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gair rhydd Monday February 28 2011 | freeword – Est. 1972 | Issue 944

Easy Targets Miranda Atty and Bianca London Students are living in fear of robbery as their homes are easy targets for crime, a gair rhydd investigation has discovered. After the investigation into crime hot spots in Cathays (issue 942) students reported another burglary, which took place in the early hours of Friday February 18. A house on Thesiger Street was broken into between 11pm and 1.30am, while all four residents were absent from the house. The incident took place two weeks after the house next door was burgled. The offenders smashed through the rear bathroom window using a crowbar. Wet glove marks were found throughout the property. The downstairs bedroom was securely locked but two of the upstairs

bedrooms were left open. The vandals stole four laptops, an iPod, two purses and two large kit bags. Resident Celia Welham told gair rhydd: “I was the first to return home and nothing looked suspicious until I noticed that my furniture had been disturbed and my laptop stolen. I then came downstairs and saw the broken window. “It’s worrying to know how easy it is to gain access to the houses in Cathays, even from the rear gardens.” In one of the student’s bedrooms the wardrobe and underwear drawer had been rifled through and left in disarray. Gem Matthewman said of the incident: “I felt violated that they had rummaged through my personal belongings. “The scariest part is they still managed to get into my room even though it was locked. “I feel like I am never safe and I’m

worried they will come back again.” Recalling the event, resident Sophie Thomas said: “It is a horrible feeling knowing that someone has been in your home, you really don’t know how it feels until it happens to you. “It has made us all question whether we have been watched, especially considering the fact that it happened after a house party where we all left in taxis at the same time and we are now wondering whether the party event on Facebook is to blame.” Five days passed in which the house remained unsecured before the landlord replaced the broken glass in the bathroom window. Cathays police have warned residents in the student area that they are leaving their valuables, particularly wallets, laptops and TVs, in a vulnerable position for Cardiff ’s criminals. Cathays Station Inspector, DI Johnston, said: “A high number of crimes take place in Cathays and Roath be-

cause students can be careless with securing their homes.” The area is popular with burglars because it is densely populated with multi-occupancy student homes that guarantee the opportunity of repeat steals for offenders. The recent spate of burglaries has led one student to no longer sleep in her bedroom and another to take a lacrosse stick with her to bed. Local police sources have commented on the burglary rate in the area, saying that on average more than one property is burgled every day. In light of this, DI Johnston reiterated basic safety procedures stating: “Students should lock their doors whenever they leave their property and ensure that valuables are not left on show for prying criminals.” For anyone with information on any burglaries should call Cathays CID on 029 20222111.


02News

gr EDITOR Sarah Powell

CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan DEPUTY EDITOR Dom Kehat SUB-EDITORS Anna Redbond Isabelle Roberts Hannah Van Den Bergh NEWS Morgan Applegarth Miranda Atty Pippa Lewis Ben Price Hannah Pendleton

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • news@gairrhydd.com

Protesters turn out at City Hall Morgan Applegarth News Editor A number of protesters gathered last week outside Cardiff ’s City Hall to demonstrate their opposition against budget cuts proposed by Cardiff City Council. An estimated 40 to 50 protesters gathered on the afternoon of Thursday February 24 to lobby councillors as they entered a meeting to discuss the council’s 2011/2012 budget. “We are here today to organise a mass campaign against cuts,” said one of the organisers, Rae Lewis-Ayling, a member of Cardiff Against The Cuts.

Speaking to gair rhydd, he continued: “Ultimately, we are trying to call for Cardiff City Council to stand up to, and oppose, the government. “They [Cardiff City Council] are elected by us, so should be representing us.” Councillors met last Thursday to debate how they would be able to deal with financial challenges in the upcoming financial year, in a bid to claw back the £24million deficit. Proposals discussed by the ruling Lib Dem/Plaid Cymru coalition included plans to increase council tax by 1.94%. Young people were also threat-

FEATURES Zoe Bridger Laura Brunt

PHOTO: ALEX CLOW

OPINION Holly Howe Chris Williams COLUMNIST Greg Rees POLITICS James Dunn Oliver Smith SOCIETIES Bianca London

PHOTO: HANNAH WALDRAM

SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT Tom Clarke Jack Parker SPORT Alex Bywater Lucy Morgan Alex Winter CONTRIBUTORS Helen Jarvis Lauren Smith Sheri Hall Caleb Woodbridge Sam Blaxland Lucy Portlock Meg Kissack Jo Greet Harry Hunt Jess Love Camilla Flint Jamie Evans Samantha Mueller Emma Jarrett Dan Hart Laura Harman Hugh Rodger PROOFREADERS Rachel Brigden Jo Lucas Hugh Rodger Steph Pugh

ened by the cuts, with the facilities of Cardiff Central Youth Club facing reduction. Moreover, plans included introducing charges for the use of playing fields and sports pitches. Addressing the small, upbeat crowd, one of the protesters expressed her concerns over the future for young people: “Unemployment among those aged between 16 and 24 is over 20% in the UK. “We need to make sure our young people, our students, are able to get jobs and not become a lost generation.” Throughout the afternoon, councillors debated the proposals while protesters made sure their voices were heard. Speaking to the protesters in attendance, Lewis-Ayling questioned the role of the government, saying: "Do you run a society for the needs of millions, or the desire of the millionares?" Another protester proclaimed: "The deficit that these budget cuts are trying to claw back are not the fault of us, the people, but the fault of the political elites. "Students, pensioners, you name it. It is our head on the block," he continued. First-year Philosophy student Jonathan Gillam told gair rhydd why he attended the protest: “Although I am not directly affected by the proposed budget cuts, I feel it is important to fight against the cuts for the better of everyone." Despite the backdrop of protests, all proposals were passed. The protest, organised by Cardiff Against The Cuts, was one of five going on in Cardiff last Thursday – three of which opposed the cuts. One of the three protests was carried out by a group of Parkour freerunning artists, who opposed the cuts facing the Youth Club. Protesters are set to march against cuts throughout England and Wales on Wednesday 23 March.

#cdfcuts on Twitter @morgapplegarth Morgan Applegarth, News Editor, gair rhydd "We need to make sure our young people, our students, are able to get jobs & not become part of a lost generation" #cdfcuts @Tombfowler Libertarian Socialist The #cdfcuts demo outside city hall is currently about 50 people. More arriving @GdnCardiff Hannah Waldram, Cardiff Beatblogger Council leader Rodney Berman just arrived at City Hall amid protesters' shouts and jeers #cdfcuts @sarah_powell Sarah Powell Editor, gair rhydd The message: "We want you to represent us, not the interests of a con-dem government" #cdfcuts @GdnCardiff Hannah Waldram, Cardiff Beatblogger There were about 50 people at the protest - Inspector Tony Bishop said all was peaceful so far #cdfcuts @Tombfowler Libertarian Socialist Barriers are all the way around city hall and footpaths are closed for 'safety'. Fear of #cdfcuts @morgapplegarth Morgan Applegarth, News Editor, gair rhydd Protesters switch focus to affect cuts will have on "young people" #cdfcuts

In this week's gair rhydd... Cardiff Science eating disorder Referendum

GaddafiWelsh Crime StudentTechnology Aaron Porter

Sport PoliticsRowing Carwyn Jones City Hall Health Protest BUCS

Debate

Survey Water polo Hacktivism

Feature Twitter IMG Go Global


News03

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • news@gairrhydd.com

Welsh referendum debate

V Rhodri Morgan

Mark Drakeford

Rachael Banner

Paul Matthews

Former First Minister for Wales.

'Yes for Wales' campaigner.

Spokesperson for 'True Wales'.

Previously Head of Engineering at Panasonic, now owns his own building buisness.

'Yes' campaign Miranda Atty Hannah Pendleton News Editors Last week, two debates took place in Cardiff University buildings over the Welsh referendum, which is being held on Wednesday March 3. The referendum is an opportunity for the public to vote regarding whether or not the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) should receive more law-making powers. The debates follow on from the success of the motion that was passed in the Annual General Meeting on February 17, which seeks to make students more aware of how the referendum will affect them. On Tuesday February 22, the ‘SE-

LECT Project’ and Cardiff University’s debating society organised a debate with the former first Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, representing the ‘yes’ campaign, and Rachael Banner, a spokesperson for True Wales, representing the ‘no’ campaign. The ‘yes’ campaign seeks to acquire direct law making power for the WAG. Rhodri Morgan’s argument primarily focused on the past success of the WAG from which a list of ‘yes’ points followed. The key idea was that obtaining direct law making power would ensure a faster law making process for Wales. He stated that it would be, “simpler, clearer and more accountable to have legislature in Wales.”

'No' campaign Rachael Banner stood up to make the case for the ‘no’ campaign, expressing concern over the possibility of the WAG gaining total law making control. She questioned the desire for control, saying: “we need to stare hard through the thick green mist of Cardiff Bay.” The Secretary and Publicity Officer of SELect Project, said: “Both the Debating Society and SELect Project considered the event to be a great success and would like to thank all those that attended at such short notice, as well as the speakers for generously donating their time.” Additionally, a public debate was held in the Council Chamber, in the University’s Glamorgan Building, on Wednesday February 23.

More than 50 members of the public attended the debate, which saw Yes for Wales campaigner, and professor, Mark Drakeford, debate with Paul Matthews, a member of the True Wales campaign. The debate involved a ten-minute speech by each speaker, followed by questions from the floor. Drakeford emphasised the fact that a ‘yes’ vote for the referendum sends a ‘message to the world’ to show that Wales is ‘capable of achieving things in the domestic sphere.’ Matthews, by contrast, focused on the WAG’s record of achievement, arguing that the Assembly has so far failed on ‘issues of housing, health and economy since 1999.’

Members of the public proposed their own arguments for and against the referendum, with one individual saying: “the symbolism of voting no is a counsel of despair, suggesting that Wales is incapable of making its own decisions.” Other members appeared undecided, with one individual requesting that both sides should focus less on whether the current Assembly has been a success or failure so far, and more on the way both sides would move forward. At the end of the debate, 30 members of the public voted yes for increased devolved powers for the WAG, three no, and 11 appeared undecided.

First Minister talks to gair rhydd Pippa Lewis News Editor First Minister Carwyn Jones, and Labour Assembly candidates Julie Morgan and Jenny Rathbone visited Cardiff Students’ Union on Monday January 21 to talk to gair rhydd about the upcoming referendum on Welsh devolution. The referendum, to be held this week on Thursday March 3, will allow voters to decide on whether or not to further enhance the lawmaking abilities of the Welsh Assembly. Launching their ‘yes’ campaign, the politicians described the importance of the referendum for the future of Welsh politics describing the growing popularity of the

Welsh Assembly. Carwyn Jones told gair rhydd: “I’d point to the fact that ever since we saw the first election in 1999, there have been candidates who have stood on the platform of abolishing the assembly and none of these have ever been elected. “The polls all show that the Assembly is embedded in the minds of most people in Wales and the opposition to it has diminished over the years.” Julie Morgan echoed Carwyn Jones’ enthusiasm: “I think its really important for the English students to be aware of the issue [the referendum] because they are actually living in Wales, so they have the opportunity to take advantage because it is their home.” When speaking on the wider

point of the future of the Labour party after their 2010 General Election defeat Carwyn Jones said: “It could have been a lot worse…it was not the meltdown that everyone expected.” Jenny Rathbone added: “People didn’t believe us when we said ‘if you vote Lib Dem you’ll get Tory’ and we were right!” Responding to questions of political dissatisfaction among students, Carwyn Jones said: “A strong yes vote would show discontent… It’s not just about what happens in Wales, it’s about showing a better way forward for people outside Wales as well. A ‘yes’ vote is a way of expressing that support for a better Wales.” Turn to Politics page 19 for the full interview.

Photo: gair rhydd talk to 'yes' campaigners


04News

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • news@gairrhydd.com

Porter calls time on NUS Enough is enough as NUS President decides against competing for another term in office Emily Cope Reporter NUS President, Aaron Porter, has announced that he will not be standing for re-election in April 2011, after widespread criticism of his leadership by student activists. Porter has led the NUS through the high-profile campaigns against tuition fees, but the leader has faced increasing personal attacks from within the student protest movement. Mr. Porter had been expected to stand for re-election, but has now taken the decision not to run for the NUS presidency next month stating that the campaign over fees is ‘moving into a different landscape’ and that there ‘needs to be a new president to lead the student movement’. Having started his career as NUS leader in June 2010 Porter has been at the centre of a political storm. Porter has always stated his opposi-

tion to a rise in tuition fees and he achieved success in getting the Liberal Democrats to sign a pre-election pledge to vote against tuition fees – a pledge they later betrayed. Porter later expressed his view that a graduate tax would be an alternative method of financing higher education, a move, Porter believed, would be beneficial and fair.

Porter says he can step down with pride

In November 2010 the National Union of Students organized a demonstration in London in response to the review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance chaired by Lord Browne that drew out plans to increase tuition fees to £9000 per year. Porter had a

Student Media Survey Ben Price News Editor

A media survey has been released by Cardiff Student Media today Monday February 28 with the aim of collecting the views of Cardiff students on the student media. The market research style survey aims to collect information regarding the level of readership of student publications, gairrhydd and Quench, listener figures for Xpress radio and the amount of students watching CUTV productions online.

Students deserve the chance to be able to tell us what they want from student media

This is the first time for any research of this kind to have been carried out by Cardiff Student Media. Head of Student Media, Sarah Powell said: “We decided to do a cross campus Student Media Survey because we wanted to give students in Cardiff the chance to have their voice heard. "As I am aware, there has never been any market research done in

this area on such a targeted level and I wanted to change this. "It has been the focus of many previous Head of Student Media manifestos, and as yet, no developments have been made. "I'm really pleased that we've finally got something in place that is going to give students a chance to voice their opinion about what they want from Student Media." It is hoped that the results of this survey will help determine strategic planning in the future. Ms. Powell also articulated how the results of the survey will be very useful for her successor, as it will help provider an even better direction for Cardiff student media. “Students deserve the chance to be able to tell us what they want from student media; do they want more film reviews in Quench, more new music on Xpress, more local news coverage in gair rhydd or more comedy on CUTV? I think this survey provides that opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting the results back. Student Media is meant to be the mouthpiece for the student body, and I believe that this survey will help to reinforce this." The survey will be live online until Sunday March 13 at www. cardiffstudents.com or www. gairrhydd.com

large input in organizing the demonstration which 50,000 protestors attended and culminated in Porter addressing a rally outside Tate Britain. During this demonstration students infamously occupied 30 Millbank in Westminster, also known as the Conservative Party’s headquarters. Porter condemned this event referring to it as ‘violence by a tiny minority.’ Recently, however, Porter has faced criticism from students angry that the NUS have not taken a harder stance against fees and cuts. Porter was unable to speak at a rally last month in Manchester as police were forced to escort him away after protestor’s hurled abuse at him. The barracking of Porter and calls for his resignation reflect a current split in the students' union with a section supporting more militant action. Porter says that he can step down

with pride due to the impact of the NUS tuition fees pledge campaign during the last general election as it ‘brought more scrutiny of the government than any other campaign.’

Porter says he can step down with pride

Porter told students that ‘we’ve kick started a wave of student action, brought the coalition to its knees and we’ve shaped the public debate on education in an unprecedented fashion.’ Porter called for a successor who would be able to represent the broad mainstream of student opinion and a leader who will prevent the tuition fee campaign being exploited by vocal extremists as he ‘would hate to see the good work be-

ing plundered.’ A new president will be elected at the NUS annual conference in April. Three people are up for election so far, they are: Mark Bergfeld, a member of the Socialist Workers party and the spokesman for the Education Activist Network. Liam Burns, head of NUS Scotland, and Shane Chowen, vice-president of the NUS.


News05

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • news@gairrhydd.com

Student concern over May Ball date Ben Price News Editor The date of the first ever May Ball to be held in Cardiff Students’ Union has come under scrutiny by some students A student raised the issue during this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Union’s Great Hall. Third year student, Charlotte Mcleod, questioned the Students’ Union elected officers over the decision taken to host the May Ball on May 15 - the weekend before the start of the University’s summer examination period. Speaking to gair rhydd, Miss Mcleod said: "I raised the issue at the AGM in order to show the general feelings of the student body about the date of the May Ball. Although the event itself is a great idea and a good replacement for the Summer Ball, I feel it isn't fair to hold it so close to the exam period - it is the night before the exam period begins. I felt it necessary to raise this, so that for next year's organisations, the event is held after the exams have finished."

