Sochi 2014: Reactions
Interview: Tom Maksymiw talks to John Woodcock MP as part of â€˜Time To Talkâ€™ Features p. 23
Cardinal Sin? Why the LSE should have challenged Peter Turkson over LGBT rights. Opinion: p. 10
Tuesday February 11 2014 | www.thebeaveronline.com | No. 806
Newspaper of the LSE Studentsâ€™ Union
AU Strikes Gold RECORDS WERE BROKEN last week as the UGM hosted a long awaited motion to increase the budget of the LSEâ€™s Athletics Union. A staggering 588 students voted over the 24 hour period in favour of increasing the budget from ÂŁ86,821.90 to ÂŁ99,845.19. A further 121 votes were cast, with 99 students opposing the motion and 22 declaring themselves undecided. These dissenters demonstrated that the rallying cries of the AU Executive in the lead up to the vote failed to fully satisfy the concerns of all students. The UGM was heavily hyped in the preceding days, as proposers Harold Craston, AU President, and Thomas Meaden, AU Treasurer, sought to unite the AUâ€™s many clubs in favour of the motion. The turnout at the UGM suggested that they had succeeded, and despite the UGM following a Wednesday night in Zoo Bar there was a strong AU presence. Much scrutiny had been given to the motion by LSESU societies, who feared that an increase in the AU budget could only come at a cost to them. Both proposers attempted to allay their fears, with Meaden speaking directly to them as he said â€œour gain is not your lossâ€?. Amendements submitted before the UGM were generally received positively, being accepted either in part or in full. The Proposers consequently resolved that the AU will continue to be proactive in increasing its diversity, as well as promising punishments for any club found to be engaging in discriminatory behaviour. An amendment proposed by Jason Wong and Musty KaPDORQWKHŕŽ‹RRUZDVKRZHYHU dismissed bluntly by Meaden, whose prepared responses throughout the UGM were
â€Ť Úšâ€Ź709 votes cast largest number since return of online voting. â€Ť Úšâ€Ź588 in favour, 99 against, 22 abstentions. â€Ť Úšâ€ŹCFO promises WRŕŤšQDQFHLQcrease. â€Ť Úšâ€ŹPaper throwing returns to UGM.
theatrical to say the least. Wongâ€™s proposal, that each society receive ÂŁ2 funding per member from the school was deemed too distorting to the motion, as it would cost the school a further ÂŁ29k. But it wasnâ€™t all doom for Wong, as Meaden promised to garner AU support for him should he propose a separate motion to increase society funding. The motionâ€™s opposers, UGM stalwarts Dan Martin and Jamie Pelling, then took to the stage and experienced the comeback of a tradition from the UGMs of yesteryear. A previous ban on paper throwing has expired after three years, and old copies of the Beaver had been distributed on the Old Theatreâ€™s balcony to ensure that students took full advantage of their lofty vantage point. Despite being in the minority in the room, DQG GHVSLWH ŕŽ‹XUULHV RI SDSHU projectiles, both Martin and Pelling spoke well as they voiced concerns shared by many non-AU students. Pelling made the point particularly well as he highlighted the worry that the AU would be prioritised over societies. Martin took a more con-
Bursary Delays Hit Students James Evans, Deputy News Editor
Gareth Rosser, Sports Editor
Catholic Church (England and Wales) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
troversial line of attack, criticizing the behaviour of some AU students in recent events such as Take Me Out, and going so far as to describe some members of the AU as â€œnastyâ€?. Unsurprisingly this won him another bout of paper pelting, although the AU might consider investing any budget increase in training sessions to improve their membersâ€™ aim, based on the evidence available in the UGM. Lively questions followed, with many issues raised for would-be voters to consider. Tennis Captain Chris Anguelov shocked many as he revealed that members of his team pay as much as ÂŁ600 a year out of their own pockets to represent LSE. Meanwhile Miriam Mirwitch brought the attention of the UGM to the underfunding of Womenâ€™s sports teams relative to their male counterparts. Meaden acknowledged this and suggested this was a result of those clubs being more recently founded, and thus placing an increasing strain on the budget which has not been revised accordingly. There was also acknowledgement in the room of the
perceived cliquey nature of the AU, with the opposition being praised for sparking a debate on the issue. The UGM ended with participants in generally high spirits, with many describing the UGM as reenergised following more lacklustre previous meetings. 7KH ŕŽŠQDO YRWH WDOO\ UHŕŽ‹HFWHGWKLVZLWKDWRWDOWXUQout of 709 votes proving a stark contrast to the previous UGM, which failed to meet the quoracy of 250 votes. The resounding endorsement of the motion doesnâ€™t guarantee the 15% budget increase since the AU must get approval from the Board of Trustees. However, Chief Financial Officer Andy Farrell, a strong supporter of the SU, seemed to suggest the request would meet with approval on Twitter, responding to A&D Officer Hannah Richmondâ€™s request with â€˜it will be done.â€™ Meaden professed the AU â€˜delighted with both the sucess of the motion and Mr Farrellâ€™s commitmentâ€™, going on WRVD\â€ŤÚ?â€Ź:HKRSHWKLVLVWKHŕŽŠUVW step of many in making our Athletics Union as successful as it can be!â€™
In other News... City-wide protests against loan privitization
LSE ranked 47th most international uni
Students gathered to voice their opposition to the governmentâ€™s planned privatization of student loans.
The Times of Higher Education ranked the School as the 47th most international university in the world.
NEWS Page 3
NEWS Page 5
LSE STUDENTS WERE DISAPPOINTED to discover that payments of an essential bursary would be a month late. The termly payment which is provided by the LSE to help cover the living costs or pay for accommodation for students from the lowest income groups were informed last month that the payment would not arrive on time. 7KH ŕŽŠQDQFLDO VXSSRUW RIŕŽŠFHWROGWKH%HDYHUWKDWâ€ŤÚ”â€ŹWKHUH was a technical issue with the payment for some of the Lent term instalments of the LSE bursaries,â€? and although the issue had now been resolved, the funding would not happen until â€œmid-February.â€? No information has been released about the details of the â€˜technical issueâ€™ but it is known that the issue only affects students from the UK and not international students ZKRUHTXLUHŕŽŠQDQFLDOVXSSRUW 7KH ŕŽŠQDQFLDO VXSSRUW VHUvices encouraged students to apply for an interest free short term loan if the delay FDXVHG DQ\ ŕŽŠQDQFLDO GLIILFXOties. However, instead of reassuring students, this recommendation merely angered some members of the student body. An Economic History student who does not wish to be named questioned â€˜Why should I have to apply for a loan? Of course the delay will FDXVH ŕŽŠQDQFLDO GLIILFXOWLHV otherwise I wouldnâ€™t need the IXQGLQJLQWKHŕŽŠUVWSODFHâ€ŤÚ‘â€Ź$Qnie Leonard, a second year Law student, reiterated these concerns saying, â€œI donâ€™t see why students have to wait anRWKHU PRQWK IRU WKLV YLWDO ŕŽŠnancial support; LSE is clearly not short of moneyâ€?. For students from the poorest economic background this non repayable bursary is worth around ÂŁ3500 a year, making up a considerable proportion of their yearly budget; the delay will inevitably preVHQWGLŕŽŒFXOWLHV Any student experiencLQJ DQ\ ŕŤ˝QDQFLDO GLIILFXOWLHV VKRXOG FRQWDFW WKH ŕŤ˝QDQFLDO VXSSRUW RIILFH LQ FRQŕŤ˝GHQFH ŕŤ˝QDQFLDOVXSSRUW#OVHDFXN
8QLRQ%DVKÄ? Enjoyed this weekâ€™s AU Hackery: Record turnout and Return of paper throwing? More AU Motions!
Especially the Treasurerâ€™s appearance: Meaden on stage but, With such warlike rhetoric, Many saw Churchill. %DVKÄ? LV WKH %HDYHUâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV KDLNX SRHW6RPHVD\KLVVRFLHW\UHFHLYHVWZLFHDVPXFKIXQGLQJ DV WKH HQWLUH $WKOHWLFV 8QLRQ DQGWKDWKHSODQVWRJRRXWRI KLVZD\WRSURYHWR'DQ0DUWLQ WKDW KH LV DQ\WKLQJ EXW D QLFHSHUVRQ
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Motions, Elections and Editorials (or lack thereof) I promised myself I was going to write a proper editorial this weekend, to actually sit down and take issue with some kind of injustice, or at least to take a stand on an issue close to my heart. As I found myself standing outside a Southampton McDonalds at 4:30am on Saturday, arguing the toss with a man who looked like a McNugget in a suit and tie over my legal right to remain in the car park - I forget my exact legal grounds but I was, by all accounts, detailing them in a ORTXDFLRXVPDQQHU,UHŕŽ‹HFWHGWKDWLWSUREDEO\ wasnâ€™t going to happen. And it hasnâ€™t. Last weekâ€™s plea to support the Athletics UnLRQLQWKHLUHŕŽ‰RUWVWRUDLVHWKHLUIXQGLQJWRDGHTXDWHOHYHOVZDVLWDSSHDUVHŕŽ‰HFWLYHDOWKRXJK to claim too much credit for myself might risk betraying my lack of understanding causation and correlation, despite my â€˜creditâ€™ in LSE100. Whilst the pro-AU stance of last weekâ€™s paper drew criticism from the opposition to the motion, I would like like to clarify what I said in the UGM: as an elected editorial board, we can
and will support political initiatives on campus that we think are worthwhile. It appears that the amendment proposed by Messrs Wong and Kamal at the UGM is now to go forward as a motion in its own right; the details are as yet unclear but they may rest assured that if it is SUDFWLFDOIDLUDQGŕŽŠQDQFLDOO\IHDVLEOHDVWKH$8 budget motion was, they will have our support. Ahead of the all-important Lent Term elections, battle lines are being drawn, allegiances questioned and secret Facebook groups created. ExSHFWWKHXVXDOŕŽ‹XUU\RIVLPXOWDQHRXVVHOIGHSUHcation, promotion and delusion, the strenuous denials and tenuous claims, and a gauntlet of people, posters and pleading where one would QRUPDOO\ŕŽŠQG+RXJKWRQ6WUHHW A rule-change from the philosopher-kings of the Democracy Committee means that we here in the media group may now name candidates, but not yet, so all of you that canâ€™t wait for the ofŕŽŠFLDORSHQLQJFHUHPRQ\RIRXU\HDUO\KDFNIHVW will just have to wait patiently. From what weâ€™re hearing though, it promises not to disappoint.
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Tuesday February 11 2014
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DOZENS OF STUDENTS from across England, including from the London School of Economics, gathered this past Friday in front of the School of Oriental and African Studies, voicing their opposition to the government’s planned privatization of student loans. Protesters marched from SOAS to the Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Along the way they chanted slogans such as ‘when they say cut back, we say fight back’, with many holding up red boxes as they walked, a symbol of crushing student debt. Charlotte Bennett, a Women’s Officer from Midkent College’s Student Union, held a giant Valentine’s Day card filled with signatures. She explained that the cards
would be presented both to MPs and university heads. This protest was the culmination of The Student Assembly Against Austerity’s ‘week of action’, which saw students from across fifty campuses demonstrating against the sell-off through occupations, banners and petitions. At LSE, this included a petition directed towards the school’s head, Professor Craig Calhoun. According to Joey Davidson and Hannah Billing, two first-year LSE BSc students and members of the Student Assembly Against Austerity, student involvement in this issue has been on the rise. As Davidson, a BSc Government student, explained: “I think there’s a definite disbelief amongst [students]… because we think we went into a contract that states that our interest rates can’t
be raised. I think it’s very, very shocking, but people are coming around to knowing what’s going on and I think this week of action has been huge all over the country and far bigger than the one that was in November, so it’s definitely gaining momentum.’ The Coalition Government’s proposal to sell off the student loan book was revealed this past June, when a confidential governmentcommissioned report carried out by Rothschild investment bank was published by the Guardian newspaper. The Government confirmed their plans later that month. Among the more controversial proposals contained in the report was the idea of removing the cap on student
loans altogether, effectively creating a retroactive hike in tuition fees. In November, the Government began moving ahead with their plans, privatizing £890m in student debt from loans issued between 1990 and 1998. Although the government has pledged that interests rates will not be raised, many students fighting the sell-off have little confidence in the sincerity of these promises. Both Hannah and Joey see this latest move on the part of the government as linked to a wider pattern of commodification of education in Britain, as well as to worsening pay conditions for university workers, including members of the striking Un-
ion of Colleges and University. Their protests this week were, therefore, also carried out in solidarity with worker demands, which they feel the Student Union should more actively promote. “Students and workers, our rights are inextricably linked together,” explained Billing, a BSc Sociology student. She continued: “If funding for teachers goes down, their quality of work is going to go down, which impacts on us and if we have to pay more for our education then it means that only the people who can afford it get it. We think education should be free and democratic for everyone, not just those who can afford it.”
NOW IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR, the flagship LSEPeking University Summer School is back and welcoming applicants seeking an academic and cultural immersion experience for two weeks this August in Beijing, China. The summer school, which commenced in 2004, is the first joint program between the two institutions. Since the programme’s creation, Peking University (PKU) – China’s highest ranked university in Times Higher Education World University Ranking - has hosted more than 1,800 students from over 44 nationalities and 143 universities in this programme. The summer school boasts a diverse student body – a quarter of which are graduate professionals, opening up opportunities for learning as well as occupational development. A wide range of courses is provided, and each participant will study one course of their interest intensively over two weeks. This year’s courses cover topics such as Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Making, Cor-
porate Finance in a Global World, Rebalancing the Global Economy and The Political Economy of Development and are taught by renowned faculty members from both institutions. According to Professor Michael Cox from the Department of International Relations, “many LSE students take the opportunity to be taught by first-class faculty from Peking University, China’s top university, and to benefit from their first-hand knowledge of the law, foreign policy, business or economics of this fascinating and complicated country.” Outside the UK, PKU is one of three institutions with which the LSE has developed “multifaceted institutional partnerships”, along with Sciences Po (France) and Columbia University (USA). Last October, PKU gained media attention over a controversial dismissal of economics Professor Xia Yeliang, who has frequently criticised the Chinese Communist Party and supported democratisation in China, including drafting the Charter 08 petition with dissident Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. The termination of Professor Xia’s contract with
PKU was thus believed by many to be for political motivations rather than “poor teaching” records as stated by the university. Representatives from University College Union (UCU) have sent a letter to LSE Director Craig Calhoun to ask for an immediate suspension of all joint programmes between LSE and PKU by reiterating the “dubious” nature of Professor Xia’s dismissal and the LSE’s position promoting academic freedom in higher education. The Ethics Policy Committee at the LSE met on 31 October 2013 to discuss the matter and later announced that “no conclusion was reached.” The School has not issued any new statements since then. Despite protestation, the LSE has shown no sign of cessation in its partnership with PKU and with the continuation of the successful joint summer school. In a recent press release, the programme’s administrators mentioned that 98 per cent of past participations said they would recommend the programme to others. Third year BSc International Relations and History student Amanda
Felberg, who went on the programme in 2013, said she was “surprised at how few LSE students were actually on the course, but it turned out to be a great opportunity to meet people from many, many different universities around the world”. She also wants to encourage “more LSE student to participate in the programme” and “go beyond what an average tourist might experience, while learning more about the country in an area you are
specifically interested in.” Applications for the 2014 LSE-PKU Summer school are now open. To learn more about programme’s admissions, courses and fees, interested students can visit the programme website at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/ summerSchools/LSEPKUProgramme.
Tuesday February 11 2013
LSE Debates the Issue of Sexism Robyn Connelly-Webster
7+( )(0,1,67 6RFLHW\ DQG WKH /DERXU 6RFLHW\ MRLQHG IRUFHV RQ 7XHVGD\ WK WR GHbate sexism within LSE. The event was the result of a number of widely reported sexLVW LQFLGHQWV DURXQG /6( LQFOXGLQJ VRPH ZKLFK RFFXUUHG ZLWKLQWKH$WKOHWLFV8QLRQ The debate began with a statement from the anonyPRXVIRXQGHURIWKH)DFHERRN page â€œSexism at LSEâ€? who explained her reasons for establishing the page and also HPSKDVLVHGWKHLPSRUWDQFHRI UHDVVXULQJ YLFWLPV WKDW WKH\ will be supported. The debate then began to shed light on VRPHRIWKHVH[LVWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVLQFLGHQWV ZKLFK KDYH RFFXUUHG DURXQG FDPSXV ZLWK WKH $WKOHWLFV 8QLRQ FRPLQJ XQGHU SDUWLFXODUVFUXWLQ\ Thomas Meaden, as the sole representative of the $WKOHWLFVâ€ŤÚ‘â€Ź8QLRQZDVDVNHGWR
GLVFXVV WKH â€ŤÚ”â€ŹUHFRJQLVHGâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹDQG â€œinstitutional sexismâ€? within the AU. Initially, there was a GHQLDO RI DQ\ â€ŤÚ”â€ŹKDUGFRUH VH[LVWVâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹLQ WKH $8 EXW WKLV FRPPHQW ZDV ODWHU UHWUDFWHG IROORZLQJ DQ DXGLHQFH PHPEHU UHPLQLVFLQJDERXWDWLPHZKHQ WKH WHUP â€ŤÚ”â€ŹVOXWâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹZDV FKDQWHG DWDIHPDOHSDUWLFLSDQWRIODVW yearâ€™s Take Me Out event. She later suggested that this derogatory language may not
â€œThe sole representative of the Athleticsâ€™ Union, was asked to discuss the â€˜recognisedâ€™ and â€˜institutional sexismâ€™ within the AUâ€? have been used if there had been female members of the $8([HFXWLYHSUHVHQWLQJWKDW
evening. The debate moved on from WKHVXEMHFWRIWKH$8ZLWKDQ DXGLHQFH PHPEHUâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV REVHUvation that sexism exists in PDQ\ DVSHFWV RI OLIH DW /6( LQFOXGLQJKDOOV 6X\LQ +D\QHV D ŕŽŠUVW \HDU International Relations and History student, informed the SDQHORIKHUH[SHULHQFHVDVD â€ŤÚ”â€ŹIUHVKHUâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹLQ KDOOV DQG VKRFNLQJ LQFLGHQFHV RI VH[LVP LQ KHUŕŽŠUVWZHHNV 7KH GHEDWH LGHQWLŕŽŠHG WKDW WKHUH ZDV FRQIXVLRQ DURXQG WKH SURFHVV RI UHSRUWLQJ LQFLGHQWV RI VH[LVP +RZHYHU one member of the debate, 6XVXDQD $QWXEDP GHVFULEHG promising examples of ULUâ€™s ŕŽŠJKWDJDLQVWVH[LVPZLWKWKHLU anonymous report form and WKHLU â€ŤÚ”â€Ź+ROODEDFNâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹSURJUDP WDFNOLQJ VH[XDO KDUDVVPHQW RQ FDPSXV VRPHWKLQJ /6( learn from. -DGH -DFNPDQ D VHFRQG year Anthropology and Law VWXGHQW FRQFOXGHG WKDW WKH
GLVFXVVLRQ KDG EHHQ EHQHŕŽŠFLDO KRZHYHU â€ŤÚ”â€ŹLW ZRXOG KDYH been quite interesting to see WKHVWDŕŽ‰â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVUHVSRQVHVâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź The event was well reFHLYHG DQG WKHUH LV KRSH RI VLPLODU GLVFXVVLRQ LQ WKH IXWXUH $ NH\ FRQFOXVLRQ PDGH by the debate was that sexLVPVQHHGHGWREHFRQIURQWHG DW /6( FRQWLQXRXVO\ LI WKH VFKRRO LV HYHU JRLQJ WR HOLPLQDWH SUHMXGLFH DQG LQHTXDOLW\ between sexes. 7KH SDQHO ZDV FKDLUHG E\ -DGH 6\PRQGV 3UHVLGHQW RI WKH /DERXU 6RFLHW\ DQG LQFOXGHG 6DOO\ %RQVDOO 3UHVLdent of the LSE Feminist 6RFLHW\ 6XVXDQD $QWXEDP ZRPHQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV RIILFHU DW WKH 8QLversity of London Union, Thomas Meaden, Treasurer in WKH/6(68$8([HFXWLYH,Pogen Young, LSESU womenâ€™s RIILFHU DQG %DURQHVV *OHQ\V Thornton, the Shadow Equalities Minister in the House of Lords as well as an LSE Alum DQG*RYHUQRU
Mr. Papandreou calls for â€œErasmus of the Unemployedâ€? in support of European project Carolina Nizza
THERE WAS a full house on Monday evening to witQHVV WKH DUULYDO RI *UHHFHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV IRUPHU 3ULPH 0LQLVWHU 0U *HRUJH 3DSDQGUHRX 0U 3Dpandreou, who was an LSE alumnus, was invited as the speaker of this yearâ€™s Eva &RORUQL 0HPRULDO /HFWXUH D OHFWXUH FUHDWHG E\ 1REHO prizewinner Amartya Sen in memory of his late wife to DGYDQFH KHU FDXVH IRU VRFLDO MXVWLFH
â€œQuestions were asked [regarding] how to achieve unity in Europe and defy the extremism that has been fuelling nationalismâ€? $PDUW\D 6HQ LQWURGXFHG 0U 3DQDGUHRX WR WKH OHFWXUH entitled â€œA Dream Deferred: How to Restore Europeâ€™s 3URPLVH DQG 3RWHQWLDOâ€Ť Ú•â€Ź0U 3DSDQGUHRX EHJDQ E\ UHmembering Europe as a very GLIIHUHQWFRQWLQHQWIURPWKDW RI WRGD\ +H GLVFXVVHG WKH (XUR]RQHFULVLVWKHH[FHVVRI blame that was attributed to the periphery and Europeâ€™s â€˜inabilityâ€™ to present a united front. Ultimately, he looked to the future and proposed D VHULHV RI FKDQJHV DLPHG DW transforming a Europe of nations into a Europe of people. The most striking moment was his proposition for an â€œErasmus of the Unem-
SOR\HGâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹZKLFK ZRXOG JUDQW XQHPSOR\HG (XURSHDQ FLWLzens full mobility within the FRQWLQHQW WR ILQG MREV HOVHwhere. He also stated how he wanted Europe to find a new mandate and identity by â€œgoing greenâ€?, negotiating *UHHQ 'HDOV DQG ZRUNLQJ WR EHFRPH WKH SULPDU\ JOREDO FOLPDWHFKDQJHILJKWHU With these hopes in mind, 0U 3DSDQGUHRX FORVHG KLV OHFWXUHFDOOLQJIRUDQHQGWR the European-blame game DQG VWUHVVHG WKH LPSRUWDQFH of getting behind the EuroSHDQSURMHFW Following his talk questions were asked ranging from the personal sphere,
â€œMr. Papandreou closed his lecture, calling for an end to the Europeanblame game and stressed the importance of getting behind the European projectâ€? GLUHFWHGWR0U3DSDQGUHRXâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV H[SHULHQFH LQ WKH PLGVW RI WKH FULVLV WR EURDGHU GLOHPPDV RQ KRZ WR DFKLHYH XQLW\ in Europe and defy the extremism that has been fuel-
ling nationalism. 2QH VWXGHQW FRPPHQWHG DW WKH HQG RI WKH OHFWXUH â€ŤÚ”â€Ź, wonder whether what he VD\VPDWFKHVZKDWKHGRHVâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź and questioned the ease ZLWK ZKLFK KH PHQWLRQHG DLPVVXFKDVILJKWLQJFOLPDWH FKDQJH 3KLOLS 06F ,QWHUQDtional Relations. The talk on the whole was UHFHLYHG YHU\ ZHOO HYHQ E\ WKRVH QRW IURP D SROLWLFDO sphere of the university. Faye %DWW\H D VHFRQG \HDU %XVLQHVV 0DWKV DQG 6WDWLVWLFV student said: â€œI didnâ€™t have DQ\NQRZOHGJHRI*UHHNSROLWLFVEHIRUHWKLVWDONEXW,DP VR JODG , FDPH LW ZDV so informative.â€? LSE
Water nightmare! Goldsmiths main EXLOGLQJŕŤşRRGV *ROGVPLWKVâ€Ť Ú‘â€Ź5LFKDUG +RJJDUW %XLOGLQJLVFORVHGXQWLOIXUWKHU QRWLFH DIWHU EXUVW ZDWHU SLSHV FDXVHG PDMRU ŕŽ‹RRGLQJ WKLV DIternoon. Water gushed from the pipes DQG ZDOOV RI WKH FRUULGRUV DQG ODUJH SRROV RI ZDWHU EORFNHG WKH PDLQ HQWUDQFHV DQG H[LWV RI WKH 5+% PHDQLQJ KXQGUHGV RIVWXGHQWVDQGVWDŕŽ‰KDGWREH HYDFXDWHG WKURXJK WKH PXVLF department. 7LOHV IHOO IURP WKH FHLOLQJV RQ WKH JURXQG ŕŽ‹RRU SDVVDJHZD\V DQG RXWVLGH WKH 5+% ZDWHU ŕŽ‹RZHGGRZQ/HZLVKDP:D\
Chalking Trial: police officer falsely claimed to witness assault, court hears Student was arrested after ZULWLQJ LQ FKDON RQ 8R/ SURSerty. The 25-year-old was FKDUJHGZLWKFULPLQDOGDPDJH DQGWZRFRXQWVRIDVVDXOWLQJD SROLFHRIILFHUDOORIZKLFKVKH denies. 7KH FRXUW KHDUG KRZ D SROLFH FRQVWDEOH IDOVHO\ FODLPHG WR witness the student assaultLQJ DQRWKHU RIILFHU EHFDXVH KH ZDV WROG WR E\ FROOHDJXHV Judge Nina Tempa will deliver KHUYHUGLFWRQ7XHVGD\)HEruary at Highbury Corner Magistratesâ€™ Court.
