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Friday 4th November 2016

Redbrick Issue 1474, Vol. 81


False Start Delays continue to hold back the opening of UoB's new sports centre


The Official University of Birmingham


Student Newspaper, est. 1936 Delifina Rainoldi

Cook For Syria How foodies can get involved with the campaign to support Syrian children Anna Griffiths

Redbrick News

Mason Cusack

investigates reactions to the government's abolition of the maintenance grant James Moore

Aamina Siddiqi investigates the issue of eating disorders

Redbrick Food share explosive cocktail recipes for Bonfire Night

Rachel Kahn looks into the trial for the male contraceptive pill

Redbrick Gaming climb into the trenches to review Battlefield 1

Features Page 14

Food Page 21

S&T Page 32

Gaming Page 34



Friday 4th November 2016

Letter from the committee... So, we have made it here; halfway through the semester with only another two Redbricks left to create in 2016. I’ve now designed the front cover for three (not including this one) and what a journey it has been. When I stood up at the AGM back in March to run for Print & Features Editor, I really wasn’t entirely sure what I’d signed myself up for; but I hoped I’d have fun and learn a lot along the way. All of which has happened, accompanied by some tears, a colour coordinated print schedule and a few late nights, although I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I could have made. It has been a very busy semester so far for the Redbrick Team; with many socials taking place and lots of pages being completed in time for each print week. All of this amazing content wouldn’t happen without the best team of writers, editors and the rest of the committee who actively collaborate every day to make sure Redbrick, as a society, runs as smoothly as possible. We’ve had a large intake of new members this year and it makes me extremely excited to see what different, innovative and original articles can be written over the year. Along with all the new editors taking to the InDesign software without difficulties, I have no doubt that the page design will be as

sharp and bright as ever. Aside from Print duties, I’ve been working on creating content for and hosting our new Redbrick Radio show, airing every Friday night 7pm-8pm on Burn FM. Learning the basics of how to create a radio show is not a simple task, but nevertheless it is a challenge myself, Imogen (Deputy Editor) and Conrad (Digital Editor) have really taken to. I look forward to each week I host, coming up with as many ideas on how to entertain our guests and listeners and keeping everyone up to date with the latest articles, socials and more. Collaborating with our friends over at Burn FM gives a new media platform to share Redbrick’s content, and showcases our sections through each editors’ appearance as guests on the show. We are a committee that likes to create and do; we are always actively thinking of new ideas to push Redbrick that little bit further and ways in which we can collaborate with the wider community. Already this year, we’ve had an overwhelming start to our fundraising for charity and it continues as we join forces to take part in Carnival Rag’s Naked Calendar. When I was first asked to take part, my initial reaction was hesitant and this was echoed by fellow committee members and editors; but eventually I

came around to the idea. Still a little nervous at the thought but I’ve made some great friends through Redbrick and I’m sure with them, it will not be nearly as bad as I’m imagining it to be and the real point here is that it’s all for charity. I hope you enjoy this edition, and all the editions we have produced thus far. May we continue to bring you, the reader, the best content and be the best society for our members that we can be. I look forward to creating the next eight issues of this academic year. From the dungeons we salute you,

Gabriella Marcucci, Print and Features Editor

Follow us on Instagram @redbrickpaper Want to be featured? Submit us your photos at: and/or tag us in your photos by using #redbrickinstagram

Online this week at CULTURE




Review: ¡Vamos Cuba! at Birmingham Hippodrome

First Impressions on the Kenzo X H&M Launch

Live Review: Jake Bugg at the O2 Academy

Why Antoine Griezmann Deserves to Win This Year's Ballon d’Or

Redbrick Editorial Team Editor Anna Griffiths

Deputy Editors Harry Turner Imogen Lancaster

Print & Features Editor Gabriella Marcucci

News Editors Beriwan Ceren Grace Duncan Gregory Robinson

Comment Editor Aamina Siddiqi Joe Goodsall

Digital Editor Conrad Duncan

Lead Developer Andreea Gheorghe

Social Secretary Hannah Coles

Film Editors Alex McDonald George Griffths Joe Ryan

Culture Editors Imogen Tink Olivia Boyce Sophie Taylor

Travel Editors Carys Bedford Delfina Rainoldi Sophie Braybrook

Marketing Secretary William Baxter

Music Editors Daniella Bassett Greg Woodin Holly Carter Phil Jones

Life&Style Editors Kamila Geremek Nia Roberts Sophie Kesterton Zoe Screti

Television Editors James Tyson Lara Billington Tamsin Hackett

Sci&Tech Editors Ellen Daugherty James Pettit Kara Watson

Food Editors Lauren Kelly Phoebe Radford Tasha Smart Tamar Smith

Sport Editors Dan Steeden Harry Wilkinson Nancy Frostick Nicola Kenton

Gaming Editors James Lentschner James Marvin Roshni Patel

Careers Editor Lael Hardtman

Redbrick Guild of Students Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2TT 0121 251 2462

Editorial Assistants Redbrick is printed through www.mortonAmber Allcock Anna Burton 01507 523 456 Elizabeth Alker Emily Roberts To advertise in Redbrick, get in touch with Liora Goldberg or visit Lorna Taafe Emillie Gallagher for more details, and to see our rate card. Designed and typeset by Redbrick Copyright (C) Redbrick 2015 The views expressed in Redbrick do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Guild or the publishers. If you find an error of fact in our pages, please write to the editor. Our policy is to correct mistakes promptly in print and to apologise where appropriate. We reserve the right to edit any article, letter or email submitted for publication. Clarifications & Corrections: the article in Issue 1473 'A Postcard From... The Auvergne' was incorrectly listed as written by Rebecca Cutler. It was written by Felicity Hemming.


Friday 4th November 2016



Sports Centre Delayed. AGAIN. Rebekah Quixano Henriques News Reporter

The opening date of the new 360 Sport & Fitness building has been pushed back by over a month as it faces a 'challenging period'. The 360 Sport and Fitness website continues to claim 'the wait is nearly over' whilst the opening date of the new £55 million sports centre has now been pushed back from the 1st December 2016 to the 9th January 2017. For members eager to use the new suite, their membership for The Munrow Sports Centre will continue and won’t transition into their promised Christmas gift of a new membership until 360 Sport & Fitness finally opens. The current sports centre is planning to close at 10.30pm on Thursday 5th January 2017. This news was announced to its members over an email from Zena Wooldridge, the Director of Sport, who wrote that the update was due to 'more tangible evidence of the building’s readiness' becoming available after closely monitoring the project’s progress over the past two weeks.

Despite being in the final phase of completion, the delay is 'to ensure we can achieve the necessary training and preparation for opening.' This is hardly surprising considering they are building Birmingham’s only 50m swimming pool, a multi-purpose arena and sports hall, 6 glass-back squash courts, a dedicated high performance centre and the exciting addition of a climbing wall. 360 Sport & Fitness also plan on providing over 200 stations across two floors and over 200 classes which will be in the five new activity rooms. Whilst students are being denied access to the new building, there is a reported 'buzz of excitement' amongst staff as they increase their efforts to prepare the centre for students. The new sports centre is already placing a stronger emphasis on the expertise and high qualifications of its staff. They claim to provide an 'unrivalled experience for all members whether it’s your first time in the gym or you’re setting yourself a new deadlifting target.' Personal training will also allow students to build on their own programme, monitor their progress and receive expert advice on prevent injury for

example, for £35 an hour. Muscle and weight analysis, health and fitness assessments and exercise programming sessions will also be available to students for prices ranging from £8 for 10 minutes to £45 an hour. Thankfully, group fitness sessions will continue as they do now at the current price, with

users able to purchase credits and book for individual sessions. Understandably, students are disgruntled at the news of the delay in its opening. One student told Redbrick, 'this is completely unacceptable, the fact that it has been delayed for a second time is more than disappointing. I

expected better.' Some took to Twitter to complain. 360 Sport & Fitness are confident they can achieve an opening, tweeting their reply: 'Apologies for the sad news. Hopefully the 9 Jan will come round quickly!'

UoB Chancellor Attacks Home Secretary’s Plans for International Students Niamh Coffey News Reporter

The Chancellor of University of Birmingham has condemned Amber Rudd’s plans to crack down on international students in an interview on Radio Four’s Today programme. Lord Karan Bilimoria, cofounder and chairman of Cobra Beer, has expressed his disgust by stating that the proposals are 'absolutely wrong and disgusting,' whilst also expressing his disillusion with the government, stating that it was 'completely out of tune with the public.'

"This country had moved so far in breaking through glass ceiling, in being a meritocracy, and here we are having to name and shame foreign workers." Bilimoria, who came to London to study in the 1980s from his native India, declared his enthusiasm for international students in

an impassioned interview on the voted to remain, with their main programme. Launching into a concerns surrounding EU dynamic defence, he highlighted University funding and immigrathat international students contrib- tion. The Home Secretary’s prouted £14 billion to the economy posal’s come at a time where stuevery year and create 130,000 dent faith in the government is at jobs, that many worked part time an all-time low, and Bilimoria’s whilst studying for their degrees stringent defence is a well needed and finally added that the public antidote. 'don’t think of them as immigrants.' In proclaiming his enthusiasm for overseas programmes, Bilimoria not only defends the international students who would be directly affected by Rudd’s proposals, but also the core foundations that higher education in the UK is built upon. Indeed, one of the key values of Russell Group universities is producing world class research through collaborating with overseas institutions, However, Bilimoria is not the whilst Birmingham alone wel- only one to condemn Rudd’s plans. comes students from over 150 Mostafa Rajaai, international stucountries every year. Rudd’s dents’ office for the National planned crackdown would Union of Students, has have significant implialso condemned the cations for the way Government’s 'hosUK universities opertile attitude,'stating ate and would almost that it has caused certainly force a 'irreversible damreshuffle of the sysage to the reputapercent of tem, in terms of tion of the UK Britain's both teaching and higher and furresearch. ther education academics are In addition to this, overseas.' foreign Bilimoria speaks for a Furthermore, a generation of students series of polls carried who have been left feeling out by YouGov have increasingly disillusioned indicated that voters want since the EU Referendum results the government to encourage more came out in June. Eighty five per overseas students to study at cent of students who participated British universities, with the gen-

"The Government’s 'hostile attitude,'... has caused 'irreversible damage'"


eral trend being that the public believes international students have an overall positive impact. These findings clearly support Bilimoria’s stance and raise further questions about the Government’s hard-line stance on immigration. Indeed, Rudd’s proposals seem to lack any coherence. Currently, foreign graduates are entitled to stay in the UK for four months, unless they find work with a salary of at least £20,000 a year, and reports suggest that only one per cent of international students overstay their visas, which is significantly less than what the government have implied in previous years. Moreover, Rudd’s stance that international students applying to top universities like Oxford or Cambridge would be more likely to study in the UK than other lower ranked universities echoes a somewhat elitist view in which only the privileged few are permitted to prosper in the UK. This, in conjunction with Conservative plans to reintroduce grammar schools, completely contradicts the Prime Minister’s message at the recent Conservative Party Conference that Britain is a country 'that works for everyone.'

Bilimoria’s words come at an increasingly uncertain time for students, both domestic and international. As chancellor at Birmingham, he confirms what the vast majority of his students are feeling. He went on to finish with this message: 'I think this country had moved so far in breaking through glass ceiling, in being a meritocracy, and here we are having to name and shame foreign workers. Thirty per cent of academics at educational institutions are foreign and this is how we treat them? This is absolutely wrong, it’s shocking.' Students at UoB also disagreed with the measures laid out by Amber Rudd. One student told Redbrick, 'How are we supposed to maintain a friendship with Europe if not even our academic borders are open? The government should be working to encourage international students, not to turn them away.'

Do you have opinions on this article? Tell them us: @redbrickpaper



Friday 4th November 2016


LGBT Students Living In Fear Of Hate Crime Rises By 95% Liam Taft

News Reporter

A recent inquest by Emerald Life has revealed that more than a third of LGBT university students live in fear of hate crime. This is almost double the number reported in 2015. Ahead of the LGBT Leaders conference, the figures were released by YouGov amid escalating concern about the increasing number of homophobic and transphobic attacks over the past 12 months. This news comes after it was reported in September that there was an 147% increase in homophobic attacks post-Brexit. LGBT anti-violence charity Galop reported that four in five LGBT people experienced homophobia between July and September; one quarter of these were violent, a third online and one tenth included some form of sexual assault. Nik Noone, Galop chief executive, said: 'UK responses to hate crime are among the best in the world but our hate crime laws are far from perfect. The highest pris-

on sentence a court can give for homophobic, transphobic or disability common assault is six months. That is just a quarter of the two-year maximum for race and faith common assault. This disparity needs redress.' It has been suggested that recent legislation surrounding LGBT rights may have contributed to students’ concerns. In October, the UK government passed the Turing Law. This automatically pardoned gay men wrongly convicted of sex offenses prior to the 1967 decriminalisation of male homosexuality.

"To accept a pardon means you accept that you were guilty." Although the law is a step in the right direction, moving away from the Conservative party’s previous assertion that the offenses were lawful at the time and therefore couldn’t be pardoned, it

has faced criticism from convicts and feminists. George Montague, convicted in 1974, told the BBC: 'To accept a pardon means you accept that you were guilty. I was not guilty of anything.' Kate Welsh, writing in The Telegraph, said that the Turing Law is an attempt to 'whitewash decades of deliberately implemented homophobia' in order to wipe history clean, in the process ignoring the struggles of lesbian and bisexual women. This criticism highlights the failures of the current government to support the LGBT community effectively in a time of mourning after recent attacks. The past few years have seen a string of violent attacks on LGBT people at events and in clubs. Orlando shootings, June 2016: Omar Mateen entered gay nightclub Pulse with a rifle and killed 50 people. This was the deadliest mass shooting in US history, just one year after the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage nationwide. Gay Pride Parade Jerusalem, 2015: an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stabbed six people and killed one.

The Central Station Club Moscow, 2014: after being sprayed with bullets and gas, the gay nightclub was forced to close. Although these events occurred outside of the UK, their repercussions have been felt widely. Redbrick interviewed UoB students about how they had been affected by recent attacks, and their attitudes to the surge in LGBT hate crime. Charlotte Sophia-Hill, first year English student, said: 'Last week I went to a gay club for the first time, and as much as I was enjoying myself I couldn’t help thinking about the Pulse shootings. It isn’t something we can ‘just forget about’.' After being asked what can be done to help LGBT people feel more accepted, Maple Bank resident Rowen Goldman-Hudson said: 'I think people don’t realise how ‘Lad Culture’ and hypermasculinity excludes LGBT people. It’s not just about preventing sexual-assault, but about making LGBT people feel less separated.' When asked about hate crime, English and Art History under-

graduate Olivia Beards, responded with: 'I think people focus too much on attacks on gay men. Attacks on lesbians and bisexual women aren’t as prolific. Bisexuality still isn’t accepted it’s still seen as a ‘fetish’ and as something that isn’t real. Understanding that sexuality is a spectrum and not a set of binary distinctions is important in raising public awareness'. The Guild of Students passed the NUS accreditation of a ‘Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Harassment’, leading to a no tolerance policy at any Guild events or venues. Students can anonymously report sexual assault, recent and historic, and receive support from a Harassment Advisor who can maintain confidentiality. For hate crime that occurs outside of the Guild, students are encouraged to use the police’s online reporting system, report-it. If the attack holds an immediate threat to safety, call the police on 999, or if it is a nonemergency call the 101 phone line. Support can also be found at the Birmingham LGBT centre.

Students Paying 10% Higher Rent Emily Darby News Reporter

Students are paying as much as ten per cent more for their rent than last year according to new research. The unsettling news is the latest in a series of worrying reports regarding student living, the most alarming of which is the shortage of available housing for students. The Evening Standard reported that this year there is on average three full time students per every one available bed - as a result, hundreds of first year students were turned away from overcrowded university halls and

forced to seek options in the pricey housing market, causing the value of now in-demand student housing to soar. Cities popular amongst the growing student population have such a high demand that students may be left £600 poorer per year due to the competitive nature of the housing market. It is a particularly lucrative industry for landlords in local university areas who can capitalise on the high demand yet can choose to refuse to rent properties to students in particular. This is something that, the researchers on this study, say is a large part of the problem. Matt Hutchinson,

the director of argues: 'Students aren’t just battling rising rents, they’re also affected by a private rental market struggling to cope with demand. That means choosing where you go to uni can have a huge impact on your debt after you graduate.' It is no secret that where you choose to attend university can have a decisive impact on the amount of debt you walk away from university with, in fact it is one of the key factors prospective students may consider when selecting universities. Hutchinson suggests that a student who chooses Durham over Oxford could save more than £7,000 thus it is highly probable that students may

start to base their university choice on economic reasoning rather than rankings and student satisfaction. The NUS have since picked up on the controversy and expressed the urgency of the issue. NUS deputy president, Shelley Asquith has stated: ‘We demand an end to the exploitative profits from university accommodation. We fully support the actions of rent strikers, and urge universities to urgently engage in negotiations to ensure future rates are set at a level which students can afford to pay’. Her appeal comes after more than 1,000 London students participated in the biggest national student rent strike to have happened in the UK, in solidarity

with students throughout Britain as well as the NUS who showed their support. With housing costs currently being the biggest worry for students, many are working extra hours during term time, relying on their parents for financial aid or even taking out payday loans to meet the steeped prices of student housing. Many turn to alternative solutions as they find little reassurance in maintenance grants and student loans, Asquith comments that: 'We’re now in the situation where the average rent for students is the equivalent of 85% of your maximum loan and grant if you’re coming from the poorest background.’

Redevelopment Of Old Main Library Josh Hamilton News Reporter

A large open space, with an emphasis on nature, will replace the building. Work will begin early next year, following the demolition of the library. The north car park, next to Muirhead Tower, will likewise be removed to create a pedestrian entrance that matches the look of the other main gates to campus. Old Joe will finally be joined to the Vale aesthetically, opening up the campus to staff, students and visitors. Sir Aston Webb initially intended for the Edgbaston campus to embody this expansive

look when originally designing the University of Birmingham over one hundred years ago. Work on phase one of the project is set to be completed by early 2018, followed by a redevelopment of University Square to update the area in accordance with Green Heart. Students have suggested what should be available in the new area. This includes ideas such as outdoor places to eat, tables and chairs, gazebos, patio heaters and well-lit shelters, as well as ponds and vegetable patches for the space west of the north car park. The environment is hoped to form a space where students can relax in peace.

Sophie Uyttenhove, second year English student, was relieved at the prospect of the new space. She said 'nature is important - it makes the campus unique, open, refreshing and picturesque, which is nice to have for our work ethic. Open space is particularly nice in the summer exam season.' However, some students have expressed regret at losing the old library. Laura Pritchard, second year English and History student, said 'I had no idea that was happening. That library was a big space, and they could probably put it to more use, to be honest. I guess it will be nice, but weird to get used to. More decent lecture theatres so

that we’re not stuck in Strathcona anymore would be nice. Or more room for societies? Maybe they shouldn’t use the entire space, but a bit of it at least.'

"Nature is important - it makes the campus unique" The old Main Library was built in the 1950s, and was originally meant to be a temporary structure. Studies indicated that it

was not feasible to refurbish the property, as students and researchers would not have had access to sufficient 21st century facilities. Green Heart should be completed by September 2018, ready for the 2019 summer exam period. Representatives have recently been on campus to gather your views on how the space should be used. If you wish to give your opinion on how Green Heart is designed, visit their website at https://uobgreenheart. com/2016/10/20/pop-up-survey/ to take part in an online survey. The survey closes November 18th.


Friday 4th November 2016


Redbrick News Investigates Student Loans: Confusion Contention Continues



After the government’s recent abolition of maintenance grants, Redbrick’s Joseph Timan and Erin Santillo investigate the reactions towards this move Erin Santil News Reporter

Joseph Timan News Editor

This academic year saw the government controversially scrap the non-repayable funding scheme, replacing it with a student finance contract that is solely loan-based. When the alteration was revealed in George Osborne’s 2015 Summer Budget, the National Union of Students (NUS) said that the alteration was ‘disgraceful’ and that it ‘could put off students from underprivileged backgrounds from applying’ to university. However, Osborne explained that the funding switch was due to the ‘basic unfairness in asking taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them’.

"The alteration...‘could put off students from underprivileged backgrounds from applying’ to university" Speaking to Redbrick earlier this month, NUS Vice President for Higher Education, Sorana Vieru, said that the change means that some students are now being ‘punished because of being poor’, as those whose parents cannot afford to cover their living costs will leave university with more debt than their wealthier peers. She believes that the government’s motive for this change was ideological. Vieru, who was re-elected to her position for a second year in April, claimed that there will be no saving in public spending and that the government is just acquiring debt which it sees as a lucrative asset. She described the change as ‘economic trickery’ and expressed concern over the government selling off student loans to private companies - a move that the NUS strongly opposes. Perhaps what’s most alarming about this recent change to the student loans system is that there was no parliamentary consultation on the proposal, and instead it was implemented by a small legislation committee of 18 MPs. Earlier this year, Labour MPs put forward a motion to annul these regulations that were ‘sneaked through’, but the motion failed.

In support of the fight against these changes, the Guild of Students’ officers team arranged for a large inflatable pig to be brought onto the University of Birmingham (UoB) campus in order to raise awareness of the issue and encourage students to lobby their MPs to protect maintenance grants. The Guild of Student’s current Education Officer, Chris Wilkinson, said that this was an issue that the student movement was ‘very engaged with’ and that it was only 11 MPs who swung the vote that allowed the government to go ahead with its proposal. Steve McCabe, MP for Selly Oak told Redbrick, ‘it’s obvious that there is no way that switching from the existing grant and maintenance regime to the loan regime has saved the government money’. The Labour MP said that whilst it’s a ‘real possibility’ that the government will sell student loans to private companies, he doesn’t think that such a decision would be made in this current government. These concerns about rising costs in higher education have created a worrying schism in the world of academia that still pervades debate today, but perhaps more troubling are the recent claims of students being ‘missold’ their loans due to ‘confusion’ over the details. One such claim came from civil engineering graduate Simon Crowther, whose open letter to his MP went viral on social media in May this year. Crowther stated that he ‘had no experience of loans, credit cards or mortgages’ as a sixth-form pupil, and so upon applying for finance through the Student Loans Company (SLC) he did not envisage the accruement of debt interest in line with inflation, which has resulted in his overall sum increasing by more than £180 per month.

"What’s most alarming about this recent that there was no parliamentary consultation on the proposal" In response, the SLC said that the interest rate - inflation plus 3% - was ‘clearly set out’ in the contract’s ‘terms and conditions’, and so the legally binding agreement was still intact. They highlighted

tor, Patrick Collinson, teachers are not ‘regulated financial advisors, and nor should they have to be’, and so critics argue that students themselves should do more individual research into their contracts to complement their learning in class. Furthermore, as fresher undergraduates will be the first to experience the new non-grant system, some interviewees described how they feel like ‘guinea pigs’ that the government are using them to test their plans. On the other hand, one student suggested that changes to student loans now and in the future are ‘inevitable’ in a post-Brexit country. Another issue of both confusion and contention is the repayment system; in essence, graduates have to repay their loans at 9% of their earnings over £21,000. In last year’s Autumn Statement, it was announced that this payment threshold would be frozen until at least 2022, effecWhilst Crowther’s case of con- tively increasing the repayment fusion over the student finance rate for students who were prompackage was based on interest, ised by the previous government Redbrick decided to investigate that the threshold would rise with whether first year students have inflation. the same perplexity over the SLC’s Redbrick’s survey revealed scrapping of the maintenance grant that only 61% of first year stusystem for this academic year. dents feel confident in their In a survey of 100 UoB fresh- understanding of the repayment ers, only 58 were aware that there process, and that 51% do not had been changes to the contract know how much they’ll be in in 2016, and only 50% of those debt after graduation. students knew what the changes The pessimism about future were. finances was also reflected in Perhaps more telling is the fact many of the interviews, with first that 89% of students surveyed years stating that, in terms of claimed that they did not consider university life, they were ‘focussthe changes to the contract when ing more on the debt than the applying to university. This sug- benefits, i.e. a degree’ and that gests that the prospect of increased the debt was ‘unfair’ on new prodebt was not enough to stop many fessionals; very few believed that prospective UoB students from the repayments would be ‘manmaking the jump to higher educa- ageable’ as they would view them tion. What might explain this lack ‘just like any other monthly bill, of concern for an increased stu- like council tax’. It has been suggested that dent debt is that only 33% of those surveyed believe that they will be these negative viewpoints could able to repay their student debt be due to students’ confusion before it is ‘written off’ after 30 over their amount of debt after graduation and how long it will years. In order to explore these issues take to repay. This could partly further, we spoke to a number of be a result of sensationalist media first year undergraduates at UoB stories that use terms such as anonymously for their views on ‘spiralling’ and ‘crippling’ to the student loans system. On the describe the debt, in complete subject of confusion about the contrast with what the SLC refer contract, the majority stated that to as repayment in ‘three easy they felt they were ‘swept along’ steps.’ Survey responses to the into signing the agreement without question ‘how soon do you believe you will pay off your considering it in depth first. Some suggested that their student debt?’ varied from ‘3-4 schools and colleges ‘should have years’ to ‘hopefully by [age] 50’ done more’ to explain what they – revealing how perspectives of were signing up to. For example, the debt differ from person to one first year undergraduate told person. Another related issue disRedbrick that they had ‘presumed that the loan would cover [their] cussed by students was tuition accommodation cost completely’ fees, a polemical issue if ever as they hadn’t been told otherwise. there was one. In July of this However, according to the year, it was announced that cerGuardian’s personal finance edi- tain universities may be able to that all students sign a ‘declaration’ confirming they have read and understood the policy that they agree to upon taking out a loan. Both the SLC and the Universities Minister, Jo Johnson MP, were contacted by Redbrick on several occasions to comment on these issues, but the Department of Education’s media team refused to comment.

"89% of students surveyed claimed that they did not consider the changes to the contract when applying to university"

raise their fees to £9,250 in 2017 under a new mechanism called the ‘teaching excellence framework’ (TEF); a change that would even apply to current students who have already started their course. Adding to this, Education Officer Chris Wilkinson, stated that under the proposal, universities would also be able to raise tuition fees ‘each year in line with inflation, meaning that we’ll see £10k+ fees in the very near future’. Commenting on the weaknesses of the TEF, Steve McCabe MP pointed to the fact that universities’ teaching quality will be assessed as an average across all departments, meaning that students on courses with a lower teaching quality might see a rise in their tuition fees if their university shows evidence of higher teaching quality in other departments. What’s more, Sorana Vieru said that the government will use the National Student Survey (NSS) as a metric in the test within the TEF and argued that ‘the NSS was never intended to be linked to any funding decisions or tuition fees’. For this reason, Vieru revealed to Redbrick that the NUS will support a boycott of the NSS if these plans go ahead.

"NUS has since produced 16 proposed amendments to the bill" All of the students we spoke to were disappointed by the government’s plans, and some referred to ‘universities acting like companies; putting money over education’. Although some of the benefits of extra funding are clearly visible, such as UoB’s new library development, concern was raised about how students from lower income backgrounds will be able to access higher education once the changes come into place, with one first year going as far as to suggest that ‘education will become elitist.’ The NUS have also responded to the new finance plan, a part of the Higher Education and Research Bill, by calling the ‘marketisation of higher education’ a ‘failed experiment’. The student union has since produced 16 proposed amendments to the bill, which includes the requirement that parliament holds a vote before they make any changes. In addition, Sorana Vieru told Redbrick that she’s a ‘great believer in a diversity of tactics’ and that’s why, as well as lobbying [continued on page 6]



Friday 4th November 2016


[Continued from pg. 5.] Tory MPs, the NUS will hold a mass demonstration in conjunction with the University and College Union (UCU) on the 19th November in London to show public support for their demands and opposition to the ‘attack’ on both higher and further education. Despite the NUS’s efforts, Steve McCabe MP told Redbrick that ‘it’s extremely difficult to thwart some of the aims of this government,’ and advised that lobbying of MPs should be concentrated on Tory MPs in marginal

seats, which he said, as a former government whip, has the greatest impact. In reference to specific

"...jeopardise the image of British universities" aspects of the Higher Education Bill, McCabe said, ‘at a time when the country is in so much trouble

[these changes] could jeopardise the image of British universities across the globe.’ Meanwhile at UoB, Chris Wilkinson, said that the Guild of Students is now focusing on supporting students who have been affected by the abolition of maintenance grants. The Guild’s Education Officer told Redbrick, ‘we’re trying to ensure that students have the best experience here at Birmingham, and also making sure that they feel supported from start to finish.’ He also spoke of the Guild’s

campaign against hidden course costs which aims to ensure that the amount of resources that students have to buy throughout their course are as low as possible, and pointed to the support available at Guild Advice who offer financial aid to students affected by these costs. Wilkinson said that he, alongside other Guild officers, uses blogs and social media to raise awareness of important changes that will affect students in higher education. Using the recent abolition of maintenance grants as an example,

Wilkinson said, ‘whenever these issues come up we are very vocal about them and we are always try-

" ensure that students have the best experience' ing to communicate them and we always try and make it as jargonfree as possible.’

Cultural Appropriation Debated John Wimperis News Reporter

Cultural appropriation, an increasingly mainstream topic nowadays, was the subject tackled by the University’s Debating Society in their second public debate of the year. Those who braved the chilly and blustery night to attend the debate in the University’s Murray Learning Centre found themselves in a room that, though a good deal warmer, would still contain its fair share of bluster as this controversial topic raised tensions. The debate opened when Dr Rebecca Jones, a scholar of Nigerian cultures and the debate’s chair, asked the other panellists where they felt that cultural appropriation had come from, and how they would define it.

" popular culture, Abolarinwa said it was 'an everyday thing.'" The first panellist to respond was Dr Courtney J. Campbell who argued that cultural appropriation, which she defined as someone 'adopting a culture that they do not belong to,' was not in itself the issue. The issue, she claimed, was 'cultural misappropriation,' which she called 'using another culture, usually for monetary gain, without accepting the whole package.' Ithnu Abolarinwa, a Politics and International Relations undergraduate who hosts the show ‘Identity UoB’ on BurnFM and was debate’s only black panellist,

said that cultural appropriation was when you 'take away from a culture and don’t give back.' She also claimed that she’d always been aware of cultural appropriation but it was only in the last few years that she’d learnt that there was a term for it. Matt Sellars, the final panellist, echoed this sentiment, saying that he’d only heard of cultural appropriation 'since joining University and joining groups related to social justice.' Sellars is a language student and treasurer of the University’s Hip Hop Society. On the presence of cultural appropriation in popular culture, Abolarinwa said it was 'an everyday thing.' Sellars agreed and criticised the wearing of dreadlocks as nothing more than a hairstyle by white celebrities, saying that they were 'not supposed to be a bandwagon, but were supposed to represent a culture and history.' Nevertheless, Sellars agreed that between appreciation and appropriation there is 'definitely a line, it might be a bit of a fine line.' Sellars argued that responsibility to avoid appropriation, at least in music, fell to the industry and artists, but also to the listeners, who he claimed could 'really vote with their wallet.' This sentiment was echoed by Campbell who argued that 'in mass consumer culture, the only vote we have is our money.' The panel were largely in agreement that, white rapper, Macklemore was an artist who recognised his privilege. However Iggy Azalea, white rapper who has frequently had to fend off accusations of picking and choosing elements of black culture, faced strong criticism from the panel. 'Why do you want to be black so bad, Iggy?' asked Abolarinwa, as the panel criticised Azalea for, in the words of

Campbell, 'turning blackness into a product that can be sold.' What is more, Campbell claimed that this was 'a gendered stereotyped image' of blackness that had been taken out of its historical context.

"If there was no social injustice and inequality,' she explained, 'we would just be sharing cultures'" On how cultural appropriation, as a topic, has entered mainstream discussion, Sellars acknowledged that it was 'definitely snowballing' but Abolarinwa criticised the way that 'it has to be a white British person' asking the questions before the issue is considered important. What is more, she stated that she was 'not really down for it just being a discussion; there has to be change too.' When Dr Jones asked whether there was a level of understanding that could make the appropriation of cultures acceptable, Abolarinwa said that she didn’t expect anyone to sit down and read a history book, but asked people to 'just be respectful.' Campbell’s response was that it depended on the levels of power held by certain groups in society. 'If there was no social injustice and inequality,' she explained, 'we would just be sharing cultures and that would be fine.' Abolarinwa called for more discussion of cultural appropriation from a young age, as a way to combat the issue. Sellars agreed but also said that he believed the media had a role to play, while

Jones argued that 'we should not trust corporations with our political and social development.' The conclusions of the discussion were epitomised by Campbell when she said that people had to 'understand that cultural products don’t exist in a vacuum.' The debate only got truly heated once the floor was opened up to the audience. Idil Dhabahaye, the Guild’s Ethnic Minorities’ officer, was the first audience member to speak and attacked the panel for being overly white, calling the debate 'hijacked.' However, the debate organiser fired back and revealed that they had emailed over 70 potential speakers, and claimed they should be 'credited for the fact we are having this discussion.' Two students who had each done a year abroad in Eastern Asia, spoke of how youth in Japan and South Korea were enthusiastic fans of Hip Hop and would frequently use the N-word without understanding its full connotations. Another student questioned from where one received permission to adapt elements of a culture. Abolarinwa responded by criticising the idea some people have that it is acceptable to use racist language if their black friends are fine with it. 'I’m not your black friend,' she explained, 'so you can’t say that to me.' She also argued that Hip Hop has become 'so commodified that people don’t understand the history.' The discussion also touched on, in Abolarinwa’s words, the 'sense of entitlement' people have despite knowing that what they are doing is insensitive. 'If you’re frustrated that you can’t wear blackface without upsetting people,' Campbell told the audience, 'consider yourself a racist.' Another person in the audience, an artist who did not give

her name, argued that 'other cultures give you a new way of doing things', and defended the act of cultural appropriation in art as acceptable, unless specifically told by someone of that culture not to. However, another audience member, a black woman who also did not give her name, fired back. She compared cultural appropriation to academic plagiarism and likened respect to citation.

