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MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE 68

QMESSENGER.CO.UK

THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF QUEEN MARY STUDENTS’ UNION

The Price of Student Housing:

ULU Elections A “Farce”

Two members of ULU’s elections committee resign days before results

T

he University of London Union has been ripped to shreds internally over the last few days after two members of its election

committee resigned from their positions. Both Ashley Doolan and Daniel Cooper left the committee on the 7th of November for different reasons. Cooper left the committee shortly prior to openly supporting candidate Michael Chessum, however as of 12pm on the 8th of Novem-

ber his ULU blog still maintains that he is on the committee, something against the election regulations as staff members and officers are not allowed to openly support candidates for reasons of malpractice. Aside from breaking the constitution many students, including

other candidates, find Coopers’ behaviour politically unfair at such a pivotal moment of the presidential race. Candidate Gala Jackson Coombs, also from Heythrop college, released a statement claiming that such behaviour undermined all other candidates and that she “finds

it inappropriate that the acting President of ULU has chosen to endorse a candidate, as it only serves to enforce the view of ULU as a cliquey network of friends. Also to weave such an endorsement into an update of things he has achieved this term and send it to (continued page 4)

NEWS

COMMENT

CULTURE

SATIRE

SOCIETIES

SPORTS

Hustings round up

Make bullying illegal?

Beauty Box wars

Berlusconi a great guy

QMEquality speaks out

Lance drugged up


02NEWS

The Good

EDITORIAL TEAM: Executive Editor Kashmira Gander

Managing Editor Sean Richardson

Creative Director Lloyd Ramos

Photography Bethia Stone

Sub Editors Jasmine Virhia, Sarah Power, Issy Leach and Bethia Stone

News

After the Union’s planned Demo 2012 meeting, Welfare Sabbatical officer Ellen Kiely has confirmed that they are putting the “finishing touches” on the promotional material for the Demonstration. The National Union of Student’s planned demonstration is to be held on the 21st of November 2012, with students from across the country marching through London to show their belief that

fees and cuts aren’t working. Queen Mary student’s Union has decided to march on four key issues, Fees and Cuts, Restructuring, International Welfare and Living Standards. Student’s from different positions were invited to an open meeting to decide how the Union should tackle the event, with the likes of Welfare Officer Ozzy Amir, Women’s Officer Amberine Khan

and Editor Sean Richardson all present. Students will be involved in promoting the event to the rest of the student body, with lecture shout outs, leafleting, stalls and posters all planned to try to mobilise the student body. QMessenger is supporting the demonstration and will be at the march on the 21st, providing full coverage during and after. We encourage all student’s to

show their support however they can aginst the governmen’ts austerity measures which are affecting not only Queen Mary but University student’s nation wide. Many have spoken out against the recent restructure to the University’s SBCS department and the rise to £9,000 fees. The Union is taking a pro strike stance against the governments’ deep rooted cuts.

REF. Do these three letters mean anything to you? If they do it is likely that you are an academic. To most students these letters mean something along the lines of ‘reference’. To an academic the word ‘REF’ means Research Assessment Exercise 2014. It is this exercise, last carried out in 2008 (at that point it was called RAE2008), which benchmarks the level of research carried out by Universities in the UK. To use our Principal’s terms the aims of a University can be summarised as knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination. Whilst

the standard of the latter is looked at by NSS surveys yearly, REF only occurs every 6 or so years. The outcome of this will be incredibly important to the University as it will be the basis by which reputation is secured (or lost) and finances decided. In 2008 Queen Mary surprised most commentators by rising rapidly to 11th in the University research rankings (The Guardian rankings). The School of Medicine and Dentistry ranked first in London, ahead of big stars such as UCL and Imperial. This meant that the ‘quality related’ component of government (HEFCE) funding was in-

creased and now stands at around £30 million annually (11% of the University’s annual income). It is not just the direct effect on government funding which is important. The reputation of an institution is undoubtedly a factor in the deciding of research grants from government research councils (i.e MRC/BBSRC/NERC). The government uses this indirect method of distribution to ensure that money is allocated for research on the basis of quality. Money from these sources amounts to £82 million annually (30% or University’s annual income).

It is therefore a source for real to concern to students and staff alike that according to the Principal’s annual stocktake, Annex 7, (published to Council in July) the University forecasts a drop in REF grade point average from 2.74 (2008) to 2.07 in REF2014. The impacts of this on reputation and finances are self evident. However if you would like to put this in context it would mean a ranking in the mid 80s.) All figures cited herein are from the QMUL ARCS website using the 2011/12 actual figures (from the 2012/13 budget) and papers published to Council or its sub-committees.

Joseph Flaig and Bethany Moffett

Features

Aamna Mohdin and Preston Abell

Comment

Stevie Rankin and Ruth Irwin

Culture

Belphoebe New and Rhiannon Evans

Satire

Benedict Fulford-Brown, Patrick Ford and Lucretia McCarthy

Societies

Becky Adkins

Sports

Hannah Clarke and Jeremy Baily Special thanks to Tom Sutton and Melissa Snyder

Our other media outlets include:

QMTV

Station Manager: Ozzy Amir www.qmtvchannel.co.uk

CUB Magazine

Managing Editor: Anna Matheson www.qmessenger.co.uk

Quest Radio

Station Manager: Chris Smith www.questradio.co.uk

QMessenger is printed at Mortons of Horncastle Ltd, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6JR. Tel: 01507 523 456. Each issue has a print run of 1,000 and costs £445 to print and deliver. Established in 2008, QMessenger is the free weekly newspaper of Queen Mary Students’ Union. We are proud of our editorial independence and endeavour to always hold the College, Union and external bodies to account and to provide the best news and analysis to the students of Queen Mary, University of London. QMessenger is created entirely by students and the publication retains all copyright of design, text, photographs and graphics, along with the individual contributor.

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Jannat Hossain thanks all those involved in the Union for their help with Black History month. Thank you to Charmaine Owusu and her Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS) committee for their remarkable efforts from the very beginning and for helping us see our vision come to life. Your aptitudes, dedication, and zeal for organising and promoting events were inspirational and all your hard work is much appreciated. Thanks to Karl Taylor, Oli Branton, and the rest of the Theatre Company committee for their help in the production of the play. Our gratitude to the directors of the play

The Bad

The Praise

Margaret Rwegasira (ACS), Enyi Okoronkwo (Theatre Company) and everyone else involved in the production for making it a huge success. Thanks also to Adesua Obetoh and Torita Aguba, two former students who used their limitless talents and wisdom to mastermind the fashion show. Thank you to the Debate Society and New Turn for their own involvement in the celebrations and for sharing with us their expertise. Thank you to Flora Bartlett, Ozzy Amir, and Sean Richardson for so kindly sharing with us their exceptional creative talents. Thanks to Steve Clark (Head Chef

at the Curve) for agreeing to put on an Afro-Caribbean menu at such short notice and with no reservations. A very special thank you to Dr Robbie Shilliam of the School of Politics and IR for organising and finding the funding for three excellent events, for letting the Union co-host, and for being so very laidback during the whole process. We are also grateful to Professor Morag Shiach, Bertille Calinaud, and Rosalind Stannard for supporting the Union in their own way. Our appreciation to the many Union staff that worked astonishingly hard to see our vision through

- Tom Sutton for his IT skills; Phil Gilks for his diplomacy and willingness to get things done; Joey Poku for fighting for funding and going out of his way to make students happy; and cheers to Adam McGibbon, Ellen Kiely, and Jade Lee for their continued support during the month. Last but by no means least thank you very much to all those that got involved in one way or another – whether you played a part or attended an event – your devotion to this month means a lot to us and we hope this marks the beginning of many more cultural celebrations at Queen Mary.