In response to the criticism of the date of the upcoming May Ball, Finance and Commercial Officer, Darryl Light said: “Unfortunately, due to the late Easter we have, there is only one week after Easter before exams start; leaving us with the date we have chosen (The AU and Societies Balls being on the Friday and Saturday before).

Jomec host teach in Nicola Driscoll-Davies Reporter Action Against Cuts Cardiff (AACC) launched the first ever Cardiff Wide Assembly For Education teach-in and debate entitled: ‘Fees, Cuts, Privatization: Is this the best education we can get?’ at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural studies (Jomec) on Tuesday February 22. The theme of the evening focused upon the future reality of the privatization of university education, the consequences of corporate interests on campus, and the recent student movement. Over 40 people were in attendance, including students and lecturers from Cardiff, UWIC, Glamorgan, as well as a number of local colleges. The speakers included Mark Bergeld, National Union of Students Executive and European Access Network spokesperson, Dr Paul Bowman, journalism lecturer, Dr Cindy Carter, journalism lecturer, James Beecher, UWIC PhD student and Ian Bosworth, lecturer from Pontypridd College. The main contention of the evening was the fact that the University College Union (UCU) is in the process of balloting for strike action over pensions and working conditions. Ian Bosworth, a lecturer from Pontypridd College, spoke of a current model of education that “puts the need of the institution before the needs of the students,” stating that “quality in education can only be achieved if the attacks are op-

posed.” “Industrial action is key… we have to use all the armour we have.” Mark Bergfeld, who has recently announced his intention to run for NUS President, told the meeting: “We have two major demonstrations taking place in London on January 29 and March 26. The battle is not over, this is the beginning. We must support our lecturers who may be facing strike action in March.”

Industrial action is key… we have to use all the armour we have

In addition he spoke about the anger surrounding the coalition government and the lack of legitimacy of the cuts imposed. Describing the coalition as ‘intrinsically weak’ Bergfeld described the potential that unified NUS and UCU action could have had in bringing down the coalition. Cindy Carter talked about how the cuts in funding for teaching and the rise in tuition fees may affect women disproportionately to men: “Female graduates earn 15 per cent less than male graduates, and it is very, very, likely that cuts in teaching will hit women harder.” Paul Bowman ended with his thoughts upon “the big society”, labeling it “a red herring” and praised the recent UK Uncut movement as “quite a remarkable social networking communication tool in the recent demonstrations.”

“We understand the date is not ideal for all students, but in the unlikely event that a small number of students had extremely early exams taking place within two days of the event, we would be happy to issue a full refund on their tickets. We also have club nights running during the exam period, and Comeplay still has 2,000 students partying

every Saturday throughout exams, so we have evidence that students do still go out even during the exam period, and even the Student Media Ball falls in the middle of the exam period." The May Ball is one of three events organised in place of Cardiff ’s Summer Ball event, usually held in Cooper’s Field. Due to finan-

cial issues surrounding the funding of such a large end of year celebration in the grounds behind Cardiff Castle, the decision was taken by the Union to host three separate events around the end of the academic year instead. Apart from the May Ball, the other events include: ‘The Big Summer House Party’ and a special VIP area for Cardiff University students at Beach Break Live 2011. Mr. Light commented further: “The last Friday of exams, traditionally the Summer Ball date, was decided against due to the clash with Beach Break Live, an event that last year over 2,000 Cardiff students attended. There would have also been problems getting access to the Main Building as exams would still be going on during the day, making set up problematic. “Instead, we decided to create a buzz around a summer events package. This would comprise of a huge Drink the Bar Dry event at the end of the exam period, a link up with Beach Break to provide Cardiff students with their own VIP tent and a new May Ball before exams to retain the formal ball people love.”


06News

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • news@gairrhydd.com

Professor leads research in white-collar crime Pippa Lewis News Editor A Cardiff Professor has become the first person in Britain to lead an American society dedicated to researching and raising awareness of white-collar crime. Joining a long line of distinguished scholars, Professor Mike Levi, School of Social Sciences and Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, has been elected as Vice-President of the US White-Collar Crime Research Consortium (WCCRC) The Consortium aims to promote increased public awareness of the impact and burden of white on so-

ciety through dedicated research. Supporting researchers in the area of white-collar crime predominantly in America - it engages with the practitioner community including state and federal law enforcement agencies. Professor Levi said when accepting the post: "I may be the last elderly white male to occupy this post, judging from the excellent alternatives this time, and I am delighted that a number of younger scholars are coming through to form the next generation of white-collar criminologists." Along with Dr. Matt Williams of the School, Professor Levi is cur-

rently undertaking a preliminary assessment of e-crime, funded by the Nominet Trust, which will feed into the e-Crime Partnership Professor Levi has been conducting national and transnational research on white-collar, organised crime, money laundering and proceeds of crime confiscation, since 1972. "Although white-collar crime has never been seen as a core part of the criminological project, official bodies are realising the links between some frauds and more traditional organised crime networks," said Professor Levi. "Recent work by WCCRC members in the US has demon-

strated that mortgage origination frauds (and slack controls by banks of falsified data on borrowers) were a significant influence in generating the financial crisis. Consumer fraud issues such as identity theft and telemarketing scams have also attained increasing prominence in the media and the political environment in developed countries, so there are many research tasks to be enhanced via the WCCRC network in the years to come." Professor Levi will take up the post of Vice-President in two years, succeeding Peter Yeager from Boston University.

Above: Professor Mike Levi

Cardiff Professor helps team in groundbreaking spinal research Alex Winter Reporter A team from Cardiff University has helped develop a new method for tagging spinal cord injuries. Groundbreaking new research, in collaboration with University College London, has created a new technique for “tagging” cells to measure the growth of new tissue - previously there was no effective method to do so.

The new technique involves "tagging" cells with nanoparticles and tracking the tagged cells invasively post-transplantation. The research was led by Professor Bing Song from Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry and was published in Nanoscale – a Royal Society of Chemistry journal. "There is a lot of interest in using neural stem cells to repair central nervous system diseases, including spinal injuries,” said Professor Song.

“So far there has been no reliable non-invasive technique which can monitor the cells.

The new technique involves "tagging" cells with nanoparticles

“The nanoparticle we have developed is stable, easily tracked and

will not harm the transplanted cells in any way.” The team labeled stem cells with hollow cobalt nanoparticles which were injected into the spinal cord. The magnetic nanoparticles could be detected invasively by an MRI scanner two weeks later – without affecting the stem cells themselves. Nanoparticles have a high tendency to align with a magnetic field, meaning low concentrations can be picked up by an MRI scanner.

“This research gives us hope we can develop techniques to observe the behaviour of stem cells in regenerative treatments," said Professor Song. The team’s findings have just been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Nanoscale. Professor Song’s research was supported by the European Research Council and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship Award.


World News

07

Voldecat Jess Love Reporter An abandoned cat had his ears and nose removed during an operation after suffering from skin cancer, leaving him with somewhat striking features resembling Lord Voldemort. Staff at The Blue Cross animal centre in Southampton struggled to re-home him, saying that his resemblance to the Harry Potter character scared people off. The cat, otherwise known as Charlie, sparked a media storm when his sad story was featured in national newspapers.

Avid Harry Potter enthusiast Sarah Gaden was one of thousands who got in touch with the rescue centre after being touched by his terrible tale. The 45-year-old property lawyer said: "Charlie seems to be a bit of a celebrity now and it's a bit of a big responsibility giving him a new home. But I'm confident we're going to get on just fine."

'No-Pants-Day' Camilla Flint Reporter A group of Taiwanese girls have been caught flashing their knickers to passers-by whilst travelling on the public transport systems of Taiwan, following an annual event originating in New York City. Apparently, the girls have taken Taking inspiration from the annual ‘No Pants Day’, held previously in London and New York, last month. Originating in The Big Apple, back in 2002, ‘No Pants Day’ encourages participants to remove their bottom-half clothing whilst travelling on the Subway.

Those participating are then encouraged to ‘act normally’, ‘retain a straight face’ and ‘acknowledge fellow trouser-less people.’ The organisers of the event revealed: “There is no aim to the event. It’s to place smiles on faces and to cause scenes of chaos and joy amidst the public.” The original ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ saw only seven commuters stripping down, but almost a decade on, some 3000 people are thought to have ridden the Subway ‘trouserless’. The day has expanded to 43 cities, stretching across 16 countries, taking place worldwide.

OO-NO Miranda Atty News Editor

A German driving instructor called police out to a flat in Augsburg after seeing a man in the window who appeared to be brandishing a gun. The instructor was driving past the flat when he mistook a cardboard cut-out of actor Pierce Brosnan, in his role as James Bond, for a real-life gunman. Armed officers were dispatched to the scene only to discover that the gunman they faced was in fact a life-sized cut out of 007. The cut-out was promoting a special offer on Bond movies.

Nude race Pippa Lewis News Editor A trio of hotel workers from Braunlage, Germany have taken the title of ‘Naked Sledging World Champion’ along with a shared prize of £1,000. Thirteen men and 13 women raced down a 90 metre long iced snowy piste wearing only pants and helmets. Over 400 people applied to take part in the team event, but only 30 were selected. The race was watched by over 17,000 visitors. Tobias Wannemaker, the race organiser said: “'The naked sledgers definitely got things hotting up, even in such cold conditions.”

Tamegator

Miranda Atty News Editor A woman in Brazil found a 1.5 metre alligator lying in her living room after floodwaters washed the animal inside in her home in Parauapebas. When the woman went to clean her house the day after the flooding, she saw her three year old son sitting behind the couch, petting the reptile’s head. Luiz Claudio Farias, a captain of firefighters in the city, revealed that it was extremely fortunate that the reptile was not hungry: "If he was hungry, he could have seriously

hurt or even killed the boy." After trapping the alligator, the firefighters took the animal to a nearby environmental preserve and set it free.

Parrot's got talent Jamie Evans Reporter In Prague, an extraordinarily talented parrot has wowed the judges and spectators alike at the recent International Festival of Circus Art. The parrot, trained by Italian circus trainer Anthonie Zattu, performed an array of acts wearing a miniature pair of roller skates, which included the omnipotent creature driving a small toy car. Mr Zattu entered a selection of different parrots, with one trained to hold up, and mimic, reading a newspaper. Another took to the stage by relaxing on a deck chair. Some of the finest circus artists

from around the globe gathered to perform in Prague at the second hosting of the festival, including acrobats from Ukraine, Brazil, Costa Rica, Russia and Italy. The parrots were not the only animals to perform at the circus. Mr and Mrs Probst, of Germany, performed a unique routine with their professionally trained baboons.


Opinion

09

Hacktivism: justifiable or simply a crime?

Lucy Portlock Opinion Writer The media was abuzz last week with news that hacking activism, or hacktivism, group Anonymous had published an open letter online stating that they planned to hack the various websites of the extreme fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church. Indeed some of the church’s sites did go offline soon after. The day after this news broke, however, Anonymous produced another letter disavowing knowledge of any such attack and claiming that the first letter was probably a publicity stunt by the church itself. Regardless of whether or not Anonymous planned or conducted an attack, this whole episode brings back into the light the issue and ethics of hacktivism, (hacking with a political or ethical agenda). The portmanteau ‘hacktivism’ was first used in 1995, but it was really thrust into the limelight in around 2003 when online vigilante collective Anonymous was formed: borne out of the infamous 4chan message boards. Anonymous have bones to pick with a variety of groups and issues, ranging from Scientologists to neo-conserva-

tives, censorship to Fox News. They will publicly attack anything that they believe stifles freedom of information or promotes censorship, usually by hacking websites and replacing them with a calling card. As a result, they have in the past attacked such websites as Paypal and Mastercard (for apparently being anti-Wikileaks), flooded Youtube with pornographic videos (in retaliation for the removal of certain music videos) and more recently taken official Egyptian governmental websites offline (in support of the Egyptian pro-democracy protests). Can this form of activism be justifiable? Is it activism or is it a crime? Or both? I agree with activism. I agree with peaceful protest. Consequently, I can see how hacktivism can be justified – at least, the ideology behind it can be justified, as can any form of non-violent activism. However, I struggle to see how hacktivism itself will really achieve anything in the long run, at least with the current capabilities of the internet. Physical protests get people noticed, make governments pay attention – shutting down a website for a few hours may make a few people pay atten-

Above: The Anonymous hackers outside the Scientology building in L.A

Whilst there is no doubt that cyber-terrorism has a very real future, hacktivism still seems like it is a while from becoming a real threat.

tion, but at the end of the day it is just a drop in the ocean for these major corporations. Some may argue that, regardless of the strength of the attack, Anonymous at least brings issues into the public consciousness. This is, admittedly, true, but then again some things are better left uncovered – like the vile bigotry of groups like the Westboro Baptist Church who simply thrive on media attention. I think that Anonymous’ resources would be far better suited to fighting for causes such as the work they did during the Middle Eastern protests, where they set up forums and sites. Most of what they did there was not illegal, and it was far longer standing, giving Egyptians, Tunisians, Iranians and so on access to information they would otherwise be unable to read. Anonymous are probably being held back by their very nature – obviously anonymous, global and open – and the irony of their actions due to the fact they represent so many anonymous people’s separate beliefs. They deny they hacked Westboro Baptist Church as they stand for free speech, citing the famous quote “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” We

can then contrast this with their anti-Scientologist movement. Whatever you think about Scientologists, they have freedom of speech and the freedom to do what they want, within legality; and yet due to personal beliefs, Anonymous wage a virtual war against them. Is this not hypocritical? Whilst there is no doubt that cyber-terrorism has a very real future – the attack on the Iranian nuclear program by a computer virus being a recent example – hacktivism still seems like it is a while from becoming a real threat. It can be difficult to take a group that isn’t clear in what it stands for that seriously. Anonymous is proud of its varied ‘membership’ but this in itself is causing problems – usually when a group of people come together for a protest, they have a very common interest at heart and this is evident. When a group of anonymous people come together on the internet, it isn’t going to be easy to coordinate them. This has become more obvious with the Westboro Baptist Church misunderstanding. Anonymous may have created something big and turned a few heads, but I think this in itself may be its very downfall.


Opinion10

How seriously do we take our own health?

