Page 1

INTERVIEW: Raymond Li, Head of BBC Chinese Service

NYMPH()MANIAC Vol. I & II PartB p. 17

Features p. 23

Israeli Apartheid Week: The Debate Opinion p. 8-9


Beaver Tuesday February 25 2014 | | No. 808

Robin Iversen Ronnlund

FREE Newspaper of the LSE Students’ Union

UGM introduces Community Voting and Society Funding BOTH THE MOTION to introduce community voting at LSE Students’ Union elections and the motion to increase the funding of LSESU societies were passed after online voting following last Thursday’s Union General Meeting (UGM). The former motion was passed by 193 votes (64 per cent) in favour to 95 against and 14 undecided while the latter was passed by 338 votes (91 per cent) in favour to 26 against and seven undecided. The motion to ‘Fund Our Societies’ was proposed by Jason Wong, a student representative on the LSE Court of Governors, and was seconded by the Activities and Development Officer, Hannah Rich-

mond. The motion seeks to make a further £15,000 available for societies to spend. This money would be broken down into: £5,500 to double the prize money given as STARS Awards to societies, £6,500 to provide free printing and web development support to societies and £3,000 of funding to be allocated between an estimated thirty new societies each year. This motion followed the one seeking a 15% increase to the budget of the LSE Athletics’ Union and this prompted Wong to make the case that the SU has ‫ڔ‬DVVLJQLஊFDQWDUHVSRQVLELOLW\ to the funding of societies as it does to the AU.” Wong felt that currently the Activities and Development Fund was not sufficient for societies as it did not provide “guaranteed

funding” and believed that new societies “starting with no money” were especially in need. Richmond followed by emphasising that money was not going to be simply given to societies but would be speFLஊFDOO\ WDUJHWHG WR ‫ڔ‬HQFRXUage development” through funds rewarding quality of activities and supporting sociHWLHVLQWKHLU஋HGJOLQJSHULRG However, an important point was raised by the opposer of the motion, second year BSc Mathematics and Economics student Mark Malik, who TXHVWLRQHGWKHRQHVL]HஊWVDOO nature of the motion and who wanted the money to be “more targeted towards smaller societies.” Continued on Page 3


Hari Prabu

Jade Symonds and Sam Barnett speaking in favour of the Introduce Community Voting motion WIKIMEDIA

LSE Divest request reveals School’s indirect investments in fossil fuels, tobacco and alcohol Sophie Donszelmann, News Editor

The 150 companies include some of the following:

Tobacco companies : British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group.

Alcoholic beverage companies

including Diageo,

Anheuser-Busch and SabMiller breweries.

Multinational energy companies:

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Tullow Oil and BHP Billiton

Pharmaceutical companies :

GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Takeda, Novartis, Sanofi, Bayer,

Other companies

include Harley Davidson, Amazon, Canon, Nestle, Woolworths, National Grid, and Apple The School also has indirect investments in smaller companies such as AKBANK TAS, a Turkish bank; Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited; and First Quantum Minerals in Zambia to name a few.

THE LSE DIVEST CAMPAIGN has obtained a list of some of the investment fund holdings held by the London School of Economics. The document, from the LSE’s Investment Committee, was provided to the LSE Divest Campaign and subsequently to the Beaver. The number of holdings of each category was listed but WKH VSHFLஊF TXDQWLW\ RI HDFK KROGLQJ ZDV QRW VSHFLஊHG The investments are managed by, amongst others, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. The document is organized under titles such as ‫ڔ‬%ODFN5RFN3DFLஊF5LP,QGH[ 144 Holdings” and “BlackRock Ascent UK Real Return Bond Fund: 53 Holdings,” with distinctions made between A and B shares. Little information is made available to the public regarding the School’s investment holdings. Only the members of the Investment Sub-Commit-

tee, rather than the Investment Committee, are readily available on the LSE website. The Investment Sub-Committee is composed of eleven representatives who include alumni, current professors and a Sabbatical Officer representative, among other members of the School administration. This information has gained the attention from those who have questioned the ethical implications of such associations. The LSE Divest Campaign is one of those groups who cite a violation of the School’s published Ethics Code and Ethical Guidelines. The LSE Divest Campaign states its mission is to, among others, have the LSE “immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies” DQG ‫ڔ‬LPPHGLDWHO\ VWRS LWV ஊQDQFLDO VXSSRUW IRU WKH H[SORration of new hydrocarbons and instead shift its investment portfolio towards low carbon technology and clean energy companies.”

“LSE does not invest directly in companies: it invests in a range of investment funds,” an LSE spokesperson said. “As the [Socially Responsible investment] policy states: ‘The School is concerned to conduct investment management in a socially responsible and ethical manner that takes into account relevant environmental, social and governance issues.’ The School also has an investments sub-committee, as well as an ethics policy committee which can consider investments. Both of these committees include student representation. Decisions on investments in respect of ethical issues ultimately rest with the LSE Council, which also has student representation.” Continued on Page 4 See page 11 for an Opinion piece from the LSE Divest Campaign.

8QLRQ%DVKÄ? Has spotted candidates realising everyone’s a voter: All these events to Click ‘I’m attending’ on. What? Bandwagon jumping?



Established in 1949 Issue No. 808 - Tuesday February 25 2014 - Telephone: 0207 955 6705 Email: Website: Twitter: @beaveronline

Run or vote; democracy wins. In last week’s semi-editorial, I vigorously and somewhat blunderingly defended the principles of democracy against those who would undermine it by ignoring the collective responsibility to operate within the rules, thereby ensuring legitimacy. This week, a great piece in our Opinion section by a far-too-clever friend of mine challenges our Union’s democracy not on the grounds of corruption but of disinterest; it uses economic analysis which goes far beyond my EC100-level understanding to explain why UGM turnout is so low, for example. The conclusions are based on theory, but, awkwardly for me and triumphally for him, tally closely with reality; this week, two brilliant UGM motions WKDW DŕŽ‰HFW OLWHUDOO\ WKRXVDQGV RI VWXGHQWV DW /6( both passed, but both only just evaded the jaws of that most ignominious defeat of democracy: inquoracy. So can I defend against accusations? Well, yes, by pointing out that it may only be the people who really care who vote, but an interested minority is, I would contend, likely to produce a ‘better’

outcome. But, as ever, the best defence is a good RŕŽ‰HQFH OHW‍ڑ‏V SURYH ZH DUH GHPRFUDWLF E\ EHLQJ democratic. To clumsily paraphrase the SU’s giant, ubiquitious posters, run, but if you’re not running, vote, and that way democracy wins. Find the candidates (odds on they’ll be on Houghton Street or outside the library) and ask them what they mean when they use the words progressive, proactive and dynamic. If you get a good answer, act on it, and if you get a bad one, don’t be afraid to let the candidate, and the othHUYRWHUVNQRZ'RQ‍ڑ‏WZULWHLWRŕŽ‰DVDSRSXODULW\ FRQWHVW EHFDXVH DOO RI \RX E\ GHனQLWLRQ DUH WKH popular vote. I will pretentiously repeat what I pretentiously wrote last year: ‘Apathy is not an inspiring emotion, but for most people it is one that surrounds student union politics like a mist which clears only when a mountain of personal interest pokes through. But love, hate, anger and inspiration should decide these elections, not apathy.’

The Beaver has one press ticket for tonight’s event ‘In conversation with Rohan Silva’

Bernard Levin Award Launch!




Room 2.02, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, LSE Students Union London WC2A 2AE Executive Editor Dennis Mooney

Managing Editor Josh Jinruang

News Editor Sophie Donszelmann

Opinion Editor Sebastien Ash

Features Editor Mike Pearson

Social Editor Amelia Thomson

Sport Editor Gareth Rosser

PartB Editor Alexander Fyfe

Online Editor Martha Petrocheilos

Advertising Manager Hayley Fenton

Collective Chair Liam Hill

Come to the 6th Floor of the Saw Swee Hock centre TODAY (February 25th) from 1-2pm for the launch of LSESU’s annual Bernard Levin award for student journalism.

If you would like to cover it for us, please let us know ASAP by emailing

The event is your opportuQLW\WR૽QGRXWGHWDLOVRIHQtry requirements and prizes as well as meet some of the judges and past competitors. Snacks and drinks will be provided! If you can’t make it today, stop by and pick up a briefing pack from the SU Office RQ WKH UG ૾RRU DQ\ WLPH this week!

5FMMVTXIBUZPVUIJOL Are you currently living in LSE or University of London accommodation? You are invited to complete our LSE student accommodation survey. Your feedback helps us to shape and improve our services, and by taking part you can win some fantastic prizes including an iPad or ÂŁ20 Amazon vouchers. An extra prize goes to the hall that reaches the highest response rate by the end of the survey on 28 February 2014. For details, check your email inbox or visit: XXXMTFBDVLDVSSFOUIBMMSFTJEFOUT XXXMTFBDVLDVSSFOUIBMMSFTJEFOUT MTFBDVLDVSSFOUIBMMSFTJEFOUT Thank you Rachael Elliott Head of Residential Life


The Beaver would like to thank Michael Needham of CTG Photography for generously allowing us to use his photos of the LSESU Fashion Show last week; it was greatly appreciated.

The Collective: A Afridi, A Badwe, A Cameron, A Dawson, A Doherty, A Fraser, A Fyfe, A Hughes, A Laird, A Manawapat, A Moro, A Qazilbash, A Santhanham, A Tanwa, A Thomson, A Wright, B Arslan, B Butterworth, B Phillips, B Rogers, C Loughran, C V Pearson, C Naschert, C S Russell, C Hu, D Hung, D Martin, D Mooney, D Poole, D Sippel, D Wong, E $UQROG ( )RUWK ) %HQQHWW * &DૹHUR G Everington, G Kist, G Manners-Armstrong, G Rosser, G Saudelli, H Brentnall, H Burdon, H Fenton, H Thompson, H Toms, I Mosselmans, I Plunkett, J Allsop, J Anderson, J V Armstrong, J Cusack, J Evans, J Grabiner, J Heeks, J Jackman, J Jinruang, J Mo, J Momodu, J Pelling, J Rosen, J Ruther, J Wacket, J Wong, K Farzad, K Kenney, K Owusu, K Pezeshki, K Quinn, K Rogers, L Hill, L Kang, L Montebello, M Akram, M Crockett, M Gallo, M Harrath, M Jaganmohan, M Neergheen, M Pearson, M Pennill, M Petrocheilos, M Strauss, M Warbis, N Antoniou, N Bhaladhare, N J Buckley-Irvine, N Russell, N Stringer, N Thangarajah, O Hill, O Gleeson, P Amoroso, P Gederi, R Browne, R Chouglay, R Chua, R Huq, R J Charnock, R Kouros, R Park, R Serunjogi, R Siddique, R Uddin, R Williams, S Ash, S Barnett, S Crabbe-Field, S Donszelmann, S Hang Low, S Kunovska, S Parmar, S Sebatindira, S Thandi, T Barnes, T Maksymiw, T Meaden, T Poole, V Harrold

If you do not appear on this list and have written three or more articles, please email: Any opinions expressed herein are those of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the LSE Students’ Union or Beaver (GLWRULDO6WD૸

The Beaver is issued under a Creative Commons license. Attribution necessary.




Tuesday February 25 2014

News Music Society Hosts Lecture on Music Under Taliban

LSE Students Protest Against Oil Company Perenco, Cite Risks to Indigenous Peoples


PROTESTS AGAINST the Anglo-French oil company, Perenco, are being instigated by both LSE students in London as well as indigenous people in Peru. The student body organising the London based protest - LSE SU Terra – wanted to raise Perenco workers’ awareness of the deaths their company might cause due to their operations in Northern Peru. Despite the concerns it will have on indigenous people, the society claims that Perenco oil continues to operate in Northern Peru. To highlight this, the LSE SU Terra society dressed in doctors’ costumes DQGZLHOGHGLQŕŽ‹DWDEOHV\ULQJHV outside Perenco’s offices in Chelsea in order to inform their workers of the consequences their company’s actions. The society claims that lives are being put at risk by Perenco’s work around Lot 67 of Peru, from where a 207 km pipeline was constructed at the beginning of this year. LSE SU Terra’s protest last Wednesday was an attempt to appeal to the ‘moral consciousnesses’ of Perenco workers, whose company are accused of harming over 50% of the 15 tribes that live in the area that they are operating in. These indigenous people, ZKRFRQVWLWXWHGLŕŽ‰HUHQW Continued from front page The motion to introduce community voting was correctly predicted by UGM Chair Joe Anderson to be “slightly more contentious.â€? The motion was proposed by Disabled Students’ Officer Jade Symonds and seconded by Sam Barnett, a student representative on the Academic Board. The motion, having been passed, makes it that only self-identifying women, disabled and LGBT students can vote for their respective liberation officers in LSESU elections. Jade stated that the purpose of the motion was to ensure that the role of the liberation officers,

tribes, have not been informed of the oil operations. The society is very concerned about this as these tribes live in voluntary isolation and thus they lack immunity to common diseases which the oil workers will inevitably carry. According to the website of indigenous rights organization,



Survival International, over 50% of the Nehua tribe of Mexico died due to contact with Shell oil in the 1980s. In total, around 80% of the indigenous population of the Americas has been lost upon contact with colonizers since the mid-15th century, is the general consensus among researchers. Oliver Keisner, Secretary

of Terra society and third year BSc Anthropology student, explained: “It is important for us in the West to protest because ZHRIWHQEHQHனWIURPWKHVH sorts of processes of extraction around the world; the destruction in the global South consistently helps produce our prosperity.â€? Whilst standing outside the offices, Terra society members encountered many Perenco workers leaving and returning for their lunch break. Although most of them pretended to ignore the students, one worker explained “I’m afraid we’ve been told we’re not allowed to talk to you.â€? The local barber permitted the society to hang their banners up on the railings outside his shop and the manager of the pub, at which the Perenco workers are regulars, took a SLOHRIWKHSURWHVWHUV‍Ú‘â€ŹŕŽ‹LHUVWR educate their customers on the wrong-doings of their next-door neighbours. The protests by LSE SU Terra are not the only public opposition faced by Perenco. In Peru, the year 2009 was marked by demonstrations by indigenous people that were “violentlyâ€? broken up by the Peruvian navy. The LSE society will be holding a third protest outside the Peruvian embassy, followed by a boat party, near the end of this term.

as being “first and foremost to represent the interests of the students within each liberation group�, could not be undermined by self-identifying students not having the primary say on who leads the campaigns that directly affect them. She denied that the motion was exclusionary and that if the motion passed “the campaigns [of the liberation officers] were [then] only for [selfidentifying students]�. Sam acknowledged that he had in previous years opposed similar motions for the main reason given by Thursday’s opposer, Will Duffield. Will took issue that the liberation officers were meant to be “accountable

to all studentsâ€? and yet would be only voted for by self-identifying students. Sam however believed that students could still be involved in the campaigns of liberation officers by giving “constructive criticism‌ our advice and‌ our helpâ€?. 7KH 8*0 னQLVKHG ZLWK WKH Chair encouraging people to stand in the upcoming Lent Term Elections which will now EH WKH னUVW WR LQFOXGH FRPPXnity voting, a long-standing norm in many other student institutions. If and when the now formally stated interest in more society funding will deliver budgetary change remains unclear.

“It is important for us LQ WKH :HVW WR SURWHVW because we often benefit from these sorts of processes of extraction around the world; the destruction in the global South consistently helps produce our prosperity.� Oliver Keisner, LSE SU Terra secretary

ON 13TH FEBRUARY Emeritus Professor John Baily talked at LSE about the censorship of Music in Afghanistan during the Taliban Era. Professor Baily from the Afghanistan Music Unit at Goldsmiths spoke about the experiences he gained during his numerous visits to Afghanistan and reported about the Taliban’s ban on musical instruments. Following an invitation from the LSESU Music Society, Baily took the audience on a journey to the seemingly very remote Taliban music culture. Indeed, WKH7DOLEDQDWனUVWVFRXUJHGDOO forms of musical expression as distraction from remembrance and worshipping of God. As a consequence, they banned musical instrument with the exception of a frame drum which was used for domestic music making, the professor pointed out. However, during the Taliban era in Afghanistan from 19962001, policies evolved and were changed. For instance, whereas at the beginning of the reigning public music was completely prohibited and very little music appeared in the media, the Taliban later allowed “taranasâ€?. Taranas are songs without instruments or words, which did not constitute music according to the Taliban. Despite the rather esoteric nature of the topic, Baily succeeded in entertaining the audience by drawing from a vast array of anecdotes to illustrate his argument. Most notably, the Professor of Ethnomusicology gave an account of the little peculiarities that occurred fol-

lowing the release of the movie “Titanicâ€? in 1997. The movie gained massive attention and popularity amongst the Afghans which led to the rise of new product ranges. He spoke of 7LWDQLFULFHEHLQJRŕŽ‰HUHGRQ Titanic-bazaars. Yet this curiosity should not delude the observer, Baily noted. In the same time period, the Taliban piled up mediums like videotapes or music cassettes in stadiums to publicly burn them. Being asked on his prediction for Afghanistan’s future, Baily responded that the country’s development after the devastation in the early 1990s was rather positive. Notably, he argued that the presence of modern media nowadays helps prevent the reoccurrence of the ban on music that the Afghan people experienced in the past. The LSESU Music Society Lecture Cycle ends this term with two upcoming lectures: On 28th February, Dr Dan Matlin (KCL) will lecture about Louis Armstrong, racial politics and civil rights activism. On 13th Benjamin Britten’s music and its role in British cultural rebirth after World War Two. Dr Heather Wiebe (KCL), an expert on 20th century music, will present this last lecture. All events will be open to the public.

Tuesday February 25 2013




News Artichoke Society researches student career aspirations Dan Martin

A MAJORITY OF LSE STUDENTS do not aspire to careers in investment banking or management consulting and do not see salary as the most important factor to their career, according to research published this week by the LSESU Artichoke Society. The report, ‘Alternative Aspirations’ found that ten per cent of undergraduate students hoped to work in investment banking and six per cent in consulting. 33 per cent of students did not know in which sector they would prefer to work, the largest proportion of any answer given. Public policy and law were equally as popular as investment banking, and academia was as popular as consulting.