"Hip Hop has become 'so commodified that people don’t understand the history.'" However another member of the audience, a white man called Tom, held a different perspective. He argued that what he called 'this segregation' of cultures would divide people and that teaching children about cultural appropriation would be tantamount to 'indoctrination.' He also asked who was supposed to be the oppressors of appropriated cultures. But a voice from the other side of the audience fired back with: 'Who’s oppressing? White people.' As the debate drew to a close, Abolarinwa made a last poignant remark about the commercialisation and appropriation of black culture, asking those present to remember that '[we are] people not products.'

UoB Alum Wins Great British Bake Off Emily Roberts News Reporter

A week has passed since Candice Brown made Birmingham proud with her success in The Great British Bake Off final. Millions tuned in to watch last Wednesday as the Birmingham alumnus was crowned the winner in its most popular episode yet. Throughout the series, she impressed the judges with her skills in the technical challenges, and wowed with her elaborate showstoppers – all of which earned

her the title of ‘Star Baker’ three times. Although each of the finalists pushed themselves to create their best bakes yet, it was Candice that secured the win with her meringue crown and royal picnic hamper. Upon the announcement, she was embraced by family, friends, and the other bakers, and said, ‘I did it. I’m good. I’m good enough.’ On Friday, Candice – along with fellow bakers Jane and Andrew – dropped in to Waterstones on the High Street as part of their book signing tour.

Hundreds turned out to show their support for the contestants, illustrating how, even though the show’s future is uncertain, its fan base remains strong. The visit was a special one for London-born Candice, as she was able to meet Brum viewers in her ‘uni hometown.’ Candice’s story is undoubtedly one of success, with rumours of a £1m book deal and cookery show lined up, so it’s only a question of which Birmingham graduate will be next to take the nation by storm.


Friday 4th November 2016



University Staff Sex Attacks Not Addressed in New Report Orlaith Mallen News Reporter

A new report released takes important steps into addressing sexual harassment on university campuses, yet fails to address the important issue of staff on student attacks. Last year the higher education body Universities UK began an inquiry due to concerns mounting after growth in harassment, sexual violence and hate crimes on university campuses along with concerns about how institutions are dealing with it. This report is long awaited and many are hailing it as a significant

first step forwards in tackling a major issue, with the report calling for 'institution wide action to tackle violence, harassment and hate crimes against women.' However despite this, it has been heavily criticised for failing to address the problem fully by focusing heavily on student-on-student attacks, yet leaving out staff attacks on students. The idea that institutions are failing to deal with reports of staff attacks on students is highlighted when The Guardian appealed for students to come forward with their experiences and were inundated with accounts; a common problem being there is no independent body to report attacks to

- instead having to report to fellow members of staff where many loyalties may lie.

"The report called for 'institution wide action to tackle violence, harassment and hate crimes'" Furthermore, another example of universities perhaps failing to deal with the issue of staff attacks properly can be found in our very

own University’s 'Not On' campaign. The 'Not On' campaign was launched in January 2015 by The University of Birmingham and the Guild of Students as a joint initiative to tackle sexual harassment. This is, of course an impressive and important move to raise awareness and tackle the issue on our campus. However, on the University’s webpage launching the campaign it states that the campaign came as a result of growing concerns of 'lad culture,' this wording of 'lad culture' immediately creates images of unwanted sexual harassment in situations such as nights out and would never make students think of unwanted sexual advances by staff. Yet,

vitally, this is a criticism this new report fails to make. However, it is important to remember that this is the first report and is still a significant step forward in tackling the growth of sexual harassment on university campuses. Critics say universities should aim for protection that is on par with safeguarding, and this would obviously include attacks from staff against students. Hopefully with the criticism following this report, and continued campaigning of the issue of staffon-student sexual harassment, will be addressed and practical ways to deal with it will be implemented as a result.

Chair Of Russell Group Says 'Brexit Is The Catalyst Universities Need' Muhammad Rahim News Reporter

The Chair of the Russell Group, Sir David Greenaway, believes that Brexit is the catalyst needed for British universities to become more global and outward facing. Whilst acknowledging that 90% of academics voted to remain, Sir David goes on to say that, 'it suggests either the academic world knows something the electorate doesn’t or we’re hopelessly out of touch.' As the political reality of the UK leaving the EU edges closer, universities must find new opportunities to benefit from or risk being left behind. Writing in the Telegraph, Sir David suggests that

forming new global partnerships and building a stronger network for learning is key for UK universities. The article was written a week before representatives from Russell Group, the UK’s twentyfour leading research-intensive universities, travelled to mainland China to meet with leaders from the nine elite universities known collectively as the China 9. The topics discussed were focused on building relationships with Chinese universities and exploring the prospects for collaborating on complex global challenges. University of Birmingham was represented at the event by Professor Sir David Eastwood, the vice-chancellor of our university. This is thought to be the first of

many delegations of its kind as Sir David, who is also the vice-chancellor at the University of Nottingham, explores the possibilities beyond Western Europe. He goes on to discuss Nottingham’s Chinese campus and how it has benefited not only China, but also the area around Nottingham. 'We have to make sure we develop the right connections outside Western Europe and build on what we have in Asia. We’ve been in China for more than a decade, so our Chinese students are already taking influential jobs in government and business in China. That translates into commercial benefits at home and we can see that happening across the Midlands.' Whilst international students contribute around £7 billion a year

to the UK economy, the primary focus of this movement is to increase the influence of universities on their local area. This is a direct result of one of the most frequent criticisms, that the UK focused too much on London and the South East, which was aroused as a result of Brexit.

"Politics and power is far too focused on London and the South East" 'One of the things that came out of the referendum was the

message that politics and power is far too focused on London and the South East. That makes it all the more important that our universities are on the front foot and developing their role as hubs in our cities and regions.' In order to be successful in this endeavor, it is important that universities are invested in by the government and that it is made clear what aid is required. There are several ways this could be done, for example, one of the key things is increasing research funding to encourage talent to come and study in the UK. Whilst it is unclear what impact Brexit will have, it is clear that there are opportunities that universities could benefit from.

Germany Cheapest Place For Students Muhammad Rahim News Reporter

Sweden and Germany are the cheapest places for university study in Europe. A recent article by FairFX has collected data on the average total cost of studying at the top 200 universities in the world, as ranked in the recently published Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Whilst it has become a truism to discuss expensive tuition fees, this list provides a solution for prospective higher education students who are sceptical about the value of their education. It takes into account the average living cost of the area, currency rates and the tuition fees. The most affordable countries to study in: 1. 2.

Germany (£6,701) Sweden (£6,707)

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

South Africa (£6,948) Finland (£,7313) Taiwan (£7,503) Denmark (£8,193) Austria (£8,301) Belgium (£8,590) Russia (£9,292) Norway (£9,313)

Particularly striking is the cost of studying in Scandinavia and Germany. Both of these areas, which provide a high number of English-speaking courses, offer free tuition with the only charges being admin fees from certain universities. These amount to only around £300. To further highlight the benefits of studying in Scandinavia, the Danish government provides state grants which support domestic students up to approximately €700 a month for those studying in higher education. Those with EU citizenship are also entitled to this, provided they work 12 hours a week – from which they also

receive payment. This is possible because of the high taxation in the country.

"The average [University of Birmingham] student pays £16,854 a year" The free tuition fees also extend to those intending to study Masters degrees. However, it is important to note that countries in the EU are encouraged to have two-year Masters programmes whilst in the UK it is only a oneyear programme. Moreover, the University of Birmingham attracts almost 6,000 internationals for postgraduate studies which is the second highest number in the UK, indicating that postgraduate education at our home university is

extremely valued. The University of Birmingham’s data suggests that the average student pays £16,854 a year, which is the 7th cheapest in the top 200 rankings. From the 18 UK universities ranked higher, only University of Southampton and Durham were cheaper. The tuition fees in the UK were, initially, introduced in 1998 by Labour for £1,000 a year and rose to £3,000 eight years later. Two years later it was increased to adjust for inflation, however, the fees instigated student protests in London when they took a significant increase in 2010 to £9,000. These are due to rise again due to inflation adjustments to £9,250. Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, described how the costs for UK students to attend university are 'steep' compared to many overseas destinations, putting a 'significant burden' on them as they start out on their career path.

He said: 'Studying abroad is certainly a viable option, and we could see it becoming an alternative to taking a gap year with its opportunity to expand horizons and gain new experiences alongside an education.'

"Studying abroad is certainly a viable option" In an increasingly connected world, employers look for those who have experienced something different, and high on their radars are different languages and immersion in different cultures. Studying abroad allows students to differentiate themselves from other applicants by providing exposure to these opportunities.



Friday 4th November 2016


Birmingham Airport Plans Take Flight Following London Approval News Reporter Erin Santillo analyses whether a second runway in Birmingham could be a feasible proposition Erin Santillo News Reporter

The man behind the governmental approval of London Heathrow’s expansion has openly backed Birmingham Airport’s plans to build a second runway; a project that could see passenger numbers more than double. Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, expressed his views in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, published just a day before the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, controversially announced the government’s support for the construction of a third runway at Heathrow on 25th October. This decision came after a year of speculation and heated parliamentary and public debate about whether funds should be directed to the expansion of Heathrow, currently the UK’s busiest airport, or Gatwick. It is estimated that the new runway, which will require additional traffic links and create 76,000 new jobs, will cost £17.6 billion to construct, but is estimated to generate £61 billion for the UK economy by 2076. Heathrow’s case highlights the large quantities of money that are required for such a venture, but also reveal the lucrative benefits that it can reap. Therefore, West Midlands politicians are keen for an expansion of Birmingham Airport to be on the government’s table as a driving force behind what have been described as the ‘Midlands Engine’ and ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Currently, Birmingham is the

UK’s seventh busiest airport in passenger numbers behind Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton and Edinburgh. However, the proposed second runway, which would be built near Junction Four of the M6, could see Birmingham’s passenger capacity rise from 25 million to 55 million by 2050; an increase that John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, has said would be ‘an enormous boost to the economy.’

"...connect the West Midlands to global opportunities’ in business and travel" One of the main attractions to expanding Birmingham Airport is its proximity to the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) railway station, which is due to be completed by 2026. Clancy stated that this train link to London and a second runway could, in tandem, ‘connect the West Midlands to global opportunities’ in business and travel. Therefore, geographically speaking, Birmingham Airport holds the most feasible answer to connecting the sky and the rail; creating, as the airport’s chief executive Paul Kehoe branded it, the ‘unique’ possibility of developing ‘the UK’s only HS2 connected airport.’ In recent years, Birmingham Airport has demonstrated that it is

not shy of investing in its facilities and infrastructure, spending over £400m modernising its terminal and extending its single runway to 3000 metres in order to cater for international flights to South Asia and the Far East. Nevertheless, despite these expenses, the Airports Commission estimates that Birmingham in its current form will not be operating at full capacity until the mid-2040s; making it a less interesting proposal for investors. Notwithstanding this potential flaw in Birmingham Airport’s plans, the mayoral candidates for the West Midlands have been very vocal in their support of the proposition. The Conservative candidate, Andy Street, rejected the Airports Commission’s dismissal of Birmingham as a less attractive investment than London’s airports, saying, ‘for the last nineteen months there has been record growth’ in the county. Furthermore, Labour’s Sion Simon, who is also an MEP for the region, stated, ‘for too long, the West Midland’s interests have been put second to London’s,’ and the Liberal Democrats’ candidate, Beverly Nielson, suggested that the expansion of Birmingham Airport could ‘offer the additional capacity required but at a vastly lower cost – both in financial and environmental terms.’ However, it is these environmental issues associated with airport expansion that some politicians have criticised. Ten Green Party councillors, who form the official opposition on Solihull Borough Council, have already

expressed their opposition to the plans, despite the fact that they have not yet been formally submitted by Birmingham Airport for consultation. Councillor Chris Williams, who is a member of this group, has argued that the expansion is ‘bound to breach environmental restrictions’ and that he is ‘surprised’ that the mayoral candidates would support such a venture in what is one of the UK’s greenest cities. Another problem arises with the lack of funding from central government (and, therefore, the taxpayer), who have now committed to pay for a percentage of Heathrow’s expansion. Additionally, when more money becomes available in the future, it is not guaranteed that Birmingham Airport will be the government’s first choice.

"Birmingham in its current form will not be operating at full capacity until the mid-2040s" For example, Gatwick also has only a single runway but handles over 40 million passengers a year and is one of the busiest airports in Europe, so this could prove to be a more tempting proposal. Or the government could agree to the construction of a new, much-ridi-

culed airport in the Thames Estuary, mockingly dubbed ‘Boris Island’ after Johnson revealed the idea during his mayorship. Or how about the creation of a ‘northern gateway’ with an expansion at Manchester, improving Luton’s rail links, allowing Edinburgh to expand further internationally or developing Stansted’s underused runway? Clearly, the competition for investment is fierce. Furthermore, doubt has been expressed at the construction of HS2 itself; the rail link that would be essential for Sir Howard Davies of the Airports Commission to consider Birmingham Airport as ‘a more interesting option’ than Gatwick. The fate of the £55.7 billion venture hangs in the balance as it is debated nationwide almost every day. The same could be said for the expansion proposals of Birmingham Airport, even though they haven’t quite reached national debate yet. However, the ideas may become more widely discussed when they are released officially in what the airport’s authorities are describing as their 2017 ‘masterplan.’ As Jeremy Blackburn, Head of Policy at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, recently stated, ‘it would be naïve to draw the airport debate to a close’ after the Heathrow/Gatwick controversy. So perhaps before this issue has subsided, whether a second runway at Birmingham Airport would act as the coal to stoke the ‘Midlands Engine’ may be called into question.

UoB's Olympians Speak Of Sporting Success On Campus Kris Burnett News Reporter

On Monday the 24th of October, the University welcomed alumni and present members of the University to participate in a ceremony recognising their tremendous achievements in Olympic and Paralympic competition. 'Road from Rio' featured a panel of current and past Olympians: Paul Manning MBE, Sophie Bray, Lora Turnham, Lily Owsley and Professor Myra Nimmo. The evening started with a medal ceremony presented by the Sir David Eastwood, the ViceChancellor of the University of Birmingham. Each of the panel received a Vice-Chancellor’s medal to show the University’s and the Vice Chancellor’s appre-

ciation of each recipient's contribution to sport. This was followed by a Q&A held by Simon Brotherton, Match of the Day commentator and alumnus of the University of Birmingham. Many of the questions and answers revolved around the role of being part of UoB. Several of the panel, in particular current student Lily Owsley, spoke of how trying different sports is integral to finding a sport which you truly love and feel comfortable in. The wide range of sports available at Birmingham certainly provides such an atmosphere for students who haven’t found that tailored fit sport for them. Sophie Bray, who graduated in 2012 (BSc Psychology), spoke highly of university sport and its role in developing skills applicable in graduate

and non-academic life: 'Studying a degree and playing hockey taught me the importance of time management.' Perhaps most inspiring was Lora Turnham who told the audience that she 'chose Birmingham due to their support for me being visually impaired.' This event also saw promotion of new literature detailing the colourful and vibrant sporting history dating back to the founding of the University and the various accolades of alumni and current students including, but not limited to, Olympic and Paralympic success. The event truly set out a positive vision for the future of the University of Birmingham based on the current and past success of everyone engaged in sport at the university.

Lily Owsley playing in England vs Argentina: fourthandfifteen


Friday 4th November 2016


Apathetic American Students? Alex Goodwin examines the differing political opinions of American and British students Alex Goodwin

heavily on both sides of the Jeremy Corbyn, whilst the oppoCommentator agenda. Warren went on to site has occurred in America. As @alexgoodwin_ explain to me that she does one UMD student stated, ‘I’m believe apathy is an issue, espe- not American so why should I America and Britain have a lot cially amongst college students, care about this election as it in common. Whether it’s our claiming that ‘students do not doesn’t affect me.’ When in reallanguage, neo-imperialist ten- understand the value of their ity, the Presidential campaigns dencies or liberal political and voice.’ With a mere 41.3% of affect the rest of the world as economic traditions, we are two 18-24 year olds voting in the western countries with several 2012 elections this opinion may similarities. hold ground. However, Manilan Haule, the whilst Britain is Political Director at a hotbed for Minnesota’s Young young, disilDemocrats stated he felt lusioned that apathy is not an and radicalissue in this election, ized stubut how the electorate Voter turnout d e n t s , chose to use their America’s voice is the influencamong UK 18-29 young seem ing matter. I question year olds in 2005 far more this from someone with apathetic to a large insight into how the cause. young people engage with much as Americans, especially Whilst there are politics. With the the UK post-Brexit. I can’t help many individuals Democratic and but feel like this apathy is embarrassed by the state Republican reflected amongst all colleof American politics and the two meetings on giate institutions. If both UMD presidential candidates, the the countries have low voter overall political ignorance c a m p u s turnout between the ages amongst college students is hard a v e r a g i n g of 18-30, why do British to ignore. Whilst both the UK around 15 youth choose to use individuals their voice differently? each, how My own frustrations 18-29 year old's can there with my American peers would vote for not appear are undoubtedly embedTrump. to be apaded with the unfortunate thy? lack of political, historical Student and general international debt is crippling in studies available to them in America, and unlike the their high school and college British system, they have to pay curriculums. As a country that it back hard and fast once they has to take Math and English all graduate, regardless of their through their college income. Everyone at lives, it made me angry and the US maintain very low UMD is quick to comto see so much election turnouts from under plain about his or her ignorance surdebt, yet return to 30s, the way in rounding politics me with: ‘I’m not which these in the leading voting this year.’ groups vote global hegemoClinton is procould not ny. Senior level 18-29 year old's posing free contrast international polcollege edum o r e itics classes are at would vote for cation for heavily. the level of first Clinton families below So what year lectures in a certain income truly is Britain, with very litVoter turnout whilst Trump has t h e tle discussions and semiamongst U.S. not yet released an offi- nars amongst students. At no opinion 18-29 year cial education statement. point has an American student of young Trump is also calling for had to compulsorily learn about olds in 2008 colleges to take on more of the history of a country other the debt risk, which will than America or Canada. Americans? severely hinder college attendDoes young A survey conducted by the ance of liberal courses and low- Harvard University Institute of support for Trump exist? Yes, scarily it does, though er-income families. How can Politics, hypothetically finds one still claim to dismiss the 61% of likely voters age 18-29 not significantly, it is there. prospect of their voice? say they would vote for Clinton, As one College Or more frighteningly, while just 25% would vote for Republican from the decide to vote Trump Trump. Yet, if the other 60% of University of over ‘crooked’ young voters came out and had Minnesota Duluth Hillary? put it: ‘we’re their say, the election would Opinions cir- already be over. - much like the hoping for a culating the UK UK would still be in the European Brexit.’ And a are viciously Union. Hopefully November 8th Brexit they Voter turnout anti-Trump, espe- brings a decision that won’t push might get. cially amongst America into further ignorance Questioning amongst U.S. students. One and prejudice, but its students young people’s 18-29 year olds in massive contrast are not the saving grace. It begs apathy in politics 2012 leading up the elec- the question of when America surrounding the tion is how students will make the changes it so desUS election highview healthcare in perately needs. lights some key issues either government. about why the state of College students, as their American politics has become so dire. Beth Warren, a UMD elders, are undoubtedly and freshman from the College fiercely anti- ObamaCare, whilst Republican told me she endorses thousands of British students her party’s candidate (Donald have taken to the streets in an Trump) but only as a means of attempt to save our NHS. Young keeping Hillary Clinton out of people speaking up in Britain office. Unfortunately, this ‘less- has meant the meteoric rise of er of two evils' idea resonates socialist individuals such as


"The Presidential campaigns affect the rest of the world as much of Americans, especially the UK post-Brexit"


"Student Debt is crippling in America, and...they have to pay it back hard and fast once they graduate."





2018: The Year of Publishing Women Amber Allcock draws attention to an overlooked equality issue Amber Allcock Commentator

There is yet another modern feminist issue to go under the radar: writing under a male name makes you eight times more likely to get published, as discovered by Catherine Nichols. Her novel wasn’t the problem, it was her, 2015 Catherine, a woman novelist waiting to be discovered by publishers who were overwhelmingly more interested in her work when she tested the waters by using a male pseudonym. In an article for Jezebel, Nichols wrote about how she had sent her manuscript out to 50 agents, receiving just 2 requests to see more of her work. Setting up a new email with a male name however brought an influx of interest. With the same covering letter, the same manuscript, and a differing name and gender, Catherine received 17 requests from a total of 50 agents, meaning her male counterpart persona was eight and a half times a better writer than herself. So what is it that has, and continues to make, female authors apparently inept? Is it that their works lack the power to ‘reveal the unimagined’ (Nigel Watts on Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks) or that they have an inability to be more than an event, but a ‘masterpiece’ (Karl Miller on On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan)?

"Her male counterpart persona was eight and a half times a better writer than herself." It is not their award-winning, perspective changing, innovative novels at fault, but their sex. Consider two key modern authors: Harper Lee and J.K Rowling. Nelle Harper Lee, writer of To Kill A Mockingbird which featured on almost every school’s curriculum won the Pulitzer Prize just a year after publication. Harper Lee’s pen name may not disguise her sex entirely, but it does make for a more gender neutral approach. And as for Joanne Rowling, responsible for the iconic Harry Potter series, her gender-ambiguous choice of initials is also no accident. It should be noted in fact, that Rowling has no middle

name – the initial K was entirely fabricated for publication interests in fear that a young male audience would be less interested in her fantasy series should they realise its authorship was female. The Bronte sisters used male pen names because their works would face larger criticism as female authors. Their texts, deemed ‘unfeminine’ and looked on with prejudice, as Charlotte Bronte herself stated, would most likely not bear the success they did should they not have presented themselves as the work of a man. But then, are publishers not implicating - by encouraging gender neutral initials and names, or forcing a female writer to take on a male authorship entirely - that we still have expectations of female work to be confined, be it by content or style, to everyday patriarchal conventions? A male name for the Brontes represented the identity necessary to succeed in the time of writing. A male name for Catherine N i c h o l s proves that identity is still necessary to succeed as a female writer in the 2000s. 2018 calls for a year of females only being published in an attempt to ‘readdress the inequality’ says novelist Kamila Shamsie, backed by small publishing outlets such as Other Stories. Though this won’t make huge waves in the publishing world, the very sentiment of this symbolic gesture suggests a push in the right direction for change. Should the movement have a knock on effect, review pages, blogs, prize submissions and literature festival line-ups would be bursting with more female content - and it wouldn’t end there. The Year of Publishing Women would be an excellent way for publishers to look at their selection processes and identify inherent gender bias issues when looking at new works. Senior Editor of Other Stories, Sophie Lewis, said this movement could become a small scale model for 'a much bigger enquiry about why women’s writing is consistently side-lined or secondary, the poor cousin rather than the equal of men’s writing.' Viva la revolución.



Friday 4th November 2016


The Myth of a 'Good' Brexit

Phoebe Warneford-Thomson explains why no one will be happy with the outcome of the referendum would have wanted it to. As toms union. The likes of Nigel Phoebe WarnefordThomson

Commentator @phoebewt

For every one student who voted to leave the EU, six voted to remain, but despite the overwhelming vote to stay, the majority of the electorate in Britain voted with an anti-EU sentiment on the 23rd June.

"As young people it’s hard not to become disenfranchised with our current political climate" YouthSight, an agency that focuses on youth, student and graduate research found that 78% of university students eligible to vote did. This amounted to a higher proportion than the general population, with a 72% voter turnout. Despite excellent political engagement within our universities, the result still did not sway the way that most

young people it’s hard not to become disenfranchised with our current political climate but we must accept the result. However, we’re now faced with a new ultimatum (whether or not we get a say on the matter) - hard or soft Brexit. This concept is problematic, because ultimately no one is going to get what they voted for. A hard Brexit will m e a n leaving everything

behind no single market access and no cus-

Farage, Boris Johnson, and the local racist from your hometown may praise this outcome, as ‘taking back control’ and implementing stringent free movement policies. On the other hand, a soft Brexit would mean retaining a partial membership of the European single market, in exchange for some free movement, as well as the possibility of financial trade deals. Supporters believe this would be essential for economic growth and argue this route would be the least disruptive to our growth as a country. Either way, those who voted to leave won’t be pleased with a ‘half in-half out’ Brexit deal, and those who voted to remain won’t have EU m e m b e rship. So h o w c a n w e

negotiate an agreement that benefits us all? If we maintain some form of relationship with the EU, we’ll very likely be left with one leg in, and one leg out of Europe, landing us in a very compromising position- straddling an unattractive EU agreement because the UK thought it was ‘too good’ and could therefore pick and choose. As a country, do we really want to behave like a pathetic puppy with our tail between our legs and go crawling back to the EU- begging for forgiveness? No – but a soft Brexit may be our best bet at achieving a deal that prevents our country from going up in flames. It would be hardly surprising if Jean-Claude Juncker and other members of the European commission decided to make an example of us- which might be necessary in order to prevent a ‘chain reaction’ of Euroscepticism in Europe. France's National Front leader, Marine Le Pen has promised the French people a referendum if her party wins power, and Britain could be humiliated during looming negotiations in order to avoid ‘Frexit’. The EU’s refusal for Brexit negotiations to take place in English (opting for French instead) is just the first ‘kick in the teeth’. Meanwhile, the UK may be met with some harsh realities. Have we waved goodbye to Scotland in our bid to escape Brussels? David Cameron could

Bone Marrow Donation: The Facts

pelvic bones was way less Madeleine Bourne talks to donor Amy Rogers, a Law my than an hour. I was under general anaesthetic, and didn't feel a student at UoB, about her experience donating bone thing.’ 4 in 10 gay and bisexual men think they can’t join the register marrow was in urgent need of a bone involving bone marrow being because of their sexuality, which

Madeleine Bourne Commentator @maddiemae_xo

Amy Rogers is a Law student, having just embarked on her first year studying at the University of Birmingham. The shift from living at home to surviving independently at university is a life-changing time, albeit not the only life-changing experience she has encountered in the last few weeks. Amy has donated bone marrow in order to change someone else’s life for the better. At just 18, she has breathed life, joy and hope into someone out there who needs it most. I am a little unwilling to admit, out of embarrassment, that until recently the bone marrow register had never occurred to me. I know the importance of opting in and becoming an organ donor, yet the simple process of signing up to the bone marrow register was something that I knew nothing about. Through speaking to Amy and those at Birmingham Marrow – the student branch of the Anthony Nolan charity – my eyes have been opened to the humbling, inspiring and simply life-changing work the volunteers do. In 1974, Shirley Nolan set up the first bone marrow register after her three-year-old son Anthony

marrow transplant. To this day, the charity continually saves lives by helping volunteers on the register donate blood stem cells and bone marrow to people with blood cancer and blood disorders. Amy first signed up to the bone marrow register in 2014, when volunteers from Anthony Nolan visited the college she attended. This year, Anthony got in touch; ‘I was actually at a friend's house, revising for our A2 exams, and I got a text from Anthony Nolan saying that they were urgently trying to get in touch with me and could I ring them as soon as possible. I rang them up straight away, and they explained to me that I was a potential match. I was so over the moon; I think I was shaking!’ When signing up for the register, volunteers are required to ‘give a spit, save a life’, as a spit sample gives a good indication of patients you could potentially match. Once Anthony Nolan got in touch with Amy, she was then required to give a blood sample to confirm that she was a match to her patient. A month after the important phone call, she spoke to a donor-coordinator at Anthony Nolan, who confirmed that the donation was to go ahead. Amy donated via a bone marrow harvest, a process

extracted from the pelvis. However, only around 1 in 10 people donate this way, with most donations being given through PBSC – peripheral blood stem cell collection – a process which is similar to giving blood. There are countless myths surrounding bone marrow donations, mostly involving the ‘painful’ connotations people associate donating with. Amy is

"4 in 10 gay and bisexual men think they can’t join the register because of their sexuality' quick to dispel those fears. ‘The main thing I really want to emphasise is that all of the myths I've heard have been just that – myths! It's really not that bad!’ For someone that had never experienced a hospital procedure before, she was keen to stress that the whole process was the opposite of the fearful myths surrounding donation. ‘I'd never stayed overnight in a hospital before, or even been a patient in a hospital. I was surrounded by really amazing medical staff who were all so reassuring. It was so quick and simple. The actual process of them collecting bone marrow from

is another myth associated with donation. The speculation surrounding bone marrow donation is often what stops people signing the register, and I am a firm believer - alongside Amy Rogers, Anthony Nolan and Birmingham Marrow - that we should cast aside these myths and seriously consider either joining the register, becoming a volunteer at Birmingham Marrow, or donating to Anthony Nolan. Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow transplant each year. Men aged 16-30 are urgently needed as stem cell donors, as a YouGov survey of this age bracket found that 22 % of men aren’t aware of the register and 1 in 3 won’t join due to the ‘painful’ myth surrounding donation. Additionally, a white British person has a 60% chance of finding a donor, whereas people from a black, Asian or ethnic minority group have just a 20% chance of receiving a transplant. These statistics are something that we need to change. Raising awareness of bone marrow donation is crucial, continual fundraising for Anthony Nolan is important as it costs £60 a time to sign someone up for the register, and more inspiring volunteers are needed to save lives. Amy Rogers’ story is inspiring to us all. She

be charged with the actuality that he’s successfully broken up two unions. Notwithstanding any regrets people may have about the result last summer, we must forget the idea of a second referendum. The petition that proposed this idea received just over 4 million signatures. Calls for a second referendum ring very similar to Trump’s recent comments in my ears. If an election or referendum doesn’t go your way, you can just say it doesn’t count and ask for another one, right? Wrong. The notion of ‘another vote’ for no apparent reason aside from the Remain camp’s dissatisfaction with the result is undemocratic and unrealistic.

"Cameron could be charged with the actulaity that he's succssfully broken up two unions" However, regardless of the stance we take, pressure is mounting within the cabinet to choose our path, and Theresa May must find a way to navigate through this rocky political terrain. ‘Brexit means Brexit’, but does Brexit mean anyone is going to look back and be happy with the outcome of the forthcoming negotiations? I believe the answer is no.

touchingly told me why she chose to donate: ‘For a few days out of my life, I've hopefully made someone else's a whole lot better. The survival rate isn't 100%, but even if it isn't as successful as planned, you've given someone a bit longer with their loved ones. I know if I had blood cancer, I'd be hoping someone would donate for me.’ 620,885 people are on the UK bone marrow register and 68,658 potential donors were recruited last year, yet each person on the register only has a 1 in 900 chance of being asked to donate. If you want to change people’s lives like Amy has, get online to or search for Birmingham Marrow on Facebook now.


Friday 4th November 2016



An 'Interview' With Foreign The Pound Falls Helena Shaw Secretary: Boris Johnson Satirist

Sam Yearley Satirist @YearleySam

It has been announced that collective responsibility for the Cabinet is to be temporarily suspended over the issue of airport expansion. Various MPs are openly against government decisions to do with new runways, including Boris Johnson, and they have been given an opportunity to speak out. It is thought that May made this unusual decision to ensure that there were to be no cabinet resignations from those MPs who opposed, showing that for some logic defying reason, Theresa May is desperate to keep Bo Jo in the cabinet. In light of these developments I sat down with Boris Johnson to gather his thoughts on the matter. The transcript of this interview follows below: Me: Are you aware of the temporary suspension of collective responsibility? BJ: No, Jesus, this is the first I heard! That means I can say anything, right? I can finally talk about the neck thing? Me: I’m afraid that it is just surrounding the intended airport expansions. Sorry, what neck thing?

BJ: No, don’t worry about it, if you’ve not noticed I won’t point it out. Christ, yes, the runway! They designated a subcommittee to take care of it and I think it’s just because Theresa is sick of my cream gobbling. Me: Excuse me? BJ: Custard creams at committee meetings! I bloody l o v e them! What do y o u think really sparked t h e expenses scandal? Yes, she’s setting up subcommittees wherever she can to deny me my tax-paid biccies. Why do you think I’m Foreign Secretary? It

means less biscuits and more paji paji curries paid for by the East countries. Me: Well, there is speculation that Theresa May wanted to avoid a series of resignations, including yours, as a result of this contentious issue. BJ: Oh really? So I can try and campaign against the decision. Me: No. BJ: But I now have the freedom to debate against it in the Commons. Me: No. BJ: So I can just let everyone know I’m a bit grumpy about it? Which is ultimately something I was going to do anyway. Me: It seems so, yes. BJ: Fair play. To give her her dues, I don’t see how Foreign Secretary as a role has any interest in airports.