Jo Greet Opinion Writer Do we take personal health seriously? At first glimpse this question looks like a no-brainer. Of course our health is of vital importance to all of us. But, after more careful consideration, how much care do we actually take in looking after our bodies? When I think about it more thoroughly– that pint here, a pizza there, the cheesy chips at three in the morning the other night and not making it to the gym because I’m too hungover – it becomes apparent that what I deem to be an active and healthy lifestyle is fundamentally flawed. What is more worrying is the fact that I’m sure I’m not alone. Heart disease is Britain’s biggest killer, with over 2.6 million people living with related conditions in the UK today. This rather shocking statistic is a symptom of a society that disregards an active, healthy lifestyle as unimportant. I realise

that this is a general and somewhat sweeping statement, but individually we are all guilty of putting off a session at the gym or favouring a burger instead of a healthier salad due to the pressures and constraints of everyday life. I only have five hours of lectures a week; there should be no excuse for me skiving daily exercise, but I let things simply get in the way. What’s worse is that as a society, we point blank refuse to acknowledge the scale of the issue and lull ourselves into a false sense of security regarding our own level of fitness. How many of you could easily do a bleep test and make level 8, which is the average, without collapsing in a heap at the end of it? But the Canadians seem to have got the right idea. Following extensive research into the appalling state of Canada's health, which revealed that about 250, 000 potential years of life are lost in the country due to cardiovascular diseases every year, the Heart and Stroke Foundation

have taken steps to uncover the risk that individuals expose themselves to. It has launched a new, free app, available on smart phones such as the iPhone and Blackberry, which will ask users for specific information regarding their health in order to provide an overview of their general wellbeing and present the potential health risks they face. The fundamental idea is that the app will expose individuals to the nature of their own health and fitness level, and prompt them to take steps in improving their lifestyle. Although the app is based on the rather idealistic presumption that people will be open to change, and make the steps necessary to transform their lifestyle, the platform that the smartphone industry boasts is far reaching. Despite many warnings from the government and specific health care groups, such as the British Heart Foundation, so many of us continue to ignore this advice. The availability of an app, which can be used on a mobile phone, is

To fee or not to fee? Harry Hunt Opinion Writer As the Arab regime reesl in their citizens own successful protests, the failure of the student demonstrations to change opinion in Westminster still causes anger among many of us. Just how could the coalition, and even more so Nick Clegg, the shining beacon of hope for students, go back on his word faster than Amy Winehouse stating she is going clean? They missed a golden opportunity to change the status quo instigated by the unfair, unjust and regressive top-up fees of Blair after the higher education act of 1998 – why did they let this chance to win the trust and support of a generation go? As much as it is painful to say, with the proliferation in higher education places and the idea that 50% of the population seemingly need a bachelor’s in something, the old way of funding was becoming untenable. Realistically, there does need to be some graduate input into the scheme, as it is profoundly unfair to expect the whole burden of cost to fall upon the taxpayer, half of whom will never get to go to university. (After all, how would you feel if you were to be asked to fund an exclusive club whose members appear to party for three years then quickly move into a job that is generally higher paid than yours?) Another abhorrence to the student population are the planned

cuts in the teaching budget. Here we have a government apparently touting education as one of the greatest features of Britain, our last world class export, yet deciding to withdraw as much support as possible for the institution. Surely this makes about as much sense as promoting health by privatising the NHS? If only they had used this chance to turn around the emphasis of ‘fees’ and instead had replaced them with the seemingly infallible graduate tax. Imagine that, Clegg could have looked on and saw that it was good. He could still be able to look students in the eyes in this ‘new era of politics’. They could have kept central funding up to the levels pre-tuition fees, and only used them in their original role to ‘top-up’ university funding as more places were opened. This tax could only have been levied on only those who managed to get the most successful jobs after university, say those who manage to earn above the national average. They could then pay a small percentage of their earnings over this to cover their three plus years of university education they got for free, rather than being saddled with huge debt as they leave university. Of course, it would be a little unrealistic to expect this to be paid for life by a graduate. So after a certain length of time they should no longer have to pay into the system, or when their contributions have reached a certain level. What have we ended up with? A system where effectively the state

still funds all higher education and then tries to recoup it back from those who attended, like a graduate tax. It's a system where if people earn over £21,000 they start to pay towards the cost of their further education (UK median wage is £20,801, according to the BBC) like a graduate tax. It is a system where if they meet a preset target amount to be paid, or take 30 years and still have not paid it, then it is written off. Essentially what we have IS a graduate tax labelled as a loan. We are essentially short-sighted and blinded by a concrete figure of ‘debt’, which is not really true debt at all, and a notion that this is paying for university up front. Rather, it is contributing if you do well and fixing a maximum amount that you will have to, while mitigating the risk of not being successful after university and attaining a good salary by not having to pay the ‘loan’ back. After this change those who do well out of university will pay more while those who don’t will pay less. I put it to you that the Coalition was not foolhardy in coming up with this policy, nor was it done with a Dickensian attitude (trying to preserve further education as a pastime only for those who enjoy playing polo). Intead I suggest that in the cuts they fired a marketing or advertising director who could have told them how much better the proposal would have sounded by being simply rebranding it as the glorious graduate tax.

ingenious. The app means that instead of wasting hours on ‘Angry Birds’, I can now quickly and easily assess my health without the embarrassment of facing a gym-loving fitness instructor. According to the study in Canada, nine out of ten Canadians are jeopardizing the quality and length of their lives by refusing to accept the key risks in regard to their health – specifically being inactive and overweight. I wonder if such a statement would ring true this side of the Atlantic. With so much talk of the economic crisis, cuts and reductions to our services, surely we should all take responsibility to relieve the burden on the NHS? The government has expressed a worry about how to phase out charges for medication and treatment for people with long-term heart conditions without burdening the NHS with unaffordable extra costs. According to their website, research suggests that unhealthy and inactive lifestyles

are set to cost the NHS £50 billion. Therefore, despite the numerous warnings that go unheeded, there is a now an essential requirement in the United Kingdom for an improved system of education in order to raise the awareness of such a devastating and costly set of diseases. With the increasing popularity of advancing technology, and a generation constantly glued to their phones, in my opinion the proliferation of such apps can only be a positive step in transforming the health of the nation. What we require is for our authorities to take heed of the Canadian developments and enhance the state of our own nation's health. But there needs to be a recognition on the part of each individual that any system that aims to improve health and well-being needs our support. We need to take into account the vital part we play in looking after our bodies. This, my friend, means you.

Opinion in numbers

2.6 million The number of people living with heart-related conditions today

£50 billion

The cost of unhealthy lifestyles on the NHS

£21,000 The amount at which graduates will earn before they pay back the cost of going to Uni

50% Percentage of people Labour wanted to go to University

If you want to write a piece for You Reply about any Opinion articles you have read, or have any other opinions, email opinion@gairrhydd.com.


Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • opinion@gairrhydd.com

The end of Gaddafi As Libya is the next country to descend into anarchy, it could be the beginning of the end for political humour as we know it

Above: Two Pilots land in Malta with bombs meant for protestors attached to their planes. Centre: the many faces of Gaddafi - calm and collected, valiant in speech and a hated terrorist.

Chris Williams Opinion Editor Everytime I've written about the recent protests in the Middle East I've always taken a very positive view about them. I love the fact that people are rising up and seeing that, in great numbers, they can be powerful and have a legitimate say in what happens in their democracy. With Libya, though, I'm in a bit of a fix. Gaddafi is my favourite crazy person of all time. I'm sure you have your own, but for me Gaddafi's ludicrous attire, ridiculous statements and insistance that it was Israel who ordered the killing of JFK make him top of the pile.

His infamous 100 minute speech at the UN assembly was when the Libyan leader really hit centre stage. It was then that he floated an idea which suggested that Swine Flu was in fact an invention of the governemnt for use in biological warfare. It would be a shame to see such an excentric man leave office, or die a martyr in his country. Yet, researching for this article, I've seen a scarier side to the man whom I used to just laugh at. Gaddafi has ordered the bombing of protestors , which caused two pilots to flee to Malta, claiming they wouldn't do it. Scratch just slightly beneath the surface of the humour which

He floated an idea that Swine Flu was in fact an invention of the government for use in biological warfare

can be derived from what Gaddafi says... and it's petrifying. The man believes everything he says and would go to great lengths to prove it. He is a threat to the democracy of Libya, and shouldn't be allowed to wield such power over his citisens. With over 100 people dead, and potentially more to come, this man needs to step down to save his country. He needs to drop the act and stop with the eccentricites, focusing instead on good governance and solving the countrie's problems instead. Sometimes a leader needs to know when it's time to step down.

Opinion11 Meg Kissack Opinion Writer

I still can’t tell whether I’m more amused or infuriated by the irony in the article ‘Never Judge a Woman on a TV Show’ last week. Guy Kelly's article in last week's gair rhydd came across as not only extremely judgmental, but also misogynistic. While I agree with what I think he was fundamentally getting at – that women are unfairly represented on TV – it seems that he was simply frustrated that these women did not meet his standards of attractiveness. I wholeheartedly disagree with the programmes in the way that women are represented and objectified, but instead of name-calling, I think we need to be looking at gender politics. What I feel the opinion piece failed to do was talk about why women on Hotter Than My Daughter feel that a make-over is necessary for happiness and why they apply to appear on Snog, Marry, Avoid, or Take Me Out. Hotter Than My Daughter shows the pressure on young women to reveal all, while mothers, despite being happy with their appearance, are told to dress their age. The women are disregarded as people and become either a young or old female body. In Snog, Marry, Avoid, a frequent comment is something like ‘I get lots of attention when I’m out and I like it’. Yes, a lot of the women wear a lot of fake tan/ fake eyelashes, but shouldn’t we be exploring why they feel this is necessary in order to look good? Take Me Out does not feature ‘stupid single girls’. It’s a gender biased programme, where a man get to choose from a group of women solely based on appearance and disregards a lot of them – as if he is at a butchers choosing some meat. Perhaps the women appear on it not because they are ‘stupid’ but because society promotes heterosexual relationships, and regards single females over thirty a failure (but, infuriatingly, single men over thirty a bachelor). Women on TV are portrayed in terms of their attractiveness. They are either portrayed as sex objects or as the subject of a Susan Boyle type make-over. The writer of the piece simply sustained this idea by criticizing the women he doesn’t find attractive with childish namecalling. It was clear from the first sentence that his problem with the women was that he didn’t find them attractive and that they dared to take up precious air time. How are women supposed to feel satisfied with their appearance, when they become the subject of criticism? By judging the women we are simply justifying why the programmes are made. Our culture increases beauty standards on a daily basis and the bar is set to an unattainable, unrealistic level. What does it say about our culture, and representations of women, when an article titled 'Never Judge a Woman on a TV Show' does the exact opposite?


Columnist

13

Back to life, back to reality…

I

t’s a funny time of year, February. The New Year is well underway but the media are still obsessed with the old one, what with your Brits, your Baftas and your Oscars. Especially the Oscars. A room full of people, half of whom despise each other, pockets full of ready-written speeches for accepting the awards they say they weren’t expecting. All that glitz and glamour and teary antics resting on the decisions of a shadowy panel of industry insiders. And they get it wrong most of the time anyway: how many times is the ‘Best Picture’ genuinely the best film of the past twelve months? No doubt 2011’s is the usual Hollywood schmooze-fest with the odd sop to the British (presumably Colin Firth: a man who’s made a career of playing repressed yet deep posh Englishmen, getting universal acclaim for playing yet another repressed yet deep posh Englishman. Not that that’s a bad thing…) Awards like those are, of course, for the idols of stage or screen. For us mere mortals, the tail-end of the winter months can often be a bit crap, really. It’s still cold and dark most of the time, and if it snows it’s not Christmassy, it’s just a bloody nuisance. You’ve got Valentine’s: boring if you’re single, expensive if you’re hitched. And the year is fast slipping by. Soon enough you’ll be on yet another anti-climatic summer holiday. It’s enough to give anybody writer’s block, as I found this week. I racked my brains for something to write about, and every idea seemed worse than the last one. It would be much easier to be an animal, you know, not having any deadlines to meet or word limits to fill…hey, that’s not such a bad train of thought! Reincarnation. Specifically reincarnation as some form of animal: mammal, marsupial, insect, or what not. I’m sure if you asked people what animal they’d like to come back as, many would probably say something impressive or interesting, like a lion or an elephant. And, while it would undoubtedly

be quite cool to lounge around the plains of Africa as king (or queen) of the jungle, or to have a memory like…well, like an elephant, there would be obvious downsides to being either of those animals.

You spend half your time stupidly whacking your head against plate-glass windows"

Imagine a diet consisting solely of uncooked meat; a lion’s breath must be worse than having to talk to someone on the Atkins diet. As for an elephant: well, they might be majestic in life, but in death they represent, quite simply, several tons of free dinner to any passing hyenas (imagine coming back as one of those!) And that’s without considering the likelihood of being shot for your skin, or poached for your tusks. Maybe it would be better to come back as something a little more unassuming. How about a dog? Man’s best friend and all that. Plenty of food, plenty of exercise, and plenty of company. Plenty of variety, too: you could end up as a little handbag-sized lap-botherer, or a great galumphing canine like a mastiff or a deerhound. Perfect, eh? Hmm, not quite.

A lion's breath must be worse than having to talk to someone on the Atkins diet"

If you’re reborn as a dog there’s a fair chance you’re going to go to the vet’s one day, all happy and frisky and full of the joys of spring, only to come back totally and utterly unable to go about producing Rover junior. And then, of course, you could be one of those unfortunate hounds, riddled with mange, wandering the backstreets of some provincial city until you’re either taken to the

Above: Morning breath? pound, or served up in a bun from a less than salubrious burger van… So perhaps a dog isn’t a good choice after all. But, then, what is? Cat? One summer’s day you might end up in a wheelie-bin. Badger? Well, farmers will probably hate you, and if you go near anything bigger than a Broad you’ve, quite basically, had it. Horse? Well, I’m not sure how they make glue these days, but perhaps it’s best not to ask! You could try the oceans for inspiration, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t prove problematic either. Dolphin? Shark? Whale? Tinned tuna! Indigestion from eating surfers! Five hundred dollars a head sushi! Man, this is bloody tough!

I guess it may prove beneficial to be humble about these things. Take the common housefly. Apart from something like, say, a nematode worm or an amoeba, there isn’t much worse than being a fly. You are in constant danger of being dispatched by the nearest newspaper, shoe, spatula or hand mid-slap. Sadistic children may try and torture you. Birds and spiders choose you as their number one delecacy of choice. You spend half your time whacing your head against plate-glass; your collection of eyes offering poor peripheral. You spend the other halfbuzzing around freshly-dropped faeces, or worse.

But, at the end of the day, if you’re that low down in the chain of things, surely it can only get better? If you believe in the concept of karma, then let’s be honest: if you come back as a fly you probably angered a God or two. But if you make one hell of a fly, you’re surely going to take a few steps back up the ladder? Maybe you’ll be lucky and return as a talking lizard, or a cow that can ride a bicycle? Or, a bear that knows how to do elaborate corporation tax scams? And, if all else fails, take solace in this: the average lifespan of a housefly is around three weeks. Less than one month and you can start all over again. Ain’t life grand.


All you need to know about the Referendum <<Pages 18-19

15

Politics

Everything is going to be fine

The week by...

In the wake of a week of protests across Libya, James Dunn examines the possible implications for Colonel Gaddafi's future @Queen_UK Have sent Mr Cameron to Egypt to show him what happens if he sods around. (Elizabeth Windsor)

@NSlayton Saif #Gaddafi just blamed #Canada for chaos. I think that's the first time someone's blamed Canada for war outside of South Park. #libya (Nicholas Slayton)

@ghazalairshad

T

he revolution against the 41-year reign of Colonel Mummar Gaddafi is being fuelled from both sides, with the Libyan leader claiming he would rather die a martyr than be forced out of the country. Six days after the protests began in the eastern city of Benghazi, Colonel Gaddafi is faced with the very real threat of being completely removed from power. On Saturday, Benghazi declared that it had ‘liberated’ itself from the military rule, freeing itself of a battalion under the command of one of his seven sons. The city is now running itself, reputedly under the youth of the rebellion. ‘People’s committees’ have since been formed to rule the ancient stronghold after the protests were sparked by the arrest of a human rights activist the week before. With a military divided in its loyalty and facing international condemnation, many commentators assumed that Colonel Gaddafi would follow the example of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and step down. The former Egyptian leader faced 18 days of violent protests, with at least 365 protesters killed, before he finally stood down. The Libyan leader, however, has defied all expectations and continues to grasp at his tenuous hold on power. While his reign has been blighted by a number of protests against his strict rule, he has never has he had to face such nationwide contempt and anger. On Tuesday, six days after the nationwide demonstrations began, Mummar Gaddafi, surprisingly, sent a televised message to the Libyan people and the millions of international spectators. Nobody

