given the boot for it. After all, it’s what Nicholson was employed to do. A head of sustainability is, presumably, there to do something vaguely positive in terms of the environment. Maybe it’s a post which a lot of companies do only fill for image benefits - green is the new black, after all - but Grainger do seem

to have been particularly blatant about the fact that Nicholson was only there for the sake of window-dressing. The poor man was only trying to do his job, and nobody should be discriminated against for that. It’s obviously a job which he truly believed in, as well. He claims that his ecological concerns affect “my choice of home, how I travel, what I buy, what I eat and drink, what I do with my waste and my hopes and my fears.” It has a deep effect upon his life. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a philosophical belief. I’m with the prosecution here, in their argument that a belief in climate change is one based on science and fact. Nicholson’s particular commitment to this belief does not suddenly render it philosophical, and certainly does not put it on a par with religion. Yes, Nicholson’s dismissal was arguably a wrongful and unfair one, but that’s because he was only doing what he was supposed to. Do your bit for the environment all you want just don’t try to tell me that it’s akin to a higher being.

! ! ! ! ! eal problem with immigration ! " #

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Alex Evans Opinion Writer Immigration into this country is out of control. All these foreigners are coming into our nation, taking our jobs and freeloading off our NHS system, all because their homelands are a bit rubbish. We had to endure hardships in the war, and you didn’t see us proud White-British folk running off to another land. ! ell, that’s what the BNP would ! " # $ you think. Nick Griffin, that in imitably stupid, massive racist masquerading as a serious party leader wants us to believe that the Poles are taking over, our homeland is being invaded by Jonny Foreigner and that we’ll all be in a dreadful minority, being enslaved by non-British nationals by next Tuesday. The reality, however, is rather different. Immigration into Britain is quickly on the decline. In fact, between 2007 and 2008 alone, legal migration into Britain fell by a staggering 44%, a reduction in numbers of almost a hundred thousand. No prizes for guessing why. Labour’s economic incompetence, for

$ ' ration only leads to added support for the BNP lack of a much stronger word, has plunged this nation into a state of torrid depression. Sales of everything are down. Companies are going bust, from the small fish of the fish and chip shops right up to the big fry; the likes of Woolworths and Zavvi. Job opportunities are nigh on non-existent. But we know all this. Unless your primary accommodation has been beneath a rock for the past two years, it’s clear that something’s been amiss. However, could it be possible that for all of these (numerous) failings, Labour has managed to do something right?

Let's be clear here, I think Gordon Brown has all the charm of a bowl of dry oats Let’s be clear here, I think that Gordon Brown has all the charm, charisma and leadership qualities of a bowl of dry oats and Labour’s organisation since 2007 has been shambolic at best. I will concede, however, that due in part to Home Office reforms and largely to the government’s massive

economic ineptitude, immigration into Britain has been brought under control in the last few years. Immigration was never really a problem to begin with, granted. Certainly, it was at best a small concern; should we have continued to home hundreds of thousands of people every year (and we still might), there is the slight chance that our economy, our welfare and our healthcare systems would buckle under the sudden, increased strain. Yet this didn’t happen before and it certainly isn’t about to happen now. But really, all this just begs the question – why are Labour so scared to talk about it? Home Secretary Alan Johnson this week called for a debate on immigration, suggesting that a change in the party’s attitudes was perhaps afoot. It probably was just a one-off, however. Labour have shied away from the big immigration question for many years. In the run-up to the 2001 elections, party members were banned from even mentioning the issue in their manifestos. This is a real issue for the Labour party. Even if it is conceded that immigration was always somewhat a phantom issue (which it is), an exag-

gerated problem jumped on by racists to fuel institutionalised hate (hello, Mr. Griffin), the reduction in numbers of migrants entering the U.K. is something which Labour can use to their advantage. Immigration not a real issue? Well, it definitely isn’t now. Don’t like foreigners? You’re in luck (though a racist). It’s a win- sort of win situation.

Even if it is a somewhat phantom issue, it is real for the Labour party It seems, though, that even in doing this one thing that could win them popular support - reducing immigration (even if that was the result the implosion of our economy by doing everything else wrong), Labour have still mucked it all up by avoiding the issue for some reason. That’s like winning the lottery and losing your ticket down the back of the sofa. Even when Labour win, they just let themselves lose.

Est. 1972

There have been some exciting developments since my last editorial. The gair rhydd news team have been getting their weekly podcasts underway, and I’ve finally worked out how to put them on the website, so they’re there now for you to listen to and comment on. You can also subscribe to the podcast at http://www.gairrhyddnews. podbean.com. Every week, the news team and I will be discussing the latest front page stories and controversies in student news. This week: the Summer Ball debate. After all, the event will go ahead unchanged, despite the fact that it might incur losses of up to £50,000. We’d like to know what you think. Tell us at www.gairrhydd.com. Word has also been spreading over the past week about several alleged sexual assaults in Cathays. Whether these attacks are just rumours or have merely gone unreported, we don’t know, but the Police say they are not aware of any incidents. Nonetheless, I think students should at least be aware. Please see the front page for more information. The Additional Licensing training for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) also took place this week. The new licensing means that landlords will have to fulfil certain criteria in order to let HMOs – which covers most of the houses in Cathays. The programme aims to eliminate bad landlords by imposing fines (of up to £20,000) for failure to comply with the regulations. The conditions of the licence include adequate fire safety provisions, tidy house fronts, removal of building waste and unwanted furniture, to name but a few. It also notes that houses with five or more people should have a bathroom and separate WC, among other things, which I know for a fact is not the case in a number of student houses in Cathays – in my own house for one! However, landlords are required to pay for a licence – up to £600 – which makes me think that some landlords (and we know there are some dodgy ones out there) will go to great lengths to stay beneath the radar, which means that some houses will remain sub-standard. The scheme also proposes that landlords, or property managers, will be assessed to ensure that they are fit and proper to practice. This includes carrying out a criminal background check, which will, no doubt, expose some bogus landlords in Cathays. The scheme will improve the standards of student living in Cathays, but students need to get behind it. Fill out this quick housing survey http:// surveys.cardiff.gov.uk/hmo/english to tell the council about your experiences in student housing.

Corrections

Huw Alun Foulkes wrote the article ‘Yr amser i gwestiynu’ in Taf-od last week, not Cadi Mai.


10 OPINION

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Howlin' mad Murdoch Ruper

h's plans to block google searches for news are ludicrous and outdated

Zoe Bridger Opinion Writer ou know there s something rotten in Denmark when Rupert Murdoch makes a loss. The media mogul who pumps news journalism into the world s economy has been unable to avoid the economic slump and the accessibility of news stories on the internet. So, he’s come up with a plan (although sadly, he seems to be a bit more ‘Pinky’ than ‘the Brain’): he wants to charge consumers to surf his newspapers’ websites (The Sun, The News of the World, The Times), and is encouraging other media groups to follow suit. He even goes so far as to say that he wants to block all of his stories from google searches, thus stopping people typing in a topic and reading all about it for free. This seems like a predictable (albeit problematic) idea, and one can see why he’s panicking. Newspaper journalism is a dying form. With so many people logging on to the internet every day, we are bombarded with headlines and quirky news stories. I ,for one, enjoy the effortlessness of! Yahoo’s top stories; ‘click here to watch the video’, ‘click here for a link to the BBC website for more news’. Wow, I don’t even need to leave the house, let alone get out of bed. However, this is having a severe effect on the newspaper world, and I understand poor old Rupert’s predic-

posed scheme is a good idea. It has more flaws in it than a Gordon Brown condolence letter. And personally, I think the accessibility of the headline stories (or any stories for that matter) online is a revolutionary cultural progression. We are all bang up to date on what is happening in the world. Hell, we don’t even need to be in the country to know what is going on. We are like super human news reading machines.

ament. Why would people bother to walk to their local shop to pay for a newspaper whose content is online, for free? But Rupert; equally, why would anyone read stories on a website they have to pay for, when other websites are free? A major news website that is and will probably always remain free is BBC News. Okay, so we pay our licence fee (well, some people do) and therefore we have in some sense paid for it, but nonetheless it is an up to the minute, informative website, which is all importantly, free.

Someone needs to tell Grandpa Murdoch that the world evolves

Murdoch's plan has more ! aws than a Gordon Brown condolence letter If Murdoch blocks Google searches to his newspaper websites, the result will be that less people are directed to his websites ! " the first ! " # $ $ % And, even if in some warped world, every single newspaper website starts to charge for content, there will probably still be one clever inventor who creates a website that is free - using money from advertising - and thus stealing all of the custom anyway. It seems that Mr Murdoch is a little behind the times (no pun intended) if he thinks that his pro-

Look at the protests over the Israeli elections in June. People were sending videos via YouTube and Facebook of the protests that had otherwise been blocked by the country itself. People wrote on their Facebook pages; “Today you are the news. It is your duty to report.” The internet adds a whole new element to the news. It is more up to the minute than ever. It is more accessible than ever and surely a man at the centre of the world’s news can come up with a slightly brighter idea than alienating his customers and charging them to view his websites. Someone needs to tell Grandpa Murdoch that the world evolves. Things never stay the same forever, and if newspaper journalism is a dy-

RUPERT MURDOCH: out of touch?

Caving in on MP reforms? They're only human... Chris Williams Opinion Writer The controversy over MP’s expenses has re-emerged this week after reports revealing Sir Ian Kennedy has caved in to MP pressure over system reforms. This means that MPs would still be allowed to employ their spouses and family members. The police always say to members of the public, “Ignorance isn’t an excuse for breaking the law,” so why do people who sit in Parliament get away with telling the press that they “didn’t know that they couldn’t claim certain expenses”? I am, like many of you, fed up of hearing about the amount of money MPs have stolen from the public. It’s getting slightly boring - dog food and tampons are funny things to have been claimed the first time you hear it, but time and time again and with more and more mundane things being charged to the general public you just get a little pissed off. Both major parties have agreed that there will be reforms for the MPs’ expenses, but I’ve got to ask: Why was such a system created in the first place? Who in their right mind would

approve a system that meant that you could claim for a second house, a third house, cleaning a moat? The only people I could approving it are the MPs themselves. Give people a little bit of power and they’ll just abuse it. Particularly if that power involves thousands and thousands of pounds which are ‘free to claim’.

We should be annoyed at the system, not the MPs What really hacks me off though is the public response. People have been moaning and moaning about how MPs shouldn’t have claimed so much money and how wrong it was. But really, isn’t the problem that they’ve been able to fleece us and get away with not telling us what they’ve been spending our money on for years? Shouldn’t we be annoyed at the system they’ve been working in? MPs are only human after all, (though if you read the Daily Mail, then you’d believe that they’re subhuman scum who are letting too many immigrants into this country who are working in a system where they’ve been told they can take money that isn’t theirs... Wouldn’t you

or I or anyone else be tempted to take advantage? If someone at your job came up to you and said, “Gordon, fill in this form and you can claim more money than you deserve. I mean, you earn enough already and you’re not particularly good at your job - look at the economic recession… In fact, how about you pay your brother £6,577 for arranging for someone to clean your Westminster flat... for 26 months?” You’d probably reply; “Ok, I’m not very good at my job - and I do know how to clean, but Jesus! A free cleaner just by filling in a form, that’s a must!” So, reforming the MP expenses system is unquestionably a good idea. However, now they’re planning on going back on their promises. Hang on…Labour going back on their word? Now where have I heard that before... Wives and children could still be employed by MPs, Sir Ian Kennedy is doubting that politicians should be forced to hand back capital gains made on properties. How about we go the whole hog and just release bags and bags of money into the Commons - like the end of the Crystal Maze, but with

suits? In fact, I’ve got a tenner in my pocket - does Gordon Brown want that as well? Maybe that would mean he wouldn’t have to claim for buying some of his daily shopping. I reckon that all these reforms wont even matter. MPs need some accountability for their actions: there needs need to be some transparency. Until some concrete reforms are put in

place, MPs will still try and fleece us.

What do you think? Have your say at www.gairrhydd.com

We shouldn't be suprised that MPs are trying to get out of reforms


a rhydd | TAFOD@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MAY 18 2009

TAF-OD 23


12 COLUMNIST

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

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

Democracy is dead. D T

his week, as you probably know, was the twentieth anniversary of one of the most important moments of the twentieth century: the fall of the Berlin wall. As iconic as D-Day, the photos of thousands of Berliners chipping away at the wall, before surging through to unite with their estranged brothers, hugging perfect strangers: it is a beautiful image. A real symbol of hope. I wonder what the people who were there on that momentous day must think of the world now, given what else has dominated the headlines in the past fortnight. It must be a really crushing thought. Perhaps this fortnight will be remembered someday, for the moment democracy died. In Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai was declared President after a mockery of an election that was marred with fraud. The Presidency was handed to Mr Karzai after his only opponent, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, pulled out of the race, due to Karzai’s refusal to make the election process fairer. Reports of Karzai’s rigging of the election have been as disgusting as they are rife; thousands of his votes were declared fraudulent and discounted. In some areas, the poll boxes weren’t even opened to the public, but still returned with 100% attendance; every one had ticked the box for Karzai.