The Highs and Lows of Queen Mary QMEquality:

ULU:

Sports:

The feminist group’s meeting had a spectacularly high turn out

The University of London Union has faced major problems

Queen Mary s teams have be ing highly at B


NEWS03

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

ULU Hustings Round Up

News Editor Bethany Moffett takes a look at the Presidential debate Bethany Moffett

H

ALLOWEEN WAS a controversial night, with the election hustings held for the University of London Union election campaign. During the night, candidates were able to produce a statement of their beliefs and manifesto and answer questions put to them. Key issues that were discussed included wider international affairs, which more than one candidate emphasised were not the issues of the ULU Sabbatical team. Another issue was the future of ULU and its direction. All the candidates commented on the low turnout to the hustings event – which was held in a small room in the ULU building near Russell Square. Only a handful of people came to the event, which was open for all University of London students. The main question was how would the candidates increase turnout in future elections, and in general involvement by UoL students in ULU. Michael Chessum of UCL, one of the favourites for the election, stated that they needed to ‘recapture imagination’ of students, and provide something different for them in the Union. Indeed, Benedict Maguire of UCL who was absent due to a sporting injury also highlighted via prewritten statement that the low turnout in elections emphasised dissatisfaction with ULU. Heythrop College’s Gala Jackson-Coombes said that ULU was a ‘golden opportunity’ not to be dismissed. Whereas Jed Keenan of Birkbeck College, and William Hall of UCL both laid out plans for the use of websites to help improve ULU in the future.

sports een rankBUCS

Nathan Long, also of Birkbeck, highlighted how it was important to make sure that ULU remained despite its future being unclear. The final candidate in the running, Babak Babakinejad, of the University of London International Programme, failed to qualify in the election regulations, and thus was forced to pull out of the election. Questions were asked on a range of issues, including whether the candidates were revolutionaries, to how to raise accountability of Sabbatical officers. Jackson-Coombes stated how ‘ULU needs a huge revolution’. Indeed, one will have to wait to see if this becomes reality. The election itself closed on the 9th November, with the result announced on the same night. The election came about after Sean Rillo Raczka resigned in the Summer from his position as President-elect. Thus, being a one-off in the ULU calendar, doubts were voiced further about turnout and who would know that the election was on. Struggles have been facing ULU for a significant period of time, and with the whole Union underreview, the future of the institution is uncertain, see page 4 for more details. Editorial comment available on page 9.

What IS this ULU? The University of London student’s Union is a charity which fights for student’s rights London wide. It is currently undergoing a Presedential by -election after it’s pr esident elect dropped out at the very last minute. Ewan-M

Policy:

New Turn:

Learning Cafe:

Student’s discover the Union’s policy has been necessarily wiped

The politics society event packed out Drapers

Prices have risen recently in the coff ee shop


04NEWS

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

LGBT:Doyouknowwhatitmeans? News Editor Joe Flaig speaks to LGBT officer Donald MacKinnon about his role

Donald is the part time elected officer representing LGBT welfare on campus. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students face a wealth of problems such as gender neutral toilets and accepting (unknowingly) places on year’s abroad where homosexuality is illegal. We catch up with

him to see how he’s fairing. What have you managed to do in your role so far and what do you plan to do for the rest of your time in office? In my second year as LGBT officer I have stepped back from the from the LGBT society in order to try and set up a more concrete political side to the LGBT community at Queen Mary’s. This isn’t quite as fun as going on weekly socials, but it’s starting to take shape. I’m hoping to get all the bureaucratic stuff out of the way in this first few months; so as to focus on big events come LGBT History month - which is in February.

I have also had the pleasure of getting involved in the running of a new ULU initiative for ‘crossliberation’ campaigns, called the ‘London Student Liberation Network’ and I’m getting excited about our plans to grow this. For the rest of my time in office I plan on building a bigger LGBT activist group, so we can start to make some serious change on our campus. Are there any important campaigns? Gender neutral toilets is a very important issue that I want to raise in the new year, so anyone interested in getting involved should keep there eyes peeled for meetings coming up about this.

What do you think is the most significant thing that an LGBT representative has to do? LGBT representatives have a very vague mandate to do things. Last year I focused on building a big social society, as the very first thing LGBT people need is community. We went from having 5/10 people at bleak fresher’s parties in my first year to having around 50 people getting involved last year, we had a great LGBT soc committee last year and this year has been even better; I’m really happy with how well the society is doing. After that most of my time was

spent on anti-cuts work, as LGBT people are hit very hard by public sector cuts. I also got very involved in LGBT deportation cases as a union rep, and I submitted policy to the National Union of Students LGBT campaigns conference. I want to have another productive year this year, and hopefully get a few big things in place for next year. I’ve had a great time this past two years in office, and can’t wait to hand my efforts over to the next LGBT officer. To catch up with Donald yourself go to www.qmsu.org and find his under Welfare representatives!

ULU “disgraceful” and “useless”

The University of London Union comes under fire from students all Senate members I find vastly biased and leading.” Cooper then broke further regulations by using his ULU email account to forward his support to all London Sabbs and Senate members. Doolan left shortly after Coopers’ announcement, calling the whole situation a “farce”, later stating that he felt “personally dissatisfied with the returning officers handling of other matters and this one. I express my own dissapointment with this course of action having joined the election committee as I did to ensure this was a fair and open election especially during a year where ULU has to be seen to have a real and relevant effect upon our students.” Further problems were raised by candidate Will Hall who submitted a formal complaint against another candidate, who can not be named yet due to electoral bias, in an email leaked to QMessenger from a number of sources. Hall argued that they had handed in a vital form late and, as such, should be disqualified from the running. Daniel Cooper and other ULU staff, including Angela Jelfs, Activities Development Officer, did not comment on the matter but instead directed QMessen-

ger journalists to Rob Park, the returning officer and general manager of Birkbeck Union. Park however also declined to comment and journalists were told by Birkbeck Union that they should speak again to ULU staff as it was a ULU matter. In the email leaked to QMessenger however, Park released a statement claiming all affairs would be dealt with after the election results were announced, yet did not specifically reference any incident which had occurred. Queen Mary Students’ Union own President Babatunde Williams stated in the email that he felt the candidates behaviour should be dealt with either by “disqualification” or a “deduction of 50 votes”, depending on the severity of his misconduct. ULU has faced a number of crucial blows over the last few months, with president elect Sean Rillo Razcka resigning from his position at the final hour, leaving Cooper to act as both Vice President and President for a number of months. Previously at ULU training Cooper had stated he wanted the by-election to be run fairly and openly, with as many students involved as possible after Razcka was elected by under 1% of the ULU student body.

Sabbatical officers have reacted badly to the news, with Central School of Speech and Drama’s Union President Matt Withers claiming he felt “a little confused as to why a ULU Vice President and a member of the Elections Committee feels it is appropriate to publicly endorse one candidate. As Acting President I believe it is his duty to encourage the entire student body of ULU to use their voices and have a fair, open and democratic election.” Queen Mary’s own Vice President Jade Lee reinforced this view, claiming this process truly was “undemocratic” due to ULU’s handling of affairs. Some however did not see a problem with Cooper’s actions, Alex Peters-Day of LSE defending the Vice President, stating “I think it is perfectly fine for Sabbatical officers to openly endorse other candidates. Sabbs are not civil servants, we are explicitly political in our work and furthermore as the current vice-president of ULU Daniel has a better understanding than anyone of who would make a great ULU president.” Queen Mary students have reacted badly to the news, with student trustee Josh Snape saying he felt ULU had acted “un-

democratically by not upholding it’s election regulations” and that “furthermore it’s likely to be breaking the terms of the education act which states that bodies should take all necessary steps to ensure they “operate in a fair and democratic manner.” Other problems have also arisen surrounding ULU elections with the editor of QMessenger facing a UCL student telling him his friends bisexuality was a “choice” outside the ULU building (more on page 5) and candidate Will Hall being asked to remove videos which featured copyrighted material from Heythrop Union, making out that other candidates condoned violence and branding it with Jackson Coombs’ twitter hashtag. ULU has a planned review towards the end of this year, after it’s total income for 2011, was £484, 8146 and it’s total expenditure was £499, 8344, with funds decreasing from £203, 3083 in 2010 to £188, 2885 in 2011. With this hanging over ULU many fear facets such as the London Student will finally fold after years of debt and complaint, this year’s editions already facing claims of transphobia after editor Jen Izaakson (previously Jennifer Jones

of Goldsmiths) allowed LSE student Jason Wong to compare transgendered people to sex offenders in an article published by the London Student. Student editor Alex Hackett said of the matter “It would be a great shame if the London Student were to close, it is over 50 years old and should be the biggest student newspaper in London, it clearly isn’t and the blame rests squarely with the editor; it’s a shame for all London Students and potential journalists.” ULU has also recently proved unconstitutional, with the constitution claiming the institution has 4 Sabbatical trustees, whereas in practice there are only three, something raised at ULU training over summer but that has not been fixed. After reading this article one student felt that ULU was a “disgraceful mess” that seemed “useless” in practice. To send in your opinion tweet us at @qmessenger or send the editor an email at editorqmessenger@gmail.com which we will print in our next edition. The election results will be announced on Friday evening, after this paper has been sent to print, but QMessenger will keep students updated online at www.qmessenger.co.uk


NEWS05

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Sexuality a “Choice” according to Tory UCL Tory claims believeing sexuality is innate “impinges” on others

