Page 1

gair rhydd Monday June 07 2010 | freeword – Est. 1972 | Issue 927



Welsh Gay pride - The ball stars stars + Music fashion with Summer raphers to the Razor sharp and Ripley, photog Baftas - Ripley

gairrhydd SPO RT

I chose to move back with my mum so that I have to pay less rent Quench catches up with Los Campesinos!

gair rhydd gets you ready for the greatest sporting event on earth World Cup pullout free inside

Concerns have been raised after more than 150 students sitting an exam in Macroeconomic Theory were given the wrong exam paper. The second-year Cardiff Business School (CARBS) students arrived at the Great Hall to sit the exam on May 26, but were given the paper that only one student, who was re-sitting the module from the previous year, was supposed to have been given. The course has fundamentally changed since last year, so students were unable to correctly answer the questions in Section B of the paper. The blunder originated from registry, as opposed to the Business School itself. The incident took place just 24hours after another second-year student, who was re-sitting an exam in Modern British Economic History, was handed the same paper as those taking the exam for the first time, instead of a different paper with questions on topics the student had studied in the previous academic year. Following the Macroeconomic Theory exam error, students received an e-mail from the chair of the second-year board of examiners, Professor Derek Matthews, which said: “I sincerely apologise for the mistake… I want to assure you that we will make certain that no one will be disadvantaged by the error.” Professor Matthews stressed that “similar mistakes have happened in the past and have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction”. He also said that it “was not the fault of the Business School.” Professor Matthews later told a student via e-mail that he could not


Tramps out Union managers have erected a fence in order to keep out the homeless, which has been met with mixed reactions from students. News, page 2

Second-year students left feeling anxious after being given wrong exam paper provide details about how the exam will be marked, because “a whole series of procedures has to be gone through, including involving the external examiner.” Many of the students have been left feeling frustrated and anxious. Second-year Economics student, Charlie Winter, said: “At first I panicked, thinking my revision had not been thorough enough, even though I had prepared really hard for it. “After the exam was over, and I had spoken to other students, it became clear there was a large amount of unrest, and I e-mailed the lecturer asking what was going on. “The exam really shook me up and I was angry that it had happened, and was anxious that nothing was going to be done to account for the fact that I was not able to answer many questions, with several questions being unrelated to the topics we had been told to prepare for.” A fellow student added: “It is a disgrace. We feel badly let down by registry, who have demonstrated a total lack of competency when it comes to getting the correct exam paper to our desks in the exam hall. “While it is a shame for us, I feel very sorry for the module teacher, Dr. Polito, whose efforts this year have been huge and much appreciated by all of us. It will be interesting to see what set of marks they come up with.” A University spokesperson said: “The Examining Board will consider all the relevant information about the examination when it meets in June 2010. “The Board has the powers to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by these events. Any action proposed by the Examining Board will be taken following discussion and consultation with the external examiner for the programme.”


Inside this week:

Economics exam blunder Emma McFarnon News Editor


Sex and the City Many would accept that Sex and the City 2 is a bad film. But is its portrayal of Middle Eastern stereotypes outrageously offensive? Opinion, page 8

Flying the flag As the World Cup approaches, debate has raged across Britain over the wearing of football shirts. Is it a sign of patriotism or xenophobia? Opinion, page 9

Köhler resigns The abrupt resignation of German President Horst Köhler has come as a shock to most of Europe. But what impact will his resignation have on under-fire Chancellor Merkel? Politics, page 11

Pole dancing Pole dancing is constantly in the headlines. Can it be a fun way to stay in shape or does it simply represent the sexual exploitation of women? Features, pages 18-19

Artificial life Scientist Craig Venter has recently managed to create synthetic life. Is it an exciting discovery or a dangerous attempt to play God? Science and Environment, page 25

Benitez leaves

Tinchy Stryder pulls out of the Summer Ball – Full story: page 3

Rafa Benitez has left Liverpool after a ‘mutual agreement’ with the club’s board. We reflect on his highs and lows as Liverpool manager. Sport, page 27 And more, in Wales’ number one student paper


gr EDITOR Emma Jones

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Six percent rise in overseas tuition fees Ben Price Reporter

DEPUTY EDITOR Simon Lucey CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan SUB EDITOR Sarah Powell HEAD OF DESIGN Paul Stollery NEWS Ceri Isfryn Gareth Ludkin Emma McFarnon Jamie Thunder FEATURES Daniella Graham Robin Morgan

Cardiff University has proposed a 6% increase in international students’ tuition fees for the academic year 2011-2012. The proposal to raise fees for overseas students to such a high rate is in line with other Russell Group university increases. However, a Cardiff University spokesperson said: “Cardiff University remains in the lower quartile of international tuition fees set by Russell Group universities.” The notion of raising tuition fees has become commonplace in universities across the United Kingdom,

as the government makes deep cuts in public spending. The proposed cuts in government investment in higher education has forced universities to find alternative ways to maintain their high levels of research and education. The Russell Group, of which Cardiff University is a member, has suggested that universities should have the freedom to set their own tuition fees in order to maintain their world-class reputations. Tuition fees for overseas students have gradually increased in recent years. In 2008, a general increase of 4.8% was experienced by international undergraduates coming to UK-based universities. Previously, many reports have

warned that universities may price themselves out of the international market, as overseas students may complain of poor value for money. However, Cardiff University believes this 6% increase will not affect the level of overseas students that apply to study here each year The spokesperson added: “Cardiff University's international population currently stands at approximately 11% of the overall student population and we are looking to maintain around the same number. The University aims to attract and retain the best international and home students and ensure that all groups of students benefit from a diverse, high quality education and excellent student services.”

OPINION Paul Stollery Oli Franklin

SU installs anti-tramp fences Ceri Isfryn News Editor The Students’ Union has taken steps to prevent the homeless from sleeping on its grounds by installing metal fences. Until recently, groups of homeless individuals were a common sight at the bottom of the Union steps that lead on to Park Place. According to Students’ Union President, Ed Carey, the decision was taken to close off the area “to ensure the safety of students.” “We have no obligation to shelter those who stayed there and I think people may have already begun to wonder why we have not acted sooner. It certainly did us no favours when we had people visiting the building,” he said.

Burglary-free week in Cardiff

POLITICS Damian Fantato

Katie Murdoch Reporter COLUMNISTS Tim Hart Oli Franklin LISTINGS Sarah Powell 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 Miranda Atty Elizabeth Blockley Laura Brunt Lauren Cowie James Dunn Malcolm Leeman Pippa Lewis Katie Murdoch Hannah Pendleton Ben Price Oliver Smith Jake Yorath NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 OPINION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 POLITICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 COLUMNIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 FEATURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 LETTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 TAF-OD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 SCIENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 LISTINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 PUZZLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 SPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Shooting stars: Cardiff Uni astronomers appear on BBC

Cardiff University Astronomers on BBC Gareth Ludkin News Editor Two astronomers from Cardiff University will be appearing on the BBC’s The Sky at Night programme on Monday June 7. Professor Derek Ward-Thompson and Dr. Chris North, from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, will discuss the latest astronomical findings from the Herschel satellite on the programme. The Herschel satellite incorporates the largest mirror ever to be

launched into space, and carries the SPIRE instrument, the construction of which was led by an international consortium led by Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. The satellite, launched just over a year ago, looks at long wavelength infra-red light, and so does not see stars. Instead the instrument observes the gas and dust between the stars, and the space within which new stars are born. The two University astronomers will discuss the latest findings from the satellite alongside Sir Patrick Moore who has been the presenter

of The Sky At Night programme for 53 years. Dr. North, said: “It’s a real honour to have the chance to appear and discuss the latest Herschel findings with Sir Patrick Moore. The Sky at Night is unlike any other TV programme, it has a faithful following and is watched by amateurs and professionals alike.” The programme will be broadcast on BBC1 at 12.55am in Wales on Monday June 7 and shown one hour earlier in England. A longer version will also be shown on Tuesday June 8 at 7.30pm on BBC4.

Police have thanked the public for their help in preventing crime, after zero burglaries were reported last week. Police in Cardiff said that, on average, at least four burglaries are reported each day, but not one was reported last Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the capital. Cardiff ’s divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Bob Tooby, believes that the work done through the Safer Capital Partnership scheme has paid off. “More community intelligence on individuals who appear to live above their means has meant we’ve been able to target stolen goods handlers and apprehend offenders through to strip them of their financial proceeds,” he said. The Safer Capital Partnership scheme saw the large student community in the capital schooled on the importance of burglary prevention. The South Wales Police and Cardiff University Students’ Union Welcome Crew took part in the initiative, which involved testing whether front doors were unlocked in student housing. Many were found to be unlocked, and although people were in the house, they were warned of ‘walk-in’ or ‘creeper’ burglaries, in which a thief can simply walk in and steal possessions while the tenants are unaware. “Over the last 12 months, there have been 4,411 less victims of crime and 429 less burglaries compared to the year before. I’m so grateful to our communities and partners.”


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Tinchy Stryder pulls out of Ball Chipmunk, Hadouken, and Aggro Santos will replace headliner on June 11 Gareth Ludkin News Editor Tinchy Stryder has pulled out of this year’s Summer Ball less than two weeks before the event. As one of the biggest stars on the bill this year, Tinchy Stryder’s exit was a blow for Union organisers, who had to negotiate replacements at the last minute. Reportedly offered work with Nike to do an advert, Tinchy Stryder was still within his contractual rights to pull out, even at this late stage. The Summer Ball line-up has received mixed reviews so far but Ed Carey, Students’ Union President, is confident that Tinchy Stryder’s exit will not damage the quality of the Ball, held in Coopers Field on Friday June 11. He said: "Broadly, the pull-out was a catalyst for a bigger and, I would say, better line-up." Three acts will now replace Tinchy Stryder: Hadouken, Aggro Santos and Chipmunk. At such short notice, this exit could have had severe consequences. However, the Union organisers are confident that they have salvaged the situation. The Union has incurred minimal costs as a result of the change to the bill. Between six and seven thousand pounds were spent on the new acts. Further promotional, marketing and staff costs will be small, according to Ed. He said: "The addi-

tional cost is minimal and probably mainly in the form of staff hours. We would always have done a big push in the final week anyway and so we'll do this with the updated publicity." Ed continued by praising the strength of the line-up, despite the last-minute changes. He said: "While it is disappointing that someone would do this within two weeks of an event, we have responded to this challenge with, in my opinion, an improved replacement and two extra acts that will please a broader range of musical tastes. I think that the ball line-up is now stronger than before." James Burney, a second-year Psychology student, was quite pleased with the new line-up. He said: "It's disappointing that Tinchy isn't going to be there but Chipmunk is pretty similar and probably a lot better so it doesn't really matter. Plus Hadouken will be awesome so, all in all, pretty good news." Second-year History student Ben Price was less impressed, however, telling gair rhydd: "I don't really like either of them so it's not much of an improvement."

Has Tinchy pulled out too late? What do you think of the new line-up for the Ball? Let us know at:

Clockwise from top right: Chipmunk, Aggro Santos and Tinchy Stryder

Fat lady sings for Cardiff's opera academy Jamie Thunder News Editor

Birchwood House, CIAV HQ Photo: Alex Evans

Cardiff International Academy of Voice (CIAV) is to close in January because of financial losses. University Council took the decision on May 24 to shut the Academy, which was set up in 2006 by Cardiff University and headed by Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE. It aimed to train future opera singers to perfect their voices and to deal with the pressures of regular performances. The first students arrived in January 2007 and over 50 students have since taken the eight-month course, but the current intake will be the last. In April, Academy student Njabulo Madlala, a baritone, won the Kathleen Ferrier Award, given annually to a young professional singer. Last month, soprano Julia Lezhneva, who also studies at the Academy, performed at the Classical Brit Awards. A University spokesperson said that the Academy had incurred

annual losses of around £300,000 to £400,000 since it opened and so was unsustainable, but added that the decision "has not been taken lightly". "In order to meet this deficit in the past, the University has heavily subsidised the Academy,” said the spokesperson. “Unfortunately, in the current economic climate and particularly because of the funding challenges facing Higher Education, the University is unable to continue to provide the high level of financial support needed to sustain the venture. "The University has actively pursued a number of avenues to try and secure the future of the Academy by identifying a sustainable financial model, however it has not been possible to source sufficient external funds to meet the costs of the Academy." A business proposal drawn up would have still seen annual losses of £150,000, they added. University Schools are allowed to have short-term deficits, but must have concrete plans to bring the School back in balance over the me-

dium- or long-term. Students who were preparing to start in January have been told of the closure, the University said. When the Academy was launched in 2006, the Vice-Chancellor Dr. David Grant said: "The Cardiff International Academy of Voice will not only train the operatic stars of the future, it will add to Wales’ proud reputation for staging international-quality musical events." Dr. Clair Rowden, a lecturer at the School of Music who helped the course get its validation, said that although the Academy had had some very good students, the University might not have been the best place for it. "The programme was perhaps better suited to a conservatoire [an institution that specialises in music tuition] rather than an academic environment and didn’t really fit very happily within the university structure. "It’s a shame because we’ve lost a lot from the connection with the University, but it will perhaps come back somewhere else where it’s better suited."


Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Degree classifications should be dropped, says thinktank Higher Education Policy Institute report recommends scrapping the current marking method Emma McFarnon News Editor Degree classifications should be dropped in a bid to improve standards at universities, a thinktank has warned. The report, carried out by the Higher Education Policy Institute, recommends scrapping the 200-year-old tradition of awarding firsts, 2:1s and 2:2s. The author of the report, Roger Brown, claims the classifications “prolong the pretence that a degree from one university can be compared with one from another university.” Brown, a professor of higher education policy at Liverpool Hope University, warns that universities may be more likely to “cut corners” now that ministers have wiped £1.2billion from their budgets up until 2013. As funds run short and the pressure to recruit more students grows, lecturers could be

under pressure to award marks to students who do not deserve them, and this could go unnoticed. The report, Comparability of degree standards?, argues that it is “impossible” to compare one university with another, and claims the public and politicians are mistaken if they try to do this. “Real comparability - genuine equivalence in the standards of learning required of, and achieved by, students following any two different programmes of study at one or more institutions in the same or different subjects - is neither feasible nor desirable in the diverse mass system that we now have,” Brown said. The report argues that it is impossible to compare degrees from Oxford and Cambridge with some other universities because of “the extraordinarily high previous educational attainment of students... the substantially greater resources devoted to them, the greater intensity of study that they undergo, and

Student Loans Company recruits new chief executive Pippa Lewis Reporter The former chief executive of the medical telephone helpline, NHS Direct, has taken over as chief executive of the Student Loans Company (SLC). Ed Lester was appointed after the SLC’s chairman, John Goodfellow, and chief executive, Ralph Seymour-Jackson, resigned. The government forced the resignations after an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, ordered by the previous government, predicted that tens of thousands of students could again face delays to their grants and payments this autumn. The audit said it was “surprised by the lack of focus and urgency” in addressing the recommendations made in a critical report of the company by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin, the former Vice-Chancellor of South Bank University, in November. The report found that only 46% of the applications last autumn were fully processed by the start of the term, compared with 63% in 2008. Despite having a target of no more than 14% of calls left unanswered, some 87% went unanswered that September. On average, it took more than 12 weeks for an application to be processed in 2009/10, compared with more than nine weeks in 2008/09, when local authorities were in

charge. The National Union of Students (NUS) welcomed the news of the change in leadership. Presidentelect Aaron Porter said: "We have, for some time, called for changes at the top of the SLC following the blundering mismanagement that affected hundreds of thousands of students last year and we welcome this opportunity for new leadership." The SLC is expected to have to deal with twice as many applicants this autumn compared to last year. Until last autumn, student grants and loans were administered by local authorities. Lester said: "I am delighted to be joining the Student Loans Company at this important time and I am looking forward to working closely with Sir Deian Hopkin and all of the teams to help drive forward the progress that has already begun in improving the service for this year.” "I am aware of the important role that the company plays in enabling access to higher education, and I am committed to ensuring that the improvements continue with the urgency that is required." The SLC will need to deal with up to 760,000 applications in about 100 working days by the end of September to ensure that payments are made in time, assuming that all applications are received by the deadline.

other factors”. According to Brown, universities would also be far less likely to give students higher marks than they deserved if the classifications were dropped and students were instead awarded transcripts of the courses they studied with a general statement of their abilities. This is currently being trialled at some universities. Brown said higher education institutions could also ensure standards did not slip by sending panels of academics from a range of campuses to check that courses passed minimum standards. These panels would examine, among other

things, the content of courses and the standard of teaching. “If [a university] has fewer resources, but the same number of students, and it is struggling to recruit students, the risk it is going to cut corners is higher,” Brown. “At the moment, if a university decides it is going to change the rules, there is no mechanism that would alert anyone to this. We urgently need to look at this.” Brown noted high-profile cases of senior academics changing marking schemes so that a higher proportion of students could achieve top grades. Two years ago, a leaked email showed how university staff

at Manchester Metropolitan University were urged to increase the number of top marks to keep up to pace with rival universities. The internal email told staff to “bear this in mind” when they did their student assessments. Professor Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, the umbrella group for vice-chancellors, said he agreed that it was unrealistic to expect degrees to be comparable. But he said the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) ensured standards at universities were broadly comparable.


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Cardiff ranked 34th in this year's Good University Guide Miranda Atty Reporter Cardiff University has been ranked 34th in The Times Good University Guide 2010/2011. The annual University Guide ranked 113 universities using criteria including student satisfaction, research quality, student-staff ratio and graduate prospects. Oxford tops the league table, followed by Cambridge, Imperial College, St. Andrews and London School of Economics. Cardiff ’s ranking as 34th overall indicates strengths in some areas and weakness in specific subjects Cardiff University was ranked 30th out of 30 for Medicine, in part due to its comparatively low student satisfaction rating, which, at 62%, ranked a full 12% points below

Lecturers call for more support Morgan Applegarth Reporter Lecturers all over Britain are appealing for greater support, according to a teacher's charity. The charity, Recourse, formerly the College and University Support Network, offers 24/7 financial, practical and emotional support to staff working in post-16 education. It has reported that calls to their support centre are up 25% from last year. During 2008/9, its services were used over 8,100 times, a figure reached over 10,150 during 2009/10. The rise, according to Recourse, is because teachers are facing an ever-increasing threat of job losses. The University and College Union (UCU) have reported that at

least 14,000 job cuts are expected to be made around UK campuses by 2013. The job losses are a consequence of government plans to cut higher education spending by £1.2 billion. UCU’s general secretary, Sally Hunt, warns that many college and university lecturers may hold national strikes during the summer, disrupting final-year exams, re-sits and graduation ceremonies. There have already been 15 strikes over university job losses since March. “We know from our own research, that workers in the post-16 education sector are facing serious wellbeing, health, status and financial issues,” said Recourse Chief Executive, Julian Stanley.

Levy to be charged on plastic bags in 2011 Miranda Atty Reporter From Spring 2011, shops across Wales will be charging seven pence for all single-use carrier bags. The scheme aims to tackle litter, waste and cost, and is expected to become a template for the rest of Britain. The new scheme, which will come into effect in March 2011, will save £356 million by cutting plastic and paper bags available at tills by 80% a year. The money raised will be distributed between retailers -

who will receive the money to cover administration costs, and a range of charities, including those specialising in the environment. Small pharmacies providing medicines, and retailers selling unpackaged fresh fish and meat will, however, be exempt from the scheme. Jane Davidson, the for Wales Environment Minister said: “Carrier bags are a symbol of the throwaway society in which we live. We take the view that seven pence is high enough to be habit changing, but low enough not to affect impulse buying.”

its nearest competitor, Kingston University. Dentistry was also portrayed as a weak area, coming 13th out of the 13 universities ranked. By contrast, areas such as Architecture, Anatomy and Physiology, and Communication and Media Studies were all placed within the top ten. Cardiff came first in the league table for Celtic Studies, and second for East & South Asian Studies, placing it higher than Oxford University. According to the Russell Group website, Russel Group universities such as Cardiff are “committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector”. Its position at 34 places the university at the 2nd lowest position

for a Russell Group University, just higher than Queen’s University Belfast, which ranks 38th. It has, however, maintained its position as the top university in Wales, above UWIC which was ranked 67th. A spokeperson for the University said: "Cardiff University has consistently regarded league tables as an inexact science, with large swings from year to year, and marked inconsistencies between different league tables. "The University has always considered the endorsement of potential students and employers to be much more reliable indicators. On these criteria, Cardiff remains one of the most popular destinations in the UK for student applicants and one of the most targeted universities for employers seeking new graduates."


Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Two-year degrees would degrade HE

Strikes may delay graduation

Gareth Ludkin News Editor

Hannah Pendleton Reporter

following the allocation of funds by Labour in March, and the amount of additional places for the upcoming autumn had been halved to ten Students may face delayed gradu- thousand. Since March there have been ations as lecturers threaten strike m0ore than fifteen strikes at univeraction in protest over funding cuts. It is feared that the escalating sities across the country. Staff at Westminster University row over redundancies and pay freezes at various universities will have already agreed to a complete put graduations on hold, as many ban on the marking of essays and lecturers are refusing to mark stu- exams in protest over plans to shed 50 posts. dents’ work. Barry Jones, UCU regional ofAt the University and College Union’s (UCU) annual congress ficer, said the action would “go on next week, activists will call for a until we get some progress with the dramatic escalation of industrial universityâ€?, adding: “We will move action to oppose compulsory redun- into a period quite shortly when it will potentially delay students' dancies and the closure of courses. It threatens to cause chaos for graduations.â€? Lecturers have already decided tens of thousands of students taking final-year exams in June and to take strike action at King’s Colplanning to graduate later in the lege London, Middlesex University year. Colleges and universities in and the University of the Arts London, while walk-outs were narrowly Wales may be affected. The threatened strike action avoided at Leeds and Kent. General secretary of the UCU, comes after recent announcements by the Conservatives and Liberal Sally Hunt, said: “Industrial action Democrats that a further ÂŁ200 mil- of any sort is always a last resort, lion is being cut out of university but the bottom line is that serious job losses will   impact massively on budgets this  year.   UCU warns that      our universities and result in a far 6,000 jobs are at risk. Three-quarters of institutions worse experience for students.â€? Westminster University, one of the institutions to be hit by strikes were already facing real-terms cuts,


                     ! "


  # $ !  %    ! !             ! &


'(! !  )# *  '    +   $  '   + ! " , !  !+      "  - ,  +  ./       ! "


%    !


     !    "  #"$% &! '(( 01 2 +  (   + /   3 +   4   %   !   !  "   '   $    +  )   ! ! "4  %  ! !    1 $   !  "&    +  !       ! ! 4         + 4 5  ,  !      6    7  "4    "4 '(  # $     & ' ! #   !   !   "  " 89  + (  !* 6!+   7     &     3 !  !!  &&


' !  !     / !  '(! ! "  $  ! ' !    ! :  # $!  ! !!  &


  # $


)# *  '    +   $  '   + '(!       ! ! "


,  +  ./       ! !   '   $    +  )   ! ! "

!    # $

! "

!  !  '(

! "


!! !!  ' 


    ! ! ! 2 < !/  <)  '          &


'(!       !

! ;&  "&   # $



,     ! #  !   ! !  !   /   ! # ! +  = ,,," --""./ 0  !  ! # !    #  !       1 .(  2. $   $!  !3

The University and College Union (UCU) has attacked plans for the introduction of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;fast trackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, two-year degrees, suggesting that they would damage the reputation of UK degrees and bring down standards. At the Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual conference, members voted against the introduction of two-year degrees, as many believed that the shortened degree length would increase workloads and reduce the time that they could spend on research. The Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Two-year degrees may sound great on paper but are in effect education on the cheap. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They would be incredibly teacher-intensive and would stop staff from carrying out vital research and pastoral duties.â&#x20AC;? She added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our universities are places of learning, not academic sweatshops, and we need to get away from the idea that more can be delivered for less. Cuts such as the savage ones currently planned, will have consequences. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I fail to see the logic of piling â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em high and teaching â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em cheap in a two-tier system designed to mask the failings of the government to properly fund higher education.â&#x20AC;?

World News

07 Bile revenge Laura Howes Reporter A 21-year-old man from New Jersey has pleaded guilty to intentionally vomiting on an 11-year-old girl and her policeman father while watching a baseball game. Police say Matthew Clemmens stuck his fingers down his throat and vomited on Captain Michael Vangelo and his daughter after his companion was ejected from the Philadelphia Phillies grounds. Mr. Clemmens pleaded guilty to simple assault and other charges.

The girl with the dragon tattoos

Totally caravanned

Rachael Kyte Reporter

Nicole Tingley Reporter

A Californian has been officially named the most tattooed woman in the world. Julia Gnuse, who is aptly nicknamed the Illustrated Lady, has 95% of her body tattooed. She chose her first tattoo when she was 35 to help hide scars and blisters on her legs caused by Poryphia, a genetic skin disorder. “I said, 'maybe that’d be my remedy'. I wouldn’t want to go and pick this blister if I have a nice art design there to cover up

and sure enough, it worked for me,” she said. Julia even has designs on her private parts; the only areas without ink are her feet and inside her ears. Julia has used the same artist for twenty years, and has designs including The Beatles and the entire cast of 60s American sitcom Bewitched on her buttocks. Her unique look also earned her a role in Aerosmith’s 1998 Grammy-award winning music video, Pink. “I love to make people happy, just like these characters on my

body have made me happy,” Julia said. Julia's tattoos will feature in the 2011 edition of The Guinness Book of Records.

An Australian thief got a surprise when he stole a caravan and realised that its owners were still inside. The couple were in the caravan with a sales manager in Adelaide when a passing thief noticed that they’d left their car keys in the ignition. The sales manager managed to jump from the caravan as it was driven away. The suspect then crashed into another car and drove away from the scene.