Continued from front page The Socially Responsible Investment statement, released in 2009, also states that since 2006 “no funds arising from student fees or from the day to day activities of the School have been invested in equities.â€? LSE may not be alone in these kinds of investments. The London Student reported that Imperial College has ÂŁ785,000 indirectly invested

The research, from a survey of undergraduates, also found that 14 per cent of students believed salary was the most important factor in their career, while 49 per cent named a personal interest in WKH DUHD %HQHனW WR VRFLHW\ was named by 13 per cent. Among all disciplines, law students were most likely to name salary as the most important factor and accounted for 33 per cent of students choosing this option, but made up only 11 per cent of all respondents to the survey, an over-representation that the researchers were unable to explain. 6WXGHQWVLQWKHLUனUVW\HDU of study were more likely to name salary as the most important factor to their career, more likely to aspire to a career in investment banking and less likely to be moti-

in tobacco companies and several London universities are “receiving millions of pounds from weapons manufacturers and government defence bodies to carry out research.â€? LSE Students’ Union General Secretary, Jay Stoll, had these words to say on the isVXH ‍ڔ‏6LQFH WKH /LE\D $ŕŽ‰DLU stakeholders within both the Union and the School are keen to make sure LSE conducts itself to the highest ethical standards. This outlook is evi-

Tough times – SU bar ૹQDQFLDOO\VWUHWFKHG The Students’ Union have called an emergency meeting this week to talk about the future of the Goldsmiths student bar, The Stretch in light of news that the bar is making a FULSSOLQJ னQDQFLDO ORVV IRU WKH Union. Education Officer Soren Goard has created a Facebook event, entitled “Do we really need a bar?â€? that calls for students to come along and discuss the future of the union building following news that The Stretch and its entertainments made a combined loss of ÂŁ39,000 last academic year with the expectation that it will be an even JUHDWHUGHனFLWWKLV\HDU

YDWHG WR EHQHனW VRFLHW\ WKDQ students in their third year. None of the students aiming to work in investment bankLQJVHOHFWHGEHQHனWVRFLHW\DV the most important factor, but 23 per cent chose a desire to be challenged. The report, released as students apply to spring week programmes and summer internships, criticises both the School’s leadership and the Students’ Union for failing to recognise the diversity of students’ career aspirations. Its authors urge the Students’ Union to accept some loss in UHYHQXH LQ RUGHU WR UHŕŽ‹HFW this diversity in marketing material distributed to students and to give sectors with ‘limited resources the same opportunities to advertise’ on campus.

Quoting previous research from the UK Graduate Careers Survey, the authors suggest that undergraduates’ aspirations do not appear to match their expectations. In 2012, the report notes, 41 SHUFHQWRIனQDO\HDUVWXGHQWV applied to careers in investment banking and 26 per cent applied for management consulting. The report asserts that this is at least in part down to the frequent marketing opportunities these two sectors are given at the LSE. ‘We are concerned that Imperial and Dyson students will end up in ca- to launch new reers they have no interest in DQG DUH XQIXOனOOHG E\‍ ڑ‏VD\V Robotics Lab the report, and that the variety of sectors students are A new centre that collaborates apparently aiming for should with Dyson will be launching at be celebrated. Imperial in the Department of Computing, this will be the Dyson Robotics Laboratory.

denced by the School adhering to the many recommendations of the Woolf report, the majority of which are now complete. I have, however, raised concerns with both AF and CC in person about our relationship with the tobacco industry. Whilst I have been told LSE has no direct investments in the industry, the scale and regularity with which the tobacco industry acquires new holdings may mean LSE indirectly contrib-

utes. I have committees and meetings with individual student campaigners this week to collect more empirical information on the matter.� Chief Financial Officer at LSE, Andrew Farrell, responded to a tweet by LSESU General Secretary Jay Stoll, saying “The School has no direct investments in tobacco but I expect we have indirect investments: wish we didn’t. Worse than arms.�

Model United Nation hosts London Security Excercise Ben Phillips

STUDENTS FROM around WKH ZRUOG ŕŽ‹RFNHG WR WKH /6( last weekend to take part in the London Security Exercise (LSEMUN), a conference for debating and solving global issues. Organised by the LSE Students’ Union United Nations Society, this year’s conference focused on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the travails of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the struggle for Indian Independence. LSEMUN 2014 began with an informative address from Francisco Panizza, an Associate Professor in the Department of Government, who stressed the importance of collective action problems in resolving international conŕŽ‹LFW6RRQDIWHUZDUGVFRQIHUence participants were thrust into action on issues both

historical and contemporary. At LSEMUN, delegates repUHVHQW UHDO SROLWLFDO னJXUHV and simulate their responses to global crises. For this year’s conference, delegates went back in time to play the UROHVRIVXFKனJXUHVDV1LNLWD Khrushchev, John F. Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi. With enormous executive power at WKHLU னQJHUWLSV DQG WKH IDWH of the world in their hands, delegates were braced for a weekend of fraught deliberation. 7KH FRQŕŽ‹LFWV DQG GLYLGHV synonymous with the WTO, the Indian Independence movement and the parties of the Cuban Missile Crisis were apparent throughout the weekend of debate. While steady progress was made towards a revolutionary trade agreement by students representing the WTO, diplomacy ZDV QRW VR HDV\ WR னQG IRU

those representing the United States National Security Council, the Soviet Politburo and the Cabinet of Cuba. Russian delegates’ instigation of myriad wars, as well as the assassination of Fidel Castro, brought the prospect of nuclear disaster ever closer. 6LPLODUO\ GLŕŽ‰HULQJ UHOLJLRXV and political loyalties in the Indian Independence movement prevented a decisive drive for emancipation. Despite these considerable problems, delegates manDJHGWRனQGVROXWLRQVWRHDFK of the three crises presented at LSEMUN. A sophisticated trade agreement was passed LQWKHIDFHRIVLJQLனFDQWSRSular protest, an independent India was founded and peace ZDV HVWDEOLVKHG DW WKH னQDO hour between US and Russian delegates. Exhaustion and contentment seemed to be the domi-

nant emotions at the end of LSEMUN. Bryan Cheung, a னUVW \HDU //% /DZ VWXGHQW commented that ‘this year’s LSEMUN was a highly enjoyable experience for everyone involved’ and added that the crisis format ‘made things very unpredictable, with unexpected revelations and secret negotiations occurring frequently [between delegates]’. The conference’s closing ceremony featured a show RI WKDQNV IRU WKH VWDŕŽ‰ WHDP who facilitated the crises and organised the weekend as a whole. Doniya Soni, an MSc Public Policy and Administration student and Deputy Secretary-General for LSEMUN, summarised the feelings of all involved: ‘the crisis weekend was one of the most intense things I’ve experienced in a ORQJ WLPH EXW ZDV GHனQLWHO\ worth it’.

This will be a ÂŁ5 million collaboration between Imperial and Dyson, which aims to create computer vision programs that allows robots to move beyond controlled environments. It is hoped that the technology will enable robots to process visual data taken by cameras and process it in real time.

A new faculty? Today, February 11, sees a UCL council meeting in which it will decide whether to formally approve plans for a proposed merger with the Institute of Education, following discussions which stem back to October 2012. The merger was believed to have been approved a week ago by the IoE’s council, with director Chris Husbands allegedly tellLQJ VWDŕŽ‰ WKDW HYHU\WKLQJ ZDV “but a done dealâ€? at February ‍ڑ‏VIDFXOW\EULHனQJ If the plans go ahead, the IoE – a public research university and constituent college of the University of London, as well as the largest education research body in the United Kingdom – is set to become UCL’s largest faculty.

Library Services


We want to hear what LSE students think about the Library. Complete our short survey to have a chance of winning an iPad mini, a ÂŁ50 Waterstones voucher or one of 10 ÂŁ10 book tokens*. To access the survey visit *Winners will be selected at random after 15 March 2014. Winners will be informed by email by 25 March 2014 and given details of how to claim their prize. If the winner cannot be reached or has otherwise failed to acknowledge such notification within 5 days after the email is sent, LSE Library shall be entitled to select a new winner. The Library Survey 2014 is only open to current LSE students.

Tuesday February 25 2014




Library launches first World War Digital Exhibition Megan Crockett, Deputy News Ed.

hosts Belgian refugees. The digital exhibition is WKHனUVWVWDJHRIWKH6FKRRO‍ڑ‏V plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War over the next four years. In addition to the exhibition, LSE has launched a dedicated webpage, FWWLSE; which features details of relevant public events, research and other points of interest. Elizabeth Chapman, Director of LSE Library Services, says “LSE Library’s digital exhibition on the First World War will help protect and preserve the Library’s collections in the social sciences for future generations of researchers, as well as raise awareness of the unique role that LSE played in the conŕŽ‹LFW$VZLWKDOORIWKH'LJLWDO Library’s projects, WW1 @

LSESU STAR and LGBT Alliance discuss asylum seekers in UK $OLQD/HLQEDFK6WD૸:ULWHU

DESPITE THE REAL DANGER for life and safety, it is estimated that only 1 per cent of all people who seek asylum due to their sexual orientation are getting an official refugee status in the UK. This problematic situation was addressed by the LSE SU Student Action For Refugees (STAR) Society and the LGBT Alliance at their joint-event “Welcome here? The UK Asylum System and the Experiences of LGBT Refugees� past Monday. Panelists included Peter Tatchel, S Chelvan, Amanda Gray and Stuart M. Hanson -3 'U 6HFNLQHOJLQb $VVRFL ate Professor at the Department for Social Policy, said in his introduction speech the composition and the experience of the panel in the field of LGBTI asylum seekers was “quite overwhelming.� The two organising societies had managed to invite leading figures from the UK in this domain. When did you realise you are straight? This question may let to confusion as it is difficult to determine a specific date. And if we think even longer about this question, it is very bewildering. However, “when did you notice that you are gay?� is a frequent question which gay asylums seekers face in interviews with the Homeland Office. Initial hesitation may be enough to lead interview-

ers to conclude that one is not telling the truth. This can mean that one’s asylum application is refused and the individual is sent back, returning to a country where being homosexual, transgender or being otherwise ‘different’ puts one in danger of persecution, social repudiation, imprisonment, or even worse. Legally, gay people who are persecuted fall, according to the 1992 international agreement, under the category of political refugees and hence can claim these rights when applying for asylum. Despite some progresses in LGBTI refugee cases being made, the situation today is still not rosy. “An important step for the UK was made in 2010 where the discretion test was declared illegal by the Supreme Court�, Gray, working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) specialising in gender issues, told the 60 attendees of the event. Prior to 2010, gay asylum seekers were often sent home with the reason that they could just be discreet about their sexual orientation. Today asylum seekers are asked to prove that they are gay, as S Chelvan, Barrister at No5 Chambers and one of the leading practitioner’s in the UK for political asylum claims on sexuality, highlighted. This need to prove the own ‘gayness‘ however, can lead to problems of its own kind. Only recently the

Observer made public, which ‘lurid questions’ gay asylum seekers need to respond to. Chelvan told from his own experience that he knows of asylum seekers even shooting sex videos of themselves to prove their homosexuality. “However, also this is not a secure proof as then the Home Office still claimed that the person was not ‘aroused enough’ to be really gay�. Stuart Hanson JP, Director of ‘No Going Back’ programme which provides legal representation for LGBT asylum seekers, agreed and underlined this in his talk: “LGBT cases are not profitable so there are few solicitors providing legal help for them. Fast track processes make it even harder to provide asylum seekers with the help they may need after persecution.� Those people need a bit of time as they are often traumatised when they arrive. “Steps to improve the situation of asylum seekers would be to increase the awareness of those dealing with them, as they are sometimes homophobic,� Tatchell pointed out. Training would contribute to this cause and highlighting the issue in political and every day discourse is important to him: “People who are fleeing because of their sexual identity need also in reality to be taken as serious as religious or ethnical asylum seekers and treated with dignity and respectfulness.�

Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014 are free to attend and open to members of the LSE community and the public. They can be booked online via LSE Public Events.

LSE: a common cause will be free to access, part of the Library’s long-term commitment to build partnerships with the wider public through our unique collections�. All of the events at LSE’s


THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS and Political Science (LSE) Library launched their “WWI @ LSE: a common causeâ€? exhibition; in order to mark the start of LSE’s Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014. The School’s sixth Space for Thought Literary Festival will take place between Monday 24th February and Saturday 1st March 2014. 7KLV\HDU‍ڑ‏VWKHPHRI‍ڔ‏UHŕŽ‹HF tionsâ€? includes a focus on the centenary of the First World War and the value of remembering. It explores what are described as the “distinctiveâ€? qualities of the social sciences’ and the arts’ approaches to understanding the world.â€? The festival will include

talks, panel discussions, readLQJVDQGனOPVFUHHQLQJVDV well as children’s events and creative writing workshops. The speakers include Melvyn Bragg, AS Byatt, Tracy Chevalier, Professor Paul 'RODQ6WHOOD'XŕŽ‰\6HEDV tian Faulks, Patrick Flanery, Professor Margaret Macmillan, Kenan Malik and Michael Rosen. The online section of the exhibition features a selection of digital images related to the First World War. It also includes photos on the varied role played by women on the home front, such as painting Hammersmith underground station and driving ambulances for women’s hospitals. The exhibition also provides an international perspective to WKHFRQŕŽ‹LFWVXFKDVDQDOEXP that was a gift to the British

Images from Exhibtion

LSE research shows universiWLHVEHQHૹWIURPUHFHVVLRQV Marine Strauss, Deputy News Ed.

UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE WORLD stand to benefit during recessions, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In such times, they are able to wield greater recruiting power to attract talented graduates compared to the private sector, which struggles more. Economist Dr. Michael Boehm, from the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance and Bonn University, argued that not only do universities enjoy more recruiting power in a recession but also that the young graduates they appeal to are highly talented and turn out to be more productive over the years. In his PhD thesis Three essays on the allocation of talent, Dr. Boehm, a recent graduate of the LSE, investigated the causes and effects of the allocation of workers into different sectors, locations and activities. According to the latest evidence, the stability of the academic sector in tough financial times wins over the repeated cycles of economic expansion and contraction of the private sector. Dr. Boehm looked at data from the top thirty universities in the United States from 1955 to 1994 and found that economists starting or graduating from their PhD


in times of recession were significantly more productive over the long term than economists starting or graduating in a boom. Although it is not clear what is meant by productive specifically, he said “their productivity is substantially higher than in boom times, a fact attributed to the stiff competition for jobs and a need to prove themselves.� Even if his study only examined the United States and economics graduates, Dr. Boehm claimed that the results would “most likely� apply across the world. He added it would also apply to a broad range of professions, with the public sector benefitting along with universities. He added further “there is already a lot of evidence out there to show that if you start your career in a recession it can have an on-going effect for many years. Many people who enter the private sector after graduating can expect to earn a lot less for at least a decade.� According to his research, the academic sector is more stable in tough financial times regarding job security, as there is no real drop in incomes that is noticeable, unlike the private sector. Moreover, the data shows that, even fifteen years graduation, recession cohorts bring about more research. His findings also demonstrate that difficult financial times change the structure and composition of talent across various fields, impacting on long-term productivity, capacity and results. Even if Dr. Boehm’s research shows that universities actually benefit from recessions, graduates and young professionals who currently struggle to enter the professional market and find a decent job may disagree with that, based on their current experience.


Tuesday February 25, 2014



Tuesday February 25, 2014




Opinion There is no Israeli apartheid Israel needs to be respected as the only liberal democracy in the Middle East Joel Rosen It is that time of year again where a select few students take it upon themselves to unnecessarily demonise the only liberal democracy in the entire Middle East – Israel - whilst ignoring the stream of atrocities emanating from its neighbours. The so-called Israeli Apartheid Week is a completely inappropriate historical comparison, that results only in the spreading of hate and intimidation on campus. The onus is truly on the other side to provide evidence of Israel being as racist and divided as was the South African Regime from 1948 to 1994, but nevertheless I will present the truth which one encounters if one really knows and regularly visits Israel and the West Bank, and I challenge you to read through it and still believe this insane smear campaign.

“Israeli Apartheid Week is a completely inappropriate historical comparison.” Let’s get straight to the point: Is Israel really an apartheid state? I would challenge anyone to explain how whilst the Middle East drips with the blood of ethnic and sectarian atrocities, Israel gets its own dedicated week of action on campus. Apartheid is no ambiguous term; it’s a historical fact. It was an institutionally ingrained system of racial discrimination which denied fundamental rights to large parts of the South African population. Under such a regime we would expect to see a racially exclusive separation of public facilities in Israel such as benches, toilets, and even train carriages as was the case in South Africa. Certainly we could not expect politicians or judges to be from other ethnicities, nor would these people have the rights of citizenship. And of course there are the “Apartheid” walls, machine gun belts which separated the bantustans off from the rest of the country. This is the image of Israel which is being fed to the uninformed by the misinformed.

But it only takes a flight to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, and a bus journey to the West Bank for anyone to realise within moments that Israel is the quite the opposite of being a racist state. I went back to Israel last summer as I do regularly, and visited Hebron, deep in the West Bank. As I strolled along the seafront between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, I could not help but notice Muslim, Christian and Jewish Israelis alike, all barbequing, playing on the beach, and wading out into the Mediterranean right next to each other. In South Africa, even the beaches were segregated. There were no separate benches or toilets for Muslims, and the new tram in Jerusalem did not have different sections for different ethnicities or religions in it - but it did display place names in both Arabic and Hebrew as is the case in all of Israel. As citizens, ArabIsraelis have exactly the same rights as all other Israelis do, and have 12 Members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, representing them. Arab-Israelis have also had representatives in the cabinet, worked in the civil service, and served in the army. It was a Christian Palestinian Supreme Court judge, George Karra, who sentenced Moshe Katsav, a former Israeli President, to a jail term in 2010. So much for a “racist” state. But what about the Palestinians and the “Apartheid” wall, you might ask? The wall is indeed grotesque and many Israelis don’t like it either. For most of its length the wall is in fact not a wall but a much lower, and less imposing fence. But we shouldn’t confuse this with living in a bantustan; both Gaza and the West Bank are under separate authorities, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, respectively. Palestinian citizens have their own government, and Israel is entitled to have a border just as the United States, France or China does. The wall separates two areas, but people of all faiths and ethnicities live on both sides of it. As for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, go ahead boycott as much as you like but make sure you shut down your PC or Mac immediately because it either has an intel chip manufactured in Israel, or a flash memory drive made by anobit - another Israeli company. For

that matter forget using Microsoft software. As a matter of fact, you should probably refuse NHS treatment in general since its largest supplier of medicines –precisely one in six tablets or capsules- is Teva, an Israeli pharmaceutical company. The fact that thousands of Palestinians make their living out of producing these goods and are being harmed by the boycott does not seem to bother the BDS either. But why Israel? How is it that the only democracy in the region, where Muslims, Jews, Christians, Druze and others enjoy the most freedoms, security and rights of all in the Middle East, merits a whole week of protest? Where were the protests over the violence, rape, torture, and other gross violations of human rights which have occurred every day across the Middle East in countries caught up in the Arab Spring? What about southern Lebanon, where Palestinians are kept in the most squalid of conditions and actively barred from taking up a number of professions? Not a sound on campus about that. Not a word about how some Arab states treated other religious groups as “dhimmis” or second class citizens, and brutally persecuted Jews who were forced to flee to Israel. Are there two standards of human rights in the world? Where have the protests been on Syria? Thousands

gassed, murdered and raped; a vicious regime fighting an almost equally ruthless opposition, with both sides locked in a bloody sectarian battle which it seems will only end through mutual obliteration or at best a pyrrhic victory for any side. For my part, I helped raise funds for the World Jewish Relief ’s special appeal for Syria, but on campus the conflict has been met with deafening silence. Instead, in an astounding feat of hypocrisy, a few people seem to have put all their efforts in to protesting against Israel. The truth is that Israel in particular is being singled out because it was founded as a Jewish state, and this week’s protests are just a cover for latent racism and anti-Semitism. Israeli Apartheid Week seeks to intimidate and marginalise Jewish students on campus, and severely undermines inter-religious cooperation. This is a terrible shame, since great efforts have been made on all sides to try and create a welcoming environment of mutual respect between religions on campus. In my first year I successfully lobbied for Halal food to be introduced in halls and across campus because my Muslim peers in my hall could not otherwise eat the food provided. Likewise, Jewish students have and will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim

friends and colleagues when it comes to stamping out the scourge of Islamophobia and fighting religious or racial discrimination. If they ever ran a protest or collected funds for the people of Syria or for any other country in need, whatever its religion or background, they would once again find us right next to them as with many other things we agree on. I am all for free expression, and those who wish to protest have a right to. However, I urge the organisers of this week’s event to think carefully about whether they believe this is the solution most conducive to the resolution of the troubles in the Middle East. For the misinformed: I would rather we sat down over a pot of hummus and deliberated constructively, rather than engaging in gross misrepresentations and resorting to tactics of intimidation. For the uninformed: book a ticket to Israel and have a look around before writing it off as a racist state. I have a vision of interreligious tolerance and mutual respect on campus, for an LSE that serves as a safe space for all beliefs and identities. There are many of us who will continue to hold out a hand to those who wish to join us in this endeavor, and we hope many others will grasp it with both of theirs.