L

ast week saw the ULU presidential debate, with candidates Michael Chessum (UCL), Gala Jackson-Coombs (Heythrop), Nathan Long (Birkbeck), Will Hall (UCL) and Jed Keenan (Birkbeck) all trying to persuade voters that they were the best candidates to fix the rapidly ailing University of London Union. Candidates had five minutes to reinforce their key manifesto points and then took questions from the audience. When asked about liberation campaigns, candidate Will Hall claimed he felt students should not face discrimination based on “who they are” or their “lifestyle choices.” Some of the audience however took badly to Hall’s phrasing, with Sean Richardson, Editor of QMessenger asking “Which liberation campaign do you see as a choice, being black, a woman, gay or disabled?” Hall apologised for his comment and reinforced he had said he wanted students not to face discrimination based on “who they were” as well as any other choices they may make. Later in the evening however, after the debate had finished, Richardson and a group of Heythrop students left ULU and were approached by a member of UCL Conservatives Committee. Richardson was then told by the man, later found to be George Pender, the UCL Conservative Society’s Caerulean Editor, that he had “bisexual friends” and that Richardson’s “morally neu-

tral lifestlye choices” were affecting their “morally neutral lifestlye choices.” After Richardson asked if the man thought that his belief that sexuality was innate was “degrading”, Pender continued to reinforce that his sexuality “choice” affected other people’s “choices.” “He seemed to want me to agree with him, like it was some kind of intellectual argument he was proposing rather than something that actually affects people’s lives on a daily basis” said Richardson. “I’m not sure why anyone would be that vehement in trying to make a person change their views on sexuality, especially trying to make them believe that they’ve chosen to be

gay.” Students campaigners across ULU have come out to denounce the campaigner’s choices. Ashley Doolan, Heythop Union’s President, who was outside ULU when the incident happened slammed the campaigner, claiming “The purpose of liberation campaigning is to defend the rights of those that have been made to feel that they are somehow different or inferior for being born with traits that they had no control over by a society that traditionally feared and mistrusted the “other”. As much as I feel society is now moving in the right direction legally, the practical struggles still felt by many placed in these categories by society (not

of their own volition) everyday, justifies the continued struggle for their right to exist as the people they were born to be.” Presidential Candidate Michael Chessum, also from UCL, argued that Pender’s behaviour was “deeply worrying, especially when an active campaigner in a union with tens of thousands of LGBTQ students in it, seems thinks that he has the right to tell people - in the course of an election campaign - that they are engaging in a ‘lifestyle choice’. The whole point of Liberation politics is that it builds safe spaces to fight for equality and challenge oppression.” Queen Mary’s own LGBT officer Steve Cadman

said on the matter “George Pender’s comments to Sean Richardson are misguided and offensive. To denigrate LGBT campaigns to ‘lifestyle choices’ utterly undermines the fight for LGBT equality; and stands in line with the worst of bigots. As an LGBT activist I will not tolerate Tory committee members trying to dictate to LGBT people what sexuality is and how it should be defined.” Candidate Will Hall asserted thant Pender was not in his campaign team and that he did not hold these views. When questioned on the matter Pender claimed it was a “non story” and argued “The general point I was trying to make in the conversation was that, even if one were to to take the view that a person’s sexuality is not innate, that would (quite obviously) still not be a justification for maltreatment of one human being, by another, on grounds of either their sexuality or of who they chose as a sexual partner. In other words: the argument against sexuality based (or sexual practice based) discrimination do not rest on any particular scientific belief about the origin of people’s carnal desires, they are wider than this, and all particular scientific views lead to the same conclusion about the morality of the issues.” Responding to this, Gala Jackson Coombs of Heythrop, who was present at the incident, called the statement “ridiculous.” Comment Page 9.

QM Thoughts: Students’ Comments Rob: This is utterly innapropriate and shouldn’t have been said Josh: Disgusting and bigoted Anna: Demeaning and belittling Katie: I can’t believe this, or the editors response newsqmessenger@gmail.com


06FEATURES

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

One woman’s feelings on election night American Features Editor Preston Abell gives us her perspective

T

omorrow, November the 6th, is election day in America. In the past year, there has been countless pages spent, and often wasted, detailing the ins and outs, gaffes and triumphs, promises and proclamations of the two candidates. Factcheckers, pundits, statisticians, economists, activists, journalists, pollers, and bloggers have responded to every move and misstep of both Obama and Romney, as well as their respective running mates, at record speed. The Left’s devotion to and ecstasy for Obama that dominated the political landscape just four years ago has been lulled into submission and disillusionment by the Romney ticket’s determination to revamp America in its own image, one that is deeply inflexible, reactionary, unregulated, intolerant, and fanatical.

bent, anyone who cares even one speck about equality of any kind, or in fact, anyone who simply has a level-head with compassion in their heart for those different or less fortunate than themselves is forced to examine how it is even conceivable that the election remains as close as it does. It is especially dumbfounding when polls and surveys throughout the past year clearly show that the majority of the American public, regardless of their party, is remarkably more liberal on social causes like abortion, gay

It is not to say Obama has been an ideal president To be fair, this is not to say that the Left’s attitude towards Obama was not flawed or often misplaced four years ago, for obviously time and again it proves unwise to put all of one’s hopes and dreams for a country, especially one as enormous, convoluted, interconnected and simultaneously segregated as America, in one man. It is also not to say that Obama has been an ideal liberal President, for he has faltered on issues like gun control and environmental policy, and has often displayed a strange level of malleability and passivity, lacking an adequate and timely reaction. But, it is to say that this is not the time for liberal complacency, for, with the risk of sounding overly dramatic and ominous, the extremism of the social conservatism that Romney and Ryan have promised, is deeply troubling. Anyone with any sort of humanistic

commentqmessenger@gmail.com

marriage, women’s healthcare, immigrants, and equality in the workplace (to name a few) than the Republican candidates that at least some of them must be supporting and voting for in order for the polls to be as close as they are. I think the key to this discrepancy lies in a very specific demographic, one that is often overlooked, who vote solely on economic issues, especially when they are beneficial to their own bank account. This demographic has taken to heart the right-wing media’s repeated assertions that Obama

is a radical wealth redistributing socialist who panders to “welfare queens” and has only worsened the recession (assertions which have been endlessly debunked by non-partisan economic research groups) and has been lured by Romney’s economic plan and its unprecedented tax breaks for the rich. They are the demographic that might have voted for Obama in 2008 during the swell of excitement and hope that surrounded that election season, but have seen the impossibility of Obama living up to his idealized image as an

unstoppable uniting force that could fix all that was thrust upon him (an image which is made especially impossible considering he is surrounded by an obstructionist Congress, one that will sacrifice successes for the people simply to malign Obama’s political record). You get the immediate sense from these swing voters, the ones who will most likely determine this very close election, that they are forced to suppress their humanist conscious, and repeat, in a very robotic manner, that what America needs is a thorough-


FEATURES07

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America

bred capitalist businessman, someone whose chief purpose in life has been the accumulation of wealth, to restore the American economy and jobs. (Of course, the assertion that Romney even fits this mold is highly debatable, for at Bain Capital, he repeatedly outsourced American jobs and has lied about his job creation record countless times, while simultaneously ignoring the thousands of layoffs in the companies that Bain invested in and profited from). There will always be diehard voters on both sides, the

idealist progressives on the left and the religious base on the right, and those positions are unlikely to switch regardless of the individual candidate. But, in the midst of the unwavering voters, there are those true independents, and their votes will prove to be more powerful in this election perhaps than ever before. I would urge these swing voters to consider, amidst the plethora of complex information, data, stats, and baseless assertions that is thrown in every voters’ way, what is truly at stake on the simplest human level

if Romney is elected. As the New Yorker’s endorsement of Barack Obama put it, “despite his pose of chiseled equanimity, [Romney] has pledged to ravage the safety net, oppose progress on marriage equality, ignore all warnings of ecological disaster, dismantle healthcare reform, and appoint rightwing judges to the courts.” Further, Romney and Ryan’s “effort to disenfranchise poor, black, Hispanic, and student voters in many states deepens the impression that Romney’s remarks about the ‘forty-seven per cent’ were not a matter of

‘inelegant’ expression, as he later protested, but of genuine conviction.” In order for Obama to be re-elected, these swing voters must caste away their own self-interest and take off the goggles that their privileged position has given them and weigh what is more important: that their daughters and wives’ bodies not be controlled by the state, that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters have the opportunity to marry the person they love or even hold hospital visitation rights, that those who were born with less have access to the same health care and education they do, or, that they be able to keep extra tax dollars in their bank accounts. The equation is not as complex as the graphs and charts would lead you to believe, a vote for Romney and Ryan is a vote against the progress of all people, regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or class, it is a vote cast out of intolerance and fear.

ELECTION BREAKDOWN HOW THE CANDIDATES MEASURED UP TO EACH OTHER

AGE:

18-29 60% OBAMA 37% ROMNEY 30-44 52% OBAMA 45% ROMNEY 45-64 47% OBAMA 51% ROMNEY 65+ 44% OBAMA 56% ROMNEY

SEX:

MALES 45% DEM / 52% REP FEMALES 55% DEM / 44% REP

A Vote for Romney is a vote against the progress of all people

RACE:

WHITE 39% DEM / 59% REP BLACK 93% DEM / 6% REP

It is, in the most simplistic of terms, a vote that will only serve to further privilege those who already have the most, those who were lucky enough to be born a white, AngloSaxon, wealthy, straight male, as both Romney and Ryan obviously were, and further disempower those who were not. As FDR, one of America’s most successful and universally revered presidents said during an economic crisis much like our own,“The measure of our restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.” For tomorrow, let us hope that the majority of the American public will be able to calculate this most simple of equations.

