The Exec Get Grilled The HSU Sabbatical Officers are held to account
Was it worth it, or did it come to nothing?
The Volume 3 Issue 3 11th December 2012 theheythroplion.co.uk
Tour De Farce
Dan Tripp argues against the use of drugs in sport
Union Shaken By Three Motions Of No Confidence Heythrop Students vote to remove an Executive Officer (and to adopt a rabbit) Faye West Comment Editor On Friday the 30th of November, the Heythrop Students’ Union held an Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) in which three vote of No Confidence motions were raised against officers of the union Executive, one resulting in an officer being removed from their post. Miles Smith, the Web Development officer, Peter Mackay, the Student Activities Officer and Charlie Yarwood, Publicity Officer all had motions put against them by an anonymous student. Miles Smith was accused of unavailability and failure to fulfil his role, having been unavailable over the summer and that other members of the union developed the website. However, after making an apology, Smith was not voted to leave. Peter
Mackay was accused of not engaging in his work and preferential treatment of societies. However, after making a speech refuting these accusations, the motion of No Confidence against him failed. An accusation was made that he was biased against the LGBT society, but this was denied by the Head of the LGBT society. Charlie Yarwood was accused of irresponsibility and not engaging in publicity. The examples given were her taking a student to hospital without informing the welfare team and the argument that societies make their own posters and advertising is done via The Student Union Website and The Lion. Yarwood was voted by a majority to step down from her position. Several other motions also passed, including proposals to extend the opening hours of the library beyond 5pm on Fridays and to include Sundays, to review the procedure for the short-loan book list, and to
write into the contracts of the RA’s and the society heads to attend all general meetings. The motion of a prospective Heythrop bar was raised and passed, although this motion was to anticipate interest in
the concept, and at time of writing no concrete plans have been made. Another set of charities have been chosen to be supported by Heythrop, mental health charities MIND and REthink, Beat, an eating disor-
der charity and The Terrence Higgins Trust, FPA, London friend, sexual health charities, in aid of the upcoming RAG week. Continued on Page 1 >>
ULU President voted “illegitimate” Faye West Comment Editor At the OGM held on Friday the 30th of November, a motion was proposed by Alex Hackett, the Vice President of Heythrop Students’ Union, to not recognise the presidency of the recently-elected President of The University of London Union, Michael Chessum. The motion passed unanimously. Although Heythrop as a college has elected not to recognise the Presidency of Mr Chessum, it is still a member of ULU and still has access to its facilities. Allegations of misconduct
have plagued the recent ULU elections. The Vice President of ULU, Daniel Cooper, was ruled by the Elections Committee to have been using his official email address of the Vice Presidential office to circulate support of the then presidential candidate Michael Chessum. In a recent interview with The Lion, Alex Hackett, who proposed the motion, told us why he had raised the issue. He stated, “As member of ULU, I put forward the motion because I wasn’t happy with the way the elections had been conducted”, and continued, “The way in which the Vice President conducted his role in the election, I didn’t like the
idea that Heythrop students were putting their name to it”. Ashley Doolan, the President of the Heythrop Students’ Union, stated that, “Until such time we see a real investigational tribunal into it or a re-election, we will not recognise the president”. Mr Doolan resigned from his position on the Elections Committee of the ULU Presidential election on the grounds that, “I wasn’t happy with the stance the Vice President of ULU took during the election, as his role specifically states he is responsible for promoting a free and fair democracy”. Both Mr Hackett and Mr Doolan were
keen to dismiss rumours that this motion was as a reaction to the candidate that they both backed not winning. Mr Hackett was adamant that he was not, as he put it, a “sore loser”. Mr Doolan stated, in reference to being a former member of the Elections Committee, “I faced criticism along the lines of ‘The only reason you resigned it was because you thought it would benefit Gala’s campaign’, that was not a fair criticism, I stayed painfully neutral throughout the entire process”. The Lion asked enquired as to why Mr Doolan was on the board if he had such a conflict of interests, but Mr
Doolan conveyed that the reason he was on the committee was to ensure that the small, specialist colleges were fairly represented, saying that in the previous election, “A lot [of the small, specialist colleges] had not received their ballot papers”. He concludes, “I didn’t see a fair election happen, and I resigned because I didn’t see a fair election happen”. Mr Hackett assures Heythrop students that we are still a part of the union and it does not affect Heythrop students working for ULU nor using the facilities. The full interview is available on The Lion website and Youtube account.
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Heythrop votes for Rabbit Mascot Continued from page 1: Alex Hackett, Vice President of the HSU proposed a motion to refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the new ULU President Michael Chessum. This is on the grounds of contentious behaviour during the recent ULU elections. The motion was raised that Heythrop should not be represented by candidates
who act in such a way, and subsequently passed unanimously. The final motion passed was for the union to adopt a rabbit as a mascot. One of the points raised in the manifesto in support of getting the rabbit was, “Rabbits have a certain rabbity wisdom that the union could benefit from”. It is not clear if the rabbit will be given full union
member status. Ashley Doolan, the President, and Alex Hackett, the Vice President of The Heythrop Student’s Union we asked by The Lion about the events of the recent OGM. This interview is available in full on The Lion’s Youtube account and also on The Lion’s website. An excerpt is included on page 3.
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Tuesday 11th December | THE LION
When Danny Met Ashley (And Alex) Dan Tripp answers the questions raised after the OGM, and the HSU President and Vice-President attempt to make their own positions clear...
Daniel Tripp Culture Editor After the memorable OGM which was held on Friday the 30th of November, The Lion interviewed the President of the Heythrop Students’ Union, Ashley Doolan, and the Vice President, Alex Hackett, to answer some of the questions raised by the student body after the meeting. The Lion aimed to have these questions answered and to give the President and the Vice President a platform to convey events as they experienced them, giving further explanation to why events happened as they did. This is an edited version of that interview; the full interview is available on The Lion website or The Lion YouTube account. What did you personally think about the vote? Did you think the right decision ended up being made? Ashley Doolan - I think if the student body voted for that person to be removed and the other two people to stay then that’s the student body’s decision. My own personal opinions don’t affect my job. Alex Hackett - I think it would be inappropriate for us to put our own spin as union officers onto these events. We didn’t want to look like
a sort of “clique-y” group of the executive. So we thought that we want to do like robots what it says in the constitution. AD - We very much are about the students making decisions, and we facilitate those decisions. Our own opinions don’t really affect it, and we try very hard not to let our opinions affect our jobs. The reason the Publicity Officer lost her job was because she wasn’t doing it, but in actuality it was being done by other members of the Union exec. Was she fighting a losing battle? Surely the Union should have stepped back and let her do her job. AH - Both me and Ashley have had do work that might have end up being under other peoples roles. That that person is a full time student and we are a sabbatical officer and our role is to do the work of the Union. So if that person couldn’t or for some reason… Could the Publicity Officer not do it? AH - Certainly on some things there were cases like that, I feel like I don’t want it to feel like I’m sort of defending, I’m just trying to rationalise the way in which Union Officers roles work. Is the role redundant? AD - This year we have vice-president who happens to have the nec-
essary skills to do the role that the publicity officer should be doing, or should have been doing. It’s just the case that we have a very skilled and full-time sabbatical officer. If you didn’t block her out, then surely she didn’t do her job properly? AH - I think she did as much as many voluntary officers can do alongside their studies. Some people don’t bring that much, which can be an irritating burden. The positions are fluid. I will read out what it says in the constitution about the removal of officers, “2.5.2 A motion censure may be passed by a two third majority of the exec. When deemed to be failing in their responsibilities” So if you were doing her job, you must have known what this officer was going to be subjected to? AH - It’s unfair to say that we were doing her job. We were helping to the extent of doing our jobs. Perhaps you were helping her too much? AH - This is what you could argue. I don’t want anyone to take away that we’re colouring this. It’s to do with the student body. (In regards to a disciplinary clause in the constitution) After you talked to the Publicity Officer, did she improve? AD - I did notice an improvement.
So she improved? Which is what [The Web Development Officer] did, it’s a very similar situation between them, should [The Publicities Officer] have kept her job? AD - I feel that the action the people wanted to see happen, happened, that she lost her job. People had a different opinion of her to [The Web Development Officer], it’s that simple. AH - Much more important that our opinion is the quorate of students in that room, and it’s up to them if they think we’re doing our job or not. AD - I did as much as I thought I should be doing. I’d like to hear your comment on 126.96.36.199 in the constitution is that, “No vote shall be recorded on behalf of members not present”, surely it means you can’t proxy vote? AH - This is about vote farming (Ed. The action of registering a number of votes by one individual), it is terribly, terribly worded. So have we been breaking the constitution? AH - What I imagined happened is that there is a clause missing So your constitution is missing clauses? Were there clauses missing in the vote of no confidence? AD - It certainly isn’t in regard to proxy voting, we’ve done that for
years... So have we been breaking the constitution for years? AH - Well if we have, you have found something fantastic. AD - If we have it’s more proof of the fact that I already believe it needs a re-write. AH - It needs the strongest rewrite. I know we did something like a Survey Monkey (An online program to create questionnaires) for the last OGM? You could go to the general meeting and then go and vote on the survey; you could vote twice. AH - That is a fair point, that is a very fair point. It’s a union, it’s built on trust. You’re talking about cheating in elections, but you have decided the best way for someone to lose their job, is through an election. Surely you shouldn’t be holding any elections like this until you get your act together? AD - Democracy is the best worst system that we have. AH - We do a hell of a lot of good work and are extremely accountable to our student body. AD - There was no opportunity for bias in the OGM, I was very concerned, I shared your concern. We’re working with the best document we’ve got, which isn’t a very good one.
