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gair rhydd

gair rhydd | free word Cardiff’s student weekly newspaper Papur wythnosol myfyrwyr Caerdydd Issue 1111 | Rhifyn 1111 12th February 2018 | 12fed o Chwefror 2018

Cardiff Uni’s student paper | est . 1972

Stop and search:

You’re 7 times more likely to be stopped by police in Cardiff if you’re Black

A farewell to one of Cardiff’s finest pubs - Y Mochyn Du p.7 EXCLUSIVE George Watkins


lack citizens were stopped and searched by police nearly 7 times more frequently than White people in Cardiff from July to December 2017, according to new research obtained by Gair Rhydd from South Wales Police. There were 194 in total, equating to 15.23 people per 1000 of the general Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) population, compared to 2.26 of the White population. In comparison, only self-defined Chinese people were stopped the least, at 1.22. Asian/ Asian British were at 3.91, and Mixed Race at 4.22. Police officers have the power to stop and search if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that someone is carrying drugs, a weapon, stolen property or something which could be

A debate on an Independent Wales p.12 used to commit a crime. Recently, ethnicity has begun to be recorded as one monitor of diversity, after criticism over the prevalence of BME citizens being stopped. The tactic has come under immense scrutiny, after a vow by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to increase their frequency in a bid to tackle knife crime in the capital. According to research released by Her Maj-


of officers are from BME backgrounds esty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, black civilians are less likely to be found carrying drugs than white when stopped and searched in England and Wales.

Cardiff’s research into the development of drugs p.16 Carson Arthur from the campaign group StopWatch, said that the disproportionate usage of the tactic on BME citizens is historically used in conjunction with strict drug laws to disrupt and control British BME communities: “It’s not surprising to read that report, in particular that finding that white people are more likely to [be caught] carrying drugs yet black people are disproportionately stopped and searched.” He noted. ““It just vindicates what a lot of black people who have been stopped and searched have been saying for many years.” Beyond Stop and Search, the statistics reflect a general disparity across the constabulary between white and non-white communities. Cardiff ’s BME population sits at 6.6%, but only 2.2% of officers are from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds, in contrast with 97.8% officers being white, from a 93.4% proportion of the overall population.

Check out your hot spots around the university campus p.24-25 This gulf visibly increases further up the hierarchy. Generally, the higher the rank, the smaller the proportion of BME officers. 0.8% of officers rank Inspector or above, that is, 1 officer compared to 127 white, 99.2% from a 93.4% proportional overall white population. Only 2 people from BME backgrounds rank Chief Inspector or above. However, these figures are not unusual for the rest of the constabulary across England and Wales, and, in fact, are nowhere near the lowest. West Midlands Police, for example, see only 9.3% of their force being from BME backgrounds, from 29.9% of the local population. Clearly this is symptomatic of a wider issue. Overall, the constabulary saw 3,539 stops, with 47.67% of these being due to suspicion of drugs. Of these, the vast majority, 59.82% ended with no further action being taken. Cathays, with a predominantly student population, saw 339.


EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor-in-Chief Liam Ketcher Deputy Editor George Cook News George Watkins Emma Videan Rimante Bivainyte

the free word

February is LGBT+ History Month Cardiff University has been recognised as one of the UK top 15 most gay friendly employers

Comment George Cook Jessica Warren Meg Sharma Politics Conor Holohan Hannah Woodward Rhys Thomas Science Louange Lubangu Advice Lydia Caunce Accidental Advice Alice Dent Campus Life Laura Price Taf-od Elen Davies Osian Wyn Morgan Aled Huw Russell Mwydron Morgan Osian Wyn Morgan Sport Rich Jones Mark Wyatt Molly Ambler Reece Chambers Digital Media Editors Alice Dent Reece Chambers Cartoonist Louis Mertens Copy Editors Eva Kwatek Write to the editor

At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.

Liam Ketcher


his month is LGBT+ History month, its aim is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public. It is a celebration of LGBT+ people, whilst also raising awareness and advancing education on matters that affect the LGBT+ community. LGBT+ History Month promotes the welfare of people within the community, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people, helping them reach their full potential. This allows them to contribute fully to their society and live fulfilled lives. The LGBT+ rights in the United Kingdom have evolved dramatically over time. Today, citizens of the LGBT+

community have most of the same rights as non-LGBT+ citizens. The UK provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world. It has received the highest score in Europe, with 86% progress towards “respect of human rights and full equality”, and Scotland receiving a score of 92%. Here in the UK, we hold the highest number of LGBT+ people in Parliament with 45 individuals from the community being elected as MP’s during the 2017 election. Even here in Cardiff, the University has been recognised as one of the UK’s top 15 gay friendly employers, this is according to Stonewall’s latest Workplace equality index. Also, for the first time, Cardiff University has been recognised as a Top Trans Employer in their commitment to transgender equality. In a statement by Cardiff University ViceChancellor, Professor Colin Riordan “The Stonewall Top 100 is one of the

key benchmarks we use to ensure the University remains committed to LGBT+ equality. A rise to 14th place, up from 23rd in 2017, is testimony to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved and clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to diversity. We will continue to do all that we can to reinforce our commitment to provide an inclusive, welcoming and productive environment for all staff and students.” The Vice-Chancellor came-out as bisexual during one of his monthly emails to staff last semester. He said: “I wanted to show it was a good thing, to help stop making bisexual people feel invisible.” Professor Colin Riordan said that hr would have never mentioned this in the workplace twenty years ago, and I think that this shows how far we have come. But the reality of all of this is that there’s not complete equality of LGBT+

people just yet and although we have come such a long way, we’re still not there. Back in November 2017, Twitter was criticised for failing to show any photos under the bisexual hashtag. With some calling it bi-erasure, as photo results for “lesbian” and “gay” would still show. Also in many workplaces, employers are still criticised for being unfavourable towards those of the LGBT+ community, and some LGBT+ people feel like they can’t do certain jobs- like join the army for example. As part of the army’s “This is belonging” campaign, there’s an advert called “Can I be gay in the army?” showing that everyone is welcome to join and that everyone will go under the same assessments as part of the recruitment. So during February, let’s celebrate LGBT+ people and their rights as we continue to make changes to become a more equal society.


27th November-3rd December 12th-18th February 2018

t h e Debenhams are set to cut 320 jobs in a bid to save money. It could affect 25% of mangerial roles.


n e w s 4 billion

What’s On? Give It A Go! Take Me Out Y Plas 12th February 6:30pm-9pm

Candidate Question Time The Great Hall

Tesco is facing the biggest equal pay challenge, and the bill could hit as much as £4 billion.

And I would walk 10,000 miles, just be the man who turned up at your door.... A man has travelled 10,000 miles from Australia to propose on a Welsh beach. He did so with a giant message in the sands. Thankfully, after the long journey, she said yes!

Bowling for Soup Motorpoint Arena 16th February





Last week, at the University of the West of England, the Conservative MP Jacob ReesMogg was involved in a scuffle with protestors at a talk he was attending. We asked our readers and followers on Twitter if controversial individuals should be banned from speaking at UK universities?


A couple from Sutton Coldfield have married, 75 years after they first met. They will now live happily ever-after.


15th February 7pm- 10:15pm



A student has been charged £685 to fix the air conditioning on her car. But she doesn’t have air-con.

The ‘It’s No Joke’ campaign has kicked off on campus, promoting inclusivity on a safe campus. It has the aim of changing culture for the benefit of everyone, and where everyone can live, study and flourish!

Bars and Melody Y Plas


What’s occurring...? i n n u m b e r s


13th February 6pm-8:30pm



UK Nigel, the gannet who fell in love with a concrete fake bird, has died alone. After spending three years with the fake bird on Mana Island in New Zealand, unfortunately the feelings were not mutual between Nigel and his new found love.

World How much plastic is in our oceans? Every year about 8 million metric tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans, and by 2025 it is estimated to be twice that amount. Shockingly, over 90% of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.




On Campus


Does Talybont have a drug problem?

The residences saw eight reports of drug incidents in the last academic year EXCLUSIVE

George Watkins


he Talybont student residential area saw 8 incidents of drug crime in the academic year 2016-17, according to new statistics obtained from South Wales Police. There have been 2 so far for 2017-18. The complex, including the Court, South, North and Gate residences, saw all drug-related incidents cease completely outside of term time. Cardiff University has a strict no tolerance policy, similar to most other institutions, but it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent the dis-

tribution and usage in accommodation owned by the University. Speaking to students, the ease of which drugs could be obtained at halls of residence was surprising. One student noted: “If you don’t have a number for a dealer, it’s not hard to find someone who does”, suggesting that “most of my friends have at least dabbled”. Another noted: “Since I arrived in Cardiff, I was amazed and concerned about the quantity and availability of drugs around uni halls.” She raised her concerns about the matter, admitting: “I’ve been feeling pretty uneasy about the whole subject, it

feels like its something that everyone knows, but no one questions or talks about.” One was more blunt: “Look out of the window on Llanbleddian gardens, Ruthin Gardens, anywhere in the student village. What you will see is a large number of drug deals. Most students are just a text and a 30 minute wait from anything they want. If there’s anything you can’t get, there’s someone you know who can get it.” Also, there were 20 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour reported, most commonly in the early hours of the morning. Concerns have been

raised in recent months about the behaviour of students on nights out, with events such as the destruction of a bus stop by student revellers troubling authorities at Cardiff ’s universities. It is clear that there is a deep gulf between University policy and the behaviour of students in their private lives, or after a night out. Despite intolerance and promoting wellbeing support services, the problem persists. How this is best tackled remains to be seen, and until this point, it is more than probable that criminal incidents will continue to be reported.


There were 20 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour reported.


Pictured: Talybont Court (Source: Rio Architects)

In the City

‘Predatory’ rapist jailed after attack on student


ntony Guy, 38 has been jailed for 12 years at Cardiff Crown Court on 2nd February after being found guilty on one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault. The foreign student, from North America, was in her first week of studying in Cardiff when she was violently attacked when walking home alone from a night-out. The 20-year-old woman sustained injuries to her knees and back, but was able to walk home where she immediately told her peers about the attack. Guy, who is married with a young child, was walking towards the subway under Boulevard de Nantes, near the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff when he spotted the vulnerable woman across the road. He risked his own life by changing direction and dangerously running through traffic towards her. He caught up with her and guided her towards a more secluded route, and despite her efforts to speed up and avoid Guy he had her cornered, knowing that she had been drinking and was vulnerable. Guy denied rape and sexual assault, but the jury found him to be guilty, with damning evidence from CCTV and a detailed account from the victim.


‘Intimate’ piercings banned for under-18s Emma Videan

Pictured: Tongue piercings ban (Source: Nicole Hanusek via Flickr)


or children under the age of 18, the Welsh Government has banned ‘intimate’ body piercings due to fears of health issues and fears of making young people more vulnerable to abuse. Since 1st February, piercing practitioners are no longer allowed to organise or carry out piercings to the tongue, breasts and eight other areas around the genitals and buttocks to under 18s. It has been suggested that as children are still growing and developing, these piercings could result in complications to their teenage development. These younger people may also not be educated enough on how to keep the piercing clean and prevent infection, increasing health risks. The chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atheron, has said: “It’s concerning that a third of young people with intimate piercings have reported complications following a procedure. The child protection issues that could also arise from this scenario highlight even further the importance of implementing such a law,” he said. “I hope this piece of legislation will help to reduce these issues, and that practitioners understand the importance of obtaining proof of age beforehand.” Wales is the first country to officially introduce this law and those that break the law could face unlimited

fines. However, a problem with implementing a law such as this is that this may encourage illegal and ‘underground’ piercings within people’s homes and done by amateurs. However dentists are welcoming this law, as there have been studies that have proved that tongue piercings can bring long-term damage to the mouth and even result in breathing issues. The Welsh Government have supported their reasoning for this law with a study that found that over a quarter of body piercings on people between the ages of 1624 have had unexpected complications.




University supports disadvantaged students towards higher education

Source: Pieter Tritton

Emma Videan

Pictured: Cardiff University Scheme (Source: Cardiff University)


ardiff University is now offering school pupils from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into what university life is really like. Step Up to University is an ambitious two-year programme for college and sixth-form students offering an opportunity to sample higher education through an academic course, summer school and events. The free academic scheme has already attracted 250 pupils and 100 parents from south Wales, all of who attended the first session at Cardiff University on the 31st January. The sessions will run until the end of May. Scott McKenzie, the University’s Head of Widening Participation and Commu-


Rimante Bivanyte


The pupils who have signed up to take part in this academic course will receive the skills and knowledge required to study at university level. The monthly sessions will develop the young people’s presentation, analytic and research skills. This will be taught using a variety of teaching methods that have been designed to be interactive and improve upon confidence and self-esteem. The student’s will have an option in what they specifically want to study, and will choose from five streams: Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences and Humanities. The students will have an academic tutor and, subject to some terms a conditions, those students who decide to study

Over 100,000 foreign students apply to UK universities

he statistics show that the highest number of foreign students applied to the UK universities due to the January deadlines reached over 100,000 applications. The UCAS reports demonstrated that the number of applications from EU outside of the UK rose by 3.4 per cent in 2018 reaching 43,510 after

Professor Seán Hand stated to the Guardian that the applications from EU students had risen by 10%.

Infographic: By Rimante Bivainyte

nity Outreach, said: “By working collaboratively to raise aspirations, the Step Up programme offers practical support as well as tailored guidance and advice for those with the ability to succeed at higher education. “Through masterclasses, events and workshops, we aim to help remove the barriers to higher education faced by these groups and equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to reach their potential at university. “This is completely different to anything we’ve done before because we're offering pupils from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups the opportunity to complete a mini university course as well as a residential summer school.”

a drop in 2017. Last year, the figures of EU students applying to the UK universities fell by 7% which was a first drop in almost a decade. This triggered fears about potential impact of the UK choosing to leave the EU. However, the highest figure was reached in 2016 January (before the referendum)

with 45,220. Moreover, the number of international students reached the highest number ever with 11 percent increase and 58,450 applications. The director of external relations at UCAS, Helen Thorne, said: “The UK’s universities are highly popular with EU and international students because of the quality of the teaching and experience they offer. There are probably several factors influencing the increasing numbers of applicants from the EU and beyond.” One of the factors she mentioned was a weak pound that makes UK economic place to study and financial support that will benefit EU students. University of Warwick’s deputy pro-vice-chancellor of Europe, Professor Seán Hand stated to the Guardian that the applications from EU students had risen by 10%. He noted that “European students appreciate that universities such as Warwick, with strong international connections in research and teaching, would be a place for the best

kind of education.” Furthermore, 284,120 was the greatest number of students applying for Business and Admin studies, subjects allied to Medicine came second with 277,770 applicants. A spokesperson for the the Russell Group institutions said to the Independent: “We are pleased to see the overall increase in applicants in these latest UCAS figures. Clarification that EU students starting courses in the UK in 2018/19 will be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and access to grants and loans is likely to have been an important factor behind the increase in applications from this cohort.” In contrast, application rates from English students hit the record by the increase of 0.4 percentage points to 37.4 per cent. In Wales, the numbers encountered the increase as well by 0.3 percentage points to 32 percent. In Scotland the same rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, however, about ⅓ of admissions are not being processed through UCAS.

at Cardiff University after sixth-form will be offered a means-tested bursary. After these sessions end in May, there will be a summer school placement in July where the pupils who have shown their commitment to the scheme will be invited to stay overnight in halls of residence to get the true university experience. Not only this but they will take part in a mini academic conference that will culminate in poster exhibitions and presentations. Parents are also invited to take part in short courses on campus alongside the young people in order to hook parents into learning, in the hopes to hook the parents into studying in order to ultimately encourage their children to continue.




Is free speech the answer, or are we all snowflakes?