Ich liebe fussball

Death by delivery

Rachel Russell Reporter

Jack Turner Reporter

Richard Kestell Reporter

A passenger who fell asleep on a plane is suing an American airline for up to £50,000 for ‘false imprisonment’. The 36-year-old is also suing the airline for infliction of emotional distress and negligence, according to her attorney Geoffrey Fieger. Ms. McGuire failed to wake up after the 50-passenger plane which was flying from Washington DC to Philadelphia touched down. She said: “Waking up on this empty airplane and not being able to get out was horrifying.” The Michigan-born traveller was eventually found and roused by the

More than 90% of German men would rather watch their team in the World Cup Final than have sex, according to a Reader’s Digest study. The survey shows only five percent of men asked would prefer making love to watching the match - even though more than a third of them said they had no interest in football. Despite their claims, nine months after the 2006 World Cup, Germany allegedly experienced an increase in childbirth.

A German doctor has caused controversy by starting a mail order service selling human body parts. Doctor Gunther von Hagens sells everything from slices of the human head to a smoker’s lung. The anatomist caused a storm in 2002 when he performed the first public autopsy in the UK for 170 years. Dubbed Dr. Death in his homeland, Dr. von Hagens, 64, is the inventor of plastination – where the body is preserved using silicon. His factory, or ‘plastinarium’, is located in the German town of Guben, near the Polish border.

Plane crazy law suit

cleaning crew, but was kept locked in the plane until federal officers were satisfied that she was not a terrorist. “We are working closely with our partner Trans States Airlines to investigate the cause,” said United Airlines' spokesperson, Sarah Massier.

Dr. von Hagens claims that what he is doing is not wrong because "corpses have no souls".


Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Out of the City, out of control

Sex and The City 2 is beyond awful - it gives Western women a bad name

Liz Blockley & Lauren Cowie Comment

You may be wondering why it has required two contributors to write an article condemning Sex and the City 2 as possibly the most racist, sexist and offensive piece of cinematic trash produced in the last decade. This has been necessary due to the fact that only one writer was able to sit through the whole film and did not feel she could fully convey her fury without the aid of another – one who had repeatedly left the film in disgust and napped intermittently for its duration. We are both free-thinking, intelligent young women who went into Sex and the City with pretty low expectations; merely the desire for a couple of hours of escapism and over-the-top fashion. Neither of us are easily offended – in fact we tend to be fairly offensive ourselves. In fact, one of us cites Jeremy Clarkson, the most politically incorrect man on the planet, as her comedy idol. Yet Sex and the City 2 achieved such a high level of racial insensitivity and bigotry rarely witnessed in contemporary culture that even we were left squirming. Michael Patrick King, the film’s director, should be Clarkson’s new muse, so efficiently has he managed to offend both men and women from virtually every corner of the globe. The film appears as though it has

been written by kids on work experience. Racist kids on work experience. The one-liners veer between the disgustingly vulgar and the downright unfunny – for instance, in the middle of the desert Samantha shrieks: ‘Lawrence of my labia!’ Disgusting because the woman now looks like a badly preserved corpse, and incredibly offensive given their environment. Throughout their trip to ‘Abu Dhabi’ – the film was in fact made in Morocco, because shockingly, the values of the makers of Sex and the City coincided very little with those of the Arab Emirate states – the women sublimely embody the stereotypical ‘ugly American’ abroad, offending everyone within earshot. There are ‘hilarious’ references to ‘The Real Housewives of Abu Dhabi’, mocking observations about the difficulties of eating in a niqab, and a satirical gem in the creativeness of a ‘burkini’. The women waltz carelessly through the Middle East, figuratively raping every cultural sensitivity they encounter along the way. Presumably, the writers are attempting to satirise the oppression of women by some Muslim traditions, but they are in fact too stupid to make a valid satirical point and end up merely offending. Any attempt at making a valid point about the lives of Muslim women backfired and managed to spectacularly offend not only fol-

Sex and The City 2: Morally reprehensible. lowers of Islam, but also British and American audiences who are tainted by association with these crass and vulgar stereotypes. The film steadily buries its audience under a suffocating mountain of sexism, racism and decadence until it can take no more. One cannot comprehend why the actors of Asian descent who signed up to play the male servants were so willing to be involved in a production which so brutally belittles their

heritage and reinforces every racist stereotype already regrettably in existence. We could also comment on the homophobia, the rampant excesses of the lives of the four women which no longer bear any relation to reality and the reduction of women to shoe-obsessed, tactless harpies, but to address those issues would turn this into an entire essay. It is sufficient to state that if this is the picture that some Middle East-

ern countries are given of Western society, one can almost understand the motivations of Muslim extremists. By the time we left, we would have greeted the demise of these insensitive, idiotic characters with applause and can only pray that Sex and the City 2 will never be the image by which Western women are judged by those in the Middle East.

Times to start paying for news

Rupert Murdoch is right to start charging for The Times' online content Oliver Franklin Opinion Editor

So Rupert Murdoch has finally begun his war on free online ,next month, The Times’ online content will be hidden away behind a controversial pay wall. Starting next week, if you want to read The Times on your laptop, phone or iPad, you will be charged £1 (or £2 for the whole week) for the privilege. It hasn’t come as a surprise. Murdoch - perhaps the last great newspaper tycoon - has been opposed to distributing his news for free for years. The Times and The Sunday Times will be the first News International title to be hidden behind a pay wall – but if this pilot scheme proves successful, you can expect the other News International papers (which include The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Telegraph) to follow suit in some capacity.

The idea has been derided by internet evangelists, calling it outdated, or more specifically, just too late. And with the endless competition available online, not to mention the already more popular BBC News website, no-one is really expecting it to work, even if those in the industry have their fingers crossed that it will. It has been a fact for many years now that newspapers are in trouble. While national papers are in slow decline, they are just about being kept afloat by advertising revenue. All of the major national papers (except the Financial Times) had a ten percent or greater fall in circulation last year. The Times’ circulation has dropped by almost 100,000 since March 2009. The Evening Standard and The Independent were both recently saved from the brink of failure by Alexander Lebedev, who changed the former to a free paper and gave the latter a redesign in or-

der to try and boost sales. The days of the printed paper, it must be said, are over. Although they are unlikely to disappear completely, the majority of news consumption now takes place online, 24/7, almost instantaneously. However, it also takes place mostly for free. And, as much as I hate to agree with Rupert Murdoch, on this one he’s making the right call. It’s time we started paying for news. The issue at the heart of it is simple. Just over a decade ago, when the internet was still young, the idealistic notion of literally free speech – the ad-funded model – beat sound economic reasoning to become the dominant mode of news distribution online. The ad-funded model has not worked on a suitable scale online, and is unlikely to – there still remains a disproportionate gap between online advertising revenues and those from print. It’s simple – advertisers are not pre-

pared to pay for small, insignificant adverts that can be ignored and that disappear with a click. So while some specialist and high-quality titles, such as The Economist, stuck to their guns and maintained a belief in the inherent quality of their work, the newspapers gave in and put their work online, for free, and in one fell swoop doomed their business model to failure. It was a move akin to a pub offering bottles of beer for a couple of quid while having free beer on tap. It is literally that foolish. And now, it has gotten to the stage where there is no longer an inherent value given to the work of journalists. The rise of blogs and similar online avenues, such as Twitter, have facilitated instantaneous self-publishing; a concept utterly unimaginable a couple of decades ago. But let’s be clear. Being a blogger gives you as much credibility as a journalist as play-

ing Football Manager makes you a realistic possible replacement for Rafa Benitez. If we think of the recent scandals in the news, for example The Daily Telegraph’s exposure of MP’s expenses, there is no question that hard-hitting journalism still shapes the world that we live in. Journalism must reassert itself as a valuable service to society. It may not be building hospitals or saving lives, but, at its core, journalism can do great things; expose corrupt governments, report from the front line and give a voice to the repressed. It can galvanise international aid by exposing the suffering and pain at the hands of natural disasters just as it can let you know which celebrity is doing what. And if that isn’t worth paying for, I just don’t know what is.

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

More than meets the eye


The coverage of the Israeli flotilla debacle isn't what it seems

Malcolm Leeman Comment The aggressive Israeli interception of a Turkish naval flotilla heading towards Gaza this week, which has left at least nine activists dead, has been internationally condemned, and rightly so: it was highly disproportionate and reprehensible. It also handed Hamas a huge propaganda victory and served to further isolate Israel in the international community. It would have been so very easy to hop aboard the ‘Let’s all slag off Israel’ bandwagon and go on a sixhundred-word Israeli-bashing rant for this article; Israel’s behaviour warrants plenty of criticism, and there has been enough coverage of this already. Much of the outrage in the aftermath of the incident has been, perhaps expectedly, antiIsraeli. But is this completely fair? Well no, not really. For, like so much in the myriad of complexity of the middle-east conflict, there is more to this incident than meets the eye, and much of this has been ignored by the mainstream media. Media coverage of this incident has larely focused on the issue of humanitarian aid, which was sent to support the Palestinians in Gaza. Yet in reality, this wasn’t really about humanitarian aid. By their own admittance, one of the leaders of the flotilla stated "this mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege on 1.5 million Palestinians." Indeed Israel offered to allow the flotilla to divert to an Israeli port

The end of an era where the aid could be checked for weapons before being moved into Gaza over land borders. This was rejected, as were a number of warnings given by Israel that the flotilla would be intercepted if it proceeded to try and break the naval blockade. Suddenly then this aid flotilla takes on quite a different complexion of provocation rather than that of a peaceful humanitarian operation. The naval ports in Gaza have long been seen as a conduit through which weapons could be smuggled in and used against Israeli targets. The blockade was established to prevent rockets

reaching Gaza and subsequently being used on Israeli civilians. It was never designed to block humanitarian aid, which is still permitted to travel through land borders. Furthermore, the image played out by the media of peaceful activists doesn’t exactly square with recently released video footage showing these same activists beating the Israeli soldiers with rods and knives and even throwing another one over the side of the boat. But why would the media take such a stance? For one, Israel today has few allies in the world. Also, the anti-Israeli narrative accepted by many in the media is an

easy one to adopt. People want news coverage that places the divergent groups in terms of good and evil, black and white. Such a narrative is instantly understandable and accessible to the masses.

The image of peaceful activists doesn't square with the video footage of them beating Israeli soldiers with rods But this is not the scenario that much of the media like to play out, and denies Israel objective representation in media coverage. Most critically, there are real political implications here. While admittedly, Israel’s behaviour has done it no favours, an isolated Israel has little to lose in continuing with such confrontational actions. They have no media good will to forfeit and have become increasingly damned either way to languish in the wilderness of media disapproval; their side of the story frequently marginalised or omitted altogether. So let’s bring them out of the cold, let’s have more objectivity. Let’s look beyond the superficial good versus evil representation of this incident and the wider issue of Israel and Palestine played out by the mass media and have more equal scrutiny of both groups.

Getting shirty over patriotism As England supporters prepare for the World Cup, we shouldn't let political correctness and xenophobia undermine our British pride James Preston Comment England has become awash with a sea of white and red; St. George’s crosses and replica shirts are out in force as the World Cup draws ever closer. But despite what the odd disgruntled Welsh or Scotsman will say, nobody really minds. Just like every other nation going to the World Cup, England fans are gearing up to show their support to the team. However, this is not what the tabloid media would have you believe, with many curiously vague reports emerging which suggest that English flags are unwelcome in multicultural Britain. Once again we have the good aspects of national pride lumped in with the negatives of xenophobia for a World Cup year, and once again there was never really a problem in the first place. More and more groups are

freewords EDITORIAL est.1972

springing up on Facebook protesting at the apparent banning of English flags and T-shirts in pubs and public places in England - apparently due to the fact that it may offend immigrants or other cultures. Thus we’ve been treated to delightful Facebook groups such as “let's wear the English flag as a burka” and “our English flag is offensive? Your turban is offensive!!” from furious ‘patriots’ determined to drive out those trying to destroy their culture.

We have the good aspects of national pride lumped in with the negatives of xenophobia The trouble is, none of these people bothered to check whether there was any truth behind these stories

of English flags being banned. Many of these groups appeared (predictably enough) in response to an article in The Sun which claimed that England shirts were being banned in pubs for World Cup matches. However, the article itself was based on a suggestion made by one officer suggesting that, in one town (Croydon), all football shirts be banned. The article never refers to the fact that the reason for this ban is the potential to offend other cultures. The reason, just like any other attempts to crack down on football shirts or flags, is to avoid violence. It is a sad fact that the history of violence and xenophobia amongst English football supporters (even if was from a minority of fans) means the shirt is tarnished with a reputation and fear that is difficult to shake. Wearing any football shirt has the potential to be provocative to

someone else, especially when alcohol is involved. For instance, it takes a very brave (or foolish) person to wear an England shirt out on Saturday night in Cardiff city centre. For that reason alone, many establishments ban all sports tops, rightly looking to avoid violence erupting in their bars. So what’s the fuss about? Well nothing really. England flags are everywhere at the moment, and hardly anyone except, ironically, England fans are trying to make this into a problem. The sad truth is, that this is yet another excuse for xenophobia and agenda-setting from the press that too many people are all too happy to play along with without simply looking around them and noticing that nothing is wrong and English culture is not going to be destroyed in the immediate future, despite what The Sun may say.

Twenty-seven issues of gair rhydd and 14 issues Quench, and it’s all over. This is the last gair rhydd I will ever edit, and the last editorial I will ever write. I can’t quite fathom how quickly these 27 issues have flown by. Twenty-seven late, late Thursday nights and 27 early Friday mornings, trying to get the paper off to the printers on time. When I told my friends that it was the last deadline I would ever do this week, they said I should really make the most of it. (As stressful as it seems now, I know I will miss it when it’s gone. It has occupied my Thursday nights for the last two years now, after all.) But the sad thing is, I don’t really feel I can make the most of it when I have 48 pages to edit instead of the usual 32 – yes, that’s right, the paper is a good couple of millimeters thicker this week. We have packed in a 16-page World Cup pullout for you to feast your eyes on, complete with double-page wall chart for you to fill out as the tournament progresses, group overviews and predictions, ultimate XI, World Cup history and lots more. Also wedged between our lovely pages this week is a beautiful edition of Quench. Yep, Quench has gone glossy for one week, and one week only. Check out their interview with Los Campesinos, summer festival preview, and photo shoots with Summer Ball acts, King Louis Collective and The School, all printed on brilliant, shiny paper (so that you can appreciate them in their full glory for once). And our very own gair rhydd, not to be forgotten, (I note that this is in an illogical order since this is probably the first thing you saw, but I have started now, so I'll finish) has undergone a bit of a redesign. Our brand spanking new look comes courtesy of Paul Stollery – current section editor for Travel and Opinion, design genius, and Most Dedicated Member of Quench at the Cardiff Student Media Awards, no less. I like to think it has made our humble student publication a little more Times-esque, but maybe I'm biased. If you like it, or even if you don’t let us know what you think at, and help us decide whether to carry on with it next year. All that’s left for me to say is thank you so much for reading this academic year. I’ve had the best time editing the paper, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. I would like to wish Sarah Powell, editor-elect, and her editorial team the best of luck for next year. As I said in my last column, I will still be around - just over the road, in fact - in the Bute building, so no doubt I will still try and keep in touch with what is going on up at gair rhydd HQ. I'll try not to be an interfering, David Brent-type though, I promise. As for now, goodbye friends.


Out Law: Do we ask too much of our MPs? Page 13 >>


Germany banks on Köhler


How to blag politics The resignation of the German President came as a shock to Europe. Can't tell your Gaza from But what impact will this have on the under-fire German Chancellor? James Dunn Politics German President, Horst Köhler, abruptly resigned this week over his suggestion that it would be economically advantageous for the German army to become involved in more international military conflicts. During a radio interview given after he toured Afghanistan last month, Mr. Köhler announced that he thought the German nation had to be prepared to come out of its pacifist state. The President believed that it would help the country "protect our interests, free trade routes, or to prevent regional instability, which might certainly have a negative effect on our trade, jobs and income". The German far-left immediately seized upon the comments. As a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the President had managed to stay above the conflict within the German parliament that has erupted in recent weeks. He has subsequently been accused of advocating “gunboat policy” and of betraying those troops already stationed in Afghanistan. However, the former President’s office maintains that he had been referring to the possibility of troops safeguarding trading routes in the Indian Ocean. The opposition has ridiculed this statement; the interviewer’s question directly concerned Afghanistan. The resignation of Mr. Köhler, the former Head of the International Monetary Fund, will come as a huge blow for Mrs. Merkel, the German Chancellor. Currently facing calls for her to step down follow-

ing growing criticism over her lack of political leadership, her ratings have hit a four-year low. Mr. Köhler has become the first President in post-war Germany to resign with immediate effect. As the strongest economic power in the European Union, Mrs. Merkel is now faced with an extremely challenging task. She has recently faced criticism from the European media for her stance on the German role in the Greek bailout, and caused further controversy for banning short trading. As long as short trading remains legal outside of Germany, the impact of banning the act can only ever have detrimental

effects for the long-term economic prosperity of the country. Mrs. Merkel now has to fight for her leadership as she has never had to before. She has already admitted that what she will miss most about Mr. Köhler is his advice about financial issues. In the immediate media storm that followed her announcement on short trading – not to mention Nicholas Sarkozy’s threat to pull out of the Euro if she didn’t support the bailout – the Chancellor has had to combat claims that she is economically unaware. As long as she had the President to fall back on, her critics could be mostly calmed.

Mr. Köhler’s resignation could be the beginning of the end for the Chancellor. While Germany is currently an influential economic power, the interest rates of the Euro could mean another European bailout within a year. The way in which she deals with this, without the expert advice of an international banker, will decide whether or not she can remain the first female Chancellor of the German nation. But the President’s comments could not have come at a worse time: a war looming in Korea, conflict in Gaza and an ongoing commitment in Afghanistan will have devastating impacts on the global economy.

Miliband that is. But who should win? And what divides these two men? When Gordon Brown stepped down as PM a few weeks ago, he also left his post as leader of the Labour Party, a post that both Miliband brothers want to fill.

David Miliband,

a politician who emerged from Tony Blair’s mentorship, appeared as the first contender in the leadership race. Receiving the most nominations for the position, David has so far modelled his campaign around the idea of rebuilding a new Labour party.

who emerged from Gordon Brown’s camp, although having less experience than his older brother, has risen through the political ranks faster and spent only two years as an MP before entering the cabinet.

And then there are the other candidates, Ed Balls, John McDonnell, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott. They might have less media attention than the frontrunners, but I do love an underdog.

Ex-PM on the dole

You’ve quit your job, so on to big, new opportunities then? From envoys to public speaking, one thing's for certain: they all publish a book.

Don't mention the war: Outgoing German President Horst Köhler during a recent speech

The USA has been investing in Israel's latest rocket system, known as Iron Dome. Will Israel's attack on aid ships change anything change America's support of its ally?

At the beginning of this year, Israel tested Iron Dome, an anti-missile system that could intercept rockets launched from Gaza and South Lebanon. The shield fires missiles at incoming threats that it identifies by radar. It has been described as a "gamechanger" in Israel's defence mechanism. The Iron Dome, however, was funded by the United States. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives voted emphatically in favour of giving Israel $205 million

Ed or Dave?

Ed Miliband,

Israel goes on the attack Damian Fantato Politics Editor

Gazza? Don't worry, Politics is here to help.

Margaret Thatcher remained an MP after standing down as PM for an additional two years. But eventually retiring, Mrs. Thatcher remained a key figure in the Conservative party. She has published a series of books and memoirs leading up to her fading from the public eye from 2007. Tony Blair

towards Iron Dome. The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, said following the vote that "with nearly every square inch of Israel at risk from rocket and missile attacks, we must ensure that our most important ally in the region has the tools to defend itself". When the tests took place earlier in the year, the news was greeted with a barrage of ten mortar shells from Gaza. They caused no damage, but served to emphasise the continued threat to Israel from Gaza. Israeli officials now rank rocket attacks as the most serious threat to Israeli security, particularly if war

were to break out. Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, claims that Iron Dome will mean that Israel's enemies will be forced to rethink their strategies: "The system neutralises one of the foundations of the enemy's strategies, which says that, due to the Israeli army's total superiority, the only way to target Israel is by hitting its population centres". Israel hope to recoup the loss made through the development of Iron Dome by selling it on to other countries. The saliency of Israel's new toy has grown this week following the

attack by Israelis on ships delivering aid to the Gaza Strip. The question that the US must ask itself is whether it can continue to support a nation that is so overwhelmingly morally bankrupt. Barack Obama promised us a new brand of American foreign relations. He was even given the Nobel Peace Prize. The USA's persistence in supporting its Middle Eastern ally, despite what it might be getting up to, remains a huge worry. Hillary Clinton said this week that the situation in Gaza is unacceptable and unsustainble. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.

left office in 2007 and what followed was a journey, firstly working with the UN as an envoy in the Middle East, and then into the private sector as an advisor to JP Morgan. He now offers public speaking, charging up to $250,000. In September, his memoirs will be published.

So what will Gordon Brown do? Well, he has stayed on in parliament as a backbencher, but has suggested that he will avoid the traditional public speaking roles. Instead, his future may lie in global finance. What’s for certain, however, is that it won’t be long before he publishes a book.


Hatoyama splits After just eight months in office, the Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), has resigned. He becomes the country’s fourth premier to leave office in as many years. Mr. Hatoyama has also asked the Secretary General of his party, Ichiro Ozawa, to resign with him. Mr. Ozawa was recently embroiled in a funding scandal. Hatoyama encouraged Ozawa to step aside with him in order to “revitalise” the DPJ and increase their election chances. The moves came as Mr. Hatoyama failed to uphold his party’s election promise to move an unpopular US military base from the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Afghan clashes Members of the Taleban dressed in Afghan Army uniforms clashed with security froces last week as President Karzai welcomed hundreds of dignitaries to a massive peace conference in Kabul. Three rockets were fired but fell short of their intended target, Afghan police said, however, the clashes lasted for over an hour after the first explosion. At least one attacker was reported to have blown himself up.

An oily crime The US has begun criminal and civil investigations in the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. No companies or individuals have been named in the investigation, but British Petroleum (BP) remains the key player in what has been described as the largest oil spill in US history. President Obama has reaffirmed the need for an investigation into the spill, pledging that the investigations would identify those responsible and that they would be brought to justice. Shares in BP fell to their lowest in 15 months following the news that the leak might not be stopped before August.

Get a job Unemployment in the Eurozone rose to an all-time high this April. The combined unemployment of the 16 Eurozone countries now totals 15.86 million, or ten percent of their total population. In Spain, the problem is particularly painful, as unemployment has reached 20% of the total population, sending shockwaves through their economy. Germany stands as the only country to have its unemployment fall in the last year, while the Netherlands follow closely with the lowest unemployment rate of four percent.

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Israel's all at sea Following Israel's attack on ships delivering aid to Gaza, what does this mean for the Middle East? Katie Murdoch Politics At least ten people died last week in an Israeli attack on Gaza aid ships. The Israeli army claims that Israeli commandos were forced to retaliate after boarding Gaza ships carrying relief supplies. Israel stopped the boats because of a blockade that they have placed on Gaza to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the settlement. Both Israel and Egypt sealed off the territory after Hamas took power in 2007. Israel says its commandos were shot at and attacked with weapons; however activists disagree, saying the Israeli troops began shooting as they boarded the largest ship in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, which saw the worst of the clashes. The operation by the Israeli army was carried out to intercept ships carrying aid, but after clashing with the some 600 people on board, many of the passengers were left injured and it is thought at least ten people were killed. Live fire was used, as well as tear gas canisters, in an attempt to control the activists on board after they were warned the ships would not be allowed to reach the Gaza strip. The six-ship flotilla was carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid and was due to

arrive in Gaza around a week after leaving Cyprus on May 30. The Israeli army defended its attacks saying its soldiers boarded the lead ship peacefully, but were attacked by the activists with knives, guns, bars and axes. Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev, said: "Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that's 100% clear.” Many of the activists on board the ships were from Turkey. The country has accused Israeli troops

One woman on the ship was forced to hide in a bathroom with her one-yearold baby of “targeting innocent civilians”, though details of the attack are still not clear. Al-Jazeera reported that Israeli forces had opened fire on boarding the ship, but Israeli spokespersons argue that the attack was provoked. Israeli deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, described the convoy as an “armada of hate” and accused the activists of a “premeditated and outrageous provocation.” Israel has defended its actions by

arguing that the aid campaign was simply an attempt to delegitimise Israel. UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a full investigation into the attacks, and a US spokesperson said officials were "currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy." Some of the survivors of the assault were returned to Greece and Turkey on Tuesday, and were able to provide eyewitness accounts of the incident. Turkish activist and mother of a one year-old baby, Nilufer Cetin, believes the Israeli troops had opened fire even before boarding the Mavi Marmara. She told reporters that she and her child were forced to hide in the bathroom of their cabin throughout the altercation. "The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn't stop, these warnings turned into an attack," she said. Only a minority of Turkish activists, like Cetin, were released; with over 300 kept in custody by Israel. Michalis Grigoropoulos, captain of one of the aid ships, accused Israeli troops of treating the activists like hostages by not allowing them to use the toilet and forbidding them contact their lawyers once they were held in custody.