2016 has brought us many a... delightful surprise, most recently the falling value of the pound. The pound has fallen for many reasons. Firstly the incomprehensible controversy that is Brexit. However not to dwell on that, we also have the issue of the Bank of England cutting interest rates and beginning more quantitative easing in mid-September. Additionally, the IMF reweighed its special drawing rights. This essentially means it cut some of the weight of its reserve currency, specifically some of the pound, to make up for the yuan. The pound is dropping further and further and the Bank of New York Mellon predicted a month ago that the pound will fall against the dollar to $1.10 by next August. This would explain why there were so many ripped up £5 notes during freshers. Now if that doesn’t look like a shit storm, then I do not know what does. So to reassure all of you, I have some suggestions of what we can do with our money

if the currency becomes worthless: 1. Use it as toilet roll. The price of everyday value Aldi toilet roll is £1.99, that’s 33.2p per roll, with 220 sheets per roll that’s a whole 0.15p you could be saving. 2. Use it to snort cocaine. Supposedly the new £5 notes are better for snorting cocaine, so whip out your narcotics and not only will you be finding a use for an otherwise worthless piece of paper, but you’ll be distracted from the fact that we are economically doomed. 3. Fancy dress. Who doesn’t want to go to a social dressed as money, Guild please take note. 4. Sell as preBrexit memorabilia. 5. Use it to dry your tears, tissues are far too expensive and a lot are going to be needed when you realise just how little the money is worth, and how little money you have, and how much is left in your overdraft, and how much work you have to do, and how little you understand, and oh my god will someone please get me a £5 note right now!!

Compassion? We Clinton Can Do Anything Have None Chris Eickhoff Satirist

Travis Oliver Satirist

Last week, esteemed footballing legend and BBC presenter Gary Lineker expressed concern over the child migrants being shipped to Great Britain. He tweeted: ‘The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What's happening to our country?’ How dare he?! From his taxpayer supported position in the BBC, how dare he express a compassionate opinion? How dare the BBC back him up, rather than fire him immediately? The Sun, on the other hand, is calling him out on his shameful morally-driven opinions. It is calling for dental-based age tests, to make sure these so called ‘vulnerable children’ actually are children (claims that the tests only work to within 5 years of accuracy are totally false, we assure you). Heaven knows that if they’re 18 or over, they’re no longer our problem! The Sun does more good work, defending the noble voices of people like Katie Hopkins (she was being unfairly criticised for saying something about refugees needing to be gunned down). The Sun always presents accurate facts, we unintelligent wife-beating men all know this, as we are the dedicated Sun readership. That vilified, poorly-dressed and unpatriotic communist filth Jeremy Corbyn had the audacity to intervene, stating that:

‘I admire @GaryLineker for showing Britain at its best: compassionate, welcoming, and standing up to fear and division’ How dare he?! Can’t he, like other servants of the state like Conservative MPs Alec Shelbrooke and David Davies, stand for the people of this country and defend our borders from dangerous children? Davies has, rightly so, called for an apology from Gary Lineker, whilst the Sun commands the BBC to fire him. How dare this beloved and respected footballing legend stand up and promote kindness and human compassion? This so called terrible week, in which ‘children were met not with welcome, but with fear and derision’ will in fact serve as a model for how we should act in the future. The leftie lovers are all trying to cook up happy little stories to blind us. Supposedly one of the child refugees, Aemal Khan, 14, finally met with his brother Asif, a UK resident for 11 years. These stories are obviously false, as they hide the leftist agenda within human compassion. This is why we trust the Sun, for its reliably racist approach to the migrant crisis. We must of course stick to our guns and defend our borders from every foreigner, regardless of their age. There is no place for leftists like Lineker anymore, who can now only wildly specuate, ‘what’s happening to our country?’

So Hillary Clinton is winning this 2016 American presidential election in a big way, reportedly with a staggering 14-point lead. But then again, when running against a nominee who speaks with the grammatical ability of a fourth grader, or a nominee facing sexual harassment allegations, or a nominee spouting ignorant, racist views, or a nominee showcasing incredibly tiny palms, you’d expect an easy win for almost anybody. With Hillary facing all four of these situations in one giant glob of fake tan, nobody can be surprised by her sweeping lead. It seems as though the revulsion many swing voters and indeed loyal Republican voters feel towards her opponent is Clinton’s trump card (yes that was on purpose); she alone is the only one who can stop the Annoying Orange rubbing his (petite) grubby mitts all over the free world. Hillary’s questionable relationship with Wall Street, email-gate, and her appalling attempts to connect with millennial voters would usually leave her unpopular across several voting demographics. In this election, however, these actions are nowhere near as damaging to her campaign as her opponent’s are to his. So we at Redbrick had a discussion and came up with a list of things

Becca Griffiths Satirist

Hillary could do in the days running up to November 8th, and still be elected president. She could: - Perform a rendition of 50 Cent's P.I.M.P to a black church congregation i n

Mississippi - Blame gingers alone for the 2008 financial crash - Spend the rest of her campaign speeches listing every fish pun under the sea - Tattoo her forehead with the words ‘America's Shame’ - Upon learning that there are a select few mammals that lays eggs, pledge to change the bald eagle symbol of America to the duck-billed platypus - Accidentally refer to 'Obama' as 'Osama', followed by a shrug and a muttered 'same thing' - Dress up as, and speak with the voice of, Dr Evil from Austin Powers for the remainder of her campaign - Perform a dab at the end of every speech comparable to, but still more troubling than, the Bill Gates dab - Literally stay silent from now on, letting ‘He-who-mustnot-be-named’ continue to make PR nightmares.

Redbrick Satire is looking for submissions! Email us to find out more: comment@



Friday 4th November 2016


#CookForSyria ‘A month long celebration of Syrian cuisine in aid of the largest humanitarian crisis of our time’ 31st October – 30th November Anna Griffiths Editor-in-Chief @AnnaPhoebee

I am sure you have heard of the conflict in Syria. I am sure you know that the country is facing one of the worst assaults on a civilian population this century. I’d like to explain a little about how you can help the people of Syria in a way that celebrates the country and richness of its cultural heritage. I’d like to introduce you to the #CookForSyria campaign. CookForSyria is a national fundraising initiative started by the Instagram famous Clerkenwell Boy and SUITCASE magazine. It aims to encourage everyone from the ‘UK’s top chefs, to people at home’ to cook Syrian cuisine in order to raise money for UNICEF’s Syria Relief Fund. The Fund is being supported through Next Generation London, UNICEF’s youth branch. The campaign aims to specifically support Syrian children at risk; 50% of all Syrian refugees are children, and boys as young as 7 are being recruited to fight. It’s certainly a worthwhile charity. ‘UNICEF is one of the few humanitarian organisations working inside Syria, as well as helping Syrian child refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, and in Europe. UNICEF is on the ground right now providing children with life–saving food, clean water and vaccines, as well as education and protection from violence and abuse.’ The Context: What Has Happened to Syria? The conflict in Syria is complicated, to say the least. When I began researching this feature I knew somewhat the extent of the humanitarian crisis unfolding – we’ve all seen the harrowing pictures in the news but not much about why it was happening in the first place. I want to explain what has happened in Syria in the last five years. If you have followed the conflict, feel free to skip this part. However, if you find the conflict as boggling as I did, you may find this brief(ish) explanation helpful. Hopefully it may contextualise the campaign a little, and help show why it is so important to support initiatives like it. In 2011, the Arab Spring spread to Syria, and protesters took to the street. They were concerned and angry with the government for imprisoning a group of teenagers for spraying anti-government graffiti on their school. President Bashar al-Assad, who had been President since July 2000, ordered troops to fire upon the protestors. In July 2011, the protesters starting firing back, forming the Free Syrian Army, which included some who had defected from Assad’s own military. However, the rebel forces soon became tinted with extremism as extremists from across the region flocked to join in with rebel efforts. This was exacerbated by Assad’s decision to release the extremists he had imprisoned; if the rebel forces were seen to be extremist, it would be harder for them to gain international backing. At the same time, Kurds in the North East of Syria de facto seceded from Assad’s rule, making Syria the site of a proxy war. There are so many vested parties in the conflict it is hard to keep up, but grasping the extent of international backing is important to understand why the crisis is as large as it is. Iran eventually intervened on Assad’s behalf, which is later escalated when the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, invaded Syria to support

Assad’s efforts against the rebels. Simultaneously, Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia began to back the rebels – possibly to counter Iran’s influence in the region – and did so through Turkey and Jordan. Broadly, the conflict in 2013 was divided along sectarian lines: Sunni regimes supported the rebels, and Shia regimes supported Assad. Then big players like the USA started getting involved. In 2013 the Obama administration secretly signed over authorisation to the CIA to train and equip Syrian rebels. They also ask Gulf States to stop funding extremist groups in the region, although this call was largely ignored. Yet it was in August 2013 that the international community became truly horrified. Assad’s regime was found to have used chemical weapons on its own civilians in what is known now as the Ghouta chemical attack. Estimates of the number of people killed as a result of the attack range from French intelligence’s 281 to the US estimate of 1,429. Chemical weapons have been banned since the Hague Convention of 1899, deemed too cruel to use. Obama proposed that the US should respond with air strikes; although the threat was not carried out, Russia asked Assad to surrender his chemical weapons to avoid the possibility of strikes. CIA training of rebels continued into late 2013, but the programme fizzled out quickly. In February 2014, an al Qaeda affiliate group broke away over disagreements about Syria, and formed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS. They moved into Syria and fought the rebels and Kurds in order to carve out what they call their caliphate. In September of 2014, the US Pentagon started its own campaign to train rebels, but this time only rebels that are fighting ISIS and not Assad. Much like the CIA’s programme, it fizzled out, but it marked the beginning of a period of debate for the USA – should they focus on opposing ISIS or Assad more? To further confuse matters, in August 2015 Turkey began to bomb Kurdish groups in Iraq and in Turkey, even though the Kurds were fighting Turkey’s enemy ISIS in Syria. Shortly after, Assad’s ally Russia intervened. Assad had been losing ground to ISIS, the rebels and to the Kurds. Russia launched their first airstrikes in September, stating they were there to bomb ISIS. In reality, Russia hit an awful lot of rebels who opposed Assad. In December 2015 the UK parliament voted to join US led bombing raids against Islamic State in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. This year, diplomatic attempts to create a solution for Syria have failed. US-Russian brokered cease-fires repeatedly fail. In March the Assad forces retook Palmyra from ISIS, aided by Russian air assistance. In August Turkish troops entered Syria to help rebel forces push back ISIS and Kurdish-led rebels. Most recently, the UN announced that it was suspending all aid convoys after an air strike that hit their aid lorries killed civilians near Aleppo, a populous city in the North West of Syria. Aleppo is a city under siege, currently divided in half between the rebels in the East and Assad’s forces in the West. Assad’s strategy of laying siege on the city traps civilians, and deprives them of essential supplies. The continuing bombing of Aleppo means that the humanitarian situation is critical; roughly 250,000 people

are stuck in the city, and since the bombing of the UN aid convoy and the subsequent halting of aid to the region, civilians are dangerously low on supplies, access to clean water, doctors and medicine. The situation in Aleppo reflects the dire conditions of m a n y across Syria. The Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time ‘Crisis’ doesn’t seem a severe enough word to describe the situation. More than a quarter of a million Syrians have lost their lives during the conflict, many in brutal circumstances. A UN

inquiry now suggests that all parties involved in the conflict have committed war crimes including: murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearances. All parties have also been accused of using ‘civilian suffering such as blocking access to food, water and health serves through sieges as a method of war’. Hundreds were killed in the Ghouta attack when Assad regime rockets, filled with the nerve agent sarin, were fired at suburbs of Damascus. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has noted also that chlorine was used consistently in deadly Assadbacked attacks between April and July 2014. ISIS have also been accused of using chemical weapons, including sulphur mustard, a blister agent that was proved to have killed a baby in Marea in August 2015. Some of the statistics truly are staggering. More than 4.5 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, 10% of which have sought refuge in Europe. Over 6.5 million Syrians are displaced within their own country. 70% of the population is without access to adequate drinking water; one in three cannot meet basic food needs; more than 2 million children are out of school; and four out of five people live in poverty. An estimated 86,000 children aged 6-59 months suffer from acute malnutrition. Since the onset of the crisis the average life expectancy has fallen by 20 years. Clearly the quality of life in Syria is abysmally low, and it is hard to see an end in sight. But this is no excuse for apathy – the UN estimates that it needs $3.2 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians. This is where campaigns such as #cookforSyria come in. How can I help? Sometimes I feel like the whole world revolves around Selly Oak. As students, it is easy to separate yourself from the rest of the world, to forget about what is going on outside of Birmingham. And that is okay – you have a degree, a job, a life to get on with. One thing we have to do every day though is cook, much to my annoyance. Almost anyone who knows me well can tell you there are two things (only) that I am

not very good at: football, and cooking. Reviews of my culinary exploits include: ‘Her meals average a 3/10 in quality, presentation and ambition’ – Delfina Rainoldi. ‘I’ve watched her melt a microwave meal in the oven. It was just pasta’ – Giulia Bardelli. ‘It deeply saddens me watching her cook’ – Yasmin Ghaffar. But however limited my skills are, cooking for Syria is something I can do. To simply adapt your teatime and host a supper club in aid of such a worthwhile cause is not a big ask. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and you don’t have to raise hundreds of pounds – it is a small donation based campaign that should be fun to support. It is a campaign that students of all culinary capabilities can get involved with. Syrian cuisine is some of the oldest and most sumptuous in the world. It is glorious for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. #CookForSyria want you to discover this, whilst helping out Syrians in their time of need. #CookForSyria has collaborated with chefs and restaurants alike to help you do just this. You can attend events across London, from a Symmetry Breakfast pop-up, to Honest Burgers’ Honest Kebab Party, to a charity banquet featuring famous and revered chefs such as Angela Hartnett, Nuno Mendes, José Pizarro, Sami Tamimi, and my favourite chef and culinary crush, Yotam Ottolenghi (from whose Guardian writings I first discovered the campaign). It is clearly a campaign they all feel strongly about. Yotam said before the launch 'Sami and I – like so many chefs – live to eat. It bends the mind to think of how many children in Syria are, on the other hand, eating to live. The stakes are so high.' However, for those of us not in the big smoke and in beautiful Birmingham instead, there are other ways to get involved. From pre-ordering #CookForSyria: The Recipe Book, to hosting your own supper club, to charity bake sales, it is easy to get involved. Simply sharing the campaign and your efforts at Syrian cuisine supports it. You can get details of all this, recipe inspiration and more at I’ve tried and tested a couple of the recipes that the #CookForSyria campaign lists on its website, recipes that you can try at home at your own fundraising supper parties. I invited my two favourite critics Giulia and Delfina and my family to try my offerings. I decided on making mezze, a main and a pudding, served with flatbreads, olives, apricots, dates, honey yoghurt, couscous salad and humus. They decided that all things considered, I didn’t do a bad job. They even rated the food as 8/10, the highest they’ve ever scored my efforts. It was such a lovely evening, and it was so brilliant learning about Syrian cuisine in the process. One of the ideas of #CookForSyria was to celebrate Syrian food culture, and it really felt like we were doing that. If you are interested about the culture and heritage of their food, then I cannot recommend more the article ‘Best Syrian Food Unveiled’ which you can find here: The article follows Anissa Helou, a Syrian-Lebanese cookbook writer on a tour of Syria before the conflict. She journeys across the country, but focuses on two places in particular: the capital, Damascus, and the second city, Aleppo. It is so fascinating reading about the street food and style of Syrian cooking. It’s impossible to imagine what cooking is currently like there. There is a section of the article that profiled one of Syria’s few female chefs, Maria Gaspard-Samra from Aleppo. Maria used to teach visiting students traditional Aleppine cooking, like cherry kebabs and beetroot dips. A later article by Annisa heartbreakingly reveals that the whereabouts of Maria are currently unknown. Hopefully you’ll find these quick and easy to try – and maybe even raise a few pennies for some people truly in need of a helping hand.


Friday 4th November 2016



Foul moukalla – sautéed broad beans with garlic and coriander by Dalia Dogmoch Soubra

Ingredients 1kg broad beans 70ml olive oil 6-8 garlic cloves, minced 100g fresh coriander, finely chopped ¼ tsp salt Juice of 1 lemon 50g yoghurt Arabic pitta bread

Cooking Instructions In a large pot, bring enough water to a boil to cover the broad beans. Drop them gently in the water and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and drop them in ice water. Pierce the skins with a small sharp knife, or using your finger, and push the beans out. Discard the skins. In a pan, warm the olive oil on a low heat, being careful not to burn it. Add the garlic and coriander and cook for a minute without browning them, just to release the flavour. Drop the podded beans into the pan, remove from the heat and stir to gently combine everything. Add the lemon juice, stir and serve at room temperature or cold with bread and yoghurt.

Moutabbal – baba ganoush, aubergine, tahnini and yoghurt dip By Sama Meibar

Ingredients 1 aubergine 4 tbsp greek yoghurt 2tsp tahini 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 squeeze of lemon Olive oil to garnish Pine nuts to garnish Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Cooking Instructions Preheat the oven to 200C/400C/gas 6. Wrap the aubergine in aluminium foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. (The alternative here is to slice up the aubergine and deep-fry it.) Take the aubergine out of the oven, then peel it, mash it and mix it in with the crushed garlic. Add the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice and mix well. Season to taste, then drizzle with olive oil and use pine nuts to garnish. If desired, you can mix in pomegranate seeds as well.

Harak Osbao - lentil and pasta main dish by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Ingredients 40g tamarind pulp, soaked in 200ml boiling water 250g fettuccine, roughly broken into 4-6cm pieces 60ml olive oil 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1½ litres chicken stock 350g brown lentils 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped 20g parsley leaves, roughly chopped Seeds from half pomegranate 2 tsp sumac 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Cooking Instructions Mix the tamarind with the water well to separate the pips. Strain the liquid into a small bowl, discarding the pips, and set aside. Place a large saucepan on a medium-high heat and once hot, add the broken-up fettucini. Toast for 1-2 minutes until the pasta starts to brown, then remove from the pan and set aside. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring frequently until golden and soft. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken stock to the pan and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until soft. Add the toasted fettucine, tamarind water, 150ml water, pomegranate molasses, 4 teaspoons of salt and lots of pepper. Continue to cook for 8-9 minutes until the pasta is soft and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and set aside for 10 minutes. The liquid will continue to be absorbed, but the lentils and pasta should remain moist. Place a small saucepan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes, until just golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander. Spoon the lentils and pasta into a large, shallow serving bowl. Top with the garlic and coriander, parsley, pomegranate seeds and sumac, and serve with the lemon wedges.

Muhalabia – milk and orange-blossom pudding with pistachios By Dalia Dogmoch Soubra

Ingredients 1 litre of milk 100g white sugar A pinch of salt 50g cornflour 2 tbsp orange blossom Crushed pistachios

Cooking Instructions In a saucepot, bring the milk, sugar and salt to a boil. Adding a little milk to the cornflour, mix it into a smooth paste before adding it to the milk. Add the orange blossom next, whisk vigorously and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the milk thickens and properly coats the back of the spoon. Pour the thickened milk into ramekins or serving glasses and place them in the fridge for at least 2 ½ hours to set. Top with crushed pistachios, a little orange zest and serve.



Friday 4th November 2016

Beating Eating Disorders on Campus Comment Editor Aamina Siddiqi investigates the issues of body image and eating disorders ‘I’m trying to accept my body for the way it is,’ says a voiceover on a YouTube video. It shows a compilation of before and after pictures of her weight loss and it is inspiring to see the lifestyle change that she has undergone in order to lose 100lbs in one year; she’s also ran a marathon, altered her eating habits and is now forcing herself to love her body. The oxymoron is in her feeling the need to accept and love her body after it has been through rigorous change. It insinuates that the body she had before did not deserve to be loved and she needed to conform to an ideal in order to be content. Other body acceptance videos echo the same sentiment, that they are living in a world laden with Instagram filters and cosmetic alteration and they just want to love themselves for who they are. The movement towards body positivity seems societally cohesive, but the underlying reasons for its existence is why we need to be appreciative for it. What is considered beautiful or not when it comes to women’s bodies is susceptible to change with every season. The popularity of the Kardashians and their famous curves has seen more body inclusivity in the world of fashion. Kim Kardashian faced ‘fashion snobbery’ until as recent as 2013 because designers would not send her clothes due to her curvaceous yet petite frame. Christian Siriano in his S/S’17 showcase at New York Fashion Week sent five plussize models to walk the runway. The media was buzzing at this initiative, praising Siriano for being forward thinking and accepting, but why is this still an issue nearing the end of 2016? Surely designers should be leaping at the chance to cater for all body types as it would show them as adaptive with using different materials and able to create clothes for a variety of sizes. The fashion world may be ahead with the prediction of trends and the dictating the cut of denim that we should be wearing each season but they have not let go of the love affair with the tall skinny runway model. Perhaps Siriano’s willingness to constantly appreciate women of all different sizes is indicative of what is to come: a welcome change from the industry that once championed Kate Moss’s ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ mantra. The move from advocating starvation as a legitimate diet and glorifying thigh gaps is apparent in magazines and social media, with them now opting for a fixation on healthy eating and fitness.

The average millennial lifestyle is filled with smoothies and early morning workouts. The benefits of exercise are amazing, the NHS recommends 20 minutes of activity a day that will increase your heart rate, however the gym culture we have created is not entered around staying healthy rather it is necessary to achieve or maintain aspects of a dream body. Just as women feel the need to uphold beauty standards, guys can feel insecure too; there is an awful lot of pressure on young people to fit into moulds that are impossible to fit into. Similarly, those who do not define as male or female or are undergoing a gender transition will struggle with their body. Going to the gym, for whatever reason, may trigger a change in diet because certain foods will help to build muscle or to lose weight. Emily Brown, a representative from UoB campus society B-eat, says ‘only eating certain foods for weight loss purposes can lead to disordered eating and if it gets to the point where food begins to dominate aspects of your life or if someone is refusing food to lose weight, they might need help.’ She goes on to make a powerful statement ‘guilt is not something that needs to be associated with food, it is fuel for our bodies and is never something we should feel guilty about. Food shouldn’t make you feel anything other than energy.’ A lot of people don’t see food as fuel or as something that is required to nourish our bodies. If self-love and body acceptance needs to be attained then the first step is not seeing food as the enemy.

"The popularity of the Kardashians and their famous curves has seen more body inclusivity in the world of fashion." Instagram has given a platform to food bloggers to post their artfully arranged meals. Smashed avocado on rye bread and smoothie bowls sprinkled with chia seeds rank highly on the social media pages of bloggers with clear skin and bright eyes who give out health and lifestyle advice. Ella Woodward, of ‘Deliciously Ella,’ claims that a gluten free, vegan diet is what cured her of rare chronic illness Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, similarly Madeline Shaw wrote a book in which she urges readers to give up gluten because ‘gluten is like sandpaper for your gut.’ Emily expresses her concern about statements like these ‘everyone is so

6.4% of adults exhibit signs of an eating disorder

1 in 4 showing signs are male

725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder (2015)

45% of adults exhibit signs of an eating disorder

50% of sufferers have EDNOS, 40% bulimia and only 10% aroxexia

under-educated and not qualified to tell you what to eat - only dietitians can give advice.’ Many bloggers have a diploma in nutrition from a four week course that anyone on the internet can do, this makes them miraculously qualified to give health advice that their thousands of followers will take heed of, which is problematic because every body will react differently to the things you put inside it. Some food bloggers prefer the term ‘wellness blogger,’ because wellness is the process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy lifestyle. But when can that be detrimental?

"Diet culture is so ingrained in our language use; gaining anything is seen as a positive unless it is weight" ‘From time to time in our society, being negative about your body is something you deal with, but it’s when it goes from a negative thought to an intense selfloading that impacts daily life, you don’t always feel amazingly positive and it’s about recognising if it’s an occasional thing or whether it’s affecting your life and coming from a place of hate.’ Eating disorders are very real and they exist. The NHS recognises anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified, but there are other disordered eating habits that b-eat acknowledges such as pica (eating things that aren’t food), chewing and spitting, night eating and selective eating. It must be noted that eating disorders aren’t always to do with food, they can be about exercising and even harmful thoughts that aren’t taken into action. Contrary to popular opinion, you cannot define an eating disorder by the size of a person or their body mass index (BMI), there are different types that each have different physical, psychological and social issues that affect each person individually. Eating disorders are not about someone who is unnaturally skinny and Emily says that a lot of doctors fail to recognise that, leaving hundreds of patients without getting the treatment that they need. ‘There is not enough money in the NHS so doctors have to prioritise people but B-eat can help.’ B-eat is a registered charity in the UK whose sole purpose is to beat eating disorders by changing the way we talk about eating disorders, improving the services and treatment that is provide and help-

ing anyone believe that their eating disorder can be overcome. They are not funded by the NHS and provide online support groups, helplines and regional support groups for parents and sufferers. Emily mentions that on campus, B-eat did a variety of activities for body positivity week including pole fitness to ‘let people know that it’s ok to feel good about your body instead of what the media tells you. We want to raise awareness and get talking, we talk about other mental health issues but people are scared to talk about body image and we want to make people feel like they can do it. In the media we are faced with unattainable goals of Victoria Secrets models but people who have those bodies aren’t real and they have a strict workout schedule that is impossible for someone living a normal life to upload. Plastic surgery is also being talked about a lot more, from Kylie Jenner’s lips to rhinoplasty, tummy tucks and breast augmentation, and a lot of young girls see that as an option in the future, Emily says that it is ‘sad to think about the pressures we put on ourselves in order to look a certain way but it’s individual choice and we can’t judge someone about their insecurities.’ Perhaps there is hope for the future. Instagram and Tumblr have features that enable its users to report others if they are exhibiting signs of concern and will send them a list of services that they can use. But diet culture is so ingrained in our language use; gaining anything is seen as a positive unless it is weight and conversely losing something is negative unless it is weight. It would be absurd to plan on losing a phone but planning to lose weight is acceptable and praised. We need to move towards using better terminology such as getting stronger or fitter. We need to stop commenting on other people's food choices and be mindful of the things we say about other people's bodies. However, increasing body inclusivity in the mainstream media and fashion shows that there is hope and charities like B-eat provide excellent support systems for those who need someone impartial to talk to. Ultimately everyone’s idea of what pretty is is different and we have to respect that and start first by loving ourselves.



Friday 4th November 2016


Industry Breakdown: Finance Tapping into the Glass Wall of the Financial Sector, and the skills you'll need to make it to the top of Wall Street Lael Hardtman Careers Editor @ehardtman

Banking Potentially the best known sector, banking offers a large variety of working with many opportunities. Banking is known for its quick career progression (given the right qualifications and circumstances), the world class training with which you are introduced to the profession, schemes lasting up to two weeks, and, of course, its benefits packages. Banks are generally divided into the 'buy' side (pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds), and the 'sell' side (placing bonds, engaging in marketing, facilitating transactions). A career in banking could mean that you’re working in higher finance such as investment banking, or exchange sale trading.


"Careers in Finance are known for their respective job security, and the high rewards even early on in the job." Taxation The most fast paced of them all, the learning curve is steep as tax law is changing constantly, but the rewards are high. There are six main types of tax: corporation tax specialists, personal tax specialists, VAT, Inheritance Tax, Stamp Duties, and Capital Gains. While most specialize in one area, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of all to stay up to date in the industry.



Careers in insurance have a wide reach and will put you at the forefront of the key issues in society. As such, there is a huge diversity within the insurance industry which allows for a huge range of potential careers for graduates. Graduate entry salaries generally start at £24,00.

Easily one of the most diverse careers in the financial sector, accountancy is also one of the most vital aspect of running a business, accountants analyze the financial records of a company and also manage the income and expenses of businesses. This sector provides the most paid work experience programs, and there are placements in such diverse fields including audits, taxation, forensic accounting, business advisory services, corporate finance and even risk management. Some accountants work in public practice, other for the government, and some even for charities or industries.

Pensions Pensions are based on planning financial for the future, especially once your career is over. Thus, this industry is both diverse and newly growing, seeking graduates with proficiency in numeracy and communications. This sector is known for its relative job security, career progression paths, and great benefits, for those students willing to look outside the box.

Actuaries Actuaries analyze data to solve real time business problems. The majority of your work will be engaging with risk management, analyzing data, evaluating financial risks, and communicating this information effectively to clients. Thus, the most important skill for you to have in actuary is numerical numeracy. Most employers are looking for at the very least a 2:1 in a numeracy based degree (Economics, Maths, Business, Accountancy, etc.). Careers in actuary are known for their rigorous examinations, but also their intellectually simulating natures. The salary ranges from £36,00 to £50,000 for newly qualified actuaries, and over £100,000 for more senior positions.

Consultancies Jobs in consultancy vary largely on the type of company or project you’re committed to, but in the financial sector some of the more popular types of consultancies are strategy, economic, technology, or niche. No matter the type of consultancy however, your day to day tasks may include research, data collection, data analysis, or running focus groups/internships or prepping/writing proposal and presentations. Companies such as Wiser Elite offer a Graduate Financial Consultancy Scheme and Mazars, an audit, tax, and advisory service based company offer and a Financial Service Consulting Junior Associate Role.

Graduate Opportunites and where to find them: HSBC Aamina Siddiqi

This Week in Careers National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition Friday 4th - Saturday 5th November 2016 (11:00-14:00) The UK's leading job fair will be hosted at the NEC this November, offering you the opportunity to meet face to face with top employers and show off your CV to recieve expert advice.

Comment Editor @aamina_siddiqi

Equipped with a dozen boxes of pizza, three HSBC representatives came to talk to students about internships and graduate schemes. Nick Burns, Jack Williams and UoB alumni Tehjveer Sandhu, a 2016 accounting and finance graduate, came to share the experience of working for a global business and offered insightful tips for students looking to get their foot in the door towards a successful banking career. They came from a

range of academic backgrounds and worked in different areas of HSBC, highlighting how diverse the intake is for new recruits and how much scope there is in the company for career development. The event was hosted by Bright Futures, a campus society that offers workshops for students to develop key skills that employers and recruiters look for in graduates. HSBC offer seven sectors for graduates to apply to: Business Area, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets Global Function, Global Private Banking, HSBC Operations, Services and Technology, and Retail Banking and Wealth Management. Whilst many of these seem appealing, you can only choose one to apply for. One. The application process is tough and intensely competitive but it is about what the individual has to offer for the growth of the company and not their degree. A person who studied mathematics has no edge over someone who studied English they just need a willingness to learn about finance. HSBC accepts graduates from all disciplines, as long as they graduate with a 2:1 and have 300 UCAS points (BBB or equivalent). The recruitment procedure involves submitting a CV, an online assessment, telephone and face to face interviews. It is mandatory to market yourself well and use extra curricular activities at university as assets, whether that’s being on a committee for a society, being in a sports team, attending events outside of lectures; these can show willingness, team camaraderie, initiative attributes and transferable skills that are appealing to an employer. Internships at HSBC have the same process except they are two months in duration and you can choose between commercial and retail. Having done the internship or having relevant banking experience helps as it shows commitment however it is not a requirement and many do get in without it. Once selected, graduates will spend two years working in four six month placements. You can be placed anywhere in the UK, the representatives mentioned that they’ve been in Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Chester and Canary Wharf, however you can tailor the experience to suit you. They also recognised HSBC’s inclination towards education as the bank offers a qualification from the Retail Banking Academy that gives a comprehensive overview of assets and liability, operations management, ethics and compliance followed by an exam for retail banking graduates. There is also opportunity for study with the London School of Banking and Finance in the first year, given that Commercial Banking is your area!

As an international company, there is scope for working around the globe with placements abroad. Tehjveer shared that his career aspiration is to work in Hong Kong, and this is made possible with HSBC and its worldwide network. One of the key values the bank has is being open to different ideas and cultures which is vital for a company that is creating connections all over the world on a personal and professional level. Jack and Tehjveer specified that their love for maths and being analytically minded is what drew them to corporate career with HSBC whereas Nick said he joined to help people on a personal level. This really signifies how varied the client base is and the capacity HSBC has for young graduates. On being asked if they ever feel invisible in working in a big company they all said no. They see themselves as future leaders and individuals who will help the bank grow. Everyone as HSBC is welcoming and are made to feel part of a dynamic team and senior managers always have time to talk and network with graduates and interns. It’s a challenging two years but a place on the graduate scheme at HSBC offers an environment to cultivate and advance a global career in the banking profession.

Top Tips Getting into Finance without the degree 1. LEARN LEARN LEARN Make learning finanical lingo your bread and butter. Learning the lingo in any industry is paramount, and the finanical sector is no different. But most importantly, be open minded, passionate, and dyanamic. 2. IF POSSIBLE, TAKE FINANICAL ELECTIVES This will make you look both well rounded and give you an in depth understanding of the field. Science and IT based degrees are also popuar choices for recruiters in finance, so don't miss out! 3. DO AN INTERNSHIP This is hands down the best way to immerse yourself in the industry and make the right connections that could be vital to landing you a job in the future. It also helps to deepen your knowledge and gain practical skills on the job!


Friday 4th November 2016



It’s Surprising, I’m Enterprising!

