EDINBURGH’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
WEDNESDAY 12 MARCH 2008
WHERE NEXT FOR CUBA? » 19 America’s leading expert asks if the leadership change in Cuba can have any real effect
TV NATION » 21
Scottish culture minister Linda Fabiani on why we need a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation
Scottish newspaper forces resignation of Obama aide Off-the-record quotes published by The Scotsman spark debate on journalistic ethics Joe Crimmings Photography
Ben Judge email@example.com
AN OFF-THE-RECORD COMMENT published by The Scotsman last week has forced a key political aide of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama to resign from his campaign team. Samantha Power, a Harvard University professor and Pulitzer Prizewinning author, referred to Hilary Clinton, as “a monster” and saying that “she is stooping to anything [to win the Democratic Party nomination]” in an interview with journalist Gerri Peev. Ms Power’s resigned after her comments—which she believed to be off-the-record—were picked up on by the American media, causing a storm as they appeared to be in direct contravention of Mr Obama’s pledge to run his campaign free of negativity and gratuitous name-calling. In a statement, Ms Power said: “With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an adviser to the Obama campaign. “I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oftstated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor and purpose
of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months.” A Professor at Harvard and director of the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy, a Time magazine columnist and a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ms Power was an unpaid but highly influential political adviser on foreign policy to Mr Obama during his Democratic primary campaign. In the interview with The Scotsman, Ms Power, while discussing Mr Obama’s position on the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its effect on the Democratic caucus in Ohio, is quoted as saying: “We fucked up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win. “She is a monster, too— that is off the record—she is stooping to anything. “Here, it looks like desperation. I hope it looks like desperation there, too. “You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh’. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The
amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.” Mrs Clinton’s campaign team immediately condemned the comments, with her spokesman Howard Wolfson saying: “I, for one, do not believe that acting like Kenneth Starr [prosecutor in the attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton following the Monica Lewinski affair] is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president.” However, the publication of Ms Power’s comments has put the Edinburgh-based Scotsman newspaper at the centre of a trans-Atlantic debate on journalistic ethics. A number of US-based political commentators have lambasted the newspaper for printing off-the-record remarks, claiming that reporter Gerri Peev had abused Ms Power’s trust. Although the interview was agreed to be on-the-record in advance, and was tape-recorded in its entirety, Ms Power specified that the controversial comments were to be off-the-record as she was making them. Tucker Carlson, a conservative news presenter for MSNBC, attacked the decision to publish the quotes saying “journalistic practices in Great Britain are so much dramatically lower [sic] than they are here” and that “in
SAMANTHA POWER Born in Ireland in 1970, Samantha Power is a fearsomely intelligent Irish-American academic, author and journalist. She is a Professor at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government, a Pulitzer-prize winner for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, and is an award winning journalist for her reports on Sudan, having written for such esteemed publications as Time, The Boston Globe and The New Republic. Ms Power, described by Men’s Vogue as someone who “can change minds and might one day reshape relations among nations,” and by George Clooney as the best basketball player “I’ve ever played against,” has worked for Barack Obama since 2005 as an unpaid foreign policy advisor.
Was The Scotsman right to print? Evan Beswick gives his view » 20
America, when someone requests an off-the-record remark, the journalist usually grants it to them.” Mark Feldstein, a journalism academic at the George Washington University told the Washington Post that the rules on off-the-record comments were “a little murky. I teach my students that it has to be said in advance, but this was so immediately after that I wouldn't have run it. I think it was a low blow. I suspect most US mainstream publications would not have run it.” The Scotsman’s editor, Mike Gilson, defended the decision, saying: “We are certain it was right to publish. "I do not know of a case when anyone has been able to withdraw on-therecord quotes after they have been made. The interview our political correspondent Gerri Peev conducted with Ms Power was clearly on an on-therecord basis. “She was clearly passionate and angry with the tactics of the Clinton camp over the Ohio primary, and that spilled over in the interview. Our job was to put that interview before the public as a matter of public interest. “It was for others to judge whether the remarks were ill-judged or spoke of the inexperience in the Obama camp."
