FREE Newspaper of the LSE Students’ Union
Tuesday December 10 2013 | www.thebeaveronline.com | No. 801
UOL OCCUPATION PROMPTS POLICE BACKLASH
41 arrests were made over Wednesday and Thursday around the University of London campus, in what has been called “a huge police and management crackdown.” Speaking to the Beaver, the President of the University of London Union (ULU), Michael Chessum, described the response to the recent wave
of student protest as “frankly shocking.” Claiming to have been ‘thrown to the ground’ himself, Mr Chessum spoke of protesting students having their teeth punched out and crutches kicked from under them. A national day of action has been called for Wednesday 11th December, with ‘Cops off Campus’ demonstrations already planned
at the University of London and other campuses across the country. Some students across social media have criticised both the police action and the initial dearth of professional media coverage, but Mr Chessum said that the response was not a case of the police overreacting but rather “a deliberate and coordinated attempt by management and by the police to attack protest
and quell it.” This latest action has brought into focus the debate over student protest and police tactics, following a series of events over the past few months. In July, a student was arrested on the University of London campus for writing a slogan on a wall in chalk. On 27th September, Daniel Cooper, Vice-President of ULU, was released with a caution after
having been arrested for obstructing police. He believed that officers had been guilty of racial profiling during a stop-and-search operation at Royal Holloway, a claim refuted by both Surrey Police and a university spokesperson. Continued and addditional coverage on page 4 and 5
‘Ssh’ LSE Student Centre Sneak Peek Cut Short Due to Construction Delays Jeffrey Cusack
This past Thursday, the London School of Economics Students’ Union (LSESU) held a “secret event” to allow students, staff, and faculty to get a glimpse of the new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. Although the event went ahead as scheduled, students did get the chance to enter the student centre, and the proceedings ended a halfhour earlier than advertised. The event was promoted heavily beforehand, including through a cryptically worded mass email inviting students,
staff and others to congregate on Houghton Street in preparation for the event, as well as an on-campus flyer campaign. As a result, turnout was robust; students were made to gather around a chalk circle by SU staff dressed in a black masquerade mask, black and white shirts. Although the SU emphasized the secret nature of the event, several people in crowd seemed confident that the student centre was the ultimate goal. After several minutes, the students were moved from their starting position to the where the new Student Centre was. There they found a
IN THE NEWS... No Platform motion falls as online voting takes effect Ad hoc liberal coalition achieves over 400 votes NEWS page 3
lunch table manned by SU staff providing small mince pies, champagne, and orange juice. The champagne was predictably the largest draw for the students; however, without a clear line, only those who managed to get close to the person pouring it received access. The pies also went quickly, while several glasses of orange juice remained untouched. After several more minutes of waiting outside the new student centre, a noise sounded and the student centre logo was projected onto part of the building. LSESU Activities and Development
FEATURED THIS WEEK...
Officer Hannah Richmond then thanked the crowd for attending, and announced that although it was not yet ready to be entered due to construction delays, the new student centre marked a milestone for students at LSE. Students were then given a £2 voucher usable at the student centre café when it opened in January, and the event ended. Speaking to the Beaver about the dearth of activity at the event – beyond the free champagne samples – Richmond said that there were a variety of reasons that the events was cut short, including unexpected delays in
completing student centre construction. “We were supposed to go into the building,” Richmond said. “It was really disappointing when we found out but unfortunately it was completely out of our control. “ The size of the crowd also led to the cancellation of some activities: “it’s very hard to judge the level of attendance at these sorts of events, but there were plans to make it more interactive and engage people. Obviously with that many people we had to rethink and adjust our plans.”
The Feature Interview
A Personal Dedication to Nelson Mendela
Alan Clements, co-author of Voices of Hope with Aung San Suu Kyi, talks to The Beaver Features page 23
Athol Williams remembers his unmatched compassion Opinion page 7
Union Bashō What have we done? #Pessimism No platform has failed. Now anyone can lecture. Springtime for Hitler? Bashō is the Beaver’s haiku poet. Some say his lair is a fundamentally unsafe space, that he celebrates Carol in February and that he’s never been allowed on a platform in his life.
We must forget the past. Nelson Mandela
Established in 1949 Issue No. 801 - Tuesday December 10 2013 - tinyurl.com/beaver801 Telephone: 0207 955 6705 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thebeaveronline.co.uk Twitter: @beaveronline
Editorial: On the police, UoL and #copsoffcampus
I have never found any particular reason to mistrust the police in this country, but the events of this week have changed that. I don’t agree with everything the protesters who have flooded the University Of London’s campus are demanding. However, I can’t support the violent and repressive reaction from the Metropolitan police which has seen students arrested for peaceful protests, punched and thrown to the ground during confrontations, and visible traces of blood left on the pavement as protesters were bundled into police vans, bound for undisclosed locations. Without wishing to sound like the Daily Mail or claim the country is going to the dogs, the actions of the police and of the University of London management are a significant
threat to the freedom to protest, much in the same way that the backlash prompted by the Leveson report are threatening freedom of the press. Whether the police approach is a legacy of the violent student riots of 2010, the London riots or simply representative of a more draconian attitude, it is needlessly aggressive, and perhaps more importantly it is counterproductive. It risks prompting violent responses from elements within the student movement that are not averse to more extreme protests; this in turn risks misrepresenting the aims and methods of the peaceful majority. The students (not having attended any of the demonstrations, I’ll refrain from saying ‘we’) need to be careful too; however, turning up in face-
masks carrying anarchist flags and smoke grenades gives off the wrong message and will only serve to bring more cops to campuses: the exact opposite of their declared aims. As for the UoL, banning protests on a university campus is not only petty, antidemocratic and counterproductive, but inherently contradictory to the the principles of university education is based. Their injunction smacks of the ejection of the USSR from the ill-fated League of Nations in 1939: a misguided move from an archaic institution out of touch with the political reality of the situation. No one is suggesting we should be exempt from the the law on our campuses. Last time I checked though, protest wasn’t a crime; it was a basic democratic right.
Election Update Beaver elections will take place TONIGHT (Tuesday, December 10th) in STC 221 at 6pm. Collective members (anyone who has contributed to three or more issues of the paper) can vote and voting will be done IN PERSON. There is no online vote. Manifestos submitted by the candidates are below:
PartB Editor Alexander Fyfe: I joined the Beaver as a PartB section editor, and have always felt it was where I naturally wanted to be; I therefore leapt at the chance of becoming editor of easily the best section of the paper. If elected, I would continue to build on PartB’s exceptional design, utilising my InDesign and Photoshop skills learnt editing the technology section and providing the pictures for Private B. I aim to maintain the high standards already set and working closely with subs to create not only looks great, but reads great. Given how focussed PartB is on visual design, I would like to complement articles by taking more of our own photographs. I would also like to look into transferring more of PartB’s design elements onto The Beaver website. Overall, I would love the chance to edit PartB, and believe with my strong background in design and editorial duties I am up to the job!
Sport Editor Robin Park: I wish to stand for the position of Sports Editor because I am passionate about the subject and I would love to be involved in conveying not only LSE’s successes on the field, but also the news and issues affecting sports outside of the university. Throughout high school I played 3rd-XV rugby and 2nd-XI cricket, and now I am a second-year member of the LSERFC. Outside of school, I have played club-level tennis, football, and even Ultimate Frisbee. I genuinely possess a passion for a broad variety of sports and I would love to channel this enthusiasm as the Beaver Sports Editor. As a Deputy Editor for the social section I already enjoy writing for the paper and through this role I have shown that I am very organised and able to commit my time consistently on a regular basis. Gareth Rosser: My name’s Gareth, and I would like to be your new Sports editor. As a regular contributor and as current Deputy Sports Editor, I believe I have developed an understanding of how the Sports section works, and would relish the opportunity to be section editor full time. If elected to Sports Editor, I would be keen to further emphasise the AU’s presence in the section beyond the Zoo Bar Column, with match and team reports to bring our teams’ exploits at Berrylands back to campus. I would also try and get smaller teams more involved with the paper, to showcase the real diversity that exists in our AU. The Sports section remains one of the most popular sections in the Beaver, and if elected I will make sure that this remains the case. Ameya Badwe: As Sports editor I would like to stimulate debate between students regarding sports and issues regarding the LSEAU and the wider Sporting world. My experience gives me the confidence that I can be a successful editor: I have been involved with blogs, mainly on Chelsea FC Fan sites were I was editor and founder, and I featured in the past 5 issues of the Beaver, as well as several times last year. I would like to broaden the Sports section’s Fantasy League column to include Cricket, Baseball, Basketball and NFL fantasy leagues. Further, I would widen coverage of the AU to include sports that are traditionally less successful or dominant. Having participated in the first “Sports Greatest Debates” column, I will continue and expand it to a wider range of sports. Finally, given my experience working for online blogs, I will be effective at improving the Beaver Sports’ online presence.
Collective Chair Liam Hill: We have been without a Collective Chair for a while now, so the list of people on the Collective needs updating. As Collective Chair, I’ll make sure the list is up-to-date by the time we publish our first edition next term. I will also make sure we have documentation in place for recording contributions to the Beaver by non-members of the Collective, which I will update every week. I would also like to get more feedback about the Beaver by asking the Collective for their views about how we could improve the Beaver and make it the best it can be.
Room E204, East Building, LSE Students Union London WC2A 2AE Executive Editor Dennis Mooney
Managing Editor Josh Jinruang
News Editor Sophie Donszelmann
Opinion Editor Kaveh Farzad
Features Editor Mike Pearson
Social Editor Amelia Thomson
Sport Editor Vacant
PartB Editor Janie Tan
Online Editor Martha Petrocheilos
Advertising Manager Hayley Fenton
Collective Chair Vacant
The Collective: A E Dawson, A Doherty, A Fyfe, A L Cunningham, A L Gunn, A Manawapat, A Moneke, A X Patel, K Farzad, A Qazilbash, A Sulemanji, A Thomson, A Wright, B Arslan, B Butterworth, B Phillips, B Rogers, C Loughran, C S Russell, C V Pearson, D Ming, D Poole, E Beaumont, E Delahaye, E E Fraser, E Firth, F Bennett, G Everington, G Kaur, G Manners-Armstrong, G Rosser, H Brentnall, H Burdon, H Dar, H Fenton, H J Sheppard, J Allsop, J Attueyi, J Austin, J Jinruang, J Mo, J V Armstrong, J Wacket, J Wong, J Yarde, K Kenney, K Pezeshki, K Rogers, K Singh, K Quinn, L A Yang, L Hill, L Kang, M C Heffernan, M Fletcher, M Hung, M Jenkins, M Jaganmohan, M Pearson, M Pennill, M Petrocheilos, M Veale, N Antoniou, N J Buckley-Irvine, N Jaroszek, N Mateer, N Thangarajah, N Russell, P Amoroso, P Gederi, R Chouglay, R Browne, R Cucchiaro, R Gudka, R Hamer, R Holmes, R Illingworth, R Chua, R J Charnock, R Serunjogi, R Uddin, S Chaudhuri, S Desai, S Donszelmann, S Newman, S Nissila, S Parmar, S Poojara, S R Williams, S Sebatindira, S W Leung, S Hang Low, T Barnes, T Maksymiw, T Meaden, T Poole, X T Wang, S Ash
If you do not appear on this list and have written three or more articles, please email: email@example.com Any opinions expressed herein are those of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the LSE Students’ Union or Beaver Editorial Staff.
The Beaver is issued under a Creative Commons license. Attribution necessary. Printed at Mortons Printing
Tuesday December 10 2013
UGM: “No Platform” falls, “No to Islamophobia” stands Sophie Donszelmann
LSE’s Amnesty International Society ended their weeklong Amnesty International Human Rights and Security Campaign, on Thursday, 5th December, with their own stall on Houghton Street. Organisers asked students to sign a petition requesting the closure of Guantanamo Bay and promoting fair trials and legal detentions for its prisoners. This was accompanied by a photo campaign, where students were encouraged to have their “mugshots” taken while holding posters with the campaign’s core messages, including “no security without human rights” and “say no to torture”. These activities were accompanied by a bake sale. The week’s activities began on Monday, also on Houghton Street, where the society engaged students on various issues highlighted by Amnesty International’s “Security with Human Rights” initiative. Monday’s petition urged students to “say no to confessions through torture in Russia.” Other activities this week included a “Write for Rights” event on 3rd December, where students sent letters to individuals suffering human rights abuses, as well as to governments. In addition, the society held a “GuantanaNO” photoshoot, also in support of the detention camp’s closure. Amnesty International Society’s campaign officer, Carolin Ott, a second year undergraduate
law student at LSE, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of this week’s campaign efforts, with the society collecting over 600 signatures in total and raising approximately £200 from their bake sale. According to Ott, the society chose to focus their campaign on this issue, first of all, due to the recent media focus on related events, including the deportation of Abu Quatada, the failure to shut down Guantanamo and the application of Terrorist Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) in the UK. The society also wanted to bring attention to an area of human rights that, at times, has been somewhat contentious. As Ott explained: “whereas most people would agree that for instance child rights should always be respected, the level of compassion for suspected ter-
rorists and the feelings about how they should be treated are very different.” However, the Amnesty International Society’s aim this week was to spread the message that the threat of terrorism does not justify the extreme measures some governments are undertaking in the name of security. “We as a society felt that it was important to highlight that the rule of law and human rights are a universal concept and that their violations should never be justified,” Ott explained. “In doing so we are in no way claiming that the individuals affected are innocent or should necessarily be set free but rather that they should be detained and tried lawfully and that torture is not only inexcusable but ineffective.” LSE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
In the third UGM of the Michaelmas Term, Thursday’s UGM saw a great turnout to the debate of two proposed motions. Inaugurating the online voting system, students voted against the “No Platform” motion while passing the “Say No to Islamophobia” motion. The “No Platform” motion resolved to ensure that “no fascist, Holocaust denier and/or distorters or rape apologists” would not be granted any platform by the Students’ Union. Proposed by Natalie Nunn and seconded by Helen Schofield, the motion supporters stated that if such speakers were allowed “to air their views, this allows the opportunity to strengthen them.” In the opinions of the proposers, the speakers the motion attempted to prevent from campus “contribute to the climate of fear and silence.” As adamantly noted by Schofield, the proposers wanted to “see them silenced.” Speaking against the motion were Jason Wong and Chris Hulm who, while pacing the Old Theatre stage, proclaimed that the aforementioned ideologies are defeated through “debate, not banning and censoring.” While assuring the audience they were not opposing the “abhorrent nature” of said ideologies, Hulm called for the body of the Students’ Union to “scrutinize policy and expose them for the bigots they really are.” After the formal debate, UGM Chair, Joe Anderson, permit two rounds of questions from the audience. A member of the Hayek society asked as to why the proposed amendment to add the word “communists” was tabled, to which Nunn responded, “communism and fascism are fundamentally unequal.” Much applause was given to a rather pointed question from Sam Barnett, Student Member of the Academic Board, asking the motion proposers: “why do you not trust students to spot a fascist? Why are you so afraid?” Nunn retorted that she “trusted students to recognize the ideology but I don’t trust them not to spread the ideology.” In the question round, SU General Secretary, Jay Stoll, noted that “fascists don’t want a debate,” citing a Greek fascist party which, once given platform, “became mainstream.” It was also noted that this, however, was not
a question. Many were heavily invested in the this motion with campaign being taken to Facebook and opinion pieces in last week’s Beaver. Alistair Hughes, the President of the Politics and Forum Society stated he would resign from his position had the motion passed, stating, “every single speaker which any society or club seeks to engage with would have to be cleared by the SU as politically acceptable before you could invite them in… my only role would be to fight petty battles over every single speaker event I would ever want to run.” After a 27-hour voting period, the No Platform motion did not pass. The 172 voting for the motion was greatly superseded by the 431 voting against. The UGM moved to the second order of business: “LSESU says no to Islamophobia and calls for Real Student Rights.”At this point, many students left the Old theatre and this motion received considerably less attention. The proposed motion singled out the organization Students Rights as one that “fuels Islamophobia, by disproportionately and unfairly targeting Muslim students,” and called for SU officers to “release a public statement/open letter addressed to Students Rights” criticizing their lack of transparency, and sensationalism amongst others. Speaking in support of the motion were the former and current LSESU’s Anti-Racism Officers, Mohamed Harrath and Rayhan Uddin who labeled Student’s Rights as an organization that “smears, marginalizes and bullies” and called for a movement to “expose extremism” and to “say ‘yes’ to condemning Islamophobia and ask for real students’ rights.” Opposing this motion was Abhishek Phadnis, President of the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH). Phandis noted that Student’s Rights had been invited by ASH to speak at LSE as they “only reported the facts.” Although fewer students voted on this, the motion passed with 347 votes in favour, 118 against and 32 undecided. This UGM was the first to employ the online voting system and with a high turn out of over 600 votes, Stoll labeled this as a “resounding backing of our judgment to move voting online. Real democracy returns to LSE.”
News Security With Human Rights
£125m Campus Development The London School of Economics and Political Sciences has raised £125m by means of private placement of unrated debt. The money that has been borrowed will be spent on redevelopments on campus. The money, which was received by the School on 27th November, will be spent on the redevelopment of the East Building and St Clements House, which is due to start in 2015. The money will also be used for the remodelling, refurbishing and redevelopment of the recently purchased 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which will commence in 2016. In addition £38m will be spent finalising the develop-
ment of the new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, which is due to open in January 2014. Three major investors were successful in their bid to win the funding for the School, for periods of fifteen, thirty or forty year maturities; all of which was arranged by Barclays Bank inc. All the companies are life assurance companies that are seeking long term fixed rate income. This money will support the School’s capital development programme for the next ten years and beyond. However, the primary sources of funding for this development will continue to be surpluses generated from academic activities and philanthropic support. The new borrowing will enable the School
to fund redevelopments earlier and over a longer period of time, which would otherwise not be possible without this money. LSE’s Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Farrell, said, “since the 2008 financial crisis, it is no longer sensible to borrow long-term money directly from banks”. This is due to the fact that “interest rates would not be competitive”. LSE received competitive pricing for their loans which is said to reflect investors’ confidence in the School’s financial standing, in their long term strategy, in the School’s commitment to high academic quality for staff and students and in the management and governance of the School.
assignment questions or help in preparing for exams. The website then provides help, either in the form of answering questions the students put forward or, in some cases, doing the work for the student. In return for this service the student must pay a fee. The website appears to be promoting dishonesty, presenting work they had helped or done through the website as their own. This is at odds
with the universal principle of academic integrity. While many students, including Bullock, have believed this to be “self evident”, it does not seem to be the case for the creators of Homework Slayer. In response to the complaint, the SU said, “[we] completely understand the effect this sort of promotion has on the academic integrity of LSE and agree it should not have happened.” The SU “assured”
Bullock that they “will not work with this particular company or similar companies in the future.” However, many believe the response from the SU was not clear nor substantive. All students can hope for is that another email like this does not fall under the radar, and academic integrity is upheld in future.
Megan Crockett, Deputy News Ed.
Complaint after SU advertises “Homework Slay er”
Megan Crockett, Deputy News Ed.