Excuse my candour, but what the fuck is going on with the world? This appalling anecdote is just one of thousands of such incidents. Surely this injustice won’t be allowed to stand in a country full of NATO soldiers, being rebuilt by the West after going on half a decade of terror and war? So you would think, but no. The day after the results, both President Obama and our own Gordon Brown personally rang Mr Karzai to congratulate him on his victory. To congratulate him. Another potentially history-making event that grabbed headlines this week was the Lisbon Treaty finally being ratified. It is a massive step for the EU that, among other things, will mean a greater level of power in Brussels. In particular, it will create a new The

Two hopeful Afghans cast their vote...but it didn't matter position of EU President, a potentially hugely influential figure on the world political stage. Suggested candidates include our own Tony Blair, although his election seems highly unlikely, due to his unpopular image in much of the EU as a war mongerer. What is again striking about this legislation is that it was passed without any sense of democracy, in the genuine sense of the term. In three countries, a referendum was held on whether to sign the Treaty. In every country, they said no. The Treaty failed. And yet, here we are. Labour refused to hold a referendum over an issue that could potentially change EU law that will affect us as EU citizens. David Cameron was criticized this week about going back on his promise to hold a referendum, but in reality it is out of his hands. You can’t hold a referendum over a passed EU law. Excuse my candour, but what the fuck is going on with the world? Where has our sense of justice gone? Who killed democracy? How can this

be going on in the world against the free will of, well, just about everyone? Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Eurosceptic. As any frequenter of these pages will know, I’m all for integration with Europe, and the rest of the world for that matter. No, what I am concerned about is the increasing sense among those in power that we, the people, don’t matter. To them, we are a tick on a piece of paper that puts them in control. Hell, if we don’t tick the paper, they will just engineer the

To politicians, we don't matter. To them, we are a tick on a piece of paper vote to say we have. It’s not just in war torn countries that this is happening, it’s happening right here. People forget the 2000

Florida votes scandal, which in the eyes of many cheated Al Gore out of the Presidency. Last year’s US election was again steeped in controversy after states votes were ignored in the Democratic primaries due to things as trivial as timing discrepancies. For god’s sake: even our own embattled Prime Minister wasn’t even voted into power – he merely inherited his position from an elected candidate. And yet, almost two years later, we are still waiting for a general election to be announced. Still, you know the thing that is most striking? Nobody seems to care. I bet most of you reading this had either forgotten, or didn’t know, many of the issues highlighted above. Do we, as a people, just not care anymore? In the twenty years since the fall of the wall, have we been so disillusioned with politics, indeed life, that we just take controversy like this in our stride? A stride that takes us from the computer screen to the sofa, to numb our minds with another week

of The X Factor? Hell, at least that’s fucking democratic. Still, perhaps everything isn’t lost. This week, a friend of mine launched a Facebook campaign to find the owner of a camera found on a night out in Cardiff. Through word of mouth, and more than a little kindness of heart, the owner of the camera was reunited with her lost possession. Now there’s a Kodak moment. Perhaps there is hope for us yet. When the BNP were on question time, I was amazed to see the passion of people rising up to condemn them. Every week, we are inspired at gair rhydd by the number of people who get involved both in writing and commenting on the website. Twenty years ago, a wall fell and it changed the world. On that day, many of our world leaders were themselves in their twenties, studying at university and dreaming of a better future. The world may be bleak at the moment, but the people around us give us hope. Someday, it’ll be down to us.


gair

TAF-OD 23


14 FEATURES

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

I'm not religious...

...but I am a Christian. In Features this week one Cardiff student challenges the usual stereotype of a Christian at University Will Stokes Features Writer

you have little or no desire to drink ridiculous amounts or to sleep with every member of the opposite sex you come into contact with, for the simple reason that you no longer need those things to feel fulfilled. Apart from anything else, you also realise quite simply that following the status quo is seriously overrated. I have always found it ironic that Christians, who believe that it is wrong to make false judgements about people, are often found to be doing plenty of judging themselves. I cannot understand some Christians in the ‘Bible belt’ of the US (Mississippi, Alabama and so on) sporting signs saying ‘GOD HATES FAGS’ and ‘ABORTION CLINICS ARE EVIL’. What an abomination of a faith that claims to preach love. University is hyped up to be ‘the

If I wasn’t a Christian, I’m pretty sure I know what kind of response I would expect from someone writing a piece on being a Christian at university. ‘Being a Christian at university is really hard because sometimes people want to give you alcoholic drinks and things like that and I don’t know if that’s a good thing because I’ve never been drunk before because it’s evil and also some people might want to kiss me or even have sex with me but that’s evil too and they’ll get pregnant and I’ll catch a disease and die, and sometimes I get nervous about telling people that I’m a Christian, just in case they start talking about evolution and things like that, and although people say church is boring I enjoy the hymns and the sermon and the tea afterwards and I try to get people from uni to come along sometimes but for some reason they just aren’t interested and prefer to enjoy having a hangover and are probably going to hell anyway so it serves them right…’

Some things in life, like Christianity, will always be seen as uncool

The socks and sandals wearing Christian is a rare breed these days The fact is though that the classic socks and sandals wearing, ‘you’re going to hell’ preaching, tea drinking, tee-total, hymn-humming Christian is a rare breed these days - an endangered species even. True, you will find them in particular hangouts if you look hard enough, but to me such people have never done a very good job of ‘selling the product’ of religion, which is not only the wrong thing to be doing but also bound to be unsuccessful. People seem to think that Christians are constantly trying to get you to ‘join their club’ or ‘buy into this whole great Jesus thing!’ However, if I may say, I believe that this is not the case, for the simple reason that Christianity is neither a club nor a product. So, this piece is about being a Christian at university, and Cardiff University in particular. What is there? Firstly, there’s the Christian Union. It meets in the Great Hall on Wednesday evenings, and is a genuinely chilled out place to be; just good people meeting together and talking about things that matter. There’s also some music, with anti-hymns played on guitars that, even for a music snob like myself, take one to a place that traditional hymns seem to keep at arm’s length. There’s also more throughout the week; smaller groups

LADS: Belief in Jesus isn't all Bibles and sandals meet in halls and flats on a regular basis to chat about the big issues and eat pizza; there are less-hippy-than-theysound house gigs for up-and-coming musicians (the ‘oh, they might actually go somewhere’ kind of musicians), socials, charity auctions and even the odd night at Buffalo (yes, the one with the big neon ‘WHAT THE FUCK?’ sign. Controversial? We think so too). At university, all first-years seem to undergo a crash-course in forced conversations, and gap years inevitably come up in these pointless exchanges. It’s always interesting talking to people about my gap year, where the inevitable question will be ‘what did you do for it?’. I’ll tell them truthfully that I lived in Boston, Massachusetts, interning with a youth ministry which ran outreach projects and events for middle and high school aged kids, culminating in a series of summer camps at the end of the year. The question which naturally follows is always "so, uh, do you believe in God and all that…?" to which I will answer in the affirmative. This is where the conversation gets interesting, because the range of responses

one gets upon disclosing this information is brilliant. Of course, many people are perfectly happy with this- I mean, it’s not as if I’m telling them I’m a neo-Nazi - but personally my favourite response is the assumption that I think that evolutionary science is complete rubbish and that dinosaurs and all the rest of it never existed. Why is it that to be a Christian

Most people are fine when I say I'm a Christian - it's not like I'm saying I'm a neo-Nazi you have to be a creationist? I’m not knocking folk who do believe that Adam and Eve were real people, but at the same time I feel that the general perception is that Christians dismiss science like a bad theory, when in fact a huge number of scientists themselves are believers. A variation on the above mentioned

question is, "so are you religious?" To this I’ll answer in the resounding negative. This often prompts confusion, and rightly so; until relatively recently, religiosity has been part and parcel with Christianity. I would not call myself religious though, nor do I subscribe to a denomination. In fact, I’m sure I am less religious than a great many people who have no belief whatsoever in God. The word ‘religion’ means literally ‘to constrict’, and it is a sad thing that often the radical meaning of Christianity is lost in the realms of ceremony and often boring church services. I think that if you believe that God actually exists, that the Bible tells the truth, then you should be aching to escape from the constraints of dulled down religion; from the pathetic squabbles between divisions in the church and the bullshit of whether you’re allowed to be confirmed or not. Surely you should allow it to have an actual, tangible effect on your life; allow it to be real. This is where the real fundamentals come in to play, because for a Christian, when you realise that this is the real deal, you suddenly find that

best years of your life, where suddenly kids can drink all they want without the parental eye watching over them, and take charge of their own lives. "Be anything you want to be" seems to be the motto of coming to university. The trouble is, surely you can be anything you want to be at any stage of your life? My parents, it seems, are still working out who they want to be. There will always be things in life that are seen as being uncool, and I believe that Christianity is one of them. I have a theory though, which is the reason Christianity is so uncool at school and university is that it might actually be true. I have friends who believe all sorts of crazy things, and it’s interesting to observe people’s reactions to such beliefs. These are often along the lines of "yeah, man, believe what you want to believe, that’s totally cool…" but the moment somebody mentions that they believe in the God of the Bible, the tone changes. Here we have something that many people, consciously or not, actually find quite threatening, not least due to the fact that there are people willing to be seen as pretty uncool just to let everyone know what they believe. A good example is the kind folk handing out bottles of ‘holy water’ by the steps of the Student Union on Friday nights, when they could quite easily be out somewhere else. Who knows? Personally, I think that uncool is coming back. I think that the age of cool might be coming to an end, and when it does, God help us all.


FEATURES 15

gair

Perv on patrol

Sexual harrassment has unfortunately become part and parcel of a night out for most young women. But what if it's the police? Kayleigh Toyra Features Writer Recently I was surprised when I was inappropriately shouted at by a police officer driving by in his squad car, whilst walking back from a night out at the Student Union’s 'The Lash' on Wednesday October 14. I was walking home with another female student after a good night out, just after the closing of the Student Union, and the short journey ahead the two of us before getting home to bed seemed relatively unthreatening and uneventful.

Initially I had felt reassured and protected by the sight of a police car... Initially, I had merely felt a sense of vague comfort when I spotted the police car on patrol; walking back home behind the Union to get to Senghennydd Court, accompanied by only one female friend, I felt protected and immediately safer at the sight of the reassuring police car colours. There were not a lot of other people about at that time and I think everyone can relate to the feeling of walking back at night when you feel slightly exposed, and seeing the police at a time like that can be quite reassuring despite the fact that you aren’t in any immediate danger. You can imagine my surprise when someone shouted at me, quite unexpectedly, from the squad car “No carpet burns for you tonight then, love!” (Insinuating that I would have had sex with any male person I was walking home with, but that sadly tonight, my voracious sexual appetite for late night, on the floor encounters would not be satisfied as I wandered home with my friend.) I was taken aback, as nothing similar to this had ever happened to me before and I also started to feel quite annoyed about this out of place comment. Aren’t these very same police officers supposedly responsible for protecting us students as we walk home at night? Shouldn’t they be concerned for our wellbeing and safety as we walk (even stumble) home, often inadequately dressed and possibly drunk? Not only is there that element of supposed pro-

tection from the police that makes this comment so unprofessional, but surely these police officers should also possess a more mature and wholesome attitude towards seeing scantily clad students heading home after a night out, instead of reacting like hormonal teenagers or drunken lads? It is true that on previous occasions men have shouted at and said rude and inappropriate comments to me and my friends on nights out; I think that this has sadly become rather expected and these events usually leave me unphased and often unsurprised. However, this time these men were not just some drunken men ‘on the pull’ or a rowdy group of friends hanging about egged on by each other and drink; rather professional police officers doing their job of ‘protect and serve’. I don’t really see how shouting at women as they walk down the street at night from the squad car fits into this… Whilst discussing this unfortunate incident with fellow students another similar, recent one was brought to my attention by some first year women living near me. A police squad car had initially driven past them and then done an illegal U-turn to come back round and chat with them. We must only hope no actual crime was being commit-

ted in Cardiff at that time. The girls were returning to Senghennydd after a night out in town, all dressed up for hitting the clubs, and were acting lively as they headed home. The chat the police officers had with the girls had been in itself quite innocuous, along the lines of “did you ladies have a good night?” and some comments on the dancing one of them had been doing on the street just seconds earlier were made.

Surely these police officers shouldn't be reacting like drunken lads or hormonal teens? Now this all sounds pretty friendly, yet I wonder what had actually motivated these men to talk to these girls? Public safety or something else? Curiosity? Concern? Maybe driving around at night surrounded by all these young women in skirts and heels just

got too much for the officers and they decided to ‘join in’, despite the fact that their students days are now behind them and they have an important job. They should be focusing on that instead of chatting up women. There are appropriate times for approaching a group of young women ‘for a chat’ but maybe as police patrol the streets at night to ensure the safety of the general public they should be focusing on other, more pressing issues? Now I don’t think anyone objects to a friendly chat, and if police officers do want to interact with the general public and students more then I think that is a great idea and it is something that should definitely be encouragedas long as the communication is done in a positive and constructive way (and as long police officers are still ultimately focused on their important job). Being shouted at and treated like a slag as you walk home is neither a positive nor a constructive way of interacting with the police, and I do not think that the officer here set an appropriate example for other men roaming the streets of Cardiff. Police officers are charged with taking care of civil order and maintaining the peace and I believe that they should strive to set a good example to all citizens by having a

friendly, yet professional, attitude towards students. I understand that there have also been problems caused by drunken students' antics and that officers have had to intervene to calm people down after tempers flair or things are taken too far by drunken students, yet nonthreatening (even vulnerable) members of the student body definitely deserve the benefit of their doubt and fair treatment.

Being shouted at and treated like a slag isn't a positive way of interacting with the police Previous interactions I have had with police officers have always been appropriate and professional and nothing along the lines of being shouted at from a squad car, so I think that it is fair to say that usually police officers do behave in a more professional and appropriate manner. Let’s hope that these sorts of incidents stay relatively rare and that male and female students can continue to feel protected by our law enforcement services, and not threatened or demeaned, as we hit the streets of Cardiff.

P3RV3RT


16 FEATURES

gair

FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

How to fail your degree Some of you should be doing your dissertation right now. gair rhydd reveals how to avoid this blot in your social calendar... Robin Morgan Features Editor Right, your deadline is looming over you like a... loom, I guess. Months and days and hours and minutes have been wasted talking to your housemate on Facebook and watching Beyonce Clown on YouTube. Get it together. It’s your degree. Or, sack it off. Here’s how. The important thing to remember is this: you need distractions. Feasible and important distractions. Ones that will distract other people. These infections will soon rule your existence. But in a good way. You also need a system, an intricate web of lies and propaganda that will cover your tracks from any authority figures. Think of yourself as James Bond, but not as clever. And you’re angry about that. So to get him back, the dick, you’re going to have a bit of fun. I bet he was sitting at home on a Friday night at Eton, our ‘Wee Jimmy Bond’. He was probably the one who pissed the bed on a school trip in Year 8. See, we’re better than him. Let’s continue.

