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Volume 7 | Issue 1 Freshers’ Edition Tuesday 25 September 2012

the independent student newspaper of royal holloway, university of london

Welcome to Royal Holloway Congratulations! Welcome to Royal Holloway, or if you’re one of the hundreds returning to Egham, a warm welcome back! This in your hands is The Founder, Royal Holloway’s independent student newspaper. By ‘independent’, I mean we have no formal affiliation with any part of the Students’ Union or the College, meaning we have total freedom in what we are able to report. So if you want to get your voice heard, this is the place to do it. This paper is entirely run for students, by students. Like our famous landmark building, the paper is named after Thomas Holloway, the Victorian founder of the university, and was itself founded in 2006 by Jack Lenox, a recent RHUL graduate. You’re possibly about to meet the largest amount of people at once you’ll ever meet. You’ll almost certainly get ill (the Freshers’ Flu), you’ll probably put on weight (the Freshman 15), but along with it will come some of the best friends you’ll ever make. And if you were ever to meet a arch-nemesis, well, that would probably be here too. You’ll hear a lot of people saying ‘fuck it, 40%’, and ‘first year doesn’t count’, whilst lining their windowsills with wine bottles and their

floors with empty Domino’s boxes. Technically, of course, they’re right, and these people often make great company. But the only thing I can say to dissuade you from that is you should start as you mean to go on. It’s hard to break habits, and the increase in workload each year is almost inevitably more than you think. But have fun! (It’s never this easy again!) Here’s a quick guide to how the paper works: The Founder’s News section covers campus events and investigations, with occasional national and international pieces. If you have an anonymous tip, or want to let people know about something happening on campus, get in touch at! The Comment and Debate section is where you can find discussion of important and often controversial issues, with a university bent. If you agree or disagree with what you read here, then wade in and respond, as cross-campus involvement what often makes it one of the most compelling sections of the paper. The Arts section covers everything to do with theatre, literature contd. on page 2...



Comment & Debate



Are the work conditions at our SU fair?

No to isolationism: UK troop withdrawal wrong

Vino, vidi, vici: I heard it on the grapevine

Goodbye, dear void...: With love to Emma Watson

PETER HAMMOND, our new News Editor, investigates

JAMES BALL explains the case for interventionist foreign policy

JOSHUA CHARLES-CHEUNG kicks off our new wine column

JULIA ARMFIELD tells us what the critic game’s all about


HARBEN LETS your oldest and largest private landlord 07973 224125




The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Founder The Independent Student Newspaper of Royal Holloway, University of London Email: For the latest news, reviews, and everything Holloway, get online Check out our website For all of our paper content, and even more: Follow us on Twitter The Founder tweets all the latest breaking news and stories here: Like us on Facebook Like us on Facebook and you’ll get our latest news in your news feed:

Please recycle this newspaper when you are finished Recycling bins are located at: Arts Building, The Hub, Gowar and Wedderburn Halls, T-Dubbs

and art. Whether you want to vent about Damien Hirst’s latest, or gush about Twilight, this is the place to do it. Music is self-explanatory, and there is enough music going on at Royal Holloway alone to fill this section with brilliant reviews every issue. Whoever you’ve seen, tell us what you think! The Film section is always crammed with reviews. And with the closest cinema in Staines(-upon-Thames), and ticket prices what they are, you might as well just read the reviews instead of seeing anything. I kid: buses are cheap, and I hear Orange Wednesdays happen

tf editorial team Editor-in-Chief Thomas Seal

Managing Editors Toby Fuller, Scott Wilson and Richard Cunningham Lead Designer (vacant)

Music Editor Katie Osmon

News Editor Peter Hammond

Arts Editor Scott Wilson

Comment & Debate Editor Toby Fuller

Sport Editor Richard Cunningham

Features Editor Felicity King Film Editor Zlatina Nikolova

Pictures Editor Amy Taheri Subeditor Alexandra Ioannou

This edition designed by Thomas Seal

The Founder is the independent student newspaper of Royal Holloway, University of London. We distribute at least 4,000 free copies every fortnight during term time around campus and to popular student venues in and around Egham. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Editor-in-Chief, especially of comment and opinion pieces. Every effort has been made to contact the holders of copyright for any material used in this issue, and to ensure the accuracy of this fortnight’s stories. For advertising and sponsorship enquiries, please contact the Business Director: Web Email

Want to write for thefounder? No problem! Just get in touch!

The Founder is printed by Mortons Print Ltd No part of this publication is to be reproduced, stored on a retrieval system or submitted in any form or by any means, without prior permission of the publisher

Thomas Seal Editor

excited to help bring you the best writing on campus this year, with the help of my incredibly talented (not to mention attractive) editorial team. So, if you have something to say, Hi there. I’m a third-year English those things are; neither did I until say it with us! We’re always looking student, fresh from a year studying I went.) for designers and writers of every abroad in Alberta, Canada, where This is my third year being description. I spent my time being scared by involved with the Founder, first as If you’d like to know more, there’s inukshuks and Don Cherry, wear- Features Editor and then as News something you think we’re missing, ing a toque, eating poutine and Editor. It has already been a huge or there’s something we could do two-stepping. (Don’t worry if you pleasure and privilege to write better, don’t hesitate to let me know, don’t know what one or more of for the paper, and I am incredibly at

Peter Hammond News Editor This is my first year as News Editor, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to provide luciferous news. As a European Studies student majoring in politics, I’m seeking to immerse myself in thrilling domestic and international inter-

actions. I consider myself a bit of an ideopraxist (Don’t we all? - Ed.), bouncing ideas around like balls in my weekly Saturday night squash match. I also enjoy the occasional single malt, and am never opposed to a bit of good old-fashioned fun,

provided it doesn’t get raucous. I am positively thrilled to be working within such a fantastic team of editors; we’re already operating with the same functionality enjoyed by the Secret Seven – a level of efficiency I aspire to. Drop me a follow on Twitter to hear my musings: @PeterOliverHamm.

weekly now. And with ‘Lincoln’, a new Bond film and ‘The Hobbit’ all being released in the next couple of months, there’s rarely been a better time to write for the section. Features is a mixed bag of campus anecdotes, case studies, academic diatribes, wine reviews, rants and really any well-written piece we receive that doesn’t neatly slot into one of the other sections! If you’ve got something that you want people to read, but you don’t think it will fit in the paper...think again! The Sports section always does its best to cover the events going on every day at Holloway, as well as professional sports. However, with the amount going on, it’s a Herculean task, so whether you’re a member of a team, a committee, or even an avid fan, tell us what your club is up to! Lots of people (like me just now) will be overloading you advice this week, but the only advice that applies to everyone in first year is to get involved! We publish every two weeks, and our next submission deadline is October 1st, so get writing! Thomas, Editor

tf The Editor Contact the editor at:


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Students’ Union Bar Work Conditions Face Scrutiny Peter Hammond News Editor


he Royal Holloway Students’ Union has already come under scrutiny for their budget deficit of £98,464. However, as The Founder has discovered, their mismanagement appears to also extend to the practises surrounding their bar staff. Having spoken with several of their employees who work both in Medicine and the SU Main Building (all of whom wish to remain anonymous), rather startling issues have come to light. On their website, SURHUL state ‘’Our mission is to provide outstanding representation and services that promote active and constant participation’’; an ethos which now appears under question.

‘There were no gloves available for those who had to pick up the cigarette butts. They had to persist without gloves, otherwise they would not be judged as having completing their tasks and would face a reprimand.’

the cigarette butts. The interviewed staff member said that, as a group, they had to persist without gloves, otherwise they would not be judged as having completing their tasks and would face a reprimand. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers must provide their employees with the required PPE (personal protection equipment), obviously not adhered to on this occasion. Having to proceed with this job was unhygienic and repulsive for the employee interviewed, as well as in violation of employment law. Those working late in the Students’ Union have the opportunity of getting a Non-Res bus from the premises to their residences, should they live off-campus. This is an extraordinarily sensible idea, particularly considering attacks that have taken place in the surrounding area, targeting students walking alone. In spite of this, The Founder received

One employee spoken to stated that, whilst working at the bar, it was highly unlikely that they would receive their break before 2:30AM, meaning that most staff would be waiting between six and seven hours for their break. Even then, the break would only last for twenty or thirty minutes, even when shifts might run on until 5AM or later. When the demands upon the bar staff are examined, this appears to be an insufficient period of respite. Additionally, the bar staff are tasked with clearing up the entire premises following an evening, including toilets and the smoking areas. One such experience described to The Founder was an even- flickr/JamesHarrison ing when there were no gloves available for those who had to pick up

information that, on more than one occasion, bar managers have not adequately communicated with the Non-Res drivers, resulting in employees walking as far as Kingswood, often after 4AM, by themselves. This is both unsafe and impractical, forcing the choice between taking a slower, better lit route home, or a faster and more hazardous path. The Summer Ball was also a topic focused on by interviewees, two of whom worked for over 11 hours. These shifts were punctuated by two twenty minute breaks, allowing barely enough time for them to collect their food and find somewhere to sit down. When the £5000 profit made from the Summer Ball is considered, surely the option of hiring a few more staff was not unfeasible. This would have permitted slightly longer and more flexible breaks among the employees, giving them the opportunity to rest properly be-

fore recommencing their shifts. Instead, the £5000 profit is being used to reduce 2013 Summer Ball tickets by roughly £2 each; a relatively insignificant gesture in the face of the overall expenditure of £128,000 for the event. Perhaps the most unjust aspect of the exposed situation was the rate of pay for SU bar employees. The standard wage is £6.08 per hour, raised to £6.38 after midnight. This thirty pence increase seems inequitable with the work by staff undertaken post-midnight, particularly after the venue closes. Comparatively, a standard McDonald’s employee is paid fifty pence extra per hour after 11PM. On campus staff at ‘Crosslands’ are paid over £8 per hour – a very reasonable wage. When the sociability of their working hours and more subdued working environment is considered, this seems illogical. As an example, one SU employee informed us of an in-

stance when they had to clear up a used condom and other such detritus from the main building dance floor. Yet, as they operate under different authorities, this disparity remains unnoticed. Hopefully a new academic year and new sabbaticals for the Students’ Union will produce a more favourable situation for the hard-working bar staff. Indeed, plans to generate extra revenue for the SU are in place; the most promising of these is the Student Letting Agency. Success in this and other endeavours have the potential to help alleviate some of the pressure and unfairness experienced by the Students’ Union staff. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the interviewees are not necessarily shared by the board of the Founder. All information on working conditions was provided by anonymous employees of the Royal Holloway Students’ Union.

The SU provides entertainment for thousands of students. But is it at the expense of its staff?


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012



The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


London Student article on gender neutral toilets causes uproar

Heathrow headache for Boris

Thomas Seal Editor

ayor of London Boris Johnson has had to publicly deny allegations that he plans to run for Parliament in order to attempt to block the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport. Johnson, who is claimed to have been plotting with Conservative MP for Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith to return to Westminster, has released a statement from his office stating that, although the notion of Goldsmith resigning and Johnson running in his place in a by-election had been discussed, the thought was “laughingly dismissed out of hand” by them both. Mr Johnson has publicly opposed the proposed building of a third runway and sixth terminal just south of the M4, in an area currently occupied by the village of Sipson, since his mayoral election campaign of 2008. Although the airport operator BAA officially dropped the plans in May of this year, London First, a lobbying group which represent

Remarks regarding gender neutral toilets published in this academic year’s first edition of the London Student, the official newspaper of ULU and Europe’s largest student newspaper, have rapidly caused outrage across the University of London’s student body. On September 17 the LonStu published a ‘Great Debate’ piece regarding planned gender neutral

toilets (that is, toilets designed to be used by people who identify as any gender, commonly found in cafés, planes, or your own house) at the London School of Economics, and the half of the spread arguing against the plans contains remarks that have offended many. Written by Jason Wong, a secondyear student of Government at the LSE, the ‘NO’ article included remarks such as ‘this ghastly game of social experiment is a ludicrous waste of money’, labelling the plans part of a ‘radical political agenda’

on ‘the slippery and dangerous path our society is treading down’, before describing the use of labels of ‘‘racist’, ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’’ as ‘no more than a cheap tactic by those on the Left to avoid having serious policy debates.’ He finishes the article by declaring ‘we are one of the world’s most prestigious university (sic), not some cheap strip club in the alleys of Bangkok.’ In response, Alex Peters-Day, the LSESU General Secretary, has publicly demanded an apology from the editor of the LonStu, Jen Izaakson

New Drama dept. theatre named after playwright Caryl Churchill Malcolm McEachern

The University and the Drama Department are very proud to announce the new theatre, due to open in early 2013, is to be named after legendary British playwright Caryl Churchill. Her career found success from the moment it was born over six decades ago, being the recipient of many awards for her accomplished plays. Professor Dan Rebellato, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre, stated “Caryl

Churchill is internationally recognized as one of the key playwrights of the last 100 years. To be able to name our theatre after Caryl Churchill is a great honour for the College and just recognition of her restless theatrical creativity.” The selection of her name to bestow upon the new theatre reflects the connection Royal Holloway has always had with its founding principles of women’s education. The Caryl Churchill Theatre will be able to seat 175 people within its 2 tiers. This theatre will be one of the Drama Department’s main public performance venues;

tf Newsdesk Want to join our reporting team? Just want to write a one-off article? Just want to give us an anonymous tip? Contact our newsdesk at:

however, it will also be the host of lectures, platform events, debates and panels, ensuring to benefit much of the student body. There is also hope that the theatre will be able to attract touring productions looking for a venue outside London in the South-East of England. One resident theatre company, “nonzero one”, will quickly be making this theatre their new home, allowing them to present the work of Holloway’s own graduate theatre company. One hope expressed by current Royal Holloway students is that this new theatre does not become another “Handa Noh Theatre”. Built in 1991, it has since little use, despite the burgeoning talent within the Drama and Theatre Department keen to use the unique venue. Whilst it may be preserved for solely “Noh” performances, it seems to receive far less attention than it really ought to. Students at Royal Holloway should be excited for the impending completion of this venue. It will add to the variety of locations across campus that allow for the use of student activities, and hopefully encourage and accommodate the vast range of theatrical talent present at the college.