HISPANIC 71% DEM / 27% REP ASIAN 73% DEM / 26% REP OTHER 58% DEM / 38% REP

INCOME:

<£30,000 60% DEM / 38% REP £30-60,000 46% DEM / 52% REP £60,000+ 44% DEM / 54% REP

commentqmessenger@gmail.com


MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

commentqmessenger@gmail.com


COMMENT09

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Sexuality isn’t party political Sean Richardson, Editor

T

HIS WHOLE argument should start off with me saying one thing: sexuality isn’t party political. This isn’t about me whinging at the Tory’s, at UCL or even at anyone specific, in fact it’s quite the opposite. I’ve had people I know who are on the Conservative Society committee at our own university slamming what was said to me, I’ve had people who are Green, Labour, SWP and not politically defined claiming they were disgusted. This is simply about people expressing views which, frankly, are homophobic

and abhorrent. When, after the debate, a young man approached me and decided to tell me he knew people who were bisexual, that didn’t outstound me, it didn’t even surprise me, what with roughly 10% of the population self defining as LGBTQ. I’ve got black friends, women friends, transgender friends and disabled friends but I wouldn’t dare speak on their behalf, especially to try and tell another person how they should feel about themselves. As UCL student and NUS campaigner Renni Eddo Lodge said at our own What is Feminism?

meeting last week, “Black women don’t need you to tell us what to do, we’ve got it.” In much the same way, LGBTQ people don’t need straight people to tell us what to do, we’re not a weak, shy breed who can’t stand up for ourselves, we too have “got it.” Support is always nice but attacking other LGBTQ people for their beliefs really isn’t going to help.How can you expect to understand when you haven’t lived a life filled with all the experiences of a gay person? In the same way the feminist movement doesn’t need men to lead it, the LGBT movement doesn’t need straight people to tell us how to

define ourselves; of course we need help, support and even a little bit of activism along the way but, to put it politely, don’t tell us what to do or I will tell you to fuck off. This isn’t about me having a go at straight people, this isn’t about me trying to section myself off as one part of society, it’s me trying to tell people to stop lecturing minorities on a minorities behalf, if we take offence to something we’ll say so, trust me. We love having LGBTQ allies, we love having as many straight people fighting for our cause as possible, but alongside us, not outside ULU at 10:30 at night in the

pitch black by having a go at one gay man about your supposed bisexual friends beliefs - that really isn’t going to help anyone. So please, straight people, gay people, bisexual people, lesbians, transmen and transwoman, those who are genderqueer, asexual, not self defining or once kissed a boy - and everybody else I missed out, get on board and help the cause, but don’t feel the need to have a go at someone because their beliefs don’t match up to your friends; lend a hand where you can and help out in a positive way, that’s the way forward for everyone, and the way to deal with homophobia directly.

ClintJCL

Free speech makes engaging debate But the Battle of Ideas failed to hit the mark Nick Garland

F

REE SPEECH allowed!’ was the tagline of the Battle of Ideas, a two-day festival of public debates over the weekend of October 20th and 21st at the Barbican, and sure enough, a great deal of emphasis was placed on freedom. As impressive as the roster of speakers at the event might have been- and it included the likes of The Guardian’s Tim Garton Ash, Tottenham MP David Lammy and former Thatcher adviser and Sunday Times columnist Ferdinand Mount- there was the uncomfortable feeling of an agenda being pushed by the festival’s hosts, the Institute of Ideas.

The Institute of Ideas sprang out of the collapse of the now defunct Revolutionary Communist Party’s journal Living Marxism, and have since gravitated to a libertarian position. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that a debate on genocide denial law wound up having three speakers making impassioned arguments for absolute free speech, with one lone tokenistic voice in favour of the mildest of infringements on that right. It’s a great shame that Angus Kennedy and especially Timothy Garton Ash who spoke in favour of free speech, didn’t have to engage in a real, in-depth debate on the subject as they were

clearly well equipped to do so. Similarly, a debate in the biggest venue entitled ‘Capitalism: Kill or Cure?’ should have been fascinating and topical. Instead, it became the lowlight of the weekend, with the argument amounting to four speakers- none of whom could be called radical- discussing whether they might fractionally tweak the capitalist system or not. Not a single person advocated ‘killing’ capitalism. Indeed, the most ‘left wing’ of the panellists was probably Ferdinand Mount, a Tory. Another of the panellists seemed interested only in promoting the ‘kind capitalism’ ad-

vocated by his company, which funnily enough he didn’t seem to think required any state regulation (interestingly, this company was also a sponsor of the Battle of Ideas). But these issues aside, the Battle of Ideas was still a rare opportunity to hear experts from across the board of politics. The media and academia came together and talked about a huge range of issues, from the fallout of last year’s riots, to the distinction between high and low culture, to medical ethics. In that sense, I couldn’t not recommend next year’s Battle of Ideas to anyone interested in seeing the big issues debated to a high standard- especially given that it cost students only

£27 for the whole weekend. It’d be unwise for anyone to miss out on the opportunity to see Garton Ash’s case for free speech or David Lammy speaking passionately about the riots and the breakdown of the communities he grew up in. Even to hear one speaker dare to tell a room virtually full of young people that youth unemployment is down to our own laziness and sense of entitlement. The Battle of Ideas is a rare chance to surround oneself with such intelligent people, open to arguing almost any issue, and thus I’d recommend next year’s festival to anyone. Just take their idea of a fair-and-balanced debate with a pinch of salt.

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10COMMENT

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

The Great Debate Should bullying be punishable by law?

Illustration by Charlotte Byrne

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T

NO

Thomas Parrott

YES

cate. While social networking is beneficial in keeping contact with colleagues or networking for new employment, the very appeal of a platform like Twitter is that it is a stage for unrestrained speech. The anonymity that it proclaims has led to an increase in cyberbullying, which is inexcusable and certainly not any less hurtful than physical bullying. Although, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’, may be inserted here, i-SAFE foundation has accumulated research to conclude that ‘Over half of the adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying’ and as a result, at least 20 children/ adolescents each year have committed suicide. No person has a right to terrorize another person into feeling unsafe, laughable or unworthy. Society could also benefit from more programs to ensure that from a young age, people understand how to manage their emotions more effectively alongside the detrimental effects and unacceptability of bullying. By making bullying illegal, I don’t think it will completely stop. But, I think that by outlawing bullying and having a hierarchy of punishments to be implemented, the law would present a clear and intolerable stance against bullying.

Samiha Azim

A

t the age of 15, Amanda Todd was found dead in her home after being blackmailed, physically and emotionally assaulted. Felcia Garcia threw herself onto train-tracks after being consistently tormented by school bullies. Jamey Rodemeyer was an openly bisexual activist against homophobic bullying, but his own tormenters led him to hang himself. Todd’s recent experience with bullying, which included her YouTube video about her own suffering, has received widespread media coverage and propelled the law’s response to bullying and its offenders into the limelight. Presently, the UK has enforced regulations such as the Criminal Justice Act (1994) and the Communications Act (2003) to protect UK residents against harassment and aggressive messages. However, there are no official laws against bullying, which is also still undefined by the UK law, and the existing ones aren’t a deterrent enough to prevent or dispose of the persecution that occurs from the playground to the local corner shop to social networking. Often, the prosecutors are fighting to find criminal charges within the violence that has occurred and frequently the offenders are let off unpunished. The 21st century has heralded a new wave of ways to communi-

o punish bullying by law is preposterous and anyone with the slightest bit of common sense can see that. Who in their right mind is going to throw a school child in jail for calling someone “big nose” or “dumbo”? No one! Bullying, especially in schools, usually revolves around taking the mick out of someone to excess which is in no way a criminal offence and no one deserves to be punished that severely for something like that. Occasionally you will get ruffled up by your bully but if that’s the case then grow a pair and go and see your teacher as they are able to cut it out pretty quickly – unless you go to a comprehensive and then it could take a few months. I’m not saying bullying should go unpunished; of course it should but certainly not by law. You couldn’t name a school which doesn’t have an anti-bullying campaign which deals with those involved efficiently and in a correct manner leaving the victim feeling relieved and leaves the offender guilty and unlikely to try it again. Bullying involving theft of lunch money is a different matter as that is theft and should be dealt with in a totally different way, as should anything that’s criminal. However as I am considering most bullies as those who like to

hide your bag during registration and call you names then quite frankly it’s bizarre that anyone should even contemplate throwing these people into the legal system. That is just moronic. When you move into university and work bullying does still happen but at a stage where it’s not inviting you on a night out, which from experience is usually actually the person whose been left out’s fault. So if you’re being left out then I recommend you find people who don’t know you or try and be less of a dick. Once you have left education and are thrown into the big world there are support systems in all jobs which are designed to easily resolve a problem should one arise, which because everyone is grown up and has stuff to do is not a frequent issue. Even if it is then you can man up and talk to that person like the grown man you are rather than in act legal action because someone is repeatedly writing “T**T” on your stapler. Bullying is probably more character defining if anything. Yes it’s not good but it’s going to happen anyway and thanks to the systems in place it is quickly stopped. Those wanting to punish bullying by law need to stop being such infants when being called a “mean” name and realise that there are more important things to worry about.