I don't want to do my dissertation. I'll get a girlfriend instead This web of lies should represent vague answers to common questions. “How’s work coming along?” “Great.” See, flawless. “Still busy with work?” “Oh hells yeah.” Genius. “What findings have been the most poignant in this case?” “...shit.” So with that prelude, we come to:

Rule $: Know your limits. Not in a kind of ‘wheey I had three pints last night wheey’ attitude. But in regards to questioning. Eventually you will get caught out. So don’t get too cocky. Use your considerable years of education to lie your way out of getting caught lying. Read that sentence again. It’s a tricky one. Popular examples include: “I’m re-thinking my question and its intricate wording”; and “Shut your face”. Smooth. These rules should help you out in one of two ways. Obviously, they’ll help you not do your dissertation, and therefore fail your degree. You’re welcome.

Secondly, they’ll stop you sounding pretentious. It is physically impossible not to sound pretentious when talking about your dissertation topic or question. Try it. People will nod but secretly they think you’re a dick. It’s true.

It's impossible not to sound pretentious when talking about your dissertation Now, onto these distractions. Some are more fun than others, of that much is true. But all are useful, in the grand scheme of things. Imagine it like X Factor; we all know Danni Minogue is rubbish, and questionably even a human being, but she’s there to gain these kind of reactions. Useful in the grand scheme of things. So learn these, make them your gospel. But not literally, I don’t want to piss off the big guy. (The big guy’s my dissertation supervisor, by the way).

Rule ": Get a girlfriend. You may already have one. If that's the case, well done. Stop bragging. But a spouse is the perfect, eternal distraction. Especially as all women are crazy. That's fact. I've always wondered why I haven't been able to bag a lady (maybe because I use the phrase 'bag a lady'), but then it hit me. I didn't need one. Sure I was lonely, but that's fine! It's part of my image! But now, hell, I don't want to do my dissertation. As interesting as the topic is, it's fairly depressing researching genocide day in day out (...and then I start on my dissertation - boom boom). So maybe a girlfriend would be less depressing. Who knows. I would go on the prowl (in the sense that any non-alpha male can 'prowl'), and see if I could indeed find a companion. But that's another story for another day.

Rule !: Write a play/novel/film/song/letter – be creative! Don’t waste your time reading journals, who is that really going to help?

Apart from the author, who probably fills his wank-bank with the number of people who have stumbled across his dated essay on how he got his dog to cook breakfast. (Disclaimer: I, for one, would read that article) The amount of time you can physically waste on these fruitless activities is incredible. Try it. Write a film. You'll be 10,000 words before you even know it. Submit that when your deadline looms - maybe it'll get picked up by Danny Dyer. Or maybe you'll utterly fail your degree. Either or.

Rule %: Win the lottery – when everything’s getting too real, I go into lottery-land. Basically, buy a ticket, and no matter how large the jackpot is (go for Euromillions for added suspense), utterly and religiously convince yourself you’re going to win. Now plan. Plan what you’ll buy, plan how much you’ll give to charity. Surprise one of those charity workers in town by actually signing up to give them a grand a day. You’ll probably get a cuddle, at least. I constantly get too emotionally involved when I gamble. I become so full of self-belief that I consider it a slight against me when I inevitably lose. And so the depression begins. But don't let that stop you.

Rule #: Career prospects. A personal favourite of mine. This one is good because it actually relies on the dissertation that you’re currently not doing. Oh, the irony. I bet you feel like a right knob. Sort out work experience. Postgraduate Open Days. Anything that can delay you living in the real world a bit longer. Go travelling. Teach English, even if you barely have a grasp on it! Live a little. Then write about your experiences (see Rule 3). See, this thing can go full circle. I can take this inspirational tour on the road.

MARE: The pain of dressing like it's 1996

Rule &: Well then. What can I say. You've done very well to get this far. Personally I would've stopped reading this by now, due to the level of guilt that surely is running through your veins right now. You

should honestly be doing some work now. But so should I, so here it is. The final rule is: document your failings. This is my example. I've spent good time writing this feature, all as a distraction from the depression of a dissertation. And by God if it hasn't been worth it. The light is currently fading, and an evening of work awaits, like a disgruntled lover who catches you coming back from a visit to Twice as Nice (that may also link in to the same story as me 'bagging a lady' if you're interested...) But is doesn't matter. I've got all this procrastination out of the way. And in eight months time, maybe I'll be as smug as that character on the left. In reality, of course, I won't. I'll be too busy talking to Danny Dyer about his role in my new dissertation epic, released 2011.

SMUG: he graduated with honours, but without friends


gairrhydd | TAFOD@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MAY 18 2009

TAF-OD 23


18 POLITICS

gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Taking care of business As Barack Obama's healthcare reforms complete one step on their journey towards reality, Sophie Spence has a bit of a look

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or decades US Democrats have sought to provide universal health cover and their dream could soon be realised. Last Saturday night Barack Obama’s proposed healthcare reform bill scraped through and was passed by the House of Representatives. The bill was passed by 220 votes to 215. Although this is a narrow victory, it is a huge milestone nonetheless. Cheers erupted as Nancy Pelosi, the house speaker, declared the victory. It is President Obama’s first significant domestic victory of his presidency.

Obama's reforms aim to provide healthcare for 96% of US citizens Large parts of the health industry will be transformed by the new healthcare package, which currently accounts for a sixth of the US economy. People with pre-existing medical conditions will benefit as private insurers will no longer be able to deny them cover or drop it altogether when people become ill. The Bill also includes a government-run health insurance option to provide competition to private insurers. Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms aim to provide affordable healthcare to 96% of US citizens. Considering the 2008 figures stated that 47 million people were uninsured and with the American population climbing to well over 300 million this would be a mon-

umental achievement for the Obama taxes. In the United States health care American healthcare system need administration and would be well facilities are largely owned and oper- such reform and why during the sumworth the cost. Overall the Bill would ated by the private sector. Health in- mer were Americans all over the press provide cover for an additional 36 mil- surance is primarily provided by the bad-mouthing our NHS system? The lion Americans by 2019. Of those left private sector and citizens need to answer, greedy, media spinning, Rewithout insurance, even after reform, take out insurance in order to have af- publicans. Both parties are currently approximately a third would be made fordable access to healthcare with the running television adverts to promote up of illegal immigrants. The package exception of programs such as Medi- their causes, the Republicans reportis to be paid for by increasing tax by care and Medicaid. If US citizens do ing that a vote for the health reform 5.4% but only on individuals earn- not have insurance then they can end is a vote to stay in the economic reing more than $500,000 a year and up with bills worth thousands of dol- cession. Over summer, Republicans repeatlars for just a broken on famiarm. Ambulances cost edly bad mouthed the UK health syslies with a on average $500 a tem scaring many American citizens combined time. With a third of in to being against change. The Britincome of American citizens liv- ish public were outraged that Amerimore than ing under the poverty cans believed the heavily exagger$1 million. line how have the gov- ated and twisted NHS statistics from Obviously reernment taken so long biased Republican media sources. A publicans are lot of Americans are still ignoto pass this bill for completely rant of the benefits a system healthcare unsupportive like the NHS serves. With reform? of this policy. free healthcare access to Why They are very all being readily available does critical on the without the need for high the tax increases, cost insurance policies, the disagreeing with NHS is an institution that targeting the rich many argue we could not do plus the massive without. $1.2 trillion price The NHS without doubt has tag. Only one Reits drawbacks as it is not very publican, Joseph cost effective but it does give Cao from New Orequality to British citizens, leans, supported the bill that no matter how little along with 219 Democrats. Opposed you earn you will still be were 176 Republicans and 39 Demoentitled to good healthcrats. care service. BUPA and The current healthcare system other private hospitals in the USA is very different from provide the extra support the UK’s National Health Service and services for those will(NHS). The NHS in the UK is funded by the government through REFORMS: The medicine that the US needs ing to pay, especially for spe-

cialist issues such as plastic surgery and dermatology. America need to go ahead with health reform in order to offer help to those in poverty and to stick to the core values of the Democrat Party.

One third of American citizens live under the poverty line Barack Obama has made healthcare reform a crucial part of his domestic agenda. The proposed reforms could see the biggest changes in American healthcare in our lifetime. It is crucial that Barack Obama passes a final reform bill through the senate before the end of 2009, as 2010 is a mid-term election year. Vulnerable democrats in conservative areas may refuse to back Obama’s final bill due to its high cost and unpopularity with some voters. All focus now turns to the Senate which must now come up with its own version of a health reform Bill. Barack Obama must make sure this Bill passes the Senate in order to continue his pursuit for successful healthcare reform. One things is certain: the questions surrounding healthcare are ones that go to the core of American society, and the success or otherwise of Obama's reforms could have an impact on American politics for a generation.

Do you want to talk about it?

Lauren Cowie reveals her thoughts about our beloved leaders' recent attempts to save the world from total annihilation

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hey say that a problem shared is a problem halved. This week the G20, the big global players, met up in the political equivalent of a Macmillan coffee morning to bandy round some ideas about how to save the planet from economic doom. It has apparently been a great success. Everyone has been very nice and agreed to share the 1.1 trillion dollar cake. Or so it has been portrayed. Obama called the summit “historic” and “a turning point in the pursuit of economic recovery”. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was similarly joyful, saying the summit had been “more than we could have hoped for”. Maybe it’s my British disposition but I can’t help feeling that Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s dreary tones are a

little closer to the truth. He said there was “No quick fix”.

Obama has called the G20 summit "historic" and "a turning point" That’s okay with me. It’s okay for things to be really complicated and hard and take a long time to fix. But seriously it’s sometimes made out that everything about the global economic situation is magically going to smell like roses overnight? It’s not. If it were all that simple we would never have got into this situation in the beginning. This meeting has been a big step but is has to be one of many. I’ve read the communiqué from

the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. It’s very dull but as far as I can see pretty straight forward. More regulation of bankers’ bonuses, a few new frameworks, more support for the world’s poorest countries. My favourite topic of climate change even got a tiny mention at the end. Although saying that you “recognized the need to increase significantly and urgently the scale and predictability of finance” is a very different thing from actually doing anything about it. You’ll probably have heard of at least some of the spending plans in the press. 5 million dollars here, 1 trillion there. It’s all on an incomprehensible scale. One of the main things agreed on was to put some money aside (in the form of the IMF) for a rainy day

when there is the next big bank failure. Seems like common sense to me. Indeed I’m sure that anyone with G.C.S.E. Maths could grasp the concepts that the G20 have come up with. What is unusual is that they have all

actual policies that they have come up with. Hope that in the future they might be able to put their differences

Many of the agreements the G20 reached seem to be common sense managed to agree. I think this has to be praised. The G20 represents 80% of the world’s wealth. There is normally a lot of infighting but this time the leaders of the world seem to have grasped the importance of compromise. And this gives me hope, more than any of the

GORDON & BARACK


POLITICS 19

gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

The Commonwealth: a reactionary union

Chaitanya Marpakwar accuses the Commonwealth of being a reactionary, colonialist waste of money that serves no purpose

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he Indian capital of New Delhi is hosting the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2010 and President Prathiba Patil was at Buckingham palace to receive the ‘baton’ from the Queen Elizabeth II. This meant she became the first head of state of a Commonwealth country to receive the baton from the Queen Elizabeth. The Commonwealth has 53 member states including Tuvalu & Kiribati ,but none of them have shown this level of obsession to the colonial hangover that their head of state presents her/him self in the former colonisers palace. Along with the President was a battalion of Indian officials and sportsmen including India’s only Olympic gold medalist, Abhinav Bindra, and the likes of legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, tennis ace Sania Mirza, and England's first Sikh cricketer Monty Panesar amongst others. After travelling to different member countries of the Commonwealth, the Baton will enter India through Wagah Border along Pakistan 100 days before the games. All this is good but does the Com-

monwealth hold any relevance in today’s global sphere apart from keeping the colonial legacy alive (the very reason for which it was originally created)? India recently approved a revised budget of 16.2 billion Rupees, a two-fold increase from the previously sanctioned 7.67 billion Rupees, making it one of the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever.

Commonwealth is irrelevant in the global sphere Yet Delhi, the host city, is in complete chaos. Almost every major road is dug up or blocked, either for Metro or flyover construction. The only thing consistent about the city before the games is traffic. Reports in the media about commuters taking 5 hours to cross a 5 km stretch are no exaggeration. Reports of mishaps and accidents on the under construction Delhi Metro including the airport line being constructed in view of the games appear regularly. Add to this the embarrassment caused when Commonwealth

Games federation CEO Mike Hooper raised questions over the city’s preparation for the games and the following war of words between him and the organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

Racism and abuse is on the rise in the Commonwealth community Given the current economic situation, especially in the west, it is highly unlikely to expect high visitor turn out for the Games, something that the government is banking on to improve the capitals infrastructure, hospitality and more importantly its image. But controversy seems to be the only thing building up to the games. The Commonwealth website says that at 60 the Commonwealth, ‘is serving a new generation’, but does this ‘new’ generation really see itself as part of the Commonwealth community where incidents of racism and abuse are on rise across member nations, cost of education is sky rocketing and jobs have become a rarity?

The money spent on the embarrass- the young work part time at the local burger shop. At the moment ing [so far] Commonwealth we have a system that enGames can be used for trenches the colonial training and building past and wastes money better, permanent faon sporting events that cilities to identify could be better spent on and groom sports reducing poverty. What talent, preparuse is this commuing them for the nity to anyone? Is it next Olympics of any use to you? I or build homes imagine not. for the poor, the beggars that the hosts wanted out so that they don’t prove to be an eyesore for visitors. What we need is a new Commonwealth, of proud & patriotic countries that bring change for common good, for the ‘new’ generation, not just host games and cultural events, QUEEN LIZ: an evil despot? while

Style vs substance The big debate

Chris Tarquini examines our politics of style and its sinister implications

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hether it’s ‘yes we can’, kissing babies or riding a bike to work, modern politics seems to be overrun with gimmicks, catchphrases and charismatic new leaders. With 2010 presenting a challenging environment for parties to engage with the electorate over the issues the argument ‘they’re all the same’ may mean style rather than substance reigns supreme next time Britain heads to the polls. The television era has meant that many voters now make their decisions at the ballot box due to who they would rather have a beer with or who has the most heart-warming smile. These factors will be further reinforced at the upcoming televised debates which could spell doom for ‘Not Flash, just Gordon’ Brown. Browns' attempt to cultivate an image as an iron hand on the economy and a dependable leader has been undermined by indecision, economic crises and scathing attacks from the likes of David Cameron and the unofficial leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable. Unlike his predecessor Brown does not have the charismatic qualities to brush off the attacks and any attempt to represent ‘change’ at the ballot box will be laughed off by any voters who have followed British politics since 1997.