John Jones FOR:


Freedom of speech should be a necessity within universities


Lewis Payne AGAINST:


The realworld consists of workplaces who do not tolerate harassment


ast weeks Friday night’s aggressive protests against Jacob ReesMogg represented an attack on free speech and, resultantly, heavily undermined the democratic fibre of Britain, and its universities. For such an event, which aimed to promote peaceful and measured debate, to descend into a violent fracas is troubling to witness in this day and age. We live in a time in which there are more platforms for self-expression and the wide dissemination of contrasting views than ever before, so why are many so determined to forfeit this privilege and suppress the opinions of those that we oppose? It is important to state that my argument is not that we should mindlessly accept every view to which we are exposed. Critical thinking and holding others accountable are both crucial elements of a successful


niversity speakers and campus politics have been of increasing interest to the media in regards to free speech issues and with a particular focus on whether today’s students are ‘snowflakes’ or not; that is to say, if they are too sensitive to hear opposing views without throwing their toys out of the pram. This rose to the surface when Jacob Rees-Mogg was interrupted by protesters before a short fight broke out. Regardless of who started the scuffle, the scene was shared widely, and again free speech was discussed prominently in the news. The right to protest is vital to any democratic society, and as such, action must be taken to protect it. This means that universities and its associated bodies should not be obliged to

democratic system. However, there is a fine line between being critical of opposing beliefs, based on reasoned argument, and engaging in a damaging process in which the views of our opposition are immediately and unfairly delegitimised, without any sustained critical engagement. Unfortunately, it was the latter approach that was adopted by the masked protesters that disrupted Mr Rees-Mogg’s speech. Whilst they claimed to be motivated by their opposition to the MP’s “homophobic and anti-abortion beliefs”, a legitimate grievance, they ultimately discredited their own cause, as they were exposed as being nothing more than thuggish noise-makers, who opted to sit at the back, spouting anti-Conservative rhetoric, rather than engaging in debate and discussing reasons for their objection. This

was not constructive political opposition; this was aggressive heckling, which served to do nothing more than unfairly suppress alternative perspectives from being heard. Whilst I too do not condone these views of Rees-Mogg’s, his dignified response to the protestors was admirable, and showed that he was committed to the protection of freedom of speech, particularly in British universities. In my view, freedom of speech should be a necessity within universities and, indeed, throughout the entire education system. As a Conservative student, I have, on occasion, found it intimidating to voice my political views, due to the intolerance that I often feel from my overwhelmingly left-wing peers. That is not to say that I don’t welcome opposition, of course I do, but

I do not accept the suppression and rejection of my views purely on the basis of them being viewed as ‘nasty’ and not conforming with those of the liberal majority. Of course, it would be naïve to think that this does not work both ways; Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris’ investigation into how Brexit is being taught in universities was equally damaging to academic freedom. Young people must be encouraged to make their own choices, and have their own ideas, and the classroom should be accommodating of this. Ultimately, it is critical engagement with contrasting beliefs and values that give democracy its strength and character. If we continue to silence others and promote a singular mode of thought on campus and beyond, then we are damaging the very democracy that we aim to protect.

host speakers and for them to be entitled to a platform - especially those who have previously threatened or intimidated students in the past; and interrupting a talk should not be a crime. For example, one speaker had previously mocked a student for being transgender during a speech (with a picture of her on screen); making lewd sexual comments to audience laughs. This led to them being banned from a future event, with many arguing that the event should still go ahead on the basis of free speech. It is fair, however, for others to deny the capacity for this harassment in their students’ interest at future events; students with less power and backing than those of whom have been invited to speak. Whilst many would argue this is students hiding from the ‘real world’, I

would argue that the real world consists of workplaces who do not tolerate harassment and abide by anti-discrimination legislation. Theresa May has proposed a new law meaning those who are seen to intimidate political candidates are charged with a crime; likely intended to be a response against those who would disrupt speakers. In light of the 100-year anniversary of (some) women being given the power to vote, the Prime Minister noted in a speech the hostility that women faced when fighting for their rights, before arguing that it is unacceptable for anybody ‘to face threats and intimidation simply because she or he has dared to express a political opinion’. This sounds very agreeable on the surface. However, what is not men-

tioned is that the actions of the suffragettes would now be considered ‘shutting down free speech’, yet they were effective in creating the conditions that led to gaining voting rights, and are the exact same forms of dissent that proposed laws could do much to criminalise. The unjust attention that is given to these scuffles in the media does little more than propagate an idea of an agitated, violent mob in the UK to the detriment of serious discussions about free speech; providing an excuse for legislation to be put in place that would see people face jail time for protest. Instead of criminalising dissent, we must consider the effects of giving platforms to such speakers who may use their platform to preach ideas which could lead to harassment or abuse itself.

Pictured: Free Speech on campus is a highly contested issue. Source: Jessica Warren



Rhys Thomas


So, farewell the Mochyn. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.


Conor Honolan


It is simple astonishing that the continent that lead the way with democracy and rights of the individual should be... controlled by a central unelected elite


Farewell, Y Mochyn Du

his is an ode to Cardiff’s finest departed pub, Y Mochyn Du. It was a place that held a special place in my heart as well as for many others. Apart from being a place where you could get good local food and a decent pint, it was one of the few genuinely Welsh places in the city rather than an insipid conformity that you could find in any British conurbation. All the staff were Welsh speakers, and for any big event involving a Welsh team (particularly Rugby) there was a real togetherness and feel-good spirit. This month’s Six Nations was tailor made for the Mochyn, with plenty of opportunity for fans in the capital to support their nation in a warm, passionate atmosphere. It played a key role as a community hub, with weekly Welsh language classes hosted there along with its own choir. Its most recent Carol Evening and Winter Walk event raised over £7,200 for Velindre Cancer Centre. It didn’t just pay lip service to community spirit, it was a living embodiment of it. What is it to be replaced by? Of course, it’s a soulless chain. The Brewhouse and Kitchen will be opening it’s eighteenth venue in the United Kingdom on the Mochyn’s grave. CEO Kris Gumbrell was born and raised in Cardiff, but it is clear he has no empathy for the city of his birth by replacing a local institution with bland, low-quality monotony.



The new venue will patronisingly have a beer named ‘Y Mochyn Du’, an insignificant reminder of the beauty that had once been. The propaganda spewed out in the Western Mail made no mention of live Welsh sport for which the old place was known, and the insides have been gutted and replaced by tedious flooring and furniture which you’ll have experienced a million times over - a look at photos of their other pubs offer an in-

sight into the drab and dreary nature of their business. There are already enough places in the city for those who are too scared of trying something genuinely different from the norm. Clearly, it’s not just the Mochyn, and it’s not just Cardiff. Pubs, clubs and more around the world are succumbing to the gnashing and relentless jaws of globalisation which societal elites constantly tell us is wonderful. People

who put profit before heritage are chasing the next dollar at the expense of our communities; and the worst thing is that they are allowed to do it with impunity. There is pitifully little resistance from the people who it affects, and as a result places like the Mochyn which are loved and improve the character of a place are kicked to the curb, with everyone now indulging in the same characterless blandness, paying excessive prices for barely edible food in a turgid atmosphere. There’s a long list of other places around the city that have also lost the battle. Gareth Bale may be a Christlike figure in Wales but his Brains-run bar Elevens tragically wrecked an important venue for live music in the city. The Save Womanby Street campaign is critical in this regard, and they are fighting the good fight against the scourge of similitude and mundanity. The Rummer Tavern (which dates from the early eighteenth century and is believed to have been built on a medieval burgage plot) has undergone a substantial makeover, with the pub falling prey to a gutting which has changed its character from quaint and traditional to painfully vulgar. The list of departed friends is long and distinguished, and with each deceased establishment the city loses another part of its soul. So, farewell the Mochyn. This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

Pictured: The Pub was one of the few genuine Welsh places left in the city. Source: Peter Broster (Via Wikimedia Commons)

There can be no real democracy with a central unelected elite in power

rexit has been characterised by some as a black hole into which all of the government’s time and energy is sucked. Many express their frustration with the process, saying that ‘it’s all about bloody Brexit’. However, nearly two years after we narrowly avoided voting to remain powerless, it is important that we remember why Eurosceptic sentiment is so potent in Britain and across Europe. It is important, also, to realise that the most European thing to do was to vote to leave the European Union. Why? Because the European Union is not Europe. It is, perhaps, a

Europe, but it is not Europe, and it is certainly not very European in its system of governance. A primary European value is democracy. The continent that birthed democracy is now largely under the jurisdiction of an undemocratic political project. It is simply astonishing that the continent that lead the way with democracy and rights of the individual should be ever increasingly controlled by a central unelected elite. It’s like the French Revolution but in reverse. Europeans used to fight against absolutism. Now, many of them embrace the opportunity to have laws that they cannot repeal handed down to them from people

they cannot remove. The only body of the European legislative process that is elected is the European Parliament. This parliament is a toothless charade, giving the illusion of democracy. In reality, all legislation is proposed by the unelected Commission. As a result of this, membership of the European Union means that a nation’s voters have less say over the laws that govern them. Citizens have not only rights, but duties as well, and this writer would argue that to willingly degrade the value of your own vote is an abdication of those duties. What is more, the universal suffrage in Europe has been fought over by Europeans for centuries, and people have a duty to preserve the weight of that vote. We have inherited our power at the ballot box from the likes of the suffragettes and those present at the Peterloo Massacre. How did we, for so long, allow that vote to be degraded? How do some of us still want to hand their children less democratic power than they were given? And many people in Europe are discontented with the Union. The Euro has caused devastating unemployment in the Mediterranean, and is a perfect example of how one-sizefits-all policies are bad for the very

diverse countries and economies of Europe. The cracks are beginning to show. In Germany the AfD made significant gains last year, in France the National Front’s Marine Le Pen came second in the presidential elections, in Holland Geert Wilders also made large gains in their most recent elections. Austria, Italy, Hungary, Greece and Poland all too have rising nationalist sentiments. Often the established mainstream parties in these nations are Europhilic, forcing their citizens to associate with unpleasant parties in order to make their voices heard. Europe’s citizens are also made poorer by the Customs Union. This union places tariffs on goods from outside of the Union in order to protect European businesses and farmers who cannot compete on a world level. This means that developing nations are shut out of large consumer markers, and consumers are shut off from cheaper food. The only people who benefit from the Union are businesses who are unable to survive in open competition. Unless they are exposed to competition, they will not evolve and they will never be able to compete. Europe will be a better place for its residents, those who take refuge in it and the world when it is free from this undemocratic political project.

Pictured: Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Source: kirkandmimi (Via Pixabay)




Casual Racism in TV affects all of us From cartoons to sitcoms, it seems unavoidable…

Jamie Morse


The internet ensures a certain level of free speech, and we cannot expect everyone to pardon Churchill from retrospective criticism.


any people are convinced the dreaded ‘r’ word is thrown around too much, by over sensitive individuals who need to care a less. Being called racist isn’t fun, but neither is being mocked in subtle ways for one’s race and culture so everyone else can laugh. Growing up as an Indian girl I didn’t see many examples of myself on TV; it was almost like being erased from what the western world is. When I did see an Indian character on TV my instant response was to love them - in retrospect I see that many of the portrayals I used to love show Indians in a stereotypical, negative light, as happens with many ethnic minorities being made into caricatures on screen. TV shows with Indian characters often display casual racism in their portrayal which, like it or not, affects us all. The Big Bang Theory is a popular series, and has been praised in the past for Raj, the token Indian (and only ethnic minority) character of the series. He is originally from New Delhi, and his character is riddled with many of the negative stereotypes that surround Indian people. He doesn’t know much about American culture, can’t talk to women, and has a thick, laid-on accent that is often mocked by other characters. Jokes are made about India with its culture and religion at expense, and Raj is shown to loathe his home country whether it’s for the food or for the people.


There is nothing wrong with a character being closely associated with their culture, as there are many people who feel that their heritage is a part of them. However, this becomes a problem when it is an lazy excuse for the personality of the character, rather than just an attribute to them. A good example of this is Cece from New Girl, who has her own personality and character traits, separate from her cultural background, which is celebrated when appropriate. When a character is reduced to their cultural heritage where other characters would not be, it becomes arguable that this is due to casual racism. In the Big Bang Theory, Raj is the only non-white

major character, and while some of the other characters have a religious or cultural background, this is not a defining part of them or their personality. Usually it is only featured when necessary as a part of the plot, and is done so in a respectful way. It seems that the producers and writers of the show wrote Raj’s character under the guise of comedy, when it is simply casual racism. The Simpsons recently came under criticism after Kondabulo’s film ‘The Problem with Apu’ was released. While Hank Azaria, the voice actor for Apu, apologised for any offence it might have caused he continued to voice the character after being asked, “Can you do an Indian accent and how offensive can you

make it?” at his audition, and even won multiple awards. Apu’s character perpetuates the idea that all Indians are workaholic shopkeepers, who have arranged marriages, and love cricket and curry. While one would think that our generation would know better than to believe these stereotypes, I would still have his accent recited to me at school, and later be asked if ‘Apu’, the man who owned the local corner shop was my dad or uncle. In Kondabulo’s film, it is remarkable how many Indian actors and comedians would be asked to do the ‘Apu voice’, or be expected to do it for comedic purposes, and any roles they did go for would either be written for an Indian stereotype, or adapted to one once they were chosen. Even if you are not Indian, or a part of a minority that may be offended by casual racism in TV, it affects you too. Whether you believe you’re the most accepting person or not, it is important to self-reflect and consider whether you have ever held someone to a stereotype or idea that you have seen on TV. These are only a few instances, but there are many more examples on TV and in films, not only for Indians but for all ethnic minorities, which cement the racial stereotypes subjected to them. Casual racism may seem like a non-issue but when we see ourselves as progressive but it is important not to let things like this slip, before we all become apart of the issue.

Pictured: Kunal Nayyar plays Raj in the series. Source: Gage Skidmore (Via Flickr)


And later be asked if ‘Apu’, the man who worked in the local cornershop was my dad or uncle.


Meg Sharma

Should we still praise Churchill in retrospect?

inston Churchill led the country through its darkest hour. Under his leadership Britain and her allies went on to topple the Nazi German regime that had slaughtered close to six million Jews. Unsurprisingly, Churchill has topped many a list of ‘Greatest Britons’. Despite this noble legacy however, Churchill is increasingly becoming a controversial figure by modern standards. This man, whose perceived heroism is an immovable aspect of our national character, is increasingly branded a ‘racist’ and an ‘anti-semite’. If only these allegations were unfounded. If only the essay “How the Jews Can Combat Persecution”, penned by Churchill in 1938, ordered to be hidden upon his elevation to Downing Street had been buried a little deeper. Churchill’s claim that the Jews were “inviting persecution - that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer” or indeed his characterisation of the Jew as “an incorrigible alien” are comments you’d expect more from the most capricious

Nazi than you would from any British national hero. We can hardly blame our predecessors for viewing morality as merely black and white. The Nazis were a threat our grandparents lived through, a threat they perhaps fought themselves. I cannot blame anyone for having viewed Churchill as a hero based purely on the fact his leadership made defeating fascism possible. However, it is simply a reality that modern day debate does not work this way. It would be easier to neglect problematic aspects of our national heroes, but this is far from realistic. The internet ensures a certain level of free speech, and we cannot expect everyone to pardon Churchill from retrospective criticism. Rather, we should ask ourselves to what degree we feel we can continue to support these past heroes unconditionally. We must ultimately decide in Churchill’s case, are his comments merely product of the time, or do they portray a man who despite his wartime activities, held views that demonstrate

the anti-semitism rife throughout 1940s Europe? To me, Winston Churchill remains a hero. Any good history book will attest to how the man put his physical and mental health on the line to protect Britain’s sovereignty, and the principle of a Europe free from totalitarianism. The most fascinating thing about Churchill’s anti-semitism is the truth (often forgotten) that Jewish persecution in Europe did not emerge with the Nazis. In the decades before the Second World War, it was common to see the same anti-Semitic arguments

amongst the British elite. This information reminds us of the world’s legacy of mistreatment of Jews, and it is information I would hate to ever envision us forgetting. We cannot simply bury aspects of our heroes which we dislike. Indeed, my understanding of Churchill has only been enhanced by reading of his private opinions. The truth has peeled away the man’s heroic caricature in favour of a portrait of an imperfect politician, a drunk and a sometime offensive bigot – a bigot that despite it all, saved Britain.

Pictured: Churchill is one of the historical figures who has recently come under criticism. Source: MikesPhotos



We need to stop killing our planet


Doing your bit to save the world with everyday activism


If we all put a little consideration into the environmental impact of our actions, we can live more sustainably within the planet’s means.