Union Drops The Ball On Library Motion Samuel English News Editor A motion voted through at the OGM held on the 30th of November was put off course as details regarding the motion were not forwarded to Father Chris Pedley, head librarian, in time for the Library Committee meeting on the 10th of December. The two proposers of the motion, Rory Phillips and Daniel Tripp, who had been told to sit on the meeting by President Ashley Doolan, found themselves turned away as their presence on the meeting had not been brought to the attention of Fr. Pedley and the rest of the board. Furthermore, as no details of the motion had reportedly been sent to the committee, the motions that were passed by the Union were not to be debated at that date. The status of the motion, which was to propose longer opening hours for the library and less books on one day loans, is now unclear as no definite
date for the next meeting of the library committee was given at the time. Rory Phillips, proposer of the motion, made the following statement: “It’s somewhat irritating; I understand that Ashley has a lot of jobs to do and a lot on his hands regarding the Christmas ball, but I feel that given that the meeting [the OGM] was almost two weeks ago it would not have been a difficult task to ensure Fr. Pedley was aware of what is, given the motion was passed almost unanimously, clearly an issue that is pertinent to the student body.’ Daniel Tripp, seconder of the motion, said the following, ‘I agree with Rory completely. At the end of the day I was told to go to a meeting out of my own spare time and to find myself asked to leave was quite distressing. I might add that I completely understand being asked to leave; there is a due process that must be kept to in these meeting and one simply cannot just turn up. I was told however that I should attend and I did so. More annoying to me than all of this is that fact
that a motion that is clearly very important to students at Heythrop has been put off track by what is seemingly the inability to send an email.’ Ashley Doolan said in an email today, “Sorry about today, got caught up in a college meeting about student engagement, which I couldn’t get away from (they asked me to turn my phone off). We will arrange a meeting with Fr. Chris for after Christmas to bash all the motions/LAs stuff out. Apologies again’
Tuesday 11TH December | THE LION
Student March Ends In Anger Zahra Al-Kateb Features Editor DanielDa
On Wednesday November 21st, students decided to take to the streets again in protest at the government’s treatment of students. This time, however, they trudged through the relatively quiet suburbia of Kennington Park, as opposed to the previous march through central London in 2010 that rocked the city seeing several arrests and injuries. The previous protest led to debate of the police’s use of kettling as a crowd-control tactic. As rain made a mud pie underfoot, the president of the National Union of Students, Liam Burns, was pelted with eggs and a random satsuma, with his speech eventually being drowned out by chants of ‘NUS shame on you, where the f**k have you brought us to’. One protestor attempted to sum up the frustration felt by many and told the BBC ‘invading the stage is counter-productive, its obviously not going to help matters. But then again Burns deserves it because he has done nothing to push forward the cause for free education’. However some may argue the egg and satsuma throwers picked the wrong enemy – one of the main problems student protestors face is the lack of sympathy and action from the government. This squabble inevitably distracted from gaining coverage for their main cause. No other group has been overlooked and mistreated like students have. The cuts have left students brutally battered. The Education Matinence Allowance (EMA) has been removed, tuition fees have trebled and there has been a squeeze on local authorities that has hit young people hard. A recent paper published last year – In Defence of Public Higher Education – revealed that the £9,000 tuition fees would offer no lasting savings for the government. It seems as through many students have had their dreams of tuition fees being decreased so trampled on that many have given up. Compare the numbers who marched. This time round, crowds were expected to be as big as 10,000 people, but only 3,000 to 4,000 people made it to Kennington Park. As opposed to the previous 50,000 people during the earlier demonstration in 2010, the turnout was rather low. Michael Chessum, or-
Flickr.com/ Nina J. G.
ganizer for the alternative student group, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and newly elected University of London Union President told The Guardian ‘it was below what we’d hoped for’. He added ‘is that indicative of the student movement or students los-
ing the will to fight? No. What I think it is indicative of is that really we’ve been led up a blind alley by an NUS leadership that has called a demonstration under “education, employ, empower”, which isn’t really a very serious political alternative slogan’.
However, one thing students do still have is a sense of humour. Some marched with signs saying ‘this is an Eton mess’ and ‘Dumbledore didn’t die for this!’ A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation said the government’s reforms had made the university system ‘fairer
and more progressive’. She also said ‘most students will not pay up-front to study…and loans are only repaid once graduates have jobs and are earning over £21,000. Students, like other citizens, have the right to participate in peaceful protests’.
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Tuesday 11TH decEmber | THE LION
“COMMENT.” Edited by Faye West | firstname.lastname@example.org
Founding a State
Josh White Senior Editor The news of an outbreak of violence in Gaza with the Israeli Defence Forces was not much of a surprise for anyone. It mobilised some to protest outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, while others joined the counter-demonstration further down the road. The vast majority of people probably languished in passive ignorance to the history of the crisis. The wars waged to establish and expand the state of Israel surprise no one with a modicum of knowledge of the history of the nation-state. Like childbirth, the founding of a state is repressed because it is so traumatic. The majority of states in the world were either founded in violence or have been perpetuated through violence. So it should surprise no one that the state of Israel was founded out of a theft - what Palestinians call the Nabka - in which 700,000 people were expelled from their land and their villages were destroyed to make way for a new country. And we can safely say, in retrospect of six decades, that expansionism is inherent to the state-founding project. Expulsion from the land was the only way that the state could be
established. It was necessary given that at the time Mandate Palestine consisted of a population that was 95% Muslim and Christian Arab. Today the millions of descendants of those Palestinians who were first displaced in 1948 are scattered around the world. The largest concentration outside of Israel and the occupied territories is in Jordan, where Israeli nationalists argue the Palestinians really belong. Part of the problem is the ambiguity of where Israel’s borders actually end. If the international borders are disregarded (which they are inside Israel) then the eastern frontier of the country reach across the Jordan River and that would mean Jordan can be absorbed as well. This is the irony of the nationalist line that the Palestinians should go live in Jordan. Originally the border was meant to be at the Alawi River in the middle of Lebanon. Until the borders are clarified and set at the internationally recognised limit, which is at 78% of what was once Mandate Palestine, then there won’t be peace. The UN vote to bestow “Non-member Observer” status on Palestine demonstrates that the Palestinians are hungry for a peaceful settlement. Incidentally, Palestine now shares the same status of statehood as the Holy See. This is contrary to the picture that the Israeli Right
proposed of murderous rabbles of Arabs, too bloodthirsty to settle for anything less than the demise of the Jewish state. Yet it is the Israeli government that won’t budge on the question of settlements and 60% of the West Bank already consists of Jewish settlements. This is a major obstacle to a two-state settlement if Palestine is meant to be constituted by 100% of the West Bank. Then there’s the wall of annexation that has been extended around arable land and resources in the West Bank. This wall is called a ‘defensive barrier’ in Israel, which is what the Berlin Wall was called in East Germany. It gets even more absurd, in the US media the wall is called a ‘fence’ and it’s longer than the Berlin Wall. This is somewhat appropriate as the US was itself born out of a revolt on America’s East Coast, only for the colonies to expand westward into Indian Territory. It isn’t often discussed that there may have been as many as 18 million, possibly even 25 million, people living in North America when European settlers first arrived. The fact that the US would consist of a narrow sliver of land if it weren’t for genocide, war and slavery was long suppressed by historians. This denial of these origins was nothing exceptional. In the same way that the trauma of childbirth
is suppressed in all of our minds, the horrors of nation-building are quickly wiped from the national memory. What follows then is the creation of a national “mythology”, the shibboleths of American exceptionalism were crafted by English colonists quite early on. Ronald Reagan liked to describe America as “a shining city upon a hill”; well it was Puritan colonist John Winthrop who coined that phrase in 1630 and along with it the notion that America is a nation with a divine purpose. The new world was a venture first pursued to escape the horrors of European nationalism and, in a many ways, Israel was a similar project. Yet it would seem as though the nation-state, a European invention itself, has brought with it all the destructive tendencies of the old world with it. This isn’t just the
violence inherent to the project, it’s racism as well. Not just towards Arabs, who are victims of discrimination on all fronts. In May, race riots broke out in Tel Aviv a Likudnik at the Knesset commented that black immigrants are a ‘cancer’ on the Jewish state. Keep in mind the black immigrants are Sudanese refugees fleeing the slaughter in their own country. Racism is never too far from nationalism, wherever it hangs its hat. The violence of founding states pukes it up almost automatically. Now Bibi Netanyahu has made it clear he is running with Avi Lieberman – a man who believes in segregation and loyalty oaths – at the upcoming elections. We can take all of this as a sign that Israel has yet to really finish its ‘founding’, and that means this could go on for much longer.