In contrast, Brown’s Liberal Democrat counterpart Nick Clegg has the charisma but also the traditional Lib Dem Achilles heel of not being considered a real challenger to take control at Westminster, a problem furthered by his youthful image.

Voters see policies and pledges as merely empty promises David Cameron, meanwhile, has managed to adopt an approach not unlike the man many consider his inspiration for his public image: that of Tony Blair. His fresh-faced form of modern Conservatism sounds warm and fuzzy, but the real fuzz is on the issues. By adopting a vague manifesto full of hope with only a few focus group tested policies in place he has managed to ‘dance around the ring’ of Westminster politics just like Blair warned he would. His impressive oratory and promise of a better Britain has convinced many voters he is a better option than the seemingly dour and awkward Brown, although these same voters will often have difficulty explaining either parties policies and see campaign pledges as mere empty promises. This belief has not only led to the

rise of smaller parties such as the BNP as the electorate grow frustrated with boring, out of touch Westminster politics but also the general public’s disengagement with the political process. All this accelerates the importance of style in the public arena for the modern image-driven politician. While Gordon Brown may seem to have the greatest knowledge on the issues and in particular economic concerns, if it comes down to "likability" Cameron could give Labour a fist full of charisma next year. Can things only get better? Gordon Brown had better hope so, because if they don't he's heading for a fall.

GORDON BROWN: wtf?

Lloyd Rees considers the arguments for and against televised political debates

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eaders’ debates have been a staple of foreign democracies for decades. However this opportunity to place potential leaders under public scrutiny has eluded the UK, something which Sky News wishes to change. They allow potential leaders to lay out their policies live on air, with the viewing public able to directly compare them with the opposing parties, without the influence of a lot of party political spin. Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, has long been an advocate of a UK leaders’ debate. Leader of the Lib Dems Nick Clegg also said that he would be willing to take part. Is this because opposition parties are always willing to debate because they

have nothing to lose? It has always been the incumbent Prime Minister who has scuppered plans for a debate in the past. Citing Prime Minister’s Questions as their opportunity to debate and that there is no need for any further discussion. Tony Blair even rejected the invitation. Many have argued that any sort of televised debate does not have a place in the UK because of our voting system. We do not have a presidential system, and therefore do not directly elect the leader. Critics state that it becomes too much about personality rather than politics in debates. But how a candidate fares under the pressure of a live televised debate must surely be a good indicator of their suitability for the highest job in the land? Elections in the USA have known to be decided on television debates. One such instance was a clash between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon; Nixon refused to wear makeup and his profuse sweating live on air was attributed to his failure to win the hearts of the nation. Sky News has invited all the party leaders to take part. Cameron and Clegg accepted, and the Prime Minister has agreed ‘in principle’, but said more discussions would need to take place closer to the election. Surely, following the recent political scandals, a debate is needed to reinvigorate the British public’s interest in politics?


20 POLITICS

gair

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Cameron's six point plan

Ayushman Jamwal examines how David Cameron plans to change British policy now that the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified

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he Lisbon Treaty aims to improve the cross-national functioning of EU institutions by transferring legislative powers from member governments to the European Union. It has now been completely ratified after the 27th member state, the Czech Republic, signed it leading it to function as EU law by December. In the UK, since the Labour government has failed to provide the referendum to the treaty promised in the 2005 elections, the nations ties to Europe have become a recent bone of contention before the elections. David Cameron, the Conservative party leader, is still riding the wave of favourable public opinion. His success, in many cases, relies on a finger pointing campaign highlighting Labour’s failures, where political rhetoric attempts to hide the party’s inability to provide clear and sensible solutions to, according to them, a ‘Broken Britain’. However, I believe, post the ratification, Cameron’s criticism of Labour’s failed referendum promise is not a hollow one. The Conservatives support an association of European nations but not a federalist agenda, which is how they see the Lisbon Treaty. However, now unable

to campaign for a referendum, they have released a six-point plan to prevent British sovereignty from being absorbed into a feared ‘European super state’ if they come to power next year. Referendum Lock: Any future treaty that would depart powers from Britain to the EU can only become law after being approved through a referendum. This would be done by amending the 1972 European Communities Act, which gives EU laws precedence over British laws. UK Sovereignty Bill: To constitutionally provide the British Parliament supremacy over EU intervention. The Conservative proposal draws parallels with the German Federal constitution, which is guarded by the Supreme Court against external encroachment. Parliamentary Consent: Under the Lisbon treaty, the EU can scrap national vetoes in policy areas besides defence. Conservatives wish for formal legislation over the transfer of powers as opposed to the current 90 minute debate between MPs. This would please MPs from different political parties Opt-Out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights: The charter provides political and social rights for

EU citizens, including the ‘right to strike’. Current British exemption, negotiated by Tony Blair, is only a protocol that cannot be enforced in UK courts. Conservatives wish to negotiate a stronger opt-out. Return of powers over Criminal justice: The Lisbon treaty provides the EU new powers over justice and policing legislation. The Conservatives propose legislation for the firm independence of the UK criminal justice system. Restoration of control over social and employment legislation: Conservatives aim to regain legislation on matters such as maternity leave and rights of part-time workers, that was ceded to Brussels decades ago arguing that currently public services and the economy are being adversely affected.

Cameron's success relies on fingerpointing, but his criticisms are not hollow While other political parties and European ministers are at the front line

of criticizing Cameron’s Anti-European stance, a YouGov survey revealed that 65% of British voters agree that Labour has back-tracked from its referendum promise, while only 12% disagree. Ireland invoked a referendum on the treaty last year, while the British voters remain furious at having their hands tied by Labour. Cameron’s ‘cast iron guarantee’ to put the Lisbon treaty to public vote may have become obsolete, but his resolve to maintain British sovereignty seems in line with public thought, that wants ties with Europe but not its politics. Be it party virtue or political calculation, Cameron is roping in the votes of the British euro-sceptics. However, even if the time comes to put his proposals to practice as a current EU member, challenging and renegotiating a well established community system for self-interests would pose great challenges, especially now that Cameron has removed the Conservatives from the mainstream centre-right grouping

in the European Parliament. How successful he will be remains to be seen.

Remember, remember the fifth of November In the wake of Bonfire Night, Cosimo Montagu has a think about the modern significance of this strangely political festival

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hy do we celebrate Bonfire Night? This is a question that I got to wondering on the evening of Saturday October 31, when while working at my desk, the sounds of fireworks could be heard in the distance. Eventually I figured out that these sounds were coming from Bute Park, and I stepped outside my front door on Miskin Street to catch the last half of what was a very impressive fireworks display. However, before the automatic mind leap that occurs for many of us between the hearing of explosions and assumption that fireworks are being let off, I must admit that I had a moments pause. How do I know that fireworks are being set off, and not bombs, rocket attacks or mortars? It was the fact that the sound of explosions gave me this positive, warm and fuzzy association with celebration and bright colours that aroused my interest and caused me to consider why we celebrate Bonfire Night. For what do we celebrate Bonfire Night then? The fifth of November is traditionally a celebration of one thing; the capturing of the conspirators behind the Catholic organized gunpowder plot (such as Guy Fawkes,

Robert Catesby and others) and the preservation of the King and government of England. Such was the importance of this message that its celebration was made compulsory by military order until 1859.

Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night? The original meaning has been lost It would seem however that in the modern era the meaning of this festival of peace over rebellion has been lost. Toffee apples have replaced the conspirators and fireworks the threat to the houses of Parliament. It is assumed only natural that celebrations such as this lose their meaning over the course of 400 years. Christmas has little of its Christian meaning for many of us (let alone the original Pagan one) and so has Easter. However, aspects of the original meaning of Bonfire night do still remain. Fireworks although now a positive and colourful celebration, remind us of the potential danger behind explosions and the destruction

of governmental order. Effigies of Guy Fawkes are still burnt on bonfires, but the threat Guy Fawkes posed to the British people has moved to figures such as Osama Bin Laden. One of my friends described how recently she and her friends made an effigy made out of bin liners, aptly named ‘Osama Bin Liner'. Toffee apples... well they just taste good, so I am not going to complain. So, it would seem the reason behind the celebration of Bonfire Night is a celebration of peace and stability over near uprising and revolt. It is for this reason that we should keep in mind the real meaning of Bonfire Night. While we in Europe are very fortunate to live in a country where we can assume explosions in the distance are fireworks (for the most part), the reality for many people in the world in far different. There have been roughly 32 different serious conflicts since 2003, not including the host of human rights abuses, governmental crack -downs and terrorists attacks that we see on the news on an almost weekly basis. In the news over the past few days cases such as the North and South Korean ships exchanging fire, Hugo Chavez calling Venezuela to

prepare for a war with Columbia and the Pakistani military’s invasion of Taliban controlled South Waziristan have invariably brought 100,000's of new civilians into conflict. The World Bank has recently predicted that 1 billion people live in fragile or conflict ridden areas, and the United Nations has predicted that the number of people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide stood at 42 million. This number includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced people, uprooted within their own countries, just as many might have been if the gunpowder plot succeeded.

We in Europe are very fortunate. For many people explosions mean more than fireworks It is for these people that the fifth of November should be remembered. Bonfire Night is a call to remain vigilant to threats to the peace, and in

our increasing global community this must be extended outside of our own country. While at Cardiff University there are so many things you can do and societies you can get involved with to help those for whom the sound of explosions is not a positive association. As well as the Student Run Services, you could get involved with the Action Aid Society, Cardiff Stop Aids Society, Debating Society, Earthsoc, Unicef, Star, People and Planet, Model United Nations, Medecins Sans Frontieres and many others (apologies to you not named). The opportunity to get engaged with these issues and really help others is something that you will find increasingly difficult to do once you have left University. Cardiff especially offers such a huge range of societies that you will certainly find something you can get involved with. So, the next time you hear fireworks in the distance, take a second to consider what that sounds means to a billion other people around the world. Fireworks can serve as a reminder of those less fortunate than us as well as a celebration, and should be a call to do what we can while still young, idealistic and at university.


LETTERS 21

gairrhydd | LETTERS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

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

Barclays Bank:

breast stroke

making a killing

Tracey

Jonathan Bird

An article with some perspective at last. Frankie is a wonderful comedian – I can’t wait to see him next year! I wonder how many people chose to watch the repeat and then complain? Comedians make jokes to make people laugh – it’s not a new concept. These professional whingers need to get a life.

“VOTING for a GREEN, ethical future” - sounds like Sam Coates has started his election campaign. (He is the Green party candidate for Cardiff central and CUGP organised this event).

Adam Troth

Jeff Handecker

Well said Tracey, and Robin for writing an article which speaks for the silent majority of people who do not have wafer thin skin and can take a joke. I find it strange that this gag by Frankie was the one which got people’s backs up. While I think he is very funny and the best humour usually cuts close to the bone, you’d think that his comments about Richard Hammond, Shannon Matthews and Lewis Hamilton’s disabled stepbrother would be more likely to kick up a fuss. As a (very) budding comic myself, my only criteria for including a particular joke is if it is funny. I don’t do controversial for controversy’s sake, but there are no sacred cows. To compare this to the whole Ross/Brand fiasco is laughable, as that involved a gross invasion of personal privacy, and above all else wasn’t particularly funny. To be fair to Carnage UK, they do put an awful lot of planning in to their events.