George Cook

Pictured: Twitter provocatour in chief. Source: Geralt (Via Pixabay)


e all love a VK in the SU, it’s almost expected of every Cardiff Student, as much as risking our lives outside Hoffi Coffi and pulling an all-nighter in the ASSL. Yet as of this term, downing your VK has been revolutionised. The No Straw Stand, in collaboration with CUSU’s Ethics and Environmental Officer have passed a motion to only use biodegradable straws, operating a policy whereby straws are only given out if you ask for them. The No Straw Stand was set up by Environmental Geography students, Nia Jones and Douglas Lewns in August of last year. Established with other nationwide movements in mind, they became aware there was nothing happening in Cardiff. In an interview with Nia, she stated that, “we knew [Cardiff] could be a great place since so many restaurants and cafes have come to the city in the last 5-10 years”. As well as writing to the various businesses, they have also “set up a website (, adding to the list of businesses who refuse to use single-use plastic straws or are cutting their use dramatically”. In the wake of Blue Planet II, a discussion is growing among society as to how we can alter our everyday behaviours to help mitigate against climate change, and make a small but positive difference in the world. The smallest changes are


the easiest to maintain, and maintain them we must. Climate change is an undeniable crisis facing the planet; glaciers are melting at an exponential rate, sea levels are rising, and becoming more polluted at that, and freak weather incidents are occurring more often. All of this is going to continue unless we do something to alter our daily decisions. Heading out to lectures with a bit of preparation, bringing a packed lunch not only saves money, but also reduces packaging. Speaking of saving money, why pay for water when it comes out of your tap? Changing to a reusable water bottle is an easy habit to form, much like keeping a rolled-up carrier bag with you for when you go food (or alcohol) shopping in Lidl after lectures. As students, we are all trying to save money where we can, so simple actions such as switching off lights, as well as turning devices off at the plug socket rather than leaving them on standby will reduce house bills. With apps such as Depop growing in popularity, we can buy and sell second-hand clothes, without trekking to Albany road for the charity shops. Plus, how else are you going to maintain that edgy vibe in the lecture theatre without Depop? As light-hearted as these changes may sound, if we all put a little consideration into the environmental impact of our actions, we can live more sustain-

ably within the planet’s means. If everyone in the world (seven billion people) lived at the same level of consumption as we do in the west, we would need four planet Earths. By looking at our ecological footprint, which is considerably higher than many other countries, although not as bad as the US, we still live beyond our means.

Whilst we are unlikely to all become eco-warriors overnight, it’s important to recognise that living sustainably is something we should all strive for,. Whether it be downing your VK with a biodegradable straw, buying secondhand clothes or skipping the meal deal, there’s always more we can do for our planet.

Pictured: We need to change our ways in order to sustain the planet. Source: RitaE (Via Pixabay)

Donald ducks media scrutiny

ver since the unlikely election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America, it has been an unpredictable and unprecedented presidency with few envisaging the events that have subsequently unfolded. Adopting an extremely unorthodox and unconventional style, Trump seems to be revelling in his role as Twitter Provocateur in Chief, a role that he said he enjoys from the comfort of his own bed. And the media continue to show their dismay at his Presidency from the aloof Ivory Tower in which they are situated, continuing to distance and even alienate themselves from the America people. Mocking a politician is not unusual and it can be healthy for democracy, but in moderation. However what has developed now is a situation whereby his policies are inferior to the way he is mocked, and it is his policies

are what need to be debated and debunked even more. Outrage ensues at the slightest Tweet or misdemeanour, and after a year of being in office, you’d have thought people would have become more accustomed to his late-night Twitter binges. It’s an unusual way of governing, and Trump is also an unusual character and which is why he has faced so much mocking and jokes at his expense in the media. Such treatment is far greater than any other politician receives, and whilst I am all for making fun of politicians, we risk avoiding any significant critique of Trump’s policies for the sake of a cheap laugh and a boost in TV ratings. Whilst these are evidently humorous, we are deflecting from the real danger of Trump’s policies and the damage they can cause. Whether it be tax cuts for the wealthy at the

expense of the poor or his ban on Muslims entering the US, Trump has always pursued policies that are divisive. They cause a chasm across many aspects of society, in the economy,

Whilst these are evidently humorous, we are deflecting from the real danger of Trump’s policies and the damage they can cause. in human rights and in our cultural identity. For the country that is commonly referred to as a ‘melting pot’, Trump risks diluting all the cultural diversity that had been achieved in the Obama years, and will be dividing America into a country of not one pot, but of many that are often full of hatred for the others. Trump is also a man who adores

the attention, and is always in a desperate search for next spotlight. From the man who bought us Piers Morgan on the Celebrity Apprentice, the constant mocking of his Presidency means we are continuing to treat Trump as though he is still some sort of celebrity, instead of treating him as what he unfortunately is: the most powerful man in the world. As such, the jibes and jokes in the established media are only playing into the hands of Trump as his supporters give more credence to his rhetoric. We need to move away from the mocking of Trump, as it is clearly something that is failing to resonate with many ordinary Americans. With no clear alternatives emerging to Trump, there needs to be far more scrutiny of the ideals for which he advocates and the policies he wishes to implement. And it is to that future we must now turn to.


Trump is also a man who adores the attention, and is always in a desperate search for next spotlight.


Jessica Warren

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It’s the Culture War, stupid

Class and economics have dominated our political discourse for generations, but today’s battles are cultural Pictured: Diversity and culture Source: 2bmolar (Via Flickr)

Harry Heath


The paramount conflict within British society, and across the West, is not one of class war or economic debate, but rather the battle of worldviews and grappling for cultural hegemony that is going on all


n times of such turbulence, we may long for the days when politics appeared a far simpler domain. The main parties, both historically broad churches, sought to cover as much of the spectrum as possible in their respective red or blue. Traditional class interests and tribal loyalties established clearly drawn voter bases. We had the industrial Labour heartlands of the North, the spiritual home of middle-England in the Southeast, and then came the desperate attempts to appeal to new groups such as the “Mondeo man” or “Worcester woman” that emerged as a product of modernity. These relatively young demographic personas reek of metropolitan snobbery, no doubt the creation of politicians wanting to appear trendy and with their finger on the pulse straight off the back of their latest focus group. Essentially the groups articulate minorities within the larger, “floating voter” demographic, a section of voters who have been aggressively targeted for decades. Triangulation, or “wearing the opponent’s clothes”, has been an approach adopted by both the main parties to extend their vote beyond the core support. New Labour famously charmed those in the boardrooms as well as the workingmen’s clubs, David Cameron’s Conservatives’ established a national living wage, and the last election saw Theresa May’s albeit unsuccessful pitch to “ordinary, working-class families” and those “just about managing”. Politics was simpler because the two main parties battled it out at election time in an attempt to appeal to the socio-economic interest of the majority. Labour leant towards investment and redistribution, the Conservatives to-

wards low taxation and enterprise, but they both promoted themselves as the only viable custodians of rising living standards and it was up to the voters to select from what was on offer. Appealing to the floating voter and claiming the centre-ground; they were the means to achieving electoral success. Meanwhile, the alternative parties successfully represented more niche interests. The Greens of course remain the political voice of environmentalism, the nationalist parties continue to claim to speak for the devolved nations, the Lib Dems stand for not being Labour or Conservative. For those feeling disenfranchised and left behind, the go-to party of protest was UKIP, once described by David Cameron as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. They sat well outside the political mainstream, concerning themselves with the European Union, immigration and an abstract notion of sovereignty. No wonder it never caught on. The paramount conflict within British society, and across the West, is not one of class war or economic debate, but rather the battle of worldviews and grappling for cultural hegemony that is going on all around us. The culture war is well underway, and while our political leaders may indulge in the usual pointscoring around the news stories of the moment, all they are doing is defining themselves in relation to cultural movements that surpass them in stature in the hope that their stances rank favourably with substantially vocal social media audiences. The problem that the culture war leaves in its wake is two main parties that are total contradictions, and very little in between. Take the Labour Party, headed

up by Stop the War’s Jeremy Corbyn and self-declared Marxist John McDonnell. The former urged protestors to turn out in force against Donald Trump but will happily call terrorist organisations his friends, the latter’s relaxed attitude to political violence against female MPs seems somewhat at odds with both his apparent feminism and the kinder, gentler politics that the leadership is meant to embody. The Labour supporters meanwhile are precariously entertained, divided into the young, Momentum singers of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” and the traditional supporters who want out of Europe and question his patriotism. Labour’s Brexit position remains much like Groucho Marx: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well I have others.” The Conservative Party on the other hand is no better. Mrs May has turned out to be weak yet stable, with the country somehow running itself. It appears almost inevitable that they shall topple yet another leader over the European question, re-toxifying the Tory brand with the all the old ingredients that took generations of modernisation to only partly eradicate. The Brexitremists in the party seem determined not to rest until one of their own is inside Number 10. The question is whether they would rather Boris, a man whose sheer inability to tell the truth means we may just as likely see Fagin or Ronnie Biggs as PM, or the hard-line option of Jacob Rees-Mogg, a neo-Victorian throwback as likely to win votes from liberal Britain as a high court judge is not to be slandered an “enemy of the people” by the press in a democratic state. Put most simply, the reason our poli-

tics were not as fragmented as they are today is because the main parties were largely able to represent the divisions within the country: between traditional classes, the have and the have nots, the North and the South, the old and the young. When Labour and the Conservatives ceased to properly represent the divisions exacerbated by Brexit, the oldparty system ceased to operate as the container it has historically been to keep the polarisation of our politics and culture to a minimum. Make no mistake, the seeming return to two-party politics at the last election is entirely superficial, and merely masks the burning conflicts and irreconcilable differences between the party followers. With both the main parties rendered outdated, zombie institutions by the retreat from the politics of class and economics, the battles of the culture war are being fought in arenas outside of the party-political mainstream. Instead, groups are formed by issue – remainers and leavers, anywheres and somewheres, citizens of the world and citizens of nowhere. Areas such as our universities and online platforms are being plagued with intolerance by a censorial new left that has ceased to be liberal, holding pseudo-debates and shouting down social conservatives, the currency they deal in is offence. Emerging on the right there is also a desire to dominate as an embittered and viscous group who feel left-behind by globalisation, immigration and political correctness. This post-hegemonic climate has been born out of the vacuum, there is no quiet life for liberalism, this is pick-a-side politics, and the selection of sides appears scarce.






An Independent Wales?

Has Westminster ignored Wales, or would Wales fail as an independent nation? PRO-INDEPENDENCE


ust over twenty-years ago now, Wales voted in favour of devolution. This meant that some of the decisions that were previously made in Westminster would transfer to the soon to be Welsh Assembly located in Cardiff Bay. Since then, the Welsh Assembly has more than proved that its able to control areas such as agriculture, culture, the economy, education and the Welsh language. It has been a leader in UK politics, as in 2011 Wales became the first UK nation to introduce the 5p charge to all plastic bags, and due to this the number of bags handed out have decreased by 70%. Other changes include the opt-out

system of organ donation and more recently the introduction of votes at 16 in council elections. All of these examples, I believe show the positive changes that the Welsh Assembly have made and I think that further devolved powers and even an independent Wales can do a lot more and continue to lead changes in Great Britain and all over the world.As a country Wales receives more money from the EU than it does from Westminster. However, as a result of the EU Independence Referendum, I now think it’s time for Wales to look at where it stands on the political landscape, and become an independent nation. It’s time to take full control from

Westminster since its here in Wales that has the country in its best interest. I believe that only our Welsh AM’s can make Brexit work for Wales. The EU will continue to fund projects in Wales until 2020. Some of the major projects that have contributed to the Welsh economy are the £3M investment to Ponty Lido. The area has been transformed and has now had more than 50,000 visitors. Money from the EU has also been used to revamp the rail lines in Wales along with the building of Swansea Universities Bay Campus. This all shows that the EU has cared more for Wales than the UK overall and the Westminster Gov-

ernment has underfunded Wales in my opinion. By becoming an independent nation, we will be able to decide what we do with our taxes and we will be able to spend this money as we chose. When the NHS in Wales is criticised, it is hard for the Assembly to do anything about it because they are limited in what they can do. Again, this shows that although devolution has had some success for Wales, this does not give the country the power to resolve recurring issues such as the Welsh NHS. For this reason, I do believe that an independent Wales is an option for us as we take a step forward to a better, brighter Wales.

Such a move would go against how the Welsh voted in the European Union Referendum in 2016 when 52.5% voted to leave the European Union. To seek readmission could be seen as an unpopular and anti-democratic decision. It would also lead to issues like those currently seen in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland regarding borders, the requirement to adopt the Euro and the risk of Welsh application for membership of the EU being vetoed, potentially isolating Wales from its main export markets. There are numerous other factors to consider such as defence policy, taxation, the share of the UK national debt Wales would have to accept and a new legal system. When you consider more minor issues such as the need for new passports, the costs of independence would place immense strain on the Welsh economy. I contend Wales would not fare well if it were to become an independent country. The economic backbone of the nation would be

undermined, leading to a severe decline in the quality of life enjoyed by the majority. This is why Wales should not become independent; with the Welsh electorate appearing to realise this with only 6% (BBC 2017) currently supporting the idea of Independence.


I do believe that an independent Wales is an option for us as we take a step forward to a better, brighter Wales.


Liam Ketcher



Wales lacks the industrial base to support itself financially.


laid Cymru and their leader Leanne Wood, citing the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014, support the idea of having a Welsh independence referendum. If Wales was to become an independent country, through a referendum or a wider breakup of the United Kingdom, the effects would be disastrous. Wales’s economy is not strong enough to support itself, with Wales spending far more than it receives in taxes (Carwyn Jones 2012). These subsidies from the rest of the United Kingdom mean that an independent Wales would have to drastically reduce its spending, raise taxes or face bankruptcy. Furthermore, since the decline of the coal industry, Wales lacks the industrial base to support itself financially. The Welsh agricultural, tourism and steel sectors are not strong enough to fill this gap. This reduction in income would lead to popular institutions and policies being severely impacted or stopped completely in an independent Wales, negatively impacting the quality of

life experienced across the nation. Wales would also have to renegotiate its relations not only with the United Kingdom, but also the rest of the world. As the current Brexit negotiations highlight, this would prove difficult, time consuming and expensive with Wales in most cases having the weaker hand. This could adversely impact the economy of Wales, for example through the implementation of restrictions on the movement of goods (e.g. ‘reintroducing’ the tolls on the Severn Bridge). Many businesses would leave and relocate, worsening the brain drain Wales is already experiencing. Plaid Cymru highlight that one option for an independent Wales would be to seek readmission into the European Union, where 59.8% of Welsh exports go (Welsh Government 2017). Not only does this seem ironic, leaving one Unitary body where you have a larger voice to one where you will have a very minor voice, it would also cause numerous other issues.

Pictured: Union Jack Source: The Digital Artist (Via Pixa Bay)



Conor Holohan


The Customs Union is an issue which could see Theresa May leave Number 10 earlier than expected.


Hannah Woodward


Recent figures have highlighted the fragility of the NHS.

Customs Union Causes Disunity A side from the persistent droning of the likes of Anna Soubry, most members of the Conservative Government are in unity that the UK will leave the Single Market. There is much more fierce debate being had over the Customs Union, with the Treasury and Home Office at odds with the Prime Minister and leading Brexiteers. Ministers and backbenchers are having very public disputes over an issue which could see Theresa May leave Number 10 earlier than expected. Tensions in government flared over the issue of the Customs Union when the Sunday Times reported that a coup from around 60 Brexit backing MPs could take place. The MPs would flood the 1922 Committee with letters asking for a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister. Having deposed Mrs May, Boris Johnson would become PM, with Michael Gove as his deputy and Jacob Rees-Mogg as his Chancellor. This prompted Number 10 to respond in order to silence the public infighting, insisting that the UK would be leaving the Customs Union. ReesMogg, chair of the Brexit Research Group, a group of Brexit backing MPs has been fervently opposed to remaining in the Customs Union. He also hit out at the Treasury in recent days over their economic forecasts for Brexit which were leaked to


Buzzfeed. He claimed that the Treasury was opposed to Brexit and was ‘fiddling the figures’ in order to paint a gloomy picture of ‘hard’ Brexit and keep the UK inside the Customs Union. Rees-Mogg said that; ‘It was politically advantageous for them in the past. It is the same now.’ This was followed by accusations that Rees-Mogg was seeking to undermine the civil service, with Andrew Turnbull – who lead the civil service under Tony Blair – saying that ReesMogg’s interventions were ‘reminiscent of pre-war Nazi Germany’.

The Home Secretary Amber Rudd who, like Rees-Mogg, is tipped as a potential future Conservative Party leader, also hit back at him for his comments about the treasury. Rudd claimed Rees-Mogg was ‘wrong’ and that she was ‘not intimidated’ by the warnings of Brexiteers on the danger of remaining in a Customs Union. The Customs Union, which places tariffs on goods from outside of the EU in order to insulate European businesses from competition and forbids its members to sign trade deals independently, has the potential to cause vicious feuds in the Conservative Party.

Until now, May has had the Brexiteers on-side, as most of them consider it too dangerous to depose her before Brexit concludes in March 2019, lest a remainer take her place, or even worse for the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn. The Customs Union is certainly an issue of great enough significance that it could cause Brexiteers to work to remove May if they think they will not be able to lower the price of food and sign new trade deals after March 2019. This also comes as May faces calls to govern with more purpose, with the ‘Tory Bible’, The Spectator, telling May to ‘Govern or go’ on their cover.