â€œThe Moneyâ€™s There, Whereâ€™s Our Share?â€? $KDQGIXORI8&/VWDŕŽ‰EUDFHG the wet and windy weather on Thursday 6 February to protest for their right to fair pay. This strike follows several PRQWKV RI FDPSDLJQLQJ DQG demonstrations to highlight WKH XQMXVW SD\ FXWV WKDW KLJKHU HGXFDWLRQ VWDŕŽ‰ DFURVV WKH FRXQWU\KDYHKDGWRDFFHSWLQ UHFHQW\HDUV3LFNHWOLQHVZHUH IRUPHGDW8&/HQWUDQFHVIRUD full-day strike by UCU, Unison and Unite. 8&/ VWDŕŽ‰ KDYH DOUHDG\ KDG their pay slashed by 13% in UHDO WHUPV EXW ZHUH UHFHQWO\ RŕŽ‰HUHGDULVHWKLV\HDU
Tuesday February 11 2014
State of the LSESUnion Joseph Grabiner
JUST A FEW DAYS after Barack Obama took to the podium in Washington DC to update the American public on his recent work and future ambitions, The London School of Economicsâ€™ Student Union (LSESU) published their very own â€˜State of the Unionâ€™ speech. The six and a half minute video was uploaded on to the LSESUâ€™s own YouTube channel. The sabbatical officers took turns to explain what they have been working on over the past eight months, what they have ve achieved, and what they are still hoping to achieve this year. General Secretary Jay Stoll highlighted two achievements of his time in office so far mentioning free access to the Financial Times online that saves students a lot of money, and the renewing of the democratic process within the LSESU. Referring to the Union General Meeting and votes, Stoll proudly mentioned that having won the debate over
online voting numbers who do vote for motions have increased six-fold. With a busy Facebook feed, constant twitter updates and other regular videos some may have been wondering why the LSESU decided it was necessary to produce another video. We asked, Anneessa Mahmood, LSESU Community and Welfare Officer, who said, â€œWe wanted everyone to know what we are doing. We do sabbs on the sofa but Iâ€™m not sure how many people watch
â€œWe wanted people to know what we were doing. We do â€˜Sabbs on the Sofaâ€™ but Iâ€™m not sure how many people watch itâ€?
about how the video had been received by the student body, this reporter stood in the foyer of the New Academic Building asking passers by to give their feedbacks. Unfortunately, having EHHQWKHUHIRUDURXQGŕŽŠIWHHQ minutes and approached around one hundred student only one was able to say they had watched it. This may reŕŽ‹HFW WKH <RX7XEH YLGHRâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV RZQ ŕŽŠJXUH WKDW VXJJHVWV that, as of 7th February, it had been watched only 191 times. Talking to the person who had seen the video I ask what they thought of it. AlH[DQGDU 9XNDGLQRYLF D ŕŽŠUVW year Law student said, â€œIt ZDV TXLWH QLFH ŕŽŠQGLQJ RXW what the sabbs do and was cool seeing what they have achieved, but it was pretty long, I mean six and a half minutes, come on.â€?
Screen shots from â€œThe itâ€Ś it is really important stustate of the Unionâ€? video. dents know what they are TOP Jay Stoll, General Secpaying their sabbs for.â€? retary. BOTTOM Rosie Cole:DQWLQJ WR ŕŽŠQG RXW PRUH PDQ(GXFDWLRQ2ŕŤżFHU
LSE ranked 47th most international university LSE does not measure up to its competitors. One student told the BeaDESPITE BEING INTERNAver, â€œwhen I tell people that TIONAL WEEK at the London School of Economics , VWXG\ DW /6( WKHLU ŕŽŠUVW and Political Sciences (LSE), response is almost always, it appears that the School â€œbut isnâ€™t that full of interis not as â€œinternationalâ€? as national students?â€? This is PDQ\SHRSOHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVŕŽŠUVWUHVSRQVH originally thought. The Times of Higher Edu- as 2090 of 4200 (2012/13) cation ranked the School as fulltime undergraduates at the 47th most internation- the School are international. al university in the world. This includes students from This was comparatively RYHUGLŕŽ‰HUHQWFRXQWULHV There is clearly a diverse, lower than the University multicultural atmosphere of Cambridge, Warwick, Aberdeen, Kingâ€™s College Lon- on campus. Many students don, Brunel and St Andrews were shocked to discover among other British and for- LSEâ€™s ranking. Liam Mateign universities. Ă‰cole Poly- WKHZV D ŕŽŠUVW \HDU 6RFLDO technique FĂŠdĂŠrale de Laus- Policy and Government stuanne (EPFL), situated in dent said, â€œIn terms of perLake Geneva, was at the top centage of the student body of the list. Among students we must surely have one of DQGVWDŕŽ‰WKH/6(â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVUDQNZDV the highest â€Ś [The Schoolâ€™s] believed to be relatively low. international brand is probThe Times Higher Educa- ably better known abroad tion compiled the list of the than it is in the UKâ€?. On further analysis, it most international universiseems LSE has more interties using the â€œinternational outlookâ€?. This examines national students on cammany components to cre- pus; 2090 undergraduate or ate the rankings including: 7301 total international stuthe universityâ€™s interna- dents whereas Cambridge tional student numbers, the has 1,198 undergraduates universityâ€™s percentage of or 3,468 total students (in LQWHUQDWLRQDO VWDŕŽ‰ DQG WKH 2010/11). It appears that proportion of its research the other factors contributpapers published with a co- ing to the â€œinternational outlookâ€? of the universities had author. The LSE scored a high DODUJHHŕŽ‰HFWRQWKHUDQN,I 81.7 for its â€œinternational it were ranked purely based outlookâ€? but compared to on the student body, perEPFL, which scored 98.2 on haps LSE would have ranked the â€œinternational outlookâ€?, higher.
LSESU getting a grip on feminism There will be a series of workshops as part of LSESU Gender Equality Awareness month. They are looking to engage students across subjects, societies and sports teams to discuss and think about gender equality on campus. Following the success of her project at Tate Britain and Southbank Centre, Phoebe Davies will be using contemporary art, with an aim to produce acrylic nails featuring prominent icons associated with gender equality. These workVKRSV ZLOO RŕŽ‰HU VWXGHQWV DQG VWDŕŽ‰ DOLNH D IRUXP WR discuss issues prominent on campus, and the LSESU Womenâ€™s Officer would like to express her gratitude to the LSE Annual Fund, as ZLWKRXW LWV ŕŽŠQDQFLDO VXSport, the project would not be feasible
Megan Crockett, Deputy News Ed.
The workshops will take place 12pm until 2pm in STC.S221 on Friday 14th and 28th February. LSESU
Students take part in International Week held in Saw See Hockâ€™s The Venue
Tuesday February 11 2014
UN society reaches out with student model United Nations Thaddeus Jahn
LAST WEEKEND the LSESU United Nations Society and a team of twelve dedicated VWXGHQWV KRVWHG WKH ŕŽŠUVW ever Model United Nations Conference for high school VWXGHQWV/6(68081 RQFDPSXV 7R SDUWLFLSDWH LQ /6(â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV outreach activities, roughly HLJKW\ VL[WKIRUP VWXGHQWV from a handful of UK second ary schools, including West minster and ACS Egham, PDGH WKHLU ZD\ WR WKH RSHQ LQJ FHUHPRQ\ )ROORZLQJ some introductory words and an insightful lecture by Pro fessor Michael Cox on the IXWXUH RI WKH 86OHG ZRUOG RUGHU WKH ŕŽŠUVW FRPPLWWHH VHVVLRQŕŽŠQDOO\FRPPHQFHG Every delegate took on WKH UROH RI D GLSORPDW UHS resenting diverse nations across three distinct UN General Assembly commit tees: Disarmament and In ternational Security, Social,
Cultural and Humanitarian, DQG WKH 81 'HYHORSPHQW 3URJUDPPH /HQJWK\ IRUPDO debates ultimately led to the creation of six resolutions on issues including but not lim ited to the illicit trading of small arms, human traffick ing and recovery from natu UDOGLVDVWHUV Discussions were general ly very heated and extensive SUHSDUDWLRQE\GHOHJDWHVZDV HYLGHQW 1RQHWKHOHVV WKH committee sessions also had WKHLUIXQPRPHQWV7KH'HP RFUDWLF 3HRSOHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV 5HSXEOLF RI Korea, for instance, decided WR SURSRVH D ZRUNLQJ SDSHU suggesting the removal of all international limitations RQQXFOHDUDUPVSURGXFWLRQV and in another committee the GHOHJDWHRIWKH5XVVLDQ)HG HUDWLRQ UHSHDWHGO\ WKUHDW HQHGWRDQQH[0ROGRYD On a more serious note, 'HSXW\ 6HFUHWDU\ *HQHUDO Tse Wei Lim (LLM Law) took WKHPLFURSKRQHDWWKHFORVLQJ ceremony, addressing some
RI WKH ŕŽ‹DZHG DUJXPHQW SDW terns that he had observed throughout the weekend and SURYLGLQJDVVLVWDQFHWRDOORZ students to substantiate their FODLPVEHWWHULQWKHIXWXUH The Secretariat also ex SUHVVHGWKHLUKRSHVWKDWWKLV VXFFHVVIXO ŕŽŠUVW HGLWLRQ ZLOO SURPSW WKH LQVWLWXWLRQDOL]D
tion of the conference at the /6( 7KH \HDUV WR FRPH ZLOO then see a continuous in crease in the amount of stu dents attending and a steady LPSURYHPHQW LQ WKH RYHUDOO TXDOLW\RIRUJDQL]DWLRQ What makes this outreach HŕŽ‰RUW VR LPSRUWDQW LV WKDW LW VHUYHV ERWK WR SURPRWH WKH
LSE and MUN to the wider British school community but also to force individu als to lift their research and SUHVHQWDWLRQ VNLOOV WR D OHYHO equivalent to that demanded by an academic undergradu DWHFRXUVHDWXQLYHUVLW\
German symposium hits right note Sebastien Ash
QRQHWKHOHVV DQG SXEOLVKHG WRJUHDWXSURDU 'HVSLWH KLV FDQGRU RQH TXHVWLRQ GLG SXW 'LHNPDQQ RII RQFH $ PHPEHU RI WKH audience asked about the LQFOXVLRQ RI H[SOLFLW PDWH ULDO RQ %LOGâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ZHEVLWH E\ a visiting member of the DXGLHQFH IURP 9LHQQD $V Editor, Diekmann took the decision in 2012 to remove WRSOHVV PRGHOV RU â€ŤÚ”â€Ź3DJH 2QH *LUOVâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹIURP WKH FRYHU RIWKHQHZVSDSHU<HWZKHQ DVNHGZK\WKHSUDFWLFHFRQ tinued elsewhere in the me GLD JLDQWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV RXWSXW KH IDLOHG to justify it, other than to VD\ WKDW LW ZDV D FRUH SDUW RI WKHLU HQWHUWDLQPHQW SUR YLVLRQ
â€œAlways at the centre of controversy in Germany, Diekmann gave an exclusive insight into his life and decisions as Editor-InChief â€? The session with Diek mann followed a series of other events hosted by the German Society over the FRXUVHRIWKHZHHN7XHVGD\ 4th saw the leader of the *HUPDQ (XURVFHSWLF SDUW\ Alternative fĂźr Deutschland (AfD), Professor Bernd /XFNH VLW GRZQ IRU SDQHO discussion on the future of WKH(XURSHDQ8QLRQ/XFNH who combines his liberal
THE LSESU German So FLHW\ SUHVHQWHG LWV DQQXDO *HUPDQ 6\PSRVLXP ODVW ZHHN 7KH 6RFLHW\ SOD\HG KRVWWRDGLYHUVLW\RIVSHDN HUVIURPWKH*HUPDQVSHDN ing world, who addressed audiences in both English DQG WKHLU QDWLYH 'HXWVFK ,Q DOO IHZ WRSLFV ZHUH OHIW untouched over the dura WLRQ RI WKH 6\PSRVLXP which included talks and SDQHO GLVFXVVLRQV RQ HFR QRPLFVSROLWLFVHWKLFVDQG ZRPHQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ULJKWV HDFK IURP WKHSHUVSHFWLYHRI(XURSHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ODUJHVWGHPRFUDF\ 7KH SHDN RI WKH *HUPDQ 6\PSRVLXPFDPH7KXUVGD\ February 6th when the con troversial editor of German tabloid Bild, Kai Diekmann VDW GRZQ LQ D SDFNHG OHF ture hall in Clement House with Thomas Kausch from German national broad FDVWHU $5' *HUPDQ 6RFL HW\ SUHVLGHQW DQG UG \HDU VWXGHQW /RUHQ] .RVW LQWUR duced Diekmann, calling Bild â€œthe biggest and best VHOOLQJ QHZVSDSHU RXWVLGH RI$VLDâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź
Bild in fact has a circula WLRQRIPLOOLRQPRVWO\LQ Germany, a number which RXWVKLQHV SRSXODU %ULWLVK WDEORLG 7KH 6XQ ,UUHVSHF tive, it was a remark which set the tone for the discus VLRQ Always at the centre of controversy in Germany, Diekmann gave an exclusive insight into his life and de FLVLRQV DV (GLWRU,Q&KLHI 7R WKH GHOLJKW RI WKH SR litically literate audience, 'LHNPDQQ SURGXFHG WKH YRLFHPDLO OHIW RQ KLV SKRQH by former German Presi GHQW&KULVWLDQ:XOIIâ€ŤÚ”â€Ź7KLV PHDQV ZDUâ€Ť Ú•â€Ź:XOII WKUHDW HQHG LQ WKH SUHYLRXVO\ XQ heard message, recorded before his resignation as President in 2012 over al OHJDWLRQV RI FRUUXSWLRQ 7KH H[3UHVLGHQW ZKR LV now facing trial in the Bun GHVUHSXEOLNXUJHGWKH(GL tor of Bild in the recording not to run the allegations DJDLQVWKLPLQWKHWDEORLGâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV SDJHV'LHNPDQQH[SODLQHG WKDW DIWHU D SHUVRQDO DSRO ogy from Wulff, he decided QRW WR GR VR %XW WKH VWRU\ ZDV OHDNHG WR 'HU 6SLHJHO
Professor John Ryan is a Research Associate at the Von HĂźgel Institute of St Edmundâ€™s College, University of Cambridge and a fellow atthe LSE Centre for International Studies SROLWLFV ZLWK ZRUN DV DQ economist at the Universi ty of Hannover, was joined RQ WKH SDQHO E\ 3URIHVVRU -RKQ 5\DQ RI &DPEULGJH University, whose current research focuses on the (XUR]RQH &ULVLV DV ZHOO DV journalist Konstantin von Hammerstein, from Ger PDQSROLWLFDOPDJD]LQH'HU 6SLHJHODPRQJVWRWKHUV Questioned on his rela tion to recent visitor to the LSE, Nigel Farage, the lead er of the United Kingdom ,QGHSHQGHQFH 3DUW\ /XFNH SXW GLVWDQFH EHWZHHQ KLP VHOI DQG )DUDJH &RQWUDU\ to AfD, according to Lucke, UKIP was charcterised by ZKDW KH FDOOHG â€Ť(Ú”â€ŹXURSH VNHSWLFLVPâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹZKLFK PRUH
resembles classic British LVRODWLRQLVP After the weeks events, members of the German 6RFLHW\ UHWLUHG WR *HUPDQ ĂŠmigrĂŠ bar, the Bierschenke MXVWRII7KH6WUDQG â€œAfter nine months of ZRUNâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź.RVWGHFODUHGâ€ŤÚ”â€Ź,FDQ VD\ LWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV EHHQ D JUHDW SOHDV ure to work with the com mittee and achieve such a success with so many VSHDNHUV $QG ZHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹUH QRZ looking forward to another JUHDWHYHQWQH[W\HDUâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź For more coverage of the German Symposium, see Opinion, page 9 for Daniel Sippelâ€™s piece on Bernd Lucke
Tuesday February 11, 2014
Opinion LSEâ€™s Platform for Homophobes The failure to challenge Cardinal Turkson on his views was a disgrace Jeremy Greenberg Earlier this year, LSEâ€™s student population demonstrated their support for free speech by resoundingly defeating a proposed â€œNo Platformâ€? motion at the UGM. At the time, I argued, as did many others, that it is always better to give FRQWURYHUVLDO ŕŽŠJXUHV VXFK DV Nigel Farage or John â€œBlood Petroleumâ€? Browne a public platform from which they can be confronted, rather than to ban, boycott, or otherwise silence them. The reasoning went something like this: LSE is a critical thinking institution whose frequent public lectures are an exclusive opportunity for students, academics, and the public alike to challenge individuals who would otherwise remain locked behind boardroom doors or institutional walls. But I am not so sure any more. Last week, Conor Gearty, Professor of Law at the LSE, chaired a talk by Cardinal Peter Turkson on â€œreforming the LQWHUQDWLRQDO ŕŽŠQDQFLDO DQG monetary systems.â€? Professor Gearty is the former Director
of the LSE Human Rights Centre and a well-known critic of apologists for human rights abuses, while Cardinal Turkson is a well-known opponent of homosexual and reproductive rights, and a major regressive force at the top of the Catholic Church. That his chosen topic and glowing LSE-approved bio chose to gloss over these details should come as no surprise. That the LSE failed to take him to task for these things is, well, another matter. Let us begin with some fun facts: According to the Huffington Post (2013), at various times, Cardinal Turkson has questioned whether decriminalisation of homosexuality is necessary, given that, in his words, â€œwhen youâ€™re talking about whatâ€™s called â€˜an alternative lifestyle,â€™ are those human rights?â€? And has argued for the need to â€œevangeliseâ€? â€“ that is, convert â€“ â€œalternative lifestyles, trends, or gender issues.â€? Oh, and for good measure, he has suggested that distribution of condoms in Africa contributes to a false sense of security and is â€œhelping the
Photo credit: Flickr: Catholic Church (England and Wales)
Photo credit: Flickr: Catholic Church (England and Wales)
disease [HIV/AIDS] spread.â€? (National Catholic Reporter, 2009) Of course, the Cardinal did not come to talk about these issues. (How could he have?) Rather, LSE gave him a platform to talk economics, and WKH &DWKROLF &KXUFKâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV HŕŽ‰RUWV WR ŕŽŠJKW SRYHUW\ DQG SURPRWH equality. But given the way in which words such as â€œinclusion,â€? â€œthe common good of humanity,â€? and â€œmoralityâ€? were bandied about during Turksonâ€™s 45-minute address, Professor Gearty could hardly have been faulted for pressing the issue. For example, would the chair have been wrong to ask whether such values extended to the large sections of humanity persecuted for their sexual orientation? Instead, the Q&A was, by DQG ODUJH D FRQYLYLDO DŕŽ‰DLU The only topic raised that came close to being controver-
sial was the Churchâ€™s involvement with mining companies. But otherwise the conversation steered clear of any other human rights issues surrounding the Church. (I would be remiss if I failed to point out the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church lecturing the world on ŕŽŠQDQFLDOUHIRUPZKDWZLWKLWV estimated US $10 billion in assets). Moreover, the audience as a whole either chose not to raise or remained ignorant of the rather repugnant views Turkson is known to hold. This resulted in the wonderfully ironic sight of a homophobeâ€™s unquestioning audience migrating to the â€œRainbow Jewsâ€? reception next door for some free wine and cheese. Ultimately, itâ€™s disheartening (and telling) that at an institution like the LSE the audience apparently failed to do its homework. But, exactO\ EHFDXVH ZH RŕŽ‰HU XS WKHVH
platforms, it is incumbent upon the LSE to at least on some level critically engage ZLWKŕŽŠJXUHVVXFKDV7XUNVRQ In allowing the Cardinal to
â€œIt is incumbent upon the LSE to at least on some level critically engage with figures such as Turkson.â€? SDVVKLPVHOIRŕŽ‰DVDIRUFHIRU good or, God forbid, â€œequality,â€? an enormous disservice has been done to this institution, the highly-esteemed platform it set outs for its guests, and, perhaps, the very cause of free speech itself.