Tuesday February 25, 2014


Israel is an apartheid State We must act to support the rights of the Palestinian minority Zoe Samudzi Article II of the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, sets out the “inhuman acts” constituting apartheid. Many of these acts can be found today, in ‘liberal democratic’ Israel. For example, the Convention states that one of the characteristics of an apartheid state is “the denial of rights to life and liberty of person,” something that can be seen in Israel in the collective punishment, as well as the routine, mass, and arbitrary arrests of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Also singled out by the Convention as unacceptable are “legislative measures designed to divide the population along racial lines.” One need only look at the creation of separate reserves and the prohibition of mixed marriages. Like the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law for instance, which prohibits citizens of the West Bank and Gaza from being permitted automatic citizenship and residency usually available through marriage to an Israeli citizen. Or then there is the expropriation of land without compensation, as well as the policy of ethnic cleansing and construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Apartheid is also defined as “any legislative measures calculated to prevent a group from participating in the political, social, economic, and cultural life by deliberately creating conditions preventing the group’s full development.” This can clearly be seen in the blockade and bombing campaigns of the Gaza Strip, the restriction and prohibition of Palestinian movement with the use of checkpoints, and the denial of Palestinian access to water - a human right - which is impeded by the Israeli occupation. To add to that, any organisations or individuals who opposes apartheid policies, are subject to severe persecution. Just look at the heavy-handedness with which the Israeli Defence Forces frequently respond to Palestinian protestors and the persecution of Israeli conscientious objectors, aka refuseniks, who refuse to serve in the military. All of these acts of inhumanity listed above constitute an institutionalised policy of discrimination, one

that subordinates indigenous Palestinians and establishes a superior status and set of rights, privileges, and services to Jewish citizens. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, there exists a dual legal system (in addition to a dual set of roadways, one for Palestinians and another for settlers) whereby domestic Israeli law governs Israeli settlers and Palestinians are subject to military rule and Israeli penal law. This is a clear violation of equality under the law and the notion that a single system must govern all individuals residing within a given area. Again, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live in the state of Israel and are governed by its military rule, yet have no rights of citizenship. The systematic inequities continue, but the parallels with Apartheid are clear. So clear in fact, that the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories made the analogy himself and identified the components of colonialism, apartheid, and foreign occupation as obstructive to the attainment of universal human rights. Israel’s Population Registry Law of 1965, for example, is akin to apartheid-era South Africa’s Population Registration Act: both identify an individual’s race or ethnicity which then effectively determines their treatment by the police and potential access to government social programmes. The end of apartheid in South Africa came about because of strengthening internal liberation movements by students and civil society, as well as a growing sense of international isolation as a result of the increasing political and economic pressures from many members of the international community. These included sanctions on trade; widespread policies of disinvestment from South African banks and corporations; and the ending of cultural, educational, and sporting relationships. There came a point at which the continuation of apartheid policies was no longer politically viable. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a call for action that came from a huge coalition of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. It calls for three things. It calls for the end of Israeli occupation and colonisation of Arab lands and the dismantling of the

Israeli West Bank barrier; the recognition of the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel as equal; and the respect, protection, and promotion of the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were displaced. The tactics put forward for the implementation of BDS are akin to those applied by international civil society groups during South African apartheid as a result of its effectiveness. These would come in the form of economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against organisations and corporations in any way complicit with human rights abuses against the Palestinian people, as well as wider state embargoes and sanctions against the Israeli government. The BDS movement is by no means an anti-Semitic one. We actively denounce any criticisms of Israel that are grounded in attacking the nature of Jewish or Israeli people. Our participation in the BDS movement and our advocacy for the people of Palestine is inherently anti-racist, and we would be as quick to vehemently denounce and oppose antiSemitism, as we would be to denounce Islamophobia or xenophobia of any other other form. BDS seeks to target the institutional structures of inequality, human rights abuses, and exploitation of the Palestinian people living in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, not any Jewish or Israeli person on the basis of their religious or ethnic identities and not


to pose any kind of existential threat or compromise to Israel’s existence as a state. There are ongoing arguments made by opponents of BDS that labelling the ac-

“In our unwavering support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must speak about the decades of colonialism, etnic cleansing, and dehumanising abuses.” tions of Israel as tantamount to apartheid ruins the potential for negotiations, that the rhetoric is polarising and jeopardising the attempted peace processes. This is a fallacy. On January 6, 2014, the Israeli government unveiled plans for 272 new units in settlements around the West Bank. Four days later, on January 10, it revealed more plans for more than 1,877 new settlement homes both in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. It is indisputably clear that the construction of settlements is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits any occupying power from transferring a civilian population onto the territory that it occupies. This illegal encroachment on Palestinian land is enough to derail peace talks on its own. The onus can never be on the Palestinians to

reach out to and engage in dialogue with an oppressive and aggressive Israeli state when illegal colonial actions like settlement construction continue unabated. Like the international movement against the South African apartheid, Israel Apartheid Week is necessary because we need an internationally concerted effort to advocate against what seems to have become a silently (or actively) complicit political status quo. A support for BDS and/or the Palestinian people is a support for social justice and human rights and self-determination and autonomy. We will always continue to fight for the liberation and freedom of the Palestinian people until there is no longer a fight to be had and no oppression to oppose. We are thankful enough to be able to go about our activism in a relatively safe university environment, but unfortunately many in the Occupied Palestinian Territories do not have that luxury. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In our unwavering support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must speak about the decades of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and dehumanising abuses to which they have been subjected, in the hope that we can make good on our promise to “never again” allow any population to be subordinated by conditions of apartheid.

Tuesday February 25, 2014





The Economics of the UGM Let ‘A’ represent the decision that “Blurred Lines is allowed to be played on campus� Robert Deegan Since the first days that our species walked the earth, we have had to make decisions as a community. Whether that community is a family, a tribe or even a collection of countries, one party’s decision has had an effect on the other members of the group that should always be taken into account when making decisions. Thus, governing bodies have been given the role of managing these decisions; to impose regulations on the actions of people within a community or to make decisions for the community as a whole. In tribal societies, tribe leaders or unelected tribe “elders� formed this government and led each tribe as dictators. It was not until the period of ancient Greece that we encountered the notion of an elected Government where the people vote for the decisions that are made. The LSE UGM is one such a form of government. Whether it does the job that we as a community want, however, is doubtful. The question is, however: what do we want? Let’s say that we have to make a decision between two outcomes, A or B. This could be a decision between, say, going to war in Iraq or not. Alternatively, let ‘A’ represent the decision that “Blurred Lines is

allowed to be played on campus,â€? and let B be “Blurred Lines is not allowed to be played on campus.â€? Taking this further, each person has their own personal preference for a particular outcome, which can be taken to show the “utilityâ€? they get out of it. These preferences are personal to everyone in the community, so for every person ‘i’ in the community “Nâ€? of size “nâ€?, we have a utility “Uâ€? depending on outcome O(=A or B) given by U=ui(O). In an ideal world, we would want everyone to be as happy as they can be, that is, that the total utility (denoted by UN(O)=u1(O)+u2(O)+‌ +un(O)) is equal to the sum of the maximum possible utilities ß…LLQ1PD[2 $% XL 2

7KLV is rarely the case however, as it would require that everyone in the community prefer A or prefer B. In the ‘Blurred Lines’ example, for instance, it would mean that everyone at LSE would want the song to be banned, or everyone at LSE would want the song allowed on campus. This is clearly not the case. So what is our second best option? Well, most people would then try to maximise the average happiness of the community. This is a utilitarian approach, one that tries to maximise UN(O) as defined above. The UGM has offered a solution to getting ‘what we want’ in the form of an equal weight

democratic vote; every person who votes carries equal weight or power in the decision-making and an outcome is decided upon if the total weight exceeds a certain quota required (in this case, a majority). Let us assume that everyone votes. Does this voting mean that we reach a utilitarian optimal result? Not necessarily. Since everyone’s vote has equal weight, someone who has a very large preference, which is to say that they care a great deal about the outcome of the result, has equal power to someone who cares very little. Hence, the significant preference is not taken into account in voting as much as perhaps it should be. What equal weight democratic voting encapsulates is more of a notion of maximising the ‘average person’s’ utility. This is certainly fairer than a utilitarian approach, which would give one person more power because they have a stronger preference- not to mention how difficult it would be to distribute the weight of each person’s vote. Mathematically, this notion should bring about outcome O*(=A or B) satisfyLQJ 2 DUJPD[2 $% ß…L LQ 18L 2 ßą8L 2‍

ڑ‏2ߎ2‍ڑ‏ But does the UGM even achieve this? I would argue that it does not, and for one simple reason. There is a cost to voting. As Tom Meaden puts

it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;voting is really boring and it takes an enlightened individual like me to bring a motion that lots of people will vote on.â&#x20AC;? Sure, people will vote on whatever can bring them the most happiness, but only if what they expect to gain from voting outweighs the cost of them voting in the first place. This is why we see such low numbers when it comes to UGM voting. No-one cares enough about what decision is made to take the time to vote. Going back to the example of Blurred Lines, from an admittedly narrow sample of people, I would say that most people would rather have the freedom of being able to play the song on campus than not, but they did not care enough at the time to vote on it. Otherwise stated: ui(A)>ui(B). But perhaps ui(A)cost<ui(B),which would mean that person â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; would not vote. It may even be that most people would prefer to have the AU budget decreased, but also that most people cared so little about it that they did not vote. If it is the case that people who care more are the ones who vote, then does the UGM voting system bring about a utilitarian optimal result? The answer to this is still no, as a large number of people who care very little may, together, care more than a small number who care a lot. How do we then combat

this? How, going forward, do we bring about better results from the UGM? The best solution to this problem is to force people to vote. Perhaps, when logging on to the internal LSE system, you are forced to cast an online vote in order to proceed to LSE for You or Moodle. This would, in effect, create a large cost to not voting, in that you would not be able to access LSE for You or Moodle if you chose not to vote That is perhaps a bit too much of a draconian solution, but is there another one? Well, if it is the cost of voting that reduces peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incentive to vote, then reducing the cost should be a solution to our problem. This is what is happening with online voting. You do not have to sit through a UGM to vote on a motion, you just need to endure the cost of the online voting, a mere 30 second exercise. Yet we still are not close to having everyone voting. Either way, something needs to change in regards to the UGM to break the cycle of relatively meaningless motions being put forward in the knowledge that people do not care enough to properly oppose them. It would take only one radical motion to slip through this system to truly rock the good ship UGM.

These Elections Need To Be Relevant And it is up to the Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union and the candidates to do something Kavita Kalaichelvan In a few days, Houghton Street will be inundated with flyers, slogan chants and freebies. Alliances will be forged, societies will be pandered to, and the onslaught of notifications and event invitations on Facebook might have you hiding a few select people from your newsfeed. Yet, for all the furore and commotion, voting numbers highlight the obvious: 80% of students do not care. Aside from candidates, hacks and the friends of candidates, to most students elections are little more than an inconvenient blockage on the way to the library. For too long, low voter turnouts have been attributed to the apathy of the typical LSE student, for whom registering a vote regretfully, does not fast track them to Goldman Sachsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interview round. Apathy will continue to be

a convenient scapegoat this election, but the persistent lack of interest seems to be more reflective of the Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s struggle to stay relevant to the changing priorities of our diverse student body. Most students simply do not believe that the SU can do anything for them. This is not entirely warranted. Sabbatical officers are behind most of the grunt work that makes the Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proverbial cogs turn- albeit sometimes creakily. Regardless, the SU continues to be perceived as a leftist scheme intent on spreading its political ambitions one protest at a time. And with a majority of LSE students no longer clamouring for placards and picket signs, the chasm between the SU and the student body appears to be wider than ever. Aside from a wayward fire alarm and the usual bureaucratic battle to wring an email reply from the SU staff, Jay

Stollâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sabbatical team have made commendable strides in shifting the Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus from political issues to the ones that affect students. The

â&#x20AC;&#x153;A successful campaign needs to move away from grandiose claims for reform and empty promisesâ&#x20AC;? move to electronic voting has raised the profile of UGMs, and in securing free access to the Financial Times and Economist, Jay Stoll has demonstrated that the SU can be inclusive in its goals. This trend needs to continue, and these elections need to set the precedent for it. The emergence of moderate candidates in the past years have steadily blurred the lines

between voter blocks, making popular rather than radical policies the order of the day. However, this has also had the adverse effect of transforming elections into a popularity contest propelled by â&#x20AC;&#x153;connectionsâ&#x20AC;? and rhetoric. A successful campaign needs to move away from grandoise claims for reform, and traditionally empty promises of accountability to address the issues by which a majority of LSE students are directly affected. Problems such as rising hall rents, increasing class sizes and a poor student experience need to be put at the forefront of any attempt to engage with the larger student body. Manifestos need to become substantial. Currently, they are still dominated by overblown campaign rhetoric (alongside an unhealthy number of exclamation marks and smiley faces) which exceeds the actual remit of the

position the candidate is running for. Promises to lower university fees or postpone library construction do not eventually translate into concrete policy changes during the candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s term time do nothing but erode the Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credibility. Unquestionably, it is a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s duty to vote. But even more so, it is the candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responsibility to demonstrate to students that the Union really does matter. Instead of dismissing the groups of students who do not realise elections are underway until a flyer is thrust in their face, candidates need to convince them that these elections are relevant because the SU itself is relevant. A studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; union is only as powerful as its members. But a union whose members are somewhat blasĂŠ about student politics cannot have an effective voice.




Tuesday February 25, 2014


Misconstruing Sex and Gender Me and my period are not the same thing Gee Linford-Grayson It was Wednesday afternoon at LSE and I was in my usual state: unfinished essay in one hand, seventh coffee of the day in the other, and despite having a million other things to do, I was still ranting about sexism. After a while, the guy Skyping in the corner next to me started to look a bit irritated and I decided it was time to calm down, so I slipped off for a quick wee. “The bathroom is safe”, I told myself, “the toilet won’t hurt me. Patriarchy can’t get to me in the loo”. But oh, how wrong I was. As I reached for the loo roll, a small sign above the bin caught my eye: “Feminine Hygiene Waste Only”. ‘Feminine’? Surely you mean ‘female’? This may seem like a pedantic distinction - it’s only five letters after all - but it’s an incredibly important one.

The first lesson of sociology is that sex and gender are not the same thing. ‘Female’ refers to sex, the anatomy, biological processes. ‘Feminine’ refers to gender, which is a set of characteristics, socially conditioned and constructed. Misconstruing sex and gender to be the same thing leads to a whole host of problems, more than you can imagine. But for now I shall content myself with listing only a few of the main ones. Using the word ‘feminine’ to denote a biological process like menstruation reduces women to their bodily functions. In bygone eras, this confusion prevented women being educated, lest, as many medical scholars claimed, their wombs shrivel up and wander into their brains. Nowadays, it is used to undermine and demean women who have risen to high-ranking positions, such as Hilary Clinton. When Bill O’Reilly asked a ‘men’s

rights’ campaigner what the problem with having a woman in the White House might be, his response was “You mean, apart from all the PMS and the mood swings?” Was this guy serious? One of the most powerful women in the world, and you’re going to talk about her period as if her ovaries were in her brain? Secondly, the misuse of the terms ‘feminine’ and ‘female’ is problematic for trans people, whose gender identity doesn’t correspond to the sex they were born. If being a woman means possessing certain biological functions then those people who do not are automatically ostracised as a result. Think about going to the unisex toilets, as a transgender woman, and seeing the sign that I saw. You’ve just been excluded from everything you identify with, because as feminine as you might be, you can’t menstruate. This is a completely

absurd situation, since, to be feminine is to perform certain characteristics that you have been socialised into. Last time I checked, I wasn’t socialised into having my period.

“There’s something really wrong with how our society views female bodies if we cannot even bring ourselves to use the right words to talk about them.” One final point, this time on the word ‘hygiene’. Our society has a problem with body shaming, and particularly with making women’s biological processes disgusting. This is seen in the idea that women

shouldn’t have bodily hair, or sweat excessively, or talk about their periods. I even have a male friend who can’t use the toilet if there’s a box of tampons next to it. This has to change. Periods are something experienced by roughly half the population for around 40 years of their life. There’s something really wrong with how our society views female bodies if we cannot even bring ourselves to use the right words to talk about them. Agreed, there are bigger things in the world than the sign on the toilet bin and perhaps you read this article with your eyebrows gradually migrating up towards your hairline. Nonetheless, sexism is a huge problem in our society, and sometimes it can seem so daunting that you don’t even know where to start. This, however, is one small thing we could change with just a printer and a bit of blue tac.