Pictured: Number 10 Downing Street. Source: 10 Downing Street (Via Flickr)

NHS in Winter Crisis

ith Austerity becoming an ever-growing challenge to the United Kingdom, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Saturday 3rd of February, calling for the NHS to be properly funded. 60,000 Health workers, patients, union members and activists joined together to demand an end to the “crisis” in the NHS and push for more money from the Tory Health Secretary to fund hospital beds and medical staff. Cuts to the NHS saw January 2018 is the worst month on record for the number of patients seen at the A&E departments, as just 85.3% of patients were able to see their Doctor within the target time of four hours. NHS England described this winter as the “worst flu season in years”, which inevitably put a strain on the health service. Despite A&E departments holding a four-hour waiting time target, only 77.1% of patients were dealt within four hours in January, well short of 95% target and more than 1,000 patients are having to wait more than 12 hours to be seen -almost double the length of December 2017. The rise in the vulnerability of the NHS is alarming as, despite the NHS

describing Winter 2016 as the ‘eternal winter’, the recent months have demonstrated a steeper decline in performance in terms of ambulance delays, four-hour emergency target and bed occupancy both in acute beds and critical care. Recent figures have highlighted the fragility of the current NHS as over 80,000 patients are waiting on on trolleys for more than four hours at A&E in January. Professor John Appleby has stated that “A year ago we warned that corridors had become the new emer-

gency wards. It is deeply concerning that 12 months on the position has worsened, with many harrowing reports of patients being treated in busy corridors by stressed and overworked staff.” With last years nightmare becoming a reality this is a massive setback for the health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt. Despite Hunt ordering that the NHS is to improve its performance, it is evident that the NHS is on its knees and is gasping for funding. The leader of the opposition ‘Jer-

emy Corbyn’ demanded that Theresa May introduce an emergency budget for the NHS to deal with the “worst winter crisis on record” to alleviate the pressure on hospitals. Later arguing that “There must be no mistake: the NHS crisis is being caused by the political choices of this Tory Government”. The crippling National Health Service is down to lack of funding by the current Tory-led Government, and without extra funding, it is likely that the health service will cease to exist.

Pictured: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt Source: NHS Confederation (Via Flickr)



Das ist gut! German coalition agreed Rhys Thomas


The threat from the AfD coupled with rising support for other parties such as the FDP show a lack of contentment with the political consensus


fter more than four months of uncertainty and paralysis in Berlin, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), have reached a prospective coalition deal. Both leaders are seeking to renew the “Grand Coalition” that has been in post for the last four years, with the CDU and SPD the two largest parties in Germany’s Bundestag. The Federal election took place on 24 September, and Germany has been led by a caretaker government since that date. It has been an unfortunate time for Germany to be without a permanent executive - Merkel had been regarded by many as the de facto leader of Europe, with Germany the most powerful nation on the continent. This political vacuum meant that Brexit talks trundled on with less German influence, and it has also allowed upstart French President Emmanuel Macron to increase his profile on the world stage and press for policy initiatives such as a European finance ministry and separate Eurozone budget. Merkel said that she was willing to make “painful compromises” in search of an agreement, and stressed her commitment to bring stability to Germany for the “good of the people”. Schulz spoke to his party’s federal congress in Bonn last month, imploring delegates to support a potential renewed “Grand Coalition” by plainly stating that “the choice is coalition negotiations or new elections”. The six-hundred delegates there approved the talks. Schulz’s initial position after the

election had been one of opposition to another “Grand Coalition”, but when the prospect of a ‘Jamaica’ coalition floundered, (so-called because the colours of the CDU, Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens are those of the Jamaican flag), Schulz became a sudden convert to the idea. Reports suggest that the SPD will retain the important ministries of Foreign Affairs and Labour, as well as gaining the crucial Finance position. Wolfgang Schäuble, who served as Federal Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2017, was something of a pariah for many on the left due to his commitment to austerity and uncompromising attitude towards nations in southern Europe during the Eurozone crisis, so an SPD minister in that position will be a significant change from Merkel’s traditional approach. Schulz himself is reported to be a probable Foreign Minister and may even relinquish his leadership of the party, with the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), getting a strengthened Interior ministry with new powers. There are a number of agreements that have been made public, and more will be released in the coming weeks. A ban on arms exports to countries taking part in the Yemen War has been agreed, which means that Saudi Arabia will be excluded - important as they are one of the biggest purchasers of German weapons. An investment budget for the Eurozone has also been agreed, and combined with an SPD finance minister this has been championed as “an end to the austerity mandate”. Immigration has been controversial in Germany

Pictured: SPD leader and potential Foreign Minister Martin Schulz Source: (Via SPD SchleswigHolstein on Flickr)

with Merkel’s open refugee policy and the rise of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), but there was an agreement on the number of refugees being brought into the country for family reunions - this has been capped at 1000 per month. The deal now goes to the SPD membership for approval. Despite the prospect of their party serving in government, there is reticence in some quarters, with a view that they are essentially becoming indistinguishable from the CDU. The two parties have been in a ‘Grand Coalition’ for eight of the past twelve years. A stint in opposition would allow the SPD to further differentiate themselves from the CDU and formulate a more distinctive policy platform. The prospect of a rebuilding process has significant appeal, especially considering the party’s worst ever result at the last elec-

tion, and a further drop in recent polls showing that they are only a few points ahead of the AfD. The threat from the AfD coupled with rising support for other parties such as the FDP show a lack of contentment with the political consensus between the CDU and SPD. The alternative to a Grand Coalition may not necessarily be fresh elections as Schulz had suggested, but instead a minority government. Whilst there has been some consternation in Berlin at this idea, many countries around Europe manage it perfectly well. It would allow the CDU to govern, and the SPD to renew itself in opposition. If the SPD’s 464,000 members approve the deal then the parties will formally sign the coalition contract, and a Cabinet can be put in place. Then, finally, the full Federal government will be up and running once again.


End of an era: Adams nearing the end

George Cook


The outgoing Sinn Fein president was hopeful that he would see a united Ireland in his lifetime.


fter 35 years as the President of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams is standing down this month and is to be replaced by Mary Lou McDonald. As old blood leaves the Party and new faces emerge through the ranks, Sinn Fein hopes it will be able to continue to transform its image away from the one of the Troubles and its association with terrorists, into one that sustains its recent popularity in Irish politics. It seems like Adams was eager for a high-profile end to his tenure, and appeared in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show, as he enters the final month of a controversial and significant life on the political stage. Despite his many decades campaigning for a united Ireland, Adams never succeeded in his ultimate aim. However, he did highlight how when he joined over 50 years ago, Sinn Fein were a banned organisation and he has since helped drive them into a party who receive half a million votes and are the second largest party in the North. In their earlier years, Sinn Fein were an organisation who often adopted violent campaigning tactics with strong links to the Irish Republican Army. But thankfully in modern times, they have since pursued

a far more peaceful approach. Adams played a contradictory figure in this process. He was at the forefront of a movement who were keen to advocate, support and even allegedly become involved in terrorist activities with the IRA. Yet, there is no denying the role he played in the peace process which eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1997. Undoubtedly, he is still an extremely divisive character in Irish society and politics across the UK. The out-going Sinn Fein president was hopeful that he would see a united Ireland in his lifetime. Yet, Adams noted the dangers of exploiting Brexit as the means to seize and achieve such ends. Whilst it provides an opportunity, he said ‘it was disastrous for Ireland and the UK government were not in any way clear on what they want the future relationship to be like’. However, it is important to highlight that some of these concerns may be politically motivated given the deal the British government have agreed with the Democratic Unionists in order to operate a majority government. Adams still has a strong desire for a united Ireland, as strong as it was, if not stronger, than when he showed signifi-

Pictured: Adams has been leader of his party since 1983 (Via Sinn Fein on Flickr)

cant support for the IRA. Even though he said he wasn’t actually a member, politicians and journalists from across the political spectrum seemed to believe he was. Much of this stemmed from the IRA’s adoration of him as their leader, and even when Andrew Marr asked him why others said he was, there was no real denial. Instead, he said ‘you’ll have to ask them’, which is something that still fails to provide any clarity on the issue. On the future of Britain, Adams endorsed Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister also stating, ‘I hope it

doesn’t get used against him’. This appears as though Adams wants his association with Corbyn to be used against him. It also demonstrates a transformation in the relationship between Adams and Corbyn., dismissing and almost forgetting the risks Corbyn took to have a relationship with Adams all those years ago. If Corbyn does become PM, it will be interesting to discover whether he follows Gerry Adams’ desire for a united Ireland and centralises political power on the island of Ireland.







How Cardiff University is making a difference in the development of drugs Louange Lubangu


It’s amazing to see how through fundamental research, you can really solve problems or make discovery more efficient


ost people will be aware of the tragic story of Thalidomide, a drug that was produced in order to prevent morning sickness in pregnant women. However, though this drug may have been effective initially, due to it’s chirality, the other isomer present in the drug (Thalidomide B) resulted in many birth defects when women later gave birth. This was a horrendous event that of course, drug companies are seeking to avoid, therefore vigorous testing and research is necessary to avoid this occurring in the future. So what is chirality? Chirality is in simple terms, the fact that certain molecules have the ability to exist in mirror images of each other, so like our hands, they look alike but cannot be superimposed. Chirality then, is directly correlated to the research being conducted in the School of Chemistry. Dr Niek Buurma and his team, in conjunction with AstraZeneca, and Dr Andrew Leach of Liverpool John Moore’s University, selected a range of compounds from literature, to analyse which of them could racemize, and how quickly this process would occur. “The project actually started 10 years ago” Dr Buurma explained, “I was talking with one of my friends who worked for AstraZeneca at the time, and we wanted to know something about compounds that racemized, and we started to look at whether there was a lot of information available, and we found absolutely nothing!” This was the commencement of the journey, as Dr Buurma and team set out to find data points that would help them put pieces of the puzzle together so that some concrete conclusions could be made. Though the project started with very little ground to work on, this soon took off, as with the use of circular dichroism spectroscopy and 1H NMR and problem solving, the team were able to detect whether compounds would racemize and how quickly this would happen – which was their aim from the beginning. This means that pharmaceutical companies can save time and money, as there will no longer be a need to spend time developing a drug which in the long run, will racemize, no longer be effective and lead to the harm of consumers. In the abstract of the publication, we find a general scheme of the work that was done: “We show that rate constants for racemization (measured by ourselves and others) correlate well with deprotonation energies from quantum mechanical (QM) and group contribution

Pictured: Top Right: Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry are heavily involved in drug-related research. Source: stevepb (Via Pixabay) Bottom Right: Conical Flask. Source: OpenClipartVectors (Via Pixabay)

calculations. Such calculations thus provide predictions of the second-order rate constants for general-base-catalyzed racemization that are usefully accurate. When applied to recent publications describing the stereoselective synthesis of compounds of purported biological value, the calculations reveal that racemization would be sufficiently fast to render these expensive syntheses pointless.” * Gair Rhydd secured an exclusive interview with Niek and Bryony who have been working on the project. So Bryony, how did you get involved with the project? Bryony: “I was actually working at AstraZeneca last year, and I spoke to Niek about getting involved with the project, because I did analytical chemistry last year and I wanted to do an ‘analytical’ based project. And since it was in collaboration with AstraZeneca, it seemed like the perfect project!” *laughs* What advice would you give to a student who is looking to get into research, perhaps even with their own idea? Bryony: “I think if they know what sort of area it’s in, the first thing to do would be to talk to people in that specific area, and if they have their own idea talk it through with them.” Niek: “I would say that what Bryony did was exactly the right thing because

research projects can be really tough, but they become easier when you are interested in what you are doing, and I could see that with Bryony when she told me the work she had done with AstraZeneca, I could see that she was really interested in it. What would you say was the most rewarding part of being involved in such a project? Bryony: “In working for a pharmaceutical company, you know how important it is to get stuff like this right and essentially it’s going to affect people’s lives in the long run, so that’s why I really like doing it, because I know it’s going to help someone” Niek: “For me (I think) I absolutely love puzzles, chemical puzzles and it’s amazing to see how through fundamental research, you can really solve problems or make discovery more efficient which is going to be useful for absolutely everyone. As Bryony was saying it’s the fact that you can do something that you like which is actually useful for everyone!” *Ballard, al. 2017. A quantitative approach to predicting rate constants for aqueous racemization allows pointless stereoselective syntheses to be avoided. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition  (10.1002/anie.201709163)




Hype over Virgin ‘Hyperloop’

Is this just another Sci-Fi idea, or are we actually on to something? Jonathan Learmont


Going between London and Manchester in 22 minutes, or from London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes is an attractive pitch.


n the Nevada desert, start-up company Hyperloop One are developing what they believe to be the mass transport system of the future; the hyperloop. It is based on the idea that ‘pods’ can be shot through a tube that would allow for much higher speeds than are possible with trains. Magnetic levitation technology, or ‘maglev’, being used in Hyperloop One’s tests is not dissimilar to high-speed trains in how it tries to eliminate the friction of grounded transport using repelling magnets. Small pumps suck air out of the tube, and drop atmospheric pressure inside to the equivalent of 200,000ft above sea level, minimising air resistance when the pod moves. The selling point is that the vacuum like conditions, combined with maglev, could drastically cut intercity travel times. Going between London and Manchester in 22 minutes, or from London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes is an attractive pitch; millions of dollars of investment since the company started in 2014 is indicative of huge excitement surrounding Hyperloop technology. Among those investors is Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, who have become partners in Hyperloop One and are

overseeing its advances. Recent tests at Hyperloop One’s Development Loop (DevLoop) north of Las Vegas have seen an unmanned pod travel at nearly 240mph. It is certainly impressive, given it has been engineered in a matter of months and that this speed is close to a HS2 train’s maximum (250mph). However, such speeds are not even half of the 670mph suggested before Hyperloop is ready to be commercially used. The initial target set by Hyperloop One to start operating a Hyperloop system is 2021, and they have already started viability studies with cities in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, and India to realize their vision as soon as possible. Aside from getting it up to speed, there are many other hurdles that must be overcome to make Hyperloop a reality. Long stretches of steel tube work for pods is not much of an issue in the desert, but in linking cities this may prove a roadblock. Two strategies for building Hyperloop in populated areas are: constructing the tubes underground or supporting them above the ground to avoid buildings. In London especially, this presents an enormous problem given the sprawling underground, national

rail, and road networks. Crossrail, a project aiming to shorten and ease train travel from the south-east to London, is a recent example of updating transport continually being delayed and is far less ambitious in its plans than Hyperloop. Yet Hyperloop One have recently stated they believe their technology is a viable solution to the struggle of insufficient runways at Heathrow Airport. The theory is that linking Heathrow with Gatwick and Stanstead would effectively allow London’s airports to be grouped together as moving between them would take five minutes. Instead of angering residents near Heathrow with another runway though, it may be that lengthy negotiations are required to convince Londoners that building a large steel tube above the ground won’t affect the value of their house. Even if Hyperloop doesn’t seem like an immediate development for intercity travel in the UK, it still marks an important innovation and enterprising attitude towards the next step in mass travel. Compare it to another transport innovation that has received a lot of press lately; the self-driving car. While cars that don’t need a driver may allow passengers to be more pro-

Pictured: Travel could be revolutionised by the invention of the Hyperloop Source: by Free-Photos (Via Pixabay) ductive before getting into work, they won’t reduce traffic at peak hours or be able to shorten journeys as a result. Passenger train use between the South East and London has been falling for over a year as more people are able to work from home, and would prefer not to endure lengthy commutes. For those who still travel to cities regularly by car, Hyperloop’s time-saving quality may tempt them to switch to public transport. This could be hugely beneficial in reducing the UK’s CO2 production if electric or hydrogen fuelled cars are not widely adopted soon. Regardless, populations are expected to continue rising in cities and such cities will need a modern transport network prepared for it. Hyperloop could be the long-term answer.


T B G L y Month

r o t His 12/02/2018 Glitter Cymru

21/02/2018 HIV: Impact on a Generation

18:00, 1.77 Main Building

18:00-19:30, Students’ Union 4H

14/02/2018 LGBT+ Mature Students Event 12:00-14:00, Boardroom 15/02/2018 Queer Voices from India 19:30-22:00, Wallace Lecture Theatre 16/02/2018 LGBT+ Association sees Pride - It’s Not On Campaign 18:00-20:00, The Lounge, Students’ Union

25/02/2018 Moonlight 20:00-22:00, The Lounge, Students’ Union

how to afford a master’s! Come along to our information talks to learn about postgraduate loans, scholarships, the application process and more to help you move into postgraduate study.

13th February, 12.00-13.00, Main Building 1.25 No sign-up required. Questions? Email Jake Smith at or Jake Smith SU on Facebook.