Please recycle this newspaper when you are finished Recycling bins are located at: Arts Building, The Hub, Gowar and Wedderburn Halls, T-Dubbs

for publishing the remarks, and for him ‘to make a public commitment to ensure that the London Student is not used as a platform for peddling hate speech’ in the future. SURHUL issued a statement the same day arguing the need for gender netural toilets, as well as directly repeating Peters-Day’s above demands. Izaakson has since been involved in a slew of twitter debates regarding this, but at the time of the Founder going to print has yet to issue a formal statement. Jason Wong is no stranger to controversy. Just last year, his campaign for Treasurer of the LSE’s Bankside halls of residence caused a similar storm and even hit the national press when his campaign posters declared ‘Bankside toilet cleaners have got to be one of the best jobs out there...We’re being ripped off ’, aside pictures of a woman dressed in a maid’s outfit scrubbing a toilet. He subsequently apologised for his remarks. Such debates are not strange to RHUL, either. Last year’s refurbishment of the Students’ Union building also saw the inclusion of gender neutral toilets. SURHUL published a document explaining the decision at the time, mentioning that ‘students’ unions have always been at the forefront of liberation movements. We should be leading the way for trans inclusion. Therefore,

installing gender-neutral toilets is a simple and very effective way to make a student’s union more inclusive.’ However, debates arose over women’s safety in these toilets (despite the continued existence of female-gendered toilets), and such debates were exacerbated when a 25-year old man from Englefield Green was arrested in October, just a month into the toilets’ usage, upon the allegation of ‘serious sexual assault’ against a 19-year old woman. The allegations were later dropped and the man’s bail cancelled. RHUL Feminism Society President, Susuana Antubam, a signatory of SURHUL’s statement, had this to say: ‘As a group that proudly campaigns for gender equality, we were disgusted by Jason Wong’s article. We were also surprised that the London Student thought that it was acceptable to pass off uneducated, dangerous and transphobic opinions as intellectual debate. We acted by writing a response in which we demanded an apology from the LonStu editor for allowing a platform for hate speech. Our statement received over 1000 hits in 24 hours. To be able to use a toilet and not be abused for your gender is a right.’ For links to Mr. Wong’s remarks, and the ‘Great Debate’ article in full, find this article online at thefounder.

flickr/Robert A Coles Did you know? Gender neutral toilets are frequently referred to as ‘toilets’.

Harry Highton


flickr/Robert A Coles

many of the capital’s major businesses, described the expansion of the airport as the “only credible option” and accused the government of being “negligent” and unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”. Several senior Conservatives are keen to see the expansion go forward, but Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, stated publicly on the BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show that the expansion “is not going to happen” and that the best way to move forward is to “look at the alternatives”. He added: “This is not a parochial little problem for southwest London. There are potentially two million people affected by this. There’s an absolute political commitment not to expand Heathrow.” The expansion of the UK’s aviation network continues to be a contentious issue, as plans for the London Britannia Airport, which will float in the Thames Estuary and be tethered to the seabed, are released by its architects. Alternatives to the expansion of Heathrow include two other floating airports, one of which

has been dubbed ‘Boris Island’, and architect Lord Norman Foster has already unveiled his plans for an airport at the Hoo Peninsula on the Kent coast. Despite this, pressure from senior Conservatives has lead to the Prime Minister setting up a commission chaired by the ex-Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies, which will examine ways to expand the UK’s airport capacity. The new transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has stated that the commission’s purpose is to identify and recommend to the government “options for maintaining this country’s status as an international hub for aviation”. An initial interim report will be published by the end of 2013, which will contain ideas on how to improve the use of existing runway capacity over the next five years, as well as an assessment of what is needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status. The final report will be made by the commission in 2015, after the next general election, leaving the final decision to the next government.

flickr/BackBoris2012 Does Boris have ulterior motives with his Heathrow wrangling?

& The Miscarriage of Triage


tf Comment

Scott Wilson Arts Editor Medicine is not a retrospective discipline; it is by nature progressive. Therefore, medicine requires intelligence, intuition, and compassion, and as such there is an abrasive blindness when a system of care becomes stagnant. Neonatal care is such a system: it demands that we indulge in its self-inflicted hyperbolic morality, without reasonably assessing its qualities and impact upon other wards. The infant ward frightens us and our resolution is to throw precious resources in its direction. The amount of money allotted to neonatal care is eighty pounds a head. Since 2003, funding has risen periodically. This is vastly more than is allotted to other areas of care, such as trauma and injury; problems of vision and hearing; and skincare and organic poisoning. At ninety pounds a head, our interest in the neonatal ward rivals that of treating cancers- a far more prevalent collection of diseases that demand constant attention and research. The neonatal budget inevitably leads into the budget provided for sufferers of advanced disabilities and neurological damage, which stands at one hundred and twenty pounds a head- an amount larger than all other areas of medicine, except problems of circulation and mental health. Neonatal healthcare is an area where less money could be allotted and the rate of success would remain largely at the same level. The intensive care given to infants is not a quick resolution of health problems that are advanced. Survivors often need intense care for their entire lives, corrective medicine and stalwart families. If this cannot be provided, a patient will experience great distress. I am not advocating the Spartan method of leaving the sickly infants by the

hills - a foreseen right to life is surely one of the most compassionate pillars of society. Nevertheless: the neonatal wards are one of the wards where death is very frequent. Any saved money could instead be allocated to advanced neonatal research programs or more specialist institutes. Palliative and elderly care are other wards where death is familiar and yet these wards suffer financial neglect. The only possible explanation of neonatal medicine being allotted more funding derives from that potential promise of future life. Regardless: biologically both types of patients are suffering from severe organic and nervous trauma. If a death occurs, there will be inevitable familial grief. The components are incredibly alike, and so that distinguishing feature which moves us must be our outrage with newborn mortality: that a life, so deserved, has already been challenged by a greedy and uncultured death. This is a wonderful kind of outrage. To those who have persevered with the clinical attitude of this argument, it must be evident now that conclusions about these more tender areas of healthcare cannot

The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


be drawn from financial aerie. It is a gross approach to a multitudinous problem that does sometimes offer real success. It is also a gross simplification to approach this from a utilitarian perspective: without doubt, if we were to siphon the money away from neonatal care into care for trauma victims, or greater methods of cancer prevention, more patients could benefit securely than just the single infant, the promise of life waltzing around the neonatal ward with tragic whimsicality. This is why medicine employs triage. This is the fundamental fault in neonatal care that hides behind our outrage and pretends to be fair. Triage exists everywhere: it dictates who paramedics treat first in large accidents; it dictates the spread of treatment in busy wards; and it is medicine’s compromise with utility: doctors and nurses can provide an equal and understandable service to all people. There is also an implied triage in healthcare budgets. The idea that neonatal care can rival treatment of cancer is preposterous, yet for almost a decade this is an established process. This is the only branch of medicine where hy-

pothetical repercussions and emotional responses dictate the levels of care and resources given. An infant is still just a patient. To argue an infant is anything more is to demand the doctors and nurses treating one suddenly to become heroes. It is an undeniably tragic area of medicine, but it must conform to triage nonetheless. We have instead allowed neonatal care to inhabit an idealistic plateau, which in its superimposed ethicality, is unethical to all other medical pursuits. In healthcare human life cannot be given a price, but the prioritisation of it is unavoidable. Neonatal medicine cannot be challenged by the twin horses of utility and budget - that chariot is far too callous. It instead needs to be accepted socially for what it is: a delusion that seduces taboo. It is not an

efficient system of care and our tragic requirement to see it devoid of criticism and intuitive measures, damages other people. The resources and time allocated to the upkeep of neonatal medicine must, at some point, be siphoned into advanced research, institutes, and a more efficient medical system that listens to parents, hears our collective rage, but also acknowledges the limits of medical geography and the repercussions of over-zealous behaviour. Life is a right, but it cannot be imposed upon a vessel for Life’s sake. The disproportionate balance of priority in medical resources is both blindly unethical and wildly insane. Although neonatal care exists to provide the healthiest lives possible to infants, it does not warrant the cost of infringing on the healthcare of others.

Toby Fuller Comment Editor A new term begins and with it comes my second year as Comment & Debate Editor and of course my second year of reading English Literature. Journalism in the 19th Century was thought of as the tools through which society could expose ‘vice, folly and humbug’; a thought which remains with me when selecting articles for The Founder’s Comment &

Debate section. Here one can find writing ranging from politics through social commentary to aesthetics, fuelling the desire to engage in rational debate and critical thinking. One hopes, of course, that this section will not only provide its readership with stimulating prose, but also encourage others to engage with both local and universal debate and commentary.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

‘No’ to Western isolationism Feel like our military forces should just come back home? That we should be more like Scandinavia? James Ball disagrees. In recent years the general foreign policy positioning of the states of the Western world has become increasingly isolationist. Such an orientation has been centred on the premise, now popular in public opinion, that political interference inside violence-ridden and poverty stricken countries (more often than not in African or the Middle East) rarely solves the original problems and instead creates new ones. Related to this is the perception that Western interference actually creates new enemies, often out of ones that have been imagined in order to fulfil neo-colonialist objectives. Looking back to the 1990s reveals why it may be expected to feel such anxiety, and also why the emergence of such an isolationist foreign ‘ policy must be argued against both tooth and nail. In 1993 the US military failure in Mogadishu caused the US government to turn inwards in its foreign policy concerns. By 1994, this defeat in Somalia proved central in the decision for the US to not provide force or funding in defence of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis, who as result were slaughtered by Hutu ethnic minority in the Rwandan genocide. The defeat in 1993 had damaged US confidence in their global role and as a result the cost of an intervention in Rwanda for the US, both human and economic,

became more significant than the desire to prevent the predictable large-scale slaughter of the Tutsis. The failures in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 also led Western powers to turn away from the actions of President Omar al-Bashir, who imposed war, starvation and disease on the black Africans of Sudan. The Western powers sat by with their confidence to intervene in another African country rattled by accusations of neo-colonialism and unilateralism. Thus, instead, Kofi Annan and UN diplomacy was relied upon – diplomacy that was so tardy as to allow for the miserably premature deaths of some 300,000 black Africans between 2003 and 2010. It is well established that both human tragedies could have been avoided if such an isolationist foreign policy had not been pursued by the Western powers. Yet in 2012, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become recognised as failures, this policy is not only increasingly applied to current conflicts but also the civil wars of Sudan and Syria, as well as the potential blood bath centred on the Iranian theocracy. The planned 2014 troop withdrawal in Afghanistan is a key example of how this isolationist foreign policy is now being realized. A full troop withdrawal will

be a disaster and a defeat for the Western powers at the hands of the Taliban. Being able to declare victory against the West will rejuvenate the Taliban, as it was victory over the ‘weak-willed’ and ‘corrupt’ US that they long propagandized and used as a source of recruitment for their cause. With such a re-inspired Taliban Afghanistan will collapse into a second civil war and without the support of the US troops one can hardly see Karzai making it out.

‘A full troop withdrawal will be a disaster and a defeat for the Western powers at the hands of the Taliban.’ Moreover a withdrawal will mean, much like in the case of Rwanda, that US troop and economic losses are no longer a price worth paying. But if this is to be the case than it also means that the West has completely lost sight of why they went into Afghanistan in the first place: to remove Al-Qaida and to remove the violent rule of the Taliban. If they still had sight of this goal the continuance of the

battle of US troops against the Taliban, the great abettor of Al-Qaida, would be a price worth paying. Particularly when one considers that during the War in Afghanistan ISAF losses have been relatively few; 1972 American military personal have lost their lives in 11 years of conflict, whereas Al-Qaida killed, in the space of a few hours, 2,997 civilians in New York in 2001. In Sudan the West’s desire to turn inwards is also allowing the Islamic North Sudan to continue its cleansing mission of its black-African population. In Syria the lack of will to intervene is clearly allowing Assad to continue with the indiscriminate shelling of Syrian towns and cities resulting in what has been estimated to be 26,000 dead. In both these cases removal of both Assad and Bashir (the latter is wanted for crimes against humanity by the ICC) is a step in the right direction. In Iran too, the West must be careful not to look self-loathingly inwards and the increasingly popular demand that Iran should have the right to its own nuclear weapons must be dismissed. This is because, suspiciously, Iran does not claim that it wants to even build a nuclear weapon, while simultaneously refusing cooperation with the IAEA. But at the basic level, should

a country which rules through despotism and tyranny, has both a supreme leader who declares that Israel should ‘vanish from the arena of time’ and a president who shouts that Israel is a ‘cancerous tumour that must be uprooted’, be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon? I ask you, should such a country have a nuclear weapon as its disposal? In all these cases – Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Sudan - the idea that the West is to follow through with a isolationist or non-involved foreign policy causes me a great deal of anxiety, because it seems likely that this may be the path that is followed in the coming years. This policy leaves us to rely upon the inert diplomacy of the UN to settle these conflicts. But the worst of our enemies do not rely upon such diplomacy and are instead in direct confrontation with Western civilization and its free expression, its rights for women and its secularism, and all of the fruits that follow. If we look inwards and claim that it is our own governments who are the actual bad guys, we may risk losing all of this. The consequences of Western isolationism will inevitably result in many more innocents dying in Syria and Sudan and the forces of terrorism being handed the victory for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

flickr/Ralf Heß

Do you hold strong opinions? Can you hold your own in a heated debate? If it sounds like your sort of thing and you are interested, let us know at

flickr/ balazsgardi

Debate & The Art of Oppression 8

The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


tf Comment

convention. In South Africa the artistic world was repulsed by the attempts of President Zuma to prohibit the exhibition of a painting by Brett Murray called The ovember 1644, England Spear. The image depicts is gripped by civil war, Mr Zuma as a parody the factions of the puof Lenin, a mock-Soviet ritanical Parliamentari- propaganda poster, the ans and the foppish Cavaliers divide great spectacle of the piece a nation. Austerity counterpoised being a flaccid penis danwith decadence, freedom with the gling from the unbuttoned oppressive rule of the old guard; trousers of the President. has Parliament really changed all Following threats to newsthat much? Amidst the political papers and to the host upheaval and social turmoil John art gallery by the ruling Milton publishes his Areopagitica. ANC party, the painting As an address to Parliament, the was defaced by an angry pamphlet argues in defence of the member of the public by freedom of the press in response to throwing black paint over the Licensing Order of 1643. the canvas. It is a familiar story, one we have In the weeks after this all heard before, whether it is the attack on the visual arts, painter taking knife to canvas or the theatre became the the writer blotting out the lines next victim of the relentof verse. Rembrandt’s Claudius less assault from the ignoCivilis, Joyce’s Ulysses, all of them rant masses. In London, have fallen victim to the powers of The Globe hosted thirtystate censorship. Yet today we bear seven Shakespearean plays witness to an equally powerful and in thirty-seven different yet infinitely more orotund form languages. When the turn of artistic control, the censorship came for Habima, the dictated by social mores. national theatre company The past year has demonstrated of Israel, to perform The the public’s willingness, if not Merchant of Venice in eagerness, to stand by whilst Hebrew, the theatre was heterodox art is torn apart by the infiltrated by that particulip-smacking frenzy of political lar breed of protestor that