COMMENT11

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

The state of our financial futures L

IKE A good vintage wine, London’s financial heart boasts history, culture and it’s multi-levelled complexity. The City is home to many of the most successful financiers in the world. Globally identified and respected, London is a label most capitals yearn to have attached to it. In recent years, the City has led the way in the ‘Global Financial Centre Index’. This respected publication questions international financiers on areas which they consider most important: the quality of human resources in a centre, the overall business environment, the size and structure of the market, infrastructure and other factors directly affecting competitiveness. London is focused and recognises the markets in which it excels. Foreign exchange has always been its ‘forte’. It also holds very strong leads in OTC traded derivatives and cross-border bank lending. Foreign exchange turnover is growing globally due to increasing global funds management and London’s share continues to follow an increasing trend, up 1% compared to six-months earlier. According to ‘The CityUK’, it was one of the most stable sources of profit and liquidity for British banks throughout the recession.

Foreign exchange turnover is growing globally Since Margaret Thatcher’s Big Bang reform, London’s financier culture has been modernised. It now houses about 70% of all European hedge funds (2011). Globally, according to ‘TheCityUK’, New York hosts 41% of hedge fund assets, relative to 19% based in London. Boston is placed third, with 6%. The list then continues to be populated with other U.S cities such as Dallas and San Francisco. Although London is structurally just as competitive as New York, it seems hedge funds prefer proximity to the U.S markets, culture and entrepreneurs. Indeed Europeans are notoriously bad entrepreneurs. ‘The Economist’ argues that the culture in Europe

is discouraging, since failure and bankruptcy is too serious a stigma to wash off. Nevertheless, Baupost, the $24 billion hedge fund superstar from Boston started up in London last year to take advantage of the great opportunities from distressed debt sales, arising as a result of the financial and sovereign deficit crisis. London is also renowned for its reliable and experienced legal system which institutions can trust in case of misunderstandings. This is complemented by a very high quality labour force from Britain’s leading universities. These factors are rooted deep in the heart of the City and greatly help it maintain its leading standards. The Eurozone has been badly damaged by the recession and Britain is too close for comfort. Nevertheless, it is far more

competitive than other European countries. Although the exposure is great, Britain will not take part in sharing of debt, nor is it likely to become part of any banking union. The crisis however is global. Even though Britain’s newest estimates suggest it will be in recession till 2014, the rest of the world is suffering too; with the financial markets sustaining heavy damages. New York does not fare much better. Upcoming elections created a degree of uncertainty regarding the policies that will be pursued in future. Red tape, regulation and litigation are crippling. Recent news sent shivers down the US’s spine, with Moody���s threatening to downgrade their credit rating. Their fiscal cliff is reality. This article would bet on Sao Paulo and Brazil. With the up-

coming World Cup and Olympic Games of 2016, investment opportunities in infrastructure are abundant and rewarding. Sao Paulo has a stable banking sector and benefits greatly of a strong stable currency. Rodolfo Riechert, founding partner and CEO of Brazil Plural, is expecting Sao Paulo to attract a, ”pile of money,” from the international sector, enough to finance all of his country’s needs for decades The UK’s ring-fencing, the EU’s banking union and China’s new SEZ are all attempts at altering the foundations of their financial systems. Individuals seeking to deposit their life savings and large mutual funds alike will be looking for good returns as well as security. Benjamin Franklin famously coined the phrase, “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” These words are fitting to our times. Photo by UggBoy/UggGirl

The new reforms cannot simply be a list policies forced onto the surface. Individuals and investors are aware more than ever of the dangers and opportunities. They are more willing than ever to switch banks. In a way, these years have been the years of economic enlightenment; we are experiencing a renaissance in the sector. What is necessary is the creation of a responsible financial system, which understands that in part, it also has a public service to play.

The UK is toying with the idea of ring fencing The UK is toying with the idea of ring fencing; a separation of the investment and retail branches of a bank, without the detrimental effects of a proper surgery. Individual capital buffers are also due to be introduced. Along with a variety of other measures, the UK aims to keep depositors safe and investment branches alive and well. Universal banks are fundamental to the economy. The UK’s banking environment is crucial for its international competitiveness in all industries. Of course, we have to assume that they are willing to protect themselves first, avoiding the detrimental scandals that have befallen on them so recently. Investment branches are fundamental to our economy. They assist allocation of capital in markets. Individuals are brought together by these banks, funds are created, and companies receive the finance necessary for them to operate, employ and grow. Investors experience economies of scale and expert advice, regardless of their size. Nothing has been decided as of yet. The plans are on paper and the momentum exists. But the mouths which give the advice must be those which have done more of the thinking first, rather than the talking. The City needs to act and plan strategically, to keep its competitiveness flaring, and as brothers in arms rather than at arms.

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MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012


COMMENT13

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

The Great Halloween Costume Debate “Sexy” or Sexist? Cristina Trujillo

Photo by UggBoy/UggGirl

I

N A culture which is generally considered liberated and enlightened, such as the Western youth culture which is represented by university students across Britain and America, it can sometimes be hard to spot sexism when it rears its head. The rigid sexual repression of women has gradually faded throughout the centuries, culminating in the 21st century notion of the emancipated woman empowered by her sexuality – by her promiscuity, her pole fitness and her high heels. We can see extensive proof of this type of sexual freedom at Halloween. As Mean Girls’ Regina George puts it, at Halloween, ‘The hard-core girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears’. But does this kind of lipstick feminism really hold the key to equality of the sexes? Women’s sexual freedom is a prize to be defended to the death. However, a system which is patriarchal at its roots will always find a way to twist any rights women have gained back against them. The

sexualisation of women all around us has become just as restrictive and oppressive as the animosity towards female sexuality which came before it. Women are objectified in the media and on the streets, limited to their sexuality instead of liberated by it. The lad culture rising amongst young people reaches a peak at Halloween, when women

are pressured to be ‘hard-core girls’ in wearing as little as possible. Women who choose to wear a less sexy Halloween costume and highlight aspects of their character other than their sexuality find themselves at something of a disadvantage. Their choice is snubbed or ignored by the main retailers of Halloween costumes and organiz-

ers of Halloween parties. The recent Tumblr blog FuckNoSexistHalloweenCostumes has brought to light the extent of the sexism present in the majority of Halloween costumes depicted or available to buy online. The blog’s posts show pictures of a men’s version and a women’s version of the same Halloween costume, reveal-

ing the often dramatic difference between the two. Men’s costumes are designed to be realistic and funny whereas women’s costumes are designed to be sexually provocative. One of the main providers of the Halloween costumes displayed on the blog is the website Yandy.com. Yandy.com sells a wide variety of women’s Halloween costumes but only a tiny minority of them don’t involve miniskirts, hot pants or corsets. Most of the costumes have titles such as ‘Santa’s Naughty Secret Helper’, ‘Tea, Coffee or Me?’ and ‘Shaggadelic’. The obligation to be ‘decent’ and prudish has been replaced with the obligation to be sexy, and this is more evident than ever over the Halloween period. Women’s choice to wear costumes such as those sold by Yandy.com should be entirely respected but it should be a liberated and true choice rather than a one based on pressure to conform. Women’s choice to wear less revealing, more warm or comfortable clothing should be just as respected.

Why does Berlusconi always get away with it? Laetitia Sanchez Incera

L

AST WEEK, Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in jail by an Italian court for tax fraud related to the acquisition of TV rights by his own company Mediaset. It is, however, very unlikely that the former Italian Prime Minister will ever go to prison. This trial can be added to a long list of precedents, as this is the 33rd time that he has been brought to the courts. He was found guilty three times, but he found a way not to go to prison. The two first times, his lawyer appealed the decision after which

judges revoked their initial decisions, and the last time he used the statute of limitation. In fact, the Italian law limits the time for prosecution of crimes to a period of time equalling the maximum penalty provided for by law. More specifically, the sentence must be pronounced before the term expires. This time again, it is very likely that Berlusconi will find a way to get away unscathed. The first thought is to believe that this is because of the role he plays in politics, and to cynically recognise the limit of the independence of the judicial power. Politics always matter: if you

have the power, you have the right. However, if we go beyond this accepted position, Berlusconi’s adventures may teach us another lesson. Since his demise as Prime Minister, the truth of Berlusconi’s well known reputation as a ladies’ man have been investigated, often revealing compromising activities. In other words, he has been involved in scandals involving under aged prostitutes and flagrant cases of corruption. It is widely agreed that Berlusconi must pay for his faults. And yet, Berlusconi seems to always get away with breaking the law. This outstanding ability mainly rests on his capacity to use the law

in his advantage. That is to say that when well-known and well used, law can be turned against justice. It is true that if you have the power, you can find a way to have the right to do what pleases you, but above all the knowledge of the law gives you a much greater power. In case of Berlusconi, the partial erosion of his political power, as his party is losing some of its popular support, may signify the end of his lucky times. His power is decaying and his guilt is well known, which means that the denouement of Berlusconi’s fourth sentence to jail will tell us a lot about the state of justice in Italy.