The Green Coalition What exactly are the green credentials of the new coalition? Will Chris Huhne change the world? Damian Fantato Politics Editor The new Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, has set himself the target of making the new coalition government the “greenest ever”. His aspiration is that the government defines the nation’s attitude towards climate change for decades to come. Mr. Huhne has called it a “scandal” that such a small percentage of power comes from renewable sources. Nonetheless, he has come under considerable pressure from Labour MPs who are trying to exploit the differences between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems on issues such as nuclear power. The Conservatives have been vocal in their conviction that nuclear power will allow us to become a low-carbon economy. The Lib Dems, meanwhile, oppose nuclear power, and Mr, Huhne has expressed a personal objection to

any move towards nuclear. Part of the coalition agreement includes the building of more nuclear power stations, as long as they are not subsidised by public money. Former cabinet minister David Blunkett, however, has said that he hopes that Mr. Huhne’s

It is surprising quite how much agreement there is in the coalition over this issue “personal opposition” does not get in the way of deals to make nuclear components in his constituency of Sheffield. In the Coalition Agreement, both parties have acknowledged that climate change is "one of the gravest threats we face", and they call for "urgent action" both at home and abroad. Among the policies in the 30-

page document, a commitment to increase the target for energy from renewable sources can be found, though there doesn't seem to be any commitment to achieve those targets, or to even act on them. The coalition also want to encourage the European Union to demonstrate leadership on the issue of climate change. So far, so vague, but the coalition will also cancel the third runway at Heathrow, create a green investment bank and a high-speed railway network. What was most surprising was the level of agreement between the Conservatives and Lib Dems on the issue of the environment: neither side can claim to have won or lost and both sides got what they wanted. The Lib Dems weren't too happy about signing up to nuclear power, but then they can abstain from the vote. Maybe this new government does represent change on this issue after all.

Above: Israeli troops board the aid ve


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Breaking the law?

What does the resignation of David Laws mean for British politics? Do we ask too much of our MPs? Oliver Smith Politics

Above: David Laws, victim of the parliamentary expenses scandal

essel. Below (left): Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne. Below (right): The Queen

While the trend in recent years has been towards ever increasing openness and transparency in parliamentary expenses, I believe that the most recent expenses 'scandal' shows, instead, that the system has been made too transparent and requires a complete rethink. The scandal concerns Liberal Democrat MP and Cabinet member, David Laws, who stepped down from his position as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, following his admission that he claimed expenses to pay rent to his partner. The irony is cruel: to protect his private life from further intrusion, Laws had to reveal that his landlord was also his partner. David Laws paid his partner £40,000 in rent since 2006. These payments were then claimed back from Mr. Laws' expenses account; a direct violation to the new parliamentary expenses rules put into place in 2006. As a key member of the negoti-

ating team from the Liberal Democrats in the formation of the coalition government, Laws has found common ground between the two parties and taken a leading role in the development of relations. David Cameron described him as an

He acted selflessly, protecting the privacy of his loved ones. So what is Laws guilty of ? "honourable man" and Nick Clegg echoed this, adding that there might be an "opportunity for him to rejoin the government." Right or wrong, there is a deeper debate here. It is generally agreed that Laws acted not out of a financial motivation, but instead to protect his privacy and sexuality from entering the public domain, a privacy which Nick Clegg described as being "cruelly shattered" by the press. So with his praises being sung by the leaders of both parties in gov-

ernment, and a general agreement that he acted selflessly to protect his privacy and the privacy of those around him, what exactly is Mr. Laws guilty of ? The current expenses rules require a level of openness which most people would not be comfortable with. But that is part and parcel of being an MP in the current system. So, in an attempt to circumvent the levels of openness required and protect his partner from public scrutiny, Laws claimed the very lowest amount in rent possible, and lied on his expenses claims. Shouldn't an MP be entitled to their privacy? Or are we instead positioning our MPs as celebrities? They are open to the public eye and the invasion of privacy that comes with it. This is what the drive for transparency and openness has led to: a system where even an MP's sexuality must be put on a form and revealed to the public. Mr. Laws' decision to keep his sexuality to himself is more than understandable. One can only hope that this sorry tale marks the end of the expenses saga.

Long spend the Queen

What will the planned increase to the Civil List mean for Britain and the monarchy? James Dunn Politics Buckingham Palace caused widespread outrage this week with the announcement that they were seeking an expansion to the Civil List. The Civil List is the amount of money that the Queen gets to perform her public duties. Renegotiated every decade, the figure has not been changed for the past 20 years. It has been announced this week that the current allowance – last negotiated under John Major – stands at £7.9 million, which is payed for through taxation. The Sunday Telegraph reported that Sir Alan Reid, the Queen’s Treasurer, has suggested to senior government officials that the Queen’s allowance is running at more than £7 million its annual amount. The shortfall is, however, being met by an emergency reserve that was expected to run out in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – 2012. In an effort to soothe public resentment, Buckingham Palace and royal courtiers have suggested that the royal allowance should at least

take into account inflation over the past 20 years. Since 1990, the Retail Price Index has increased by 80%. This alone would put the Civil List at close to £14.5 million a year. Between 1990 and 2000, the monarchy managed to gain a surplus of £35 million. In the past decade, however, their expenditure has increased. Subsequently, the reserve that the Queen can fall back is only in the region of £14 million –

Is the monarchy an unnecessary and devastating public investment? a sum that would be swallowed up well within two years at her rate of spending. An announcement on whether or not an increase to the Civil List should be made is expected the day after George Osborne announces his emergency budget on June 22 2010. Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP who headed the Commons’ Public Account Committee before the election, believes that the Queen

needs substantially more money in order to carry out her duties to the nation. The committee is directly responsible for monitoring royal spending. He claims that they should be given an increase in budget because their “boost to tourism, to tradition and to the country is enormous. They should be given a lot more money so they can do their job properly.” Others disagree: Labour MP Ian Davidson claims that it would be "inappropriate" to pay the Queen "vast sums of money" in the current economic climate. Davidson, who used to be a member of the Parliamentary watchdog for royal finances, wants full disclosure of the Queen's expenditure. However, the Queen remains consistently aware of public opinion. But the point does remain. The monarchy is a contradiction as an institution. Britain is consistently advertised as a democracy. Having a hereditary Head of State, surely, undermines this. In the light of the Coalition’s £6 billion worth of cuts, the monarchy could be becoming an unnecessary and devastating public investment.


The year in pictures We take a look back at another eventful year for student media.

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Elections coverage: 10 ELECTION 2010


Policies not politicians There are many factors that affect someone's vote, but should you vote for the leaders, or their parties' policies? Yaz Langley considers the options the last General Election Clegg has Unless you’ve been living in a hole moulded himself as the new kid in – or the valleys – you will no doubt Policy Factfile be sick at the sight of Gordo, Cleggy and ‘Just call me Dave’. Probably particularly Dave. However, as Election Day approaches and campaigning becomes more frantic it’s easy to forget that we’re actually voting for parties, not people.


of people agree with the Green Party on crime

Although the elected leader will obviously become the whole country’s leader, in reality they hold very little personal power. It’s the cabinet (who we elect) who will effectively set the agenda for the issues that matter, such as tuition fees, taxes and foreign policy. Theoretically, Ronald McDonald could be our new Prime Minister and it wouldn’t make much of a difference to how the country is run. This is demonstrated by the lack of government policy changes when Brown took over from Blair - it didn’t matter who was fronting the Labour Party, what mattered that the party retained power. Yet, would Labour have still won in the first place if the less charismatic Brown had been the one campaigning?


of people agree with the Lib Dems on the economy

The Liberal Democrats are suddenly no longer the underdog in this election, possibly due to their policies or hope for genuine change (and not Cameron’s version of it). However, perhaps it is more simplistic: because he’s the shiny new toy. For years we’ve become accustomed to blocking out the drone of Brown and Cameron (even their names are mundane) while dismissively laughing at these Liberal Democrats who think they have a chance. However, since

April 6 Gordon Brown

town who might just go onto have the last laugh. The catalyst for the rise in Lib Dem fortunes was last week’s firstever televised British politics debate. Opinion polls conducted in its wake suggested that Clegg came up trumps while Cameron spluttered and stumbled his way through responses that answered nothing. I’m not naive enough to think I’m the first to draw this comparison, but it could well follow in the footsteps of the notorious Nixon v Kennedy debate, which saw Kennedy rise to victory. Many believe it was this appearance on television that won Kennedy the election as his youth, charisma and eloquence won out over an older Nixon. We’ve become a society hell-bent on electing those we ‘like’ without actually listening to them and ignoring the fact that this is Parliament, not a popularity contest. The news is full of stories about SamCam’s latest outfit, the fact that Gordon managed to raise a smile and Nick’s wealthy upbringing. Depressingly, one tabloid even commended Clegg on his choice of a yellow tie, because that’s clearly the biggest issue at stake in the election for our future government. We need to ignore the colour palettes of the parties and their accents and simply focus

Which parties' policies voters agree with when voters chose based on policies, without knowing which party they belonged to*

• 27.3% • 18.10% • 17.4% • 16.5% • 10.8% • 9.8%

Green Party Lib Dems Labour Tories UKIP BNP

Seats won in 2005 general election

• 62 • 349 • 210 • 25

Lib Dems Labour Tories Other


Current opinion poll**

• 31% • 27% • 32% • 10%

Lib Dems

of people agree with UKIP immigration issues


on hard policies. It was not only Clegg’s composure in the televised debate, but the fact that he offered a young, refreshing alternative that appealed to disillusioned and first-time voters. Although Cameron is actually only a year older his policies are more outdated than all three candidates put together, while Brown is well on his way to retirement at the ripe old age of 59. Yet, however tempting it is to vote for the one you’d rather go down the pub with, you’ve got to ask yourself who’s policies you identify with most, as it's the policies

Tories Other

TOP: Nigel Farage – UKIP leader MIDDLE: Caroline Lucas – on track to win the Greens' first seat in Brighton Pavilion RIGHT: Nick Griffin – BNP leader *Source: correct at time of print **Source: BBC poll of polls correct at time of print

April 7 The

announces that the General Elec-

three main party leaders

April 12 Labour

tion will be held on May 6, and

clash at prime minister's

are the first of the major

officially asks the Queen

questions for the last

parties launch their

of the prettiest things we've

to dissolve Parliament.

time this term before

manifesto, entitled 'A future

seen this year, but lacks any

Parliament is dissolved.

fair for all'.

real substance.

April 13 The Tories launch their manifesto. It's one

We were lucky enough to witness the 2010 General Election, which gave us a great opportunity to put together some cracking coverage. that will affect your future.

It wasn't only the General Election that took our interest this year. Xpress generated some The 13th Annual Cardiff Student Media Awards were bigger and better than ever, with BBC Radio One DJ, Greg James, as host. Awards were judged by industry professionals from publications such grounbreaking coverage of the student elections - something which has never been done before. as the Guardian and GQ Magazine. A great night was had by all. Greg's dad, Alan, had a ball!

Exclusive interviews:

gair rhydd





freeword - EST.



E TO THE 2010

ISSUE 921 APRIL 26 2010

Features >> pages 14-1 5, Sport >> page 31

The week w

e met Nick.

Sport chat to the

Cardiff side as they

.. and Gordo

prepare to defe nd


their title

Emma McFar non News

Editor gest hidden problem in the economy at the momen t”. to be restrain ed, we need The leader, who The Liberal public sector to reform spoke in Solus Democrat leader Monday pensions too. tion, when las- is saved, Clegg visited the Lib Nick election , told students: “This it must be saved As money posed the Studen is your , don’t let anyone it, Labour MPs Dems first pro- took last week ts' Union fairly.” When 20 years ago! to answer “blocked it, questions in vote is a waste. Take tell you your up party asked about his plans to clean the Conservatives the run-up didn’t even turn and different approac I am advocating a charge of this to the electio politics election, get h to out who I n. stuck Clegg, who Lib Dems had , Clegg said that the to vote”. am, I’m not governing. I am “Don’t believe in, get engaged! previously propose Clegg ner of the fi was hailed as the winapologising, bill to limit not going that it has to d a reform also criticised the shambo rst I’m the party funding be the he bate, answere televised leaders’ de- same old same old – there lic and I feel to airbrush it out, I’m proud said , which party of the House of Lords. was “hollow is something d students’ exciting starting very lucky to ing out party has been talking “Our loving on how his questions tics”. He said come from a to happen. poliparty home. warming, reform would tackle global something different. You We can do it to protect that Labour had blocked a hundred years. The about this for “I represent House is a comhold ture their industri of the country immigration the fu- and a value system, and cut public al interests, pletely unjustified abuse laws the Conserv a phiexpendi of power. It’s losophy which is differen The first questionin your hands.” The leader endorse ture. “sugar-daddy atives to defend their stuffed full of MPs who t from what you’ll get from came from a dent have in vours who Belize” done fathe d his new stufor one another asked if the Lib for a £3.1 billion . He also said The leader was other two”. .” Dems would green stimulu plan take a pay cut One student age, which change to the that he would make a policies on gender also asked about his asked about had been unveile s pack- public expendiin order to start reducin Company’s history Clegg’s g equality as that morning gration, and , and said that d earlier replied: “The ture “at home”. Clegg to regulate lobbying, and Bill in order cy firm a researcher in a consulta how he would and immiin London reluctance to n- problem the banks’ would Liberal Democr people tackle the lend money of Muslim ats are misbehato sack their local MPs allow how, given his , and enquired as to is “the big- actually the lowest paid ceived as “terrori s often being percomfortable if they ing, ved. Clegg reminde MPs, haven’t accepte upbringhe was “any sts”. d a pay rise. and we that although d students different from “We Cameron is We need Cameron”. David system need a fair [immig this policy in advocating ration] that works. the run-up to “This is such People the elec“I’m not going bilge!”, said Clegg. confidence in it,” he said. must have to apologise for a job I >>continued on page 6

This year, we've bagged ourselves some pretty 'big-time' interviews. Not only did we get to meet ex-Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, we also had a one-to-one exclusive with Nick Clegg. In addition, Features got the opportunity to speak to the legendary Sir. David Attenborough. That's good going for one year!


gair rhydd â&#x20AC;˘ Monday June 07 2010

gair rhydd




ISSUE 907 NOVEMBER 02 2009

freeword - EST. 1972


Bomb scare shakes Union

Carnage pub crawl slammed Emma McFarnon News Editor


Carnage, the infamous pub crawl, has been attacked by civil leaders and alcohol misuse experts. The event, renowned for its souvenir t-shirts and extensive lists of venues, has been criticised for promoting binge drinking and giving a bad name to the cities it takes place in. Critics have accused the Carnage events of being a â&#x20AC;&#x153;cynical commercialisationâ&#x20AC;? of the youth binge-drinking problem. Swansea council leader, Chris Holley, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not happy with an organised glorified pub crawl, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy for visitors to come to the city any time they like and enjoy the night life. But these organised things send out the wrong impression.â&#x20AC;? Carnage UK has come under intense scrutiny from police, alcohol misuse experts and even student unions since it was established in 2003. The event sparked outrage recently, after a participating student was photographed urinating on a World War One memorial in Sheffield. Last year the event drew heavy criticism from student bodies including Edinburgh University Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (EUSA) and the Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland (CARDAS). CARDAS leader and former EUSA Vice-President, Tom French, branded Carnage UK: â&#x20AC;&#x153;[an] irresponsible organisation whose sole purpose appears to be actively promoting binge drinking.â&#x20AC;? Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EUSA Vice-President, George Thomas, told Edinburgh University student newspaper, The Student: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve banned organisation like Carnage and Student Night Out from using our Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union buildings to promote their tasteless events, but they keep on coming back and finding new ways to sell their booze fests to students â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with worrying results.â&#x20AC;? Alcohol has largely become synonymous with university, and is now said to be as ingrained in university culture as going to lectures.

Bomb hoax costs Union ÂŁ10,000 after prank call brings building to a standstill Staff were told

Gareth Ludkin News Editor The Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union was locked down last Thursday morning after a bomb scare sparked an evacuation and search of the building. At 10.15 am on Thursday October 29, a member of the general public rang the Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union reception claiming that there was a bomb situated in or around the Union. After repeating this statement the individual then hung up. Union staff were quick to follow procedure, with all staff and students in the building being asked to congregate in Solus, before being calmly escorted from the building. The situation for those inside Solus

CUTV headed to Glasgow for the National Student Television Awards (NASTAs), where they won Best Music and Best Comedy Film.


ity Creativ ide

ition ins

Spring Ed

Two Issue g 2010 Sprin

ase of A showc


d Words os, Art an

continued on page 3

ggair rhydd






freeword - EST. 1972


IInside this week: n

F ISSUE 913 FEBRUARY 01 2010

ENGIN Rugby: Those food poisoning sources revealed inside!




iv Creat

Words ents Art and PhotosCardiff Stud by





edics es for m mix-up

ue g tim e to ven Tesl texin ayed du ams del

Jamie Thunder News Editor

A block in Talybont South has been hit by an infestation of cockroaches and bedbugs, but Cardiff University is not telling students before they move in to replace those who have left. Last semester one student moved out of her room in Block 23, while two others have been unable to sleep ces gg announ Cle k inistheir rooms while they are treated. ling Nic the fee print, goes to eron says that don, mean-Students in several flats in the block dd rhy r Gor tell. As gai id Cam D NICK: for more. have told gair rhydd that they have , and Dav y time will DAVID ANwith the Tories coalition? Onl n to page ten had cockroaches in their cupboards, s a ture. Tur that he' Will they form of the pic bedrooms, and even fridges. The inmutual. ks to be out sects were reported to the University while, loo in September and are still there, de-

We laughed aloud and, with the plained results ex sound, shook Election 10-11 the>water > pagefrom the sky.

Not only did we introduce a brand new supplement, Creativity, this year, we even made a lovely, glossy Spring edition, which showcased the best of Cardiff Students' photos, art and words.



ER 07 2009


UDENT   i  d

 $!   $  "#  !   " !  ! 


Rugby team inve

Emma McFarnon News Editor

stigated for viola

tom, and another reveal to the camera. Photos ing his penis of team memAn investigation is underway after bers inserting toilet paper into their members of the backsides and then engineering rugsetting fire to it by team supposedly (right) can also be seen. poisoning after they caught food None of the team that had been insert ate gherkins available for comm members were ent when contacted into their ed anuses during an by gair rhydd. initiat The Council's Comm ion. Olly Birrell, Athlet ic Union Presiunicable Disease team is lookin g into the incident, dent, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Engineering rugby which took place on team is not recogn ised by the UniverNovember 11. sity or the The initiation, which began at ated club Athletic Union as an associRoath Rec and finished and we have not been at The Lash, made involved ENGIN rugby team mem- aware of the incident.â&#x20AC;? bers taking part in Cardiff County Counc what the Facebook ilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marketevent page descri bed as "gruelling ing and Communications Officer, challenges" that Elaine Cripps, said: tested "Strength â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can confi of rm Staminaâ&#x20AC;?, "Strength the Council's Comm of Character" and unicable Disease "Strength of Stoma team are investigating ch". the issue. I am unable The team members were encour- until to provide any further details aged to lick milk up the investigation off a muddy floor has been conand eat gherkins that cluded.â&#x20AC;? had been inserted into fellow team She went on to memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bottom s. tigation is ongoin say that the invesThe players involv ed g and that more inhave developed food are rumoured to formation might be available at a later poisoning as a result of the antics. date. The Facebook initiati on event page urged members to "check out photos of the last two years" , which depict a player inserting an egg into his bot-


ting health and


safety rules

Cockroaches and bedbugs found in Talybont halls of residence

to just important This is too checked? nce.â&#x20AC;? said cha kesperson a misunleave to down to ly grateversity spo The Uni was â&#x20AC;&#x153;enormous and to error was een Registry and that the Nane istry betw dici All Reg Me ing the ed that derstand Services and Dean of error who play ic nder ful to the f in the School the examause of any Academ g Jamie Thutor tre, not becMedicine. Exams all the staf l part in ensurin ningâ&#x20AC;?. tions Cen for of mor er ool vita News Edi a that emb Sch h ceed from the booked in Nov but suc could pro circumstanc their fibeen the Centre, nd ination al report of the sidered by sitting seco t had 4 and May 5 at A form ed and con ing Board students forced to wai y them the Heath, duc ine Ma pro told dic e be min nt Me wer istry the will Exa a differe do not t week when Reg been moved to ght both es Final MBBCh nals las r and move to al students room was. exam had ions Centre thou arranged the so individu dent separately. for an hou r the exam in June, ference ssed All Nat celled. It then the inci afte stre rt con the the a on ue h repo for ven kespers particuhave to at the All been can oked wit conference r, the spo double-bo students arrived May 4 to had l government had any Howeve student es, they a loca Over 300 tre last Tuesday Centre y. that if any ting circumstanc and Unfrom the Cen wledge nua , Tuesda ber of staff but added that Nations lar exte tact the School. suggestion -hour Kno A mem start at 9ama account, provided the sit the two paper, due to should con h there is no ne was at firmed this tors that not ing derstand told by invigila the same con University had the exam, such Althoug ool of Medici t is anat e re ld the g held inciden but wer the Sch ch wou ils befo was bein usual deta of students, whi fact that that t in this case, the diff â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medics. conferencetime. adu the Car faul ergr number tre to t Survey ack for place and ts then rang the Und e of the as e alerted the Cen g ahead. other setb National Studen ents as e unawar r came hav Studen still goin e stud student, yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who wer exam was year medicine yea â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medicin count Last ate Office,and the head of ructed stu- the said mos ed Cardiff t satisfied in the sumOne fifth- to be named, , e- rank nd-leas and inst problem ure errors last with disb ed not the seco the Centre their usual lect handling were wrongly reacted who ask down to and data initially move to of try, meant four students ms and begin students kind nd dents to the Heath. a seco it was . s their exa . mer beginning diff â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?, she said theatre at ts also had to use rst would lief wed to pas pitals. the allo fi â&#x20AC;&#x153;At ause e the in hos ical Car Studen of working scary, bec tre becaus ny and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;typ in breach lecture theatoo small and m eventu- fun en it began to get finals? n have bee ditions. The exa ed for an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Th would we sit our have been to ve exam con at 10am, and lastfor people how gistry may e shouldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Re ted ly someon ally star minutes to allow e, but sure extra ten toilet. said blam on to use the versity spokespers A Uni


freeword - EST. 197

Gherkin' off s

Marina & the Diamonds >> page 3 M

t of The star g new? somethin

' Phot


gair rhydd



ed We laugh and, aloud with the k shoo sound, r from the watesky. the



to wait in Solus

to be a hoax.â&#x20AC;? The Union was able to re-open at around 1.30pm, when it was established that there was no risk to staff or student safety. The two and half hour distruption cost Cardiff University Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union ÂŁ10,000, a pricey sum for a prank phone call. Ed commended the Union for the way that they dealt with the situation, and also how calmly the students and staff had reacted. The extraordinary events caused a stir around campus, leaving many students wondering what was going on and why the Union was closed. By the afternoon, business was able to continue as usual.


10 2010 3 MAY ISSUE 92

1972 d - EST.


but this incident was the first to cause an evacuation of the building. BT was contacted to trace the call to help aid police in their search for the culprit. Ed Carey, Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union president, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are confident that the police will catch the individual.â&#x20AC;? A spokesperson for the Union released a statement shortly after the incident, stating: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cardiff University Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union has agreed protocols and procedures in place and work with the police to manage such incidences. In keeping with these procedures, our staff undertook a thorough search inside the building and the surrounding area within our perimeter. No device was found.â&#x20AC;? The spokesperson continued by saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we now believe this message


d d y h r gair


was initially unclear, before Jason Dunlop, General Manager of the Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union, made an announcement, in which he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a live security incident running at the moment. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a phone call making threats against the Union, which obviously we have to take very seriously.â&#x20AC;? The Union was subsequently closed and searched by staff, while the police were called to investigate the situation and ensure the security of all staff and students. A search of the building was carried out, but nothing except a bag of potatoes, left over from the Fruit and Veg Co-Op, and a box of flyers was found to be at all suspicious. This was the first bomb threat that the Union has ever faced. A suspicious package was left a couple of years ago,

You can always count on gair rhydd to bring you breaking news, and this year has been no exception. We've had some great front pages this year, ranging from the scary (left) to the, quite frankly, ridiculous (below, far right). As always, the School of Medicine have had their fair share of front pages, with stories including exam blunders, dissection dilemmas, and 'systemic and fundamental failures'. Our coverage of the ENGIN Rugby initiation didn't go down too well, causing uproar on the gair rhydd website. It's not technically a front page, but our award for the most outrageous headline has to go to Opinion, for their outstanding creativity. 'It's not a hate crime, you fat prick' earnt us some definite notoriety...

spite traps being laid and pest control visits, although the number and regularity of sightings have fluctuated. One student reported seeing a cockroach crawl across their pillow, while another said that one fell on their head as they opened their bedroom door. Those who complained initially were offered alternative accommodation by the University but only one took it up, moving to Talybont Court. The others didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t because of the disruption of moving. In one flat at least two of the rooms have had bedbugs. One student moved back home to Newport after finding bedbugs and dead cockroaches in her bed despite her room having been treated. She is expecting to return to her room this weekend, having lived out of it on and off since October. At

least one room in a different flat has also been affected. Since then, an exchange student has moved into the room vacated due to cockroaches. She was only told of the problems by her new flatmates once she moved in. Another student had looked round the same room but decided not to move in after learning about the insects from the residents. Richella Dennehy, who moved out of Talybont South because of the cockroaches, said that it was unfair for another student to move in without knowing about them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite mean,â&#x20AC;? she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel sorry for her.â&#x20AC;? First-year psychology student James Tucker wrote to the residences manager at Talybont South last term asking for reimbursement of some

of his ÂŁ3,000-a-year residence fees. This was rejected in early December because immediate action had been taken. This action, however, did not solve the problem. Richella also said that students who were still in the block should be compensated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re paying three thousand pounds a year for this â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no-one else has cockroaches, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re paying the same,â&#x20AC;? she said. Welfare, Campaigns and Communications Officer Ed Dolding expressed concern about the allegations, and said he had contacted the residences department about them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If what has been reported is true, this is of course completely unacceptable. My personal opinion is that any student who is living in halls with such infestations should be compen-

sated for the disruption caused and given the option to move if they wish until the problem is resolved. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Furthermore, the idea that new students are being placed in flats that have been previously vacated because of an infestation that hasn't yet been resolved borders on gross negligence on the part of the halls' managers.â&#x20AC;? He added that students with any housing-related issue should contact the Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Advice and Representation Centre. A University spokesperson said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unfortunately, since September there have been instances of infestation of German Cockroaches at Talybont South which has lead to an intensive treatment regime.â&#x20AC;? continued on page 2

Issue Two Spring 2010

Issue One2009 Autumn

ity Creativ ords rt and W Photos A diff Students by Car

Creativity Photos Art and Words by Cardiff Students

gair rhydd was recognised once again at the Guardian Student Media Awards, winning runner up in the 'Best Newspaper' category for 2008/09. Current and past editorial team headed to London to pick up our award at the ceremony, which was hosted by Colin Murray, and attended by Evan Davies among others.