Toby Fuller Comment and Debate Editor


we all despise; the self-righteous, ill-informed and deluded activist. And so out came the banners and out came the shouts of ‘Free

Palestine’. This is not a debate regarding the issue of the Israeli and Palestinian people. This is a debate of whether it is right that social consensus can justify the smothering of artistic expression. Did these protestors not think that just maybe these actors might not be a group of extreme Zionists who advocate the occupa-

flickr/ Cea

tion of Palestine? Did they not consider that The Merchant of Venice is in fact a play concerned with oppression, economic subjugation and social division comparable to that experienced by the people of Gaza? No. Instead of appreciating the subtlety of art, instead of respecting art as a method of exploring subjective ideas, the theatre was exposed to the usual mindless chuntering of the self-proclaimed freedom fighter. The play was stopped and intellectual stimulation suffocated by the disapproval of a narrow minded few. The power of art must be appreciated today more than ever. Contemporary politics finds itself locked in stalemate. As Europe stagnates, Africa starves and the people of the Middle East are eviscerated by their fellow man, art provides the opportunity to escape the whirligig of the here and now, to stop and to contemplate ideas that can change how we live and how we think. Milton understood this more than most. As England verged on self-annihilation, he understood that for humanity to avoid atrophy and to pursue progress one cannot simply join the regimented party lines of Puritan or Cavalier, of Conservative or Socialist. The words of Areopagitica defending independent thought and inquiry resonates in our ears as much as they did when Milton first published them nearly four hundred years ago; as ‘he who kills a man kills a reasonable creature...but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself ’.

‘The Spear’, by Brett Murray

Arab Spring, or Arab Fall? As dictator after dictator was toppled, through sheer force of arms, or popular defection, this part of the world was seemingly reaching Like many millions across the a point of serene clarity and vision. world, watching the heartrending and blood boiling images of revolu- The world could breathe a sigh of relief. Gaddafi’s regime was crumtion, freedom and courage in the bling around him, the NATO air face of the despotism of regimes strikes hammering his beleaguered like Syria and Libya, I could not followers, and the blue, black and help but feel a sense of pride in red of their revolutionary colours my fellow man. Here were poorly were flown triumphantly. For the armed men, women and children West, the Arab Spring heralded a standing up for their beliefs and game change in the East. Somefreedom and being killed in their thousands, yet they persevered. thing to support and something Who could not be beguiled and which would no doubt create lucraenthralled by such dignity and tive assets and a spring board onto other despots who threaten world passion? The West reacted accordsecurity. ingly, and for more than a year Yet the grainy images of Gaddafi’s have enthusiastically thrown in final moments are something which their support through hundreds leaves a particularly sour taste. of millions of dollars in lethal and Blood pouring from a gash to his non-lethal aid.

Joshua Cheung

scalp, mumbling and crying amidst the crackle of Kalashnikovs barking into the air; he paints a pathetic picture. How the mighty fall. No international tribunal, no magnanimity in victory. A bullet to the temple sufficed. For many, this was a grim foreboding. What had the West created? There was no hiding the barbarity then. But Libya was free. This is what mattered and it was the West, who were great allies and support in this endeavour, who helped pushed it through. Seemingly the world was a safer place. This is sadly not the case. The murder of the US Ambassador to Libya along with three other embassy staff on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is a hard and saddening wake up call to the world. How could this happen? President Obama’s administration

fervently backed the Revolution and indeed the entire Arab Spring. Yet now, one of their greatest ambassadors, Chris Stevens, has been brutally killed. Chris Stevens was fluent in Arabic and believed passionately in the NATO mission in Libya, and his own role as Ambassador in a still volatile Benghazi. This did not save him. His car and staff riddled were with bullets and covered in flames. The Arab Spring is spawning a new breed of fundamentalist Islamists. The instability of the East has allowed terrorist cells and other extreme organisations to infiltrate and manipulate the risings to their own ends. This tragic event goes to highlight the real dangers which are laying unearthed beneath the façade of reform and freedom. It is a chilling thought, and one

which needs to be addressed very quickly. The reason for the riots and storming of the Embassy are for a blasphemous video, depicting the prophet Muhammad. But for the mob to turn so easily, to destroy so readily, still shocks. The video is condemned by Clinton as ‘disgusting and reprehensible’, yet how can it warrant such sudden and dramatic violence. The seeds of malcontent must be deeper. Obama wants to overcome America’s troublesome relationship with the Muslim world. The Arab Spring was his chance, he took it, and now it’s bitten back. Cairo and Yemen have followed in suit. This latest controversy goes to highlight how far away the Arab Spring’s objective of stability is, and how much more the West need do, in order to achieve this.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Saturday Night Fever

flickr/Graham Ballantyne anyway? Well, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but there’s a high probability you’re suffering from it. I took GCSE Biology. I know that We’ve all been there. It’s dinner plants grow and if we stop breathtime. You’ve spent the whole day ing we die and the earth is a planet. on the sofa watching the OlymEinstein mate, step aside, there’s a pics, you’re knackered. Surely the new scientist in town and this one only thing more exhausting than actually brushes her hair. Bearing running 1500 metres is watching in mind, then, my natural aptitude fifteen people do it. Mum’s bought a for science, it should come as no massive bag of Maltesers. X Factor surprise to you all that this sumhas started again. You want to stay mer, instead of wasting away my life in. Your peace and tranquillity is getting drunk, (which I only did 6 interrupted, though, by a beep, and out of 7 days), I actually discovered then in come the texts and the calls a new and deadly virus. Initially I decided to call the disease ‘Fizz’, you and the Facebook statuses luring you out like the Pied Piper. ‘Omg know, so I’d be famous, but I have tonite is gna be sickk mann.’ ‘Can’t since changed it to ‘cantmissout’ wait to hit the town laterz’. And you syndrome. Have you ever felt like staying in and watching Miss Marple just can’t do it. The fact these people can’t spell properly does nothon a Saturday night but gone out

Felicity King Features Editor



ing to quell your desire to go out. You swap the Maltesers for a bottle of vodka and you head to town. Staying in on a Saturday night is just so hard to do nowadays. With phones that let you update your status from the moon, and probably from beyond the grave too, there’s just no way of staying in without being continually told how much better everybody else’s night out is. Facebook has taken over. I’m pretty sure heaven was a quite nice place one; full of lambs and butterflies and piles of zero calorie Babybels. Now, though, it’s probably just like being on the tube: hundreds of people just tapping away on their iPhones. ‘Heaven is the shiz man, well glad I died’ is going to start taking over our Facebook feeds. Facebook is making it impossible to die and it’s killed the Saturday night in as well. I stayed in on a Saturday night once. It was a long, long time ago and I blocked it out for years afterwards. It started off so well. I was in my pyjamas running round my room pretending to be Eliza from the Wild Thornberries when I made the mistake of turning on my laptop. I only did it because I couldn’t remember what Eliza’s sister was called, (Debbie, if any of you were wondering), but then I thought I’d just check Facebook. Never just check Facebook. Just checking Facebook is like just dipping your

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toe into shark infested waters, it’s not just going to be your toe, it’s going to be your whole body, in that water, and then, before long, being eaten by the shark. ‘Tonight is wicked.’ ‘Getting the shots in at Spoons.’ That’s what everybody else my age was doing and I had drawn braces on my teeth with a marker pen. That was my Saturday night. It didn’t matter that I actually enjoyed being Eliza Thornberry, or that my pyjamas were far more comfortable than heels, or that Maltesers were a perfectly adequate substitute to vodka. Everybody else in the entire world ever, including the weird girl from my high school who always wore a cape, was out getting drunk, and I was pretending to be a cartoon character- and not even a cool one. This is the problem with Facebook…Twitter…phones… just basically having friends. You dare stay in and try and remain ignorant of what the rest of the world is doing and your phone will spend the whole night beeping updates at you. Those beeps, if they were recorded and played back at a higher speed, would turn out to be the high pitched cry of a tiny, partying ant, swaying as it clutched an empty bottle of whisky and screaming ‘you’re the most boring human being in the world’ at you as you lie in your bed, your make up soberly removed, no drunken pen moustache

on your face. But, let me squash this party ant (metaphorically, of course, I’m a vegetarian after all) and say this: There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in, and who cares what everybody else is doing. Unless, you know, they’re, like, throwing stuff at you. It was touch and go that night; at times I didn’t think I was going to make it. When somebody wrote a status saying they’d been given free cheesy chips at the Kebab shop, well, I honestly thought that was curtains. There’s always going to be that fear that the one night you stay in turns out to be the best night out your friends ever have. I mean, what if the one night I stay in Johnny Depp decides to come party it up at Royal Holloway? That would have been my chance, my one and only chance to make him fall in love with me and I’d have missed it, because I was too busy watching Downton bloody Abbey. But it all comes down to a choice. Go out. Every night. For the rest of time. Or join me in finding a cure for this deadly disease. Embrace nights in and fight back with a new kind of status update. ‘Midsummer Murders is bangin’ tonight.’ ‘Hitting the Friends episodes harddd, gna be hanging tomorrow.’ Or just move to the South Pole. You’d never have to deal with this sort of thing up there; penguins are far too cool to use Facebook.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


A Very British Summer shouldn’t it be? It’s a defining moment in British history to be hosting one of the world’s oldest traditions. Ancient Greece used Looking back it might seem a litto host these events in worship of tle cynical to say this, but by the their God, Zeus. If people weren’t time the opening ceremony rolled interested, more fool them. And around in July, I was already sick if Danny Boyle’s fantastic opening of the Olympics. I’m sure I’m not ceremony – boiling down everyalone on this, but I’m probably one thing great out of this country to of the few that will openly admit it. only a few hours – wasn’t enough The first thing I noticed (let’s face to convince people that it’s worth it, how couldn’t you) was the ugly watching, then you’re welcome to blue cage around campus. I know your Jeremy Kyle and Desperate that the Royal Holloway campus Housewives. was being used to house some of Of course, we weren’t just watchthe athletes, but it felt like I was ing. We were supporting. There’s walking in to Jurassic Park every a common pride found in cheertime I went to Medicine to watch ing on our athletes in their white the football. Not to mention, all my and blue, and knowing that they’re trusty detours and short-cuts were running not just for themselves, not all caged-off. just for the sponsorship deals, but Then there was the failed Olymfor their country. Your country. The pic Lane forced upon the Egham Olympics gives us those rare mobypass. They may as well have ments, where all eyes in the country painted ‘Super-Fun-Happy-Lane’ are on the same thing, and we’re all on it for all the good it did - in fact, mentally holding hands, praying I’m pretty sure it saw more use than for the same thing. Jessica Enit otherwise would have. It’s like nis and, more notably, Mo Farah telling a kid that he can sit anyspring to mind. The World Cup, where but the “spinny chair” - he’ll Wimbledon, all the ‘biggest’ events be on that thing quicker than you don’t even come close. In the age can say ‘chocolate milk’. of cheating golfers and over-paid And don’t even get me started footballers, Olympians are still the on the advertising. You couldn’t most relevant sportsmen around. flick on the TV without seeing So, after arguably the most sucthose five rings and crazy graffiticessful Olympic and Paralympic style logo. The Olympics started games of all-time, both for Great creeping in to every conversation Britain and as a spectacle, I’m (although admittedly, most of what proud to admit that I was wrong I initially heard was ‘are you going to dismiss the Olympics as early as to watch?’). BBC One programmes I did. I’m no patriot, but national ranged from ‘Olympic Breakfast’ pride is something that we don’t see to ‘Olympic Catch-Up’. Even if it enough of in this day and age, and wasn’t your thing, and you wanted the Olympics are one of few things to ignore it, it was being rammed that unite us all under a single flag. down your throat at every opporHopefully we won’t have to wait tunity. another four years before we next And you know what, why take such pride in our heritage.

Sean Littlejohn

flickr/gingerman What ‘very British summer’ usually means.