Berlusconi: the facts Born in Milan in 1936 Father was a banker Served 3 terms as Prime Minister of Italy Longest serving Post War Prime Minister of Italy Italy’s sixth Richest man

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MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012


CULTURE15

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Blood at The Barbican Belphoebe New, Culture Editor

F

OR A celebration better associated with apple bobbing and slasher films, a polish dramatization of a silent film was perhaps a peculiar choice for the Barbican to head their evening of Halloween events. TR Warszawa and Teatr Narodowy’s Nosferatu certainly lacked the shock value to leave you constantly on edge and flinching in your seat, but it made up for it with a consistently unsettling atmosphere and beautiful visuals. Taking loose inspiration from Bram Stoker’s Dracula as well as the 1922 film of the same name,

Nosferatu follows a family who are left powerless by the appearance of a mysterious new neighbour, one who takes great interest in virgins and who can only be seen at night time. His sights turn to the beautiful and unashamedly seductive Lucy (Sandra Korzeniak), who begins to suffer fits and night terrors as she is taken over by the vampire in front of her family’s eyes. What is interesting about this adaption was the concentration not purely on the evil of the vampire, but on the predatory sexual behaviour of the men around her, such as the doctor who takes advantage of her frequent unconscious state. Lucy herself becomes hungry, ruthlessly manipulating those

around her, looking for new blood to help her escape the ‘stench of death’ associated with her Vampire master. As a character she was infinitely more disturbing than Nosferatu himself, either creeping around the stage in a zombie-esque trance or staring at the audience with a horrifying blood-stained grin. Nosferatu (Wolfgang Michael) was in many ways played down, appearing in a suit rather than a standard cape, no powdered white face or comic fangs. Much of his influence over proceedings was created by the use of shadows and his unnerving silhouette, a milestone of the German Expression genre. It was used effectively

here to create suspense for his arrival on stage, along with smoke machines and bursts of unnatural, glowing light. Some scenes were truly disturbing, a graphic moment where the vampire cuts his chest and feeds Lucy, lying corpselike on a bed, from the droplets of his blood. Anatomical rather than graphic, this adaptation subtly interweaves the idea of hopeless, impenetrable darkness with spiritual bursts of light, spotlighting the corpses of the victims with the severity you might expect from a morgue. Bodies are cut, manipulated, even metamorphosed (an especially beautiful moment is a holographic depiction of Lucy describing her transcendence

from Nosferatu whilst appearing with wings like the shedding skin of a bloodied butterfly). Indeed, it is human behaviour in the spotlight in this adaptation, vampire hunter Van Helsing (Jan Frycz) taking a less than admirable role as a desperate, haunted individual who goes to extreme lengths to capture the mysterious force that has plagued his life. The play comes to an abrupt, pessimistic end, leaving no victors and just victims. The vampire walking into the light, the audience walking back into the foyer permanently affected by such a stark depiction of human behaviour in the face of pure, inhuman evil.

Photo by warboyssnapper

The History of British Glamour Photo by ultra-glam fashion and couture

Bethany Moffett

F

OR SOMEONE who knows very little about ballgowns (and fashion in general), the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum of ‘Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950’, was an experience. From the classic silhouette and floral pattern of an Elizabeth Emanuel dress created for Elizabeth Hurley, to the more extravagant silver leather dress by Gareth Pugh, there were definitely varieties of tastes represented in the exhibition. Part of a wider fashion gallery, the exhibition offers much to the fashion student, but is perhaps just another gallery for those not so amused by pretty frocks. Indeed, the exhibition does attract a specific audience to it. Inside the barriers, where you have to pay £7 for a student ticket, there were no men to be seen. Those interested in the gallery seemed

to be either fashion-conscious women, or museum-lovers. To be fair, there were a few particular highlights – for the quirkier among us, a Walkers Crisps hand bag by Anya Hindmarch; and for the more traditional, an extrava-

gant feathered dress made by Alexander McQueen and worn by Daphne Guinness. The V and A states that ‘the gowns displayed in this gallery demonstrate that Britain’s fashion designers are still highly

accomplished creators of formal evening wear. A rich combination of traditional craft and maverick sensibility ensures that Britain, with London as its engine, remains a successful laboratory for sartorial experiment.’

In this, one cannot fault the V and A. The gallery certainly does hold a ‘rich’ collection. But, to win me over totally, there would have been more dresses to view. As it stands, it seemed a little expensive for what it offered.

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16CULTURE

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Battle of the Beauty Boxes Our writers review to of the hottest mail order beauty boxes around Scrub It: Luke Richmond

Clear Off: Millie King

This scrub left my skin feeling softer after just two uses. I felt like the hard skin on the tops of my knees and my elbows had been taken away completely, which other scrubs just don’t do. My skin smelt nice for the whole day after as well, an added bonus!

My skin usually isn’t awful but has a few spots around the edges which other products don’t really get rid of properly. After using this for a week I found quite a few of them had cleared up and that the rest of my face looked fresher and felt less oily.

Nail Me: Anna Thornton Not used to high quality cosmetics like Sally Hansen, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the difference. The texture was smooth rather than the usual stickiness you get from cheap brands. The flat, rounded brush is a unique feature of Sally Hansen nail varnishes and allows for an easier, precise application. More than one coat was necessary, but it gave the nails a lovely, deep look, creating a rich blackey/grey that would be difficult to replicate. The polish dries fairly quickly so although two coats are required, everything was dried within 5 minutes. The colour stayed rather well, it has been 3 days and still no chips!

Glossybox

Peel Away: Stevie Rankin Fill Me In: Joshua Snape

I don’t actually have wrinkles, being a 20 year old man, but this product did leave my skin feeling softer and looking better, my complexion was brighter than usual. My mum however did enjoy this for it’s anti wrinkle effects and said after four uses “This is ACTUALLY working!”, excited mum, happy Josh.

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The promise was grand: “a powerful gel mask to renew dull skin, improve elasticity, and even skin tone.” Having followed the (simple) instructions, I was disappointed in how not mask-like the product was-- it’s much thinner than anticipated and as such did not ‘peel’ off, but washed off easily. Additionally, the smell isn’t unpleasant if you like to walk around creating a breeze of musky papaya. This being said, it has left my skin feeling relatively smoother than it was, and I am contented by the knowledge that this product wasn’t smeared into the innocent eyes of puppies and bunnies before making its wayto me.


CULTURE17

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Little Beauty Box Clay Play: Belphoebe New I intended to use this product alone but found out there was enough for two! Both my friend and I noticed our skin was quite a bit better in the morning. The rose clay smells delicious but the warming sensation is a little freaky at first!

Shining Skin: Ravinda Suresh I’m actually usually quite suspicious of products like this, beauty cream doesn’t really appeal to me, especially at sucha high price, but offered a free sample I jumped at the chance! My skin did feel more supple as the weeks went on but for the price I paid, I’d be a little sceptical. Kudos to the box for letting me try though!

Heal My Hair: Daniel Westwood I’ve got quite thick hair which is prone to splitting at the ends. I don’t really use any hair care products and usually only buy bargain shampoo but after I used this, I’ll definitely buy again! The kit left my hair feeling and looking healthier, exactly what I wanted!

Photos by PR Company

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18SATIRE

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MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012


SATIRE19

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Berlusconi framed for being a top guy Lucretia McCarthy

L

ADIES MAN Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced for up to four years in jail this week in an outrageous framing. Despite being an all round top guy, the former Prime Minister of Italy has had many scrapes with the law, including accusations of being clever with money, sex with youthful lovelies and favouring his nearest and dearest. Despite passing a law to prevent pesky prosecutor’s accusations while he was in office, serial victim

Putin Mouth!

Berlusconi was framed when his clever dealings in business came to light and a jailed sentence was forced through. It is widely acknowledged that jealousy is the root cause of the trouble, with those vying to be part of the leader’s inner circle kept out for being whiney sticks in the mud and not very attractive. Luckily the notoriously generous silver fox had a great team of lawyers on the case to make sure his sentence was cut down to (a still excessive) one year in prison.