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Tuesday 11th DecEMBER | THE LION
I Wish I Was Better At Chess Fergus Cronin Coltsmann 1st year Undergradaute “The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem.... I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” - Marcel Duchamp “Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are
doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time.” - George Bernard Shaw Chess is beautiful. I can imagine no more perfect a conversation. Every move is a tiny exhibition of me, presented to an invited and captive audience. And I am forced to respond, I cannot just ramble, I have to listen as well as speak, it is a dialogue. Turns are taken. I see someone else slowly reveal themselves to me as equally as I do to them, no voyeurism to be found here. And there is no miscommunication, every move is honest and set in stone once made. What is said can-
not be taken back; it is out there, my apart of mind laid bare. I could not have lied, there is nothing hidden in the move. Something might be hidden in my mind, but over the course of a game it all comes out, until I am triumphant or unless I am slain and made the fool. The Laws of Chess enable its beauty. Simple and absolute, they are easily known and a cheat easily spotted. Everything happens, everything that is said, follows these Laws, they tyrannically govern the game. This strict rule so limits the communication that it becomes abstracted from real world social interaction. That is far more like poker. Playing the cards your dealt
with the chips you have, lying to others, never quite winning, just having the largest pile for the longest. Chess is purer because of its limitations, but not quite like anything else. I can think of no other forms of social interactions have both such set Laws and so clear victory conditions. And yet for something so simple, the possibilities are almost infinite. There are 10^120 (or so) possible board positions in Chess. There are only an estimated 10^75 atoms in universe. This magnitude of potentiality means Chess will always be novel, always offer something new. Never could you ‘solve’ Chess. The
possibilities are too unfathomably huge and the unfolding of them too intricate. This is why the game has endured for millennia. Simple and yet complex. Social and yet exclusive. Bland and yet beautiful. I could play Chess with anyone who knew the Laws, regardless of what language they spoke, and we could have a conversation through it. Communication more pure than speaking to each other in the same language. We could share something intimate without ever sullying it with imperfect words. Too bad I am too impatient to properly learn the game.
The Leveson Inquiry: Is Regulation Censorship? Zahra Al-Kateb Features Editor DanielDa
The Leveson Inquiry into media ethics began almost 18 months ago. It set off a long process of examining the culture, practices and ethics of the press. This week, we saw the findings of this inquiry revealed, only for Prime Minister David Cameron to reject those findings. He blasted them as ‘complicated’, refusing to undermine 300 years of Press freedom. Lord Justice Leveson had claimed in his report that the Press had ‘wrecked havoc in the lives of innocent people’ for decades. He
insisted that legislation was ‘essential’ in order to back up a new independent Press watchdog, which would have the power to issue fines of up to £1million. However David Cameron, much to the delight of the majority of Tory MPs, warned that these proposals put forward by the inquiry had the ‘potential to infringe free speech and the free Press’. He claimed ‘it would be a dereliction of our duty in this House of Commons, which has stood up for freedom and a free Press year after year, century after century, to cross the Rubicon by legislating on the Press without thinking about it carefully first’. He angered Labour leader Ed Milliband who claimed that the find-
ings of the Leveson inquiry should be implemented immediately, even going so far as to introduce a ‘Leveson Law’ into the next Labour party manifesto should they fail in attempts to force it into statute by then. Milliband described the findings as ‘measured, reasonable and proportionate’. Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg had also supported changing the law, claiming it was the ‘only way to guarantee that the media was kept in check’. He said a free Press does not mean a Press that is free to bully innocent people’. Mr. Cameron claiming that the findings and laws suggested from the inquiry were unnecessary has angered not just members of the
public, but individuals involved within the inquiry as well. The inquiry cost £4million and was funded by the taxpayer. It has been branded ‘almost useless’ by Gerry McCann (father of missing child Madeleine McCann) unless the recommendations are implemented into the law. Charlotte Church recently used an appearance on question time to claim that she and her family had been persecuted, hacked and blackmailed by the News of the World, claiming that Lord Leveson’s report ‘had not gone far enough’ to protect people in the public eye. JK Rowling recently wrote for the Guardian ‘if the prime minister did not wish to change the regulatory system, even to the moderate, balanced and
proportionate extent proposed by Lord Justice Leveson, I am at a loss to understand why so much public money has been spent and why so many people have been asked to relive extremely painful episodes on the stand in front of millions…I am merely one among many who feel duped and angry’. She even went so far as to urge individuals who share similar concerns to speak up and sign the Hacked Off petition, a petition which urges the findings of the Leveson inquiry to be implemented. She wrote ‘Cameron said that he would implement sensible recommendations: it is time for him to honour that commitment and join the other political leaders by supporting the Leveson recommendations in their entirety’.
Tuesday 11TH DecEMBER | THE LION
What’s the point in you, Mr. President?
Pictured: Somewhere in the vicinity of Malet Street
Ben Mercer 2nd year Undergraduate Somewhere in the vicinity of Malet Street sits a man with the title of President. President of the largest student union in Europe, of which I, the reader, and everyone else at Heythrop am, by affiliation, a member. According to the website, ULU hosts over 120,000 students, and we are all invested, in this grand collective. This union that represents us and that looks after our interests. One would think our elected president must have accomplished something impressive to have won over so many, to best his rivals and take his position. One would think an effective, well run campaign, winning the popular vote with a set of sensible, intelligible, well publicised and well thought out policies, appealing to sentiments that the majority of us can get behind, and presented in a convincing manner. Or not. Looking at the figures from the most recent election, it would appear that the current president need have done little more than canvas around his soviet in order to win the majority of the truly, truly measly 1% voter turnout; whilst the ill-fated campaign of his would-be predecessor saw the candidate run unopposed - yes, unopposed - straight into office, despite a bold campaign by RON, and then straight out again for “personal reasons.” Voter turnout for that election was, again, around 1%
I recall a prevailing sense of incredulity when Sepp Blatter ran unopposed in the last FIFA presidential election. Leaving aside the highly dubious set of circumstances that saw the old crook sitting at the head of a committee set up to “investigate” the corruption scandal that had engulfed all of his potential rivals, this was an election with only one candidate. What’s the f***ing point in that?! Perspective is important. This was an “election” taking place in another country to appoint the head of an organisation, responsible for making the rules (a process which would seem to involve one Frenchman fisting another Frenchman and picking a policy out of the latter’s gallbladder) governing the finer points of kicking a ball into a net, and yet, I cared. I had some vested interest. I’m confident I was not alone in that sentiment. It seems, too, that I am not alone in not giving a cold, lonely toss about ULU’s equivalent token gesture to those of us who are democratically inclined. If a presidential election for a union with over 120,000 members fails to reach even 1500 ballots, questions have to be asked. Not only about the legitimacy of the one election, but of the relevance of the entire setup. Unions aren’t exactly renowned for holding the democratic process in the highest regard, but this takes the biscuit. It takes the biscuit, drops it in the tea, swirls it around, and throws the boiling mush into the smiling face of a small baby. In the case of ULU, I’m not arguing that all student politicians are
morally bankrupt bastards, and I’m not saying votes are pointless. I argue that the entire top level of the system is pointless. All I know of the current setup, having done some Phillip Schofield standard research for this article, is that the president and the vice president are comm... are “left wing activists.” I care that the vice president, whilst acting president, abused his position in order to lend his support to the current president, whilst he was still a candidate? No. Do I care that virtually no one voted for either of them? No. Why? Because my perception is that it simply Does. Not. Matter. I recently attended the vote at Heythrop on whether the HSU should support the rise in tuition fees. Not really my scene, but anyway; I went. 50 people turned up and voted, and afterwards, I spoke to a couple of them who genuinely cared. They were moaning the general apathy of the student body. People are interested in what is relevant to them. They might not be interested in union politicking, but they are interested when their friends run for positions, or when the HSU organises a popular event. Despite the vast gulf in funding, the HSU is in a far, far better position than ULU for generating interest within the college, because its remit is the college. Those who represent the HSU can be said to represent the students of Heythrop, because they are students of Heythrop, and they exist for the students of Heythrop. When they do well, we benefit. When they don’t, we can have a good bitch
about their failings, which is always more fun when it’s people you know who’ve cocked up. This gives them legitimacy. ULU politicians? No. Nobody cares when some unknown so and so pontificates from an ivory tower hundreds of miles away. It is distant and irrelevant, particularly to a small college like Heythrop. The actual business of intercollegiate affairs is and should be conducted by people employed to manage, not elected to manage. People whose job it is to know what they’re doing. I confess at this point that I am not well versed in the intricacies of the structure of ULU as a whole. I don’t think that its fate is bound to the existence and success of its faux democratic wing. If it is, it shouldn’t be. What ULU offers is an opportunity to engage in social activities with students from other London colleges, often at discounted rates. It offers the ideal of unity, even if it does not necessarily follow through with that promise in practise. These are its values, and they are not reliant upon some shallow pretence at a democratic system in which 1% of students eligible to vote actually do so, which is rife with corruption, is only of interest to extreme left wing candidates and their small posse of tendentious comrades, and which has no visible impact on the running of the institution. Of course having a say on the running of an organisation that we pay for is important, and perhaps the senate still has a role to play
as a vehicle for our feedback on the services ULU offers. Our senate representative is a member of our college, answerable directly to us, and responsible for looking out for our interests. They are college delegates, and in my opinion, this is a useful element of the system. It becomes unnecessary at the executive level. President and Vice President are nice titles to have, but they are, in effect, unnecessary complications in what could be a more streamlined, efficient system, where our delegates take our concerns directly to the people responsible for managing relevant areas of the organisation. Further, this may also encourage a greater degree of one-to-one negotiations between colleges. Whilst Imperial is not a member of ULU, it seems to me that we potentially have far more to gain from a close relationship with one or two close, big colleges, such as Imperial, than we do from the current system. So here’s an idea. Rebrand ULU as the University of London Student Centre, or something. Maintain those services that people actually value - discounted drinks, shops, sports and social clubs and groups - but drop this facade of a relevant, overarching democracy, run by the students for the students. It exists purely for the self-satisfaction of those few who want to play that game. I’m all for them playing that game, but, just like all the other games ULU accommodates, it should be done in the name of a society, not in the name of the rest of us.