During a telephone conversation with Silvio Berlusconi, Colonel Gaddafi claimed everything was 'fine' seems to be sure whether or not the journalists. Reports have recently ing condensed into a single nation. message was live or whether it was emerged that suggest these orders In the event this went ahead, any recorded. One of the main reasons are being carried out. Such actions common problems could be easily addressed by a common unity and a that the speech was so surprising is are in marked contrast to the wildthat the military leader claimed to fire of protests sweeping the entire singular administration. Of course, the problems that began in other still be in the country. Only the day region at the minute. Almost imbefore the British Secretary of State mediately after the Bahrain Royal Arab states have indeed now spread Family ordered their military to onto Libyan soil. for Foreign and Commonwealth AfThe British government recently fairs, William Hague, informed an open fire on demonstrators opposed indicated that they are sending aid emergency meeting of EU foreign to the autocratic rule of the reministers that Colonel Gaddafi had gime, the monarchy backed down. to the 3,500 British nationals still Instead, demonstrators gathered in Libya. HMS Cumberland will be fled his capital in Tripoli for Venezuela. While Mr Hague still stands in Pearl Square to hold flowers up sent close to Libyan waters in the by his unnamed source, it would ap- to the military and police guards. event the violence does escalate. pear that the Libyan leader is deter- Such a peaceful moment does not Considering the threats of violence from both the Libyan leader and his mined to stay and fight for his rule. seem likely in Libya. If anything, the country seems son, coupled with the determined Indeed, he announced in a bizarre rambling speech that protesters almost doomed to escalate into fur- nature of the demonstrators, this could very well be a measure that would be hunted down by his sup- ther violence. Saif al-Islam, the secporters and killed, and that anyone ond-eldest son of the Libyan leader, is needed. The British Prime Minister, Dawho continued to oppose the law fuelled the arguments of the demwould face the death penalty and onstrators by threatening the total vid Cameron, has been remarkably that the leaders of the revolution extermination, through civil war, candid about the situation. Speaking in Kuwait, Mr Cameron suggestof anyone who continued to prowere no better than vermin. test. This is in marked contrast to ed that the UK was wrong to have the way in which Colonel Gaddafi supported tyrants in the past. The Labour government worked hard actually came to power. On 1st Septo promote relations between them tember 1969, the then Captain Mumand Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian mar Gaddafi led a small group of president who was recently ousted, junior military officers in a bloodless coup d'état against King Idris I. while the controversy over the release of the Lockerbie Bomber in Having managed to seize control of Colonel Gaddafi’s prospects for the country without shedding any 2009 to Libyan officials has been widely documented. Mr Cameron staying in power are not optimis- blood in 1969, Colonel Gaddafi is alassured the Kuwaiti government tic. In the last few days, two reports ready responsible for the deaths of that the protesters have the backing began to circulate that have only 233 demonstrators since the troubles spread. These figures, how- of Britain. served to heighten the internationEgypt endured 18 days of unal outcry. A number of newspapers ever, come from the Human Rights reported that he had asked African Watch Group, who have pointed out rest before Hosni Mubarak finally mercenaries to break into homes that these are based on incomplete stepped down. The violence in and rape Libyan women, especially hospital reports. The real figure is Libya, however, is far greater. If the example of Benghazi is anything to those known to be protesters them- likely to be substantially higher. go by, it would appear that the sucWhen, in 1969, the coup was sucselves or related to the demonstrators. These stories have not yet cessful, Mummar Gaddafi proudly cess of the demonstrators is also been substantiated. The second declared that Libya was now ‘ruled greater. But with the threat of civil war, the refusal of the protesters by the people’. This is now one of report, that is causing his own supporters to leave him in the dozens, the main causes for contention to back down and a seeming relucis that of his split air force. Having among the demonstrators, who tance of immediate international claim that he is now no more than involvement, the next few days will ordered his pilots to bomb the demonstrators, two pilots defected to a tyrant. Early on in his rule, he be make or break for Colonel Gaddafi and Libya. Malta before breaking the story to also advocated the Arab states be-

"The best Jihad is that of speaking a word of truth to an unjust ruler.” ~Prophet Muhammad (SAW) #Libya #Bahrain #Yemen (Ghazala Irshad)

@stephenfry #Gaddafi appears to have separated himself from any semblance of reality, which would be funny if it didn't mean slaughter, pain and horror (Stephen Fry)

@TheJeremyPaxman Found a pack of Jammy Dodgers in the Top Gear office. Take that, Clarkson. (Jeremy Paxman)

233 people died in four days

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16Politics

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • politics@gairrhydd.com • Follow @GairRhyddPol

The Referendum: Power to the People?

Sam Blaxland explores the arguments given by the 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns for further powers being given to the Welsh Assembly

T

he National Assembly for Wales was established as a result of the Government of Wales Act 1998, following a referendum where the majority of people who voted ‘yes’ was 0.3%. On March 3, everyone registered to vote in Wales will have another chance to decide on whether to further enhance the law-making ability of the Welsh Assembly. Currently, the Welsh Assembly has the power to pass some laws in twenty policy fields including: education, the environment, housing, local government and social welfare. If the majority of people vote ‘yes’ in the referendum on March 3 the Assembly will have the power to make all laws in these twenty policy

The ‘yes’ campaign has cross-party support in Wales, and is being championed by Yes for Wales.

fields, without having to ask the UK parliament for its agreement, as is the situation now. Whatever the result of the referendum, policy areas concerning defence, tax and welfare benefits will still remain the responsibility of the Westminster Parliament. The ‘yes’ campaign has crossparty support in Wales, and is also being championed by the pro-devolution group Yes for Wales. They claim that the current system of law-making in this country is complicated and inefficient. Many proposals need permission from Westminster before they can become law, a process which Yes for Wales describe as “jumping through needless hoops.” They argue that freedom from having to consult Westminster about law-making will save time and resources. The President of NUS Wales, Katie Dalton, who is on the Yes for Wales steering committee, told gair rhydd that “we need Welsh solutions to Welsh issues, because people in Wales know what is best for Wales.” She also said that “under the current system, there have been instances where it has taken two or three years for proposals from the Assembly to come back from Westminster.” The campaign appears to be more about making

the current system more efficient than wanting wholesale change. In opposition to Yes for Wales is True Wales, a group campaigning for a ‘no’ vote in the referendum. Their argument centres around two core principles: that the National Assembly for Wales has failed in much of what it has done so far, and that it shows no sign of improvement in the future. On the former issue they say that under the Welsh Assembly, Wales has fallen to the bottom of the UK economic im-

True Wales believe that the law-making process will be weakened and more vulnerable.

provement league table. They also attack, among other things, the education policy which has resulted in Welsh children falling to the bottom of the league of educational standards (based on sixty-four wealthy nations). If most people vote ‘yes’ on March 3, True Wales believe that the law-making process will be weakened and more vulnerable, as there will be no second chamber to scrutinise laws. They also believe it is inevitable that more money will be spent on extra politicians, civil servants, lawyers and needless buildings. Nigel Bull, a spokesman for True Wales, told gair rhydd that decisions made by the Welsh Assembly “have not been brought to the people” throughout “twelve years of failure.” He claims that - even though it was launched as a people’s campaign - the ‘Yes’ lobby is campaigning in favour of “a political elite sticking together for their own vested interest.” Yes for Wales counteract this argument, saying that a ‘Yes’ vote will give the Assembly no more powers, but a more efficient way for Assembly Members to make laws in areas for which they already have responsibility. They also cite the report of Sir Emrys Jones-Parry, who concluded that a ‘Yes’ vote would be no more expensive than the current system. Concerning the issue of a swelling number of politicians in Cardiff Bay, Yes for Wales have stated that “the number of Assembly members will remain at sixty.” True Wales have admitted that

they face a problem in conveying their message because people assume that voting ‘yes’ will automatically benefit the country. The Welsh First Minister, Labour’s Carwyn Jones, made a speech likening the current Assembly situation to “Warren Gatland having to send a letter to Martin Johnson asking if he can put Shane Williams in the Welsh team.” Possibly as a result of speeches like this, many Cardiff students see a ‘no’ vote as, for want of a better word, ‘unpatriotic.’ This is not necessarily the case. The Welsh Assembly has failed to prove that it is a strong institution. The health

A ‘yes’ vote may well pave the way for a jumble of bureaucracy and poor politics

service in Wales is even worse than in England and education standards have fallen. In this context, what must be asked is: can the Assembly be trusted to make laws exclusively, without Westminster deciding to give them that power? In 1979, a referendum was held in Wales that was very similar to the one of 1997. Then, it failed. The reasons for this are wide and varied, but one of the significant factors was the economic backdrop of the time: the ‘Winter of Discontent.’ A parallel may be drawn with this referendum. In the last decade the wealth gap between Wales and the other UK nations has widened, and the private sector here is small. As in 1979, Wales and the UK face a time of austerity, yet there is likely to be a rise in money spent on politicians, civil servants and Assembly buildings if there is a ‘yes’ vote. It is understandable why many people feel the current system is inefficient and unfair. A possible argument to be made is that the Assembly’s failings until this point have been precisely because they have not had the required freedom to make appropriate and necessary laws. However, their track record is not good and the future looks uncertain. A ‘yes’ vote may well pave the way for a jumble of bureaucracy, expensive processes and poor politics, or it may free up the law-making process of a potentially strong institution. That is for the voters to decide.


Politics17

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • politics@gairrhydd.com • Follow @GairRhyddPol

Meeting the Welsh hopefuls

gair rhydd Politics meet First Minister Carwyn Jones and Labour Assembly Candidates Julie Morgan and Jenny Rathbone to discuss the upcoming referendum on devolution

Oliver Smith Politics Editor With the referendum on further Welsh devolution rapidly approaching, as explained by Sam Blaxland this week, the gair rhydd offices were recently graced with the presence of First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, Labour Assembly Candidate for Cardiff North Julie Morgan and Labour Assembly Candidate for Cardiff Central Jenny Rathbone. These three individuals are the most prominent Labour politicians in Wales and make up a core section of the ‘Yes’ campaign in the upcoming referendum. gair rhydd had the exclusive opportunity to ask them why they felt the ‘Yes’ campaign is right for students, right for Wales and right for Britain. Asked why the referendum is so important for the future of Wales and Welsh politics, First Minister, Carwyn Jones, argued that the referendum is not just about giving Wales more powers but also allowing “the assembly to set its own timetable” which, he argued, would make the law-making process “more efficient, more effective.” The current policy-making process is described as one of the slowest in the UK, requiring laws to be drafted for the Welsh Assembly and then drafted for Westminster at the cost of two million pounds to the tax-payer. Further devolution, Labour argues, will in-fact make the process faster and cheaper. While the original vote on devolution passed with only the narrowest of majorities, Julie Morgan believes this time will be different. She compares the response with her campaign to get the Assembly

established in 1997. The attitude back then was “a great deal of uncertainty.” This time, however, she has been greeted with the acceptance that the assembly is both “an important part and an opportunity... to do things which are specifically good for Wales.” First Minister Carwyn Jones agreed, adding that the idea of the Assembly had been “embedded in the minds of most people in Wales''. As party politics have become important issues in the lives of many students, following the aboutturn by the Liberal Democrats over their education policy, specifically tuition fees and EMA, gair rhydd asked how important the referendum on devolution would be for students. For First Minister Carwyn Jones the referendum offers students the opportunity to “show discontent and put pressure on the UK government to find an alternative and better way of financing further education.” Furthermore, he argued “if we can do it, the Scots can do it, Northern Ireland can do it, why can’t England do it?” The First Minister added that he hoped “that the example of Wales shows how it could be done differently in England as well.” For these Labour representatives the ‘Yes’ vote isn’t just about winning Wales more independence, its about showing that there is an alternative to the ‘British way’ of politics. Heading the ‘No’ vote come strong voices from True Wales whose view stems from the belief that devolution and the Welsh Assembly have failed and further devolution would lead to further failure. Jenny Rathbone countered this by highlighting the success that the Welsh Assem-

bly has had in retaining Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for Welsh students calling it one of the most “effective measures” in keeping young people off the dole and in education. Julie Morgan called True Wales’ objections, “tired arguments rather than real arguments” having never gotten over the fact that the Assembly was set up. On a more general note concerning the future of the Labour party, and its standing in the next general election, the mood was overwhelmingly positive. Whilst defeat in the 2010 election had damaged the party the First Minister added that it “could have been a lot worse!” and had failed to live up to the “meltdown that everyone predicted.” The belief of these Labour politicians is that the Liberal Democrats have

essentially dealt themselves out of the running with their broken promises and high expectations. Jenny Rathbone added that “people didn’t believe us when we said ‘if you vote Lib Dem you’ll get Tory’ and we were right!” Finally, on the question of the Alternative Voting system (coincidentally the referendum on which will be held on the same day as the referendum on devolution), Julie Morgan declared her support for the new system. The First Minister agreed adding that he would support any voting system which retained the constituency link and offered a fairer system, saying “I like people having an area they represent.” The upcoming referendum is set to sculpt the political future of Wales and Welsh politics. It will af-

fect both Welsh students and English students studying in Wales. The vote offers students the first opportunity to have their voice heard since the tuition fee vote passed through Parliament, and these Labour politicians certainly believe that this fact would help them to secure the student vote in Cardiff this coming May. However, for the wider Welsh people the vote offers another choice: that between keeping the Welsh Assembly a small project, an experiment in devolution, or moving to the next level of independence from Westminster. The referendum on the Alternative Vote in May might get more attention from the likes of the media, but it is the referendum on further devolution which is set to have the biggest effect on Welsh politics.


18Politics

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • politics@gairrhydd.com • Follow @GairRhyddPol

Will Britain ever buy into the Big Society? Hugh Rodger assesses the likelihood of the Big Society in Britain

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he Big Society; the brainchild of current Prime Minister David Cameron and is widely mocked as one of the more vaguely established policies of the coalition government. It has been subject to much scrutiny and scepticism since it was first pitched to the public. What exactly is ‘the Big Society’? What does it hope to achieve? Since the advent of the General Election last year, the Big Society was a flagship policy of the Conservative manifesto, and has attracted support from public figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury. It aims to “create a climate that empowers local people and communities", building a ig society that will ‘take power away from politicians and give it to people". At its core lies concepts of localism, devolution and volunteering, as it intends to encourage people to take active roles in their communities, providing support to charities and social enterprises. Additionally, Nick Clegg and David Cameron have expressed their hopes

David Cameron forwards his ideas behind the Big Society at a special conference in March 2010 for more transparency in terms of publishing government data to establish a stronger link with the public, while doing away with the behind-closed-doors workings and secrecy oft-associated with the previous government. The Big Society is an interesting yet idealistic concept – perhaps appealing strongly to the optimistic types who wish to prove wrong the tabloid narratives of ‘Broken Britain’, where youthful delinquents are running riot and the elderly are subject to torment on a daily basis, supposedly. But I digress. Having done a lot of voluntary work myself and witnessing first-hand the positive impact it has on local communities, Mr Cameron’s wish to promote an active community ethos for the benefit of local communities is admirable to an extent. However, its ambiguity and current government action regarding the economic crisis somewhat contradict the Big Society aims and the notion of a more transparent government, attracting an increased cynicism from opposition and supporters alike. Critics have argued that the Big Society is merely a game of smoke

and mirrors to dignify cuts to public services and disguise the ideology of reducing the size of the state by, as Ed Miliband noted, “dressing up withdrawal of support with the language of reinvigorating civic society.”

The Big Society is merely a game of smoke and mirrors to dignify cuts

Additionally, this is an idea pitched by the same party once led by Margaret Thatcher, who declared in an interview in 1987 that there was “no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families,” as she criticised the rise of people’s overdependence on the state to look after them. However, David Cameron has followed Tony Blair’s example by attempting to move his party closer to the centre, to distance it from

Mrs Thatcher’s individualism, and he potentially has the right mindset to launch an idea as ambitious as the Big Society. Cuts were always going to be unpopular, so attempting to implement a policy involving strengthening local communities can be considered standard political practice to help sustain support for an unpopular government. To pilot the Big Society scheme, four ‘vanguard’ areas were selected including Liverpool, Eden, Sutton and Windsor & Maidenhead. Liverpool controversially withdrew earlier in February, stating the government had failed to deliver on proposals requested by the city council and cuts to services and community organisations undermined the initial concept. Indeed, the Big Society’s clash with economic cuts especially to public services may bear the consequence of the idea ending up dead on arrival – a point raised by Dame Elizabeth Hoodless, executive director of Community Service Volunteers. The youth organisation I volunteered for, known as the Ivy Project in Exeter, is facing closure due to cuts in government funding. If similar institutions are

being forced to close, where will volunteers go to provide work for the community? Many social enterprises require government funding in order to operate efficiently. With spending cuts to public services on the horizon, the Big Society will have a hard time imposed on the voluntary sector. If libraries, 'Sure Start 'centres and other services are cut, volunteers cannot be expected to pick up the pieces and try to provide an alternative. The Big Society is a noble concept with great potential, and to dismiss it as shallow Conservative propaganda trying to justify ideological cuts is, perhaps, a little too simplistic. However, it cannot be expected to operate efficiently when cuts oppose its progression, crippling the voluntary sector, which is dependant on state funding to provide vital support to disadvantaged communities. Cameron needs to ensure Big Society plans and spending cuts are kept separate, otherwise he risks seeing his brainchild strangled at birth. It will be a huge step forward for the coalition if the Big Society concept can be sold to the British public.


Politics19

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • politics@gairrhydd.com • Follow @GairRhyddPol

The Coalition's False Promises? Sheri Hall uses The Guardian's pledge tracker to explore the length to which the government has kept its promises Pledges by Numbers 24% Wait and see

76% Definitely traced

104 pledges have been marked 'wait and see', 330 can be definitely traced.

