Palatinate www.palatinate.org.uk | FREE
Thursday 20th October 2016 | No. 787
Are consent classes a vital part of university?
Music ask: where has the protest song gone? Page i6
Comment investigate page 8
College accommodation fees set to rise again Anna Tatham Deputy News Editor
Aerial view of the Science Site
Photograph: Durham University
University targets student expansion in Estate Masterplan • An additional 4,000 students targeted by 2026/27 • Corbridge: University expansion will be “sustainable”
Emma Pinckard News Editor Durham University has revealed its “Estate Masterplan” which outlines a new, ten-year University Strategy for estates development. The strategy aims to secure the academic successes of the University and allow for long-term
developments to the estate, prioritising teaching, research, and student accommodation. The Estate Masterplan identifies four major areas for development: “Strategic Investment Zones,” “Safeguarding Heritage Assets,” a “Sustainable Future,” and “Academic Life.” It includes plans to further invest in Science Site buildings, existing colleges, the Education
department, and Elvet Riverside. In addition to this, the University plan to build new colleges to allow for the increase in the student population. The University intends to open Sheraton Park in Neville’s Cross as a college for postgraduate students—replacing Ustinov College—and to build a new college at Mount Oswald, located past Van Mildert and across from Jo-
sephine Butler, to accommodate students moving from Stockton. Durham has also outlined aspirations to increase the number of students living in college accommodation to 50-55% by 2027 through developments to the estate in building on University land, and through working with purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers. Continued on page 4...
College Residence Charges are set to increase by 1.6% for the 2017/18 academic year. The annual standard cost of a catered single standard room for undergraduates will increase from £7,058 to £7,171. In an email sent out to students this morning, the University emphasised their desire to remain “as transparent as possible”, in explaining the decision to increase fees once more. The University said, “we have to review our prices each year to keep up with inflation, which causes the cost of services to rise year on year.” Before reaching the decision, three student consultation meetings were held in the 2015/16 academic year, in which a full range of views were presented by the student representatives and the price-setting group. The University said, “The student representatives confirmed that the principle of applying a standardised inflation rate was a reasonable one, albeit their first preference was for no increase in charges at all”. In response to the increased charges, the University has also announced it will be providing additional support to new undergraduate students from the UK with a residual household income of between £25,000 and £26,500. They will be given a 10% discount on college accommodation charges, regardless of the room type selected. Durham Student’s Union said, “[the] rate of the increase is significantly lower than previous years, and lower than we expected when we began campaigning. “We believe this is due to the strong student opposition to the rises and the increased efforts of the University to recognise student feedback.”
Editorial Expand the bubble, but use caution… As timetables kick in and life becomes more congested, I feel obliged to recommend that everyone keeps their foot on the gas with regards to your life outside the lecture theatre. For first years, try and keep your energy up and follow your interests, without putting yourself under too much pressure. For second years, expand on what you did in your first year. To finalists, we say ‘make the most of it!’ the end is near, the real world beckons. To alter what Peep Show’s Jeremy once said, “I didn’t go to University to get (just) a degree”. In this edition, Palatinate has investigated the University’s ‘Masterplan’ for its expansion, aiming to increase the number of students by 4,000 with the development of sports and academic facilities to match. Such a plan is ambitious and certainly a grand prospect for both current and prospective students of Durham University. Those who have set foot inside Elvet Riverside will be only too familiar with the antiquated nature of some parts of Durham University; we are falling apart in some places. An update is needed and I, for one, welcome that. Nonetheless, in the midst of grand redevelopment and expansion plans, I think it’s important to keep in mind that Durham is not just made up of a University, but has a vibrant local community. As promising as expansion might be, from a student perspective, in
that the University is seen as getting bigger and better, it’s equally important to remain aware of the effect that such plans can have on a local community which has, in all truth, been around longer than we have. By the same token, just as students need to respect the local community in the city in which they study, the University also needs to consider the wider implications for such developments, how this might impact on local shops, facilities and students’ local communities and the consequent impact on studentcommunity relations, given the increased ratio of students to local residents. In cities where there is an increasing University expansion it’s easy to assume that such growth results in benefits for all, without reflecting on what it’s doing to the essential characteristics of the place itself. The Masterplan has been open to consultation for the entire Durham community - something which is to be applauded. However, consultations are pointless if attendance is minimal. I would heartily recommend that you attend these consultations and have your say about such proposals, because the decisions will affect you and your time here. Just as the “crazy clown” obsession reaches its peak it reaffirms a belief that 2016 is truly the year of the viral craze. So, to stay in tune with these nonsensical pub-
lic movements, Sport has written a piece interviewing Gala, about the rebirth of her song ‘Freed from Desire’, in the form of a tribute to quite possibly one of the most unusual cult football figures - Wigan striker Will Grigg. If you haven’t ever heard this rendition in the clubs, bars and festivals over the summer months, where have you been living? Finally, we were cheered by the record turnout to our ‘Welcome Drinks’ event last week. Thanks to so many for coming and for the enthusiasm and interest shown in Palatinate. It’s a pleasure to meet such a large number of enthusiastic journalists who are interested in writing and getting involved with both Palatinate and Indigo. We sincerely hope that your initial expressions of interest won’t stop there. Your views and contributions represent the student community whilst helping us forge links with the wider one in Durham as a whole. Palatinate welcomes new voices to illuminate perspectives that matter to us all, whoever we are. Charlie Taylor-Kroll
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
What’s on page 3
Editors-in-Chief Olly Mawhinney and Charlie Taylor-Kroll email@example.com News Editors Ryan Gould and Emma Pickard firstname.lastname@example.org News Features Editor Holly Bancroft email@example.com Deputy News Editors Hugo Harris, Sophie Gregory and Anna Tatham Politics Editor Mason Boycott-Owen firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Politics Editor Kate McIntosh and Profile Editors Lily Boulter and Jack Reed email@example.com Science and Technology Editor Luke Andrews and Tommy Pallett firstname.lastname@example.org Comment Editor Adam Cunnane email@example.com Deputy Comment Editor Scarlet Hannington Sport Editor Nick Friend firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Sport Editors Reece Moore and James Martland Indigo Editor Yongchan Chin email@example.com Deputy Indigo Editor Olivia Howcroft firstname.lastname@example.org Features Editor Sophie Paterson email@example.com Food and Drink Editors Divya Shastri firstname.lastname@example.org Travel Editor Charis Cheesman and Naoise Murphy email@example.com Fashion Editor Victor Schagerlund firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Fashion Editor Emma Denison Film and Television Editor Simon Fearn email@example.com Deputy Film and Television Editor Eugene Smith Stage Editors Sofya Grebenkina firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Stage Editors Alison Gamble Music Editor Rory McInnes-Gibbons email@example.com Deputy Music Editor Beth Madden Creative Writing Editor Anna Gibbs firstname.lastname@example.org Books Editors Ellie Scorah and Aaron Bell email@example.com Visual Arts Editor Jane Simpkiss firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Visual Arts Editor Lolita Gendler Chief Sub-Editor Marianna Mukhametzyanova email@example.com Sub-Editors Harriet Cunningham, Jack Heeney, Inka Karna, Grace Long, Ollie Mair, Ciara Murphy, Violet Nicholson Online Editor Kat Hind firstname.lastname@example.org Web Editor John Morris Photography Editor Grace Tseng email@example.com Deputy Photography Editor Dai-Khue Le Duong and Max Luan Illustrations Editor Faye Chua firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Officer Sian Round email@example.com Social Media Officer Elizabeth Watson Digital Coordinator Craig Bateman
News pages 4-7 Comment pages 8-10
Politics pages 11-13
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Editorial page 2 Fashion page 3-5 Music pages 6-7 Film & TV pages 7-8 Books page 8-9 Features page 10-11 Stage page 11-12
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Travel page 15 Creative Writing page 16
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COMMENT: Does being an online socialite cultivate loneliness? Comment contributor Rachel Harris considers whether our addiction to social media has an adverse effect on our ability to socialize.
SPORT: Durham despairs as ECB comes down hard on financially stricken club
Ollie Godden reports on the news that Durham Cricket Club has been relegated from division one of The County Championship.
STAGE: Frankenstein review: ‘overwhelmingly mighty’
BOOKS: Durham Book Festival Review: Owen Jones
Charlotte Thompson reviews the live stage production of Frankenstein in Durham’s Gala Theatre.
Ottoline Spearman reviews Guardian columnist Owen Jones after his appearance at the Durham Book Festival.
Palatinate is published by Durham Students’ Union on a fortnightly basis during term and is editorially independent. All contributors and editors are full-time students at Durham University. Send letters to: Editor, Palatinate, Durham Students’ Union, Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3AN. Alternatively, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Union President’s Column At the weekend a cross (political) party committee of the UK Parliament, the Home Affairs Select Committee published a report on Antisemitism in the UK, featuring accounts of antisemitism within the student political movement and specifically the National Union of Students.
Palatinate’s pick of the next fortnight
Durham City RFC 26/10/16; 18:30
BUCS Super Rugby continues next Wednesday as the Palatinates host Cardiff Met. The BT Sport cameras are in town and a great evening is in store at Durham City RFC. Free entry, food and drink vans as well as prizes for the best fancy dress make this an evening not to be missed. Come down to the club, pack out the place and get behind the boys #BleedPalatinate
In response to the report I signed a letter, initiated by SUs, calling for ‘Malia Bouattia, the President of NUS UK to issue a full and formal apology to Jewish students, and indeed to her entire membership’, or failing this, her resignation. I feel that the NUS UK President has consistently offered no real apology to students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and failed to listen to the concerns of her Jewish representatives and students alike. I take our collective responsibility to combat antisemitism seriously.
I believe that we need the support and work of NUS, and doing what’s right for Durham students will remain at the heart of my decisions. This is an unprecedented time in the world of student politics and NUS. I hope that as an engaged students’ union we can shape the changes needed in the National Union right now. Alice Dee is President of the Durham Students’ Union
SPORT Durham 1st XV vs Cardiff Metropolitan 1st XV
As many of you know, since National Conference in April, NUS has been in the media spotlight repeatedly, with the primary focus of the coverage accusations of antisemitism in the organisation. The majority of this attention has been aimed at Malia Bouattia, the NUS President, and the HASC report has been no different.