Columnist 16

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

e b o T . . . . K N A R F r a n k li n B y O li F

So this is it: the end And I'm not talking about the finalé of Lost. Although that was brilliant.


ne of the great things about this blissful hinterland between finishing the academic year and summer beginning is, I’m sure you’ll agree, the freedom to sit in the park/pub (dependent on weather) with close friends and ponder about the future – undoubtedly over a tall, cold glass of an alcoholic beverage of your choice. As such, earlier this week, I found myself spending midafternoon in a pub, conversing with a close friend, doing just that. I must briefly interject here to say that I am not, as the repeated pub-related anecdotes in these columns may suggest, an alcoholic. It’s merely that a lot of inspirational lessons seem to happen in public houses, as I’m sure you’ll agree. But I digress. The future. That was the topic of conversation on that hot, languid, Magners-with-ice drinking day. But let’s be honest, what else was it going to be? Little else preoccupies the collective student hive-mind at this time of year, beyond kickabouts, sunbathing and barbecues. It isn’t just us students at it either – the world goes future mad during this tentative pre-summer period: whether it’s the weather, the World Cup, or (for those with a better financial situation than me) where to holiday this year. Everyone has one eye peeking out from behind their faux-Raybans, focused on things to come. Now, this phenomenon is perfectly welcome – we all love spending an inordinate amount of time predicting who will win the World Cup (here’s a spoiler: it’s not likely to be England, but still, we can dream) – but it has an inherent failing. You see, we are rubbish at predicting things. It’s not just that things don’t work

out as we’d like (weather wise, for instance), it’s also that we tend not to live up to our own expectations. Except at penalties, when we always live up to our expectation of being totally and utterly shit. Now, this latter issue is particularly poignant for us students as, for us, there is often nothing to predict. We can’t look back and say, well, Brazil were the better side. We only have ourselves to face. Which is probably why I was down the pub. Drowning your sorrows only really applies when you have something to be sad about. I, luckily, didn’t. Dutch courage is a fairly short-term thing, for getting the courage to ask someone to dance with/move in with/marry you, for instance (age and relationship dependent). I didn’t really need that either. It was my lovely friend who was in need of assistance and I was merely providing alcohol-fuelled wisdom. Lord knows why – under the influence, I recently made the wise decision to eat mustard on toast after a night out, because the peanut butter had run out. Not exactly Attenborough-esque on the wisdom front, then. It rather dazzled me, then, that during the conversation, I came up with what I believe is a rather brilliant method of future planning for students in our situation. If you have seen the film The Bucket List, or understand the concept, then you are on fairly good ground, planning-wise. There is, however, a key difference in that death is an unpredictable time to make a list for, and it is hopefully a while away. So, assuming that you are 19/20/21 (this is mostly aimed at the latter two, fellow final years), what ten things do you want to do before you are 23? I chose 23 as a target because that’s the age by which I hope to be settled into

I came up with a rather brilliant method of future planning for students

a career, but you can do it for whenever. It’s your list, I’m not about to start setting the rules like some kind of hideous list Nazi. So there it is. Scrawl it down on a piece of paper/notebook/napkin in Bar Rooba, and take a look. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, so don’t rush it. And try not to make stupid suggestions like my friend, Paul, who put at the very top of the list “Punch a cougar”, and Sam “Punch a bird out of the air, mid-flight.” That might be a tad ambitious (not to mention violent. I should really get some more environmentally-friendly mates, come to think of it). Instead, put the things you really dream about doing, like a skydive, or a visit Cambodia or learning Spanish, or whatever else in the world it may be. Then, without sounding patronising, go do it. If that sounds a bit simplistic, that’s because it is. For my last column I wrote about how the majority of what you learn at university comes

outside of lecture theatres. I was talking about the past then, encouraging a moment of heartwarming reflection. Now, I’m merely encouraging you to apply that to the future. A recent survey by The Times suggested that graduate prospects are on the up. So there’s no rush, jobs wise – and besides, you’ll only have to start paying your loan back. And I doubt that is at the top of anyone’s list. In a few years time, there will be bills to pay, and deadlines to meet, reports to file, adult life to plod on with. Maybe the term 'bucket list' was accurate. But in these few days and weeks before everyone heads home, there is nothing to do but relax and finish the year in a blaze of alcohol-fuelled glory, surrounded by all the great friends you’ve made in your time here. But after June 11, that’s it. The end. Question is, what do you want to do now? P.S. That's it from me, column wise. Thanks for reading, both of you.

gairrhydd SPORT




02World Cup


Word On


World Cup history


England close up


Groups A - D


Wall chart


Groups E - H


Warm Up



14 15

Ultimate XI

Monday Jume 07 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ gair rhydd

Editorial So the World Cup is finally upon us, after another four years of anticipation, and gair rhydd Sport thought we'd leave our posts this year with a bang. We've put together a mammoth 16-page pullout for you guys, giving you everything you need to know ahead of this year's tournament. We thought we'd fill you in with the know-how on the groups, venues and relevant history for those of you who like to annoy your friends with pointless facts. You know who you are, and we hate you. We've even gone so far as to tell you who's going to win this year's tournament. Head to page 11 if you fancy finding out, or not if you don't want to ruin the surprise. The qualified pundits that we are, we've also decided upon the alltime ultimate World Cup Squad. It's set in stone now so your opinions are pointless, and if you disagree with us, you're wrong, so just go along with it okay? And if you're fed up with the pointless crossword included in the other, mediocre sections of the paper, then try ours out for size. You can forget all those awful wall charts that the 'decent' magazines are likely to throw at you. Have ours instead, lovingly made by us, for you. Actually, you could save yourself time by reading the warm-up page first, and then filling the wall chart out before the tournament, if you're

man enough. If all you Welshmen out there get behind England this year, we might actually have an outside chance of reaching the semi-finals - what a nice thought. Then again, let's face it, even Pele's experienced more semis than the England football team. On second thoughts, I have no idea why I'm appealing to the Welsh contingent out there; I'm sure you've exhausted all local supplies of USA shirts by now, and why on earth would you want to support your home nation? Ridiculous thought. But I digress, this isn't a rant, it's a present to you, our readers, and a thank you for the support you've shown for our section this year. We've done our best to improve the section as much as possible, and hopefully you've enjoyed the changes, even if you disagree with most of our opinions. We would also like to apologise to any Blackpool fans out there. We had no idea there were that many of you, and we had no intention of hurting your feelings with our previous Word On. We'll let you get on now but, once again, thanks for your continued support this year. Now all that's left is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the World Cup! From all of us at

gairrhydd Sport Editorial:


Jon Evans

Alex Bywater

James Hinks

Simon Dunstan

Adam Horne

David Eastwood

Lucy Morgan

Sean Neagle

Robbie Wells

Matthew Parr

Paul Stollery Oli Franklin


Sarah Powell Emma Jones

World Cup03

gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Matt Parr gives the Word On... Africa's monumental FIFA World Cup debut


o the footballing world is centring its lustful gaze on the fast approaching 19th World Cup, scheduled to kick off on June 11 in cities across South Africa. Prepare for the charts to be inundated with an array of terrible World Cup anthems and to migrate all possessions of value to the local boozer, where, for a month, the landlord will become the angry father you never wanted. In footballing terms, the event promises a mesmerising spectacle, with Spain, England and the Netherlands all rightly seeking to challenge the grip that Germany, Italy and Brazil currently hold on the event. However, the build up to the tournament has been marred somewhat by controversies stemming from FIFA’s decision to make the competition the first ever to be held on African soil. In terms of the development of the sport in Africa, the decision is sure to be a resounding success. Far from the days when the continent's greatest footballing export in English football was the shifty eyed, moustache-flaunting Bruce Grobbalaar, African players have now created a foothold in European football, enjoying widespread representation at all levels of the game. Similarly, the strength of these international teams has continued to grow, with the continent gradually building up a greater depth of players, particularly in West Africa, through Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Thus, it is hoped by FIFA that holding the competition in South Africa will bolster both the standard of the game and the continent's passion for the sport. This will allow FIFA to open up new international markets to boost its potential for commerce. Despite the hoped increase in the popularity of the game, FIFA have endured criticism for its controversial decision to host the Cup in South Africa. Chief among these is the decision to stage one of the world’s costliest sporting events in a country currently enduring crippling unemployment rates of 25.2%. Despite the creation of 130,000 jobs in stadium construction, no long term aid to this issue is offered by the tournament, with 30,000 of those employed in the construction period said to be back on the streets before the com-

TOP FIVE Attractions of South Africa


One of South Africa’s most famous sites, Table Top Mountain, can be seen from Cape Town and is an incredible natural wonder. It is not too hard to climb up and look back over Cape Town.


Shark diving is not only extremely scary, it is also criticised for tempting sharks closer to shore. However, personally I would love to do it. What an exhilarating experience. petition has even kicked off. Thus, it appears somewhat reckless of both FIFA and the South African government to stage the 2010 competition in its current location. The Africans have shelled out roughly $4.3 billion for stadium development despite the strongly pronounced social and economic problems in its country. Recovering this cost is, likewise, looking doubtful in the short term, as ticket sales have been far lower than expected, both within South Africa and from European markets. The astonishingly high crime rates the country endures have no doubt contributed to the lack of enthusiasm from many fans; a staggering 18,148 murders were committed in the country last year. While there is no indication that travelling football fans will become a part of this figure, it surely has contributed to a lack of interest in the competition from Europeans. Coupled with this, the high cost of flights (the cheapest from the UK are still over £1000) have priced out many fans, while hotel prices are set to rise, too, as football fever hits the city. Despite the relative instability of the country and the high cost of travel, any fans committed enough to

Above: South Africa fans celebrate. Below left: the povertystricken side of South Africa that World Cup footballers won't see.

A sports tournament will do little to patch over the country's deeper social issues

make the effort will be rewarded by the rich cultural history offered by South Africa. Various museums document the country’s ever-sensitive race relations struggle and the fascinating departure from the apartheid regime to the return of Nelson Mandela. Combined with this, the picturesque views offered by Table Mountain over the sprawling city of Cape Town provide an unforgettable panoramic of the city. Similarly, Robben Island (where Mandela was held prisoner) provides a fascinating day out, while the town of Soweto, infamous for the 1976 riots, offers an insight into the race relation issues that have plagued this beautiful country. for so long The South Africa World Cup will offer a fascinating footballing spectacle to all those lucky enough to, in some way, be a part of it. Whether from beer gardens and bars across the world or from within the stadiums themselves, this year's competition will provide an international stage for the world's greatest players to flaunt their impossibly nimble feet to billions worldwide. Clearly, despite the rhetoric of the South African officials, a simple sports tournament will do little to patch over the country’s deeper social issues, however, on a sporting level, the competition promises some intriguing clashes between established football powerhouses and newcomers, such as New Zealand, and the relatively unknown North Korea. It also promises to put Africa firmly on the footballing map and hopefully pave the way for future tournaments on the continent, providing the security goes well. For the many millions of fans who, like me, rely on football tournaments as points of reference when hazily recounting the past, 2010 promises to be an unforgettable year, hopefully for all the right reasons.


Bungee jumping is another adrenaline-rush attraction South Africa has to offer. Plenty of sites around the country will give you the chance to hurl yourself over the edge.


The beautiful beaches in South Africa offer a relaxing break from the climbing, diving and jumping. There are busier, tourist beaches or quieter, more secluded beaches - take your pick.


The wildlife is quite amazing. A safari gives you the chance to see these animals in their natural habitat. Certainly better than the badgers and foxes we have to offer in Britain.

04World Cup

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Robbie Wells takes you through some of the most memorable FIFA World Cup moments First World Cup

The first ever World Cup came after the success of amateur teams competing in the Olympics. Belgium won the Olympic competition in 1920, before Uruguay won in both 1924 and 1928, making them the most appropriate nation to host the inaugural FIFA World Cup. The costly long distance travel put many European teams off entering, with only Belgium, France, Yugoslavia and Romania making the trip. In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina in front of 93,000 spectators to become the first World Cup Champions.

Zinedine Zidane Recent years have seen Europe and Brazil trade ownership of the FIFA World Cup, with Germany, France and Italy winning in 1990, 1998 and 2006 respectively, and Brazil winning in 1994 and 2002. The most outstanding player of these years was French playmaker, Zinedine Zidane, often cited as the greatest footballer ever. Scoring twice in 1998 to secure the French victory, Zidane played his final ever match in the World Cup Final in 2006, where he received the Golden Ball before the game, marking him as the best player of the tournament. He gave the French the lead with a chipped penalty which passed Gianluigi Buffon, before later losing his cool and headbutting Marco Materrazzi. He was sent off, and could do nothing to prevent an Italian victory.

Maracanazo 1950 After two World Cups hosted in Europe, which were both won by Italy, and two World Cups cancelled due to a rather inconvenient war, it was Brazil's turn to host football's greatest tournament. The tournament was not in the usual knock-out format, but rather four round-robin groups that then compiled a final group of four. Brazil had defeated Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1 with their offensive flair football. Uruguay, the remaining team in the final four, had scraped passed Sweden 2-1 and snatched a 2-2 draw against Spain, meaning that they had to beat the confident Brazilians in order to win. Brazilian fans had already begun celebrating, with signs declaring victory and carnivals in full swing. The Brazilian Football Confederation had already made 22 winners medals, and FIFA President, Jules Rimet, had even prepared his speech in Portuguese. In front of an official figure of 173,000 (but estimated closer to 210, 000) fans in the Maracana Stadium, Brazil took the lead. However, Uruguay managed to equalise and then score the winner, 11 minutes from full-time. Many Brazilian fans refused to believe they had lost (some committed suicide), while many of the players never played again. As a result of the loss, Brazil changed the colour of their kit from white and blue, to the now famous yellow and blue, because it was believed the previous kit was jinxed.

Facts South American and European countries have won the World Cup nine times each. No other continent has produced a World Cup winner and no European country has won when the competition has been hosted outside of Europe. Brazil are the only country to appear in every final: 19 in total. They will automatically attend 2014 as hosts. The 2010 World Cup is the first without a debutant association, though Slovakia and Serbia have appeared only as parts of former competing nations. No host country has ever been eliminated in the first round. Could 2010 be the first time?

The Infamous Hand of God The rest of the 70s were not kind to England, as they failed to qualify for the 1974 or 1978 World Cups, watching on as West Germany and Argentina won the tournament - each on their home soil. The Netherlands, arguably the best team to never win a World Cup, finished runners-up in both tournaments. England qualified for the 1982 finals, but were eliminated without losing a game. In 1986, they reached the quarter-finals to meet Argentina. The game will forever be remembered for the two goals that Diego Maradona scored against England; the first, the infamous 'Hand of God' which gave the Argentinian's the lead, and the second, the dribbling run that went through the entire English defence before rounding Peter Shilton in goal, often labelled the 'Goal of the Century'. Argentina went on to win the tournament, defeating West Germany in the final after extra time.

Top Winners 5 - Brazil 4 - Italy 3 - West Germany 2 - Uruguay 2 - Argentina 1 - England 1 - France

England '66

The disappointment of 1950 was forgotten in 1958 and 1962 as Brazil firmly established themselves as the best team in the world. By 1966, it was finally time for football to come home, as England hosted the football World Cup. The tournament was lit up by underdogs North Korea, who reached the quarterfinals, knocking out an Italian side (who had vegetables thrown at them by their fans when they returned home) in the process. Portuguese striker, Eusebio, was an outstanding player, helping his team defeat World Champions Brazil, and then scoring four goals to overturn a 3-0 defecit to North Korea in the quarter-finals. The final, though, saw England face West Germany in a game that ended 2-2 in normal time, and everyone knows the rest. Geoff Hurst took a shot that may or may not have crossed the line. The referee consulted the Russian linesman, who gave the goal, and England the lead. In the dying moments, Hurst marauded up field on a counter attack, as some fans began to spill on to the field. In an attempt to waste time, Hurst hit the ball as hard as he could, only to see the ball hit the roof of the net, and make absolutely certain of the victory, giving the Jules Rimet trophy to England for the first and only time.

Legendary Brazil Mexico 1970 saw the two winners of the previous three tournaments, England and Brazil, meet in a match that, despite the loss, has gone down in English footballing history. The Brazilian team, arguably the greatest side of all time, included Carlos Alberto, Gérson, Tostao, Rivelinho, wing legend Jairzinho, and their all-time top scorer Pelé. The match was dominated by the Brazilian's fast, attacking style, and forced many great saves from Gordon Banks, including what many have called the greatest save of all time from Pelé; a powerful downward header which Banks somehow managed to tip away from behind him. Bobby Moore also made what many call the cleanest tackle ever, after a jinking Jairzinho run. England were not able to hold on, however, and Brazil continued through the group stages to eventually defeat Italy in the final, claiming the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time, which meant they were allowed to keep it.

World Cup05

gair rhydd • Monday Jume 07 2010

Alex Bywater takes a look at the England team and their chances in South Africa 2010


fter the shocking failure to even qualify for Euro 2008, England have reached the World Cup Finals after an almost faultless qualifying campaign under new manager, Fabio Capello. Winning nine out of ten games in qualification, Capello banished the memory of the ‘wally with the brolly’ (Steve McClaren), and restored a sense of confidence and discipline

into the England team. Theo Walcott’s hat trick, and the resulting 5-1 win against Croatia in Zagreb, was undoubtedly the highlight of the qualifiers. As a result, hopes are high going into the tournament. They are heightened further by the media build-up and the 'World Cup fever' that has griped the nation. But the age old question remains: can England do it? England definitely have the quality to go far in the tournament.

Clearly, though, luck will play its’ part. Capello has named his final 23man squad to travel to South Africa and, despite the fact that his initial 30-man squad contained some surprise selections, the Italian's final choice holds few shocks. Though critics have cited a lack of balance and injury worries to key players, the time has come to get behind the team and Capello. Let’s do it for Bobby! Their two warm up matches prior to the start of the tournament could

hardly be labelled as awe-inspiring. They won 3-1 against Mexico, but were on the back foot for most of the match, and looked disjointed. Their World Cup group is a relatively easy one, with Algeria, USA and Slovenia making up the three sides England will play. Getting through the group unscathed will be the first objective for Capello, who is not lacking in experience and tactical excellence. The knock-out stages will be where the World Cup really begins,

with anything less than a quarterfinal appearance being considered a failure. So, if England are to achieve glory and emulate the historic memory of 1966, what are the key areas that they need to focus on? Clearly, all over the pitch, England will need to be on top form. Here, position by position, we look at the key players in the main areas of the field that could define whether England become World Champions in Johannesburg on July 11.



Whether Fabio Capello knows what his line up will be for the first group game or not, his biggest selection headache will be who he picks in goal. Of the three keepers in the squad (David James, Rob Green and Joe Hart), the former is the most experienced and has been given the number one jersey by Capello, although who will line up against the US is anyone’s guess. Without a doubt, though, whoever starts in goal has a key role to play behind what is a relatively settled defence. The man in possession of the shirt in the group stages, Green, looks set to miss out as Capello chooses between the experience of James and the promise of the young Hart, who enjoyed a great season on loan at Birmingham City. Capello recently stated that he will choose his goalkeeper the day before the first match, which highlights just how close the competition is. Will Capello side with the youth and talent of Hart, or the experience that comes with James and Green? Only time will tell.

Though Capello has selection problems on his mind, defence is one of the places where England are consistent. New Captain, Rio Ferdinand, is expected to partner John Terry at centre back with the now fit Ashley Cole at left back. However, the right back position still raises questions, as Glen Johnson has had injury problems and a lack of cover in that position, meaning that Jamie Carragher, persuaded out of international retirement by Capello, could have a big role to play. Sloppy goals conceded in recent games against weak opposition will be of some concern to Capello, but Terry and Ferdinand have proved themselves over the years against the world's best. Warnock gets a place over Baines, and Spurs defender, Michael Dawson, would have a case to feel slightly annoyed as Upson was chosen ahead of him. Upson, selected from a struggling West Ham side, does boast more international experience than Dawson, however, which is the most likely reason he was selected.



Selection problems in midfield have blighted previous England managers. What can be said, however, is that the midfield will be based around the outstanding talents of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. The qualifying campaign saw the emergence of Gareth Barry as the holding midfielder. In such a competitive international tournament, the holding midfielder position is vital, especially when taking on such fearsome, attacking opponents as Brazil, Spain and Argentina. Arguably, Barry’s role will be key if fit, and, if not, his replacement will have a big job to do. Michael Carrick's inclusion over Huddlestone suggests an obvious cover for Barry. Whoever takes up this role, marking potential opponents such as Messi or Kaka, will arguably determine whether England can go all the way. Perhaps the only surprise exclusion is that of Theo Walcott who, after scoring that memorable hat trick in Zagreb, failed to make Capello's squad. For such a talented player, his lack of final product is frustrating, and I feel this has been his undoing. Walcott could learn a lot from Joe Cole, who, after coming on against Japan, showed enough sharpness and quality to Capello to merit a place in the squad. With Cole, Milner, Wright-Phillips and Lennon all available on the wing, England have vast attacking options from out wide. When paired with the solidarity of the central roles, England's midfield is one of the strongest in the world.

Two words; Wayne Rooney. Although it seems dismissive to not acknowledge the other strikers in the squad, this seasons PFA Player of the Year is widely seen as the key to England’s World Cup chances. Having emerged from the shadow of Ronaldo at Old Trafford, Rooney enjoyed a hugely successful season, scoring 34 goals in total. He was the top scorer in Europe for the qualifiers and his energy, vibrancy, commitment and goal scoring ability will hopefully drive England to glory. Whether played as a lone striker or in partnership with either Crouch or Defoe, he is a world-class outlet. It is crucial that he is 100% fit and on top form for England to have any chance of glory in Johannesburg. There has been talk of Rooney playing as a lone striker with Gerrard just behind him. The two players have a great understanding of one another, which is easy to see when they play together. I expect the majority of England's goals to come through Rooney, who is a proven goalscorer, but he still has to contend with Peter Crouch. A lot has been said about the lankiest man in football, but one cannot argue with his record: 21 goals in 38 games is an impressive figure by anyone's standards. Capello also has the option of the target-man, Heskey, and the pacey Jermain Defoe, who has been red-hot for Spurs this season. In recent games, England have had no problem bagging goals and, hopefully, they can carry this impressive record with them into the championships.

06World Cup

Monday June 07 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ gair rhydd

Group Summary

Group A should be won by France. They have the class of players to overcome any challenge, but they were poor in qualifying and could well drop points against South Africa. Domenech has a quality side, with plenty of experience; there can be no excuses for failure here. The hosts, on the other hand, will have a huge amount of support from their fans, who can prove to be extremely off-putting, especially when they play their trademark 'Vuvuzela's' throughout every match. This nation lives and breathes football, and you can count on them being the most passionate and determined side from this group. They've been choreographing a special World Cup celebration too, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Uruguay have a great World Cup history, but will struggle against France, and also against South Africa, with the backing they'll have from their fans. If they play well, however, and if on-form strikers Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez provide the goals, they may just pip South Africa to second place. Mexico will struggle this year. They have some fantastic young talent, but inexperience will outweigh experience in their team. They'll give it their all, but are likely to have a short-lived tournament.

Our prediction: 1- France 2- South Africa 3- Uruguay 4- Mexico

Group A France


Raymond Domenech raised a few eyebrows when he announced his provisional 30-man squad for South Africa. He left out Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Real's Karim Benzema and veteran midfielder Patrick Viera. The manager is already out of favour with many French fans after a dismal qualifying campaign saw them lose 3-1 to Austria, and draw with both Serbia and Romania, which eventually forced them to face the play-off places. They faced the Republic of Ireland and qualified in the most controversial manner, after Theirry Henry handled the ball in the area, before France scored the winning goal. Despite being likely to qualify, their lack of consistency wont see them progress much further than the quarter-finals.

Mexico could prove to be a surprise package this year. They possess a great amount of talent throughout the squad, with the likes of Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardardo and youngster, Carlos Vela. All eyes will be on the young Javier Hernandez, who has drawn a lot of attention this past year. His prolific form infront of goal caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, who snapped the youngster up in the January transfer window. He'll be one to watch, and could help Mexico through the Group stages. However, their first match is against hosts South Africa - a tough opener for the Mexicans. If they start badly, they may just struggle against France and Uruguay.

Our prediction: 1- Argentina 2- Nigeria 3- Greece 4- South Korea

Yoann Gourcuff


South Africa If there's one thing to learn from previous World Cups, it's to never overlook the hosts. South Africa will have an overwhelming amount of support throughout this competition, which should prove extremely helpful. They were impressive in the 2009 Confederations Cup, narrowly losing out 1-0 in the semi-finals to Brazil. They hosted that tournament and, incidentally, the only time they won the African Cup of Nations was in 1996, which they also hosted. Count on them being extremely strong at home. Key men for the hosts will be massive centre-back Matthew Booth, tenacious Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar and striker Benni McCarthy.