Tuesday 11th December | THE LION
This Might Offend You Faye West Comment Editor DanielDa
This might offend you. But is that a reason not to read this? Quite possibly you are reading this explicitly to be offended, too curious of my possible Nazi sympathetic views or my potential positivity around the area of aggressive murder. Well no, sorry. What I should have said is that “This might offend you if you don’t agree with me”. I hope some of you don’t, because I need my opinion to have some verification. See? This isn’t overly controversial. You could stop reading now. Are you still here? Yes, well, what is the deal with being offended? We’re all offended by something; teasing, an unnecessarily abrasive comment or catching some whispers about you. You are compelled to do something or take the event to heart. Either way it hurts, and until some recompense is reached, you feel bad. Feeling bad and general negative emotions are damaging to the self if contained and dwelled upon. But they should not to be used to justify actions. The recent trauma in the Middle East begotten of an idiotic video made that portrayed the prophet Muhammad to be somewhat in ridicule offended a lot of people. And I mean a lot of people. I think then the protests were hijacked as an avenue to express hate towards the West, masquerading as offence. Then again, that’s just my opinion. Just because you are offended, it doesn’t mean you are morally right. This point was raised by Ricky Gervais to Piers Morgan. Piers Morgan is often offended and uses it to justify his views; he is reasonably famous for it. That and launching a smear
campaign on the squeaky clean Ian Hislop because of an unfortunate typing error which kept occurring in the publication Private Eye, of which Hislop has been Editor in Chief for a long time, which read “Piers Moron”. In fact, people never say that they themselves are offended. It’s never “I’m offended”, it’s “That’s offensive”. That’s a strange qualification. “It’s not just me that’s offended, there are more of us. You’re outnumbered.” Possibly even, in some cases, “Be afraid.”, but no, it’s just them. There seems to be an awful lot of implied intimidation behind people stating offence. I myself easily make the link between people who express offence frequently and an attempt by them to regulate the world around them. I am referring to quite a specific type of person. The kind of person that sees political correction as the overarching meta ethic, a person who would never dream of calling a black person black or a white person white. For me the archetype of such a person is a woman I once met who labelled the different ethnicities of people as “Peach” and “Mocha”. I didn’t hear her baby talk term for the Asian ethnicity, but I assume it to be equally as condescending and ignorant. The reason I interacted with her in the first place was because I referred to someone as a “black person”. She wheeled around, outraged, and helpfully informed me just how offensive that term was to her, a middle class, white, British housewife. Ironically, I think her system of categorising the world into offensive and not offensive is as black and white a world view you can have. Sorry, a “peach” and “mocha” world view as you can have. In real offence, not the self-righteous offence by proxy, if one ac-
cidently offends another in a disagreement; one usually feels bad. Often as bad as if you were the one insulted. The person who one accidently offends is in somewhat of a position of power over the offender, because one supplicates them in apology. This gains a whole new scale and dimension when a religion or moral practice is offended. A large part of our culture is designed to prostrate upon such groups if a moral slur is made against them. Some Arabic nations are demanding international blasphemy laws to defend their specific religion. But what does being offended actually do? Where does it go? On the individual level, after someone states, “I am offended”, where does it develop from there? If they had a legitimate reason to
be personally offended by something someone said to them, then this offended state should be preceded with an apology. No doubt all the students who voted Liberal Democrat were offended about the after all not abolishment of tuition fees. They received a slightly limp apology, but an apology all the same. This just doesn’t happen in a lot of cases, cases where people just want to moan about something or other and because of some affect it might have on the children. People get “offended” by things they see on television, and incensed they write in and complain. If they’re lucky, these angry letters might be published in a mediocre newspaper. I hope they are mocked on the very television show they decried. It’s because being offended
is of no real consequence. Don’t watch the television show. Don’t watch the Muhammad video. Comedians probably have the most pretentious “offence” to deal with. Ultimately, people laugh at their jokes. If no one laughed, the joke wouldn’t exist. People want to be entertained. It might just be that some people entertain themselves by being angry. I find that saddening. Being offended is like being unhappy. One just needs to get over it to continue functioning. If they don’t, letters get written, or ambassadors get killed. (Editor’s Note - The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Lion Newspaper.)
Thoughts Of An Atheist In India Neha Koratamaddi 3rd year Undergraduate During the February of this year, I went to India for a short visit to help my grandparents and to attend a medical conference. At that point, it had been over a year since I last visited and every single time I forget what a strange and eclectic place it is. It’s almost like another planet. Everything here is vastly different to the UK, the work ethic, the culture, the infamous roads and traffic. But one thing I have only noticed recently is the grip that religion has on this place. Everywhere you go you see a Temple or a Mosque. Along the roadside in small cages you will see models of various Hindu dei-
ties. The numerous ‘Pundit-jis’ (holy men) who offer their (normally highly useless and sometimes dangerous) advice to the masses can be found in droves. Whilst seeing all of these various religious icons and buildings dotted about, I started to think about the idea of faith and religion here. Which then brought me onto my next trail of thought: what place, if any, does Atheism have in modern India? I can quite confidently say that the majority of people here will assume that everyone has a faith in something. People in India are so used to various cultures and religions, they won’t blink an eye at whatever faith you say you belong to. But note, this is only for
people who believe in something. Which begs the question: what are the attitudes towards Atheism? What about the people who don’t have a faith in anything? Though some could argue that Atheism and Hinduism have gone hand in hand from ancient times, I will solely discuss the issue of ‘modern’ Atheism – Atheism that is not attached to any religion. Many notable Indians were Atheists – Jawarharlal Nehru being one of the most prominent. The very first Prime Minister of India, some might consider him a true representative of the Indian Constitution, which labels itself as ‘secular’. This Constitution states that religion should be kept out of state schools and government buildings.
However, wherever you go, you are made to participate in religious rituals. For example, as a young child when I was in school we would go out into the court yard before any lessons and start our prayers, before singing the national anthem. Numerous universities still use religious forms of meditation as well as enforcing prayers onto students who are studying there. Oddly enough, the Indian Atheists I have talked to have not been given the choice to leave these sessions. Why? Because the educational institutions in question have thought it a ‘necessity’ and that they undergo these daily rituals to ‘maintain discipline’. It really leads to a feeling of uncomfortable clash in feelings – for
example, every day I walk into the flat, my grandmother will put ‘kumkum’ (red powder) on my forehead, and make me ‘pray’ to the images of Lakshmi and other deities on the table in the kitchen. How do I feel about this? Highly uncomfortable. Yet I do it, because I know how she would feel if I told her my true ‘religious’ affiliations. These thoughts are held by many Indian Atheists – the number who seem to consist of university students or even younger, who are too afraid to speak up for fear of persecution from their families and communities. Maybe in the future, Atheism will have a larger influence in the politics of this country, which desperately needs a separation of religion and the state.
Tuesday 11th DecEMBER | THE LION
The Great Debate Debate Drives Society
Should The Church Of England Allow The Ordination of Female Bishops?