How to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder at Uni

4x Lydia Caunce


The little things do make a difference


SAD is four times more common in women than in men.

s the new term begins, the days are beginning to get longer and for those who suffer with SAD there is finally a glimpse of hope. For some people the winter months are harder to deal with and here are some tips on how to manage if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder whilst at university. Known as the winter depression, something small that will help you in feeling more like yourself again is by taking Vitamin D supplements. They’re inexpensive and make a massive difference as they make up for the deficit of vitamin D that your body produces due to lack of sunlight - although admittedly it’s not exactly the same as going on a holiday and soaking up the rays the way we’d all like to. Getting out as much as possible can be easier said than done, but spending time with your friends and out in the fresh open air really does


The year SAD was officially recognised as a medical condition.

make a difference. I always find that when I’m feeling at my worst, being outside does positively impact my mood and helps in feeling less isolated from everyone and lonely. Instead of shying away from your friends because you don’t want to see them, perhaps try making a conscious effort with them instead. It’s the hardest part, motivating yourself, but one of the simplest and most effective ways of managing SAD.

Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and make a massive difference Though there may be less light during the day, making the most of it is hugely important. Small things, such as sitting by a window and staying in light, open rooms and spaces is making the most of what light you


More people over this age are affected than younger.

have and increasing your light exposure, something you should be aiming to do. Whilst it may sound like such an insignificant thing, it isn’t something to just laugh off. The little things do make a difference. Exercise is something that helps release endorphins and other feelgood chemicals. A regular exercise routine is helpful not only for that, but also as it helps give stability and routine within your life and through this may be able to help you feel better about yourself. This confidence boost may help you in continuing with your everyday life, despite your struggles, and continue going to lectures and seminars successfully. Never underestimate the power of an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, even making sure that you go for a walk or reach your 10,000 steps a day counts for something and will help you in the long run.


Of cases run in families.

SAD light boxes aren’t cheap however, they are affective. Producing artificial sunlight, these boxes are a good alternative to sunbeds, and you are able to use from the comfort of your own home. Unlike the other tips, these do come out around £50 minimum, but depending on the amount you would use it, it may be an affordable option for you. With great reviews, and being recommended on the official website for SAD, they are seemingly worth the money, however on a student budget this sadly may not be easily available to most of us. SAD isn’t something to hide or shy away from, as 1 in 3 people suffer from it. Talk about how you are feeling with your friends, and get the support you need in order to make an already stressful time a bit easier. These tips will hopefully help in making it all the more manageable as winter finally draws to a close.

Pictured: rain on a window Source: jafara (Via Flickr)




Out with the old in with the new Megh Baral


It can give you a new identity that wasn’t tied to your previous relationship


How to get back to your smiley, single self

elationships - can’t live with them cant live without them. That constant feeling of being wanted Vs that feeling of being independent and free is a never-ending battle. I’m writing this article with a heavy heart as I too have had my fair share of heartbreaks, or rather heartbreak. When you’re in a relationship, things can go one of two ways – you can be happy and in love and live happily ever after or things with the person you love just can’t/won’t work out. No, I’m not saying it can’t be a mutual decision and yes, there can be many other variables involved but to put it bluntly - breakups suck. They hurt and they can get messy and complicated and you could end up in a terrible place. Thankfully, I’m here to help you. Now we can say time heals all wounds, but do we really need to give our breakup time and nothing more? There are so many ways we as individuals can do to move on with our lives and say goodbye to the misery of our heartbreaks. For instance, friends. Friends that you trust and have gone through the same stuff as you can be the best therapy. They make you realise that you didn’t always need that one person to survive – your friends can give you just as much joy or more! If you really get on with them.

Another way of diverting your mind to new things is travelling – I moved to University after my break up and the fact that I was in a different country and met so many new people from different backgrounds and stories to tell really allowed me to really get in touch with my inner self. So, whether you’re going to a city next door or an entirely different continent (like me!) travel anywhere and see what’s out there. A big don’t is bottling up your emo-

grief out in the form of exercise is a great motivator to get a great body! My personal favourite is to get into new forms of literature or art or music! Mixing up what you’re listening to and reading or watching can give you the feeling of a new identity that wasn’t tied to your previous relationship. Music, television and books can help you feel like you are not alone in what you are going through and other people share your pain. Music is sci-

entifically known to have therapeutic effects and can relieve your stress of the breakup. This path of self-discovery and getting over someone who was important isn’t easy. Tears and fixating on every little thing they did won’t help, it will only make it worse. But don’t worry, let it all settle in, assess your emotions and I assure you, you will become a better version of yourself because of it.

Pictured: broken heartSource: Navy_shewatchedthesky (Via Flickr)

They make you realise that you didn’t always need that one person to survive... tions, to get over someone you should first let all your feelings out – cry it out, scream is initially my best route to understanding what feelings I’m going through. It’s okay to feel like your entire world is crumbling, even if it’s not. If you’re not a big crier or not the type who believes in that sort of release, head to the gym – that energy that you were putting into your relationship could be used to benefit you in more ways than you think. Taking


A cheap and cheerful Valentines guide

Pictured: Couple walking in park. Source: storm crypt (Via Flickr)


uring the Christmas break Valentine’s Day seems ages away, but Christmas soon comes and goes and unfortunately so does the student loan. Buying for many friends and family at Christmas can leave student lovebirds pushed for pennies, but do not fret! There is still plenty to do on Valentine’s Day, even on a budget! For the people who appreciate the simpler (and cheaper) things in life, a lovely walk might be ideal. Cardiff has a few different parks that are definitely worth exploring, including

Bute, Roath and Heath. From miniature railways to quaint boat rides (think Bridget Jones) it’s always an nice, easy option! And who would ever say no to an ice cream? Evening meals can cost a pretty penny, so go out for brunch instead! At this time of day, the menu can be a lot cheaper and they often have deals. One of my favourite places in Cardiff is the Cosy Club in the city centre, which has a brunch menu available till 5pm, with the option to have a meal and hot drink for £7.99. It is, as the name suggests, pretty

cosy and chilled out, and somewhere to take it easy with your date.

Somewhere pretty cosy and chilled out, somewhere easy to take a date. If you fancy doing something a bit more exciting, you could always explore the different types of amusements in Cardiff . Hidden on the 3rd floor of the St David’s Shopping Centre is the gem that is Rainforest Adventure Golf. If you’ve never been, make sure you go! With student and 2-4-1 offers on the golf courses throughout the day, it is sure to bring out your competitive side! Superbowl UK (next to the stadium) also have different offers, like 2 games of bowling for £6 after 6pm. Likewise, Cineworld have really cheap cinema tickets at the moment. ‘The Shape of Water’ has been branded an ‘unforgettable love story’, so worth a look. Or if you’re feeling a bit more daring, rumour has it Mr Grey is back in cinemas on the 14th. Perhaps you would prefer a drink or two? Some live music? Whilst many queue until 2am to get into

Live Lounge on a night out, it can be quite chilled out during the day and early evening. Free as usual and still showing a variety of bands, you can relax with your loved one and have a meal at the music hub during the day. If you decide to stay longer, there are plenty of drink deals and 2-4-1 cocktails throughout the night. For those of you who fancy a change of scenery, why not go on a day trip somewhere? Bath, Birmingham and Bristol are all accessible by the Megabus from as little as £4, saving you big bucks. I recently went to Bristol Zoo with my boyfriend on the Megabus and the whole day came to roughly £20. There are plenty of coffee shops, museums and parks to wander around for the day and of course a variety of shops to spend your savings in. Or if you want to keep it nice and simple, you could always just stay in, cwtch on the sofa and forget it’s even Valentine’s Day. Rom Coms (Bridget Jones being my personal fave), or maybe you would prefer a movie marathon? Star Wars series could keep you busy all day if you fancy challenging yourself and of course, there’s always Netflix. Valentines day doesn’t have to be an exravagent display of affection, its all the small things that matter.


Look our for student discounts in places like around Cardiff


Ashley Boyle

Love on a student budget



Lent: Good things to give up and tips to stick to it! Abbie Rands


Seeing how far you’ve come motivates you to keep going


ent is just around the corner and for all us Christians, it’s about preparing for Easter. For everyone else, you might also use Lent as a time to make some changes and challenge yourself. It is worth noting that Lent does not always have to be about giving something up. There are lots of things that you can choose to actively take part in, instead of to better yourself and your community in this period. You could choose to volunteer: Cardiff Dog’s Home in Grangetown is always looking for volunteers, and the University is constantly updating its one-off and regular volunteering opportunities. These include everything from helping out at local schools and nursing homes, environmental clean-ups and installations and events staff at sporting events. With Jailbreak coming up in March, lots of volunteers will be needed to run Basecamp and keep tabs on our teams! If you are a Christian, why not contact your church and see how you can get involved? If you are thinking of things to go without, why not try a social media cleanse? Going without Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for forty days might sound impossible, but take

it from someone who has tried it, it really is beneficial. Making more effort to see friends and/or family in person means more memories and a welcome break from studying and classes. You could also take on round two of Dry January, and give up alcohol. The benefits of this don’t really need to be emphasised, just know that your liver (and your bank account) will definitely thank you. This doesn’t have to mean giving up nights out either, soft drinks are much cheaper and you don’t have to worry about overdoing it and wasting the next day in bed.

ing to give up something that you’re used to. So here are a few tips for keeping up your new resolutions! Cross off the days. It’s simple, but tried and tested. Seeing how far you’ve come motivates you to keep going, and if you’re finding it difficult, it can be helpful to take it one day at a time and always keep the end in sight! Do it with a friend! It’s much easier to give something up, or start something new, when you’re

doing it with someone else. You can push each other to keep going when you’re flagging, and it will almost definitely turn into a competition to see who can last longer. Write down why you want to start or go without something. Keep it somewhere you can see it, such as a pin board or your diary. There’s something to be said for reminding yourself why you’re doing this, and it will help you to remember it when things are get-

Pictured: Hot Cross Buns Source: horrigans (Via Flickr)

The benefits of this don’t need to be emphasised, just know your liver will thank you. You could also perhaps try going vegetarian or vegan if it’s something you’ve wanted to try for a while. There’s no long-term commitment, but you might find that it really works for you and continue once Lent is over! Of course, it’s sometimes too easy to fall of the wagon when you’re try-


Badvice: How to be single

Sarah Harris


The key to living a long, happy life is to be single.


know I’m supposed to be giving you bad advice here guys, but honestly this one may actually turn out to be pretty useful. Being the only one out of my friendship group who knows how to communicate with people of the opposite sex without having a verbal breakdown, my friends often ask me what it takes to get someone to date you. My reply most of the time is, “don’t do it. Being in a relationship is horrible.” Ironically, I write this just days after celebrating my 2-year anniversary with my boyfriend. However, at this current moment in time, it’s close to midnight and he’s fallen asleep in the middle of my bed and won’t wake up no matter how much noise I make or

how hard I shake him. So I’m not exactly his biggest fan right now. You see if you were single, you wouldn’t have to worry about miniscule things, such as sharing a duvet with someone or having to put the toilet seat back down/up after your partner. Being single is the way to go and I truly believe that. Although you would think it would be easy to be and stay single, it’s not as simple as you’d think. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’m sure most of you are craving for nothing more than to cuddle up with your someone special and binge watch an entire Netflix series but it’s important that you don’t let yourself be tempted by all the romance in the air.

In this day and age, university students are as thirsty as ever and with almost everyone having a wonderful little app called ‘Tinder’ on their phones, it’s really not that hard to find someone to fill that void you think you have in your heart. The key to staying single however, is by making yourself as unattractive and unavailable as you possibly can. Have a date? Turn up in your sweat pants and make sure you don’t brush your teeth that morning. Think someone is trying to chat you up? Pretend you don’t speak English. Get asked out? Run away. There will always be more cons then pros when it comes to getting in to a relationship and you know it. En-

joy your single life to the fullest and truly spoil yourself because, if you follow my advice, you won’t ever have anyone to spoil. And alas, Ladies and Gentlemen, the key to having a long and happy life is staying single. I know you all must have seen those articles written by people who live to be 110+ and thank their single life entirely for it. Being single is good for almost every aspect of your life, including your skin and hey, it’s also super nice to your bank account. So, don’t do it. Don’t get tempted, even when Cupid shoots an arrow at your heart. Focus on yourself, your education and your future. You’ll thank me one day.

Sometimes being single is better. Source: Wokandapix (Via Pixabay)






Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it


n the 9th February 2015, I officially dropped out of my Law degree. With a heavy heart and a battered bank account, I packed up my belongings from my Talybont North squat and reluctantly moved back into my family home, resigning myself to the fact that I simply wasn’t destined to be a lawyer. I spent the subsequent months in a state of turmoil, unsure if I had made the right decision and wondering what my future would hold. Three years later, I am now entering the final semester of my English and Journalism degree and am five months away from graduating. However, despite thoroughly enjoying my current course, the feelings of selfdoubt never truly diminish. Learning how to cope when things don’t go to plan is a skill, and one that I am still in the process of mastering- but where do we begin? In truth, even the most successful people must fail in order to progress. It’s just a fact of life. I’m sure many of you will have seen the #inspo posts on Twitter which contend that even the likes of JK Rowling and Ricky Gervais only achieved success in their field after turning thirty,

but that still doesn’t give me peace of mind after I’ve done particularly badly in an assignment or failed my driving test. In cases such as this, it is natural to want to panic, cry, or throw the towel in, but you must soldier on. It is also paramount to ensure that the source of your misery is not due to comparison with others. The biggest piece of advice I was once given is that people will always naturally shout louder about their achievements; but you won’t always be aware when these people don’t do as well as they expected. The larger-than-life character who talks the loudest in your seminar group may not always be achieving the best grades. Similarly, the person with a picture-perfect social media output may not always be reflecting the true reality of their situation. Don’t get me wrong, competition is healthy, but university culture can pit you against your peers in the hunt for academic and professional success, leaving you feeling deflated if you fail to achieve what you hoped for. Since 2018 began, I have been rejected from countless job applications, failed to get to the next stage in a graduate scheme interview and

failed my driving test after three minutes (which must be a record). In situations such as this, it is very easy to start doubting yourself and your capabilities. Just yesterday I said to my personal tutor in a fit of panic “It’s just been a fluke that I’ve made it this far in university. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life”. However, there are always ways that you can help yourself. If we were all more open and honest about our failings it would encourage others to know that it is totally okay not to always get things right the first time, diminishing a certain level of social pressure. And besides, if we were to always achieve things first time around, how would we know how to improve ourselves? Life would be pretty boring. Even those born into privilege will experience times of frustration and failure – it’s what makes us human. As many of us embark upon the minefield that will be our twenties, it important to keep this sentiment in mind. I know I speak for many when I say that as a child I held certain expectations of this decade; I thought I would get married aged twenty-one and have children

when I was twenty-three just like my Mum. I genuinely believed I’d be settled with three children by the age of thirty. The reality is that I’m now twenty-two, I live back at home and my Mum does my ironing for me, so things thus far aren’t exactly going to plan. However, that’s life. Like I mentioned in last week’s column, the goals that we set for ourselves may not always be met, and that’s okay. Sometimes we’ll get a disappointing mark in a piece of coursework and be tempted to sack it all off and head for the hills. But you must keep calm and carry on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to be sad if things don’t go to plan, but after a while, make sure you recuperate and come back fighting. Work out how you can do better next time, and put all of your energy into trying again. If you’re open to the idea of change and don’t put yourself under pressure to achieve a strict criteria, you will undoubtedly live a more content life. However cliché it may sound, you can be safe in the knowledge that if you do your best, failure can pass you by and you will know how to deal with it. If in doubt, however, take advice from Ronan Keating.

Pictured: Top: Rollercoaster Source: paulbr75 (Via Pixabay)


University culture can pit you against your peers in the hunt for academic success


Alice Dent

How to cope with failure



campus life


Cardiff University hot spots I

t seems natural to start this spread with the heart of our campus. The Main Building, the much beloved and Instagrammed hub of Cardiff University. The inside of our Main Building is a maze of Hogwarts-esque corridors whose walls and floors have beared witness to many great names, faces and goings-on. Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock to name but a few.

Pictured: Header: Main Building at night Source: Betsy Kharas Above: Inside Main Building Source: Jess Warren

From the first open day we attend as propesctive students and then everyday after that, we have the pleasure of walking past this stunning building. As time goes on it becomes part of the background and perhaps we forget about its importance to our institution. At least until those rare sunny days or picturesque sunsets that make us pause, stop and take those oh-so-postable pictures of the building itself.


he Students’ Union is undoubtedly an asset to Cardiff University. The Students’ Union continuously ranks highly in numerous surveys and studies denoting student satisfaction and the student experience. It is important we don’t take our Union and the wealth of services it provides for granted. The Students’ Union houses study spaces like The Lounge and the Post-Graduate Library, great places to socialise like The Taf and the food court, and tonnes

of amazing services both Union and student-led. With initiatives like the Jobshop and services like Cardiff Student Letting, our Union paves the way in student care. The Union acts as the centre piece for student life at Cardiff University. There’s always something going on in the Union building whether it be an awareness or activities week or a club night, you can be sure there’s never going to be a quiet day in Cardiff University’s award winning Student’s Union.