During our referendum on NUS membership in June, these concerns were raised in Durham. At the heart of this issue are our Jewish students and I respect Durham Jewish Society’s perspective on this matter. Following our strong mandate to remain affiliated to NUS, I, as a student leader who campaigned ‘remain’, firmly believe that I must engage with national student politics to reform NUS and make it work for us.
Photograph: Jed Wee
Tristram Hunt Address
2016 Howard Lecture
East by Steven Berkoff
Band of Skulls
St Chad’s College chapel 26/10/16; 16:30
The Assembley Rooms 20/10/16- 22/10/16
Ex-Shadow Education Secretary and Corbyn critic Tristram Hunt will be speaking to the Durham University Labour Club on 27th November. He’s set to cover issues around British nationality and patriotism, and take questions from the audience. Catch him at 6.30pm in ER147.
Biology or Physics Student? Just a lover of proteins and evolution? Then get yourself to St Chad’s for the Biophysical Sciences Institute ‘2016 Howard Lecture’. This year given by Justin Benesch, Tutorial Fellow in Physical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, the talk will explore ‘Weighing up protein dynamics: assembly, activity, and evolution’.
‘East’ is masterful, black comedy in the style of stylised physical theatre. It showcases the beauty, yet hardships of five characters living in a harsh working class environment. Spoken in the language of Shakespearean Cockney slang, and brought to you using innovative staging, prepare for a hypnotic journey through sex, violence, and emotional turmoil.
Band of Skulls might not sound like the most hospitable of bands, but they actually produce a warm and fuzzy, melodic, yet heavy brand of rock that is great live. They play Northumbria Students Union on October 22. For your chance to get a free ticket to review the event, email email@example.com
Elvet Riverside 147 27/10/16; 18:30
Northumbria Students’ Union 22/10/16; 19:30
We want the Masterplan to be mutually beneficial for all local stakeholders...
students and members of the public have taken part in the consultation events for our Estate Masterplan. “Our ambition is to grow and develop an estate that is fit for purpose, will accommodate growth and will enhance the student experience, as well as Durham’s international reputation, in a carefully planned, transparent and sustainable way.” The University emphasised the importance of the new Masterplan to Palatinate, stating: “The Accommodation and Estates Strategy is key to the new University Strategy, the goals of which are to produce world-leading and world-changing research; education that is challenging, difficult, enabling, research-led and transformative; and, through our colleges, Experience Durham and Durham Students’ Union, a wider student experience to rival the best in the world. “The University is proud of the positive contribution it makes to Durham, Stockton and the North East and is committed to working with students, staff, businesses, residents, the voluntary sector, and other partners to ensure we deliver the
Any growth will be carefully planned and managed and the University will be mindful of the needs and interests of all parties.
Continued from front page... The University have estimated that there will be an increase of, at most, an additional 4,000 students by 2026/27. The University has outlined three “priority investments” for targeted investment at Mount Oswald, St Mary’s Field, and Maiden Castle. In addition to outlining plans for the expansion of the University, the Masterplan also reveals how the University buildings and parts of the campus can be integrated throughout the city “in order to create a better balanced community and to conserve and enhance heritage assets.” The University has acknowledged the need to make sure that “any future investment in University assets both protect and enhance the area’s natural and built environment.” In these plans, Durham has also committed to invest in a “Sustainable Future,” supporting the University’s Carbon Management Plan, investing in sustainable buildings, and improving pedestrian and cycle routes across the city. In addition to this, the University have claimed that the new Academic Strategy will create over 1,000 new jobs in the area. The University’s governing bodies will consider several options for the development of the estate in light of the public consultation which took place on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th October, where representatives from the Estates team were available to give information about the Masterplan to members of the public. Before the consultation, Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, said: “Over the last 180 years, Durham University and City have grown organically, side-by-side. “Over the next decade, the Masterplan will set us on course to improve and rationalise the University’s assets for the benefit of the whole City, students, and businesses.” He voiced his enthusiasm for “this exciting plan, which has the potential to deliver great benefits for staff, students, residents, businesses, and the wider community. “We want the Masterplan to be mutually beneficial for all local stakeholders and contribute to the ongoing vitality and prosperity of the City.” Since the consultation, Professor Corbridge has expressed his delight at the response, and said: “We are extremely pleased that so many staff,
best possible outcomes for our city and the wider area. “Any growth will be carefully planned and managed and the University will be mindful of the needs and interests of all interested parties. “Currently, the University’s facilities are unevenly spread across Durham and some require investment. Over the next ten years, it is intended to better consolidate Departments and Colleges in more distinct geographical zones, to ease pedestrian congestion and reduce travel distances. “As the Strategy is still in development, decisions on funding are yet to be taken. The University has financial reserves in place but will also be looking to external partners to support its vision, as is normal practice for major capital projects at universities.” Professor Corbridge also told Palatinate that the University’s ambition “is to grow an estate that is fit for purpose, will accommodate growth and will enhance the student experience, as well as Durham’s international reputation, in a carefully planned, transparent, and sustainable way.”
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
Above, “Strategic Development Sites
Image: Durham University
Above, “Academic Zoning Strategy”
Image: Durham University
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Post-Brexit, EU students to pay same tuition fee as UK students Ryan Gould News Editor Students from the European Union who will begin their studies in the academic years 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course, the University has indicated. In a statement to Palatinate, the University said that it is its “intention that European Union students starting their studies in Durham in 2016, 2017, and 2018 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.” The news comes amidst general uncertainty surrounding a “hard” and “soft” Brexit, both inside and outside the higher education sector, as the Government negotiates the terms of leaving the European Union. “It is important to note that no significant changes will take place within the next two years, during which time EU laws will continue to apply in the UK,” a spokesperson for the University told Palatinate. “Full details of the UK’s postBrexit arrangements with the EU and the rest of the world will emerge through this period and beyond.” Since the vote to leave the European Union was announced, the University has set up a steering group to “lead on scenario planning for what lies ahead.”
The University will press the Government for early reassurances post-Brexit
The University also stressed to Palatinate that students currently overseas on an Erasmus+ placement, and those who are considering applying to participate in Eramus+ in 2016/17, “will not be affected by the referendum result.”
“Please be assured that Durham University will play a full part in pressing for future arrangements that best support its continuing ambitions to be a leading world and European university,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, said.
“Knowledge has no borders; we flourish because we are an inclusive and outward looking community. “I and the University Executive Committee members are immensely proud of the contributions of all of our staff members and students.”
Durham University will be joining other Russell Group and Universities UK members to press the Government for early reassurances about the rights of EU nationals to work and study in the UK. In July, a report by BBC’s Newsnight programme indicated that European academic bodies are pulling back from research collaboration with UK academics amidst uncertainty about the future of higher education in the UK. BBC Newsnight said that it was aware of concerns raised by academics from Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, and Exeter. Universities UK has estimated that more than 60% of the UK’s international research partners originate from countries within the EU, with collaboration with other EU institutions growing at a faster rate than relationships with other partners in countries like the US or China. It is estimated that more than 125,000 students from countries within the EU study are currently studying at UK universities, making up 5% of the entire student body. Last month, The Guardian reported that British universities are considering plans to open branches inside the European Union in an effort to soften the blow of Britain’s exit from the EU, as universities struggle to navigate new challenges in regulation and funding.
Plans for new bus station raise concern Anna Tatham Deputy News Editor
Durham County Council have released a proposal this week to regenerate North Road with a new £8 million bus station. The North Road roundabout would be scrapped, instead replaced by a complex junction and a pedestrianised area of North Road. The initiative aims to attract private sector investment as well as address safety concerns about the area. However, the new bus station has received a mixed reception. Roger Cornwell from the City of Durham Trust told the Durham Advertiser that the bus station “does need improvement but not £8 million worth. “They could sort out the problems with the bus station and
spend a fifth of that money.” A two-day exhibition which will display the proposal plans is set to be held in North Road Methodist Church between 11am and 6pm on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st October. Councillor Neil Foster said: “A new bus station would allow us to free up prime retail space in the city which, by preparing the site for use, we hope to use to attract major private sector investment. “Due to the size of the site it will offer a unique opportunity for a larger store to move into the city centre, creating jobs and further increasing the retail offer for residents and visitors alike. “So we’d like everyone to join in and let us know what they think of the plans.” If approved, work on the new bus station would be scheduled to start in the next two to three years.