Tuesday February 11, 2014
Sochiâ€™s Shame The hypocrisy of the Olympics opening ceremony Josh Jinruang Only the most politicallyminded, discourse-fetishising, headline-pursuing amongst us can deny the fact that Sochi 2014â€™s opening ceremony is something of a multisensory theatrical triumph. Utilising the man-machine fusion of rigorously trained performers, gravity-defying set-pieces, and large-scale audiovisual projection, director-general of Russiaâ€™s biggest television network Konstantin Urnst has taken the whole world on a spectacular journey through the Federationâ€™s historical landscape; from Peter The Greatâ€™s imperialist naval campaign, to Russiaâ€™s literary magnum opus War and Peace, to a Constructivist representation of the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent Soviet era. The audience is presented with a romanticised version of the countryâ€™s complex past, while seemingly left with little understanding of how the country perceives itself in the modern world. The silence is of no surprise. After all, how does Russia, a country with the worldâ€™s
largest landmass, ninth biggest population, and highly diYHUVH HWKQLF PDNHXS GHŕŽŠQHV itself as a nation? The singleissue emphasis of international media coverage, which largely focuses on the anti-gay propaganda law, while much needed, is inadequate in assessing the whole picture. The law, instead, should be viewed as one tree among the whole forest: Kremlinâ€™s nostalgic project to return to its always elusive glorious past. Article 6.21 prohibits the â€œact of distributing information among minorsâ€? aimed at creating, aestheticising, equalising or promoting â€œnontraditional sexual attitudes.â€? The key word â€˜non-traditionalâ€™ here begs the usual plethora of complicated questions: whose tradition? created by whom? and whom does this tradition previlige? Putin, closely allied with the Orthodox Church seems to think that Russian culture is inherently strictly heteronormative: â€œ ...the Russian people have their own cultural code, own tradition. Itâ€™s not our business and we do not poke our nose into their >RWKHU FRXQWULHVâ€Ť @Ú‘â€ŹDŕŽ‰DLUV DQG
we ask for the same respect for our traditions and for our culture.â€? Not only is this empirically untrue, as demonstrated by the existence of Ivan the Terrible, Gogol, Tchaikovsky, Kuzmin, as well as many other artists, all of whom have been documented to have same-sex desires, but the statement also seems to imply that the current homosexual phenomenon is solely the product of Western import, a polluting LQŕŽ‹XHQFHRIPHGGOLQJIRUHLJQers. Along this line of logic, a cultural purge thus begins. Ideas are contagious, and the modern war is waged not RQ WKH EDWWOHŕŽŠHOG EXW LQ WKH realm of information. The Foreign Agents Law (March 2013) and the Anti-Blasphemy Law (June 2013) similarly target subversive individuals and institutions viewed as disruptive elements within Russian society. According to Human Rights Watch, the Russian 0LQLVWHU RI -XVWLFH KDV ŕŽŠOHG lawsuits, on the grounds of the â€˜foreign agentsâ€™ law against 13 NGOs, with two having their operation suspended while at least one had to shut down. These watchdogs
range from those concerning themselves with LGBT matters, gender studies, environment, and votersâ€™ rights. In other word, all the hallmarks of Western liberal democracy. Kremlinâ€™s nationalist project, which determines for itself a set of arbitrary binaries - Russian v. foreign, traditional v. non-traditional, pure v. tainted - appears to be in full force. More worryingly, this movement towards anti-interventionist nationalism is not limited to Russia. Amongst 70 countries which criminalise homosexuality, Nigeria has just signed its own anti-gay law which bans same-sex marriage, gay groups, and shows RI VDPHVH[ SXEOLF DŕŽ‰HFWLRQ 6LPLODUO\ WKH PRUDO MXVWLŕŽŠFDtion is based on the countryâ€™s own cultural norms. â€œThis is a law that is in line with the peopleâ€™s cultural and religious inclination. So it is a law that LV D UHŕŽ‹HFWLRQ RI WKH EHOLHIV and orientation of Nigerian peopleâ€œ, declares President Goodluck Jonathan. Seemingly buttressing this is Pew Research Centreâ€™s report which found Nigeria to be the most intolerant in the 39 countries
surveyed, with 98 per cent of correspondent saying that homosexuality should not be accepted by society. What to take, then, from all these harrowing developments? Firstly, the language of human rights might no ORQJHU EH HŕŽ‰HFWLYH 7KH K\pocrisy of its main advocates, such as the US, no doubt deteriorates the discourseâ€™ moral high ground. The view that this is all a part of bullying campaign aimed to strike down increasingly powerful international players such as Russia and China certainly doesnâ€™t help. Secondly, lasting social change is achievable only through the people within that particular culture. Any attempt to impose the Westâ€™s progressive values of liberal democracy on other countries is bound to result only in lip services, with further accusation of neocolonialism. As the opening ceremony wound down, the little girl, through whose eyes we see all these sensuous splendour, lets go of a red balloon. Her name Lyubov means â€˜loveâ€™ in Russia. Too bad this love isnâ€™t available to all.
Russiaâ€™s Political Pantomime We shouldnâ€™t forget LGBT rights when watching this yearâ€™s Games Will Gurney The political pantomime which accompanies every Olympics rolled into Sochi last week. Washington have not sent any senior administration officials to the opening ceremony and have instead decided to send two openly gay former athletes to head its delegation as a direct snub to Russiaâ€™s anti-gay laws while European leaders are also declining their invitations to the Games. As a result, The International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, has accused world leaders of jumping â€œon the backs of the athletes,â€? to use the Games for political grandstanding, which he believes slights the Olympic VSLULW(ŕŽ‰HFWLYHO\ZKLOVW3XWLQ gets to send a message to the world that â€œRussia is back,â€? his many detractors should save their criticism until after the $51bn Russian vanity project has ended. But boycotts, snubs, and political posturing are as much to the Olympics as strange and colourful mascots and certainly should not
be waylaid by pleas to heed the mass-produced â€œOlympic spiritâ€? which is being pedalled by the eventâ€™s organisers. That spirit was extinguished a longtime ago by the over-commercialisation of this unique event. Politics and accountability should be allowed to ŕŽ‹RXULVK DV LW EULQJV LQFRPSDrable publicity for those wanting to highlight issues which are usually forgotten by an apathetic audience. We as viewers, only contrib-
â€œThe Olympic spirit was extinguished a long time ago by the overcommercialisation of this unique event.â€? ute to the Olympic gravy train by watching passively from our sofas. Likewise, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Visa, Panasonic and McDonalds are all cashing in on a Games set up by a country where the President warns members of
Photo Credit: Flickr: jontangerine
the LGBT community to â€œleave children alone.â€? Athletes are not even allowed to endorse brands that are not paying to be sponsors or partners of the event in order for the Olympics to remain a celebration of everything which is wrong with large sporting occasions. Our values of free speech and human rights should not be put on hold for two weeks in order for the Olympic spirit to take precedence. Doing so only further diminishes this spirit, reducing it to a tattered corporate idea which is forced
upon us and our television screens every two years. Watching Sochi without a critical eye will only serve to legitimise Mr Putin in an important time for his regime with regard to the desperate situation in Syria and the Ukrainian trade deals. Highlighting the issues in an obvious way is important. Admittedly, James Woods winning the ski slope style by doing D VXSHUPDQ GRXEOH IURQW ŕŽ‹LS ZKLOVWXQIXUOLQJDUDLQERZŕŽ‹DJ is an unlikely scenario. But on the opening day of Sochi
the Google homepage doodle featured a rainbow coloured image of winter sports and a quote taken from the Olympic Charter which stated that â€œthe practice of sport was a human rightâ€Ś.without discrimination of any kind.â€? The Olympics will only become what we aspire for it to become when it starts to live up to this phrase. We all dream about a politics-free Games whereby the host nation have a clean bill of political and moral health and the Olympic spirit is allowed to thrive. Sadly, Olympians were always destined to compete in Sochi in a politicised and commercialised Games. Bach said that the Games should not be â€œused as a stage for political dissent or for trying to score points in internal or external contests.â€? This author for one cannot watch Sochi without feeling a serious distaste for what the sell-out the Olympics has become, failure to do so would only brand me a hypocrite. The legacy of Sochi must be a more inclusive country rather than a very big bill.
Tuesday February 11, 2014
Sports Inc. Money is perverting the enjoyment of sports Alison Cameron Sports journalist Mike Marqusee came to the LSE this week, to give a lecture on â€˜Nationalism, Internationalism and Global Sportâ€™. Meandering through D YDULHW\ RI GLŕŽ‰HUHQW WRSLFV his primary message was that sports â€“ both local and global â€Ť Ú‹â€ŹKDYH EHHQ XQGXO\ LQŕŽŠOWUDWHG by corporate ideals that have undermined its core values. In light of the ongoing Sochi Olympics, this discussion was not only relevant, but it inspired questions about what changes we should be making, or at least attempting to make, in order to recapture true essence of sport. In his talk, Marqusee raised the point that there are only a few sports that control the majority of the market. And within each of these there are only a select few teams and players that control the majorLW\ RI WKH ŕŽŠQDQFLDO DVVHWV 7KH implications of this are rarely addressed. For instance, what does it mean for the development of football teams in India and Indonesia when you have millions of pounds being spent
on teams and players in Europe on a yearly basis? Even in Latin America, where football is a passion, the end goal for players is to get to the Spanish, English or Italian leagues, simply because that is where the money is. And, of course, as soon as you start looking into these leagues, the GLVFUHSDQF\ LQ PRQHWDU\ ŕŽ‹RZV between the â€˜bigâ€™ teams and the â€˜not-so-bigâ€™ teams is remarkable. The corporate capture of sport is also extremely prevalent in the various worldwide competitions. The rumours of corruption that surround the Olympic Games and the World Cup every time they are awarded to unexpected countries, are only an illustration of how much the gap between the event and what is best for sport. Qatar has already sparked controversy with its use of migrant labour to build its venues, hundreds of whom have died in the erection of the stadiums. In a rather poignant moment during his talk, Marqusee grabbed the attention of the audience by declaring that â€œ2022 ZLOO EH SOD\HG RQ ŕŽŠHOGV OLWHUDOO\ soaked with blood.â€?
The biggest shame is that these events do have the potential to be better, and to return to a state in which they are truly all about the sport. Call me idealistic, but the reality is that they started out as such and the only way to return them to their former glory and what is needed to even come close to a return of purity is a major loosening of the corporate grip. Marqusee suggested that the Olympics, for instance, could be spread out with events GLVWULEXWHG DPRQJVW GLŕŽ‰HU ent countries. Imagine that. Broadcasting media would be on board simply because it could mean true 24 hour coverage. I donâ€™t see the teams having any issues with this either. And each of the hosting cities would have a surge in tourism and income. Granted, this process would not attract as many people to one single location as the Olympics do now, but when the event is costing $51 billion, I think this distribution would be a relief to the hosts. Anyone feel like proposing this to the IOC? Anyone?
The Two Faces of Bernd Lucke The leader of the AfD has to balance being a politician with being an academic Daniel Sippel Visitors of this yearâ€™s German Symposium, organized annually by the LSESU German Society, witnessed a intriguing case of multiple personality disorder: that of Dr Lucke and the â€œAlternative fĂźr Deutschlandâ€? (AfD) party-leader Lucke. Whereas Bernd Lucke is in fact just one person, he was invited to talk at this Symposiumâ€™s main event in two functions; as an academic, renowned for his work as an economist, and in his public function as one of the founders of the AfD. In this function, despite not being represented in parliament, Lucke appears in virtually every talk show on TV in Germany, even if the topic is only remotely related to the EMU. He also attracted 300 members of the public last Tuesday to his appearance at the Royal College of Surgeons. Many observers wondered beforehand; why is it that Lucke, a professor and party leader whose party is not even in parliament, triggers so much interest even among students in London? This is possibly due to three facts: Firstly, the AfD is the only party in Germany which opposes the Euro in its current form. Lucke, at this weekâ€™s German Symposiumâ€™s event â€œEurope: Federalism or Exit?â€?
Photo credit: Flickr: blu-news.org
argued that countries in the â€œsouthern peripheryâ€? of Europe do not have competitive enough price levels for the currency to survive. Secondly, only 0.3 per cent of votes separated the Alternative from entry into parliament in the last federal elections
in September 2013. If everything works well for Lucke, he will be a MEP after the next elections to the European Parliament in May. Lastly, Lucke attracts interest even abroad in London because of the rare symbiosis he embodies; politicians are not normally professors, and they do not normally appear in universities and engage in a two-hour, academic discussion about the future of Europe. Indeed, it seemed as if Lucke was relieved to be able to talk at the German Symposium. Students, academics and journalists followed the debate on Tuesday, which was preceded by two short speeches. Frank Mattern, leader of McKinsey & Company Germany, commenced the evening on Europeâ€™s future with a presentation that the audience expected him to deliver, given his profession. He quickly ex-
SODLQHG JUDSKV ŕŽŠJXUHV DQG optimal strategies, argued for â€ŤÚ”â€ŹŕŽŠ[LQJ WKH V\VWHPâ€Ť Ú•â€ŹE\ LQVWLWX tional reforms in Europe and demanded more regulation for WKH ŕŽŠQDQFLDO PDUNHWV 7KHUHDI ter, Dr Reitz, Rothschildâ€™s Head of Investment Banking in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, followed Mattern after an hour and gave his keynote speech. Up to this point, the majority of the audience had not heard a single word from the true star of the night: Prof Lucke. Then, ŕŽŠQDOO\ DIWHU DOPRVW WZR KRXUV the discussion started. Lucke was allowed to speak. However, instead of a passionate debate that the audience expected and longed for, the professor delivered his keynote. Twenty minXWHVRIQHZJUDSKVŕŽŠJXUHVDQG optimal exit-strategies for the â€œperipheryâ€? in Europe followed. <HWWKLVZDVŕŽŠQHWKHPRVWO\DFD demic audience accepted the politician Lucke in his professorial role. Bernd Lucke visibly enjoyed the professional, objective discussion about his arguments. But where was the person that everyone expected to come, where was Bernd Lucke the controversial politician? He did not show up. Instead, Lucke showed the face that the German public is not normally interested to see. Lucke only unveiled his profes-
sorial face, despite him taking notes with an AfD ballpoint pen. However, this proved to be a suboptimal strategy. In his ecstasy and excitement about the opportunity of an argumentbased debate, Lucke made mistakes. Machiavelli would have been underwhelmed when in full academic mode he suddenly announced that the German public was too uneducated to understand the complexities of the European Crisis. That might be true. Yet Lucke can count himself lucky that no Bildreporter was present. The German populist newspaper - the biggest newspaper in Europe in fact - would surely have run with: â€œLUCKE CALLS GERMANS STUPIDâ€? Lucke was lucky that night. His two-facedness did not cause major problems. Yet he has to be more alert, more sensitive about his two roles in the future. What remains from Tuesdayâ€™s debate are only some students, who stated after the event: â€œI voted for the AfD in September and believe that Lucke is right. But he is not a politician.â€? The next time when Lucke faces his dilemma, what remains could be a AfD without him. For the public debate cannot handle two-facedness of politicians.
Tuesday February 11, 2014
A European Dream Reviewed A critical look at Papendreou’s lecture at the LSE Angeliki Vourdaki “Europe has led the world in the practice of democracy”. It is with these words that the former Prime Minister of Greece, LSE alumni and President of Socialist International, George Papandreou, initiated his talk at LSE at which prominent members of academia were present, including Amartya Sen. Knowingly, Papandreou enjoined us to reflect on the nature of democracy today. The ambiguous success of a political campaign, the role of the markets, the unequal relationship between citizens and leaders are all details of the same story. Rewinding back to 2009 and Papandreou’s election day, one can taste the positive sentiment of moving forward. His pre-election campaign was based on the premise that “there is money”; enough money to save his people from the eminent hit of the crisis. After all, at that point Greeks had not much felt the repercussions of the financial crash. And so they believed him. Allegations that Papandreou consciously lied in order to win have been made in a country where conspiracy theories are dime-a-dozen. Papandreou indirectly ad-
dressed these allegations by maintaining that he did not have any knowledge of economics before he entered office. In fact, optimists would claim that he was not aware of the “creative accounting” that had flooded Greece’s books since 1997. Nonetheless, once the Greek government’s misconduct was revealed, Papandreou was in office and faced with a very difficult situation on two fronts: domestically, he was immediately denounced as a liar by his people, since there was no money, and internationally, he had to get his country out of a crisis of a comparable size to the American Great Depression. In his version of the story, this task became all the more problematic when added to by Europe’s reluctance to show public support. Papandreou blames the current Greek economic climate upon that peculiar unwillingness on the part of European officials to show solidarity. In his talk, he claimed that “if Europe had been more positive the crisis might have ended there.” However, the state of the market did not allow for time for discussion and the austerity plans were put into practice. Papendreou was forced into making chal-
lenging decisions under very severe time constraints. So he would have it, the absence of solidarity prevented Greece from accessing international bond markets at a time when devaluation could not be employed to prevent bankruptcy. This in turn resulted in the economy becoming stagnant at the same time as Merkel and Sarkozy were facing their own domestic pressures to “get those lazy Greeks paying.” In his talk, Papandreou was adamant that the ‘lazy Southerners’‘punishing Northerners’ dichotomy should be removed from Europe’s vocabulary. It is just this sort of generalization that has a punitively distorting effect on bond markets. In his words, Greece was abandoned during its struggles and “the markets did not allow us for time”. Yet Papandreou seems to agree that “we need more Europe” whilst still being vocal about the wrongs of austerity. Europe has failed to tackle some of the bigger issues that persist with its boundaries, namely failed democratic institutions, clientelism, unequal distribution of wealth and inefficient taxation laws. Not only did austerity supporters mis-
understand the absence of transparency that characterizes the Greek economy but it also exacerbated the problem by acting as an obstacle to reforms. What Papandreou did not mention was that austerity has proven to be not only bad economics but also bad politics. The gap of trust between the public and the state is ever-widening. By imposing austerity in a corrupt and severely clientelistic
“The new powers of the photographer are becoming fatally harmful... I would like to instead help push an ethical agenda for the future.” environment the European Troika has further brought to light the absence of political expertise in Greece. It is obvious that there needs to be exemplary punishment of public figures and politicians who for decades have been benefitting from a largely centralized and unproductive public sector. Many Greeks
have evaded taxes – but why would they not, given that their leaders did the same? Who remembers Voulgarakis, Pavlides, Roussopoulos? It would have been extremely satisfying to hear Papandreou admit to their share of the blame. Europe however, Papendreou felt was also in need of institutional reform. He pointed out that our globalized economy is characterized by international institutions that remain impotent while multi-national corporations have access to the real power. He called for the European Union to begin by allowing and recommended that Europeans be allowed to elect a President of Parliament. Overall, Papandreou made an excellent impression as President of Socialist International but he did not manage to silence his critics as Former Prime Minister of Greece. His side of the story was eye-opening to the politics enthusiast, given the extent to which he was willing to share ‘behind the scene’ details about what is one of the greatest dramas of the twenty-first century. His expertise and experience is far beyond what we, in the audience, can ever imagine.