‘A return to Türkiye…’ Daisy Thurston-Gent It’s almost four o’clock in the morning and suddenly I’m wide-awake. Something is different. Perhaps it’s the mugginess of the city air; perhaps it’s the smells from an unfamiliar dinner clinging to the breeze through the house; perhaps it’s the buzzing of an unwelcome guest in the darkness. But no, as I stir in my room, my eyelids flicking open, I realise it is none of these. It is the drums. Visiting Turkey during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar – to those who don’t know – in which Muslims observe the ritual of fasting) can be the best way to immerse yourself

over the windowsill with my head dangling into the night. The city’s Ramadan tradition of drumming street men have to start out early in order to get round the whole area before sunrise, signalling everyone to get up and get eating before the day breaks! My family clump round a dimly lit table on the balcony and feast silently on fresh peaches, olives, white cheese and a special loaf Ramadan ‘Pide’ freshly baked early that evening…oh, and not forgetting the most important food at this time of year according to my uncle: dates! A pot of Cay is set to brew and on this occasion I decline, deciding to leave them to it and retreat back to bed. The drums are

skills. ‘Yok teşekkürler’ (“No thank you”. Pronounced: te-sheh-coolur) is another handy phrase when passing through the Grand Bazar in Istanbul for example, unless you want to be trapped for hours and emerge with enough scarves to fill your entire wardrobe. Remembering social etiquette and remaining friendly while abroad is the best tip for any budding traveller, whether you’re embarking on the cultureshock adventure of a lifetime or just visiting friends and relatives in cities that are all too familiar. A simple smile and an effort to say ‘güle güle’ (goo-lay goo-lay) instead of Goodbye will most likely grant you an open invitation should you ever wish to return. Taking the time


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Felicity King Features Editor So, that’s me. It’s about the only photo of me that exists in which I’m not drunk and don’t have pen on my face. Instead, I’m on top of a mountain in Switzerland wearing a summer dress. I think that pretty much sums me up. I really am that silly. I wear summer dresses in the snow. Needless to say we couldn’t stay on the mountain as planned. I nearly caught hypothermia just having my photo taken so we had to walk all the

Heard it on the grapevine... There is a world beyond Ruby Wines. The Founder’s new resident sommelier, Joshua Charles-Cheung, will be your guide.

way back down. I think my brother was more tempted just to push me off. That’s your Features editor, right there, and she needs you. She needs you to tell her to wear trousers up mountains and she needs you to write for her as well. Features is totally the best section, but I suppose I’ll forgive you if you write for another one. Write about anything and everything, send it in and be part of The Founder, yay!

‘Wine, one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste.’ ~ John Milton

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in a true cultural experience. An increased element of ‘community’ is particularly strong this time of year. Family meal-times feel closer than ever, with my family expecting everybody (no exceptions) to be hands on in the kitchen running up to 8 o’clock, when the lights of the Mosques across the city will turn green and the fast is broken until the sun rises again. Ankara, the country’s bustling capital, has a truly perfect landscape at sunset during Ramadan and I can recline with the call to Prayer echoing while my family chomp away. It really is quite a feeling. So this is the reason I crawl out of bed at 4 in the morning to slump

now a distant hum as I doze, feeling privileged to be experiencing such a blast of culture from what feels like the epicentre (after such a din) of a city alive with traditions even in the small hours of the night. Despite visiting my Turkish cousins every summer since I can remember, my language skills have still not improved. I can just about get by at market with ‘bu ne kadar?’ (How much is this?), remembering to swiftly decline whatever price they offer this foreign face first and wait for a better offer. So for anyone heading to Istanbul or further into this diversely varied country I would highly recommend practising basic conversational

to learn the simplest of commonphrases will set you out amongst the rest of tourists – and I always like to know how to order a beer in whatever country I’m in! Whether it’s the internationally recognised, former capital of culture, Istanbul; the vast capital Ankara; the white shores of Antalya; or the lively local nightlife of Bodrum; Turkey has something for everyone. Or perhaps I’m biased from too many years of sleeping on warm balconies, or under meteor showers on deserted jetties, or simply the warm welcome I receive as soon as I’m past passport control…but 100 cups of black tea later and Turkey is still where I’ll be next summer.

Fancy joining an exciting, brand new on-campus society with tons of ideas and projects? If yes, then the Royal Marketing Society at Royal Holloway is for you! Created a few months ago by third year students, the society aims at promoting Marketing in many different ways. We are planning events including conferences with marketing leaders and alumni, confidence workshops, and getting first hand experience managing local businesses and societies promotions, twitter contests, and many, many more surprises! Please check out our Facebook page (http://www.facebook. com/RoyalMarketingRHUL) and our twitter account ( RHULRoyalMkting) for news! Look out for us at Welcome Week! See you soon!!

Right you mothers, you’re here, you made it. What’s your tipple? RED WINE. You go to Holloway, so you drink WINE. Fucking lots of it, guzzle it till your vision blurs, your teeth stain purple, and you blissfully conquer all in your path. So you’re new, you like wine, but where to begin with this most enigmatic of drinks? Fortunately, I’m here to crack this one, Mr. Sherlock. For this edition, we are looking at the big bad boy of Bordeaux claret: the “fuck you” of French Wines. It can be none other than Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A tad on the expensive side, but hey: why do you think this one features early? You’ve just got your student loan! Let’s have a gander shall we? This big bad boy can range from £12 to £12,000, sometimes higher. It’s a mean and ferociously delicious Red. Assuming £12,000 is a little above our student budget, lets look at the £12. Head on down to Tesco, locate those gorgeous red bottles, and look for the French section. Yes, £12 is still dear, but come on, you’ll spend just as much at the VK bar in the SU. Normally from the 2008 vintage, it’s a cracker and very popular. Its distinctive bottle uses the Papal Keys as its crest (hence ‘Pape’) and is a magnificent bottle. Even the bottle is great decoration for your room. Furthermore, you can lay this bad boy down, and it will age nicely for many a happy year. But you are a student, a brave thinker and a rebel: drink the damned thing. The sad truth about wine: to enjoy, you must destroy. But let’s get on with it. This is what you can expect. Let’s delve our noses in, give that monster a sniff. BOOM. It is strong, thick and heavy. Give it another whiff. Immediately we’re getting black berries, cherry, and chocolate poking through, with big snaps of pepper and hints of strawberry. Really get you nose in, give it a twirl in the glass, put some oxygen into it and release more of the aromas. Tilt the glass and let the wine run back down. This is called the legs. Notice its viscosity, how thick it is, and how slowly it rolls back into the base of the glass. Now taste - you can feel its immense power and voluptuousness. It’s rich, velvety and would go amazing with a slice of cheddar or meat. It has a delicious oak quality, with a slight spice. Like great sex, the finish leaves you seduced and placid. You surrender to it, then bask in its calm chocolaty ambience. You will have no regrets trying this wine - to celebrate your arrival at the king of universities, buy yourself the king of wine.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

Founder’s Building, Pawanrat Dhanasarnsilp


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

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The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


‘Posh’ a smash, but is it one-sided?


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Anarchic Shakespeare: Blue paint, and Oberon on a bicycle Catherine Kay they encounter. Wine is guzzled, statements are made, and violence Posh: a word which whistles its way eventually rears its ugly head. The boys descend from bold to cowerboisterously and indiscriminately ing, as they struggle to come to across our social landscape. It is terms with their actions, a la Lord a word that evokes candy-striped of the Flies. The play encapsulates blazers, champagne and cravats, all that is endearing, loveable but and the bushy-tailed contingent of ultimately abhorrent about our our beloved upper class. ‘Posh’ is upper class. The funny banter, the also the name of a play. A boisterous play directed by Lynsey Turner wild methodological drinking, and the brutality. We love them, then that, through its depiction of a we revile them. This is the way this hideously posh dining club, treats works, both on stage and off. its audience to a forceful barrage This is the posh. Our posh. Other similar to class-based cannon fire. Whatever you’ve inevitably heard nations have theirs - this is ours. Unique bloodlines, dripping in about the smash hit Royal Court aristocratic heritage, but reckless production of Laura Wade’s Posh, and demonic when left to their own let us not say that it depicts the pseudo-Bullingdon band of ‘banter’ devices. I can’t help thinking how a play entitled ‘Rough’ would depict brothers in a particularly good light. Ten boys, left to their own de- this country’s typical working class. vices - and, more importantly, her- Surely the presentation of a class, itage - wreak havoc upon the poor, regardless of its origins, should be helpless, middle class innocents balanced.

Stanley Eldridge

The critics who showered Laura Wade’s play with near unanimous praise - and deservedly so - have however exhibited a frustrating lack of perception. The play, which saw its first days at the Royal Court prior to the 2010 General Election was immediately seized upon as a piece of anti-Bullingdon propaganda. This is simply not the case.

“This is the posh. Our posh. Other nations have theirs this is ours.” Posh is a story of students being violent, funny, young and volatile. They seek to destroy that which threatens them and to defend their rights and privileges against people who would deny them on principle.

We have seen this before: still caught in our Olympic pride, it is difficult to remember only last summer when the streets of London and other cities weren’t flaming with a patriotism that ignored class and instead burned. Of course, the tragic and controversial shooting of Marc Duggan rightly gave young lower classes license to protest, march, and demand answers. However, the ensuing cascade into vandalism and chaos was not a right. I wonder if that wasn’t a particularly moronic and destructive sect of class-crossing young people. Laura Wade might be loathe to admit it and risk insulting all those whom championed her play (I hear a film is in the pipeline), but I think Posh is better read as a cautionary tale of Britain’s youth in general. Wade’s decision to depict the upper class rather than the working highlights just how precarious

young people with no direction and appreciation can become. The play introduces a wider sense of destructive youth by presenting ‘The Toff ’ rather than the stereotypical ‘Chav’ as the focus of an encompassing social commentary. There is nothing wrong with posh people. There is, however, something wrong with posh morons, as is there with poor morons, middle class morons and morons from Mars. To demonise any class, in such a broad and slap-in-the-face manner, simply doesn’t sit well with me. Not when all the ‘posh’ people I know are such phenomenal friends - in blazers. Posh ran from the Duke of York’s theatre from May to August 2012. The execution was seamless and the acting sublime. If it returns, go and see it. And when you do, look past the coloured blazers, and a little deeper.

When a friend phoned me on a rainy afternoon and offered me a spare ticket to A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Exchange, I jumped at the chance to see some Shakespeare in one of my favourite theatres. I did not know what I was letting myself in for. Dream is one of those Shakespeare comedies that is performed endlessly. It attracts the regular crowds and rarely strays away from fairly traditional presentation. However, Filter Theatre achieved something magical and rebellious in this production. Never before have I left my seat wondering if I had actually fallen asleep and dreamt the whole thing. The plot follows four young lovers as they wander into a forest at night and enter into an entanglement of magic flowers, fairies and, in this production, a pop-up tent and a six pack of Fosters. One of the Mechanicals, Peter Quince (Ed Gaughan) successfully set the tone at the opening of the play with a stand-up routine in modern English, explaining that Sir Ian McKellen was stuck in the elevator and that the part of Bottom would have to be played by an “audience volunteer” (Fergus O’Donnell). Filter has a strong cast of both musicians and actors, allowing huge amounts of versatility. The Mechanicals, for instance, sat on stage playing instruments and creating a soundscape with two computers and multiple microphones. Fairies were created by voice manipulation of actors speaking into microphones at the side of the stage. An ardent traditionalist when it comes to Shakespeare, I was initially doubtful, but this choice to hide nothing from the audience created a thoroughly modern play, which felt slightly like a mash-up of a poetry reading and a rock concert. The real highlight of the evening was Jonathan Broadbent’s Oberon. Never in a million years would I think of Oberon, King of the Fairies, as an asthma-riddled nerd in a blue superhero costume, communicating with a handyman-style Puck (Ferdy Roberts) via walkie talkie.

His performance and comic timing were flawless, and his character personified the mad freedom of the production itself. Despite my gleeful surprise, I couldn’t help finding a slight flaw in the adaptation of the text: mainly that a lot of it seemed to be missing. It was wonderful to see a play performed in under two hours, and a successful merge of modern and Shakespearian English, but I can’t help but feel that a little too much of the original text had been cut. Filter Theatre are achieving something wonderful in creating a play that would appeal to younger audiences as well as Shakespeare veterans; the giant food fight involving bread and boxes of cereal was enjoyed by all. But if you don’t know the play inside out, it would be possible to miss the playwright’s original intentions. Literary qualms aside, it was obvious that the actors knew their Shakespeare. Director Sean Holmes said of his actors, “[they] have all done ‘proper’ Shakespeare, so you know they’re all capable of speaking the verse properly.” This is the truth: the cast exhibited a high level of training. Gemma Saunders as Hermia and Rebecca Scroggs as Helena both adopted their characters with ease. They were somewhat overshadowed by John Lightbody’s highly entertaining performance as Lysander, but this was matched by Rhys Rusbatch’s Demetrius. As far as comedy was concerned, nearly all the actors were aided by the fairy love potion’s true nature - blue paint - and by the end of the show all victims of the fairies’ interference looked so comical it prompted a laugh whenever they appeared. The play ran between July and August, and proved that alternative interpretations of Shakespeare are just as warranted as the traditional. Filter’s modernisation really works in this instance due to the use of sound; it is completely intelligent in every respect, and as increasing amounts of technology are present in our everyday lives, it’s an obvious progression for classical theatre. Ferdy Roberts, Co-Artistic Director of Filter, says “using an eight-strong ensemble doesn’t

mean we’ve smashed the play to pieces; it’s just that with the use of sound, and sound design, […] we can play around creating different landscapes”. A modern audience is wholly able to cope with the leap of faith between the computers they see on stage and the imagination needed to create magic. After coming to terms with the sheer anarchy of this production, I am convinced that in fact, this is exactly the sort of intuition that Shakespeare himself would approve of. The adaptation perfectly captures the madness and comedy at the centre of the play, and Puck’s closing words, “If we shadows have offended,/ Think but this (and all is mended)/ That you have but slumber’d here, / While these visions did appear” were never more relevant.