Pippa Middleton Book Launch

Lucretia McCarthy

Suljeman Delvina

R

T

ussia’s President has shown off his bigot credentials this week with charming comments about hailed jailed feminists Pussy Riot. He claimed that the Putin haters “could be at home now doing the housework if they had not broken the law” though was vague regarding which laws they had actually broken. The Pussy Riot protest against Putin left the president aghast at the shockingly out of context placement of women. Their continued rebellion sparked off the man’s OCD for cleanliness; he claims that locking them away was the only solution to calm his nerves. Fortunately this bold move has helped win back the much needed misogynist vote and will prevent the disenfranchised male population having their ‘moral foundations rocked’ when the housework isn’t done – safe in the knowledge there will finally be real consequences.

his week’s book launch could see Pippa Middleton produce the worst celebrity book this year as well as putting her in with a good chance of scooping the UK’s most pointless celebrity. The launch of Celebrate, Pippa’s guide to party planning, sees the lesser known Middleton sister take centre stage and make a real name for herself amongst literary horror shows.   Celebrate draws on Pippa’s wealth of knowledge from over 5 years in the party planning industry and gives us pearls of wisdom such as perhaps serving Haggis at a Burns night celebration. Critics have branded the book as

“dull as ditchwater” – a compliment Wayne Rooney’s publisher’s would kill for after his 6 week sales results came in at just 6,000 copies. “My Decade in the Premier League” is the first the £12 million deal with his publishers which are due to release 5 books over the next six years. His publishers can’t quite believe the appalling sales given the Rooney’s recent elevation to Captain of the England team and the media coverage of his decade in the premier league. It would perhaps be appropriate to point out to them that maybe giving a five part book deal to a man that struggles to talk in full and coherent sentences let alone read or write was a little ambitious.

What the blood clot? Lucretia McCarthy

A

fter being caught with a long white string hanging out of his mouth, madman chef Heston Blumenthal’s dirty secret has come out. In order to fully appreciate the delicate flavours of his maverick meals the celebrity chef has admitted his love for tampons. Regardless of the time of the

month he just can’t stop using the white mice to soak up excess juices between courses. On the unique palate cleanser he said “nothing’s more absorbent and I’m far too rich to feel like a twat or be questioned!” When asked which dish is most enhanced by his special trick, Heston was quick to answer, “jam sandwiches – no contest.”

Photo by Juliiiiiia

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20SOCIETIES

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Do we need more... Or less? Jacob Stevenson

W

ITH A student body of around 15,000, Queen Mary is one of the largest colleges of the University of London. However, despite its size, QM only has around 130 societies. This may seem quite a high number, but when compared to some other universities, it really isn’t that many. For example, Imperial College London has a student body of just over 13,000 and boasts around 300 different societies and clubs including Cheese Society and Paintball Society! Indeed, LSE has around 7,000 fewer students than QM but still has more societies! So, do we need more? Or are the ones we have enough? Second year History student

Joy Steele believes that if we really needed more societies at QM, there would be more people attempting to set them up. “Having said that,” she added, “I would definitely enjoy going along to Ultimate Frisbee Soc!” Another second year, Matt Edens, told QMessenger; “we should have a comedy society… it’s big at King’s and UCL and they often compete. I think it would be nice for QM to get involved.” One solution is to look to the University of London Union (ULU) based in central London as Some of the societies that QM doesn’t have can be found there - for example Art Society. However, with only around 40 societies, several of which overlap with QM ones, the choice at ULU is fairly limited. At the end of the day, the

reason for there being so few societies at QM compared to some other universities is down to the students alone. Without students wanting to establish and run their own societies, they simply cannot exist. Often, the off-putting aspect of establishing and running a society is the large amount of work involved in making society events a success. For now, it is apparent that QM students are generally satisfied with the range of societies available to them, or they simply cannot find the time to run their own societies. If you think QM does need more societies and fancy establishing your own, you need to head to the QMSU website to find out more and to fill in the application form!

R

ECENTLY QUEEN Mary Student’s Union has closed down over 20 societies after a major look through it’s active members and accounts. Societies from across the boardwere closed due to lack of members, activity and society events. The Union also has a new funding system hoping to allocate money in a fairer manner to societies. Under the old system societies received a block grant and could raise money for their society privately through subs and fund raising. Under the new system student groups still receive a small block grant for things like administration and posters as well as being able to raise money privately, however they must also bid for funds which are allocated by a committee made of students based on need and size of society. Issy Leech, who sits on the committee, said of the system “The socie-

ties committee consists of a group of representatives for each type of society for BL and QM. These include academic, political, campaigning, faith, cultural, performing and special interest societies. The representatives are nominated and elected by the presidents and treasurers of societies at the beginning of the academic year. Committees meetings are held 5 times a year where the representatives and societies officers review the applications and make decisions on what should be awarded. £20,000 is available throughout the year and 60% of the money is available in Semester 1 and 40% in semester 2. The money is allocated based on the number of paid members in each society, the active presence of the society and the prestige and success of it’s events.” To apply for funding look out for this terms second round!

Introducing QMEquality Fighting for gender equality at Queen Mary Wanda Canton, QMEquality President

Q

MEQUALITY IS the (free) student action group which campaigns for and discusses gender equality (or lack thereof!). Founded in 2010 and the creation of a Women’s Officer on Student Council initially it was a slow and uphill struggle, but has now grown to a diverse membership more able to face the task of smashing the patriarchy! Across the UK the average woman earns around 15% less than her male counterpart but in London the pay gap is an astonishing 23%. This also means that it is likely to take the average female graduate 5 years longer than her male peer to pay off her student debts. Beyond this we

see the cuts to education primarily targeting arts, social sciences and humanities departments – all subjects predominantly chosen by women. Women are more likely to live in poverty, be lone carers and rely on public services and yet it is these suffering from austerity measures; from mass redundancies in the public sector to child crèches being obliterated and caring benefits slashed. The burden of care is still seen to fall as a woman’s responsibility yet it remains unpaid and unsupported. Aside from the financial discrepancies, women are also subjected to physical and emotional abuse. Research undertaken by the NUS Women’s Campaign revealed that 1 in 7 female students had suffered a serious physical or sexual assault whilst being a student, with 68% of all

Photo by FemLuh

societiesqmessenger@gmail.com

respondents having experienced some form of sexual harassment on their campuses. Yet only 4% of those who had experienced a severe assault reported it to their respective institutions and a mere 10% to the police. This indicates not only an endemic problem of violence against women, but also that the services established to be supportive, are not felt to be useful or even trusted. Not only do we need to change our institutions and structures but also the values embedded in society. But fear not! QMEquality exists to address these issues and is a group of inspiring individuals (of all genders) who work tirelessly to make a change. Every year we organise ‘Festival51’ – a week long (award-winning!) Feminist Festival; with workshops, socials and debates considering a range

of issues surrounding gender inequality. This year we will be working on campaigns to ensure QM has accessible, voluntary gender-neutral toilets and that more research is done into the specific needs and experiences of women on our campus, enabling us to call for audits and implementations of safety measures at Mile End and Whitechapel. But who says we can’t have fun along the way? Aside from our monthly QMEqualiTEA socials (inspired by the LGBTea meets) we also have regular stalls and recently sold the beautifully crafted, controversy creating, veganfriendly ‘Vagina Cakes’. This was to break the icing and get people talking to each other whilst also bearing in mind our relationships and perceptions of our bodies. We don’t think this should be

taboo; we are unashamed! Over the coming weeks we have an exciting line up of discussion ‘hubs’ – avoiding panel lectures and instead creating spaces for all of us to have our say. We’ll be considering Women and ‘Beauty’, Women and Religion, Women in Cabinet, Pornography and Objectification and a speaker-based event discussing why feminism should be inclusive and intersectional – accepting that not all women are equal and that other forms of discrimination may be at play. These start on the 14th November and will be every Wednesday, 5-6pm Queen’s Building EB2. We are hoping to get other societies on board. Everybody is welcome and it’s completely free so get involved! ‘If you’re dissing the sisters, you ain’t fighting the power’.