If these substances assist intelligent students in solving more problems, writing better/cleaner software code, perform better, making a quicker break-through on inventions then I am all for it. I am a Technical Support Engineer and take modafinil regularly. The fact is modafinil works incredibly well. Absolutely no placebo effect, no jitters like caffeine used to induce. As a sidenote I lead a very healthy life: daily exercise (cardio and resistance training), no alcohol/marijuana/ cocaine/meth (never!!!), 8 hours sleep, 1 cup of tea or coffee daily, Okinawan Program (lots of vegetables, brown rice, tofu, etc). So, in conjunction with an overall healthy lifestyle I advocate modafinil. I do not advocate the use of it though if used to offset an unhealthy lifestyle (ie – “hey I partied til 3:00 AM and now need a morning modafinil boost just to get me through class”). This is a Brave New World we are in and modafinil and other nootropics are only the beginning. (For better or

Dying for the answer?

worse that is…)

On the third day, someone made up God smithy First off, I’m a Christian. Judge me all you want on that but at the end of it, it’s for God to judge everyone, not someone who has a bone to pick with “religion”. I’m a science student, how shocking! A lot of the science students I know are Christians as well. And all believe in 6-day creationism, not because it was taught in school, not because it’s forced upon us by this annoying word “religion”, but by something called faith. With this same faith, Christians believe Jesus lived and died to serve all humans, (yes, even the ones who scoff at everything to do with God, because not long ago I was one of them) and that Jesus rose 3 days later to be at God’s right hand and He invites us all to take up our crosses, repent and sit with Him in heaven. Having a stab at what the Bible says is always a dangerous thing. Not because people will be angered with you, but because you will always lose in the argument. The fact that we are ALL invited to have faith and be saved by what Jesus did is the main focus of the vast majority of the Bible. If you want to dispute over how the world was made, you can sit here until your time comes and still not have solid proof or concrete evidence and you’ll only be going on the quotes of “reliable” sites like wikipedia, and basically, human opinion. This is NOT a topic people should

forum

die for or have huge, overflowing arguments about. You believe what you believe, and someone else believes what they believe. I, personally, am going to carry on believing in 6-day creationism, because I believe the Bible to be true, I believe it is God’s word, and I believe Jesus died for me and living the way God wants me to live is a lot more important than trying to prove that God made the world in 6 days. Articles like Howell’s don’t get me angry. They make me laugh! And then I pray for God’s will in his life. That’s what Bible believing Christians are here for: to serve, just as Jesus did. Argue all you want with my comment Mr Burnett, but I’m out living for a great God by my faith in His works, while you’re online on gairrhydd.com, fighting a losing battle. Rhys Smithy, Why is faith something which people should rely on or respect? Faith (you probably think otherwise) is simply believing in something without any evidence. You say you're a science student, would you have accept a theory without any evidence if the man how came up with it said “Have a little faith” So why base your eternal soul on faith? Have a look at some other religions and gods, Why don’t you believe in them? Why have you pick out Christianity as your religion? My guess is that your parents are Christian. Why base your what happens to your soul on something like the bible, a badly worded, multiply conflicting accounts by people who never met Jesus? You say that religion isn’t something people should fight and kill each other over? Your bible clearly

demands the killing of the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite and homosexuals. As a Christian it's your duty to stone to death any gay person you see in the street. Comments like yours don’t make me angry or laugh (well sometimes), just sad that another generation has been corrupted and will go on to do the same to the next. Jonathan

Once again, Athiest attacking religion. It might interest Rhys, Adam Troth et al.. that I was also once an God-less and pretty smug about it too. What caused me to question my faith? Well the pathlogical hatred of religion by many atheists. Richard Dawkins ranting about faith being a virus, was the turning point. Joan Blakewell who was interviewing him, said you criticise fundelmentalist religion arn’t you a fundelmentalist atheist? On the subject of science - it is a method. It is not repeat not a set of ideas, theories etc.. What is nonscientific is a matter for testing by that scientific criticism or experimental means. I believe in Evolution I also believe in a Creator. I’m not a creationist (six days, all specises at once etc..). I wouldn’t descirbe myself as believeing in intelligent design. However, I believe based on the evidence the complexity of life the need for a whole ecosystem to susstain it and the young age of the universe only at most 19 billion years, that life probably arose under direction.

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22 TAF-OD

gairrhydd | TAFOD@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

! " # " $ % & '() " * + , (- # + (. " / 0 '12 (3 '" % # - 4 Branwen Hefin Mathias

Golygydd Taf-od

Efallai ei bod braidd yn gynnar i ddechrau son am y Nadolig – mae’r siopau wedi bod yn arddangos nwyddau Nadoligaidd ers tipyn – ond bu tipyn o gynnwrf yng Nghanolbarth Lloegr yn ddiweddar. ! " # $ % & ' gwrthdaro rhwng arweinyddion yr eglwys yn Birmingham a’r cyngor dros ei benderfyniad o alw ‘Nadolig’(Christmas) yn ‘Winterval’. Newidiwyd y term er mwyn peidio digio crefyddau eraill oherwydd y cyfeiriad at Grist ac er mwyn osgoi dathlu gwyl Gristnogol yn unig. Mae swyddogion cyngor y ddinas yn gobeithio creu awyrgylch amlddiwylliannol er mwyn cyd-fynd gyda gwahanol grwpiau ethnig y ddinas. Ar yr olwg gyntaf y mae hyn yn ymddangos yn ddigon teg a rhesymol ac yn destun canmoliaeth am geisio creu undod ymysg yr holl ddiwylliannau a’ r crefyddau amrywiol a geir yn y ddinas gosmopolitan hon. Ond a oes angen gwneud hyn yn y fath fodd, mewn gwirionedd? Mae’r achos wedi cael ei feirniadu fel enghraifft o gywirdeb gwleidyddol eithafol. Cyhuddwyd swyddogion

cyngor o geisio cymryd ‘Christ’ allan o ‘Christmas’. Nid pawb sy’n cytuno â’r term newydd. Caiff Cristnogaeth ei hun ei sensro, yn ol y Parchedig, Mark Santer. Cytuna Archddiacon Aston, Ven John Barton â hyn, gan ddweud mai enghraifft hollol ddiangen o gywirdeb gwleidyddol ydyw. Ond amddiffynnodd siaradwraig y cyngor yr enw newydd; ‘Mae Cyngor Dinas Birmingham am i bobl ddathlu Nadolig. Nadolig yw canolbwynt Winterval’ dywedodd. Mae’n gwadu mai gwthio’r Nadolig o’r neilltu a wneir. Yr hyn sy’n ddiddorol yw mai’r cyngor ei hun sydd yn anhapus gyda’r term ‘Christmas’. Nid yw arweinwyr lleol y crefyddau eraill yn ei gweld yn broblem. Gellid dadlau felly mai mynd dros ben llestri y mae’r cynghorwyr a chreu anghydfod lle nad oes un mewn gwirionedd. Gair gwneud yw ‘Winterval’ a gyl wneud yw hi, hefyd. Beth sydd o’i le ar adael i bawb ddathlu eu gwyliau a’u traddodiadau eu hunain a pharchu eu gwyliau ei gilydd? Enghraifft arall o gywirdeb politicaidd yw drama’r Geni yn cynnwys ‘Tair Gwraig Ddoeth’ yn hytrach na’r ‘Tri Gwr Doeth’ traddodiadol? A oes hawl gan unrhyw un i ailysgrifennu’r

Ysgrythur? Ymgais i roi stamp ffeministaidd ar yr wyl yw hyn ond gellid dadlau wrth gwrs mai ffydd Batriarchaeth yw’r ffydd Gristnogol. Clywir am ysgolion eraill lle y gwaherddir perfformio Drama’r Geni yn gyfan gwbl ond onid yw hyn yn destun tristwch gan mai Gwyl Gristnogol a chyfle i gofnodi genedigaeth Crist yw’ Nadolig, wedi’r cyfan?

Ond efallai ein bod ni braidd yn rhagrithiol yn y cyswllt hwn. Faint ohonom sydd wir yn gweld yr wyl fel cyfle i ddathlu geni’r Iesu, neu ai esgus i orfwyta a goryfed ac ildio i’r holl demtasiynau a gynigir gan y siopau sydd wedi llwyr fasnacheiddio’r wyl? Ai dilyn traddodiad seciwlar yr ydym ni mewn gwirionedd? A hyd yn oed wrth fynd i’r capel, canu carolau

NADOLIG LLAWEN: Heol y Frenhines yn ystod y Nadolig

a danfon cardiau a lluniau crefyddol at ein gilydd a wnawn ai dilyn defod a wnawn ni mewn gwirionedd, gwneud yr un peth bob blwydd am mai fel hyn yr ydym wastad yn gwneud hynny? Felly a gaf i fod y cyntaf i ddymuno Nadolig Llawen (neu Aeafwyl Hapus) i holl ddarllenwyr ! " # $ $ hydd!


gairrhydd | SCIENCE@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 23

in brief Newsbites Third of species under threat News

New IUCN Red List released with alarming results Rachel Henson Reporter The latest review of the world’s plant and animal species shows a third of all species are still under threat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species is a constantly reviewed assessment of the known living species and their conservation status. The 2009 Red List shows 70 percent of all plants, 12 percent of all birds and 21 percent of all mammals to be threatened with extinction. 30 percent of all known amphibians are threatened and one species, the Kihansi Spray Toad, has been reclassified as ‘Extinct in the Wild’ on the new list.

70% of birds, 12% of birds, 21% of mammals and 30% of amphibians are under threat Each species on the Red List is classified as one of seven levels of threat, which range from ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Extinct’. Many species

on the list are classified as ‘Data Deficient’ as not enough is known about them to work out their conservation status. However, knowledge of the world’s plants and animals is increasing rapidly, with 2,838 more species on the list this year than in 2008. “These results are just the tip of the iceberg” says Craig HiltonTaylor, Manager of the IUCN Red List Unit. “We have only managed to assess 47,663 species so far; there are many more millions out there which could be under serious threat. We do, however, know from experience that conservation action works so let’s not wait until it’s too late and start saving our species now.” Threats include disease, over-exploitation by humans and habitat loss. Loss of habitat can either remove the whole home range of an animal or result in small, fragmented populations which suffer from reduced genetic variation and problems associated with inbreeding as a result. The IUCN works towards solving environmental challenges and is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation. IUCN projects cover biodiversity, energy, climate change, education, economic policy and human livelihoods. The organisation brings together the work of governments, charities, researchers and companies to develop laws and action plans to help protect our

The Kihansi Spray Toad is no more natural heritage. One success story is that of the Australian Grayling. The status of this fish has improved as a result of concentrated conservation efforts, including the installation of fish ladders to help them migrate over dams. The Australian Grayling has now moved from ‘Vulnerable’ to the less concerning ‘Near Threatened’ category. Maintaining the world’s biodiversity is important not only for the benefit of individual organisms, but also for sustaining our resources. Biological and political reasons aside,

the diversity of life on Earth provokes the imagination and inspires writers, artists and musicians, and enhances our surroundings. Jane Smart, director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group warns that the 2010 targets for reducing biodiversity loss will not be met. “It’s time for governments to start getting serious about saving species and make sure it’s high on their agendas for next year.” Find out more about the Red List at www.iucnredlist.org.

Two year sentence for stem cell scientist A South Korean scientist has been sentenced after five years of controversy in the science world Aleks Berditchevskaia Reporter

Let us journey back to February 2004. Headlines in the press herald a breathtaking and terrifying breakthrough in science. With the publication of two papers in leading scientific journal Science, Woo Suk Hwang and his team in South Korea claim the generation of the first patient-specific embryonic stem cell clones. The implications for treatment of disease are immense. The scientific community and the rest of the world draw their breath in admiration as we congratulate ourselves on human ingenuity in conquering the next frontier. Fast forward to just two months later, scepticism abounds. Fellow researchers struggle to replicate the results. The methods and images used in the work are called into question. Hwang fervently denies any wrongdoing and continues to stand by his results, until December 2005 when he

writes to Science requesting a retraction of the papers. Following investigation by Seoul National University it emerges that a large proportion of the results was fabricated. These results had been used to secure funding which raised issues of embezzlement and fraud. Moreover, Hwang’s methods of obtaining human eggs for research begin to be regarded with suspicion. Charges are eventually brought forth on three counts: fraud, embezzlement and bioethical violations. On October 26, a long five years after the initial publication of the controversial articles, Woo Suk Hwang was finally given a verdict. Charged with the counts of bioethical violations and embezzlement, he was cleared of the arguably most damning claim: fraud. And the damage? A two-year prison sentence suspended in view of appeal. We like to believe that science is infallible. The pillars that frame the classical scientific method include detached objectivity, community activity, progress built on previous discoveries, scepticism to eliminate bias

and crucially an underlying empathy for the human condition. Where does fraud fit into this framework? The truth is, the scientific community is competitive. There is pressure to be the first to achieve those progressive results; who wouldn’t want the prestige of a Nobel prize to their name? It isn’t easy to secure funding for research; why not finagle your results if it will help you to secure the grant? The administrative regulations can be frustrating and it becomes all too tempting to cut corners. Scientists are only human after all.

The only silver lining to Hwang’s case is that it has helped emphasise the importance of ethical education Many leading researchers, such as Alan Colman, a stem-cell biologist from the Medical Institute of Singapore, feel violated by Hwang’s ac-

tions and are unwilling to forgive and forget what they see as a blatant disregard for basic scientific principles: "It was not just one moment of weakness — the degree of manipulation of the goodwill of people, particularly fellow scientists, made it more.” Perhaps the only silver lining to Hwang’s case is that it has helped to emphasise the importance of ethical education for scientists. Many undergraduate programs now offer courses on professional misconduct and ways to avoid falling into the trap. Undoubtedly stories like this can serve to increase our mistrust of science. However, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of scientists pursue knowledge out of genuine intellectual thirst and curiosity for the discovery of “truth behind nature” and we benefit and make use of these discoveries every day. Then there are the exceptions whose motives require a little more scrutiny. Luckily, science is founded on principles that readily expose any such play outside the rules and punish them accordingly.

£1 million grant for Engineering Cardiff’s School of Engineering has been given £1.23 million from the Welsh Assembly as part of their Academic Expertise for Business programme. The money will be used to help the University develop a Knowledge Transfer Centre to help Welsh businesses. The main areas where the centre aims to help businesses are Environment, Performance Engineering, and Green Communications. The Environment project will operate in the field of organic and inorganic liquids, gases and solids while the Performance Engineering project will help make cutting edge technologies available to businesses. Copenhagen deal ‘unlikely’ The government has admitted that it thinks a legally binding global treaty on climate change is unlikely before the end of the year, dashing hopes for a worldwide deal at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen next month. Ed Miliband, the Climate Secretary, has said that a ‘political agreement’ is more likely than a legal one. These sentiments have been echoed by key players UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US climate negotiator Todd Stern and British and European Union diplomats who have said they have abandoned hope of an agreement this year and it will take at least another 12 months to achieve. Green philosophy Employees can now sue for unfair dismissal if they feel they have been victimised for their environmental views which are protected under the employment equality laws. A precedent set by Mr Justice Burton means that environmental beliefs have the same legal protection as religious and philosophical ones. The case involved Tim Nicholson, a former executive of the property company Grainger. He claimed his redundancy had been as a result of his green opinions differing to the beliefs of other executives. Judge Burton said, "If a person can establish that he holds a philosophical belief which is based on science as opposed, for example, to religion, then there is no reason to disqualify it from protection."

We pick up accents in the womb Scientists in Germany say they have evidence that babies start to pick up their parents’ accents while they are still in the womb. When they are born they learn even more and as the days go by their cries become more sophisticated in their sound and what they mean. The researchers studied babies from German and French families and found that the inflection of their crying depended on what accent their parents had. The research published in the journal Current Biology says that babies copy the melodic patterns of adult conversation with changes in rhythm and pitch relating to different emotions.