An artist’s impression of the bus station
Image: Durham County Council / NEConnected
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
Select Committee condemns NUS anti-Semitism Emma Pinckard News Editor Alice Dee, President of Durham Students’ Union, and Lisa Whiting, Academic Affairs Officer, have signed an open letter to NUS President Malia Bouattia following a report into the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain. The report, published by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee last week, recommends that the international definition of anti-Semitism “should be formally adopted by the UK Government, law enforcement agencies and all political parties.” It firmly states that using “the word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society… [and] this should be communicated by the Government and political parties.” The Select Committee also emphasises the necessity that police forces take care to record and fully investigate reports of anti-Semitic crime. The report states: “We question why police forces, operating in counties in which thousands of Jewish people live, have recorded few or no antisemitic crimes.” It insists that the “Government, police and prosecuting authorities must … pursue a robust, zero-tolerance approach to this problem.” It calls further for police forces to appoint hate crime officers, giving those reporting such incidents a direct point of contact. The report also condemns social networks as “deplorable … inert host[s] for vast swathes of anti-Semitic hate speech and abuse” and calls for them to “significantly expand [their] enforcement remit to include proactive identification of abusive users.” The Select Committee denounced the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, not only for his “lack of consistent leadership” but also for creating a “‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people” within the Labour Party. It also deplores Ken Livingstone for his claims that Adolf Hitler “supported Zionism” as well as
Malia Bouattia, NUS President tee call for the National Union of tions and language have done to Shami Chakrabarti for her report Students and its President, Malia NUS and the student movement into anti-Semitism in the Labour Bouattia, to reverse the decision more widely. Party. to remove Jewish students’ rights “If Malia fails to acknowledge Campaign Against Antisemitism to choose their own representa- the need for an immediate and full have stated: “Our only criticism tive and should withdraw the anti- apology, as well as provide details of the report is that it is not sufSemitic comments that have been of how she will personally address ficiently condemnatory of the made. these issues going forward, then Crown Prosecution Service whose The report states that language we believe that she must resign.” response to anti-Semitism has Bouattia has used “smacks of outThe letter continues to emphabeen utterly deplorable. right racism, which is unaccept- sise the importance of the report “5,442 cases of hate crime were able, and even more so from a pub- and the issues highlighted, and arprosecuted last year, but we know lic figure such as the President of gues further that “the recommenof only 12 prosecutions for antithe NUS.” dations within should reinforce Semitic hate crime. In response to this report, an to others who hold office in NUS, “In the same year, anti-Semitic open letter to Bouattia has been who have either publicly defended crime in the UK reached a record signed by representatives from Malia or actively chosen to remain high.” students’ unions across the coun- silent that they too have a role to They have also emphasised that, try. play in addressing the systemic as “Jews once again leave Europe The letter calls on the President problem of anti-Semitism within and anti-Semitism is rising with of NUS UK “to issue a full and for- the student movement.” chilling celerity in Britain, it is abmal apology to Jewish students, Jake Goldman, President of the solutely right that the Select Comand indeed to her entire member- Durham University Jewish Society, mittee has endorsed the measures ship.” has voiced his enthusiasm for Durwe have called for. The letter states: “The state- ham Students’ Union’s support for “They must now be swiftly imment issued by Malia to the press the letter. plemented … and the authorities following the publication of the Jake told Palatinate: “We fully must enforce the law against antireport does not go far enough in support Durham Students’ Union, Semitism with zero tolerance.” acknowledging or apologising for which works closely with JSoc and In addition to the above recomthe significant damage that her ac- the national Union of Jewish Stumendations, the Select Commit-
dents, in holding Malia accountable, and we call on her to finally address the concerns of Jewish students as per the report. “Anti-Semitism is no less hateful and dangerous than any other form of racism, and Jewish students should be entitled to define anti-Semitism just as any other group in the student movement is. “Under Malia, the NUS has removed Jewish representation from its antiracism and antifascism Taskforce and has overseen arguments against commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day, whilst Malia herself has sought to vilify Israel whilst refusing to vote to condemn ISIS. “She consistently refuses to apologise for her past rhetoric, including describing the University of Birmingham as a ‘Zionist outpost’ and utilising anti-Semitic tropes. “This is diametrically opposed to robust debate around Israel-Palestine and increasingly marginalises Jewish students and their allies in the student movement.”
Former Physics lecturer admits sexual offences Sophie Gregory Deputy News Editor A former lecturer in the Department for Physics has pleaded guilty to committing nine sexual offences. Dr Jeremy Allington-Smith, who worked as an astrophysicist for the University, admitted to offences that included following young women and using a mobile phone
to film under their skirts. Durham Crown Court was told that Allington-Smith, 59, outraged public decency by making the moving clips “almost exclusively” of unsuspecting women in short skirts over a five-year period. When police raided his home in October 2015, they uncovered 300 images principally taken in Durham City Centre. He also admitted to downloading 688 indecent still and moving
images of children that depicted scenes of sexual violence and torture, between July 2008 and October 2015, alongside two similar charges relating to a further 2,453 indecent images. Three charges relating to the possession of 1,818 prohibited images of children included images from a paedophilic manual that he owned. This manual gave information on how to sexually abuse children.
Allington-Smith further admitted to a charge of voyeurism relating to an incident in July 2013 when, “for the purposes of sexual gratification,” he recorded a woman engaged in a private act without her knowledge. Allington-Smith denied the tenth count of attempting to take indecent photos of children in 2011. The judge placed AllingtonSmith on the sex offenders’ regis-
ter with immediate effect and adjourned the case for sentencing to 20th January 2017. He has since been granted bail. Dr Allington-Smith, a previously highly-respected member of Durham University’s staff, is no longer employed at the University and his staff profile has been deleted.
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Record fall in Domestic Violence Prosecutions Holly Bancroft News Features Editor Figures from Durham Constabulary have shown a record fall in domestic violence prosecutions, the drop amounting to 21% of cases. This means that overall 2,920 fewer people were charged with domestic violence offences in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services at Simpson Millar solicitors, is concerned that the fall in prosecutions might be symptomaic of a cash-strapped support system which is failing to pro-actively tackle these cases. Speaking to Palatinate, Ms Pearmaine said, “The issue here is that though there has been a drop in the number of charges, there is nothing to indicate that the number of disclosures has reduced at all.” The figures, which have been obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show significant variations in levels of prosecutions across all national forces. However, more than half have
years of austerity. Therefore, charities who focus on issues of domestic violence and give voice to its victims have not been able to continue as normal with their work. The sector has also experienced a drop in the amount of legal aid people receive. This may be having an impact on the ability to process claims and represent victims in court. Ms Pearmaine stressed, “It is really important that we are able to work with and support the Police because they play a vital role in people being heard. We have to make sure we continue to raise awareness for domestic violence and send out the message to
recorded a fall in domestic violence prosecutions, with Durham seeing a substantially marked drop compared to other constabularies. The police play a vital role in people being heard in domestic violence cases and if they are failing to prosecute the correct number of cases this suggests victims are being left without the correct verdicts.
The reason for the sudden drop in prosecutions is still not fully known. It has been suggested that across-the-board, budget cuts have affected police departments. In a statement on their website, The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said “Further budget constraints will lead to difficult questions on how best to structure police forces to respond to changes in crime, and what this would mean for the local service provided to the public.” Over the last five years there has been a 18% reduction in police budgets in real terms. Additionally, in the five years from March 2010 there has been a loss of 15,877 support staff and 4,587 police community support officers. Although these cuts do not necessarily correlate to bad servicing, they do mean that fewer support officers are trained. Ms Pearmaine speculated that budget cuts may have meant a drop in the number of people trained and a drop in the amount of training they receive. Charities have also faced budget cuts and cuts in donations in the last few years of austerity and so those
The Police play a vital role in people being heard
domestic violence victims: ‘We will support you and believe you’. The other constabularies which have seen significant drops in prosecutions are Greater Manchester Police, Hampshire Constabulary, Leicestershire Police and Suffolk Constabulary among many others. Although work still needs to be done to see whether this trend will continue, if there is a problem then it should be resolved. The Chair of domestic violence charity Corporate Alliance, Ms Pearmaine commented, “We need to make sure the Police have the tools they need to bring perpetrators to justice and to protect victims. “It could be that some forces would benefit from additional awareness and training in how to spot the signs of domestic violence.” For women aged 15-44, domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury and illness. The drop in prosecutions and the underlying problems it might reveal must be understood to make sure the justice system is not failing victims of domestic violence. Only
last year, Durham Constabulary was judged the best force in the
We need to send out the message to domestic violence victims: ‘We will support you and believe’ you.’
The issue is that though there has been a drop in the number of charges, there is nothing to indicate that the number of disclosures has reduced at all
country by HMIC. One of the five outstanding ratings it was given was for efficiency despite experiencing cuts to funding. Hopefully the force will continue to work hard in these areas and work with charities like Ms Pearmaine’s to stand up for the voices of victims of domestic violence. Illustration: Faye Chua
Thursday 20th October 2016| PALATINATE
You need consent to touch me not to teach me Compulsory consent lessons are a vital part of a university education Scarlet Hannington
The alcohol orientated nature of student life often results in people getting together under the fluorescent lights to the sound of Mr Brightside and perhaps regretting it in the morning, but nightclubs are also home to unwanted groping, grinding and un-attaching someone from your waist, which is far worse. Going on a night out can feel primal at times, flooded with groups on the prowl, hunting down anyone they find attractive and making advances with there sometimes being little attention to whether these advances are reciprocated or wanted. It is usually under these circumstances that consent isn’t on the list of priorities and a night out with friends can turn into a nightmare that can never be forgotten. Incorporating consent lessons into Freshers’ Week, which is ultimately a week of trying not to get your stomach pumped whilst having fun and meeting new people, has brought its own challenges. Including something so serious seemed to be taken negatively by some, and was con-
sidered a chore to be gotten over with, rather than a serious issue to which to pay full attention especially after a heavy night and little sleep. Explaining why consent was necessary and that it was always needed gave an impression that wasn’t desiredthat it was an insult to our intelligence. Cue eye-rolling and heads on the table with one main unsaid thought filling the room- ‘Of course you need consent, we already know this. Let us go so we can sleep, and stop wasting our time’. That was the general feeling where I was sitting anyway. Following recent events like Emma Watson’s speech on sexual violence in universities and the Brock Turner case, consent has become an increasingly important subject to address. This isn’t to say that cases like these have only just come to light and previously never occurred- something which couldn’t be further from the truth. It is more a case of highlighting issues that have been brushed under the carpet and are accepted as part of our society. It all comes hand in hand with gender stereotyping and victim blaming, whether they be male or female. Issues of consent need to be brought to the forefront of everyone’s minds, especially
throughout universities where 1 in 3 women and 1 in 8 men are sexually assaulted or abused within the UK, according to The Telegraph. This statistic is alarming to say the least, and despite the bags under our eyes making it difficult to function, I think the mandatory nature
Ten minutes out of your life is a small price to pay
is extremely important and fitting. I’m not saying we’re all oblivious to the fact that consent is necessary and we know that under no circumstances can it be swatted away as harmless if it is not given. However, it’s surprising how easily this is forgotten when alcohol is involved or emotions are running
high. There is no harm in a gentle reminder of the importance of consent, nor is time ever wasted by going to such lessons and it shouldn’t be taken as an insult to intelligence. We have a need to double check ourselves from time to time, making consent lessons crucial. And to those that think consent lessons should be optional, ask yourself why. Why would you not want to spend a maximum of ten minutes receiving the reminder that consent is compulsory? An issue that impacts people’s lives in several different ways that can often never be corrected again is worth listening to. Such lessons aren’t trying to target us and condemn us all as capable of sexual assault, they simply exist to educate us on issues surrounding our society. Aside from this, they offer the knowledge that if you did fall victim it is crucial that you know there is no shame or blame to be placed on yourself and that there is unlimited support. They liberate us from the stereotypes of men being exempt due to their supposed strength that prevents them from being human and emotional, and those of women being provocative in nature. No always means no, not yes, not maybe, not if you convince me enough. No. It means exactly
what it says on the tin, there’s no reading in between the lines that needs to be done and it’s baffling how a two letter word can be taken as anything else. With this considered, the overall purpose that consent lessons set out to serve is something that should be focused on and should be openly discussed, instead of burying our heads in the sand until it happens to someone we know, or, in fact, us. Furthermore, it establishes boundaries and leaves no room for excuses, not that there ever should or can be any. In saying this, the lessons given weren’t as powerful as they could have been. Amidst the drinking, ice breaker games and fairs this wasn’t exactly top priority. Which doesn’t take the importance of the issue away, but the message was lost somewhat by being presented amongst other talks. Additionally, explaining why consent is necessary wasn’t the interactive talk we needed. Putting the issue into context with a scenario that we could all easily come across and is familiar to us would hit home a lot more and get the message across, allowing us to empathise. Ten minutes out of your life is a small price to pay, with consent lessons offering the reassurance that you will be supported, and the knowledge that no one is entitled to anyone’s body but their own. We have the free will to do what we want with it - without judgement.