Group Summary

Group B poses a number of problems for the teams involved. Argentina should technically walk this Group. The quality in their side is enviable to say the least, but they are prone to upsets, which is what the other three teams love to provide. Nigeria should make it through in second place. They have some very good players who have experience in playing at the highest level of football, which should give them the edge. Greece don't have too much in their locker really. Since their shock Euro 2004 win, they haven't really brought much to the international table, and they rely heavily on striker, Gekas. Should he have a poor game, then they will struggle. They are a hard team to break down, but Argentina definitely won't have any problems creating chances against them. Inspired performances against South Korea and Nigeria could pull them through, but they'll need a bit of luck on their side. South Korea have shown they can surprise after their fourth place finish in the 2002 World Cup. They'll be looking to take advantage of any slip ups from the other sides, but they will rely too heavily upon star player Park Ji-Sung, and will only be playing the three games this year.


Uruguay wont be favoured to progress through these group stages, but they hold an extremely dangerous threat upfront in the form of dangerman Diego Forlan, who scored twice earlier in the season to help his side win the Europa League final against Fulham. He has been on great form for his club, and will want to replicate that for his country. Luis Suarez will also pose a massive threat. The Ajax forward scored 35 goals in 33 league appearances for the Dutch side this season, and will be very high on confidence coming into this tournament. Uruguay also have a very good World Cup history behind them, winning the competition twice, once as hosts in 1930, and again in 1950.

Group B Argentina


Like France, Argentina endured a rocky qualifying campaign, and it seems as though the jury is still out with regard to Diego Maradona's abilities as coach. He's caused a lot of controversy since taking over the Argentina post, and there remains the slight possibility that any further problems may affect the team mentality. However, the Argentines have quality seeping out of their side in the likes of Walter Samuel, Gabriel Henze, Mascherano, Di Maria, Higuan, Aguero and, of course, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez. On paper, this is a very scary side, but their results on the pitch suggest otherwise. It's hard to gauge how they'll cope against the big sides.

This is only Greece's second World Cup (their first in 1994). They lost all three games, scoring no goals and conceding ten. They were also in a group with Argentina and Nigeria, believe it or not. No doubt they'll be hoping to improve their performance this time round. Their only real success on the international stage came in 2004, with their shock Euro championship win - a few years ago now, but FIFA still rank them at 12th in the world. Key players are likely to be Theofanis Gekas, who scored ten goals during qualifying, and Giorgos Karagounis. He'll be 33 by the time the World Cup kicks off, but he remains the Greece's best playmaker. They may struggle to qualify, but could be lucky.


South Korea

This marks Nigeria's fourth World Cup. Many believe they had a good chance of winning in 1994 but, since then, they appear to have experienced steady decline. They barely qualified for the finals and only had to beat Kenya in their last match. Had Tunisia won their match, Nigeria would have failed to qualify. That said, they didnt lose any matches in the qualifying stages, which suggests that they can be a tough side to break down. Key players will be Joseph Yobo in defence, Mikel in midfield and, of course, Yakubu and Martins upfront. There seems to be something lacking, but they should finish second.

This will be South Korea's eighth World Cup, which is impressive seeing as before 2002, they had never won a World Cup finals game. Their 2002 fourth place finish was a massive shock, and was, perhaps, proved to be a mere fluke when they were brought back down to earth in 2006, finishing third in their Group. In 2002, however, South Korea showed some resilience in their side, and they may be able to cause some upset again this year if they're in the right mood. The key man will be Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung, who is a tenacious playmaker. Bolton's Lee Chung-Yong also had a good season and could prove troublesome.

POSITION: Winger AGE: 25 COUNTRY: Serbia CAPS: 29 He may not be an up-and-coming youngster, but Krasic certainly drew a lot of attention for his displays for CSKA last season. When he's on form, his blistering pace and tenacity out on the wing can cause any defence their fair share of problems. Like Gourcuff, a number of Premiership clubs have been linked with him, in particular Manchester United. He's only scored twice for his country, but he dazzles on the wing, and revels in setting up goals for his side. He is certainly one to watch and will provide the Serbian side with the extra bit of creativity that they need to get through their tough Group. If he can replicate his club form on the international stage, then he's in for a great tournament, and so are we.

World Cup07

gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Group C

Watch POSITION: Midfielder AGE: 23 COUNTRY: France CAPS: 19 Gourcuff promises to be one to watch this summer. The youngster is starting to break into the French side as a regular starter and has been scouted by a number of Premier League clubs this season. He has only scored once for the senior squad, but is seen by coach Raymond Domenech as a great playmaker, and has been slotted into a similar role as former French star, Zinedine Zidane. Don't expect to see anything on the level that Zidane used to produce, but this youngster has plenty of flair, creativity and is great on the ball. He'll play a big part in France's fortune, and he's not likely to headbutt anyone either

Group Summary


Algeria This is the first World Cup ‘the desert foxes’ have reached since 1986. Qualification came the hard way, as both Algeria and Egypt were forced to face one another in a tie-breaker, due to the fact that the two sides finished their Group completely level. The winning team booked their place on the plane to South Africa, much to the delight of the Algerian fans, after the game was settled by a single goal from defender Antar Yahia. It is the fifth time head coach Rabah Saadane has led the national side and he has successfully managed to create a talented team, which certainly doesn't lack passion and is particularly hard working. No team will enjoy playing them, but the suspensions to Belhadj and Chaouchi could prove costly.

Since lifting football’s greatest trophy 44 years ago, England have struggled and underachieved, much to the heartache of their millions of loyal followers. The agony of penalties meant they lost in the semi-final of the 1990 tournament, but their team of 2010 is arguably the best we’ve seen for some time now. Under the guidance of Italian Fabio Capello, England looked sublime in qualifying, with Wayne Rooney grabbing nine goals in the process. For players like Gerrard and Lampard, this could be the last major international tournament they will feature in, so they will be desperate to go out on a high. One would expect England to top this group, but as we know all too well, nothing can be taken for granted with this team.


United States

Slovenia have been labelled as the team that will prop up Group C, although this is perhaps an unfair tag when you consider their qualification route to the finals. After coming second in their group, ahead of the Czech Republic and Poland, they got past Russia. This is not something to be taken likely, as beating a Gus Hiddink side is never easy. Matjaz Kek's side are ranked 33rd in the world and their World Cup spot should be taken seriously. They are a well-organised unit and with the majority of their team playing across Europe’s top leagues, they are a tough side to break down, although their lack of cutting edge could prove their downfall.

The United States team have reached the World Cup on the last five occasions, and under the leadership of Bob Bradley, are currently ranked 14th in the world. The Americans topped their qualifying group ahead of quality sides such as Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica. And with stars like Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Everton’s Tim Howard, they are favourites to come second in the group. They will be hoping to replicate their 2002 performance and make the quarter-finals, but their opening match against England will prove a difficult test. With a large number of their players plying their trade in Europe, they are a team that have the capability of causing an upset. Their match against Algeria will be crucial.


Our prediction: 1- England 2- United States 3- Algeria 4- Slovenia

Group Summary

Group D

Milos Krasic

There can be no excuses for England failing to finish top of this Group. They have the pedigree and international experience to win each match in this group. Despite uninspiring warm-up games against Mexico and Japan, they should improve now the 23-man squad has been announced and they can focus on the job at hand. USA and Algeria will certainly not be an easy task, but they are definitely beatable as far as Capello's side are concerned. USA have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and despite some suggesting they will be easy opponents, they are a very strong team and will push the Group all the way. I wouldn't be surprised to see them get a draw against England, and they should beat the other two sides. Algeria pose a threat too. They counter-attack quickly and effectively and make good use of the flanks. Left winger Belhadj is a key player, but he is also suspended, and his absence will cost Algeria dearly. Make no mistake though, they can score goals. Slovenia are definite outsiders in this group, but they finished above the Czechs and beat Russia in the play-offs. They deserve their spot, and won't go out without a fight.


This is Australia's third trip to the World Cup finals in history and, as usual, they will be looking to spring a few surprises. They impressed in 2006, going out in the knockout stages to Italy after Lippi's side were awarded a very dubious penalty. They only conceded once in qualifying, and were also unbeaten, however, their Group opponents this year will prove to be a lot tougher. Keeper Mark Schwarzer is a long-serving member of the side and will be key, as will Everton midfielder, Tim Cahill. Their problem lies in attack though. Don't expect many goals as they lack any real threat in the striking department.

Germany come into this tournament as a slightly 'out of sorts' team. Midfield general, Michael Ballack, has already been ruled out of the finals, which will come as a massive blow to the Germans. And, for once, there has been little talk around their potential to win the trophy this year. Nevertheless, they will still be massive contenders and will be as organised as ever throughout the Group and knockout stages. Manager Joachim Low will be eager to continue Germany's impressive World Cup pedigree, which includes three previous wins. He will also be happy to be seen as a slight underdog this year. With Ballack out, Miroslav Klose looks set to be a key player.



This is only the second time Ghana have qualified for the finals of a World Cup, which seems bizarre when you consider the side they have right now. But in 2006, they were the only African side to make it out of the Group stages, and they will prove tough opponents to any side they meet. However, they have been hit with the news that star player Michael Essien is out of the World Cup, which will certainly not help their situation. Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari will have to do their best to fill the void left by Essien, but it's a tough ask. They will look to striker Asamoah Gyan to shine if they are to make it out of this tough group.

Serbia are likely to prove a very tough side to beat this year. This is the first time they have taken part in the World Cup as an independent nation, but they have plenty of international experience in their side. They recently lost 1-0 to tournament minnows New Zealand in their warm-up match for the finals, but this aside, they have every chance of finishing second in this group. Nemanja Vidic will be key for them. The centre-back has been a sensation since joining Manchester United and will want a good tournament this year. Midfielder Milos Krasic is the type of player who can create the sort of magic that can change a match, while Zigic upfront will prove tough to keep under wraps at 6ft 8.

Group G has been labelled as the 'group of death', but in all honesty, it may prove to be just as troublesome for the teams involved. Germany are, of course, the favourites, but the usual furore surrounding them before major tournaments has been non-existent and many are tipping the Germans to have a tough year. Michael Ballack is missing and he would have been the lynch-pin in their side. There's certainly a chance they'll slip up against any of these sides. Australia will come into this World Cup with their usual optimism, but key players such as Mark Bresciano look to be faltering as they age, and they may struggle this year. You can count on Tim Cahill to be as good as ever, but they lack any form of firepower up front, and might just struggle to find the goals they need. Ghana had a great chance of finishing second before star man Michael Essien was ruled out with injury. Now they face an uphill struggle and will have to work twice as hard. They still pose a threat, however, and will be tough opponents. The surprise team for us will be Serbia. They have quality throughout the side and come into this as an independent nation, wanting to prove a point. Our Prediction: 1- Germany 2- Serbia 3- Ghana 4- Australia

08World Cup

Monday Jume 07 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ gair rhydd


Group A June 11 15:00 Johannesburg SC

South Africa



June 11 19:30 Cape Town




June 26 15:00 Nelson Mandela Bay









June 16 19:30 Tshwane/Pretoria

South Africa



June 17 12:30 Polokwane




June 22 15:00 Rustenburg




June 22 15:00 Mangaug/Bloemfortein


South Africa


Group B June 12 12:30 Johannesburg EP



June 26 19:30 Rustenburg


June 27 15:00 Mangaung/ Pretoria

June 12 15:00 Nelson Mandela Bay

South Korea



June 17 15:00 Mangaung/Bloemfontein




June 17 19:30 Johannesburg SC


South Korea


June 27 19:30 Johannesburg

June 22 19:30 Durban


South Korea


June 22 19:30 Polokwane






Group C June 12 19:30 Rustenburg



June 13 12:30 Polokwane



United States Slovenia

June 18 15:00 Johannesburg EP



June 18 19:30 Cape Town



July 2 15:00 Nelson Mandela Bay

Algeria England



July 6 19:30 Cape Town

June 23 15:00 Tshwane/Pretoria

United States



Group D June 13 15:00 Durban





June 13 19:30 Tshwane/Pretoria



July 11 Johannes

United States

June 23 15:00 Nelson Mandela Bay




July 2 19:30 Johannesburg


June 18 12:30 Nelson Mandela Bay



June 19 12:30 Rustenburg




June 23 19:30 Johannesburg SC



July 10 Nelson Ma





June 23 19:30 Nelspruit





World Cup09

gair rhydd â&#x20AC;˘ Monday June 07 2010



June 28 15:00 Durban

Group E June 14 12:30 Johannesburg SC




June 14 15:00 Mangaung/Bloemfontein




June 19 15:00 Durban




June 19 19:30 Tshwame/Pretoria



June 28 19:30 Johannesburg







June 24 19:30 Cape Town




June 24 19:30 Rustenburg

June 29 15:00 Tshwane/ Pretoria



Group F June 14 19:30 Cape Town




June 15 12:30 Rustenburg

New Zealand



June 20 12:30 Mangaun/Bloemfontein




June 29 19:30 Cape Town


June 20 15:00 Nelspruit



New Zealand

June 24 15:00 Johannesburg EP




June 24 15:00 Polokwane





New Zealand




June 15 15:00 Nelson Mandella Bay

Ivory Coast



June 15 19:30 Johannesburg EP


July 3 15:00 Cape Town

1 19:30 sburg SC




June 21 12:30 Cape Town




North Korea

June 20 19:30 Johannesburg SC

July 7 19:30 Durban


Ivory Coast North Korea

June 25 15:00 Durban




June 25 15:00 Nelspruit

North Korea



Ivory Coast

Group H June 16 12:30 Nelspruit


July 3 19:30 Johannesburg



June 16 15:00 Durban




June 21 15:00 Nelson Mandela Bay


0 19:30 andela Bay



June 21 19:30 Johannesburg EP





June 25 19:30 Tshwane/Pretoria




June 25 19:30 Mangaung/Bloemfontein




10World Cup

Monday June 07 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ gair rhydd

Group Summary

Group E should prove fairly straight forward for the Netherlands. They have a fantastic side, and will be high on confidence. If their forwards can remain fit, then they face no problems. Their defence can be easily unlocked, however, and the likes of Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o and Denmark's Niklas Bendtner will look to expoit this. Denmark showed great spirit and ability reaching the finals, edging out Sweden in qualifying. They won't be easy to beat, and are a wellrounded side. They could snatch a draw against the Netherlands, and should beat Japan too. Cameroon will rely heavily upon Eto'o, and if he has an impressive tournament then they may have an outside chance of progression. However, they lack quality all the way through their side, and we can't see them beating the Netherlands or Denmark. Japan could potentially pose a threat to the other three sides. They are often written off all too easily - something that is unlikely to bother them in the run up to the finals. Their recent form has been poor but if they can pull it together for the finals, they have a slim chance of progression. They'll need to be watched for set pieces, but have little threat apart from that.

Our prediction: 1-Netherlands 2- Denmark 3- Cameroon 4- Japan

Group E Netherlands


The Netherlands gained eight wins from eight in their qualifying campaign, scoring 17 and conceding just two along the way. Under manager Bert van Marwijk, they have looked incredibly strong and, for once, the squad seem to have a togetherness about them. Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie and Kuyt will all be key for the Dutch upfront. Van Persie may not be at peak fitness, but he has scored a couple of goals in his last two friendlies, and looks strong for the finals. However, they have weaknesses in defence. Keeper Stekelenburg is nothing on veteran Van Der Sar, while question marks remain over Heitinga and Ooijer in the middle.

Cameroon appear to be a one-man team. They rely heavily upon striker Samuel Eto'o, with fans constantly looking to him, wondering what he is going to do next. He is an extremely gifted player, but his gift lies in his movement. For him to be effective, he needs team mates who can read his runs and deliver the perfect pass. Unfortunately for him, that isn't really possible in this Cameroon side. Alexander Song has had a great season at Arsenal and will have an impressive tournament. If Eto'o does get the service he requires, then you can count on him to score a few goals. But the fact remains that Cameroon struggle on the creativity side, which is a detriment to Eto'o.

Our prediction: 1- Italy 2- Paraguay 3- Slovakia 4- New Zealand

Antonio Di Natale


Denmark The Danes come into this tournament with, arguably, their best side in years. They qualified from a tough group that included both Portugal and Sweden, and they come into the finals high on confidence and fearing no one. They have a great team spirit which will prove immensely important in tough matches. Sorensen in goal has proven to be a great successor to Peter Schmeichel, and young centre back, Kjaer, has had a great season. He will partner the evergreen Daniel Agger in defence. Upfront they can rely on Bendtner and Larsen to snatch a few goals. However, their flanks are vulnerable and their wingers are ageing, and teams will be looking to exploit that.

Japan's recent form has been pretty poor. Three home games in February saw 0-0 draws with Venezuela and China, and a 3-1 loss to South Korea. Manager Takeshi Okada still insists they can reach the semi-finals, however. They are technically impressive and have a number of threatening players in the likes of Nakamura and CSKA's Keisuke Honda, who had a brilliant season in the Champions League. They will be a big threat from set pieces, and are great at moving the ball around the pitch. Their full-backs also work hard and can exploit the flanks. Despite this, they lack an out-and-out striker, and with all the possession they get, they rarely look dangerous.

Group F

Group Summary

Italy should have no problem finishing top in Group F. Marcelo Lippi's side have a lot of experience playing together in big tournaments, and they will have no problem adjusting to the World Cup atmosphere. They lack creativity, but facing sides such as New Zealand shouldn't pose much of a problem. They are ageing, but realistically, the players won't struggle through these Group stages, and they should win all their games. Paraguay are the most likely of the other three sides to cause them problems, and they have the ability to cause upset on any given day. However, they need to remain solid in midfield if they are to progress. Slovakia have a good chance of qualifying this year. They are playing in their first major tournament for 34 years, and were very impressive in qualifying, beating the Czechs on their way. They stand a good chance if they can beat Paraguay when they meet on June 20. New Zealand are undoubtedly the minnows of the tournament, along with North Korea. They are perhaps out of their depth, but will no doubt enjoy the experience and put up a good fight along the way.





It seems to be said in every major tournament: Italy are too old to go the distance this time. Yet each time they seem to be there, or thereabouts. Manager Marcelo Lippi seems to favour the older players, and appears reluctant to give the likes of Mario Balotelli their chance in the international side. They are likely to field around eight over-30s in their starting line-up. They also lack, surprisingly, any sort of playmaker, but Lippi insists he relies upon squad spirit just as much as technical ability. They have bags of experience and talent and have played together for a long time. However, there is little inspirational spark in the team, which may be their downfall later on.

Slovakian football appeared to have slipped into darkness in recent times, but Slovakia have reached their first major tournament for 34 years. They gained away wins to the Czechs, Poland, San Marino and Northern Ireland in qualification, and they will be an interesting side to watch this year. Marek Hamsik will be key in midfield and he provides the side with a lot of confidence, while the likes of Skrtel and Vladimir Weiss in the side will ensure quality runs throughout. They have had a kind draw and will look to take advantage of that. However, few of their players will be at peak fitness as a result of no regular football this season.


New Zealand

Paraguay finished third in their qualifying group, and gained wins against the likes of Chile and Brazil. They have shown that they can beat anyone on the day, but seem to be inconsistent in their results. Forward Nelson Haedo Valdez will be key for them and manager Gerardo Martino has built his forward line around the striker. They have been impressive upfront, they are hard working and they also have a great team spirit. They also have Man. City's Roque Santa Cruz on the bench should they need any extra firepower. The fact remains, though, that their midfield is their weak spot. They lack creativity. They were over run at times in qualifying; something the manager needs to solve.

New Zealand couldn't have had an easier qualifying campaign, leading to some people questioning their presence in the World Cup. But when you consider that New Zealand has only one professional club, then progression to the finals it truly remarkable. They have been put in the best possible group, which will raise (slightly) their hopes of further progression. They make up for lack of ability with a sense of stout defensiveness and organisation, and Captain Ryan Nelsen will carry the hopes of the nation on his shoulders. However, he plays in defence, and they will struggle to score goals against stronger sides. They are extremely unlikely to progress, but they'll be as stubborn as ever.

AGE: 21 COUNTRY: Mexico CAPS: 7 Youngster Hernandez was relatively unknown until his shock signing for Manchester United in the January transfer window. His sudden recognition seems wellearned, however, when you consider his recent international form. He's scored five goals in his last six matches for Mexico, and will come into this World Cup looking to prove a point and gain a regular spot in the Mexican side. His club form has been impressive too, scoring 21 goals in 28 appearances for his club, Guadalajara.

World Cup11

gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Group G

Watch POSITION: Striker AGE: 32 COUNTRY: Italy CAPS: 31 Di Natale may be no spring chicken, but he has had an outstanding season with his club Udinese in the Serie A. He finished top goal scorer in the league with a total of 28 goals. He's not normally considered a regular starter in the Italian team, but don't be surprised if he finds himself playing a big part in Marcel Lippi's plans this summer. He's high on confidence and capable of scoring brilliant goals. Di Natale will most likely be used as an impact striker, so expect points when he steps onto the pitch.

Group Summary

Korea DPR

Brazil Five-time winners Brazil are, inevitably, up there as one of the favourites to win. The current team’s style differs to previous World Cup squads who have donned the famous yellow and blue. Dunga has not embraced the usual samba style of play, instead going for efficiency and defensive steel, which will, no doubt, be tested when facing Portugal in the group stages. Patience towards Ronaldinho’s wilting form with AC Milan has run out, and he will not be on the plane to South Africa. Midfield maestro, Kaka, will be vital to Brazil’s chances of winning, and if he can link up with the prolific striker Luis Fabiano, it could be World Cup win number six.

Every World Cup has it. A‘Group of death’ with one whipping boy in it. North Korea will be happy to reach their first World Cup since visiting England in 1966. Back then, they reached the quarter-finals, but don’t expect them to go so far this time. It may well be a baptism of fire for North Korea, who face Brazil in their first group game. The team is a mystery of sorts, with only three of them playing outside of North Korea, including captain Hong Yong-Jo, who told a Russian magazine: “Football is the number one sport in North Korea. The General Kim Jong-Il personally monitors its development.” Better do well then lads.

Ivory Coast


The 2006 World Cup in Germany saw an entertaining Ivory Coast team unable to reach past the Group stages, due to being placed in a ‘Group of death’ with Argentina and Holland. We may well see history repeating itself for the team nicknamed ‘The Elephants’. There is a lot of talent in the Ivory Coast team, who sailed through qualification. Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou will feature, along with Manchester City’s Kolo Toure. If Ivory Coast are to move past the Group stages, a victory in their first game against Portugal will be vital, as will Drogba’s ‘Golden Boot’ winning form continuing in South Africa.

The Portugese have stumbled into this World Cup. Despite having 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, in their team, Portugal only just reached this year's tournament via a play-off with Bosnia-Herzegovia, grinding out 1-0 victories in both legs. With talent such as Ronaldo, Simao and Carvalho, many fingers have pointed toward manger, Carlos Quieroz, for their sluggish qualification form. However, Portugal are not to be under-estimated. A victory against a difficult Ivory Coast side could put them in control of qualifying for the knock-out rounds, while injecting some much needed Portugese confidence.

Group H Javier Hernandez

Spain In previous World Cups, Spain were known as a team always promising much, yet never delivering when it came to the big games. That is all in the past for Vicente del Bosque’s side, who have topped the FIFA world rankings since being crowned European Champions in 2008. Like England and the Netherlands, Spain smashed through qualification with two games to spare. They already have, arguably, the world’s deadliest attacking partnership in Fernando Torres and David Villa, and the fact that this frontline will be supplied by the midfield talents of Xavi and Andreas Iniesta make them a fearsome team to face. Spain have been made favourites to triumph in South Africa, and it will take a special performance to prove the bookies wrong.

Honduras This is only the second World Cup for Honduras, their first being in 1982 in Spain. The Hondurans had a spot of luck in reaching South Africa. A 1-0 win against El Salvador, followed by a last minute goal by the USA against Costa Rica, put them through on goal difference. Although undoubtedly underdogs in Group H, they are an improving side, with a few members of the team playing in English teams. Look out for Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios, or Wigan pair Hendry Thomas and ‘Goal of the Season’ Maynor Figueroa. If the Hondurans somehow make it past Group H, it will be seen as a coup.

The famous 'Group of death' seems to excite during every World Cup year, and there is always one unlucky side thrown into the mix. This year, it just so happens to be Korea DPR and, unfortunately for them, we can't see them getting any points from this Group. Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast should all prove too strong for them. Brazil come into this as Group favourites. In any World Cup, they are expected to be up there towards the final, which places huge amounts of pressure on their shoulders when put into a Group of death. Ivory Coast will prove extremely tough to beat. Beating both Korea and Portugal is certainly possible, and a draw against Brazil wouldn't come as much of a shock. We can see them snatching that allimportant second place ahead of Portugal. The Portuguese had an awful qualification campaign under Carlos Quieroz, and they don't seem to be the team they could be. Despite harbouring players such as Ronaldo, Deco, Carvalho and Simao, they just don't seem to work well together, and lack an out-and-out striker. That said, should they beat Ivory Coast, they may be well placed to progress. Our prediction: 1- Brazil 2- Ivory Coast 3- Portugal 4- Korea DPR

Group Summary

Switzerland The last World Cup saw a Switzerland not concede a single goal, before they were knocked out through a second round penalty shoot-out with Ukraine. Although it can be said that Switzerland are not the most exciting of sides, lacking any real superstars, manager Ottmar Hitzfeld has led them to an eight-match unbeaten run on the road to South Africa. The real problem with the Swiss is goals. Alexander Frei is seen as the only real goal scorer, and they will need him on top of his game if they are to progress. At the same time, the Swiss defence will need to be as defiant as they were in 2006, especially when they face an attacking Chile team, who will, no doubt, be their main rivals for the second spot in Group H.

Chile There are two sides to Chile. They are currently labelled as the most attractive team in South America, with manager Marcelo Biesla adopting a heavily attacking style, which saw them come second to Brazil in qualification. While they are adventurous, though, this tournament may well show the defensive frailties of the team. They shipped 22 goals in qualification and they will need to shore up their defence if they want to really progress in the tournament. Chile have one of the youngest squads in this years World Cup, with an average age of 23. In addition to this, the strike partnership of Alexis Sanchez and Humberto Suazo could be a real threat.