24 JOBS & MONEY

gair

J B @GAI H DD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

No idea what to do when you finish your degree? AIESEC has plenty of ideas... Norain Ahmed Reporter What will you be doing this summer vacation? How does teaching English in China or exploring the realms and learning about the culture of Turkey sound to you? AIESEC is a student-run organisation that runs an international exchange program, offering students a chance to earn money by working abroad. At the same time, you can learn more about different cultures and meet new friends. We are the largest student run organization with over 35,000 members from over 1700 universities nation-wide, and send approximately 5500 students on exchange every year. AIESEC was founded in 1948 to encourage ‘friendly relations’ between its member countries. Today, the organization enjoys a global status as “the international platform for young people to explore and develop

their leadership potential.” Its members are encouraged to practice being proactive and responsible, and they are given support on how to learn and apply theory, network effectively and, ultimately, to develop a holistic worldview. Finding a job abroad can be a lengthy process but the international exchange program promises to find you a suitable placement. The process includes visa application, and exchange students are given training and support on adapting to a new cultural experience. AIESEC offers students the opportunity to work abroad in areas such as management, technology, education and development. Placements run from as little as six weeks to 18 months, and the salary issued to you will be guaranteed to cover your living costs. The international exchange program is supported by AIESEC’s global partners, including companies such as Electrolux, PwC and Microsoft, to name just a few. AIESEC has sent students to over 107 countries, including

destinations within Europe alongside more exotic places such as China, India, Japan and America. AIESEC society at Cardiff University can help you to develop skills for your CV and can offer you the opportunity to participate in the international exchange program. But that’s not all - at our weekly Monday meetings we enjoy delights such as free food

and drinks after the meetings. Plus we have regular socials which include VIP passes in the best clubs in town. To find out more about our events and socials, just check out our Facebook group, ‘AIESEC Cardiff’, contact Amanda Piper at apiper8@ gmail.com or come along to the University Main Building on Mondays at 7pm.

AIESEC has plenty of job opportunities all over the world

While you’re at it, take a look at the global website at www.aiesec.org, where you can find out what previous exchange participants thought of their experience of working abroad. Joining AIESEC will not be a decision you will regret, and if this is something you want to do then please visit the Union website to sign-up.


gairrhydd | JOBS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14 2009

23 JOBS & MONEY


26 LISTINGS

Listen to Listings Well now, after discovering the benefits of eating lots of cereal last week, we will move back into the realm of CLUBBING! Everyone likes a great DJ, hence why so many people flock to CYNT and The Union every week. However, there is a new kid in town. This kid features Daft Punk, Justice, Zane Lowe and a host of the biggest dance anthems this side of 1990's. I am of course talking about the much hyped - DJ HERO!!! Hitting Fun Factory last week on it's promo tour of the country with the "plugging just about everything on the planet that is vaguely cool" Zane Lowe on the (I'd hope real) DJ decks, this is one of the biggest games to be released. Seeing as it's related to night time activities, we thought we'd blag a copy and see if it's any good. It's very hard. Plastic Instrument Professional Sam Smith describes the game as "FUCKING INSANE". But even he can't move away from the medium settings without pulling his thumb muscles. Indie kid, Becca Snabel, doesn't get on with dance music, but even she had an enjoyable time pretending to be a CYNT.

gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

YOUR INDEPENDENT LISTINGS GUIDE Monday

16th November The BLACKOUT, Instore Signing @ HMV Welsh emo-rockers The Blackout, known for their passionate and furious live shows. The youthful six-piece use double vocals and searing guitars to create a frenzied sound which will appeal to both emo and hardcore fans alike. VODKA ISLAND, Tiger Tiger, £3.50/4 We have changed our mind. Vodka Island is now one of THE events that you need to be at! An established brand that runs all across the country and has maintained an almost unbelievably credible reputation in the world of music. Go them! FUN FACTORY, Solus, FREE Although our perceptions on nights have suddenly changed, we still want to reashure you that FF is by far the best thing for indie kids on a Monday. All alternative music under one roof!

MONSTERS OF FOLK, Coal Exchange, £18 An Evening With Monsters Of Folk will be a musical event showcasing brand new songs from the self-titled album, as well as songs fans have come to enjoy from the respective Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and My Morning Jacket Catalogues.

Tuesday

17th November JUST DANCE, Clwb, £3 Just Dance is still a great place to be on Tuesdays. With its no nonsense music policy that consists of anything you can dance to, it is full of dancing and colour. CHIC BEAT, Revolution, £3.50/4 Another stirling night from Rough Hill. If you want to be as cool as the crazy kids that strut about town with their puffa-jackets on, then you need to mix with this crowd! It'll be blazin'! AMAZIN' SADDLES, Cardiff Arts Institute, £FREE Every Truck drivin’, mud sliggin’, tobacco spittin’, line dancin’, jack drinkin’ bourbon boy and girl listen up: Amazin’ Saddles is a new monthly night delivered to you by straight talking Djs spinning the CAI wagon wheels of steel. Goddam! Drop those heavy holsters for a fair share of blue-collared Country, Workingclass Blues, Pysche, Woodstock Folk, Bluegrass, Roots, Garage Punk and all other manners of twisted American Rock n’ Roll. Hell yes!!Expect to hear Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Beach Boys, Gene Vincent, The Ramones, Bon Iver, Neil Young, Mamas and the Papas, Gram Parsons, My Morning Jacket, Johnny Cash..howl and be proud!

Wednesday 18th November

MIXTAPE, Cardiff Arts Institute, £2 This is The Peoples Party: An outlandish and innovative weekly club night encouraging social interaction and player participation. This is not just your standard DJ night with cheap drinks expect competitions, public performance and a music policy encompassing Funk, Old School Hip-hop, Reggae, Soul Classics, Ska and Guilty Pleasures. Wednesdysv will never be the same again. It’s a simple format: Get involved! THE LASH, Solus, £3 One of the most successful nights the Union has ever seen, The Lash is going from strength to strength! I'm sure you have probably already been, but go again - it's still a great night. CHEAPSKATES, Metros, £5 w/flyer Expensive to get in, but if you like your metal and cheap drinks, then it is worth the price. It is famous for being a grotty place, but it's sort of why you like it.

Basically, we do like the game, but I prefer listening to real DJs doing real mixes in real places. Most notably, the best night to get the best music and best crowd is Vodka Island at Tiger Tiger! Completely contradictory to a few weeks ago, we have now decided it is AWESOME there! Don't we feel silly...

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 27

gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Thursday

19th November VV BROWN, Welsh Club, £7.50 Vanessa Brown, aka VV Brown is a singer, a songwriter, a performer, multi-instrumentalist and a producer. She describes her music as 'doo-wop indie whilst traveling on a rocket to outer space'. Passionate, music-obsessed and real. GARY NUMAN, MMH, £19 Eighties electro-pop icon whose 'Are Friends Electric' and 'Cars' set the scene for the genre. Now achieving a totally unexpected career relauch in the new Millennium. CYNT, Clwb Ifor Bach, £3 Get your rave on, its Thursday at Clwb! THE STYLISTICS, St David's, £20.50 With instantly recognisable hits such as 'Stop, Look, Listen to your Heart', 'You Are Everything' and 'Betcha By Golly Wow', The Stylistics are one of the most iconic groups in soul history. The group still features two of the original members (Herbert Murrell and Airrion Love) and is fronted by the brilliant Harold 'Eban' Brown, former singer with Wilbur Hart's Delfonics.

Friday

Saturday

20th November

21st November

KEEP IT UNREAL (MR. SCRUFF), Great Hall, £9.95 Initially inspired by the 2 Tone sound, the now legendary Ninja Tune DJ, Mr Scruff is famed for his awesome hip-hop sound, his epic sixhour sets and his sense of the comic. His sets are a mixture of deck-related wizardry and animated tom-foolery and will leave even the most hardened of anti-dance music critics grinning and boogieing the night away.

THE BIG LOVE WEDDING DISCO, Cardiff Arts Institute, £2 The best wedding disco you have ever been to. Ever, We bring the Big Love Wedding Disco out of a festival tent and indoors, get ready for an extravaganza of dancing fun featuring, vicars, wedding sing-a-longs, dressing up box, bouquet tossing, photobooth, first dances and conga lines. Plus our in house 80s wedding DJs playing all your favourite guilty pleasures alongside our wedding singer and vintage mobile disco.

NAPALM DEATH, Barfly, £10 The Gods of UK hardcore deathmetal continuing the legend that is riff after riff of pure metal noise. Or to put it another way the terrorists of noise show the nu-metal bands how to really scare people. SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, Coal Exchange, £20 As Wales' favourite psychedelic popsters, the Super Furry Animals have inspired a whole generation of artists since their emergence in the mid-nineties. Recording in both English and Welsh, they changed the way that many thought about the language, whilst producing some of the finest summery Beach Boys-inspired indie to have surfaced in the last two decades.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, Barfly, £7.50 The Butterfly Effect are a hard rock band from Brisbane, Australia. Formed in 1999, the band comprises Clint Boge, Ben Hall, Glenn Esmond and Kurt Goedhart. 6 CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, New Theatre, from £12 The band features multi-award winning singer, Rachel Jones (ex-Karnataka) who won Best Female singer for the Classic Rock Society for an unprecedented 4 consecutive years. And Godsticks.

Sunday

22nd November FOY VANCE, Glee Club, £8.50 An intelligent singer / songwriter with a sublime voice, funky guitar style and a clever turn of phrase. KASABIAN, CIA, SOLD OUT A glorious synth-tinged melting pot of indie rock that will caress the eardrums. Formed in Leicester while still at school, they took their name from Linda Kasabian, one of the members of the Charles Manson cult. Their electronica-indie rock fusion akin to Primal Scream combined with the rough vocal style and unrepentant Mancunian swagger of Oasis has firmly established them as more than just a flash in the pan and injected a large dose of energy back into the Brit-rock scene. But it's sold out... RISE AGAINST, Great Hall, SOLD OUT A hardcore punk rock band from Chicago, with a positive outlook that separates them from many of their peers. Since 1999 they've been mixing the furious energy of old-school hardcore with a more melodic sound, blending influences in a way that shouldn't work but does. Musically the band presses all the right buttons, but they are also very socially aware people, and have used their ever-growing profile to support numerous good causes

(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 FEATURES

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MAY 18 2009


gairrhydd | JOBS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14 2009

23 JOBS & MONEY


18 LETTERS

gairrhydd | LETTERS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 05 2009


FIVE MINUTE FUN 31

crossword. sudoku.

gairrhydd | FMF@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

EASY

MEDIUM

Across

Down

6. The act of avoiding capture (7) 7. Rundown (5) 9. A device that emits light (4) 10. Creative thinking (10) 11. Hand clapping (8) 13. Apprehended (6) 15. Bowl over (4) 17. The joint just above the foot (5) 18. Cousin of a mandolin (4) 19. Lecture (6) 20. Deserter (8) 23. A language of India (10) 26. Skillful (4) 27. Tropical lizard (5) 28. Needing a drink (7)

1. Instability in the atmosphere (10) 2. Setting (6) 3. Auth. unknown (4) 4. One of ten in Canada (8) 5. Leave in a hurry (4) 6. Provide (5) 8. Shield from harm (7) 12. Glacial ridge (5) 14. Nonsense (10) 16. Sometimes, it's whipped cream (7) 17. Stickiness (8) 21. Healthcare facility (6) 22. Keen or peachy (5) 24. Small European freshwater fish (4) 25. Parts of a play (4)

YO! Sushi o f fers students 2 5 % discount every w eekda y b etw een 3 p m and 6 p m The lucky winner o f our co m p etition w as w olf gang Kaller, w ho will recieve ÂŁ 5 0 w orth o f vouchers to s p end at YO! Sushi cardif f This co m p etition is no w closed

HARD


32 SPORT - THE WARM UP

Liverpool v Man. City

This Saturday sees an under-pressure Liverpool side desperate for a win as they welcome Man City to Anfield. With Liverpool already 11 points adrift from leaders Chelsea, a slip up this weekend could spell the end for Benitez’s reign on Merseyside. After starting the season as title contenders Liverpool have managed just one win in their last nine matches.

Man City will be looking to capitalise on this as they try to end a run of five straight league draws. Mark Hughes’ men are positioned one place above Liverpool and a win this weekend could see them rise back into the top four. City are hopeful for the return of Robinho whilst Torres is almost certainly out for Liverpool. Riera, Benayoun and Agger all picked up knocks against Birmingham and are a doubt for the clash. Alberto Aquilani may well get his first Premier League start as he tries to fill the massive void left by Xabi Alonso’s departure. The game looks as if it may be a nervy affair with both sides desperate for a win.

Lucy Morgan previews Cardiff Blues' momentous fixture against Australia at Cardiff's new City Stadium Tuesday November 24 looks to be an historic day for the Cardiff Blues as they take on Australia in the first rugby international to be held at the new Cardiff City Stadium. The fixture, announced last week, forms part of the Qantas Wallabies Autumn programme. As part of their series of fixtures against the home nations, the Blues will face the Wallabies ahead of their International against Wales the following weekend. The match will be the first time the Blues have played against Australia since being rebranded as a regional side in 2003 and securing this prestigious fixture is a massive coup for our local team. The Blues will be the second club side to play the Wallabies in their autumn tour, with Robbie Dean’s Australia having already taken on Gloucester ahead of their international against England.

Cardiff RFC have an impressive unbeaten record against Australia The exciting fixture harks back to the amateur era when touring squads would regularly play against the Welsh club sides and follows in the proud tradition of Cardiff rugby club who regularly played host to top international sides such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These matches were hugely popular with supporters and

Wales v Argentina

No longer can we talk about the southern hemisphere as only having three teams. The last decade has seen the sleeping giant that is Argentina slowly rise onto the world scene. After coming third in the last World Cup the Puma’s are currently positioned sixth in the rankings. As of 2012 Argentina will participate in the Tri-Nations, one of world rugby’s biggest spectacles and the South Americans will be searching for a victory in Cardiff this week.