Skills you need, and may not know you need to suceed

How Enterprising applies to you! Rachel Kahn Careers Writer

Enterprising is one word often associated with entrepreneurship, but you don’t have to start up your own business to be an enterprising person. With employers beginning to reach out and ask for people with enterprising skill sets, we’re going to be going through what it means to be enterprising and how you can notice your enterprising qualities in day-to-day life. What do you get your parents for Christmas as a young child? With no budget, and no chance of going into a shop and buying your dad his favourite bottle of bubbly, it can leave you at a loss. But, many of us will remember handing over a present to our parents with pride on Christmas day. Yes, it may be a paper hat complete with pom-

pons and covered in stickers, or a half-knitted scarf (that will be finished by next year, promise), but you worked out how to give them something using the materials you had access to. Now, I’m not telling you to go to an employer and describe this as an example of a time you were enterprising, but it does give us a clue as to what enterprising is about. Enterprising is about using your initiative. It’s about creating your own opportunities and delivering the goods even if you’re not sure of the path you need to take to do this. Lakshmipriya Venkatesan, a student PR team member here at the University who aims to embed a culture of enterprise into the curriculum, described enterprise as the following, ‘To me, being enterprising is a way of life. A life full of creativity, bold ideas and a mind-set to make anything happen. And it's especially important for us as university students.’ With the world constantly

changing around us, and the challenges faced with the current job market, being enterprising and being able to adapt is more important than ever so we continue to thrive even when placed in a challenging environment. Humans have been enterprising for years. We’ve invented, we’ve innovated, we’ve created a great deal of what’s around us. All of this has been because humans have observed a problem and acted to solve it. Want to get from A to B faster? A car is a good place to start. So how can you become further aware of your enterprising qualities? Here’s a couple of tips to get you started. Be aware of what you’re learning – remember you’re constantly learning but sometimes we’re so busy we forget about it. When you’re at your busiest, organising an event or creating a website, don’t forget to take a step back and – think – what am I learning from all of this and what skills will I have

Top Skills you'll need to land a job after you graduate verbal, overlaps well with team- characterise your initial meetings Lael Hardtman Careers Editor @ehardtman

It’s not enough to simply get a 2:1 or above in your degree to walk into a well paying, secure job that you’ll have until death or retirement; whichever happens first. The influx of students with degrees means that, both in university and in a post graduate world, the competition is high, and the job market is increasingly being narrowed and specialised. What does this mean for students and graduates? It means that there are skills that you need to start developing now, from your time at university to help propel you into a successful career. Graduate recruiters are especially looking for students with commercial awareness, a fancy way of saying ‘knowing how your industry works;’ communication (simply, being clear and concise when you write and speak), a given in anything you do in life; teamwork, because in a post university world, it’s not always about you but the company; negotiation, problem solving and the list goes on, but these are the top few. Many of these skills overlap, for example communication, both written and

work; you’ll be a better worker and team player if you can communicate your idea effectively in a way to others so that they empathise, understand, and are willing to work with you. Team playing overlaps with negotiation, and in a team you need to be able to negotiate with others so that everyone feels their needs are being met and their voice is being heard. Other skills such as organisation (showing your priorities and how efficiently you work) , leadership, motivation, the ability to work under pressure and under tight deadlines are also fundamental to success, especially later in life but are also useful to develop now! How to Better Present Yourself at Interviews What your mum says is true: first impressions do count, especially in the graduate world. Words such as initiative, team player, proactive, self motivation, all help to paint a good image of yourself in interviews and applications. Using strong verbs when presenting yourself, for example, “I helped lead the project” versus “I helped the project" make all the difference in your applications and interviews. These first impressions will

with people - so make it count! So when you’re participating in class or extracurricular activities, think of the ways in which you are demonstrating these skills. Are you an effective team player? If so, demonstrate with real life examples of work you’ve done in your seminars, societies, or sports events and be sure to record this in a document or journal so you can easily remember them for the future. Use the Careers Network to its fullest potential and get your CV checked at every opporutinity. For interviews, be sure to be dressed appropriately; your trackies and nikes won't kick it here, so dress to impress because it says a lot about who you are. If possible, be punctual, or even early, and when you speak about yourself, as highlighted earlier, use strong, positive verbs and make sure that everything you say has a positive spin. Don't forget to ask lots of relevant questions about the job, and answer the interviewer's questions with good examples from your life that exhibit the qualities that they'll be looking for. So please, do yourself a favor and don't wait until after university to work on these skills! Be proactive and start now!

developed from doing it? Create your own opportunities – if you think there’s a particular industry you might be interested in, but you’re not sure where to start to get experience, use your initiative and create your own. Send someone an e-mail, meet someone for coffee. Give them a proposition if you want to do some work for them and who knows, it might just pay off. This is something absolutely essential to utilise at U n i v e r s i t y. Universities are some of the most well-connected places and there is almost certainly a mentor who will be able to guide you and advise you on what to do next. Network – now I dislike the term ‘networking’ because I don’t always feel like it’s always honest and transparent. Network yes, but more importantly, talk to people and build relation-

ships. You can get a lot from them, but what can they get from you? And don’t forget, you are already enterprising. Just begin to home in on how and where this happens. You’ll uncover your strengths and gain the motivation to discover what you want and find a way to do it. If you want more information about enterprise at Birmingham, why not join our canvas page, take a quiz to learn more about your character and the strengths you possess, or follow the b-enterprising blog to learn more about how students here at Birmingham are enterprising.

Join Redbrick Careers! Would you like to help put the Careers section together for Redbrick? Whether you have an interest in the more traditional routes and grad-schemes, or are curious about emerging roles in unusual industries, come and talk to us about contributing to Redbrick's newly established section. The role really is what you make it! Writing and editorial positions available. If you're interested, send an email to uk with an idea you'd like to see in the section and we will be in touch to arrange a meeting.



Friday 4th November 2016


Hidden Gem: Philadelphia Hannah Woodbridge Travel Writer

Sandwiched between New York and Washington DC, Philadelphia is often forgotten from most East Coast travel itineraries. This city, however, certainly shouldn’t be missed and makes the perfect destination for a few days refuelling before hitting DC or the Big Apple.

" array of aromas, raucous market sellers, and a mix of both tourists and locals hustling for food." One of Philadelphia’s biggest draws is its food. Start by heading to Reading Terminal Market, based between the shopping district and Chinatown, and enter a set of non-descript doors below the neon sign. Once inside you’ll be greeted by an array of aromas, raucous market sellers and a mix of both tourists and locals hustling for food. There are many delis and Amish farm shops but the majority of the outlets are street food sellers. Try some traditional Southern cuisine at Keven Parker’s Soul Food Cafe or award winning Whoopie Pies from Flying Monkey Bakery. With over 50 stalls to choose from there’s sure to be something that will take your fancy. Delve into Philadelphian culture and try the icon of Philadelphian food - the Philly Cheesesteak. You can pick one up on almost every corner but there are two clear favourites: Pat’s King of Steaks in the Italian District claims to be the original creator of this hearty sandwich, serving them up for over 80 years. It offers the traditional style of greasy, street side food and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a

year. The alternative is Sonny’s, in the Old City, which offers very much the modern take on the cheesesteak, with extra toppings (beyond the cheese and onions) and a healthier cooking style. To order your sandwich like a local, state the number you want, the type of cheese (whiz, provolone or American) and whether you want onions (with or without), so for example ‘one, whiz, with’. Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, its time to hit some of America’s historical landmarks. Philadelphia was once America’s capital and was crucial during the American War of Independence, making it perfect for seeing some of colonised America’s oldest sites. Even better all the historical sites are based within the Independence National Historical Park, with surroundings of green parkland and cobbled backstreets, making walking between them easy and pleasant. The major attraction is the Liberty Bell, used to call the people of Philadelphia to the State House (now Independence Hall) for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. It has since become a symbol of freedom in the U.S. and its image used by countless groups including slavery abolitionists during the Civil War. Although a little bit underwhelming it’s still certainly worth visiting (just go after 4pm to skip the crowds and 8th graders on school trips). You can also visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was crafted and signed. Admission, like the Liberty Bell, is free but for Independence Hall a guided tour is required and tickets are often oversubscribed. There are lots of other sites in the park, but the most interesting are found along Arch Street. These are the Betsy Ross House, Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the U.S. Mint, and the National Constitution Centre. Betsy Ross is credited with being the creator of the first American flag and her house is now a museum to both her life and the history of the USA’s flag. It is certainly worth popping by and at least visiting

from the outside, as it is interesting in itself to see an old style U.S. home. Further up the street is one of Philadelphia’s oldest burial sites. It is the final resting place for some of Philadelphia’s first citizens, but the Christ Church Burial Ground’s most famous resident is Benjamin Franklin. Inventor, scientist, and statesman, as well as signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Franklin was influential far beyond the U.S. - it would be a crime not to stop by! Although there is an entrance fee to go inside the cemetery, Franklin’s grave can be seen through the fence from the outside. To gain more of an insight into Franklin’s life, there is an affordable museum in central Philadelphia. Across the road from the burial ground is the U.S. Mint. One of two sites where money is literally made. Mint offers a fascinating insight not only into the U.S. dollar but the manufacturing of money as a whole. The free self-guided tour includes a museum and bird's-eye views of the Mint from the walkway. The final site on Arch Street is the National Constitution Centre. This extensive museum not only covers U.S. politics but it charts America’s history through the U.S. constitution’s evolution. Although it comes with an almost

$15 price tag, you could spend hours in this museum so make sure you visit only if you have some extended time in Philadelphia. There is also a lot more to Philly than just history. Using the frequent ‘Phlash’ bus service (just $5 for an all day ticket), you’ll be able to get around the city easily and see the other side of the city. Taking you past the skyscrapers, the City Hall, and the famous LOVE sculpture, you’ll soon reach the Museum of Art. It houses a variety of art styles and an impressive collection of period rooms. The gallery isn’t famous for its art, however, instead, being well-known for being in the film Rocky where he runs up the steps at the end of his triumphant workout. So why not, like everyone else, try to make it to the top? It’s certainly worth it for the view of Philly’s skyline. Other highlights on this side of town include the Rodin Gallery and the Eastern State Penitentiary, where Al Capone once did jail time. Finish your trip to Philadelphia by taking the bus out to Penn’s Landing. This harbour park allows you to relax in a hammock while overlooking across the Delaware into New Jersey. There are also outdoor games, a beer garden and outdoor cinema screenings in the

summer; making it the perfect place to relax after a long day. If you are looking for a drink head to Sto’s Bar. This ultra-cool sports bar offers a relaxed setting with a combination of cocktails and oldschool consoles. Open late, and with 50 cent chicken wings, this is the ideal place to drink the night away. For somewhere to rest your head, Philadelphia has the classic collection of US chain hotels and Airbnbs, however, it is also one of the few U.S. cities to have a large number of hostels. Apple Hostels is probably the best, based in the old city it offers traditional hostel accommodation, with no curfews and cheap dorm rooms. Apple Hostels also provides cheap ghost tours of the city, a free dinner or free drinks every night (including an open bar on Thursdays), and a variety of other evening activities. At between $25-$30 a night it’s certainly a great deal and an awesome opportunity to meet other travellers, something which is difficult in the U.S. Philadelphia is a young vibrant city with history, art, and amazing food. It does often get overshadowed by its bigger neighbours; however, this city certainly packs a punch and shouldn’t be missed off any East Coast travel itinerary.

Photograph by Hannah Woodbridge

A Postcard From... Bruges Hugh Thomas Travel Writer @hugh_tho

The academic year is in full swing, money is scarce, and you’ve a tower of work higher than Old Joe. Escape to the ultimate ‘chocolate-box city’ of Bruges for a quick getaway. Bruges' city centre is a sprawling combination of all great European cities. Here you’ll find a little of Venice, a smidge of Amsterdam, and a whole lot of Paris. Grand, gothic design is the face of this beautiful monster. From the intricately carved scale of the Belfry of Bruges, to the grand archway of McDonald’s, every building balances a certain aesthetic, one that’ll have you itching to retire to a café to write the great Belgian novel (and there

really is a lot to write about). The good people of Bruges, in their ridiculously cultured essence, are more than equipped to assist with any artistic endeavour. It’s a struggle to drop by a

"...embrace the passion Belgium has for its past." public building without being absorbed into a folk festival, food tasting, or re-enactment of some sort. Tap your foot to folk tunes, scoff the food, down the wine, and embrace the passion Belgium has for its past. After all, any city willing to shut down its centre for an antique horse and carriage competition is alright by me.

In this sense, ignorance is bliss. Bruges is remarkable to experience ‘blind’. In a city draped in its own history, the less you know, the more you have to discover. After all, this is a city of historians, most of whom enjoy discussing their peculiarities. Boat tours are a neat way of speedily digesting much of what’s on offer. Afterwards, take a stroll through the central markets, glare on in disbelief as old-timers churn out books, wooden spoons, and weird pastries by hand. Next, wander antique stalls, pick yourself up a thimble, pocket-watch, or Nazi army helmet. Tie everything off with a drink at a market square alfresco. Outdoor heating and good service makes for the perfect environment to enjoy whatever cultural showcase is unfolding nearby.

This really is a city that offers the full-packaged, European experience without the bustle. For reasons unknown, Bruges doesn’t quite draw the attention of the waterways of Venice, the architecture of Amsterdam, or the heritage of Paris. Bruges, for now, is largely a steal of the older generation. Popular with retirees, this costal gem remains unmined by millennials. But surely it’s only a matter of time before we give our elders the benefit of the doubt and let ourselves wander beyond the ‘sameold’, to experience a road, a Europe less travelled.

Photograph by Hugh Thomas


Friday 4th November 2016



Cheap Trips: A Weekend in Budapest Travel Writer Pheobe explains how to budget your weekend getaway trip Pheobe WarnefordThomson Travel Writer @phoebewt_

It’s a fact that Europe is the ultimate destination for city breaks, but if there are many jewels tucked away on the continent, then Budapest, Hungary is the Glittering Ruby of the East. Budapest is a relatively big city for Hungary, taking a share of almost 20% of its population; and whether you have 36 hours, or a week in the city, you’ll find plenty to do here. This historic location is famous for its art and culture, as well as its parties - with a price tag suitable for a student. Budapest has a club scene that is unmatched by any other destination. The biggest assets to the social side of the city are the Ruin Pubs. These bars are built in the ruins of abandoned buildings in Budapest's old Jewish quarter. The largest is Instant and attracts a touristy crowd, but if you prefer the underground music scene it is not to be missed. And when you’re recovering from your worthy hangover, head to the thermal baths to detox. Accommodation: Where you stay can make or break your trip; fortunately, Budapest has a wide variety of hostels to cater for all the backpackers that go through the city. If you visit in August you’ll get the benefit of the beautiful weather, but this is when hostel prices are highest. A summer weekend away - Friday to Sunday - will only set you back £40 at the Big Fish Hostel. The Big Fish Hostel is located in downtown Budapest, within walking distance of all main attractions, but is just five minutes' from the nearest metro station. Despite the low cost of staying here, your money will bring you friendly staff, excellent security and a first-rate traveller

atmosphere. However, Budapest is an excellent destination all-year around, with hostels offering dorms from £8.50 in December (see: Fifth Hostel Budapest). In December, Budapest can offer quaint Christmas markets, openair ice rinks and a Christmassy atmosphere that may just top a drizzly Birmingham. On the other hand, this is perhaps not the best time of year for the party side of the city- with the best clubs being in old warehouses and many of the Ruin Pubs being open to the elements (and with temps peaking at 1°C in winter) you’d need to bring your winter coat out! One word of advice when booking accommodation is to always trust the reviews on hostel world- they will rarely lie and can advise you on which hostel will provide you with the best value for money. Also, these reviews are very good at guiding you towards a hostel with a tone that suits your interests. If you want well rested nights and early mornings don’t stay at the Retox Party Hostel. You’ll find this hostel located in the heart of downtown Budapest, in the ‘6’ district. This area hosts all the nightlife and the hostel is located on Budapest’s 'Broadway', home to the city’s theatre scene and all the bars and clubs. Its description on hostel world admits that, “This is not a place where people come to cleanse, rejuvenate or detox. It’s a place where

people come to drink, get wild and RETOX.” The benefits of staying here include the fact that there are no checkout times, so you won't have to brave your hangover and be up by 10am to leave, and with an age restriction of 18-36, this is certainly a young person’s hostel. Transport: Return flights are available for summer 2017 from Birmingham Airport for £170, but perhaps for Budapest to feasibly be on every student’s bucket list, it’s a destination best woven into an inter-railing trip. The EU offers excellent discounts for young people and month-long train passes that span across 32 European countries are available from just £227 for the under 25s. In terms of getting around the city, Budapest has an efficient provision of public transport, which is far cheaper to ride on than most European cities. Trams, buses, and metro trains all run regularly in the city. Single journey transport tickets can be purchased for 350 HUF (just £1) or 24-hour tickets valid on all forms of transport are available for 1650 HUF (approximately £4.76). Therefore, getting around Budapest will by no means create a hole in your pocket. However, if you have a few days in Budapest and aren’t intending to visit all sites of interest in one go, walking is certainly

a promising option. Budapest is a mysterious city, and you’re likely to stumble upon little cafés and pretty parks you wouldn’t have if you were using the metro. You’ll save money this way too. Its worth noting that while in many European cities renting bikes is an excellent and cheap way to see the city, Budapest has busy roads and a tourist might struggle to navigate them safely. Although, if you are brave enough, some trams and buses do allow bikes onboard when you want a break. Spending Money: There’s so much to do in Budapest that you’ll be spoilt for choice when you’re deciding what to do. Subsequently, spending money here is essential, but Budapest’s primary selling point is its low prices. You’ll want to splash the cash here - but you won't need to. Additionally, many attractions in Budapest offer further discount on their tickets for youths, as well as members of the EU (enjoy this while you can), so it’s worth taking your passport out with you. A visit to the Thermal Baths is vital. Day tickets are available for £15.50 but considering that this is one of the pricier activities here, Budapest’s good reputation with student travellers certainly isn’t compromised. Budapest also hosts many museums and galleries, the parliament building is also worth

a visit. So, whether your degree subject is history, art, politics, or if you’re just interested in heading to the bars, there’s certainly something for you here. A night out in Budapest will cost you next to nothing as well. You can pick up a bottle of vodka for pre-drinks for as little as 1600 HUF (that’s £4.70!). Drinks in clubs will generally cost you 5001000 HUF - a price range of just £1.40 - £2.89. Here, you won't experience the soul crushing feeling of checking your purse the morning after to find out how much money you spent. Instead, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you managed to spend under £15, despite your hangover indicating otherwise. Although, it’s worth keeping the exchange rate in mind as inflation in Budapest is much higher than the UK. Hungarian Forint will feel like monopoly money and it would be easy to forget how much you’re spending. Overall, Budapest is undeniably the ultimate destination for students. Captions go in the corner of pictures and shouldn't be hyphenated

Photographs by Sophie Braybrook

Top 3: Ski Destinations this Season Emma Chambers Travel Writer @emmachambersuk

Val Thorens – The Alps, France Val Thorens is a favourite for many skiers. It is teamed with the Three Valleys: Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens, which makes it the largest ski area in the world, situated in the spectacular

"Val Thorens is a favourite for many skiers." setting of the French Alps. Even though the Three Valleys lift pass is rather pricey, it is worth the steep cost as you will be able to experience different terrain and atmospheres. Courchevel is home

to the super rich with private helicopters and jets, but it is interesting to get a feel for different resorts. There are a range of slopes, from beginner ones to those that are more challenging (such as greens and blues) which makes Val Thorens accessible to anyone. To top it off, you will never be disappointed by the après ski and nightlife, such as the Folie Douce in Meribel with table top dancing at 3pm, and Bar 360 which has music blaring all

afternoon. Val-d'Isère – France So, if you are a bit more of an experienced skier - a “powerhouse veteran” one might say and you enjoy the party scene, hit Val’Isere – a resort full of young gap year students trying to “find themselves”, making it a lot of fun. Val-d'Isère is another fantastic place to ski with the famous “up and over chairlift” which takes you over a mountain to the

other side. Val-d'Isère allows you to enjoy the huge ski area linked to neighbouring Tignes, situated

"Val-d'Isere- a resort full of young gap year students..." in a beautiful alpine village with fantastic food, bars and shops. So

good food, skiing, and après ski, what more could you want? Chamonix – France Slightly lower down in altitude, making this area a little warmer, sits Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc. If you are not an experienced skier and simply want to find your feet on the snow, Chamonix is for you. There are lots of beginner slopes in the form of small ski areas situated at the bottom of the valley. However, some of these slopes are low altitude so going in the April months is not a good idea. If you want to give the snow sports life a try then try Chamonix, you will not be disappointed as it has plenty of English ski schools to guide you along the way.



Friday 4th November 2016


Birmingham Chocival 2016 Rebekah Quixano Henriques Food Writer

Chocoholics were in heaven on the 22nd October when Birmingham’s first chocolate festival, known as 'Chocival', took place. The festival took place in Central Square, Brindley Place and consisted of a select number of stalls featuring chocolatiers, chocolate fountains, churros along with hog roasts and jerk chicken. Elegant Entertainment were playing live music which certainly created an atmosphere and kept eager festival-goers happy whilst they attempted to squeeze through the crowds of people to get to stalls.

"A great event for any chocolate lover" The diversity of the chocolatiers attending was unbelievable. Henley Chocolates were particularly keen on limiting their environmental impact whilst The Ely Gin Company Ltd provided chocolate flavoured gin and vodka and Grim Reaper Foods who sold their chilli flavoured chocolate. Street Chef also had an extremely long queue for their divine salted chocolate caramel sombreros with added banana and chocolate ‘Oreo’ sauce. Various bakeries were also found at the festival, showing off their luxurious handmade chocolates and cakes.

Unfortunately, the supply of free chocolate was scarce. However, Fifth Dimension Chocolates, who have won multiple International Chocolate Awards and Academy of Chocolate Awards offered a scrumptious mango and passion fruit caramel sauce to try. The whole festival worked to fantastically celebrate both the beauty of chocolate and the survival of independent and unusual fooderies. A great event for any chocolate lover.

Animal Equality brings iAnimal to Campus Tamar Smith Food Editor

Last week, Animal Equality joined with VegSoc to bring the iAnimal campaign to our university’s campus. The campaign was centred around the iAnimal movie – an interactive virtual reality which places the viewer personally in the position of a pig, from birth in a cage, to a life lived in an enclosed cell, and eventually to the slaughterhouse. The experience is definitely hard-hitting. It’s difficult to watch, and not many people who came to see the campaign felt able to take part in the virtual reality tour right through to the slaughterhouse. The footage is raw and honest, and it certainly does not sugar coat the meat industry’s methods in producing the pork on your plate. You witness the beating of pigs, insanitary conditions, tiny cells in which they live, castration without anaesthetic, electrocution,

pigs having to live and sleep in entire virtual reality experience, their own faeces, and more. as the footage is very disturbing. Paul McCartney once said: 'If However, I did manage to watch it slaughterhouses had glass walls, online afterwards, at, everyone would be a vegetarian.' and even on a computer screen, This quote seems to sum up the the message hit home hard. The iAnimal experience. Making the campaign doesn’t necessarily walls of the factory farms and seem to be saying that farming slaughterhouses of the UK, Italy, animals is wrong and we should Spain and all stop eating and Germany com- "If slaughterhouses enjoying the taste pletely transparof meat. Rather, it had glass walls, ent, iAnimal seems to be attempts to edu- everyone would be a focussing on the cate viewers on vegetarian" - Paul corruption of the what happens in industry of aniMcCartmey the life of the animal agriculture, mals that they eat, emphasising the in order for them to get onto their cruel practices and the dire need plate. And it’s pretty brutal. for reformation. What’s more is the fact that the As you enter into the virtual footage was taken from factory reality, you witness the insanitary farms in the UK and throughout conditions that pigs are forced to Europe, which emphasises how endure. You see the entire space your decisions regarding your diet wherein they are kept. Having have a direct influence upon it. barely enough room to turn When I visited the stand, I’ll around, pigs clamber over each admit I was unable to watch the other and are left without any

Hawker Yard turns Vegan Food Editor Tamar Smith checks out Hawker Yard's Vegan Street Food Event

On Sunday 23rd October, Hawker Yard (Birmingham’s first ever permanent street food venue) hosted a vegan takeover, brought by Brum Yum Yum and The Vegan Grindhouse in aid of Grace’s Rest – a non-profit organisation offering rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming to exotic pets in crisis. The street food vendors at the event all got really creative with their menus, offering vegan versions of all our favourite foods including pizza, nachos, tacos, curries, burgers, brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, milkshakes, smoothies, and there was even a ombucha stall! I visited the event with my boyfriend, and since neither of us had been to Hawker Yard before, we didn’t quite know what to expect. However, we were not disappointed! The venue was smaller than we had expected, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in charm and authenticity. Each stall had a whole different character and taste, and there really was a little bit of everything on offer. I got the ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’ courtesy of The Vegan Grindhouse, which was a vegan ‘chicken’ style burger, with two ‘chicken’ patties and a whole bunch of toppings. I added some sweet chilli sauce and had a side of Texan BBQ beans. Both the burger and the beans were delicious! The texture of the ‘chicken’ had a scarily similar resemblance to actual chicken, but

the taste was something else entirely, in a really, really good way. My boyfriend had the ‘Todd Ingram Burger’, also from The Vegan Grindhouse, which was a double burger consisting of one handmade quarter pounder, and one ‘chicken’ style burger. So, he basically got the best of both worlds with that one. He topped his burger with the classic Grindhouse sauce, which is similar to big mac sauce, but tastes homemade and much healthier (without sacrificing on flavour).

To drink, we had the ‘strawberry dream’ juice from U-Juice, the raw juicery based in Birmingham’s indoor markets. It’s a juice made from strawberry, apple, lime and ginger. If you’re not a fan of ginger, then I’d say don’t order this drink, as the ginger is a pretty overwhelming flavour. If, like me, you love a kick

"The street food vendors offered vegan versions of all our favourite foods" of ginger, then this is not a juice to be missed! For dessert, we shared a slice of blueberry cake and a salted caramel brownie from Rachel’s Cake Delights. The icing on the

blueberry cake was insanely good, however the texture was definitely different to what you’d expect a cake to be like. It was less fluffy, more dense, but also really sweet and flavoursome. The brownie was a similar story – I’ve definitely tasted vegan baked goods which are much more similar in taste and texture to the standard cakes and brownies. This brownie tasted really similar to brownie batter before it’s cooked. They were still really tasty in their own right, just not exactly what you’d be expecting when biting into a cake and a brownie. The event itself was great, and Hawker Yard is definitely worth taking a visit to! Located just behind the Bullring, across the road from the Birmingham indoor markets, it’s really easy to access and to get to via train, foot, or car! There really are no excuses not to give it visit and grab yourself some amazing street food whilst you’re there (unless, of course, you’re not a lover of food. But, let’s face it, we all love food). Hawker Yard open Fridays 17.00-23.00 and Saturday 12.00-23.00 62-70 Pershore Street, B5 4RR

form of stimulation throughout their days. They have no access to sunlight or fresh air, and nursing mothers are kept laying down in the same position day after day by a metal cage above her. Even if you don’t feel the need to completely swear off meat after viewing the iAnimal virtual reality, you will probably see the merit in reducing the amount of meat and animal products that you buy and consume. We live in a capitalist society, after all, and every penny that you give to the meat industry is a penny to encourage and support the needlessly cruel practices of factory farming. The closing words of the virtual reality experience sum up the message that they’re sending through exposing the reality of factory farming: 'You don’t have to see the world through the eyes of a pig to recognise the cruelty and suffering, but you can see an end to this. Please, leave meat off your plate.'

Recipe: Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Food Editor Tamar Smith recommends this vegan version of pulled pork from garbanzobananzo. You will need:

3 550g tins jackfruit in water (or brine) 1/2 dried ancho chilli 1 small onion 3 cloves garlic 1 chilli 1 tbsp bbq spice blend 1 /2 tsp mixed spice 500g passata 3-4 tbsp black treacle or molasses 1 tbsp veggie Worcester sauce 1 tbsp malt vinegar 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce) 1-2 tsp tamarind paste 1 tsp cocoa powder Oil, salt, and pepper


Drain the jackfruit, then remove the seeds and any tough bits of flesh. Rehydrate the ancho chilli in boiling water. Reserve the soaking liqueur and finely chop the chilli. Finely mince the onion, garlic, and chilli, sautée on a low-medium heat for a few minutes. Add the spices and fry for a minute. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Taste to test the seasoning. Adjust sweetness with treacle (or sugar), saltiness with tamari, sourness with tamarind/vinegar. Blend well with a stick/immersion blender. Mix in the jackfruit and pull/ break into pieces. Cook in the sauce for a further 10 minutes. Serve with rice, beans, slaw, vegan cheese etc.


Friday 4th November 2016



Clean Eating and Anti-Social Media Food Writer Alex Reay discusses the reality of this new trend I thought it was about time to discuss the semi-recent phenomenon and quite sensitive topic that has taken over the realms of social media and perhaps every day life, and has even allowed people to create their own career paths; clean eating. Now, before going any further, I would like to state that I am in no way any kind of dietitian or nutritionist, and I do not follow any kind of strict diet or exercise regime, this is simply my opinion on the matter, and I thought it would be interesting to research and discuss the characteristics and dare I say obsessive habits of said 'clean eaters.' According to google, clean eating isn’t a diet. It’s about cleaning your diet up. It’s about living a happy and healthy lifestyle, in which we can refresh our eating habits, and choose the healthier option. Now that sounds good to me. I’m a firm believer in the cliché phrase, you are what you eat; eat good, feel good; eat bad, feel bad. However, I think that this phrase is becoming a dangerous thing. It’s possibly being used to manipulate people into thinking it’s the only way to live, resulting in the feeling of guilt when you don’t quite reach these impossible 'realities.' The thing I find scary about this is that today’s society has a

whole new definition for the word healthy. Eating your five a day is no longer enough. In order to be healthy, you have to eat foods you don’t even know how to pronounce the names of. You have to drink 500 cups of green tea a day, and maybe put some matcha/spirulina/ wheatgrass in it. Oh, and while you’re at it, have a shot of pure ginger just so you’re not able to taste anything else for the rest of the day. Obviously carbs are the devil, because why would you want to eat something that enhances energy levels, boosts your mood, and improves your memory? The clean eating craze has been plastered all over the world wide web for years, but it seems to have really taken off the past year, mainly due to many bloggers/ vloggers/personal trainers/nutritionists etc sharing their ideas of ‘clean eating’ and their opinions on what it is. Don’t get me wrong, there are a select few in this industry who do in fact know exactly what they are talking about, and who are doing absolutely nothing wrong with living their clean lives. It makes them happy, and it has a positive effect on others. However, what we have to bare in mind is that most of these people have a past, and in times when you cannot control anything that is going

on in your life, controlling what you eat and how much you exercise can be what you turn to. Orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Steven Bratman in 1996. It is, in effect, the fear of unhealthy food. He used the term with his patients who were overly health obsessed. Although it’s similar to an eating disorder, it’s not dominated by the idea of losing weight and being thin, it’s simply motivated by health, the need to be clean, and using food as a means to create identity. Although this is not the most worrying of fixations, the social repercussions are what is concerning, and orthorexics tend to be socially isolated. In 2015, Essena O’Neil quit Instagram, despite her millions of followers, claiming that social media 'is not real life.' This caused media outrage, and many 'clean eaters' stepped up, and published photos of how they often live their lives, even though their posts say differently. One of my favourite bloggers had been posting on Instagram how she was feeling unmotivated and was struggling to write her blog posts, so she last minute booked a flight to Los Angeles, like you do, and was living the dream in a new environment full of health foods and outdoor crossfit gyms. After Essena’s act of courage, she then revealed a photo of how she had actually been spending her time in LA, and why she went. Her husband had come home and told her he wanted a divorce, so she booked a last minute flight to America, and spent her days in bed, watch-

ing chick flicks, eating pizza and chocolate, and posting old photos online. What I am trying to say, is that not everyone can be 100% healthy, 100% of the time, and those that are probably wish they had the ability not to be. Sadly, our society pushes weight loss. Everybody has lumps and bumps that they would prefer not to have, myself included. However, I think that’s what makes us human, and our imperfections might be other people’s perfections. For example, and she will hate me for this, but my mum has always hated her stomach. In my opinion, she has had 3 kids, and her stomach reminds her of that. To me, that’s pretty special. What I want to highlight in this is the need to stop obsessing so much over what we put into our bodies, and what is 'clean.' Yes, eat your fruit and veg. Yes, don’t eat too much sugar or drink too much alcohol. Yes, try and do some form of exercise a couple of times a week. If you don’t? That is okay. You are human. You are only capable of so much, and sometimes it’s important to take a break and focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Go out, spend time with your friends, and try and spend as little time as possible feeling guilty for what you see on 'antisocial media.'

Caitlin Dickinson Food Writer

An exciting twist on the usual bonfire treat for those who want to be more inventive this year.

You will need:

30ml Apple Sourz 30ml Vodka 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice 150ml Apple Juice Toffee Sauce


In a tall glass, mix together the Apple Sourz, vodka, lemon juice and apple juice. Once this is all combined, fill up the glass to the top with crushed ice and mix together. If possible use a cocktail shaker in order to get the best results at this stage. Add this to a clean glass and garnish on top with the toffee sauce. Complete with a long straw and enjoy!

Increase the heat to medium and add rum, simmering for a minute. Pour in apple juice and apple cider and heat for 2-3 minutes. Put cinnamon sticks in each mug and pour in the hot buttered rum. Garnish with some ground cinnamon and enjoy this lovely warm cocktail!

Hot Buttered Rum Sahar Jamfar Food Writer

Serves 6 You will need:

40g unsalted butter at room temperature 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 teaspoons cinnamon 300ml golden/spiced rum 300ml cloudy apple juice 600ml apple cider Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon to garnish (optional)

Orange Hot Chocolate


You will need:

In a large pan, melt butter, maple syrup and cinnamon over low heat.