Group H is a no-contest in terms of first spot. Spain should walk this group with relative ease. That said, they are missing two key players in the form of Xavi and Iniesta, and Switzerland and Chile may have an outside chance of causing an upset should Spain have any off-days. Chile can play some very impresive football at times and, on their good days, are a sure bet to take points from any of the big sides. If any of these teams are to prove a stumbling block for Spain, then it should be the Chileans. In Alexis Sanchez they have a very impressive right winger, who is likely to have an impressive tournament. Switzerland should not be under-estimated. They may not play particularly beautiful football, but they are hard to break down, and are a very stubborn side. Their downfall will be struggling to score goals against the other three teams. They should beat Honduras, but will struggle against Chile and Spain. Honduras don't stand much of a chance here. They have some gifted players but can only really hope to gain points when they play Switzerland. Our prediction: 1- Spain 2- Chile 3- Switzerland 4- Honduras

12World Cup Editors' Predictions Robbie Wells: England will not win the World Cup. We may have some good players, but the quality of the team has never stopped Germany from doing well. The problem we have is that we are not psychologically geared towards winning a tournament. The one team who not only expect to win, but have the players to back it up, is Brazil. Quality flows through the side, and I bet each team member has already cleared a space for their World Cup 2010 winner's medal. While Holland, Spain, France and England talk up a big game, it will be another efficient German side losing to Brazil in the final. Lucy Morgan: Spain definitely look favourites to win the 2010 World Cup. They are an attractive team to watch and are sure to make an impact on the tournament this year with their scintillating brand of football. Their build up to the World Cup has been impressive. They built on victory at Euro 2008 with a perfect ten victories from ten in their World Cup qualifying group, scoring 28 goals and conceding only five. What's more, from a very girly perspective, they're not a bad looking team, so I wouldn't mind watching them go far in the competition! Spain to win - even if they do have to bribe a few referees on the way. Jon Evans: A lot has been made of who Maradona has left out rather than who has been included, with the likes of Cambiasso and Zanetti failing to make the 23-man squad. But with a frighteningly talented attacking line that includes Tevez, Milito, Aguero and, of course, Messi, they should be a force to be reckoned with. Their midfield is also strong, but questions could be asked over the defence, who seem to be lacking in overall experience, as seen in their stuttering qualifcation campaign. Nevertheless, the Argentines have won the tournament twice when it has been held outside of Europe, and I fancy them to do it again this year, with Messi as the main man. James Hinks: In most World Cups, there are only a handful of teams that could actually win the trophy. This year is no different. Argentina have the best player in the world in Messi, but arguably the most erratic manager in Maradona. Brazil will pose a threat, but do not possess the big-name stars of previous Brazilian teams. The mighty Germany, England and Holland look dangerous but not consistent. Overall, I cannot see past Spain; they have got injury troubles but have a good enough squad to deal with it. Most importantly, they have a World Class spine to their team. In this World Cup, Spain are the team to beat. For a cheeky outside bet, I think the USA will get quite far.

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Adam Horne previews the route to the 2010 World Cup


here are few things more exciting than correctly predicting the winner of the World Cup, so here are my thoughts on how the route to the final will pan out. France finish top of group A, dropping perhaps a few points along the way. South Africa’s home advantage gives them the edge over Uruguay and Mexico. They finish second. Group B is won by Argentina. They struggle against Nigeria, but Diego Maradona runs over Obafemi Martins at halftime to keep his side top. Despite their setback, Nigeria finish second. Group C proves simple. England finish top, despite drawing to USA, who clinch second place with ease. Algeria and Slovenia offer little resistance, but will, no doubt, unlock the disastrous England defence. Group D is won by Germany, and runner-up goes to Serbia after Vidic and his Serbian mafia friends send various death threats to both the Ghana and Australia squads. The Netherlands finish top of Group E, despite Dirk Kuyt playing upfront. Robin Van Persie is ruled out through injury and returns to England. Samuel Eto’o ensures Cameroon finish in second spot, while Japan and Denmark put in uninspiring displays. Group F is easily won by Italy, who concede only one goal - to Paraguay - who finish second. New Zealand finish bottom, and decide to stick to stealing other countries' rugby talent. So to Group G: the Group of death. Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast all draw against each other. It goes down to whoever can score the most goals against Korea. Brazil put five past them, finishing top. Ivory Coast just edge out Portugal, making Sven look like a good manager. Barcelona, sorry, Spain, comfortably win Group H in true Catalan style. Chile, Honduras and Switzerland draw straws for second spot, deciding they’re all as bad as each other. Chile end up with thesecond spot. To the knockout stages now, and France go up against Nigeria. It’s a tight match, but Theirry Henry seals the deal late on for France with another ‘hand of frog’. Nigeria receive no sympathy from Roy Keane. France win 1-0. England face runners up Serbia from Group D. Ashley Cole has Milos Krasic in his back pocket, and England, in usual style, scrape

through with a 2-1 win. Germany face USA in the last 16. It’s the end of the road for the Yanks, who realise they should have asked for England’s help against the Germans. France offer their services, but are duly rejected. Germany win 3-1. Argentina face South Africa later that day. The South African fans have taken the hosts as far as they can go. Lionel Messi scores three times to put Argentina through. The Netherlands face Paraguay on June 28; Dirk Kuyt scores, sending the whole Paraguay side into a state of shock. They concede the match, sending the Dutch through by default. Group G winners Brazil face Group H runners up Chile in a South American showdown. Well, not so much a showdown, more of a beatdown. Brazil win 4-0. Italy face Cameroon on June 29. Samuel Eto’o comes up against a decent defence, and Cameroon are out of ideas. Italy win 2-0. Later, Spain face Ivory Coast in their first tough match of the finals. It goes to extra time, until Fabregas, who starts to get used to life on a Spanish bench, replaces Iniesta in midfield to score the winner. Spain win 2-1. The quarter-finals arrive and England have their bags packed and ready. But first, Netherlands face up against Brazil in a game that goes to the wire. They show real Dutch courage, taking the game to extra time, but their defence fails them, and Brazil win 2-1. England face their old friend France in the quarters, going behind early to a Florent Malouda goal. Chel-

Above: What's the point of HD if you're going to build pixelated stadiums?

Welshmen around the country begin sweating at the thought of an English victory

sea team mate, Lampard, levels things before half-time, and Wayne Rooney nods in the winner on the ninetieth minute to send England through. Argentina come up against Germany the next day, and their qualifying frailties come back to haunt them as they struggle against an organised German side. A 2-2 match goes to penalties and Germany win. To rub salt in the wound, Maradona is bitten by a German shepherd on his way to the team bus. Italy and Spain frustrate each other in the last quarter-final. David Villa puts Spain ahead, but Guiseppe Rossi comes off the bench to equalize. But the geriatric Italian team tires in extra time, and Spain snatch a vital win. Brazil face England in the first semi-final on July 6. After apparently becoming one of the world’s best midfielders, James Milner runs rings around Brazil, before scoring the only goal of the game in the second half. Cue a John Motson comment about the 1966 World Cup. In the other semifinal, Germany meet favourites Spain. Germany work tirelessly but, without Ballack, struggle to keep Spain under wraps. Spain win 2-1 and Kevin Prince Boateng goes into hiding. July 11 and England take on Brazil. Welshmen around the country don their Spain shirts and begin sweating at the thought of an English victory outside of cricket. At 1-1 after extra time, Capello subs on Rob Green for the penalty shootout. He saves three out of five penalties and England win the 2010 World Cup.

The route to the World Cup final: Contributors' predictions Matt Parr: Call it blind patriotism, but I'm, going for our boys to bring home the trophy this summer. Finally, England have a World Cup squad consisting of regular, proven goalscorers, with Rooney and Defoe leading the line, while even Crouch has netted a few recently. In midfield, we have fast, exciting players for the first time in a generation in Milner and Lennon. Our attacking fullbacks Johnson and Cole add a new dimension in their fluid continental style. England to romp it.

Alex Bywater: Marcelo Lippi clearly knows how to guide a team through tournament football and he will want to finish on a high. Italy’s traditional tight defence, shielded by AC Milan veterans Pirlo and Gattuso, should make the Italians hard to beat. The key question is whether enough goals will come at the right end of the pitch. Giuseppe Rossi could be one to look out for and may well provide the goals to take Italy to a second successive World Cup Title.

Oli Franklin: One of the countries you can always expect to see in the latter stages, Germany have made it to more semi-finals than any other team. They may be without captain Michael Ballack, but with Werder Bremen's young creative dynamo, Mesut Ozil, lighting up their qualifying campaign, and a formidable striking line-up of Miroslav Klose, Lucas Podolski and Mario Gomez, the Germans are an offensive powerhouse and a dead cert to make it into the latter stages. They might even win it.

Sean Neagle: The European Champions have been hotly tipped to win this year's tournament, and rightly so. Manager Vicente del Bosque’s side boasts strength and depth from the back right through to the forward line. The strike partnership of Torres and Villa will be deadly, especially when supplied by the midfield class of Xavi, Iniesta and Alonso. It’s almost impossible to pick a weakness in the Spanish team and I think it will be Captain Iker Casillas who will lift the World Cup in Johannesburg.

13World Cup

gair rhydd â&#x20AC;˘ Monday Jume 07 2010

The stadiums that hold World Cup dreams

Ellis Park Stadium

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Free State Stadium

Location: Johannesburg Capacity: 62,527 Big Group Game: June 15 Brazil v North Korea Built: 1928 Interesting fact: Held the 2009 Confederations Cup final, which ended USA 2 - 3 Spain.

Location: Pretoria Capacity: 51,762 Big Group Game: June 25 Chile v Spain Built: 1923 Interesting fact: The stadium has recently held concerts for UB40, and Robbie Williams.

Location: Phokeng Capacity: 44,530 Big Group Game: June 12 England v USA Built: 1999 Interesting fact: The stadium is situated near Sun City, the African Vegas.

Location: Bloemfontein Capacity: 48,000 Big Group Game: June 22 France v South Africa Built: 1995 Interesting fact: Built for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which South Africa hosted and won.

Peter Mokabo Stadium

Mbombela Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Location: Polokwane Capacity: 46,000 Big Group Game: June 17 France v Mexico Built: 2010 Interesting fact: Named after a man from Polokwane known for his fighting spirit and leadership.

Location: Nelspurit Capacity: 43,500 Big Group Game: June 20 Italy v New Zealand Built: 2009 Interesting fact: Only had its first game on May 16 2010, and the seats are patterned with stripes.

Location: Durban Capacity: 70,000 Big Group Game: June 25 Brazil v Portugal Built: 2009 Interesting fact: This stadium cost $450 million compared to the $1.5 billion spent on Wembley.

Nelson Mandela Stadium Location: Port Elizabeth Capacity: 48,459 Big Group Game: June 15 Ivory Coast v Portugal Built: 2009 Interesting fact: The seats are coloured randomly to help the stadium look less empty.

Green Point Stadium

Soccer City Stadium

Location: Cape Town Capacity: 66,005 Big Group Game: June 14 Italy v Paraguay Built: 2009 Interesting fact: The Green Point Stadium was built with a special exterior cover that reduces noise. It was also partly built on a Golf Course and will host one of the semi-final games.

Location: Johannesburg Capacity: 91,141 Big Group Game: It will hold the opening game on June 11 between South Africa and Mexico. Built: 1989 Interesting fact: This was the site of of Nelson Mandela's first speech in Johannesberg after being released from prison. It will host the final on July 11.

14World Cup

Monday June 07 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ gair rhydd

The All-Time World Cup XI Jon Evans assembles his greatest line-up in World Cup history Gordon Banks Country: England Caps: 73 Goals: 0 World Cups: 1 Famous for: Outrageous save against Pele in 1970.

Cafu Country: Brazil Caps: 142 Goals: 5 World Cups: 2 Famous for: Rapid overlapping runs, making him best ever wing back.

Bobby Moore Country: England Caps: 108 Goals: 2 World Cups: 1 Famous for: Captaining England to only World Cup victory.

Jairzinho Country: Brazil Caps: 81 Goals: 33 World Cups: 1 Famous for: Scored in every game of Brazil's 1970 World Cup win.

Michel Platini Country: France Caps: 72 Goals: 41 World Cups: 0 Famous for: Regarded as the best passer in football history.

Pele Country: Brazil Caps: 92 Goals: 77 World Cups: 3 Famous for: Brazil's top scorer, and erectile dysfunction.

Name: Vittorio Pozzo Role: Manager Country: Italy World Cups: 2 Famous for: The only coach to win two World Cups.

Franz Beckenbauer Country: Germany Caps: 103 Goals: 14 World Cups: 1 Famous for: Created the role of sweeper.

Diego Maradona Country: Argentina Caps: 91 Goals: 34 World Cups: 1 Famous for: The 'Hand of God' and 'Goal of the Century' vs England.

Paolo Maldini Country: Italy Caps: 126 Goals: 7 World Cups: 0 Famous for: Spent 25 years at Milan, winning five Champions League medals.

Johan Cruyff Country: Netherlands Caps: 48 Goals: 33 World Cups: 0 Famous for: The brand of 'Total Football'.

Eusebio Country: Portugal Caps: 64 Goals: 41 World Cups: 0 Famous for: Scored 727 goals in 715 games for Benfica.

15World Cup

gair rhydd â&#x20AC;˘ Monday June 07 2010

The ones to watch in South Africa A look at the young guns hoping to stand out on the world stage

Gerard Pique Spain

Angel Di Maria Argentina

Hugo Lloris France

Luis Suarez Uruguay

Mesut Ozil Germany

Pique may only be 23, but he's quickly established himself as first choice centre-back at Barcelona, and will be looking to replicate his stellar club form for Spain. Playing alongside Carlos Puyol, Pique has earned a reputation as one of the finest centre-backs in the world. He's clever, strong and will be a tough opponent for any striker - and will be sitting behind the world's best midfield, and protecting the world's best keeper. A good tournament could see him lifting the World Cup in July.

Benfica winger Di Maria has been on many a managers' radar this past season after his impressive form. The left-sided player scored ten goals for his club in the 2009/10 season and will be hoping coach Maradona puts his faith in him for the upcoming tournament. He is young, however, so don't expect to see him start too many matches. Should Maradona need someone to change the game for him, then he is likely to look to Di Maria for help.

Lloris is one of the world's best young goalkeepers at this very moment, and he has had a brilliant season with his club, Lyon. He will be looking to cement the number one shirt for France this year and you can expect the youngster to prove hard to beat, having already put in some strong performances in qualifying and pre-tournament friendlies. A natural leader with lightning reflexes, Lloris could be the shining light for France in goal, having missed a star player since Barthez.

Luis Suarez had a fantastic season with Ajax last season, scoring 49 goals in 48 appearances for his club. On the international stage, he has ten goals to his name, and will be looking to continue his prolific form at the World Cup. Uruguay will rely on him heavily, and you can bet on him bagging the goals when given the chance. Don't be surprised to see some Premier League clubs after him when the World Cup's done and dusted.

The boy the Werder Bremen faithful call 'the new Diego' (after the Brazilian midfield maestro) has quickly established himself as a starter in the German team in the runup to South Africa. The Germans are always famed for their efficiency, organisation, and deadly long-range strikes from midfield, but in Ozil they have a wily step-over merchant, who is capable of moments of utter brilliance. A good World Cup could see him become a superstar.





5 5 6 7 8

9 11


12 13 15

14 16


17 19 20

21 22 23


World Cup Crossword

ACROSS 3. This Geordie will always be remembered for his tears in 1990 (9) 5. Hosts and winners of the first World Cup (7) 6. Name of the stadium that will play host to the 2010 final (10) 7. This Asian country will face-off against Holland in their group this year (5) 10. Surprisingly made the semi-finals in 2002 (10) 14. His header was famously saved by Gordon Banks (4) 15. Brazilian who conned the ref by clutching his face after the ball hit his leg (7) 17. Polish-born German who was crowned best young player in 2006 (8) 18. Winning manager of the 1966 Cup (6) 21. Manager of Argentina at present (8) 22. England player sent off against Argentina in 1998 (7) 23. Was on the receiving end of Zidane's head (9) 24. Current Italian captain (9) DOWN 1. Winners of five World Cups (6) 2. Only player to have scored a hat-trick in the final (5) 4. Lost on penalties to Portugal in the quarter-finals of 2006 (7) 5. Raul is the record scorer of this nation (5) 8. This Brazilian scored 8 goals in the 2002 championships (7) 9. Perhaps the worst Italian ponytail you're likely to see (6) 11. 'He's scored a wonderful goal!' against Argentina in 1998 (4) 12. Made the final twice but have never won it (7) 13. Diana had clearly never played footie prior to the 1994 opening ceremony (4) 16. Cameroon legend is the oldest player to feature in a World Cup (5) 19. His saved penalty against sent England crashing out of 1998 (5) 20. Bayern Munich striker who scored for Croatia in the 2002 and 2006 finals (4)

gairrhydd SPORT


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Cardiff ranked 34th in this year's Good University Guide Miranda Atty Reporter Cardiff University has been ranked 34th in The Times Good University Guide 2010/2011. The annual University Guide ranked 113 universities using criteria including student satisfaction, research quality, student-staff ratio and graduate prospects. Oxford tops the league table, followed by Cambridge, Imperial College, St. Andrews and London School of Economics. Cardiff ’s ranking as 34th overall indicates strengths in some areas and weakness in specific subjects Cardiff University was ranked 30th out of 30 for Medicine, in part due to its comparatively low student satisfaction rating, which, at 62%, ranked a full 12% points below

Lecturers call for more support Morgan Applegarth Reporter Lecturers all over Britain are appealing for greater support, according to a teacher's charity. The charity, Recourse, formerly the College and University Support Network, offers 24/7 financial, practical and emotional support to staff working in post-16 education. It has reported that calls to their support centre are up 25% from last year. During 2008/9, its services were used over 8,100 times, a figure reached over 10,150 during 2009/10. The rise, according to Recourse, is because teachers are facing an ever-increasing threat of job losses. The University and College Union (UCU) have reported that at

least 14,000 job cuts are expected to be made around UK campuses by 2013. The job losses are a consequence of government plans to cut higher education spending by £1.2 billion. UCU’s general secretary, Sally Hunt, warns that many college and university lecturers may hold national strikes during the summer, disrupting final-year exams, re-sits and graduation ceremonies. There have already been 15 strikes over university job losses since March. “We know from our own research, that workers in the post-16 education sector are facing serious wellbeing, health, status and financial issues,” said Recourse Chief Executive, Julian Stanley.

Levy to be charged on plastic bags in 2011 Miranda Atty Reporter From Spring 2011, shops across Wales will be charging seven pence for all single-use carrier bags. The scheme aims to tackle litter, waste and cost, and is expected to become a template for the rest of Britain. The new scheme, which will come into effect in March 2011, will save £356 million by cutting plastic and paper bags available at tills by 80% a year. The money raised will be distributed between retailers -

who will receive the money to cover administration costs, and a range of charities, including those specialising in the environment. Small pharmacies providing medicines, and retailers selling unpackaged fresh fish and meat will, however, be exempt from the scheme. Jane Davidson, the for Wales Environment Minister said: “Carrier bags are a symbol of the throwaway society in which we live. We take the view that seven pence is high enough to be habit changing, but low enough not to affect impulse buying.”

its nearest competitor, Kingston University. Dentistry was also portrayed as a weak area, coming 13th out of the 13 universities ranked. By contrast, areas such as Architecture, Anatomy and Physiology, and Communication and Media Studies were all placed within the top ten. Cardiff came first in the league table for Celtic Studies, and second for East & South Asian Studies, placing it higher than Oxford University. According to the Russell Group website, Russel Group universities such as Cardiff are “committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector”. Its position at 34 places the university at the 2nd lowest position

for a Russell Group University, just higher than Queen’s University Belfast, which ranks 38th. It has, however, maintained its position as the top university in Wales, above UWIC which was ranked 67th. A spokeperson for the University said: "Cardiff University has consistently regarded league tables as an inexact science, with large swings from year to year, and marked inconsistencies between different league tables. "The University has always considered the endorsement of potential students and employers to be much more reliable indicators. On these criteria, Cardiff remains one of the most popular destinations in the UK for student applicants and one of the most targeted universities for employers seeking new graduates."


Do we really know the truth behind what's going on in Burma? Page 20 >>

Pole dancing: sexual exploitation or a great way to keep in shape?

We sent Features' Daniella Graham along to a pole dancing class to find out the truth behind the latest fitness craze


ole dancing. What do you first think of when you read that? Do you think of a fun form of exercise that’s a great way to improve your fitness? Or do you think of women in revealing outfits being leered at by sleazy men? Most of us probably think of the latter, even if we are aware that pole dancing is also a form of exercise. In April this year, there was widespread controversy after the Union Society at Cambridge University announced it would be offering pole dancing lessons for students to combat exam stress. Public figures rushed to offer their opinions on the matter, with comedian David Mitchell writing in his Observer column, “pole dancing is grim and I don’t see anything empowering about it.” Many argue that pole dancing is hugely exploitative, and that, even as a form of exercise, is still sexual in nature. So is pole dancing just the sexual exploitation of women? And is it, as a form of exercise, really any different to professional pole dancing? Pole dancing certainly started out as an erotic form of dancing. While it is unclear exactly where pole dancing originated from, the most common theory is that it evolved from the traditional strip tease. Travelling tent shows had striptease acts, and it is believed that dancers started to use the pole in the centre of the tent to dance around. Another theory is that pole dancing was a pagan fertility dance, which was later rebranded as the slightly more innocent maypole dancing. Modern day pole dancing is commonly believed to have started in 1980s Canada, in exotic table dancing and lap dancing clubs, and rapidly spread across the world. Ever since, there has been much debate on the industry, and whether it is nothing more than sexual exploitation of women. I spoke to Hannah*, a professional pole dancer, for her thoughts on the industry and its public perception.

When I asked her how she became involved in pole dancing, I was slightly surprised by her answer. “I became involved from seeing the place I now work in. I asked for a job when drunk.” Since asking for a job under the influence, she has been pole dancing professionally for seven years. When I asked Hannah whether she enjoyed pole dancing, she simply said “sometimes.” So what are her thoughts on pole dancing as a profession? Is it empowering for women? “It definitely is empowering; it is nice to feel in control. I feel it is the men who are exploited as they are a bit daft – for example, they really do believe we fancy them. I wouldn’t advise it as a job though, as it is hard to get out of when you are used to earning good money. However, I have been very successful in life through this job and am very grateful.” Hannah says that she isn’t surprised by the controversy at Cambridge University. “Social conflict will always be apparent with anything sexually orientated, which pole dancing unfortunately is.” While the debate over pole dancing rages, in recent years, the exercise element of the activity has received a lot more attention. Now, pole dancing classes are taught at many gyms and exercise centres across Britain. In March of this year, Cardiff University’s first Pole Dancing Society was approved at Societies Council. Perhaps surprisingly, there was very little debate, and pole dancing classes for students will start in September. Sophie Hermann, the founder of the Society, explained how she got involved with pole dancing: “I originally got involved in pole dancing because my sister wanted to attend lessons and wanted somebody to go with. I’d heard that it was a fantastic form of exercise and decided to try it. I fell in love with it instantly! I love the sense of achievement when you successfully perform a move and it’s definitely more enjoyable than going to the gym. There’s a strong cama-

raderie within lessons and everyone is really supportive of each other. I’ve made some great friends through pole dancing and I hope that our new society will have an equally welcoming atmosphere.” Sophie went on to explain why she decided to set up the Pole Dancing Society. “I initially learnt pole dancing at Polz Apart in Bournemouth during my placement year and was appalled at the cost of classes offered in Cardiff. I decided to approach the Students’ Union about setting up a society in order to offer cheap classes to students and abolish the stereotype associated with pole dancing.” Pole dancing is certainly an interesting way of keeping fit, and anyone can get involved. “Anyone can pole dance regardless of age, weight or shape. Before I started pole dancing lessons, I couldn’t even manage a single ladies press-up, and now I’m lifting myself up the pole with ease! “Pole dancing moves require you to lift your own body weight and use this resistance to encourage the development of toned, defined and lean muscles. It works muscles that I never even knew I had! Repetition while practicing moves builds endurance, and as you gradually get stronger, you’re able to undertake more advanced moves. The great thing about pole dancing lessons is that you are so focused on mastering the moves that you forget it is exercise!” Pole dancing will increase your upper body strength, shape your waistline, increase core strength and also burn calories. According to Pole Dancing School, founded by World Pole Dance Champion, Elena Gibson, during a beginner’s lesson you can expect to burn anything between 290 and 400 calories an hour, while an advanced pole student can burn up to 700 calories an hour. Pole dancing boosts your metabolic rate and keeps it running at a higher level for longer. It also improves muscle tone and definition, posture, coordination and

I feel it is the men who are exploited – they really believe we fancy them

flexibility. As the only exercise I’ve done recently has been the walk to and from the library, I thought it would be a good idea to make my own mind up about pole dancing, so I decided to book myself in for a lesson. Vitality Gym and Health Club hold lessons on Friday evenings, so I grabbed some friends and got myself down there. As I entered the gym, I was confronted with the sight of three poles, one of which was complete with a girl dangling upside down. I was more impressed than anything else! The class was only women, all of whom were just wearing normal gym wear. It wasn’t really a scene reminiscent of a strip club. As the instructor showed us the first move – a simple spin around the pole – all of us were concentrating too much on how we were going to repeat it to focus on anything else. When it got to my turn, I launched my self on to the pole, smacking my ankle and creating a bruise which later turned a nice purple colour. The next time, I grabbed the pole so hard I managed to grab my arm and cut it with my fingernail in the process. I also couldn’t really grasp the whole concept of spinning


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

around the pole, and ended up just sliding down fireman-style. It was hardly what anyone would describe as sexual. Eventually, I got used to moving around the pole, but was slightly terrified when our instructor announced that the next move was the ‘kamikaze’. This turned out to involve wrapping your leg around the pole, then leaping and spinning round with one leg outstretched. Again, I proved to be more adept at injuring myself than the art of pole dancing, smacking my shin. When I got home, I had a nice lump to show for my efforts. Despite the large number of injuries I managed to sustain, I did find pole dancing rather enjoyable. It certainly is a great way to build upper body strength, as my aching arms the next day proved. It wasn’t sexual at all – everyone was too busy concentrating on perfecting the moves and helping everyone else out. Especially in an all-female environment, it was clear that pole dancing was for nothing other than our own personal fitness and enjoyment, and if it wasn’t quite so expensive, I would definitely take it up. While I did not find pole dancing

for exercise particularly sexual, not everyone involved in pole dancing for fitness agrees. Jamilla Deville won Pole Dance Instructor of the Year 2009 and has released ‘The Art of Pole’, a five DVD collection of pole dancing instruction. She feels that even pole dancing for fitness has a sexual element, but sees this as a reason behind its appeal. “I do recognise how far pole dancing has come on the back of fitness classes; the numerous schools expanding all over the world attests to that. But certainly it must be admitted that it is pole dancing’s exotic and erotic tint which is the ultimate draw card, the component which has brought so many out of the gym and into the studio. “Even without removing any covering, pole dancing’s sensual and suggestive movements seem to be providing us with a means of expression, healthy for both mind and body.” Sophie disagrees, and stresses the difference between pole dancing for exercise and pole dancing professionally: “Pole dancing for fitness uses more gymnastics, similar to the Chinese pole seen in the circus, and is per-

Top left: Features editor Daniella Graham. Bottom left: Editor Emma Jones. Above: A seedy strip club, but is this the only place pole dancing belongs?