There is no harm in a gentle reminder of the importance of consent
Illustration: Faye Chua
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Donald Trump to create apprentice-style election system Rupert Swallow
This morning, in a state rally to the citizens of Florida, Mr Trump announced the biggest change to the American electoral process since the 1st Amendment. Should he be elected, The Donald will instigate a game show-style electoral process in which hopeful president-elects will pitch policy ideas to him. In his statement Trump said he would show the world his progressive side and “shake up the old dusty system we’re shackled with right now.” He continued, “This is our chance to make America great. How better to do it than have 16 great candidates all competing to be the greatest?” It is unknown as yet who would join Trump as advisor but the Republican party were swift to crush rumours that Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting on board, saying, “There’s already enough testosterone in this campaign and anyway, the Trump brand is already strong enough, just look at the polls.” UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also been linked with the job but says he has “no
ambitions in this direction whatsoever, alea iacta est and all that.” He travels to the US next week. Cynics have said that Trump does not have any unbigoted policy plans and so this is an easy way for him to plagiarise fresh
Hillary Clinton is to have her heart removed and cryogenically frozen
ideas from creative hard-working people. His supporters on the other hand say he is reaching out to the masses. A bystander commented: “He knows we’re all more comfortable with a game-show format. Heck! I’ve been bored stiff with all this electoral chit-chat and anyone who makes this great democratic process of ours
Photograph: Donkey Hotey more accessible gets my vote for sure.” Mrs Clinton has said nothing of interest in response to this development, as usual. In other news, Hillary Clinton, president elect of the Democrat party, is to have her heart removed and cryogenically frozen to ensure her longevity.
Surgeons are nervous and questions have been asked about whether there is magnification equipment strong enough for the operation. However, in a statement, her husband Bill Clinton denied that his wife was completely heartless, citing a time when
she showed compassion and let him send emails on her computer. It is thought the replacement heart will be made of stone, since it is thought highly doubtful that this will cause any adverse side effects on her personality.
Kindness is the thing with feathers
Doing good things can have multiple benefits for ourselves and society
The other day I found a woman’s bag on the tube. After contemplating whether it contained anything explosive, I overcame my fears and picked it up. As well as the expected contents - phone, wallet, lipstick - there was also around £500 in cash. The easiest thing to do, and evidently the most beneficial thing to me, would have been to pocket it, complete with its contents. Besides, it was actually a pretty nice bag. You can probably guess by the title of this article that this was not what I did, as tempting as it was. Instead, I lugged the bag half way around London, met the woman outside a dodgy pub in Camden, and was rewarded £20 for my good deed. And was the meagre £20 worth it? Yes, it was. Not just because I treated myself to a few pints, but because it made me
feel good. Now I’m not saying that I’m an intrinsically selfless person: in fact, according to studies by Stanford psychologists, altruism is governed more by relationships than instinct. In other words, altruism is not innate. So where does this leave us? Are we better off acting according to our ‘selfish gene’, or should we perform random acts of kindness even if it’s to the detriment of our own well-being? There’s no single answer to this question, but recent studies have shown that selfless actions do, in fact, make us feel better. It’s all very well to act according to our nature. After all, we have developed certain instincts and reflexes that benefit us as individuals. But what is key to recent findings is that we are members of a society: within which we exist, interact and benefit. This helps us determine our values, and act in such a way that will not alienate us from our social group. Whether you believe that moral values are part of the fabric of
reality or merely self-generated, society plays a key role in the formation of our principles. When we perform an altruistic act, it may not benefit us, but it improves our reputation. This in turn ameliorates our social standing in society. And what’s even better: it makes us feel good- even if it’s just a little bit. So, the next time you walk past someone busking in the street, chuck in a couple of coins. If you see someone struggling with their bags, give them a hand. After all, as the leader of the recent study says, “performing acts of kindness will not change your life, but might help nudge it in the right direction”.
Have a different opinion to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org Photograph by Kate Der Haar
Thursday 20th October 2016| PALATINATE
Having a girlfriend doesn’t make me a challenge for the night Imogen Kaufman
Many girls I know have had nights out where entitled guys have tried it on. I know it’s usually a staple part of any of my nights out. For the last ten months I’ve been in a happy relationship with another girl. By no means did I expect this to reduce inappropriate male behaviour directed towards me, but something I never expected was that being in a relationship with another girl meant we would get more attention. Surely kissing another a girl in a club makes it clear you’re not available to guys out there? Apparently not. I’ve heard rumours that some girls just kiss to attract male attention. I’ve never met a girl who does this. It feels more like a male generated fantasy than a reality. If two girls are kissing in a club, chances are they like each other, like kissing each other, and probably aren’t the best bet for guys out on the pull. So why does it attract them? And more importantly, why doesn’t it put guys off from trying? Bringing the issue to light, two guys promptly approached us in a Durham nightclub after seeing us kissing. We tried to wave them away and told them we were together. But one of the guys put his arm around my waist and wouldn’t let go. He was whispering inappropriate things in my ear for about ten minutes and would not move away, or move his hand away from my waist, no matter how many times I stressed to him that I was there with my girlfriend. I’m sure there was dozens of single girls in that club that night but apparently the phrase ‘girlfriend’ isn’t enough to get the message across that we were unavailable to them. Of course, guys will hit on me or my girlfriend and not know we’re together. Often when you tell them ‘I’m here with my girlfriend’ they’re very apologetic and polite. But sometimes their reaction is a little over the top. They’ll hug you and put their arms around you and tell you how much they love gays, how happy they are for you. There’s a fine line between them being sweet and you feeling a bit like an animal in a zoo. After that happened, one of the guy’s friends later approached us in the club (in a different room and floor
of the club). He wouldn’t stop badgering us, asking: ‘Are you guys lesbians? Are you really? Are you really gay though?’ To the point where it would have been verging on aggressive if we were on a street in broad day light. But it was a nightclub, so me and my girlfriend just laughed it off and told him, ‘Yep, we’re gay,’ and sent him on his way. What I don’t understand is why men think this behaviour is necessary, and not only that, but appropriate? Some girls will pretend to be in a relationship to get a guy to go away, but either way, it proves they’re not interested. This sort of male behaviour still echoes the idea of Sapphic woman just being a ‘challenge’. Which obviously isn’t true, they’re just simply not interested. A shock to some men it seems. On previous nights out we’ve had men not believe we’re in a relationship. To the point where they ask us to ‘prove it’ (ew, no) and then to the extreme where men will follow us around. Now, men will often follow uninterested women around in clubs - unfortunately that’s nothing new. But following two women around
She’s not a spectacle. Respect the legitimacy of her relationship
I’ve had guy friends pretend to be my boyfriend before to get guys to leave me alone. It always works - the creepy guy always leaves as soon as my male friend(s) appear by my side. But if it was my girlfriend it would make no difference, proving men only respond to other males as a threat. My girlfriend and I will kiss to try and get guys to leave us alone and usually it will work. But sometimes they still stick around. My partner has had to yell ‘I’m gay!’ in a guy’s face to get him to leave her be in the past. It simply shocks me how far male entitlement will go. Being in a night-
club with my girlfriend isn’t enough to put men off - which is not only worrying but also sad on a man’s behalf. Why are you going after a girl on a night out which she’s clearly enjoying it with her girlfriend? She’s not a challenge. She’s not a spectacle. Respect the legitimacy of her relationship. It’s not a big ask.
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It simply shocks how far male entitlement will go
who are in a relationship together? It’s a new level of delusion; it has the same roots in the strange ideal that sometimes persistence can lead to success. It doesn’t. Of course, my experiences as a girl in a same sex relationship in a nightclub are all part of a far bigger issue in nightclub culture which seems to normalise and encourage creepy male behaviour. And the fact that it’s a same sex relationship does make a difference in how men react.
Nightclubs can be very forbidding environments to many
Photograph: Bruce Turner
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
The Durham Bubble: Politics News in Brief By-elections
The Return of Blair?
Mason Boycott-Owen Politics Editor
Foreign Academics Sidelined
Polish Abortion Legislation
During the EU referendum camapign Jo Cox - the Labour MP for Batley and Spen was brutally murdered in her own constituency. Though the major parties have not fielded candidates for her seat, far right and neo-Nazi groups such as Liberty GB and The National Front didn’t step aside. A lack of class perfectly suited to their organisations. Another leaver is David Cameron, vacating his Witney seat. Larry Sanders is contesting it. That’s right, Bernie’s older brother is standing for the Green Party. Maybe the Greens are set to double their MP count?
Guess who’s back. Back again. Well, maybe. Former Labour Leader, Prime Minister, and lead singer of Ugly Rumours Tony Blair is perhaps making a return to British politics. After spending his post-parliamentary years jetting off to speak at various events, for a small fee to cover travel, sundries, and whatnot, he has called his return an open-question. ‘When are you coming back?’ is an open question nobody was asking – neither the Labour Party nor the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. Winning three general elections is good experience, Chilcot is not. If Blair returns, he will not be welcomed back with open arms.
Leaving the EU doesn’t mean that we’re neglecting our European counterparts, they said. We’re embracing globalism, they said. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to case and reminders of this lurk at every corner. The latest reminder being the horrid news that experts are being denied the opportunity to help create a better nation due to their nationality! The notions being bandied about by the current government wouldn’t be amiss in a certain man’s autobiography. Britain is by no means doomed; however, pandering to the short-sighted has ramifications as exemplified by the appalling rise of hate crime.