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Ramsay faces disqualification as EUSA is thrown into turmoil Election winner thrown out of the running as campaign team break election rules, pending appeal
Ben Judge firstname.lastname@example.org
ThE prEsidEnTial racE at the University of Edinburgh was thrown into complete disarray last week as the leading candidate was disqualified and the announcement of the election result postponed, pending an appeal. adam ramsay, the front-runner and favourite in the race to become president of the Edinburgh University students association, was disqualified by election officials for a breach of the rules by members of his campaign team, a move unprecedented in the association’s 124 year history. Mr ramsay, who—according to EUsa insiders—won the popular vote, was disqualified from the election by the students’ association’s returning officer, Graham Boyack, after two supporters were found to be campaigning at the University of Edinburgh’s pollock halls of residence out-with permitted hours. Mr Boyack received several complaints, most notably from pollock halls security, who caught the members of Mr ramsay’s campaign team soliciting support illegally and decided midway through the final day of voting to disqualify Mr ramsay. speaking to The Journal, Mr ramsay claimed he had done nothing wrong and has appealed the decision. he said: “There is no precedent for this disqualification. i have not broken any rules, in fact no-one has even accused me of breaking any rules. “The question is whether i knew what my campaign team were up to. now, i have more than forty people helping me in this campaign, and there is no way i could have known where everyone was at any given time.” harry cole, one of Mr ramsay’s presidential rivals, said in a statement: “despite a clear decision from Graham Boyack, adam ramsay has decided to appeal the decision. nobody wants a cheat as resident and nobody wants the EUsa elections process dragged through the mud. “Graham has done a fantastic job over the past few weeks and i know
he did not take this decision lightly. adam is on a fool's errand if he thinks he knows better.” nick Ward, another candidate, said: “i am absolutely disgusted. adam was caught trying to subvert the democratic process. he has been disqualified, rightly so, by the returning officer, who recognized that his electoral gains from cheating were too great, and now he is trying to worm his way out of his disqualification again. “i really do not think that the students want a cheat as a president and i cannot see how, if he does win his appeal and election, he will be able to form any relationship of trust with any other elected officials or members of staff.” Mr ramsay hinted that he believed Mr Boyack’s decision had been influenced by his political rivals, in particular Mr Ward and Mr cole, pressing for his disqualification. “if the same kind of rigidity had been applied to the other candidates as was to me, then all the candidates could have been disqualified. “i am the only candidate not to lie to the electorate. harry cole lied over his involvement with EUSAless, nick Ward tried to mislead people about his background, and Gabe arafa’s campaign team were going around at the start of this week saying i was disqualified before the alleged incident had even taken place. For me to be the one disqualified in this context is ludicrous. “Elections should be decided by who won or lost the popular vote.” Mr ramsay is appealing the decision, a process that could last well into next week as assembling the appeal panel—which consists of the university rector, the EUsa president, the Vice president services, the university principal and the dean of the Faculty of law—is expected to take some time. Further to this, The Journal has learnt that the students’ association is currently taking legal advice over whether they are able to replace several members of the panel over perceived conflicts of interest. pre-emptive complaints have al-
ADAM RAMSAY: appeal against disqualification has left election race undecided ready been lodged by harry cole and nick Ward over the impartiality of the appeal body as the university rector, Mark Ballard, is a close friend of adam ramsay, who ran his 2006 campaign. They are also both members of the Green party and both ran during the scottish parliamentary elections last year. in a joint press release, Mr cole and Mr Ward—formerly at loggerheads during the election campaign—said: “all the candidates have expressed concern that Mark Ballard, rector of Edinburgh University, sits on the appeals committee and have written to the University secretary explaining this.” Two other members of the panel are also thought to be contentious. incumbent EUsa president Josh Macalister is a controversial presence as he is seen as long-term rival of Mr ramsay, while sitting Vp services Tom French resigned from the elections board, allegedly to support Mr ramsay’s campaign. according to anonymous EUsa sources, the meeting of the panel is expected to take place next week.