LSE’s Carbon Investments ,WPDNHVHWKLFDODQG૽QDQFLDOVHQVHWRGLYHVWIURPIRVVLOIXHOV /XLV$QGXH]D LSE Divest Campaign Extreme weather is once again forcing the issue of climate change onto the public agenda. It has all been said before; climate scientists urge authorities to take serious action, politicians argue against each other, everyone agrees that climate change is a big problem and that it needs to be tackled. Yet, somehow, nothing ever happens. This gap between discourse and action is a defining feature of the reaction of bureaucratic elites to a problem like climate change. But it is something that we see not only in government, but at our university today. Point 6 of the LSE’s Ethics Code states: “we will manage our resources in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the options of future generations.” Yet even a cursory glance at the School’s main investments reveals the number of assets it holds in fossil fuel companies: Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron, are just a few of the big profile names that figure on the list. This should not come as a surprise to us since, in a place as financially astute as the LSE, profitability of investments is crucial and fossil fuel companies are, if nothing else, profitable. Let

us, however, take a closer look at these investments, in order to ascertain if they can really comply with the LSE’s Ethics Code. Firstly, according to a report released last year by Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Research Institute (hosted here at the LSE), current fossil fuel industry profitability is mostly the result of a dangerous structural distortion in the way these companies’ assets are valued. In 2010, the governments that gathered at the International Climate Change Conference in Cancun reached an agreement; the target was set to limit climate change to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. This target implies what it is commonly referred to as a ‘carbon budget’. A carbon budget is the specific amount of carbon that can be burned before global temperatures climbs above the two degree threshold. Now, in all, the potential emissions from proven reserves amounts to about four to five times this carbon budget. In other words, around 80% of the world’s proven reserves of fossil fuels have to be left unburned if we are to achieve these targets. Herein lies the rub: much of these unburnable carbon reserves are presently valued as assets, meaning that their current valuation assumes that they are going to be extract-

ed, sold and burned. For anyone actually committed to any meaningful action towards climate change mitigation, these reserves should not be assets at all, since the value that they have implies an ecological disaster. These reserves actually constitute dangerous financial liabilities for anyone invested in them. Forget the carbon budget, what this situation implies is a ‘carbon bubble’, one which could potentially lead to a far worse financial crash than the one experienced in recent years. 3KRWRFUHGLWૺLFNU$QR/REE#KHDOWK\U[

“It’s up to the LSE’s management to explain how extensive investment in the fossil fuel industry relates to its own ethics code.” What then, are we actually investing in when we invest in fossil fuels? Presently, fossil fuel companies are spending approximately $674 billion (USD) each year to identify and develop even more reserves, using their own profits and the money from investors like the LSE. Any of these inves-

tors must assume that these reserves will be extracted and burned in order to realize their value. However, if carbon limits are introduced, this whole operation would be a wasted investment, an investment that could otherwise go contribute to the development of alternative energy sources. This is why divestment from this industry is fundamental for any action to be taken against climate change. The extent to which our institutions are invested in a business logic whose very profitability relies on a stagnant and suicidal status-quo, goes some way to explaining the difficulty we have harnessing the necessary political will to combat climate change amongst ruling elites everywhere.

It’s up to the LSE’s management to explain how extensive investment in the fossil fuel industry relates to its own Ethics Code and to its own research. It is yet another example of the gap between discourse and action so prevalent in our institutions. Universities, I would have liked to think, should be able to take the lead in breaking this tendency. In fact, a growing number of students and staff support the call for LSE to divest from fossil fuel companies. Student and staff movements have already got Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Oxford to revise their investments in fossil fuel companies. It is only this kind of action that can shake our institutions out of their inertia.

Tuesday February 25, 2014





Independence “Lite” 6FRWODQG‫ڑ‬VUHIHUHQGXPGRHVQRWPDNHVHQVHIRUDQ\ERG\DQ\PRUH Mark Malik I’ve always considered Her Majesty’s Treasury to be a rather boring institution. But the Treasury’s spectacular intervention into the Scottish independence debate has blown that presumption out of the water. The Treasury has played an absolute blinder in punching a massive hole in the Scottish National Party’s campaign for independence in September’s referendum. Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP had threatened that an independent Scotland would refuse to accept a share of the UK’s national debt if it was unable to continue to use the Pound as its official currency union with the remaining United Kingdom. Tactically, this was a good move, as it attempted to reduce the risks and uncertainty surrounding independence. Referenda tend to deliver a result in favour of the status quo, so if Scotland was able to keep the Pound, a Yes result would probably be more likely. Given the chaos that we have seen in the Eurozone as a result of monetary union without accompanying fiscal and political union, it always seemed a bit silly for an independent Scotland to remain in a sterling-zone. As the Governor of the Bank of England said recently, successful monetary unions require a loss of sovereignty from the

member states. One only has to look across the English Channel to see what happens when this is not the case. It would not be in the interests of the remaining part of the UK to participate in a currency union with Scotland. But this poses a question: what would happen to the national debt if Salmond carried out his threat? There would be chaos in the bond markets if they thought that there was a chunk of the UK’s debt that neither Scotland nor a reduced-sized UK would be willing to take responsibility for. In the event of a Yes vote, the UK’s precious credit rating would take a big hit. The Treasury had to neutralise this threat. And how it did so is nothing short of genius.

“Sir Nicholas has turned the independence debate on its head and put the QDWLRQDOLVWV૽UPO\ on the back foot.” Firstly, the Treasury issued a statement saying that the remaining UK would guarantee all of the debt issued prior to Scotland leaving the UK. That would satisfy the bond markets. Then, in an unprecedented move, the advice of Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent

Secretary to HM Treasury was published. He was scathing in his assessment of the SNP’s plans for currency union, bluntly describing them as “ill thought out.” And he went further, hinting that if Scotland refused its share of the debt, the rest of the UK would not support Scotland in international negotiations, such as ones on potential EU membership. Moreover, Scotland has also been offered limited powers to issue its own bonds whilst remaining within the UK. This is an interesting move. Will Salmond take up this offer? If so, it would provide a test of Scotland’s credibility in the bond markets. It is doubtful that Scotland would be able to borrow cheaply, especially given that it is threatening to default its fair share of the UK’s debt. This would certainly increase concerns amongst Scottish voters and make a No outcome all the more likely. If Salmond refuses to use his new powers to borrow, it would then be easy to argue that Salmond himself doesn’t have much faith in Scotland’s ability to borrow. Either way, the No argument would be strengthened. All in all, by first neutralising Salmond’s threat, refusing the SNP’s demand, and then issuing a threat of his own, Sir Nicholas has turned the independence debate on its head and put the nationalists firmly on the back foot. Of course, there will be


those who argue that if the rest of the UK takes on the entire national debt, it will be left with an astronomical debt-to-GDP ratio. This is true but in such a situation, the rest of the UKL would have to choose the lesser of two evils. Clearly, we would not want to face this choice. But if Scotland becomes independent, a choice must be made. A monetary union is pure madness. So we must accept the possibility of a higher debt burden whilst making it clear to the SNP that if they want our support in international negotiations, they must accept a share. Salmond’s blunder is not just limited to his promise of the Pound to Scots. The version of independence that he has proposed for Scotland is a rather limited version of self-determination. In ad-

dition to monetary union, he wants to share defence, pensions, the BBC and even the agency that registers car number plates. This “independence-lite” is not too far removed from a politically more palatable “devo-max” offer that is expected, where Scotland remains in the UK but gains further autonomy, including tax-raising powers. The final nail in the nationalists’ coffin would be a comprehensive offer on devo-max. Why would any Scot then choose to vote in favour of Salmond’s motheaten independence when there is much uncertainty as to whether it could be delivered, and a very similar offer is already on the table? I can only hope they see sense in time.

The Beaver 09.10.2012


Artwork: LSE student Ahsan Iftikhar


25.02.2014 PartB


Morrissey: Always Entertainng. Never Predictable 4/5  for  Autobiography  by  Morrisey


or all the recrimination and self-importance, Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Autobiography is not only a good read, but a great insight into one of the most notable songwriters of our age. As I begin to read Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aptly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if somewhat unimaginatively â&#x20AC;&#x201C; titled "Autobiography", I am immediately struck by his XQŕŽ&#x2039;LQFKLQJFRPPLWPHQWWRWKH present tense. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My childhood isâ&#x20AC;?, Morrissey begins, and he persists in this vein throughout. The other main stylistic quirk to which the reader quickly adjusts is the conspicuous absence of chapters. "Autobiography" is an unrelenting and pure block of prose, split up only by pictures of Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, friends and idols, the merciful inclusion of paragraphs being the only pauses for breath between Morris-

seyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s storytelling. The story itself â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the story of Steven Patrick Morrissey, lead singer and co-songwriter of 7KH 6PLWKV RQH RI WKH GHŕŽ&#x160;Q ing and most iconic bands of %ULWLVKLQGLHURFNâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2039;â&#x20AC;ŹLVRQHŕŽ&#x160;OOHG with recrimination and resent. Morrissey pours scorn over Rough Trade, the Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s label IRU LWV ŕŽ&#x160;UVW WKUHH DOEXPV LWV IRXQGHU *HRŕŽ&#x2030; 7UDYLV 0RUULV seyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former band-mates, the press in general (the NME in particular), and the British judiciary. The last of these targets receives particularly merciless scrutiny. The 1996 court case in which Morrissey and Smithsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; guitarist and Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fellow songwriter Johnny Marr are sued by bassist Andy Rourke â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who settled out of court â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and drummer Mike Joyce â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

who won millions in damages â&#x20AC;&#x201C; WDNHVXSDOPRVWSDJHVŕŽ&#x160;OOHG with ire and sullen antipathy. He attacks his former bandmates for killing The Smiths, and describes Joyce as â&#x20AC;&#x153;not HYHQ TXDOLŕŽ&#x160;HG HQRXJK WR EH a nonentityâ&#x20AC;?. But his most vicious scorn is reserved for the judges and lawyers involved in the case. His attacks become very personal very quickly, and he calls Judge John Weeks â&#x20AC;&#x153;a bent little man with big eyes in a small face, an unfortunate vision which even his personal wealth cannot saveâ&#x20AC;?. Morrissey does nothing to hide his disdain for other people, and the constancy and tone of his attacks are an unfortunate distraction. The saving grace of the inclusion of these attacks in "Autobiography" is the assurance that they give; the assurance that what you are reading is pure, unadulterated, unedited Morrissey. The evident honesty that pervades "Autobiography" is what makes it so worth reading.

Morrissey gratuitously, if sometimes poignantly, scatters the titles of (or lyrics from), his songs at an appropriate juncture in his emotional narrative throughout "Autobiography". This self-referential tone might become irritating, but for the expressiveness of the lyrics themselves. It does reveal a minor self-obsessive complex, but most readers who get as far as noticing the multiple references to Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back catalogue will have realised this long before. Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prose, dense and occasionally absurd as it can be, still has the power tug just a little at the heart when the author so wishes. His description of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the most appalling sight imaginableâ&#x20AC;? is complemented by his lament for â&#x20AC;&#x153;this poor and pathetic human raceâ&#x20AC;? whose members could perform such atrocities to their fellow humans. The paragraph detailing his reaction to an event which has GHŕŽ&#x160;QHG RXU PRGHUQ SROLWLFV LV only perfected by the caveat â&#x20AC;&#x153;Human? No, not even human. The scene is untranslatableâ&#x20AC;?. But this brilliant translation of viscerally felt helplessness in combination with moral disgust is followed hard upon by perhaps the only moment in the reading that makes me wince. He veers so immediately from a near-perfect expression of the LQH[SUHVVLEOHWRDŕŽ&#x2039;DJUDQWDQG egregious hyperbole. He overVLPSOLŕŽ&#x160;HV WKH UHDFWLRQ WR  by calling George W. Bush â&#x20AC;&#x153;the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous active terroristâ&#x20AC;?, alarmingly equating

what should â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and in 2003, still could â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have been a successful war for the liberation of the Iraq people with a cruel, sadist murder of thousands of innoFHQW SHRSOH , EULHŕŽ&#x2039;\ VKXGGHU at the implications of his moral equivocation. But, questionable as it is, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read "Autobiography" for Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take on geopolitics. I read it because Morrissey â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for whatever faults he may possess â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is one of the GHŕŽ&#x160;QLWLYH VRQJZULWHUV RI WKH modern age. And while "Autobiography" often takes the form of a tirade of verbal sludge-throwing against those who have wronged Morrissey over the years, this fails to detract from its entertainment value. For LQVWDQFH 0RUULVVH\ ŕŽ&#x160;QLVKHV D passage in which he recounts 5RXJK7UDGHERVV*HRŕŽ&#x2030;7UDYLV explaining to him that The Smithsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; singles â&#x20AC;&#x153;arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good enoughâ&#x20AC;? to get to number one in the charts with the utterance that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some murders are well worth their prison term.â&#x20AC;? Morrissey is, as much in his Autobiography as his songs, a potent, grim and hilarious critic of the human condition. While it is often eccentric and erratic, it is poetic, emotional and brilliant much more often than it is absurd or overpowered by resent. He is always entertaining and at no stage predictable, and Autobiography is well worth a read for anyone interested in The Smiths or Morrissey. LIAM HILL

Photos: MTV and Pengiun Classics

Morrissey is at his most engaging and lucid in those moments when his evident disdain for many of his peers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if only temporarily â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lapses. His description of his early years and his education â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an insight into the â&#x20AC;&#x153;belligerent ghouls run[ning] Manchester schoolsâ&#x20AC;? he decries in The Headmaster Ritual â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is nothing short of a masterpiece. In school, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the slowness of days drills the brainâ&#x20AC;?, while KH ŕŽ&#x160;QGV VRODFH LQ WKH PXVLF of T. Rex, David Bowie, Lour Reed, Mott the Hoople and the New York Dolls, to name a few. The otherwise bland details about his friends and the trials of a Manchester childhood for a forlorn boy are enlivened by

Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prose.










Alexandra Lulache














The Beaver 25.02.2014


Taylor Swift MIXTAPEAIR at the O2 T Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

he controversial AirPlay Recorder App developed in January for Android is now available for OS X users. The software allows people to record tracks off iTunes Radio (which is a free, ad-supported music streaming service available in the US and soon to be released in the UK). Once the copy of the stream is made it appears like a normal track in a playlist, it can be listened to offline and it is easily exchanged.


fter months of waiting, Taylor 6ZLIW V 5HG 7RXU ŕŽ&#x160;QDOO\ DUULYHG in London. Five shows were announced last autumn and over the course of a few hours they had sold out. As an unashamed fan of the seventime Grammy award winning artist, I was ecstatic to get a ticket. The Red Tour is the American singer-song writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third worldwide concert tour, featuring music predominantly from her fourth studio album, Red. The show began in earnest following a high energy warm-up performance from up-and-coming boy band, the Vamps. Swift emerged from a billowing red silk tent on stage and the packed 2$UHQDŕŽ&#x160;OOHGZLWKDSDOSDEOHHQHUJ\ Singing along to the opening number, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;State of Grace,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; seemed de rigueur. Taylor Swift is an incredibly endearing performer. She has charm and charisma in spades which is obvious during her performances. During the second song, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Holy Groundâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Swift paused for half a minute to look out at the audience, seemingly in awe of the crowd. While her dancing may not be as polished as other female pop artists, the Pennsylvania-born artist makes up for it with the sheer force of her personality. Despite receiving criticism for her live vocal performances in the past, her voice held strong throughout the concert. A stripped down rendition of 'Ours' was my favourite performance of the night. Swift sung with little backing track and while playing an acoustic guitar in the middle of the arena. The simplicity of this performance conveyed a great deal of emotion and provided a good contrast to more high energy tracks such as the brilliantly catchy â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;22.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Swift's monologues between songs

Photo: Muchmusic

created a sense of intimacy even in a venue as large as the O2 Arena. Before singing the anti-bullying country ditty, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Meanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, she told the audience: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It's not my job to make people like me if they don't.â&#x20AC;? This was refreshing to hear from an artist who has been the subject of frequent misogynistic criticism from the media and public alike. Around an hour into the concert a surprise guest was introduced: Danny O'Donoghue of The Script performed the song, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Breakeven.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Roughly 10,000 girls began screaming at the top of their voices as the crowd went wild DQG2â&#x20AC;Ť'Ú&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹRQRJKXHFDUULHGRŕŽ&#x2030;DVXFFHVV ful attempt at audience participation. However, this performance was fairly forgettable in comparison to Swiftâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredible rendition of the ballad â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;All Too Well.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The track had been performed just a week earlier at the Grammy Awards and was a highlight of the night. All of the costumes throughout the show were of high standard. When performing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I Knew You Were Troubleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Swift emerged in a full length white GUHVVRQO\WRSXOORŕŽ&#x2030;WKHGUHVV%XFNV Fizz-style to reveal a black playsuit underneath. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pleasing to see that the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on stage style has developed from the sparkly dresses and cow boy boots-style of her earlier tours. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We Are Never Ever Getting Back Togetherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was the last song of the night and it seemed like everyone in the arena was singing along; red confetti poured out from the ceiling as Swift and her band took a bow. Unfortunately the concert came to a rather sudden end without an encore or the expected amount of fanfare. However, this did not spoil what had come before. The Red Tour met my high expectations and proved to be a welcome excuse to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;forget about the deadlinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. MIRIAM MIRWITCH

The app was produced by Double Twist, which was co-founded by Jon Lech Johansen - aka â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;DVD Jonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;- the man who developed one of the first popularized programs capable of decrypting content off copyrighted DVDs. The legality of the app is currently being debated. On one hand, as DoubleTwist retorted when accused of promoting piracy, the company is â&#x20AC;&#x153;..based in the US where recording Radio and TV for personal use has been protected for decadesâ&#x20AC;?. Furthermore, in most European jurisdictions, including that of the UK, recording broadcast radio for personal, non-commercial, use is perfectly legal.