The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester

Review: No and Me fairy-tale images of stretching sunlit boulevards, a romantic River Seine and a certain iconic tower which needs no introduction. But forget everything you thought you knew Sometimes books only work in about Paris. This short but accomthe language in which they were plished novel imparts the invisible first written. Delphine de Vigan’s ‘No and Me’ however, travels freely Paris, with an unseen population that sits on every corner, hides across the barrier. First published in every nook of the city. No is a in France in 2007, it won the Prix des Libraires in 2009 and was made member of this population. She is into the French film adaptation: No homeless. It is in Paris’ Austerlitz station that et Moi. It has already been transthe worlds of schoolgirl Lou and lated into twenty languages. street-girl No collide. Railway staSo why is ‘No and Me’ a book tions are usually a place of bustle, of worthy of our attention? Why this commuters, of arrivals and rebook, rather than the thousands unions, of departures and farewells. of others we could place on our The only departure No is waiting mental bookshelves? Because of the qualities of central protagonist, for is an involuntary one: the moment when she will be ejected from Lou. The book is written from Lou’s per- the station by the guards. Train spective and has a youthful air, and stations are the ultimate symbol of a plot which tumbles from its pages transience, but passengers always have a destination, somewhere to in achingly simple but endlessly poignant prose. But within its clean go. Here, the train station is the cut lines lies a rich emotional tapes- temporary shelter of people who try, one which the narrator weaves have nowhere to go. No has to go in and unpicks adeptly at every turn. search of homeless hostels to sleep The book is set in the French capi- in, but always has to sleep with one tal: a city of romance, a city of light, eye open. Crime is rife in the hosa city whose very name conjures up tels and No must keep her identity

Catherine Kay

card in her underwear to stop it from being stolen. In Lou’s words, we must open our eyes to this unseen world. After reading this book, you probably won’t see Paris in quite the same way again. Nevertheless, despite this darker Paris, even in the midst of despair there is hope. Lou’s tutor calls her a utopian, but it is her endless hope and humour that turn her tragedy into a gritty drama with just the right dose of dry wit. This is an endlessly surprising, endearing book with a crisp, fresh tone that belies the wisdom lurking in its pages. This book is easy to read, but not always so easy to digest. If you’re looking for a Hollywood Parisian romance, stop reading now. But if you’re looking for a book to make you think, a book that turns Paris on its head, you’ve found it. Some books do get lost in translation, but this one certainly doesn’t. It might have been written in French and set in Paris, but it has universal echoes. It encourages us all to speak the language of humanity, a language which doesn’t require words, only actions. Picture: flickr/ fdecomite


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Goodnight, dear void Outgoing Arts Editor, Julia Armfield, leaves some ‘pearls of wisdom’ as she departs Egham. And she has something to say regarding Emma Watson... Funny story. In four years of writing for campus publications, I have received exactly one written response. The message in question was from, of all places, the English Department Office and concerned a Haiku I once wrote for The Jam (latterly reprinted in The Founder) on what I then perceived to be the not inconsiderable Grand Canyon of space between the talents and corresponding fame of one Emma Watson. Petty, I’ll admit, but we all have our things. The response, reprinted for you in its entirety below, came quite out of the blue and remains, to this day,

one of the most peculiarly satisfying things to have ever graced my inbox: ‘Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your haiku entitled ‘A Mild Observation’. I agree absolutely. Well done!’ It sounds ridiculous, kids, but that’s what it’s all about. It can be a lonely job, pretending professionalism for a campus paper that half the time doubles as portable tray table for all you lazy bastards in Café Jules, lonelier still when one is burdened with the

medical inability to write anything shorter than a page and a half and is consequently destined always to be passed over for Lovestruck and the pictures at the back. Writing things for the paper, however irreverent, can tend to make one feel not unlike one of those transient weirdos you’ll usually spot wearing crusty cords and remonstrating loudly with midair outside Waterloo Station after chucking out time of a Friday night. People can hear you just fine but they’re certainly not going to make eye contact, let alone feel compelled to strike up a chat. To channel Meg Ryan, the famous sociopath (and a woman

naturally very dear to my heart), writing can sometimes feel rather like simply sending thoughts and questions out into a kind of giant void, with little hope of answer or response, and my writing career at this university has, for the most part, met with just this kind of silence. But all the same, even though you are, at large, a silent mass, I am nonetheless quite as convinced of your existence as I am of the demonic powers of the Kindle or the fact that Winona Ryder honestly was just rehearsing for a role that time she tried to rob Saks. And so, being as this is my last article as Arts Editor of our illustri-

ous paper, I thought I would leave you all with a few parting pearls of wisdom to help you along, in the hope that all of you, however silent, will heed my words and trust both to the fact that I only want what’s best for you and that I am absolutely always right. It can be a scary world, especially for those of us who actively read arts sections, and I tend to find that a little friendly advice from a Masters Student on a last gasp power trip never hurt anyone. Or if it did, it could certainly never be conclusively proven.

Julia’s 9 Handy Life Lessons/Artistic Cheat Codes/ Rules of Cult Membership


un lywithins

Yes, Les Miserables is going to be a thing. And The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And someone honestly thought it would be a good idea to stick Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages and set that loose upon the world. Yes, it’s all true. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Once you have accepted this as an unchangeable fact of life, you’ll find the anxiety dreams about being chased down long corridors by Russell Crowe wearing a tri-cornered hat and attempting to sing The Confrontation song at you will decrease considerably.

2. Resist TV guilt. We all watch too much of it. But really, I’d still rather hang out with the person who can talk about this season’s Apprentice than the person who thinks TV rots the brain.

3. Stop coughing at the theatre. Realistically, I realise you cannot all have been at the National last week when I witnessed what can only be described as a two hour Consumptives Only production of Antigone, but working purely off the rules of probability, I am going to assume at least one of you was. A constructive note for the future – if you’re feeling that ill, stay home.

4. Stop listening to Lana Del Rey. I don’t want to tell you again.

5. Reserve judgement on J.K. Rowling’s new book until you’ve read it. I know. I would have preferred a Maraudersthemed prequel too. But there’s no need to be a bitch about it.

6. Have some pride. Don’t read Fifty Shades of Grey

7. Take My Advice. Read/watch/visit/explore/listen to every good thing that you can. There’s a hell of a lot to do, kids, and very little time in which to do it. I don’t wish to get heavy here, but we are all going to die, and I would personally like to experience as many well written/acted/built/ arranged/sung things as I can before inevitably succumbing to a stress-related arrhythmia and dying in comedic agony halfway up a flight of stairs.

flick r


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Review: Hamlet at the Globe Harry Highton

madness transfixed the audience, as Benz almost danced around the It is far from unjust to say that stage in his Victorian long johns. Hamlet is as famous as the Bard His contempt for his mother’s unuhimself. The second most reprosually evident concern came to a duced text in history behind the typically Freudian head in the infaKing James Bible is one ingrained mous ‘closet scene’, the tension and in my mind as the greatest play intimacy of which was heightened ever written. The Globe’s website by the use of a lone chair onstage. rightly states that the play ‘encom- Benz’s Hamlet had an arrogance to passes political intrigue and sexual him that lessened the sympathy one obsession, philosophical reflection felt for the wronged Prince and in and violent action, tragic depth the fencing of the final scene, Hamand wild humour’. As one of those let’s inevitable demise made for theatregoers who can recite most of a wince-inducing irony to Benz’s the play along with the performers, repartee. I was ecstatic to receive my ticket Dickon Tyrrell’s Claudius and as a belated birthday present. I was Ghost cut two strikingly different understandably eager to see the yet equally imposing figures on the world’s greatest tragedy performed stage. Miranda Foster brought a at the home of Shakespeare in Lon- refreshing and fearful need for her don: was it to be, or not to be? son’s compliance to an intelligent Standing in the pit waiting Gertrude, who is too often played for the performance to start, the as weak and oblivious. The ‘play beauty of the packed theatre was within a play’ scene was performed awe-inspiring. Thanks to the brilliantly by the seven of the eightBritish summer, it was easy to strong cast, and spotlighted direcfeel included in the freezing cold tors Dominic Dromgoole and Bill of the Danish winter with Peter Buckhurst’s awareness of comedy Bray, Tom Lawrence and Matthew alongside tragedy, whilst it reduced Romain, and when Michael Benz the audience to rapturous laughter. entered as the eponymous prince, Benz was the only performer the chill in the air was palpable. to maintain one role, a fine way The explosive energy of Hamlet’s of involving the audience with a

character known for his intense psychological process and isolation. Christopher Saul introduced suddenness to Polonius that intensified his sinister role in the machinations of the play. Carlyss Peer exhibited an endearing purity to one of the most tragic female figures in literature, Ophelia. Watching her bare feet and floating summer dress, as well as her musical voice and wide-eyed performance, one could not help but feel a heart-wrenching sympathy for the aristocratic girl whose heart is broken by the man who later murders her father. Unfortunately, the Jacobean design of the performance space did not gel well with the presence of helicopters, jets, and sirens, but the performers at the Globe are clearly well practiced with these twenty-first century phenomena. Despite the gloomy cold of London in June, Shakespeare’s Globe and its company more than lived up to the outstanding reputation that it so clearly deserves. It is a shame that Hamlet was only touring until 1st September, but I would urge anyone to go to the Globe and see the last few performances of the season. All who go are certainly in for a real treat.


Rachel Burnham MTS Press Officer

week of term, so keep your eyes peeled for more information. And To those of you returning, welfinally, near the end of first term, come back, and to those of you MTS has a Christmas Concert. newly arriving, welcome! RHUL’s We also hold workshops, theatre Musical Theatre Society is one of trips and - of course - many, many the largest and most active socie- socials, so follow us on twitter for ties on campus. Here is a brief updates @rhulmts. summary of the events you have Have a brilliant year, it’s going to to look forward to in first term. fly by. Work hard, party hard and This term kicks off with ‘A Night get involved! Join MTS, it’ll be the at the Theatre’ - a cross-campus best thing you do all year. showcase involving all of the performance societies. Next comes Follow us on Facebook/Twitter our main show; this term is ‘Sweet to stay informed of locations and Charity’. Auditions are in the first possible changes.

27th - 28th September: Find us at Societies Fair! Week 1, Date TBC: A Night At the Theatre Meeting 1st October: Annual General Meeting 1st - 2nd October: Sweet Charity Auditions 15th October: Quiz Night at Stumble Inn 27th - 29th October: ANATT Performance (Doors at 7pm)

8. Never promise a list of nine things if you cannot remember the ninth one.


9. Emma Watson’s Fame And Emma Watson’s Talent Disproportionate



1. Do not allow bad movies to ruin your life.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

17th - 20th November: Sweet Charity Performances (Doors at 7pm, with a 2.30 Matinee on Sunday 18th) 11th December: Christmas Concert


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Royal Holloway students star in...


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Review: ‘The Judas Kiss’


Rupert Everett dons the famous purple velvet jacket to play the infamous aphorist in the latest production of David Hare’s 1998 play. Nicholas Hyder went to the Hampstead Theatre to see it...


Olivia Jaggers Director Pornography is coming to Holloway. But it’s not quite what you think. The Student Workshop’s ‘Mini Boilerhouse’ production

this term is Simon Stephens’ play Pornography, directed by Olivia Jaggers. The play’s controversy isn’t just in its unusual title; the setting is the famous week in British history in which Live 8, the London Olympic bid success and 7/7 all occurred. It follows the lives of a cross-section

Scott Wilson Arts Editor I’m studying English Literature and Creative Writing in my second year. Outstanding moments in my life have been: being attacked by a pelican when I was ten, flying a plane because the pilot had to finish his paperwork before we landed, and getting lost in Edinburgh with a burlesque dancer. I have recently learned to read, tie my laces, and swim, so I think as a person I’m doing okay.

The Arts section is a wide field: reviews are welcome, but I’d like to read some debate-centric articles about writers or artists close to your heart; there’s also the creative section for you creative writers, and expect to hear more about projects going on at Royal Holloway. When I’m not editing or writing, you can probably find me doing some revision with the punch bag in the gym.

of eight Londoners as they struggle to define themselves in the London that they experience. It is a play that looks intricately at British culture and its isolated society. The characters express their horror and fear of London winning the Games, so this production aims to ask questions about what has really changed since

then and asks the audience to reanalyse the success of London 2012. The production runs from Wednesday 31st October-Friday 2nd November. For any Drama students wanting to audition, these will be held early during Fresher’s week. We are also excited to announce that the playwright himself

will be attending a pre-show talk on Thursday 1st November. Stephens’ other credits include: Punk Rock (2009), Harper Regan (2007) and most recently his adaptation of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for the National Theatre.