A complaint has been submitted to the London School of Economics and Political Sciences’ (LSE) Student Union (SU) following an email they sent out on Monday 2nd December 2013, endorsing a website called ‘Homework Slayer’. Nathan Bullock, a postgraduate student , said he “found it unethical that this
kind of service is being promoted and endorsed by the Student’s Union.” The explanation given for this claim was that “[the] website or platform is intended to circumvent the policies of academic integrity that I believe LSE otherwise upholds”. Homework Slayer is a platform where students can post problems they are encountering with homework, when they need help with particular
Tuesday December 10 2013
Continued from front page
Royal Holloway Students’ Union sabbatical officers said that police attendance “was intimidating to our members’. Last month, around sixty students protested outside Holborn police station, with many staying well into the night, after Mr Chessum was arrested for failing to notify police of a protest at the University of London. On the afternoon of Wednesday 4th December, a group said to be around a hundred protesters occupied parts of the University of London’s Senate House, including the office of Vice-Chancellor Adrian Smith. Their ten demands included a halt to University plans to dissolve ULU, holiday and sick pay and pensions for out-sourced university cleaning staff, a guarantee of no job losses following the privatisation of the University of London Garden halls of residence and for the University to oppose the privatisation of student loans. University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cobb denounced the protest as “a disgraceful and aggressive act, which placed the safety of our staff at risk,” claiming that the protesters obstructed fire exits, making the occupation “potentially life-threatening.” Jay Stoll, General Secretary of the London School of Economics Students’ Union, suggested on Twitter that it was the police who were in fact guilty of a “disgraceful and aggressive act,” posting a link to a video of police officers throwing a woman to the ground from some steps on Malet Street. The Beaver was witness to the incident, which was unprovoked by the student as she moved on to the steps; she testified that she was trying to get out of
the way. University spokespeople claimed throughout the evening, and in subsequent statements, that staff were prevented from leaving by the occupiers, or felt unable to do so. The Beaver, however, saw staff leaving Senate House throughout the evening, and by 6.45pm they were reported to have vacated the premises. Occupiers were also said to have put notes under locked office doors, explaining that any staff were free to leave. At 5pm, a letter from Mr Cobb asked the occupiers to leave within the hour before they were removed by security staff and police; at around half past eight six police riot vans arrived. Police stormed into the foyer where the majority of solidarity protesters had gathered, forcing aside those who attempted to close the doors. Several people were thrown into walls and doors as police barrelled through the crowd. Footage has emerged of one protester being punched twice in the head by a police officer. The student, identifying himself as ‘Tee Jay’, a media production student at the University of West London, told the Guardian that “nothing was said...The punch came and I went straight to the floor, then I got up and left.” The student later reported on social media that he would be making an official complaint to the Metropolitan Police. Solidarity protesters were then left in the foyer as police entered the building to remove protesters. Photos show occupiers being forcibly ejected, with some protesters below objecting to what they saw through windows. Demonstrators below helped some occupiers escape down a ladder after police saw fit to only
secure one side of the building. One protester was arrested in front of Senate House, with the crowd chanting for his release as they were pushed out of the courtyard by police, who managed to close the gates. As the crowd goaded police with chants of “You killed Mark Duggan!” and “Fuck the police!” some protesters pulled wheelie bins and other paraphernalia into the middle of Malet Street to obstruct the route of the police vans. Three protesters were arrested over the course of the evening for obstructing a public highway, allegedly including Areeb Ullah, the Vice President of Academic Affairs for King’s College London Students’ Union, with all released on bail. As the police vans began to slowly move down Malet Street, protesters ran alongside, pounding on the vans and attempting to stop them proceeding. Philosophy student Helen Singh, presumed from her testimony to be the student the Beaver witnessed thrown to the ground, told the Guardian that officers were “punching people indiscriminately.” As they turned onto Torrington Place, police were increasingly determined to remove protesters from the road, with one demonstrator thrown into a tree. Some of the crowd attempted to release one student and a tugof-war with police ensued. Deafening chants of “scum” were directed at the remaining officers. Three arrests were said to have been made at the time; it was later confirmed that seven people were arrested, although two were were taken into custody “to prevent a breach of the peace’”and subsequently de-arrested. One 25 year-old man was charged
with assaulting a police officer. In a statement to the LSE Students’ Union General Meeting, Jay Stoll emphasised his respect for law enforcement services, but called Wednesday night’s police action “vicious,” and said that he would be proposing a motion aimed at protecting students’ right to protest at the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Conference next year if no action was taken by the Union before then. Meanwhile, ULU insisted that, following its own impending closure, “students have no choice but to gain leverage in whatever way they can.” The following day, a ‘Cops Off Campus’ demonstration was held outside ULU. Protesters again vocalised their distaste for previous perceived police injustices through explicit derogatory chanting. Several protesters were carrying what police described as ‘homemade shields’, which had been made to resemble books; these were later used to block the gates to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Missiles were thrown at officers, who used retractable batons. Blood could be seen on the pavement. A group of demonstrators was eventually kettled by police outside Euston Square station. The group were arrested one-by-one “to prevent a breach of the peace,” including London Student editor Oscar Webb, who was photographed being arrested while brandishing his press credentials. Two people claimed to the London Student to have witnessed police officers kick away one arrestee’s crutch “before jumping on him.” Two people were arrested for assaults on police, along
London students take to streets three days in succession
with 34 for affray and disturbing the peace. Bail conditions seen by the public have included orders “not to go within fifty metres of SOAS campus, Russell Square, WC1” and ‘“not to be in a group fo [sic] four or more persons, including yourself in any public place,” while Mr Webb’s bail conditions were “not to attend any building belonging to UCL in Mallett Street [sic] unless as part of a pre scheduled lesson/seminar” and “not to attend Senate House, Mallett Street [sic], UCL unless by appoinytment [sic] by management of UCL.” On Friday afternoon, a repeat ‘Cops Off Campus’ demonstration began at the same time and place, but protesters were kept largely quiet by an enormous police presence, and the crowd of around 150 eventually dissipated following a brief final congregation at SOAS. The majority of the crowd had been unwilling to join a small hooded group carrying anarchist flags on to the Senate House fire escape. The group promptly returned, and Mr Cooper announced a meeting in the ULU building to discuss the national day of action on Wednesday 11th. Mr Chessum told the Beaver he had not seen anything like this police action since the student protests of late 2010. Indeed, one of the banners on Thursday carried the slogan ‘We are all Alfie Meadows, defend the right to protest’, in reference to the student who underwent emergency brain surgery in 2010 following alleged police violence. Whether these demonstrations will ever reach a level comparable to three years ago is doubtful, but the extraordinary police response has drawn widespread publicity to the issue of student dissent once more.
Tuesday December 10 2013
News “Cops off campus” protesters South Asia Centre kettled and arrested to be opened Joel Rosen
34 University of London protesters from the “Cops off Campus” movement and two journalists were arrested outside Euston Square Station on the evening of Thursday, December 5th after a march along Euston Road ended in police kettling action. One of the journalists arrested was Oscar Webb, editor of the London Student newspaper. The arrests occurred the day after University security staff and police personnel forcibly ended an occupation of the University of London management office in the Senate House Building by student protesters who had issued a list of ten demands. The protest action began at the University of London gates at around 3:00pm, and rapidly escalated into sporadic physical confrontation with police forces assembled there. Protesters carried shields and formed barricades with bins while taunting police, while the latter drew extendable batons at the gates, occasionally swinging at protesters coming close to the railings. At 3:20pm, the protesters marched northwards up via SOAS, chanting slogans such as “No justice, no peace, fuck the police!” along the way. After further clashes with police forces, they reached Euston Road by around 4:30pm, causing traffic disruption and the authorities to confine them to the area between University College Hospital and Euston Square Station. Various missiles and even a traffic cone were hurled at the police attempting to channel the protesters into Gordon Street. There the protesters were forcibly separated into two groups on both sides of the road. Violent confrontations ensued at the initial kettling action, and blood was clearly visible on the pavement, but thereafter both parties remained in a calm but tense standoff. The police response was massive, with approximately 150 police officers engaging in a kettling action of around
thirty to forty protesters, and multiple police vans lining the street. Legal observers from the Green and Black Cross, a group which provides legal support and advice for protesters and looks to their welfare, were present. Under the glare multiple cameras from both associates of the protesters, legal observers and journalists, the police proceeded with visible caution, keeping the protesters confined until the arrival of another specialist group of police personnel which began arresting protesters at approximately 5:20pm. The arrests were carried out in a calm and orderly fashion, with protesters being searched, handcuffed, and led into various vans while Green and Black Cross personnel tried to give them legal advice cards and find out where they were going. According to a police officer on the scene, the arrests were carried out on suspicion of “public order offences, and various others.” Oscar Webb, Editor of the London Student was arrested despite clearly brandishing his press identification card both to the police and to other journalists. After the arrests on the Euston Square side had been completed, further police personnel moved in to the ring on the other side of the road next to UCH, their first action being to disassemble the SOAS banner. Only one protester offered passive resistance, and she had to be lifted on to her feet and was bundled into a waiting police van across the road. The following day saw a repeated assembly of protesters at 3pm, who despite heavy police presence marched peacefully around the Bloomsbury area without any confrontation, causing only minor traffic disruption. After re-assembling on the SOAS campus, they then convened a meeting to plan for their “National Day of Action” this coming Wednesday. There has recently been considerable controversy surrounding the use of force by police against protesters. Michael Chessum, President
of the University of London Union (ULU), stating in an interview with the Beaver correspondent during Friday’s protest that there had “undoubtedly” been an excessive use of force. Further, he alleged having witnessed a “level of collusion between the University and the police that I find frankly shocking.” In a recent statement, the University of London refuted any notion of its collusion specifically in the case of Chessum’s arrest, stressing that such accusations were “completely wrong, and somewhat naive. The University had nothing to do with Michael’s arrest which was strictly a Police decision. The University was not consulted at any time over this, and neither would it expect to have been.” It has also alleged that “recent ULU protests have resulted in violence and intimidation of staff.” Furthermore, it has even questioned ULU’s representative legitimacy in the context of the protests, claiming that “The current ULU executive officers were elected on turnouts of between one and 2.5 per cent of those entitled to vote, actually something of an improvement on previous years. Whether this can be considered a mandate is questionable particularly when turnout at College elections is so much higher. The reality is that College student unions actually represent their students.” The University was also recently been granted a High Court injunction and a possession order on December 4th and 5th respectively, which make “anyone who occupies any of these buildings or spaces for the purposes of carrying out a protest before June 2014” liable for “the criminal offence of contempt of court.” Chessum responded to this measure by deeming it “censorious”, adding that the University had “lost all the arguments” and had “played their last card.” He stressed that the protest movement would be challenging the injunction as well as bail conditions imposed on released protesters.
Marine Strauss, Deputy News Editor
The Director of the London School of Economics, Professor Craig Calhoun, has announced the opening of a South Asia Centre at the School. Craig Calhoun introduced the new South Asia Centre on December 1st during his second official visit to India. He said that one of the reasons for the new centre is to expand LSE’s academic engagement with India and to lead LSE’s long-term engagement in the region. Currently, LSE has more than 70 academics, coming from a wide range of disciplines, researching on South Asia “to find innovative solutions to the region’s economic, demographic, and development challenges.” The new centre will bring them together, creating a multi-disciplinary team of social scientists to undertake world-class research on South Asia, and expanding to other major countries. T h e South Asia centre will embrace a regional focus and will also promote the LSE’s mission to advance the social sciences. It will look at economic growth, gender equity, development, education, politics, and environmental challenges. It will highlight this region’s perspectives and experiences, bring more attention to it and support social science at the School by nurturing collaboration between LSE, South Asian universities, businesses and public actors. The South Asia Centre will officially open in January 2014 and will be led by Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at LSE. With this new centre, Professor Calhoun hopes that “through the South Asia Centre LSE academics are able to transcend the borders that
can hamper comparative research. This is true on a global scale—there should be more studies of India alongside the world’s other large democracies and emerging economic powers. And it is true within South Asia itself, where relations among researchers in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other South Asian nations should be stronger. I would also like to see the South Asia Centre emerge as the premier venue for the exchange of knowledge between UK and South Asia-based academics.” The launch of the South Asia Centre will mark the latest development on the longestablished history between LSE and the region, particularly India. This history dates back to 1912 when a gift from the Indian industrialist Sir Ran Tata led to the establishment of the Department of Social Sciences at the LSE and initiated research into the causes of poverty. The first l e c t u r e r, Clement Attlee, then b e c a m e the British prime minister who oversaw the independence of India and created the National Health Service. The LSE has produced alumni such as Tarlok Singh, the secretary of the first Prime Minister of India; B.R. Ambedkar, contributor to India’s constitution; and Nobel Laureates Muhammad Yunus and Amartya Sen. The LSE has also established a fruitful research partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). During the Director’s previous visit to India in February 2013 it was announced that LSE and TISS were developing a major research project on gender equality. During the same trip it was also announced that LSE had set up generous scholarships for Indian students to study at LSE at postgraduate level.
Tuesday December 10 2013
‘Ratemash’ website shock: Students trapped in ‘hotness’ ranking feature Grace Hochstatter
Amid recent conversations of gender, sexism, feminism and misogyny on the LSE campus, one particular website has sparked both interest and outrage. Ratemash, with a collection of student profiles from 160 different universities, contains a feature where users can log in and rate student profiles as ‘hot’ or ‘not’. Those with higher hits end up on the website’s ‘Top Fifty’ Chart. Ratemash bears an uncanny resemblance to Facebook’s predecessor, Facemash. Instead of comparing a pair of subjects, users rank students in order of best appearance. The Ratemash website describes itself as a “buzzing community” of members who “like to go out” and promises its users access to top nightclubs, modeling contracts and party invitations. The website goes on to say that the purpose of Ratemash is to “make it easier to meet new people in universities and to make going out cheaper, more fun and seamless”. While such a service may appeal to some demographics, the rating aspect of the website has met with harsh criticism. Many who have profiles featured on Ratemash have not given permission to the site to use their pictures or information—some do not even know they make an appearance. Students are nominated onto the website by their friends and are often not notified themselves. Causing additional concern is the fact that each student’s Ratemash profile is directly linked to his or her own personal Facebook account— a feature Sally Bonsall of the LSESU Feminist Society labels a potential “predatory tool”. In an interview with Killer Startups, Owner and Ratemash Founder Michael Healy claims the site fills a online
niche, “there is no website that will be able to tell you where the hottest girls are going, guy-girl ratio and who is into you at your university.” Ratemash, he claims, is “better than competition Tinder: Location based= creepy people, people you’ve never seen before, people not in a social group…” “It’s not just a meeting platform. It is encouraging people to actively judge one another on their looks,” Sally Bonsall continues, “Ratemash is bad for men and women, but particularly women because it’s… perpetuating the idea that women are nothing but objects to be judged by their looks”. The Girls Attitude Survey 2013, conducted by Girlguiding UK, found that women today face unprecedented levels of personal and media scrutiny. 87% of girls surveyed believe women are judged more for their looks than their ability. “When you put Ratemash into the wider context of what society is, it just helps pedal along [this] myth” says Sally. To claims that objectification and admiration are misinterpreted, LSESU’s Community and Welfare Officer Anneessa Mahmood states, “I don’t think human beings are works of art…Objectification of either sex is what contributes to broader cultural attitudes and if Ratemash is objectifying both sexes based on the way that they look, I think that it could be feeding into certain stereotypes of what men or women either do or should do.” Ratemash and its ‘hotness’ ranking system is a topic of concern at many universities, with some institutions requesting they be removed from the site altogether. Sabbatical officers of several universities, including University College London, Kings College, Wolverhampton and Sussex, have publicly come
out against the Ratemash website and have asked for the removal of its ranking feature. Reaction to Ratemash on the LSE campus has been decidedly less vocal. “I don’t think the idea of Ratemash has actually taken off yet because most people find it… creepy,” says Sally Bonsall, ”I don’t think it has a massive impact, but in principle I think it’s just wrong.” In a December 2013 interview with the Huffington Post, Healy noted Ratemash was ‘actively’ removing people wrongly added to the site and working to provide a page wherse students can remove their profile from the rankings. Despite Ratemash’s willingness to remove profiles, many students have found the site unresponsive to their inquiries and requests to be removed, with emails and phone calls going unanswered. Students who find themselves on Ratemash can currently opt-out of the website by altering their Facebook settings. The LSE Student Union has the resources and tools available to help guide you through this process, should you wish to alter your privacy settings. The NUS Women’s Campaign committee will be meeting later in the week to discuss whether Ratemash’s opt-out system goes far enough to protect student privacy. Currently, Ratemash is not an action point for the LSE’s Student Union, but LSESU’s Anneessa Mahmood encourages students concerned about the website to talk with their SU representatives, “Our main objective this year is to be relevant to our members. If [students] say they are unhappy with this and want us to act, by all means, we will”.
“Toward a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union” Giulia Saudelli, Staff Writer
“Discussion panel ‘Structural Reforms to Stimulate Growth’ addresses efficacy of policy mix in fighting the economic crisis” A panel discussion part of the series of lectures titled “Toward a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union” organized by the LSE’s European Institute took place on the evening of Wednesday, December 4. The discussion panel on “Structural Reforms to Stimulate Growth: more pain for workers and another credit bubble in the making?” saw speakers Tito Boeri, Professor of Economics at Bocconi University (Italy), Laurence Boone, managing director and head of Developed Europe Economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, and Gilles Saint-Paul, member of the Paris School of Economics, examine the efficacy of proposed structural reforms and monetary policy for EU countries as a response to the current crisis. Structural reforms are needed to achieve credibility and fix problems in countries’ economic fundamentals. The main question the panel tried to answer was whether the proposed policy mix of growth and structural reforms are going in the right direction considering the current economic environment. Dr. Boone addressed her belief that a same monetary policy, that is, low interest rates, is not as accommodating in the EU as it is in the U.S and in the UK: unemployment and growth rates react differently to the same policy. This is certainly caused by the difference in the countries’ economic fundamentals, but it is also related to other issues, such as their different bankruptcy laws. What Boone thinks must be done immediately for the economy to recover, is for the ECB to become “the sin-
gle supervisor and enforce a bank restructuring;” this will help monetary policy to actually work, which is necessary to guarantee an adjustment of the unemployment problem in many EU countries. Professor Boeri, author of various books on the labour market, employment and welfare reform, focused on the effect of structural reforms that implement flexibility on the European labour market. He believes it is important to take into consideration the different labour markets of the various EU countries, and the segmentation within these same markets. but it must reflect the specific characteristics of each country, with its unique problems. An interesting point was made by Professor Saint-Paul on the so-called “Brussels consensus,” a generalized belief that for countries to be granted liquidity by the ECB or the IMF to overcome a shock, they must apply a standardized set of structural reforms. He reinforces the need for more subtle, careful reforms, that shouldn’t reduce demand or produce strong waves of austerity. Picking up from Professor Boeri’s argument, SaintPaul also called for diversified and country-specific reforms, instead of the “across-theboard reforms” now pushed by the ECB and the IMF. All speakers agreed that these kinds of structural reforms are being implemented because governments have a “window of opportunity” in front of them. During a crisis, there is a lower opportunity cost for politicians to implement big and likely unpopular reforms than during a growth period. Governments should use the crisis as a window of opportunity to introduce reforms that are much-needed in many cases; however, these reforms should be less rough, and must accommodate national differences.
Bhutto and the “Shadow of the Crescent Moon ” Anaam Afridi
“We don’t talk about people when we talk about Pakistan, we talk about CNN headlines and we talk about Newsweek stories. But, we don’t talk about families, we don’t talk about women, we don’t talk about how people live, what they fear, what they live with everyday.” Fatima Bhutto spoke of her debut novel ‘The Shadow of the Crescent Moon’ and what inspired her to write it, at the the Sheikh Zayed Theatre of London School of Economics (LSE) on Monday 25th November. Bhutto was born in 1982
in Kabul, grew up in Damascus, and now lives in Karachi. Her book is set in Waziristan, at the north-west frontier of Pakistan, in a small town in Mir Ali, a region she described in the twilight zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Speaking of her choice of location, Bhutto said, “I knew when I started writing that I wanted to write about the North of Pakistan. I knew that if you were to set a story in say, Peshawar, you would be faced with all the prejudice people already have about Peshawar. You say Peshawar to an audience they think Taliban, you say Bajor, they think drone
strikes, you say Banu they think something else. I didn’t want to make up a place, you don’t need to make up these cities in Pakistan.” Thus she picked Mir Ali, albeit a fictional location, as she feels “Mir Ali– the version of it in this book – seemed a place that people hadn’t decided was a singular town with a singular meaning. I set it in the north because my prejudices about the area were the same as those of foreigners – whether you’re from London or New Zealand or Karachi your idea of what happens in that part of the country is pretty similar,” When addressing one of the
themes of her book, power, she claims that she has ‘’always been, especially in [her] writing, very suspicious of power and how power constructs itself against people. But [she] didn’t realise how much our role and our interaction and how much we are involved bothered [her] until [she] started writing this novel. In some ways, a government is a reflection of its people; it will do only what its people let it get away with it.’’ She adds that she ‘’hadn’t really explored with our compromise with power as individuals and as a community until [she] sat down to write this book. The
generation of young Pakistanis and how they’ve compromised with power constantly continues to disturb [her].” Asked if writing was her way of being political without entering politics, Bhutto responded, “I don’t think you have a choice anymore – to not be political. I don’t think anybody has a choice to not be political anymore. Having said that, I didn’t sit down to write a political novel but when you live in a place like Pakistan, it’s what determines how you live, and how you die, how you suffer and how you struggle.”