On the other hand, it seems rather naĂŻve to equate music-streaming services with broadcast radio and television. Firstly, streaming services are personalized, which means that to some degree the individual has control over what they listen to (or over what they record). Secondly, if copies made from iTunes Radio are to be exempted from copyright law it will likely impact the relationship that established services like Spotify and Pandora have with the music industry. The Airplay Recorder is not the first of its kind. Audio Hijack-Pro has been around for a decade and it is able to record audio from a variety of programs, not just iTunes. However, Double Twistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creation is considerably more affordable than its predecessor which makes it a much more threatening tool. Currently the App can only be purchased from DoubleTwistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official site. The free version allows for 10-second long recordings while the unlocked, unlimited version can be purchased for $9.99 (about ÂŁ5.99). GILLIAN CAFIERO


25.02.2014 PartB





evin Spacey reprises his role as Francis Underwood, the Mephistopheles of Washington, in season two of House of Cards, all 14 episodes of which are now DYDLODEOHWRVWUHDPRQ1HWŕŽ&#x2039;L[ Frank, now Vice President Underwood, pilots a reinvigorating season premiere without the aid of his typical straightto-camera narration until the ODVW VKRW ,â&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹP XQIDPLOLDU ZLWK the original books and British VHULHV DQG , KDYHQâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹW ZDWFKHG season one of this version since it was released on NetfOL[ODVW)HEUXDU\:DWFKLQJ WKH ŕŽ&#x160;UVW VHDVRQ PD\ QRW be strictly necessary to understanding this one; with scant UHFDOO , ZDV EDFN LQWR HYHU\WKLQJ E\ WKH HQG RI WKH ŕŽ&#x160;UVW HSLVRGH +RXVH RI &DUGVâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;Ź story structure and auto-queue streaming, however, practically ensure binge viewLQJ RI DOO WKH â&#x20AC;ŤÚ?â&#x20AC;Ź &KDSWHUVâ&#x20AC;Ť Ú&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹQRZ UHOHDVHG This review contains no spoilers, but it will hopefully ŕŽ&#x2039;DJ XS SRLQWV to ponder on for both those inside and outVLGH WKH +RXVH The show strings together many threads, personal and political, and some are difficult to follow even for those knowledgeable of the American political V\VWHP %XW LI \RX OLNHG 5DGLRKHDGâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV,Q5DLQERZV \RXZLOOHQMR\WKLVVKRZ .HYLQ 6SDFH\â&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV VWRryline, at least, is eminently intelligible compared with

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Cards are attempting to grow LWVDXGLHQFH Structurally, all the episodes of this season clock in at around PLQXWHVZKLFKPDNHVWKHP more easily broadcast than the ŕŽ&#x160;UVW VHDVRQâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV ŕŽ&#x2039;H[LEOH HSLVRGH OHQJWKV 5HLQIRUFLQJ WKH RFcasional West Wing cum AusWUDOLDQVRDSIHHO,KDGDOLVWRI moments for a drinking game DIWHURQO\WZRHSLVRGHV ,I , KDG SOD\HG VDLG JDPH ,â&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹG now be jaundiced, but completely contented with the VWRU\ , KDG ZDWFKHG XQIROG , WKLQN WKH VHDVRQ WZR ŕŽ&#x160;QDOH would be a satisfying end to WKHVKRZEXW,VDLGWKDWDERXW WKH VHDVRQ RQH ŕŽ&#x160;QDOH DV ZHOO Kevin Spacey told Digital Spy WKH VKRZ FRXOG JR RQ IRU  \HDUVVHDVRQV,SUD\WKLV LVQâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹWVRDQGQRWIRUDQ\GLVOLNH RI +RXVH RI &DUGV 0\ IHDU RI commitment includes following long-running TV shows, DQG,â&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹYHEHHQKXUWLQWKHSDVW by Lost and House being reFRPPLVVLRQHG LQWR GHFOLQH The ideal structure of a TV show is issuing a run of episodes that complete a narrative arc, perhaps continuing this a few years in a row, and then ending the show at its SHDN6RPH%ULWLVKVKRZVDQG others on HBO, Showtime or AMC demonstrate this model EHDXWLIXOO\ 1HWŕŽ&#x2039;L[ KDV FRPSOHWH IUHHGRP to present House of Cards KRZHYHUWKH\SOHDVH7KHFRPpany is both content producer DQG SURYLGHU ZRUWK RYHU  ELOOLRQ ZLWK  PLOOLRQ VXEVFULEHUV DQG VWLOO JURZLQJ H[SRQHQWLDOO\ 7KH WKLUG VHDVRQ is already being written and will presumably be released in )HEUXDU\  , GRQâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹW NQRZ ZKHUH ,â&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹOO EH WKHQ EXW WKH ŕŽ&#x160;QDOHRI+RXVHRI&DUGVâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹVHFRQG season makes it clear where )UDQN8QGHUZRRGZLOOEH 1$7+$1675,1*(5

YOUR CUTOUT AND KEEP HoC DRINKING GAME GUIDE A conversation begins in a room and quickly turns serious, so one person gets up to close the door. Evidently, people who regularly discuss confidential matters cannot predict when those discussions will occur. When someone is leaving a room after a conversation, the other person says â&#x20AC;&#x153;one more thingâ&#x20AC;? that proves to be the most important part of the conversationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; exactly as if Columbo worked from a desk. Two people conversing in a hallway both stop when someone walks by. One person suddenly breaks the flow of conversation to tell an anecdote that is obviously a metaphor. To the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recall any of these anecdotes being about fishing or baseball. The answer to the question â&#x20AC;&#x153;When is that happening?â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;When is that scheduled?â&#x20AC;? is always â&#x20AC;&#x153;The day after tomorrow.â&#x20AC;?


The Beaver 25.02.2014

NYMHP()MANIAC 'Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I've always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That's perhaps my only sin'



DIR: Lars Von Trier CAST: Charlotte Gainbourg, Stellan Stellan SkarsgĂĽrd, Stacy Martin RUNTIME: 4 hrs 1 min


he experience of watching Lars von Trierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-part, four-hour long biographical epic, is sometimes akin to that of surreptiously listening in on a religious confession; as predisposed as we are to view to the subjectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selfaccusing, self-pitying, and selfjustifying narrative through the lens of intellectually superior detachment, the predominant mode of emotional response is not judgement but fear; we are afraid not only of the moral wrongness told but also the possibility of identifying with the confessor; one indulgent misstep and we could similarly fall from our comfortable, socially acceptable position into the realm of the outcasts and the marginalised, forever damned to live out the rest of our days as voiceless objects on the wrong side of previlege and respectability, at once invisible yet at the same WLPHDOZD\VDŕŽ&#x160;JXUHRIVDQFWLmonious, voyeuristic, vicarious interests. Such is the story of Nymphomaniac, a visually captivating, cinematographically diverse, DQG DŕŽ&#x2030;HFWLYHO\ UDZ PHGLWDtion on the nature of love and sex in post-religious Europe. With industrial metal band Rammstein setting the tone, Vol. I plunges us into the discovery of a bloodily injured Joe (Charlotte Gainsborough, with Stacy Martin playing the young version), abandoned in a snowy alleyway, by a softspoken, bookishly-cultured, secularly-non-judgemental elderly bachelor Seligman (Stellan SkarsgĂĽrd). â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This is going to be longâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, says Joe, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;and moral, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m afraidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, as the old manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unassuming personality and modest home gives the borken bird a safe space to recount the sequence of events which had brought her to this battered plight. Conceived as part of the depression trilogy alongside his earlier works Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011), Nymphomaniac similarly features a heroine who endures an arUD\ RI VXŕŽ&#x2030;HULQJ 7KLV WKHPDWic focus on female sexuality, bodily punishment, and painful matyrdom has produced allegations of misogyny, even WKRXJK KLV ŕŽ&#x160;OPV DUH LI DQ\thing, misanthropic, portraying their male characters as at least as equally morally reprehensible. While it is true that the character of Joe, deŕŽ&#x160;QHG VROHO\ WKURXJK KHU VH[Xality, sometimes feels like a male approximation of female sexuality, the discourse is not necessarily gendered, as Joe and Seligman seem designed

to function more as embodied concepts or allegorical archetypes, and less so as recognisable human beings. Discovering sexual pleasure at a prepubescent age while playing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;frogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; - sliding on the EDWKURRPâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV ZHW ŕŽ&#x2039;RRU ZLWK oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stomach â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sexualLW\ EORVVRPHG IXOO\ DW ŕŽ&#x160;IWHHQ as she asks a slightly older boy Jerome (Shia Lebouf) to take her virginity. Even though the encounter is predictably unpleasant, it marks the start of her life-long carnal odyssey. Joining an all-female group who vow not to sleep with a same man twice in an act of UHEHOOLRQ DJDLQVW â&#x20AC;ŤÚ?â&#x20AC;ŹRXU ORYHŕŽ&#x160;[ated societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Joe continues on her path of hedonistic excess, arranging her quasi-anonymous appointments with an enormous number of men of all shapes and sizes, none of whom she creates any meaningful connection with. Even once confronted by the tangible evidence of harm she had caused, in the form of one of her manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rightly indignant wife Mrs H (Uma Thurman), Joe remained unfazed. It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until the romantic reunion with Jerome that the consequence of that youthful episode become apparent; during their consummation she utters words that are no doubt every manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nightmare: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel anythingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The search to reclaim sexual sensations catalyses Vol. II, which sees Joe engage in polyamory, sex without verbal communication, as well as that JHQWULŕŽ&#x160;HG PLGGOHFODVV WDERR BDSM, the last with a professional sadist K (Jamie Bell). These increasingly desperate and psychologically multifaceted negotiation with pleasure and pain show how desperate she is to regain control of her own body. Addiction often results in 'absence of empathy', factually notes Seligman; one can only love others once one has learnt to love oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self. If all this sounds like an exhausting dull, relentlessly demoralising, torturously ponGHURXV DŕŽ&#x2030;DLU LQ GUDPDWLVHG pathology, rest assured, the ŕŽ&#x160;OPLVŕŽ&#x160;OOHGZLWKKXPRXUPRVW reliable is the irony between the self-seriousness of Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ŕŽ&#x160;UVW SHUVRQ QDUUDWLYH GLYLGHG into eight chapters, and the academic coldness of Seligmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deadpan commentary. The number of thrusts Jerome gave KHU LQ WKHLU ŕŽ&#x160;UVW WU\VW WKUHH YDJLQDO DQG ŕŽ&#x160;YH DQDO LV UHFognised by Seligman as a subset of the Fibonacci sequence. This prompts Joe to realise that perhaps it can be said that she has only had one lov-

er, since all of them can be regressed into the Golden ratio, with many moving parts combined into a single, harmonious, perfect polyphony, not unlike Bachâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s masterpieces. Von Trierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of overlaid graphics, digressive animations and illustrative split-screens imEXH WKH ŕŽ&#x160;OP ZLWK WKH YLVXDO quality of a free-association poem, presenting sexuality not as distinct from but pervasive in, and co-constitutive of lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s every aspects: from ŕŽ&#x160;VK DQJOLQJ WR FDNH IRUNV WR Edgar Allan Poeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s short story, WRNQRWVWR7UDQVŕŽ&#x160;JXUDWLRQRI Jesus on the mount, to mirrors. Seligmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cultural allusions DUH WKXV WUDQVPRUJULŕŽ&#x160;HG LQWR the means by which Joe gives meaning and structure to the disparate, absurd, chaotic series of events that comprise her life. From a woman who dared us to judge her as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bad human beingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, emerges someRQH ZKR PD\ ŕŽ&#x160;QDOO\ DFFHSW and forgive herself. The media blackout during the ŕŽ&#x160;OP V SURPRWLRQ E\ 9RQ 7ULHU due to the fear that his words would be misrepresented by the media, as was the case at Cannes 2011, results in a suitably postmodern necessitation of Death of The Author criticism. Still, there are lines which appear to betray the director's wish to remain silent. 'When a word becomes prohibited', says Joe, 'you remove a founding block of democracy'. She then goes on to attack 'political correctness', as well as identifying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hypocrisyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as a universal human quality. While this may just be another one of Von Trier's puerile provocation, the ingenuity lies in how KH ZRYH WKLV LQWR WKH ŕŽ&#x160;OP LQ which sexuality - 'the strongest force in human beings', as well as perhaps the sincerest DQGPRVWOLEHUDWLQJRQHŕŽ&#x160;QGV absolute freedom of expression in a character for whom 'society has no place', and on whom bourgeoisie morality disciplines, simply for being too honest about the pursuit of her own erotic desire. Tellingly, Joe confronted Seligman about his detachment from her story: 'You are not excited because you can't relate'. Is it possible that the reverse is also true? Perhaps those of us who are excited are so precisely because we can relate. Maybe Von Trier is just trying alert us to our own hypocrisy, pointing out that there exists WKDWOLWWOHQ\PSKRPDQLDFŕŽ&#x160;UPly locked up somewhere in the dusty corner of our psyche; her only sin is that she demands more from the sunset.


eautifully shot, emotionally convincing, and unapologetically passionate, Alain Giraudieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s L'Inconnu du lac, or Stranger By The Lake is an intimate portrayal of the self-annihilating tendency of desire. A gay arthouse VXVSHQVH WKULOOHU WKH ŕŽ&#x160;OP LV the latest among the direcWRUâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV SUROLŕŽ&#x160;F RŕŽ&#x2030;HULQJV ZKLFK included two shorts, three KRXUORQJŕŽ&#x160;OPVDQGWKUHHIHDtures. His propensity for the charming rusticity of Southern France has led him to unconventional uses of this dry and dusty landscape. We begin our story with the a shot of the car park, partially obscured by scrawny trees. This mundane venue is WKH RQO\ RQH DPRQJ WKH ŕŽ&#x160;OPâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV three locations which is a product of human architecture; this is the edge of civilisation and on the other side of this border lies a place regulated only by the primacy of desire. Franck, a lean, toned man in his thirties steps out from his Renault 25, wearing a red t-shirt, blue denim shorts and a pair of trainers, before walking down the tree-tunnel path onto the bright sandy beach. Naked bodies are strewn across the bright landscape, like brown dots on an impressionistic painting; some move within the translucent cerulean blue of the windblown water. We follow Franckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (Perre Delaconchamps) gaze as he surveys the idyllic summer spot that appears before him. Gay cruising in various locations within European cities has been going on for at least hundreds of years, although naked beaches may have been a more recent phenemenon. Considering that many of its NLQGV KDV EHHQ WRXULVWLŕŽ&#x160;HG WKH ŕŽ&#x160;OPâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV SULVWLQH UXUDO VHWting seems quaint. The genHUDWLRQDO GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQFH DOVR IDFtors in to this anachronistic strangeness; when homosexuality was still at best a social stigma, and at worst a criminal RŕŽ&#x2030;HQFH JD\ PHQ KDG WR PHHW in discrete public space to retain their safety and anonymity. Toilets, parks, gymnasium and other sufficiently concealing sites became a frequent haunt for many. Now, with the proliferation of LGBT-friendly public space and increased connectivity due to social media, gay men could diversify the choice of location for their meeting. Still, this is largely an urban phenomenon, and local cruising spot remains the most convenient way for gay men in these less culturally previliged milieus to socialise. )UDQFN ŕŽ&#x160;UVW QRWLFHV +HQUL (Patrick d'Assumçao), a selfLGHQWLŕŽ&#x160;HG VWUDLJKW PDQ VLWting alone on the pebbly side of the beach whose marriage /HVŕŽ&#x160;OPVGXORVDQJH


with a woman has dissolved. His chubby build, balding hair and fully clothed body marks KLPRXWIURPWKHUHVWRIŕŽ&#x2039;RFN The strange couple strikes up a platonic relationship, which reveals the older manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need for non-sexual male companionship. Grabbing our protagonistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s romantic attention however is a sculpted, tanned, mustachioed body of Michel (Christophe Paou) appearing out of the water like a Greek god, whose quiet intensity and masculine charisma suddenly became the object of Franckâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s somewhat naĂŻve, yet relentless pursuit. This burning attraction remains inspite, or maybe because of, the grim fact that the latter witnessed the former cold-blooded drowning of his lover in the lake. There is a fairy-tale quality to this coming-of-age narrative. The luscious greenery, where the actual cruising happens, is Edenic in its appearance; male bodies travail over the untrodden path in all their naked glories, not aesthetically perfect but wondrous in their child-like prelapsarian shamelessness; possibilities of erotic encounter hang languorously in the cool afternoon air. Yet Giraudie does not neglect to foreground this sexual utopia with an underlying sociological reality. The economy of power is apparent in the cruisersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; performativity, with the male gaze as the currency of choice; all exchange is fair here in this neoliberal consumer market. The questions of condom use came up, reminding us of HIVs; once asked by a wellmeant yet unsophisticated inspector how everyone can just return to cruising mere two days after â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;one of your own drownedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Michael responds â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop livingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. This simple thriller plot is enhanced by Giraudieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meticulous cinematography. Aiming to capture the mythic aspect of everyday life, the director imbues the location, all shot in natural light, with gravita and symbolism solely through DQJOHV IUDPLQJ DQG GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUent shades of sunlight; the story, which covers nine days in total, starts each day with the same shot of the car park, creating a sense of fatalistic recurrence and ritualistic repetition; Franck continues the vicious cycles, each one darker than the last, almost as if we are on an inevitable journey from dawn to dusk. The lack of music, and thus reliance on the sounds of birds, planes, insects and the wind produces WKH HŕŽ&#x2030;HFW RI D GRFXPHQWDU\ almost as if we are trapped along with the characters; the screen fades to black as the tension culminates in one of WKHPRVWFKLOOLQJŕŽ&#x160;QDOVFHQHLQ recent cinema. JOSH JINRUANG reviews

STRANGER BY THE LAKE 'Do you have to sleep with somene to spend the night with them?'

DIR: Alain Giraudie CAST: Pierre Delaconchamps RUNTIME: 1 hr 32 mins


25.02.2014 PartB


Photos: Perez Museum Miami

Ai  Weiwei:  Smash  Your  Own  Pot


ast Sunday afternoon a visitor at the Perez Art Museum Miami in the US state of Florida casually picked up one of the 16 vases that made up Ai Weiweiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Colored Vases,â&#x20AC;? a part of the Chinese dissident and artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibition According to What? After being told to put it down by security, the man just as casually GURSSHGLWWRWKHŕŽ&#x2039;RRUVKDWWHUing the ceramic piece. The urn that was destroyed was in fact one dating back to the Han Dynasty of China, which reigned from approximately 220 BCE to 203 CE; Ai had dipped them in

industrial paint, obscuring the original designs. According to the police report, it is valued at $1 million (ÂŁ600,000). The perpetrator is local Miami artist Maximo Caminero, 51, born in the Dominican Republic and known for his vibrant and abstract paintings. He was disgruntled by the lack of attention local artists receive at museums such as PAMM. "It was a spontaneous protest," he told the Miami New Times Sunday evening, "I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei's

photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. And I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest." The photos referred to are Ai Weiweiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1995 piece â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,â&#x20AC;? in which the artist similarly destroys an DQFLHQWYDVHWKHGLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQFHEHing that Mr. Ai owned the pot he shattered. In an interview with the BBC, he condemned the act, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He can drop whatever he likes to drop, but not other people's property."

INTRODUCING:  LSE  Bias  Project


hen watching â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;conventionalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; documentaries, I have often found myself forgetting that each character is also an edit. Speaking to Tim Travers Hawkins revealed animationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power to articulate the void between creation and true representation. With animation, the poetic license is embraced and more openly recognised. Additionally, improvements in technology have allowed artists to gain access to otherwise restricted domains. In a world where we assume that everything is visible, these new forms of creativity will become more valuable to our understanding that ever before.

prepared to expect something GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQW DOORZLQJ WKHP WR EH more open minded and receptive, making the impact of the work on them more powerful. From 1000 voices, I learnt that animation gives you a huge range of possibilities. The poliWLFV RI UHSUHVHQWDWLRQ LQ ŕŽ&#x160;OP individualises and perhaps animation has the potential to de-individualise. The title INVISBLE PICTURESHOW is a contradiction in terms; there is an immediate elements of absence and presence. Was that intentional?