But is it Art? Want to join our reporting team? Just want to write a one-off review? Whether it’s a book, play, exhibition or installation, contact the Arts Editor at:

his play contains smoking, male and female nudity and onstage lobster cooking. Welcome to David Hare’s “The Judas Kiss”, an impressive vision of two days in the life of Oscar Wilde, with Rupert Everett as the great playwright. As a biographical work on Wilde it’s engaging. As a discussion of ideas it’s intriguing but uneven. As a piece of acting, though, it would satisfy Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Hare’s conceit is to show two significant moments in Wilde’s later life. Act One is his last night before prison, where he discusses fleeing his judgement with the sincere Robbie Ross and the egotistic Lord Bosie. With Ross a quiet pragmatist, Bosie selfish and needy and Wilde, well, Wilde, Hare sets up an allegorical love triangle, each man a different lover, next to a debate on reputation. Act Two, his last night with Bosie, takes us to Naples in winter, where Wilde is eerily still and Bosie finds his ‘love’ for the playwright running thin. The reallife aspects are wisely underplayed, but its (fascinating) underlying themes of art and betrayal are as subtle as Wilde’s fur-lined purple coat or Bosie’s sharp blue suit. Bringing this mix of biographical story and allegorical sermonising to life is not easy, but director Neil Armfield’s cast spark. As Ross, Cal Macaninch is straddled with the unfortunate job of playing a still

and humourless cipher for loyalty next to two livewires, but conveys meek dignity superbly, and can suppress emotions visibly to the back of the auditorium; in his quietness he is touching. Freddie Fox, scenestealing in “Hay Fever” earlier this year, is still marvellous here as Bosie, a petty, petulant child. He displays the rare stage skill of always being engaging though never empathetic. Hare’s Bosie, like Hare’s Ross, could be problematic, potentially one-dimensional and grating, but Fox, a phenomenal young actor on his way to being a star, is heartbreaking and complex. Wilde’s prose poem “The Disciple” tells not of Narcissus falling in love with his reflection in the pool but the pool falling in love with its reflection in Narcissus’ eyes. Fox’s Bosie is the pool, in love with himself in a legend’s eyes. And then, enter Oscar Wilde. At first it almost warrants a gasp; who is this Wilde lookalike and where is Rupert Everett? Virtually unrecognisable, Everett embodies the towering man to a tee physically, down to every mannerism, vocally, easy to imagine saying Wilde’s famous quotes, and most importantly emotionally. The script shows both Wilde the writer and Wilde the person, prone to genuine sadness and sudden emotional collapses, and Everett’s titanic performance encompasses this perfectly. Peter Hall told Simon Callow, playing the nasty Mozart in “Amadeus”, to convince him that he wrote “The Mar-

riage of Figaro”. Everett convinces not only as the Wilde who wrote “An Ideal Husband”, aphorisms like “True friends stab you in the front” and the darker and more elusive works, but also as a troubled and flawed man beneath a mask. It’s a stunning, sensitive, multifaceted performance from a superb actor. However, the normally excellent Hare’s 1998 script has flashes and gulfs of genius in equal measure. For every Wildeian putdown or beautiful speech on love, there is

an unsubtle metaphor shoehorned in (Wilde’s final speech on Judas is very on the nose) and it leaps between muted discussion and forte passion; until act two there are few emotional crescendos, just emotional explosions. It also suffers the problem of needing to inform factually as well as emotionally, and struggles to do both, ending up lethargic. Wilde’s plays, as this Wilde points out, also curtail action, but they have a vim that this lacks. When I saw it half the audience

gave it a standing ovation. That rather sums up my feelings; it is a staging deserving half an ovation. The two and a half hours may not fly by and Hare may not be able to have his lobster and eat it with regards to creating both a play both about and worthy of Wilde, but it is a moving, humane and thoughtprovoking piece which, thanks to the actors, is at its best here. Fox is a star of the future, and Everett was born to be Wilde.

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Interested? E-mail Please recycle this newspaper when you are finished Recycling bins are located at: Arts Building, The Hub, Gowar and Wedderburn Halls, T-Dubbs


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


It’s Not Over Yet: What’s Next for 2012? Provided it’s nothing to do with Mayans, then new Music Editor Katie Osmon has the answer... The final quarter of 2012 is nearly upon us: X Factor has returned to our televisions in a bid to find a Christmas number one to further line the pockets of Simon Cowell; some of the most anticipated albums of the year are set to be released; and the Mercury Prize nominations have just been announced. Green Day’s surprise show at Reading Festival, (though not so much of a surprise to anyone who could work out Billie Joe’s Tweet in advance of the show; “What rhymes with shredding??!!”) showcased a few tracks from their upcoming album trilogy, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!; the first of which is due to be released 25th September. Another American band set to take the charts by storm are No Doubt. Over ten-years since their last release, Gwen Stefani and the band are back with the longawaited release of their album, Push and Shove. Members of Ash and Feeder have formed a new side-project, The Red The White and The Blue which releases its first single ‘Crisis!’ on

1st November. Their music videos vividly combine music and a story as each of their singles is released in conjunction with a series of comics entitled ‘The Balloonist’, which follows the unravelling of a love triangle between two rival brothers and a girl that proves lethal. Well worth a watch! So, now onto The Mercury Prize 2012 nominations, which are arguably the most obscure in the history of the prize. The bookies favourites (courtesy of William Hill) are Alt-J’s debut An Awesome Wave, Richard Hawley’s Standing at the Sky’s Edge and Django Django’s self-titled album. Both Alt-J and Django Django have made it onto the list without a load of press-hype and radio play (to the extent that I had to Google ‘Django Django’ for this piece). Surprisingly the shortlist features only one big seller; Plan B’s Ill Manors. But then this year hasn’t seen a big release like Adele’s 21 or the likes of the debut album from The xx, who were a 2011 nomination and the 2010 prize winner respectively.

If music be the food of love... ...write for The Founder! Think we’re too mainstream? Or are you a true Be-lieber? Contact the Music editor at:

Needless to say, the nominations are very ‘safe’. Let me elaborate; here’s a shortlist that could be comfortably played on Radio 2 and the middle-aged listeners won’t get too het up about it. That’s not to say the albums included are not good, because they are, but where’s the variety? There’s virtually no inclusion of anything that could be conceived of as dance music – nothing too experimental – the omission of Rustie’s Glass Swords is testament to that. Rock music has largely been sidled off too. Even the big album releases from Coldplay, Kate Bush and Florence & the Machine have been discarded. The problem with the Mercury Prize shortlist is that it attempts to be a genre-conquering, all-inclusive look at the best of British albums, but the final shortlist actually ends up being very middle-of-the-road, and therefore distinctly underwhelming. The UK music scene is so much better, so much more diverse and varied than these disappointing nominations reveal.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


BBC Proms: fitting finale to summer of pride Kit Kimbell

The Mercury Prize nominated albums are: Alt-J – An Awesome Wave Richard Hawley – Standing On The Sky’s Edge Plan B - Ill Manors Sam Lee – Ground Of Its Own Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough? Django Django – Django Django The Maccabees – Given To The Wild Ben Howard – Every Kingdom Jessie Ware – Devotion Roller Trio – Roller Trio Field Music – Plumb Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

Katie Osmon Music Editor

Where to begin? Let’s do as Julie Andrews suggests and start at the very beginning. I was born; I grew up. Now I’m 21 and reading History at Royal Holloway. As a third year student, graduation is worryingly looming ever closer. In this expanse of time I’ve achieved, failed and developed a brief, and arguably misjudged, attraction to Jarvis Cocker (the lead singer of Pulp for those of you who don’t know). However, my only constant love has been music. Favourite bands include; The Kinks, The Libertines and Pulp (not just due to the snake-hipped Jarvis). The next logical step was to write about music, so this is how you find me as the Music Editor of this very publication. It’s going to be a good year guys!

As I write, London is recovering from an unforgettable summer. In the space of just two days we saw the culmination of not only the biggest sporting shows on earth, with the closing ceremony of the Paralympic games, but also the world’s largest classical music festival, the BBC Proms. You could probably be forgiven for missing the majority of the musical festivities these past few months, but in spite of the other distractions this year’s season has once again proved popular with first-timers. The average attendance for evening Proms was 93%, a 1% drop over last year’s record high, with over 35,000 of the total 300,000 attendees having never bought tickets before. The programme this year was no let down either: Daniel Barenboim conducted a full cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies, finishing the same night he bore the Olympic flag in the Games’ opening ceremony; tributes to both Delius and Debussy in the year of their 150th birthdays; a concert devoted to Wallace and Gromit, and even a performance from the driving force behind Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane. Inevitably, the focal point for the public en masse was the Last Night concert. Since 1996, these celebrations have spilled out into public spaces across the country at Proms

Pictures: Thomas Seal

in the Park, with events being held this year in London itself at Hyde Park, Belfast, Caerphilly, and Glasgow. These take on a more popular theme with, for instance, performances by Kylie Minogue and

Proms this year:


Average attendance:


Age of Proms:

117 years

Age of Royal Albert Hall:

141 years

Length of Proms:

8 weeks

Did you know: There were no ‘Last Nights’ to the 1940 and 1944 Proms. They were curtailed by German bombing.

tra’s outgoing chief and conductor of the last night, Jiří Bělohlávek, performing pieces by Dvořák and Suk. Alongside the more “difficult” music that the Proms has become Björn Again. Regardless, the main known for showcasing were staples concert of the Last Night is often of the classical repertory such as seen as a more accessible evening in Bruch’s Violin concerto, played by itself, featuring the traditional renScottish virtuoso Nicola Benedetti, ditions and audience participation and Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’ from of Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory, Turandot. the national anthem, and Parry’s For those not familiar with the Jerusalem. This year also included a event, the Royal Albert Hall plays noticeable Czech influence in honhost to the majority of the concerts our of the BBC Symphony Orchesover an eight-week season featur-

ing some of the world’s top conductors, orchestras, and soloists. The concerts began in 1895 with the first Queen’s Hall Promenade, conducted by Henry Wood, whose bust sits to this day at the top of the Proms stage for the duration of the season. The reasoning behind these concerts was to make classical music more accessible to the general public. Tickets were cheap and serious music was played, the likes of which had rarely been seen outside exclusive concert series. One element of the festival cer-

tain to spark debate is the inclusion of the aforementioned “difficult” music. Even within the regular concertgoers there is a noticeable change in atmosphere whenever a piece of modern music is played. Throughout the history of the event there has been a tendency towards exposing new music. A staggering 716 world or UK premiers were conducted by Sir Henry Wood between 1889 and 1944. The highest concentration of new works at the Proms was in the mid twentiethcentury, where in the immediate five years following William Glock’s appointment as BBC Controller of Music, the number had more than doubled. The sheer number of concerts on offer, hitting the one-hundred mark in 2009 with some seventy-six at the Royal Albert Hall this year, can make picking which to attend a daunting prospect. I’d thoroughly recommend looking out for a repeat of this year’s nineteenth Prom, featuring UK premiers of works by Langgard and GudmundsenHolmgreen, Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony and Daniel MüllerSchott playing Shostakovich’s first cello concerto. The spirit of the Proms is in bringing classical music to the masses, and with TV viewing figures of eleven million -excluding the Last Night- it certainly seems to have struck a chord with the public (my apologies for that inevitable pun). So this year, look out for classical music concerts on campus and don’t let the Proms stick as that one time a year we all enjoy such fine music.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Review: ‘Halcyon’ - Ellie Goulding Rhiannon Davies With Ellie’s second album, ‘Halcyon’, out in just half a month (October 8th), the talented electro-folk singer/songwriter released “some snippets” from the new album in the form of a video-trailer featuring five tracks. These included ‘Anything Could Happen’ (already available on Youtube as a gift to fans). Having collaborated with artists such as Tinie Tempah (most recently on the dark track ‘Hanging On’), cover of The Weeknd’s ‘High For This’, (be sure to check out Monsieur Adi’s awesome remix), and relationship with dubstep artist

Skrillex, Ellie says she “feels like a new artist”. It’s unsurprising, then, that fans can expect a completely different sound from Ellie’s 2010 debut, ‘Lights’. Ellie says the album name comes from an “sea theme” which arose during writing. Whether or not this has come across in the music as well as the lyrics in the form of a storm, fans can certainly expect to feel intensity from stronger, darker baselines, and darker lyrics from the new tracks. Although ‘Halcyon’ is the work of a developing artist, echoes of ‘Lights’ can be found in the acoustic guitar of ‘It’s Going To Be Better’, and Ellie’s signature electronic

vibes, which come to a head in the chorus. The soft piano in ‘I Know You Care’ provides relief from the highly-charged tracks.. Ellie’s reputation as a quirky writer of is re-established across the tracks, in both “Anything Could Happen”, which she described as “the happiest song I’ve ever written”, and in the dark love song: ‘My Blood’, which is arguably also the most intense track. If you’re looking for a motivational boost this October, be prepared to update your gym playlist on October 8th for Ellie’s best work to date, for an album that, as the artist herself assures us, is “just way more epic”.

alt-J: Your shortcut to great music Joseph Holt It’s hot. It’s really hot, and I’m stood in a crowded tent with several thousand other people, sweating so profusely that my shirt has stuck to my back. This is of course a festival, and therefore you would expect such an experience, but being more committed to the booze more than the music I normally shy away from such uncomfortable experiences. Why would I break a leg just to hear something I can in utter bliss at home through a pair of headphones? I’d much rather lie down in grass with a pint of local scrumpy and listen to someone else, even if I don’t enjoy their music half as much. However this is no ordinary band: this is Alt-J. For those of you who don’t know who they are, you are still probably involved with them by proxy. Alt-J has been played on the radio and in all our shops quite frequently this past month. The festival in question was End of the Road, a small folk festival mainly targeted at families, yet they managed to attract everyone under the age of 30 to see their show. I went with a friend who is not particularly into their genre of music, and who had never heard of them before. All he knew before their set