Sliding down the pole fireman-style is hardly what you'd describe as sexual

formed in a non-erotic environment, in which context, the style and moves are very different. This form of pole dancing has been around a lot longer, although only recently has pole dancing been recognised as a form of exercise. The pole dancong lessons the Cardiff University Pole Dance Society offer will not involve the 'sensual' moves associated with gentlemen's clubs, and will focus on the aerobic and anaerobic workout. “The Society will be teaching pole dancing for fitness. Although the stereotype of pole dancing is declining, the more and more people who do it for fitness, the wider the acceptance will be.” I’m inclined to agree. While it is almost certain that pole dancing professionally will always be controversial, pole dancing for fitness is very different in nature, and in a friendly environment it is a lot of fun, as well as being a good form of exercise. If it wasn’t for the fact I am not here next year, I would probably join the new Pole Dancing Society. Hopefully a lot of students will give the new society a go, and look beyond the stereotype. *name changed

Sophie Hermann, founder of Cardiff ’s first Pole Dancing Society has some beginner’s advice... What can I expect from beginners’ classes? Pole dancing lessons begin with a gentle warm-up, which will include some cardiovascular work, toning and stretching exercises before moving onto the pole. Pole climbs (pulling yourself up the pole) and pole sits (wrapping your thighs around the pole) are generally taught first as they are a good way to continue warming up the muscles. At the end of each class there will be a cool down. What should I wear? Shorts are best as they enable the thighs and legs to better grip the pole. For more advanced moves it is also recommended to wear a strappy top. You do not have to wear heels. Is there anything I should be worried about? Due to the recent rise in popularity of pole dancing, lessons are springing up everywhere. It can be dangerous, though, so make sure you chose a professional teacher.


Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

"If I go back home to Burma, I will be arrested" Burma has been controlled by a strict military regime for decades. Hannah Pendleton talks to a political activist trying to change this


or almost half a century, the country of Burma has been run by a strict military regime, with Burma’s military junta viciously overturning any anti-government protesters brave enough to voice their beliefs and fight for their rights and freedom. During an uprising in 1988, more than 1,000 people were jailed and 3,000 were killed. Since then, the military regime has only become stronger, and the number of political prisoners continues to multiply. I spoke to someone directly affected by the ruling military junta in Burma. Wai Hnin is a student studying in Britain but her father, Ko Mya Aye, is one of the many political prisoners who have been arrested by the junta. “My father was jailed for 65 years and six months and has been in prison since August 2007. It was entirely because he stood up for the people of Burma and for what he believes in. He believes in human rights and freedom and that every human being deserves those. This is not his first prison sentence: He was arrested and sentenced for eight years in 1989 because of his role as a prominent student leader in the 1988 uprising.” On top of the usual stress of exams, Wai also fears strongly for her father’s health. As he is constantly moved from jail to jail, with no running water or toilet in his cells, he is battling against a heart condition and is not getting the medical attention he so desperately needs. “I am here now, I may go wherever I want and I may speak whatever I please. I may be free physically but I can never be free emotionally from my nightmares where I see my father sitting in the prison with his prison suits. Every day and night, I have to worry about my family and their future. I can never be in peace unless my country is free and I am with my family.” I asked Wai how it makes her feel

that her father is a political prisoner. “I cannot express how very proud I am. If I have a chance again, I just want to let him know how proud I am of him and his work. He has given me the biggest encouragement to campaign for my country. I just want him to be alive when change comes to our country. However, he has suffered from angina, which has recently become unstable, causing heart failure, and so he needs urgent medical attention. Without the change in Burma, I do not think I will ever see my father again in my life. I am 21-years-old now but I had only nine years living with my father.” This month, a US diplomat has called for the release of Burmese political prisoners, voicing concern that the forthcoming election will “lack international legitimacy.” Aung San Suu Kyi, a democracy leader, is one of the most famous political prisoners in Burma, and is currently under house arrest. After winning in 1990, there is concern that she will not be able to take part in the next election. Last month, more chaos hit the country as three explosions erupted in the city of Rangoon, killing nine people and injuring 75. State television blamed ‘terrorists’ for the attack but did not actually name any group. Burma’s generals have recently created new election laws that unfairly ban anyone with a criminal conviction from taking part. This, of course, means that Aung San Suu Kyi and the rest of the Burmese political prisoners will not be able to have an active role in the upcoming elections. Wai is worried about the elections. “I do not think there will be a free and fair election since there are still 2,200 political prisoners in Burma. Moreover, our pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is still under house arrest. This election gives no guarantee for the lives of political prisoners and the future of people of Burma. This election will be the death sentences to the ethnic people in Burma.” Racial prejudice against ethnic minorities in Burma is brutal. Wai explains: “Ethnic people in Burma are

targeted to use as forced labour and mine sweepers. The army has burned down their homes and villages and those ethnic people have to live their lives in the jungle without food and water.” She goes on to describe the restrictions for those living in Burma. “We are prisoners in our own country. We cannot do anything at all. Simple pleasures such as Facebook and social networking sites are banned for the people of Burma. If they access internet sites that are banned by the regime, they could get arrested. We cannot gather more than five people, and societies clubs in schools and universities are out of the question. “Small things that we take for granted in this country, such as going out and staying overnight at your friend’s house, are the privileged social lives that people in Burma cannot have.” These stark facts are enough to humble any young person living a privileged life in the west. Due to Wai’s political activities in Britain, she cannot go back to Burma. “The regime targeted me, as I am very outspoken for our country’s freedom. If I go back home to Burma, I will be arrested. Even though I am in one of the most developed countries in the world, I miss my country and people very much. The aura and warm surroundings with the family, those feelings can never be replaced.” Wai has many hopes for the future of Burma. “I hope that one day Burma has democracy and freedom for its people. I want my people of Burma to live in peace, not in fear. I want to see the release of all political prisoners and want them to see the results of their selfless sacrifices. Most of all, I want to see my father again. My promise to my country and my people is that I will try my hardest to bring change in Burma, until my last breath.” We can only hope that the tragic circumstances of Wai, her father and the rest of the Burmese people change soon, before it is too late.

CONFLICT: A crying child flees the Burmese army, above. Thousands of Tamils demonstrate in London in June 2009, right.


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

The truth that wasn't there Laura Brunt looks at the truth behind the 30-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka


n May 2009, 30 years of civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end. The Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers and the long military campaign was over. The Truth That Wasn’t There is a documentary which, unlike any other, tells the story of the aftermath of the civil war. The filmmaking brains behind it are three students, intent on discovering the truth behind the headlines. Beginning on July 23 1983, the separatist military organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers) forced an insurgence against the government in order to create an independent Tamil state, called Tamil Eelam, in the north and the east of the island. The next 25 years brought hardship to the island of Sri Lanka that nobody could have foreseen. Killing somewhere in the region of 80,000 to 100,000 people, the atrocities caused by the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government resulted in the Tamil Tigers being branded a terrorist group by 32 countries around the world. Their tactics involved air raids, roadside blasts, suicide bombs and land and sea battles. While most of the bombing took place in the north, the Tiger rebels also penetrated the heart of Sri Lankan society, when they carried out devastating suicide bombings in Colombo in the 1990s. The affliction of Sri Lankan civilisation became an international concern. And it still is. Many Sri Lankan civilians are still living in internment camps and are unable to return to their homes because of government prevention and danger from land mines. With the civil war at an end, the sense of loss is as present as ever and the state of Tamil has long since suffered with grief. The largest and most controversial of Sri Lanka’s refugee camps, Manik Farm, holds about a quarter of a million Tamils who fled the war zone in the final weeks of the conflict, when the government finally won victory over the Tamil Tigers. But as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, discovering the real truth behind the severity of the situation is by no means an easy task. The refusal of the Sri Lankan Government to allow independent journalists in the war zone during the conflict has caused many to raise questions about what they are hiding. The press are restricted. There are no-go areas. The journalists are escorted by army au-

thorities, even in permitted areas. The refugees who are allowed out of the refugee camps are freed by a letter authorising their exit and stipulating an exact date of their return. So what is the truth? Guy Gunaratne, Heidi Lindvall and Philip Panchenko endeavoured to find out. They travelled deep into LTTE territory and took a look inside Manik Farm to see what life behind the barbed wire was really like. With claims of excessive crime and violence by the BBC and Channel 4 News against the Sri Lankan authorities, the denied access to journalists became a story in itself, and this is exactly what these three filmmakers wanted to turn on its head. In three parts, it is the most insightful look at the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war yet. The first part is named ‘Our Anandian Manchang.’ ‘Manchang’ refers to a ‘mode of communication whereby one utilises networks of influence in order to get what one wants’ (a direct quotation from Guy’s blog.) ‘Manchang’ means ‘buddy’ in Sinhala. So for these three journalists, photographers and filmmakers, it is not a case of what you know, but who you know. Guy’s ‘path to influence’ resulted in an invitation to Chalai near Mullaitivi, the final battleground of the LTTE fight. Nobody had previously gained access to the battleground, bar soldiers, and they were the first journalists to travel this far north. Gaining access to Manik Farm, the student filmmakers were about to get a real sense of what life was like for those displaced by the Sri Lankan war. Despite educational facilities, amenities and a ‘culture centre’, what crept to the surface was an overwhelming sense of fear and a ‘climate of wariness’. To the government, these camps seemed fit for the people, a method to distract them from their own poverty and destitution. Medication and water for over 300,000 people are logistical nightmares. From Manik Farm, the journalists ventured to Chalai, only to be confronted by beauty that was tainted by history. The tranquillity they found was the culmination of violence and bloodshed. A beach walk was not on the cards with the threat of landmines under their feet. The Truth That Wasn’t There: watch the videos and see for yourself the acquisition of truth behind the propaganda. (Look at Guy’s blog at www.releva


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at

It's just not banter

Edmund Schluessel


I humbly note that you might have spoken out against the decision to work with Cardiff Communities Against Racism at either of the two Student Councils after the one where the motion was passed, or even raised a motion negating the original motion, and did not. You could have volunteered to join the committee the CCAR resolution established, and recommended in that capacity that the Student Union’s involvement in the demo be nothing, and you did not; and you might have attended any of CCAR’s meetings, as five current members of the Exec and at least two rising members of the Exec have, and raised any question or criticism you liked, and you have not. You might also have raised any of these other changes in policy you propose at any point during your campaign for Student Union president, which provided you with an open platform to speak to every student, and to my knowledge you did not do so.

I read this article and lolled all the way through. Lad Dave I read John’s comment and LOLed. Lad. Tom Liz, you need better friends. Most boys find the truelad meme as toe-curling as you do. To tar us all with this brush is akin to assuming that all women aspire to Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha’s vapid brand of sex-and-shopping girlpower. Grace Liz my friend and fellow lady. You need to get laid. Or at least get a vibe. P - Dog Everyone needs to lighten up and enjoy it for what it is, a piss take. It’s just a website where most of the stories are made up for other peoples enjoyment. If it annoys you, don’t visit the website and don’t get drunk on a night out, use it as an excuse to sleep with somebody who you don’t even know and turns out to be a lad who frequents this site. If this has happened and is the reason you are going on a bitter little rant then its your own fault, stop trying to blame it on others.

Madness? This is Student Council!

D Stone Edmund old buddy old pal. You’re right I could have done all those things – but I think you’ve missed the wider point of this and thus why I didnt. But Im not going to get into a slanging match over the internet with you as is almost inevitable when you intervene on this website. Ed Mason I must have missed the wider point, as well. One wider point that I can imagine would suggest that you simply couldn’t be bothered, but I’m sure that’s not right.

And as someone who doesn’t post on this website much, I probably don’t know enough about what goes on here, so I’ll just ask: what’s the difference, exactly, between a slanging match and straightforward debate/criticism? Because the two can very easily get confused… Chris Haha ed you clearly dont know edmund and his angry mob of gair rhydd stalkers. Only their view is acceptable. jonathan Bird I will go on the march. However, I will be alert for trouble from thugs attached to both sides. I know what happened in Birmingham. Ed Mason Y’know, I’ve got this strong suspicion that the phrase “Only their view is acceptable” is basically the same as “They have a reasoned viewpoint and are willing to debate that viewpoint.” So what’s the difference, again?

The Word On... Blackpool's Premiership Prospects David Cage So what should be done about it? Have a panel to decide who should go into the Premier league/..maybe Cardiff or Leicester or Forest as they are bigger teams? Isn’t Blackpool getting into the Premiership good for football…they did it on signings of £800,000 in the whole of last season. It gives hope for the smaller clubs. and it comes at


an appropriate time when UEFA are bringing in rules that only financially well run clubs will be allowed in the UEFA CUP/ Champions League …no clubs who run up big debts. ...Pool might just survive the first year in the Premiership ..despite what the bookies say. And if there was a debt free League they would be way above liverpoool, Man U etc. C Casey You obviously didnt see them in action much during the season. It’s not their fault that they were ignored by the TV companies. They played some absolutely scintillating football and were a joy to watch. Making the statement that they are the wrong team is inaccurate, irrelevant and disrespectful. Danny You seem to have missed the fact that they hammered Everton and Wigan, and probably should have beaten Stoke too. Steve I think it’s worth pointing out that Blackpool have some pretty substantial backing behind them – their owner Valeri Belokon is worth £200 million. Considering how relatively prudent they have been thus far when it comes to signing players, they’ll probably be in a stronger position to compete than, say, Burnley were. Julian Blackpool came from behind 5 times in the play-off matches. Can somebody tell me how many EPL teams would do this? How many would come from behind twice to beat Cardiff City?

Thankfully, for promotion to the EPL, it’s not enough to bankrupt yourself to buy a new stadium (see Southampton and Darlington) or a squad of highly-paid players. This doesn’t guarantee anything. Thankfully, football is still a sport where what’s done on the pitch is the clincher. The people who knock Blackpool’s promotion are the worst kind of money worshippers. Have they not noticed the trend in wider society is to try to foster meritocracy? Have they not noticed how, with almost universal approval, politicians are trying to break down the barriers to social mobility not build them up? Those who criticise Blackpool’s elevation are reactionaries of the worst kind. And out of all the EPL teams, Blackpool are about the 6th most likely to play in Europe following UEFA’s recent finance directive. tim Wouldn’t be sour grapes from Cardif would it.? Blackpool are in the EPL because we deserve to be.We will stay in the EPL because of how we play. The sum of the parts in our team is greater than any individual player and we don’t face winding up orders every other week! joe wilkins What a sad and insular account of the situation. The team that wins the play-offs deserves to be promoted full stop. The seasiders exposed both Forest and Cardiff ’s lack of quality and in coming from behind so many times demonstrated fighting character that sport desperately needs and wants to see. Blackpool might be relegated, but the team and its colourful fans will bring many a smile to faces along the way.

Away on a placement? Heading abroad? In bed with a hangover? Stay in touch with NEWS, LIVE DEBATE, FEATURES, SPORT, QUENCH, EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND MORE

Taf-od 24

Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Ysbeidiau heulog...

Nia Gwawr yn trafod pa wyliau Cymreig fydd orau eleni yn ei barn hi


yda diwedd yr arholiadau’n agosau, a’r haf o fewn gafael, mae’r festival season ar ein pennau unwaith eto. Mae gwyliau yn rhan fawr o’r haf i nifer o bobl, os nad y rhan mwyaf, ac felly rydw i am drio ‘ngorau i gynnig y rhai gorau yng Nghymru i chi. I’r rhai sy’n mynychu gwyliau yn aml bydd y tocynau Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, a Bestival wedi cael eu prynu ers amser maith a’r cynnwrf yn adeiladu bob wythnos. Ond beth am y gwyliau sy’n cael eu hanwybyddu yma yng Nghymru fach? Yr un mwyaf amlwg i’r rhan fwyaf ohonom ydi’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, neu Maes B. Fel dywedwyd yn yr erthygl ar dudalen Taf-od yr wythnos ddiwethaf, mae’r rhestr o fandiau yn siomedig i ddweud y lleiaf. Gydag Elin Fflur a Bryn Fôn yn rhai o’r prif fandiau, allai ddim dweud fy ‘mod wedi neidio mewn hapusrwydd wrth weld y poster. I mi, mae Maes B yn gyfle i gael blas ar ychydig o fandiau ifanc ffresh Cymru ynghyd a rhai o’r bandiau mwy cyfarwydd fel Derwyddon Dr Gonzo ac Yr Ods. Yn amlwg mae rheswm tu ôl i’r dewis o Elin Fflur a Bryn Fôn, a hynny er mwyn atynnu amrywiaeth o bobl, ond a fydd hyn yn dod gyda’r pris o yrru rhai pobl ifanc i ffwrdd? Fedrai ddim ond teimlo fel fy ‘mod yn ôl yn 2005 pan oedd Bryn Fôn yn Eisteddfod y Faenol, a beth welais yno ond fod oed y gynulleidfa ar gyfartaledd tua 30. Onid maes ieuenctid ydi Maes B i fod? Er y rhesymau hyn awgrymaf i bobl fynd i’r Eisteddfod eleni, hyd yn oed os dim ond i flasu ychydig o gwrw dros goelcerth efo ffrindiau diarth, neu i ddawnsio yn feddwol yn oriau man y bore yn Y Gorlan gan lowcio byrgyrs anhygoel! Mae’r Eisteddfod yn amlwg yn draddodiad gwych yng Nghymru ac nid yw’n un i fethu, hyd yn oed os ydy’r dewis o gerddoriaeth ar rai nosweithiau ‘chydig bach yn doji! Er bod gwyliau Cymreig yn rhan bwysig o ddiwylliant yr haf ar draws Cymru, mae nifer o wyliau gwahanol i’w cael ar draws y wlad yr haf hwn. Un sy’n tyfu mewn poblogaeth bob blwyddyn ydy Greenman Festival yn Aberhonddu. Mae’r wyl yn digwydd dros benwythnos yr ugeinfed o Awst ac yn llawn cerddorion hynod dalen-

tog a serchog megis Doves, Joanna Newsom, Beirut, Mumford and Sons, a Fionn Regan. Delwedd yr wyl hon ydy un o ymlacio a bod o fewn natur, a gyda rhai teuluoedd yn mynychu dyma’r ddelwedd a gewch chi yno hefyd. Ond mae digon o hwyl, diod da a bwyd da i’w cael yno hefyd wrth foddi mewn cerddorion hudolus. Rhywun arall i ymuno a’r criw a restrwyd uchod yw Laura Marling. Fel dilynwraig o Laura Marling ers cwpwl o flynyddoedd, awgrymaf i unrhyw un sy’n ffan o fiwsig acwstig swynol a lyrics clyfar rhamantus i roi cwpwl o funudau i wrando ar ei halbwm cyntaf ‘Alas, I cannot swim’. Er ei bod hi ond yn 19 oed mae Laura Marling bellach mor dalentog ag unrhyw un ar y rhestr, ac felly rydw i’n argymell yn fawr i bawb sefydlu pabell yng Ngreenman a mynd i’w gweld (ag efallai cael cip olwg ar rai o’r lleill tra yr ydych wrthi). Yn amlwg dydi cerddoriaeth ysgafn gwerinol ddim o flys pawb. Felly efallai mai gwyl Wakestock ydy’r lle i rai ohonoch. Blwyddyn yma daw bandiau fel Maximo Park, The Futureheads, The King Blues, a Plan B i Benrhos ger Abersoch yng Ngogledd Cymru. Ar yr olwg gyntaf ches i’m fy nghyffroi efo’r rhestr hon o fandiau, ond ar yr ail olwg mae un neu ddwy act gyffroes iawn i’w gweld yma. Yn hytrach na’r bandiau, mae’r DJs sy’n chware yn Wakestock flwyddyn yma yn fwy na digon i atynnu unrhyw un. Gyda mawrion fel Zane Lowe, Chase & Status, Audio Bullys a Kissy Sell Out yn chwarae mae Wakestock yn amlwg wedi canolbwyntio yn fwy ar ochr ddawns yr wyl y flwyddyn hon. Rhai o’r acts llai y byddwn i’n argymell i unrhyw un fynd i wylio byddai Jakwob, Skream, Bodyrox a Zinc. Er nad yw cerddoriaeth fel hyn yn apelio i bawb, mae wedi cynyddu mewn poblogrwydd y flwyddyn hon, felly efallai bod Wakestock wedi gweld cyfle da i gymryd mantais o hyn. Mae’r wyl hon yn llawn hwyl ac egni, ond yn amrywiol iawn o ran tywydd (i unrhyw un oedd yno flwyddyn ddiwethaf, byddwch yn cofio’r haul a’r storm!). Ond un peth sy’n sicr, mae ysbryd y bobl yn cadw’n uchel heb ots beth a ddaw. Mae’r wyl hefyd yn cefnogi cerddoriaeth Gymreig gyda bandiau fel Yr Ods, Race Horses, a Masters in France yn cael cyfle i chwarae yno. Felly os mae rave a dawnsio mewn criw egniol o bobl if-

Mwynhau mas draw: Hwyl yn y haul

Mae'r Eisteddfod yn gyfle i ddawnsio'n feddwol dan oriau man y bore!

anc ydy’ch peth chi, Wakestock ydy’r lle i fynd, ac mae’n digwydd rhwng yr ail a’r pedwerydd o Orffennaf. Yn olaf, ond yn sicr nid y lleiaf pwysig ydy’r wyl ar gyfer myfyrwyr, Beach Break Live. Mae’n siwr fod y rhan fwyaf ohonoch wedi gweld y posteri a’r grwpiau Facebook ynglwn â’r wyl hon, ag yn wir mae digon o straeon wedi bod amdani ar y newyddion. Y flwyddyn hon daw’r wyl myfyrwyr i barc gwledig Penbre yn Sir Gar, ac yn sicr mi fydda i’n genfigennus o unrhyw un fydd yn ei mynychu! Gyda bandiau anhygoel yn chwarae megis yr hynod dalentog Ellie Goulding, Vampire Weekend, New Young Pony Club, a Band of Skulls mi fydd yr wyl hon siwr o fod gyda’r gorau yng Nghymru eleni. Ynghyd â’r bandiau, mae’r rhestr o DJs hefyd yn fwy na llenwi brwdfrydedd. Ymysg y gorau mae’r Wyddeles egniol Annie Mac, y Cymro High Contrast, Fake Blood, Sub Focus, a 2manydjs. Bydd y rhestr hon yn sicr o gael pawb ar eu traed yn dawnsio ddydd a nos. Ond os ydy’r gerddoriaeth hwylus hyn ddim

yn ddigon i’ch denu, beth am yr hot tub, ffair, noson gwisg ffansi a syrffio sy’n digwydd yno? Yn amlwg mae trefnwyr Beach Break Live wedi meddwl am bopeth, a gyda phris o ond £89 mae hyn i gyd yn rhad iawn. Cynhelir yr wyl rhwng y 14eg a 18fed o Fehefin, ac felly yn ddiwedd anhygoel i flwyddyn yn Coleg. Felly dyna ni, fy rhestr i o wyliau i fynd i’r haf hwn. Yn amlwg mae nifer o wyliau bach Cymreig yn digwydd yng Nghymru heb eu trafod, ond mae’r rhain yn werth eu gweld hefyd, ac mae’n bwysig eu cefnogi yn sicr. Ond gyda gwyliau fel Penwythnos Mawr Radio 1 wedi profi’n gymaint o lwyddiant yng Nghymru, efallai bydd mwy o drefnwyr yn dilyn yn eu llwybrau a dod a mwy o ddewis o wyliau mawr i Gymru. I grynhoi mae digonedd o amrywiaeth i’w gael yr haf hwn yng Nghymru, a byddech chi’n wirion i beidio â chymryd mantais o un ohonynt, ond da chi cofiwch fynd a digon o doilet rôls a wellingtons!



gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Excitement and fear over artificial life breakthrough Priya Raj explores artificial life. Is it an exciting discovery or are we dangerously playing God?


he first microbe to live entirely by genetic code synthesized by humans has started proliferating at a lab in the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Venter and his colleagues used a synthetic genome to build and operate a new synthetic strain of Mycoplasma mycoides bacteria,, according to an online report published on May 20 by Science. The genome is the entirety of an organism’s hereditary information. It is encoded either in DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA. Moreover the genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA, and could be considered the most vital ingredient in the construction of life. Venter and colleagues had previously made a synthetic bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium into another. Now, the scientists have put both methods together to create what they call a “synthetic cell”, although only its genome is truly synthetic. Dr Venter likened the advance to making new software for the cell. “This is the first self-replicating cell on the planet to have a computer for a parent,” said Venter during a press briefing on May 20. “It’s also the first species to have a Web site in its genetic code.” The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome. They sequenced its genetic code and then used “synthesis machines” to chemically construct a copy. This chemical synthesizer stitched together various short iterations of man-made adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine that were then assembled into a working genome that can successfully produce the proteins that enable life. Using stretches of DNA, known as cassettes, roughly 1,000 base-pairs in length, the researchers assembled a simplified version of M. mycoides genome from scratch in a succession of E. coli and yeast cells. The final synthetic genome – more than a million base-pairs long – was then inserted into an existing Mycoplas-

ma capricolum cell. The synthetic cell then went on to behave as a M. mycoides, producing proteins from the instructions encoded by the synthetic genome and even dividing and growing. Getting to this point was not without its challenge. The researchers started with the intention of synthesizing the genome of Mycoplasma genitalium, which has the smallest known natural genetic instruction set. But that organism’s slow growth and other properties led them to favour instead genetically more complex cousins such as M. mycoides and M. capricolum. Dr Venter and his colleagues are already collaborating with pharmaceutical and fuel companies to design and develop chromosomes for bacteria that would produce useful fuels. “I think they’re going to potentially create a new industrial revolution,” he said. “If we can really get cells to do the production that we want, they could help wean us off oil and reverse some of the damage to the environment by capturing carbon dioxide.” However, there are immense controversies associated with such landmark discoveries. The mere fact of human-directed life in the laboratory raises its own concerns, including the potential for synthetic life to escape the lab and exterminate its natural cousins, or infect them with synthetic DNA through horizontal gene transfer. Various methods to control this have been suggested, including building genetic sequences that cannot exist in nature, engineering in weaknesses to man-made cells, or even inserting suicide genes that kill the organism if it is removed from its laboratory environment. “We depend on algae for a fair amount of the oxygen we breathe, it would be bad if we messed that up,” Venter noted. Man-made creations are likely to be fragile compared to their robust natural counterparts that have been engineered by billions of years of evolution and competition. Thus releasing such organisms into the environment may well result in un-

Craig Venter, the scientist working on artificial life, has been likened to a modern day Frankenstein. Could another monster be on the way?