It’s always a feisty match when Argentina are involved and this game promises to be no different as players will be looking to impress under the watchful eye of Warren Gatland. Wales will be looking for a moraleboosting victory as they build for the Six Nations. Gatland’s side will be looking to improve on the disappointment of this year’s tournament as he opts for a mix of experience and youth in the squad. With the ever-vocal Welsh crowd, and both sides utilizing their expansive styles they are known for, the game promises to be a cracker.

"He's behind you Paul!"

PHOTO: CARDIFF BLUES

Previews in brief

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

"That's the wrong team Dai!" players alike. Cardiff RFC have an impressive unbeaten record against Australia having notched up victories in 1908, 1947, 1957, 1966, 1975 and most recently scoring a victory over the Grand Slam tourists in 1984. The 1984 'Grand Slam' tour of Britain and Ireland was a series of 18 matches played by the Australian national team and they were the first and only Australian side to achieve a Grand Slam, doing so in four Tests against the Home Nations. A number of great Australian players made their names on that tour with David Campese, Michael Lynagh, Mark Ella and Nick Farr-Jones all coming to prominence. The Cardiff Blues will certainly be looking to build on this past success to secure an historic victory at their new home. Despite the likelihood that the Blues’ Welsh contingent will be unavailable, the enthusiasm and excitement ahead of this fixture has certainly not been dimmed. The match will, after all, provide a fantastic opportunity for the development of the squad’s younger and less experienced players. As Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby,

Dai Young, has said, securing this fixture has provided “a great opportunity for those players who have not played international rugby to play against one of the best teams in the world.”

The Blues will be looking to secure an historic victory at their new home ground What’s more, as recent history suggests, a victory over the Wallabies by a Welsh regional side is by no means unthinkable. The Osprey’s proved this is in their superb 24-16 victory over the team from Down Under in November 2004. The atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium on that memorable day was electric and the same can almost definitely be said for the upcoming Cardiff fixture. The stadium has already seen superb atmospheres such as when the Blues faced local rivals the Ospreys and the Scarlets earlier in the season and, with the Aus-

tralia attendance looking set to break the 16,000 attendance record, the atmosphere is sure to be unbelievable. The fixture is a fantastic opportunity for fans to see their local team take on an International side and, with tickets for students priced at only £10, this match is surely one not to be missed. As Blues Chief Executive Bob Norster has said, “This is a great and affordable chance for supporters of all ages to see such illustrious visitors clash with our team in a special celebratory occasion during the final week of their European tour.”

TICKET INFO: Student tickets, priced at £10 can be purchased online at www.cardiffblues.com/tickets or by calling the ticket office on 0845 345 1400.

Cardiff Blues vs Australia: Editors' predictions James Hinks: I want to say Cardiff Blues to win. I want the big head Aussies to take one hell of a beating and go into Autumn Internationals battered and bruised. Shocks like that do happen in these games i.e Leicester beating South Africa. However, I think this ones going to go the way of the men from down-under. Although Australia will not have their full strength side, neither will the Blues. My prediction is a high tempo match and Australia to win by quite a

Jon Evans: As a Cardiff lad it's hard for me to go against my home team but I can only see one outcome: an Aussie victory. With the spine of the Blues side away on international duty the squad is severly depleted. The Wallabees are likely to field a second squad but those players will be looking to secure a spot in the first 15. Cardiff haven't had the best of starts this season and I don't see things getting any better. But, what better motivation than playing one of the world's best? Australia to win by 20 points.

Adam Horne: Call me crazy, choosing a club team over an international side, but hold the straightjacket for just one moment. Rest assured that Cardiff will be more up for this game than Australia. They will want to prove they can mix it with the best and will be looking to hurt the Wallabies. Cardiff have been in good form lately and will head into this game with a huge amount of confidence and I wouldnt be surprised if they grab a win against a young, inconsistent and sometimes nervy Australia side. Blues to scrape it.

Robbie Wells: A game that pits one of the best teams in the world against a decent club team with the greater majority of their better players out on international duty should be deemed as a walkover. And it will be. The Blues will be full of fight and determination but unfortunately for the home team, I can't see it being enough against a national team who will simply be superior. That being said, if the Aussies take victory for granted, they may well come unstuck.


WORD ON - SPORT 33 Morgan Applegarth gives The Word On... how Top Five sponsorship is tarnishing the strands of tradition 1.

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Most ridiculous sports sponsorships

Undeniably, capitalist mindsets are having an increasing effect on the sports industry and nowhere more noticeably in football. The game is constantly shrouded in take-over talk or transfer gossip, so much so that someday it’s not uncommon for headlines to be about nothing other than off-thefield antics. It is this area of the beautiful game that has interested me lately as I learned about a recent change of name for one of Britain’s most well known stadiums, St. James’ Park. A couple of weeks ago it was revealed that the home of The Magpies has been re-named to the laughable “sportsdirect.com@St. James’ Park”, as means of attracting bigger investors. I’m not entirely sure what elements humour me the most; the long-winded nature of the name or the fact that it actually includes the “@” symbol. Either way, it seems that the marketing directors have added to the already damaged reputation of the club, who frequently featured on the back pages last season due to the team’s poor performance and regular balls-ups going on ‘behind the scenes’.

Money is leaving a stain on the tradition of the sport Now, although not a recent trend, name changing is definitely an issue on the minds of some traditionalists, who antagonise the concept. A recent poll by The Guardian which asked readers “Should football clubs sell the rights to stadium names?” a whopping 85.6% said “No”. A Guardian poll probably won’t change the mind of the guys at the top, but for sake of discussion, it seems that the majority aren’t welcoming of name tampering. But what are the reasons why clubs toy with the idea? It’s pretty simple really. It’s not because the members of the board are trying to inject modernity into the clubs (not directly anyway), they do that by approving outrageous kit designs (check out Bolton’s kit that features a pocket on the shirt, ridiculous). Instead, the reason is revenue fuelled – clubs are trying to gain extra pennies to keep afloat and grow in power by trying to scrape their hands on as much cash as possible. As a result, local and global businesses are sprawled across merchandise and fashioned by supporters

day-in-day-out. It seems the amusing actions taking place in Tyneside has led to the revealing that other clubs may be following suite. Chelsea are tipped to be welcoming change and Aston Villa are rumoured to be replacing the name “Villa Park”, but not if the feisty Irishman Martin O’Neill has anything to do with it as he categorically denied the rumour. However, it’s not just in football where fans are witnessing the influence owners and sponsors are having. One of cricket’s most famous grounds commonly known as “The Oval” is officially named “The British Insurance Oval” and across the pond, NHL team Philadelphia Flyers have had their arena name changed four times (the most noticeable change was when the arena became known as “The First Union Centre”, or “The F.U. Centre” for short…). There are hundreds of cases where names have changed, some having a greater impact than others. When I talk of tradition, I am talking about the change of a long-standing name that other generations can recognise and associate with. Up until last week, Newcastle’s hallowed turf had been solely named “St. James’ Park” since 1892 but that is now only a chapter in the clubs history. As someone who has been watching football from a young age, I feel that the naming of grounds is somewhat overlooked. Raised as a follower of

League 2 club Aldershot Town, I’ve become familiar with the name of their home ground. But last season, the club became one of many who are looking for a cheeky cash injection by providing the naming rights of the ground to the highest bidder. What was once “The Recreation Ground” (original, I know) is now “The EBB Stadium at The Recreation Ground”. To begin with, I wasn’t welcoming of the change but can now take some relief in that it doesn’t read like an email address. For me, it will always be “The Rec”.

It seems that money addicted businessmen care more for their company's name being emblazoned anywhere they can flaunt it This got me thinking about the effect name changes have on spectators. Take Arsenal’s “The Emirates Stadium” for example. Since day 1, the Gunners’ fortress has been named after the current club sponsor having received a whopping £100million pounds for a 15 year naming-rights deal. What I question is what people

will call the stadium once the deal is finished? Will it remain “The Emirates” or will people revert to the site on which the ground was built, “Ashburton Grove”? The same thoughts can be applied to Burton Albion’s “Pirelli Stadium”. My position in this under-thought conundrum sways more toward the idea that money is leaving a stain on the tradition of the sport. Personally, I feel that a club’s home provides the likes of spectators and players a point in which they can associate with, a reference point for all the emotion that has oozed from blades of grass. Sadly though, it seems that moneyaddicted businessmen care more for their company’s name being emblazed anywhere they can flaunt it. Of course these deals do more than I’m giving credit for. The money will go toward future signings or improved facilities (so they say anyway), which can only aid the reputation of the club. It seems that the strands of tradition are being picked at slowly, making clubs more impersonal. Perhaps I’m reading far to into this, that tradition isn’t being tarnished, rather it is evolving with the times. Whatever your opinion, I believe clubs should hold onto one of the last remaining factors that football generations can all identify with; understanding what is meant by “Craven Cottage” rather than “The wealthy man from Harrods Presents the Fulham Arena” .

Deportivo Wanka: Actually the best name for a team ever. Technically not a sponsorship but they did sell more shirts because of this name.

2. Dick's Sporting Goods: When it was erected fans thought it was a rather small stadium. However it was built on foundations with potential for growth.

3. Pooh Jeans AC Milans shirt sponsor: Gives a whole new meaning to the chant "you're shit and you know your are". Although they are shit hot.

4. Total Network Solutions are now known as 'The New Saints'. This name was made famous by Jeff Stelling who coined the phrase 'they'll be dancing on the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight."

5.

GHOST TOWN: LOOKS LIKE THE STADIUM DESIGNERS OVERCOMPENSATED FOR SEATS

SportsDirect.com at St James's Park: The new name that has sparked off so much debate. No one is going to call it this stupid name anyway though so calm down you Geordies!


34 SPORT - IMG IMG NETBALL STANDINGS IMG NETBALL

DIVISION A

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Psychology A

5

5

0

0

+77

15

2

CARBS

5

4

0

1

105

12

3

Cardiff B

4

3

0

1

+35

9

4

English A

4

3

0

1

+8

9

5

SOCSI

4

1

0

3

-3

3

6

Pharmacy

5

1

0

4

-61

3

7

JOMEC

4

1

0

3

-66

3

8

Politics

5

0

0

5

--95

0

IMG NETBALL

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

Economics

5

5

0

0

116

15

2

Engin Loco

5

5

0

0

109

15

3

Law B

5

3

0

2

+35

9

4

Cardiff Jets A

5

3

0

2

-30

9

5

Gym Gym

3

1

0

2

-24

3

6

Navy

3

0

0

3

-49

0

7

Medics B

4

0

0

4

-65

0

8

Christian Union

4

0

0

4

--92

0

IMG NETBALL

DIVISION C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

SOCSI A

4

4

0

0

+26

12

2

CARBS B

4

3

1

0

+21

10

3

Pharmacy A

2

2

0

0

+29

6

4

Bioscience

4

2

0

2

+16

6

5

Psychology B

4

1

1

2

-15

4

6

Medics A

3

1

0

2

-1

3

7

Engin Auto

3

0

0

3

-22

0

8

Economics B

4

0

0

4

--54

0

IMG NETBALL

MOMED show champion's touch to shove Earth Soc faces in dirt Mike O'Brien Sports Writer

DIVISION B

1

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

MOMED 3 - 2 Earth Soc This week MOMED had to dig deep in order to unearth a victory on Wednesday at the cold and typically muddy Pontcanna fields. The opening minutes proved to be a lively affair with both teams creating chances and testing out defences, before Earth Soc drew first blood after 20 minutes. A fiercely struck free kick saw the MOMED keeper unable to collect cleanly and the Earth Soc attackers were first to react and bundled the ball into the back of the net. The restart saw MOMED heap a

mound of pressure onto the opposition’s defence but they were unable to convert chances into goals. At the other end of the pitch, Earth Soc were awarded a definitely dubious penalty for an apparent hand ball clearance off the line, which they converted to take the score to 2-0 before half time. After a number of inspired substitutions, MOMED looked revitalised after the break and camped out in the Earth Soc half for the remainder of the game. However it wasn’t until the 75th minute that MOMED finally got their reward after spurning a hatful of chances. A huge kick from keeper Robert Birch eluded the opposition defenders and allowed Mark Hatenan to head the

ball over the helpless keeper and begin the MOMED revival. Within five minutes, Sam Cockeram had levelled the scores to 2-2 as he got behind the Earth Soc defenders and cooly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net. With five minutes remaining the current IMG champions mounted an all-out-assault on the Earth Soc defence which finally relented to John Dovey, who latched onto a through ball and calmly rounded the keeper to put MOMED into a deserved lead which they managed to maintain for the few remaining minutes. This win sees MOMED continue their unbeaten record so far this season and extend their lead at the top of the table.