Tuesday December 10, 2013
A personal dedication to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) Athol Williams For the first twenty-four years of my life I lived under racist apartheid rule, which meant that I lived each day with the constant, violently-reinforced message that I was a second class human-being. Everything about my life was reinforced by this damndable ‘fact’: where I could live, where I was allowed to attend school and what I was allowed to learn there, whom I could marry, which jobs I could get, and even which beaches I was allowed access to. I was shot at, tear-gassed, denied entry to buses, pushed off trains, beaten up by police in my home, denied access to housing, to toilets, and denied basic acknowledgement and respect at university, in public and at work. Through all this, I lived in hope. I could look to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela
“We marvelled at Mandela’s spirit of forgiveness. As angry as I was for my terrible experiences, my anger melted in the warmth of his forgiveness; he had no interest in revenge - how could I be angry when this man, who had suffered so greatly, showed such compassion?” was imprisoned knowing that as his chains loosened, so did mine. Even whilst the ‘civilised’ world placed his name on their terrorist lists, we knew how to tell the real terrorists from the heroes. We were not allowed to chant his name in public, and though his name was never printed in the media or spoken on television or the radio, in our hearts we knew that he represented our hope of freedom. This is the
Photo above taken by Kaveh Farzad; Photo below taken by Taryn LockWilliams
Photo credit: Taryn Lock-Williams
power of the promise which Nelson Mandela held for me and for millions of South Africans. And when he was released from prison in 1990, after 27 years of incarceration, our dream began to come to life; his election as the first democratically-elected president, and the fall of apartheid in 1994, brought to an end one of the worst periods of human oppression in modern history, and thus a new era in my life and that of my compatriots. The terror of darkness was behind us, and for the first time, we knew what it felt like to walk under the light of freedom. We marvelled at Mandela’s spirit of forgiveness. As angry as I was for my terrible experiences, my anger melted in the warmth of his forgiveness; he had no interest in revenge – how could I be angry when this man, who had suffered so
You and I are one His challenge to us, as in this poem, is to fully respect each other’s genuine differences while recognising our common humanity. This challenge is riddled with contradictions and complexities, but if Mandela taught us anything, it was that there is no cost too great in our pursuit of human dignity. He taught us that sometimes love requires that we fight. That we can have gentle souls but we must also have tough minds, and sometimes we may need iron fists, for freedom does not come easily. Look at our fight today against modern slavery; witness our fight for basic human rights and justice across the world and our continued need to struggle to end violence against women and children. So it is with deep gratitude and sadness that I say goodbye to this great man, a man who
greatly, showed such compassion? And so the lessons began for me, the lessons about reconciliation through love, the lessons about the responsibility of freedom – “for to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” This is a great challenge, for he was saying that we cannot be free unless we are working towards achieving complete freedom of others. He taught me about rising above differences; that we are united by our common humanity. In my second book of poetry, Talking to a Tree, which I dedicated to Mandela, the speaker in the poem “Rolihlahla” (Mandela’s middle name) says: You and I are one, we are one song, we are one sound You and I are the same, we are the same ocean, we are the same droplet
fought for my freedom, a man who inspired me to dream the impossible for my society and for my era. I will remember his warm smile and the gentle grandfatherly way he cared for others. We can keep his light burning by continuing his work to ensure that every man, woman and child can live lives of dignity with their basic needs met and the fire of ambition burning brightly within. We must continue his work of seeking social justice in every human society. What was the magic that he had? What was the “Mandela Magic?” I think if we look closely at his life we will find that his magic is something that we are all fully capable of, and that is the ability to love – to love another person simply because they are a fellow human being. This is his most enduring lesson for us.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
TEDxLSE and LSESU Feminist Society confront violence against women
Cartoon created by Natasha Perkins
Natasha Perkins and Eve Turner “Feminism: Violence Ends Here.” That was the name of TEDxLSE’s first Salon event of the year held in partnership with LSESU Feminist Society in Week 8 this term. Its aim: to commend the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and to review how links between challenging domestic and sexual abuse and the feminist movement can help us move forward. The screening of three TED talks addressed a range of issues relating to violence against women, paving the way for a hard-hitting discussion skillfully moderated by Lena Schofield from the LSESU Fem Soc. To get the ball rolling, Jackson Katz’s talk, “Violence against women – it’s a men issue”, tackled the idea that men more so than women need to discuss and question domestic violence and sexual abuse since these are “intrin-
sically men’s issues.” He put forward the argument that powerful men need to use their voice in order to stop the circle of abuse. This provoked discussion within the audience who questioned what this really achieved, wondering if this only served to keep powerful men as the dominating voice. Furthermore, how does this affect other minority groups? If powerful men’s voice should be used to confront domestic violence against women, should it also be used to confront racism? This left the audience questioning if people can and should speak up for groups in which they don’t belong, even if they are louder. It was hoped that the next talks would provide some answers… With a lot to address and explain, Leslie Morgan Steiner’s talk, “Why domestic violence victims don’t leave,” was up next. She described her own experiences of being, in her words, in “crazy love.” By this she meant, being routinely abused but also somehow being madly in love.
She explained how one of the main strategies used by abusers is isolation. So, making sure that abused women share their stories is a crucial way of preventing this isolation from being successful, and providing circles of trust for women might help encourage them to get out of these traps. The discussion following Steiner’s talk confronted this idea of a circle of trust but again posed more questions than answers. What is a circle of trust? Who defines it and who sets its borders? One way of preventing isolation is offering a voice to women in abusive relationships, but how is this done? Should men lend their voices here? Could a male presence complicate the situation? The last screening of the night was a talk by Mona Eltahawy called “Permanence and Loss: How tattoos helped me heal”. In it, she encouraged women to go out and claim their sexuality, arguing that this could be achieved if we, as a society, allowed communication about sexuality.
She also suggested that sexually abused women could reclaim both their sexuality and their access to public space by making their voices heard. This talk also raised the issues about the voice of women. For communication about sexuality to occur, there must be a platform for women to speak up. Although this is taken for granted by many, there is a large majority of women that lack these platforms because of cultural constraints or isolation from political issues. This sparked discussion on intersectionality. Can we really speak of women as a single group and feminism as a single movement encompassing all women? The three talks highlighted the complexity of feminist issues and the post screening discussion enjoyed many different lines of argument and views, centered on what constitutes effective strategies of female agency. Some argued that “all feminist discourse and discussion is good” agreeing with Katz that men, as well
as women, should be talking about the issues of domestic abuse. Others took a much stronger view, arguing that “feminist discussion is good, but when far removing it from forums where female voices are heard, it can instead perpetuate patriarchal structures”. This left some of us wondering what was the right answer to the question, “Should male voices be lent to women or does this undermine female agency?” Importantly, it raised the question of the implications that this should have for our community and the way both men and women behaved. While no conclusive answer was found, we did wonder when looking at all the female faces in the room, where were all the men? TEDxLSE Salon series will serve as open forums for discussing and sharing knowledge on topics in an informal setting. Look out for the next Salon in Lent Term.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
Vegetarianism: more than just free food from the Hare Krishna
I would estimate that around 60% of the people who queue up every day to receive the free curry, rice and bread that the Hare Krishna provides have never stopped for 10 seconds and actually read the sign. If you were to ask people why the food is always vegetarian, a puzzled look may appear as people’s brains are forced to think about something other than the hot food they want in their stomach. The Hare Krishna is a part of LSE life. You can’t call yourself a fully integrated LSE student if you haven’t queued up at least once. But something is being lost in translation; the true motivation behind the Hare Krishna is to try and raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarianism that many overlook. The reasons for being vegetarian are far ranging. The most obvious, and probably the most common reason for people becoming vegetarian, is to support improvements in animal welfare. There is no need to write an article describing how animals are cruelly treated on farms, or how a pig is actually more intelligent than a dog- that is old news. It is the other benefits of
Photo Credit: Photo credit: LSESU Tumblr
vegetarianism that I feel have somehow escaped the general student population’s attention. First of all, being a vegetarian is cheaper! Meat is one of the most expensive components in meals. Notionally, enough protein, fat and energy can be obtained from other sources but much more economically than in the current
system. It’s a pint that pennypinching students often overlook, much to the deprivation of their bank accounts. Studies show that on an average day, vegetarians would save $2.20 over their meat-eating peers. That really adds up to a lot. As a whole, the world benefits from individual decisions to follow vegetarian diets. It’s
a fact we-loved by children that cows’, shall we say, bodily functions produce vast quantities of methane, which not only is unpleasant to think of, but is also damaging to our ozone layer. The cost to the environment of meat production is huge. A serious amount of energy is wasted taking good, nutritional calories in the form
of a grain and using them to produce only one measly cow, which equates to roughly few hundred burgers. Otherwise said: one hectare of land can produce 1,200 steaks, or 11,500 loaves of bread. You can do the maths. Some of you might be thing “never will I give up my steak,” and you are entitled to. For some, meat is simply too tasty to give up, and that is understandable. However, if you have never tried going vegetarian for a while, I implore you to. Even if it is only for a week long ‘meatox’, you may find yourself feeling healthier and deciding you can make vegetarianism work for you. Or you may decide that meat is simply too tasty to give up. Either way, you will have given it a go- something that many are not brave enough to do. Much as the Hare Krishna’s sign is informative, the message is failing to be received by the masses. This piece isn’t trying to morally blackmail you into being a vegetarian. In fact, I hate those kinds of people; the kinds of people who preach at you and make you feel bad for enjoying a burger. But I’m hoping more people will read this article than would read the sign, and give vegetarianism a chance.
How to pass LSE100 without much effort Francisco Millà i Martínez Before I elaborate on what my title promises, allow me a little rant about LSE100. Some years ago I read in a newspaper supplement that a book came out about how time consuming and useless PowerPoint presentations are for the world of business. I do not remember the title of this book, but it stuck in my mind when I was told I had to participate in a group presentation (four slides!) for my LSE100 summative assessment. The lack of content and futility of this course clearly speaks for itself. There is a serious disconnect between the slogan “understanding the causes of things” and actually understanding the causes of things. “Examiners will not mark citing authors who are not included in the reading lists as supporting evidence.” “The main advantage of quantitative data is that it is purely
objective.” These are two quotes by my LSE100 teacher that make explicit the course’s lack
“LSE100 fails to fulfill the purpose it was designed for and in doing so it makes the LSE’s problems even more evident. No matter how many teaching excellence awards LSE100 wins, the course has the lowest rates of student satisfaction...” of academic commitment. Adding any more examples would require from me a sharper mem-
ory or at least a better record of class attendance. Understanding the cause of LSE100 is pretty straightforward. The LSE is upset with its reputation of graduates too orientated towards banking. Although not all of us, students, came here for the “five 2:1s plus internship” package, nobody asked the LSE to clean its image. But if they were going to do so, why didn’t they ask some of the many intelligent people in the LSE for advice? Maybe they would have come up with less counterproductive solutions to the problem. LSE100 fails to fulfill the purpose it was designed for and in doing so it makes the LSE’s problems even more evident. No matter how many teaching excellence awards LSE100 wins, the course has the lowest rates of student satisfaction and class attendance. It is not a genuine engagement with critical thinking. It reduces humanities to popular knowledge; it makes
quantitative students think all there is to essay-writing subjects is a set of commonplace observations on social issues. It is an insult for those of us who actually devote our study to social theory and methodology, and who are taught to combat these superficial arguments and look deeper into social problems. LSE100 not only takes time from me, it also contributes to the undervaluation and misunderstanding of the discipline I study, and therefore I would like it to end. And now I will explain how to pass LSE100 without studying: 1. Do not prepare more than 50% of the topics you need to answer in the actual paper. 2. Learn in one sentence the main point that the readings you are preparing are trying to make. If you do not want to do this yourself, ask a friend or ask your teacher to tell you saying you are very confused. 3. Write an introduction pretending you care about the
question. 4. Write two paragraphs, each one starting with the main point of each reading. Fill the rest with common sense and popular knowledge. 5. Write a conclusion in which you include phrases like holistic approach, interdisciplinary, combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, teamwork and so forth. Only four people or so last year failed LSE100 so there is little reason to worry. I strongly discourage anyone who starts LSE100 in Lent to be fooled by this course. To all of the 10th of January candidates, I suggest enjoying your Christmas doing things that really matter. Spend time with the loved ones, practice hobbies, and procrastinate. If you want time off your economics problem sets, then get a book from the Library and read it. Do not consume the propaganda the LSE has manufactured for you.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
Why apartheid would have fallen without Nelson Mandela Beth Davies History has often and will continue to ascribe an “untouchable” status to many political figures. In the USA, to question the deified Washington, Jefferson or even Lincoln is to assault the very core of US society. Mandela, of course, will not prove an exception to this rule, wherefore South Africans emotion is acutely tied up with bolstering a romantic image of a national hero who determined the fate of the nation. This, ironically, results in the imprisonment of intellectual
“...one man with an inspirational story is not sufficient if his words fall on deaf ears. In the case of Mandela under the rule of P.W. Botha, this was selfevident. When the pair met...Botha ordered Mandela to make a public renunciation of violent black resistance, a position Mandela ultimately could not take.” discussion, providing little scope for rational argumentation offering alternative accounts. Yet the surface remains there to be scratched, and isn’t the cause of intellectual freedom worth the emotional backlash that inevitably comes with questioning the centrality of a national hero? Ultimately, one man with an inspirational story is not sufficient if his words fall on deaf ears. In the case of Mandela under the rule of P. W. Botha, this was self-evident. When the pair met on the 5th of July 1989, P. W. Botha ordered Mandela to make a public renunciation of violent black resistance, a position Mandela ultimately could not take. National Party intransigence was typified in Bo-
Photo Credit: Flickr user Nagarjun Kandukuru, apartheid-era prison at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg - early 90’s anti-apartheid protests
tha’s famous Rubion Speech, which rendered prospects of a non-racial election a far, far off prospect. In other words, Mandela could achieve nothing of substance without a receptive National Party leader found in de Klerk. De Klerk pursued unwavering, radical measures to dismantle apartheid despite this resulting in the National Party receiving its worst electoral result in 1989 since 1953. Such courage on the part of de Klerk in not succumbing to white Afrikaner opposition (a position many other National Party politicians would not have dreamed of), is too often given undue credit in popular accounts idolising Mandela. Furthermore, the economic unsustainability of apartheid had to be addressed, regardless of the position of Mandela. Having shifted from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy, apartheid simply did not work. South African manufacturers required a stable, skilled and urbanised labour force that apartheid policies – including influx control and pass laws, by prohibiting the movement of Africans in urban areas – did not provide.
The 1953 Bantu Education Act intentionally provided an inferior, segregated education for Africans in the homelands to prevent them acquiring skills that could threaten white employment. Thus the advent of a skills-based economy from the 1960s onwards rendered the limited pool of white labour insufficient. Moreover, apartheid artificially limited the size of the domestic market by forcing a growing black population to live at barely subsistence level, while a declining white population was increasingly saturated. Consequently, to attribute the fall of apartheid to Mandela and Mandela alone, while popular, is a gross historical over-simplification. Had it not just ran its course? Black resistance was effective in further exacerbating a declining apartheid economy, in acts such as ‘political stayaways’ during the Soweto Uprising and later on. Attacks on Administration Boards, the infrastructure to maintain apartheid, undermined the ability to implement apartheid in the short term and the costs of continuously fixing the damage were burdensome in the
long term. In 1985, resistance forced a state of emergency to be declared in 36
“...this resistance was in no way directly led by Mandela. To state, as is commonly the case, that Mandela indirectly inspired grass roots resistance, in my view, defies logic. Was not the daily discrimination, inequality and eclusion experienced by the African population enough to generate a need for change?” magisterial districts. As the myth goes, this arduous, risk-ridden resistance was inspired by Mandela’s story,
and thus attributable to him. But this is surely overly idealistic. Ultimately, through no fault of his own, this resistance was in no way directly led by Mandela. To state, as is commonly the case, that Mandela indirectly inspired grass roots resistance, in my view, defies logic. Was not the daily discrimination, inequality and exclusion experienced by the African population enough to generate a need for change? Mandela can hardly be considered the only man to have reached this conclusion. Nevertheless, it had always been the case and likely will continue to be, that history will be grossly oversimplified to the detriment of rational debate. In this sense, Mandela is just one of many, special only in the sense that his without doubt honourable character worthy of respect will only work to make the problem of history’s “untouchables” even more difficult to overcome.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
Stop ‘killing’ beggars with ﬁnancial kindness
Photo Credit: Andrew W. Rennie via Flickr Creative Commons
Martha Petrocheilos I am Greek; I know better than most people how severely the financial crisis has struck our world. I will not argue I have been the one most severely distressed by it—not even close. I would be lying. However, I have been observing changes in social norms, altered economic outlooks, otherwise luxurious lifestyles turning into frigid spending. Thus, I do realize the UK along with the rest of Europe is going through a period of economic austerity not experienced since the 1990s. And while in Greece this may involve strikes, a loss of jobs and heavy shouting, depression, misery and despair are everywhere. It is for that reason I understand the drive to genuinely offer and help those in need. But are they really? Or is it not enough to donate to a charity or fundraise for one? London is heavily affected by the presence of beggars on the streets; statistics show that it is one of the most beggar-crowded cities in the whole of Europe. And while we all feel inclined to throw some pennies to them, we should think twice before doing so. It has been more than once that I have given a sandwich or so to a beggar and he has asked for money instead. I am not exactly arguing against the fact a beautiful Cipriani dinner would not be in order, but when you
are genuinely hungry, even a piece of dark chocolate is enough to make you happy. When you are starving to the point you have reached physical pain, then you don’t throw back a sandwich; even if it entails the most distasteful of ingredients. And anyway, I don’t think Pret sandwiches are that unbearable.
“This however is by no means the rule. There are exceptions and I am sure there are many. I absolutely object to the use of the word ‘junkies’, often used to characterize some of them.” According to statistics, a notorious 60% of beggars are not homeless. They have a place to get back to at night; but you see they probably cannot afford keeping up their drug use. It is for that reason that you should be vigilant and use your sound judgment the next time you listen to a heart breaking story on how someone has seven kids and a wife, all of which are in the hospital, that he has to visit as soon as possible and thus needs to
top his Oyster card. I actually was present when that story was told to a gentleman who kindly offered to give the beggar a ride to the hospital directly, since his change was over. The beggar simply turned away and left. This however is by no means the rule. There are exceptions and I am sure there are many. I absolutely object to the use of the word “junkies”, often used to characterize some of them. There are former drug users who feel terribly ashamed, vilified and victimised for a habit they have been trying to give up for years now. The stigmatising of people has real consequences and is not the solution – incentivizing them is. And the best way for this to occur is to show them they are worthy of your time. Nobody is better than anyone else – we may be luckier, or have happened to make more informed judgments. Let me clarify some things: those people are in the streets. Yes, things clearly did not go as planned (except if someone loves being on the road that much and thus is possibly related to Lana del Rey). Life sometimes does get a wrong turn and more often than not, this is either caused or drives towards a drug addiction. The people sitting across you on the street, asking you for some change are not saints. This doesn’t mean they are sinners either, it simply reveals the reality of resorting
to a process by which their dignity is questioned. I can assure you that none of them enjoys asking other people for money – just as you and I wouldn’t. So, next time you feel drawn to a beggar, and have
“What I’m arguing here is sometimes helping may be done in the wrong way. No, there is no way to know a drug addict, unless you are weird enough to carry drug tests around, or unless you are one yourself. However, in cases when you oﬀer beggars food or coﬀee and they throw it back at you or seem wildly ungrateful...you have hit the right spot.” some spare time in your hands, make sure to chat with him or her. I have talked to beggars; I’ve shared my food with them, and I’ve even given legal advice to
one. There is nothing more fascinating than talking to one; the thinking behind it is very much like charities. It doesn’t matter if you offer 10.000 pounds and never show your face; give 7.000 and visit every week. Human interaction is what we crave; we love sharing, listening, learning. The last time I talked with a beggar in London was last week and it lasted two full hours; I only realized I had to go when all my munchies were over and I got a reminder on my phone for a law essay I hadn’t yet started. What I’m arguing here is sometimes helping may be done in the wrong way. No, there is no sure way to know a drug addict, unless you are weird enough to carry drug tests around, or unless you are one yourself. However, in cases when you offer beggars food or coffee and they throw it back at you or seem wildly ungrateful, then stay assured you have hit the right spot. And then feel better about yourself because you just abstained from feeding the habit of a drug user, who, evidence shows, does not wish to strain away from that- or waste his otherwise precious time talking to you or eating your food, for that matter. He could have been collecting some change for his heroin pump instead and you are distracting him, think about it for a second.