Katie Stock Alumna
Thomas Mannion 3rd Year
As a sixteen year-old I listened earnestly to Bishops Graham Cray and Pete Broadbent say that women bishops would almost certainly be in legislation by 2015. Being sixteen in 2006, 2015 seemed an age away; but I had hope that their predictions would transpire. Fast forward six years, I am sitting on a commuter train, glued to Twitter, waiting for an expected ‘yes’ vote to be published. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw the results. A common response of many female clergy I know has been, “It is as though I have been kicked in the stomach.” My overall feeling has been one of heartbreak. My heart breaks for the future of my church, for those women working to bring Christ’s kingdom on earth, and for the young girls with a sense of vocation who are crushed with this ‘no’ vote. Now this may all sound melodramatic, why would my heart be pained for an institution, the Tory prayer division? Because, as any Christian will experience, my love for the church is not primarily for the institution, it is for Her. She, the Church, is how the world see Christ. How can I tell my neighbour that Christ brings liberation from sin and inequality, life is new and perfected in Him, when the Church speaks something else? Now, this must not be confused with the Church having to follow a worldly liberal agenda. N.T. Wright, makes this point clearly in an article written in response to the recent vote. ‘Progress’ and ‘being of the right side of history’ are not theological arguments and, therefore, should not be used to support any development within the Church. ‘Get with the programme’, says Mr Cameron, firstly, his ‘programme’ is more than questionable and, secondly, Erastianism is not welcome, even if it does appear to support our argument. For its whole history, Christianity has been counter-cultural, for the poor, the orphan and the widow; eventually giving equality to the slave. As Wright says, ‘It’s about the Bible, not fake ideas of progress.’ I join with him in believing that the Bible gives a clear case for women’s ministry as hav-
Far be it from me, a Roman Catholic, to comment on matters pertaining to the Anglican communion, however a word in defence of the synod may be in order with the public backlash against our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not, as some have declared, a ‘grinding halt’ to women bishops within the Church of England but a momentary setback, failing not as some may expect in houses of Clergy or Bishops but in the house of Laity. This is a resistance to a top-down reorganisation without sufficient provisions for those who feel their views would be sidelined if the motion passed. I, like others, agree that it necessarily follows if women can be ordained at all then women can be ordained Bishops. The Church accepts this point since it is the same sacrament, the same thing that is happening but to a fuller extent in Episcopal ordination, this is not what is being argued here. The issue here is provision for people who still maintain women cannot be ordained to the priesthood and still wish remain within the Anglican communion. In the 1990’s the motion for women priests was passed on the condition that traditionalist parishes who do not accept the validity or possibility of women being ordained are not assigned a woman priest. To maintain unity within their communion, traditionalist parishes tolerate women priests within the Anglican communion but are not subject to their authority and so their conscience remains inviolate. If women became Bishops even those who did not accept the validity of their ordination would be subject to their authority and to priests they would feel were invalidly ordained by them. There is much upset on the side of the traditionalist parties that this issue wasn’t covered with the issue of women priests in the 1990’s, so there could be a once and for all debate. There is widespread acknowledgement within the Church itself that the motion proposed did not adequately provide for people who do not accept the ordination of women and so many who voted against the motion were in favour of it but sympathetic
ing no distinction to men’s. I am not here going to give an argument for women’s ordained ministry, the issue is too nuanced (and dull) for a student newspaper. But let me be indulgent and name some names: Deborah the Judge, Mary Magdalene entrusted to share the news of the Resurrection, Phoebe the Deacon and Junia the Apostle. So beyond the theology, what is my response to the recent vote? I am disappointed, not like a stern parent, but like a child whose parent is drunk and throwing up on the living room rug, never able to totally hold their respect again. I hope that the Church of England is taking a long hard look at itself, partially at how decisions are made, how can the laity overturn what Bishops have approved? A positive outcome of this vote has been the compassion that has been shown. I live at Ridley Hall, an Anglican Theological Training College in Cambridge. Last week, a mystery person sent flowers to ‘women training at Ridley’ as an encouragement and sign of Christian love. The female clergy I know have been inundated with supportive messages. My diocesan Bishop has sent a message of support to all female priests in his diocese. Such love has emerged out of a place of pain, and there is hope. The hope of a ministry where women will be able to participate and engage fully with their vocation (already been affirmed by the church) to the priesthood. This will most likely happen in our lifetimes though perhaps not by 2015, but even if it doesn’t, there is hope found in Him, living in us; restoring, renewing and, in the last days, resurrecting!
“How can I tell my neighbour that Christ brings liberation...when the Church speaks something else?”
“This is a resistance to a top-down reorganisation without sufficient provisions for those who feel their views would be sidelined”
to the theological concerns raised. There has been anger and anguish that the Church is so accommodating to the traditionalists and politicians have expressed their outrage at this move. Of course I am sure none of them are using ‘women and women’s rights’ to increase their own political standing or to score points. A speculation has been made that parliament should ‘lay its hand’ on the Church of England making it conform to a secular notion of equality. Something I would thoroughly reject. A Church controlled by the state, is this not one of the many behaviours we criticise China for? You can vote on an issue and if you come back with the ‘wrong’ results let ye be anathema! This dictatorial imposition of a secular standard on the Church must be resisted, which is why I would advocate for the separation of the Church of England and the State, keeping its ceremonial role only. The Church needs to be protected from the State, as Christians we are called to dialogue with those who we disagree with but that does not mean we should put ourselves in a position where we are forced to conform to secular ideas of morality at the peril of our own conscience. If the state involves themselves in this issue, which I am sure they will not, it will be a violation of religious freedom which is enshrined in the declaration of human rights. This includes the right to manifest religious beliefs and values. The whole of society benefits through this freedom of expression and this is true pluralism. A cry of misogyny has arisen from many sectors of society and even within the Church itself. Misogyny there may well be within the Church, and this may have caused resistance to the motion so there needs to be a thorough review of theological arguments themselves. To ensure they are not based on misogyny but care for the text and inherited tradition. It is only because of the large majority the Church needs to pass measures that this vote was rejected, and I am confident in the future it will be passed, once provisions have been made for those who believe men and women have equal but complimentary roles. Synod has not said no to women bishops, it has said no to the current legislation. The work continues.
WANT TO GO HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH SOMEONE IN A GREAT DEBATE? CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 11th December | THE LION
Tripp’s Tour De Force Against Tripping Out Dan Tripp Culture Editor I would like to begin what I hope to be an extremely critical rebuttal to David Roberts’ article (Lance Armstrong and Drugs in Sport, Volume 3, Issue 3) by complimenting him. Of all the accounts that I have read that have put forward the view that allowing drugs in sport would be beneficial to sport, his has been by far the most well thought out. This is why I wish to refute his article, because I feel it is an article that may actually persuade people. That said, it suffers from a few fundamental problems that most articles of its type suffer from. I wish not to say that my view is better, but rather that his view is wrong. As members of a specialised philosophy college I hope we can all appreciate that difference. Firstly I wish to point out that David Robert claims that we the people can actively influence the very rules of sport. It is true that one may change the rules of a sport. We may allow the return of keeper charges in football for example. But whether this then makes keeper charges within the ‘spirit of sport’ is a completely different issue. Take this example, as our representatives in Parliament the government may pass any law they wish. They may pass a law that allows murder. This does not, however, stop murder being morally wrong. The ‘spirit of sport’ is something that it decided by the people, the practitioners and spectators of sport. If the ‘Lord of Sport’ decides to make drugs legal, this has no bearing on whether the taking of drugs in sport is sportsmanlike. While ‘It’s just not cricket!’ might sound quaint, it is an attitude that prevails throughout nearly all sport, the Tour de France included.
Try to explain the fact that during the last stage of the Tour de France the leader of the competition is not to be challenged and riders go around with flutes of champagne in terms of the mere rules of the sport and you will always come up short. There is no codified rule saying it must happen, it just does. Sportsmanship transcends legislation. Another issue is the act of trying to apply objectivity to what is fundamentally a matter of taste. The quality or excellence of a sport does not necessitate enjoyability. The fact of the matter is that watching two of the greatest sides play each other in any sport is often extremely boring. When we go to see sport we want to see a side win, we want the teams to be in some way unmatched, as this is what provides a competitive edge to sport. This is what makes sport great! Or at least that’s my opinion. And that, Dear Reader, is the point! What makes sport great is fundamentally opinionated. The introduction of drugs in sport would lead to a level playing field; excellence for all! And for some this would make all sport a greater spectacle, it would maximise their enjoyment. But I would be left in the lurch, what I find enjoyable in sport, competition, stricken from play. We have at the present moment in time a most excellent equilibrium. For the Roberts amongst us we have the Formula 1, the Champion’s League, the Six Nations (baring Italy of course). For the Tripps amongst us we have Gillingham FC, we have the British Touring Car championship, we have the Rugby World Cup. Let us not play around with this equilibrium; let there be equal footing between a view of sheer hatred of some sports for their lack of worldrecord-breaking quality, and an-
other’s man’s opinion of total unadulterated loathing of the sheer inane boringness of when two equal and opposite forces meet. David Roberts talked of how someone would rather go to a champion league match than see a kick about in the park, but this is again an opinionated point. What if your only daughter was playing the final of her inter-county football match? Which would you go to then? When it comes to personal enjoyment we all have a different view. I’d rather go see a Gillingham FC game, not because while there I will see the very platonic form of football itself and my eyes will be permanently blinded by its sheer beauty as I cry into my pie and chips, but because that is the football I find entertaining, the mistakes, the human aspect of it. I seek not excellence, but what I personally find enjoyable. According to David’s article drugs in sport would bring sport to a higher level; a higher level of excellence. While David argues that, ‘Far from being unfair, allowing performance enhancement arguably promotes equality’, equality in terms of ability to perform, I would argue, is something that would remove much competition from sport. We watch sport to see one side win and another lose. The very idea of a level playing field that David puts forward is actually a very strange and peculiar view, to quote Groove Armada, ‘If everyone looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other.’ David proposed that equality would be achieved through implementation of drugs in sport, making the sport more available to the poor, and also in terms of the spectacle itself. I have already addressed my concern in terms of making the sport more equal on the actual field of play, but the idea that the introduction of drugs in sport will allow
poorer practitioners move up in the field is not valid. The fact of the matter is that although many ‘heroes’ of sport our now rich because of their exploits they did not start out that way. Many sportsmen and women have emerged from poorer backgrounds because of pure ability, and sport provides a means for those with the right determination and conviction to make something of themselves. Take Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins for example, whose father walked out on him and his mother when he was two years old. Leaving in Kilburn, his mother worked as a school secretary. He was able to achieve excellence not because of drugs, but through conviction and a love of the sport. He now may have access to altitude training, but to get to that point he has to show that he can get by without it. A ban on doping in sport means that all the emphasise can be on the effort involved. There isn’t clear ground when it comes to altitude training, but at the end of the day cycling at the top of the mountain in the freezing cold for several days, or even weeks, most definitely requires a greater comprehension of ‘the spirit of sport’ than popping a few pills before a race. Finally, we have the most fundamental criticism to the whole argument about allowing drugs in sport, one which I don’t think will ever be refuted. Put simply; the competitors don’t want to take them. This might not be universal amongst all practitioners of sport, but that doesn’t matter. The legalisation of drugs in sport would mean that those who do not want to take drugs, for whatever reason, will find themselves sidelined. It is pretty clear that negative view many sports persons have of drugs. We see, in effect, a straight switch – those who wish to take drugs in
sport replace those current ones who don’t in sport. It seems fundamentally unfair that someone who has spent the vast majority of their life training and committing the sport they love could find themselves replaced simply because they do not wish to take drugs. And this is what would happen if doping were legalised. There are very distressing stories of Tour de France riders that were pressured into taking drugs alongside Lance Armstrong, including one rider whose own father died due to an overdose finding himself forced into taking the very drugs that killed his father or be forced to give up on the sport he loved. To finish this article I want to give an example of the quality that can be shown in the Tour de France that transcends rules, ability and doping. Events such as the Tour de France are the amongst the greatest sporting events that human beings are capable of doing. The 2012 race was just under 3,500 kilometres (3,496 km to be precise) and took place over a period of 22 days with two rest days. That’s 175 kilometres a day. Nine of the days were up mountains. On the 14th stage, a 191 km race with climbs of up to 20 degrees gradient. At the top of one of the mountains a spectator had covered the road with tacks which resulted in one of Bradley Wiggins main rivals, Cadel Evans, losing several minutes of time effectively putting him out of the running. Wiggins, however, slowed down the peloton with his team to let him catch up and regain the lost time. As far as I am concerned this was one of the greatest races I have ever watched, the sporting spectacle has nothing to do with the quality of the performance of even the winner of the race. It was due to the sportsmanship involved, something that no amount of doping can improve.