EUsa election results Vice president (academic affairs) Vice president (services) Vice president (societies & activities)
Guy Bromley George Thomas Naomi Hunter
societies' council convener
Finance committee Ordinary Members: Tom French, Oliver Mundell, Joe Pike
National Union of Students nUs UK delegate (1st Year Undergraduate) Katherine McMahon nUs UK delegate (all years; including 1st) Andrew Weir
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
This week in The Journal... Scottish Moroccan Nights » 24 Edmund Stewart gives a historical tour of northern Africa’s glittering jewel
Mark Wallinger » 23 Mark Thompson » 26
Parliament votes to scrap Graduate Endowment Bill to scrap £2,289 levy on graduates passes despite Labour and Conservative opposition Nick Eardley email@example.com
The Journal looks at the impact of ECA’s new artist in residence
Sarah Hunter talks to the artistic director of the Lyceum Theatre
Michelin, Man » 29
“Political language —and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
THE SCOTTiSH PARLiAMENT has voted to abolish the Graduate Endowment fee for all Scottish nationals studying at university. Scottish students previously faced the £2,289 charge when graduating, with around 70 per cent adding the cost onto their student loans. The successful passage of the bill, which was one of the SNP’s key manifesto pledges on student finance, means that Scottish students graduating in Scotland during and after 2007 will not have to pay any direct costs towards their education. Claiming that 50,000 students would immediately benefit from the move, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The graduate endowment fee was an inefficient tax. Most students increased their student loan to pay it and, due to the inefficiency of the system, only two thirds of this income was then returned to the public purse. We have acted quickly and, with parliamentary support, have scrapped this unfair fee. “We believe that debt and the fear of debt can be a real deterrent and can actually prevent some young people going to university. That’s why we’re committed to relieving the debt burden and abolishing the graduate endowment fee is the first stage of our plans.” She added: “The removal of the graduate endowment fee is great news for current and future students and last year's graduates, helping to significantly reduce their debt burden.” The bill was passed by 67 votes to 61, with support from the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens, independent MSP Margo MacDonald, and one Labour rebel, Elaine Smith. All other Labour members and the Conservatives voted against. An amendment calling for an independent commission to review the endowment was defeated 65 votes to 63. The SNP has been keen to high-
light that the move will ensure improved access to higher education. MSP Aileen Campbell told The Journal: “The fear of debt puts people off embarking on an academic career and removing this tuition fee will help make going to university an option for more people. The SNP realises how important graduates are and that is why the government has taken this action to make student life a bit easier.” However, Labour education spokesperson Rhona Brankin claimed that there was no evidence that abolishing the endowment would significantly change the number of people applying for university. She added that the money raised through the endowment would be better spent on improving access for prospective students from poorer backgrounds. A number of students gathered outside the Scottish Parliament on 28 February calling on MSPs to scrap the fee. President of Strathclyde Students' union and incoming NuS Scotland President Gurjit Singh echoed Fiona Hyslop’s remarks on student debt. Speaking to The Journal, he said: “The abolition of the Graduate Endowment will stop students from being put off going into Higher Education in Scotland, and it will also reduce the amount of debt that students accumulate whilst studying. it was important that the Graduate Endowment was removed because it just added to the already huge debts that today’s students face." The Graduate Endowment was introduced for all students starting university in 2001, with the first students liable to pay the fee in 2005. Of the £39 million in charges administered between 2005 and 2007, only £12.7 million was paid upfront, with the other £26.3 million being added to student loans. The Scottish Government has claimed that only £57,000 has been returned to the taxpayer from the money collected. European union nationals, who up until now have enjoyed the same financial status as Scottish students, do not benefit from the abolition of the endowment.
EDiNBuRGH’S STuDENT NEWSPAPER Editor Ben Judge Deputy Editor Hannah Thomas Art Director Matthew MacLeod Deputy Editor (News) Paris Gourtsoyannis Deputy Editor (Comment/Features) Evan Beswick Deputy Editor (Sport) Tom Crookston Photo Editor Eddie Fisher Chief Illustrator Lewis Killin Copy Editors Alex Reynolds, Gavin Lingiah, Kasmira Jefford, Katia Sand, Sarah Galletly Designer Shaun Guyver Sales Manager Devon Walshe Sales Executives Katherine Sellar News Investigations Miles Johnson General News Hamish Fergusson Edinburgh News Graham Mackay Academic News Neil Bennet Student Politics Sarah Clark National Politics Helen Walker National Student News Nick Eardley/Joanna Hosa Features George Grant Profile Alison Lutton Entertainment Chris McCall/Lucy Jackson Eating & Drinking Nana Wereko-Brobby Hockey Emily Glass Football Dominic Moger Rugby Jack Charnley/Jonathan Burt The Journal is published by The Edinburgh Journal Ltd., registered address 52 Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JB. Registered in Scotland number SC322146. For enquiries call 0131 662 6766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Journal is a free newspaper for and written by students and graduates in the City of Edinburgh. Contact us if you’d like to get involved. Printed by Mortons Print Limited, Horncastle, Lincolnshire. Distributed by Ben, Matt, Evan and Paris in a van/car. Our thanks to PSYBT, Scottish Enterprise, and all who make this publication possible.