Jeremy Corbyn endured a calamitous summer, with several MPs leaving his front bench and a vote of no confidence. His latest cabinet reshuffle does, however, seem to hint at a more positive future. The Shadow Lords leader, Baroness Smith of Basildon, has returned to the fold and Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah, has remained on the front bench, having previously branded Mr Corbyn as “arrogant” and “incompetent.” With key previously vacant roles now being filled, such as Sir Keir Starmer becoming the Shadow Brexit secretary and Dianne Abbott being promoted to Shadow Home Secretary, Labour now look a more formidable opposition.
The Polish government abandoned its proposals to criminalise all instances of abortion following nationwide protests. The ‘Black Protest’ encouraged thousands of women and men to take to the streets in protest of government’s plans to replace laws which already stand as some of the most draconically restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Jarosław Gowin, the Minister for Science and Higher Education, stated that the protests ‘caused us to think and taught us humility’. The U-turn represents a victory for thousands of women in Poland and across Europe and may be encouraging for similar campaigns such as Ireland’s ‘Repeal the 8th’ movement.
Photograph: Garry Knight via Flickr
Photograph: The World Travel and Tourism Council via Flickr
Photograph: Jim Larrison via Flickr
Photograph: Garry Knight via Flickr
Photograph: Peiotr Drabik via Flickr
Brexit Stage Left: Conservative Conference The Conservative Party Conference, which ran from the 2nd to the 5th of October, was the first concrete indication of what May’s premiership will be like. The conference signalled the end of the Conservative’s infatuation with the free market which began with Thatcher – with May not only talking of government intervention, but of government as a force for good. May had a few words for Cameron, but also ensured that her government will not be a continuation of his. Almost compensating for the fact May had been one of the most senior politicians in Cameron’s cabinet, she ended the hallmark of his premiership: austerity. After being implemented with impunity for the past 6 years as a necessity, Hammond spoke rather of investment. This is potentially a gamble; the benefits which may come from quelling the enthusiasm around Corbyn (who has largely defined himself through anti-austerity) may be offset through divisions caused by trampling over the last government’s legacy and Brexit. Already, Hammond has been told
to ‘watch his back’. Pundits lauded May’s speech as a grab for the “centre-ground” in British politics. May spoke of “ordinary working families” and declared that “our society should work for everyone”. She launched an attack on tax dodgers and stole a number of policies from Labour, of which Ed Miliband made fun From this alone you’d be inclined to believe that the Conservatives had a firm grip on the centre-ground. However, although May spoke in the language of social progress for Britain, she had a different tone and message for foreigners.
New rules will be put in to cull the number of international students coming here to study, something which will hit universities such as Durham hard. May suggested that by 2025 foreign-born doctors will no longer be welcome in the UK, in a move for self-sufficiency in the NHS. The announcement that companies would be forced to list foreign workers was met with enough backlash that it has already been dropped. May directed her anger towards “left-wing human rights lawyers” for “harassing” British soldiers. It appears that war crimes will not be a priority under May.
In an attempt to align herself with the country, May also condemned the “liberal elite” for sneering at people who voted to leave the European Union. In order to further cement the nationalist sentiment of her speech, May claimed that ‘if you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’. For these comments and policies May received a number of condemnations, from Natalie Bennett quipping that ‘No wonder Diane James has quit as UKIP leader – Theresa May has occupied her role,’ in a letter to the Financial Times criticizing her comments on world citizenship. If this is the centre ground, it’s the one which exists between Labour’s “Controls on Immigration” mug and the BNP. If anything, May has demonstrated the non-existence of a political centre. What was before the 2015 general election occupied by the Liberal Democrats, an internationalist austerity party, is now supposedly occupied by a nationalist interventionist party. Borne from Brexit, May’s premiership will also be defined by it. How the government has dealt with the negotiations and their outcomes will probably be the defining issue of 2020. How little was spoken about it is of interest
then. May assured the conference that the government had a plan for Brexit but did not reveal anything more than that. Theresa May and the Conservative Party stand in a precarious position. Ending austerity may see off Corbyn and assuage many of the concerns people had with Cameron’s government. May has the luxury of actually being able to control migration into the UK and
The Conservative Party stand in a precarious position
cutting it could prove immensely popular. However, the divisions within her party over the Brexit negotiations and the fallout from leaving the European Union may be insurmountable. The Conservative Party Conference has given us a full view of May’s vision for the UK and an inkling of what’s to come. Photograph: NVCO via Flickr
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
How To Get Involved Women in Politics: Virginia Raggi Mason Boycott-Owen, Kate McIntosh & Joseph Costello Politics Editor & Deputy Politics Editors
Kate McIntosh Deputy Politics Editor
Want to voice your opinion on Brexit? Disagree with something you’ve read in the paper? Fancy getting involved in opinion polls? Then get involved with Palatinate Politics. We send out content calls every two weeks covering all aspects of domestic and international politics - whatever interests you. If you are an international student and want to write about what’s happening politically in your country, feel free to send us an email with your article ideas. We also do some of our own in-house opinion polling such as our poll last year on the E.U. Referendum.
Rome’s first female mayor, Virginia Raggi, has a colossal task on her hands. The Italian capital is notorious for its political corruption and incompetency. In poor neighbourhoods, yards from the big sites, the mismanaged public infrastructure is clear to see, and during the city’s long summers rubbish piles up on streets hidden from the tourist trail. Raggi, who was elected in June, represents the leftist Five Star Movement. She’s only 38, but she took a 67.2% majority, marking a dramatic surge in the party’s popularity. In the 2013 general election they claimed just a quarter of the popular vote. Part of Raggi’s attraction is her somewhat unconventional path to politics. Born and raised in Rome, she lives in the city with her son, whom she cites as her motivation for a political career. Only a councillor for three years, she says things changed when she had children and she ‘couldn’t sit back any longer and just watch’. During Raggi’s campaign to be Mayor of Rome, ex-Prime Minister and walking anachronism Silvio Berlusconi said that the important political office should not be held by a mother. But speaking after her victory, the fomer Civil
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For the next edition we are looking for features such as: - Women in Politics - Russia - US Tensions - Nick Clegg’s Legacy - Farage in the USA - Ed Balls’ Strictly Run
Lawyer said that her election ‘shows that people are ready for a new adventure’ and that she hoped gender politics could be brought to the fore. This political shift is part of a wider tide of change in Europe’s political landscape. Anti-establishment sentiment, perhaps most clearly observed in the Brexit vote, has manifested in both the left and right. Beppe Grillo, comedian and founder of the Five Star Movement, is a vocal Eurosceptic and former ally of Nigel Farage. But Raggi has made known their differences. And she’s focussed on domestic issues in Rome, like reform of recycling procedures and reclaiming millions in unpaid taxes on the Vatican’s real estate. Raggi’s first months as Mayor have been far from easy. Much of the controversy involves her
€192,000 salary. Five departures from the Mayor’s office in September were triggered by Raggi’s dismissal of a minister who opposed her high pay. Yet it is Virginia Raggi’s talk of change in the Eternal city whichmarks her approach as dictinctive. She’s upping support for the poor and cutting taxes for small businesses. Critically she’s a stalwart of leftist thinking in the upper echelons of Italian politics. In an interview in June, Raggi claimed ‘I have always said that Rome will change when Romans change. We can do anything if we stand together… we have a city center which is crumbling but I am very confident we can turn the tide, get back on track and go towards a future where the citizens are once again at the centre of politics’.
Photograph: Livioandronico2013 via Wikipedia Commons
UKIP Meltdown - Fighting Talk
‘A World of Pure Socialist Imagination’ by Lizzie Greenwood
‘I keep trying to escape…and before I’m finally free they drag me back,’ joked Nigel Farage as he was reinstated as UKIP party leader (if only temporarily). The state of his party is, however, no laughing matter. In a week of drama that could rival the plots of most Spanish soap operas, UKIP saw the loss of a leader after just 18 days, a fight in the European Parliament and the return of the infamous Mr Farage. Elected after months of bitter disputes, Diane James promised a new chapter for UKIP in her acceptance speech: ‘We are going to confound our critics…we are going to outwit our opponents’. Unsurprisingly, it was not to be. She resigned in less than three weeks, claiming she did not have ‘sufficient authority’ to rule. In her short tenure Ms James avoided press interviews and said little on the future of her party. She did, however, seem to continue the party tradition of infighting – removing Neil Hamilton, UKIP’s
leader in the Welsh Assembly, from the conference schedule. She also vowed to make UKIP a more professional party. It appears that Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP, did not get the briefing. When asked to comment on her resignation, he tweeted: ‘In the middle of supper. Not taking calls about UKIP stuff. It’s
The party is a shambles
shepherd’s pie, by the way.’ In another shining example of professionalism, two UKIP members had a fight in the European Parliament. Steven Woolfe, the protégé of Farage and previous favourite for leader, was involved in an altercation with fellow MEP Mike Hooken, allegedly over rumours that Woolfe was defecting to the Tories. The scuffle ended with Woolfe in hospital. Following a three night stay in hospital and rumours that Woolfe would
run for leader again- his previous attempt was flouted after he submitted his candidacy 17 minutes late- Woolfe has now quit the party. Woolfe exited the party by labelling it a “death spiral” Regardless of who its next leader will be, UKIP has a more fundamental question to deal with: where is its place in politics? Ms James was supposed to turn the party into an ‘opposition in waiting’. But in a post-Brexit era it is unclear what UKIP stands for. Many think it should focus on taking the working-class vote in Labour heartlands - the referendum showed that it had strong appeal there. But if it wants to pose a real threat to Labour - admittedly in no perfect state itself - UKIP has to get its act together first. The party is a shambles, and Farage, who seems to be the one thing that can hold it together, has said he will not stay on as party leader – not for ‘$10 million’. But Mr Farage, ever the optimist, refused to be discouraged by the mess: ‘Things could be a lot worse – we could be the Labour Party, couldn’t we?’