Tuesday 11th december | THE LION
Culture Gaming: Pokémon Black 2 Robert Leftwich Fresher Pokemon Black 2 is the latest in a long line of Pokemon games, licensed by Nintendo and developed by Game Freak. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, allow me to pull your head from the sand pile that it must have been in for the last 15 years and tell you that it’s a game in which small children wander around a region capturing small animals called Pokemon and forcing them to fight each other for their amusement. Your goal is to: See/catch every Pokemon; have the strongest team of Pokemon in the world;
defeat some description of evil organisation and win the Pokemon league competition. Now, I’ve been a fan of the Pokemon series since I was 5 years old, I had Pokemon Silver and Pokemon Yellow on my Game-Boy Colour, and I’ve played one of every generation of mainseries Pokemon game released since then. So what does Black 2 add to the formula? The short answer is very little, it really does seem to be the iPhone 5 of Pokemon games, rushed out a year after the last game with a very few token improvements to the existing product. This really disappointed me, as every previous Pokemon game (dis-
regarding remakes) has brought something new: a new region to explore, new Pokemon to catch and new characters to meet. Black 2 has only the latter of those, you play in the same region as the last game (with a few new towns and routes, and the layout altered slightly), and there are no new Pokemon in this game. What new things there are seem weird and pointless, like the ability to star in “Pokemon films” and take part in tournaments with various gym leaders from previous games. Okay, well if the game offers no new features, does it at least do the old stuff well? I will grant
that Black 2 is very solid technically; the graphics are the best they’ve ever been; the battle system is as good as ever; and catching and training your Pokemon is as fun now as it was 10 years ago, but the game is let down in the story department. The story follows on from that of Pokemon Black, so good luck following it if you didn’t play that game as well, but even if you did, the story is boring. I played through it less than 2 weeks ago and I can barely remember what the story was, it was something to do with Team Plasma taking over the world using kidnapped Pokemon, and whether friendship was better
than cruelty. Pokemon stories are never particularly in-depth, but this one is trying to be profound rather than accepting the cartoonish scenario of its world, and it just ends up falling flat. The game is still fun, it just seems far more stagnant than previous instalments. If you’re a fan of the series, you will get a not unpleasant if disappointing experience. If you aren’t, it isn’t going to sell you on Pokemon. Buy Pokemon Platinum or Black/White 1 if you want to get into them, but give this one a miss. Here’s hoping that Pokemon’s 3DS début is better than this festival of mediocrity.
IF YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR FILM, LITERATURE, THEATRE, MUSIC, OPERA, PHOTOGRAPHY, FOOD, SHAMPOO, ANYTHING AT ALL, LET US KNOW! WE’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR OPINIONS! CONTACT DAN TRIPP AT email@example.com
Tuesday 11th December | THE LION
Culture Tripp’s Tip-Top Tips Daniel Tripp Culture Editor DanielDa
As many people may have heard, and as many more most likely haven’t, living in London provides you with a way of getting extremely cheap tickets to the West End. A few weeks ago I took advantage of this to grab myself one of the best bargains of the year as far as I’m concerned. Matilda: The Musical is currently being shown at the Cambridge Theatre at the Seven Dials, and because the performance is in conjunction with The Royal Shakespeare Company you can benefit from their day seat scheme. This means that if you come to the theatre on the day of a performance then you can get specially discounted tickets if you are between the ages of 18 and 25. Normally discounted tickets are around £20, a great deal in itself. However for Matilda these tickets are
an amazing £5 each; considering that tickets for Matilda can often set back over £50 this is a fantastic offer. The actual cost of the ticket is actually only £4 with a £1 theatre restoration fee. The seats are meant to be restricted view, but thanks to the stage layout of Matilda and the theatre itself, the seats are actually some of the best views in the house; many of the set pieces in the musical involve large apparatus, in particular the stand out number School Song which is best witnessed from the height of these ‘restricted view’ seats. Just don’t forget your glasses. The only catch is that there are only eight tickets available, and you can only buy one per person. I arrived at the early hour of 6.30, and all the queue was eight persons long by about 8.30. Remember though that this was in November, and many people would have been put off by the cold. In the summer you might have to turn up
“Living in London provides you with a way of getting extremely cheap tickets to the West End” as early as we did just to guarantee getting a seat. Fortunately though just across the road is a Café Nero and there’s a McDonalds round the corner. As long as you’re with a couple people who don’t mind you tagging out to grab a coffee, and if you’re on your own then most people are happy to save your place in line. If you are interested in other musicals most theatres provide a service like this, just give the box office a ring to find out more. Lastly, if you’re going in the winter months, wrap up warm!
Art: Exhibition Roundup Flickr.com/masochismtango
John Woodhouse 2nd year Postgraduate Still the top recommendation is Bronze is on at the Royal Academy Burlington House Piccadilly until 9 December. Students £9 but under 18 tickets are only £4. On 8 December an exhibition will open there of Constable, Gainsborough, Turner and the Making of the Landscape. The first major exhibition of the work of Mariko Mori in London for 14 years will be at Burlington Gardens from December 13th. At Tate Modern A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance begins with David Hockney’s iconic painting and a short film. The problem with performance art is that you want to see a performance! Looking at a film or just seeing the aftermath is not quite the same. A good example
is Karen Kilimnik’s Swan Lake which is said to evoke 19th century Russian ballet. I’d rather go and see the ballet itself. Student ticket £8.50. For the same price and rather more fun is William Klein and Daido Moriyama. I spent some time watching Klein’s films and was particularly intrigued by one of a Christ-like figure ignored by an urban crowd to the soundtrack from The Messiah. Mr Freedom is a spoof on American values. If you are visiting Tate Modern (nearest underground is Southwark and easily walkable from Waterloo or St Paul’s cathedral) do not miss The Tanks – all free. You could be forgiven for thinking that photography has taken over our major art galleries at the moment. The National Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery, Victoria and Albert and National Maritime museum all have ma-
jor photographic exhibitions. At the Queen’s gallery, Buckingham Palace, The Northern Renaissance: Durer to Holbein has been highly recommended. Student tickets are £8.50 or you can get a combined ticket with the Royal Mews. Advance booking recommended. The exhibition is on until April 14. If you are interested in Stuart history you will be happy to pay £10 to see The Lost Prince at the National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Lane off Trafalgar Square. It’s not a large exhibition but there are some wonderful portraits of Prince Henry Stuart eldest son of James VI who died tragically young in 1612. If he had lived there might have been no Civil War. It’s fascinating to compare his fine clothes, armour and jewellery with Princess Diana, and the outpouring of grief when he
died was unprecedented. Sadly nothing survives of the palaces he designed but there are some wonderful art objects that he collected, exquisite miniatures and books, plus examples of Royal letters. In the last room you can listen to music composed in lament and there are the poignant remains of the sculpture on his bier. No memorial to him was ever built despite the affection Charles I had for his elder brother. The National Portrait Gallery is always a free treasure trove of interest and current small exhibitions celebrate the centenaries of Alma Tadema, William Booth and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Continuing at Tate Britain Millbank is Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (until 13 January) £12.50 for students. The British Library at St Pan-
cras has a major exhibition until 2 April Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire, students only £5 and advance booking recommended. The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, The Strand is free for students and you can enjoy Peter Lely: a Lyrical Vision until 13 January. The Gallery has a superb collection of Impressionist paintings. Why not combine a visit with skating? A No. 9 bus will take nearly all the way there! Please complete the survey on The Lion page on Face book about art you are interested in as this will make my task much easier! Thanks! www.roh.org.uk/cinema has details of performances showing in local cinemas which are relays from the Royal Opera House. 13 December The Nutcracker http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/liveinhd/ uk.aspx for relays from the Metropolotan Opera House New York in cinemas. If you love carols why not come to Westminster Cathedral on December 11th to hear the boys sing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols? £15 http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/events.php Also at the cathedral at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday Dec 5th will be the last ever recital by the renowned organist Gillian Weir £15 and booking recommended.