That was kind of the whole point. I like dealing with sub1000 voices inspired me to jects where access is restricttalk about your walk. Can ed. Today we assume every\RX VWDUW Rૼ E\ WHOOLQJ PH thing is visible; cameras are about that project? everywhere, but actually there are still things that are still 7KH ŕŽ&#x160;UVW WLPH , XVHG DQLPD- hidden due to power. The way tion was with 1000 voices. power works is to create these The whole point of the title is pockets of invisibility. Immithat there is never one char- gration and detention centres acter; there is a multiplicity of are one of the areas where voices. Lots of small narratives that understanding is applicathat can combat a bigger nar- ble. The reasons for this are rative. It was supposed to be WZRIROGŕŽ&#x160;UVWO\\RXFDQQRWVHH fragmented and not descend inside the detention centres; into the standard narrative of and secondly, these issues development and resolution. It [immigration and detention does have a strong structure, centres] have been pushed unbut not conventionally. It is far der the mat - gaining access more like a prose poem than a is almost impossible. When ŕŽ&#x160;OPEHFDXVHLWKDVWKHVHPRG- you are dealing with children ulations of theme and tone. there is also a huge responsiThe audience is also more bility to protect them and their

anonymity, as they are incredibly vulnerable people. Consequently, it was a no-brainer that you would not see the subjects. You work around that in a creative way and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an opportunity to do something GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQW ,Q FKDOOHQJLQJ WKH conventions of representation in documentary, I think you can actually create something more universal when you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the subject. The subjects can represent more than just themselves. Why did you decide to base some of your work around asylum seekers and detention centres? I grew up in Kent, really near Dover. When I was at school, there were a lot of Albanians coming to the United Kingdom and generally youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hear about that in a derogatory way. In ZHPDGHDŕŽ&#x160;OPDERXWDQ asylum seeker that was murdered by the German police. I got really involved in that subject and wanted to know what was going on here. Even though I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read the Daily Mail, I still had this preconception it was really easy to seek asylum in the United Kingdom. Funnily enough, I consider myself to be a critical person but this idea had percolated into my headâ&#x20AC;Ś Anyway, I came back and looked into it. I found that there was a detention centre really near where I lived on WKHFOLŕŽ&#x2030;V7KLVVWUXFN me as really odd as it was an incredibly symbolic place - the FOLŕŽ&#x2030;V ZHUH PHDQW WR resemble freedom

Correction: We failed to credit the photographer who provided the great shots of the LSE Fashion Show, we're happy to correct this now and thank Michael J Needham of CTG Photography

"I didn't know that it was that amount," Mr. Caminero says. "I feel so sorry about it, for sure." "If you saw the vases on display and the way they were painted there was no way one would think the artist had painted over an ancient artifact," he says. "Instead I thought it was a common clay pot like you would ŕŽ&#x160;QGDW+RPH'HSRWIUDQNO\ Ai Weiwei isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too upset about the damage, though. He says that he has had his work damaged multiple times. "I'm O.K.

with it, if a work is destroyed,â&#x20AC;? he told the New Times. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A work is a work. It's a physical thing. What can you do? It's already over." Maximo Caminero has been charged with criminal mischief, which can be a third degree IHORQ\SXQLVKDEOHE\XSWRŕŽ&#x160;YH years in prison when the damage is in excess of $1,000. He has since issued a formal apology to the museum and to Ai Weiwei. NATHAN SCHEPERLE

from Fascism, but at the same time we have a lot of people ORFNHG XS LQGHŕŽ&#x160;QLWHO\ WKHUH 3HRSOH EHOLHYHG WKDW WKH FOLŕŽ&#x2030;V were a haven, but now there was this prison at the top. For me, that was like a nasty secret and how I became really interested in the topic.

do not get that kind of political dimension. Fundamentally, I think that a political element is tied into everything I do because of the people who I admired and learnt with. Consequently, I think my way of WKLQNLQJ FDQ EH GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQW WR D lot of people in London.

Have you always wanted to ZRUNLQ૽OP"

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I started out studying Political Science and Spanish at Bristol. Half way through my degree, I realised my calling was in creative pursuits. This coincided with me being very politicised at the time due to the punk music scene and the stop the war movement. So, I left and I went to South America. , JRW LQYROYHG LQ D ŕŽ&#x160;OP VFKRRO there and was mentored by Fernando Birri and Pino Solanas. They were both involved in this third cinema movement in the sixties. The collective DLPHG WR PDNH ŕŽ&#x160;OP LQ D FROlaborative fashion and to try not to objectify people; to try and get them involved in the creative process as well. Next, I moved to Columbia. I met anRWKHU ŕŽ&#x160;OPPDNHU ZKR WKRXJKW in a very similar way to me and we started working together. And then, I went to Cuba and VWXGLHGDWŕŽ&#x160;OPVFKRROWKHUH,W was South America that really JRWPHLQWRŕŽ&#x160;OPPDNLQJ Do you think other cultures FUHDWH ૽OP LQ GLૼHUHQW ways? In South America, their way RI ŕŽ&#x160;OPPDNLQJ LV DOZD\V YHU\ politicised and intellectual. ,Q PRGHUQ GD\ %ULWDLQ ŕŽ&#x160;OP LV about story telling and narratives and sometimes people

On the last day of a shoot in Germany we got attacked by Neo-Nazis outside a train station and had to hide in my friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Miniâ&#x20AC;Ś whilst WKH\ ZHUH EUHDNLQJ RŕŽ&#x2030; WKH wing mirrorsâ&#x20AC;Ś afterwards, we went to the police. They accused me of being there illegally and I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any papers on me to prove otherwise! Or loosing my credit cardâ&#x20AC;Ś In the middle of a rainforest in Columbia. I guess that was pretty 'exciting'. JADE JACKMAN

this piece is part of an ongoing project run by LSE students called BIAS PROJECT that intends to explore societal issues through the medium of visual arts


The Beaver 25.02.2014



A Short Story By Nathan Stringer








A ┬аStroke ┬аof ┬аLuck





A Stroke of Luck By Larry Belling Park Theatre Until 2nd March 3/5 Stars




The Beaver 09.10.2012


Photo: Flickr. Sedby




Tuesday February 25 2014

Features THE SOCIETY COLUMN features Model UN Society

The United Nations: Imperfect, but a Force for Good Kavita Kalaichelvan Model UN Society President


in instances such as the Syrian Civil War, where vetoes by Russia and China crippled any attempt to evoke sanctions. Understandably, it is not easy to defend an institution like the UN. It is far from perfect. Bureaucracy remains an obstinate barrier, the Security Council will always grapple with its inherent power dynamics while compromising efficiency and the challenges the organisation faces will only multiply with the creeping spread of national upheavals. To say that it is in need of reform is fair. To say that it has failed however, overlooks the various other ways in which the UN has benefited it’s member states and the international community.


ntended to be the pinnacle of international diplomacy, but perceived by most as a glorified ‘talk shop’, the United Nations is not new to criticism. Some might go further to say that the UN has failed. Unsuccessful missions in the past such as in Rwanda and Bosnia, and more recently Sri Lanka and Darfur have portrayed the organisation to be ineffective, incapable and unable to raise its voice over the cacophony of individual countries’ self interests and motives. These failures have not come without disastrous

consequences - over 6,500 civilians were killed over the course of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the Rwandan genocide remains a bloody and brutal reminder of the shortcomings of UN peacekeeping forces. The veto power has been another issue of contention. The Security Council, supposedly the most powerful body of the UN, is weakened in its capacity to act swiftly and certainly as is required in the crisis situations it deals with, with any of it’s five permanent members (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China and France) being able to yield the luxury of the veto to their liking. This has crippled the UN’s ability to intervene

If your society would like to be featured in THE SOCIETY COLUMN

Upon its inception, the main goals of the UN were identified as follows: maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict. It’s certainly a tall order, and a behemoth of a task when you begin to consider that it also needs to coordinate the interests of more than 150 states, each with different governmental structures, political interests and cultural disparities. Most of the criticism of the UN can be attributed to the media’s disproportionate focus on the Security Council, leading it to become the yardstick by which the success of the entire UN system is measured by. It might still come as a surprise to some that the UN is far more encompassing than that, being composed of more than 30 specialised agencies as well as associated programs and funds. Many of these agencies, such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme have done exemplary work in raising global standards of living and education, eradicating diseases and facilitating development projects in countries lacking the structural and technological infrastructure to make progress. The World Food Programme is one of the most effective bodies to date, reaching more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year. The UN has undeniably played a major role in improv-

ing the socio-economic welfare of many of it’s member states through establishing dialogue between developing and developed countries, as the progress made with the Millenium Development Goals would astutely demonstrate. It is for this very reason that despite the proliferation of other international organisations, and the relevance of the UN coming under threat, it still remains the indispensable global forum for discussing world affairs. It is still the organisation any fledgling country seeks to be part of to gain legitimacy. It is inevitable that the power structure of the world continues to be reflected in the UN, often to its detriment. The US especially has defied the United Nations in the past, such as with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Yet, it is notable that in doing so it had to acknowledge publicly that its actions were in defiance of the UN. Even with international security, the UN has come to represent the global standard to which countries’ actions have to be held accountable to. The United Nations popularised the idea of international responsibility - the notion that aside from furthering its own agenda, a country needs to play a cooperative part in the larger global community whether be it in terms of knowledge sharing or providing aid. There is a long way to go before the UN can become the pinnacle that it had aspired to be. But as the need for international leadership becomes pressing, its ideals remain overwhelmingly relevant, more so now than ever.

The United Nations General Assembly Hall in Manhattan, New York.

THE WEEK IN NUMBERS £ 11.4bn The money facebook


19 The number of new cardinals appointed by the pope this week

spent on WhatsApp won by Team GB more than the GDP of inmedals sochi, putting Britain Iceland or Bosnia in 19th place

800,000 The age of footsteps £4.7bn The UK’s january found in Norfolk the earliest human footprints found outside Africa

surplus, the smallest in 4 years

New research suggests that only 25% of Americans attend church weekly

Tuesday February 25 2014





#SOSVenezuela What Weapon is Most Powerful?


hether or not you are familiar with the current situation in Venezuela through either the worldwide social media campaign of #SOSVenezuela, # I a m y o u r v o i c e Ve n e z u e l a , the proliferation of emotive images and videos, and/or news coverage, enlightenment is necessary. Protesting in Venezuela is not an unusual phenomenon, with almost 5,000 protests occurring in 2013. The current regime have been in power for 15 years, with Nicolas Maduro serving as president after Hugo Chavez’s death. They have lead the country to the brink of collapse through the adoption of inefficient modes of political regime like Cuba, where the opposition is excluded from the institutions and the media wholly owned by the State. Thus, what propelled student protests in the start of February were the unbearable social and economic problems coupled with the creation of a social movement denoted #LaSalida (meaning the way out) from popular opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado, the former of which has been

now been incarcerated. The focus is clear; ideology or political lineage should not be at play when a country with the highest oil reserves in the world is facing severe shortages of basic necessities like milk and toilet paper, hyperinflation of 56% and an astounding crime rate with one person murdered every 21 minutes. As the protests continue, ten students have been killed, hundreds wounded and incarcerated in what is clearly a nonviolent civil resistance. Despite Maduro’s call for peace, his oppressive strategy of paramilitaryarmed groups, tanks, fighter jets, and snipers say otherwise. Not only is the state of Táchira completely militarized with no Internet or media transmission, but the government (who refers to the protestors as fascist), has also cut off the supply of gasoline to areas where these so called groups live. As Maduro tries to break the nonviolent character of this movement by engaging in oppressive acts against the innocent to strike terror in the populace and hatred in the opposition, his tactic to encourage violence is clear. Henrique Capriles, the opposition’s main leader who faced Maduro in the 2013 Presidential elections, has

emphasized that any advancements cannot be achieved without the adherence to nonviolent resistance. This coupled with unity and organisation will only succeed through the incorporation of the poorest sectors of society. Similarly, Srdja Popovic has proven that the power of “nonviolent struggle” lies in the nonviolent mobilization of a great number of people around a common vision of tomorrow. Even when facing an oppressive and polarising regime, if those basic principles are successfully executed, nonviolent social changes becomes possible, however dangerous conditions on the local battlefield may look. Thus, given this asymmetrical warfare, the opposition’s condemnation of visceral actions and devotion to nonviolence is their most powerful weapon that gives them strategic advantage over Maduro. However, if the opposition succumb to Maduro’s provocative tactics and abandon nonviolence, they will loose their asymmetric advantage and will have little chance of success. In order to monopolise on the current climate, their strategic vision needs to be inclusive and representative, irrespective of political inclination. Where dialogue is needed most, is amongst those sectors that


Cristina Espinal

are hit the hardest by the economic and social debacle through the creation of common goals and objectives, such as reforms to combat the severe shortages and the disbandment of the paramilitary groups. This will in turn enhance their power capacity and increase their capacity to achieve their objectives. The future of Venezuela is being decided and the ability of the opposition to remain nonviolent and unite while carry-

ing out their strategic vision for the change they seek will be a pivotal factor in the final outcome. So, it is not the time for blame game or blurred visions and unpractical strategies, all Venezuelans whether right or left, rich or poor, must unite and plan protests that are aimed at the common struggles they all face through the economic and social debacle if any hope of success is sought.

The Pocket Philosopher: What Are We Living For? Joel Rosen


he meaning of life is probably one of the biggest questions we face, and so ambitious a job is it to try to tackle it that many a parody has been made of its possible answers, such as in the widely popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (where a computer takes ages to come up with the simple answer of “42”). It would surely be an insane task to try and deal with this in a few hundred words or so – so naturally I’m going to attempt it. What I’m going to argue is that the computer in the Hitchhiker’s Guide actually had a point, and that we’re not really wired to cope with the arbitrariness of the universe. It is only through our newfound leisure that we have been able to even start to ask questions about our existence and our place in the universe. Before agriculture started in the Fertile Crescent and spread to the rest

of the world through the Ancient Levant, our huntergatherer ancestors were too busy with survival to contemplate the wider picture and purpose of being, although they must have gazed up at the stars at night in wonder. Our greatest philosophers from Greek times to the present have all had some form of sustenance from their societies, whether financial or other, in their lives so that they had the leisure to contemplate the big questions in life. John Stuart Mill used to work standing up at his desk so he would complete his dayjob in the morning, and spent the afternoon in deep philosophical contemplation. The point here is that even today for most people on this planet, the purpose in life is first to survive, have children, and take a pleasurable holiday if possible. Contemplating the wider scheme of things is a luxury of leisure. So why are we here? If you believe in God or another supernatural deity, then you can usually be offered an an-

swer. Depending on your belief, your purpose in life is either to fulfil a certain task, to improve the lives of others, to perfect your own soul, or to prepare for an afterlife of eternal bliss or infernal pain. These explanations are symptomatic of the rejection of arbitrariness that so characterises human nature. Most of us simply cannot accept that after death we could simply be broken down into the stardust from which we were made, and be recombined into other things. As mentioned above, most people focus on this planet, on the here and now – their purpose being first to subsist, and if possible to live fulfilling lives of leisure. We’re actually wired that way, since we never usually had the leisure to contemplate the universe in its entirety. So we’re applying a day-to-day earth-based logic to a wider environment which may not have any logic behind it. We constantly seek meaning in everything. If a tree falls in the woods and no-one is there to perceive

it, does it make a sound? Of course it does, but our perceptions give it meaning to us. I remember being in the Alps on a mountain where a freezing wind blew for days, and I was amazed at its arbitrariness. It would have blown ceaselessly were I there or not, but at that moment it caused me suffering and hence it had meaning for me. But try standing on the edge of the universe, look out across its infinity in time and space, and the brief blip of our existence fades in significance in the grand scheme of things. What are we here for then, and what are we working towards? Progress is one answer. But progress towards what end? What we seem not to be able to appreciate is that we may not have a purpose. So what do we do then? Well we deal with the situation at hand, and it would seem that we should deal with the here and now with a sort of hedonism. At least in our own perceptions, we exist, and we can experience

pleasure or pain. Pleasure is of secondary priority, since to have it or not since a life without additional pleasure may still contain the pleasure of being and life may still be worth living. Pain and anxiety, however, is another matter. A life of pain is unbearable, and since the fact of death is beyond your known perceptory powers and if you do not believe in an intrinsic value of life, you should exit it as soon as possible (although this may be painful to people you leave behind). Thus, after a short journey around the planet and through the universe I have left you with the proposal that life’s purpose is to collectively and individually progress to more painless lives, while appreciating that there may be no ultimate purpose for our existence. The computer in the Hitchhiker’s Guide may have had a point in spitting out the arbitrary answer of “42”; the real joke played on us is in our incredulous reactions. Therein we find our answer.




Tuesday February 25 2014


the feature interview: Raymond Li The Head of BBC Chinese service shares his views on the media trend in China with Elizabeth Cheung

of wrongdoings of officials on social media, the Chinese government realises the urge Raymond Li is BBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head to take action, even though of Chinese Service since 2009, it may be minimal. A gradual having worked for the BBC change and reform is seen to for over 22 years. He was a be underway; motivated by launching Editor of BBCChithe power of social media. in 1999, and was a Li holds a rather positive visiting lecturer at Hong Kong stance on new forms of meBaptist University in 2013, dia, and sees the possibility of teaching new media and intera violent revolution in China national journalism to be minimal. As a Chinese national, he believes his felith the media lows would opt for a â&#x20AC;&#x153;peacerevolution in ful wayâ&#x20AC;? to make changes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I the past few donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe many people in years, China China would say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like has climbed up WR KDYH DQ $UDE6SULQJVW\OH the peak to be the largest new revolution in Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?, says Li. media market in the world. Discourse on new media unNevertheless, Raymond Li, dermining social stability is head of the BBC Chinese not valid in his view. service, sees this expanding Although technology has market remaining tightly conEURXJKWDJUHDWHUŕŽ&#x2039;RZRIFRPtrolled with strict censorship, munication within the counand urges a more open media try, Li points out that some environment for the Chinese ordinary people in China still to speak. hold a biased view on foreign WeChat and QQ are some media, partly due to the inof the Chinese media giants ŕŽ&#x2039;XHQFH RI VWDWH PHGLD 7KH\ that share the instant messagthink western news agencies ing market of 532 million usoften undermine China as a ers. Apart from the interactive country, reporting with a hidnature of this media tools, Li den agenda. He regards such said the rapid growth was also attitude as problematic for due to the long-term tight regforeign journalists working in ulation in traditional media, China. which he regards a factor that Challenges from the auis â&#x20AC;&#x153;applicable to China onlyâ&#x20AC;?. thorities towards foreign jourUsers could freely take part, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are talking nalists are persistent as well. share and produce informaadmits even the BBC can improved Li tion. With such new content about only deal with the increasing and structure, the delivery of governance of the challenges by abiding by the news information has found but Chinese rules and keep on tryits new form. The Chinese au- government, LQJ 6RPHWLPHV YLVD DSSOLFDWKRULW\DOVRKDGQRFOXHDWŕŽ&#x160;UVW then thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the tions for reporters are rejecthow to control the new media, ed, and the newsroom can which has given some space to political reform we only try again. Li adds the social media for a while. are talking about or that increasing the BBC However, the prosperity of presence in Beijing we are thinkingâ&#x20AC;? new media market might also also helps with recogremind the government the is seen as a step to draw clos- nition from the Chinese ŕŽ&#x160;UHRI$UDE6SULQJLQLQ er to the mass, though some authority. which social media was widely SHRSOHPLJKWIHHOSXWRŕŽ&#x2030;ZKHQ Local journalists do used to organise revolutions the government becomes inv- not enjoy extra privilegto overthrow power in a num- oled in the somehow personal es when compared with ber of Middle East countries. space of the ordinary citizen; Earlier in a panel discussion in the same feeling when your the China Development Fo- mother adds you on Facebook. rum, Li pointed out that a Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more, social media tighter media control and cen- is also used as a platform to resorship has been experienced port governance problems and LQ&KLQD$UXOHSDVVHGLQ6HS- pressure government. Journaltember last year stated that ists like Luo Changping and anyone who produces online Liu Hu have reported on the slanderous messages (for- alleged corruption of offiwarded over 500 times or read cials on Weibo. Although they more than 5000 times) would were arrested by the governbe put into prison for up to ment, there has been a more WKUHH\HDUV6XFKDUXOHFRXOG active anti-corruption cambe an overture to another paign since Xi Jin-ping has wave of media regulation, â&#x20AC;&#x153;if assumed office in 2012. Li they (Chinese government of- sees this as evidence to prove ficials) havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed their WKH LQŕŽ&#x2039;XHQFH RI VRFLDO PHGLD mentality that they have to With the increasing exposure Elizabeth Cheung control the media, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure Elizabeth Cheung


they will do something about it,â&#x20AC;? says Li. In fact, after the promulgation of such regulation on the Internet, there has been a nine-per-cent drop of users in Weibo, a Twitter-style microblog, in 2013. The latest ŕŽ&#x160;JXUH RI WRWDO XVHUV RI :HLER is 281 million. Instead of posing a threat, Li sees social media a tool to bring â&#x20AC;&#x153;peaceful and civilised changeâ&#x20AC;? to society and the rule of Chinese government. The interaction of social media allows the authority to take opinions and feedback from people, and thus enhances communication and reduces tension between government and the people. Li describes social media as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;unusual free spaceâ&#x20AC;? for people to express themselves freely on policies and governance. Knowing the true thoughts could facilitate the government to keep in touch with people and promote social cohesion in the ORQJ UXQ +H ŕŽ&#x160;UPO\ EHOLHYHV that a more open media enviURQPHQW LV EHQHŕŽ&#x160;FLDO DQG HVsential for the ruling party and the leadership. In fact, more than 100 government units, ranging from local police force to national tourist office, have already been running WKHLURZQ:HLER6XFKDWUHQG

their foreign counterparts, as they also face constant pressure from government, readers and advertisers. Having worked as a journalist in BBC for more than 20 years, Li