Chain Mail Cirrhosis ‘Neknomination’ is just the latest in a series of dangerous fads Alexander Fyfe Another nail in our cultural coffin has just been hammered in, thanks again to the unfathomable depths of human narcissism when confronted with an online audience. I am referring to neknomination, a viral online craze where individuals attempt to ‘nek’ obscene volumes of potentially lethal liquids only to nominate two more individuals to join them in their plight to destroy every single liver in the whole wide world. Naturally, participants film their efforts and given the oxygen of Facebook publicity, try to outdo each other. Well, if I sat alone ‘necking’ dangerous substances in vast quantities it would be classed as a suicide attempt, rather than harmless, jovial lad banter. This fad marks a wider societal trend of recent years; the advent of social networks
and cameraphones has given everyone the chance to gain an audience. In the olden days, the only way you could show off the latest wild beast you’d caught with your bare hands, was to present it at the feet of your cave mates. Nowadays you could Tweet about it, Facebook post about it, Instagram a filtered picture of you sinking your
“If I sat alone ‘necking’ dangerous substances in vast quantities it would be classed as a suicide attempt, rather than harmless, jovial lad banter.”
teeth into some raw flesh, create a Vine of you catching it, post about it on your Tumblr, send a raunchy Snapchat of you mounting the carcass or even post a video of yourself drinking a pint of its raw, steaming hot red blood and nominating some of your mates to do the same but with two beasts instead of one. But back to those societal trends. As a species we’ve been through several notable shifts in the last few decades in how we seek to define ourselves to others. Firstly, we were defined by who we are and what we do. Then by what we consume and what we own. Now we’ve arrived at a point where we are not just defined by what we do and consume, but by how many people we can tell in the process. As a result, everyone is pressured into sharing more and consuming more to keep up in the arms race that is
social media. Scroll through your news feeds now. I guarantee that in it someone has shared a picture of a Starbucks they’ve bought, posted a picture of something else they’ve bought, posted a selfie of themselves on holiday and probably someone has shared an article they’ve written for their blog or The Beaver. I also guarantee that neknomination will go the same way as planking - cast out onto the social scrapheap; those who partake branded as morbid lunatics. For reference, two people have already died in incidents related to neknomination; one from jumping into a river from a bridge and the other downed several bottles of spirits, and died as a result of alcohol poisoning. It seems in this desensitised world, two avoidable deaths just aren’t enough to prompt backlash and outrage.
Looking at the impacts attributable to the previous trend of consumerism, you are right to be concerned. A significant rise in young people suffering from mental health problems, an increase in bullying, and at it’s most extreme the London riots of 2011, all have roots in the materialist ethos that pervades our culture. It will be interesting to note in the following years what effect the latest shift has on young people in particular, but also on the current generation who will grow up defined only through what they are seen doing and consuming. I wonder if we will ever be reduced to Snapchatting our pension cheques or Instagramming our care homes. It only seems right to paraphrase Shakespeare’s immortal line: “O, brave new world that has such people, innit.”
Tuesday February 11, 2014
LSESU and its Responsibility to Societies Whilst the AUâ€™s budget went up, societies still need help Jamie Pelling The most recent motion at the UGM to increase the AUâ€™s budget was met with a surprising lack of debate. But nonetheless, in everyoneâ€™s reluctance to discuss the motion there was one issue that became hotly contested: the question of whether the AU or societies deserve better funding. Whilst our General Secretary was quite quick to point out the AUâ€™s budgetary requirements, he avoided all scrutiny about the appropriateness of giving more money to an organisation that has been bathed in controversy for almost my entire time at the LSE. The assertions that societies have ÂŁ240,000 in reserve are well founded, but it may be worth considering just how these societies came to find themselves in such good fortune. Societies have to be proactive. For them, there is no financial security, no SU hand-outs, and no ÂŁ86,000 budget guaranteed year after year. Many choose to find sponsorship from the business community, where funding is often accompanied by stipulations. This sponsorship can be very generous if the rumours concerning the Economics Society bank
accounts prove to be true. Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that the ÂŁ240,000 is not evenly distributed between the large number of societies at the LSE. The three societies that I am currently involved with have a share amounting to under ÂŁ500 of that ÂŁ240,000. If no sponsorship is sought, for ethical reasons or otherwise, then a society can rely only on its membership fees and whatever surplus has been preserved from the previous year. Unlike in other universities across the country, there is no facility at the LSE for regular SU funding, be it a standard amount per society or a grant per member. Our societies are left to fend for themselves.
â€œSocieties have to be proactive. For them, there is no ŕŤ˝QDQFLDOVHFXULW\ no SU hand-outs, and no ÂŁ86,000 budget guaranteed \HDUDIWHU\HDUâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź This is not to say that the LSESU does not provide any money. The Activities and De-
Photo Cradit: Twitter: LSE Studentsâ€™ Union
velopment Committee, Travel Fund, and the Schoolâ€™s Annual Fund provide ample opportunity for financial support. However, these funding sources are by no means guaranteed. They refuse to help with the cost of hiring SU venues (the Underground cost at least ÂŁ150 last year) because alcohol may be involved. Paying this amount alone is enough to bankrupt a small society. As the Fundraising Officer and then President of the Amnesty International Society I tried to host â€˜fundraisersâ€™ three times in SU venues and made a loss at all three because of the pro-
hibitively high costs associated with booking the venues that the Union refused to help bear. At non-Union venues this is arguably an even bigger problem: the Dance Society were almost ruined by hiring the Peacock Theatre for one of their shows. Even the Annual Fund, a fantastic resource, is unreliable and poses a problem - that affects both the AU and Societies - through not making money available until well into Lent Term. Societies may be compiling journals or other projects that they wish to publish only to find that they have been unsuccessful
in their application for money. This is why the AU should be thankful for the guaranteed funding they receive every year. Societies which also represent the school at competitions, for example Debate or Chess, do not have a pre-allocated budget and are forced to rely on judicial use of the Union or the Schoolâ€™s grants and outside sponsorship. The German Symposium that occurred this week would have well-exceeded the resources of the German Society, if it had not been for their reluctance to abandon an event that has been running since the 1980s - and consequent ability to find enough sponsors. I have no doubt that the AU needs its 15% increase, but it should be reminded that a 15% increase on the society budget would still be ÂŁ0. The Union has a responsibility to its societies, who contribute at least as much to campus life, not to continue to relegate them to a position below its most controversial body. It is for this reason that I opposed the motion to give the AU a budget increase.
A Motion Too Far %HFDUHIXORIMXPSLQJRQWKHVRFLHW\IXQGLQJEDQGZDJRQ Joel Rosen The motion passed on Friday with a landslide 588 votes to 99 was supposed to be exclusively about the AU, and yet interestingly we have witnessed the rise of another issue on the agenda: society funding. Indeed, the motion was inadvertently a victory for student democracy: a vigorous debate by interested parties, and a record turnout that entrenched the success of Jay Stollâ€™s shift to electronic voting. Dan Martin and Jamie Pelling are to be admired for opposing an organisation with the breadth and political strength that the AU and its campaign had. Their opposition to the motion (after much frantic searching by Joe Anderson) allowed for a proper debate and a legitimate outcome. However, their misunderstanding of
the AU motion â€“ namely that it would be redistributive, and steal funds from Student Union societies â€“ allowed for the ascent of a debate over society funding. Entirely inappropriate comparisons were drawn with societies, when the AU exec had been at pains from the beginning to make sure they would not be harmed by the motion. From the start, the initiators and I only sought to increase funding for the AU, not to take it away from scoieties - something SU could never do anyway. To this end, an increase in the block-grant, as well as new advertising arrangements and use of an increasing SU budget surplus were some avenues explored to help improve the overall quality of the facilities provided to students. After all, most AU members are probably part of more societies than teams.
After this myth was debunked, the opposition resorted to simply lambasting the AU at the UGM on the grounds that it was oppressive and exclusive (stereotypes that a simple afternoon with the limitlessly inclusive running team would immediately dispel). But the tradeoff-misunderstanding, however brief it was, has given rise to the salient issue of society funding. Indeed Jason Wong seems to have submitted his initially rejected amendment for the provision of ÂŁ29,000 worth of society funding by the SU as a full motion for this week, even though such a proposal for increased spending seems to clash with his Libertarian credo. Nevertheless, Wong is a reliable weather vane for popular issues, and his most recent campaign has the potential to become a key talking point for anyone thinking
of running for a Sabbatical position.
â€œDan Martin and Jamie Pelling are to be admired IRURSSRVLQJDQ organisation with the breadth and political strength that the AU and its FDPSDLJQKDGâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź It emerged during the debate that societies collectively have around ÂŁ240,000 in SU accounts, and receive around ÂŁ200,000 in annual fund grants. Interestingly, those which Wong claimed to have backed his amendment for more money from the SU, such as the AIC and the
Entrepreneurs and Economics societies, are the richest ones of all. The AIC for example allegedly has around ÂŁ14,000. Others such as the Swiss Society usually only have around ÂŁ200 to their names; a gaping disparity. Increasing funding for societies as a whole would be a tough sell to both the SU and in turn the school with such a large total already in society accounts. Logically, the call would be answered by a demand for an internal redistributive policy between the richest and poorest societies. For my part I have nothing against discussing the issue of society funding, and I do not wish to shut down democratic debate. But for all opportunists who would jump on this particular bandwagon, I urge a severe degree of caution.
Tuesday January 28, 2014
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The Beaver 09.10.2012
Photo: Copyright Peter Tatchell Foundation
BIANC 43 O P izza as we currently know it is said to have originated from Naples, and the MarJKHULWDUHŕŽ‹HFWLQJWKH,WDOLDQŕŽ‹DJâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVUHGZKLWHDQGJUHHQ said to be named in honour of Margaret of Savoy. The original dough can be traced back to Rome, Greece, and Egypt, and today travels around the ZRUOGFKDPSLRQHGLQGLŕŽ‰HUHQW interpretations. At the launch of Bianco 43 in Trafalgar Square, there was a sort of performance as hungry diners watched chefs grab and WHDURŕŽ‰ŕŽŠVWIXOVRIIUHVKGRXJK by instinct, without measuring, and hand stretch them into pizzas, which are then fed to a monster of a brick oven. The pizzas re-emerge as quickly as they disappear â€“ 70 to 90 seconds, as co-owner Massimo Parodi proudly tells PHâ€ŤÚ‹â€ŹDQGDUHZKLVNHGRŕŽ‰WREH consumed in great haste. You can imagine a similar scene in an everyday eatery in Naples,
workers forming an efficient production line to feed the hungry hordes.
â€œ90 seconds,â€? reiterates Massimo, â€œ90 seconds at 500 deJUHHV&HOVLXVLQRXUZRRGŕŽŠUHG RYHQ $Q\ ORQJHU DQG LWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV QR longer alive, you bake the taste RXW RI LW ,W KDV WR VWDUW FRRNing, expand very quickly the LQVWDQW LWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV LQ WKHRYHQ7KDWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV why you have some â€œburntâ€? VSRWVDWWKHERWWRP,Wâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVLQHYLtable and a sign of how the piz]D VKRXOG EH PDGH :H GRQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹW measure it out to be frozen until needed as you will lose so much freshness and taste. You hear establishments proudly boasting that their chefs are trained for 6 months â€“ but it takes a lifetime of continuous learning. We train our chefs for the long term.â€? Biting into a thin slice of the 0DUJKHUWLD SL]]D LWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV FOHDU that the formula is refreshingly simple in an age where
the most modest food is often mutated with the addition of â€œspecial featuresâ€? that seem to do more damage than innovation. Here, it was all about fresh ingredients, tender dough between the crisp, slightly charred bottom and juicy primordial soup of toppings: sweet and gooey fresh mozzarella, tomato that did not have the life baked out of it, a single aromatic basil leaf that lingers on the tongue and in the breath. Unique to Neapolitan pizza, the centre often seems a little runny, with a little oil, sauce and other toppings that is tempting to slurp, but keeps the pizza moist, even succulent. ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹP FDXWLRXV DERXW WKH GHŕŽŠQLtion of what good pizza should EH DOWKRXJK , DP LQFOLQHG WR believe Massimo after tasting the pizza and looking at the strict guidelines of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the putative authority. Com-
IRUWLQJO\%LDQFRâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVSL]]DPHHWV several of these requirements, even if the guidelines apply only to the Margherita and Marinara. The following week we returned for more, starting with Calamari E Zucchini Fritte, fried squid and hand cut baWRQVRIIULHGFRXUJHWWHV,ZDV very much taken by the courgette, and was eyeing another side of Zucchini Fritte, alWKRXJK DGPLWWHGO\ ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹYH DOZD\V loved fried courgette and cour JHWWHŕŽ‹RZHUV
This was swiftly followed by our pizzas, one al Pomodoro (with tomato) and one Bianche (white, without tomato). The 4 Stagioni (4 Seasons) was packed with tomato sauce, salame napoli, artichokes, cooked ham and mozzarella, ŕŽ‹DYRXUIXO DQG VDWLVI\LQJ 7KH pizza Bianche was a special not always on the menu; with salsiccia, artichoke and mozzarella. Perfect for those who dislike tomatoes, (if any exLVW EXW , IRXQG WKH WRPDWR sauce to be crucial in keeping the pizza from tasting too dry,
PARTB EDITORIAL TEAM PARTB
The Beaver 11.02.2014
though like most things this is subjective. Other interesting items on our menu were explained by Massimo. The Hamburger Di Carne Chianina (300g) may seem like an odd choice, but is an example of Biancoâ€™s attempt to fuse the old with the new, while retaining traditional elements that keep its food authentic. Chianina is an ancient Tuscan breed of cattle, one of the oldest, and the tallest and heaviest, reportedly being bred for at least 2200 years. The meat patty is homemade in Bianco and served with focaccia bread, wild rocket and cherry tomatoes. This same breed is used for the famous %LVWHFFDDOODŕŽŠRUHQWLQD The pasta also hail from different regions of Italy, starring rigatoni, gnocchi, pappardelle, ravioli, casarecce, bigoli, strascinati along with the more common spaghetti and lasagne. Our dessert, the Crema Di Mascarpone E Cioccolato, or homemade mascarpone and chocolate, was silky and meltingly light, so that we pressed RQWRŕŽŠQLVKLWGHVSLWHEHLQJLQ credibly full.