Tuesday December 10, 2013
Some people know precisely where they want to go. Others seek the adventure of discovering uncharted territory. Whatever you want your professional journey to be, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Oliver Wyman.
15th December for February 2014 offers 19th January 2014 for summer internships
Get there faster.
DISCOVER OUR WORLD
Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation. With offices in 50+ cities across 25 countries, Oliver Wyman works with the CEOs and executive teams of Global 1000 companies. An equal opportunity employer.
Do you have a strong opinion on something going on at school or around the world? Drop us an email at Comment@thebeaveronline.co.uk and see your name in print!
Discover the world of Oliver Wyman at oliverwyman.com/careers
SEMINAR BOOK LAUNCH
SEMINAR BOOK LAUNCH
LUNCHTIME EVENING CONCERT CONCERT
LUNCHTIME EVENING CONCERT CONCERT
DIRECTOR’S CONFERENCE DIALOGUE
DIRECTOR’S CONFERENCE DIALOGUE
PUBLIC DEBATE BOOK LAUNCH EXHIBITION
Wednesday 5 February, 6.30-8pm Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Department of Law “Debating Law” series EVENING PUBLIC LECTURE ROUNDTABLE CONCERT
What Have You Got to Hide? SPEAKERS: PUBLIC Hazel Blears MP, Professor Sir David Omand, DIALOGUE SEMINAR SYMPOSIUM Matthew Ryder QC CHAIR: Andrew Scott Without whistle blowers and the media, the current debate over LUNCHTIME CONCERT EXHIBITION the accountability of the secret state would not be happening. CONCERT What should be the future role of the media, if any, in holding the security services to account? PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR’S ROUNDTABLE
Hazel Blears is a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee DIALOGUE of Parliament. David Omand is First UK security and intelligence coordinator. Matthew Ryder is Barrister at Matrix Chambers. DISCUSSION SEMINAR PUBLIC info: DEBATE firstname.lastname@example.org
LUNCHTIME DEBATE PUBLIC LECTURE CONCERT
or call 020 7955 6043. #LSEhide
Thursday 6 February, 1.05-2pm Shaw Library, Old Building
DIRECTOR’S Evva Mizerska (cello) and Emma Abbate (piano) PUBLIC
DIALOGUE The Beaver is one of the oldest student papers in the UK, and one of the few to print weekly. Visit us on thebeaveronline.com SYMPOSIUM
PUBLIC DEBATE CONCERT
PUBLIC LECTURE PERFORMANCE
PUBLIC DISCUSSION SYMPOSIUM
Beethoven Variations on Mozart’s Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen A Ashton Phantasiestücke, op. 12 S. Prokofiev Cello Sonata in C major, op. 119 Mizerska is the winner of numerous prizes including First Prize at the International L Janáček Competition. She has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the UK, Europe and Brazil.
CONCERT DEBATE info: email@example.com or call 020 7955 6043.
Thursday 6 February 2014, 6.30-8pm New Theatre, East Building
LSE Arts Film Screening – Rainbow Jews Exhibition DISCUSSION
PUBLIC DEBATE BOOK LAUNCH EXHIBITION
A Great Alternative to London Hotels EVENING PUBLIC LECTURE ROUNDTABLE CONCERT
PUBLIC DIALOGUE SEMINAR SYMPOSIUM
LUNCHTIME CONCERT EXHIBITION CONCERT
PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR’S ROUNDTABLE DIALOGUE
LSE residences offer good quality, centrally located bed and DISCUSSION SEMINAR PUBLIC DEBATE breakfast accommodation to all during the winter, spring and summer vacations! LUNCHTIME DEBATE PUBLIC LECTURE
CONCERT Ideal for an affordable stay in London, whatever your reason for visiting. In addition there is a ten per cent discount available DIRECTOR’S PUBLIC for bookings made by LSE staff, students and alumni. DIALOGUE SYMPOSIUM
PUBLIC DEBATE CONCERT
PUBLIC LECTURE PERFORMANCE
for alumni, staff and current students (Staff, student or alumni ID required)
PUBLIC DISCUSSION SYMPOSIUM
CONCERT DEBATE By choosing to book with LSE Vacations you are helping to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for our students. The additional revenue from vacation trading contributes to keeping student rents PERFORMANCE as low as possible.
This environment supports and enhances the learning goals of our diverse community, in particular our efforts to widenDISCUSSION participation. LSE is committed to recruiting the best possible students with the highest academic and intellectual potential, regardless of their economic or social background. DEBATE
020 7955 7575
Call: or visit our website to make your booking (Details to follow)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
The Beaver 10.12.2013
BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
roclaiming ‘Tis the season’ can justify any action in the Holiday season. This is not only a fine way to legitimise perhaps ribald behavior at Christmas parties, as it is also an indisputable statement of fact. December abounds with holidays ancient, mythic, religious, modern and quirky. The birth of December holidays centers on a monumental and cosmic event: the winter solstice. The longest night and shortest day of the year falls on 21 or 22 of December in the Northern Hemisphere. With ten times as many people and twice as much land, it is unsurprising that the natural cycle as perceived in the North is the one which determines these holidays for the rest of the world, even though in the South this same date would mark the summer solstice, where the day grows longest and the night shortest. Ancient civilisations lived closely to the events in the sky and nature around them. Waving these observations into their daily and spiritual lives, the people marked changes in the stars and seasons with rituals and celebrations, some of which still affect us today. Perhaps I only speak for myself, but I think and operate nearly divorced from the natural world. The numerical fiscal, academic and calendar years, although based on earth and astronomy, tend to hold far greater sway. Charitable and sales campaigns, essay due dates and the last week of December ‘[be] the season’ are but a few of the more anthropocentric temporal milestoneS, with the last no doubt looming the largest. Christmas The Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25 December is the de facto center of the month’s many happy holidays. The set date of this event is dubious. Many of its symbols aren’t biblical
nor based on Second Temple Judaism by any stretch of the imagination. Much of what we see around Christmas is either derived from ‘pagan’ holidays explained below, or an invention of modern retailers. A modest association of gift-giving with the holy day is now a great boon to the fourth fiscal quarter. Besides, sales throughout Advent, Boxing Day and the ‘Black Friday’ after American Thanksgiving alone generate billions in profits. In media, Charlie Brown and Sufjan Stevens may focus on the Incarnation, but more typical works like romantic comedy Love Actually and Mariah Carey’s tiresome ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ frame the 25th as simply a time for love, family and thankfulness. Saturnalia ‘Io Saturnalia!’ was the jubilant cry of Romans for the namesake midwinter feast and a holiday greeting of pedantic history students today. The Romans may have conquered the Greeks on the battlefield, but Greek culture filled the Roman Empire. The Greek god Chronos and Roman Saturn are broadly analagous; their holidays remember a, if you’ll forgive the term, prelapsiarn time of bliss and bounty. During Saturnalia, Romans would basically eat and drink nonstop. At some point they found time to exchange gifts as well, and servants and masters would exchange places as a lark. Light played a big part thematically and by way of candles. This grew with the later, connected celebration of the new year and birth of the sun god Sol on 25 December. As Christians ceased to be torn apart by lions and began to rule as caesars, this date may well have placed Christmas on the calendar.
Germanic peoples. The winter solstice was no mystery beyond the Empire, as Stonehenge can clearly attest to. The Germanic peoples had celebrated Yule for centuries, and Christmas absorbed many of its customs as kings converted. Obviously the word survives today, though its direct etymological connection to ‘Odin’, the Norse father-god, is forgotten. Yuletide greetings and logs are also familiar to us, and wassail in the sense of both cider and carolling also originate from Yule. Naturally, this holiday was also a feast. Traditions borne out of this same area but next millennium include Sinterklaas/Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus and the Christmas tree.
Pancha Ganapati Hinduism stretches back millennia before Abrahamic religions, but the founder of Hinduism Today magazine first disseminated this particular holiday in 1985. Literally billed as the ‘Hindu Christmas’, it includes gift giving and greeting cards over a five-day period. Hindu decorations and songs centered on Ganesha substitute for Christmas trees and carols. Kwanzaa Also a new holiday, Kwanzaa was created in the late 1960s to celebrate African-American heritage. It comes from the Black Nationalist movement’s drive to reconnect with African roots and provide an alternative to Christmas, so it is celebrated from 26 December to 1 January. Speaking Swahili, wearing dashikis, ordered lighting of candles and giving gifts mark the occassion. Kwanzaa is no longer exclusively an AfricanAmerican holiday, but fueled by Pan-Africanism has spread in small numbers to the African diaspora elsewhere.
Yalda This Persian winter solstice holiday has clearly not been swept up in same strain as today’s Western Christmas, but it shares many themes. Its origin seems to be in the mystic tradition of Mithraism, a cult during the Roman Empire. Connected to Zoroastrianism, its timing might connect with the arrival of the Magi from the east to the infant Christ. Yalda is the time to celebrate another spiritual birth associated with light and truth, that of the angel Mithra. The rise of Islam and political factors meant Yalda celebration fell away until a twentieth-century revival in modern Iran. This holiday too involves both food and family. Bodhi Day This 8 December Buddhist holiday commemorates the day of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, but its tree and light decorations stay up for 30 days. In outward form it comfortably parallels modern Christmas, but its core purpose reiterates the Eightfold Path, Five Precepts and Four Noble Truths of the Buddha towards understanding the way to Enlightenment
CHRISTMAS JUST ISN'T ENOUGH? HERE ARE A FEW OTHER CELEBRATIONS TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE WARM, STOMACH FED AND HOLIDAY SEASON FABULOUSLY FESTIVE
Yule Christianity did not fall to ‘barbarians’ like Rome but instead spread north with
Festivus and Rest of Us In 2001, secular humanists from New Jersey instituted HumanLight as 23 December alternative celebration. Less seriously, but on the same day of the year, Seinfeld enthusiasts celebrate Festivus, a holiday ‘for the rest of us’. On the 1997 episode of the sitcom, George reveals the holiday that his father Frank brought him up celebrating. Frustrated with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, especially all the expenses of gifts, Festivus is celebrated with an aluminum pole in place of a tree. Festivus dinner is deliberately un-feastlike, and followed by a strange array of practices. The ‘Airing of Grievances’ is the time to vent the year’s pent-up frustrations with family members. This is followed by the intimidating display of ‘Feats of Strength’, and the holiday may sometimes be punctuated by highly suspect declarations of ‘Festivus miracles’. In 2010, cult comics Tim and Eric produced a ‘Chrimbus Special’. The date of this holiday is inconsequential. You must keep your Chrimbus bush trimmed and wet, and obey the demands of the obese and shirtless Winter Man to eat your ‘fair share of hair’. These are indeed strang additions to a holiday whose primary focus is selling the DVD of its own promotional special, which is in accordance with the spirit of Chrimbus being about receiving and not giving. Ironically, the DVD of Tim and Eric’s ‘Chrimbus Special’ is impossible to find even on eBay. NATHAN STRINGER
PARTB EDITORIAL TEAM PARTB
Josh Jinruang (Acting) Janie Tan
Neraj Thangarajah Dorothy Wong
Gillian Cafiero, AlexanderFyfe Michael Gallo
Jade Jackman Maryam Akram
Covers by Serov Vladimir (Front), GoCiP (Back) via Flickr
The Beaver 10.12.2013
STANLEY SPENCER: HEAVEN
IN A HELL OF WAR U
pon first meeting your respective partner’s parents, there are several things that you should avoid in conversation. Topics that are unadvisable are as follows: speculations on where your spouse inherited their nose from, cookery tips and war. Unsurprisingly, war divides opinion and unless you are extremely comfortable and familiar with them, I would highly recommend not bringing it up. Nevertheless, after a few glasses of wine, you might find this unsavoury topic surging to the front of your mouth. You will be happy to note, however, that suppression is not always necessary--especially if you have been to visit the Stanley Spencer exhibition at Somerset House. Strangely, the exhibition opened in November. Strange, I hear you ask, surely that makes sense? After all, we dedicate the penultimate month of the year to remembrance. Surprisingly, this is what makes the timing of this exhibition odd. Normally, the topic of war is swallowed up by flag-waving and the rhetoric of nationhood. Such behaviour calls for a surge of nation pride; a shout that cries out that the death of the nation is the ultimate tragedy. The Stanley Spencer, however, is a three dimensional exhibition--it does not restrict its narrative. In other words, Spencer’s works beautifully articulate the plurality of war. It goes beyond the idea that the nation is the ultimate casualty, as he captures the interaction between the personal, the domestic and the international sphere in his pieces. Having said that, the whole atmosphere of the exhibition captures what it means to be British. As an artist, Spencer’s style is that of the British eccentric--but, in my mind, that kind of nationalism can be tolerated. The exhibition is comprised of a series of large-scale canvas panels that are thematically linked by war. Each painting has a different composition, and they are entirely devoid of blood. Yet, the National Trust cannot come under criticism for the glorification of war. Whilst it is undeniable that Spencer’s playful style brings a humour to his work, when it is combined with such painful subject matter it becomes ominous. On one level, it is a visual articulation of his personal struggle to get over the horrors of war; on another, it demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit through our ability to find humour in the darkest of circumstances. He even described the paintings as ‘a symphony of rashers of bacon’ with ‘tea-making obiligato’--in case it isn’t obvious, Spencer did not intend the works to resemble a mortuary. Although the atmosphere is not sombre, it is not a comfortable experience for the viewer. Throughout the images, Spencer maintains a fine attention to detail. His works, each borne out of memory, focus on the domestic as opposed to the combative. For me, this reveals one of the starkest truths about warfare: national identity and comradeship are not created through propaganda, but through the shared aspects of social life. Spencer illustrates such habits as washing lockers, inspecting kit and, of course, the very British taking of tea. Each image is situated in the rolling hills of our grassy homeland, and for some, that is unsettling enough. But for those who take offence to sight of the Home Counties, I have one thing to say: focus. Re-align your vision to the limbs, those twisted limbs poking out of the
green foliage, as they are integral to the exhibition. At first glance, Spencer’s ‘Map reading’ is bleak. The soldiers fan out around the central figure of the captain and look as if they have been left for dead on the floor. The premise of this assumption is the viewer’s prior knowledge. In other words, instead of seeing a peaceful or relaxing moment in the sunshine we attach death to the image due to its context which demonstrates how significantly the First World War has affected our mode of analysis. Instead of tranquillity, the green space is now only a backdrop for bodies. The soldiers are scattered around and seem somewhat dismembered. In place of the ghastly horror offered up by photographs, the exhibition provides us with Spencer’s subconscious vision of a haunted Britain. The paintings serve as a poignant reminder that winning is not real victory, as the ghosts and memories of war have been absorbed into our once perfect countryside.
For me, this reveals one of the starkest truths about warfare: national identity and comradeship are not created through propaganda, but through the shared aspects of social life. Spencer illustrates such habits as washing lockers, inspecting kit and, of course, the very British taking of tea.
Sadly, the National Trust cannot show the original of the great Resurrection, which is painted on the east wall of the chapel. Instead, they supply the viewer with a full size projection that sits isolated in the final room. Spencer’s unrealistic style gives his figures a malleable quality. It is obvious that this image is meant to stand out; there is something that differentiates it from the rest. The painting is, to begin with, larger than the others, and at the bottom, the scene is quite chaotic as mules and men lie together in a mangled heap. Yet, there is also a sense of dignity about the image, a suggestion of peace and transcendence. The white line of crosses invites the viewer to identify with the individuals in the throng before their eyes reach the blackness at the top of the piece. At the top, the painting ascends into darkness, providing the perfect space for reflection and allowing the viewer to consider the many complexities of war.
7 NOV 2013 – 26 JAN 2014
Open daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.30) Opens until 21.00 (last entry 20.30) on Thursday 21 November & 12, 19 December Terrace Rooms, South Wing Free admission
Welcome to the launch of our new weekly section on how to code! Our resident expert Michael Gallo will lead you gently through all the steps involved, from the baisics right up to advanced programming. Increasingly, a knowledge of coding is becoming integral to ﬁnancial and business systems; hence, the skills learned here will be valuable to a variety of careers. If you have any coding related questions or requests, don't hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org
t's learn-to-program week in the Technology Section. For all of you stuck on a beach with nothing but a laptop and a New Year’s Resolution, this guide is for you. As you'll see, it takes about a minute to write, compile and run simple a computer program (especially if you have a Mac). Once you've done that, the world is your oyster. First, some background. How do computers work? Computers are electronic circuits. They combine resistors, transistors, capacitors and other basic electronic components in clever ways. The circuit takes an input of a sequence of electric voltages, manipulates them, and outputs the result of those manipulations as another voltage.
and follow installation instructions. Sorry.) Terminal is the command line program that comes with Macs—it’s what Hollywood likes showing “hackers” using in movies to make what they’re doing look magical. It resides in your Applications folder at the bottom under Utilities. The open Terminal window presents a text prompt. Type “python[space]” and then drag the HelloWorld.py ﬁle you just saved from your Desktop into the Terminal window. This is where you’re actually using the Python stuﬀ installed on your computer. Until now, you were just typing text in a text editor. Hit Enter. Does "Hello, World" print out? Nice, that's the output from your computer program. Anytime you want to run your program, type into Terminal “python[space]” and then drag the HelloWorld.py in. That's a program? But I didn't double click anything to open it up, and I didn't see any graphics on the screen. What gives? Yes, that is a computer program. Every other program is created by adding complexity to the basic structure you just created. Users of your program, for example, can begin feeding it information—the same line where "Hello, World" printed out can also read text supplied by the user into the program. That's the basic form of interactivity. You can probably begin to imagine some useful things you can do with that. As for the double clicking, that's just a convenient method for running a program that the people who make Macs and PCs divined. When just a second ago you hit Enter, that was in lieu of double clicking an icon. If you really like double clicking things, you can actually type in a few more commands in Terminal, and it will create an icon to double click.
What is programming? Programming is the control of that circuit. Using a pre-agreed upon vocabulary, programming is how you select the input voltages and tell the computer how to manipulate them once they're there. In programming's early days, this meant physically moving switches up and down. That was tedious. Now it Okay, can you show me a slightly more complicated prousually involves typing phrases into a text editor. gram? Sure, let's reverse all the letters in a sentence. How do I start? Get a text editor (a simple one like Notepad on Windows or Tex- Open a fresh window in your text editor and begin typing: tEdit on Mac does the trick —both come preinstalled). The in- sentence = "I need a winter break" structions (the "code") get written there. The magic happens in (This line assigns the text to a variable called sentence. Now the next step: a separate program converts that text into some- instead of referring to the text, we can just type "sentence". It's thing that the electronic circuits can understand. Very, very just like in algebra when an equation says x = 5. Any time after clever people make these converter programs. That program that, seeing an ‘x’ is the same as seeing a 5.) may or may not come preinstalled. Either way, they’re almost reversed_sentence =  (This creates a new empty ‘list’—a list is one type of data strucalways free downloads. ture Python provides—in which to store our reversed characters. Lists work a lot like vectors. We'll ﬁll it in in the "loop" that What language should I choose? Let's start with Python. It's a slightly newer language, but it follows.) oﬀers a lot of features that makes writing programs more intui- for letter in sentence: reversed_sentence.insert(0, letter) tive. Things kind of seem to work. Also, the Python environment comes preinstalled on Macs. Without downloading anything, a Mac can execute code written in the Python language. Python (The ‘insert’ command inserts the current letter in the loop in emphasises the use of succinct phrase. A more classical lan- the 0th position of the list reversed_sentence. Finally we conguage choice, such as C, requires the programmer to be more vert our list back into a string to print it out. If we didn’t convert, explicit and verbose in describing what they want the computer there would be quote marks between each character. That’s just to do. C also allows the programmer to work more closely to the how Python prints lists. Spaces matter in Python. There are four actual voltages moving through the computer. A language like of them before reversed_sentence.insert(0, letter) Java, another very popular choice, lies somewhere in between. print ‘‘.join(reversed_sentence) What does a Python program look like? The classic ﬁrst program to write in any language is Hello, World!. When run, the program spits out the words "Hello, World!" in some way. It’s designed to be simple with an obvious output so that the programmer can ensure their computer is set up correctly to program in the language. It looks like this in Python: print "Hello, World" That's it. That is a complete Python program. Write that in a text ﬁle and save it as HelloWorld.py.