Pictured: [Top Right] Behind Main Building Source: Emma Ogao [Far Right]: Students’ Union Source: Cardiff Student Media


Ashley Boyle Pictured: [Above] Principaliy StadiumSource: Ashley Boyle



rincipality Stadium, whilst it might not be the most calming place to be, is definitely one of my favourite places to spend time at. No matter what stress or work I’m under, going to the stadium and getting engrossed in a game of

hen I think of peaceful places in Cathays, there are not many places that spring to mind, especially in the Uni, but there

rugby is something that I have so much time for. One of the main reasons why this is such a fantastic place to be is due to the atmosphere created by the fans. Wherever you sit, you can feel the energy from all of the supporters and you can’t

is one place I can go to chill out with friends, or to clear my mind at the end of a long day. The third-floor balconies are an underrated

help but get caught up in it all. I’ve seen several matches at the Principality and every time I arrive and leave with a beaming smile, regardless of the end result. If you haven’t been to watch a game of Rugby here in Wales, I urge you to do so.

and almost undiscovered place to relax and enjoy the city. The view over Park Place is lovely, especially on a sunny day, and despite the hub-bub on


ute park is one of my favourite places to chill out and relax. In the evening when the sun is about to set and the birds are chirping, it takes you away to a different place – away from all the hustle and bustle of university life and back to the calm outdoors, which I am so used to back at home. Cardiff is lucky enough

to have this great escape so close to the university campus, which is why I love this city so much. I’m a big fan of the bike rental shop which makes it easy to explore the whole park in one evening. This photograph shows the River Taf in the late afternoon and it was taken whilst on the boat that travels from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay.


Pictured: Far right: Bute Park Source: Ashley Boyle Below: Alexandra Gardens Source: Molly Jackson Below left: The Taf Source: Laura Price

the streets below, it’s very tranquil. You can access the balconies from The Lounge on the third floor, and are the perfect spot to eat your meal deal.


he Taf holds a special place in my heart being the first place I ventured as a Fresher. I made the walk from Talybont South to The Taf with people I’d barely known three hours and the rest is history. The Taf is a venue for all occasions whether you’re watching sports, attending the quiz, comiserating or celebrating.

Whatever it is it can be done in The Taf. It’s a great venue within the Union not only somewhere to wet your whistle but with a huge range of food on the menu, vegan too, The Taf is suitable for breakfast

lunch or dinner. In just a year and a half I’ve made so many great memories in The Taf. As a hub for socialising and meeting friends, it’s a brilliant addition to the Union.

sign-up ÂŁ15 per person

Chwilio am waith cyflogedig cyn gwyliau’r Pasg? Mae gennym lawer o gyfleoedd ar gael yn y Stadiwm Principality yn ystod Chwefror a Mawrth! Cofretrwch gyda’r Siopswyddi neu cysylltwch â ni am fwy o fanylion. 2nd floor, Students’ Union

029 2078 1535





@cmccaerdydd | #GRTafod

A ydy elw yn bwysicach na diogelwch i yrrwyr y ‘Cabs’ Du?


r Nos Wener yr 2il o Chwefror, am 2y.b gwrthododd tri gyrrwr tacsi gludo tair myfyrwraig ifanc adref o ganol dinas Caerdydd i stryd Harriet, Cathays cyn i’r pedwerydd gyrrwr gytuno, ar yr amod eu bod yn talu ei bris delfrydol ef ac nid pris y mesurydd. Yn dilyn yr achos dair blynedd yn ôl gyda gyrwyr y ‘Cabs’ du yn gwrthod ‘teithiau byr’ i fyfyrwyr wedi nifer o achosion o drais yn y ddinas, ac wedi i Bethan Jenkins AC Plaid Cymru erfyn ar y cyngor i weithredu, mae’r broblem yn amlwg dal i barhau. Gwrthodwyd cludo Rhian Floyd, myfyrwraig yn ei thrydedd flwyddyn ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd sy’n astudio Cymraeg a Saesneg adref benwythnos diwethaf, wedi iddi ofyn am dacsi i’w chartref yn Stryd Harriet. ‘’Mae’n warthus’’ meddai. ‘’Doedd yr un ohonom wedi meddwi, yr unig beth roedden ni eisiau oedd cyrraedd adref yn saff.’’ Ychwanegodd, ‘’Cytunwyd ein cludo adref gan y pedwerydd gyrrwr ar yr amod ein bod yn talu £10 yn hytrach na’r pris ar y mesurydd. Dydy’r daith i’n tŷ ni byth yn costio £10! Beth petai merch ifanc ar ei phen ei hun yn ein sefyllfa ni, a dim £10 ganddi?’’ Wrth ddynodi eu cyfeiriad i dri gyrrwr ‘Cab’ du gwahanol, yr un oedd ymateb y tri, ‘’try the next taxi’’. Wedi cwyno yn y gorffennol i gyngor Caerdydd am sefyllfa unfath flwyddyn yn ôl, dywedodd Rhian nad yw’r cyngor yn aml-

wg yn gwneud digon i leihau’r broblem. ‘’Mae’n bryd i’r cyngor gadw llygad craff ar bwy sy’n dilyn y rheolau.’’ Roedd Leah Williams, sy’n dod yn wreiddiol o Aberteifi ac sy’n fyfyrwraig yn ei thrydedd flwyddyn ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd gyda Rhian ar y pryd. Dywedodd ei bod hi’n derbyn y byddai’r tacsis yn brysur tan oriau man y bore, gan ei bod hi’n benwythnos gêm rygbi, ond doedd hi ddim wedi rhagweld y byddai sefyllfa fel hyn yn codi. ‘’Dylai’r ffaith bod ein taith ni yn llai o bellter nag eraill ddim rhoi’r hawl i yrwyr y ‘Cabs’ du ein gwrthod, nac ychwaith codi pris y daith.’’ Ychwanegodd, ‘’Mae’n warthus fod elw yn bwysicach na diogelwch i yrwyr y cabs du.’’ Mewn ymateb i fy ymholiadau flwyddyn yn ôl, dywedodd Cyngor Caerdydd sy’n rhoi trwyddedu i’r Cabs Du, ‘’Mae’n hanfodol fod y Cabs yn glynu at y telerau ac amodau. Os yw’r daith yn cychwyn ac yn gorffen o fewn ffiniau Caerdydd yna mae’n rhaid i’r mesurydd gael ei ddefnyddio ac mae’n orfodol i’r gyrrwr tacsi dderbyn y daith, oni bai fod y person yn rhy feddw neu’n fygythiol.’’ I ategu, union flwyddyn yn ôl gofynnwyd i’r Cyngor a oeddent yn cydnabod fod ymddygiad gyrwyr y Cabs du yn broblem o hyd, ac oni ddylai’r gyrwyr fod yn fwy cefnogol ar benwythnosau prysurach er enghraifft, penwythnos gêm rygbi i sicrhau fod pawb yn cyrraedd adref yn saff.

Yn y llun: Tacsis yng Nghaerdydd (Tarddiad: Elen Davies)

‘’Mae’r mwyafrif o yrwyr tacsi yn llysgenhadon da i’r ddinas,’’ meddent.’’Serch hynny, ni wnawn oddef gwasanaeth drwg y lleiafrif. Os yw gyrrwr Cab du yn gwrthod cludo rhywun adref oherwydd bod y pellter yn rhy fyr, neu os nad yw’r gyrrwr yn cyrraedd eu gofynion, dylid rhoi cwyn i adran drwydded Cyngor Caerdydd.’’ Wrth atgoffa’r Cyngor wythnos ddiwethaf fod y broblem yn dal i barhau tair blynedd yn ddiweddarach, derbyniais e-bost yn dweud eu bod wedi gweithredu ac erlyn yn llwyddiannus mewn perthynas â nifer o achosion o’r fath o’r blaen. I ategu, dywedasant eu bod yn medru symud y cwyn ymlaen cyhyd a bod yr aelod o’r cyhoedd yn darparu tystiolaeth allweddol, gan gynnwys datga-

niad tyst ffurfiol a mynychu’r llys i roi tystiolaeth. Mae tystiolaeth o’r math yn cynnwys profi fod y cerbyd a’r gyrrwr ar gael i’w llogi (fod y golau ‘for hire’ ymlaen), cadarnhad o’r gwrthodiad a manylion ynghylch beth yn union y dywedodd y gyrrwr, cadarnhad fod y ffi yn dechrau a gorffen o fewn ffiniau Caerdydd ynghyd â manylion llawn y lleoliad, yr amser a’r cerbyd dan sylw. Ond mae yna bryderon ymysg y myfyrwyr o hyd, ‘’Mae’n broblem sydd angen ei daclo, mae’r cwynion eisoes wedi cal eu rhoi dro ar ôl tro. Dydy myfyrwyr ddim eisiau bod ynghlwm â rhoi datganiad tyst ffurfiol nac ychwaith mynd i’r llys. O ganlyniad, mae’r gyrrwyr yn parhau i ymddwyn fel hyn!’’


Mae’n warthus fod elw yn bwysicach na diogelwch i yrwyr y cabs du

Barn y bobl: Craith


Elen Davies

Coedwig, corff a chraith…Dydy hynny ‘mond y dechrau yn y ddrama drosedd newydd sbon, Craith sydd â’r nod o arwain y gwylwyr ar daith iasol a chyffrous. Y Taf-od sy’n mynd ati i weld beth mae’r myfyrwyr yn credu o’r ddrama wyth rhan sydd newydd ddechrau ar S4C. Dylan Nicholas

Elen Jones

Tomos Evans

Gwen Shenton

Myfyriwr Busnes a Rheolaeth, trydedd flwyddyn, Prifysgol Fetropolitan Caerdydd

Myfyrwraig Cymraeg a Newyddiaduraeth, blwyddyn gyntaf, Prifysgol Caerdydd

Myfyriwr Cymraeg a Newyddiaduraeth, blwyddyn gyntaf, Prifysgol Caerdydd

Myfyrwraig Cymraeg a Newyddiaduraeth, ail flwyddyn, Prifysgol Caerdydd

‘’Dwi wedi stopio gwylio’r gyfres yn barod. Mae’n rhy debyg i ddramâu Saesneg megis Broadchurch. Dwi ddim yn credu fod y ddrama mewn cymhariaeth â unrhyw ddrama Gymraeg arall ychwaith. Dwi wedi fy siomi.’’

‘’Er gwaethaf y plot dwys a thywyll, mae’r ddrama’n ffres i wylwyr S4C wrth gymharu â dramâu eraill y sianel. Mae’n rhoi rhyw fflach wahanol ar ddramau Cymreig!’’

‘’Braf yw gweld S4C yn parhau gyda’i thraddodiad hir o ddramâu tywyll a gafaelgar gyda Craith. Ni fyddai nosweithiau Sul yr un peth hebddynt.’’

‘’Mae hi’n dda cael gwylio drama fywiog, afaelgar cyfrwng Cymraeg sy’n ymdrin â themau sensitive. Fel oedolyn ifanc rwy’n falch i weld fod S4C yn parhau i greu rhaglenni sy’n addas ar gyfer amrywiaeth o oedrannau. Rwy’n mwynhau’r gyfres.’’

Carwyn Hawkins

Myfyriwr Cymraeg ail flwyddyn, Prifysgol Caerdydd ‘’Ar ôl y rhaglen gyntaf fi ‘di penderfynu peidio gwylio mwy gan fod y stori’n araf. Fi’n teimlo bod angen stori newydd bob yn ail bennod i gael amrywiaeth o storie a safbwyntie.’’



Trafferthion tai i fyfyrwyr y drydedd flwyddyn Mis Ionawr, digon o amser ar gyfer chwilio tŷ at fis Medi…na, nid yng Nghaerdydd.

Yn y llun: Stryd Rhuthin (Tarddiad: Peter Clayton drwy Wikimedia)


yda myfyrwyr blwyddyn gyntaf a’r ail wedi ymrwymo am dai ar gyfer fis Medi cyn y Nadolig, prin yw’r dewis ar gyfer y rhai sy’n gorfod aros am gynigion cyrsiau ôl-radd neu am swyddi. Wrth ddyheu am gael aros yng Nghaerdydd ond heb sicrwydd ein bod am dderbyn lle ar gwrs ôl-radd, mae’n hynod o anodd i fyfyrwyr y drydedd flwyddyn ymrwymo am dŷ. Gyda nifer yn dweud fod ‘digon o dai ar gael’ ac i ‘beidio panicio’, rwyf innau wedi profi nad yw hynny’n wir. Oes, mae digon o dai yn weddill ond na, chewch chi ddim gwerth am arian ac na, dydyn nhw ddim yn addas ar gyfer moch. Wythnos ddiwethaf, es i a fy ffrindiau i weld 10 tŷ gwahanol, a hynny gan amryw o asiantaethau gwahanol

1. Pwy wyt ti, pa flwyddyn prifysgol a beth wyt ti’n astudio? Lisa Hughes, myfyriwr blwyddyn gyntaf yn astudio Ffrangeg a Gwleidyddiaeth. 2. Pam dewis Caerdydd i astudio?

gan gynnwys Cardiff Student Letting y Brifysgol. Yn ôl ei gwefan, ei bwriad yw, ‘ensuring that students find quality houses owned by reputable landlords.’ Gallaf ddatgan nad oedd ‘quality’ yn perthyn i’r tai a welsom ac nad oedd y lluniau ar y we ychwaith yn cyfateb o gwbl i gyflwr y tai. Mewn un tŷ gan un asiantaeth gwêl llwydni er enghraifft o dop y tŷ i’r gwaelod. Dywedodd gweithiwr yr asiant, ‘Yr unig reswm mae’r llwydni yn bodoli yw oherwydd bod oergell mewn un ystafell ac yn achosi llwydni. Gallwn ni beintio dros y llwydni.’ Ers pryd mae ychydig o baent yn cael gwared o lwydni? I ategu, dywedodd un dyn, ‘Ni fydd y tŷ yn edrych ddim byd fel mae e nawr. Bydd y cyfan yn cael ei ail wneud dros yr haf.’ Ac eto, wrth ofyn

iddo nodi hynny yn y cytundeb, nid oedd yn gallu sicrhau hynny, gan nad oedd yn siŵr beth yn union fyddai’n cael ei ail-wneud. Nid cyflwr y tai yw’r unig broblem wrth gwrs, ond eu pris hefyd. £360 y mis heb filiau am dŷ llawn llwydni er enghraifft, lle gellid cael tŷ am yr un pris o safon llawer uwch petai ni wedi dewis tŷ cyn y ‘dolig. Yn ddigon teg, mae’n broblem na allwn ei ddatrys o ran pryd mae ôl-fyfyrwyr yn clywed yn ôl am geisiadau gradd meistr a swyddi, ac yn amlwg, mae’n ddigon teg nad yw’r dewis mor eang ar gyfer y math o dai sydd ar gael. Fy nadl i fodd bynnag yw a yw’n deg fod asiantaethau tai yn llwyr dwyllo myfyrwyr fod llwydni yn broblem y gellid ei ddatrys yn hawdd? Fod y tai ‘yn fargen’, mewn ‘ideal location’ er na

fyddai’r un ohonyn nhw yn ystyried byw ynddynt. Ac a yw’n dderbyniol fod y lluniau mewn nifer o achosion wedi eu tynnu pan adeiladwyd y tai yn gyntaf, pump, chwe, ddeng mlynedd yn ôl? Prin y gellid sylweddoli mai dyna’r tai yr oedden ni wedi ymweld â nhw. Ceir un enghraifft lle’r oedd y tŷ yn gwbl wahanol i’r lluniau ar-lein. Gofynnais, ‘Is this the same house as the one on your website?’ cyn derbyn ateb, ‘Oh no, we just put a picture of one of our other properties on the website because they’re similar enough.’ Holl bwrpas rhoi lluniau arlein yw cael rhagflas o’r tŷ yr oeddem am ei weld, ag eto, nid dyna’r tŷ? Mae’n warthus fod asiantaethau tai yn cael yr hawl i ymddwyn mewn ffordd mor anfoesol, yn llythrennol

6. Beth yw dy hoff siocled/losin? Call me boring ond Dairy Milk

7. Ar dy ddiwrnod olaf ar y blaned, beth fyddet ti’n ei wneud?

trwy’r dydd, bob dydd! O.N byddai’r mansion hefyd efo zip wire ac ice rink! 11. Pa air wyt ti’n ei ddefnyddio amlaf? ‘Fatha’. Dwi’n ei ddeud o ar ôl/cyn pob gair.

‘Swni’n mynd i draeth Nolton Haven yn Sir Benfro gyda fy nheulu a ffrindia i farchota ceffyla ar y traeth a nofio yn y dŵr. Mae o’n un o lefydd pwysica’ fy mhlentyndod.