Serves 2 200ml milk 100ml double cream Zest of one orange

Cafe 55

Rebecca Cutler Food Writer

Taking the place of the Selly Sausage on the Bristol Road was never going to be an easy task. But Cafe 55 has introduced itself with style, sophistication and a supersize menu offering. As a fully licensed Asian restaurant which also operates as a patisserie and serves bubble tea, there’s something on offer for every taste. Popping in for lunch on a Wednesday, Café 55 was relatively busy but plenty of staff meant service was still punctual. Starting with spring rolls, served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce, we enjoyed the crispy filo pastry which encased a delicious, if generic, vegetable filling. It was the sauce that made the spring rolls worthwhile – while sweet and sour is personal favourite anyway, I enjoyed that the sauce wasn’t sticky or overpowering – it complemented rather than consumed the flavour of the spring rolls.

For more information go to:

Celebrate Bonfire Night with some explosive cocktails Toffee Apple Cocktail

Bitesize Review:

100g chopped dark chocolate 50ml orange liqueur e.g. Aperol, Cointreau or Baileys Orange Truffle


Heat milk, cream and orange zest together in saucepan until simmering. Remove from heat and pour through sieve into a jug to remove the zest. Pour the milk mixture back into the pan without heating it and add chocolate until it’s melted and smooth. Put pan back on heat to warm the mixture though then add the liqueur. Pour into two mugs and serve with squirty cream, marshmallows and grated chocolate (optional).

Moving on to something more substantial, I tried another pastry wrapped offering - the pan-fried chicken gyoza. There was a generous serving – gyoza are a side dish on the menu – and the chicken inside the pastry was well seasoned and enjoyable. The gyoza were served with ketchup and mayonnaise as a topping, and it was difficult to distinguish just how much flavour came from this rather than the gyoza itself. As a side dish or lunchtime choice, the portion was well sized and enjoyable. My lunch date/housemate chose the Chef’s Special Omu, a thin omelette filled with rice and vegetables, once again served with ketchup and mayonnaise. This was met with general approval, but the simple flavours were again boosted by the condiments on offer. Overall, I would recommend Café 55, simply because it has so many options. The sheer variety means it caters for any style of dining – whether that’s meeting for coffee and a cake or an evening meal with a few friends, Café 55 has got the space and the food. And while we’re on space, it’s worth noting that Café 55 is one of Selly Oak’s more Instagram friendly venues. With a modern but functional design, combined with a few quirky features, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.



Friday 4th November 2016


Redbrick Meets: Jordan Bunker Life&Style writers Ed Coy and Miriam Nixon speak to fashion and lifestyle blogger Jordan Bunker about career choices, the fashion industry and social media Ed Coy & Miriam Nixon With almost 7000 Instagram followers and an ever-growing readership, blogger and freelance journalist, Jordan Bunker, is a strong authority on menswear, lifestyle and travel. Starting out as a writer for independent publications like PAUSE and TMRW, he has combined his knowledge of all things lifestyle with a degree in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth University. With a clear goal of running a fully-functional blog, he set about building up a skillset and learning from those in the business. 'I always wanted to write my own blog from the age of 16, but I didn’t feel like anyone would want to listen to fashion and lifestyle advice from someone of such a young age. So instead, I thought I’d write to some independent publications first and get a feel for the industry.' At 19, at the start of second year, he stepped down from his writing roles to start his own blog, using the contacts and skills that he had acquired from working with the publications. Initially, there were mixed results, but he insists that it’s all part of the process of self-development. 'I don’t think I’d do anything differently as the mistakes that I made at the start shape my blog now. So I look back at blog posts now and

think how I would have done that differently, but by doing that then, I’ve learnt what does and does not work.' Having decided to try and enter the fashion industry at 16, Jordan decided his best route in would be to work as hard as he could at developing his writing. As a successful blogger, the best advice Jordan has for young bloggers is to write as much as possible, 'Simply, just start writing. There’s no one way to go about it, but writing for publications was the best way for me because it immediately elevated me to being invited to events on behalf of the publication rather than being invited as ‘Jordan Bunker’. If you write more, you start to develop a writing style and tone and people may start getting in touch with you about possible opportunities. The most valuable thing is experience so if you have a chance to go on a placement or work experience, throw yourself into it! As long as you’re writing, getting better and honing your craft, opportunities will hopefully come your way, you just need to put yourself out there.' Now working freelance, one of the inherent aspects of this is the variety, which Jordan enjoys. 'I’ve never been one to want to work 9-5 behind a desk, Monday to Friday. So, although it may be extremely busy or extremely quiet some days, it keeps it interesting

and exciting.' Social media plays a big role in getting in contact with brands and publications, and as a result Jordan finds himself on his phone throughout the day. 'When I’m home and writing, I wake up at 8, then go through Instagram, then Twitter, then Instagram again. That probably goes on until about 9 and then I’ll go through emails, get back to

people and then start working on blog posts or articles for publications. I’ll have a to-do list for the day and the week.' One of the best parts of working in the industry is the opportunity to attend events with other like-minded people. 'Often they’re in London but most recently I was invited to Liverpool for a photog-

raphy exhibition which was really fun, so those opportunities come up as well and you have to factor those into your working week.' Perhaps the most well-known outlets that Jordan has written for are ASOS and GQ. The key for getting both of those jobs was the hard work that has gone in over the period that he has written the blog. 'That all came about through my experience, so writing since I was 16, doing extra stuff outside university...A university degree won’t hold up by itself – everyone wants to know what you’re doing outside university. It’s what you do in those three or four years whilst you’re at university that will make you stand out from the rest.' Bloggers took a fair chunk of criticism recently when a number of editors at Vogue magazine took exception to the idea of blogging as a legitimate medium. Jordan takes it on the chin, though, describing it as part of the process of moving into the social media age. 'Some people accept bloggers for what they do and obviously some don’t. Right now, we’re in a time where both play their part in fashion. I think people can relate more with bloggers, but Vogue editors know what they’re talking about because they’ve been in the industry for such a long time. I know people that work in the print industry that read blogs all the time and find them great, but

some people just don’t get them. I guess some bloggers do things that I probably wouldn’t and maybe this gives us a bit of a bad name overall. Having said that, most of us are doing it in the right way, for the right reason, which is that we enjoy writing about fashion.' Male bloggers are growing in popularity but are still far outnumbered by their female counterparts. For Jordan, this can have its advantages. 'It’s not necessarily easier but if someone who works for a marketing agency or in PR has to look for a male blogger, they won’t find that many of us.' It is, though, an ever-increasing market. 'Social media has definitely helped push fashion further up the list of things men want to talk about and it’s starting to grow. I’ve seen more men start up fashion blogs or engaging with fashion, but it’s a slow process.' Looking towards the future, Jordan hopes that his blog evolves with his own development as a writer. 'I think it’s always something that I’m going to be working on, but alongside other freelance jobs. I do like the balance of having the blog and freelancing for magazines and newspapers, so I think I’ll carry on and try to keep improving my writing and photography.' Check out Jordan's

Redbrick Meets: Daniel Bridgewater Life&Style writer Jessica Gray speaks to Daniel Bridgewater, founder of Buckt, about life after university, starting a business and bucket lists Daniel Bridgewater graduated with a first class honours degree in Business Management with Communication from the University of Birmingham in 2014. Even before going to university, Daniel had an eye for business opportunities. Before beginning his course at UoB, he had his own business that he continued to run throughout his studies. After attaining a first class honours in Business Management, Daniel was faced with the dilemma of whether to continue with his business ideas or get a ‘proper’ job. He chose to continue with his business (a creative training agency that used theatre and drama to help young people develop skills that can lead to future job prospects) and pursue marketing in order to work with different clients. He mixed this experience with his own personal life to create the new business, Buckt. Following a breakup with his long term girlfriend, Daniel found himself in a slump not knowing what to do next. 'I decided to make a bucket list. After pursuing some of the challenges I set myself I then decided to combine it with an idea I had from my time at

university, an online subscription box that delivers tickets to the customer’s door.' A year ago he merged these ideas to form the basis of Buckt, however, he put the idea to one side in order to focus on his (then) current business. Fast forward 6 months and, after speaking to an employee who convinced him to pursue the idea, Daniel began look into how to put his Buckt plans into action. Buckt is a totally original concept that allows customers to sign up for various different boxes that range in price and contain tickets, discounted experiences and challenges to pursue. The membership box is a good option for those looking to stick to a budget as there are various prices and no long term contract to sign. Each box contains 8 to 10 activities that are delivered to the customer’s door each month (including tickets to top attractions, discounts on high end budget activities and invitations to unique and obscure events). Dan explains his reasoning behind the idea: 'It seems like these days most couples spend the majority of their time sitting on an iPad or laptop trying to find something to do rather than actually

doing it. There are also too many people who are bored of their mundane 9-5 routines and just want a new lease of life to experience.' So far the business has had extremely positive feedback. Daniel has entered Buckt into the Baldwins Kickstart business competition and has thus far made it to the final (set to take place in November). 'When I have spoken to Baldwins Kickstart they seem to have faith in the business; after the rehearsal pitch there didn’t seem to be much criticism. I would say this was one of the proudest moments I have had with Buckt, knowing people back my idea and believe it can go places is a very powerful feeling!' Buckt is now running a crowd funder to raise funds to help with their launch. 94% of those surveyed during research either like or really like the concept, they just need some initial pledges to get Buckt up and running. With packages ranging from £15-25 per month, Buckt hopes to reach all ages on different budgets. So if you feel like Buckt is something you could be interested in (and with names such as Planet Ice, HeliAdventures and CounterAct

already signed up, who wouldn’t be?), have a look at their crowd funder at www.crowdfunder. Daniel is hoping this idea will appeal to most people living in the West Midlands: 'It is a great way to explore the local area and find obscure activities. I hope to have the company up and running by January 2017. By the end of next year, I would like Buckt to be operating in the West Midlands and London, then move across to the East Midlands and the North within the next 2 to 3 years. I also hope to expand into stag dos and hen dos, just to keep it diverse!' Daniel will be taking Buckt to the Baldwin’s Kickstart business competition on 10th November 2016 in a hope to win a £20,000 prize that will help towards the set-up of the business. If you think this is an idea worth investing in, then take a look at the crowd funder and subscribe to one of the boxes today!



Friday 4th November 2016


The boys are back in town! We hope you enjoy our special Life & Style 'bro-vember' edition...

Wardrobe Essentials: Winter Life&Style writer Mimi Dang gives her pick of the best essentials for any male wardrobe this winter As the air gets sharper and the daylight shorter, men, it's time to carve your weapons and slay in your winter look with essentials to take you from day to night. Whether you're interested in a hipster streak, street or military style, these essentials are sure to blast away the winter blues. Let's start from the top:


Beanies are often missed and there are so many styles available. It's worth perusing through what's on offer so make sure the mirror or a friend's second opinion is in the near vicinity. Definitely try before you buy to find the right style for you (bonus: keep your ears warm too!). The newsboy cap (or Baker’s Boy cap) is a new trend worth checking out if you want to channel your inner Jay Gatsby. Resurfacing from the 19th to 20th centuries, it’s making its appearance in many high street retailers and even David Beckham likes to don his every now and then.


If Winter isn't the epitome of "Sweater Weather" than I don't know what is. Try experimenting with playful patterns while balancing quality material to make sure the cold doesn't nip through.


Like beanies, there's an overcoat to fit every man and boy. Choose from peacoat, single or double breast amongst other styles that fit your silhouette and build. You can be sure that materials like wool will stick by you for many seasons to come. Consider getting the coat sleeves to cover all the way to your shirt cuff to avoid an awkward cold gap between your coat and gloves! There are so many variations in the overcoat including fit, style and length, so go crazy.


Gone are the days of the "throw on" scarf. Now you have the scarf world at your feet, what with many styles and the recent blanket scarf

styles out there! Go for your nice, classic cotton material, durable wool or treat yourself with cashmere. Just make sure it isn't itchy around the neck!


Boots are probably one of the best options to keep your toes warm against the winter elements, especially leather. Brands like Timberland and Rockport will keep the heat in and the cold out as you trudge your way around University. Check out various styles to match any outfit with the Chukka, Chelsea and rain boot styles.

ers for you to embark on your own unique look this winter. Don't be afraid to rummage through pre loved clothing as well for that exclusive piece. Perhaps even do a quick Google of Men’s Fashion Week and scope out what’s worn on and off the runaway (see model off duty and fashion blogger). You know you've won when you strike the balance between comfort and personal style (but managed to keep the cold out).


This is your chance to add some vibrant colour and pattern to your winter look (if you haven't already), since the winter colour palette tends to be pretty dull. No one will really be able to appreciate those socks until they make their grand appearance when you least expect it. So there it is, some point-

Prostate Cancer: How To Check Yourself Deputy Editor Imogen Lancaster explains how and why you should be checking yourself for signs of prostate cancer With this being a male-orientated edition, we consider it essential to highlight an issue that is arguably insufficiently discussed and therefore requires more coverage and awareness: Prostate Cancer. Its debatably limited attention is even more concerning considering the fact that it is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases being detected each year (according to the NHS). And since ‘Movember’ is in full swing (a campaign promoting the growth of moustaches in November, which partly supports charities in prostate cancer research), it is a topical time to discuss this disease. Prostate Cancer UK is a leading charity with an abundance of information, and states that older men are statistically the most affected, as well as black men. Whilst it is uncommon for men under 50 to be victims of this cancer, it is not impossible. Therefore, knowing what to

look out for is important not only for the present day, but during the progression of your life, since one in eight men will experience Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the majority of men with early Prostate Cancer will not experience symptoms initially; thus making it more difficult to diagnose. However, Prostate Cancer UK list several signs and symptoms which could potentially indicate prostate cancer (note that these symptoms could otherwise be related to other health conditions other than Prostate Cancer): -Needing to urinate more often than usual, including if you need to go multiple times during the night -Difficulty starting to urinate -Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating -A weak flow when you urinate -A feeling that you’re not emptying your bladder fully -Needing to rush to the toilet (sometimes leaking before

you get there) -Dribbling urine after you finish. -New pain in the back, hips or pelvis. -Pain when urinating -Pain when ejaculating -Blood in your urine or semen -Problems getting or maintaining an erection Sadly, many of these symptoms are often ignored. If you experience any of these signs or are generally concerned, Prostate Cancer UK recommends visiting your local GP or getting in contact with their specialist nurses. And as the charity says: ‘Ignoring it wont beat it’. Not only is Prostate Cancer worth being aware of, but now is the prime time to get involved and support such a worthwhile cause. In fact, between 2012 and 2015, The Movember Foundation raised over £21 million in aid of this Many male celebrities have backed cancer. Supporting the cam- the campaign to raise awareness of paign this month could thereprostate cancer. fore impact men worldwide.


FIERCE Movember It is time to put down the razor and grow that beard and its all for a good cause! If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with beards or see just how much growth you can get out of your facial hair, then it’s the perfect time to try it all out. If anybody judges you, its all for a good cause so take advantage and grow the beard that you have always wanted!

Joggers They’ve always been trendy, but whenever it's winter time, joggers become significantly more popular, with some brands even making fleece lined joggers! It's the perfect time to invest in a new pair; they are a necessity. Whether you’re chilling at home or going to the gym, joggers are needed more than ever during this time of year, so get comfy before winter comes properly!

The Walking Dead 7 seasons later the show has still maintained a strong following, and after THAT season premiere we are going to remain hooked to our TVs. The show has become more than just about zombies. With a brilliant storyline and an even better cast, if you haven’t watched it before, we strongly recommended starting a binge session soon to catch up with the hype, perfect for those cold winter nights!

Beard Decorations They may have been cute in an alternate universe, but beard decorations definitely need to be put away and never brought up again. Maybe it is acceptable to get involved in the beard bauble trend during Christmas if you’re not a fan of itchy Christmas jumpers. But glitter, butterflies, flowers or bees should definitely stay away from your beard.

Girl On The Train Movies that are based on books have had varied success but maybe its time for Hollywood to just let books be books and find inspiration somewhere else for creative new ideas rather than risking turning a brilliant book into a below average movie.

Kanye West's Rants After his raging rant during one of his concerts about Jay Z not supporting his family after Kim K’s Paris robbery, it is fair to say that the world is finished with Kanye’s constant rants. Beginning back in 2009 at the VMAs, rants during radio interviews, his speeches at several other award shows, and now this, we are ready for Kanye to settle down and keep his private life, private.

Kamila Geremek




Friday 4th November 2016


Album Review: Kings of Leon - Walls Megan Gibson Music Critic @meganrosegibson

In 2010, Come Around Sundown became my favourite album when I found it in a charity shop for £2, and ever since I have played it in my car on nearly every road trip. So when it was announced that Kings of Leon were releasing their seventh brand new album, I was beyond excited. The only annoying thing is that we have all had to wait three years for them to release another album after Mechanical Bull. However, nothing can beat the most beautiful sound of Caleb’s sweet Tennessean voice, so who cares? The album WALLS, an acronym of ‘We Are Like Love Songs,’ was released on 14th October and has already hit number 1 in the album charts. The first single from the album, 'Waste a Moment' was released on 9th September; ‘WALLS’ and ‘Around the World’ at the end of September; and the fourth song, ‘Reverend’, was made available on streaming platforms on 6th October. So we have been given little teasers to tickle our taste buds, and we have been eager and in anticipation for some time now. The artwork itself is pretty sweet, featuring a unique Followill family portrait of Caleb (lead vocals), Nathan (drummer), Matthew (guitar) and Jared (bass) made out of very realistic plasticine figures submerged in a milky liquid. If you haven’t seen the video for this, I would definitely recommend it. Just type in ‘WALLS Album Art (Making of)’ into YouTube and you will find the short one-minute video with yet another teaser of ‘Reverend’ in the background. I don’t feel like I can review this album as a whole because each song has its individual style, and I would consider it more unique when compared to their other albums. In a video broadcast a couple of days before

the album’s release, Jared said, 'We’re just gonna branch out on this album, and do whatever the fuck we want.' With that in mind, I’m going to review this album song-by-song.

"'Waste a Moment' was created for the charts and no doubt it’s gonna get there."

Leon but the intro to this song reminds me of Robbie Williams’ ‘Candy.’ We are brought summertime vibes through old school Two Door Cinema Club-esque electric guitar and an offbeat rhythm. Pretty damn funky though. Find Me Okay, so this is the only track that I’m not too sure about. That early 21st century rock riff just doesn’t appeal to me like the contrasting Hawaiian vibe that we hear in the track before. You can just picture this song being on the latest Guitar Hero... Over Fuzzy bass and kick snare - this song is the longest on the album but has a slower tempo than the

Waste A Moment The first song released and the first song on the album. Seven seconds in and we are embraced by the familiar sound of electric guitar and continuous drumming rhythms. The pop structure and the rock grooves are so simple but that’s why they are so effective. This song was created for the charts and no doubt it’s gonna get there. Reverend The chorus of this track is too smooth. The guitar riff in the background accompanied by Caleb’s voice is so appetising. I can just picture driving down a long, straight road, wind blowing through the open windows, sunglasses on, and no traffic. Yes. Around the World This may be insulting to Kings of

previous tracks. It acts as a little break from the pop genre, swaying more towards slow rock.

"'Mustacho' is unlike anything I have heard from Kings of Leon and I think it shows their versatility." Muchacho Hold up: we are taken back to Hawaii. This is projected in the Spanish name, meaning ‘young man (or woman),’ and resembles a slow hula pace. This is Nathan’s favourite song and the drums fill

our ears with Caribbean sensations, using a sample pad to create echoed percussion sounds. The track finishes with whistles that are actually really soothing and demonstrate the chilled vibe that Kings of Leon were going for with this song. This track is unlike anything I have heard from Kings of Leon and I think it shows their versatility. Conversation Piece The electric guitar is a very prominent instrument throughout this album. In this track, the guitar is very simple but takes the lead and therefore points the other instruments to also take a step back. Caleb’s voice too is very strong and its Tennessee twang is prominent.

Eyes on You Our slow, mellow break is over and this track takes us back into the pop genre. For me, this song is most similar to their older stuff from Come Around Sundown, like ‘Beach Side,’ or ‘Immortals,’ but it is also similar to ‘Waste a Moment,’ with its verse-chorusverse-chorus structure and rock grooves. The guitar makes an appearance again with a cheeky solo from Matthew before the final verse. Wild This song is filled with rock grooves and effects, whilst still bringing a chilled vibe through Caleb’s voice. For me, this song isn’t the best of the album and I find it a little boring, however you wouldn’t want two great hits next to each other, and the next

Album Review: Hooton Tennis Club Big Box of Chocolates Letty Gardner Music Critic

With the slow-burn album Big Box of Chocolates, Hooton Tennis Club have set the precedent for a signature sound: feel good, refreshing, amusingly written guitar pop. Following the well-received album Highest Point in Cliff Town and single releases such as ‘P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. P.I.E.R.R.E.’ and ‘Jasper,’ Hooton Tennis Club’s Big Box of Chocolates sees the return of their hazy, indie guitar pop, with a surge of dynamism, funny lyricism and a maturing sound. The album opens with the peppy, simple ‘Growing

Concerns’ and ‘Bootcut Jimmy The G,’ their relaxed focus being the simplicities of everyday life and characterisation through lyrics. Yet as Big Box of Chocolates progresses, so does the quality and experimentation of the songs. ‘Sit Like Ravi’ would make for an electrifying live performance, as after a melancholic, dreamy opening the song veers off towards the instrumental, with the fuzzy, almost psychedelic guitar taking over the track. Vocalist Ryan Murphy’s strong voice dominates on the beautiful ‘O Man, Won’t You Melt Me?’, and is followed by ‘Statue of the Greatest Woman I Know,’ which shares a similar sound to the work of Parquet Courts and

Sunflower Bean in its use of chilled, drawled spoken lyrics and Americana guitar. There is a sense that Hooton Tennis Club have played it a bit safe with this record, after the success of their earlier releases giving them the mandate to further their fun sound. Big Box of Chocolates fails to totally break Hooton Tennis Club out of their realm, despite having undertones of development. Yet there is promise in this record, a promise that Hooton have the skill to take their sound further. Big Box of Chocolates is a lively record with promise of future development for the fresh four-piece, Hooton Tennis Club.

and final song of this album is so amazing that it easily makes up for it.

"Thank the Lord Kings of Leon are back because they are frickin’ good." WALLS The finale: I think this is one of my favourites. It makes me want to grab my friends and family and hug them and tell them everything is going to be okay. In a video on the making of this album, Caleb states that this song is about 'needing people around you to help you.' It’s so smooth and comforting. Where the guitar is most prominent in the other songs, the piano takes it up a notch in this song and brings an acoustic vibe. I love that the instruments remain humble whereas Caleb uses his voice to build the song, and by 3:40 his voice shows its true beauty. By placing this song at the end of the album, it leaves you also feeling humble and I don’t know about you but I was just thinking, ‘Thank the Lord Kings of Leon are back because they are frickin’ good.’ We really are like love songs. Kings of Leon wanted hits and that’s what they have created. They have generated such a reputation up to now that I think they know they can do whatever they want to; to try something different, and it will be accepted by the music industry. They created this album because they didn't want to fade. The attention is definitely back on them now.


Friday 4th November 2016


Redbrick Meets: Gengahr Kylie McCormick Music Critic @kyliemccormick

If you have never heard of Gengahr, you will soon! While their name is a play on a Pokémon character, there is nothing childish or flippant about this band. The indie alternative group released their debut album, A Dream Outside, to massive praise. The ethereal indie alternative sound of this record pushed the band to a whirlwind year of touring, playing at every major festival stage and other venues across the globe. I chatted with Gengahr’s bass player Hugh Schulte, discussing their second album and their just-announced November/ December tour. Hugh and the rest of Gengahr are still coming off the high of the past year. A favorite moment for Hugh would have to be the show in London. As the 'biggest show we’ve done' it was 'terrifying but rewarding.' Yet the hometown show, filled with friends and family, is merely a catalyst for the headline tour starting in November. Traveling to new cities and playing in new venues, the band is excited

to see new places and meet new faces. The fan-centered band finds that meeting new people and new fans perhaps the most exciting part of tour. If you are going to see them, feel free to bring them a sandwich or homecooked meal, as food always helps ease them into a new place! In between tours the band has been in the studio, crafting their sophomore album. When asked about its sound Hugh said that the album would be a 'combination of sounds.' The group has looked to continue the 'running themes and stylistic' elements that made their first album so successful, but they are also trying new things and playing with 'new sides of sound.' These 'new sides of sound' come from the wide range of tastes that each band member brings to the studio. Like members of the most world-renowned orchestra, each member of Gengahr has their own taste and their own musical aesthetic that fit together to create musical perfection. While Hugh’s gravitates toward artists like Bowie and Leonard Cohen, Gengahr focuses more on creating authentic and emotional tunes rather than replicas. The

differing of tastes brings about 'different angles' and a 'nice tension in rehearsal' that promises an exciting maturation of their already beloved sound.

"Like members of the most worldrenowned orchestra, each member of Gengahr has their own taste and their own musical aesthetic that fit together to create musical perfection." The sound that made Gengahr so popular is not the only unique quality of the band. Along with their music, Gengahr also have a vast interest in creating art and visual aesthetics to create a holistic experience for fans. Hugh creates all the art

for their albums, and puts the art used for previous albums on their webpage. This Van Gogh-meets-Surrealism work is a visual representation of the immense creativity and vivacity that fuel the band. The band are 'keen to expand these visuals on the live front,' meaning their new tour will not only bring about new tantalizing music, but visually stimulating moments of transcendence too. Gengahr mixes indie alternative enlightenment with visually inspirational work. If you haven’t checked them out, Hugh says start with ‘She’s a Witch,’ ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Embers.’ After you’ve listened to those, you will be hooked, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to catch more of them in their November/ December tour. If you are unable to catch them live, however, then make sure to be on the lookout for their second album, which promises more of the indie alternative sound that has made Gengahr an immediate sensation and one to keep on your playlist.


Single Review: Maroon 5 Don't Wanna Know Kitty Graham-Scott Music Critic @twitteraccount

In the first few seconds of ‘Don’t Wanna Know,’ I assumed Maroon 5’s new single would be another pop song relying on repetition of ‘oh’ to be catchy. However, there’s a breezy tropical sound which sweeps through this song, making it a refreshing step back from the rest of the tracks on the Top 40 chart at the moment. Released in mid-October featuring Kendrick Lamar, ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ reflects on a past heartbreak, like many of the band’s records. On paper it’s definitely a Maroon 5 song – Levine sings ‘the more I drink the more I think about you’ and about how he doesn’t want to know about his ex’s new relationships. Yet the music itself is so calm; with the gentle percussion and Lamar’s more bitter verse, this is not a brooding song. For me, ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ reminds me more of the band’s music from their debut Songs About Jane than from their recent albums. Its acoustic calmness is such a contrast to the pop intensity of recent hits like ‘Animals’ and ‘Sugar.’ While I’m not a fan of the repetitive rhyming in the chorus, I like this original genre.

"Its acoustic calmness is such a contrast to the pop intensity of recent hits like ‘Animals’ and ‘Sugar’"

Live Review: Gorgon City Ben Johns Music Critic @ben_johns

A partially full O2 Institute turned out to see UK dance duo, Gorgon City, on the final date of their 2016 ‘Kingdom’ tour, which largely showcased music from their debut album Sirens. Despite the duo mainly appealing to a younger audience, there were a surprising number of older people which shows that contrary to popular belief, the oldies know how to rave too. However, this also led to an odd vibe in the standing area, which at times felt empty and disconnected from the music. Beginning their set with early single ‘Real,’ the house bass got the crowd going. The lasers and strobe lighting created an initially exciting spectacle, which compensated for the music being too quiet.

Because they’ve worked with so many artists from Katy B to Wyclef Jean, it might have seemed an impossible task for live singers Lulu James and Josh Barry to step up to the mark. However, when singing together, their vocal tones really complimented each other and added a renewed quality to older material such as ‘Unmissable.’

"Their vocal tones really complimented each other and added a renewed quality to older material" It’s been over two years since Sirens was released, and songs such as ‘Here For You’ and

‘Imagination’ have clearly become fan favourites. In contrast, newer material was a bit more hit and miss. ‘All Four Walls ft. Vaults’ was met with an enthusiastic response from the audience, however ‘Zoom Zoom’ and brand new single ‘Smile’ fell slightly flat. A nod to the past came from a remix of Drake’s ‘One Dance’, which famously samples Kyla’s garage classic ‘Do You Mind.’ Ironically, this was also the song that generated the best crowd reaction. Unlike their dance duo contemporaries, Disclosure and Chase & Status, it was slightly evident that Gorgon City lacked the back catalogue and this caused some lulls midway through their set. Along with the samey lighting, it began to feel a bit stale. A noticeable number of people left early before the group had the chance to showcase their major hits in which they truly shone.

The gig drew to a close with top five peaking ‘Ready For Your Love’ and an encore of ‘Go All Night,’ which was a wise decision. Lulu James definitely filled the boots of Jennifer Hudson on the latter and is certainly an asset to the live experience, providing powerful vocals on the femalefeatured tracks. It also left the crowd happy, as the hits were inevitably what they had paid to see. To say it was underwhelming would be harsh. With a few more crowd pleasers in their canon and a renewed sense of inspiration in both sound and visuals, Gorgon City would have definitely improved their live performance. However, for a dance music fan, the show filled the Ibiza shaped hole left from the summer and provided a cheaper alternative to Manchester’s famous Warehouse Project.

The music video seems to have a love-hate response. The band, and some celebrity cameos, are dressed in funny animal costumes and have to run away from kids zapping them with phones. It’s mocking the Pokémon Go craze, and I love it. I think it adds to the general light-hearted feel of the song, and to the message that you can reflect on the past – just don’t get stuck there.



Friday 4th November 2016


The Globe Theatre Says Farewell to Artistic Director Emma Rice

Review: DTA's Odyssey

Hannah Brierley

Mainly, I went to the University’s Department of Drama and Theatre Arts performance of ‘Odyssey’ because my dear friend, Vicky Thompson, was in it and it was finally the chance (after over 2 years) to see her act! Vicky, I am so proud and in awe of you – and this review is dedicated to you. The Third Year drama performance was Di Sherlock’s adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. It tells the story of the famous Greek hero Odysseus from the perspective of the important women in his life. As the chorus outline in the beginning, Odysseus ‘needed time to decompress. And a woman... more than one’. It was this that began the story of passion, despair and heartbreak as each woman, expertly performed by the cast, painfully recalled her experience with Odysseus. One of the most noteworthy aspects of the performance was the set. It was one of most visually stunning plays I have ever seen, with the hanging barbed wire and disorderly positioning of the red wool used to symbolically represent the war-torn mess of the world, being highly effective. This, combined with the eerie, chilling music and low lighting further helped to create an ominous atmosphere. One of my housemates who attended with me spoke afterwards of having goose bumps at certain points of the play - it was that chilling. The

Culture Critic @brierleyy

So the Globe has lost its incredibly innovative Artistic Director, and what a great loss it is. Emma Rice is to step down in 2018, having currently spent only a year at the helm. If it wasn’t disappointing enough that a talented female artistic director has lost her position, the reason given by the Globe is frankly dismal: ‘We have now concluded that a predominant use of contemporary sound and light-

"A journey of synth orchestra, power ballads, and strong scouser accents"… "...It is the duty of theatre to make bold decisions and inspire future generations" Number of words

ing technology will not enable us to optimise further experimentation in our unique theatre spaces and the playing conditions which they offer.’ This frankly absurd statement essentially blames her departure on the fact she used too much modern lighting and sound (which isn’t historically accurate). I find it hard to believe that The Bard (as an incredible innovator himself) wouldn’t have been thrilled at the idea of sound and lighting effects if he were transported to the modern day - and isn’t that essentially the purpose of the Globe? To transport Shakespeare’s works and make them accessible and enjoyable for the audiences of today? Emma Rice certainly achieved this so far, bringing in new audiences and opening the world of Shakespeare to those who may have thought it to be a closed, reserved only for the elite and the elderly. Choreographer Matthew Bourne tweeted that Emma Rice got him to The Globe for the first time and playwright Tanika Gupta, who worked with Rice on her sell out show A Midsummer Night’s Dream, said her recent production of Imogen had been ‘full of young people.’ Rice was expanding The

Globe's reach and the decision to remove her is regressive and cowardly. I am reminded of film critic Courtney Lehman’s comments on Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film version of Romeo and Juliet; she claimed the film demanded that we ‘embrace the spirit of adaptation.’ This is a poignant message I believe The Globe could learn from as it seems to be concerning itself with the preservation of historical artefact rather than championing progress - a museum rather than a theatre, as many critics have noted. I think our entire nation could learn a lesson about not living in the past, as we often cling to tradition to the detriment of progress. As Director Derek Bond put it ‘The Globe not supporting Emma Rice is the Brexit of theatre’ – a sure step backwards and a rejection of change. I do, in part, understand that The Globe is a unique artefact in itself, with an Elizabethan acoustic that arguably doesn’t require 21st century amplification. However, The Globe knew what they were getting when they gave Emma Rice the job. Prior to the Globe she was known for being in charge of Kneehigh, one of the UK’s most experimental companies. She delivered exactly what was expected of her, turning A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a brash and rowdy production where Helena became the male Helenus and renaming her production of Cymbeline ‘Imogen,’ setting it in

"Theatre should never cower away from creativity or put preservation before progress..." the world of gangs and drugs. It is the duty of theatre to make bold decisions and inspire future generations. A theatre should never cower away from creativity or put preservation before progress, and I feel that this is something The Globe theatre has apparently forgotten.