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Chapel choirs and Wolf Packs: Music at Holloway This is a contemporary group, without the inaccessibility problems that usually accompany such or most people, music a group. Arcade Fire and The is a big thing. We have a Beatles will be performed alonghistory of iPod playlists, side Stockhausen and Art Blakey. favourite musicians, and Sometimes music is abandoned festival tickets that get kept forever. altogether to watch two fully grown This involvement in music is a typi- kids run round a room throwing cal spread – but here at Royal Hol- eggs at each other, dressed as bears. loway, that spread becomes a sheer Yet professionalism and quality wealth of dedication and intuitive is maintained throughout. The musical madness. themes from last year were AniFirstly, there are the societies mals, Love, Food and Home. This dedicated to the cause – a quick year’s themes are closely guarded nod to Love to Make Noise - but secrets- although ‘Sex, Sport and the diversity of music available Space’ are rumoured to be somecannot and will not be tamed by where in the mix (your guess is as one society alone. There is the good as mine as to how this will core Music Society that contains be pulled off). It sounds mad, and the music students and associated that’s because it is. These are musiOrchestras; the numerous choirs, cians who above all else enjoy what including the renowned chapel they do and will love you forever if choir; The Musical Theatre society you give them the chance to blow who are forever putting on shows; your mind. The audience continues our Big Band - frequenting every to dramatically grow with every student bar within 1000 miles - and performance and I am sure that finally Balkan Ensemble and Opera trend will continue this year. Holloway to name a few. I point The smallest Jazz Club in Europe these out to the reader not to say stems from a love of music and “go play bagpipes in the orchestra”, works to promote solo artists and but more simply to highlight the bands from the local area. One big wide array of student body music thing to mention about TSJC is that you can listen to. These groups are unlike many other music groups all fantastic and play a major role in on campus, they are not a society providing continual music on and recognised by the Students’ Union. off campus, but in this article I will They’re just a society of people with be focusing on two recently estaba common interest. This means you lished and highly popular groups: can invest as much or as little time Wolf Pack, and The Smallest Jazz in the group as you want and will Club in Europe. never get that feeling you’re being Wolf Pack are a small collective of ripped off- because it’s free! passionate musicians who constantThe society’s concept is simple: ly strive to make you think. Wolf bands and acoustic acts perform in Pack has never tried to explain or highly arty sheds. A garden festival excuse its behaviour on stage: they over the course of an evening, if have no native genre, their only you will. Performances are of a very consistency being that of quality high quality, with the likes of Viviand that each gig is dedicated to a enne Youel, Ampers&nd, Susurrus, single, often obscure theme. Last Wildflower and Initial Incident Box year they provided four concerts spearheading the events. For the (all on campus), along with numer- casual gig goer, there is a range of ous London appearances. The reasounds to be enjoyed. Despite the son why I have chosen Wolf Pack ‘Jazz’ reference, the focus is more as a feature in this article makes on acoustic singer songwriters, with sense only to me, Wolf Pack and a wide range of genres. Between anyone who has seen one of their gigs the group takes over Crossperformances. You can’t know what lands, with the highly popular open to expect, because that’s the nature mic night every Thursday evening of the beast. playing a major part in ensuring

Caspar Green


Alt-J, I knew about them long before they hit the mainstream”. If you prefer dubstep or dance music then I recommend listening started was my love for them. Iniaudience’s mind between that shape to Fitzpleasure as an introductory tially sceptical, he was so impressed and their music. Now when I see song due to its pretty good drop. he has since learnt their sexiest triangles in everyday life I think of Inversely, if you prefer the quieter, song, Tessellate, on bass guitar. the lyric from Tessellate, “triangles dulcet tones of Ben Howard, then Their debut album, An Awesome are my favourite shapes”. Maktry out Taro or Breezeblocks. If Wave, was released at the end of ing the hand symbol at gigs, in you like what you hear then June, and has since been nominated the same way Wu Tang Clan fans I can’t stress enough, for the prestigious Mercury Award. form the ‘W’, makes me feel like a listen to their album Rather than the album being a Freemason giving a secret handas it should be standard collection of songs, it is shake, sneakily searching for other heard. instead a concept album. It tells a members who equally appreciate It has story, linking the songs together Alt-J. You feel like a member of me perfectly. Listening to the full alan exclusive club where amazing bum as a narrative is incredible. music is played. And don’t we all What must be noted about Alt-J want to be in that club? I recomis not their musical mastery, but mend you start listening to rather their stratagem. Having not them, they’re going to be researched them until recently big, they’re already I didn’t know where it stemmed medium-large and from. Yet what I do know is that everyone loves Rose Walker when you press alt + j on a comto be able puter running an apple OS it comes to say up with a triangle. ‘So what?’ you “oh Radio 2 stated this week that the may think, ‘my band is called five xx’s music makes you ‘glaze over’. presses of shift because I have They hastily added this was meant sticky fingers’. What Alt-J as a compliment, whilst over at have done is to take conRadio 1 a guest dropped the gem: trol of the triangle, an “it’s the type of music you want to everyday image, kiss to.” Both statements are true. and implant a Either you ‘get’ the band’s dreamy link within electronic quality, or you do not. their Clearly, a lot of people did get their self-titled debut album as it won the Mercury Prize in 2009. Co-Exist has similarly high hopes. The opening track ‘Angels’ is currently being wheeled out by Radio 1 at least once a day. Female vocalist Romy Madley Croft intones to the listener “they would be in love with you as I am” to such an alluring degree, that even if you’re not in love with anybody, you are by proxy. flickr/jamieleto Second track, ‘Fiction’ devotes itself

hooked, I can’t get enough of triangles, and I hope you feel the same way.

Review: ‘Co-Exist’ - The XX to reminding listeners just how seductive male lead Oli Sim’s voice is, and when coupled with Romy’s on tracks such as ‘Tides’, the listener is audience to musical love making: “You leave with the tide / And I can’t stop you leaving / I can see it in your eyes / Some things have lost their meaning.” The music in ‘Unfold’ is haunting and beautiful as, along with his well-placed flurry of steel drums in ‘Reunion,’ Jamie XX reminds us of his skills as a remix artist. The trio have created a product, which many -myself included- simply adore. This is music to write to, paint to, and yes - perhaps to kiss to. There is no change of direction from the fragile electronics of their first album and if you disliked those then it’s fairly certain you won’t appreciate their second offering either. But if you did, you’ll fall for ‘CoExist.’

Above and below: RHUL group Wolf Pack, performing last year. that absolutely anyone can perform if they want to. It’s rare to see such organisation amongst students, but this bunch have it sorted with perhaps one of the most chilled out, musically rewarding groups in the area.

So to the point: student performers don’t want you to go along and ‘support them’, they want you to go along and enjoy yourself. Take note of all the groups I mentioned. All of them are campus-based, leaving you absolutely no excuse not to go

and see at least one of them in the coming year. It sounds preachy, but trust me - get some live Holloway music in your life, because I can personally guarantee there is something on campus that you will be able to enjoy.


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

Advice Meet Uncle Fullfrontle, A man of mustaches, muscat, and mystery.


If you would like to contribute to the next edition of the Founder, please send your submissions to: • for general enquiries, or if you’d like to help with design. • for any news, or if you’d like to become a reporter.

If he can’t solve your problems... well, you might as well just give up now.

• for features or articles for the Comment & Debate section. • for something that perhaps slips between the other sections • for the art exhibition or theatre reviews and art comment.

Dear Uncle Fullfrontle,

I’m about to come onto campus as a fairly fresh fresher and with me comes my wardrobe. I consider myself original and above all fashionable. Does Holloway welcome the baggy jersey, skinny jeans and necklace ensemble that I am so successful with in London? Please help me. Theo, Cambridgeshire


n short, no. Theo, you’re a 7.4 on the hipster scale and that means a few things. Your keen lusting for anything anti-mainstream clouds your own perception of yourself. Our campus can be compared to ancient Sparta, where the weak and insufferable malcontents like yourself are cast asunder to make way for the elite human breeding ground that is our university. A few things we pride are sports, drinking, friends and legitimacy. And the later applies to all aspects of life. Consider yourself Theo: you are on the wrong side of the law when it comes to fashion with your retro necklace, your music and your general complacency for your meagre art and media related life aspirations. Royal Holloway is a place for statuesque men of willpower, sensuous celestial goddesses, and stratospheric ambition. We attend this university to perfect our existence and not to write a blog about your shite fashion sense. As they say, a few words speak a thousand pictures, and my impression of you and your pathetic question is thus: you are a minor blip on the life radar compared to me, a juggernaut of power, the master of a thousand wenches, and the resident Sheriff of Legitsville. Watch and learn, blip.

Please recycle this newspaper when you are finished Recycling bins are located at: Arts Building, The Hub, Gowar and Wedderburn Halls, T-Dubbs

Uncle Fullfrontle, I’m in deep with boy problems. I was making love to a boy let’s call him Jake - but halfway through he pulled out, said he was bored and turned over. I was shocked and upset so I slapped him and left but I still love him. What do I do? Anon, Royal Holloway.


y dearest Anon, this is nothing your Uncle can’t sort out. Sex is a long path we all tread, and we choose our own route through the promiscuous forests and jungles of this earth. I model my sex upon that of the male African lion’s. Let’s return, however, to your problem. I think you need to glaze yourself in honey and walnut cream and approach this male you have branded ‘Jake’. The mixture of scents should arouse him on a primal level, and then you will be able to continue your love-making. Obviously, you must talk to him about what you both seek from this relationship, and I’m afraid you should inform Jake you may soon be incarcerated. The manner in which you struck him does constitute assault, and as I mentioned in my previous response, I am the Sheriff of this town, and my justice is godly.

Have a problem with no clear resolution? Let Uncle Fullfrontle have the last word. Send your problems to, and our resident editors will track him down to whatever cave he has taken as his habitat, and leave your queries as offerings. Good luck!

• for the film reviews and cinema comment. • for the album or gig reviews and music comment. • to submit match reports, sports club articles or sports comment. • to submit your best photographs from campus and beyond

The next submissions deadline is Midday, Monday 1st October

the founder

the independent student newspaper of royal holloway, university of london



The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Rises flickr/marvelousRoland






PAINT THE TOWN RED...GREEN, ORANGE, AND EVEN A BIT OF PINK as we throw 75 gallons of paint out in the ultimate student paint party!



DON’T STOP MOVING TO THE FUNKY BEAT, DON’T STOP MOVING TO THE S-CLUB BEAT! Max Williamson I don’t like superhero films. It’s their fantastical nature I think. The lack of reality makes it hard for actors to create empathetic protagonists and villains, who are anything short of absurd. Director Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, however, has succeeded in turning me. It’s their gritty darkness that hooks me and this final installation in the trilogy is still gloriously gloomy and pessimistic but not without cultivating a glimmer of hope. And of course there are loads of explosions. This final installation in the critically acclaimed trilogy follows the events of The Dark Knight with Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) living in solitude, forced to deceive and be detested by the city he has sworn to protect in order to support the public myth about the purity of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), and hide the madness Dent exhibited in the lead up to his death. Inevitably, a new threat to the people results in Wayne once more donning his mask, cape and gravelly voice and, with the help of faces old and new, rising to meet this challenge in the form of the monstrous Bane (Tom Hardy) and his criminal army. As with Nolan’s other works, such as Inception and Memento, he shuns a simple storyline, cutting between plots with crafted abandon, creating a work that remains layered and interesting without becoming difficult to follow. Unfortunately this does create some problems. The inclusion of so many new characters means the actors are not given enough time on screen to fully develop their various back-

grounds, and since the film has a daunting 165 minute running time, it seems that Nolan has bitten off a little more than he can chew in this department. It deserves to be this long, however, and does not sag at any point, whilst the majority of the rollicking action set pieces occur in the second half of the film. Both the script and calibre of acting are engaging enough to warrant this relatively slow start in comparison to other superhero films, a welcome change of pacing in fact. The two encounters with the Batman and Bane are wincingly choreographed, I could feel each jolting impact as they kicked the proverbial stuffing out of each other. This showcases the breadth of the majestic cinematography, flowing from furious, coarse action to ethereal, gorgeous location shots. Whilst attempting to avoid spoilers, the ending was pulled from the brink of worthiness by the last minute, which regrettably damaged the close of the film. The film is a heaped, delicious ice cream sundae with a covertly placed clove of garlic at the bottom. The performances are impressive, although this film contains nothing as astounding as Heath Ledger’s Joker in the film’s predecessor. The Batman is more a narrative solidifying presence than a show-stopper, but Bale nevertheless aptly conveys his character’s multiple resurgences in the course of the film. From a cripple, both physically and spiritually, at the outset to his former resolute, hardened crime-fighter by the finale, Bale remains a suitably sympathetic protagonist without dabbling in the melodramatic. Anne Hathaway makes an appear-

ance, entirely smashing typecasting, as a lithe, bitter cat burglar. Though her energetic portrayal is entirely commendable, I found her character arc ridiculously predictable, not something I usually associate with this director, and her femme fatale is a caricature made up of all the noir stereotypes one could imagine. The nemesis of the picture, Bane, was described by Nolan as “an antagonist...who can trade blows with Batman and you genuinely won’t know who’s going to come out on top”. Hardy’s hulking form fulfils this role, physically menacing and fanatical in his dedication to his own form of anarchy. His slow, calculated menace does the trick, small tilts of the head become obvious threats, although this is less unsettling than the genuinely un-

hinged outbursts of other costumed villains such as Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in Spider-Man, or indeed the aforementioned Joker. But the vital role for me was that of the character John Blake. Exactly. You don’t have a clue who he is. Watching exceptional developments created by remarkable individuals from the point of view of an ordinary police officer was entirely refreshing. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Blake had no discernible skill other than maintaining a perfectly formed quiff in the face of explosions and gunfire, further edging the film away from the pantomime of its genre (hairstyles not included). Christopher Nolan continues in his groundbreaking mould with this intelligent and entertaining

Zlatina Nikolova Film Editor A third-year Film and Television Studies student, I know this about film: it’s alive, it evolves and it adapts to its time. This is why I am very interested in film’s development, both as art and a medium, and the new themes and subjects film plots nowadays explore. I thought writing about film would be an interesting way to observe film’s evolution step by step because it allows you to share your opinions on films, filmmakers and their achievements. I started writing for the Founder in my second year. I’m also writing film reviews, articles and the occasional Top 5 for an online magazine called MouthLondon. As a film editor, I’m hoping to broaden the range of articles in the film section. Film reviews are always important because they give you an overview of a film’s strengths and weaknesses. However, there are many creative ways of thinking and writing about film, which is why I’m looking forward to interesting suggestions about film articles.

blockbuster. While it lacks the same character focus and some of the wittiness of its predecessor it still remains a notable experience, especially in terms of its intriguing political shift with the evil Bane as a revolutionary figure, and our support firmly arm-wrestled to the Right as we see the wealthy cowering before the rabid, riotous masses. Hans Zimmer’s vivacious score epitomises the urgency and severity this incarnation of the caped crusader brings to bare and truly helps forge the tone of the movie. It is brash, the ending is a shame and there are too many characters for its own good but this superhero finishes his legacy in a blaze of glory, phoenix-like in its revival of this much-loved and completely renovated franchise.