12. Sgidie neu bagie?

3. Pa flas creision yw dy ffefryn?

8. Beth sy’n mynd dan dy groen di?

Dwi’m yn ffysd am greision rili, ond dwi fel arfar yn dewis prawn cocktail (oherwydd y paced pinc ofs)

Rhoi straw mewn cwpan mcdonalds. Ma’r sŵn yn troi arna i gymaint.

13. Pa ddigwyddiad gododd y fwyaf o embaras arnot ti erioed?

4. Beth yw’r ffilm orau i ti weld erioed?

9. Pe taset yn cael bod yn berson arall am ddiwrnod pwy fyddai ef/hi?

Di Game of Thrones yn cyfri?

Barack Obama neu Morgan Freeman. Dwisio gwbod sut ma’n teimlo i gal llais mor cŵl!

Yr Ariannin er mwyn mynd i Batagonia. ‘Swni’n teimlo’n wirion yn gwrthod y cyfla i ymweld â phobl sy’n medru’r Gymraeg bendraw’r byd

Mae’n hynod o anodd i fyfyrwyr y drydedd flwyddyn ymrwymo am dai

Yn Trafod yr wythnos hon... Lisa Hughes

Bwrlwm y brifddinas, y cyfleoedd maith, y gymuned Gymraeg glòs ac wrth gwrs, y sesh! Cwestiwn gwirion!

5. Pe taset yn cael teithio i un wlad, i ble fyddet ti’n mynd?



Elen Davies

10. Pe taset ti’n ennill y loteri, beth fyddai’r peth cyntaf i ti brynu? ‘Swni’n prynu mansion efo stafell gerddoriaeth anferth yn cynnwys rhai o DJ’s Clwb Ifor a phwy bynnag dwi’n ffansi gwrando arnyn nhw y diwrnod hwnnw i chwarae miwsig byw

Sgidia. Dydy mynd rownd yn droednoeth ddim yn apelio rhywsut...

Dwi’m hyd yn oed yn gwybod gan bo’ rwbath yn digwydd mor aml!! 14. Pwy oeddet ti’n ei ffansio pan oeddet yn iau? Aston Merrygold o JLS, y Peter Pan blonde ‘na a Morhange o Les Choristes sef ffilm Ffrangeg ‘ma oddan ni’n gwylio ym mlwyddyn 9. Omg oni’n obsessed. 15. Peint neu Prosecco? Peint yn hanfodol ar faes y ‘Sdeddfod neu tra’n gwylio gema’ Rygbi ond os dwi’n teimlo’n

classy prosecco all the way! 16. Pe taset ti ar ynys ac yn cael mynd a thri pheth yn unig, beth fydden nhw? Powlen o Weetabix (allai’m mynd unrhyw fora heb) a’r cyfuniad o Vodka ac Elin Wyn Owen fel adloniant class. 17. Oes gen ti unrhyw arferion drwg? Fel ma pawb sy’n nabod fi yn gwybod, dwi’n ofnadwy am fod yn hwyr i bob man..a cholli ambell bwrs. Wps? 18. Beth yw’r noson orau i ti ei chael erioed? Fedrai’m dewis. Unai unrhyw noson wrth y tân yn yr ysgol yn Zambia, neu yn Lille ar ôl buddugoliaeth olaf Cymru yn yr Euros!! 19. Pobl y Cwm neu Rownd a Rownd? Rownd a Rownd oherwydd fel rhan fwyaf o Ogledd Cymru dwi ‘di bod digon ffodus i serennu fel extra ar y rhaglen! 20. Pwy fydd yn Trafod gyda’r Taf-od wythnos nesaf? Seren Haf Llewelyn.





@osianwynmorgan | #MwydronMorgan

O Ferthyr i Fagaluf - O nerth i nerth i S4C Yn y llun : Sion Jenkins, cyflwynwr ‘Ein Byd’ yn Magaluf (Tarddiad: S4C)


Gyda chyfresi fel Y Gwyll a Bang , mae S4C wedi profi fod ganddynt y gallu i greu dramâu modern, bachog a hynod gyffrous, sydd nid yn unig wedi diddanu’r Cymry, ond wedi creu argraff ledled y byd.


haid i mi gyfaddef, dwi erioed di bod yn un i wylio llawer o S4C. Ers imi gyrraedd yr oedran lle roeddwn yn gallu gweithio’r remote a dewis rhaglenni fy hun, rwyf wedi tueddu i ddewis rhaglenni Saesneg Eingl-Americanaidd dros unrhyw gynnyrch Cymraeg. Doeddwn i erioed yn un o’r pobl oedd yn honni fod ‘popeth ar S4C yn ddiflas’, ond sŵn i’n celwydda os byswn i’n dweud nad oedd rhaid imi orfodi fy hun drwy benodau o Jonathan a Gwaith Cartref jest er mwyn teimlo fy mod i’n cefnogi’r Gymraeg mewn rhyw ffordd. Fodd bynnag, dros y flwyddyn neu ddwy ddiwethaf, mae fy mherthynas gydag S4C wedi newid cryn dipyn. Rwyf bellach yn gwylio llawer mwy ohono nag erioed o’r blaen, ac nid fel ryw ymdrech diawydd i ddangos cefnogaeth at y Gymraeg, ond oherwydd fy mod i wirioneddol wrth fy modd gyda rhai o’r sioeau sydd wedi ymddangos ar ein sianel genedlaethol yn ddiweddar. Un math o raglen sydd wedi creu argraff arnaf yn ddiweddar, yw math o raglen y mae S4C wedi serennu ynddo dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf – sef dramâu. Gyda chyfresi fel Y Gwyll a Bang, mae S4C wedi profi fod ganddynt y gallu i greu dramâu modern, bachog a hynod gyffrous, sydd nid yn unig wedi diddanu’r Cymry, ond wedi creu argraff ledled y byd. I ychwanegu at y rhain, mae’r dramâu diweddaraf, Un Bore Mercher a Craith, wedi bod ychydig yn fwy arloesol, gan roi ryw ‘spin’ ar y fformat arferol o dditectif yn chwilio

am lofruddiwr, sydd wedi fy ngadael yn y pendro wythnosol o orfod poeni sut dwi am gael drwy’r 167 awr nesaf cyn darganfod beth fydd yn digwydd yn y bennod nesaf. Math arall o raglen sydd wedi fy ymddiddori dros yr wythnosau diwethaf yw’r rhaglen ddogfen. Gyda’r rhaglen ddogfen Cynefin, sy’n astudio bröydd Cymru o dan grib man, ac Ein Byd sydd wedi dadansoddi rhai o’r problemau mwyaf sy’n effeithio ar bobl a gwledydd ledled y byd, mae S4C wedi llwyddo i gynnig sylwebaeth ar y lleol, a’r bydol – o Ferthyr i Fagaluf! Er ei fod yn bwysig iawn fod S4C yn creu rhaglenni sydd yn Gymreig eu naws, yn ogystal â Chymraeg eu hiaith, mae’n allweddol fod S4C yn ymafael a materion byd-eang, a rhoi cyfle i ni ddysgu am faterion y byd drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, a thrwy lygaid y Cymry. Mae’n debyg mai fy hoff fath o raglen teledu yw rhaglenni comedi, a gyda thristwch ni allaf wadu’r ffaith nad yw S4C yn dod yn agos i gystadlu gyda chynnyrch Saesneg yn y maes hwn. Fel llawer o bobl ifanc, does ‘na’m llawer o bethau sy’n well gen i i wneud na eistedd lawr am gwpl o oriau y diwrnod ar ôl noson allan a gwylio rhaglenni ‘sattire’ fel The Office, Friends, neu The Inbertweeners. Mae hwn yn sicr yn faes sydd angen i S4C edrych i mewn iddi. O un peth, does ‘na’m hyd yn oed adran gomedi ar wefan S4C, arwydd clir o ddiffyg eu hymdriniaeth a’r maes. Fodd bynnag, ymddengys fod comedi yn prysur ddod yn rhan o ‘radar’ S4C, gyda nifer

o raglenni sydd wedi fy ngadael mewn dagrau dros y misoedd diwethaf (rhai yn ddagrau o lawenydd, ac ambell ddeigryn o dristwch ar ôl imi ddarganfod fod S4C wedi peidio comisiynu trydedd gyfres o Deuawdau Rhys Meirion, ond nai beidio agor hen glwyfau yn yr erthygl hon...) Dros y Nadolig, roedden yn ffodus i weld tair rhaglen ‘stand-up’ Gymraeg ar y teledu, gyda sioe anhygoel Elis James yn serennu, yn ogystal â sioe ddigrif Tudur Owen a Sian Harries O’r Diwedd. Yn ogystal, ‘sŵn i ddim yn gallu sgwennu erthygl am gynnyrch diweddar S4C heb sôn am Priodas Pum Mil. Heb os un o fy hoff raglenni erioed – mewn unrhyw iaith. Dwi’n deallt fod y sioe ychydig yn ‘cheesy’, a ddim yn rhywbeth y byddech chi’n disgwyl i fyfyriwr ugain oed ei hoffi – ond dwi wrth fy modd gyda’r sioe! Wrth gwrs, mae’r cynnydd yn y rhaglenni diweddar yn gam mawr yn y cyfeiriad cywir i S4C, ond mae yna lawer iawn o botensial sydd ddim eisoes wedi ei gyflawni gan y sianel. Er y twf mewn rhaglenni comedi yn ddiweddar, mae’r comedi dal yn brin yn fy marn i, a byddai creu rhaglen ‘sattire’ neu ryw fath o sioe banel yn sicr yn werth trio. Er fod Celwydd Noeth yn rhaglen gwis unigryw a diddorol, byddai’n syniad i S4C gymryd ychydig o ysbrydoliaeth o’r ffaith fod rhaglenni gwis poblogaidd ar y sianeli Saesneg, fel Pointless a The Chase, yn ymddangos yn ddyddiol ar y teledu, yn hytrach na’n achlysurol fel Celwydd Noeth. Syniad arall a fyddai yn siŵr o fod

yn boblogaidd ymysg gwylwyr a darpar wylwyr S4C, yw syniad a welais ar Twitter ychydig o fisoedd yn ôl, sef y syniad o gael sioe newyddion boreol ar y sianel, fersiwn Cymraeg o’r math o sioeau sy’n cael eu darlledu ledled y byd mewn amryw o ieithoedd. Efallai ei fod braidd yn annhebygol y byddai S4C yn gallu perswadio Phillip Schofield a Holly Willoughby i ddysgu’r Gymraeg a gwneud y naid o This Morning ar ITV i’n sianel genedlaethol ni, ond mae ‘na fwy na digon o gyflwynwyr Cymraeg y byddai wrth eu boddau gyda’r cyfle i gyflwyno’r math yna o raglen! Dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, felly, rwyf wedi newid o laslanc ifanc oedd yn gwylio S4C o bryd i’w gilydd er sech gwylio rhywbeth yn Gymraeg, i rywun sydd wrth fy modd gyda’r sianel, ac sydd methu aros i weld beth sydd ar y gweill i’n sianel genedlaethol. Er fod S4C, yn fy marn i, bellach yn cynnig amrywiaeth o raglenni o safon uchel, sydd yn apelio at bob siaradwr Cymraeg, gallwn ni ddim anwybyddu’r ffaith nad yw un sianel yn ddigon i fodloni pawb. Gyda’r celfyddydau yn faes hollbwysig i ddyfodol y Gymraeg, mae rhaid inni sylweddoli nad yw un sianel yn ddigon i allu cynhyrchu a darlledu digon o sioeau sydd at ddant pob Cymro a Chymraes o bob oed, cefndir, rhyw a chefndir ieithyddol. Pwy a ŵyr beth fydd yn nyfodol S4C, ond am rŵan, os oes rhywun o S4C yn darllen yr erthygl hon, mae gennyf un neges fach i chi – daliwch ati!


Wrth gwrs, mae’r cynnydd yn y rhaglenni diweddar yn gam mawr yn y cyfeiriad cywir i S4C, ond mae yna lawer iawn o botensial sydd ddim eisoes wedi ei gyflawni gan y sianel.


Osian Morgan


FIVE MINUTE FUN 33 As it’s Valentines this week, our favourite Mystic McGuig is back to shed light on what the special day may have in store for you this year. Will you find your love over a VK in the SU? Or will you be getting Family Fish for one? She’s like any of us during the day, a normal student, but at night she transforms into the one, the only....


Val e n tin e s E d i t i o n Aries - March 21st to April 19th Aries, how many times does Dua Lipa have to say it?! DON’T PICK UP THE PHONE! Mystic McGuig is here for you, but you need to stop playin’ yourself. At the end of the day, you are more precious than that golden retriever doggo with the egg in its mouth, so start acting like it! Leo - July 23rd to August 22nd LEO! Now you know all of Mystic McGuig’s soulmates are Leos, so I may be a bit biased in thinking you’re sincerely the most beautiful person to ever exist besides Kimberly Noel Kardashian-West. I don’t EVEN want to hear you say a negative word about yourself this Valentine’s, spend that love on yourSELF hun. Can we watch Twilight when I get home? Sagittarius - November 22nd to December 21st Well, well, well… what do we have here? Mystic McGuig is actually very pleased to report that your Valentine’s Day will be full of love and appreciation! (I can be nice sometimes, what can I say?) Just remember, not all love is romantic so keep your heart open for others around you to show just how much they care. And if it is romantic… all I’m gonna say is pick a less weird safe word this time. Gemini - May 21st to June 30th Ah, Gemini, hello my fickle friend. Looks like you’ve got your pick of the pack this Valentine’s! You may not realise it, but you’re looking better than ever and people are starting to notice. Maybe it’s Maybelline, or maybe it’s the fact that the new Tim Hortons has made you THICC and we are all HERE FOR IT. I’ll say no more, Mystic out. Libra - September 23rd to October 22nd Yikes! Mystic McGuig foresees a CATFISH situation in your near future! Trust me, we’ve all been there. At least they know their angles for pics but hun-KNEE they did not showcase that snaggle tooth on Tinder. You live and you learn, and in this case you you learned you should’ve stayed home. Aquarius - January 20th to Feburary 18th Love is in the air, Aquarius! Oh wait, maybe it’s a VK bottle, what kind of person throws them when they’re done?! I see you’ve been spending plenty of time in the SU – the most romantic place in the world. I hope you’re enjoying those sloppy kisses with Rugby Lads™ and I’m crossing my fingers they’ve had VK Ice and not the green one (gross). Whatever you’re up to, Aquarius, I hope they buy you Family Fish on the way home.

Cancer - June 21st to July 22nd I mean… if you have to ask if they’re cute, they’re probably not. But hey ho, getcha head in the game. Scorpio - October 23rd to November 21st Why, hello there. We all know that Mystic McGuig is a Scorpio herself and is the first to say we get an undeserved bad reputation. However, this Valentine’s the tides are turning and things are actually starting to look up. Wait, no, you just dissociated. Things are still tough down here on earth but I do foresee you getting your love life back on track, and in the GOOD way. So at least there’s that. Pisces - Februrary 19th to March 20th Uh-oh, Pisces, looks like someone’s got their eye on you! Bad news, though, it’s that girl from your seminar that you just KNOW is way too into horses. We’re talking Pony-Club-Loving-Probably-OwnsAn-Item-Of-Clothing-With-An-EmbroideredHorse-Head-On-The-Front-And-Knows-How-ToDo-French-Plaits-A-Little-TOO-Well girl named Madison that stares that little bit too intently when you pipe up in seminar group discussions. Listen, cut and run. Mystic McGuig is prayin’ for ya. Taurus - April 20th to May 20th Mystic McGuig knows not everything has gone to plan for this V-Day, but you can get through it! Summon your inner Leslie Knope and spend the time and money investing in your friends and the people that have always and will always love ya. This Valentine’s Day, I hope you get the same feeling you get when it’s FINALLY your turn to use the loo on a busy Wednesday SU night. Things will get better, except maybe that girls’ toilet queue. Pick your battles and all that. Virgo - August 23rd to September 22nd Yeah, they were cute. And yeah, it was fun, but there’s no need to double dip and ruin the memory, Virgo. We’ve been down this road before, and I still stand by that you should have saved yourself for Will Smith, but no one likes to hear “I told you so.” And yes, it’s too weird to follow them on insta, they’re gonna know you searched them. Capricorn - December 22nd to January 19th Sweet, sweet Capricorn, who do you think you’re fooling?! We all know you caught feelings and love AIN’T NO GAME. Just tell them how you feel, the worst that can happen is rejection but then you can just add their best friend on snapchat to really psych them out. Love ya, Mystic McGuig knows you’ll pull through.