Freya George Culture Critic @freyageorge

use of props too was incredible. The same headscarves could become hijabs or birds in the sky. The creativity and versatility of such a basic item of clothing was so impressive. The sheer simplicity of the set made the stage centred on the movement of the actors. They had the space to dance, fight, or simply to talk. The varied use of gesture and movement was also something that I loved about the play, and the symbolism in the different actor’s movements was beautiful. Vicky’s performances as Tiresius and Elizabeth’s per-

"The expert combination of acting, movement, gesture and set made for a very enjoyable performance" formance as the Macumbeira were particularly moving as they contorted their bodies, appearing almost weightless. Another enjoyable though highly contrasting sequence was one involving guns. The six members of the chorus proudly showed off their (toy) machine guns, which represented the reckless behaviour of the boys in the favela, as they strutted up and down the stage. It was funny and bought some light relief to the

play in between the sad tales of the women, although dark undertones did emerge as we were left with the feeling that, while these were guns for ‘protection’, no one was really safe. Calypso’s gangster brother, though very rich and powerful, is in reality trapped in this world. This central motif, the idea of everyone being trapped in some way, was conveyed throughout. Ultimately, it is the monologues performed that are worthy of the most credit. Their variation also made them very interesting to watch – with the tragedy of Penelope contrasting with the flirtatious and sexual Calypso. Each actor portrayed their role very well and I don’t have any criticisms. From the mystery of the sorceress Circe to the anguish of Odysseus’s mother (Anticleia), to the bi-polar Scylla, and naïve Nausicaa, and finally to the darkness of Odysseus himself – each character’s story gripped me in a different way. Finally, the modern parallels that were drawn in some parts of the play (such as a reference to the refugee crisis) were thought provoking. It suddenly bought us out of Ancient Greece and into the present – reminding us that what was being performed in front of us was still relevant for today’s world. It is times like this that I am reminded of the power of theatre. Overall, Odyssey was a pleasure to watch and the expert combination of acting, movement, gesture, and set made for a very enjoyable performance.

Review: The Reserve (Watch This) Rebecca Moore Culture Critic

‘Some things are long and drawn out. Others happen so quickly,’ states writer and director Benedict Churchus. It is this notion of contradiction that drives The Reserve, the first piece of original student drama of the academic year from Watch This. Throughout the performance, the characters and audience alike are batted toand-fro between truth and façade, the trivial and the valuable, the relatable and the absurd, and the result is an honest and accurate portrayal of the complexity of youthful experience. The performance begins with a double-entendre: a lad talks about catching crabs on a Saturday afternoon. This introduces the drama’s primary concerns with perception, understanding, and interpretation. The audience are required to be active spectators, responsible for seeing the bigger picture at play here, unlike this young male, who can see no wrong in poisoning crabs for fun. The Reserve is not so much a play as a sequence of monologues, with the first being Alice Williams’ performance, entitled ‘We are going to have a party’. Her character is someone we all know: the popular girl at school who wears a lot of make-up, drinks Smirnoff Ice, and drives everyone to ‘Maccys’ at breaktime. She repeatedly tells us that she is

‘fierce’, but her frightful instability raises concern with a society that praises attraction and confidence over intelligence and authenticity. Un-education (Matt Johnson) is surprisingly level-headed for a 17-year-old who has had an affair with an older woman. He demonstrates an awareness of the falsity in ideal forms of love. ‘Affairs are not me reciting poetry into your ear whilst eating a magnum,’ he says, ‘although we did go to London once and I had a twister on the way back.’ It is his lover who we are more concerned for who, unlike Un-education, is forced to address the repercussions of her adultery. Next up is I love Harry Styles and, like her object of affection, she is the star of this show. Katie Peterson gives us a delightfully cutesy and wildly funny depiction of a young girl’s first celebrity crush. This section is also the best example of Churchus’ brilliant use of dramatic irony, using kicked cats and bushes to pose worrisome questions about society’s unhealthy obsession with social media and celebrities. The Oxpecker monologue begins a descent into a more openly sombre tone. The details of a rapidly blossoming, romantic relationship are juxtaposed with Ciaran Creswell’s unrushed and gentle delivery: he paces less and commands the room from a small, white stool, and is a delight to

watch. The monologue nicely amalgamates the theme of getting carried away with the unimportant that has thus far been threaded through the piece. Affluenza concludes the performance like a closing paragraph of a well-structured essay, by bringing together each of the characters in terms of social anxiety and their dogged pursuit of something more. Catherine Roberts' emotional performance, in discussing affluenza in terms of the law, is powerful and forces the audience to question their empathy with each character, as well as the validity of this psychological condition as a form of defence in the real-world. What is less successful, however, is the attempt to connect the characters literally, as well as figuratively, as part of this incident; the use of the screen at the end of the performance does little except reiterate a point that Roberts has already made so compellingly, and as a result the performance seems to peak and then fall a little flat. This is, however, a small complaint in a production that otherwise finds words for complex ideologies with success and poignancy. Churchus is an impressive, witty, and ambitious writer and the cast give strong performances. If given the opportunity to see this production in the future, then do so – without reservation.


Friday 4th November 2016



Review: The Exorcist Olivia Boyce Culture Editor @Liv_Boyce

Back in 1973, a film called the Exorcist opened, with audiences clamouring to see the movie that seemed to be taking the world by storm. People reported their terror, their shock, and famously some cinemagoers even fainted. All in all, it caused such a stir that it rather ominously swung open the door and laid the proverbial red carpet for a great deal of the horror media available today. Now, the classic film takes a step closer to home, removing the pseudo-safety of the television or cinema screen by finding its way to the stage at the Birmingham REP. As many a horror film has declared, there’s nowhere to hide and, as the opening act begins, it unsurprisingly takes just a little willpower not to flee from what is about to come.

inhabits the role with a fierce and unsettling momentum, stealing scene after scene as her possession grows ever more terrifying. Her role is a physically demanding one, and yet she never once falls short of what is needed, firstly depicting Regan’s rather innocent character, before her possession leaves her performing illusions and berating the others in an intense whirl of vitriol and anger. It’s a brilliant performance, and a remarkably memorable one, though a possessed person is seldom easy to forget. Having starred in multiple West-End hits (including Wicked) and being known for his dance ability, Adam Garcia is refreshingly and at times enlighteningly cast as Father Damien Karras (the

priest whose faith is tested as he comes face to face with the possessed Regan). Though he may, at times, seem a little hesitant, his struggles with the ghost of his mother are realised well, and for the most part he is compelling, righteous, and often rather hilarious too. Also of note are Jenny Seagrove as Chris (Regan’s film star mother whose desperation is at the fore throughout) and Tristram Wymark, whose Burke is comically brilliant and whose sudden demise leaves you wishing for his swift return. Few can mention the Exorcist, of course, without calling to mind one of its most acerbic yet memorably terrifying aspects – the demon itself, present through voiceover and projection. Its vulgar

profanities and outright evil looms throughout, and the show succeeds in capturing its extremely scattered voice – flitting between shocking outbursts and sometimes comically random utterances at a pace that feels almost oppressive, but then that’s rather the point. The production team have made the startling, yet rather inspired, decision not to name the actor voicing it, coyly teasing through the REP’s social media whilst many theatregoers have been left puzzled. My two cents, for what they are worth, are on it being Sir Ian McKellan, but only time (and perhaps the production team) will tell as to how accurate this may be. I certainly hope I’m right – if not for the glory, then to have heard the

"The Demon's vulgar profanities and outright evil looms throughout" The show is advertised as 18+, for good reason – it has got quite the potential for being a nightmare-inducer, though perhaps not with the same potency as it did in its original day. Focusing on Regan, a ten-year-old whose misadventures with a Ouija board and a not so malevolent demon lead to her possession, the events we witness become increasingly more disturbing, until they culminate in the spectacle that is the titular exorcism. Credit must go to the cast, who really succeed in a play where physicality is central to its effectiveness. Claire Louise Connolly, who plays Regan,

voice of Gandalf say some very naughty words indeed!

"...a masterclass in design." What is immediately clear is the sheer range of technical skill on display in this production. The lighting is atmospheric and often deeply unsettling, a sense of the powers at work in the darkness leaving you wanting just a smidgen more visibility. The sound is fabulous throughout, making use of the acoustics in the REP’s impressive main house to great accomplishment. Of course, with a show like the Exorcist, there is a heavy reliance on special effects, and this show features some of the best to date, with only the occasional falter. Some moments are satisfyingly disgusting such as the now iconic ‘vomiting’ scene - reproduced from the film in all its abjectly horrific glory - and the projections used throughout are a rather subtle but stunning touch. It speaks to the commitment and ingenuity of the design team that they managed to leave the audience somewhat spooked in the first thirty seconds. All in all, the creative team should be proud of what they have produced – it’s a masterclass in design. And so, it seems, the Exorcist has gained a new lease of life, possessing the REP’s stage with the intent to disturb, to scare, and to shock. Utilising moments from the film, as well as moments from the 1971 novel, it can in some moments feel a little dated, sometimes feeling more like a series of vignettes than a play, and yet the horror is still there – gruesome as it is, it makes for one hell of an experience. Certainly, if the gentlemen to my left, who at times clutched at the seat whilst possessed by terror, is anything to go by then it’s an experience not to be missed.

Review: The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Becky Bryant Culture Critic

My experience of drumming started and ended during my school music class when my hand-held drum was taken away from me for being too disruptive. Therefore, when I made my way to the Bramall Music Building to review the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the last day of their UK tour, I was quite intimidated by what I had agreed to do. However, any sense of doubt is swiftly replaced by awe and anticipation as you enter the performance space, containing nothing but six taiko drums and mystical music from offstage. The audience are immediately enraptured before the performance has even begun. The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers are the UK’s oldest Taiko ensemble. They combine the traditional taiko with a contemporary sound, turning it into a theatrical piece in their mission to

explore the limitless potential of the Taiko Drum. The show consists of six performers, led by Neil Mackie, who have choreographed a set of fifteen sequences, each of which tells its own individual story. The first sequence, Norito, is a traditional Shinto prayer that originated from Japan. It, alongside the show itself, is introduced by one of the performers “awakening” the other drummers with a megaphone. Following this, the performers each take on a taiko drum and create the Shinto narrative; these drums are played to awaken the gods. The symmetry of the ensemble is exquisite, as they create the formation of a tribe. They hook the audience and never let go, and although you could try and search for it, you will not find a weak link. The sound of the drums reverberates through and is channeled by the performers themselves. However, this is much more than a performance of drums; it is a spectacular narrative demonstrating beauti-

fully the collective's aim of “limitless reverberation”. Direct interaction with the audience is also encouraged during the Matsuri sequence, where the audience clap alongside the drums, as we become part of the performance and the rhythm itself. The impeccable skill of the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers is particularly demonstrated through the Yatai Bayashi sequence. Traditionally played inside the festival floats at the Annual Night’s Festival in December, the performers lie back with their feet slotted under their drums and they remain in this position playing the drum for the duration of the sequence. Particularly memorable for me was Chronos, a piece which opens with performer Marcus Guhe effortlessly playing the Shakuhachi, while the other performers create an otherworldly soundscape using a range of instruments including the bamboo flute and the digeridoo. The purpose is to create a narrative

about a crack in time, giving the audience a glimpse at the future. Post-apocalyptic, Martian imagery is beautifully demonstrated here as a group of performers, using white theatrical masks and fluorescent ribbons, choreograph a mystical dance led by the drums, which get louder as the dance gets faster. Another favourite sequence is the Todoroki, a modern composition known as 'the rumble of thunder'. The image of a thunder storm is effectively created using a combination of Taiko symphony and martial arts - inspired choreography. This not only creates a dramatic sense of the power of a thunderstorm, but also conjures imagery of a war dance. Alongside this, the drummers use their own soulful voices to create layers of impressive soundscapes. By the end of the performance, even as an audience member, you want to get up on the stage and join the tribe in their dance. The rhythm is never lost, and the relentless energy of the

group is infectious. The show is both aurally and visually spectacular. I would highly recommend it to anybody because it is like nothing you will have seen before.



Friday 4th November 2016


Reel Terror! The Films That Get Under Your Skin

With Halloween safely behind us for another year, Redbrick Film crawls out from behind the sofa to reflect on their most haunting memories from the dark side of cinema Robyn Kemp The only horror film I have enjoyed and not been too much of a wimp to watch is 28 days later. With its engaging plot and great characters, although it is still horrific, it is much more than just a horror story about an incurable virus. Frank's death is the one scene that has dramatically changed my life. If I’m ever walking down the street and something drops in my eye, I am now petrified that at any moment I may start convulsing and turn into a zombie. The thought that I could have just been infected still seems like a possibility even though the more likely option is that it has

Chariots of Fire: Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later

started raining. The film is scary, but the characters are the real draw. A great watch for anyone who loves a zombie film or doesn't want to be able to fall asleep at night. There are also many helpful tips if you're preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Joshua Woods I can honestly only imagine how frightening I would have found The Blair Witch Project upon its release in 1999, when the internet was less accessible and “real-life footage” rumours could be less easily dispelled. Watching this for the first time as an adult, I had hastily assumed that I just didn’t find films scary

"I didn't sleep too well that night" anymore. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep too well that night. Perhaps time hasn’t been too kind to Blair Witch: the “found footage” genre has been repeated to death since its release, and I understand that many people are left unmoved and even bored by the lack of action throughout most of its length.

But what makes this film psychologically disturbing is the authenticity derived from having the witch remain unseen. It is a distressing process to witness these characters mentally break down and turn on each other; as they go from thinking they might be lost, to realising that they definitely are lost, to realising that they could die, to knowing that it is only a matter of time before they do. The tension culminates in a final five minutes of sheer terror. The image of Mike standing facing the corner chills me every time I think about it.

Tom Edgerton I had never really experienced horror until the age of ten when I decided to steal my older brother’s box set of Stanley Kubrick classics. Within it was, of course, The Shining. However, it was not this horror classic that induced feverish nightmares, rather the much less terrifying It. The Shining only kickstarted my passion for horror. This drive lead me to a second-hand sale during a charity

fun fair at my school. For some reason, the parent thought it a good idea to sell me this nightmare fuel for only £2. For the longest time, this movie was the epitome of horror in my mind. Every scene with Tim Curry scared me deeper then I’d like to admit. Tim Curry’s face alone is enough to make babies cry. Add some clown make-up and terrifying demon teeth, and I couldn’t help but not sleep. The scene that truly haunted me more than any other was the gang reading up on the lore of Pennywise. The pictures in the book start moving, with Pennywise doing circus tricks. As a child, this alone was unsettling. But the moment he started running to the kids at the front of the photo and his hand reaches through the book was when I decided that maybe horror wasn’t for me. Looking back I realise how irrational some of my fears were, especially considering how terrible the con-

"This movie was the epitome of horror" frontation with Pennywise ends up. Despite this, the scene with the book still unnerves me ten years later.

The Exorcist: 'ever present dread and ratcheting surrealism'

Joe Ryan There is a special place in my nightmares reserved for William Friedkin's The Exorcist. My relationship with this film stretches back to my days as a fresh-faced 11 year-old, when I was first exposed to the rictus grin of the possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) through a cheap jump scare on an internet maze game. There was no sleep that night, there was only shaking. After three years of perpetual fear of the 1973 original, I decided aversion therapy was my best course of action so I watched the film. It was rubbish. What had scared me so much about it? It was too long, dull, it looked dated and it had a heavy-handed relgious message that rang hollow with me. Then I watched it again,

and again. This Halloween marked my fourth viewing, and my opinion has definitely changed. Whilst it will always be a film I admire more than enjoy, the fact is that it is terrifying, with the ever-present dread and ratcheting surrealism as the evil inside Regan begins to seep into the film itself through erratic editing and chilling flashframes. Despite all the famous horrific moments during the exorcism scenes, the most disturbing line for me remains 'can you help an old alter boy Father?' This line, delivered by Regan in the voice of a homeless man the exorcising priest had previously seen on a subway platform earlier in the movie reminds us that the devil is ever present, just behind you, watching. Sweet dreams.

Review: Inferno

After box-office hits The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, Ron Howard's third Dan Brown adaptation is an infernal viewing experience Matthew Bruce

Demons, and an unbelievable 10 years since the debut, The Da Vinci Code, was released. With They say a change is as good as the latest addition, Inferno (once a rest. The Robert Langdon film again directed by Ron Howard) series, based on the bestselling the style has changed but not, books by Dan Brown, has both I’m afraid to say, for the better. changed and rested. After all, The film begins with Robert it’s an amazing seven years since Langdon (the ever-dependable, the last e p i s o d e , though ageing, Tom Hanks) wakAngels a n d ing up in a hospital bed in Italy with considerable pain and hellish amnesia. This opener basically communicates the feeling of the whole film – it’s somewhat tired, can’t remember the feeling of its predecessors, and begs the question, why make another chapter now when the box-office going was good almost a decade ago? Langdon must rack his brains for information, and try to understand why all manner of authorities are out to get him. He is Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones struggling to find the point aided in Film Critic

his quest by doctor Sienna Brooks (English rose, Felicity Jones, in a more physically demanding role than in recent years), who tends to Langdon in hospital, before becoming his “accomplice.” They race across Europe to stop a deadly virus, engineered by a mad scientist

"The style has changed but not for the better" (the underused Ben Foster) which threatens to wipe out a sizeable amount of the human population, a concept tied closely to Dante's Inferno. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Brooks just happens to be a symbology nerd, and an admirer of Langdon from a very young age! (You will have to suspend your disbelief for this film more than you perhaps did for the others!) I hate to say it, but even the music was disappointing. The usually irreproachable Hans Zimmer has composed a very

basic score for the film, which gets a little bit “electronic” half way through (I didn’t like that at all.) Its only redeeming feature is the return of the main theme from The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, a variation on his piece Chevaliers de Sangreal, which was therapy to me over the end credits. What I cannot deny, is that the location shooting is wonderful, with some lovely shots of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul. Also, the climactic end scene as a whole, filmed in Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern, will doubtless leave you breathless. VERDICT: The series should have been left alone. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons were breathtakingly wonderful, and Inferno somewhat pales in comparison. Go to see the film for Tom Hanks’ performance, or for the cheap thrills, if for nothing else.



Friday 4th November 2016


Review: Doctor Strange Film Critic Tom Edgerton reviews the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Tom Edgerton Film Critic

Doctor Strange is the 14th time that I have entered a cinema to see a superhero within the MCU. No other franchise has managed to drag me back into its pockets like Marvel; however, I no longer enter with excited anticipation but rather dread. Anything but a typical Marvel film will make me happy. Like eating from an assorted bag of crisps; you begin by enjoying it revelling at each different flavour, but slowly, as you fulfill your appetite, the conclusion dawns on you that everything tastes the same. I am now bloated with Marvel. I don’t know how much more I can take. I just want a dynamic change in style and plot. They have come close with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, but never to the extent that I feel like I’m watching a great film. If the MCU is like a Jackson Pollock painting, then Doctor Strange is another gray on its canvas. This does not suggest that the film is bad, but rather unrelentingly bland. The thing synonymous with Marvel is their ability to always make competent films. They always have the ability to make money and expand, whilst simultaneously promising that maybe the next film will be great. Bad filmmaking isn’t found in a Marvel film. What is found instead are corporate strings pulling firmly on the directors/screenwriter's hands, gambling so safely that they can

bet on both red and black. Doctor Strange does nothing to make me dislike it. The acting is well done but with no one in particular standing out as unique. Benedict Cumberbatch feels particularly safe, playing the egotistical, smarmy narcissist that he portrays so well in Sherlock. An increasingly popular debate in Hollywood is 'white washing'. After watching Tilda Swinton’s performance, I can say that I was neither offended nor blown away by her, but rather confused at the necessity in casting her. White washing a character for a famous actor is not surprising, but whilst she is a great actress, her performance was so underwhelming that it could have been performed by anyone. The only reason for her casting was to provide the film with some greater credibility. It was the plot itself which was the most insulting aspect of the film. Steven Strange plays such close homage to Tony Stark, in both character and arc that I firmly believe his name to be either Dr Stark or Tony Strange. To summarise: Dr Stark begins his story at the peak of his profession, rich and famous. His arrogance is ultimately his downfall. Thus he must go to his lowest in order to come out victorious. Through this

hardship, he ultimately learns to change his attitude and learn from the error of his ways. Doctor Strange hopes we don’t recognise its similarities with Iron Man by changing the antagonist's motive. The villain, Mads Mikkelsoen, plots to destroy the world by creating a giant portal in the sky; a plot device so cliché I feel derivative just mentioning it as a reoccurring problem in these films. I struggle to find much else to say about this film. The visuals were nice, with some aesthetic kaleidoscope imagery that only slightly echoed Inception. Whilst I do not know how much freedom Scott Derrickson had, the few creative moments had a flare I wished was used more. I just want a film uncontrolled by the studio itself. Where a creative director is given free reigns without the studio’s grubby hands affecting its production. I basically want Edgar Wright's Ant Man. Doctor Strange is far from this dream. VERDICT: Doctor Strange did very little to impress me and did nothing to drag it out of the ever increasing sink pool that the MCU is creating. Marvel needs to stop playing it safe if they want to improve.



Film News Joe Ryan

Film Editor

Kevin Hart has been cast as Santa Claus in Dashing Through the Snow, Disney's upcoming Christmas comedy. The film, will follow a New York policeman and his son on Christmas Eve, with Hart presumably appearing to offer and Christmas cheer. Dashing Through the Snow is being produced by William Packer, who's previous work with the Ride Along franchise helped the stand-up's transition into acting in 2014. Hart has found success alongside Dwayne Johnson, having starred in Central Intelligence and also set to appear with him in the upcoming Jumanji remake. No release date has been set for the Dashing Through the Snow, however Christmas 2017 seems likely. There are rumours abound concerning who will be helming Deadpool 2. The forerunner is David Leitch, who made his directorial debut in 2014 as one half of the team behind John Wick. Leitch has reportedly been seen meeting with Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and has been slated as the most likely candidate to direct the sequel. The news comes after Tim Miller, the director of the first Deadpool, left the project two weeks ago, citing 'creative differences' between himself and Reynolds that made his position as director of the sequel untenable. Rumours circulated of a clash between the two during production of the first film, however these had purportedly been smoothed over before Miller's departure.

Review: Ouija: Origin of Evil Joshua Woods Film Critic

Arriving fresh for the Halloween season, supernatural horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil (directed by Mike Flanagan) marks a striking improvement on its predecessor, Ouija (2014.) Whereas the latter followed the disturbing events involving a friendship circle of present-day young adults, this prequel takes us back to 1967 Los Angeles. Here we encounter a wounded family, struggling to adjust to the death of their husband and father. Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) works as a fraudulent fortune teller to provide for her two daughters: teenaged Lina (Annalise Basso) and nine-year-old Doris (Lulu Wilson), who we know from Ouija is to become corrupted by evil forces. What immediately sets Ouija: Origin of Evil apart from other big-budget horrors is its closer attention to and affection for its characters. Several dramatic subplots develop that are far f r o m original, but are han-

dled delicately enough to elicit empathy beyond what is perhaps expected. Lina in particular, emerges as the character whose experiences we relate to: away from the increasing complications of her home life, she goes to parties and listens to rock music with her LA friends, whilst her (sort of) boyfriend Mikey’s wavering between cockiness and bashfulness believably portrays male adolescence. For the first hour at least, we get more than just a horror film, but there are enough rumblings beneath the surface to remind us what we are watching. Doris’ fascination with Alice’s new Ouija board leads the family to discover that she can communicate with the dead. These interactions, coupled with a number of unexplainable events, build up a suspense over the first hour of the film. Ouija: Origin of Evil is jointly produced by Hasbro (yes, the board game company who own the trademark), B l u m h o u s e Productions (Paranormal Activity) and Michael Bay’s Platinum D u n e s (Teenage Mutant Ninja

Turtles.) The film acknowledges this unusual collaboration with irony. By alluding to Ouija board’s status as a Hasbro product, certain scenes come attached with an unlikely self-referential sense of humour. A frightened Lina repeats to herself and others that 'it’s just a stupid game!' Meanwhile, Lina’s first encounter with a Ouija board at a party manages to mine comedy from her friend’s terrified disbelief and elicited the biggest laughs in the cinema. The final half-hour sequence in the house is entertaining, but ultimately falls flat and lets the film down. In terms of terror, the jump scares are well executed, but the sequence relies on them too heavily and fails to reach a meaningful climax. I wasn’t especially impacted by the reveal of the house’s terrible past and the sense of humour that worked well for the first hour meant that I was too detached to feel seriously threatened by the fright scenes. This was certainly no psychological thriller. I was also disappointed by how the engaging subplots from the first hour fell out of the picture altogether, leaving me feeling slightly duped for caring about characters who aren’t so much people, but props for an upcoming horror sequence that has little in common tonally with the rest of the film. VERDICT: In spite of its disappointments, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Ouija: Origin of Evil. It would make a fine choice for those seeking out a flick to watch with friends this Halloween.


More details are emerging about the Al Capone biopic, Fonzo. In particular, the announcement that Tom Hardy will take the role of the infamous Chicago-based gangster. The film will follow Capone after his imprisonment in Alcatraz as he reflects on his past, whilst his neurosyphilis takes hold and dementia erodes his memory. Hardy has proved his worth playing both incarcerated men (Bronson) and gangsters (an impressive turn as both Kray twins in Legend.) This, merged with his aptitude for accent swapping and his intensely physical screen presence, seems like an excellent piece of casting for the aging Capone.

As Mexico's Morelia Film Festival wraps up, Diego Ros' feature debut El Vigilante (The Night Guard) has stood out as one to look forward to. It follows a security guard during a particularly strange night-time shift. It walked away from the festival with both the Jury Prize for Best Mexican Feature Film and the Best Actor prize for Leonardo Alonso (Sin Nombre). No UK release as been set for the film, but there is buzz that The Night Guard won't be one to miss when it finally drops.



Friday 4th November 2016


Review: Trump v Clinton: Divided America Morgana Chess TV Critic

Through his trip across the pond in Paxman on Trump v Clinton: Divided America, Jeremy Paxman attempts to explain the inexplicable: ‘What on earth has happened to a truly great democracy that the choice is so awful?’ The documentary opens and closes with Paxman’s great admiration for president Abraham Lincoln, which immediately reminds viewers of the idealistic divisions of North and South in the American Civil War, before going on to discuss the polarised policies of Democrats and Republicans in the 2016 presidential election. The similarities end there however, as this year’s campaign is shown to be far more interested

in personalities than policy and, as Paxman scoffs, it ‘has shaped up rather like a reality TV contest.’ In the blue corner, Hillary Clinton ‘reeks of Washington,’ carries ‘baggage’ in the form of her husband, and is portrayed as cold and distrustful by the media. Over in the red corner, ‘the Donald’ stands as a racist, misogynistic reality TV star accused of numerous sexual assaults. Leading

Washington strategist Jim Messina admitted that he actually prayed for Trump to

become the Republican nominee as he would surely be the ‘single easiest person to beat.’ Despite this, the documentary reveals how former Bernie Sanders supporters would actually rather jump ship to Trump’s campaign than uphold the Democratic vote. This begs the question, why is Hillary Clinton so intensely disliked by the American public? Unfortunately, this is not something that Paxman satisfactorily answers and he instead reserves the bulk of his energy for exploring the unprecedented popularity of the ‘man with a marmalade face.’ Paxman’s own views are delightfully displayed throughout the documentary by his continually raised eyebrows and expressions of disbelief at the numerous ‘mad’ Trump supporters that us Brits find so difficult to comprehend. However, so that we don’t forget our own country’s recent poor decision-making in the Brexit debacle, Trump’s pal Nigel

Farage also makes an appearance. Whilst he is initially shown to disgustingly write off Trump’s 2005 recording about sexual assault, as ‘it’s the kind of thing, if we’re being honest, that men do,’ he soon undertakes a drastic U-turn in opinion and adopts the more commonplace view that there are serious faults in the Republican’s campaign. Despite making it clear that the majority of Americans are not happy with either candidate (as was perfectly illustrated by a shot to a red and blue pack of condoms being sold with the tagline ‘either way you’re screwed’), Paxman’s Panorama lacks an explanation for how America reached this sor-

did state of affairs. He is just as baffled as the rest of us. The documentary has its highlights however, in Paxman’s discussions with Muslim and A f r i c a n American Trump supporters who fascinatingly, despite the seeming contradictions, also wish to ‘make America great again.’ In terms of these minorities and young people, the Trump campaign is mostly forced to pin its hopes on ‘secret voters’ who would never display outward support but might change tack at the polling booth. Either way, the lack of desirable candidate will make voting day, as Paxman astutely observes, a ‘hold-the-nose’ affair in the Land of the Free.

Black Mirror: Expected the Unexpected Rebecca Jenkinson TV Critic @becksaj

A cult classic since its first release on Channel 4 in 2011, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror has returned for a third series this October but onto the widely popular streaming site, Netflix. Known for its dark and twisted take on the world, Brooker triumphs again, using clever satire to tackle sociocultural issues facing the modern world. With a host of big name actors and directors, including Atonement’s Joe Wright, Brooker uses this series to further pursue themes of technology, science and social media. This in turn creates dystopian tales of what seem like a not so distant and very foreseeable future. Not one for the faint-hearted, the six distorted episodes are more like mini-films than any normal TV series – not necessarily one for a weekend binge. The episodes are separate entities, each

with their own beginning middle and end, thus you can watch them in any order you wish. Each minidrama is as clever and thought provoking as the last and stand in their own right as impressive social commentaries on an everadvancing modern society. This six part satirical drama ultimately addresses social anxiety surrounding human relationships and advancing technology. The first episode, 'Nosedive,' tackles the modern phenomenon of the power of ‘likes’ and the currency it holds within social interactions. An eerily accurate take on something pretty close to home. Not far from our own obsession with likes and ratings of photos, tweets and now even our taxi drivers, with apps and sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Uber. The powerful first episode sets the tone as to what is to come in the remaining series. Other episodes include a story of crime, wrapped up in technological warfare, a cyber horror

story gone wrong and a period love story with a twist. Although each tackles different themes and surprisingly different genres, Brooker's clever and intuitive stories unnerve audiences to make them question their own relationship with technology. In a fickle and fast paced society, we can easily place the blame for our own moral downfalls at technology's door, but we need to go beyond the laptop screens to realise the true horrors. This series unearths serious issues and ones not necessarily attempted by any other current programmes on television. If you were a fan of the previous two series, then you will certainly be impressed with this one, and if you’re new to Brooker’s outlandish world of Black Mirror, where have you been for the last five years? Luckily for you, each series is now on Netflix. Just don’t wait too long or some of Brooker’s eerie predictions might have already come true.

Has BBC Three’s Move Online been Successful? Abbie Pease TV Commentator @pease_abbie

Fitting with the ever increasing digitalisation of television programming, BBC Three moved online in February of this year. As the channel will be moving its headquarters to Birmingham by 2018, it is important to weigh up its popularity and current success. The world of television is moving into the digital age. The BBC has recently embraced this shift, moving it’s BBC Three channel online. Although taking time to warm to the idea of an internet world of television, the government funded

organisation has taken the leap, following in the footsteps of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other successful online television streamers. Despite already running iPlayer as an online domain through which audiences can catch up on their favourite TV, this move marks the first of BBCs purely online channels. An unfortunate push encouraging the move, was the cut of BBC Three’s budget from £85 to £30 million. Instead of focussing on this aspect of the move, it is more crucial to consider whether BBC Three’s shift online has enabled it to thrive, and whether we shall be seeing more channels taking the digital leap in the years to come. BBC Three is the most inspir-

ing and forward thinking sector of the BBC, representing diversity and producing television focused on real issues that young people are currently facing. As well as airing a range of captivating documentaries, the channel is becoming known for its dramas and comedies centred around social taboos. BBC Three is the organisation’s most innovative channel; geared predominantly towards the younger generation of viewers. This focus fits with its move, as the online world is more modern and in demand. A recent report issued by the Childwise Monitor Report, claimed that young people now spend more time online than watching television. Considering this, it is under-

standable that the channels content now averages more than 7% of iPlayer requests, up from 4.5% before the move. A recent influx of views for BBC Three confirms the popularity of shifting into the digital arena. Thirteen, released in February, received 2.4 million requests on iPlayer. Despite being pushed online as a result of funding issues, BBC Three can be credited for flourishing in its new form. Since its creation in 2003, the channel has progressed from the likes of Snog Marry Avoid to a range of educational documentaries covered by presenters such as Stacey Dooley and Reggie Yates; a shift that is very telling of how far it has come. BBC Three's move online

has indeed been a success. For the broadcasting of television, I am certain that in the years to come, we shall see a gradual move online.