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Durham Student Voices - BAME Representation Kweku Bimpong It’s important. I am tempted to leave it at that, I will however refrain from doing so. Having said that, I ought to express my incredulity at the fact that such a notion would be questioned. Surely we ought to strive for suitable representation? Democracy thrives off the basis that a population is aptly represented. Well it’s a good job that the people are represented! Yes - yes they are but not as well as this nation capable of doing. It is indeed possible for someone to represent a group of people without belonging to them. Having a per-
son from a certain group in a role to represent said group does not equate to good representation. The importance of having politicians from a BAME background is not merely because of their ability to represent their communities. Arguably it results in more role models furthermore resulting in greater participation in politics from the BAME community. Having said that, I personally believe that role models are often based on those that we can relate to. It would be dangerous to suggest that the colour of ones skin inherently makes them relatable to someone with the same pigmentation. However, I should affirm that there are indeed some
experiences that are certainly more likely to have been encountered by those from certain groups in society regardless of social standing. Notice that throughout this article I have used the term BAME, I have done so simply for ease of writing. However, it is important to clarify that within there are stark differences amongst the BAME community and it simply isn’t helpful to cluster them together. In order to enhance our democracy, we need to represent everyone. Cynics may claim that in an ideal world I would want there to be equal representation for the % of the population. We have truly come far but there is still a while to go.
wIf we are to suggest that at present there are minimal hindrances to the success of certain groups of people, it would be fair to suggest that we should see our nation’s demographic reflected clearly by our representatives. This disparity is unforgivable. We need more women. We need more people from ethnic minorities. We need people from all backgrounds! And we must eradicate all perceivable barriers. Fortunately, these obstacles or perceived obstacles appear to be diminishing for one reason or another. The Office for National statistics (ONS) 2015 annual population survey suggests that 13% of the UK population are from ethnic minority background, this is 7%
more than the percentage of MPs from ethnic minorities. Although an appalling statistic, this is the highest amount of ethnic minority MPs ever. The civil service has done tremendously well with regards to their inclusiveness, the latest figures from ONS suggest that 11% of staff are from ethnic minorities. Tellingly they recognise that they “need a workforce with the very best possible mix of existing and future talent”. Society is changing rapidly and it is essential that we keep up with the times. We need to ensure that we have diversity amongst our politicians in order to utilise the array of experiences that Britons have and make this nation holistically better.
The Hurt-Locker Room - Trump Campaign The latest instalment in the controversy-fuelled POTUS race was released last week – this time in the form of a video, unearthed from 2005 by the Washington Post, in which Donald Trump, just months after he married his third wife, Melania, recounts his attempt to sleep with another married woman. He boasts that his stardom gives him the right to do whatever he pleases to women, including grabbing them by the genitals. Donald Trump’s love of women is one of his most distinguishing characteristics, but now the world can safely admit that it knows more about his views on how women should be treated than about most of his policy ideas. One should not be surprised by the comments Trump makes in private, given the string of accusations of sexual harassment he has faced for the last twenty years, which include kissing and groping women without consent, and even rape. Some of the accusations are hard to believe, and some will not be proven until
Photograph: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
heard in court, but reading them one would assume he has not the least amount of courteous respect for women, especially in private. If this behaviour is as a result of how much he believes his ego deserves to be satisfied as a businessman, imagine what he’ll think himself entitled to do to women as President. Trump has excused his comments as “locker room banter”, which may be true, and even characteristic of many men across the
world, but that does not make them any less deplorable; particularly for someone who could be leading the world’s most powerful nation in a few months. The very knowledge that the President thinks it acceptable to harass women might be enough to push more men to do the same. Trump’s comments resonated negatively amongst both political parties, and lead a group of 30 chief Republicans to write an open letter averting their support for
Trump, and urging other Republicans not to vote for him. But the question is: why has it taken them so long to do so? The letter reads: “Donald Trump… has proven himself manifestly unqualified to be president.” It is not as though Trump has not made comments of equal controversy in the past though – his dictionary of misogynistic remarks has included calling women dogs, pigs, slobs, and disgusting animals. The only reason I can think is that they were searching for an excuse to pull the plug – once remarks like these have become widespread knowledge, it would take only a fool to dismiss such abhorrent comments. However, although top Republicans may have the sense to denounce these comments, the everyday supporter of Trump tends to hold rather more steadfast views, unable to be influenced by any external forces. With every nail hammered into Donald Trump’s coffin, the media manages to pry it open again, and with it his supporters follow. Only time will tell whether this nail will be the final. Having respect for women is the most basic value that every
man should uphold and the way Trump talks says a lot not only about his opinions, but also about what sort of an ideology might be reflected in his policy. Remember: the cameras and the microphones only see the tip of the iceberg of these outrageous
Some of the accusations are hard to believe
comments. Does he really care for the denouncement of misogyny or racism? Obama has done an excellent job of upholding current social standards by denouncing anything below what should be considered acceptable. Could a man who jokes about sexual harassment do the same? Answer that for yourself.
The Return of The Green Party: A Progressive Alliance Joseph Costello Deputy Politics Editor The decision to leave the European Union in June 2016 was a vote not just to withdraw from a supranational organisation, rather completely replace established political norms. Undoubtedly, this decision has left a vacuum ready to be filled by any ideology ready
to take on the new era in British politics. Truisms like continued membership of the single market, high levels of European immigration and political alliance with partners in Europe are no longer the reality. The foundations of Westminster have been shaken by the cannoning of its political influence over the will of the people. It is not only, however, those at the
very top that are charged with dealing with this mass exodus from conformity. In September, The Green Party elected in Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, two leaders to the helm of the party. This new step in the process of leading a major political party (and yes, I say that without irony) could well recalculate how we think about politics
in the country. For too long, there has been a duality of expectation on our political leaders. On the one hand we expect them to be completely infallible – I note Hillary Clinton as an example of this. Curiously, leaders are expected to show be ‘human’ and ‘real’, and are oft criticised for over-reliance on the party line. What is particularly progres-
sive about the Green Party’s acceptance of their new leaders’ need for part-time provisions is that is yet another symptom of a sea-change in British politics. It is not the work of the pioneer to state ‘Brexit has changed everything’, but I feel that the tearing down of these established norms may be one of the ways that ‘Brexit changed everything for the better’.
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
Hazel Smith: Durham Engineer to Olympic Medallist The Paratriathlon Guide tells the story of her unorthodox road to Rio and how a positive attitude led to her success
Lily Boulter Profile Editor From Senior Hydrologist to an Olympic silver medallist at Rio, Hazel Smith defies convention. At thirteen, the Newcastle-born Smith became the Scottish 200m breaststroke champion. From there, she studied at Durham University and coached rowing. However, when Smith took part in her first triathlon in 2010, she would never have expected to go to Rio as a Paratriathlon Guide. Smith comments: “it was a little local triathlon here in Edinburgh. It was really my dad who inspired me to do triathlons as I’d grown up watching him competing.” Now Smith will herself inspire many others to get involved after her success in Rio. Smith’s early life influenced her success now; “I remember that breaststroke race clearly, I won by a mere 0.1 of a second. I think having that experience at a young age helps, the experience of performing under pressure is invaluable. The sooner you realise you can only control the ‘controllables’ and not your opposition, the sooner you become a better racer. These were the thoughts we took into the race in Rio.’” At Durham, Smith read Environmental Geoscience. This might be what you expect from someone working for AECOM, but not necessarily an Olympic athlete. That said, Smith was quick to point out that her degree taught her the value of working hard to get to where you want to be. You would think the atmosphere and prestige of the Olympics would deter anyone from returning to work. Yet, for Smith, this is not the case. “At work you are dealing with clients and
technical challenges, but when you are training and competing quite often, you deal with yourself, making sure you are getting the best out of every training session. Doing both gave me the opportunity to continue my career and pursue my passion for triathlon. I was lucky enough to have the support of AECOM.”
The sooner you realise you can only control the “controllables” and not your opposition the, sooner you become a better racer.
Smith also coached rowing during her time at university. She explains, “in my second year, I coached St. Cuthbert’s Society Men’s Senior rowing team to qualify for Henley Royal Regatta. My third year was spent coaching the First Year Men’s rowing squad, who went on to win the Freshers’ Boat Race.” Interestingly, Smith continues “I was settled on coaching at Durham and thought my compet-
Hazel Smith and Alison Patrick competing in the Rio Paratriathlon
ing days were behind me, but when I found triathlon, I fell in love with sport again. However, my experiences at Durham shaped the kind of guide I was able to be.” The opportunity to be a Paratriathlon Guide came about when the head of Scottish Triathlon Chris Volley contacted Smith in late summer 2014. She had previously been a reserve athlete for the Commonwealth Games Triathlon Relay team, and Chris spotted her potential. The Guide-to-Gold Scheme run by British Triathlon was launched in autumn of the same year. Smith attended a test-
ing day, where swim, bike, and run speeds were measured. After this rigorous process, three guides were selected; Smith included. As she concludes, ‘“the rest is history”. For Smith, the best part about the
When I found triathlon, I fell in love with sport again. However, my experiences at Durham shaped the kind of guide I was able to be.’
triathlon is being able to train and race in three different sports. However she points out that guiding is essentially a fourth discipline; “you quickly learn that communication is key, and your focus has to be on your athlete all the time. I love guiding as it’s a team game, and I really enjoyed supporting someone and helping them reach their potential.” Guiding involves working very closely with her partner, Alison Patrick. “I’ve known Ali for two years now and we
Photographs: Hazel Smith started off just riding the tandem together, a scary experience for a firsttimer. We were quickly training three or four times a week together, including swimming and running as well as biking. We quickly formed a bond due to learning so much together. Ali had to put her complete trust in me and I had to do my best to learn new skills on the go. “Once we got to Rio we were so focused on the race that our Paralympic experience didn’t start till after the race.” Smith spoke about the importance of seeing the race in a wider context, without too much expectation. As a result, she concludes “the experience we had out on that race course was all the better for it”. However, her first thought after finishing is testament to the type of guide that she is. “Honestly, my first thought was relief. I was worried about Ali for most of the run: it was 36 degrees and she is albino, so the conditions were less than ideal. Crossing the finishing line with her safe was a relief, and to finish in a medal position was amazing.” Coming home to everyone’s stories about how they had watched and listened to the racing was the perfect end of Smith and Patrick’s Rio experience. Now Smith is taking some time to relax at home, whilst still attending the local events in Scotland and taking selfies with the local kids! She is also getting married in a few weeks to add to her already very exciting year. Although she and Patrick have taken a break in their training, they hope to continue their success in the future, and Smith will also be taking part in her own races in the coming years.