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Debate: Video Assistant Referees, a step too VAR? FOR - REECE CHAMBERS



The next time that the heads of Engllish football meet to discuss VAR they should remember that fans are the most important part of any team and their needs should be those first addressed.

rank Lampard. South Africa. 2010 World Cup. We all know the story as that day referee Jorge Larrionda made a decision that altered the face of English football forever. It was in that moment that English football fans decided that never again would they be subject to a decision that could’ve been avoided with the right technology in place. It took a year or two but eventually goal-line technology has earthed its way into the modern game and its use has been seamless. Referees receive a small vibration on their wrist to let them know if a ball has crossed the line or not and a decision can be instantly corrected or upheld in seconds. But the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (the newest in high-end technology to help referees) has been a source of constant controversy since its first official use one month ago in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Known globally by its acronym VAR, the technology allows officials to pause a match and review crucial moments on TV screens to make better decisions. It’s a well-intentioned introduction into modern football and it’s made brief cameos in the both the FA Cup and in the Carabao Cup where it’s unfortunately gained a reputation of frequently slowing down match time and causing confusion for spectators and managers alike. There’s no doubt that the technology will help the game and it can be an excellent aid to referees in the most crucial moments of a match, if we change the way it’s used.

Liverpool’s home tie against West Brom last month was dominated by VAR decisions. The most memorable (for all the wrong reasons) was when it took Craig Pawson 2 minutes and 23 seconds to award Mo Salah a penalty whilst a crowd of 53,000 sat in silence to wait for the decision. The same game saw two other decisions, both correct, take similar lengths of time to decide upon as the famous Anfield stadium fell quiet. The easy argument to solve this is that the technology is still in its infancy in English football and therefore there’s lots of time to fix things before it’s implemented fully across the leagues. But the technology isn’t what’s going wrong it’s how it’s being implemented into the real world that has proved the biggest failure. Football is only about two things, the club and the fans. The most important thing to do is to create an environment like that in tennis or rugby where video assistants are built into the overall fan experience. Fans can feel the excitement of a decision live as it’s happening on screens whilst the officials can do their job without the pressure of a full stadium staring at them. With the astronomical amounts of money now involved in football, joint with the dizzying glitz and glamour of the Premier League, it can be very easy to forget the humble roots that football is based upon. The next time that the heads of English football meet to discuss VAR they should remember that fans are the most important part of any team and their needs should be those first addressed.


he introduction for Video Assistant Referees into the Emirates FA Cup has caused quite a discussion across British football. Whether the VAR system is ready to be fully introduced into football is another matter, but the VAR system is one that football is in desperate need of. Most crucially, time, patience and understanding should be given to its introduction into football. With so much money riding on football matches in 2018, players and managers alike cannot be let down by incorrect decisions. You only have to look back to the latest transfer window to see how much money is influencing the activity of football clubs. A record-breaking January transfer window signifies just how far football has developed into a business. In addition, if you delve deeper into the financial crux of football, you’ll find that Sky paid £4.2bn for the latest TV rights for Premier League matches. Beyond this, it is estimated that the Premier League is broadcast in 212 countries, reaching a combined audience of 5 billion viewers across the globe. Therefore, there is an absolute need for VAR to be fully introduced into the game. Without such introduction, football matches will continue to be hampered by incorrect decisions with billions of viewers watching an unnecessarily errorridden spectacle. With such a strong call for fulltime VAR, it would be understandable to think this piece is a critique of referees. However, that is far from it. It must be appreciated that referees have an almost impossible task.

According to PGMO (Professional Game Match Officials), Premier League referees make approximately 245 decisions per game, of which 98% are correct. That in mind, such severe criticism of referees seems ludicrous. Such is the pace of a Premier League game, human-error should be expected to creep in. Most importantly, the introduction of VAR will allow referees to get every decision right. Thus, preventing outright verbal abuse towards match officials, excuses from managers in post-match conferences and any other excuse a player, coach or fan can cling onto. A world away from football that always points the finger towards referees is a world that we should all strive for. If, like referees, players and managers were to get 98% of their decisions right, they would certainly be heralded by the media. Therefore, the introduction of VAR should start a shift away from such an extraordinary blame culture in football. Whilst being a great advocate of VAR in football, it should also be appreciated that it will not be an overnight fix. Just like the introduction of the back-pass rule in 1992, this will take a bit of getting used to. For all involved, there will be several lengthy pauses in matches that may disrupt the tempo of the match, to some extent. However, if we are to stick with VAR, it is something that fans, managers and players will have to get used to. There should be support for a system that guarantees the correct decision 100% of the time. If your team are denied a major trophy or local derby win by an incorrect decision, you’re going to point towards VAR, aren’t you?


There is an absolute need for VAR to be fully introduced into the game. Without such introduction, football matches will continue to be hampered by incorrect decisions



Pictured: Players argue a decision in a game between Aston Villa and Tottenham (via Flickr)



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CULRFC lose out 38-32 to Cardiff Met

Photos: Xander Opoku TheOriginal XOPhoto


fter last weeks’ victory against Swansea, Cardiff were looking to put in a repeat performance when they travelled to Cardiff Met on the 7th February. Met were the first to draw blood but Cardiff soon fought back through strong carries from the forwards and good attacking play from the backs. Tries were scored by Claire Morgan, Molly Danks, Morfudd Ifans and two by Liliana Podpadec with a conversion by Claire Morgan. The forwards put in an excellent shift, carrying the ball hard, putting pressure on their defence and providing a platform for the Cardiff backs to work from. The backs played some good, freeflowing rugby, allowing the team to gain some space and possession before working the ball through the hands to score many of the tries. Cardiff played some good rugby but

errors creeped into the performance leaving them short of the victory they deserved. The scoreboard does not reflect the dominance that Cardiff had throughout the whole game. The majority of the game was played in Met’s half and Cardiff had the majority of the possession throughout, there were some handling errors that allowed Met to gain the victory. Overall, the performance by the Cardiff team was good but there were definitely areas to improve upon. During the game, there was little to separate the two teams, but Met were able to gain their scores through handling errors in the Cardiff team. Cardiff played some good attacking rugby but a lack of defensive organisation led to Met being able to penetrate the defensive line and grab the victory. There are definitely improvements that can be made in training, in par-

ticular Cardiff need to eradicate their handling errors that cost them crucial points. However, the team put in an excellent performance and were just unlucky not to come away with the victory. The scoreboard does not reflect the level of dominance Cardiff had in their forwards over those of the opposition and the backs had an excellent platform to build from but simple errors led to us not being able to gain the victory. The final score was 38-32 to Cardiff Met, a close game between the two local teams. There was some excellent rugby played by all with both the forwards and the backs putting in an excellent shift, playing free flowing rugby. There is definitely a platform to build on after this game and hopefully the team can put these errors right when they play Bournemouth away on the 14th February.

Snapshot: CURFC 1st XV v Swansea 1st XV


Yesterday @cardiffuni student @jakeheyward7 broke the British junior indoor 3000m record which stood for 50 years!! Fantastic achievement, well done Jake! @CardiffUniSport


Molly Ambler


“Work when no one else is so you can be like no one else is.” Cardiff Cobras head coach @Sean_P_Cook after they braved the elements at Llanrumney on Thursday.



Fantastic night at @cardiffbierkeller on Friday for the Netball Rugby Ball! Joint effort in raising an amazing £650 for #teenagecancertrust @CardiffUniNetballClub


fter all the incredible performances Danny Wilson and his squad displayed in this season’s European competition, every fan will be scribbling the date in their diaries for the quarter final against Edinburgh on the 31st of March. For now though, the attention moves firmly back to the Pro14. Cardiff Blues’ will be looking for some big results while the Six Nations are ongoing, with a vast number of international players missing for opposing teams. The next five rounds of matches including last weekend include four home games against Toyota Cheetahs, Munster, Benetton and Ulster and an


Keiran ManettaJones Cardiff Blues Columnist

away trip to face Zebre. Danny Wilson will be targeting these matches as need to win games to help his team climb the conference table, which currently sees the Blues’ sitting mid conference, 25 points behind the Cheetahs. Potentially the hardest match will be against Munster in The Arms Park, but hopefully, a weakened Munster side will provide the opportunity for the young Blues’ squad to play with confidence and maintain a good home record this season. One of the biggest, if not the biggest questions going through the minds of every fan at the moment is still who will be the head coach next year? It’s

already February and there has been no announcement hinting that they have found the next big influential coach just yet. Richard Holland has said in his new monthly CEO newsletter, management has been very “busy” in their search for a new head coach. He addresses the issue by saying they are “making very good process” and are being heavily assisted and influenced by the WRU. Hopefully, this announcement will come sooner rather than later and will turn out to be the correct decision next season. Another aspect I would love to touch on, is some of the individual performances this season and the Wales’ call

ups. Seven players received call ups including the returning Ellis Jenkins and the inform Josh Navidi, the former started in the opening game against Scotland and against England in Twickenham. There was also a lot to be excited for with the inclusions of young players Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and scrum half Tomos Willams. The inclusions of these players indicate a new direction of welsh rugby, where Gatland and his team are picking players on form over experience. This is further exemplified with the currently fit Gethin Jenkins not playing against England for the first time in 15 years.



Kennerley shooting for the stars at Gold Coast 2018

One of three Cardiff Uni students set to compete in Commonwealth Games Rich Jones


Standards are getting increasingly higher generally so I’m not expecting an easy ride out there. Coral Kennerley


Rich Jones Cardiff City Columnist


ardiff University student Coral Kennerley is preparing for her second taste of the Commonwealth Games after being selected for Team Wales ahead of Gold Coast 2018. Kennerley, a mechanical engineering student, represented her country at the Glasgow 2014 games and will now head to Australia in April. Her selection was the culmination of several years of hard work to secure her team place – and she is now determined to make the most of the chance to battle for a medal. “I was happy and relieved more than anything,” Kennerley said after her selection. “I’ve worked hard for the past four years since Glasgow and I knew the competition was tough to make the team for the Gold Coast. “Even though I had exceeded the qualification standards it was no guarantee I’d be in the team. Standards are getting increasingly higher generally so I’m not expecting an easy ride out there. “I have the experience of the Glasgow games behind me and we also went out to Australia for a test event in the Gold Coast venue last November so the range won’t be completely new to me. “The atmosphere of the Commonnealth Games will be completely different to the test event, but I’m looking forward to it!” Kennerley competed in two events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, finishing sixth in the 10m Women’s Air Pistol and also taking part in the 25m Pistol. She is one of three current Cardiff University students who will be heading to the Gold Coast, with cyclist Lewis Oliva also selected for Wales and rifle shooter Dean Bale set to represent England. They are all part of the Cardiff Uni Sport High Performance Programme which has supported them through their studies – and Kennerley says their support has been vital. She commented: “Cardiff Uni sport have been a massive help to my shooting and studies. They have helped me progress in my shooting career by helping facilitate me miss-


ing exams/assessments to enable me to compete and train abroad. “The extra support they give me to enhance my shooting including different workshops throughout the year are helpful and it’s good to meet others on the high performance programme that are doing a similar thing, studying and competing at a high level in their sport.” Perhaps the main strain of competing at such a high level is the balance between training and workload. The Commonwealth Games present another obstacle in that regard, with time off a work placement required to allow her to compete. But Kennerley is adamant she will eventually overcome the clash between sport and studies to finalise her graduation. She added: “Studies have definitely clashed at times, but it has worked out pretty well. The Glasgow games fell at the end of my first year at university (which was a foundation year). “I then had to carefully plan how I was going to organise my studies to fit in with vital competitions and training camps to be able to qualify for the Gold Coast and then be able to actually go to the Gold Coast when selected. “I ended up splitting my second year in two years allowing me time to compete and train. I’m currently doing a year in industry with JN Bentley, who have been extremely supportive allowing me to take time out to go to the Games - so in the end it has all worked out quite well, and I will hopefully graduate one day!” Kennerley had an intriguing path into the sport, originally falling into shooting because of her involvement with horse riding. “It all began from the pony club,” she revealed. “I have always had horses at home and the pony club do a sport called Tetrathlon which is shooting, swimming, running and cross country horse riding. “I really enjoyed tetrathlon but the shooting was my strongest element, (running definitely being my weakest!) so my shooting coach encouraged me to try precision shooting

ardiff kept their promotion push right on track with a thumping 4-1 win at Elland Road last week-

end. Three first-half goals and a Leeds sending off at the end of the first period all but ended the game as a contest and meant Cardiff headed into their Friday night clash with Millwall with a chance to pile the pressure on second-placed Derby. Despite their winter woes seeing them fall off the pace slightly, Warnock’s side certainly appear to have their mojo back. They are just three points behind Derby at the time of writing and two behind

which is what I do now. “I enjoyed it and opportunities kept arising for me to progress step by step and now here I am!” After falling into pistol shooting,

third placed Aston Villa. Fulham and Bristol City are hot on their heels, but it certainly appears to be a five-man race for one remaining promotion spot. Wolverhampton Wanderers are long gone and away into the distance, 12 points clear of the chasing pack and showing no signs of slowing after thrashing Warnock’s former side Sheffield United in front of the Sky TV cameras last week. Neil Warnock utilised plenty of experience with his deadline day dealings to bolster their push, bringing in forwards Gary Madine and Jamie Ward from Bol-

Kennerley has clearly made the most of her talent and will be on the hunt for the biggest result of her career in the Gold Coast in a few weeks’ time.

ton and Nottingham Forest respectively. Cardiff ’s season is all the more remarkable given star man Kenneth Zohore has largely endured a tough campaign, and the new striking options could give them the goal threat to fire them back to the promised land. Senegal international Armand Traore also adds competition and cover at leftback, where their solid defence will be looking to keep things shored up. Whilst Aston Villa, Derby and perhaps Fulham probably possess bigger names, higher spending and more strength on paper, there is something about this Cardiff side that seems special.

Pictured: Coral Kennerley via Cardiff Uni Sport

Warnock is a proven winner at Championship level, his well-drilled team have displayed a gutsiness and character befitting of his teams and have every chance to go all the way. Some huge games lie ahead - namely a home clash with Bristol City as well as trips to Aston Villa and Derby plus a showdown with the table-topping Wolves at the Cardiff City Stadium. But in perhaps the most unpredictable league in the world, Warnock will know his side cannot rest on their laurels in any fixture and they will need a fine run of form to work their way back into the all-important top two.




@gairrhyddsport | #GRSport

Cardiff University student preparing for second Commonwealth Games - Page 39

Debate: How is VAR affecting the world of football? - Page 37

Cardiff edge Swans to gain Varsity momentum Rich Jones


ardiff laid down a marker ahead of Welsh Varsity 2018 as they edged a hard-fought 13-10 win over arch rivals Swansea at Llanrumney last week. The 1st XV maintained their spot at the top of the BUCS South A table and secured a timely confidence boost before the two teams meet again at the Liberty Stadium on April 25. Both sides scored two tries apiece, with a first-half penalty ultimately proving the difference in a valuable win ahead of the final two games of the league campaign. Whilst it was far from a perfect, free-flowing performance from his side, captain Tom Wilson was proud of the character they displayed. Said Wilson: “It was a scrappy game

with lots of mistakes by both teams as derby matches often are. “I thought our defence looked really strong throughout the game with boys making some really dominant collisions, however our attack didn’t really fire as we were hoping it would making it a tough game. “The boys showed a lot of spirt and character to grind out the narrow victory in the end, which has earned us some very valuable league points going into the last couple of games for the season.” The results sets them up perfectly for a massive few weeks with the chance to seal a league title in the runup to the showpiece Welsh Varsity game.

Swansea have been known to bring in numerous fresh faces who rarely appear in University rugby for the big game, and it is expected this year will be no different. But Wilson believes their two league wins over their rivals, coupled with a crushing success against the odds last year, will give them a mental edge. “Varsity is a very different type of game being a one off event and I’m sure that they will have boys that they will bring in for the fixture,” Wilson said. “But I think beating them both home and away in the league this year puts us in a good place going in to that game with lots of confidence. “With boys coming back from in-

jury and a tight group of boys playing for the club it’s an exciting time for Cardiff rugby and hopefully we can demonstrate this at Varsity and put in a good performance for all.” Meanwhile, the 2nd XV remain top of the table after a 24-5 win over Gloucester whilst the 3rd XV suffered a narrow 15-10 loss against top side Swansea.

INSIDE: Photo coverage of last week’s game plus full report from women’s clash between Cardiff and Cardiff Met.

Pictured: Cardiff defend their slender lead in the closing stages of Wednesday’s game. Credit: Xander Opoku TheOriginal XOPhoto

Gair Rhydd - Issue 1111 - 12th of February 2018  

In issue 1111, Gair Rhydd exclusively reveals the results of research carried out by South Wales Police, that says you're seven more times l...

Gair Rhydd - Issue 1111 - 12th of February 2018  

In issue 1111, Gair Rhydd exclusively reveals the results of research carried out by South Wales Police, that says you're seven more times l...