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe many people in China would say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to have an Arab-Spring-style revolution in Chinaâ&#x20AC;? comments Chinese journalists in the past decades have improved a lot with their professionalism in dealing with presVXUHIURPGLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQWSDUWLHV,Q his eyes, Chinese journalists are actually the most â&#x20AC;&#x153;capable and competentâ&#x20AC;? ones in the world, as they always have to skilfully circumvent the political censorship from the government. While China is on her way to become the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one, Li strongly believes a transparent society with press freedom is inevitable. Keeping information from the public GRHVQRWEHQHŕŽ&#x160;WWKHHFRQRP\ nor does it allow society to develop. However, when will this moment come for China? 6RPH SHRSOH PLJKW SXW KRSH on the new regime of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. A series of â&#x20AC;&#x153;challenging and ambitious reformsâ&#x20AC;?, as noted by Li, were put forward in the Third 3OHQDU\ 6HVVLRQ RI WK &3& Central Committee in last November.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see any mentioning on press freedom, political reform. They are talking about improved governance of the government, but then thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the political reform we are talking about or we are thinkingâ&#x20AC;?. A dramatic change in press freedom appears to remain dim for the near future. It is only when the Chinese leaders break their mental barriers and believe in the merits of freer media environment, press freedom would come to China. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are no other alternatives,â&#x20AC;? urges Li, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it has to be the courage and VHOIFRQŕŽ&#x160;GHQFH RI WKH OHDGHUV to start the ball game to open up the media environment.â&#x20AC;? In the country with one-party rule, the magic wands are in the hands of the party leaders. Only they have the true power to bring real changes to the long-standing suppressing media environment. If they hold tightly to their belief that an open press would undermine the ruling party and the government, and provoke political and social instability, changes will never come to China. Li uses Taiwan as an example to show her Mainland counterpart the outcome of a freer media environment. The Taiwanese government promulgated a 38-year martial law all over the island since 1949. During that time, press and speech freedom hardly existed. It was not until the leader Chiang Ching-kuo lifted the martial law in 1987 that Taiwan started to experience democracy and a more vibrant media environment. Today, people in Taiwan can freely express their thoughts and ideas on the Internet, without worrying that messages may be deleted by the authorities. Talking with his smiling face, Li has never shown any doubts over the merits of free speech and press freedom on Chinese governance. It is the time for the Communist Party to open their mind, embrace the new media, and utilise the platform. At the same time, a more open environment to the outside world can also build an authentic image of China to the world media. While China often points out that the country may be misinterpreted in the western media, Li says â&#x20AC;&#x153;if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually open the door and give access to the foreign media, how could you argue that the western media often misunderstand China?â&#x20AC;?

Photo credit: Flikr: stefanogiantin




Tuesday February 25 2014

Diary of an LSE Student

LSE events and gossip - know something is going on? Email us.




Amelia Thomson


Tuesday February 25 2014

Beaver Kuster & Wildhaber




Hitchhiker’s Guide To (Part of) The Galaxy: What and what not to do in Europe

Kavita Kalaichelvan

Naturally, when two people who have the ability to get lost in their own neighbourhood decided to embark on a hitchhiking trip across Europe for three weeks, our friends were duly concerned. As far as we know no betting pools were created or life insurance policies filed, but the obligatory questions of ‘So you might not even make it out of Europe?’ and ‘Aren’t you scared of getting into a stranger’s car?’ were asked. We did not have the answers to these questions. We were heady on the prospect of uncertainty and risk can seem deceptively glorious when you don’t dwell on it. More importantly, we had told everyone we knew, and at least half the people we didn’t. It would have been incredibly embarrassing to back out, so we ordered our disturbingly matching red backpacks off Amazon and told everyone we were fearless. There is nothing decidedly complicated about hitchhiking. Your basic requirements are a functioning thumb, and a ratty cardboard sign with your next destination. Next, you need a place where you can begin hitch hiking. Thankfully, the database Hitchwiki has already compiled most of the popular hitch hiking spots in each city based on traffic outflow which saves you wandering around in search of the most ideally situated petrol station. The downside to this is that

Hitchwiki sometimes estimates you to be a ninja some of the instructions we encountered include climbing over fences and crossing marshes. A healthy dose of caution is also recommended. There are times when you do need to be selective about the rides you accept. As females hitch hiking, this meant turning down rides with more than one male in the vehicle even though their intentions might have been genuine. Make sure the drivers know that there is someone expecting you at your place of destination so that these intentions are kept genuine when they are made aware that there is someone accountable for you. We guaranteed this by making a show of ‘calling’ a bulky protective brother who we were visiting in the city but less theatrical methods are likely to suffice. Most importantly, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. There is no certainty in hitching. We’ve gotten a ride in less than ten minutes, as well as been stranded in a petrol station for two days. We have walked ourselves into a dead end, and been told by immigration officers to play the guitar to be allowed to cross the border. You can book hostels but still end up curled in a sleeping bag in the waiting room of a train station, hanging out with a group of 15-year olds who use it as their drinking hide out. This can put a huge damper on any plans you might have made for the

destination you are travelling to. However, when you realise that your mode of travel is an experience in itself, allowing your sightseeing time to be compromised doesn’t seem terrible. It’s for this very reason that hitchhiking can be a tumultuous ride of emotions. You are happy one minute because the truck driver you just met is making you lunch in his makeshift kitchen, and bristling in the rain for three hours the day after, swearing about the inhospitable nature of Italians. If you are planning to hitchhike with a companion, pick someone you can stand to spend long periods of time around (or alternatively, would like to lose on a dark highway in

Prague). A long miserable wait can be made a little more bearable when there is someone to share your desolation with. You know you have the ideal companion, however, when instead of bursting into tears because you are spending another night at a petrol station, or have been abandoned in an obsolete town at midnight with no place to stay (Uste Nad Labem anyone?), you laugh. You laugh at the tragic state of affairs you have found yourself in yet again. Indeed, if you do not have a sense of humour about the inevitable hitchhiking mishaps, there will be very little stopping you from booking the next train

or plane home. Find someone you can laugh with, because secretly you both will know that you would not trade the experience for anything. Our feelings about the entire journey? I cannot remember our precise thoughts, but it was probably something along the lines of, ‘We should have followed that Pinterest article on packing light a lot more accurately than we did’. Yes, nothing is definite in hitch hiking. But even trains get delayed. So make that sign, swallow the hesitation and flag your first vehicle. You might not be able to have an itinerary, but at least you will have one hell of a story.




Tuesday February 25 2014


Are you a Productivity Ninja: a review of Graham Allcottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s methods Vikki Hui

How to Be a Productivity Ninja is a self-help book which aims to give us tips on how to improve our productivity in the modern work environment. Using â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ninjaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as a guiding metaphor throughout the book, it is mindful of the impact technological improvement has on the way we work and tailors its approaches to the modern working person. The main idea the book brings forward is the CORD productivity model. Using four key cornerstones â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Capture and Collectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Organiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Reviewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Allcott introduces habits we can be mindful of in order to strengthen our productivity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We no longer think about our work: thinking is our work.â&#x20AC;? This is one of my favourite lines from the book. It is aware that the way peoSOHZRUNQRZDGD\VLVYHU\GLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQW IURPEHIRUHDQGRŕŽ&#x2030;HUVWLSVVSHFLŕŽ&#x160;F to the way we work now. Allcott understands that the development in information technology means that we are constantly bombarded by information, most of which will be useless. That is why his suggested email sorting system is so great â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it allows us to really focus on the important information while being able to feel the thrill of being organised and in control of our workload. The methods given in the book are highly applicable, and it is clear

when those methods are applicable. For example, Allcott includes real life situations that are easy to relatable to, such as being in meetings all day and only having limited time to get a start on our incredibly heavy workload. This is a common experience we all share as univerVLW\VWXGHQWVâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2039;â&#x20AC;ŹLWLVKDUGWRŕŽ&#x160;QGWKDW balance between academics, extracurricular activities, and building our CVs.

exercises are also very short and not time consuming, so there is an even greater incentive to complete WKHP , DOVR ŕŽ&#x160;QG ZULWLQJ GRZQ WKH answers rather useful because one can always go back to the book after a while and see if we have improved our productivity since reading the ERRN IRU WKH ŕŽ&#x160;UVW WLPH )LQDOO\ WKH written language is humorous and encouraging, which makes it an enjoyable read and motivates us to at least attempt to be more productive Apart from the useful methods using the ninjaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way. for increasing productivity, I also liked the way the book is designed. If I had to pick out what I did not First, the illustrations in the book like about the book, I would say its are interesting and the tables are OHQJWK$VDŕŽ&#x160;UVW\HDU/DZVWXGHQW, very helpful in order to understand can testify to the fact that the heavy the methods, which are sometimes amount of reading involved in this quite complicated, especially when VXEMHFWLVQRWDVWHUHRW\SH,DPŕŽ&#x160;QH it comes to the CORD model. Sec- with reading a lot and I quite enjoy ondly, there are concise summaries doing so. However, as a book to help at the end of each chapter, which us become more productive, I felt are very useful when you want to that How to Be a Productivity Ninja go back to the book and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have might be a bit too long. Despite its the time to read through the whole useful tips, it still takes a while to chapter again. Thirdly, I enjoyed the read it, which might not be ideal exercises included in the book after when we are under a heavy workeach chapter because I was able to load and rushing to meet deadlines. apply what I had read about and use However, despite its length, the it to the advantage of my own pro- content is concise and the chapters GXFWLYLW\7KHRSSRUWXQLW\WRUHŕŽ&#x2039;HFW themselves are a quick read. I have on how we are doing and what we a habit of going back to the selfhave learned so far from the book is help books every now and then to very important as it ensures we are see if the tips have been useful and indeed being productive while read- check if there might be some advice ing the book (like the productivity I might pick up on upon reading it ninja) and not wasting time. The again, and How to Be a Productiv-

ity Ninja will not be a long second read. All in all, How to Be a Productivity Ninja is a useful read and I will GHŕŽ&#x160;QLWHO\ UHFRPPHQG LW WR SHRSOH looking to be more organised, especially those who have a lot of responsibilities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we can all become productivity ninjas if we put our minds on it.

Drinking and thus getting drunk is not a talent Amelia Thomson


Tuesday (25th) Music Night Tuesdays 8PM/ The Tuns Wednesday (26th) %DNH2ŕ­ź Midday/ The Quad

ever apart from this something which everyone can do, drink alcohol and get GUXQN FDQQRW EH FODVVLŕŽ&#x160;HG DV D WDOHQW or in itself praiseworthy. So by all means continue to have fun and never let your friends forget what they have done. These are the kind of photo moments that will be needed at weddings. However please remember that drinking and as a result getting drunk is not a skill, talent nor particularly praiseworthy. Perhaps we should talk about other things such as someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talent for equations, sense of direction or understanding of politics. Praising someone for these talents which they have (whilst sober or drunk) would all in all be more understandable, worthy of discussion and frankly interesting.

Female leadership in the 21st Century: What do we need? 6:30PM/ CLM G.04 - Hong Kong Theatre A panel by leading women; By Women Leaders of Tomorrow in collaboration with Agents for Change, Feminist Society and Women in Business


LSE SU COLOMBIAN PARTY 9PM/ Sway Bar 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5B

BODIES Workshop 6:15PM/ CLM.1.02

Tickets can be purchased at LSESU ÂŁ7 for nonmembers and ÂŁ6 for members.

LSESU Feminist Society and Sociology Society present this workshop with guest speaker Professor Charis Thompson.

Friday (28th) Louis Armstrong: The Racial Politics of Music 6:45PM/ 32L LG04

Thursday (27th) Transatlantic Conference 8:30AM - 7:30PM/ Saw Swee Hock Theatre

Saturday (1st) SHIFT 2014 9:30AM â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5PM/ Clement House, LSE

The Vault DFW

It seems almost daily that I am privy to another conversation or reminder of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nightly escapades. Either they are shouted proudly across a lecture theatre or Houghton street, broadcast through a photo slideshow or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;wittyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; status update on Facebook or printed in the next edition of the Beaver complete with incognito names. This is all very well and I understand that others may take pleasure in recounting/ re-piecing WRJHWKHU WKHLU HYHQLQJV RU HYHQ ŕŽ&#x160;QG it amusing to laud othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; antics over them. Indeed I am not anti this nor anti drinking but rather think we should all just step back and look at what exactly it is we are praising.

Drinking to get drunk is not a talent. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so very simple to do; anyone can do it. It is not praiseworthy. If anyone drinks to excess they will get drunk due to alcohol slowing down the function of the central nervous system and blocking some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This will cause them to behave in ways which they would not normally. I repeat this is not a skill. Perhaps it would be a skill if you could not drink liquids however although a drip would be an ingenious method of getting drunk it still would not be a display of talent. A WDOHQWLVGHŕŽ&#x160;QHGE\2[IRUG'LFWLRQDULHV as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;natural aptitude or skillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Perhaps drinking a lot and not getting drunk could be thought of as a skill (though I would recommend a visit to the doctors for those who have managed to get such a high tolerance to alcohol). How-

Second annual forum from the LSE SU Social Entrepreneurship Society - ÂŁ10 for non-members, ÂŁ7 for members. Monday (3rd) In conversation with Bronwyn Curtis 6:30PM/ The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre LSE Annual Dance Show â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through the Agesâ&#x20AC;? 7PM/ Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street Tickets being sold on Houghton Street right through to the 3rd Avenue Q - The Musical 7:30PM/ Old Theatre Presented by LSE SU Drama Society and tickets ÂŁ5 for non-members, ÂŁ3 for members

Tuesday February 25 2014





Beaver Games

Mae I Help You?


Send your questions to

Dear Mae, I have had concerns for a while now that my girlfriend may still have feelings for her ex. I know that he texts her from time to time and she replies. She left herself signed into facebook on my laptop this morning and didn’t log out. I noticed they had been chatting so I opened the conversation. Basically, there are a lot of <3 symbols, and them planning on meeting up. I know I shouldn’t have checked, but I couldn’t help it. How do I move forward?

Good luck! -----------------------Dear Mae,

My ex-girlfriend and I broke up about four months ago. Even though it was pretty mutual it was still also heart breaking but I think I’ve gotten to a place where I may be able to move on. I have also recently met someone who I seem to have a good connection with that’s developed pretty quickly. I’m not really sure I would want to date her in the long run but we have great -Something Not Okay fun together and always On Paradise seem to have great conversations. I am not sure Dear SNOOP, if I’m the “rebound” type, but I feel like we’d I know it can be tough at least have some fun toto avoid looking through gether and I think I need a phone or facebook that again. Should I purwhen you’re really suspi- sue something with her FLRXV DERXW D VLJQLஊFDQW even though I don’t think RWKHU , GHஊQLWHO\ XQGHU it will lead anywhere sestand the urge! But if rious? you’re ever in this situation again, it’s not advis-New Girl Dilemma able. If you snoop long or hard enough I’m sure Dear NGD, \RX‫ڑ‬OOஊQGVRPHWKLQJWKDW you don’t like and on top I’m not sure why of that it is an invasion of you’re overthinking this. privacy. So while it is an You have been single for understandable human a few months and you’ve instinct, try to steer clear met someone new. You of this. get along well and you have a connection. Why But, that won’t help not go for it? Many of us you now, SNOOP. You’ve are unsure if something already found out that will end up being serious your fears may be true. ZKHQ ZH ஊUVW HQWHU LQWR Of course the “<3s” and relationships but there’s the meet ups aren’t nec- RQO\ RQH ZD\ WR ஊQG RXW essarily ideal you could if it will end up being sebe overreacting. Of rious. You have to date course something could DQG VHH  , ஊQG WKDW LW‫ڑ‬V also be going on. The not too often that you RQO\ZD\ZHFDQஊQGRXW meet someone new who what really happened you develop a connection (without further snoop- with quickly so I wouldn’t ing, of course) is to talk pass this up so quickly. to her! You’ll need to confront her with what you As long as you feel found and ask her what is ready to move on to somegoing on. Hopefully she’ll one new then I see no say that it’s nothing and reason to not pursue this that they just still have a girl, NGD. Go and have close relationship (which fun and see what hapLVஊQH VR\RX‫ڑ‬OOKDYHWR pens. This could either decide how to deal with be a rebound, where you that. You can either trust both have fun for a bit, or her in the future or end it could end up healing the relationship. A re- your broken heart. Make lationship needs to be the move, NGD! based on trust and it unfortunately looks like you -----------------------already don’t trust her. Talk to her about all of this as soon as possible, SNOOP. There’s nothing more I can do unless we know all of the details.


25.02.2014 The Beaver

PRIVATE B â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breaking News, Breaking Election Regulationsâ&#x20AC;?

Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Post-Modern Study in Pre-Modern Catering When*DULEDOGLXQLŕŽ&#x160;HG,WDO\ in the 1870s, he was unquestionably considered himself a Revolutionary, freeing the peninsulaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warring city-states a future as simply a southern market for a Northern European clientele. Yet, less than a Sesquicentennial since, Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar has inverted that relationship, becoming a Mediterranean Zollverein to the citizenry of the London School of Economics. From the moment one enters, one notes that one is entering something special. The doors, which are less doors than they are portals to a safer, more reassuring age (but actually are still doors) open â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inwardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an antithesis of the outward momentum WKDWW\SLŕŽ&#x160;HVWKHDJJUHVVLYH SVHXGR,PSHULDOLVPRIVR many lesser snack-bars. There is no glass ceiling here, rather a utopian pane that emerges

perpendicular from the wall, separating the ideologically impaired students queuing for their portion of chips from the harmonious assembly of diverse cultures in the chiller cabinet below. Therein, the working manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tiffin is plated shoulder to shoulder with millionaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shortbread â&#x20AC;&#x201C; truly an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Occupy Movementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the palate. Cultures are brought together without assimilation. The juxtaposition par excellence between English ham and Mare Nostrum tomato is WUXO\RŕŽ&#x2030;VHWE\WKHHJDOLWDUian parity between â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bapâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ciabattaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Such is the balance between â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;greasy spoonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; authenticity and bourgeois student patronage that one can feel in touch with oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proletarian heritage without the danger of running into a bellicose tradesman. Surely the highlight is the classic

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;portion chipsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; - a salty and XQUHŕŽ&#x160;QHG\HWYHUVDWLOHVWDSOH snack. A side or meal of itself, complemented by the broad VSHFWUXPRIVDXFHVRQRŕŽ&#x2030;HU white, brown, yellow, red, English, French, Caribbean or Soy. A United Nations of the condiment world, yet one

that will not be distrupted by the Obama â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s persuit of of Drone Warfare. Next week: Owen Jones on why The Hare Krishna handout is a disgraceful sign of Cameronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paternalist Britain.

Letters to the Editor Dear Beaver, ,ZRXOGOLNHWR wholeheartedly support the SU in their stance against Student Rights. Yours contentiously, Sue Mee ***


'HDU%HDYHU,ZRXOG like to raise concerns about the provision of energy in Wales and ask that students at the LSE campaign hard to prevent fracking in our region. Yours alternatively, Dai Vest *** Dear Beaver, ,ZRXOGOLNHWRH[press my disappointment at the duration of the Passe vs 'HUE\VKLUHŕŽ&#x160;JKWODVW :HGQHVGD\,ZDV hoping for a points decision.

LSESU Israel Society and Palestinian Societies you have already stopped reading this! On Monday, the LSE Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Union held a major discussion into the principles of blah-blah-blah when it emerged that everyone had failed to get past the ŕŽ&#x160;UVWKHDGOLQH ,WIXUWKHUHPHUJHGWKDW who cares, no one is readLQJWKLVDQGWKDWKRQHVWO\, could just draw a picture of

a seal in a top hat and no one would notice. The President of the Jewish Society responded by saying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;seriously, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no one paying any attenWLRQâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹDQGWKDW\RXFDQŕŽ&#x160;QG the pre-written letters of complaint to the Union on The Beaver website. ,QDGGLWLRQRKZKR

FDUHV,DPMXVWJRLQJRŕŽ&#x2030;WR the pub. Opinion Pg. 7: Why ,VUDHOLVLQWKHZURQJE\ Polly Stein Opinion Pg. 8: Why Palestine needs to get around the negotiating table, by Jude Dear Opinion Pgs. 9/10/11/ 15-21/25: :K\,DP

Yours unconsciously, Kay Oh

right and everyone else is wrong, by Grant Standing

This week's edition compiled by

A 3LFWXUHRI,DQ%RWKDPWKDWQRRQH will even get around to questioning

Col. Honey-Badger Captain Hack Sparrow FrĂŠderic Photochopin Tanned Ale

Tuesday February 25 2014




Introducing LSE Cricket 1st XI Squad

Name: Bhavya Bishnoi Likes: Cricket; 16 shots at Divali Dislikes: Scoring runs in matches Most akin to: Sachin Tendulkar

Name: Rob Deegan Likes: Dhruv; Penderelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oak Dislikes: The Tuns Most akin to: Dobby the House Elf

Name: Ben Elders Likes: Newcastle; Whoever his housemates get with Dislikes: Sunderland; Pitching the ball Most akin to: A pile of smelly chat

Name: Andy Gregoriou Likes: Lilleh Dislikes: Not Lilleh Most akin to: Brad Pitt in Fight Club (You think he exists but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually just in your imagination.)

Name: Alistair Lynch Likes: Scotland; being literally the best/worst Dislikes: SHOULDER! Most akin to: Jamie McSherry

Name: Thivanka Obeysekera Likes: Anything with pH below 7 Dislikes: Anything with pH above 7 Most akin to: Trivial Pursuit

Name: Sarthak Sawlani Likes: Spartak Moscow; 300 Dislikes: Playing cricket Most akin to: King Leonidas

Name: Stan Shillington Likes: Snails; Being a fresher; Snakepint Dislikes: Neknominate; Coach tickets Most akin to: Shaggy from Scooby Doo

Name: Ronak Mohanlal Likes: Saying he will be involved in the club Dislikes: Being involved in the club Most akin to: Rishi

Name: Dhruv Anand Patel Likes: Nikhil Dawda; Georgia Derrett Dislikes: Being called Anand; Looking directly at something Most akin to: Anup

Name: Ricky Uppal Likes: Poo; Things below 3/10 Dislikes: Nikhil Dawda; Things greater than or equal to 3/10 Most akin to: Manmeet

Name: Ed Harvey Likes: +DYLQJ PRLVW ŕŽ&#x160;QJHUV LQ clubs Dislikes: His wallet and phone Most akin to: Rodd Flanders (or is it Todd?)

Name: Dennis Mooney Likes: Starters; Mains; Rice; Naans - especially other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dislikes: Being kicked out of McDonalds; the content of the Beaver Most akin to: A pig

Name: Rama Patel Likes: Bradford; Red sweatpants Dislikes: Leeds; Grey sweatpants Most akin to: Rama Krishna

Name: Max Gumpert Likes: International drinking rules; Grundy Dislikes: Dennis in nightclubs Most akin to: Chewbacca

Name: Harrison Folland Likes: Nino Enukidze Dislikes: Things being hairy Most akin to: Dave Poole

Box (plural boxes) describes a variety of containers a n d receptacles for permanent use as storage, or for temporary use often for transporting contents. %R[LQJ SXJLOLVPSUL]HŕŽ&#x160;JKWLQJ WKH VZHHW VFLHQFH RU LQ *UHHN S\JPDFKLD LVDFRPEDWVSRUWLQZKLFK WZR SHRSOH HQJDJH LQ D FRQWHVW RI VWUHQJWK VSHHG UHŕŽ&#x2039;H[HV HQGXUDQFHDQGZLOOE\WKURZLQJSXQFKHV ZLWK JORYHG KDQGV DJDLQVW HDFK

Name: Vish Kumar Likes: School ties; Smoking on the Piccadilly Line Dislikes: Working until his third year Most akin to: Emmerson Boyce

Name: Maanik Nath Likes: Will Essayan; Chunder Dislikes: McDonaldsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bouncers Most akin to: Will Essayan



Name: Pranay Rathod Likes: Pranay Rathod; Manmeet Narula; Dhillon Ravikumar Dislikes: Bhavya Bishnoi Most akin to: Pranay Rathod






Tuesday February 25 2014

BEAVER SPORTS FANTASY FOOTBALL Every week weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 Strutting Edge (Chris Edgington) 1506 Points

And the BOTTOM... Ivan Camposinos (Gabriel Everington) 950 Points

Los Diablos Verdes (Hari Prabu) 938 Points Think you can do better?


6th Team Correspondant

With the jet streams taking a lower path than usual, England has been battered by heavy storms and precipitation for the past two months. And if homeowners near the Thames are struggling to keep their homes dry than it is not even worth asking the question about the state of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football pitches. Berrylands, the home of LSE footEDOOUXJE\DQGQHWEDOOVXŕŽ&#x2030;HUHG a similar fate to most outdoor grounds, with members within the FC noting the site resembled more of a swimming pool than an actual pitch. It was no surprise that games were postponed time after time. Fortunately, the

weather gods have relented for QRZDQGŕŽ&#x160;QDOO\DFRPSOHWHEORFN RIŕŽ&#x160;[WXUHVIRUWKH)&ZDVSOD\HG on Wednesday. 3HUKDSVWKHŕŽ&#x160;[WXUHRIWKHGD\ was the mouth-watering cup tie which saw the defending champions of the LUSL plate, the PLJKW\ 6L[PHQ WDNH RQ 66((6 V)RUWKHVWKLVZDVWKHŕŽ&#x160;UVW proper game they played for nearly three months and many in the camp questioning whethHUWKHWHDPKDGWKHŕŽ&#x160;WQHVVWRGR themselves justice on the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;greenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pastures of Berrylands this term. Whilst the preparation leading up to game was not ideal, the team were still determined to put on a good performance after a disappointing season

which sees them sitting behind the LSE 7s in the Wednesday League. The game itself was a WHQVH DŕŽ&#x2030;DLU ZLWK ERWK VLGHV IHDWXULQJ VRPH ŕŽ&#x160;HU\ FKDUWHUHUV LW was surprising that no one startHG D ŕŽ&#x160;JKW JLYHQ ŕŽ&#x160;JKW QLJKW ZDV just hours away. It did however SURGXFHDVHQGLQJRŕŽ&#x2030;DOEHLWDIter the scores were settled. Two goals from a certain â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sick guyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; who is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bakingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; himself to be the top goal scorer of the team along with a goal from Mola ensured the reigning champions are in the semis after running out 3-2 YLFWRUV DIWHU H[WUD WLPH 6SHFLDO mention should also go to Georgios for his heroics at centre EDFN KH ZDV DZDUGHG PDQ RI the match for his display.

This has certainly been a good start for the 6s in 2014. It is now vital they build on this victory and climb the table for both the Wednesday and Saturday leagues as well as continuing their unbeaten cup run ZKLFKH[WHQGVWRDOPRVW\HDUV now. Hopefully the result will also put to bed the frustrating performances of last term where WKH WHDP KDG VKRZQ PXFK ŕŽ&#x2039;DLU but often faltered in front of JRDO 1H[W DVVLJQPHQW IRU WKH team will be a Saturday league ŕŽ&#x160;[WXUH DJDLQVW 5R\DO +ROORZD\ ZLWK WKH FXS VHPLŕŽ&#x160;QDOV FRPLQJ the weekend afterwards against SSEES 2s.

Dare to Dream - A Welshman Dreams of Euro2016 Gareth Rosser - Sports Editor

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m feeling optimistic this week, which is quite unusual IRUDIDQRI&DUGLŕŽ&#x2030;&LW\DQGWKH Welsh national football team. Whilst this season has seen both 6ZDQVHDDQG&DUGLŕŽ&#x2030;FRPSHWHLQ WKH3UHPLHU/HDJXHIRUWKHŕŽ&#x160;UVW time in its history, good news has been much scarcer for the Welsh team. A long term stagnaWLRQ ZDV EURNHQ EULHŕŽ&#x2039;\ E\ *DU\ Speed before his untimely death, and Chris Colemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team has failed to impress under pressure. But this weekend saw the draw for Euro 2016, and with it an opportunity to dream once again of qualifying for a major tournament. Such an achievement has proved elusive for Wales, and a generation of fans have grown up having never seen their team compete in a major tournament. Despite a few close calls, the last tournament Wales graced with its presence was in 1976. So why do Welsh fans feel more optimistic about 2016 than they have with previous tournaPHQWV" )LUVWO\ WKH H[SDQVLRQ RI

the Euro competition from 16 to 24 teams seems destined to make qualifying easier. Whereas previously teams had to win their qualifying group to be guaranteed a place in the competition, now the top two teams in each group qualify automatically. Similarly, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the third place teams rather than the second placed ones who progress WRWKHSOD\RŕŽ&#x2030;VWDJHV:KLOVWWKH move to increase Euro 2016â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s size has been controversial, it undoubtedly provides a greater chance for teams of Walesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stature to qualify. Secondly, the Welsh team is currently bolstered by one of the ZRUOGâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹVJUHDWHVWSOD\HUV*DUHWK Bale. In both the Premier League and in La Liga the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most H[SHQVLYH IRRWEDOOHU KDV VKRZQ KLVDELOLW\WRPDNHWKHGLŕŽ&#x2030;HUHQFH in key matches. Bale regularly turned draws into wins for Tottenham, and Wales fans must believe that playing alongside WKHZRUOGâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹVEHVWDW5HDO0DGULG will help his game reach new heights. Of course, Wales is not a one man team, and Baleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support-

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close with host nation Russia leading the medals table.

ing cast are more than equal to those of the majority of countries in Europe. Compare Walesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; squad with those of Sweden or Portugal, and Baleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supporting cast compares favourably to WKRVH RI ,EUDKLPRYLF DQG 5RQaldo. In particular, Walesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; midŕŽ&#x160;HOG IHDWXUHV $UVHQDOâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV SOD\HU RIWKHVHDVRQVRIDU$DURQ5DPsey, whilst in defense the likes of Swanseaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ben Davies and Ashley Williams now have several seasons of Premier League H[SHULHQFHXQGHUWKHLUEHOWV But the new cause for optimism comes from the qualifying group into which Wales have been drawn. Belgium are clear favourites to win the group, EXW WKHUH LV QR MXVWLŕŽ&#x160;FDWLRQ IRU naming any of Israel, BosniaHerzegovina or Wales as favourites for second place. Alongside minnows Cyprus and Andorra, Wales have avoided many trickier opponents that could have been drawn from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seed draws. But whilst Bosnia features the talent of Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, Walesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; team should be strong enough to challenge for third place at the very least. 7KHUH LV D VHQVH RI H[SHFWDtion amongst the Welsh fans, as many of the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s players reach their prime at club foot-

Credit: Flickr: Ronnie MacDonald

Chavball United (Thomas Meaden) 947 Points


ball level. Bale will be 27 years old by the time Euro 2016 begins in France, and defensive lynchpin Williams will be 31. Having witnessed the many successes of the Welsh rugby team over the past decade, Welsh fans are beginning to demand more from their football team too. For many, failing to qualify for France 2016 will be seen as a golden opportunity lost.

Euro 2016 qualifying Groups Group A: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland, Kazakhstan

6 NATIONS England defeated Ireland 13-10 to ensure that no team can win the Grand Slam this tournament. Elsewhere there were wins for Wales and Scotland.

Group B: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus, Andorra Group C: Spain, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Luxembourg Group D: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibraltar

Group E: England, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino Group F: Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands Group G: Russia, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro, Moldova, Liechtenstein Group H: Italy, Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Malta Group I: Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia, Albania

Credit: Flickr: Flierfy



LSEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SPORTING WINNERS The list of LSE sporting victories in full for the past week.

Find Out Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Who in LSE Cricket 1st XI

Euro 2016: A Welshman Dares to Dream the

Football 6s Battle 7KHLU:D\WR6HPLૹQDO


Tuesday February 25 2014

Get D FREE! own o n Wed nesda yâ&#x20AC;?

Fight Night: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Knockout! Kamran Miah

7KH /6( ŕŽ&#x160;JKW QLJKW LV RQH RIWKHPRVWH[FLWLQJHYHQWVRQ the LSE calendar, with this \HDUâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV VSHFWDFOH VHOOLQJ RXW LQ less than two days. Over 400 people were present, ready to witness what was to be an un-



event, and our captains Taha Saei and Antoine Jones for GRLQJ D JUHDW MRE VR IDU WKLV year. Special thanks must be H[WHQGHGWRER[LQJFOXEFRDFK ,DQ6WUHHW]IRUWKHVXSSRUWDQG time that he dedicates to the FOXEWKURXJKRXWWKH\HDU

Football Imperial Mens 2nd 0 - 4 LSE Mens 1st University of Westminster 1 - 2 LSE Mens 3rd LSE Mens 5th 4 0 RUMS Mens 3rd LSE Mens 7th 4 2 BPP University College Mens 1st RUMS Womens 1st 1 - 5 LSE Womens 1st

Danette Chan (WRFC) vs Priya Chawla (Netball) :LWKERWKODGLHVŕŽ&#x160;JKWLQJIRUWKHSULGHRI their respective clubs, this was always bound to be an intense encounter. Priya seemed to EHWKHPRUHH[SHULHQFHGŕŽ&#x160;JKWHUWLPLQJKHU VKRWV YHU\ ZHOO DQG SXQFKLQJ WKURXJK 'DQHWWHâ&#x20AC;ŤÚ&#x2018;â&#x20AC;ŹV JXDUG DW ZLOO +RZHYHU 'DQHWWH GLVplayed her footwork skills, she moved swiftly DURXQGWKHULQJDQGVKHIRXJKWDJJUHVVLYHO\ IURPVWDUWWRŕŽ&#x160;QLVK After the match, both ladies were respectful to each other, with the winner also UDLVLQJWKHKDQGRIKHURSSRQHQWZKLFKZDV DVLJQRIJRRGVSRUWVPDQVKLS Winner â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Priya Chawla

Freddie Derbyshire (RFC) vs Josh Passe (Football) 7KLQJVZHUHKHDWLQJXSHYHQEHIRUHWKH ŕŽ&#x160;JKWVWDUWHGDV)UHGGLHZDVRQWKHUHFHLYLQJ HQG RI DEXVLYH FKDQWV FRPLQJ IURP WKH crowd of Football players, but this only addHGIXHOWRWKHŕŽ&#x160;UH Josh performed well early on, but Freddie was relentless and refused to take a step EDFN+HDY\VKRWVZHUHWUDGHGEHWZHHQWKH two, and it soon became evident that this ŕŽ&#x160;JKW ZDV QRW JRLQJ WR ODVW IRU WKH ZKROH three rounds. By the second round, the referee had VHHQHQRXJKDQGWKHERXWZDVVWRSSHG7KH DXGLHQFH UHFRJQL]HG WKH EUDYHU\ LW WDNHV IRU D SHUVRQ WR VWHS LQWR WKH ER[LQJ ULQJ VRUHJDUGOHVVRIWKHUHVXOWERWKER[HUVKDG earned their respect. Winner â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Freddie Derbyshire

Jamie McSherry (RFC) vs Kane Collings (RFC) -DPLH0F6KHUU\GHŕŽ&#x160;QLWHO\ZRQHQWUDQFH RI WKH QLJKW 6WD\LQJ WUXH WR KLV URRWV EDJpipes were played as he made his way to WKHULQJ7KLVZDVDEUXWDOHQFRXQWHU(YHU\ punch was thrown with bad intentions, and DW WLPHV WKH ŕŽ&#x160;JKW EHFDPH UHPLQLVFHQW RI Rocky 4, as Kaneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facial expressions seemed OLNHWKRVHRI,YDQ'UDJR%RWKŕŽ&#x160;JKWHUVWRRN some powerful blows that would have put PRVWSHRSOHWRVOHHSEXWUDWKHUWKDQEHLQJ GLVFRXUDJHG E\ WKH SXQFKHV HDFK RI WKHP RQO\IRXJKWKDUGHU Winner â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kane Collings

RUGBY LSE Mens 2nd 19 - 17 SOAS Mens 1st QMU Womens 1st 7 - 27 LSE Womens 1st