Now save the ﬁle as Reverse.py. With a Terminal window open type "python[space]" and then drag the Reverse.py icon into the window. Hit Enter. "kaerb retniw a deen I"
What was going on there? That program demonstrated a loop, speciﬁcally a for-loop. Computers are great at performing lots of similar computations very quickly, and loops are typically how those rapid computations are written out in code. That for-loop above looped through each character in the sentence. Great, but how do I make it spit out "Hello, World"? And Loops and conditional statements (if this is true, then do this) are where programming gets dynamic and useful. We'll get to where does it spit it out? The answer to those questions might seem like the most ob- both in future issues. scure bit of process so far, and in some sense it is. But after you do it a few times you'll think nothing more of it than when you For screenshots, head to www.thebeaveronline.com save a Word document. Mac users, open a Terminal window. MICHAEL GALLO (Windows users, run a google search for “Python on Windows”
GADGET GIFT LIST The Leap Motion Controller (£69) allows you to control your PC or Mac with gestures alone.
The FitBit Force (£70) records personal data 24 hours a day; from sleep patterns to calories burnt. Results are analysed with the included software, and easily satisfy all your self quantifying needs. The force will be with you, recording you, all the time - unless of course, you take it oﬀ.
The Chromecast (£30) converts any TV into a smart TV able to stream programmes from the internet. Buying a smart TV is now a futile excercise, as you can view iPlayer, 4oD, Youtube and a host of other sources.
PartB's Michael Gallo teaches you how to code
The Beaver 10.12.2013
FILM BBC FILMS
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN Director: Ralph Fiennes Writer(s): Claire Tomalin and Abi Morgan Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Tom Hollander
veryone’s heard of Charles Dickens. However, the same cannot be said of Nelly Turnan, the young woman who was to become his secret lover until his death. Based on the novel by Claire Tomalin, The Invisible Woman charts the complicated relationship between the iconic, celebrated Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) and burgeoning actress Nelly (Felicity Jones). The ﬁlm is anchored by screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) around the staging of two of Dickens’ plays: a Margate high school production of “No Thoroughfare” directed by an adult Nelly in 1883, and the 1857 Manchester performance of Dicken’s collaborator Wilkie Collins’ (Tom Hollander) “The Frozen Deep”, directed by and starring Dickens himself and providing the lovers’ ﬁrst encounter. 18-year-old Nelly is one of three daughters in a family of actresses, with the formidable matriarch in the form of Kristin Scott Thomas. Despite never achieving the success of her sisters--Nelly unfortunately simply cannot act--she nonetheless catches the eye of Dickens, and through a series of ‘coincidental’ meetings, their love blooms. The Invisible Woman charts the slow, tentative and almost overwhelmingly non-verbal build up of their relationship that would lead to the growing scandal that ultimately destroys Dickens marriage and renders Nelly trapped in a life of invisibility. Carrying the weight of the ﬁlm on her shoulders, rising star Felicity Jones was utterly sublime, showing she’s fully deserving of her leading lady status. She evidently suits period pieces, portraying Nelly with an unwavering restraint and fragility beﬁtting of the era. However, Jones adds a core of strength and honesty under the layers of vulnerability that ultimately makes Nelly a likeable character, and is a testament as to how deftly Jones manages to handle such character complexity. Jones more than holds her
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
own in the scenes consisting of innocent yet highly emotionally-charged glances with Fiennes where she could’ve easily been relegated to nothing more than a spot in Fiennes’ shadow. Following on from 2011’s Coriolanus, Fiennes once again adopts the position of actor-director, offering an interesting parallel with the ﬁlm itself. Speaking at the BFI London Film Festival in October, Fiennes had discussed how prior to reading the script he was “largely ignorant of Dickens”, but his multifaceted portrayal of a universally celebrated man who craved a private life but secretly loved the attention (all the while treating his family exceedingly poorly) shows detailed research and dedication to the character. Once again, there are parallels with contemporary society and celebrity culture that highlight the ﬁlm’s relevance. Dickens has been revered as an icon of English literature for over a century but his private life and relationship with his wife has been largely unexplored. The most touching and emotional scenes in the ﬁlm are undoubtedly those shared between Dickens and his wife Catherine (Joanna Scanlan). As his relationship with Nelly grows, his loveless marriage falls spectacularly apart and Dickens acts cruelly and unforgivably. Both Fiennes and Scanlan have spoken passionately about Dickens’ actions, but unfortunately, the ﬁlm’s depiction of them was a little tame. Two key moments stand out: when jewels intended for Nelly are wrongly sent to Catherine, Dickens forces his wife to personally deliver the gift to his lover, and when completely to his wife’s surprise, Dickens announces their separation in the national newspapers, citing it as amicable and mutual when it is nothing of the sort. These scenes could have been explosive, but instead fell a little ﬂat and bellied the cruelty behind the facts. Catherine’s reaction to the announcement,
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Louis C.K.Runtime Runtime 98 minutes
however, is utterly heartbreaking, and Scanlan’s stoic and understated performance as Mrs. Dickens is simply astonishing. Nelly might be the invisible woman of the title-forgoing a life of her own in favour of a life hidden away as the mistress of a great author--but Catherine is equally transparent, ignored by her husband and eventually tossed aside. Scanlan praised the script for its feminist undertones, calling it a “monolithic feminist” writing. The invisibility experienced by the characters, however, could also be applied to the ﬁlm itself. Despite including stand-out performances from a host of outstanding actresses and being written and produced by women, The Invisible Woman is undoubtedly and frustratingly all about Fiennes. Marketing and advertising seem only to focus on Fiennes, and interview questions are always framed in the Fiennes context--what was it like to work with him, how he became attached, what his methods were, etc. Having a huge star involved certainly helps ﬁlms like this gain traction and support, but it’s an enormous shame that in the process the women involved have been pushed aside and are as invisible as the characters on screen. This is a conﬁdent second feature from Fiennes, and Morgan’s wonderfully penned script allows the complexity and suppression of the intense nonverbal relationship between Nelly and Dickens to be explored through thoughtfully considered acting and stunning cinematography. The Invisible Woman is bathed in the glow of a Victorian oil lamp, showcasing the talent and diversity of some of Britain’s ﬁnest actresses whilst simultaneously exposing a vile and scandalous side to one of the world’s most beloved authors. EMMA FORTH
Director and Writer: Woody Allen
Runtime 111 minutes Release Date Friday 7th February 2014
When Woody gets it right, wow, just wow
irst and foremost, Cate Blanchett is captivating. She turns all of Allen’s trademark motifs into an exercise in elegance. Her character is substantial; part crazed, part kind, wholly delusional and perpetually well-dressed. I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy to pull oﬀ, but she nailed it. Any Oscars going her way are certainly welldeserved, by any means. The story is simple enough: when the fortunes of Hal (Alec Baldwin) take a turn for the worst, his family rapidly declines. Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), no longer welcomed in the Upper East Side, journeys to her adoptive sister’s home in San Francisco. Hers has been a tragic fate, yet she’s determined to rise again. She enrolls in a computer course, takes on a job and her social climbing sees some results. You can take the wealth away from the wealthy, sure, but you can never make them poor. Woody Allen gets the story rolling; you like this character one minute, the next you don't; you think the story’s going one way, but then it isn’t. In the last ten min-
utes a chance encounter upsets a seemingly happy, then oh dear: reality hits. She’s a broke, poor woman, on a park bench, tired and terribly alone but still well-dressed. She cuts a terrible ﬁgure. It was like watching a wax statue melt. It’s rather morose stuﬀ, really, but Allen retains his signature wit; the script is en point and the direction very good. I sensed a great deal of hat tipping to the old school aestheticism of 1940s ﬁlmmaking. The wide generous shots with that little degree of melodrama all deeply engraved with a kind of grave witty cynicism so you end up laughing against your own will. Everyone seemed to detect a hint of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Jasmine’s parallel with Blanche DuBois may seem uncanny, but there’s a lot more to Jasmine than Blanche. To me, Leigh’s genius in that ﬁlm channeled an entirely diﬀerent discordant reality where DuBois’ character was far more mean-spirited and unpleasant to watch. It’s almost similar to Blanchett’s character, but from her, you see a genuine callousness that displays
a kind of unabashed snobbery which is faintly touching. Her delusions are her legacy from the old days. In Blanche’s case, however, I’m not so sure. If you were looking for a happy ﬁlm to ease the winter blues or just want a laugh or two, I really would not recommend this movie. It’s bitter and vastly unhappy, and its powerful subtlety would very likely bring a great deal of woe on your Netﬂix lineup. It’s not cheerful, no, but it is still one of the best ﬁlms I’ve seen this year and one of Allen’s best so far. It's a classic story of a veteran handing out yet another great piece of ﬁlmmaking. Honestly though, I remember leaving the theatre walking slightly on air. The last line of the ﬁlm lingered in my mind: “I used to remember the words, now I’ve forgotten the lyrics”. Seriously, how much closer to cinematic gold can you get? Woody, you're my hero. AISHWARYA REDDY
THEATRE / FASHION
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
what you may have missed
uch like the deﬁnition of custard which one of its protagonists attempts to nail down without much success, Terms and Conditions at White Bear Theatre is a slippery, messy, polymorphous piece of theatre that refuses to provide easy answers for all the difficult questions it raises throughout the story. Flirting with every topic from immigration policy to Jungian unconscious to the typical hypocrisy of the socalled liberal middle class, Patrick Marmion’s new play is part domestic drama, part magical realism, with a charming hint of the surreal that only becomes more apparent as the plot unfolds. Set primarily in a nondescript bourgeoisie kitchen in a vaguely urban area, this sometimes frustrating yet overall stimulating play aims to reach the universal by way of the banally particular. We begin as a young married couple Walter (Jermaine Dominique) and Kat (Jennie Gruner) prepare for a party, complete with redolant lounge music, with their friend Les (James Thorne) and girlfriend Liz (Victoria Walsh), a builder and a life-coach respectively. In the midst of this familiar occasion emerges Liv (Mark Burnside), a chubby, homeless, foreign old man whose appearance is reminiscent of an Eastern europoean Santa Claus’; the man even comes bearing gift, carrying with him a lone violin and a suitcase full of cash. At ﬁrst terriﬁed of this peculiar stranger popping up in their attic, the couple quickly warms up to him. Having signed the ‘terms and conditions’ which allow him to carve out an existence in this alien milieu, Liv quickly becomes an invaluable part of the family, befriending their son Jasper (Charlotte Brimble) and ﬁlling the fridge with groceries. ‘We don’t trust strangers in this country.’, explains Walter to Liv matter-of-factly regarding their initial distrust. And yet, despite his generally affable, benevolent attitude, the old man still generates a sense of unidentiﬁable unease, which prevents the audience from fully letting their guard down. His non-materialism and religiousness, a result of hailing from a country under the control of a politically oppressive regime in the former, and his connectedness to the pantheistic natural sphere in the latter, sound so incomprehensible and incompatible with our market-driven, secular conception of the world. He even takes Jasper to a church, for crying out loud. This ambiguity in our reception of Liv’s psychologically and culturally
subversive presence forces us to feel complicit in the carrying out of his ﬁnal fate; reality brutally restores itself and we cannot help but be cognizant that we are also to blame. Indeed, Marmion describes Liv as a ‘shamanistic ﬁgure’, an unconscious archetype associated with coveted access to the transcendental spiritual world. If this sounds far-fetched, then that is precisely the point, as our current epistemological paradigm disallows such a possibility of his existence from even being conceived. The ‘ontological structure of designated reality’, says Les after his new job as a security officer turns into a Orwellian agent of the establishment, is being disrupted by this Other, and the only way to ﬁx that is to neutralise the source; the wistful, yearning sound of violin shall be drowned out by the ﬂavourless, metropolitan lounge music at any cost. Where the play falters is in its clumsiness in combining the aforemenioned psychological level with its broader political concerns. By emphasising Liv's alien status, such as when Jasper responds to his mother's remark to be careful around the foreign stranger— 'what do you want me to do? Discriminate against him?— the play's immigration overtone, although admirable, becomes slightly cringeworthy, especially since the character of Liv is presented in such a symbolic, non-personal way, that the play would run the risk of idealising and thus exoticising its Other ﬁgure in less careful hands. Dominique oﬀers a convincing lead, as his intrinsically kind-hearted nature vacillates between sympathy and self-preservation, with his externally reasonable manner giving way to eventual unthinkable act. Gruner is similarly eﬀective as his wife who, while seemingly descending into stereotypical hysteria at times, is relatable although underwritten, with her character arc shifting at the ﬂimsiest of premise. Burnside gives Liz the humanising sense of charming, disarming conviviality that is crucial to the play's theme. Terms and Condition, while buttressed by very strong thematic threads and certainly a worthwhile theatre, still feels as if it needs more boldness in its execution, much the play's main character himself. JOSH JINRUANG
LOOK GOOD FOR LESS THIS CHRISTMAS Gift hunting on a tight student budget? Want to be the belle of the Christmas ball? With Christmas dawning upon us, the London streets are jingling with fashion ﬁnds at discount prices, making this the season to be jolly with your credit card.
QT DESIGNER SAMPLE SALE WHERE: Shop 14, The Old Truman Brewery WHEN: Thursday 12th December-Sunday 15th December With this event, this fashion house has made it inexcusable for any fashion faux-pas during this Christmas season. Obeying to the "look good for less" statement perfectly, QT is oﬀering an array of stylish pieces sourced from the ﬁnest designers, fashion houses, and retailers ranging from Dolce and Gabbana to John Galliano. With the hosts promising an uncluttered and easily shopped format, along with up to 80 percent oﬀ both womenswear and menswear brands, the event is truly suited and booted with the style conscious Londoner in mind.
MAYFAIR SALE WHERE: The Riﬂes Club WHEN: Wednesday 11th December No fashion lover's Christmas will be Merry unless you hit the Designer Sales UK autumn sample sale. Oﬀering a wealth of fashion designers such as Valentino and Gucci at discount prices, with up to 90 percent oﬀ retail prices, this Mayfair residence is the IT destination of fashion heaven.
With the Christmas party season fast approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to revamp your wardrobe with designer staples. Purchase a VIP ticket for one solid hour of exclusive shopping, where you will also receive a glass of bubbly and a goodie bag.
ANTIPODIUM SAMPLE SALE WHERE: Unit 23, Cremer Business Centre WHEN: Friday 13th December Defying all Friday the 13th legends, Antipodium is hosting a sale that ensures every style-savvy woman will hit the jackpot with fashion bargains galore, with prices starting from a mere £5. Developed by fashion masterminds Ashe Peacock and Geoﬀrey J. Finch, Antipodium is known as a haven of cool street style, displaying an eclectic mix of statement dresses, jackets and knits, with each piece gaining a fashion seal of approval. The brand's international following means that the sale is guaranteed to attract the eyes of many fahsionistas, eager to scoop up the festive cheer with some bargain wardrobe staples. So come early; in this instance, it is deﬁnitely not fashionable to be late!
The Beaver 10.12.2013
A Day on the Floor at Paul A Young In our quick chat with Niall Mcmurray, shop manager at the ﬂagship Paul A Young store on Wardour Street, we ﬁnd out it’s like to spend your working hours surrounded by desserts, hot chocolate, trufﬂes, and more.
aul A. Young, the brand, has personality. This much is obvious when you step into the store at Wardour Street. Beneath the chilled-out vibe, vintage counters and classy purple décor, lies a very serious commitment to the
craft. There’s an air of alchemy and creation in the air that is evident in the painstakingly created chocolates. There is a steady stream of laughter as customers tinkle in and out of the small shop, wide-eyed over the scrumptious products of experiments—little round spheres of ﬂavour and invention that sit in innocent rows atop glass cake stands. Amidst the hustle and bustle, I asked Niall Mcmurray, what it’s like to preside over this laboratory. Can you give a little background information about yourself? When did you join? I joined the company about eight months ago. I had worked in retail for a long time but I wanted to work in luxury retail, and I’ve always had an interest in chocolate. So when I saw the vacancy available here I jumped at it. I didn’t know much about chocolate at all when I started but I got to know an awful lot really, really quickly and it’s the most fascinating subject you can ﬁnd—there is an inﬁnite number of taste and variety. The things you can learn when you bite into a piece—after a while you can tell where it is from because of the ﬂavour notes. We have the greatest customers, because everyone who comes in here is interested in chocolate and they want to try something new. It’s a very rewarding role. Paul (A. Young) is incredibly inventive with chocolate; we’ve heard a lot about your Marmite Truﬄes, Port and Stilton Truﬄes. So what are the current quirky and adventurous ﬂavours you have? You’ve come at a great time; we’re going into our Christmas selections. Paul loves Christmas, so we have thirteen to fourteen new truﬄes for Christmas, some of which are classic favourites and some of which are exciting ones. We do a Port and Stilton, as mentioned,
and it’s the classic after-dinner choice we’ve been doing for a few years; it’s really popular. This year we’re doing Whisky and Stem Ginger, and the classic Driving Home truﬄes, which is his take on a coﬀee cream. Oh, I’ve got lots and lots—mulled wine truﬄe, red wine with mulled spices… it’s all really boozy. And our Sugar and Mince pie truﬄe; he’s managed to distil the essence of a mince pie and put it in a chocolate, so you’ve got the mince pie ﬁlling with chocolate and the pastry coating the shell outside. It’s a mince pie by all intents and purposes, but it’s chocolate. It’s an absolute genius thing.