Releasing such organisms into the environment may result in unpredictable consequences

predictable and perhaps even undesirable consequences. Dr Gos Micklem, a geneticist from the University of Cambridge, cited the advance as being “undoubtedly a landmark” study. He also stated, “There is already a wealth of simple, cheap, powerful and mature techniques for genetically engineering a range of organisms. Therefore, for the time being, this approach is unlikely to supplant existing methods for genetic engineering.” Professor Julian Savulescu, from the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford says the potential of this science is “in the far future, but real and significant... we need new standards of safety evaluation for this kind of radical research and protections from military or terrorist misuse and abuse. These could be used in the future to make the most powerful bioweapons imaginable. The challenge is to eat the fruit without the worm.” The Catholic Church issued recently a cautionary warning on the first synthetic cell, noting that correctly used, it could be a positive development—but only God can create life. The Church warned scientists of

the ethical responsibility of scientific progress and said that the manner in which the innovation is applied in the future will be crucial, according to Monsignor Rino Fisichella. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs or faith, the discovery is undoubtedly intriguing to say the least. Moreover it has also been revealed Venter hopes to use the techniques to begin synthesizing antiviral vaccines in days rather than weeks or months. “We have ongoing funding from [the National Institutes of Health] in a program with Novartis to use these new synthetic DNA tools to perhaps make the flu vaccine you might get next year,” Venter told Scientific American, as well as to develop vaccines for viruses that had previously eluded treatment because of their ability to rapidly mutate, such as rhinovirus (the common cold) and HIV (AIDS). The researchers hope to manipulate with the at least two million base pairs of an algae genome to help it more efficiently turn sunlight and CO2 into hydrocarbons.The ethical discussions surrounding the creation of synthetic or artificial life are set to continue.




27 Wednesday Thursday

7th June

8th June

9th June

gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

FUN FACT TREE, Solus, FREE Fun Factory is still producing cheap entertainment for those too stingy to splurge their student loans. Free entry and super cheap drinks are a perfect way to enjoy yourself while keeping an eye on the pursestrings. LATE NIGHT LIVE, Ten Feet Tall, FREE, 9pm Every week, 10 Feet Tall selects the finest in local new and up-and-coming bands to perform in the Rock Room, with 50s and 60s garage rock in the bar. WHEATUS, Barfly £10, 7.30pm This gig looks set to be absolutely wonderous. I mean, who can resist the anthemic brilliance of 'Teenage Dirtbag' or that characteristicly whiney cover of 'A Little Respect'? ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, The Globe, £14, 7.30pm Fancy something a little different on Monday night? How about checking out this guy? He's a virtuoso jazz fusion guitarist, apparently.

FLUX=RAD, Clwb, FREE, 8pm FLUX=RAD is a regular occurance at Clwb these days. Expect tunes from awesome new bands and great live acts that you're bound to find exciting. This week Clwb plays host to Brilliant Colors and La La Vasquez. While I haven't actually heard of either band, these nights tend to be pretty good and well worth checking out. JUST DANCE, Clwb, £3, 10pm Cardiff's hottest music venue just got a little hotter. Just Dance returns every Tuesday night at Clwb Ifor Bach with one simple get you dancing all night long. A mixture of modern day pop, rock and R&B, thrown together with some cracking blasts from the past. No gimmicks, no false promises... just cheap entry, cheap drinks prices and great, GREAT tunes. HAMMERTIME, Barfly, £3, 7.30pm Basically, this is a 90s themed night, thus, the website is replete with witty (read: terrible) puns on ridiculous song titles from what was, frankly, a pretty mediocre decade for music. But, if this is your thing, then definitely GO! I won't see you there.

THE LASH, Solus, £3.50 The Lash promises 'all the best in chart and cheese', which doesn't really sound all that tempting, to be honest. But, if you're a sporting LAD then it's most definitely the place to be. LISTEN UP, Clwb, £3 Listen Up has become an institution within an institution. Everybody loves Clwb. Everybody loves Listen Up. Playing a mix of motown, funk, indie and pop amoung three floors of cheap bars and trendy kids, this is the place to be every Wednesday. BOGOF Orange Wednesdays There's so much good stuff on at the moment including the controversial Eyes Wide Open, the chilling remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, and the morally reprehensible new Sex and The City film. Have a chilled out night. JONAH MATRANGA Barfly, £7, 7.30pm Jonah Matranga is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and novice snake handler who has released a variety of solo material and has previously been part of the bands Far and New End Original. Apparently. As if you cared anyway.

10th June

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, Coopers Field, £28.50, 6.30pm Oh the bitter, bitter irony. One of the most popular, talented and gorgeous women is playing the NIGHT BEFORE our Summer Ball ... IN THE SAME PLACE. And who do we get? Chipmunk. Oh well. If you have some spare cash from the student loan/overdraft then definitely go to this. Or, alternatively, have a cheeky picnic in the park at the same time and just listen on the cheap. You stingy bastards.

C.Y.N.T: SUKH NIGHT, Clwb, £7, 10pm I have no idea what Sukh Night means. But, then again, I've never been to C.Y.N.T in my three years here, so technically, I lose all credibility.

ILLOSOPHY, CAI, £tbc, 10pm A night of experimental hip hop,showcasing new and established artists in a collective, yet all-inclusive environment. Headliners include Indelible Ties, who aim to bring you a live hip hop performance you wont forget.





11th June

12th June

13th June

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents. com ◆ IV Lounge, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ◆ Clwb Ifor Bach, 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 ◆ Barfly, Kingsway, Tickets: 08709070999 cardiff ◆ Metros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 ◆ CAI, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Buffalo Bar, 11 Windsor Place ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 ◆ Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 ◆ The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 ◆ The Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 ◆ Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ◆

SUMMER BALL, Coopers Field, £37, 6pm Finally the biggest event of the social calendar is here! Anyone who is anyone will be there, so dust of your posh frocks and bow ties and I expect to find you getting your groove on to Professor Green. (Who?) HELL'S BENT, Barfly, £4, 10.30pm Hell's Bent is Cardiff's only alternative gay night and everyone is welcome. It's a fun, relaxed night where you can hang out with your friends and maybe meet some new ones. You can be guaranteed to hear at least one song you’ll want to dance to. The DJs play a range of genres from electro-pop to indie, guilty pleasures to rock. RICHARD JAMES ALBUM LAUNCH / THE GENTLE GOOD / HUW M / HUW EVANS, Clwb, £6, 7.30pm Richard has been in the studio once again and has recorded 19 new songs. If you're one of the only people not going to the Summer Ball, and can find some similarly miserable friends to hang out with you, then maybe this is for you? Apparently he's quite gorgeous... But, give me Whytel anyday. (Who?)

MR POTTER / DIRTY POP / VINYL VENDETTAS, CLWB, £5, 10pm Saturday night at Clwb is probably the longest running DJ night in Cardiff and it just keeps on getting better. Offering three floors of the best tracks from a variety of genres, Clwb has picked the best DJs currently gracing the decks in Cardiff and put them all on the same night. Expect an eclectic mix of funk, soul, indie, and dirty pop. What more could you ask for from a Saturday night? PÉCHÉS MIGNON PRESENTS BENIN CITY (LIVE) + DJS, CAI, £tbc, 9pm Jekajo Sessions featuring Benin City & Inc.A. London five-piece Benin City are an unstoppable force of funked-up nature and they're heading your way! Benin City, in case you haven't actually heard of them (like me), are two vocalists, drums, bass and saxophone, who blaze a mashed up trail of hip hop, funk and jazz with a twist of afrobeat. They're spinning out to Wales for the very first time, following highly rated London shows at Cargo, Soho Revue Bar and the South Bank Centre, and the release of their fantastic new E.P. Worth a listen.

HAVE A SUNDAY ROAST The Taf do a wicked, and cheap Sunday roast as do the CAI. Have a lie in, and then get some classic comfort food to help beat Saturday night's hangover, the end of weekend blues. ALL TIME TOP 100 PRESENTS NEIL STEPHENS (JU JU NATIONS), CAI, £tbc, 3pm Neil started with Brazilian Samba & Bossa running Batucada Basics for five years. Then Juju Nations brought Afrobeat, Funk and Reggae to his regular nights at Tafod & the Toucan. In Cardiff Arts Institute and Milgi mode he brings you Afro-Cuban and Bollywood rhythms. Before all that, he was with an experimental electronic act in the early 2000s and a post-rock band in the late 90s. All these genres and others will feature in unpredictable proportions as ever. Also, you get a free Bloody Mary with your Sunday roast - so this is definitely worth it. PAMELA WYN SHANNON + HARUKO + ZEUK, Ten Feet Tall, £6, 8pm American singer / songwriter with an inventive modal guitar style which has been described as 'a tiny chamber orchestra working in unison at the end of her hands'.



gair rhydd â&#x20AC;˘ Monday June 07 2010




crossword. Across


1 In a strong manner (8) 5 A Hindu festival (6) 9 Dressing gown (8) 10 Seasonings (6) 12 Usurp authority (9) 13 Diameters (5) 14 Neuter (4) 16 Unsinkable ship (7) 19 Madison Square _______ (7) 21 A star in the constellation Cetus (4) 24 Classical music theatre (5) 25 Opulent (9) 27 Equipped (6) 28 Shouter (8) 29 Military trainees (6) 30 Unfriendly (8)

1 Some winners get a blue one (6) 2 In some mysteries, he did it (6) 3 A small fatty European fish (5) 4 Freedom (7) 6 Emperor (9) 7 Collision (8) 8 Inherent aptitude (8) 11 Strike (4) 15 Encountered generally (9) 17 Uncertain of religious truths (8) 18 Land ownership (8) 20 Pout (4) 21 From Mexico (7) 22 Pertaining to the universe (6) 23 Stellar (6)


Monday June 07 2010 • gair rhydd

Alex Bywater predicts an open and exciting season ahead in the upcoming Twenty20 cricket tournament


fter England’s Twenty20 World Cup win in the Caribbean and with this seasons’ Friends Provident T20 beginning last week, Crickets’ shortest form of the game is now even more popular than before. England’s brilliant success in the West Indies was based on a strong team performance in all aspects of the game. Arguably though, it was some of County Crickets most consistent performers, such as Michael Lumb, Craig Kieswetter and Tim Bresnan, who were key to the victory. Having honed their skills in domestic Twenty20 cricket, there can be no doubt that the newly renamed Friends Provident T20 offers some of the best cricket around. So then, what can we expect from this years tournament? In contrast to previous years, the tournament is split into two divisions; North and South. This makes for a very competitive competition with most teams having a shot at the title. Arguably though, the competitions’ most consistent performers, Somerset, Kent, Sussex and Durham will be there or there abouts come Finals Day at The Rose Bowl on August 14. So let's look at the South Division to start. This is undeniably the more competitive of the divisions, with five former winners of the competition looking to qualify. Sussex and Somerset will be obvious candidates to progress, boasting tremendous batting quality all down the order. Marcus Trescothick, Kieswetter and Luke Wright are likely to thrill crowds with their big hitting. Despite losing their first game of the season to the defending Champions, Somerset look like strong contenders to progress to the Quarter Finals. The addition of quality overseas players such as Kieron Pollard and Cameron White, make them formidable opposition. Sussex have also recruited New Zealand star batsmen

and wicket keeper Brendon McCullum and it will be a major surprise if these two teams do not make it to at least the Quarter Finals. Middlesex and Essex are also consistent performers in the short form of the game, with the former winning the competition in 2008. This season’s tournament is without a doubt one of the most exciting in terms of overseas talent, with numerous players who starred in the Indian Premier League (IPL), appearing in grounds around the country. Middlesex have recruited Deccan Chargers, Captain and Australian legend Adam Gilchrest, as well as fellow Australian and big hitter David Warner. With spin bowlers ever to the fore in T20, Essex have one of the best in Danish Kaneria and will look to him to put a stop to the flow of opposition runs. It is these four teams that I expect to compete for the qualifying places from the Southern Division. Looking closer to home, Glamorgan have been struggling in all forms of the game in recent times. Despite

the signing of star Australian quick Shaun Tait, this does not look likely to change. However, with T20 ticket prices for games at the Swalec Stadium only £5, there is a great opportunity to see some top class cricket for a tiny price in our local area. The Northern Division is harder to call and looks like the race for Quarter Final places may go down to the wire. County champions Durham, are consistent performers in all forms of the game. They look the favourites to progress from this division and England reject Steve Harmison, still one of the most feared bowlers in County Cricket, will be looking to impress. Ian Blackwell and Phil Mustard are key players who offer an all round balance to the side. Looking at The Roses’ sides, both Lancashire and Yorkshire look like they may struggle in this season’s competition. Although the team have acquired the South African legend Herschelle Gibbs, the White Rose county look destined to be uncompeti-

Above: Alfonso Thomas of Somerset celebrates taking the wicket of Joe Denly of Kent during the Twenty20 Cup SemiFinal between Somerset and Kent at Edgbaston in August 2009.

The most consistent performers - Somerset, Kent and Durham will be there on Finals Day

tive this season. A good outside bet may well be Leicestershire, who under the leadership of Matthew Hoggard, may prove a good outside bet. Adding to the Australian imports, all –rounder Andrew McDonald will be key, having hit a fine 67 in Leicestershire’s first game of the tournament. Look out for young England hopeful James Taylor, who enjoyed a sensational debut season last year scoring over 1,000 runs and earning an England Lions call up. Though T20 may not be his game, his extraordinary talent will see him score runs in all forms of the game. The most dangerous team to rival Durham may well be Nottinghamshire. The key to their side is undoubtedly Dirk Nannes. A new signing for this season, Nannes is one of the best T20 bowlers around, having been a huge success at the IPL and at the World Twenty20 with Australia. If he performs well, I can see Notts making Finals Day with ease. Finally, Midlands’s sides Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Worcestershire will be looking to be more consistent. They have the potential to be Quarter Final candidates, but may just fall at the final hurdle. Warwickshire look to be the best bet of the three to qualify having enjoyed a good start to One Day cricket this season. Young fast bowler, Chris Woakes, looks another exciting English prospect. This season of T20 looks to be one of the most exciting yet. The use of overseas players may be controversial, though there can be no doubt that players such as Gilchrest and McCullum offer both excitement and top quality viewing to spectators, but also pass on skills and advice from which young English cricketers can only benefit. Although, clearly an open tournament, with a prediction hard to make, I will go for Kent to win. They may be outsiders, but the opening partnership of Key and Denly is solid and if their bowlers can fire they are capable of glory at the Rose Bowl.

Twenty20: Editors' Predictions Adam Horne: Some may say this is an outside bet but Somerset have a great blend of home-grown talent and great overseas players. Criag Kieswetter has recently come back from Englands World Cup triumph and will be on top form this season. Criag and Trescothick will shape up to be a dominant top order and could bat their way to Somerset glory. Sussex do look even stronger this year but I still think Somerset will lift the trophy.

Robbie Wells: It may not be a very original prediction, but the current champions are surely the strongest team in the league, along with Somerset, who they have already beaten. Luke Wright is a very handy T20 all-rounder, they have a great batting wicket keeper in Matt Prior, and their captain Michael Yardy has the experience of winning a T20 World Cup. This championship could be won by a handful of teams, but Sussex are a team to be reckoned with.

James Hinks: I predict Sussex to retain their title and win this year's T20. In Luke Wright they have an explosive batsman and a useful bowler. He scored a healthy 39 runs off 19 balls in Sussex's first game and victory against Somerset. Sussex have also made themselves stronger since last year with some quality overseas signings. However, Kent and Somerset do pose a threat to the current Champions.

Jon Evans: I'm anything but an expert when it comes to cricket but with the little knockledge I do possess, I've picked Durham to take the T20 crown this season. They have been fantastic in the County Championships in recent years and with the brilliance of Paul Collingwood I feel they can do it this year. With internationals such as Steve Harmisson, Liam Plunkett and Graham Onions all involved I think they're in with a real chance. They made the semi-finals in 2008 and I fancy them to go one step further this time around.

Lucy Morgan: As an Essex girl I have to predict success for the Essex Eagles. They have some strong names in their squad for the T20 tournamnet, with Ravi Bopara fresh from success at the ICC World T20, Ashes winning batsmen Alistair Cook and Graham Napier - a world record holder with 16 sixes in an innings - to name just a few! Essex didn't get off to the strong start they had hoped for, but with 15 matches left in the tournamnet they have everything to play for.


gair rhydd • Monday June 07 2010

Oli Franklin gives The Word On... Rafa Benitez's highs and lows at Liverpool


o it’s finally happened – last week Rafa Benitez left Liverpool after a ‘mutual agreement’ with the club’s board. His departure was rumoured for months – even during mid-season there were some calling for his resignation after a lacklustre year in all competitions. The much-touted move to out-of-sorts Italian giants Juventus fell through weeks ago, due to Benitez’s seeming determination to stay on Merseyside. How he will be regretting that decision now. There were many among the Liverpool faithful that remained a Rafa supporter until the very end, although those die-hard few had little to base that on in the closing weeks of the season other than blind loyalty. His tenure was fairly successful – he will no doubt go down in the club’s history for the 2005 Champion’s League win, in particular the final against Milan in Istanbul, and the 2006 FA cup win. However, since those early successes, he has done little to reassert himself as a manager worthy of a club with such an esteemed history. Indeed, his Champion’s League win came in his first full season as manager, and the squad has changed very little from the one built and nurtured by previous manager Gerard Houllier. Since then, his managerial style has gone from middling to catastrophic – famously in the transfer market, in which he has to be one of the worst managers in the history of the club. Aside from talisman striker Fernando Torres and perhaps Argentine powerhouse Javier Mascherano, Benitez’s additions to the team ranged from mystifying to downright stupid and he leaves the club with a team that is in my opinion, worse than the one he inherited, with less width, zero strength in depth, appalling defensive tactics and a team spirit unrecognisable to the comeback kings of his early years in charge. If you take a look at some of the players that have come and gone in recent seasons – prolific (if underrated) strikers Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane, Italy defender Andrea Dossena, Real Madrid starter Alvaro Arbeloa – well, the list goes on. And since the decision last year to sell one of the world’s greatest midfielders in Xabi Alonso, was perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Liverpool’s title

Top Five

worst rafa signings

1. When Liverpool fan Robbie Keane joined for £19mil on the back of several impressive seasons for Spurs, no one could see him being such a flop. With just five goals in 19 games, he was sold back to Spurs for a cut-price £12 million.

2. Babel joined Liverpool after starring in the U21 European Championships. For a player who cost £11.5 million, Benitez has rarely started the Dutch forward as a striker.

3. chances. The team he inherited was hardworking and exciting, with wide players such as Harry Kewell providing deliveries and stretching defenders. The current side plays a central midfielder, Yossi Benayoun, and Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt out wide, resulting in the squashed, unimaginative play demonstrated by Liverpool this season. The exciting prospect of Albert Riera, so instrumental in last year’s second place in the league, faded away seemingly due to personal differences with the manager. Argentine wide-man Maxi Rodriguez, has yet to find his feet in English football, and so has done little to boost the team’s attacking options. The midfield additions of the woefully inconsistent Lucas and injured former-Roma playmaker Alberto Aquilani, (who in my opinion could turn out to be the finest signing since Torres) further demonstrates the failings of a manager who seemed to have become more and more detached from his team as time went by. It was time for him to go for the best of the club. His moving statement ‘remember: you’ll never walk alone’ on the morning of his departure will cement

Above: Benitez's departure will mean further insecurity for a club wracked with problems.

His moving statement: 'Remember, you'll never walk alone'

his place in the hearts of the Kop forever, but the decision wasn’t down to heart. It was down to pragmatism. His departure will, however, mean further insecurity for a club already wracked with problems. Up for sale and managerless, new chairman Martin Broughton will have to resolve the issue of who is to take charge quickly. Otherwise, the lure of Jose Mourinho and Champion’s League success at Real Madrid could be too much for Steven Gerrard, indisputably the team’s most important asset. Manchester City are also reportedly vieing to steal away Fernando Torres with their ludicrous transfer budget, and Mascherano has been repeatedly linked with a move to Barcelona. We can only hope that a new manager is found quickly, and that it is someone able to bring silverware back to Anfield. Whoever it is will have their work more than cut out – with the spectre of debt hanging over the club, thanks to American owners Gillet and Hicks, and nobody seemingly willing to pay the asking price for club, the uncertainty on Merseyside looks set to continue for some time yet.

Rafa decided to offload Liverpool hero Michael Owen to Real Madrid for just £8 million plus Antonio Nunez. The Spaniard contributed just one goal in his 18 appearances, which came in the League Cup final loss to Chelsea.

4 While the financial loss on Morientes was not much, signing for £3.5 milliom and being sold for £3 million, his goalscoring record under Benitez was nothing like what had been expected.

5. Dossena was bought for £7 million as a replacement for John Arne Riise, but he eventually played second fiddle to Fabio Aurelio and more recently Emiliano Insua.

The wildlife is quite amazing. A safari gives you the chance to see these animals in their natural habitat. Certainly better than the badgers and foxes we have to offer in Britain.


World Cup 2010 Pullout << Inside

Photo: Anthony Bromley

Dragon Relay roars into Cardiff Officer Training Cadets from Welsh universities take part in impressive relay across Wales

Lucy Morgan Sports Editor This Friday, Cardiff will be welcoming the arrival of runners from the Wales Universities’ Officer Training Corps (WUOTC) as they complete the final leg of the 2010 Dragon Relay. The relay, which began last week, sees event organisers 2nd Lt Tom Limb and OCdt Freddie Rider, from Aberystwyth University, run 284 miles around Wales - running an average of 32 miles a day over a total of nine days. Alongside Tom and Freddie, members of the WUOTC will be helping by running as far as they can on the day that the Dragon Re-

lay arrives in their town. The WUOTC is a 300-strong organisation open to students from all Welsh universities. Officer Cadets engage in arduous military and adventurous training in order to develop their leadership potential. Although they will be used to such arduous training, there is no doubt that Tom and Freddie are taking on an impressive challenge, but, after months of training and with huge support behind them, the relay looks set to be an immense success. Writing in his blog ahead of the relay last week, Freddie was confident, despite the mammoth task ahead: “We have a great support team behind us who will make the

whole thing so much easier and I have no doubt that their help will be vital to the success of Dragon Relay”. The WUOTC members running in the relay will also be carrying with them the Bastion Baton. Made from the remains of a battlefield stretcher from Afghanistan, the Baton was designed in 2009 by Alan Rowe MBE, with the aim of raising awareness among the British public about the reality of life for service personnel and their families in the British Armed Forces. It also aims to ensure that the families are given the level of support they are rightfully due. The Baton has accompanied runners on a number of events, including the London Mara-

thon, and has even travelled as far as Everest. Carrying the Baton during the Dragon relay is a poignant symbol that fittingly represents the charities for which the relay is raising money. Alongside raising awareness and

Word On...

Rafa Benitez' s exit from Liverpool


The Upcoming Twenty20 season << Inside

maintaining a message of gratitude to our Armed Forces, the runners are also hoping to raise an impressive £10,000 for three fantastic charities – Help for Heroes, Child Action Nepal and the Army Benevolent Fund. The relay kicked off last Thursday in Wrexham. The route will go on through all the WUOTC training locations in Wales, including Bangor, Aberystwyth, Swansea and, finally, Cardiff. The runners will be arriving in Cardiff at approximately 2:30pm this Friday and they would love to see as much support as possible as they complete the final leg of this impressive event.


gair rhydd - Issue 927  

gair rhydd - Issue 927