44% Not started

56% In progress

244 pledges are 'in progress', 190 have not yet started

10% Kept

90% Yet to be completed 365 pledges have 'yet to be fulfilled', 69 have been totally kept

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n its first weeks in government, the Lib-Con coalition made 434 pledges outlining their priorities and direction over the next five years. Nine months on we are asking ourselves “How have their promises progressed? Have they been kept? Have they been broken?” The Guardian website has been at the forefront of these questions with its interactive ‘Pledge Tracker’, which can be used to review the progress of the coalitions’ pledges. When the coalition deal was made, their pledge document was given scriptural importance. This was in order to ensure the efficiency of policy creation, which can be jeopardised by the characteristic divisiveness of coalitions. According to The Guardian’s pledge tracker, between May and September of last year an impressive 54% of pledges (235) were considered to be ‘in progress’ compared to 56% (244) two months later. Although this shows a two percent increase, it also reveals a diminishing pace to the advancement of policies. This is to be expected as the pledges need to be formed into policy and then implemented. For example, the coalition have pledged to support the creation of apprenticeships and internships and have progressed by making the money available for 75,000 adult apprenticeships. However, this is not expected to be implemented until 2014/15. Although The Guardian ‘Pledge Tracker’ records the progress of pledges made in the coalition deal, it does not consider the government’s concentration policies that are not in the document - such as the rise in VAT to 20%, the £7 billion welfare cuts and the potential tripling of university tuition fees. This may affect the progress of pledges, as the government are committing themselves elsewhere. Discordance of the parties could also be to blame for deceleration. An example of this is the Lib Dems’ pledge to end the detention of children for immigration purposes. The deadline for implementation is March 2011 and the review, which was due in August 2010, has only recently been conducted, which leads

The Guardian to categorise it as ‘in trouble’. The government has also abandoned the Lib Dems’ plans to ‘end’ child detention, instead saying it will ‘minimise’ the number, following criticisms from the likes of the Tory home secretary, Theresa May, who described plans to ‘end’ child detention as a foolish commitment. As well as portraying party disagreements, it is also one of many progressing pledges that reveals where the coalition power lies. Pledges that have not been kept are also indicative of Tory-favourable power relations as half of the six pledges ‘not kept’ were proposed by Lib Dems. This includes their promise to introduce ‘fair rail fares’ which instead are going to increase by January 2012. The remaining three ‘not kept’ pledges, originate from the coalition deal and not from either party manifesto, which goes some way to explaining why they have been put on the back-burner. On the other hand, the majority of pledges that appeared in both parties’ manifestos are either ‘in progress‘ or have been ‘kept’, showing that when the parties have a dedication to the same cause they can be effective. Despite hindrances in progress, the coalition have managed to keep many of their pledges including the holding of a spending review in autumn (don’t we know it), ruling out joining the Euro (for now) and giving part-time undergraduates the same access as full-time students to student loans (now they have the option to be in £27k of debt). As well as the coalitions’ advancements (or lack of) there are many pledges that appear in the ‘Pledge Tracker’s’ ‘wait and see’ category, such as financial incentives to attract more top science and maths graduates to become teachers, and a promise to publish more about the cost, student satisfaction and graduate earning of university courses. We could, however, be waiting another year for these ‘wait and see’ pledges to be ‘in progress’ due to party discordance, commitments elsewhere and the development of already progressing pledges. The course of coalitions never did run smoothly.


Your Space.

Features

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How do you escape the grasp of an eating disorder? What is the best way to approach the topic? How can you help a friend who has a problem? Here a Cardiff University student who has suffered with an eating disorder talks to Features about the best way to help yourself and others.

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ecovery from an eating disorder must be very difficult. Do you have any tips for people who are trying to get over any combination of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or EDNOS? The most significant aspect is to realise that your recovery is down to you. No amount of therapy or healthy eating plans will help longterm unless you yourself make positive changes to your life. That was the hardest lesson I had to learn in my recovery. The first (and admittedly the scariest) step in recovery is to admit to somebody else that you are struggling. Talking about the problem means that you are no longer left alone with your eating disorder; it diminishes its grip over you. Select the person you tell carefully; you want somebody nonjudgemental and caring, but you also need a person who will be honest with you, and remind you when your thoughts are distorted and unhealthy. It is important to take control over your eating – enrol the help of a dietician if needed. If purging is an issue, arrange to do something else after eating; take a nap, go for a walk, sit with your friends and watch TV. If you have problems with binge eating then avoid situations where you are alone, feeling anxious or sad. Be strong and don’t give up if you have a relapse. Be proactive, search for support groups and counsellors. Visit recovery websites and look for motivational songs. Look for stressful events in your life which may have triggered your problems and find other ways of coping; keep a diary, have time to do things you enjoy which aren’t related to food or exercise. Talk – use your friends. It’s what they are there for. Remember that if they were in this situation, you would want to help. Help! My flatmate clearly doesn’t eat enough and I’m not sure what to do. This is a tricky position to be in. Accusations and arguments are only likely to accentuate the problem. Instead, pick a quiet time to calmly express how you feel to them, explain that you are worried, not angry. Don’t speak to them in big groups;

this is frightening and is likely to lead to denial. Provide a few examples of circumstances where their behaviour has alarmed you, but don’t over-do it; too many will cause them to become defensive. Remind them that deliberately under eating is a form of self-harm.

be bulimic. What should I do? Do not attempt to catch them in the process of a binge-purge cycle. Instead plan to express your concern at a time when you are both calm and relaxed. Say you are concerned that they may be vomiting and/or taking lax-

This is just threatening; instead encourage them to reach out to the people they feel close to. But what if they deny it? Denial is common in eating disorders. Accept that the person may not yet be ready to recover. Monitor the problem; maybe attempt

isolate the person or treat them as an invalid; maintaining a strong friendship can be a powerful weapon against a full-scale descent into an eating disorder. I would generally advise avoiding seeking professional help without telling the sufferer, as they are likely to become very anxious. Besides, unless an individual is actually ready to accept help, treatment plans are likely to be inefficient. However, if an individual is causing themselves serious physical harm, or is purging several times daily, you should consider seeking help for them. To what extent do you think the media are to blame for eating disorders? I hate it when people blame the media for eating disorders. I find it quite offensive. It certainly doesn’t help some people during recovery, since thin images are everywhere and perhaps reinforces an eating disorder once it has already developed, but the media is never at the root cause of an eating disorder. It’s far more complex than that.

I hate it when people blame the media for eating disorders

Eating disorders can be traced all the way throughout history, long before OK! and Glamour magazine were developed. I highly doubt that the Roman emperor Claudius suffered from bulimia because he wanted to look like some Roman celebrity.

Don’t say they are 'too skinny' or 'too thin'. Instead use words like unhealthy and underweight. If they do admit to having a problem, offer to help them search for resources to help them get better but don't become the food police. I think someone I know may

atives after eating. Offer them your unconditional support and suggest suitable options for where you could both look for help: suggest searching online first, and then maybe at the Student Health Centre. Don’t say things like, “If you keep vomiting I’m going to tell your family.”

talking to them again. In cases of severe emaciation and health problems, a phone call to a health care provider and a phonecall home may be necessary. Otherwise, avoid talking about food and weight; this can be very detrimental to a sufferer. Don’t

Would you say you’re fully recovered? This is the furthest I have ever come in recovery. I have gained so much more than just weight this time; my self-esteem and confidence have also peaked. I am aware that anorexia is a cruel, manipulative disease; it can go into remission for years and then hit you with a devastating relapse. I’ve come so far now I can’t imagine ever going back to that empty world again. It’s my life now, anorexia doesn’t belong here anymore.


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gair rhydd • Monday February 28 2010 • features@gairrhydd.com

Is university e Did you know that a fifth of all college women are believed to be and former sufferer of eating disorders tells Features about the

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y eating disorder started after a major b e r e ave m e n t , a break-up and when my mum first suffered illness. It was my way of coping. I couldn't make my mum better and I certainly couldn't bring people back from the dead. But feeling sad could easily be changed to feeling fat, and fat was something I could change. The transition from ‘fat’ to ‘thin’ was meant to be an uncomplicated, effortless way to be happy again. Exerting extreme control over my food and body weight provided a sense of power and constraint in a world which was otherwise spiralling out of control. But it wasn't perfect. Every bone in my body ached. The agony burned out from each joint whenever I moved. I was freezing all the time, because by now the hot silent tears streaming down my face were the only way my body could generate any heat from itself. My appalling mess of bones dug into the mattress at night, making me unable to sleep, so I'd get up and stare at my beautiful self-abuse in the mirror instead. By now anorexia had complete control and screamed at me not to gain any weight or face being punished with even more self-hatred. It was only when the chest pains became so bad that I knew my heart might give up soon. I finally agreed to be hospitalized. My battle commenced; my anorexia on one side, doctors and my parents on the other. Me? I didn't exist anymore, completely devoured by my eating disorder. Dutifully weight-restored, 'not eating' then became replaced by meticulous calorie counting. Every packet, every bottle, anything I consumed was studied intensely and calculated over and over again. At first I was good at keeping my habit a secret and no-one knew I was losing weight again. Watching a progressive disease slowly strip my mum of all of her physical and mental capabilities made me furious and food was the only way I knew to express my bottomless feelings of anger. Another family member died young and I became even more obsessive over what I ate. Once again, restriction was my most powerful coping mechanism. Soon it became apparent that I was in a steady downward spiral.

Teachers made phone calls home, sparking off arguments. I was angry. Couldn't they see that I am eating something, even if it is at the very least? You can’t see my bones any more so what’s the problem? I was convinced I was doing absolutely nothing wrong, and besides I didn't even care about being thin anymore. Just having control. The arguments intensified and I eventually agreed to go back to a dietician. She weighed me and told me that if I lost any more weight I would have to go back to hospital. Panic set in. Binging began. Hundreds of calories consumed at a time.

Me? I didn't exist anymore, I was completely devoured by my eating disorder

The numbers on the scale started to go up and anorexia screamed "You fat useless failure" at me. She berates me for refusing to vomit and so I become addicted to exercise instead. I work out until I’m about to pass out. Hours every day. It hurts, the

laxatives hurt too. My stomach is in agony. What has happened to me? How did I become so out of control again? By the end of my A-levels things had improved. It’s time to move on. I was still thin (it helps me justify eating to myself) but my attitude had changed completely. Food, although it is still a struggle sometimes, no longer rules my life. The two-year journey to recovery had finally begun. In my second year at university, my dirty little secret started to slip. I let my housemates and a few course mates know what happened. Frightened of being rejected by my friends and deeply ashamed of what I had done, I wondered if even the sheer memory of my eating disorder will be enough to alter new friendships. Will people be just as disgusted with me as I am with myself ? I try to explain to them that it was like being possessed by the devil. I was a puppet dragged along on Anorexia’s apron strings, she called all the shots. I had no control. It had me in a hypnotic trance that clouded my view of reality completely. Thankfully, nobody has let me down yet and all I have heard is words of support. I take the chance to laugh at my old eating disorder. I tell my friends

about the enormous Bridget-Jones style pants I would buy so I could tie dumb bells inside them and shuffle around like a madwoman on weighing days. How so many plants in my bedroom died because I poured juice and Ensure (a high-calorie feeding sip) into them.

I try to explain that it was like being possessed by the devil. I was a puppet on anorexia's strings

The girls stick objects like pencils and rulers down my bra to show how much my boobs have grown since last year. Now that my bra size is no longer humiliating, it becomes a popular topic of discussion, and something I'm both willing and happy to talk about. Revision periods are characterized by eating muffins and homemade cupcakes, while the gym finally takes a back seat for a bit. When one of my ‘skinny’ dresses arrives from home (so I can donate it to the charity shop) , me and two of my housemates double up with

laughter as we see at how ridiculously small it is, probably designed for a nine-year old girl, not an eighteen year old woman. Yes, look at me now anorexia, laughing at you. How does it feel to be the loser for a change? But when I look around, I am disappointed by how many are still trapped in an eating disorder. I see one woman at the gym regularly, her collar bones protruding: matchstick legs pounding away on the treadmill, completely oblivious that she has lost control over her life. Stop? I watch skinny girls with sunken eyes eagerly peering over food labels in supermarkets, calculating and comparing, deluded with the idea that they are in control and being thin will make them happy. I silently will them to be strong and fight back against these false promises. These lies. Then there are the ones whose bodies don’t show obvious signs of a disorder. These are the people I feel the worst for, struggles with binging, starving, purging and other behaviors aren’t severe enough to win them the help they truly deserve. Statistics say that 20% of all college women are believed to be bulimic, their weight-changes often not significant enough for others to ever realize how much they are struggling.


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gair rhydd • Monday February 28 2010 • features@gairrhydd.com

eating you up? bulimic? No, we didn't either. One Cardiff University student fight against her inner demons and her long road to recovery. Then there are the binge eaters, who use excessive amounts of food to numb themselves and block out their emotions. Nobody really recognises their problem either; they are simply viewed as greedy. I powerlessly watch as the poison of eating disorders seeps through the minds of the students here at Cardiff. Let’s fight back. Many people suffering from eating disorders tend to be very hardworking, clever students. This suggests that prestigious universities like Cardiff are likely to attract a high number of sufferers. Generally, they are perfectionists, have an overwhelming desire to feel in control, are very anxious about how other people react to them, suffer from low self-esteem and are prone to other addictions like alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, exercise and sex. Some sufferers may have issues and relationships in their lives which they feel unable to cope with. The manipulative nature of an eating disorder and its false illusions of control provide temporary relief for them. University is also a time when people work out who they are and what they want to do in life, and for those vulnerable to developing one,

an eating disorder can provide a temporary and false but powerful, sense of identity and achievement. Occasionally, sufferers may have a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse which they are unable to deal with and so turn to disordered eating to block it out as best as they can. If you are one of the sufferers out there, be strong and fight for your recovery. It’s hard when you have a disorder which wreaks havoc on your body and mind. It constantly lies to you and makes you believe it is doing you good. If you are struggling with any kind of disordered eating behavior, or you recognise some elements of yourself in this article, or if somebody has already expressed concern about your eating habits, I urge you to talk to somebody you trust. Or even write it down in a letter for them? It may seem like the entirely wrong thing to do, but some form of contact may stop you spirally rapidly out of control. Seek help. Everybody knows at least one person they can trust; a good listener somewhere amongst their housemates or coursemates, or else it might be right for you to seek help from a counsellor or a doctor. Take responsibility now and seek help from someone before it’s too late.

If you know somebody who is suffering from an eating disorder, it is natural to feel worried and frustrated. Pick a quiet time to calmly tell the person why you are concerned, and re-assure them that you aren’t angry with them and you're just concerned. Be sympathetic and calm. But, when it comes down to it, just be there Don’t be surprised if they deny it or even become aggressive. Never give up though. Gentle words of concern given frequently are far more helpful than accusations and group gang-ups. Have a look at some of the websites and articles I have listed for ideas. Seek help, and remember no one is against you, or doing this to hurt you. Recovering from an eating disorder is like a long, drunken walk home from Oceana. You stumble around in the darkness, banging into every obstacle that comes your way and making a complete prat out of yourself in front of everyone. Every time you collapse on the floor during a relapse it takes ages to get back up again. Eventually, you make it back to your house, cold and exhausted but so glad to finally be home, back in safety. And when you wake up afterwards, all you can do is wonder, “What the HELL was I thinking?”

Are you suffering in silence? Or do you know someone that might need some help? These useful sources might offer solace Websites www.somethingfishy.org www.tastefreedom.org http://www.b-eat.co.uk/Home www.cardiffbeats.org.uk

Books Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa by Christopher Freeman Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating by Peter Cooper To Die For by Carol Lee (a biography of one's woman's fight to overcome anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating) Thin by Grace Bowman (an amazingly accurate account of what life is like with an eating disorder)

Songs Services in Cardiff Eating Disorders Support Group (contact the Student Support Centre) or the Student Counselling Service. Nightline: a confidential listening service on 029 2087 0555

Courage by Superchick Bulimia by One Eyed Doll Stand in the Rain by Superchick It's My Life by Bon Jovi

Far Left: Weight of five stone; a sufferer's daily thoughts on paper Middle: Excessive exercising before/after eating Above: Obsessive calorie counting


Science 24

Can we push science too far? Caleb Woodbridge Science Correspondent

“What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument,” wrote C. S. Lewis during the Second World War. The twentieth century showed us both the best and worst that technology had to offer us. Much of the same science that created atomic bombs also put man on the moon. The same discoveries in biology allowed the development both of life-saving treatments and of new biological weapons. How can we make sure that science is used as a force for good? Advances in biology and genetics are often particularly troublesome, because they strike to the heart of what it means to be human, whatever that is. Science fiction is full of dystopias in which genetic manipulation is abused, from Huxley’s Brave New World, to Kazuo Ishigo’s novel Never Let Me Go, recently adapted to film. But even without genetic caste systems or human cloning, there are plenty of troublesome moral issues to be faced. Take the issue of embryonic stemcells as an example. The creation and

destruction of human embryos for use in scientific research is highly controversial. One of the key questions is: when does human life begin? For those who believe that human life begins at conception, the creation and destruction of embryos for the purposes of experimentation is murder. But many would argue that it is only much later that any ethical issues arise, when the foetus becomes capable of surviving outside of the womb. To block research on supposed moral grounds is to deny people suffering from terrible diseases and conditions the chance of benefitting from life-saving treatments. There are many delicate ethical and moral issues to navigate, and the average scientist is not a moral philosopher. Indeed, the narrow specialisation of our modern education system means that few people will have a broad education that includes moral and ethical traditions in any depth. While specialisation is very good at training experts in narrow fields, it carries the disadvantage of making informed public debate increasingly difficult. This comes at a time when Britain and Western cultures have become increasingly diverse and divided. This

Above: One of the most memorable outcomes of science doing good. Left: The science of destruction, or the solution to our energy crisis?