For drinks, fear not, there are 8 varieties of Apertifs and Cocktails if wine lists leave you in a tizzy before youâ€™ve even had any. We hid behind the Campari Spritz, Campari on ice with Prosecco. DOROTHY WONG
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os desparecides or â€˜the disappearedâ€™ refers to the estimated 22,000 Argentineans branded political dissidents and subsequently abducted by the military junta. Operation Condor, the counter-revolutionary movement operating throughout the Southern Cone in the late V ZDV GHVLJQHG WR ŕŽŠJKW the enemy within. However WKRVH GHŕŽŠQHG DV â€ŤÚ?â€ŹVXEYHUVLYHâ€ŤÚ‘â€Ź were not merely members of the fractured Latin American communist movement but anyone considered leftward leaning, whether they were student activists, trade unionists or academics. The governments of Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina did not wage â€˜dirty warâ€™ against a paramilitary force, but an idea. Operation Condorâ€™s deadly capabilities were facilitated by the collaboration that occurred between the southern coneâ€™s right wing dictatorships in regards to intelligence sharing, trans-border operations and ensuring that political asylum became DQLPSRVVLELOLW\'LŕŽ‰HUHQWJRY ernments varied in their strategies, with Chile releasing its torture victims to cultivate an atmosphere of terror, and Argentinaâ€™s victims usually being murdered. An especially disturbing element of Operation Condor was the way in which victims would â€˜disappearâ€™, either being abandoned in the desert, or thrown semiconscious from aeroplanes. The idea of disappearance ZDVUHLQIRUFHGE\WKHKRUULŕŽŠF policy of the stealing of prisonersâ€™ new born babies, who were then raised by government members and their afŕŽŠOLDWHV,QWKLVZD\WKH$UJHQ tinean government attempted
to further the elimination of an â€˜ideaâ€™, by ensuring children were raised with desired ideologies. What occurred in Argentina reconstituted the experience of kinship for an entire younger generation and robbed an older one of many of their loved ones. (Two generations of loved ones) However the governments enacted variable strategies, speFLŕŽŠFDOO\ WKHLU PHFKDQLVPV RI torture. Whilst Chile released prisoners of torture to create an atmosphere of fear and repression, perhaps the Argentinean authoritiesâ€™ strategy of elimination that proved most brutal and sordid. The Argentinean government was not so concerned with repressing alleged dissenters; instead they aimed to eliminate them. For a matter years individuals would be tortured in camps and often eventually murdered. A particularly sadistic method and a way to make bodies â€˜disappearâ€™, was to drug prisoners and throw VHPLFRQVFLRXVRŕŽ‰SODQHVLQWR WKHVHD$IXUWKHUDQGKRUULŕŽŠF violation was the stealing of prisoners new born babies and giving them to be raised by government members or their affiliates. One practice included torturing pregnant women, blindfolding them during birth and taken their child. In this way the Argentinean government attempted to further the elimination of an â€˜ideaâ€™, by channelling children to be raised with desired ideologies. What occurred in Argentina reconstituted the experience of kinship for an entire younger generation and robbed an older one of many of their loved ones. The artist Marcelo Broalsky trained as a photographer in
Barcelona at the International Centre of Photography during his exile in the 1980s. BroalVN\ GHDOV ZLWK WKH HŕŽ‰HFWV RI VWDWHWHUURULVPDQGVSHFLŕŽŠFDO ly the importance of remembrance in the context of the persecution of political prisoners in concentration camps during the 1970s and 1970s in Argentina. Broalskyâ€™s book Memory under Construction collates the works of Argentine artists, human rights organizations and intellectuals in relation to the Space for the Memory of Human Rights. Memories under Construction include images from sixW\ŕŽŠYH DUWLVWV IURP GLŕŽ‰HUHQW generations providing an inter-general solidarity though with unique perspectives. The book also includes rare photographs taken within the navy mechanic school, a notorious prison, by a survivor who hid the negatives. These photographs are the only known images of the detainees, including an image of Marcelo Broalskyâ€™s own brother. One of Marcelo Broalskyâ€™s images of the Rio de Plata featured in a commemoratory exhibition, he captioned it, and â€˜they threw them into the river. It became their non-existent tombâ€™. Marcelo Broalskyâ€™s work displays how art can be powerful and important, especially as way of empowering the past and giving it a voice. In the context of â€˜the departedâ€™ the importance of remembering cannot be overstated and art provides a poignant and constant reminder, so events such as those in the 1970s/80s in South America can inform how we consider the future and present. MARYAM AKRAM HANNAH CAPSTICK
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The Beaver 11.02.2014
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THREE STARS review
FWB AND THE FEMINIST IDEAL
The Mistress COntract Until 22nd March
Royal Court Theatre
nyone thatтАЩs read Bret Easton EllisтАЩs 1991 original novel or seen the &KULVWLDQ%DOHроКOPVXUHO\HQWHUHG WKH $OPHLGD 7KHDWUH ZLWK DQ HQRUPRXVVHQVHRIWUHSLGDWLRQ+RZRQ HDUWK ZRXOG 3DWULFN %DWHPDQтАл┌СтАмV LQVDQH OLIH RI VH[ GUXJV роКQDQFH DQG PXUGHU WUDQVODWH LQWR D PXVLFDO" ,W VHHPHG DQ LPSUREDEOH DQG DOPRVW ULGLFXORXV FRQFHSWEXW$PHULFDQ3V\FKRWKH0XVLFDO WXUQHGRXWWREHDQRXWVWDQGLQJSLHFHRI WKHDWUHHOHFWULFDOO\FKDUJHGDQGEXUVWLQJZLWKHQHUJ\IURPEHJLQQLQJWRHQG 'LUHFWRU 5XSHUW *RROG EULOOLDQWO\ UHLQWHUSUHWV WKH WDOH RI 3DWULFN %DWHPDQ 0DWW6PLWK WKH1HZ<RUNLQYHVWPHQW EDQNHU KHOOEHQW RQ LQGXOJLQJ LQ DOO RI WKH роКQHU WKLQJV LQ OLIH ZKLOH KLGLQJ KLV SHQFKDQWIRUSV\FKRSDWKLFPXUGHUIURP KLVFROOHDJXHVDQGIULHQGVWKURXJKWHUULроКF FKRUHRJUDSK\ DQG DQ LQFUHGLEOH VRXQGWUDFN
THE MISTRESS CONTRACT
He was known for being an indie movie champion, basing KLVFDUHHULQWKLVQLFKHJHQUH +HPDGHKLVGHEXWZLWK$PRV 3RHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ŕŽŠOP 7ULSOH %RJH\ RQ D Five Par Hole (1991), but it wasnâ€™t until 1996 when he got his breakthrough role in the LFRQLF %RRJLH 1LJKWV $V 3DXO 7KRPDV $QGHUVRQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV VHPLQDO milestone, Mark Wahlberg played a disillusioned young teen in his motherâ€™s basement, catapulted to riches and fame as pornstar Dirk Diggler after EHLQJ VFRXWHG LQ D QLJKWFOXE %RRJLH 1LJKWV ZRXOG EHJLQ D director-actor friendship and collaboration that would last XQWLO +RŕŽ‰PDQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV GHDWK D UHODtionship that would result in some wonderful, absolutely LFRQLF ŕŽŠOPV PDQ\ RI ZKLFK , would recommend in a heartEHDW
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,W ZDV WKLV DELOLW\ WKDW ZRXOG ZLQ KLP DQ $FDGHP\ $ZDUG for playing the eponymous UROH LQ &DSRWH %DVHG RQ 7UXPDQ &DSRWHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV QRQŕŽŠFWLRQ ZRUN ,Q &ROG %ORRG WKH ŕŽŠOP IROORZV DXWKRU 7UXPDQ Capoteâ€™s discovery of four bodies, those of a farmer and his family in Kansas, and his desire to report on the events RIWKHLQYHVWLJDWLRQ,WGLGQRW merely explore the events and reportage of the investigation, KRZHYHU WKURXJK +RŕŽ‰PDQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV masterful portrayal, we saw the breakdown and descent of the once-extremely-popular DXWKRU RI %UHDNIDVW DW 7LŕŽ‰Dnyâ€™s; this was not explored in the book, but arose as a comELQHGHŕŽ‰RUWIURP%HQQHWW0LOOer, Dan Futterman and Philip 6H\PRXU +RŕŽ‰PDQ KLPVHOI +H brought nuances to the life of the fragile, emotionally vulnerable author and his descent into depression, compounded by the lack of an ending to his novel, and the success of his friend Harper Lee (played by DQRWKHUORQJWLPH+RŕŽ‰PDQFROlaborator, Catherine Keener), ZKR KDG KHU QRYHO 7R .LOO D Mockingbird published, made LQWR D ŕŽŠOP DQG DWWHQGHG LWV screening all within the time it WRRN&DSRWHWRZRUNRQ,Q&ROG %ORRG :KLOH 0U +RŕŽ‰PDQ GLG QRW ORRN OLNH WKH UHDO 0U &DSRWH ZKR UHVHPEOHG $QWKRQ\ Hopkins more than anybody else, he played him in a way perhaps nobody else could have; and for this, he was DZDUGHG KLV ŕŽŠUVW DQG XQIRU-
DVVLQJ RŕŽ‰ -RVÂŤ 3DGLOKDâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV family friendly remake as a reboot of Paul Verhoevenâ€™s 1987 controversial blockEXVWHUSUHGHVWLQHGWKLVŕŽŠOPWR failure amongst die hard fans IURPWKHJHWJR
7KH DWWHPSWV DW ORDGLQJ WKH movie with â€˜satirical materialâ€™ did not go unnoticed, KRZHYHU WKH ŕŽŠOP YHU\ PXFK PDGHLWVHHPOLNHDFKRUH7KH over the top representation of $PHULFDâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ]HDORXV ULJKW ZLQJ 79SUHVHQWHUVWKURXJK6DPXHO /-DFNVRQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVFKDUDFWHU3DW1Rvak, is often more irritating than funny and the antagonist Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) is dumbed down to nothing more than a pushy businessman with an aversion to anything that makes him less PRQH\WKDQKHZLVKHV:KDW, can appreciate, however, is the FRKHVLRQ WKH ŕŽŠOP PDQDJHV WR maintain between various subplots and the copious amount RIVXSSRUWLQJFKDUDFWHUV:KR by the way, can easily be categorised into pro and anti RoboFRS
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protagonist, officer $OH[ 0XUSK\ -RHO Kinneman) other than the fact that his acting may be more robotic than his charDFWHU GHPDQGV +H LV OLNHDEOH HQRXJK DV D FULPH ŕŽŠJKWLQJ hero but far from believable DV D KXPDQ EHLQJ +ROO\ZRRG needs to understand that a single scene of three characters who look like they may be related does not credibly porWUD\GRPHVWLFEOLVV7KDWEHLQJ said, Gary Oldmanâ€™s character, 'U 'HQQHWW 1RUWRQ ZDV HDVLO\ WKH EHVW WKLQJ LQ WKH ŕŽŠOP injects enough fatherly comSDVVLRQ WR VDYH WKH ŕŽŠOP IURP being completely devoid of huPDQHPRWLRQ
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3/5 - Pleasantly underwhelmed
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7KHPRYLHVWDUWVRŕŽ‰ZLWK-DVRQ =DF (IURQ VLWWLQJ RQ D SDUN EHQFK LQ 1HZ <RUN &LW\ +H speaks semi-poetically of what , LQIHU WKH PRYLH ZDV QDPHG DIWHU â€ŤÚ”â€Ź7KDW $ZNZDUG 0Rmentâ€? when a woman wants more from the relationship and the man does not have WKH VDPH LQWHQWLRQ 6RPHKRZ IURP WKH WUDLOHU , QHYHU H[SHFWHG =DF (IURQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV FKDUDFWHU -DVRQWRKDYHVXFKUHŕŽ‹HFWLRQV DQG WKRXJKWV +H VWXQQLQJly philosophised over when there is a point in a relationship where the girl says 'so', no good outcome could follow WKDW ZRUG 7KLV ZDV D UHFXUring theme throughout the PRYLH ZKLFK ZDV , PXVW VD\ H[HFXWHG YHU\ ZHOO 7KLV ŕŽŠOP ZDV GHŕŽŠQLWHO\ PRUH WKDQ WKH\ PDUNHWHGWKHPVHOYHVWREH 7KDW $ZNZDUG 0RPHQW FHQtres around three friends in their mid-twenties and their ORYH OLYHV ,W LV HVVHQWLDOO\ D ŕŽŠOP DERXW ŕŽŠQGLQJ ORYH RU learning how to let go of love but told from a maleâ€™s perspecWLYH 'DQLHO 0LOHV 7HOOHU DQG -DFNDUHVLQJOHPHQZLWKDORQJ VWULQJRIRQHQLJKWVWDQGV-DFN is the greater perpetrator of WKLV OLIHVW\OH 'DQLHO UHTXLUHV slightly more help from his trusty wing-woman, Chelsea 0DFNHQ]LH 'DYLV 7KHVH WZR have a great on-screen chemistry and their characters have some pretty good lines, especially when it comes to helping the other meet someone at a EDU7KH\KDYHDFODVVLFâ€ŤÚ?â€ŹEHVW friends-who-become-morethan-thatâ€™, kind of relationship that translated into a more lifelike adult reality unlike the sweet stories weâ€™d normally JHWLQWKHXVXDOFKLFNŕŽ‹LFNV 0LNH\0LFKDHO%-RUGDQ XQlike his two friends, was married and presented a less common dilemma faced by people LQ WKHLU PLGWZHQWLHV 0LNH\â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ZLIH ZDV KDYLQJ DQ DŕŽ‰DLU DQG ZDQWHG D GLYRUFH +H VSHQGV WKH ŕŽŠOP DWWHPSWLQJ WR ZLQ KLV wife back whilst his two friends try to convince him to adopt WKHLU â€ŤÚ?â€Ź/RWKDULRâ€Ť Ú‘â€ŹOLIHVW\OHV 3HUhaps one of the most relatable and memorable things about Mikey was his down to earth character and sensitivity akin WRWKDWRIDZRPDQ7KLVFRXOG
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The Beaver 11.02.2014
opular culture's idea of the future is when the bleeding edge technology of today seeps into everyday XVHZLWKWKHPDVVHV7KLQNŕŽ‹\ing cars. Or video conferencing -- big corporations have done it for ages, but that doesn't feel "futuristic". Calling mom on Skype does. The future may have arrived, yet again, in the form of biohackers. These enWKXVLDVWVKDYHŕŽŠJXUHGRXWKRZ to conduct DNA experiments from the comfort of their kitchen table. Humans have known about DNA for quite a while now. Their ability to manipulate it is slightly newer but often relegated to high-end police labs and research institutions. As with any experimental science, there are two barriers: equipment and know-how. The biohackers are currently solving WKH ŕŽŠUVW SUREOHP EHIRUH WKH\ hope, moving on to the second. Leading the charge are members of DIYBio, a collection of biohackers who have set up shops around the globe to share ideas and motivation. Winand Slingenbergh is a PHPEHURIWKH',<%LRRXWŕŽŠWLQ Groningen, Netherlands, and is currently studying toward his masters in physics.
DNADIY "We're making our own version of OpenPCR. We're calling it OpenerPCR," Winand says. He's referring to OpenPCR, itself a major step forward for the biohacking movement. The machine on which it is based, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, is the workhorse of geneticists. This machine takes a DNA strand and replicates it billions of times over, to the point where a clump is actually visible to the naked eye, allowing the presence or absence of various chains in a sample to be easily inspected. These results
"We're making our own version of OpenPCR. We're calling it OpenerPCR," Winand says. are the popular stripes of DNA comparisons often seen during criminal trials. But industrial grade PCR machines can cost thousands of dollars. The OpenPCR version is a cheaper, home version, and everything about it drips newage tech. For one, it's the product of a Kickstarter campaign completed in July, 2010.
It ships as an Ikea-like kit that users put together, and all for just $599. But its design is completely open source, so anyone in theory can download the specs and cobble it together from their own sourced components.
EH WKH ŕŽŠUVW DPDWHXU team to compete in the massive competition. As enthusia s t s
It was in that process that Winand and his cohorts at DIYBio in Groninberg discovered what they felt were some shortcomings. :H FRXOGQ W ŕŽŠJXUH RXW ZK\ some of the features were there. We had a bit of a problem with the interface. They used some custom-made parts," Winand says. So they went to work on OpenerPCR. It is part learning expeULHQFH SDUW SUDFWLFDO HŕŽ‰RUW WR improve the machine. Humans' understanding of how genes express themselves DQGLQŕŽ‹XHQFHWKHHQYLURQPHQW continues to expand. Simon Rose, a member of a biohacking group in London, likes to think more about the theoretical possibilities of biohacking. From his lab inside London Hackspace on the Hackney Road, Simon explained the work he and his group do. They are certainly interested in pushing their understanding of experimental biology. But for their more immediate pursuits, he pointed to the wall. There were whiteboards ŕŽŠOOHG ZLWK GHscriptions of reactions, helping to map out his groups thinking on how DNA works at its most fundamental level, and possibly how scientists might be able to use such knowledge to their advantage. These might be ideas like constructing bacteria that digests plastic for ultra efficient recyclying. There's more to biohacking than at-home paternity testing. Simon is particularly excited about the upcoming International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, where, according to Simon, he and his roughly 10 fellow biohackers from the London Hackspace will
like the bioha ckers in London and Groningen gain a deeper understanding of DNA, they hope that they can use their more practical understanding to move biology education even further downstream. For Winand and his team working on OpenerPCR, spreading knowledge of DNA to the masses is a major goal. "The main currency we use is making to knowledge available to whomever wants it," Winand said.
It will be DNA so easy, even a parent can do it. Their immediate goal is to take their new machine to schools and allow young students to perform DNA experiments. His team works on OpenerPCR continuously in an organic process. Some members of the team, such as Alessio Marcozzi, a PhD in biology, provide PRUH VXEMHFWVSHFLŕŽŠF H[SHUtise. Others, are electronics experts. One member will take responsibility for a task and report to others when he is done. Their design was not quite ready for a recent "mini-maker" fair, where local hobbyists come together to show their. But they were able to borrow a PCR machine from a local hobby. Armed with their constantly improving knowledge on how to use it, they were able to demonstrate it to children attending the fair. Victor Caldas, yet another member of the Groningen DIYBio team and a PhD in biophysics, recently became interested in 3D printing. He decided to build a 3D printer. Initially his motivation was rather academic -- he saw a challenging topic and wanted to understand it better -- but
he soon began to see the benHŕŽŠWVRI'SULQWLQJIRUKLVELRhacking pursuits. "When you are trying to EXLOG VWXŕŽ‰ \RX UHDOO\ see the bottlenecks," Victor said. One of those bottlenecks c a n be acquiring unique parts t h a t are expensive to procure, if they are procurable at all. "If I 3D print, I can print f o r 50 cents what might cost me 50 Euros to buy, and [the 50 euro part] may not EHDVJRRGDŕŽŠW Or take the dremelfuge. Centrifuges are fast spinning machines that help separate maWHULDOV LQ D KRVW RI VFLHQWLŕŽŠF experiments. But again, they are expensive. Some ingenious hackers though have created schematics for a 3D-printed part to attach to the end of a drill to create their own, ultracheap centrifuge. It's not as perfect as a real one, but it often does the trick. Winand and his team hope that everyday consumers, armed with ultra cheap PCR machines, could begin to see WKH EHQHŕŽŠWV RI '1$ UHVHDUFK They could, for example, test the meat they are using to make sure that it comes from the animals it claims to come from. Or it could help people understand what exercise rouWLQHVZRXOGEHPRVWEHQHŕŽŠFLDO -- scientists now understand that a human's propensity to EHQHŕŽŠW IURP H[HUFLVH FDQ EH traced to the presence or absence of just 11 genes. Or possibly parents, tired of hearing their child complain about having to eat broccoli, could do a quick cheek swab to see if their child has the gene that makes green vegetable taste bitter. It will be DNA so easy, even a parent can do it. MICHAEL GALLO
The Beaver 09.10.2012
Tuesday February 11 2014
Features THE SOCIETY COLUMN features LSESU Artichoke Society
It might seem crazy what Iâ€™m about to say... Because Iâ€™m Happy! Dan Martin Artichoke Society
onâ€™t be a lemming. What makes you happy? Would a ÂŁ40,000 starting salary? What about a prestigious name on your C.V. â€“ Goldman Sachs, say? Job security, perhaps? Or plenty of opportunities for holidays? A combination of all these factors probably sounds like the perfect graduate job. But there is no evidence that any of this would make us happy. We often forget quite how privileged we are LSE gradu-
ates. This institution â€“ for all its many and serious flaws â€“ provides a platform and a name that few other universities can offer. Graduates of the LSE can pick and choose their employer. They have that freedom because organisations like the skills our graduates bring and they recognise the value those three letters hold to their clients. We often forget this because we are blinded by expectations. We forget our own feelings when making decisions. When we ignore our feelings, we end up leading unhappy lives but remain unable to bring about change because
we are so focused on what we feel we ought to do, rather than what our own experiences tell us. So the LSE graduate who manages to secure the â€˜perfectâ€™ graduate job, as an analyst in a bank, or a consultant in one of the big professional service firms, is heaped with praise and held in high esteem, but may not be happy. And they may not even realise that they are unhappy in their job because all that they dreamt of while a student has become a reality; it is difficult to accept that the job you have dedicated yourself to securing for three years makes you unhappy.
If your society would like to be featured in THE SOCIETY COLUMN e-mail
It is critical that young people trust their own experiences. If the experience of your summer internship did not make you happy, why would you choose to spend another two years in the same environment? If you hate the people you work with, find your work
â€œThe LSE graduate who manages to secure the â€˜perfectâ€™ graduate job, as an analyst in a bank, or a consultant in one of the big professional service firms, is heaped with praise and held in high esteem, but may not be happyâ€?.
boring, the commute unpleasant, and dread the arrival of Monday morning every week, why would you force yourself to repeat these experiences? These problems are not exclusive to graduates of course. But as graduates we have far more freedom to make choices based on our experiences. A graduate career, above all else, should be fulfilling. Students recognise this: Artichoke, the LSEâ€™s alternative careers soci-
ety, surveyed students earlier this year and found that by far the most important factor for students choosing a career was that they had a personal interest in the field. This ranked well above salary, or even leisure time. Artichoke came about with the support of Yale Universityâ€™s Artichoke Fund, an organisation formed in the wake of Marina Keeganâ€™s seminal article urging students to take up fulfilling careers, rather than those that are the most convenient. Keegan wanted to understand how it could be that Yale graduates disproportionately ended up as analysts and management consultants when they had arrived in their first year saying they wanted to pursue careers for public benefit, in the arts, or on projects that they believed in. The answer was not that a career in finance was fulfilling: it was that it was what they felt they ought to do. The story is the same at the LSE, although even more of our graduates hope to work in banking and consulting. We can do better â€“ and we must. We must begin listening to our experiences, and make choices based on those experiences. Our graduates, in this superb position, should be able to choose careers that fulfil them, and that have some wider benefit to their community. Otherwise, we are all destined to be miserable lemmings.
â€œThe LSE Problemâ€?, a YouTube video of a prospective student who only cares about working for, â€˜The Goldman Sachsâ€™.
R A G C O R N E R features a riveting preview of the RAG Skydive Team RAG and their raglets travel 5000ft high and jump out of a plane, and they invite you to join them.
eâ€™ve only got ŕŽŠYH ZHHNV OHIW of term and unfortunately that PHDQV RQO\ ŕŽŠYH more weeks of RAG! Having raised well over ÂŁ30,000 compared to last yearâ€™s ÂŁ16,000, weâ€™re on our way to a ÂŁ100,000 total. Weâ€™ve raised this money through freshers week, hitchhikes, Tough Guy, and more. We pride ourselves on providing fun activities throughout
the year, but sometimes we suffer some cynicism with relation to the charitable aspects of it. Weâ€™ll examine this in the case of skydiving. So a charity skydive means you jump out of a plane and get sponsored to do so. Back when skydiving wasnâ€™t quite so fashionable, this was an easy meet. However, now there is growing skepticism about donating to charity just so you can have a bit of â€˜funâ€™. Thereâ€™s naturally some merit in this argument. Skydiving is an experience. It is a feeling that you will carry with you for your whole life; thereâ€™s no charLWDEOHEHQHŕŽŠWLQWKDW%XWWKHVH critics forget a few things that weâ€™ll discuss now.
Firstly, it is no easy feat to jump out of a plane. Skydiving is one of those things most people talk about as on their bucket list, as if itâ€™s a piece of cake. But if youâ€™re one of the brave people to actually do it, itâ€™s a YHU\GLŕŽ‰HUHQWPDWWHU You arrive at the skydive centre and watch people skydiving for a bit. You watch a SODQHWDNHRŕŽ‰VWDUWŕŽ‹\LQJDQG then all of a sudden it disappears. Itâ€™s up in the clouds, and youâ€™re on the ground. You wait, DQGZDLWWRVHHDSHUVRQŕŽ‹\LQJ down. It takes time, and that time allows a feeling of dread to sink in. Then you have the safety talk. Of course itâ€™s perfectly safe but well â€“ if you donâ€™t land
properly you could break your legs. Itâ€™s not without its risks. You get strapped up in your safety gear, and all of a sudden it is very, very real. So you go into the plane strapped to someone who will guide you through the skies. You go up 5000 ft and already youâ€™re in the clouds â€“ surely youâ€™re there already? No. 7000 more ft to go. One by one your fellow skydivers drop out of the plane and they are gone. Itâ€™s your turn, and your instructor sits on the edge while you hang in the air. You feel like you will die. 2ND\ DQG WKHQ \RX DUH RŕŽ‰ and itâ€™s okay, you wait for that parachute to open, and you land, and youâ€™re alright!