Tuesday 11th DECember | THE LION
edited by Daniel craig Tripp Film: Skyfall Sartaj Singh 3rd year Undergraduate Skyfall from its opening shadowy image of Bond to the end credits thrills and shows why this franchise could go on for another 50 years. Director Sam Mendes’s intent for this 23rd film was to give the audience a typical Bond picture with all the trappings of what made it appealing as a series combined with a real emotional core and drama. It is safe to say that without fear of being hyperbolic that he achieves this to near perfection. Skyfall feels like three movies in one and all of these parts come together to form a great cohesive whole. Most importantly at the centre of it, the film has a great James Bond adventure. This starts with a opening sequence that unlike previous films in the series delivers in showcasing
one great stunt after another as opposed to one and the result leaves you breathless. In addition to this Mendes` skill of crafting great dramatic work is also shown in this opening scene as tension mounts overall a crucial mission that Bond and field agent Eve are undertaking. For the first hour or so, the film jumps between a typical James Bond adventures with second story line that calls into question M16 as an organisation, the latter of which I class as Political drama. This is all expectedly woven with a great build up to the villain of the film- Silvia played by Javier Bardem. The screenplay presents Silvia as a villain who is out for revenge; this is a refreshing change in the series from the usual cold staring villains with world domination on the mind. He is also posited as Bond’s darker half as well as the third in an interesting triangle dy-
namic that involves him, M and James. Bardem, when being interviewed said that one of the unique things about playing a Bond villain is that there are a lot of levels to play with. In a sense you can be outlandish and over the top but also at the same time bring a reality to the part and Bardem achieves this balance perfectly. Like prior Bond villains he does this have this grotesque edge to him that is harrowing at times but also there is this reality to him and this comes from his motivation as well as his erratic behaviour in the third act which are some of his best moments on screen. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in his third outing and it is his best performance to date. The screenplay presents Bond in a very unique place; he is rough, out of shape and quite vulnerable. Craig pulls of all these aspects well with great facial expressions and lit-
tle gestures that go a long way in showcasing his character’s anguish. He combines this with sharp wit and intelligence that has been the staple of his previous Bond performances. His stand out moments are with his respective Bond girls, one scene that particularly resonated with me is when he is reading and dissecting Severine`s character, this reminded me of the great moments between him and Vesper in Casino Royale. As for the technical aspects of the film, they are second to none; this is one of the first Bond movies in a long time that really moves fasts, the editing is lean and mean. It is a masterstroke that Mendes not only keeps the story telling true through all the editing but also manages to juggle several different tones. Most importantly he allows the characters and dramatic moments to dictate as opposed to the action. One great example of this
is Silva`s entrance which is this great one long shot that is done in one take as Bardem is delivering a monologue and coming into the frame. The film looks amazing too; this is due to the Cinematography by Roger Deakins, every shot has such clarity and really delivers on what made some of the best Bond movies appealing, which is showing you places that you would never usually would go to in such great detail. I feel Deakins truly deserves an Oscar for his work here as the film’s visual look is something to truly marvel at. Thomas Newman takes over from David Arnold in scoring and delivers a power house of a score. From the exotic themes of Shanghai to the moody and bleak tones that permeates the third act, Newman truly rivals the best of Barry and Arnold and I hope he stays on for future movies.
Edited by Rory Phillips
Philosophy Society Hoedown Peter O’ Neil Philosophy Society President Hello to all the fans of the Philosophy Society! I hope you were all able totake advantage of the philosophy update in the last issue of the Lion, especially the three journals mentioned. I’m writing to alert you all to what’s going on in the Society, and in undergraduate philosophy in general. In addition to our weekly meeting on Wednesday (usually at 16:00), we have set up a reading group for Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit – which is great opportunity to progress through this work with other interested individuals. Whilst this is ideal for those undertaking the 19C German module, there are attendees of all year groups and module choices present, and all that is required is an interest in Hegel, and a copy of the work (we are using the OUP version). These currently take place on Mondays at 7pm inthe Prince of Wales. The British Undergraduate Philosophy Society conference is being undertaken at Heythrop (Loyola Hall) on the 16th and 17th of February 2013. It was a very successful and enjoyable experience attending the Conference last year, and we hope to see a great Heythrop turn out this year. In arranging the conference with Michael Lyons (BUPS President), we were able to negotiate a 50% cheaper ticket price for Heythrop students – which should look to be under £10. In addition to a number of undergraduates, Professor Roger Scruton shall be lecturing. Beyond Heythrop, there are hundreds of
opportunities out there for interested students to push forward their academic careers. For those sharing my taste for the history of philosophy we have the journal Philologi. Hailing from Belmont University in The Colonies, [oh Peter! – ed] this journal caters for submissions up to 16 pages, with a particular focus on how philosophy is a way of life. The deadline for this journal is the 7th of January. Logos, also hailing from across the pond, is a journal interested in any area of philosophy. Sourced from Cornell, Logos pursues voluminous submissions of up to 30 pages, and tempers this length with the provision of cash prizes to those who provide the best papers. The deadline for this journal is the 1st of February. Ephemeris is a journal also dealing with any area of philosophy. With a broader mission than the other journals, Ephemeris accepts reviews and notes, in addition to papers. The deadline for this journal is the 11th of February. The Interlocuter has been reviewing and publishing for over a decade, and seeks exceptional undergraduate essays for publication. In line with its name, this journal pursues rigorous and argumentative papers which tackle major philosophical claims in the affirmative or negative. The deadline for this journal is the 15th of March. Join us on Facebook for more upto-date information on conferences, speakers and other events. Also, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a specific event or speaker. Those interested in publishing should get in touch with the society, as we can offer advice. We hope to see you at our events!
British Undergraduate Philosophy Society Rory Phillips Philosophy Society A fine society of fellows it is indeed. BUPS organises a yearly conference (which Peter and I will never tire of telling you is being held at Heythrop this year) and publishes a journal to go along with it. The society was founded in 2005, and
has been running since. Anyway, I thought I would write something to tell you all a bit more about the society, because it’s a great thing and a good way to get budding philosophers from all over the country together. The conference is the highlight, at which a handful of people present their papers and answer questions about them; there is also a keynote speaker, usually a prominent aca-
demic. Last year the keynote was Timothy Williamson, who is the Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford. He talked about Wittgenstein, Michael Dummett, and milk. I asked him a question about coherence theories of truth and justification and contained in his reply was the word ‘bullshit’ a lot - I got the feeling he doesn’t like coherence theories. Anyway, it was fairly interesting (although
I can’t really remember what his point was). This year the keynote is Roger Scruton, who is the author of a lovely little book about Kant, as well as a work concerning the nature of conservatism. So, what is my role within the society? I am the Commissioning Editor, which is a rather selfaggrandizing title, but I’m not complaining. I make sure all the submissions for the journal are
sent on to where they need to be, and that all the peer reviewers get submissions that are within their areas of interest so they can mark them accordingly. It involves being a post-box, but a post-box with a nice title nonetheless! I am currently working my way through the submissions and (probably) annoying a lot of people asking them to be referees, or to look at a couple of papers.