Science that created atomic bombs also put man on the moon

is particularly marked in America, where the moral and religious issues are often highly politicised and polarised. The media both seeks out and generates conflict, presenting issues in simplified, black and white terms. Opinions are often both uninformed but shrill. The problem is not simply one of changing some committees, but changing our culture to enable informed and civil debate. As more and more science fiction becomes science fact, we will be faced with even more moral dilemmas. Do we have the right to genetically engineer our future, for example? On the one hand, if genetic diseases could be screened out, it could be of massive benefit to the human race. And if we can enhance ourselves to be stronger, faster, better able to learn and remember, or whatever other benefits we can write into our genome, why shouldn’t we? On the other, it raises the ghoulish spectre of eugenics, which provided the “scientific” justification for the Holocaust and its elimination of the genetically unfit. Access to new technology is usually restricted at first to the rich and powerful. At first, only those best-off had televisions or mobile phones, and indeed, many in the world still do not

have them. But these technologies are spreading across the world over time. But if the best-off in society give themselves a genetic advantage, we risk inscribing social divisions into our very biology. This could create a cycle of inequality that would not be easily broken. Science needs moral limits, but this should not be seen as shutting the door on progress. In the case of stem-cell research, much has been done with adult stem-cells, which do not carry the same ethical issues, for example. The immoral or ethically questionable option may be a tempting shortcut, but we should try to find morally clear ways forward. The next question is: who sets the moral boundaries, and who polices them. Regulation of research is often bureaucratic and highly politicised. But self-regulation alone is unlikely to work either. Scientists need to be morally accountable to the public at large, but the public needs to be well-informed scientifically, and we need a culture capable of civil debate and creative compromise. Living with our deep differences of moral conviction is difficult, but necessary for science to be a force for good.


Taf-od

25

Caerdydd bia Cymru Elliw Mair Taf-Od Dechreuodd holl fwrlwm y penwythnos gyda’r cystadlaethau chwaraeon ar y Dydd Gwener. Er ein bod yn rhewi wrth wylio’r chwaraeon, cafwyd ornestau ffyrnig gydag Aberystwyth yn ennill y Rygbi, Caerdydd yn ennill y pêl rwyd a Bangor yn cipio’r pêl droed. Roedd seremoni wobrwyo gyda’r nos yn nos da, bar/hostel eithaf trendi ger stadiwm y Mileniwm a braf yw dweud nad yw’r gwpan chwaraeon wedi mynd yn bell iawn gan fod Caerdydd wedi ei hennill. Erbyn 10.30 bore Dydd Sadwrn, roedd y gystadleuaeth fawr yn dechrau - yr Eisteddfod. Cyn i’r eisteddfod hyd yn oed ddechrau, roedd Caerdydd wedi ennill y crysau-t gorau! Sioned James a Llinor ap Gwynedd oedd wrth fwrdd y beirniaid ac Anni Llyn a oedd gyda’r dasg o reoli’r sioe ac fe lwyddodd i gadw popeth dan reola-

Canlyniadau’r llwyfan Unawd Offerynnol (Rhuban glas offerynnol) 1af. Lois – Bangor 2il. Emyr – Drindod 3ydd. Cerith – Caerdydd Unawd Alaw Werin 1af. Elin – Aberystwyth 2 i l . Ffion – Caerdydd 3ydd. Lois – Bangor Llefaru Unigol 1af. Elin – Aberystwyth 2il. Heledd – Caerdydd 3ydd. Carwyn – Bangor Ensemble Offerynnol 1af. Bangor 2il. Drindod 3ydd. Aberystwyth Unawd Cerdd Dant 1af. Lowri – Aberystwyth + Daniel – Bangor Unawd Sioe Gerdd 1af. Lois – Bangor 2il. Caitlin – Drindod 3ydd. Arwel – Caerdydd + Ceri – Aberystwyth Grwp Llefaru 1af. Caerydd 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Bangor Clocsio Unigol 1af.Alaw – Caerydd 2il. Lawrence – Bangor 3ydd. Llyr – Aberystwyth Unawd Bechgyn 1af. Rhys – Caerdydd 2il. Ianto – Aberystwyth 3ydd. Daniel – Bangor + Robin – Drindod

eth ac rydym i gyd yn ddiolchgar i Anni Llyn am roi stop ar ddawnsio disgo'r Drindod cyn i’n llygaid gael ei niweidio. Erbyn y cystadleuthau mawr, roedd neuadd yr Undeb dan ei sang a’r cystadlu yn dechrau poethi ac roedd hi’n edrych yn bur debyg taw Bangor fyddai’n ennill yr Eisteddfod. Ond, nid felly a bu, cipiodd Caerdydd sawl wobr gyntaf ar ddiwedd yr Eisteddfod gan gynnwys y 3 côr ac wrth ychwanegu marciau'r gwaith cartref at y marciau llwyfan, enillodd Caerdydd o 120 o farciau! Aethom nôl i’r Undeb gyda’r nos i’r gig rhyng-gol ac yn ein diddanu oedd y Bandanas; Creision Hud; Derwyddon Dr Gonzo a’r Ods. Rwyf wedi bod mewn sawl gig a rhaid cyfaddef mai hwn yw un o’r gigiau gorau yr wyf erioed wedi mynychu, roedd y gerddoriaeth yn ffantastig ac roedd yn braf cymysgu gyda Cymru Cymraeg o brifysgolion eraill. Rwy’n sir bod myfyrwyr Caerdydd yn ddiolchgar iawn i’r pwyllgor am drefnu Eisteddfod

lwyddiannus iawn!

Unawd Merched 1af. Lois – Bangor 2il. Rhian – Aberystwyth 3ydd. Hannah – Abertawe Grwp Dawnsio Gwerin 1af. Aberystwyth 2il. Bangor 3ydd. Caerdydd Deuawd Agored/Cerdd Dant 1af. Caerdydd + Drindod 2 i l . Bangor 3ydd. Aberystwyth Ensemble Lleisiol 1af. Bangor 2il. Caerdydd 3ydd. Drindod Stepio i 2 neu fwy 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Aberystwyth Dawnsio Disgo/Creadigol 1af. Abertawe 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Caerdydd + Drindod + Bangor Côr Sioe Gerdd 1af. Bangor 2il. Caerydd + Drindod 3ydd. Aberystwyth Deuawd Doniol 1af. Fflur ac Angharad – Bangor 2il. Siwan a Nia – Aberystwyth 3 y d d . Erwain a Gwenno – Caerdydd Sgets 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Abertawe + Bangor Meimio 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Abertawe Bing Bong 1af. Rhys Griffiths – Caerdydd

2il. Bangor 3ydd. Drindod Côr Bechgyn 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Bangor + Drindod Côr Merched 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Bangor + Drindod 3ydd. Aberystwyth Côr Cymysg 1af. Caerydd 2il. Abertawe + Bangor 3ydd. Drinod + Aberystwyth.

Canlyniadau’r Gwaith Cartref Seremoni Cadeirio 1af. Gruffudd Antur – Aberystwyth 2il. Hanna Hopwood – Caerdydd 3ydd. Hanna Hopwood + Catrin Gwyn - Aberystwyth Seremoni Coroni Dim Teilyngdod Medal y Dysgwyr Geraint Ashton – Aberystwyth Cerdd (Dysgwyr) 1af. Rachel Jones – Aberystwyth 2il. Geraint Ashton – Aberystwyth Stori fer (Dysgwyr) 1af. Geraint Ashton 3ydd. Rachel Jones – Aberystwyth + Caroline McManus - Caerdydd Englyn 1af. Gruffudd Antur – Aberystwyth 2il. Gruffudd Antur 3ydd. Catrin Gwyn - Aberystwyth

Englyn Digri 1af. Gruffudd Antur – Aberystwyth 2il. Catrin Gwyn – Aberystwyth Ffotograffiaeth 1af. Dafydd Rees – Caerdydd 2il. Meinir Williams – Caerdydd 3ydd. Elan Rhys – Caerdydd + Elan Roberts Bangor Y Fedal Gelf 1af. Elan Rhys – Caerdydd 2il. Meinir Williams – Caerdydd 3ydd. Elan Rhys Caerdydd Tlws y Cerddor 1af. Lois Eifion – Bangor 2il. Gruffydd ab Arwel – Bangor 3ydd. Carys Davies – Caerdydd Y Fedal Ddrama 1af. Dewi Meirion – Bangor 2il. Trefor Alun – Bangor 3ydd. Lowri Davies + Ffion Owen - Aberystwyth Portread o gyfaill 1af. Mair Rowlands – Bangor 2il. Caryl Aranwen – Caerdydd 3ydd. Rhys Griffiths - Caerdydd Brawddeg (testun Caerdydd) 1af. Mared Griffiths – Caerdydd 2il. Dafydd Rees – Caerdydd 3ydd. Mared Griffiths – Caerdydd Llen Meicro 1af. Elain Gwilym – Aberystwyth 2il. Gruffudd ab Arwel – Bangor 3ydd. Gruffudd ab Arwel Blog 1af. Elliw Mair – Caerydd 2il. Lowri

Angharad – Caerdydd 3ydd. Katharine Young - Bangor Stori fer (testun: perthyn) 1af. Branwen Huws – Bangor 2il. Bethan Angharad Huws – Caerdydd 3ydd. Mari Grug – Caerdydd Limrig 1af. Merched y Piggibanc – Aberystwyth 2il. Nia Jones – Bangor 3ydd. Rhys Griffiths – Caerdydd Parodi o unrhyw gerdd Gymraeg 1af. Tomos Rees – Caerdydd 2il. Bethan Rhys Williams – Caerdydd 3ydd. Rhys Griffiths - Caerdydd Canlyniadau terfynol yr Eisteddfod 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Bangor 3 y d d . Aberystwyth 4ydd.Drindod 5ed. Abertawe

Canlyniadau Chwaraeon Rygbi 1af – Aberystwyth 2il. Caerdydd 3ydd. Abertawe 4ydd. Bangor Pêl rwyd 1af. Caerdydd 2il. Aberystwyth 3ydd. Bangor Pêl droed 1af. Bangor 2il. Caerdydd 3ydd. Abertawe 4ydd. Aberystwyth

Want to write? Come to our meetings on Monday at 5pm on the fourth floor of the Students' Union


27

Letters

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com CarBS clamp down Junior McDougall --Cardiff is my old uni studied there 96-98 (social work). I don’t see any problem with extra paid tuition. However, if the quality of the teaching in the normal lectures and seminars is such that students feel the need to pay for extra tuition, then that needs to be addressed. Having said that, PhD students are not paid a fortune and are often taken advantage of as a cheap source of delivering lectures and seminars. CarBS Student --Well done Morgan and everyone of Gair Rhydd, good job! Your reports and efforts have stopped the unfair situations and conflict of interests no longer tolerated and happened at CarBS Economics Department. Econ-Student--To talk of a conflict of interest is pointless, after all the tutorial teachers will be the only people in regular contact with the module and exams (other than the lecturer) so they are the only people worth paying for tuition. Besides, University as a whole can be argued to be an example of a conflict of interest since those who teach also set the exams and determine the grades. CarBS--I think CarBS’s decision to clamp down these awful activities are reasonable, righteous, fair, justice, moral, logical, and a must. Appreciate much of all the efforts taken by Gair Rhydd! Thank you guys!

(1) Obviously, the tutors are doomed to lose this battle, the moment the event was reported. It is not a fair battle, because people tend to be sympathetic to the weak. (2) Does CarBs win? Obviously not. The new management system hasn’t learned how to cope with this kind of issue. They are too sensitive to the media. They reacted so soon that they don’t even have really think about the consequences seriously. They don’t even think about the fairness of this event thoroughly. They took whatever the newspaper reported. That was a hasty move. All of you should be aware that all the other universities, including Cambridge and Oxford, allow private tuition for own students. But CarBS is the first university in history to institute the ban. The new CarBS management need more rationality and wisdom. (3) Do the students win? Some thought they did. However, think again. The good students got nothing and lose nothing because they are good anyway. They don’t care. Unfortunately, those who do need extra help will lose the last resort to pass the exam. CarBS shut the door, without opening another window. We all know that office hour is far from enough for those in need, and they cannot ask everything in the tutorial. The only competent people knowing how to help them is the official tutor, and now they cannot do anything because it is not fair for everyone. (4) Then who wins? Yes, Gair Rhydd! They don’t care about the tutors. They don’t care about CarBS. They don’t even care about the students. The only thing they care is the attention to the newspaper. Now they did it. They successfully changed the reality, and the editors will be happy to market this event in the future for more revenue.

to get the upper hand over anyone and anything involved with the University, we report what’s going on. To say that we do not care about students is not only incorrect, it’s insulting. Every week we strive to get stories that matter to students; our audience. I can only hope that you have made this claim without being a regular reader, for if you did take time to read the weekly issues, you would see the error in your ways. I feel you have missed the point here. CarBS did not have to react. They set-out from the start that they were to investigate the matter. A week-and-a-half after, they notify us on their guidelines. Now, if they felt nothing was wrong then they simply wouldn’t have done anything. By acting on the matter, having investigating it, it is clear that those at CarBS felt all was not well with what was going on. Moreover, if you read the article, it clearly identifies that additional tuition has been totally rid of: “Marlow told gair rhydd: “If the tutors become aware of a possible need for additional tuition sessions for the students that they teach, they will inform the module leader who will arrange for extra provision at no cost to the students.” Furthermore, you claim that “the editors will be happy to market this event in the future for more revenue.” First of all, I would like for you to clarify what you mean by “market the event” for I simply do not understand what you’re trying to get across. Secondly, gair rhydd is a free publication. We do not received any income from readers, so here, your argument again shows frailties.

A rubbish policy Sarah---

Who's success?---

bins would rectify that issue? Me and my housemates have to leave bin bags in our back garden, then bring them through the house in order to have them collected which usually leads to them being ripped in to by cats or birds. The council are dishing out these fines, but really it’s their lack of decent disposal options that are causing the problems, not students. royston--Im glad they got a fine, walking past those houses on saturday was soul destroying, the level of filth piled up in those small front gardens made me sad. Johnny Foreigner--Okay where to begin…. Firstly I call to the witness box the front page of this week’s gair rhydd. 228 fixed penalty notices, £100 each = £22,280? No gair rhydd, it equals £22,800. And I know I know it’s just a typo but then again misquoting it again in the article? Furthermore, good god people are complaining that they are being charged for not keeping the streets in a reasonable condition? I can just see it now in a few years the headline will be “council refuses to wipe the arse of cathays student – outrage ensues”. And i know the point is that the council are seen to be throwing these penalties out willy nilly and they are too much, but then again let’s run another article on all the 1000s of people who live in this fair city who have NEVER manged to get a fixed penalty for misuse of their PRIVILIGE *(sic) of leaving their bins out to be collected. Wow, judging from the tone of the article this itself seems the real miracle. This is exactly the kind of whiny leftish drivel that I have come to expect from gair rhydd. Nice unbiased reporting guys.

Rather than offering criticism in a way that bears not positive feedback, I invite you to come to gair rhydd meetings on Monday so you can actively contribute rather than hide behind an alias and put others down. Moreover, I encourage you to come and proof read for us on Thursday evenings and witness not only the effort that we as a team put into the paper, but the vast amount of time we put into it too. Clearly, you do not appreciate this and the fact that what we do is completely voluntary. With regard to your claims that the story is biased, I speak for the team when I wholly refute comments and find them insulting. The issue here is not with the Council wanting to clean up the streets of Cathays by targeting students. Rather, the issue lies with the inaccurate poilcy in which the Council have said they go about handing out Fixed Penalty Notices. As stated in the article, the Council stressed to us via a statement that fines would only be handed out if ”’after a process of visiting residents and offering advice and information on how to dispose of waste correctly.’” Clearly, this has not happened. It’s like accepting your marching orders if you have just had one strike in a game of baseball and you are the batsman. The rules are three and out, not one, so why should you accept the Umpire’s decision? In the interest of balanced reporting, yes we have spoken to students to get clarity on the issue and included how the Students’ Union have responded, but we have also spoken to the Council to get their side of the story and thus have included their response in the article.