How do you do that? You need the whole ﬂavour proﬁle—all the correct notes to make people think of that when they bite into the chocolate. Would you say Paul does it well? He does! I think whenever Paul’s developing a chocolate he’s got one eye—not only on how it’ll taste—but also how it would make a person feel. A huge part of his job is inspired by his childhood in Yorkshire, inspired by the seasons, and there are chocolates that will provoke a memory. I think whenever Paul’s developing a chocolate he’s got one eye—not only on how it’ll taste—but also how itwould make a person feel. A huge part of his job is inspired by his childhood in Yorkshire, inspired by the seasons, and there are chocolates that will provoke a memory. For instance, at the moment, we have an Eccles Cake chocolate; Ec-
I think whenever Paul’s developing a chocolate he’s got one eye—not only on how it’ll taste—but also how it would make a person feel. A huge part of his job is inspired by his childhood in Yorkshire, inspired by the seasons, and there are chocolates that will provoke a memory.
cles Cake being a Lancashire pastry, buttery and with currants, and I’m quite sure a part of Paul’s childhood. We did one Tea and Biscuit, again, that ﬂavour of tea infused in the chocolate—it was a tea ganache—so water and cream based ganache. They’re all enhanced to evoke more than just the taste and smell; they trigger a memory. Again, some of the Christmas ones, they have very inspiring names. Driving Home—a coﬀee truﬄe—it reminds you of when
you’re driving home for Christmas, coffee to help you stay awake, and there’s probably going to be one called Log Fire, with Cardamom and Ginger and it’s a smokey, wintry sort of spicy one. It smells and tastes of a log ﬁre. So he doesn’t just want to make you taste and smell something but to feel something as well. Often, it will trigger a memory or a sense of comfort, I guess. He likes to stimulate all the senses with the chocolate. Do you make them here? Yup. Both Islington and our store here in Soho have kitchens. So we make all our chocolates, brownies, bars in store. It’s the same at Camden passage and, at the Royal Exchange, Paul dreams up and develops new ideas. So it’s all hand-made, no machinery, no preservatives, no stabilizers. Everything’s natural and done individually by hand. Even tempering? Yes, most places will use a tempering machine but our kitchens are equipped with marble and granite worktops and you’ll see our team working with chocolate every single day, all our tempering by hand, as only the best chocolatiers do. [He shows me a fresh salted caramel truﬄe] The shine that you see on that chocolate means it’s been welltempered. That’s made with 64% Madagascan chocolate; every aspect done by hand. How much variety do you oﬀer? I read that you keep about eighty to a hundred and twenty diﬀerent products in store. At any given time, there are about twenty-four or twenty-ﬁve diﬀerent truﬄes and there are about thirty to forty diﬀerent varieties of bars. And then we have brownies, hot chocolate, peppermint wafers, chocolate-covered treats… they probably add up to about that. But everything sells so quickly, and we have strict quality control here, to make sure everything’s fresh. We’re good at making the exact amounts and forecasting what we need, and giving feedback to the kitchen The store’s really busy. What kinds of people come here? Oh, we get such a mix of people. A lot who work in Soho—they are regulars—and quite a lot of media people, and even some celebrities. This is a very touristy area, so there are people who discover us by accident. And then we get people who come from all over the world because they hear about our
chocolate. We’ve had people come from Australia. They’ve read about us and when they come to London, this is one of their ﬁrst stops. So people are really starting to care about chocolate, and the production process, and what goes into it. A lot more people are becoming aware of cocoa percentages, origins of bars, so yeah, it’s quite like wine in a way… there’s a lot of people who are knowledgeable about wine and chocolate’s sort of moving in that direction. It can have a certain vintage, I guess. Chocolate produced in a certain country, a certain region, a certain percentage…so here they get good, honest advice and I believe we make the best chocolate out there. Do you have any advice for young people who want to become chocolatiers? We’ve had staﬀ who started as kitchen porters and worked their way up to be head chef. Our philosophy is that if you’re interested in chocolate we’ll teach you everything there is to know about it and that goes for everyone— shop ﬂoor or kitchen. So if you’re enthusiastic about chocolate and have a ﬂair for selling it or want to learn more about making it, then Paul will make that happen. He’s always looking for the next generation of people because people naturally move on and the company expands at the same time so we always want people who are passionate. What are your favourite truﬄes? (Laughs) My favourite truﬄe changes on a weekly basis. At the moment, it’s the ginger cake and vanilla custard. Last week, it was the classic milk trufﬂe made with Duﬀy’s 55% Venezuela Ocumare chocolate, my, that was delicious! However, I’m thinking that our mince pie truﬄe we launched yesterday might just be my new favourite. That’s the beauty of working here: there’s always something new to try. Paul changes the selection every fou to six weeks. We have our classics that we always stock, like sea-salted caramel, champagne truﬄe, peanut butter and jelly, calamansi, and classic dark truﬄe. Everything else is changeable so that Paul can take advantage of his inspirations and what’s available seasonally, spotting the next train. DOROTHY WONG
Tuesday December 10 2013
THE SOCIETY COLUMN features LSESU Beekeeping Society
Started just a few years ago, the LSE SU Beekeeping Society now looks after three hives on campus: two on the roof of Connaught House, and one at Passfield Hall, one of LSE’s halls of residence up near Euston station. Each hive has up to 50,000 bees at the height of the season in sum-
mer, with numbers dwindling to about 5,000 over winter when the worker bees huddle together to keep the queen warm at a steady temperature of about 20°C.
FACEBOOK: LSE BEES PAGE
idden away on LSE’s rooftops are some surprising members of the university. Given that there are up to 50,000 of them in each location, you’d think you’d notice them, but they’re a pretty lowkey lot, keen to mind their own business if you stay out of their way. Who are these loners in
our midst? They’re the bees cared for by the LSE SU Beekeeping Society, and over summer, we have up to 150,000 bees to look after.
like to be featured in
THE SOCIETY COLUMN email email@example.com
HONEY LOVING Amelia Sharman LSESU Beekeeping Society
If your society would
We have over 70 members and work with LSE Sustainability (a team within the Estates department) and a professional beekeeper, Luke Dixon of Urban Beekeeping, to maintain and develop our hives. We closed the summer season with LSE’s first ever Honey Festival, where Luke gave a fascinating talk about beekeeping, explaining all the details about bee lifecycles, honey and hive maintenance. We also sold some delicious honey baking and held a fiendishly difficult quiz, with the first prize being a jar of LSE’s very own honey (sold out, but hopefully more will be available about September next year). We used to have two hives at Passfield Hall, but unfortunately, we lost one of them to a wasp invasion last year. Wasps can destroy a hive by eating the bees as well as the honey, all within a matter of days. However, we also got a grant from the LSE Annual Fund around the same time to buy a new hive, along with a new queen and bee stock, which has now been installed on the roof of Connaught House. Honey bee populations have been declining dramatically over the past several
years, with suggested causes including bad weather, pesticide use, and viruses. Urban beekeeping has been promoted as a useful way to help support bees; however, it must be done responsibly to ensure that the bees are kept healthy. We have also planted flower beds near our hives, with plants such as lavender, heather and geraniums, so that the bees have a nearby source of food. We visit the hives once a week over the summer period to feed them (we give them sugar water as a top-up to the food they’re getting naturally from flowers) and to make sure they’re healthy and free from pests such as varroa mites and wasps. Over winter, we reduce our visits to about once
a month, as opening the hive releases valuable heat that the bees need to keep warm. We feed them with a sugar paste over winter, as it is difficult for bees to find an easy source of food when everything is covered in snow! We’re always looking out for new members, particularly for the team who is responsible for looking after the Passfield Hall hive.
You can join the society on the LSE SU website, follow us on Facebook (LSE Bees), Twitter (@LSEBees), or read our blog (www.lsebees.wordpress. com).
R A G C O R N E R features the RAG End of Term Report
t all started with a band. The RAG band, to be precise. RAG saw a huge start to the year as over one thousand freshers attended our events, having fun and raising money for charity at the same time. Since the crazy week that was Week 0, we’ve kept up the momentum and look to have raised over £15,000 this term. RAG raided Brighton, raising £504.72 for Dementia UK. We
pub quizzed, and bar crawled, raising over £200 for our three charities for the year. RAG slept out – thank you to everyone who donated over £2,000 for Spires. RAGlets also got LOST in Minehead, travelling the South West and getting stuck in Bristol. Foodcycle will be getting over £2,800 thanks to the Lost teams. One hundred people signed up to become stem cell donors last week, and over five hundred students were ballin’ as they came to the fresher and postgraduate balls. Never be-
fore has going to the theatre been so charitable, as 450 students bought tickets to go see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some amazing people. So while we’re not done yet, we’d like to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered as part of Team RAG. Thank you to societies who have worked with us: the Music Society, the Houghtones, the Beaver, Economics Society, the AU. Thank you to the halls com-
mittees and fantastic freshers who worked together and with us to put on LSE’s best freshers week in a long, long time. Thank you to the sabbatical officers and SU staff for helping us along the way, and most importantly, thank you to anyone who has donated their time or money to RAG! It’s not over yet though. We’ll be launching refreshers when you get back, and we’ll be putting on lots of fun stuff in Weeks 2 & 3 as a part of RAG Week! We’ve got a hitchhike to
Croatia lined up, and a skydive and bungee or two too. RAG & Development society will be auctioning dates off, and if you’re lonely on Valentines we might be able to find your one true love for you. If you’re stuck for what to get for Christmas, consider donating to our three charities Spires, Make A Wish, and Foodcycle. You can do this by looking up the charity directly online, or message us at RAG to donate to us directly.
Would you like to write for Features in the New Year? Whether you want to write an article about politics, world affairs, business, media or technology, or if you have an idea for an interview, feel free to drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday December 10 2013
The International Briefing: Ukraine’s Future
Background Within Ukraine, Europe’s second largest country, there is a significant political divide between the west and the east. It is largely, though not solely, this division which has characterised Ukrainian politics since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Many people from the west of Ukraine have sought a closer relationship with the EU and the liberal democracies of Western Europe whereas Ukrainians in the east, as well as many ethnic Russians in the east and south of the country, see the country’s future, like its past, lying with Russia. ‘Orange Revolution’ In 2004 allegations of corruption, vote rigging and concession to Russian interests sparked the ‘Orange Revolution’ a spontaneous protest calling for the removal of the then President and the appointment of the opposition, and pro-Western, candidate Viktor Yushchenko. Several independent observers, as well as, eventually, the Supreme Court of Ukraine, ruled that the original elections were indeed rigged. Elections were
reheld and Yushchenko was elected with a clear majority. During Yushchenko’s presidency limited democratic reforms did take place but progress towards EU and NATO membership was slow, partly due to divisiveness of the issue within Ukraine and partly due to the EU’s reluctance to upset Russia. Reforms Reversed The Orange movement’s dominance was short lived as in fighting and an inability to deal with the effects of the financial crisis in 2008 led to Yanukovych being re-elected President in 2010. He immediately reversed many of the Orange movement’s reforms, via re-introducing state media controls and returning powers to the president from the parliament. In additional the country returned to Russian orientated trade and foreign policy and several opposition figures, most notably Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, were imprisoned. The divide between east and west was also highlighted last year when many from the west of Ukraine opposed allowing Russian to be equal status in schools and public offices in the east of the country. Many in the west claimed
that speaking Ukrainian was central to an independent Ukrainian identity and that to be a ‘true’ Ukrainian one must speak Ukrainian. In the east, however, the opposition was seen as nationalistic and many viewed being Ukrainian and speaking Russian as perfectly compatible.
Russia have all taken part in the current protests. The police have responded forcefully and the internet is awash with police beating both protesters and journalists – this in turn has prompted protests in solidarity across the political and east/west divide. Last
week a vote of no-confidence in the government, as predicted, failed. The occupation of Independence Square continues as does the government’s defiance of the protestors’ demands. www.kremlin.ru
Tom Maksymiw Deputy Features Editor
Trade Deal The current protests in Kiev are the result of Yanukovych’s government refusal to sign a trade agreement with the EU, seen by many as another step towards EU membership for the country. Since the decision in late November tens of thousands of protesters have been flooding into Independence Square in Kiev. Their initial demands, to demand the government signs the agreement, have, after repeated government refusal to do so, have transformed into a demand for the removal of the President and his government. This time protests have not been explicitly supporting a presidential candidate although far-Right Nationalists, supporters of the imprisoned Tymoshenko, and heavyweight champion of the world and Presidential candidate Vitali Klitschko as well as opposition figures from across
Incumbent Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych with Vladimir Putin.
Former President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko with George W. Bush in 2005.
The London Briefing: Poverty and Inequality in the Capital Poverty and social and economic inequalities in London tend to be more pronounced than in the rest of the UK. Poverty and Low Pay Over two million Londoners live in poverty, including 600,000 children. The poverty rate in London is 28%, compared to the national rate of 21%. Almost 600,000 jobs in London last year paid less than London’s Living Wage. More than half of these jobs were done by people aged 18-24. The Boroughs of Newham and Brent are home to the highest proportion of residents paid below the London Living Wage. Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond-upon Thames have the lowest. Most people in poverty in London live in working households. 57% of Londoners in poverty live in a household where at least one person is in work, and 24% live in a household in which all adults work. Inequality London is the UK’s most unequal city, by wages. London is home to more than a quarter
of the richest fifth of the British population, and is also the home of a quarter of the UK’s poorest fifth, by income.
In terms of assets, too, London is very unequal. The richest 10% of Londoners own 60% of assets, while the poorest 80% of Londoners own just 20% of assets. The top 10% of Londoners are 273 times wealthier than the bottom 10%. Causes
tween then and 2010, the incomes of the poorest 10% of Londoners fell by 23.7%, compared to a 3.4% fall for the richest 10%. Effects?
Contemporary debates about the effects of poverty and inequality provide a mixed picture with regard to whether or not high levels of inequality or relative poverty could
be the cause of adverse social effects.
Research by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett reveals a positive correlation between higher levels of income inequality and various social outcomes such as higher levels of crime, obesity and mental health problems and lower levels of educational attainment, trust and social mobility.
Their controversial thesis is that high levels of inequality causally drive these negative social outcomes. This is, however, far from universally accepted. Some posit that the causal relationship is actually the other way around, or that a different variable causes both inequality and unfavourable social outcomes in conjunction.
Commonly cited causes for the high levels of poverty and inequality in London include the cost of living, which is high relative to the rest of the UK. The cost of housing, in particular, is seen to drive poverty in London, with the average cost of a property in London almost twice the cost of the rate in the UK as a whole. Poverty increases considerably when paying for housing is taken into account. The poverty rate in London increases from 16% to 28% after housing costs are calculated. This 12% rate compares to a rate of less than 5% for the rest of England. Inequality in London was exacerbated by the onset of the financial crisis and the recession beginning in 2007/8. Be-
Canary Wharf in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
WIKIMEDIA: ADRIAN PINGSTONE 2005
Tuesday December 10 2013
Features The Feature Interview: Alan Clements
Alan Clements, the co-author of The Voice of Hope with Aung San Suu Kyi, speaks to The Beaver’s Mike Pearson and Beth Stout
Alan Clements is an investigative journalist who has documented the pro-democracy movement in Burma since 1995 when he co-authored The Voice of Hope with Aung San Suu Kyi. Alan talks to The Beaver about his new campaign, “Use Your Liberty” Tell us about the campaign The campaign has two fundamental aims. It uses a quote by Aung San Suu Kyi, “Use Your Liberty”, which means you should use your liberty to support the freedom of others. In 1996, when I was with Aung San Suu Kyi and we did our book together, I was blacklisted from entering Burma as a result and only last year was unblacklisted. I went back last year with a film maker and we travelled the country for 3 months and my interest was to understand what it means to confront injustice and dictatorship through peaceful means. So I went back with one question, what have you learned from 25 years of non-violent struggle? We talked to a whole range of people talking about what it is like to live under dictatorship. We need funding to produce it into a book, a film and an interactive website to give it back to the people of Burma and freely to all leaders of all free countries worldwide. We want to give the material away for the second aim of the campaign, which is for global support to pressure the leaders of Burma to immediately amend and reform the military dictated-constitution as (1) it currently bans women from holding high office and (2) it bans Aung San Suu Kyi from running for President in the upcoming 2015 elections. Our campaign is for the film and the book to giving freely to support the reform of the constitution so that she can run for President. In your book, Voices of Hope, you discuss how insecurity is the root psychology of authoritarian regimes. Do you believe the level of insecurity of the regime has changed over the last 10 years or so? This group of men have an individual and collective psychology. I think as a non-violent activist, and a student of human behaviour, in order to be effective in your work you must study the mindset of your oppressor. It’s very hard to
walk around the toes of a psychopath. One could easily say that people who commit serial crime are both sociopathic and psychopathic. When I was in Bosnia during the war they had a long-standing joke: If you kill one person you often get life sentence or capital punishment, you take out a village you often get promoted, you take out an entire country with genocide and you’re invited to peace talks. These guys are stealthy in their skills to inflict merciless torture and tyranny on a population. I would be wary of thinking of them as insecure, more concerned probably for their assets or their families. Aung San Suu Kyi has made it very clear that in an oppositional role, it is our duty to point out shortcomings in other people’s behaviour but not to criticize them as people. No one has the ability to know who is beyond redemption and who isn’t.. More important than the psychology of the other, is the psychology of liberation. In the book, Aung San Suu Kyi says that non-violence is the correct way to pursue democratization but that it is a political tactic. Do you think that non-violence has accelerated or decelerated Burma’s path to democracy? I would say it has been remarkably effective, to the point that Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for that position. I think that one of the uninvestigated areas of brilliance about Burma’s struggle for freedom is that it employs numerous states of consciousness. Not just patience with one’s anger or a dedication to non-confrontive speech and actions; but a remarkable regard for the power of discernment, compassion and tolerance. One of the great beauties of Burma’s struggle is that Burma has a long history of the spoken word, the slang poet, the comedian, the actor, the satirist. George Orwell lived in Burma for a number of years and they say that the seeds of 1984 were born from his years in Burma. People in Burma are very familiar with Orwellianisms due to Orwell’s influence. Part of the non-violent method in Burma, and Aung San Suu Kyi is terribly skilled in this, is the incisive humour and wit and the power of the spoken word and the use of satire as a weapon. I think that’s a miss-
in the world take for granted. Burma is a country that is exercising the right for freedom right now. What is your opinion of the current President Thein Sein?
ing link often and people don’t understand the incredible complexity in Burma. You mentioned there’s a lot of activists that we haven’t heard about internationally. Why do you think it is that Aung San Suu Kyi has such an international standing but none of the activists do necessarily. That’s an important question. There are people obviously; the people she co-founded the NLD with. But no one holds the international light like Aung San Suu Kyi. She’s from one of the most famous families. Her father was a General. He started the Burmese Army. He negotiated independence from Clement Atlee and was assassinated at a young age. Aung San Suu Kyi is a Mandela figure around the world in her power and in her values. Most important to her is that she frequently defers to the struggle and suffering of her colleagues. To answer your question specifically: Burma was described by the BBC in the late 1980s as a land of 40 million hostages. When I first met Aung San Suu Kyi I said, “Has anything changed now that you’ve been released from 6 years of incarceration”. She said, “the world knows better; that we are still prisoners in our own country”. That was 1995. Everyone who is an a lover of human rights or freedom has been imprisoned, tortured and silenced. Many have disappeared and have been killed. Others have fled. My point is that how could we know about these people unless you read specifically Amnesty International reports? Now that they’re freed, they’re coming to light. And this film and this book are about bringing those voices of freedom to the world.