DIVISION D

IMG FOOTBALL STANDINGS IMG FOOTBALL

Group A W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

MOMED

5

3

1

0

+15

13

2

Engin Auto

5

3

1

1

+9

10

3

EarthSoc

5

3

0

2

+7

9

4

Economics FC

5

2

3

0

+6

9

5

Pharm AC

4

2

2

0

+8

8

P

6

Magnificent XI

4

1

0

3

-9

3

7

JOMEC FC

5

0

1

4

-15

1

8

Philosophy FC

5

0

0

5

--21

0

IMG FOOTBALL

Group B P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Law A

5

4

1

0

+10

13

2

Sporting Lesbians

5

3

2

0

+7

11

3

AFC History

5

3

0

2

+14

9

4

AFC Cathays

4

2

1

1

0

7

5

Law B

5

2

0

3

0

6

6

Chemistry

4

2

0

2

-2

6

7

SAWSA

5

1

0

4

-7

3

8

Cardiff Crusader

5

0

0

5

--23

0

IMG FOOTBALL

Group C P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

Gym Gym

3

3

0

0

+12

9

2

Psycho Athletico

3

3

0

0

+7

9

3

Samba Tigers

3

2

0

1

+7

6

EUROS FC

3

1

0

2

+1

3

3

1

0

2

-1

3

4 5

Sub-Standard Liege

6

SOCSI FC

3

1

0

2

-4

3

7

KAY FC

3

1

0

2

-8

3

8

Opsoccer

3

0

0

3

--16

0

IMG FOOTBALL

Group D

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

P

W

D

L

Diff

Pts

1

LAW A

4

4

0

0

+88

12

1

CARBS

3

2

1

0

+19

7

2

Cardiff A

3

3

0

0

+52

9

2

KLAW FC

3

2

1

0

+10

7

3

English B

4

3

0

1

+20

9

3

Real Ale Madrid

3

2

1

0

+8

7

4

Dentistry

4

1

1

2

-15

4

4

Inter-me-nan

3

2

1

0

+5

7

5

EarthSoc

4

1

1

2

-16

4

5

Engin FC

3

2

0

1

+14

6

6

SAWSA

4

1

0

3

-41

3

6

J-Unit

3

0

0

3

-11

0

7

Jets B

3

1

0

3

-41

3

7

Myg Myg

3

0

0

3

-18

0

8

History

4

0

0

3

--47

0

8

AFC Time Team

3

0

0

3

--27

0

UPCOMING FIXTURES

UPCOMING FIXTURES

DIVISION A

GROUP A

JOMEC SOCSI B Politics

Cardiff B

V V V V

English A

MOMED FC

Psycho A

Economics

Pharmacy B

Mag XI

Carbs A

DIVISION B

Economics

Law B

Medics B

C. Union

V V V V

Engin Loco Gym Gym Jets A Navy

DIVISION C Carbs B Engin Auto SOCSI A Psycho B

Jets B

Law A

History

Philosophy running out of ideas as Pharmacy rub salt in their wounds

V V V V

Pharmacy A Bioscience Medics A Economics

V V V V

English B Dentistry EarthSoc SAWSA

Pharmacy went into the fixture as clear favourites, having started the season rather brightly - a stark contrast to their opponents, who have not won a single game and are somewhat lacking in confidence. Philosophy’s new look squad has yet to gel, having only played together on a few occasions; it really did look like an uphill challenge. Pharmacy started strongly, and were one nil up before the five minute mark, and looked in good stead to go on. This advantage was quickly added to by a brilliant ball by Pharmacy’s midfield playmaker; number six, splitting the defence and allowing for an easy finish to double their lead. Philosophy however did begin to edge

more into the game playing some good football on both flanks and causing Pharmacy’s defence a few problems. Unfortunately for Philosophy the fight-back failed to materialise and a cheeky chip by the Pharmacy’s number nine lobbed the goalkeeper. The second half saw numerous changes on both sides as Philosophy shuffled their defence and attack to try and create some form of stability, while also hoping for some magic up top, which would allow for a fight back. The game started again as it had finished, very scrappy and fast paced, challenges flying in, much encouraged by the terrible weather conditions. A couple of tackles, however, soured the atmosphere, causing an injury to one of Philosophy’s prized assets. Despite this, throughout the second half, Philosophy showed glimpses of the potential football the team could produce. A long cross field ball between James Donaldson, to Nicky Otter highlighted this, allowing the quick

footed winger to cause chaos amongst Pharmacy’s back-four, the end result being a shot just inches wide. Another Philosophy attack saw the woodwork rocking, as it ricocheted off the crossbar. However, another long kick from Pharmacy’s keeper unlocked Philosophy’s defence, allowing Pharmacy’s number nine to double his tally. A last minute goal from a corner rounded up the scoring, and ensured that Philosophy’s search for a victory would have to wait another day. A combination of poor weather and terrible pitch conditions ensured that this game would not live long in the memory. It was arguably a much better result this season compared to last season’s corresponding fixture, which many of the Philosophy players would rather have forgotten, but a new squad and a new season has shown that there is a great deal of potential. However, lessons are still to be learned if improvements are to be made.

Engin Auto

V V V V

Law B

V V V V

SOCSI

V V V V

Carbs

Philosophy JOMEC FC Earth Soc

GROUP B AFC History Law A Cathays

Lawrence Waller Sports Writer Pharmacy 5 - 0 Philosophy

DIVISION D

Cardiff A

Pharm AC LAST MINUTE: MOMED reignite memories of 1999 Champions League final

V V V V

Sporting Lesbians

SAWSA Crusaders Chemistry

GROUP C Opsoccer Liege KAY FC Samba T.

EUROS FC Gym Gym Psycho At.

GROUP D J-Unit Real Ale Inter KLAW FC

Engin FC Time Team Myg Myg


BUCS - SPORT 35

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009

Cardiff 1sts 8 - 3 Hartpury College 2nds Cardiff overcame last week's loss to UWE to take the scalp of tabletoppers Hartpury College 2nds, in a game that saw their forwards come of age It wasn't until the 14th minute of the second half, with the score level at 3-3, that Cardiff managed to add to the successful long-range penalty kick from returning fly-half Olly Jenkins. When it felt like the first side to score would run away with the game, it came down to some neat work from the ever-present Harri Wynn-Morgan to do the business. He bamboozled the defence with a trademark show-andgo from 30 metres out and exploited a two-man overlap to send centre partner Max Woodward over for a try. Jenkins's conversion attempt just drifted wide, and the fear was always there that all Hartpury needed was a

converted try to cause heartbreak for the home team. It was convenient, then, that Cardiff's forwards managed to dominate up front, turning the ball over whenever it counted against what was ostensibly a bigger pack. A maelstrom of bodies on the ground invariably resulted in the ball ending up in scrumhalf Joe Casella's hands, much to the team's delight. The exchanges were brutal and ensured that the physio's attention was needed for more than just the purpose of providing eye-candy for the beleaguered players. True, for most of the game, Cardiff were outstanding in attack and defence inside their own half - but not so much in their opponents'. It was a rare treat for them to break into Hartpury's neck of the woods, and often they were content to use the boot of Jenkins (whose spiralling kicks were, admittedly, pleasing to the eye) to up the territory percentage. But they took their chance when it came and clung onto the lead for dear life. When the away team did threaten to sneak a win at the death with a lineout on Cardiff's 5-metre line, the ball fell

into the hands of a grateful Jordan Wood. His subsequent interlink passing with Ross Grimstone averted any danger by taking the ball out of the danger zone and up to the halfway line - it would have made a Fijian Sevens team shed a tear. Cardiff's willingness to keep the ball alive using sensible offloads was heartening. It is apt that Hartpury is a college renowned for its equine facilities, because at times their backs played like blinkered shire horses. Then again, on the rare occasion they did attempt to attack down the flank, they were invariably ushered into touch by a committed defence. The aerial counterattack from Jack 'Varsity' Beaman was always as good as its chase by a hungry back three. Backs coach Derek Laing was unreserved in commending the team, but singled out a few individuals: "Dan Lewis was absolutely fantastic, as was Rob Forrest on the wing with his cover tackling. Olly Jenkins was also good in the second half when he wasn't kicking into a gale force wind!" It seems that the red and white monster is slowly awakening.

Cardiff knock Aberyswyth for six Holleigh Marsh Sports Writer

Cardiff Ladies FC 1st 6 - 0 Aberystwyth Ladies FC Cardiff 1sts maintained their promising start to the season with another excellent performance and another clean sheet. Aberystwyth made life hard for Cardiff in the opening ten minutes as they sat back and defended everything Cardiff could throw at them, with the Aberystwyth goalkeeper making a number of fine saves. However, once the deadlock was broken there was

only going to be one winner. Elisabeth Dale’s hard work down the left wing was rewarded as her effort squeezed between the goalkeeper and near post. Jen Fildes then doubled Cardiff’s lead with another near post effort from the right hand side. Fildes then saw another strike come back off the cross bar before half time. Cardiff were disappointed to only convert two of their numerous chances in the first half, but made amends for this with a far more clinical second half display. Fildes saw another strike rebound off the crossbar but soon tucked away her second of the game after loud pen-

alty claims were waved away by the referee. Fildes was quickest to react to the loose ball to beat the goalkeeper from close range. Sophie Gidley then got on the score sheet with a fine strike from the edge of the 18-yard area. Excellent interplay on the edge of the area between Steph Smits and Gidley saw the latter finish excellently with her left foot for her second of the game. Fildes then saw her third shot rebound off the cross bar, before Georgia Copsey rounded off the tally with a powerful header from a corner. Cardiff 1sts next face Glamorgan in two weeks time.

Cobras' sting stuns muddogs James Fooks Sports Writer Cardiff Cobras 99 - 0 Bangor Muddogs This weekend saw the first action in the British Universities American Football League – with the Cardiff Cobras in action against new kids Bangor Muddogs. Having had a successful preseason of training, the Cobras were confident of victory going in to this match, but also unsure what sort of a threat the Muddogs would pose. The Cobras won the coin toss and started well with running back Deji Ali returning the opening kick

off to around midfield. The Offence then took to the field and within three plays had already put points on the board – Touchdown scored by Deji Ali and extra point added by kicker Tom “Keane” Wilson. After successfully taking down the Bangor kick returner on their own four yard line, the Cobras solid defence did it’s job making tackles for losses, sacks and forcing the Muddogs to punt the ball away on the fourth down of their first series. The red-hot offence, led by quarterbacks Gareth Thomas and Gareth Humphreys, continue to rip apart the Muddogs defence throughout the match scoring ten Touchdowns before half-time and making 530 total yards of offence – passing and run-

ning the ball – throughout the game. The defence continued in much the same way as the opening drive, blitzing the Muddogs line, creating havoc in the backfield, intercepting the Bangor QB’s passes and making tackle after tackle after tackle. The Cobras allowed only one first down all match and congratulations go to linebacker Ollie Devon for getting MVP after making a ton of tackles and recording an interception. “It was a great performance all round,” said Coach Dave Pruett. “Both sides of the football executed well, but there’s still work to be done and improvements to be made. We’ve sent a message to the League with this performance, but it’s only one match out of eight.”

Always keep your eyes on the ball

2nds secure success Dominic O'Loghlen Sports Writer Cardiff FC 2nds 2 - 1 Aberyswyth Cardiff 2nds dominated Abersywyth in an unflattering 2--1 win. Cardiff faced a well organised, well drilled Aberystwyth first team. Cardiff were clearly the better side in the first forty-five minutes, but the all important goal just wouldn’t come despite good efforts from Edwin Bowers and Nathan Jones. Cardiff started the second half brightly with the midfield duo of Steven Trythell and Alled Jones pulling the strings. Despite Cardiff’s dominance, Aberystwyth got a corner on seventy minutes and after a goal mouth scramble the ball ended up in the back of the net. The goal seemed to ignite Cardiff’s passion, resulting in Trythell scoring with a deft header at the front post within five minutes of Cardiff conceding. Cardiff continued to press after

the re-start with full backs Jake Akins and Dominic O’Loghlen getting forward at every opportunity, but all of Cardiff’s efforts were beaten away by the inspired Aberystwyth Goal keeper. On ninety minutes however Cardiff’s centre back Thomas Poole won the ball at the back and released Cardiff’s right wing Bowers to deliver a cross which was superbly hooked in by Paul Barns. The final whistle blew shortly after, followed by rapturous applause. PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Sebastian Barrett Sports Writer

PHOTO: CHRISTINA MACKIE

Cardiff regain their winning ways

Dont miss!

Cobras destroy muddogs


Sport gairrhydd

INSIDE: Blues vs Australia, BUCS and IMG RESULTS, Fixtures and The Word On...Stadium Sponsorships

PHOTO: OLI FRANKLIN

Tigers pounce to top of the league

CROWD GOES WILD: Spectators flock to see Tigers win

Oli Franklin Sports Writer Cardiff 1sts 75 - 68 Exeter 1sts Cardiff Tigers knocked league leaders Exeter off top spot last week in a thrilling showdown, establishing themselves at the top of Division One. It was a game that had been hotly anticipated by both sides, with first division stalwarts Exeter yet to meet the Tigers, who have socked the competition in their first season at the top level. Tensions were high, and a huge crowd filling Talybont set the stage for what was bound to be one of the most

important games of the season. The game started with a bang: Exeter looking menacing from the start scoring first. Cardiff looked hesitant, but a tough rebound and follow up from Joan Carles Herrero to put Cardiff on the scoreboard. Although hesitant, Cardiff looked strong from the start: their infamously fierce offensive style again allowing them to take control of the game, finishing the first quarter 19-12. In the second quarter though, Exeter started to wise up to Cardiff’s big men, and began to fight back. It took star guard Kostas Kritikos to re-establish Cardiff’s lead, with a stunning performance in the second quarter, hitting three pointer after three pointer

over a helpless Exeter defence. He finished the half with 19 points, Cardiff leading 42-37. At the start of the second half however, things took a turn for the worst. Player-coach Matt Garton took a tough hit and went down hard on his ankle, having to be carried off to appreciative applause from the crowd. The response from Cardiff was initially strong, spurred on by the loss of Garton, but the lack of his presence on the court began to show, and Exeter started to claw their way back into the game. As the fourth quarter began, a sense of concern descended on the crowd. Cardiff were on the back foot, and Exeter were determined. Tensions were running high.

The whistle blew. The Cardiff supporters erupted, and the game burst into life, every player running hard end-to-end, with fouls coming thick and fast as the players scrapped and fought for every point. Exeter’s star player, big man Chris Page was a force to be reckoned with, knocking down shot after shot to carry their team. But Cardiff refused to give up, and the quality of the team started to become apparent, each player playing his part in a comprehensive team performance. Kritikos and Herrero shone throughout, as did forwards Kestas Vaicekauskas and Indrek Bauer. Every player played their hearts out, and it showed, as Exeter began to flag and Cardiff started to pull away.

With a minute left, Cardiff just had to hold out and stop Exeter from scoring to get the win. As Exeter frantically tried to steal the ball, Cardiff showed their class, keeping the ball as the final seconds ticked away. Finally, the whistle blew, and the team and crowd spilled on to the court, rapturous applause ringing in their ears. The scoreboard read 75-68. Cardiff are top of the league. “Our experience won the game, in the end,” Kritikos commented after the game. There are concerns over Matt Garton’s ankle, but doubtless Cardiff will be on a high after this momentous win, because as of this moment, the league is theirs to lose.

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gair rhydd - Issue 909