Morgan Applegarth--Who’s success? This event involves 4 parties, tutors, CarBS, students, and Gair Rhydd.

Your comment is very cynical; we do not approach stories hoping

They talk about the problem of broken bags on the street, but surely providing everyone with wheelie

Morgan Applegarth--RE Johnny Foreigner

Join the debate online:

www.gairrhydd.com


Listings28 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday Thursday

28th Feb

1st March

2nd March

FUN FACT TREE, Solus, FREE, 9pm Fun Factory is an institution among Cardiff students and you simply must check it out. Playing the very best alternative music, and with various cheap drinks promotions, you're sure to have the best night of the week here and I'm not even biased. It's a staple. If you like it alternative, if you like it rocking, and most of all, if you like it loud then there is only thing for it . Courtesy of the Live Music Society, the bands this week are: John Q Public, Detached, Rayguns. LATE NIGHT LIVE, 10 Feet Tall, FREE, 8pm Live music, acts, comedy and DJs upstairs, new music & party tunes in the bar. Plus the added bonus of two for one cocktails between 5pm and 9pm. NYTH COLORAMA, Gwdihw Cafe Bar, FREE, 8pm Nyth (Nest in Welsh) is nearly as old as the place itself; it is proud to be Gwdihw’s longest running live music night. Tonight Nyth will be celebrating St David’s Day in the company of the much celebrated, soft psych melodic dream weavers – Colorama.

JUST DANCE, Clwb, £3, 10pm Just Dance returns every Tuesday night at Clwb Ifor Bach with one simple mission...to 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...cheap entry, cheap drinks prices and great, GREAT tunes.

THE LASH, Solus, £3.50, 9.30pm 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. This week, the theme is Tight and Bright UV. Sounds great, no?

10 FEET LIVE, 10 Feet Tall, TBC, 8pm Live music, singer songwriters, bands and acoustic acts upstairs, new music & party tunes in the bar. Plus, there's the added bonus of two for one cocktails from 5pm until 9pm.

LISTEN UP, Clwb, £3, 9pm 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 among three floors of cheap bars and trendy kids, this is the place to be every Wednesday.

DIE SO FLUID, Clwb, £8, 7.30pm Die So Fluid are the modern incarnation of a 'power trio'. Their sonic identity possesses the muscle of metal, the angular cheekbones of post-punk and the bittersweet heart of grunge.

JAZZ AT DEMPSEYS, Dempseys, £5, 9pm Music ranges from piano or guitar trio, saxophone or trumpet quartet, quartet with vocals to big band. Hear jazz standards made famous by the likes of Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone, as well as original tunes. SUGAR DROP, 10 Feet Tall, £TBC, 10pm Midweek dancefloor dose of roots, electro, dub, party breaks, dubstep, drum'n'bass & mashups.

3rd March LIVE MUSIC, The Taf, FREE, 8pm Pretty much what it says on the tin really. Live music. In the Taf. They had a pretty good line-up last week, so expect great things from this night. BOUNCE, Walkabout, £4, 9pm If you really, honestly, have nothing better to do... actually, no, even that isn't a valid excuse. If you have any personal morals, that is. C.Y.N.T, Clwb, £4, 10pm This is the only legitimate thing to do on your Thursday night. BATTLE OF THE BANDS, Talybont Social, FREE, 7.30pm The 4th and final heat of Battle of the Bands will get under way this week. Four bands will be battling it out to progress through to the semi-finals. Come and show your support as every vote counts! The winner of Battle of the Bands will receive £200 plus a slot at this years Beach Break Live. This is a public event so bring all of your mates along.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Venues

4th March

5th March

6th March

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 814456 www.cardiffstudents.com ◆ IV Lounge, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ◆ Clwb Ifor Bach, 11 Womanby Street 02920 232199 www.clwb.net ◆ Metros, Bakers Row www.clubmetropolitan.com ◆ CAI, Park Place 02920 412190 ◆ Buffalo Bar, 11 Windsor Place www.myspace.com/wearebuffalobar ◆ Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Canton 02920 304400 www.chapter.org ◆ Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org. uk ◆ The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ◆ The Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road 02920 646900 www.shermantheatre.co.uk ◆ Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ◆

BOOMBOX, Solus, £3, 10pm Playing an eclectic mix of electro, funk, drum 'n' bass, hip hop, dubstep and breaks with a turntablist twist. Featuring dance classics, chart remixes and old school classics. Expect to hear Pendulum, Calvin Harris, Dr Dre, David Guetta, Major Lazor, A Skillz, High Contrast, Prodigy and much more. To be fair, it's the cheapest Friday night this side of the bridge, fulfilling all your student needs and perfect for bringing those visiting mates too. Plus, there's the added bonus of our best Xpress DJ's spinning some great tunes at the silent disco. Go ahead kids, BOOM YOUR BOX. THREE PAIRS OF SHOES: JAY LEIGHTON, The Pot, £4, 7.30pm The trio, fronted by Jay, quickly gained momentum and signed to Island Records, only to part ways with the label and split as a band before their debut album could be released. Jay recently recorded his second album ‘Polaroids & Stills’. Following festivals and live shows all over the world, including a European tour with Lou Rhodes, Jay is set to release his fulllength debut in spring 2011.

COME PLAY, Solus, £3, 10pm A safe bet for a Saturday night. If none of the other events do it for you, head to the Union for guaranteed good music and cheap drinks. Not the most imaginative of nights out, but you'll be sure to have a good time. And who said that being able to predict the playlist down to the very last minute was a bad thing? BEATBOX BALLROOM, Buffalo, Free before 11pm, 8pm "Booty-busting breaks, pimped out soul & clock-stopping rhythms." Apparently. BEDLAM: CHASE & STATUS (DJ SET), NERO, MS DYNAMITE, TEMPA T, MAVERICK SABRE AND TROLLEY SNATCHA, Great Hall (SU), £17, 9pm Big names, big beats... what's stopping you? Okay, so maybe there's just two big names. But from what I've heard, Bedlam promises to provide a good night for all involved, so maybe it's a good alternative to the normal Saturday night Come Play?

10 FEET TALL SUNDAY SOCIAL, 10 Feet Tall, FREE, 8pm If you have nothing better to do on a Sunday night and fancy heading out for twofor-one cocktails, perhaps give this a go. THE BIG SUNDAY RECOVERY PROJECT, CAI, FREE, 12pm What’s the Sunday project ? It’s a regular’s social gathering to end the week. You get together over a late Sunday Roast or just laze around with fellow hung-over friends on the sofas. Enjoy a Sunday ‘Institution’, weekly - Squeaky Hill Pub Quiz are back. The only quiz that provides you with a general all-round work out, utilising the physical, mental and creative parts of your brain that other pub quizzes just can’t reach! It's free to play, and there's loads of exciting prizes to be won. HAVE A SUNDAY ROAST Gather all of your housemates together and cook a Sunday roast. Or, if you can't be arsed, why not head to the Taf or CAI for a dinner that will rival your mum's.


Societies

29

STAR sleep out for action Samantha Mueller Reporter On February 25, Cardiff hosted its very own sleepout organised by Student Action For Refugees (STAR) and Amnesty International as part of their national student action week. The sleepout was created to raise awareness of the forced destitution of failed asylum seekers and to ask the government to allow every person the basic human rights they

deserve, which includes the right to work, healthcare and fair trial. It is a collaborative effort of many different groups, including those mentioned above, as well as Medsin, People & Planet, Home4U, Cardiff Refugee & Asylum Seeker Welcome to name just a few. The sleepout began at 7pm at St. John’s Garden, in between St. David’s Centre and Cardiff Market. STAR society were joined by many asylum seekers and refugees from the local community, some of whom

shared their stories of the unjust asylum system which they have experienced first hand. Some of the attendees raised money for Home4U, which is a local organisation that is involved in refugee support groups, providing temporary housing for asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected and are thus driven into extreme poverty. At the moment Homes4U have a house in Rhondda, which has room for two refugees at a time. The mon-

ey raised at the sleepout will help pay their bills and transport money to see a solicitor, as well as provide food. The event did not just involve a night sleeping outside, but also live music, speeches and the chance to mingle with refugees and community leaders. Miriam Fine, one of the organisers spoke prior to the event: “It will be brilliant for us to all stand together in solidarity and show the government and others that we

will not stand idly by while fellow human beings are being treated so badly.” STAR society aim to learn about and raise awareness of refugee issues in innovative ways, while supporting refugees in a practical way in their local communities, through volunteering and campaign with and for the rights of refugees everywhere. For more information on future events search for the group on Facebook.

Monday Feb 28 Ancient History: Research Seminar -0.45, Humanities, 5pm Pole Dancing: Flexibility Class -Aneurin Bevan, SU, 6pm

People and Planet: Stitch and Bitch -Milgis, 7pm

Tuesday March 1 Art Society: Life Drawing -Rona Griffiths Room, 7pm Harry Potter: Ron Weasley's Birthday -Location online, 7.30pm

Above: STAR sleep out

Going Global Emma Jarrett Reporter Last week the Students' Union hosted Go Global week, with the help of many societies, to unite the diverse cultures of Cardiff and give students the opportunity to sample and celebrate those unique cultures. The Union’s annual festival of culture and diversity, Go Global, which took place between Saturday February 19 and Sunday February 27 featured a huge number of workshops, talented performances, classes and eating and drinking events hosted by many of Cardiff ’s societies. During the week there were various workshops, live music sessions, dance classes and tea tasting among many other

great events. The Art Society held a craft session on Tuesday 22, Slash taught Hip Hop and the LGBT Society held an exhibition and fayre on Friday 25.

The festival seeks to present the identity and strength of culture

The week culminated in Global Village, which took place on Sunday 27 and featured food from over 20 different countries, and showcased a huge number of talented performers throughout the evening. The performances included Chinese dancing and singing,

Wednesday March 2 Enterprise and Entrepeneurs: Varsity University Challenge -Bristol, 2pm Scientific Divers: Careers within diving -1.40, Main Building, 2pm TRF: Wednesday Meetings

-Nelson Mandela Room, 7pm a masquerade, break dancing and an International fashion show. Thursday March 3 The Guild of Societies said: “By involving thousands of stuArc Soc: Research Seminar dents, Go Global seeks to pres-Room 4.45, Humanities, 5.10pm ent the identity and strength of culture of our student body Timothy Bible Study Group: Bible Study to the University and the local, -Beverton Lecture Theatre, 7pm Cardiff community. “The Festival also campaigns for the integration, inspiration Saturday March 5 and participation of students from all over the world. UNICEF: Football Tournament By putting on interesting -Gol Football Centre and unique events, societies and international students in Sunday March 6 close partnership with the Students’ Union, aim to offer scope UNICEF: Football Tournament -Gol Football Centre to students, staff and the local community." Congratulations to all the societies involved, we hope you all had a great week! To feature an event or article email societies @gairrhydd.com

If you would like to join a Society, or see a full list of opportunities, visit: http://groups.cardiffstudents.com/societies/home


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crossword.

comic.

competition. On Saturday 12th March, Cardiff will be treated to a guest lecture by the political activist Noam Chomsky. The event has received profound interest, with all 2000 seats at Saint David's Hall selling out in less than 24 hours. His talk, titled 'The Current Crises in the Middle East' is due to start at 11am and will be followed by questions. This week's competition is to pen the most interesting question to be asked to Noam Chomsky. The entries will be judged by the event organisers and the lucky winner will not only receive two free tickets to the event (and good seats right near the front too), but will also have their question asked to Chomsky on the day! Tickets are offered courtesy of Cardiff University Green Party. To enter, send your questions to jackparker1991@ aol.com. There is a maximum of three entry questions per person.

Across 1. Bewilder (6) 4. Slang for a murder mystery (8) 10. An uneducated person (9) 11. Billow (5) 12. Eccentric (5) 13. Mica (9) 14. Contingency fund (7) 16. Historical periods (4) 19. Portent (4) 21. Japanese art of flower arrangement (7) 24. Wronged (9) 25. TV, radio, etc. (5) 26. Flannel (5) 27. Relating to tears (9) 28. Disorder (8) 29. Spring (6)

Down 1. Blinders (8) 2. It kills snakes and rodents (8) 3. Bad-tempered (5) 5. A type of medical care (7) 6. Delegate (9) 7. Usual (6) 8. Spreads sleeping sickness (6) 9. Referee (6) 15. Remnant (9) 17. Jack of all trades (8) 18. Nonintersecting (8) 20. A short novel (7) 21. Cause to arise (6) 22. Squandered (6) 23. Exit (6) 25. Blackbird (5)

By Daniel Judd


Sport

33 Corporate gluttony is forgetting who really matters Morgan Applegarth Sports Writer Football is an economically fuelled sport. We all know that. Exorbitant sums of money are injected into clubs and associations in order to tame the desires of the fat cats who use football as a marketing vehicle to fill their deep pockets. You might be thinking ‘what’s caused this outburst?’ I’ll tell you. UEFA have recently revealed the ticket prices for this year’s Champions League Final, causing quite a stir among spectators and football figures alike. And rightly so. London's Wembley Stadium is set to be the grand stage that will host two of Europe’s biggest footballing giants. Two armies of Princes looking to become Kings of domestic European football. However, fans are going to have to pay through the stadium’s partially-retractable roof for the honour of being in close proximity to some of Europe’s most influential footballing talent. According to UEFA, the cheapest general sale ticket totals £176; a figure that has more than doubled compared to last year’s charge of £75. Category one tickets have been revealed as costing in excess of

£300. A selection of tickets made available to the two clubs who reach the final will be sold for £80, with a ridiculous £26 booking fee. While I fully accept that economics is the driving force in modern day football - what apple sauce is to pork, and salted nuts to a cold, refreshing beer – it seems that year upon year, corporate gluttony is palming off the true supporters in order to earn enough dosh to pay for that summer break to the Caribbean. In addition, year upon year, it is the real fans who are left out. Of the 86,000 that will be in attendance at Wembley on May 28, “corporate sponsors” have been allocated the same number of tickets as each of the two clubs fighting for Europe’s most prestigious trophy. It's not just football that has been influenced by high corporate demand. Just 3,000 tickets will be made available to regular fans to watch the Cricket World Cup Final in Mumbai on April 2. For me, this is not right, however it has become a widely accepted part of the game. “It’s a killer” said Sir Alex Ferguson recently when questioned over the prices, which were slammed by the Football Supporters Federation

Above: Corporate fans routinely disappear at half-time, leaving many empty seats (FSF) immediately after UEFA announced their plans to rake in yet more money. Ferguson’s respected adversary Arsene Wenger also took the specttors' side as he said: “All the prices are too high now, for the fans. “I'm always surprised that people still turn up. I personally am for low

prices in these kinds of finals," continued the Arsenal gaffer. For me, the two managrial heavyweights summarise the problem at heart. Those who care, those who exert their passion for the sport that unites the World, are gradually becoming sidelined so that those who

earn a healthy wage can be further rewarded. The governing bodies need to recognise that it is the spirited, enthusiastic and committed fans, who sing their hearts out, that spur on their team and not the noise of the prawn sandwich munching sponsors.

No Winter Break? Carl Noyce looks at the alternatives....