Thursday 20th October| PALATINATE
Mine water can heat colleges
Editors’ Column Tommy Pallett SciTech Editor
This week, SciTech takes a look at a unique and quintessentially Durham means of reducing our carbon footprint. Using the old coal mines as a direct source of heated water is about as novel as renewables get! If this captures your interest (or if you’re too lazy to read the article!) be sure to check out SciTech’s first video interview, as my co-editor Luke Andrews delves deeper into the brain behind the concept (see what I did there?). Also online, I’ll be speaking to new start-up company ‘Octopus’, who now provide my own house with energy from renewables, so don’t miss out on how you can make a difference when you set up your house bills next year! We have an exciting ‘Science Over Summer’ story from a Durham student on the way, too and if you would like to have your summer story published, then do get in touch via email or Facebook, details for this can be found below. On that note, do also get in touch if you have any exciting science and technology news to share, or if you would like us to cover a piece of research! Finally, don’t miss the science event advertised on page 3 of this edition; next time you can look forward to full coverage of one of Durham’s most exciting departments for science and technology. You can’t say our section doesn’t deliver, right?
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Luke Andrews SciTech Editor Beneath Durham University lies a network of abandoned coal mines. They are filled with water warmed by natural heat. Dr Charlotte Adams, lecturer in the Geography Department, is leading a project aiming to recycle this water to heat colleges. “In the colleges it could potentially be used to provide heating” she said. Heat produced in the earth’s core radiates outwards, raising the temperature of groundwater. The project hopes to tap into this naturally heated resource for colleges. The first stage is to drill a borehole into the abandoned mines. A pipe with a pump connected at the top will then be lowered down, connecting the hot water to the surface. This is attached to a college’s heating system. The pump will pull warm water out of the ground and send it to a heating tank. Here it is heated to an optimum temperature for the colleges. Then, it is passed through pipes around a college. The water releases heat into the college, warming the building. Warm students equals a happy college. The used water will then be returned to the ground via another pipe, to be reheated by radiation from the earths core and then, reused by the college. The scheme is virtually carbon neutral. But, it will use electricity to power the pump. Dr Adams hopes that this will be provided by university-based solar panels. “It’s a low carbon alternative to gas boilers” says Dr Adams, referring to what colleges currently use as a heating system. Van Mildert College is likely to be the first college to receive this low carbon upgrade, owing to its proximity to the mooted borehole site. Just behind Wear block is open land with mines running beneath. Its the easiest access point to the mines. “We would be delighted to be part of this project and listen to any advice given on renewable energy sources”, said Ian Jackson, Assistant Operations Manager at Van Mildert College. Support for projects like this is high within the University’s management. A Carbon Management Team was especially created to help direct ideas like these. It’s all part of the push to reach the University’s target of 15% energy used coming from low carbon resources. Past efforts include the Palatine Centre, or Noah’s Arc, complete with solar panels, a rainwater recycling drainage system and an air powered water pump.
The University has taken a ‘life-cycle’ view to low carbon projects. That means the project’s cost over time is compared to the cost of only using fossil fuels to fulfil the same function over the same time period. Unfortunately it’s still too early to know if the project will land within budget. “The project is in very early days. It’s a feasibil-
ity study at the moment” said Dr Adams. However, she remains confident that her project will get the green light. There is no exact estimate for cost just yet. The figure for drilling boreholes alone though is expected to be “within the £100,000s”. As for the price of the rest of the equipment, this remains unknown. This is definitely a venture to
watch. The idea of using warm water in mines beneath the University will allow it to utilise a local natural resource to ensure the day-today running of the University. Van Mildert is likely to be the first college to benefit from such a systen. For now though, it is still just an idea. Once Dr Adams’ has completed her project, we will know if the idea is feasible.
Photo Credit: Jiahe Max Luan
Finally, a Greener UK Thomas Mander After the Paris Agreements were acknowledged by 195 countries in December 2015, there was a new burst of hope for the ecofriendly future of our planet. Technological advancements have matched the political movements and over the last 6 months, great advances have been made. With this at the forefront of global news, business has capitalised on the renewables sector. Becoming cheap and accessible, this has had incredible effects on social mobility and quality of life in the least developed countries. Rural African villages’ previous solutions to energy would be kerosene lamps and car batteries – expensive options with minimal reward. However, French financially supported solar energy has given power to off-the-grid communities in Kenya, with power now less than $60 a year. 600 million people live away from main electricity in Africa and around 10% are
enjoying the use of clean energy. In Britain, for the first time in history, more power was derived from solar energy than from coal. Between April and September over 5% of the UK’s energy demand was met by sunlight. The lasting impact of this remains to be seen. With industry subsidiaries for solar panels cut by the government this year, and the developments of Britain’s nuclear power sector too, this major advance may not repeat itself. The increased turnover of solar energy has come through new technological advancements. Recently, a new catalyst has been utilised to increase the speed of solar reactions by 100 times. Developed at Stanford University, California, and using strontium lithium oxide, the catalyst can stand up to battery acid in terms of power output. Some countries now have too much renewable energy: dependent on external environmental factors, such as wind and sunlight, it can’t be turned on and off like fossil fuel power stations. Regions of China, India, Denmark, and Germany have all revealed
excesses of renewable energy. Germany’s recent developments have provided a network of wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric sources which account for 87% of the day’s energy demand. This ‘problem’ of excess has been dealt with by German energy prices going negative for a short period – the consumer being paid to consume. The Danes - with their massive offshore wind farms - have been known to make up to 140% of their energy demands, selling the excess off to neighbouring Norway and Sweden too. It’s difficult not to feel pessimistic about global endeavours when reading the news. However, these advances towards a sustainable future are incredibly encouraging. A world where 100% of the energy demands are met by renewable energy can often seem like overambitious science fiction, but right across the world scientists and governments have come together in extraordinary ways to make that future seem ever closer..
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
Will Grigg’s on Fire: the song behind the song It was the song of the Euros, the song that took ‘viral’ to new levels, the song now on every club playlist. But how did it happen? Nick Friend tracked down Gala to ask how Freed From Desire became Will Grigg’s on Fire, and if the last six months have made any sense at all. Nick Friend Sport Editor
Freed from Desire topped the charts in five countries in 1996, twenty years before being adapted by Sean Kennedy in homage to Will Grigg. Photograph: Matriarch Records trayed in the original song and the way in which she has been forced to fight in the most cutthroat of industries. “People think that this song brought me millions but, in reality, it didn’t. It brought me a basic secretary income. “It’s an old story – young artists
People think: football, money, millions of dollars – no. Football fans are the essence of the game.
Somewhere in amongst the power of the internet, the positive side of social media, the British football fan’s love of a good chant and Sean Kennedy’s lyricising, the role of one person has been lost. Gala Rizzatto is not just the missing link here; she is the key cog – her melodies are the same revving engine but the wheels have been changed for a newer and fresher set. That, she tells me, is what pleases her. “What I love is that what’s been taken from Freed From Desire is the melody – its anthemic sound.” She explains, with the passion that one would expect from a Milan-born singer whose career has been fraught with battles against exploitative record-labels, that she had always envisaged the song being belted out by a crowd as a popular anthem. “In reality,” she says, “It is inspired by a Buddhist prayer. It says ‘Freed from desire, mind and sense are purified.’ It’s a pop song so is very limited in its number of lyrics and what it can say. It’s not like a folk or a rock song where you have more time to tell a story – it’s a very short, simple lyric. But, what it says is ‘my lover’s got no money but he’s got his strong beliefs.’” Somewhat fittingly, given that Wigan Athletic were languishing in League One looking upwards at Premier League riches when the Northern Ireland forward emerged as an internet sensation, Gala penned the original in response to the superficial greed of her own peers. “When I wrote it, it was a particular day in New York, and I had gone for dinner with some of my friends uptown in a very cool restaurant – like a fancy Cipriani restaurant, and I heard them complain all through the dinner about what they didn’t have – a bigger house and a bigger car. “And then on the same day, I went to see my boyfriend at the time, who was from Senegal and I went to Harlem with all his community and eight of them were living in one room and they had rats running in their house but they all had a big smile on their faces, they were playing music, they were dancing, they were eating on the floor together. And I was like, ‘wow.’ I saw happiness in these people who had nothing and I saw complete unhappiness and frustration in these people who had so much. And I wrote the song ‘my lover’s got no money but he’s got his strong beliefs.’ And then people want more and they want freedom – that became ‘Freed from desire, mind and sense are purified.’” There is, Gala confesses, an eerie similarity between the lesson por-
sign bad contracts – maybe not so much now, but they got exploited and things were not regulated in the ‘90s. I wrote all the songs in the album Come Into My Life – I wrote the melody and lyrics to Freed From Desire but I was very young. The record label took advantage of me and there are two other writers listed on the
song. “The truth is that I had a horrible relationship with the label and the co-writers. The label had total control over it and they still do now. So, it’s a very difficult subject and even when it became so big, just imagine that everything that I do: every promotion, every interview, and every minute that I give to this music – and I give a lot and have done for twenty years - every little bit goes straight into their pockets. Even if it’s not proven, they forged my signature on publishing deals in the my first year. It’s a difficult thing because it’s my song, I wrote it fully but it is owned by someone else.” These longstanding issues have not stopped Gala from enjoying the popular resurrection of the song. Will Grigg’s on Fire peaked as high as six in the iTunes chart. Indeed, Grigg, despite not seeing a second of action at Euro 2016, came joint 25th in the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award – an official UEFA gong voted for purely by sports journalists, alongside the French pair of Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris and Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin – ahead of fellow striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Much of her delight at the tune’s gargantuan revival is down to the enjoyment and fun that this unique situation has created, while, simultaneously, not losing the unmistakable roots of the original version – which, itself, reached number one in France, Belgium, Russia, Spain and Brazil, as
well as going Platinum in the United Kingdom and Diamond in France. “To me, my song is my song and everyone knows that this is my song. If you take Yesterday and you change the lyrics, of course it’s an adaptation and it’s a fun version. But, it was done with good intent. Obviously, if it had been done to lead the Nazi group in Germany, I wouldn’t be happy at all, but it’s to lead the enthusiasm of these good people, of these fans.” As an Italian girl growing up in a Milan household with a football-mad father, Gala has had little choice but to embrace the sport and those who live for their Saturday afternoons. Her description of fandom is beautiful in its pure innocence, and highlights where the game is erring as money reigns supreme over those who really matter. “People think: ‘football, money, millions of dollars’ – no. Football fans are the essence of the game. They love sport and the players so much. They don’t make a dime to go and watch and enjoy the game. They just go because they love it. What do they make out of it? They make nothing out of it. They are just people who enjoy sport. These people just go because they just love soccer and they love sport.”There’s a lovely symmetry between Gala’s career and the Northern Ireland story that would capture the hearts of the football family, their fans being awarded a special prize by the Mayor of Paris for what they gave the tournament.