Aung San Suu Kyi said in the book that she was never frightened when under house arrest. What do you think her inner strength could be attributed to? It seems to me the answer is found in a remarkable conviction in knowing that they are right to struggle for freedom. So they’re in a way, not fearless, but know what they are doing is ethically right. It seems as if from that conviction that they take actions based upon it. It strengthens their moral fiber and they become people who are unrecognizable to people who knew them when they were not confronted with such incredible tasks or opportunities as to risk their own life for others. There are thousands, if not the whole population, who speaks and behaves in the same way as Aung San Suu Kyi. She is not alone. They have a conviction. Where it comes from? Part of it is religion. I think it also comes from having been dominated for so long: first of all by the British for 150 years who created a slave state and then a tyrannical five decades of dictatorship. I think the people who weren’t broken saw how precious it was that there was freedom of thought, freedom of mind. They tried to squash even those that dreamed of freedom. Even young children who drew pictures of rising suns that seemed to symbolize the rise of freedom they would incarcerate. Where this oppression of freedom came from, why they oppose freedom? I don’t know exactly. I think they’ve been hurt and broken and so at a loss for freedom, now that there is a light of it, it‘s like the first breath of oxygen if you will. I’d never seen a culture more appreciative of things that many people
There is suspicion that he has been appointed by one of the most maniacal dictators of the modern era. Then we see these remarkable reforms and changes taking place; whereas Aung San Suu Kyi is saying that nothing has changed except that some of the political prisoners have been released. Based upon this slight of hand, I would say that “You were handpicked by a man who could easily be tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. You’ve made gestures of good will.” We need to have immediate reform of the constitution. There needs to be immediate ceasefires with ethnic minorities. There needs to be the release of all political prisoners. To make the gap between those actions and those so-called reforms complete, we need to see immediate changes taking place. And if those changes don’t take place, I would think he was a puppet. In terms of democracy and the religion in the country, do you believe there is a synergy between democracy and Buddhism? Yes. Because the root of both of them, as Aung San Suu Kyi has pointed out, is human freedom, compassion and a willingness to give as the vocation of your life rather than to take. Buddhism at its core, and I think this is true with almost all spiritualties and religions, is the weakening and the overcoming of self-denigrating forces. It’s the evolution and the enhancement of their opposites; of kindness, generosity, of wisdom. That to me is the living essence of a thriving form of democracy. I would think that respect for a leader is in his or her ability to manifest altruism, empathy, compassion and futuristic discernment for the people and generations to come; to know the difference between pride and greed and freedom and compassion. To know your mind is the essence of experiential Buddhist practice and if you don’t know your mind as a leader, you’re scary. ...continued on pg.24
Features ...continued from pg.23
How will other religious groups respond to the Aung San Suu Kyi holding her Buddhist beliefs if she became leader of Burma? Although she relates very intimately with aspects of Buddhist theory and Buddhist
Tuesday December 10 2013
practice, I would call her a trans-Buddhist. She is in a way a trans-spiritual type. She’s not just multi-faith, she’s more intimate than that. She is able to point out that love, compassion, forgiveness are not embedded in religions per se, they are the nature of the human psyche. So I think that someone who could translate philosophy, spirituality and re-
ligions that articulately would be a gift to the flourishing of diverse religious views and spiritual traditions, not just in her own country but around the world. She’s remarkable in her tolerance andher regard and in her own self-confidence as to not feel diminished by the power of another person. She’s comfortable with sharing power and with sharing the
light. Obviously she has her shortcomings. But you want her on your side. This is a person of values, of discernment and a remarkable humour. We will see in Burma, the flourishing of values that support the thriving of diverse ethnicities, languages and religions. Whether they thrive or not will require the dedication of leaders within those areas: philo-
sophical, religious, spiritual domains. It cannot be done by the power of a political party or a person. The Grimshaw Club are organizing trips to Burma this year, as well as Kosovo, New York, Scandanavia, Cuba as well others. Visit www.faceboook.com/LSEGrimshawIR for more information
Germany: The Plan for Shaping Germany’s Future Daniel Sippel
Finally, after five weeks of debating, a PDF is circulating amongst political circles and journalists in Germany. It comprises 185 pages and is captioned “Shaping Germany’s Future”. Shaping Germany’s future is exactly what the centre-left democrats (SPD) and Merkel’s conservatives (CDU/CSU) probably will do, according to the coalition agreement that was signed last Wednesday. However, the SPD’s signature is only provisional: The deal faces a difficult vote by all SPD members who have to send off their voting cards by 13th the SPD’s future — whether to be in government or in the opposition. This plan proved to be a political masterpiece of strategic bargaining: during the negotiations, the CDU was thereby forced to agree to major concessions to the SPD. December. The party leadership decided to let the “basis” determine Thus, the contract includes an agreement about a blanket statutory minimum wage
of €8.50, which will be introduced across the country. This has been a key demand of the SPD in the electoral campaign, a compromise which Der Spiegel calls “a bitter pill to swallow” for the conservatives. To increase political pressure even more in face of the upcoming SPD vote, the centre-left democrats sowed mistrust among Merkel’s conservatives by declaring themselves open to a future alliance with the left wing “Left Party”. As a result of the rhetorical pressure, the SPD could push through rather French policies: People who worked for 45 years can retire at the age of 63 now without any penalty. Additionally, there will be a special pension introduced for low-wage workers of 850 Euro per month. Of course, this comes with additional costs. Nevertheless, taxes shall not be raised, Merkel again reiterated last week. The Chancellor, however, assured that the conservative-led Ministry of Finance already gave the green light to the coalition for their plans to shape Germany’s future. Still, “the CDU’s finger-
prints are all over this deal”, as CDU General Secretary Gröhe pointed out. In fact, this is not purely political rhetoric: The contract contains the conservative’s will to reintroduce the controversial retention of data. Gabriel, the SPD- party leader, now faces the challenge to explain this to his members, who voted in 2011 to adopt a resolution to strictly oppose 6-month data retention. He cleverly alluded to the terrible attack by Anders Breivik in Norway where “data retention helped to find out quickly who
the murderer was”. Unfortunately he forgot to mention that the government in Oslo has not introduced data retention yet and actually plans to do so in January 2015. In the end, it is Gabriel’s task to make sure that the SPD members vote in favour of the coalition agreement. Political commentators in Germany are divided over the question of how the SPD members will vote. Die Zeit notices that an internal electoral campaign against the notion to work with the Tories is
virtually non-existing. There is no mobilization at all within the SPD, despite the fact that Steinbrück, the chancellor candidate who ran against Merkel in this year’s election, uttered that he would not advise his party to agree to a grand coalition. If the SPD members listen to him and the result of the vote is negative, Merkel will ultimately be forced to cooperate with the Greens. Germans could then heave a sigh of relief. Worryingly, it seems that some of the political masterminds who want to shape Germany’s future have not read the coalition agreement: At the press conference that was convened to present the coalition agreement, the CSU-party leader Seehofer was asked whether he actually read the contract. He replied: “I know at least someone who read it completely, but I don’t think she’s in this room.” Merkel casually interfered: “Surely she is in this room.” Apparently, no matter how the SPD will vote, Germans can be sure that “Mutti”-Merkel will have things under control.
The Pocket Philosopher: Re-evaluating Science Knowing the Causes of Nothing Joel Rosen
Ever heard of our school motto: Rerum Cognoscere Causas (to know the causes of things) here at the LSE? Yes, I’m about to shamelessly undermine it. We all know the almost mythical story of Sir Isaac Newton, who found himself wondering why an apple fell off a tree to the ground. “Gravity, of course” you say smugly
today, standing on the shoulders of enlightened giants whose scientific progress lets us believe we now can explain almost everything. But what if I told you Newton did not discover the true cause of the apple falling to the ground? What if I told you, that we don’t understand what ultimately makes radio waves work, and how magnets attract or repel each other? What if I told you that modern science can’t fully explain anything, and we can’t really know the fundamental causes of things? This is not to say modern science isn’t useful; quite to the contrary. Scientific explanations are rapidly encroaching on the space over which religion exerted its monopoly. The world of belief is giving way to knowledge. Advances in biotechnology, pharmacology and medicine are letting us live longer and more comfortable lives. Technology has put whatever we don’t know at our fingertips, and has compressed space and time in our communications. We think we can explain everything, from
chemical interactions, to why tsunamis happen, or even how you can stand on the surface of the planet without floating upwards. We even use the scientific method in human dimensions such as sociology, economics and politics to find patterns and improve our lives. In a purely utilitarian sense this simply works for us. We observe cause and effect, establish patterns, and then exploit them for our advantage. But this is far from the whole picture. Go ahead, drop a coin on the floor before you spend your last in Wrights Bar. Consider why it has fallen. Yes, gravity is the description we use for this particular phenomenon, but we are merely explaining the cause and effect relationship, not the fundamental cause. Now think about why it doesn’t float upwards or sideways! Why is mass attracted to mass? The disturbing truth is that we live in a world governed by a set of universal laws, cascading down at each level of scale in the universe. At the quantum level, particles
adopt a whole new set of rules from the Newtonian laws we are used to. For example, with quantum entanglement it may be possible to separate sets of particles and allow two people to communicate with each other regardless of distance at faster than the speed of light with no apparent connection at all, since the exactly uniform spin of the two particles is governed by universal laws. How can you find these laws? Aristotle and empiricists believed you can see them all around you at any time, since they govern everything. Our bodies, for example, are shaped over millions of years by their adaptation to the environment around them, which is in turn governed by universal laws. This is not limited to just the physical sciences. In the social sciences, what we at the LSE aspire to be the best in, we come up with structural explanations of laws such as with Rational Choice as applied to Economics or International Relations. But again, we are generally describing cause-effect relationships, and
not explaining the fundamental laws behind them or their origins. We don’t know why these laws are here with us, or what or who put them there; but they are ever present, and govern every interaction we study in science. Science is useful, but it has hit a fundamental limit where we simply cannot venture further and explore the true causes of things. Even if we did find out what or who put them there (which would be quite a feat), we would have to question that entity’s origins, leading to a kind of infinite regress. So we can’t really ever know the causes of things. Now don’t just take that as an excuse to skip LSE100 class; appreciating this notion shouldn’t change your daily life too much since we still have cause and effect, whatever put them there. You may be a religious zealot or a complete atheist, but it’s worth knowing that conscious or not, there definitely is something else out there. Gravity didn’t make that apple fall.
Tuesday December 10 2013
Diary of an LSE Student
LSE events and gossip - know something is going on? Email us.
RAG Annual Ball
Read your way through Christmas
LSESU Literature Society Christmas Book Stall in partnership with Alpha Books was an excellent addition to the Houghton Street buzz on Thursday. From farfetched fiction to classics to some rather more intellectual hardbacks on game theory there was definitely something for everyone. As an avid reader it was rather difficult to refrain from buying everything especially due to the fact that the prices were quite irresistable, however even a student budget could not stretch that far. After taking well over 15 minutes to decide what to buy my friend and I were rather generously offered a mince pie which helped with the festive spirit. 3 books and £11 down I hurried away from the stall for fear of buying too much!
Dr Stephen Dann
On Monday it was time to get in the Christmas mood as many LSE students headed to Funky Buddha for a night of frivolity and fun. All attendees were looking their best as they raised money for charity. The highlight of the evening had to be the photo booth which was decked out with lots of fancy dress items so as to create a picture memory of the evening.
From the Beaver’s Archives
To read the complete Beaver archive please visit: http://digital.library.lse. bambe1964
The rather mysterious LSESU event ‘Ssh’ was held on Thursday at 6pm. Everyone there seemed to have guessed it would be something to do with the new student’s centre which indeed it was but in all honesty the promised secret was rather underwhelming. We were not allowed to actually access the building and instead were treated to some champagne (probably Cava to be honest) and mince pies.
With the LSE Christmas Concert taking place tonight the LSE lunchtime recital on Friday proved an excellent chance to do some performing and get in some extra practice. The recital was a definite hit with many students enjoying getting a preview of Haydn’s Nelson Mass which is to be performed at the concert. Good luck to all performers for tonight!
Tuesday December 10 2013
Have university relationships lost their magic? Settling down to my evening routine of decaffeinated tea, Masterchef season 10 and, a cheeky Freddo if I’m feeling indulgent, a wave of envy comes over me as I listen to my two flatmates squabble over the straighteners, squealing over the details of their third upcoming rendezvous that week. Since when, I think to myself, has being single been so fun? The answer? Since Tinder. Long gone are the Bridget Jones type singletons who revel in self-pity and copious amount of Ben & Jerry’s; the new single pringles now boast about their ‘8 out of 10’, for the third time that week, and the banker who took them out for a cocktail as a casual library distraction. The Tinder phenomena makes university relationships, mine included, appear distinctly unsexy by contrast. So should I, Mrs Smug at finding Mr Right across the hallway as a fresher at Durham, lose my snobbish attitude towards casual dating, and jump on the Tinder bandwagon? Is University not, after all, the very time to experience multiple hook-ups, play the field, and add as many notches to our bedposts? If so, hurrah to an app that makes all of this so much easier surely? Meet Jessica, my housemate and a Tinder devotee. In her final year of university, she claims to have neither the time nor the interest to engage in a long-term relationship. Well, that, and her studying Fashion Management means she hasn’t been exactly spoilt for choice with a macho selection of candidates. Tinder, on the other hand, provides a lighthearted and carefree opportunity to experience fleeting liaisons with as many different men as she cares to pursue. If enjoying a different flavour of the month (or week in Jessica’s case) is your thing, Tinder is like being offered a choice of Straw-
berry, Chocolate, or Rocky Road whilst us ‘long-termers’ are stuck with plain old Vanilla (Sorry James!). What’s more, her selection is less Tesco Value, and more Hagen-Daz. Far from creepy desperados who claim to be strapping Liam Hemsworth lookalikes but turn out to be socially inept Inbetweener types, the hunks she brags about are bankers, doctors, and solicitors whose idea of courting far surpasses the ‘jaeger bomb for a hook up’, the currency of most undergraduate boys I have met. Whilst such anecdotes are charming, Tinder is certainly not all moonlight and roses. To root out the Prince Charmings from the frogs, you have to weed through heaps of misogynistic lotharios who think “nice legs, what time
Listings Tuesday (10th) Festive Tea Party by FoodCycle Society 10AM - 4PM / Houghton Street Come along. We will have plenty of delicious treats for you to enjoy plus free hot drinks! End of the Year Karaoke Party by the Japan Society 7PM - 10PM / Karaoke Epoc, Brewer street Tickets can be purchased for £12.00 online at LSESU. Joint Christmas Dinner between the LSESU Politics & Forum, LSESU UN Society and LSESU Grimshaw 7PM - 9PM / Restaurant in Covent Garden Purchase tickets online for £20 for a 3-course meal. Switch Free Movie Screening by LSESU Energy Society 7PM - 9PM / CLM 2.05
do they open?” or the chavvier ‘Hi ur 2QT’, are good ways to start a conversation. Then even if you have the patience (or time) to filter through the trash to find a gem, in the flesh they often turn out to be a rough-cut. Take Lucy’s Tinder experience for example. The gentlemanly consultant with whom she had flirted shamelessly online, turned up to their meet blind drunk and bitching about his ex-girlfriend, before proceeding to throw up on her shoes. That’s as bad as ordering champagne at a bar and being served Lambrini. Rachel’s fate using the app was equally unappetising. The bronzed Australian hunk, who turned out to be a steroidpumped gym rat with a fake tan that wouldn’t look amiss on The Only Way Is
An Evening of Chekhov by the Drama Society 8:30PM - 10PM / Old Theatre, LSE Tickets are £4 for non-members and £2 for members, available the door.
19th centuries’ public lecture by Simon McVeigh, Professor of Music at Goldsmiths University of London 6:45PM / 32L LG.04.
LSE Christmas Concert 7:45pm / St Clement Danes, Strand This concert features the Orchestra and Choir as well as Savitri Grier playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor.
Wednesday (11th) The Unseen Tour 1PM - 3PM / Covent Garden This tour is given by Sock Mob Events and is aimed at opening our eyes to a London as known and experienced by the homeless. This event has been subsidised LSESU Development Society and LSESU Student Advocates International.
London Explorers go to the British Museum 4PM - 6:30PM / Meet at 4PM at The Three Tuns / British Museum They are joining 2 guided tours (20 mins each), “Rosetta Stone” and “The Parthenon”, to view historically siginificant items including Chinese Tang tomb figures, Statue of Ramesses II and the Mostyn Tompion clock. Free admission. British Museum via LSESU
LSESU Enactus Christmas Bash 7PM - 3AM / LSE & Apartment 58 There will be dominos pizza and then clubbing with other University of London Enactus teams. Tickets are £3 just for pizza, £12 for pizza and clubbing for non-members and £8 for the same for members, available online for LSESU. Thursday (12th)
Switch Energy Project
Essex, would be enough to make even the most desperate Take Me Out contestant turn their light off. On second thought, whilst I haven’t shaved my legs in months and my university sweetheart’s idea of a hot date consists of a £10 Marks and Spencer’s dine-in for 2, I’d still take my campus romance any day over the prospect of a blind date with someone who turns out to be more of a Wayne Rooney than a Ronaldo, or worse, who enjoys nooky with a girl on my course only the next day! Given that 72 per cent of Durham students meet their life partners whilst studying for their degrees, it seems like the rest of the jury is also still out on this one.
‘The Origins of the Classical-Popular Music Schism: London concerts and their audiences in the 18th and
For more information on any of these events or others, go to www.lsesu.com, email email@example.com, or call 020 7955 6043.
Tuesday December 10 2013
Study, study, study Alina Leimbach
e-learning platform BlikBook co-founder Barnaby Voss:“Students at Londonbased universities are the most hard-working and committed to their studies.” May the image of London as a city of ambitious and hardworking people be true? Recently published statics from the e-learning platform Blikbook seem to suggest it is. The online learning platform analysed user patterns from more than 4,000 students on 122 courses across 29 universities in the UK. According to the data, London students spend around three times as much time discussing their studies on the site than those at other universities. Furthermore, students enrolled at London colleges are more likely to use the platform during unusual times such as dinner, or between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Do these findings mirror reality? BlikBook is not too widespread yet, so it’s pretty likely that their data may not be completely reliable. I talked to some fellow LSE students, and most of them agreed that
people study harder at the LSE. “There is something about LSE”, Joseph, a postgraduate Social Policy student, explained. “There are a lot of smart people coming here, people who are used to working hard and they all gather at one place.“ Natasha, a prior Warwick student, pointed out: “Even for unassessed essays and presentations, students at the LSE work hard and do their best. That wouldn’t always have been the case at my old university.” But teachers’ and students’ perceptions can differ from time to time when it comes to judging work effort, it’s not the case here. As a senior lecturer remembered: “At Keele university they allowed students to wear pajamas and onesies in class in the morning. They wanted to give them an incentive to come at all. Despite that not everyone at the LSE is studying hard, no one would think about this here.” While people seem to be very engaged in their academics, at the LSE there may be another reason for why people might study harder than elsewhere. Tamaaya, who studies law, stressed that the LSE is predominantly a postgraduate
institution: “A masters is very intense. You have fewer classes but also more self-study time. So it’s harder and more hours need to be put in. Many masters students are older and have worked before starting their postgraduate study, they need this for their future and jobs and hence they are more focused.” So perhaps there’s something to the findings of BlikBook. From my own experience, having studied in Germany and for an Erasmus semester at the University of Leicester, I can agree with it. At none of my previous universities was the library packed with students before the middle of the winter term. At LSE it was hard even in week 1 to find a free study space in the library and people never turn up in class without having read at least one text. At least one. Probably because of this mentality, the LSE is an inspiring atmosphere where you can meet a lot of very forwardthinking people. But if your last Uni has left you with the feeling of being a more hard-working student than your fellow students, quickly forget about this here. Just smile to the boy or girl sitting next to you in the library on a Saturday night.
Returning Home Amelia Thomson
As the festive season well and truly gets started I am sure we are all looking forward to the four weeks of rest that await us. The Christmas period can be a busy time (even for those who do not actually celebrate the festival). There are Christmas trees to be put up, parties to attend, sleep to catch up on, friends to see and (perhaps) a little revision for the LSE 100 exam to do. Why is the exam on the 10th of January? Perhaps however the biggest challenge that faces (mainly) first years when they go home for the holiday is the fact that they will be back at home for the first prolonged period after a term at university. Inevitably there will be a readjustment by all members of the family to the restoration of familial living. For my part fitting back into family life was not too difficult after my first term as I had, and still do, called my parents most days. Even if only for 5 minutes I like chatting to them regularly as I still feel that I am part of their lives and I know what they have been up to. I believe they enjoy my phone calls as well! However even for us there was some readjusting to be done. Moreover having been on the receiving end of three siblings returning from University after their first term and having seen friends struggle with returning home I feel I am reasonably well qualified to discuss the topic. So my suggestions for a happy holiday are as follows:
1. Keep calm and carry on! Over the first term at University you may have changed (even if you may not have realised it). Because these have happened over a ten week period of time for you it may seem as if you have always done things that way. However for your family the change is coming all at once so be sensitive to this. Moreover your family may also have changed and adapted a little in order to cope with you going to university. My parents described it as a loss every time one of their children went to university and as the youngest child I can verify these feelings. It is horrible for a sibling to go to university and one has to use coping strategies to at-
tempt to deal with it. I don’t think one every really gets over it but you can get used to it. So respect these coping mechanisms – they show that your family love you very much and they just need time to readjust. Try not to get angry or shout within an hour of being home but rather remain calm and be the open minded one. 2. Time well spent: Make plans to spend lots of time with family and cherish this time. Of course you will miss your university friends, that’s good as it shows you have made excellent friends but your family are also important. Trust me when it is week 9 of Lent term all you will want is a hug from your Mum or Dad. So try to cherish time with family and show you appreciate them. 3. Friends old & new: Meet up with friends from school so that you can all catch up. Remember not just to bombard them with your own tales of everything that happened in the past ten weeks but also listen to what they have to say. No doubt they have been bursting to tell you these stories for a while so give them a chance to tell you about them. Don’t forget about university friends however. Make Skype dates, send Christmas cards and make sure they know you miss them and appreciate them lots too. 4. Sleep: That’s it really, just sleep (lots)! 5. Don’t worry: Christmas is a time of love and joy so try to feel this. Don’t worry too much about university work. You have only been at university for one term. This time last year I really did not understand much however it all turned out fine in the end as concepts, eventually, clicked about the last week of the Easter holidays! Also try not to get too sad about the holiday ending. There will be another one so just enjoy it for all it is worth. 6. Have fun: eat, drink and be merry. Christmas is a time for being jubilant about the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Even if this is not your belief, try to give lots this Christmas and be generous with laughter, joy and love.