Do you have opinions on this article? Tell them us: @redbricktv



Friday 4th November 2016


Review: Trump v Clinton: Divided America Morgana Chess TV Critic

Through his trip across the pond in Paxman on Trump v Clinton: Divided America, Jeremy Paxman attempts to explain the inexplicable: ‘What on earth has happened to a truly great democracy that the choice is so awful?’ The documentary opens and closes with Paxman’s great admiration for president Abraham Lincoln, which immediately reminds viewers of the idealistic divisions of North and South in the American Civil War, before going on to discuss the polarised policies of Democrats and Republicans in the 2016 presidential election. The similarities end there however, as this year’s campaign is shown to be far more interested

in personalities than policy and, as Paxman scoffs, it ‘has shaped up rather like a reality TV contest.’ In the blue corner, Hillary Clinton ‘reeks of Washington,’ carries ‘baggage’ in the form of her husband, and is portrayed as cold and distrustful by the media. Over in the red corner, ‘the Donald’ stands as a racist, misogynistic reality TV star accused of numerous sexual assaults. Leading

Washington strategist Jim Messina admitted that he actually prayed for Trump to

become the Republican nominee as he would surely be the ‘single easiest person to beat.’ Despite this, the documentary reveals how former Bernie Sanders supporters would actually rather jump ship to Trump’s campaign than uphold the Democratic vote. This begs the question, why is Hillary Clinton so intensely disliked by the American public? Unfortunately, this is not something that Paxman satisfactorily answers and he instead reserves the bulk of his energy for exploring the unprecedented popularity of the ‘man with a marmalade face.’ Paxman’s own views are delightfully displayed throughout the documentary by his continually raised eyebrows and expressions of disbelief at the numerous ‘mad’ Trump supporters that us Brits find so difficult to comprehend. However, so that we don’t forget our own country’s recent poor decision-making in the Brexit debacle, Trump’s pal Nigel

Farage also makes an appearance. Whilst he is initially shown to disgustingly write off Trump’s 2005 recording about sexual assault, as ‘it’s the kind of thing, if we’re being honest, that men do,’ he soon undertakes a drastic U-turn in opinion and adopts the more commonplace view that there are serious faults in the Republican’s campaign. Despite making it clear that the majority of Americans are not happy with either candidate (as was perfectly illustrated by a shot to a red and blue pack of condoms being sold with the tagline ‘either way you’re screwed’), Paxman’s Panorama lacks an explanation for how America reached this sor-

did state of affairs. He is just as baffled as the rest of us. The documentary has its highlights however, in Paxman’s discussions with Muslim and A f r i c a n American Trump supporters who fascinatingly, despite the seeming contradictions, also wish to ‘make America great again.’ In terms of these minorities and young people, the Trump campaign is mostly forced to pin its hopes on ‘secret voters’ who would never display outward support but might change tack at the polling booth. Either way, the lack of desirable candidate will make voting day, as Paxman astutely observes, a ‘hold-the-nose’ affair in the Land of the Free.

Black Mirror: Expected the Unexpected Rebecca Jenkinson TV Critic @becksaj

A cult classic since its first release on Channel 4 in 2011, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror has returned for a third series this October but onto the widely popular streaming site, Netflix. Known for its dark and twisted take on the world, Brooker triumphs again, using clever satire to tackle sociocultural issues facing the modern world. With a host of big name actors and directors, including Atonement’s Joe Wright, Brooker uses this series to further pursue themes of technology, science and social media. This in turn creates dystopian tales of what seem like a not so distant and very foreseeable future. Not one for the faint-hearted, the six distorted episodes are more like mini-films than any normal TV series – not necessarily one for a weekend binge. The episodes are separate entities, each

with their own beginning middle and end, thus you can watch them in any order you wish. Each minidrama is as clever and thought provoking as the last and stand in their own right as impressive social commentaries on an everadvancing modern society. This six part satirical drama ultimately addresses social anxiety surrounding human relationships and advancing technology. The first episode, 'Nosedive,' tackles the modern phenomenon of the power of ‘likes’ and the currency it holds within social interactions. An eerily accurate take on something pretty close to home. Not far from our own obsession with likes and ratings of photos, tweets and now even our taxi drivers, with apps and sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Uber. The powerful first episode sets the tone as to what is to come in the remaining series. Other episodes include a story of crime, wrapped up in technological warfare, a cyber horror

story gone wrong and a period love story with a twist. Although each tackles different themes and surprisingly different genres, Brooker's clever and intuitive stories unnerve audiences to make them question their own relationship with technology. In a fickle and fast paced society, we can easily place the blame for our own moral downfalls at technology's door, but we need to go beyond the laptop screens to realise the true horrors. This series unearths serious issues and ones not necessarily attempted by any other current programmes on television. If you were a fan of the previous two series, then you will certainly be impressed with this one, and if you’re new to Brooker’s outlandish world of Black Mirror, where have you been for the last five years? Luckily for you, each series is now on Netflix. Just don’t wait too long or some of Brooker’s eerie predictions might have already come true.

Has BBC Three’s Move Online been Successful? Abbie Pease TV Commentator @pease_abbie

Fitting with the ever increasing digitalisation of television programming, BBC Three moved online in February of this year. As the channel will be moving its headquarters to Birmingham by 2018, it is important to weigh up its popularity and current success. The world of television is moving into the digital age. The BBC has recently embraced this shift, moving it’s BBC Three channel online. Although taking time to warm to the idea of an internet world of television, the government funded

organisation has taken the leap, following in the footsteps of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other successful online television streamers. Despite already running iPlayer as an online domain through which audiences can catch up on their favourite TV, this move marks the first of BBCs purely online channels. An unfortunate push encouraging the move, was the cut of BBC Three’s budget from £85 to £30 million. Instead of focussing on this aspect of the move, it is more crucial to consider whether BBC Three’s shift online has enabled it to thrive, and whether we shall be seeing more channels taking the digital leap in the years to come. BBC Three is the most inspir-

ing and forward thinking sector of the BBC, representing diversity and producing television focused on real issues that young people are currently facing. As well as airing a range of captivating documentaries, the channel is becoming known for its dramas and comedies centred around social taboos. BBC Three is the organisation’s most innovative channel; geared predominantly towards the younger generation of viewers. This focus fits with its move, as the online world is more modern and in demand. A recent report issued by the Childwise Monitor Report, claimed that young people now spend more time online than watching television. Considering this, it is under-

standable that the channels content now averages more than 7% of iPlayer requests, up from 4.5% before the move. A recent influx of views for BBC Three confirms the popularity of shifting into the digital arena. Thirteen, released in February, received 2.4 million requests on iPlayer. Despite being pushed online as a result of funding issues, BBC Three can be credited for flourishing in its new form. Since its creation in 2003, the channel has progressed from the likes of Snog Marry Avoid to a range of educational documentaries covered by presenters such as Stacey Dooley and Reggie Yates; a shift that is very telling of how far it has come. BBC Three's move online

has indeed been a success. For the broadcasting of television, I am certain that in the years to come, we shall see a gradual move online.

Do you have opinions on this article? Tell them us: @redbricktv


Friday 4th November 2016


Bake off Final Rises to the Occasion

Sam Reid reviews the final episode of The Great British Bake Off Samuel Reid

TV Critic @RachaelH12

for the banter between Selasi and Benjamina as for the food porn. The series took us on a roller-

"The end of our beloved show as we know it, it went out on a high" coaster of emotions; from amazement at Andrew’s feats of engineering, to anxiety about Jane’s second attempt at a chocolate collar, to the betrayal when we learnt of Paul Hollywood’s decision to follow the show to Channel 4.

Without a doubt the best moment of the series, and possibly even the show’s entire history, was Val’s leaving speech. After giving a poor performance in pastry week, she emotionally reassured the nation that she was going to continue to stir love into whatever she baked. Post-Brexit, it almost seemed that as a nation we would never agree on anything again, but all it took was a pensioner crying over some bakewell tarts to unite us. All in all, the future of The Great British Bake Off is uncertain. There’s a chance that the move to Channel 4 could be a recipe for disaster. There’s also an equal chance that the increase in

production value could vastly improve the format. Whatever happens, one thing is certain. The final series of The Great British Bake Off to be aired on the BBC was a good one, and if this is the end of our beloved show as we know it, it went out on a high.

Do you have opinions on this article? Tell them us: @ redbricktv

Shout out to our (S)Ex(ist) views

Eleaner Cross TV Commentator @eleanermay13

Little Mix performed their new number 1 hit on The X Factor stage the other week, but it would seem that rather than leaving everyone with opinions about their catchy new song (Shout Out To My Ex), the focus was instead simply on their outfits - or rather, the lack of them. The four girls did indeed wear some skimpy outfits whilst they danced on stage, showing a fair amount of leg, but I really have to ask the question: why the hell does it matter? For a week after their performance, the only articles that you would find if you googled ‘Little

Review: The Big Bang Theory Season 10 Premier Rachael Hopson

TV Critic @samreid_

The final of The Great British Bake Off has come to the end of its seventh series, and it was bittersweet to say the least. The news of the show’s move to Channel 4, and subsequent departure of Mary, Mel and Sue, has left many fans feeling that this marks the end of an era for what has become a national treasure. The final saw Andrew, Candice, and Jane tackle a royal theme. Throughout the episode it was hard to tell who was going to come out on top, but in the end it was Candice who took home the title of Bake Off Winner 2016. In my opinion, it was a well deserved win. Not only did Candice perform best on the day, she’d consistently delivered above and beyond what was expected throughout her time in the tent. This year’s show has arguably been the best series to date, which makes the show’s inevitable demise all the more sour. This year, the show wasn’t made great by the standard of the bakes (although they were amazing), but by the contestants themselves and the genuine friendship and chemistry they all had. Many of us found ourselves watching as much


Mix, Shout Out to My Ex’ were the ones that focused on the ‘prostitute and stripper’ outfits that they performed in. There was next to nothing on their actual performance. Until I looked at these articles, I really had no idea that anyone even had a problem with their attire, and after checking with my housemates, they didn’t either. Words such as ‘inappropriate,’ ‘slutty’ and ‘tasteless’ were used to describe their performance and as I read this, I started to feel slightly annoyed. These words were, in my opinion, not describing their performance, but rather letting the girls' clothes dictate how the rest of the performance went. I understand that, as a singer, you are in the public eye nearly all of the time, but I feel as though they

should be judged for their actual job description, which is singing. Personally, I loved their new song and the way they presented it on The X Factor stage; their singing was in tune and their dancing was on point. I didn’t even con-

"Let the girls wear what they want" sider what they were wearing. The performance itself was clever and made me feel like I wanted to sing along to the lyrics, despite not knowing the words at the time. Perhaps the reason why they received so much critique was

the fact that their song was about ex-boyfriends and scorned women. I can’t help but think that if Little Mix had been singing about female empowerment and body positivity, then their outfits would have been a tribute to their confidence and self-love. Tearing down these women and the clothes they wear is doing absolutely nothing for female empowerment anyway, especially when so many of the criticism comes from women; we should be supporting one another, not tearing each other down. And besides, their ‘slutty’ outfits didn’t stop them from reaching number 1 in the charts, did it? Let the girls wear what they want. And if you have a problem with it, then it is precisely thatyour problem.

Series 10, Episode 1 of The Big Bang Theory (aired 19th October 2016) begins the series exactly as Series 9 left off, meaning if you are not a frequent watcher of the show, this could be slightly confusing and I suggest you watch at least parts of series 9. With the final ending of The Big Bang Theory still not known, viewers are left in suspense as to whether this will be the last series. However, it appears as if the show is not heading in any different direction and continues to follow its traditional episode structure. The episode shows the second marriage of Penny and Leonard, this time with both the family members present, including the introduction of Penny’s family, who adopt the role of ‘white trash'; intensified through the character of Randall, Penny’s brother, a convict arrested for drug production. This character is played but Jack McBrayer, an actor also found in TV series The Middle. Performing in a similar manner to his normal role, he forms a key part in the episode by introducing new and fresh jokes for the viewers. However the rest of the show continues in its typical manner with the usual bickering between Alfred and Beverly, (Leonard’s parents) and between Leonard and Sheldon. The side story of Raj and Howard does however provide the viewers with some intrigue, with the investigation of the Air Force into their invention. Although this plays only a very small role within the episode and is easily skipped over, with a meeting set up between Howard and Colonel Williams, this is a plot line that is sure to be returned to. Overall if you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you will not feel let down, as the traditional characters of Sheldon, Amy and Bernadette continue to provide comedy and laughter to the show, especially the scene when Amy believes Sheldon is about to finally propose (continuing the ongoing joke in the slow development of their relationship.) All in all, it appears as if The Big Bang Theory is just ‘carrying on,’ so if you were hoping for something new and shocking, maybe this isn’t the series for you. However, if you enjoy the traditional show and its humour, then the new series appears as if it won’t disappoint.

Do you have opinions on this article? Tell them us: @redbricktv



Friday 4th November 2016


Male contraceptive 'halted' Twenty years of research leads to breakthrough for male contraception, however, the trials have now come to a standstill Rachel Kahn Sci & Tech Writer @rachellk96

The idea of contraception is no foreign concept for many women, with five different classes available to take. Now, after 20 years of research, scientists in the US say they’ve created a hormonal injection for males which provides a safe and reliable form of contraception. The hormone injection has been shown to be 96% effective in a study of 320 men. The injection works by suppressing the production of sperm, resulting in a lower sperm count of one million per ml in comparison to the usual 15 milliom per ml. However, it could take up to 24 weeks for the sperm count to drop to this level, and these results were only observed in 274 of the 320 men.

The jab, which is taken consistently at eight week intervals, regulates the levels of the male hormones progesterone and testosterone, working in similar ways to female contraception. The study reported that the injections result in almost complete suppression of spermatogenesis, the term given to the process of producing mature sperm. However, these injections have now been halted and the decision made that further research needs to be done after participants reported a number of side effects, including depression, muscle pain and acne. 20 individuals dropping out of the trial due to this. On the surface this seems simple, clearly the injections have serious side effects and therefore modern medicine means further research should be done to try and overcome these problems, but

many of the reported side effects are similar to the female combined pill which has caused much controversy.

"The injection has been shown to be 96% effective in a study of 320 men" Studies regarding the female combined pill are done frequently, with a study just last month stating the strong association between the pill and depression, and that doctors should no longer try to ignore the problem. Still, the combined pill is the most commonly prescribed contraceptive pill. Also, in a very small minority of people, the pill can cause blood clots, also increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Of the side effects reported in the study, only 29% of recorded side effects were actually recorded as ‘definitely related’ to the injections, with 39% associated

with other causes, and some feel this isn’t enough to warrant suspending the trial. However, it is important to note that this research isn’t simply being ‘binned,’ instead it’s being refined and different levels of hormones are being looked at it to make it better. The study wasn’t by any means perfect, with 3% of men not seeing their sperm count recover to normal levels after stopping the injections. This is far more important to focus on as this could be severely detrimental to male fertility in the future, and is something that must be looked into further. Allan Paces, a professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield said, 'It is noteworthy that 75% of the men who took part in the trial would be willing to use this method of contraception again. So perhaps the sideeffects weren't all that bad after all.' So male contraception isn’t on the cards just yet, but research is happening and will continue to happen for years to come.

Great Barrier Reef not dead yet Marianne Biggs Sci & Tech Writer

Headlines with obituaries for the Great Barrier Reef have littered the internet over the last two weeks, with articles claiming that this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been damaged beyond repair by coral bleaching. However, scientists have been quick to rebuke these claims, they say this 1429 mile stretch of coral isn’t dead - just dying. The Great Barrier Reef has always been a natural celebration of diversity, with the coral itself being a symbiotic relationship between algae and polyps, which are organisms like sea anemones and corals. The rigid skeleton structure of coral is provided by the polyp, and food comes from the photosynthesising, coloured algae. Coral bleaching occurs when water temperatures rise too high, causing coral to expel the algae living in the polyp’s tissues, thus turning the coral white.

Prolonged bleaching can severely weaken coral, and in extreme conditions cause irreversible damage and eventually death.

"This has been the most severe mass bleaching event to date" March 2016 saw a lengthy coral bleaching event sweep across the reef thanks to the extra warming effect of the El Nino weather system. Current reports from the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies claim the reef has suffered from unprecedented devastation. ARC say that 97% of the reef has been affected by bleaching and 22% of coral has died. Yet this leaves 88% with the possibility of survival; and should be a cause for hope. A proportion

of this is expected to recover should water conditions return to normal for an extended period of time, but more is predicted to die off before the year is out. This has been the third mass bleaching of the reef within the last twenty years, with previous events in 1998 and 2002. But with sea temperatures on the rise, and slow progress towards better environmental practices in Australia, this has been the most severe to date, and perhaps the most lasting. A full picture of the bleaching is set to be realised in mid November when all surveys of the reef are published. But what is clear already is that Great Barrier Reef cannot continue for much longer like this; change must come. These news sources hailing the death of the Great Barrier Reef are both sensationalists and irresponsible, good environmental practice can reverse coral bleaching and save much of this natural wonder.

"This is a cause that needs our attention now more than ever" According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), more than a quarter of all marine life relies on the Great Barrier Reef for food and shelter. Mass coral death is destroying this vast ecosystem and threatening the lives of other marine creatures. While the effects of global warming cannot be ignored, extreme stress from the massive tourism industry as well as pollution can too be blamed in part. The Australian government is taking new action

to save the reef by following a new Reef 2050 plan costing $2 million. It includes legislation against sea waste disposal, action to improve water quality, management of opportunistic invasive species, and more funding for research into conservation. To report the death of the Great Barrier Reef is not only inaccurate but also disrespects the conservation efforts of Australian scientists. It tells us to give up hope for a cause that now, more than ever, deserves our attention.

UoB research sheds new light on DNA damage in cancer cells James Van Hear Sci & Tech Writer

A new mechanism has been found that links two important features of cancer: increased transcription and replication stress. These two factors have not previously been associated in a clinically relevant way, however, this study shows that they are in fact linked, shedding further light on the way cancer develops, and how it sustains itself within the body. The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with the University of Oxford. Current mechanisms of how replication stress is caused in cancer cells mainly attribute the blame to the deregulation of the cell cycle; a normal process in which cells copy their DNA and then divide. This new research suggests that an increase in transcription, not just cell cycle deregulation, also contributes to replication stress, eventually resulting in damage to the DNA code and the potential development and existence of cancer. The team looked at cells in which a particular cancer promoting gene, the oncogene HRASV12, was being expressed. Oncogenes contribute to cancer development in a number of ways, such as greatly increasing level of expression of important genes. This includes the genes that switch on and regulate transcription, the process in which template DNA is transcribed into RNA, to eventually be turned into proteins. So oncogenes have the ability to increase transcription in cancer cells, which means these cells are able to survive for longer, and develop into cancerous tissue. When transcription takes place, structures called R-loops are formed in the new RNA. In non-cancer cells, these are normal and can be dealt with by molecules in the cell, but the researchers found that in cancer cells, with higher levels of transcription, these R-loops accumulate and become harder to process. They block the transcription machinery, hence stopping RNA from being transcribed. They found that they even cause the DNA code (from which the new RNA is being transcribed) to break, which is a severe type of damage that can be difficult to mend. This is good news for the cancer cell, as they thrive on instability of the genome. In order to design the best drugs and treatments for cancer, it is vital for scientists to understand how different cancer promoting processes influence each other. This sort of study will undoubtedly inform future research into this new link.


Friday 4th November 2016


The end of Vine is coming Tatiana Zhelezniakova investigates why Twitter is shutting down it's video service On October 27th, Twitter announced that its subsidiary video sharing service, Vine, will be shutting down. The mobile app will be discontinued; however, the Vine Team hastened to say they 'will be keeping the website online' to subdue the inevitable panic about the access to the existing content. The service was started in January 2013, and as of 2015 it has 200 million monthly active users and 100 million monthly viewers. While the numbers seem good, other social media sites actually boast more impressive statistics – Instagram have 500 million monthly

active users, with Facebook still dominating the field at 1.71 billion. There is much speculation around the reason for this seemingly abrupt decision. The novel 6-second Vine format that had once been a challenge now seems to have become limiting, and the Instagram and Snapchat video posts proved strong competitors. Additionally, there has been an over 50% increase in video tweets since the beginning of 2016, removing the necessity for an extra service. It follows that profit is a likely reason, as Vine has not been breaking even, while the more popular social media are showing sustained growth. While of course it’s possible for the users to shift content onto sites like YouTube and Facebook,

"In 2015 there were 200 million monthly active users" on a personal level it’s hardly the same. Vine user AppleSauce, who has more than 7,000 followers, has expressed her deep sadness at the news. 'We’re heartbroken. Vine was a release, a kind of art therapy, for a lot of us, and helped many people through some very dark times.' It seems the app has helped many users build social networks and even save lives. 'I know some people who were suicidal but they found solace and friendship through the app which kept them going,' AppleSauce added. It

seems there is also a place for activism on the app. Many users have openly campaigned for causes such as ending rape culture. One of Vine’s most followed users, Thomas Sanders, has risen to fame because of Vine, and credits his career in performing arts and YouTube to the service, so it’s understandable he is also disappointed in the decision. 'Of course there is sadness. This platform has been a huge staple of my daily life for three and a half years,' he said in a video addressing the announcement. While the future of Vine remains unclear, it is evident that it has been a great media for entertainment and creativity. It will be missed by its users, but for now, keep calm and Vine on.

Which personality type are you? Kara Watson Sci & Tech Editor @Karaml_Watson

Psychologists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have defined four major personality types, which 90% of the population can be categorised into. According to this study, most people are either predominantly pessimistic, optimistic, envious or trusting. Envious was found to be the most common, with 30% of individuals falling into that category. To identify the different personalities, the researchers posed different social situations to 571 volunteers in pairs, and then analysed their responses. The decisions that the participants had to make would have different consequences, depending on the decision of the other in the pair. This revealed how each person would make their decision based on what they thought their partner would do. In each round, the participants would swap around and the dilemma would change. They then used a computer algorithm to group the participants into different personality

Envious – you don’t mind what you achieve, but you need to feel like you’re better than everyone else Optimist – you take the view that both you and the other in the pair will make the best decision for all Pessimist – you make whatever decision seems to be the lesser of two evils Trusting – you always cooperate on your decisions and you don’t mind what the outcome is types, and it came up with the four different groups. Interestingly the algorithm had the potential to create more groups, but it decided on only four, and could put 90% of the participants in these groups. The remaining 10% of people are in a fifth, undefined group. This means the algorithm couldn’t find any clear type of behaviour that they expressed. The researchers suggest that there could be subgroups within each main personality type, and that these individuals do not behave in one particular way to each problem. 'These types of studies are

important because they improve existing theories on human behav-

iour by giving them an experimental base,' says Yamir Moreno, co-ordinator of the Cosnet group at Universidad de Zaragoza. This can have various applications, for example you can simulate the behaviour of a large group of people, and see how they might react to a certain situation. It can also be useful in seeing what influences individuals in negotiations in businesses or politics. This study provides a new method of performing these sorts of complex tests, which can help to improve our knowledge of human behaviour.

Example Problem: Two people can either hunt deer together, or choose to hunt alone but only catch rabbits. Envious – you will choose to hunt alone as there is more you can do for yourself, and a chance that you will catch more rabbits than the other person Optimist – you will choose to hunt deer as it is the best option for both people involved Pessimist – you will choose to hunt rabbits alone as this makes it more likely you will catch something Trusting – you will immediately choose to hunt together and cooperate to catch deer

Physical Source of Depression Found Stephanie Smith Sci & Tech Writer

Scientists have been able to pinpoint the exact parts of the brain which are affected when individuals suffer from depression. This new research could influence how we treat this debilitating disease. Depression is becoming increasingly common, with almost 1 in 10 of us thought to suffer from it at some point in our lives. It is a medical condition, with symptoms including losing interest in life, difficulties sleeping and loss of weight and appetite, among others. Research carried out by scientists in the UK and China, revealed that changes in both the lateral

and the medial orbitofrontal cortex, can be measured in patients with depression. The study found that the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, the area of brain associated with non-reward, punishment and detecting unpleasant stimuli, was better connected with both the precuneus (which determines sense of self) and the angular gyrus (involved in language). Therefore, when the lateral orbitofrontal cortex is activated in depressed patients, they associate this with a lower

sense of worth. This could help explain why depressed patients typically suffer from a negative sense of self and low self-esteem. However, the good news is that patients in the study who were already receiving medication to help with their depression, had reduced connectivity compared to patients who were not receiving treatment. Scientists also found that the area of the brain associated with reward, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, is less well connected to the memory systems

in people with depression compared to healthy patients. This means that depressed patients are less likely to remember positive or rewarding experiences. In addition, the lower the level of connectivity, the more severe the symptoms suffered. Professor Jianfeng Feng, one of the lead researchers said 'Our finding...enables us to locate the roots of depression which should open up new avenues for better therapeutic treatments in the near future for this horrible disease.'


Creature Feature Thresher Shark Ellen Daugherty Sci & Tech Editor

The thresher shark has been nicknamed after the fictional archeologist due to its impressively long tail that imitates a whip while its hunting prey. It uses its tail to first herd, and then stun schooling fish, such as sardines, before feeding on them. It is thought that this behaviour evolved due to the thresher shark having small teeth and a relatively weak jaw, thus ensuring it is still an effective predator. To prevent gill filament infections that can cause difficulty in breathing, thresher sharks have to stay clean. They do this by a symbiotic relationship with small parasites, called copepods. To get ‘cleaned’ the thresher sharks have to go to cleaning stations, much like the car wash in Shark Tale, and get their gill filaments and teeth scrubbed of bacteria by the parasites. Although sounding like a bit of a bizarre encounter, the parasites get a nutrition source, making it mutually beneficial for both parties. However, it is their very unique hunting technique that puts the thresher shark in serious trouble when it comes into contact with commercial fishing. They hunt the same large schools of fish that are usually targeted by industrial fishing boats. Their tails get caught in the giant fishing nets, so they are pulled up with the rest of the school accidentally. The population decline in this species is also due to the illegal shark fin trade, that is popular in Asian markets for meat and Chinese medicine. All of this hunting has caused these sharks to be labelled as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).



Friday 4th November 2016


Review: Battlefield 1

James Marvin leaves the trenches long enough to give his review James Marvin

Gaming Editor @js_marvin

A whistle breaches the bellowing blasts of gunfire and artillery bombings to signal our movement onwards. This is the final push of the round, it’s all or nothing. We’re down to our last battalion and the enemy are down to their last sector. Bombers and bi-planes scramble above to decimate the German forces below. Tanks and cavalry do the same on the ground, albeit with less subtlety and more brutality. My squad and I rush to the first objective, fortunately we’re the only ones here and the capture rate is as quick as a Bristol F2B. Only a quarter of the capture bar remains when all of a sudden 'Gas! Gas! Gas!' We’re in an enclosed space and only the worst can be assumed. Gas masks on and unable to aim accurately we spray and pray every entrance to the humble abode where we've hidden. The enemy is inbound, tank shells shatter the walls around us, the objective is most certainly lost as all our senses are numbed, but Blighty doesn’t back down without a fight. Enemies enter left and right, bullets flying, and trapped in the chaos the clubs and knives get thrown about in the heat of it all. Adrenaline surges to a bottleneck and before we know it the area is clear. Reinforcements help us destroy the tank and the objective is ours. 'Go! Go! Go!' and it starts all again for the battle of Objective Butter. This is the intensity of just a single skirmish, during a single round of Battlefield 1. This game is exactly the injection the FPS genre needed for me to be interested in it once more. Don’t get me wrong whilst I enjoyed my time in Battlefield 4 (for the five months I owned it leading up to Battlefield 1) the modern military shooter fatigued me more than ever. But gone are those days and I find myself staring at a screen until the early hours of the morning like I’m back in high school all over again. Putting the multiplayer to the side for the time being though, the singleplayer on offer here is easily DICE’s best since the Bad Company games. Whilst nowhere near as long or memorable as those days, the flashy production values, superb direction and rather top-notch acting are enough to keep you engaged for its runtime.

Its length though is a bit of a bummer with it clocking me about 5-6 hours on the hardest difficulty (and that was more down to some absurdly difficult areas rather than me ogling the scenery). However, whilst surprisingly short I still thoroughly enjoyed the singleplayer in this Battlefield (unlike in 3 and 4) this time dubbed ‘War Stories.’ Think of it as an anthology series on Netflix with each ‘episode’ taking place in a different part of the globe to represent a different aspect and point of view of The Great War. The variety of viewpoints is its main selling point to me as Battlefield 1 is really my first taste of World War I in any mainstream media (before anyone says anything I know how naïve and ignorant that is of me). ‘Through Mud and Blood’ takes us on a journey of a British tanker crew in France, late in the war, through the eyes of one Danny Edwards. Meanwhile, ‘Nothing is Written’ tells the tale of T.E. Lawrence’s rebellion against the Ottoman Empire and there’s a smattering of other settings everywhere in between. Each story kept me engaged with its perfect blending of Hollywoodesque action and its more sombre, character driven moments when the need arose. Does it perfectly represent the horrors of The Great War? No. But I never got the feeling that’s what DICE was going for. Whilst there are bits of the campaign that leave you with a tear in your eye and others that show the damage it did to the brave people that fought in this conflict, it is after all a video game. Video games are meant to be fun and this was a fun campaign from start to end. Dumb and over the top sometimes? Yes. Poignant in some moments? Yes. A fully authentic representation of the war? No. Disrespectful? Not once. It’s a fun romp through WWI’s theatres of war that will at times leave you in a short space of thought as it may teach you a thing or two about the time. Some will no doubt be disappointed as it isn’t a fully realised and authentic representation of the war, but in the end that’s still okay. An overall superb effort and definitely something DICE should build upon in future entries, mainly in regards to its length. But this is Battlefield and no matter how good the singleplayer is no one buys a Battlefield game just for that. Whilst I believe the multiplayer to be much stronger

"...exactly the injection the FPS genre needed"

than what we saw in Battlefield 4 and possibly the most immersive we’ve seen in the series, it is more a refined experience than anything revolutionary. Conquest is still the meat and bones of your modes, and Rush makes the transition to World War I relatively intact. However, the new Operations mode, which is a combination of the two, is my personal highlight this time round, and where I spent most of my time online. Instead of planting bombs at objectives to push forward you are capturing the objectives, like Conquest, and the map is divided into sectors, like Rush. Each game takes place over a series of the included maps which makes the multiplayer seem like a real war, and is easily the most immersive mode included. Expect to be glued to your screen for hours on end with Operations as not only are they lengthy sessions it’s unlikely you’ll only want to do one and that’s it. The maps are also a major positive to the online multiplayer. Not a single one left me with a feeling of 'please no, not this one, not again, please.' Personal favourites have to go to Amiens and Fao Fortress though, the tight compact street alleyway warfare of Amiens is perfect for you close quarter combatants and the Fao Fortress juxtaposes this with its literal fortress (hence the name) being a prime location for you snipers out there. Of course, everyone will have their own personal favourites and whether or not any of these will become legendary maps when we look back on them remains to be seen. It can’t be denied though that DICE has pulled out all the stocks on this front, giving us a great variety of terrains and locales from the streets of Amiens, to the dense woodland of Argonne Forest, scaling the alps in Monte Grappa and back around the flat and endless landscape of Sinai Desert. It also goes without saying that, with this being a DICE Battlefield game, it looks absolutely stunning and is easily one of the best looking games out there right now. From the more major and obvious stuff like the scenery and views, the texture work and the weather effects to the very subtle touches like your weapon getting coated in mud when you go prone, or the particle effects on explosions. In the graphical department DICE have definitely outdone themselves once more. There’s only one real major downside to the multiplayer and it

is a bit of a big one. The progression in the game is rather skewed and in some places very bare. Whilst I’m all in favour of the World War I setting scaling back the ludicrous amount of attachments and weapons you can unlock, something which definitely overwhelmed me in Battlefield 4, DICE seem to have taken it just a little bit too far. For one there are literally zero attachments to actually unlock, instead there are variants of the same weapon that perform slightly different (e.g. the MP18 Experimental has a lens sight and three round burst whilst the standard variant has neither). This change is something that some may prefer and some may dislike; but I find myself in between. Whilst its nice not to have to stress about someone else having a better gun than you because they’ve played it enough to unlock the special barrel only available at Rank 40, there’s not enough to make me really care about ranking up. At level 30 at the time of writing I have unlocked everything I want for the classes I mainly use, with only two items in each left to unlock due to my class rank not being 10. The class ranks are the other problem. When you hit about rank 4 or 5 with your class you’ve unlocked everything until you hit level 10. There’s literally nothing between rank 4/5 to 10 to keep you invested in ranking that class up other than the primary and secondary weapon you unlock at the end. Each class and the progression in general could’ve hugely benefited with just a few more unlocks peppered throughout the higher class levels to keep you engaged. I can see the game in the long term being heavily affected by this. Likely this is something that will be fixed in DLC (which isn’t out for a while) and not in free updates which is a major shame. Other than that though, the multiplayer does remain a strong and enjoyable experience, especially with a full squad of five people. Despite the lack of unlocks Battlefield 1 does retain the amount of depth that older entries had, if you are interested in that more competitive side of it. I still find myself with my friends playing round after round, match after match as the game is just that addictive despite the flawed progression, and whether that flaw starts be a thorn in the game's side is yet to be seen. However, the fact is the experience you find in Battlefield 1 just can’t be found anywhere else on the market and that is something DICE must be commended for. You’ll never feel tension and adrenaline in a historical shooter like you do here. That coupled with a solid single-player and I can’t recommend Battlefield 1 enough both to those who are jumping into the series for the first time and Battlefield veterans as there is something here that everyone will enjoy. A superb entry to the acclaimed series that just requires a few tweaks to be almost fully flawless.