But at the end of the day you have done something extraordinary, and extraordinary is well worth charitable donations. If anything, it brings a cause to someoneâ€™s attention in a world where charity is everywhere. So okay, what Iâ€™m really trying to do here is sell you the skydive. Do it. Itâ€™s amazing. And absolutely terrifying DW WKH VDPH WLPH :Hâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹUH ŕŽ‹\LQJ on the 2nd of March and weâ€™ve got limited places open now for the skydive. At ÂŁ190 including transport, itâ€™s the cheapest youâ€™ll ever get to do it. Plus, you get to fundraise money for our very own LSE based charity Foodcycle, who do incredible work on serving food to those VXŕŽ‰HULQJIURPIRRGSRYHUW\
Tuesday February 11 2014
MENTAL HEALTH: Time To Talk, Time To Change of is the Yorkshire Ripper, no wonder theyâ€™re a bit scared. Iâ€™d probably be scared as well if I didnâ€™t know that there ast Thursday was were millions of others who Time To Talk day. are not Yorkshire Rippers. Itâ€™s an event organLike many students at ised the Time To LSE, I have a mental health Change campaign problem for which I take to encourage people to talk medication. Mine is bipolar about mental health issues. disorder, which is characterEven though one in four ised by periods of extreme people will experience a lows (depression), extreme mental health problem in any highs (mania), and complete given year, there is still a lot normality. Indeed, when I of stigma surrounding mental blogged a couple of weeks health issues. Itâ€™s often called ago for Time To Change, â€œthe last taboo.â€? This is not most people who spoke to me least because mental health about it said that they would isnâ€™t talked about enough â€“ never have realised. a problem that the Time To Bipolar disorder isnâ€™t the Change Campaign seeks to only mental health problem address. Itâ€™s understandable on campus. Mental health why stigma still exists. If the also encompasses illnesses only person with a mental ill- such as anxiety, eating disness that people have heard orders and depression, to name just a few. In a recent lecture about game theory, the lecturer mentioned Time to Change are led by Mind and Rethink Mental Health to that John challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and to challenge discrimination Nash â€“ afMark Malik
ter whom the Nash Equilibrium is named â€“ had schizophrenia, and that there was probably at least one person in the room with the same diagnosis. What all of these disorders have in common is the stigma that is attached to them, both by society and by the sufferers themselves. To give you an idea of what itâ€™s like to have a chronic illness, Iâ€™ll let you in on a secret. In a few weeksâ€™ time, I will most likely experience a trigger for an episode of illness that will last until about September. I will have to take medication for it twice a day. Some days, this will not be enough, so Iâ€™ll have to take another kind of medication to get me through the day. If I donâ€™t take this medication, my day-to-day activities will be severely affected. The illness will dictate what I can or cannot do, and it may even have an adverse impact on my exams. I donâ€™t want this to happen, so Iâ€™ll have no choice but to go to the doctor and take the medication that will get me through the spring and summer. Does this sound scary? It
recently became a Young Ambassador for the Time to Change campaign. I chose to become involved in the Time to Change campaign as I have experienced mental health problems mainly around anxiety and panic attacks since I was 10 years old and it has affected my life on a day to day basis ever since. From a recent Time to Change survey 9 in 10 young people including myself have experienced stigma and discrimination as a result of their mental illness; I found the results of this survey incredibly shocking but not surprising due to the amount of fear and stigma that still exists around mental health especially within young people. This was one of my main motivating factors for me to become involved in the campaign, so that I could help in any way possible to create awareness of mental health and stigma. What does being a Young Ambassador entail? The role of being a Young Ambassador for Time to Change entails a wide variety of different topics and subjects, from media work including radio, television and newspaper interviews as well as how to handle an interview if an awkward question came up; to helping out on stalls and events organised by Time to Change, in order to help spread the word of the campaign and to educate people as well as our peers and classmates through talking about mental health openly at either school, college or university. The role of a Young Ambassador can also entail lobbying and campaigning politicians for a better awareness of mental health as well as working with healthcare professionals in order for them to get an improved understanding of how to better help young people with mental health problems and how they can be better treated. From this training; a Young Ambassador can then pick and choose what subjects and topics interest them the most and then volunteer for the Time to Change events that are advertised on a regular but when needed basis. After this initial training, there are also more detailed training events for media and events work to get a more detailed understanding of the subjects. For me becoming involved in the Time to Change campaign has been a life changing experience; the feeling of not being alone in talking about my mental health problems has helped me a lot. I feel so honoured, privileged and proud to be involved in such an important and life changing campaign. I would highly recommend to everyone to follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter to find out more information about mental health. You donâ€™t have to be a professional to talk about mental health; itâ€™s the little things people do, such as the text to check if you are ok, that can make a big difference. If you interested in finding out more information on the Time to Change campaign as well as ways of getting involved, you can visit their website: http://www.time-to-change. org.uk/ You can also follow their Twitter feed: @TimetoChange or Facebook: Time to Change. Together letâ€™s end Mental Health stigma and discrimination!
neednâ€™t. Iâ€™m talking about my hayfever.
are plenty of people to talk to. Whether thatâ€™s a friend, class teacher, or academic
On Thursday, Disability Officer, Jade Symonds, and Mark Malik hosted a stand in the Saw Swee Hock Centre raising awareness of mental health
I view my bipolar disorder exactly the same as I do my hay-fever. Yes, itâ€™s not ideal, but itâ€™s just something I take medication for. Iâ€™m not ashamed of it. I donâ€™t hide the fact that I take a nasal spray or an antihistamine during the hay-fever season, so why should I hide the fact that I take lithium? Mental health problems are nothing for others to be scared of, nor are they anything for sufferers to be ashamed of. We all have a mental health, just as we all have a physical health. Thatâ€™s why the Time To Change campaign is so important. Itâ€™s encouraging people with mental health problems to speak out, and helping others to listen and understand. Talking about mental health is great. If you start a conversation with a friend, you may be surprised to hear that they already have experiences of mental health issues. I was a bit apprehensive about posting my last blogpost for Time To Change on my Facebook. Again, it was the fear of stigma which caused this. But I neednâ€™t have been worried. In fact, I was amazed at how many people came to me afterwards and said that they had had mental health problems. Iâ€™d really recommend starting a conversation about mental health. If you are not a sufferer but know someone who is or has been, have a quick chat. Youâ€™ll probably learn something and youâ€™ll make a big difference to that person. If you are a sufferer, there
advisor, youâ€™ll help to make people more aware and start to break down any stigma. If youâ€™re worried about School issues, the Disability and Well-Being Service can help problems. Then thereâ€™s the Deanâ€™s office and the SU. If youâ€™re worried about careers, the Careers Service offer dis-
â€œWe all have a mental health, just as we all have a physical health. Mental health problems are nothing for others to be scared of, nor are they anything to be ashamed ofâ€? ability advice, or thereâ€™s Employ-Ability â€“ a not-for-profit that helps disabled students and graduates with internship and job applications. (Iâ€™m using the word â€œdisabledâ€? rather loosely here.) I can count on one hand the number of negative reactions Iâ€™ve had to my bipolar disorder at LSE. I think that says more about those two people than it does about me or my diagnosis. But I think only by talking more about mental health issues can we break this last of taboos and lift the stigma that remains. A mental health problem is nothing to be ashamed of if you have one. And neither is someone with one something to be scared of.
Features The Feature Interview: John Woodcock MP Labour MP for Barrow and Furness talks to The Beaver about mental health, tube strikes and Israel Tom Maksymiw
John Woodcock is MP for Barrow and Furness. He previously worked for Gordon Brown in Number 10 and was Shadow Transport Minister under Ed 0LOLEDQG +H VXрн╝HUV IURP GHpression, and is open about his use of antidepressants and is involved with the campaign тАШTime to ChangeтАЩ You had a rapid rise to the WRS DIWHU EULHрл╛\ ZRUNLQJ DV D UHSRUWHU \RX ZHUH VRRQ ZRUNLQJLQ1XPEHUZLWK*RUGRQ %URZQKRZGLG\RXPDQDJHWR do that? Well IтАЩve always worked really hard and IтАЩve always wanted WRPDNHDGLроЙHUHQFHEXWOHWтАл┌СтАмVQRW NLG RXUVHOYHV VR KDYH WKRXVDQGV of other people so it was a mixWXUH RI EHLQJ LQ WKH ULJKW SODFH DWWKHULJKWWLPHDQGEHLQJJLYHQ DQ RSSRUWXQLW\ DQG WDNLQJ LW , ZRUNHGIRUWKH/DERXUSDUW\IRUD ZKLOHDQGZDVJLYHQWKHRSSRUWXQLW\ ZRUN DV D VSHFLDO DGYLVHU LQ D QXPEHU RI JRYHUQPHQW GHSDUWPHQWV ZLWK -RKQ +XWWRQ :KHQ , MRLQHG KLP KH ZDV &KDQFHOORU RI 'XFK\RI/DQFDVWHUVRZHVSHQWD IHZPRQWKVZRUNLQJRXWZKDWWKH KHOO ZH ZHUH VXSSRVHG WR EH GRLQJWKHUH7KHQKHZDVSURPRWHG WR EH :RUN DQG 3HQVLRQV 6HFUHWDU\ZKLFKLVRIVXFKIXQGDPHQWDO LPSRUWDQFHIRUSHRSOHтАл┌СтАмVOLYHVDQG ZDVVXFKDQRSSRUWXQLW\WRWU\WR PDNH D GLроЙHUHQFH $QG WKHQ RXW RI WKH EOXH , ZDV DVNHG WR ZRUN IRU *RUGRQ ZKLFK ZDV DQ DPD]-
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Tuesday February 11 2014
Features Corruption in the European Union
A new report reveals that corruption in EU nations totals 120bn Euros Aleksandra Rydzewska
n February 3rd the EU commission released an anticorruption report for its twenty eight PHPEHU VWDWHV 7KH ŕŽŠQGLQJV vary from state to state but it is clear that there is no country that is untouched by corruption in some form. The most startling and perhaps controversial outcome of the report is the statement by Cecilia Malstrom, EU Commissioner, estimating the yearly cost of corruption to be 120bn euros (ÂŁ99bn) annually, or almost equal to the EU yearly budget. The report was
released after some delays and WKHŕŽŠQDOYHUVLRQOHDYHVRXWWKH originally planned part on corruption in the EU institutions. The report assesses corrupWLRQ LQ GLŕŽ‰HUHQW ZD\V $ (XURbarometer survey was used to gain insight into the perception of corruption within the member states. Respondents were asked whether they expected to need to pay a bribe and whether they believed that corruption was widespread in their countries. The statistics show that Scandinavian and Northern countries are perceived to be the least corrupt, with UK being a country where you are the least likely to pay a bribe.
Some Euros. The cost of corruption in the EU has been calculated as 120bn Euros a year.
Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden are countries where less than 1% of respondents expect to pay a bribe and the number of people who believe that corruption is wideVSUHDG LV VLJQLŕŽŠFDQWO\ ORZHU than the 73% EU average (20 %, 29 %, 42 % and 44 % respectively).
â€œThe countries most affected by corruption include those which were also worst hit by the financial crisisâ€? In the UK only 5 out of the 1115 people questioned expect to pay a bribe, however 64% believe that corruption is widespread in the country. These are positive results, though perhaps not yet in line with the Swedish model. On the other hand, countries PRVWDŕŽ‰HFWHGE\FRUUXSWLRQLQclude those which were also ZRUVW KLW E\ WKH UHFHQW ŕŽŠQDQcial crisis. The countries where respondents are most likely to think corruption is widespread are Greece (99 %), Italy (97 %), Lithuania, Spain and the Czech Republic (95 % in each). The countries where bribery is the most widespread are Hungary (13 %), Slovakia (14 %) and Poland (15 %). How-
ever, in those countries the inVWDQFHVRIEULEHU\DUHFRQŕŽŠQHG FKLHŕŽ‹\ WR WKH KHDOWKFDUH VHFtor; police, customs, politicians etc. are quoted by less than 1% of the respondents. This suggests that the high instances of bribery are a secondary issue linked to national healthcare systems shortcomings. Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe is not spread evenly but generally appears to be perceived as higher than the EU average. This might be in partly due to the legacy of endemic corruption which took place during the communist rule of many Eastern . Aside from bribery, the main DUHDV DŕŽ‰HFWHG E\ FRUUXSWLRQ are political party funding, construction and tax administration. When it comes to contract procurement, urban developPHQWLVWKHDUHDPRVWDŕŽ‰HFWHG These areas are most likely to DŕŽ‰HFW EXVLQHVV GHDOV DV RXW of 10 companies believe themselves to be disadvantaged in some way because of corruption. Though the cost of corruption in itself is a problem, there are also other drawbacks. The report underlines the threat that corruption â€œhampers economic development, undermines democracy, and damages social justice and the rule of lawâ€?. It endangers the international reputation of the member states and of the EU on the
whole. It is important for the EU to retain high standards as part of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is to encourage surrounding countries to aim for those standards themselves. 7KH ŕŽŠJKW DJDLQVW FRUUXSWLRQ LV part of the EU working towards retaining its credibility.
â€œAside from bribery, the main areas of corruption are party political funding, construction and tax administrationâ€? Corruption is, of course, a complex and a multi-faceted problem to which there is no one single solution. Monitoring institutions and laws are necessary, but their presence in most countries does not mean that anti-corruption procedures are being sufficiently enforced, or even enforced at all. The report stresses the need for greater integrity, political and other accountability and transparency (of government expenditure). Every country in the EU should continue to tackle corruption, though some may have much more to do, if they hope to eliminate it. This report has played an important role in exposing a problem which thrives upon going unnoticed.
The Pocket Political Philosopher: Justifying the Law Should we follow the law just because itâ€™s the law? Alexander Howells
re laws moral obligations in themselves? Is there a moral obligation to follow whatever laws are there? Or are some laws permissible to break whilst others must never be broken? There seems to be a disparity in our moral obligation towards certain laws. Certainly most would argue that breaking the law by killing someone is unforgivable whilst breaking the law made by Oliver Cromwellâ€™s and eating a mince pie at Christmas is, perhaps, just slightly more acceptable. So why is there this difference dependant on the law in question, why isnâ€™t breaking a law always as bad as breaking any other law? Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican friar from the 13th century. He was an incredibly influential philosopher and theologian best known for his magnum opus Summa Theologica. He can, perhaps, lend us a hand by way of a useful framework for the types of
law. He divided all laws into four categories, descending in importance. Firstly, universal or eternal law, the fundamental laws of the universe. Secondly, divine law, those moral laws revealed explicitly by the word of God. Thirdly, natural law, the moral laws we can divine from our own reason and the world around us, instilled in us by God, naturally. Finally, civil law, those rules created by humans for society; trafficlight etiquette, table manners and, of course, the outlaw of killing a Welshmen in Chester, with a bow and arrow, anywhere but inside the city walls and any time but after midnight. M o r e g e n e r a l l y, it may be m o r e useful to look at the first type as logical and physical laws, the second and third as moral laws and the fourth as civil, human-
constructed laws. Letâ€™s take out all assumption of God, mash the second and third type into each other, and generally put aside the question of where these moral laws come from (or, indeed, if any exist at all!) Weâ€™re left with three sets of laws: logical/physical, moral and civil. The three sets, dependant on the individual, can be conside r e d W IK
to be empty or overlap in any number of ways. Aquinasâ€™s framework can be useful to those of all moral, theological and philosophical persuasions. There is a distinct difference between the types of obligation we feel towards these three types of law. Letâ€™s ignore the first type as it seems that this
is the wrong type of obligation for our question. For the moral type we feel a normative obligation that we should follow these laws. If someone believes in a set of moral rules then, generally, they feel bad when they break them, whatever this set of rules is. It gets messy at civil laws, what type of obligation do we feel towards them? Do we feel this for all civil laws equally? Do we feel the same type of bad when we break them as we do for moral laws? It would seem that, generally in a legal system, there is a great range of answers. Perhaps one feels a strong obligation to follow the civil laws not to kill or steal but a very light one towards paying council tax ontime, or jay-
walking in most American states. One would probably feel the same kind of bad-ness we feel for the moral laws for breaking the former laws but
not the latter. So whatâ€™s the answer to our disparity? Iâ€™m sure that the answer Iâ€™m about to suggest has been self-evident for two paragraphs now: we donâ€™t have a moral obligation to follow the law just because itâ€™s the law. The disparity is caused because sometimes our civil law is in accordance with our moral law and sometimes it isnâ€™t, in other words, our set of civil laws sometimes intersects our set of moral ones. Our legal system attempts to ensure a functional society by placing down a set of rules for how things should or should not be done. People breaking specific moral laws would often inhibit society so punishment is legitimised, through civil law, for those who disobey them. This means that if you feel morally bad for breaking a civil law chances are itâ€™s because you also just broke a moral one. This strand of thought would also surely legitimise revolution against a legal system should civil law start to contradict moral law.
Tuesday February 11 2014
Diary of an LSE Student
LSE events and gossip - know something is going on? Email us.
The Global Village of LSE
PERFORM 2014 is the UKâ€™s biggest dedicated annual event for people looking to carve out a career in the performing arts. PERFORM 2014 opens the doors to a wealth of expert advice and opportunities to explore a diverse range of career options. From drama, acting, singing and performance skills to musical theatre, a pool of industry experts will be on hand, ready to pass on their knowledge.
Global Village. 4th February 2014. A splendid afternoon combining elements of food, interaction and music. Did you really expect anything less from a cultural extravaganza? It has been said that every great ending has its roots in humble beginnings. The concept was simple. In what is commonly billed as the â€œmost international university in Londonâ€?, why not host a platform that sees these different cultures sharing their individuality, together? However, it seemed we were not alone in this idea. Given the similar timescales and the sheer numerical advantage, it made sense to pioneer a FROODERUDWLYH HŕŽ‰RUW LQ RUGHU to appeal to as many people as possible. What began as a partnership between LSE SU AIESEC and Itchy Feet soon grew, integrating the European Society and ultimately official recognition and support from the Studentsâ€™ Union in conjunction with SU International Week. Right from the beginning, we already had our work cut out for us â€“ searching for participants, promoting the event on and RŕŽ‰ FDPSXV DQG VRXUFLQJ for a venue! Eventually, we secured the participation of sixteen national societies from the Americas, Asia and Europe. Another coup was secured when we learnt about the once-in-a-lifetime RSSRUWXQLW\WREHWKHŕŽŠUVWLQ holding an event of this scale and form within the Venue, LSEâ€™s newest event space in
the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. The stage was set. As a member of the Organising Committee, it is easy to believe (hope, anyway?) that the smooth-running of the event was due to proper planning, communication and unfettered involvement from all the participating societies; that being said, after being made privy to a selection of studentsâ€™ comments here are the two biggest reasons why:
tional costumes were also prominently showcased, adding a visual element to proceedings.
Performances â€“ Throughout the day, key times saw performances being staged to enliven the mood and captivate interest. 1 p.m. saw a ZHOOH[HFXWHGŕŽ‹DVKPREFDUried out by members of the Malaysian Club in support of their charity event â€œWe Called That Homeâ€? which Sheer range of things hap- would occur that Saturday. pening at once! â€“ When we The surprise element of this opened our doors at 11 a.m., performance staged among those in attendance were not the crowd proved a hit with only treated to some gastro- those in attendance (and nomic rarities, but some in- even society representatives teractive activities as well. present!), with the Tamil Food and drinks from almost Societyâ€™s impromptu tweet every representative country about it creating a buzz on provided ample opportunity social media. A Brazilian to sample world cuisine, with dance performance â€œZoukâ€? everything from Singaporean by AIESEC was put on latbreakfast staple â€œRoti Ba- er at 2.30 p.m., pairing the karâ€? to Bulgarian â€œbanitsaâ€œ Lambada with a specialised and the Colombian dessert genre of music to create a â€ŤÚ”â€ŹREOHDâ€ŤÚ•â€ŹRQRŕŽ‰HU$GGLWLRQDOO\ dazzling spectacle unique to ZH KDG VRFLHWLHV RŕŽ‰HULQJ D the region. Truly an enthraltaste of recreational pursuits ling sight. indigenous to their countries. A popular option was Alongside our innovative the mock Sumo competition passport system where stuorganised by the Japan soci- dents were encouraged to ety, which also made for hi- visit every stall to obtain larious photo opportunities; â€œstampsâ€? which could later another was the opportunity be exchanged for prizes at to try their hand at Chinese â€œcustomsâ€?, there was cercalligraphy writing, crafting tainly no lack of interest characters synonymous with throughout the event! A big good fortune which tied in thank you to all participants with the Chinese Lunar New and supporting societies, inYear period still in progress. cluding those not mentioned There were also traditional above for your help in makJDPHV RQ RŕŽ‰HU ZLWK $PHUL- ing the entire event possible. can staple sport football and See you all again next year! Malaysian â€œbatu serembanâ€? seeing keen interest. Tradi-
The Beaver has four pairs of free tickets to give away for this amazing event. So, to get your hands on the tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and your answer to this question: Which musical includes songs such as Something Bad and Popular?