SOCIETIES21

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

The PsiStar of the Show The coolest kids on the block talk to Brian Wecht

T

HE NEWEST addition to the Centre for Research in String Theory at Queen Mary will be honouring PsiStar, the Physics and Astronomy society, with an introductory talk on string theory later this month. Dr Brian Wecht has held research positions at the likes of Harvard, Princeton and MIT and has now crossed the pond to settle in to the East End. PsiStar was recently lucky enough to ask him about his interests and probe for a few spoilers.:

What is it about Queen Mary that’s so attractive from an academic’s perspective? “The main thing was that I knew the other researchers from seeing their papers and meeting them at conferences. The Centre for Research in String Theory [at Queen Mary] has seven or eight

faculty members, all of whom are well known researchers.” What sort of research are you doing while here at QM? “I work on a couple of different things, all in the realm of theoretical particle physics and string theory. Right now I’m working on a few projects in string theory and M-theory… also doing some slightly more LHC [Large Hadron Collider] related physics.” Although Dr Wecht is now known for his work within Physics, his undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Maths and Music. When I asked what steered him towards his current pursuits his response was somewhat unsurprising. “The real question is what steered me away from Physics. Since [I was the re] the Physics department at my university has been kicking ass

but back then they weren’t quite as good. I loved math so started doing that because the lecturers were young, fun and doing interesting stuff. And music? I love music so wanted to study that more…I go crazy if I just do research all the time. Typically people want you to spend your whole life just doing physics, physics, physics and I can’t do that.” Alongside his academic work, Dr Wecht is producer and cofounder of The Story collider; a collection of live shows and podcasts based on the wonderful concept of sharing stories about how science impacts on people’s lives on a daily basis.

was important. It’s kind of like a stand-up, not a comedy show but in that style. We’ve been very lucky and people have been interested in it.” Do you have any hopes to expand in the UK? “We’re having one in London in November and hopefully more as we go on…hopefully in other parts of the UK and even other parts of Europe.”

Could you tell me a bit more about The Story Collider?

String theory is often one of the first things the springs to mind when people hear the phrase ‘theoretical physics’ but should it be better understood and its merits more clearly explained to the general public?

“The idea is we get people on stage to tell true stories about times in their lives when science

“In high school, most of the physics you learn was understood by 1850, if not before that,

so I think that it’s really important to communicate to people what’s going on in science right now… I feel like there is a lot of popular literature out there about string theory but, honestly, I feel like a lot of it is sort of old fashioned in the sense that it talks about string theory as this theory of everything. That was the original idea but it never really panned out. It unambiguously didn’t work. I think I’ll talk a bit about why string theory is still such an exciting field of research despite the fact that that initial promise pretty much failed.” PsiStar have an upcoming event on the Higgs particle at 630pm on the 15th of November. For all your Queen Mary news and to find new events to attend check back with us every week where we have the fortnights most fantastic events for you!

Upcoming events

A Day of Rest!

Get Active Competitions: 230: QMotion

Get Active Badminton 3pm: QMotion

Go Global!: 4pm: THe Great Hall

Anime Society: 2pm: Fb3.40

Law Society Awareness: 6pm: Fb1.13

Socialist Students: 6pm: Fb1.02.6

A Day of Rest!

Get Active Competitions: 230: QMotion

Get Active Badminton: 1pm: QMotion

PsiStar Talks Higgs: 630pm: G.O Jones

Cabaret Rouge: 9pm: Drapers

AMSA External Speaker: 6pm: David Sizer

Debate Society Meeting: 6pm: Fb1.01

12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th

societiesqmessenger@gmail.com


22SPORT

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Brazil’s Football: The Ups and Downs Sports correspondent Anthony Tipping takes a look at the game Anthony Tipping

B

RAZIL. ‘O país do futebol’. So vast in its appreciation of football, that the game and the country have become one and the same. And with good reason! Even the kids on the streets of Rio kick a ball with immeasurable passion and technique. Not to forget the Brazilian legends who have adorned the world of football. Pelé, arguably the greatest player of all time, embellished the sport with an artistry previously unseen. Now reminisce on the ingenuity of the now slightly plump Ronaldo. And add to the list Neymar, the shining star of today. He is one of the many talents who will indisputably shake the very foundations of the game with unadulterated flair and style. Yet from a nation deeply impassioned by its samba-like football, something is amiss. In the present day world of Brazilian football, a rising dilemma is drawing many a blank face. The issue causing so many to fluster,

is the darkening reality of plummeting match attendance. For a country with such a vivid and rich tradition in football, the world can only gape as Brazil sinks to its knees. According to an independent study by a Brazilian sports consultancy, match attendance in Brazil trails many ‘less talented’ football nations. With an average of 14,900 supporters per top-flight game, Brazil is ranked thirteenth in the world for average attendance. Perhaps in bemusement you cry, thirteen

is still high! When shown that China, Japan, and the USA, all boast higher turnouts, the reality may sink in. Even the Championship, England’s second division, is proud to average just short of 18,000. What tradition in football does China possess which can help Brazil justify such low numbers? Statistics confirm a downward trend. The first half of 2012 has revealed ever decreasing figures, with an average of fewer than 12,000 supporters per game. The audacious question is why?

Security in stadiums is one factor. Promise of huge investment into safety measures in and around stadiums across the country following Brazil’s successful 2014 World Cup bid, provides some degree of hope. Perhaps most significant in explaining the decline of numbers, are soaring ticket prices. A big game may cost a man 50 Reais, or 25 US dollars. So above the reach of the largest but poorest support base in Brazil, that society is being severed from the sport which is so deeply in-

grained in its culture. And what a beautiful culture it is! It becomes cheaper, safer and more convenient to simply watch the game at home with beverage in hand. So what? Will Brazilian football suffer as a result? Can we now not look forward to 2014 with the expectation of something spectacular? Of course not. The 2014 World Cup will revitalise and inspire an already inspired fan base. The last time Brazil hosted the competition was in 1950. Excitement is brimming as Brazil once more takes centre stage. Brazil will never falter to produce the sensational in players, and the passionate in fans. If ticket prices soar, and attendance plummets, it will be but common practice to reverse the trend, if only for the obvious principle of profit. One thing is certain. Brazilian football will not suffer; for as long as those kids in Rio continue their beautifully dexterous game.

Images by Alvez, Joao Xavi, SeLuSaVa, Lucas Ninno and Olivcris via Flickr CC

sportsqmessenger@qmessenger.co.uk


SPORT23

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

The Leagues

Photo by PoppiyGH

Team

P

W

D

L

GD

Netball, Women’s 1st

3

3

0

0

26 9/1st

Volleyball, Men’s 1st

2

0

0

2

-6

0/9th

Basketball, Men’s 1st

3

1

0

2

-3

3/3rd

Fencing, Men’s 1st

3

3

0

0

78 9/1st

Badminton, Women’s 1st

3

2

1

0

14 7/2nd

Tennis, Women’s 1st

2

2

0

0

24 6/1st

Badminton, Men’s 2nd

2

0

0

2

-12 0/5th

Hockey, Women’s 1st

2

2

0

0

6

Points/ Position

6/2nd

sportsqmessenger@qmessenger.co.uk


24

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2012

Sports Leagues Going up: Hockey Netball Fencing

Going down:

Just another drug wonder? Caroline Page

Basketball Voleyball Badminton

Inside: The Leagues

L

ANCE ARMSTRONG. A cycling legend to many, and an inspiration for most, he has now become another drug fueled sports star who faded out. Lance Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist who started his career at 16 by competing as a triathlete. In 1989 and 1990 he was awarded national sprint-course triathlon champion. The Motorola team admitted him to their team in 1992 which was followed by several years of success including the Tour du Pont and the World Championships. Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer which spread to his brain and lungs. His last treatment was at the end of 1996 which was closely followed by his opening of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer support. He has had many achievements, and inspired competitors and spectators alike with his grit and determination many unforget-

table times. Armstrong retired from competitive cycling on February 16th 2011, when he was confronted by allegations of drug use by the US federal investigation. He then entered several competitions in February 2012 (coming back out of retirement) only to be charged  “illicit performanceenhancing drugs”. By August 2012 Armstrong was disqualified from all his results since August 1998 and given a life ban. Over-shadowing all of his greatest achievements, Armstrong will no longer be able to compete in any events that follow the World Anti-Doping Agency code. The USADA report called Armstrong a “serial cheat who led the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”. Trust has been overthrown and now many hundreds of people who previously admired Armstrong will always be sceptical about the accomplishments in his life. Some people may even question the

circumstances around the cancer treatments given in 1995 and 1996 although this seems to be more distasteful bitterness than likely context.

Armstrong will no longer be able to compete... The disgust is not limited to the officials though. Lance Armstrong has been given resentment from all directions as previous fans have shown complaints for the former professional. This is an extract from an actual twitter message that was sent to show

the supporter’s disapproval: “I have been your fan since I watched my first TDF [Tour De France]. You inspired me to learn to ride a bicycle and to take up running in the 4th grade. I am sure you have touched many others in the same way during your “wins”. Now, I can’t see any way I can respect you if it is true what USADA, WADA and the ICU say about you. If only you could confess (or prove them wrong!) about your alleged doping, I and many others might respect you again. A former, broken-hearted, fan said “Clearly Armstrong will never be held in such high esteem as he was until recently but I can’t help but feel at least a little sorry for him. His career as a sportsman of any kind is over. People have given him a terrible time for the last few months, yet all there is for him to look forward to is to be recognised as the “guy who cheated”. Perhaps a lesson for budding athletes out there: don’t cheat!

sportsqmessenger@qmessenger.co.uk


QMessenger Issue 68