“I don’t have a team but I’ve always liked the underdog. So when Northern Ireland came up with the song, I was really happy because I’d heard that they’d never qualified for the Euros before. The fact that they were also the underdog and that they’d made it through, it was so nice and fitting that they found my song. “And the fact that they use my song to give life and breathe life into their players, to push them onto victory is beautiful. And I think what they pick up on is not so much the lyric but the whole nature of the song. The song is anthemic. These fans have caught up on that desire in the song and they used the anthemic element to breathe life into their players and to encourage them. I think it’s such a beautiful thing that a song has an energy by itself.”This, she explains, is why she loves music – a characteristic that sport shares. “Music and sport both gather people of different backgrounds together – a rich guy and a poor guy, they both love the same song, they both cheer for the same football team. It really brings people together from different backgrounds and countries.” And, perhaps, this is the most telling point. In the most testing event that Europe has hosted for many a decade, with security fears blighting every moment, football and music came together to paper over the cracks and come through as a continent with a shared song, shared laughs and with flying colours.
PALATINATE | Thursday 20th October 2016
MCCU star adapting well to county level James Martland Deputy Sport Editor 2016 has been an exciting year for Durham University student Charlie MacDonell. The 21 year old’s second season with Durham MCCU turned out to be a highly profitable one, enabling him to fulfil his dream of playing county cricket, signing for Derbyshire CCC. However, there is still more to come, with MacDonell striving to develop himself even further and become a pivotal player for his new team. A superb hundred during the 2015 pre-season against Warwickshire at Edgbaston was a perfect start to his Durham MCCU career,
I’ve loved every minute of playing for Durham University
and perhaps gave MacDonell the confidence boost he needed. Despite not counting as a first class game, MacDonnell doesn’t underestimate the importance of this knock, calling it the ‘best moment of his career so far’. “It showed me that I was actu-
ally capable of what I had hoped. It made me believe that, if I can see it in my head and take the right action to make it happen, then anything is possible.” More good performances followed and in March of this year, the 21 year-old came very close to a maiden first-class hundred. MacDonell batted beautifully for four hours before being left stranded after a mid-pitch mix up with partner Will Jenkins and being run out for 91. MacDonell still awaits his maiden first class ton, but it is surely just a matter of time. In fact, it was another hundred in a non-first class game which allowed him to make that step up to the county game: a century from 193 balls against a full strength Derbyshire CCC side led to a move there. After a handful of good performances with Derbyshire’s 2nd XI, which included a score of 84 against Northants 2nd XI, MacDonell made his bow for the first team in a oneday game against Sri Lanka A. A score of 19 may have disappointed him, but after a few more good knocks for the 2nd XI, MacDonell was soon able to accomplish his dream of playing in the County Championship, stepping out against Essex on 13th August. Although in a losing cause as Derbyshire were bundled out cheaply twice by eventual champions Essex, MacDonell’s second innings’ unbeaten 35 demonstrated an ability to dig in and grind out runs. MacDonell admits that, whilst not the best start as a team, making his debut was a great personal moment for him. “I felt like I was beginning to make
View from the President Will Legg Team Durham President It is here! Term has started at last! During August and September, I was able to settle into my role and to prepare for the year ahead. However, I am delighted that the students are finally back and we are back into the rhythm of term. I would like to praise the charitable efforts of our students at the Palatinate Rugby Charity Challenge last week. Overall, an incredible £1,845.45 was raised in aid of the charity ‘Sport in Action Zambia’. Although DURFC missed out on victory against strong opposition, the occasion was fantastic. Last Wednesday was the first full
week of BUCS fixtures. Though I was nervous before the start of play, the day ran very smoothly all in all. I particularly liked being able to watch sports which I didn’t know an awful lot about before I began in my position. I hope to be able to support a lot more from the touchline in the year to come.
MacDonell (pictured above) setting off for his hundredth run for Durham MCCU against Derbyshire Photograph: David Griffin progress. One of my goals for the season was to make my Championship debut by August. “I was very grateful that Derbyshire gave me the opportunity. In the second innings I was more relaxed and confident and felt that if I had the chance to bat, I would have got a big score.” MacDonell’s story is evidence that performing well for the university can lead to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, he makes it clear that, despite county cricket being a step up, he owes much to both the university coaches and the system itself. “I’ve loved every minute of playing for Durham University,” Mac-
Donell states. “The training setup is very professional and there are some very good players around the circuit. “Playing for the university has probably been the two most valuable years of my cricket career so far. It gave me a pathway through to county cricket and I’ve been able to play with some top players and coaches. I’d say as a team, there is a big step up for the universities playing against counties, but as an individual I always had in my mind I would make the step up when I did, so it didn’t feel like much of a difference. Paul Grayson (Head coach of Dur-
ham University) and Gareth Breeze (Assistant coach) helped me the most with my transition to county cricket.”MacDonell comes across as someone who is highly driven and ambitious. He aims to continue improving and will certainly get much more game time next summer with Derbyshire, as well as a full winter programme to develop his skills. MacDonnell believes he will be one of Derbyshire’s main men next season. Given his pivotal role throughout gameplay and the fact that he has just signed a new oneyear deal for the 2017 campaign, there is no reason to doubt his ambition.
Josephine Butler vs Hatfield
Hatfield vs St Chad’s
St Aidan’s vs Hatfield
Collingwood D vs Van Mildert
Collingwood vs Grey
John Snow vs Stephenson
St Hild & St Bede vs Collingwood C
St John’s vs Van Mildert
Collingwood vs St Hild & St Bede
John Snow vs Collingwood B
St Aidan’s vs St Cuthbert’s
St Cuthbert’s vs University
This weekend sees the return of the top divisions in the College Sport system
Grey vs St Mary’s Collingwood A vs University
Women’s Football St Aidan’s vs Josephine Butler Collingwood vs Van Mildert Trevelyan vs Stephenson Rangers Grey vs St Hild & St Bede
St Cuthbert’s vs Stephenson Collingwood vs Van Mildert St Aidan’s vs Ustinov Grey vs University
*Fixtures start on 5/11/16
St Hild & St Bede vs Hatfield St Chad’s & St John’s vs Cuthle Graidan’s vs Trevelyan John Snow vs Collingwood
Thursday 20th October 2016 | PALATINATE
Sport speak to the Italian-born singer whose song captured the imagination of football fans worldwide, inspiring internet sensation Will Grigg’s on Fire (p19)
Sport speak to the Durham student after a summer that saw him make his first-class debut for Derbyshire CCC
DU Baseball Captures First National Title Gabriel Fidler
Durham’s national triumph comes despite the club only being founded eight months ago
Photograph: Jenny Laurence
Durham to benefit from lucrative RFU partnership
Reece Moore Deputy Sport Editor The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has a quest to improve the profile of English rugby – especially in Higher Education establishments - and the participation of rugby in these same institutions. In order to achieve these goals, the RFU launched a Higher Education Partnership programme. The RFU has stated on their website that they are ‘pledging to invest £220,000 into further strengthening the governing body’s commitment to supporting and growing the game within the higher education sector.’ This partnership has, in the words of Durham University, “been introduced to ensure that, through working collaboratively and sharing resources, the opportunities for development and growth are maximised.” Durham University is one of fifteen universities that have been offered this fantastic opportunity, with Durham being “one of only three
institutions to have been awarded partnerships in all three areas” – the three being: Women’s Rugby, Sevens, and Men’s XV National Student League. This result followed a five-month application process which occurred between September 2015 and January 2016. There are very clear goals and targets involved in the awarding of this partnership, with “much of the funding ring-fenced for specific projects collectively identified by the RFU and individual institutions during the application phase.” Furthermore, Durham University is very focused on continuing the growth of women’s rugby. Consequently, “[much has been] invested in the appointment of a Women’s Rugby Coach and Development Officer”, which will help in the development of College level rugby, a touch rugby programme and the University Women’s Rugby Club. Another exciting result of this new partnership is that Men’s National Student League fixtures are being
televised by BT Sport. This is a truly exciting time for rugby here in Durham, and indeed the country. Durham’s Director of Sport, Music and Drama, Experience Durham, Quentin Sloper said: “Rugby Union is in Durham’s DNA and securing these partnership agreements with the RFU will ensure that we can continue to build our programme with the objective of being the leading University in the United Kingdom for academic and rugby excellence. “Regardless of whether you are an experienced rugby player or simply want to become involved in the game for the first time, there are more opportunities than ever before and I am sure that many of our students will enjoy taking advantage of them.” If you wish to check out what this partnership will be developing, then you can see two upcoming fixtures during the Michaelmas Term which will be live-streamed – October 26th vs Cardiff Met and November 23rd vs Loughborough.
Durham vs Cardiff Met Date: 26/10/16 Kick off: 18:30 Free entry Durham City RFC After last night’s home game with Leeds Beckett, BUCS Super Rugby continues with Cardiff Met coming to town. The game is being televised, with burger vans and drinks on sale. People are encouraged to come in fancy dress, with prizes being awarded.
In a game that will go down in British University Baseball folklore as an all-time classic, Durham University came from behind to defeat Loughborough University for the 2016 National University Baseball Championship. The 3-2 victory for the most recently founded English university team put an end to a 24-game Thunderbird winning streak. Durham advanced to the championship game by winning 2-of-3 on the first day, beating Imperial College 22-5 and University of East Anglia 5-1. Despite losing a heartbreaker to Loughborough, 8-7, the performance earned them a place in the semifinals, where they defeated University College London 3-2. The championship was made possible by the heroic pitching efforts of rookie Taiga Satou who, incredibly, pitched in four of the five games over the weekend, winning all of them. Other top performers included club co-founder Will Zucker, who scored the championship-winning run in the last inning, and Ben Turner, who drove home six runners. The impressive showing unseated a Loughborough team that had lost only once to a university side since it was founded in 2013, and echoed the Thunderbirds’ rise to NUBC glory in its first year. The result is even more impressive as Zucker and Gabriel Fidler only founded the club in February. “The whole weekend has been unreal,” concluded Zucker. “The team has just been amazing from the top of the order to the bottom, and the bench as well.”
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