Tuesday February 11 2014
Beaver Kuster & Wildhaber
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The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque is a landmark of the city
тАЬIтАЩll have two brains and some intestines please!тАЭ
Tuesday February 11 2014
Social Love is in the air
Are you an â€œAlmost-Alcoholicâ€?? just the normal â€œalmost-alcoholicâ€? and the next day I am instantly a mindless drunkard desperately looking for anA few days ago I was on the CNN RWKHUEHYHUDJH" website. CNN is a news organisation, which mainly reports on kittens, Selena 7KHVH DUH TXHVWLRQV ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹOO QHYHU ŕŽŠQG Gomez, Twitter trends and cake recithe answer to, because in all honesty, pes. It was here I found the next new, ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPQRWDQDOFRKROLFRUHYHQDQâ€ŤÚ”â€ŹDOPRVW soon to be in vogue social media status: alcoholicâ€?. CNN, CBS, Harvard profesbeing â€œalmost-alcoholicâ€?. The phrase sors, they can all throw as many labels comes from the title of a book by two DVWKH\ZDQWDWPHEXWLWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVQRWJRLQJWR Harvard professors, in which they try work out. If by having a few beers and WRŕŽŠJXUHRXWLIVRPHRQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVDIXOOŕŽ‹HGJHG HQMR\LQJ â€ŤÚ”â€ŹD EX]]â€Ť Ú•â€ŹWKH\ WKLQN ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹP RQH raging alcoholic or just someone who step away from getting alcohol poisonlikes the odd drink. LQJ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPDIUDLGWKDWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVMXVWSRRUDQDO\VLV Being â€œalmost-alcoholicâ€? trivialises the ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPQRWFRQYLQFHGE\WKLVQHZSKUDVH UHDOSUREOHPRIJHQXLQHDOFRKROLVP,Wâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV â€ŤÚ”â€Ź$OPRVWDOFRKROLFâ€Ť"Ú•â€Ź,VWKLVWKHVWDUWRID DYDOXHOHVVWHUPDQGLWUHDOO\VKRXOGQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹW QHZZRUOGRIâ€ŤÚ”â€ŹDOPRVWFRQGLWLRQVâ€Ť"Ú•â€Ź3HRbecome a status of any sort. This is why ple confronting â€œalmost-addictionsâ€?, (although it looks suspiciously like a â€œalmost-heart-attacksâ€? and â€œalmostVWDQGDUGGHQLDO ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPSURXGWRVD\WKDW, SUHJQDQFLHVâ€Ť"Ú•â€Ź,IHHOOLNHWKLVERRNPLJKW DP GHŕŽŠQLWHO\ QRW DQ â€ŤÚ”â€ŹDOPRVWDOFRKROLFâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź have missed a point, although to be fair, RU LQ IDFW D â€ŤÚ”â€ŹIXOO\TXDOLŕŽŠHGDOFRKROLFâ€ŤÚ•â€Ź ,KDYHQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹW\HWUHDGWKHERRN,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPVDYLQJLW ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹPVRUU\&%6EXW,UHDOO\GRQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹWKDYHDQ for reading week. In the mean time I did â€œalmost-problemâ€?. Deal with it. WKH&%6â€ŤÚ”â€Ź$UH\RXDQDOPRVWDOFRKROLF"â€ŤÚ•â€Ź quiz. Much to my annoyance I actually am an o ff icial â€œalmost-alcoholicâ€?. And LWGRHVQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹWWDNHPXFKWREHFRPHRQHDSparently. â€œDo you look forward to drinkLQJ"â€Ť Ú•â€Ź:HOO \HV 6RPHWLPHV SUHGULQNV are the highlight of the evening. So yes, I do look forward to drinking. â€œDo you GULQN WR PDLQWDLQ D EX]]"â€Ť Ú•â€Ź$JDLQ \HV :K\HOVHZRXOG,GULQN",Wâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVQRWDVLI, drink in order to kill the buzz. Some of these questions were clearly written by people over the age of 35, a demographic commonly euphemised as â€œadvanced in yearsâ€? or â€œgetting onâ€?. Robin Park
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Tuesday (11th) Elham Saudi: From the Boardroom to the Frontline 6:30PM / 32 LIF LG.17 Women Leaders of Tomorrow, in collaboration with Student Advocates International, invites you to this inspirational and insightful talk. DESTINâ€™s Midterm-MADNESS 8PM / The Three Tuns Tickets can be purchased online at LSESU. Wednesday (12th) LSESU FoodCycle Lunchtime Sushi Making Session 12PM / The Quad (East Building)
&\QLFVRIWHQFLWH9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV'D\ as yet another festival which has been ruined by companies seeking WRPDNHDSURŕŽŠWRXWRIFRPPHUFLDOising the feeling of love. Other cynics are perhaps just trying to run away from the fact that they are â€ŤÚ?â€ŹDORQHâ€Ť Ú‘â€ŹRU UDWKHU WKRVH ZKR KDYH D partner are cynical in an attempt to avoid having to buy a gift. Despite WKLV , IHHO WKDW 9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV 'D\ KDV gotten a bad reputation over the past few years and it requires some restoration.
HQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV 'D\ ZDV QHYHU H[FOXVLYHO\ about love of the more romantic kind but is about all types of love. In order to show this love why not make a handmade card or write a poem rather than buying into the â€ŤÚ?â€Ź+DOOPDUNâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹEUDQG7U\PDNLQJDORYing dinner or some yummy baked goods for your loved ones, BBC food has a excellent selection of recipes to choose from. If this is not good enough for your special people then perhaps show them this article. After all we should be focussing on the history of and love to be celebrated E\6W9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV'D\
6RŕŽŠUVWIRUWKHKLVWRU\7KHUHDUH a lot of mistaken beliefs surrounding WKH RULJLQV RI 9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV 'D\ DQG indeed the history is a little murky, but I shall try to clarify the issue. ,Q DQFLHQW 5RPH WKH SDJDQ IHVWLval of Lupercalia took place around the 14th of February and was a celHEUDWLRQ RI IHUWLOLW\ 7KH GD\â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV DVsociation with St Valentine did not come until circa AD 197 where a few Valentines were martyred, apparently on the 14th February, with one of them supposedly sending a love note to a sweetheart. After this WKHIHVWLYDOWRRNDZKLOHWRWDNHRŕŽ‰ however in around AD 496 the Pope declared the 14th February St ValHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV 'D\ 7KH DVVRFLDWLRQ ZLWK romantic love continued with Chaucer and Shakespeare both referring to the theme in their works. In the 18th Century the sending of love notes became popular and continued to gather pace before it became the festival of cards, chocolates and celebrations that we know today. As is clear there is a lot more to 6W9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV'D\WKDQLQLWLDOO\DVsumed. Of course one cannot deny that the whole festival has become a little too much to do with making money than spreading the love but we do not have to let this ruin the FHOHEUDWLRQ ,QGHHG 6W 9DOHQWLQHâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV Day should be about letting all those you love know it. Whether that be a boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, sibling, friend, whomever. Val-
Do we need God to be moral? - LSESU Islamic Society 4PM / The Old Theatre Why is ambition still a dirty word for women? 6:30PM / 32L G.03 Thursday (13th) Child Rights Panel Event 6:15PM / CLM 2.02 LSESU Amnesty International Society presents a panel discussion on the question: What are the principle achievements and remaining challenges for the international community in WKHŕŽŠHOGRI&KLOG5LJKWV" Censorship of Music in Afghanistan During the Taliban Era - LSE SU Music Society 6:45PM / 32L LG04 LSE SU Annual Charity Fashion Show 7PM / Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Hai Linh Truong
Friday (14th) Saucy Friday: Valentineâ€™s Day special 10PM / Saw Swee Hock Student Centre Saturday (15th) LSE University Cup 10AM - 6PM / LSE Squash Court Tickets are ÂŁ5 for members and ÂŁ10 for nonmembers with all proceeds going to Cancer 5HDVHDUFK Ablaze 2014: Crossing Borders. 6:30PM / Old Theatre LSESU ACS present a musical extravaganza of dance, comedy, drama, poetry, song and fashion Phoenix - Ablaze Afterparty & Timeless Preparty 10:30PM / Saw Swee Hock Underground Bar
Tuesday February 11 2014
Mae I Help You?
Send your questions to email@example.com
Dear Mae, Iâ€™ve been with my girlfriend since we were 14 (6 years!) and it was great for so long but for the past year Iâ€™ve noticed I donâ€™t like spending time with her as much. I want to talk about science, philosophy, spirituality, psychology; she just seems to want vapid material and activities. How can I maintain this relationship if the foundation is crumbling away? -Is My Over?
Dear IMRO, I am sorry to have to tell you that I think your relationship is over. You have given it a good long 6 years and thatâ€™s impressive! But I think itâ€™s time to throw it in the towel. Itâ€™s very rare that someone youâ€™re with at 14 will be the person who you end up with in the long run, so donâ€™t feel like you GLGQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹW SXW HQRXJK HŕŽ‰RUW into it. If youâ€™ve been feeling apprehensive about things for the past year and you even claim that things are â€œcrumbling awayâ€? then I donâ€™t see a lot of hope. IMRO, to me it looks like youâ€™ve been developing and changing a lot since coming to uni and maybe she hasnâ€™t changed so much. It would be a shame if you two stayed together and neither of you grew up and matured into new people. Iâ€™m sure you both fell in love at a young age when your hormones were raging and when you probably didnâ€™t understand who you were or what you wanted in life or in a partner. Break up with her sooner rather than later and spend some time alone. You need to be yourself for D OLWWOH ZKLOH ŕŽŠUVW EHIRUH you can jump into anything else because you donâ€™t want the same end to a relationship down the line. Enjoy cultural endeavors, meet new people and enjoy the last part of uni. Have fun, IMRO! ---------------------------------
Dear Mae, 0\ ŕžDWPDWH DQG KHU boyfriend (who have been together for about 2 years) have been a lot ŕ˝JKWLQJ UHFHQWO\ DQG thereâ€™s a good possibility they might break up. The thing is that I have become really good friends with him as well. How can I show her that I support her while staying neutral in the whole situation? -Friends Are Fighting
Dear FAF, 6RŕŽŠUVWRIDOO)$)UH DOL]H WKDW \RXU ŕŽ‹DWPDWH may do that thing that annoys us all and ask you to choose sides after the break up. If it ends up being a really bad break up I donâ€™t think she would appreciate you remaining friends with him. I know it doesnâ€™t seem fair but it is part of being friends with someone. Weâ€™re kind of expected to take their side in a bad break up. Thankfully though, if the break up ends up being amicable then it may be more possible to be more neutral during the whole thing. In the meantime there are some things you can do to try to stay neutral. 2ŕŽ‰HU WR OLVWHQ WR \RXU ŕŽ‹DWPDWH LI VKH QHHGV to vent. Be honest if she asks you for advice. Most of all though, conVWDQWO\ RŕŽ‰HU WR WDNH KHU out to do fun things. If sheâ€™s anything like me she wonâ€™t really want to talk about it too much anyway so she may just need to have fun to take KHUPLQGRŕŽ‰RIWKHGUDPD with her boyfriend. Plan fun days out in London, go to the cinema, invite friends over and just basically try to show her a good time. Hopefully then you can avoid her asking you to pick sides. Thatâ€™s the best you can hope for, FAF! ---------------------------------
11.02.2014 The Beaver
â€˜A horrible page that oppresses the rest of the Unionâ€™
UGMPIRE STATE OF MIND: AU BUDGET INCREASES )RUWKHŕŽŠUVWWLPHLQPDQ\DQDHRQIDWHEURXJKW the LSEâ€™s two strangest subcultures together last Thursday. The Athletics Union budget motion gave our Wednesday Night Warriors an inFHQWLYHWRŕŽ‹RRGWKH2OG7KHDWUHIRU8*0IRUWKH ŕŽŠUVWWLPHLQKDFNKLVWRU\7ZR:RUOGV2QH/6( Whipped by the AU Exec and armed with balledup newspapers (where did they come from? 6XVSLFLRXV RXU KXQJRYHU KHURHV WRRN RYHU the top tier, eager to see what delights awaited them in this unfamiliar setting. The home team of hacks and wonks, far from being intimidated, seemed excited to be able to strut their borLQJVWXŕŽ‰LQIURQWRIWKHQHRSK\WHVDQGZHUHRQ glorious form, catcalling, point-of-ordering and JHQHUDOO\\XFNLQJLWXS8QZHOFRPLQJ0\$UVH
mop-top claiming the AU oppressed the rest of the Union,and the Margate Monster pawing the Dear sirs, ground and stamping his feet in a show of pure 7RU\EHOOLJHUHQFH1RW$1DVW\3HUVRQ%RLVWHU- Whilst we welcome the decision of the UGM ous. to increase funding The mood in the room, and the eventual 588-99 to the AU, we remain result, bore up the AUâ€™s surprising tactic of be- concerned that this ing aggressively reasonable and accomodating, will infact result in whilst the opposition was so over the top that more diŕŽ‰iculties for even the Martianâ€™s seconder, he for whom the club captains as they Pell tolls, looked embarrassed to be on stage struggle to meet their ZLWK KLP %URPDQFH,QWHUUXSWHG 0HDQZKLOH new responsibilities. the Wong Number Amendment for free money Yours, was unsurprisingly rejected out of hand, and 0XVW\7UXVWHHJRWLQWRWURXEOHIRUOLEHOLQJWKH Mo Money Moe Problems libel checker. Standard Thursdays.
AU President Walter White (yes this joke resets when itâ€™s not in the Beverage Report) warmed up the crowd with his best Bruce Forsyth impression and gratuitous jokes about body waxing 6DYH,W)RU&DOL%UR EXWWKHUHDOVKRZFHQWUHG around the heavyweight clash between Martin the Martian and the Thanet Thunderer. Manchesterâ€™s most irritated export received a hostile reception, bombarded with paper from the gantry, but his tactic of berating and insulting the entire Athletics Union had the incredible, and possibly unprecedented, impact of handing the 0RUDO+LJK*URXQGWR0HDGR"
Dear Beaver, Just writing to congratulate German Society on their symposium. Best event LSEâ€™s ever seen! It was â€˜Ruhr-llyâ€™ good! Yours teutonically, Hans Down
The rhetoric reached ludicrous levels, with the Crasto lays down a few casual tracks whilst hacks look on
AIC IN FUNDING CRISIS? NO. One of LSEâ€™s wealthiest societies, the Alternative Investments Society, has been embarrassed recently by revelations that it charged students more money to attend LWV ŕŽ‹DJVKLS HYHQW WKDQ WKH\ could ever make speculating in alternative investments.
Totally Legit Letters
the Dagenham Working Menâ€™s Club, and the speakers could not possibly justify the price of admission, so we wonâ€™t list them.
Society Co-President BernaGHWWH 0DGRŕŽ‰ GHIHQGHG WKH decision, saying that if every attendee gets a friend to Leading LSE economists have come, they will receive free pointed out that the cost of tupperware and some magic an Alternative Investment beans. The society has also Conferece day pass has risen backed Krusty Mamal in his to a higher cost than a Class UGM campaign to give socieA share in famously stable ties unlimited free money, as:DUUHQ %XŕŽ‰HW YHKLFOH %HUN- with only ÂŁ15,000 in reserves shire Hathaway ($169,000 as they are a bit strapped for NYSE:BRK.A). The Confer- cash at the moment. (Whingence took place last week at ing cont. p.93)
FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS: WHAT JAY STOLL DID ON HIS HOLIDAYS
IN OTHER NEWS â€Ť Úšâ€ŹCatholic Cardinal visits LSE, turns out not to like gay people very much. â€Ťâ€˜ Úšâ€ŹSexism at LSEâ€™ event reveals that there is sexism at LSE. â€Ť Úšâ€ŹDan Martin sues 8QLRQDIWHUVXŕŽ‰HULQJ debilitating paper cuts at UGM. â€Ť Úšâ€ŹLSESU Dare to Think Society dares to think DWŕŽŠUVWHYHQWGLVbands.
This week's edition compiled by Tam Banters Col. Honey-Badger Chairman Wow Tanned Ale (again)
Tuesday February 11 2014
Have you got â€˜the Sports geneâ€™? Dennis Mooney - Executive Editor
Iâ€™ve always wondered whether I might have some hidden talent, ZKHWKHU , PLJKW RQH GD\ ŕŽŠQG D sport or an activity that I would take to instantly, so that people might describe me in that most hallowed of terms as â€˜a naturalâ€™. It was by turns both disappointing and reassuring to hear, at David Epsteinâ€™s lecture â€˜The Sports Geneâ€™ last Tuesday, that I probably wonâ€™t. That isnâ€™t to suggest my genes, or your genes, arenâ€™t important for sporting performance, however. Chairing the lecture, Ed Smith, former professional cricketer and now writer on sport and surrounding issues, introduced the issue by questioning how much of the skill of those around him whilst he had been playing had been â€˜brilliance, what god had givenâ€™, and how much was practice? Attempting to answer this is the foundation of Epsteinâ€™s book, The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete? and the ensuing lecture. Before he began researching the book, according to Epstein, a large sector of the literature on sports science ignored genetics completely. â€˜The popular narrative, particularly in the United States, was that so-called â€˜innate giftsâ€™ were just practice masquerading as talent.â€™ Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Bounce by Matthew Syed amongst others referenced â€˜the 10,000 hour ruleâ€™, which suggested â€˜that 10,000 hours practice was both necessary and sufficient to become a top athlete.â€™ This seemingly arbitrary rule was based on research conducted on professional violinists, already accepted by an elite music academy and all long past the magic 10,000 hour mark, but this hadnâ€™t stopped coaches budgeting exactly that amount of training time into programmes, for footballers between ages 8 and 18 in one example. The researcher at Florida State university had
The AUâ€™s stunning victory at this weekâ€™s UGN or something, where our defensiveness, paper throwing and loud voices ensured a vociferous debate, was surely inspired by the events of Wednesday night. Heroes of Zoo Bars past returned from Thailash, Goldman and from behind the Tuns bar for a
ignored many of the deductions based on his research until Epstein presented him with a copy of Outliers; he now has a letter on his website entitled â€˜The danger of delegating education to journalistsâ€™. Epstein critiqued these variRXV IDX[VFLHQWLŕŽŠF VWXGLHV LQ what he calls â€˜a nice wayâ€Ś I didnâ€™t have to be nasty because the science backed me up.â€™ It was a case of what he calls â€˜restrictive analysisâ€™ - â€˜it was like doing basketball research on NBA centresâ€Ś in the wider population, thereâ€™s actually a great degree of variance.â€™ With more targeted research, it turned out the very best athletes were not those who practiced more, but those who sleep more, socialise more and, early in their careers at least, specialise less. Smith cited at this point that, drilled into batting at an early age, he had to pick up some of the more basic movement skills required to be a professional cricketer later on, and suggested many top sportspeople are the same; Roger Federer failed at football and basketball before turning to tennis, for example. Early specialisation, in almost all cases, actually hinders overall development - â€˜If you want a kid to become as good an athlete as they can be,â€™ suggests Epstein, â€˜you donâ€™t want them to be as good as they can be at age 12.â€™ The exceptions to this rule are so rare that he calls them â€˜Unicornsâ€™; people ZKRŕŽŠQGDVSRUWDV7LJHU:RRGV did with golf, or are pushed into one, as the Williams sisters were with tennis at an early age but continue to excel are the real outliers. Epsteinâ€™s curiosity around the subject was piqued when, as a â€˜walk-onâ€™ to his college athletics team, he was paired up with an 800m runner who represented Canada at international level. They lived together and trained WRJHWKHUDQGDQLQLWLDOGHŕŽŠFLWRI 20 seconds rapidly disappeared; before long, Epstein was faster and his partner never recov-
ered. He didnâ€™t buy the explanation that he was simply tougher. Genetic testing proved him correct; it transpired that, although his partner was a natural athlete, he had far better â€˜trainabilLW\â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹJHQHV0RUHVSHFLŕŽŠFVWXGLHV have shown baseline ability and trainability are completely uncorrelated. In a more extreme example of genetic outliers, Epstein cites the case of the 7-time Olympic medallist in cross-country skiing who was revealed to have 50% more red blood cells than the
average person. It was assumed he was doping; genetic testing revealed he in fact had a natural overproduction of EPO - the drug used by, amongst others, Lance Armstrong - thanks to a single gene. So is it all genes? No. Epstein is keen to dismiss this; the debate is between people who say genes have no involvement, and people who say they have some - â€˜No geneticists are saying the fact that Michael Jordan is taller than 99.7% of the population diminishes his hard work.â€™ In some areas, practice is everything; Barry Bonds, the controversial baseball player with the record for the most home runs, discovered to his intense embarrassment that he couldnâ€™t hit a single ball from a female softball pitcher, so reliant was he on the ingrained reaction to the movements of the faster, bigger male baseball pitchers in order to preGLFWWKHŕŽ‹LJKWRIWKHEDOO Epstein uses this to dismiss *HRŕŽ‰UH\ %R\FRWWâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV FODLPV SXW forward by Smith, that he used
to decide what shot to play when the ball was two-thirds of the way down the pitch. The reaction time of 0.4 seconds is simply not long enough to make a conscious judgement; it takes 0.2 seconds to even register that the ball is in the air and moving. Similarly, the very best quarterbacks donâ€™t throw their passes based on the players they can see, but on the arrangement of WKH VSDFHV RQ WKH ŕŽŠHOG LQ IURQW of them. In both cases, the reactions are unconscious; â€˜the better theyâ€™re doing it, the more automated it is.â€™ There are rare examples of VSHFLŕŽŠF JHQHWLF SUHGLVSRVLWLRQ such as the case of a high-jumper who, never having formally trained for the event, took the Olympic title over one who had, by his own estimation, trained for over 20,000 hours; it turned out the former had an unusually long achilles tendon. This kind of unique ability, Smith suggested, may become more and more sigQLŕŽŠFDQW DV WKH LQFUHDVLQJ SURfessionalisation of sport means training becomes standardised; tennis player Tomas Berdych apparently commented recently that at the top level of the menâ€™s game, he feels it is impossible to get ahead simply by practicing. How can all this insight be applied? On an individual level, David suggests encouraging children to try as many sports as possible before they specialise, and once they have done, focus on the quality of practice, not the quantity. He also points out that the very best young sports people are those who self-regulate and who question their training; this can seem like a classic â€˜attitude problemâ€™, but shouldnâ€™t be suppressed. What about on a national level? Someone asks what he would do if he were a sports minister. â€˜The way to win at one sport is to follow the Jamaican model and make everyone sprint, then just pick the best ones. The way to win across the board is what the Chinese have done: measXUHSHRSOHDQGVKXŕŽ?HWKHPLQWR
the sports theyâ€™re suited for, narrow the initial talent pool.â€™ Itâ€™s not just the Chinese; Helen *ORYHU ZKR ZRQ %ULWDLQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹV ŕŽŠUVW medal in 2012, was parachuted into rowing after being measured for suitability. This explains why â€˜athleteâ€™s bodies are getting weirder - Michael Phelps is 6â€™4 but wears the same size trousers as the world-record holder for running a mile (5â€™9) because a long torso is good for swimming and long legs for runningâ€™. So if genes can give people such an advantage, asks someone else, why donâ€™t we allow doping to level the playing ŕŽŠHOG"7KLV(SVWHLQSRLQWVRXWLV a relativistic argument that we wouldnâ€™t apply to other methods of advantage; no one would suggest Mo Farahâ€™s opponents could take a shortcut. Plus, he adds that drugs arenâ€™t always the answer - he thinks Usain Bolt, for instance, is clean: â€˜the times he was running as a junior are as, if not more impressive than his times now.â€™ Finally, a sport is nothing more, ultimately, than a set of agreed-upon rules; if you start tampering with them you risk losing the overall appeal. Is there still hope for my Olympic dreams? If there is, itâ€™s a slim one; age 12 appears to be WKHFXWRŕŽ‰SRLQWIRUOHDUQLQJQHZ skills, as well as demonstrating both intrinsic and egoist motivation - the desire to improve oneâ€™s own performance as well as relative to others - and given that I havenâ€™t found my sport already Iâ€™d have far too much catching up to do. Epstein suggests â€˜talent transferâ€™ - the genetic propensity to adapt to new sports - is â€˜the million-dollar questionâ€™ right now; current research sugJHVWVDEHQHŕŽŠWWRSOD\LQJPXOWLple â€˜attacking sportsâ€™ but it is far from conclusive. Unless they uncover some dramatic transformative gene I happen to have been blessed with, though, it looks like Iâ€™ll have to stick to writing about sports.