A

fter England's World Cup debacle in South Africa last Summer, a Winter break seems to be the most pragmatic approach to solve the problem that faces English football on a regular basis; fixture congestion. It appears though, that the idea successfully adopted in Germany and Italy will not catch on, as the Football Association seem reluctant to introduce the proposal. Is there another solution? Perhaps radical change is needed and I think I may well have the idea. It may even heighten the magic of the already exhilerating FA Cup. Quite simply, a change in the domestic cup competitions may be the answer. Sadly, this proposal would

see the disappearance of the Football League Trophy (or the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as it's now known), a revamp of the League Cup and a reinvention the FA Cup. Fan's of League One and Two clubs may be unhappy about the idea of the Football League Trophy no longer being in existence. For some clubs of course, particularly at the lower end of the Football League, it does provide them with the opportunity to win a trophy at Wembley. Try telling Southampton that the trophy doesn't matter. The Saints triumphed at Wembley last season, their first piece of silverware in nearly 30 years. This proposed change to the League Cup would mean that only clubs in the Football League could

participate. The point being that clubs from the lower echelons of the 72 league clubs would have a better chance to win a more prestigious trophy. Surely this is a better prize than the Football League trophy? The real question is, how would the Premier League teams feel about this proposal? It would not be far from the truth to say that some Premier League sides view the League Cup as an inconvenience, resting key players and putting out a much weakened side to rest players, quite frankly for more important games in the Premier League. This is also a trait sometimes seen in the FA Cup. Elite Premier League sides such as Arsenal and Manchester United, often use the competition to blood new talent. Sir Alex Ferguson may well argue that

the League Cup is a significant competition having seen his side lift the trophy last season. United and Arsenal along with the other top Premier League sides, such as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, enter the competition in round three of the Cup, which means a minimum five games before you make the final. One problem that has been identified in introducing a Winter break, is that the British weather is anything but predictable. If adverse weather conditions led to postponements in late January, a two week Winter break over Christmas could make the back-log even worse. But take the League Cup fixtures away from the Premier League sides and it eases the congestion and on the flip side, the FA Cup will

reap the benefits. The world’s oldest cup competition would then be the only form of silverware that Premier League clubs can hope to win if they are not competing either in Europe or for the Premiership crown. It could also represent a way to qualify for the Europa League. Perhaps managers, players and clubs would put more emphasis on giving cup competitions more respect. Scrap FA Cup replays and settle the games with a penalty shoot-out? Maybe too far. These ideas are perhaps a little too much for many of the traditionalists. Let's be honest though, fans enjoy watching as much football as we can possibly take in. Ultimately though, change is needed for the greater good of the national team.


Sport34

Dan Hart Rowing Over fifty university athletes made the long trip up to Peterborough to compete at the annual BUCS head. Competitors from all over the country descended on the city’s canal for two days of fierce competition as Cardiff kicked their season off in style. Racing began on Saturday as the beginners took to the water. For many involved this would be their first racing experience, Competing over 2500m. Split into two divisions Cardiff was well represented in both the men’s and women’s events. The beginner women entered two eights and a coxed four. All crews produced reassured performances and gained valuable racing experience to take with them into the rest of the season. The stars of the day however were the beginner men. Racing in an eight in the first division they achieved an amazing 6th place out of 42. Compounding this success, half of the crew raced in a coxed four in

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • sport@gairrhydd.com

Rowers shine at Regional Success Championship for Cheerleaders a very competitive second division. The crew of Dom Breen-Turner, Chris Morris, Josh Bugajski and Shaun Howell coxed by Emily Evans executed a supreme race plan winning the bronze medal. A performance very much to be proud of and a great reward for the hard work put in by the squad and coaches Emily Evans and Gareth Storey. Racing on Sunday was lengthened to 5000m as the seniors took to the water. The top universities tussled it out with BUCS points at stake in the biggest event of the season so far. The first division of the day was well represented with four Cardiff crews in action. The championship men’s coxless four of Andy Warren, Vince DeLuca, Pete Robinson and Fred Hardman were seventh in category after a very solid performance. Two women’s eights also featured at both championship and intermediate levels producing two very competent performances in competitive categories. Last off was the men's intermediate coxed four of Tom Hayward, James Magee, Tom Allen and Ashley Davies coxed by Nimal Manivannan who produced the stand out performance of the division. Achieving 4th place out of 37 in category the brand new crew combination was agonisingly close to the bronze medal spot held by Durham

University. The second division saw Cardiff achieve their second medal of the weekend and arguably their finest performance in recent history. The lightweight coxless four event was on paper one of the most competative of the weekend. Some of Britain’s finest crews prepared for what would be a strife encounter. Set the target of 5th in category, the Cardiff crew of Ryan Price, Tom Tilson, Joe Avery and Dan Hart were very much the under dogs. Favourable conditions allowed for fast racing and the Cardiff crew knew they were in the mix with the faster crews. An unbelievable silver medal awaited the exhausted athletes as they made their way off the water. Beaten only by an imperious Imperial College crew, Cardiff had thrown down the gauntlet reaffirming themselves on the national rowing stage. The success of the weekend, however, had not finished there. The third and final division saw more silverware for Cardiff. The championship women’s coxed of Jess Wood, Helen Roberts, Cari Davies and Sarah Goodison coxed by Emma Fitzpatrick, following in the footsteps of the men’s squad , achieved a silver medal and Cardiff's final BUCS points of the weekend a pronounced performance demonstrating the strength and depth of rowing at Cardiff. The final show piece event of the weekend was the men’s championship eights. Cardiff men achieved a respectable 14th place in an event won by Cambridge University which demonstrates the high calibre of competition Cardiff rowers are capable of mixing with. A fine performance brought a close to a fine weekend of performances by Cardiff - a weekend where one of the lesser known clubs put its hand up and proved that rowing is definitely on the up in Cardiff.

Laura Harman Cheerleading The Cardiff Snakecharmers recently entered two squads into the ICC Southern Regionals, in preparation for ICC British Open in March. The Intermediate Squad, who were competing at Level 2, performed incredibly; every liberty (a one-legged stunt) that they lifted stuck and the basket tosses (in which girls are thrown) went superbly. Despite no competition, Level 2 still had to fulfill a point quota in order to place first. Eagerly awaiting results, the atmosphere was electric when they realised they’d made it. The Elite Squad were competing at Level 4, against Southampton Vixens. Elite’s routine featured

some incredible jumping, a truly exhilarating dance sequence and some very technically difficult stunts. Unfortunately, the judges preferred Southampton’s choreography and Elite found themselves taking the second place trophy. Rather than feel disappointed, the Cardiff Snakecharmers have taken to training with extra intensity, ready to battle it out once again in a few weeks. Some of the Snakecharmers also recently performed at the Rugby League event Magic Weekend, where they wowed the crowd with six routines over the two day event. With University Nationals coming up in just a few weeks, it’s an exciting and busy time for the cheerleaders!

Get your tickets for Millennium Varsity Lucy Morgan Sports Editor This Tuesday March 1 sees the Official ticket Exchange day for this year's Varsity Rugby Match. Varsity is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year and with the Rugby match being held at the Millennium Stadium on March 30, it promises to be the biggest and best Varsity yet. From 10am on Tuesday, students who have already bought their Varsity voucher will be able to exchange it for a ticket at the Students' Union.

Tickets will also be available to purchase for those without a voucher. The day will also provide the opportunity to get your hands on the official 2011 Varsity t-shirt - the day isn't complete unless you're wearing your Cardiff colours with pride! As well as this, you'll be able to pick up some freebies and join in the Varsity fun whilst supporting the Students' Union in it's biggest fundraising event. A few celebrities are also expected to turn up and for the lucky people who turn up early you may get the opportunity to hop on the

Varsity tour bus with them! Swansea have already sold 4000 tickets and we need to beat this so make sure you don't miss out on this fantastic event. If you are planning on having a social with your sports club or society for the duration of the day and at the match, then why not spread the word amongst your members and encourage them all to head to the union before the 1st March and buy their Varsity ticket voucher. You can then exchange them all in one batch on the exchange day, or after, for the official tickets to ensure that you all get tickets for the

game sat with each other to cheer on Cardiff for what we hope will be a glorious victory. PRICES: Rugby Tickets: £10 T-Shirts: £4 Official Afterparty, Solus: £4 T-shirt and Club ticket combo: £5


Sport35 Cardiff take vital American Football win in Bristol

Monday February 28 2011 • gair rhydd • sport@gairrhydd.com

UWE 12 Cardiff 13 Cardiff Cobras celebrated their first win over the UWE Bullets for four years to keep their BUCS playoff dreams alive. Sunday 20 February marked the biggest game this season for the American Football team. Tension was high as a forty strong squad crossed the Severn Bridge to take on the undefeated UWE Bullets with home advantage at Filton in Bristol. The atmosphere was electric. Cardiff knew that if this one game was lost, their play off charge would come to an abrupt end. The message was simple: win or no playoffs. The Cobras walked onto the pitch with a 4-2 win-loss record After four quarters of grit and determination the Cobras celebrated an unexpected win pushing them up to fifth place in the South Western Atlantic Conference. "It’s fantastic to be part of a team who pulled together to beat the best university in our conference," said club president Alex Brew, "I was proud of all the guys who represented the Cobras.” Cardiff opened the score with an 80 yard drive down the field. Running back Alex Brew took ad-

vantage of a gap created by the Cobra’s offensive line, with a five yard touchdown run. Chris Caldwell kicked the extra point to give Cardiff a 7-0 lead. UWE responded with a rushing touchdown, running through the Cobra’s defensive line to get the Bullets on the board. After missing the kick, UWE left the Cobras with a slim one point lead. Cardiff line backer, Peter Allot, stalled a UWE drive just before half time by intercepting a pass to leave the score 7-6 just before the whistle. With such a narrow margin between the teams the Cobras had to put everything they had into the second half. Rookie cornerback Tom List made an exceptional play by intercepting a pass from UWE quarterback Ian Hugo. Taking advantage of the space created by the rest of the defence he ran the ball into the end zone, leaving UWE trailing by 7. This was the boost Cardiff needed to keep the momentum for the rest of the game. The Bullets defence stepped up in the third quarter, preventing the Cobra offence from scoring from close range on two separate occasions. The Bullets then took the game to a new level, introducing trick plays, catching the Cobra defence off guard allowing them a second touchdown. In a controversial call, the UWE

coach decided to attempt a twopoint conversion, which would have put the Bullets into a prime position to win the game but the Cobras weren’t about to relinquish their lead so easily. Cardiff line backer Ollie Devon tackled the UWE running back at the goal line, preserving the one point lead. All that was left to do for Cardiff was to hold onto the ball until the final whistle against a hard hitting UWE defence desperate to get the ball back.

English B 12 Pharmacy 2 English B secured another win in the IMG Spring League with a 12-2 triumph over Pharmacy B last week. Despite playing on the outdoor courts at Talybont in the rain, English B maintained the confidence of their three previous wins and kept good control of the ball throughout the game. Although English B lost the centre pass in the coin toss they immediately dominated play with Amy Lord securing possession of the ball in the centre court. English maintained the brilliant play of their last match against Christian Union with the same series of short, sharp passes ensuring that the ball stayed in the goal third. English B’s attacking proved successful with wing attack, Millie Flint, passing the ball straight to goal shooter, Sophie Cooke, who swiftly scored two goals within the first three minutes of play. English B’s success continued

throughout the game with a strong defensive partnership in the form of wing defence, Bianca London, and goal defence, Rachael Adcock, who helped to keep the ball in the goal third with the help of goal attack Rachel Jones. Jones exerted great pressure on the Pharmacy B shooters, ensuring that English B kept the opposition’s goals at bay and immediately took possession of rebounds. A halftime team-talk and a few position switches took English B from strength to strength with Megan Goldie displaying some impressive passes in the second half. Ellie Hobday took to the court as goal shooter and extended the goal margin for English B with wellrehearsed shooting drills being put into play with the help of Rachel Jones. The English girls maintained their focus and careless passes and a lack of defence from their opponents took English B to a comfortable victory. In what was a competitive and excellent performance from both teams, Rachel Jones was awarded man of the match for English B and Kathryn Maguire for Pharmacy B.

"I am pleased with the progress our young team is making, especially as we can now beat the top teams in the division.” With the Playoffs on the line, the Cardiff Cobras next take on the Bath Killer Bees hosting them at Llanrumney this Sunday. A fixture that has not seen a loss for the Cobras for nearly four years. Llanrumney is welcome to all who want to come and support what will be the final battle in the Cobra’s fight to reach the College Bowl.

Above: Cardiff Cobras claimed a rare win over the UWE Bullets in Bristol

English B netball stroll past Pharmacy Bianca London IMG Netball

This hard fought game was personified by the four forced turnovers by the Cobra’s defence and the offence keeping the ball for over eight minutes in one drive in the fourth quarter. That Sunday, the Cardiff Cobras new the task they had before them. They entered Filton WISE as the underdogs and in a true Hollywood style they came away with the most important win of the season. "It was another exciting, hard hitting game, between two old rivals," said Cardiff coach Stephen Jones,

Photo: Tamsin Perry

Lauren Smith BUCS American Football

BUCS RESULTS February 23 Football Aberystwyth III 6 Men's IV 0 Badminton Men's II 7 Aberystwyth I 1 Basketball Swansea I 80 Men's II 71 Fencing Women's 135 Southampton 93 Hockey Men's II 3 Bristol III 2 Cardiff Medics I 3 Men's III 2 Men's IV 0 RAC I 8 Swansea Met I 2 Women's Medics 3 Women's I 8 UWE I 0 Women's II 2 Bath III 0 Women's III 9 RAC I 0 Women's IV 1 Bristol IV 3

Netball Cardiff II 57 Glamorgan I 42 Cardiff III 31 UWIC IV 41 Cardiff IV 31 Newport I 36 Medics' II 27 Cardiff V 35 Medics' I 51 Swansea II 33 Rugby Oxford Brookes I 13 Men's I 16 Exeter II 16 Men's II 8 Medic's I 41 Imperial Medics 0 Squash Southampton Solent I 5 Medic's 5 Men's I 4 Bournemouth 1 Men's II 2 Bristol III 3 Table Tennis Kings College 16 Men's I 1 Tennis Men's I 8 Mens II 4 Women's I 12 Bournemouth II 0 Volleyball Warwick I 1 Men's 3 BUCS FIXTURES March 2 Basketball Swansea Women’s I v. Women’s II Fencing Women’s I v. Aberystwyth I Football Bath Men’s I v. Men’s I; UWIC

Men’s III v. Men’s II; Aberystwyth Men’s II v. Men’s III; Men’s IV v. Swansea Met. I; Trinity St. David Men’s II v. Men’s V; College of St. Mark and St. John Women’s I v. Women’s I; Bath Women’s II v. Women’s II Golf Exeter II v. Cardiff I Hockey Bath Men’s II v. Men’s II; Men’s III v. UWIC Men’s II; Cardiff Medics I v. Men’s IV; Women’s I vs. Swansea I; Women’s II v. Women’s III; Cardiff Medics Women’s I v. Women’s IV Lacrosse Swansea Men’s I v. Men’s I Rugby Union Men’s I v. St. Mary’s I; Men’s II v. Bath II; Men’s III v. Aberystwyth II; UWIC Women’s I v. Women’s I Squash Southampton Men’s I v. Men’s I Table Tennis Nottingham Men’s I v. Men’s I; Glamorgan Men’s II v. Men’s II Tennis Men’s I vs. Swansea I; UWIC Men’s I vs. Men’s II; Exeter Women’s II vs. Women’s I

Send your match reports to sport@gairrhydd.com


Champions' League corporate gluttony << Inside

Sport

Swimming start for Canoe-Polo Helen Jarvis Canoe-Polo The University Canoe-Polo season is upon us once again and it is safe to say that Cardiff ’s squad have made an impressive start. The first in a series of competitive games came at Bristol University Canoe-Polo competition, with a Men’s A team, B team and a Ladies' team entered into the tournament. The A and B teams played extremely well, winning their groups but failing to get to the final, finishing third overall. The University of London Union won the B league whilst Bristol won the A league. The Ladies' team came fourth; beaten into third place by a golden goal against Bath. Bristol Ladies won the Women’s league overall. The following contest, a week later at Newport’s International Swimming Pool, saw Cardiff compete in the Welsh League - a regional event in which both the Ladies' and Men's A team currently compete in division two. The A team aspire to be promoted to division one this year. On the day, in spite of tough competition, the Ladies managed to hold their own, being only narrowly beaten in their game against Croesyceiliog; 3-2 the final score.

Victoria Smith of the Ladies' team showed great determination despite being pushed during every game. This put her roll to the test and allowed her to improve her relentless performance. The A team showed exceptional talent, winning all of their games including a 9-0 triumph against the Ladies' team. All members of the A team put in an impressive show, with Robert Haley displaying remarkable talent scoring hat-tricks in two of their four games.

Rowing success at BUCS Champs << Inside

The club is now preparing for its own tournament - Cardiff University's Canoe-Polo Competition - an outdoor weekend-long event held locally at Taff Bargoed in Merthyr Tydfil. The B and C teams will be competing alongside the Ladies and A teams in the tournament, allowing some of those newer to the sport to test their ability and enjoy canoepolo at a more competitive level.

Cardiff Canoe-Polo squad enjoyed good competition at Bristol and are now preparing to host for their own competition this weekend where more players will get a chance to compete

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