No more spring weeks (please) Hayley Toms
list? Do you really need to apply at ALL? I might want to be a banker, I might not. I’m not sure yet. In term 1 of my degree, I can’t write on an application form that I’m committed to the ‘Deutsche Bank way’. I’m committed to nothing at this stage - and I’m aiming to keep it that way! So when fellow students come over to me asking how my spring week applications are going, I feel like shaking
them. When I see that friend of mine press send on his eighteenth application form I want to hit him. And when my academic advisor cooly questions, ‘Spring Weeks?’ I want to run out the room crying. Because, the honest truth is the lady doth protest too much. I want to apply for Spring Weeks, but I can’t. I have no clue where to start and I know I don’t have a real shot. Why bother at all, when all I’m be-
ing judged on is a CV and a cover letter I don’t stand a chance! After all, unlike most of LSE students, it would seem, I didn’t come out of the womb wanting to be an investment banker.
Spring Week deadlines are approaching; the tension in the air is palpable. My peers sit in canteens, libraries, coffee shops, anywhere with wifi, hammering away at the keyboard. The words they are typing are generic, dead words. They’ve already been asked fifteen times what their worst trait is and they are sick to the
teeth of the lies they are spilling onto the page. Welcome to the crazy world of my… i-must-apply-to-every-investment-bank-in-existence friends. There are dozens of Spring Week internships in existence, and theoretically applying to as many as possible stands you in the best stead to actually end up succeeding. But is the panic really necessary? Do you NEED to apply to all thirty on your
Tuesday December 10 2013
Mae I Help You?
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Direr Nee Arc Sol
Epics Me In Causal Tans Land Rag
1. Reindeer 2. Carols 3. Mince Pies 4. Santa Claus 5. Plum pudding 6. Garland
Get into the festive spirit with some Christmas colouring in...
So I know this guy, who I like a lot, but we’re only school acquaintances. Would it be considered weird for me to give him a Christmas card? I don’t normally give cards out so would he be creeped out if I gave him one? Sincerely, -Contemplating Real Delivery
Dear CARD, I really think you’re overthinking this. It’s just a card! I don’t think anyone would be severely “creeped out” by a lovely happy Christmas card. I also don’t think he’ll go around asking all of your friends if you normally give out cards at Christmas.
Christmas Quiz - test the extent of your knowledge about the festive season… 1. When and by whom was carol singing in churches introduced? 2. Why, perhaps, is the abbreviation of Christmas to Xmas not irreligious. 3. Where and how tall was the highest snowman ever built? 4. Why on earth would anyone ever buy an upside down Christmas tree? 5. Where does the tradition of kissing under mistletoe come from? 6. In what four countries in the EU does Christmas really pay and in what way do people benefit?
1. Carols were introduced by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century. 2. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ. 3. In Maine American a snowman 113 ft tall was built in 1999. 4. You can place more presents under it! 5. (Apart from it just being fun) the Norse goddess of love, Frigga, is thought to be associated with mistletoe. 6. Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany where all workers get a one month salary Christmas bonus by law. 7. Christmas was banned by Oliver Cromwell from 1647 to 1660 due to the fact his puritan establishment believed that feasting was wrong on such a holy day. Anyone caught celebrating was arrested.
-------------------------Dear Mae, This lass and I have been hanging out and hooking up in these weeks before Christ-
Sincerely, -I Want to Keep this Girl Dear IWKG, The timing is a bit annoying, isn’t it? Sorry about that! It is always nerve wracking to have to be apart from someone for so long when a relationship is in such an early stage. However, it’s not a dire circumstance, IWKG! I think you can definitely ask her if she wants to meet up in London during the break. I think that would be completely appropriate and not weird at all. Hanging out with one another is what dating is all about, right? Even though you’re not “officially” dating, she obviously likes you enough to repeatedly hang out and hook up with you so I think you are potentially well on your way to “officially” dating. Keep texting her as you’ve been doing during the last few weeks, and meet up with her once or a few times and the break will fly by. The next thing you know you’ll both be back at LSE. Maybe even ask her what she’s doing for New Years? I’m sure she’ll be eager to hear from you over the break, IKWG! Don’t worry. California Bakery
7. In what 13 year period of English history was Christmas banned? Who did this and why?
Additionally, CARD, you need to be a bit more assertive. If you like this guy why are you so nervous that he will find out that you like him? It could be perfect timing actually. If you give him a card that obviously shows you’re interested and if he doesn’t feel the same way, then you’ll have the whole break to not see him, which will make it less awkward, if that’s what you’re worried about. Also, the break will give him time to decide how he feels about you. He may come back from break excited and ready to go on some dates. So I’m going to tell you to pull a “Love Actually” move and tell him how you feel in the card…or in any other forum. Get moving, CARD!
mas break. But now, I have to go home for the holidays, and it’ll seem weird not seeing her for a month. Is there anything I can do over the holidays other than text her? If I asked her to meet up in London would that be strange since we’re not “offcially” dating?
10.12.2013 The Beaver
‘YOUR HOLISTIC POINT OF ENTRY FOR NEWS AND SATIRE’
AU DRINK IN SOLIDARITY WITH ULU This article was originally written by Daniel Hamburgler Cooper for the London Screwdent This week saw the LSE Athletics Union taking an unprecedented foray into politics, as this year’s Christmas Carol was devoted to the ongoing resistance movement at the University of London Union (ULU). AU General Secretary “Smash the Patriarchy” Craston and his comrades in arms led a resounding drink-in at the Three Tuns, where they punished their capitalist livers with hardworking liqour. They then proceeded to occupy Zoo Bar (and, in some cases, one another), and then returned to LSE to complete their ﬁnal victory over oppressive sobriety. Costumes, drinking games and general revelry were the order of the day as the AU showed its support for ULU President Michael Chessum
and his stand against the University of London. AU Exec member Meg Trthywywy told the B that ‘We’re drinking for ULU, and everything it’s done for us!’ (A team of Beaver investigative journalists are currently researching exactly what it is that ULU has done for anyone). Damn, You Fine On Friday morning, in the quad, the AU officers allocated ﬁnes to team members for failings through the year. The B has managed to obtain a list of the ﬁnes, which are as follows: Carwyn Evans was made to take a workers’ share of every drink in the Tuns for being a class traitor.
lots of wine through a straw for failing to sieze control the means of production. In accordance with #CopsOﬀCampus principles, Solidarity Carol also helped liberate LSE students by taking a large crowd of authoritarian security with them to Zoo Bar. However, the ULU situation remains at crisis point, despite the many AU members who bravely martyred themselves on the altar of #Resistance. Pictured: Solidarity
AU Treasurer Tom Meaden was champagne-boarded for being a proﬁteering capitalist bastard. Nino Kinkaladze was made to drink
Totally Legit Letters - Quoracy Edition!
BEAVER SELLS AD SPACE FOR BEER MONEY
After a year of vigourously attempting to sell out, The Beaver is close to completing a series of advertising deals that will greatly boost the Editorial Drinking Fund. Paid advertisements will guarantee that the paper’s staﬀ is well lubricated at all times, thus guaranteeing a more professional standard of journalism. Executive Editor Dennis Mooney was conﬁdent that this was the best course of action for the paper. ‘We need a well-stocked bar in the office if we’re going to be anything like a proper Fleet Street printer’ he said, after seeing oﬀ a Wright’s Bar Mixed Grill in pint glass at AU Carroll. Concerns remain that selling ad space has been disasterous in the past. In one incident in 2007 the paper consisted entirely of ads, and the Ed Board reportedly spent £3,000 in Mahiki nightclub, and in another an advertisment was allegedly paid for entirely in hummus.
I am utterly disgusted at the failure of the No Platform motion at UGM this week. In protest to the lack of censorship mandated, I shall from now on be censoring my own letters. **** *** J***n W**g *** **** **** of your f***ing ********! Yours unapologetically, Frieda Speech Dear Sir, I ﬁnd it extremely bizarre that in the same week the Union has opted for univesal free speech, I have been unfairly victimsed by a diﬀerent motion. It’s unfair. Yours, Stu Dent-Wrights This week's edition compiled by Tam Banters Frédéric Photochopin Col. Honey-Badger Captain Hack Sparrow Lee Chapman
Our beloved editor, left, pictured reaching out to the AU by drinking a glass of meat, chips and beer. The Beaver is currently undergoing a change of management styles following the departure of the more godly Chris Rogers. Also, dat Meaden face in the background.
10.12.2013 The Beaver
‘OOH LOOK, THEY’VE GOT AN EXTRA PAGE. MUST BE A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OR SOMETHING. ’
HAVE A VERY LSE CHRISTMAS!
SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM THE SU SHOP! GET YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY SOME PREMIUM LSE TAT!
On the twelfth day of Christmas My SU gave to me: Twelve exec members Eleven hacks-a-hacking Ten awkward Thursdays Nine empty Crushes Eight FC Sexists Seven sluts-a-shaming Six dodgy donors Five Stoll Tweets Four free speech Three Palestine Two Tumblr posts And a UGM with quoracy! Jingle bells, jingle bells Jingle all the way, Oh how what fun it is to see Just how our donors pay, Hey! We wish you a Christmas placement We wish you a Christmas placement We wish you a Christmas placement And a Spring Week next year! In Other News • The New Students’ Centre launch went as follows: 18:00 hrs- nothing happened 18:05 hrs- nothing continued to happen #ssssssshhhhhhite
yes, it’s a UGM SKETCH!
by our correspondant, Phil A. Gap
The No Platform drew a fairly sizeable crowd to the Old Theatre, and there was tangible anticipation for the debate for once. Naturally, then, Chair Joe Anderson decided to drag the extraneous procedures out for as long as humanly possible. First up was a mind-bendingly complex explanation of why Jason Wong’s hostile communism amendment was dropped (a simply ‘it’s stupid’ would have sufficed), and then two rather dry Sabb reports from Jay Stoll and Anneessa Mahmoud. The reports themselves were notable only for Anneessa’s use of the phrase ‘holistic point of entry for housing’, an abuse of English so vague and bureaucratic it has reportedly been fast-tracked for a job in management consultancy. The first debate was a terse and fairly hostile affair. Proposers Natalie Nunn and Helen Schofield were concise and clear but a bit twitchy; it probably didn’t help their case when Natalie implied that the audience were trying to shout her down when they were in fact laughing at Dan Frost for being too communist. The opposition were a strange couple, with resident panto villain Jason Wong delivering a speech that by his own admission was not his best (ie string of non sequiturs mixed with the usual outrageous claims to popular legitimacy). Meanwhile the second opposer, Christopher Hulm, played Tory Boy to its fullest extent. The Q&A session was good fun though. Notable interventions included Ali Hughes talking about how he writes constitutions for fun, our GenSec monologuing and refusing to ask a real question, and the usually placid and oleaginous Sam Barnett getting all riled up. The Islamophobia motion was far less controversial, the highlight being Abhishek Phadnis being yanked on and off stage like a marionette while Rayhan Uddin and Mohamed Harrath smirked. Hacky Christmas - UGM is back!
Tuesday December 10 2013
BEAVER SPORTS FANTASY FOOTBALL Every week we’ll print the top three and the bottom three teams. The TOP... Monstars (Hitesh Gulati)
Strutting Edge (Chris Edgington) 920 Points
The 0 Show (Matthew Cleary 889 Points And the BOTTOM...
Menton Marvels (Jon Allsop) 549 Points Los Diablos Verdes (Hari Prabu) 524 Points Shayree’s (Shaheer Ghoury) 510 Points
Sporting Highs and Lows of 2013 Ameya Badwe
Cricket Cricket this year has been plagued by off-field controversies, as we have seen numerous match fixing scandals as well as recent discussion regarding sledging in Test Cricket. Away from these controversies, there were some highlights on the lawn. Domestic cricket this year has been dominated by the Mumbai Indians, who won the IPL title and the T20 Champions League title to confirm their status as the top dogs of T20 cricket. We have also witnessed the Indian ODI team storm to a ICC Champions Trophy in a dramatic final. 2013 closes with the Ashes series in Australia, but with the Aussies totally dominating in the first two tests the series could be wrapped up before Christmas! And of course, there’s the T20 World Cup to look forward to in 2014. Football In many respects, things haven’t changed in football this year. The big teams continued to dominate leagues
A huge win for the LSE Men’s 1s defeating Cardiff Met 8-4 ensures they will remain in the Premier League again next year! A particular shout must go out to the mighty Jashfield, whom, despite being under incredible pressure and forgetting the score in the third, powered through to a three set win. Rumour has it he’s still in Cardiff. Special mentions also go to Chris Angue-
Those World Cup 2014 Groups in full... Group A Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon Group B Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group D Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy Group E Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras Group F Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria Group G Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA Group H Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
Formula 1 If there is one name that F1 fans love and hate at the same times, it must be Sebastian Vettel. Vettel has been ever present this year, as the German stormed to his 4th consecutive F1 championship. He was only the 3rd driver to do this in 64 years of F1. In
doing so, Vettel has confirmed his status as one of the greatest drivers. Fernando Alonso finished 2 while Mark Webber celebrated his retirement by finishing in 3rd. In contrast, Lewis Hamilton has had only limited success at Mercedes this year. 2014 looks set to be an exciting year, with lots of rookies now rising through the ranks and plenty of movement between teams. F1 fans wait with anticipation to see if anything can derail Vettel’s bid for a 5th consecutive victory. Rugby In a great year for rugby league, Australia beat New Zealand 34 – 2 in the Final at Old Trafford to seal a famous victory. Meanwhile, in rugby union the All Blacks have confirmed their status as one of the greatest teams of all time, as they went the entire year unbeaten in rugby union. It was also a fantastic year for the Lions, who had their first series win since 1997, sealing their test series victory over Australia with a 41-16 win. In the 2013 RBS Six Nations, Wales won the competition for
a second time in a row - the first time they have done so since 1979. Surely, the highlight of 2014 will be the 2014 Six Nations, where fans will discover if Welsh domination can continue. Tennis In many respects, it was business as usual for men’s tennis this year. Nadal won the French and US Opens while Djokovic won the Australian Open. However, 2013 won’t be remembered as the year that Nadal climbed back to the top of the rankings. Instead, 2013 must be remembered as the year of Andy Murray. The most exciting story must be Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, making him the first Briton to win the tournament since the 70s. Meanwhile in womens tennis, Serena Williams continued her domination with wins in the French and US Open, while Marion Bartoli had a great victory at Wimbledon. It will be interesting to see how the Nadal – Djokovic rivalry grows and whether anyone can challenge Serena Williams for the first rank in the
Tennis Secure Premier League Status
Can you do better? 970297-228156
Group C Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
across Europe as Juventus won the Serie A for a second year running; Barcelona won La Liga after skipping a year; Manchester United claimed their 20th Premier League title; and Bayern won the Bundesliga. Bayern also stormed to victory in the Champions League final against their fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund. 2013 was also the year that the world transfer record shattered with the sale of Gareth Bale, 24, moving from Tottenham to Real Madrid for a total of £86m. However, 2013 will surely be remembered as the year the great Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager of Manchester United. Sir Alex has left big shoes to fill, and many will continue to watch David Moyes’ development as the new manager.
lov, Adam Watson and Sanjay Zimmermann for coming together to win such a crucial match. Another huge win for the LSE Men’s 2nds, crushing Essex 10-0. Devin Bostick and Roy Murdock fought through to win their singles in three sets, while Gabriele Giacalone and Rodrigo Jafet smashed through in straight sets. Congratulations to all the boys for winning all their matches. You only Hythe once.
LSE Netball gets personal as 4s play 6s in Grudge Match Laura Weigold
With the first goal of the match in the bag it looked like the 6s were going to have their first win of the term... for all of about two minutes. Unfortunately, as the game progressed, it became pretty apparent that it wasn’t to be. With the final score ending LSE 4s 58 - 10 LSE 6s, at least it’s clear that the teams are ranked the right way round! Despite the match being pretty uncontested, there was some good netball on display from both teams. Alice Thompson, captain for the 4s, had chosen a very strong team for this match – a team who managed to maintain momentum throughout, focusing on both defence and attack. Katie James, captain of the 6s, also led a strong team, who, even when it looked impossible to come back, managed to keep
their hopes high in order to keep fighting until the very end. The woman of the match for the 4s was Molly Brien, who managed to both score goals as Goal Shooter and prevent them as Goal Keeper after the second quarter. Katharine Davenport also deserves a mention for her sterling performance as Goal Attack, scoring almost every goal opportunity she was faced with, with close to flawless execution. Amy Bremner claimed the title of woman of the match for the 6s for her outstanding contribution in Goal Attack. Amy was always making herself available for her fellow teammates to pass to despite fierce defending from the fourths. Playing with incredible precision, Amy deserves commendation for doing her upmost to ensure that the ball made it into herself and Saran Richards in
the goal ring, who also played superbly as Goal Shooter. Special mention should also be given to the respective Centres for both teams: Alexandra Walsh for the 4s and Joanne Bywater for the 6s. Both players managed to utilise the entire court which was integral to ensuring that the energy of the game was sustained right the way through until the last
minute and to making sure that every player on both teams was able to contribute towards their team’s performance. In conclsion, the match was an incredible victory for the 4s and a noble fight for the 6s. This sets both teams in good stead for the matches that lie ahead of them. COME ON LSE.
Big wins for Mens Tennis
Netball Grudge Match:
LSE 4s v LSE 6s
Sporting Highs and Lows of 2013
Tuesday December 10 2013
D CAR OL!
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE Carol Vorderman. Andy Carroll. AU Carol 2013. The greatest carols in history. History was made as three people jumped into the poole, Harrison Ford’s Staff getting hardwood as the AU reached new levels of deviance. Not to be out-done, Jessica Rabbit was rampant, with six sn0gz over the course of the day, and one rower didn’t want to miz out, snaring three of her own. Giving into his Viking urges, the tall one made one conquest and then landed another #LeifErectsson #ErikTheBed. It was a storming innings
for women’s rugby. Their Mega member put on her trainers once more and ran after El Cock, while her teammate fell for an Elder man, although she stopped him getting low. Another took a seet on the Beerhorse, whose teammate took an executive decision to cap off a broadly successfully day for the FC by joining the Adams family. Getting in the Christ-mas spirit, Rohan once more rode to victory and a Dyson sucked up the Meadophile, while a fake cricketer wasn’t on his jones, finding a neat mate. Men’s rugby remained fascinated by their recent
discovery of fire, setting off the Shakey’s Head fire alarm and later looking bemused after putting a pint in the microwave resulted in flames. Le Biscuit went shot-for-shot with the king of the gym monkeys, who promptly went insane and woke up in Watford with a split cheek #GoHomeMateYoureLikeThirty. Meanwhile, the Poole seeped into the library for his latest transgression, capping off a remarkable day of debauchery. Willski attempted to ski jump the rope at Zoo and was sent home despite the hugs he gave the bouncers. He eventually managed to
snake his way there four hours later. One less-than-sheepish rugby player found the wright stuff to float his row boat, although it was unconfirmed whether a certain netballer said no-no to Boromir’s horn, having run him ragged as he played the long game. President Joe Brody In Godzilla (Post-Production) was thrown out of the Tuns for overstepping his FC quota of half a pint of Diet Coke. His cries of ‘You can’t throw me out, I’m running the show!’ drew laughter from security, although they eventually let him back in when he
All photos courtesy of students and LSESU
guaranteed them all-expenses-paid trips to Cali. #DoYouKnowWhoIAm? All in all it wasn’t a good day for self-anointed bigwigs, one member of the Exec getting mega angry and telling a netballer to ‘get off my stage or I’ll fine you’, and netball’s social sec losing her social skills once more in a Chinese restaurant. As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, ‘There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor’. Nothing, perhaps, except whatever is going round after Carol.