"The maps are also a major positive"


Friday 4th November 2016



Feature : Is it time to say goodbye to GAME? Andrew Price evaluates the role of britians long time gaming retailer

Andrew Price Gaming Writer

As more Game stores close and downsize across the country, you can’t help but wonder: is this goodbye for the retailer? The news media outlet NCV recently tweeted a link to an article, stating that Game Digital’s profits have dropped 81% from £25.8 million to just £4.9 million. This fall in profits is reflected in a decline in total sales, the closure of stores and a reduction in dividends for shareholders. This is worrying news for Game, a company that less than five years ago was in administration and is having to compete in an increasingly saturated market. However, Game have started to diversify by providing new online services and by selling products other than video games or consoles, such as gaming merchandise and pre-owned tablets and phones. Yet despite this, it is going to be an uphill struggle for Game as they face three problems: the continual growth of competition, changes in the gaming industry, and Game maintaining its identity. For many years, Game has

been the go-to store for video games in the UK. However, recent years have seen that image fade as competition has increased both on the high-street and online. Ten years ago, there were only a handful of companies that competed with Game on the high-street. Gamestation was one such competitor until it was bought by Game in 2007. Another was Blockbuster who have since ceased to operate in the UK. Now there are several competitors, both traditional video game stores and non-traditional stores like supermarkets and online retailers. Whilst Game has been closing stores, their competitor CeX has reached over 500 stores worldwide and is continuing to grow. By offering more money for pre-owned games and devices and by selling products cheaper than Game, CeX is challenging Game’s market share. Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda have also entered the market in recent years, selling triple-A titles at competitive prices. Likewise, music retailers HMV have also branched out into video games too. Online shopping has affected Game’s sales as well. Online retail

giants Amazon sell a wide range of games and consoles, with very competitive console bundles available in the build-up to Christmas. Furthermore, they provide the option of next-day delivery, making them a financially competitive and more convenient alternative. Convenience has become an important factor, witnessed by the growth of online shopping across different markets, and this is no different in the video games market. Both Xbox and PlayStation have their own online stores, which have the convenience of being able to buy a game and play it straight away. PC gaming retailers like Steam, Green Man Gaming and are dominating the PC market too. Although Game do have their own online store, the competition is enormous. Whilst competition may provide the greatest difficulty to Game, the way in which the gaming industry is changing is also having an impact. The growth of mobile games has seen the gaming industry start to move away from console games, towards smart phones and tablets. A few publishers have started to make games for mobile phones, suggesting that publishers see potential in the

emerging industry. The most notable example would be Nintendo who backed Niantic: the company who released Pokémon Go, an app that was reported on by news media outlets across the world, and raised Nintendo's share price dramatically. Square Enix released Deux Ex: The Fall, the fourth instalment in the series, on mobile phones too. Furthermore, Konami’s CEO Hideki Hayakawa announced that they were going to focus on mobile gaming, stating that 'Mobile is where the future of gaming lies' during an interview published on Nikkei Trendy Net. Another shift within the gaming industry is the way that publishers sell their games. Traditionally, companies have sold their games for a set price. However, there has been a growth in ‘free-to-play’ games that have differing payment models such as micro-transactions for aesthetic in-game items, or paying for different sections of the game. The success of games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends show that these alternative payment methods can be successful. Game needs to learn how to adapt to these shifts in the gaming industry, as they both bypass retailers like Game. Despite the fall in profits and the issues that face Game Digital, they remain positive about the future. They are continuing to diversify the products they sell and their 2015-2016 year results suggest some positives in this strategy. ‘GAMEtronics’ (preowned phones and tablets) have grown by 61%, PC accessories have increased by more than 300% and licensed merchandise has

grown by 70%. Game Digital Plc also sees the launch of several VR devices as an opportunity to sell new products and bring in new customers. Finally, they are looking to develop the online services they provide by introducing online trade-ins, consumer finance, a UK gift card programme and a subscription service. The problem with such levels of diversification is that Game may be diluting its identity. Customers see Game as the main high-street retailer for video games and consoles. However, these days a typical Game store will have pre-owned tablets and phones in the windows, isles dedicated to merchandise and a host of collectibles behind the counter. The video games themselves are increasingly side-lined in a store that looks less and less like a video games store. It’s going to be interesting to see how Game copes with the upcoming financial year. There are certainly several problems that Game must deal with. Game still hold a large UK market share and have a strong brand in the industry. Furthermore, their strategy of diversifying into different parts of the gaming industry looks to keep the company safe by not relying on any specific service or product. So is it time to say goodbye to Game? Well the future doesn’t look bright; but let’s hope the strategy put in place will be successful as losing Game would be a sad day for gamers in the UK.

Review : Pokémon Sun & Moon Demo Dan Steeden lets us know what to expect of the iconic series this November Dan Steeden Sports Editor @dannysteeden

The Pokémon Company certainly isn’t holding back this year, it being the 20th anniversary of Pokémon. With the huge success of Pokémon GO bringing these Pocket Monsters back into the general public’s consciousness, the hype surrounding the latest instalment in the series of games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, is astounding. This week we have been thrown the juiciest bone yet – a demo version – in an attempt to heighten our already insatiable desire for all things Pokémon. In this demo you play as a character called Sun – a child who has moved to the Alola region from Kanto (the place where the original Red and Blue games took place) – and you have been gifted a Pokémon called Greninja from someone whose name remains a mystery. Your mother is the first character you talk to, so it looks like the absent father figure motif is set to continue in Sun and Moon. Like most Pokémon games, you have a best friend/rival thrust upon you. Your Alolan friend is called Hau and he acts as your tour guide in Hau’oli City. The city itself is one of the most complex and beautifully designed that we’ve seen in any Pokémon game.

There are various angled streets all adorned in the game’s vibrant colour pallet, and you can’t walk five steps without seeing a palm tree. The Hawaiian feel is everywhere, from the ‘Alola’ greetings of the people you encounter to the positively tropical soundtrack (the Pokémon Centre music is a highlight). It feels incredibly immersive, and this is down to details like hearing Pokémon cries as you walk around and the sweeping 360-degree camera that follows the character.

"Complex and beautifully designed" The city tour is swiftly interrupted by an introduction to the Alola region’s very own evil team – Team Skull. Say hello to everyone’s new favourite cosplay characters; these interpretive dancing punk rockers have a similar Pokémon-thieving philosophy to Team Rocket, but a vastly superior fashion sense, as well as some of the best theme music that the Pokémon series has ever produced. Dispatching the Team Skull grunts allows you to head north and take on Professor Kukui’s trial. This trial is just one example of various other trials that the full

games will offer, perhaps in the place of the convention gym battles from previous generations. The demo’s trial is a throwback to everyone’s favourite spin-off game, Pokémon Snap, and involves taking photos of dragon type Pokémon called Jangmo-o and Hakamo-o. Unfortunately these dragons get very agitated about something, maybe image rights, and attack you when you photograph them. Your Greninja obliterates them all, but the last battle is against a Totem Hakamo-o, which essentially means he’s more powerful and can summon a cute dog sidekick called Rockruff, so that at least provides somewhat of a challenge. During and after this battle some of the new features that have been introduced in Sun and Moon are revealed. Your Greninja spontaneously transforms into AshGreninja, through its Battle Bond ability, which will be familiar to fans of the XYZ anime series. This also goes some way to solving the mystery of who gifted you this Greninja at the beginning of the demo. In this scenario it makes the demo slightly easy, but its potential in the full game is certainly exciting with the promise of other trainer-Pokémon bonds. The other new feature is the introduction of Z-Moves. Professor Kukui rewards you with a Z-Ring

and a Z-Crystal for completing his trial, and he helpfully lets you test them out with his Pikachu. While you look around for something to disintegrate with Pikachu’s Z-Move, Gigavolt Havoc, that ominous punk theme music signals the arrival of Team Skull, whose Admin, Plumeria, wants to knock your down a peg or two. Little does she know that your rented Pikachu is now a demi-God and you end up annihilating her poor unsuspecting Golbat with a Final Fantasy-esque finishing move. These Z-Moves are a little overkill but that can be solved to an extent by having them used sparingly in the full storylines. It will be interesting to see their effect on the competitive battling meta-game once that is established.

"Pokemon games are getting progressively easier" With that the demo ends, just 40 minutes after it finished downloading, and with a trailer to give you a few more sneak previews of what's to come. There are a few other things to discover, one being the ability to ride Pokémon (a Tauros in this case), and another

being a fairly pointless Pokémon catching challenge that culminates in you releasing your catches back into the wild. As a demo it certainly set out to do what it intended, as the fervent desire to play more is certainly lingering as I write this. It provided a balance of familiarity – the inclusion of Pikachu, piggybacking off the success of Pokémon GO and the nostalgia surrounding Generation One – and new features – the Z-Moves, Ash-Greninja, and creative trials – to appeal to as many fans as possible. My biggest concern going into this demo was that they would have dumbed it down to the point where it wasn’t enjoyable to play, as Pokémon games are getting progressively easier, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It also provides sufficient plot hooks to make me excited about the main storyline and, if Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are anything to go by, this story is going to be one of the best ones yet. I’d recommend playing the demo even if it’s just so you receive Ash-Greninja ready to transfer to your full game when it comes out, but also to get a sense of just how well designed and thought out these games are going to be. If none of that convinces you, play it just to hear the Team Skull theme music, it will change your life.



Friday 4th November 2016


The Past, Present and Future of NFL in the UK Ben Garrett Sports Writer

There is no doubt that there is a fully dedicated franchise of Brits who whole heartedly support and follow the NFL in the UK and the number of British people who are 'very interested' has more than doubled, to 3 million since 2010. This has allowed for games at Wembley and now for the firsttime for games at Twickenham to flourish. Wembley is going to host at least two games per season until 2020 and there is an option to extend this until 2025. This will allow for increased growth of the sport within the UK and thus expand the game to a wider audience. The NFL has said that the 'league cannot be constrained by geographic boundaries', because talks about games taking place in Mexico and Germany are in continued discussion. However the NFL sees the UK as its most feasible current and future venture. This is primarily because of the sheer number of fans and people

"Even though there is much positivity and progression.. there is no realistic chance of London having a home based team"

American football correspondents, Ben Garrett and Sam Harrison, explore whether the partnership between the NFL and the UK will continue to grow who play sport in the UK. This has led to the NFL feeling that breaking into the UK market would be a very valuable step for continuing growth of the league . Importantly through their eyes, its revenue, leading to the NFL stating that an increase to eight games per season would be 'an easily identifiable next step'. I feel that the British public who watch, play and have a real passion for this sport would participate in any amount of games which were played over here. This is because, for us Brits who watch the sport, if we want to watch a game live we must stay up late on a Sunday evening or to see a live game at a stadium we must travel many miles to get there. Whereas having matches in London will make it easily accessible from virtually everywhere within the UK. I feel that an increase in the amount of games would do much better than harm for the development and growth of the sport in the UK. Even though there is much positivity and progression from this opportunity there is no realistic chance of London having a home based team. This is mainly because of the potential of underperformance due to the constant back and forth travel across the Atlantic. However, Shahid Khan (owner of Fulham FC and Jacksonville Jaguars) has allowed his team to become the NFL’s 'international team'. This is because he knows London extremely well and know what makes it tick and he considers

London to be the 'centre of the universe'. The Jaguars have benefitted financially from this as 15% of their annual ticket revenues comes from their London game. However, there is still the problem of there not being a household NFL player who is from the UK. The head of the UK NFL claimed that 'I think a London team could happen soon if all the stars aligned and it made absolute sense'. The problem is that I do not see it making logistical sense when a team must travel thousands of miles every other week and then be expected to perform at the standards which are required of them. This problem and a few others have led to Mark Waller, NFL’s vice president in charge of international operations, to say that 'If our teams aren’t comfortable with the strategy it will fall apart'. This is not something myself or any other NFL fan in the UK wants to see and the city of London does not want to see this happen as well. London benefits in many ways from having these NFL games over here. The most crucial way is that of the £32 million it brings each year to the London economy. This allows for the local economy to grow and prosper. Overall, the future of the NFL games in London is one which has much potential growth to it. Whether or not we see a fully established NFL team based in the UK is still up for debate, but whatever happens the NFL as a whole is only going to grow and develop within the UK.

Sam Harrison Sports Writer

American Football is a growing sport in the UK, and the NFL has capitalized on this by expanding its ventures into London. Every season, there are now three games played in London, where there were previously only two, and this year, for the first time, a game was played at Twickenham. The Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants took to the field at the home of rugby to play last Sunday. This coming Sunday, the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals will play at Wembley in the third and final overseas game of the year. When the NFL travels to London, there is an exciting opportunity for British and other European fans to go and experience a live game, which they otherwise might not be able to do. Alongside this, the games contested in Britain are also televised nationally on the BBC, whereas Sky Sports holds the rights to all other games. This is merely a part of the BBC’s expansion into American Football, as there are now also two weekly highlights shows broadcast, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There have been musings for

some time now that a franchise might try to move to London full time, but there have been logistical questions about this, especially regarding travel and the affects it has on players. Normally after a team has played in London they get their BYE week- a week off to rest and plan for the rest of the season. However, this season, for the first time, the NFL experimented with this by giving the Indianapolis Colts a game the week after they played the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley. The purpose of this was to test whether it would be possible for a team to play all eight of their home games in London, while still travelling to the States to play their away games. While the possibility of a team in London is still just that, the league has made plans for further games in the city, after last year coming to an agreement with Tottenham Hotspur to play games in the football team’s new stadium for ten years- once it is completed. This is a promising step as it recognises the market that there is in the UK for the NFL. While the definite picture of the NFL’s future in London is not complete, one thing is for certain: there is a future for the NFL in London.

Quiz Question of the Week: Which NFL team boasts a "prince" and the grandson of the Ugandan Prime Minister? Answer: New York Giants' Prince Amukamara and Mathias Kiwanuka.


Friday 4th November 2016



FIA Deliver Maximum Clarity in Response to Defensive Verstappen George Lilley-Moncrieff discusses the defensive driving techniques of Dutch F1 driver Max Verstappen George Lilley-Moncrieff Sports Writer

As of late, Formula 1’s golden boy Max Verstappen has been gaining a reputation for himself as a driver who is notoriously difficult to pass. His late defensive moves have been leaving those who challenge him with two options – back out of the overtake or lose a front wing. His style of defending first

"Verstappen has been gaining a reputation for himself as a driver who is notoriously difficult to pass."

came to forefront of discussion earlier this year in the Hungarian Grand Prix, when a late block from Verstappen led to Kimi Raikkonen losing his front wing endplate. This sparked a rivalry between the two drivers. Max pulled a similar move on the Finn just two races later in Belgium, requiring him to brake heavily in order to avoid ploughing into the back of the Red Bull car. These defensive moves may have been technically legal according to the stewards, but whether they are deemed acceptable by other drivers is a different question entirely. However, we may have seen the last of these rash moves. After receiving a lot of negative feedback from other drivers, including a driver briefing based solely around Verstappen’s defending, the FIA have finally spoken out. Prior to last weekend’s US Grand Prix Qualifying, Race Director of the FIA Charlie Whiting spelt out loud and clear what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to defend-

ing a position, writing: 'Article 27.5 of the Sporting Regulations states that “no car may be driven in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers”, furthermore, Article 27.8 prohibits any manoeuvre “liable to hinder other drivers, such as any abnormal change of direction." With this in mind any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers. Any such move will be reported to the stewards'. What this means then is that defensive moves such as that of Verstappen on Hamilton in Suzuka - when the Mercedes driver was forced to take a nearby escape road to avoid collision - will from now on be met with punishment. This is a welcome result for those such as Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez, who deemed Verstappen 'too dangerous'. On

the other hand, it raises a point about the rookies who are making their way into the sport at the moment. Up to now, it went without saying that drivers would not defend a position to the point of putting others in serious danger. Max’s driving however, clearly shows that some of the fresh faces of the sport have been brought up with a different mindset. As Formula 1 veteran Jenson Button stated, 'In my 15 years of racing we have not really had a problem, just in the last two years'. Lewis

Hamilton shared this opinion, saying that 'For 10 years it’s been the same rule, but there are some newcomers who are not abiding'. While Max Verstappen continues to dazzle in his Red Bull out on track, it takes very little detective work to uncover towards whom the fingers are being firmly pointed.

The Great Birmingham Run Inspires a City Lorna Taaffe- one of many members of Redbrick who took part in the Great Birmingham Run- gives her account of the half-marathon around Birmingham walks of life came together to champion those who had individual targets but also those runners who were starting their own personal race towards change, in support of a charities close to their hearts. Harry Turner, Deputy Editor of Redbrick ran the course in one hour and twenty-eight minutes, said of the day: 'The atmosphere at the half-marathon was great right around the course - on more than a few occasions I found myself smiling as people cheered me on. It was a great help too especially around the 8-10 mile mark, the point at which I had a stitch coming on and the miles seemed to be going by much slower. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's interested especially now that the infamous hill will no longer be a part of the course!'

Lorna Taaffe

Sports Writer

20,000 runners took to the streets of Birmingham last weekend to showcase a masterclass of determination and character. Over the 13.1 miles covered many carried not only the courage to take on such a challenge but also the bravery to face both loss and legacy in order to raise copious amounts of money for charities. The UK’s second biggest city provided a sensational backdrop to one of the largest running events on the calendar. The route meandered through the city and past the world-famous Edgbaston Cricket ground and then into Bournville, home of Cadbury World. At approximately 6.5 miles the course began to work its way back to the city, carrying thousands of hurting yet resolute legs back to the finish line. A quick detour around the skirt of Cannon Hill Park offered light entertainment as Free Radio blared chart

"Gritted teeth, a strong persuasion of mind over matter and a litter of jelly babies would ensure an emphatic finish"

hits to lift any falling spirits. With a full complement of tired legs and tenacious minds the runners continued to Broad Street in search of that ever-appealing finish line. Not even a jelly baby station could prepare them for what was to come next. Yes, it is true - there was a jelly baby station. At precisely 11 miles runners were faced with the prospect of the infamous ascent into the city. Gritted teeth, a strong persuasion of mind over matter and a litter of

jelly babies would ensure an emphatic finish. Such an occasion would not have held the same magnitude of success without the incredible support provided by family and friends of runners as well as residents of Birmingham alike. All of who, turned up in their masses and lined the length of the route creating a thunderous and inspiring atmosphere. As a runner of the race myself, it is important here to note the effect

supporters had on the experience of many runners. Hearing people you have never met cheer the name printed on your chest with the enthusiasm in which they didcreates an additional desire to conquer the challenge and make your loved ones proud. The public exhibited a culture of unity and togetherness. I would go on to argue that these attributes epitomise the City of Birmingham and its people. Residents from ranging ethnicities and varying

"Hearing people you have never met cheer the name printed on your chest with enthusiasm creates an additional desire to conquer the challenge"



Friday 4th November 2016


Second City Derby Ends Honours Even at St.Andrews Harry Wilkinson Sports Print Editor @harry_wilks

On Sunday Villa travelled the short distance to St. Andrews to play Small Heath (or Birmingham City) FC, in what has to be one of the most important derbies for years. With both teams in the same league for the first time since the 2010/11 season, this game held a special significance. As if the game didn't already have enough flavour, the prospect of Villa manager Steve Bruce returning to his old club was mouth-watering to say the least. Bruce actually spent six years of his career at Birmingham, beating Villa four times during his reign. But with Bruce now at Villa Parkand openly saying that Villa are the biggest club he's ever managed - surely there's a kind of irrevocable irrelevance now when considering his past. Current form between the two teams made things even more interesting, with Villa making a very bright start under Bruce - 7

"The match had quite a strange outcome in that both teams were slightly disappointed not to have won it"

Campus Sports Results November 2nd

Print editor and Aston Villa fan Harry Wilkinson gives his account of the highly anticipated Second City derby, which ended as a 1-1 draw points from 9, including a first away win since last August. Prior to the game, Blues found themselves in 7th place with 23 points; a strong start to say the least. A recent 2-0 defeat to Burton Albion meant Villa surely had momentum on their side. But honours ended even - and as Bruce said in his post-match interview - it was 'about right.' With it being at St. Andrews you would have expected Birmingham to have their good share of possession and pressure, but Villa seemed to handle it competently. Nathan Baker performed wonderfully; dominating the majority of physical battles he came up against. Similarly, Blues centreback Ryan Shotton had an unbelievable game. The ex-Stoke defender managed to keep inform striker Jonathan Kodija quiet. Other stand-out performers have to be Mile Jedinak - who looked very competent protecting the Villa back four - and David Davis, who coped very well with playing on the right side of midfield as opposed to the usual centre, before being brought to the middle and scoring the equaliser. The match had quite a strange outcome in that both teams would be slightly disappointed not to have won it, with Villa not holding on to the lead, and Blues squandering some good chances after equalising.

Villa took the lead on 29 minutes, with a looping header from local-boy Gary Gardner. The Solihull born midfielder ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the two-thousand Villa faithful. Scoring his first Villa goal in such a momentous game can only keep Gardner's form rising. I'd have loved to have heard the phone-call he had with his brother afterwards (ex-Villa and Blues player, Craig Gardner). After the goal the atmosphere was one of compete elation in the Villa end, whilst there was a tangible tenseness hovering around the rest of the ground. We asked 'Brucey' to give us a wave, to which he obliged, causing a mass ringing of boos and abuse to circulate from the Birmingham fans. It was a perfect first half for Villa - aside from perhaps Adomah's injury, which came from a questionable incident between him and Blues 'keeper, Tomas Kuszczak.

"The game seemed to step up a level in the second half: in intensity, in physicality, in atmosphere"

Villa also escaped going behind when a donaldson attempt was cleared off the line; an extra-ordinary decision by a linesman unaided by the goal-line technology that the Premier League benefits from. The game seemed to step up a level in the second half: in intensity, in physicality and in atmosphere. After a couple of periods of sustained pressure, the Blues fans finally made their presence known by belting out their anthem. Villa had few chances in the second half, but one came from a counter-attack which lead to Jordan Ayew manoeuvring his way into the box to provide a tantalising ball to the back-post. But McCormack made his run to early, and the ball agonisingly floated over his head. Birmingham continued a decent spell of pressure, and got their goal on 71 minutes through another local-boy, David Davis. Like Gardner, Davis also felt the need to turn and celebrate in front of the Villa fans. Fair play to him, if a Villa player did that I would not object, so it would by hypocritical to to pretend that I think Davis was 'out of order,' because that's just not true. It's fair game in my opinion. Although, it could be interpreted as a demonstration of how the day for Birmingham seemed to be more about getting one over on Villa rather than asserting their own intentions. But I digress - Birmingham continued to have the majority of pressure, as expected with the inevitable momentum after getting the equaliser. However, after the emergence of Gabby Agbonlahor with 10 minutes left, the game certainly took on a different feel. Villa managed to get a couple of set-pieces, and everyone was just waiting (with agonising pain or hopeful expectancy) for Gabby to get the winner lateon. But it wasn't to be, and in reflection of the football played over 90 minutes, it was fair enough that it remained a draw. The Villa fans seemed content

enough with a draw, and I would expect most Blues fans would feel similar. Following the final whistle as the players and managers were walking off - occurred one of my favourite moments of the day. As Gary Rowett was walking off towards the tunnel we Villa fans began chanting 'Gary Rowett, he's one of our own' (on account of him allegedly growing up as an Aston Villa fan). This caused the Blues manager to angrily start shaking his head and flapping with the back of his hands, as if he were 'shooing' us. The fact it rustled him so much was just beautiful and adds another element for us all to look forward to in the Blues' visit in April. The Villa fans were kept inside St. Andrews for about 45 minutes, allowing for the Birmingham fans to filter out accordingly - either via Bordesley station or the 25 minute walk back down Digbeth towards the Bullring. After being let out the ground we waited a further 20 minutes in the outside concourse area, before being lead out onto Coventry Road. It was here the one mile police escort began, which lead us all the way to Duddeston train station. The movement was relatively constant, with the occasionally stops allowing riot vans to halt traffic by parking themselves onto the three roundabouts encountered on the way, meaning the two-thousand fans could safely cross. The escort was kept strictly closed, with no fans allowing to dissect it from either side. Considering the scale of the escort, it didn't actually take too long to get to Duddeston. In my opinion it was actually a very well-organised operation by the West Midlands Police, and this can be substantiated when considering there were only 14 arrests made. With both teams making positive strides in the league, who knows, perhaps the meeting in late April could be crucial in deciding a play-off place.

Bruce is unbeaten as Aston Villa manager, winning 2 and drawing 2 in his 4 games in charge

Whilst Bruce managed Birmingham City he beat Villa 4 times in his 6 year reign

Basketball (men's) 1sts 80-64 Nottingham 1sts Basketball (men's) 2nds 49-29 Nottingham 2nds Lacrosse (men's) 1sts 8-7 Cambridge 1sts Hockey (men's) 2nds 4-5 Newcastle 1sts Netball 2nds 37-38 Cambridge 1sts Table tennis (men's) 1sts 7-10 Derby 1sts Men's Football 2nds 1-3 Notts Trent 1sts Rugby union (men's) 1sts 22-32 Notts Trent 1sts


Friday 4th November 2016



English Academies: Why do Premier League Clubs Rarely Produce Top Players? Alex Alton Sports Writer @_alexalton

Alex Alton analyses the worrying lack of English talent arising from most Premier League academies - comparing Chelsea and Southampton as a case study

Although English players do feature heavily and perform outstandingly in the Premier League, the issues of academies and the players they produce is one that is of vital importance to the league and more importantly to the national side. This is not to say that English football and its academies are in a state of disarray, as for example all six of Bournemouth’s goal scorers last weekend were English. However, if we look at this weekends Premier League action only two of the nineteen goals were scored by Englishmen (Nathan Redmond and Gary Cahill). This raises some concerns when we compare this to other leagues such as La Liga and the Bundesliga. To use some statistics: 52% of the 33 goals scored in La Liga were scored by Spanish players, and in the Bundesliga 40% of goals were scored by Germans. When we compare this to the 10% of goals scored by Englishmen in the Premier League, it makes for concerning reading. Although you could argue that this percentage may have been much higher had the likes of Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge been starting, it paints a worrying picture of English football. You could be right to argue that the amount of goals scored by English players is not an overall measure of success and therefore we should assess other areas too. A good area to look at would be

the amount of English or homegrown players starting in the Premier League. Remarkably, this has dropped from 69% of starters being English in 1992, to a low of 31% for the 2015/16 season. When we put this in comparison to other countries once again, this statistic is really put into context. The Bundesliga has around 50% of its starting players as German players and La Liga is even more impressive with a total of 58.4% of its players home-grown Spanish players. Is there a link between the amount of domestic players that a country produces and the consequent success of their national team? Or is this merely a coincidence? With three of the last four Euros/World Cup going to either Spain or Germany, I think it is safe to say that an emphasis on producing home-grown players pays off in the long run. The particular failure to produce players at a consistently high level in English football is one that could possibly be put down to the Premier League’s lack of involvement. However, they did introduce the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) in 2012. Designed to be 'a long-term strategy with the aim of developing more and better home-grown players,' this rule changed the way that clubs can acquire young players. Instead of clubs only being able to recruit players from a very close proximity to their training facilities, they could now recruit players from anywhere in the country. Although this has allowed elite clubs to attract better talent to their academy, it means that these bigger clubs can use their financial might to pay their way and attract more talent. This is not an inherently bad thing, as it may allow some players to reach their full potential at elite clubs and become truly elite players. However, there is no definite link between the economic power of a club and their ability to produce players. We only have to take a look at the well documented Chelsea youth recruitment and loan system to realise that clubs will often prioritise money over youth. They have a ridiculous number of 38 players who are out on loan currently - 15 of those being English. Proponents of this model have argued that this makes good business sense, as players who play well on loan may add value to a potential transfer fees, and demonstrate to the host club whether they are good enough to play in the first team. However, I

Fencing (men's) 2nds 35-135 Loughbrough Netball 1sts 40-53 Manchester 1sts Squash (men's) 3rds 0-5 Notts Trent 1sts

would contend that this is obviously placing an economic imperative above the long term growth of youth players, something that is unhealthy for the English game. There are a few players who have seemingly slipped through the loan net such as Ruben LoftusCheek, but these are few and far between. Jose Mourinho once claimed he would take personal responsibility if Lewis Baker, Dominic Solanke and Izzy Brown do not become Chelsea regulars and eventual England players. Two years later, only one of them has made a Premier League appearance, and all three have been shipped out on loan to Chelsea’s infamous feeder club Vitesse Arnhem. Of the current Chelsea first team squad, the only established player is John Terry, who came through the club’s youth system 18 years ago. Evidently, the club is failing to produce top players who they can keep at the club and contribute to the success of the English national team.

"There is no definite link between the economic power of a club and their ability to produce players" Of course not all top clubs have such a backwards stance on youth development, with many examples of players coming through recently such as Marcus Rashford and Alex Iwobi at Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. In addition, we have the case study of Southampton which is a much better example of how to balance a priority on youth with the importance of good finances and success. Southampton have not enjoyed the same kind of success as Chelsea, but have proved that consistent youth development helps to create a business model which is sustainable for both financial and football success. Finishing sixth last season, Southampton had a good mix of youth and experience and in the last three seasons have consecutively improved their league position whilst developing players.

Such development has been sufficient enough to sell two hundred and fourteen million pounds worth of players. We can see a similar revelation at Tottenham Hotspur (managed by former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino) who contributed five of the England starting line-up for the first game of the Euros, whilst also finishing second in the league. Once again, we can see here that development of young players is compatible with domestic success. Perhaps we should look further down the football pyramid to credit: Freddyway Nevison-Andrews findPhoto a successful of developing players. After all, from the 2016 England Euros squad 12 of the 23 man squad were developed by non-Premier League clubs. For example, we can take the case of Crewe Alexandra, my local club. Crewe have a heavy emphasis on youth development and to put it brutally, they depend on this for the continuation of the club. Although probably not the most sustainable business model, this heavy emphasis on youth development has resulted in the production of many established Premier League players like Danny Murphy, Dean Ashton, Robbie Savage, Seth Johnson and Ashley Westwood. However, this

Football (women's) 1sts 2-2 Leeds Beckett Lacrosse (women's) 1sts 4-7 Durham 1sts Table tennis (men's) 2nds 10-7 Leicester 1sts

emphasis on purely youth player development may have led to a decline in results for Crewe, with the club now languishing in League Two. Conversely to this, Barnsley are a club who have managed to balance development of youth players along with domestic success at a lower level. The obvious example is that of John Stones, who Barnsley just received a sell on fee of £7.1 million after a big money move to Manchester City. Along with this, Barnsley have produced players such as Mason Holgate, (now of Everton) and Alfie Mawson, who recently completed a £5 million move to Swansea City. Along with this impressive record of youth development, they now find themselves in the Championship, looking to establish themselves in the second division. Overall, I think you could make the case that the production of elite players is often overridden by economic imperatives at the elite level of football. Although this is not always the case, the disproportionate amount of England starting players (and Premier League players in general) suggests that we still have a lot to learn from Spain and Germany.

04.11.2016 Sam Harrison and Ben Garrett

look at the future of the NFL in the UK

Page 36 Alex Alton

reviews the academy systems in English football

Page 38 Harry Wilkinson reports on a feisty Second City derby

Page 39

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Defeat to Warwick is a Bitter Pill to Swallow for Birmingham’s 2nds Alex Alton

Sports Writer

UoB Mens 2nds were looking to finally get some points on the board against Warwick after two losses from two. Starting with a 4-3-3 formation, UoB set out early on to try to break down Warwick. However, they were immediately stopped in their tracks after a red card was shown to number 5 in the fourth minute. There was good reason for the colour of the card, 5 being the last man holding on to the shirt of the Warwick attacker and preventing a goal scoring opportunity. It was not self-evident that the referee had sent the player off, as no red card was shown. From the early stages it was obvious that the Birmingham players were up for this match, with both 14 and 2 given warnings from the referee for cynical fouls that warranted a yellow card. This automatic disadvantage from an early stage should have ensured that Warwick would go on to win the match with ease. They had the lion’s share of chances in the first half, missing two golden opportunities to take the lead that would have left UoB with a mountain to climb to get anything out of the

game. Yet it was UoB who went ahead in slightly fortunate circumstances in the 38th minute. Great work by the Birmingham number 11 down the right hand side resulted in a swift cross into the box which was helplessly bundled into the net by a Warwick defender. Birmingham were lucky to go into the break with the result in their favour after Warwick spurned many chances. The second half could be easily summed up by an immense amount of pressure by Warwick on the UoB side with very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities. The referee was put under stress for a number of questionable penalty calls from Warwick. Warwick had the chance to equalise in the 72nd minute, but their right back hit the ball just over the target. At this point, after a few more appeals for fouls in and around the penalty area, there was an increasing sense of injustice in the Warwick side, which they perhaps used to their advantage to rally together in the last 10 minutes. Birmingham, who will have been content with their performance up until the 80th minute, had done very well to shut out Warwick after being down to 10 men for over 75 minutes. Two crushing blows to their spirits came in a dramatic final ten minutes, however.

On the 85th minute, a Warwick midfielder excellently fizzed in a ball towards the penalty area from a free kick, which was converted by their number 8 in what seemed to be a momentary lapse of concentration for Birmingham. This was a killer blow in the final minutes of the match, which was further compounded in the 88th minute by a shock Warwick winner. In a very similar move to the one which saw them bundle in the first goal, the Photo credit: Freddy ball was slotted in Nevison-Andrews at the back post. Perhaps what was most interesting about this second goal was the celebrations of the Warwick number 8, who chose to do so in front of the Birmingham bench and do his fair share of gloating. At any moment it looked like tensions could have boiled over in to some sort of physical dispute. This was an absolutely heart-breaking way to end the match for a Birmingham side who had fought bravely to hold on to a lead for 80 minutes with 10 men. On the balance of chances, a draw was probably a fair result for both sides, but Warwick managed to snatch victory in the closing moments. This leaves Birmingham bottom of the league after 3 games, the only side not to claim points so far.

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