07583 035 186














Tuesday 25th Drop-in Badminton & Basketball 20:00-22:00 Sports Centre Thursday 27th 5-a-side Football Festival 15:00-19:00 Sports Centre Friday 28th Rush Hockey 12:00-15:00 Founder’s Tennis Courts All free of charge, all kit provided. Please recycle this newspaper when you are finished Recycling bins are located at: Arts Building, The Hub, Gowar and Wedderburn Halls, T-Dubbs

Freshers’ Week Sport

Sunday 23rd Rush Hockey 12:00-15:00 Founder’s Tennis Courts

The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012


The Founder | Tuesday 25 September 2012

Creating a Legacy: Women’s Football Post-Olympics Krissie Glover

away. Having experienced crowds at women’s football games first hand playing for Millwall a few his summer Britain made years ago, I was shocked given that history: not only did we celebrate the Queen’s jubilee but we were lucky to have our parents we also hosted perhaps one of turn-up, let alone thousands of the most successful Olympiads in supporters. I made the assumpliving memory. It is doubtless that tion on my way to the game that it everyone will have a particular would be a pretty quiet affair, with memory that they will take from perhaps a few thousand women the games, whether it involves Mo and children present, yet not only Farah, Usain Bolt or Jessica Ennis. did the numbers surprise me but However, in my case, that Olympic also the demographic; granted the moment came through a sport that stadium had its fair share of wommany said should not be part of the en and children, but the amount of men present really threw me. I games at all: football. saw groups of young boys chantFootballers often get bad press, especially when compared to other ing players names that before the Olympic athletes, however, I would games they might not have known and getting behind a sport that a like to reiterate that my Olympic few weeks ago they perhaps would moment came not from watching have ridiculed - Most importantly stars like Ryan Giggs or Craig Bellamy but from a relatively unknown for the future of the game though footballer, Stephanie Houghton, I saw dads taking their daughters to watch football for the first time. when she scored her third goal of Parental support is crucial for the tournament against Brazil at any athlete and for women footWembley in front of over 70,000 ballers it’s no different, certainly fans. if the sport is to be truly accepted I was lucky enough to be inside into mainstream of society then the stadium where the support for the correct attitude and support the girls literally took my breath



See Sports Centre for more information, or go to flickr/Terekhova

of parents is the first step toward a lasting legacy. Research completed by the FA and WSL (Women’s Super League) suggests that the Olympics did have a significant impact on the women’s game, despite the fact that we crashed out in the quarterfinals. Research suggested that out of one-thousand participants fifteen per cent said that after the Olympics they would be more likely to consider watching a live women’s football match, and a massive fortyfive per cent more would be more likely to take part. These figures suggest that the Olympics was a watershed moment for women’s football, however now the Olympics are over and the fever that had gripped the nation has subdued will there really be a lasting legacy? The signs may appear positive, but what about the actual results? Clearly the long-term impact of the games will not be felt for another few years, but immediate figures do not look promising; the average attendance for the first game back in the WSL after the Olympics was

a poor 382 and the most recent figures put average attendance at 425 for fixtures on 9th September 2012. This does not represent a legacy but rather more of a hangover. Women’s football, like any other sport, can only develop with investment but with poor attendance figures at the top end and lack of media support investment is not readily available. On the other hand, whilst elite women’s football may lack support grassroot clubs and teams are thriving. Women’s football is the third highest participation sport in Britain behind men’s football and cricket, placing in front of men’s rugby. This is a huge achievement, but it cannot be realistically attributed to the Olympics, as this trend began long before London 2012. In this regard, one might argue that women’s football hasn’t moved much further forward than where it was three months ago, but clearly things have changed. People may not be digging in their pockets to follow women’s football but at least they are no longer insulting it. This shift in attitudes can only

lead to greater opportunities for female footballers to excel and to represent their country in front of tens of thousands of fans on a regular basis. If you want to be one of those girls, if you want to be a part of the legacy, then join women’s football at Royal Holloway today. We train on Tuesdays at 7 till 9pm and Fridays 5 till 7pm, and we accept players of all abilities. We have two competitive teams but we also encourage social players who just want to get fit and enjoy the sport. If this sounds like something you may be interested in and you like the idea of one day playing in front of over 70,000 fans then we urge you to come and see us at the Sports Fayre or to come along to our informal trials on Saturday 29th September from 10 am that will last midday. For those who would perhaps rather just watch come and show your support, you can see us in action at our annual charity tournament on Wednesday 10th October from 2pm on Nobles field. Why not be a part of the legacy?



A Note on Sophie Christiansen, MBE

La Vuelta a España 2012

Richard Cunningham Sports Editor

Samuel Hodges

The London 2012 games may now seem a somewhat distant memory, the discarded banners in their questionable but recognisable theme are still strewn around Egham and the surrounding districts like Christmas lights in February, harkening to a time not so long ago that was so full excitement and promise and yet which now hangs from the random lamp posts ready to be removed by the inevitable contractor. What these and various other articles of Olympic debris serve to remind us is of how close the games were to us, close not necessarily in mileage to the parks themselves but close to our sensibilities, close to our eyes and ears and tastes, close like the humid air on a hot day or like the fuming train in a tube station at midnight, intoxicating and

feverish. This closeness we experience toward the games could be compared to the arrival of a child; the country had been pregnant with potential for almost seven years before the birth at the opening ceremony when, after sleepless nights of worry and contemplation, out came a thing that was presented to the world bearing the quirky features of its creator with its black cabs, Spice Girls, Mr Beans and Mr Bonds reminding the world that these were in fact our games. The sense of ownership that arose from harbouring the games, from nurturing them in the early stages and sending them out into the world was important when the true reasons for its existence really came into their own, when the games began to challenge attitudes surrounding fitness, health

and exercise and more importantly when it began to challenge attitudes surrounding disability. Now was the time to address uncomfortable issues through sport and to fundamentally change the way people viewed those with physical or mental disabilities. Team GB’s Paralympic squad took the first symbolical step in addressing attitudes by matching its able-bodied equivalent in the medal tables, finishing third behind Russia and China, it arguably outshone its counterparts when putting on a show aimed at inspiring a generation. The importance of the Paralympics, the reason it runs alongside or ‘parallel’ to the Olympic games, is to put the athletes on an equal footing, to eradicate prejudice and to demonstrate the super-human abilities of the Paralympian, and in no other was this quality better

exemplified than in Sophie Christiansen MBE. Christiansen, who has cerebral palsy, is an alumna of Royal Holloway, where she gained her MA in Mathematics in 2011. During the 2012 games she rode her way into the history books as the only British Paralympic athlete to ever win a triple gold medal. Astonishingly she scored over 80 in each of her disciplines and in her final event, the grade 1a freestyle, did so in a spectacularly British fashion riding to Land of Hope and Glory, Big Ben’s chimes and a quotation from Shakespeare’s Richard II. Almost two weeks later on a cool Friday morning, September fourteenth, not long after the Founder’s building clock struck midday Christiansen was back on campus applying the last lick of gold paint to her very own post box

outside the Windsor building, yet another gold to add to her tally of five overall. To some the post box may seem an elaborate novelty at best, however that box on campus serves to reiterate something profound about the games; it serves to remind us of the closeness of greatness, the reality of heroism and the actuality of true inspiration. Often the sycophantic media wears the overly sensational Olympic rhetoric fairly thin, but in cases such as these we cannot say that Sophie’s achievements were anything short of staggering. An ex-student of this University has performed on the greatest stage on earth and redefined what it means to be ‘disabled’, she has demonstrated that some of life’s greatest obstacles often hold some of its greatest potential to achieve.

Trial prologue stage in Pamplona, the setting of the famous Spanish Bull Run. And for all those wonderLa Vuelta a España; or in English, ing, no, they didn’t send bulls chasthe Tour of Spain, is the third grand ing after chiselled lycra-clad bike tour (after the Giro d’Italia and riders. The race would wind its way Tour de France) of the prestigious up hot Pyrenean passes, through UCI pro cycling calendar and, Andorra, into Barcelona and back despite being the last 3-week race west before heading for the horof the year, it is by no means the rendously steep Bola Del Mundo weakest. climb, finishing the last day on the In cycling there is serious glory Gran Via in the heart of Madrid. to be had by competing day after Temperatures were soaring and day in these epic and gruelling stage consequently some riders dropped races; riders challenge one another out suffering from the heat, and for the top prize by trying to finish others, with beads of sweat seeping the entire 3-week race in the fastest from their legs like rain drops on time or for crossing the line first a cold window pane, battled on to in each day’s stage. In this year’s continue the race. Stage 3 provided Vuelta, riders from 22 teams faced the first glimpse of who would an extremely mountainous route contest for overall glory. Contador with climbs so steep you would attacked ferociously, with Valverde struggle to walk faster up them and,

Sport keep on turning. However, managing to limit his losses, Froome would still finish the race in a brilliant fourth overall. As for the Spaniards, there was very little between them - Joaquim Rodriguez seemed to have the race all sewn up by stage 17, as neither Contador, nor the villainous Valverde could drop him on the climbs, but a tactical masterclass saw Contador steal the lead and overall glory. Contador attacked 50km out on stage 17 in what seemed like an act of arrogance, Rodriguez let Contador take flight up the road, perhaps a grave error considering that this was Alberto Contador, one of the best bike racers ever. Who knew what Rodriguez was thinking by letting giving the ex-Tour de France winner such

freedom? Contador stole nearly 3 minutes from him in one of the best tactical rides I’ve ever seen. It was the cycling equivalent of Beckham’s free kick against Greece in 2001, glorious and inch-perfect. To make matters worse for the man fans call ‘J-Rod’, Valverde had managed to scrape second place. Cycling is a sport that oozes heroism, especially among the serious pros where one is left to marvel at their superhuman fitness and determination, and this Vuelta did not disappoint in that regard. My highlight was Dario Cataldo’s victory up the Cuitu Negro Mountain on stage 16. The ramp up to the finish line had gradients of 25%, an ascent so steep that it is actually painful to watch; a slow grind through pain and anguish that ends

with the arms aloft in a victory salute. Riders came up that climb in pieces, completely broken by the effort and wanting anything but to be on their bicycle. This year the Vuelta was a fascinating race and incredibly exciting to watch. From Contador’s vicious attacks to Froome’s determination, the tough parcours ensured fierce competition and more drama than were in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France combined. In fact, Alberto Contador helped made the race what it was; his often incomprehensible speech and rather balloon shaped head aside, his aggression and never-say-die attitude forced a furious race. Still, the Tour de France is the best isn’t it? After all, Bradley Wiggins won it didn’t he, and he’s British!

flickr/ RichardTurnerPhotography

flickr/nXpected despite the tough and exciting look of the race route, many members of the press and cycling fans alike write the off the Spanish tour, often regarding how it can’t better the history and panache of the Giro d’Italia, or the prestige and buzz of the Tour de France. This year, though, I would say the media were forced to eat their words very early on in the race. The media did however manage to accurately select the race favourites: the troublesome trio of Spaniards, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez, all past or potential Grand tour victors, were to feature prominently, along with the Brit, Chris ‘Froome Dog’ Froome, himself returning from an arduous summer involving a second place in the Tour de France and an Olympic Bronze. After a summer of servitude toward Bradley Wiggins, was the Vuelta a España the place he would finally be let off his leash? The race began with a Team Time

and Rodriquez pushing on with him. Froome was then unleashed, and like a dog on heat did eventually tack onto the back of the Spanish riders. The Spanish media called them the ‘Fabulous four’ thereafter, since they were on another level to the other riders occupying the top 15. As the race drew on it became very clear that these supposed fabulous protagonists were going to contest the podium. Froome, though, was attempting back-toback Grand Tours as he’d already finished highly the 2012 Tour de France and consequently I began to doubt his chances of surviving at such a ferocious pace. By the second week of the Vuelta, Froome’s fatigue was showing. Up the climbs he found himself distanced by the Spaniards, staring down at the road in defeat with that peculiar, yet familiar awkward stance the pros often adopt when the legs are searing with pain. It’s the sort of pain that borders agony, but that calls upon the cyclist to

Richard Cunningham Sports Editor My name is Richard Cunningham, I’m one of the managing editors of The Founder this year, and I’m in my second year at Royal Holloway studying English Literature. This year is set to be a chaotic one for me; aside from managing the paper I will be the Sports section editor and captain of the University’s boat club. Sports sections are too often dominated by match reportage or results and whilst this will feature in some way in my Sports section I want to focus more on good journalism, good debate and argument with Sport on campus as the focal point. I’m looking for people to contribute who can bring something more to the table than a football commentator’s idioms, and I need contributors who have a good grasp of sport, who can offer an independent opinion and vision and who have the ability to deliver quality to a deadline. Get involved by emailing me your pitches to sports@

The Founder - Volume 7, Issue 1  

The Founder is the independent newspaper of Royal Holloway, University of London.

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