ReAUnion (see what they did there! Gets me every time! XD) so lashy, so ladsy that the banterbus almost crashed. The current contingent would not be outshone, and were keen to show their elders (and betters! Lateness is rudeness!) that there were some new kings and queens of the jungle. There were also some other people there, but theyâ€™re bare irrelly mate. Are some of them even in the AU? The FCâ€™s social sec was very VRFLDO LQGHHG LQ =RR ŕŽŠQGLQJ the whole thing so easy he kept his hands in his pockets. Unfor-
tunately his nonchalance saw him return home alone; bit of a downer. The Beerhorse crossed WKH ŕŽŠQLVK OLQH QRW OLNH WKDW \RX ŕŽŠOWK WR HDUQ KLV PHGDO Meanwhile, a netballer left victoriously all of a sutton and the Broadsword passed into (not like WKDW\RXŕŽŠOWK WKH$GDPVIDPLO\ #Sexecutive #ProbablyNotActuallySexThoughJustKissing The cogs in the rumour mill were wurring as whispers of a fresh rag abounded, but the accused were having nona that. President Mike Whitmore In Rock Of Ages continues to be the bain of blondes everywhere,
his promises of Cali and a new focus on tackling discrimination within the Athletics Union luring a repeat romance. #CockOfAgesAMIRITE A cic-gendered footballer continued his romance with the eighths netball (I mean, have they ever actually plaaayed netball?) captain, while his club captain was a laur unto himself. Worries that a football fresher would prove a little green for a regular AU VWDŕŽ‰HUSURYHGZLGHRIWKHPDUN as she promptly passed out. A womenâ€™s rugby player returned to Brookside, while another spent time at the mill.
Donâ€™t let the fact that a footballer gave a hickey to a dead man make you think that the AU is full of nasty people though, or WKH+XQQ\%DGJHUZLOOVQLŕŽ‰\RX out. #HeDidntPayForTeachingHePaidForBoarding Another week, another Zoo. Another year, another year added to the degree. Another word, another comma followed by another word. Mate, it like, doesnâ€™t matter what club youâ€™re from, if you, like, do a good job on the exec. #OneMoreHashtagForTheRoad
â€œThe very best athletes were not those who practiced more, but those who sleep more, socialise more and... specialise less.â€?
Tuesday February 11 2014
BEAVER SPORTS FANTASY FOOTBALL Every week weâ€™ll print the top three, the bottom three and the best performing team.
The TOP... The Moose Knucklers (Conor Rohan) 1585 Points Mutant Ninja Skrtels (Joshua Goldman) 1508 Points
And the BOTTOM... Ivan Camposinos (Gabriel Everington) 950 Points Chavball United (Thomas Meaden) 947 Points Los Diablos Verdes (Hari Prabu) 938 Points Think you can do better?
970297-228156 SPORT IN BRIEF Winter Olympics Jenny Jones wins Great %ULWDLQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹVŕŤšUVWPHGDOLQ Sochi, taking Bronze in the Womenâ€™s Slopestyle Snowboarding.
Golf Cheyenne Woods, niece RI7LJHUZRQKHUŕŤšUVW major title in the Australian Ladiesâ€™ Masters.
6 Nations England won the Calcutta Cup, beating Scotland DW0XUUD\ŕŤšHOG Elsewhere Ireland and France defeated Wales and Italy respectively.
This week sees the start of the 22nd Winter Olympics held in the city of Sochi, in Russia. Russia has many claims to fame: it is the worldâ€™s largest country, LWZDVWKHKRPHRIWKHŕŽŠUVWPDQ to enter space and more recently it has passed a rather curious law against homosexuality. This law has caused outrage and consternation from Andy Roddick to Stephen Fry; and when Stephen Fry speaks out, you know this just got serious. The law, passed in June last year, bans â€œpropaganda of nontraditional sexual relationsâ€? targeted at under-18s. Iâ€™m not quite sure what â€œnon-traditional sexual relations propagandaâ€? entails; something like â€œKeep Calm and Be Gayâ€?, I imagine. Unsurprisingly, this has led to huge amounts of controversy overshadowing the lead-up to the Games. Fortunately, none of this apSDUHQWO\ DŕŽ‰HFWV WKH UHVLGHQWV of Sochi. Recently, Sochi mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, told the world that there were no gays in Sochi, which interestingly, makes it uniquely comparable to the English Premier League. The situation seems ripe for both satire and scrutiny. Writing back in August, Stephen Fry wrote an open letter to
the Prime Minister and the International Olympic Committee, declaring his criticism, stating that â€œan absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 in Sochi is simply essentialâ€?. Fry, like many others, was repulsed by the Russian law and saw it as an opportunity to scapegoat homosexuals in Russia, bleakly comparing the situation to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. So, should the Sochi Olympics have been boycotted? Put simply, no. A Sochi boycott would have been the wrong decision for two main reasons. Firstly, hosting the Games forces Russia to be scrutinised and secondly, the Games are ultimately about the athletes rather than the host city. When Russian President and judo enthusiast Vladimir Putin led the presentation for Sochiâ€™s bid back in 2007, winning the right to host the Games was of pivotal importance to him. Hosting the Winter Olympics would be an opportunity for Russia to highlight its international pedigree. Indeed, using the Olympics for political craftsmanship is nothing new. In 1972, West Germany wanted to present itself as a peaceful nation, in 2008, China used the Games to showcase its emergence on the world stage and in 2012, Great Britain hosted the Olympics to prove
that the country was still, well, Great. In hosting the Games, Putin hoped Russia would prove its re-emergence as an international power with the perils of communism left far behind. It is because Sochi are hosting the Games that the new anti-gay laws have had so much international media attention. In contrast, the worsening position of homosexuals in countries such as Nigeria and Uganda has not had the same degree of comprehensive scrutiny. The eyes of the world are on Russia and it will have to deal with the sustained criticisms of its new laws or risk losing out on the international credibility it sought to achieve. More importantly, it should be remembered that the Games are not ultimately about the host city, they are about the athletes who have worked tremendously hard to showcase their talents.
Now, because Iâ€™m a massive wuss, the idea of sliding on a tea-tray down a huge icy slope at 80mph has literally no appeal, but the athletes that spend years training for events like this should be applauded and allowed to compete. A boycott would deprive us all of the next Eric Heiden or Eddie the Eagle. The 2014 Sochi Olympics wonâ€™t be remembered for the â€˜momentâ€™ that Russia re-entered the international scene; instead, weâ€™ll look back and recall the joy of Great Britainâ€™s token medal, probably in curling, and the charismatic Jamaican bobsleigh team. Sport enthusiasts across the world can use these weeks to both revel in a breadth of exciting competitions and at the same time, question whether Russia can really earn the international respect that they desire whilst enacting their rather ridiculous laws. Credit: Flickr: U.S. Army IMCOM
Strutting Edge (Chris Edgington) 1506 Points
Why Weâ€™re Right to Attend the Winter Games
Introducing... LSE Sports Ambassadors Sports Editor Gareth Rosser speaks to Chris Anguelov, a tennis player and LSE Sports Ambassador. GR: How did you get into tennis? CA: My dad was into all sorts of sports, and when I was younger heâ€™d literally just throw balls at meâ€Ś tennis balls, football, basketballs. As I got older, the tennis club near me was better than other sports clubs nearby and I showed some promise and passion for it. My cousin was also quite good but she gave up when she was 16, which kind of spurred me on. GR: And whatâ€™s training like now, do you still train in the same club? CA: No, I now train in an academy in Chiswick, which is one of the best centres in the country. Theyâ€™ve got great physio facilities there, including a gym and a swimming pool. A normal day consists of warming up from 9.30 - 10am, followed by tennis practise until 3 with a break for OXQFK ,â€ŤÚ‘â€ŹG WKHQ KDYH D ŕŽŠWQHVV session for an hour and a half, and on top of that youâ€™ve got to do rehab and prehab exercises to prevent injuries. These are personal to everyone, and it takes me about an hour. During term time I have to rearrange P\ FODVVHV WR ŕŽŠW ZLWK WKH DFDGemyâ€™s schedule. Thatâ€™s actually where the Sports Ambassadors has been helpful, theyâ€™ve given me a reason to switch all my classes to one day, so I can still train three or four days a week.
port that the one in the UK has. Gregor Dmitrov recently UHDFKHGWKHTXDUWHUŕŽŠQDOVRIWKH Australian Open, and heâ€™s helping boost the popularity of the sport in Bulgaria.
GR: What do you do about lectures then? CA: Well, most of my lectures are recorded. I try and come in as often as I can, but I generally watch them online. The Sports Ambassadors have really helped PH ŕŽŠQDQFLDOO\ DV ZHOO DV ZLWK changing my schedule; their funding helped me spend four weeks in Bulgaria and three in Turkey over the summer. I was able to compete in 7 tournaPHQWV , FRXOGQâ€ŤÚ‘â€ŹW KDYH DŕŽ‰RUGHG to go to them without the Sports Ambassadorsâ€™ support. GR: So how important is tournament experience for tennis players? CA: Tournament experience really is key. Thereâ€™s very little difference technically between a player ranked 200 and 2000 in ZRUOG7KHGLŕŽ‰HUHQFHLVSV\FKRlogical. A 6-4 set is decided by WKH ŕŽŠQHVW PDUJLQV DQG \RX FDQ only develop the experience and maturity to win by competing repeatedly in high pressured situations. So having the opportunity to go abroad for 7 weeks to compete for a sustained period is invaluable. After I came back ,ZDVDEOHWRZLQP\ŕŽŠUVWZRUOG ranking points, and I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d have been able to do it without the experience I gained over the summer. GR: So what then are your goals for the future? How far
GR: When do tennis players peak?
do you hope to go with tennis? CA: In the short term, Iâ€™d really like to play Davis cup for Bulgaria. To have a good chance of making the team, Iâ€™ll really need to be ranked around 450 in world. But you canâ€™t make a living playing tennis at that level. My long term goal is to reach the top 100 and compete in grand slams. Itâ€™d be a dream come true. GR: And what ranking are you at the moment? CA: Haha, at the moment Iâ€™m ranked about 1890, so Iâ€™ve got some way to go. GR: Competing for Bulgaria, how well established is tennis there? CA: A lot sport, but federation have the
of people watch the obviously the tennis in Bulgaria doesnâ€™t same level of sup-
CA: Itâ€™s actually changed a lot in the last few years. Everything players now do is professionally managed, with teams of nutritionists, physios and coaches helping to optimise every aspect of a playersâ€™ performance. In the past 4 years there hasnâ€™t been a teenager in the top 100. The average age has increased drastiFDOO\ZKLFKSUREDEO\UHŕŽ‹HFWVWKH importance of the psychological aspect I spoke about earlier. GR: Obviously youâ€™ve been a EHQHŕŤšFLDU\RIWKH6SRUWV$Pbassadors scheme, but how do you think sport as a whole is treated in the LSE? CA: Iâ€™m massively grateful for the support Iâ€™ve been getting from LSE, but I think itâ€™s only touching the surface. In tennis students spend on average ÂŁ600 per year from their own pockets representing LSE. They donâ€™t get enough support. I actually think that music, arts and drama are all massively underfunded too. The skills gained from contributing in these extracurriculars are invaluable, the school should appreciate that we donâ€™t just learn through study.
Introducing... LSE Sports Ambassadors
Have You Got the ‘Sports Gene’?
Why We’re Right to Attend the Olympics
We’re Beaver Tuesday February 11 2014 not ju st the FREE! The B everag e Rep ort
Disability Need Not Be a Barrier to Sport Tom Maksymiw & Jade Symonds
LSE’S SPORTING WINNERS The list of LSE sporting victories in full for the last week.
Badminton LSE Women’s 1st 5 3 UCL Women’s 2nd Netball LSE Women’s 1st 24 - 15 Queen Mary’s 2nd LSE Women’s 5th 27 - 20 Royal Free and University College Medical School Women’s 5th Squash LSE Men’s 1st 3 - 2 University of Surrey Men’s 1st LSE Men’s 2nd 3 - 0 University of Surrey Men’s 3rd LSE Women’s 1st 4 0 University of Essex Women’s 1st
Last Monday LSE welcomed Adam Faulkner and Charlie James from England Deaf Rugby, and Oliver Eadsforth from England Deaf Football. Organised by AU Treasurer Tom Meaden and LSESU Disability Officer Jade Symonds, the talk was an opportunity for the three England internationals to discuss their experiences competing as athletes with disabilities. &KDUOLH -DPHV ZDV WKH ஊUVW to speak, beginning the event by dispelling some myths about deaf people and deaf sport. They don't have a bell in a ball, as it “wouldn’t be much help for deaf people”, and there are better ways to communicate with GHDISHRSOHRQDQGRஉWKHSLWFK than shouting and “waving your hands like your dad on holiday”. In reality his experience of deaf rugby, he argued, is not that dissimilar to non-deaf rugby apart from maybe “a few more tackles after the whistle”. Indeed the standards are similar enough that a deaf rugby player - Matt Gilbert of Bath Rugby - currently plays in the Aviva Premiership. He suggested that being deaf isn’t a bar to a sporting career but an obstacle. Like any obstacle, he said “it's easier to overcome it if you've got people around you who help”. His teammate Adam Faulkner
echoed this sentiment, despite his deafness causing some setbacks in his career. He recalled the time a Worcester Warriors VFRXWZLWKGUHZDWULDORஉHUDIWHU noticing his hearing aid. However deaf rugby, strengthened with funding from the RFU, has allowed him to progress all the way to an international level in his sport. Adam, like Charlie, was proud that his disability PDNHVQRGLஉHUHQFHWRKLVRUDQ\ other player's ability to play and enjoy rugby. This was not helped however by some rules and regulations which prohibit him from wearing his hearing aid thus rendering him completely unable to hear during games. Lyndon James, Secretary for England Deaf Rugby Union, an audience member at the event, explained that this regulation, which only applies for international games, was in order to ensure that players were sufficiently impaired so that they could compete on equal terms with those players for whom a hearing aid would not help. It is however a controversial regulation in deaf rugby as there will be an inevitable variance between players from those who are mild to those who are profoundly deaf. Oliver Eadsforth spoke about the progress made by England Deaf Football since its founding in 2003. It has expanded to accommodate 16 teams around
England and Wales formed solely of deaf men and, increasingly, deaf women. The biggest chalOHQJH 2OLYHU LGHQWLஊHG QRZ LV to support younger players and get them involved in the sport as well as to involve more deaf coaches to give the young players positive deaf role models. The expansion of England Deaf Football has been rapid, with a men's, women's and now an under 21 team competing at European, World and Deaf Olympic level. Oliver conceded that it was difficult to recruit some deaf people into the game but that having the support structures and disability representa-
tives at the local F.A. level to make deaf football as accessible as possible to those deaf people who do want to play could only lead to the sport's increasing popularity. The message from the event was one of steady progress in bringing both sports to the deaf community and the deaf community to sports. While there is still a way to go deaf sports, if well supported, are going to continue to grow in their popular and become more widely played on an international level.
Indian Talents Showcased in Rural Olympics Madiha Bataineh
Every year the village of Kila Raipur hosts the Kila Raipur Sports Festival, better known as the Rural Olympics . Similarly to the more traditional Olympics, it holds its share of hockey and volleyball players, discus throwers and sprinters. But unlike its more famous counterpart it also features the of a man being driven over by a tractor as a roaring crowd cheers him for his strength and courage. It’s
safe to say that the Rural Olympics showcase the abilities of India’s more unusual athletes; he’s swiftly followed by a man pulling cars with his ears. The event’s origins stretch back to the 17th century, but the modern Rural Olympics dates back to 1933, when philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal decided to launch a festival that would get farmers to forget their chores for a few days and compete in spirited games. Among the more interesting competitions are horseback acrobatics and bullock chariot rac-
LSE Men’s 2nd 9 - 8 University of Essex Men’s 2nd
Credit: Flickr: ToreaJade
cludes a tug-of-war, Rasa Kashi, and hide-and-seek, Lukan Miti. The events continue for three days and three nights, each evening bringing with it a feast and range of folk musicians. One article called the event a “sports bonanza.” Another, in “Environmental Graffiti,” was titled “Crazy People and Insane Feats.” Its author writes, “Some of the participants in the RuUDO 2O\PSLFV GHஊQLWHO\ GHVHUYH their place in the pantheon of the batty and downright bonkers.” Instead of describing it as crazy, however, why not celebrate it for stretching the boundaries of athletic competition?
Credit: Flickr: ToreaJade
Table Tennis LSE Men’s 1st 9 - 8 University of Essex Men’s 1st
ing (until it was banned by the Animal Welfare Board of India in 2012). It also includes extreme feats such as men pulling heavy vehicles with their hair and others carrying large bicycles or metal ploughs with their teeth. One commentator put it neatly, “Toothpaste marketers might be wise to look to Kila Raipur as fertile ground for potential endorsements and sponsorship.” Many of the events on the program could have stepped out of a page in The Guinness Book of World Records. The competition has no age restrictions, and some of its competitors are over 70; anyone who believes that athletes’ careers peak early on in life hasn’t been to the Rural Olympics. Participants don’t have to receive formal training. Participants don’t even need to be human; horses and dogs can be entered into some races. All in all, about 4,000 athletes enter the competitions. The Games attract about a million spectators each year, with many travelling thousands of miles to witness Kali Raipur’s spectacles and participate in the audience’s roar. The festival in-