ATTENTION SOCIETY MEMBERS! WE WANT YOUR ARTICLES, REPORTS, AND ANYTHING ELSE - SEND THEM TO email@example.com
Tuesday 11TH DECEMBER | THE LION
SPORTS & SOCIETIES Heythrop W.I. Caitlin Hickey W.I. Vice President As Michaelmas draws to an end, I feel Heythrop’s Women’s Institute (open to women of all genders, of course) has had a very successful first term. We began the year with grand plans, not knowing what to expect from the Freshers’ fayre, however in the end we got a surprising amount of sign-ups from our little bunting-clad stall of kitted and baked goods. The fayre in general was a success and there was an electric atmosphere to the day. If you haven’t attended already, the society has a weekly “Knit in the Pub” social, every Thursday, during term time, at 7pm in the Prince of Wales on Kensington Church
Street. Whether you can knit or not, Thursdays in the pub have been a good chance to socialise with the rest of the society, or craft anything you else like. It really is a good way to unwind after lectures! One of our most successful sessions of the term was the Halloween pumpkin carving competition. Surprisingly, more difficult and time-consuming than it looks, I fashioned a Jack Skellington (from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie) out of a pumpkin for the competition. We had lots of entries, as you may have seen in the common room, but the winner was Hannah Crofts who had somehow managed to make hers in the likeness of herself! Finally, and most recently the Heythrop W.I. held a Christmas
jumble sale and craft fayre in aid of the homeless charity, Shelter. We managed to raise money in the basement by selling lots of tie-dyed pants, cupcakes and glittery candles. Prior to the fayre, we held a tutorial in candle-making and one of our ever popular tie-dying sessions, where many a crude pair of pants were dyed with fabulous colours. As well as the W.I.’s stalls, we welcome anyone to have a stall at our fayres, whether they want to make some money selling their own things, or if they want to raise some money for charity. This year we had three talented jewellery makers and a very popular baked goods stand, as well as the usual jumble stands where people sell on unwanted clothes, books and miscellaneous items. In the Lent term,
we will be having another fayre, this time in aid of GOSH (Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital). Still to come from the W.I., we hope to hold more baking sessions, collaborative knitting graffiti and a festive Easter crafting session. We
also hope to team up with some more of Heythrop’s societies for some collaborative crafty events! The Heythrop W.I. is completely open to workshop suggestions and you don’t have to be Nigella to run one; anyone can do it!
A Christmas one can’t forget Samuel English News Editor I recently typed the word ‘Vagina’ into Google in order to help find inspiration for a talk I was meant to be giving at College but had failed miserably to research. Thirty minutes before the talk, which I’d hoped would be a light-hearted affair I found myself confronted with a truly horrifying statistic. Around 500 British schoolgirls will be brutally genitally mutilated during the festive period. Some will be taken abroad, others will be “cut” or circumcised and sewn closed here in the UK. Shockingly, by women already living here or who are flown in and brought to “cutting parties” for a few girls at a time in a cost-saving exercise. After the harrowing ordeal the girls will return to their schools and try to get on with their lives, scarred mentally and physically by a practice that serves as a social and cultural bonding exercise and, among those who are ceremonially stitched up, to ensure their chastity can be proved to their husband. Even girls who suffer less extreme forms of mutilation are subjected to huge amounts of emotional and physical pain. In Egypt 50% of women who had undergone any sort of mutilation “endure” rather than enjoy sex. This is anguish is counterbalanced by a desire for cleanliness, neatness and perhaps most shamefully, the increased sexual pleasure for the man are all motivations for the practice. Many state that the desire to conform to tradition is the most powerful motive. I can add thankfully that there is no religious motivation for this
as the practise is condemned by many Islamic scholars, and predates both the Koran and the Bible. The line I find hardest to grasp is that the girls are compliant when they have the procedure carried out. Emotional blackmail is used to create in the girls a belief that they will be outcasts and go unmarried if they are not cut. It seems few have any idea of the lifetime of hurt and medical implications created, all in aid of serving a patriarchal view of society and womanhood. All of this culminates in a heinous, avoidable disconnection with one’s own body. Girls often die, of shock or blood loss; a great number contract infections from dirty tools. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, is one of the 16 clinics up and down the country where the women who have had their vaginas stitched closed, but for a tiny hole, have to come to be cut open again; this time to give birth. The World Health Organisation identifies four types of ‘female circumcision’ a term which I feel does no justice to the pain the process causes. The ‘four types’ range from partial to total removal of the external female genitalia. It is estimated that 140 million women worldwide have been subjected to FGM and an estimated further two million are at risk every year, most of these women live in 28 African nations while others are in Yemen, Kurdistan, the US, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada. It is worth noting that here in the UK Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 makes it an offence to carry out FGM or to aid, abet or procure the service of another person. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, added to the legislation, making it against the law for FGM
to be performed anywhere in the world on UK permanent residents of any age and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. To date, no prosecutions have been made under UK legislation. By comparison France has prosecuted 100 people for performing, aiding or abetting FGM. There is a clear need for women who have suffered FGM to be able to visit health professionals who understand what has happened to them. Guys said that for those who wanted it, some surgical reversal work could sometimes be done on women with the most severe FGM procedure, Type III. For those with other types, counselling and support is all that is offered. It should be clear now that FGM is a problem we face, but it is relevant to all not just women. If we believe a society should be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members we clearly fail women on a daily basis. Equality of pay and in the boardroom is simply not enough. All in society need to understand that every child, no matter their background or creed, is protected from FGM in the United Kingdom and that we must not accept such abhorrent practises when given a cultural justification. If we understand that FGM had a social function, it was a negotiation mechanism that women used to ensure respect from men. It prevented the rape of daughters and was a social tool to allow women to regain some power in patriarchal societies. Until we understand this it seems we will fail to point out our society is more modern than the societies FGM developed in, thus we will fail to eradicate this heinous practise in the United Kingdom at the very
least. We’re lucky enough to live in a nation which allows us access to knowledge, and thus a way forward. We keep in mind the fact that that many of these girls are coming to FGM from predominantly caring and loving families, who genuinely believe this, is the right thing to do. Shamefully, in England we have no official statistics on the number of FGM’s undertaken each year. Here in London some people value the FGM tradition as something which holds a community together and gives it structure. In fact in some boroughs FGM is a cause for a celebration! A party, a cutting party because it’s a celebration of wel-
coming a girl into Womanhood. I find the government’s lack of a position on FGM in the United Kingdom very disconcerting. For those who will be “cut” this holiday, the effects will be life-long. Doctors confirm their repeated horror at diagnosing cysts only to discover years of menstrual blood, blocked from leaving the body. Unable to have children, these women are left emotionally and physically battered. FGM is an issue that as a society we have to face up to, it is a heinous and unnecessary practise. Don’t get me wrong, I have a culture and heritage, I love it and what it allows me to stand for. Culture however, should never be about torture. Flickr.com/ layalk
Sudoku - Jikan No Muda
Nov 22 - Dec 21
Dec 22 - 19 Jan
Jan 20 - Feb 18
A little financial juggling is needed. Remember that email that you received from a Nigerian businessman asking for immediate funds? This is the time to do so, the stars are in such a position that every financial decision you make will be the right one. Perhaps it is time to take a trip to the Casino and bet all your money on, say, black 18? This is the right thing to do.
It is a busy time for everyone. Except you, you don’t have anything worth needing to do. Take up a hobby, if anyone cares. Perhaps you should attempt at making some new friends, it might make you feel better for a while. It won’t work, though. The stars say so.
You absorb information like a sponge, but have the memory of a goldfish. You know you should be doing something but don’t know always what it is. Congratulations, you’re like every person ever.
May 21 - Jun 20
Jun 21 - Jul 22
Beware of cynical people. There will be a person who tells you that believing horoscopes is stupid. They are just jealous of your openmindedness. Any admission that horoscopes may not be totally accurate will throw your light aura out of balance, which has a carcinogenic affect. If you have a concern that this is happening to you, consult your holistic physician immediately, who will unblock your chakras with your birthstone.
Romance is in the air. You are more than ever to find that special someone. The stars are blessing you this week. Someone who smiles at you today, for whatever reason, is your soul mate. You fulfil your destiny if you pursue them. This means leaving your current partner, if you have one, starting to follow this special someone, and slowly sabotaging their life until they belong to you. Top tips are going through their bins and committing identity theft, chaining your souls together.
Feb 19 - 20 Mar
As Divined By Faye West
Mar 21 - Apr 19
Apr 20 - May 20
You are feeling slightly unstable recently. This is due to a misalignment with your cosmic Midichlorian. To rectify this, experience something new. Eat a new piece of fruit, walk a different way to work, try being bitchy and pessimistic. This will bring you back into balance. Be careful though, upsetting someone will cause a further shift in your balance, inexorably leading to feelings of alienation and misery. If it doesn’t, it should.
Problems which you have hidden away will return to haunt you. This will cause a dark cloud to hang over you. To prevent this, act positively, or just leave Scotland. You will be at your most happiest if you just let go of these problems. However, don’t tell anyone your problems; they will look upon as inferior.
Jul 23 - Aug 22
Aug 23 - Sep 22
Sep 23 - Oct 22
Oct 23 - Nov 21
Your skills as a mediator are needed. Try and get involved in everyone’s problems and quickly take sides in arguments between your friends. They need your guidance, so keep urging people to take action against each other; they need you to be involved. They love you. They will love you more if you involve yourself in every aspect of their lives.
Life is passing you by at a frantic speed. You need to stop trying. Stop going out and doing things, stay inside. Your aura will change from red to blue. Try solitary activities like blocking out your windows or unplugging the phone. The people outside are after you. Bare this in mind at all times. If you feel lonely, try talking to yourself.
You must carefully play the cards you have been dealt. Too much action in one direction will cause your spiritual ship to capsize and catch fire. Emotional fire will affect your emotional emotions, emotionally. You should quell these flames by bringing your ship into the docks, so tiny people can exchange the cargo for spices and tea.
Oct 23 - Nov 21- You are having a hard time expressing yourself. The language you are speaking is just not being understood. Move back to England. Try expressing yourself with interpretive dance. Dramatically wave your arms when emphasise a point. Crouch when you need to be serious. Lay on the floor when voicing a contrary opinion.
You will die tonight.
Published on Dec 11, 2012