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
National Galleries receive £100 million art donation Hamish Fergusson firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATIONAL GALLERIES of Scotland have received hundreds of works of modern art in a single donation on a scale unprecedented in recent history. Anthony d’Offay, one of the world’s elite art dealers, has sold almost his entire collection, thought to be worth over £125m, to the nation at a cost of £28m. It is to be jointly owned and managed by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate Gallery in London. The donation is one of the largest ever to have been made in the UK and is most recently rivaled by Henry Tate’s founding benefaction of the late 19th century. Mr d’Offay said: “Our favourite pieces are in the donation. There are very beautiful Beuys pieces given to us personally and personal works from Warhol, but everything is on loan in this world.” The donation also includes works by Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jenny Holzer, Diane Arbus and Jeff Koons, who are among 32 artists represented in the collection of 725 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs. The donation also includes a £5m endowment fund, the interest from which will be used to support young artists. Mr d’Offay hopes the collection will help stimulate public interest in British contemporary art, among young people in particular. He said: “A lot of things were painful to part with, but the jewel for me is walking into a museum and seeing a school party there. "Being able to share them in this way with young people is a privilege." D’Offay has pinpointed his encounter with the Scottish National Galleries’ collections as a student at Edinburgh University as "the defining experience of my life." He went on
become Europe’s preeminent postwar and modern art dealer with a famously keen eye for emergent talent. Having played a central role in the reinvigoration of Andy Warhol’s artistic career in the 1980s, he notably patronised young British artists Rachel Whiteread and Richard Patterson in the 1990s, before his abrupt retirement in 2002 fueled rumours of plans for a donation. The works will, in the short-term, be exhibited on a tour around England and Scotland, and displayed in 51 individual 'artist’s rooms'. The Prime Minister has expressed his approval, saying: "Individual acts of generosity like this impact on the lives of millions, and reinforce the UK's richly deserved reputation as having a range of world-leading museums and galleries." However, it has been suggested instead that the donation plugs a glaring gap in the nation’s art collection, and has been accepted with some relief by the art establishment. Britain’s gallery directors have been accused for several decades of failing to purchase contemporary art, leading to an embarrassing absence of 20th century works on public display in the UK. In addition, The Sunday Times’ art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, has described the benefaction as “overhyped”. He said: “It’s not a collection that will radically change the national holdings. There was such a collection – Charles Saatchi’s collection of modern British art from the Damien Hirst era – but the Tate let it slip through their fingers. "This is second best. There are some interesting things in it, but it isn’t going to fill the chasm.” Further criticism has come from within the private art world. Leading London dealer Ivor Braka has described it as “the biggest loss” to the arts scene in over 20 years, claiming it will damage the dynamic reputation of London’s galleries as relevant viewing rooms and as distinct from the capital’s
News 5 IN BRIEF
ANTHONY D’OFFAY In the recent commotion surrounding the d’Offay donation, many have remarked on the character of its source. Anthony d’Offay cut a mysterious figure in the art world in which he rose to eminence over 30 years, scaling its heights amidst flying rumours of his dark and eccentric behaviour. Rumours of séances at night with gallery staff were fuelled by d’Offay’s reclusive habits and gothic appearance. The Sunday Times’ art critic Waldemar Januszczak described the dealer as “this creepy guy who used to float around without making a sound at the back of the gallery. All those quips about him looking like the living dead were perfectly justified.” Certainly, his affinity with artwork has not always extended to artists and critics. Januszczak was at one point banned from d’Offay’s art gallery after an unfavourable review of a Gilbert & George exhibition. Shortly afterwards the two artists left the gallery, describing d’Offay as a “fat cunt.” The financial benefits provided for d’Offrey in exchange for the act of donation have also attracted attention, though it seems inevitable that such a altruistic gesture should be sniffed at with slight suspicion. Born in Sheffield in 1940, Anthony d’Offay is the son of a surgeon and an antiques dealer. He graduated in 1962 from Edinburgh University with a degree a in Art, and opened his London gallery in 1969 on Dering Street.
Above, Bill Viola. Below, artist’s impression of Rachel Whiteread’s plinth
museums. Moreover, critics such as Jonathan Jones are now anticipating a cooling of lending relations between the Tate and New York’s MOMA. Others have pointed to the £14 million in tax owed by Mr d’Offay and written off by the government as part of the donation agreement. It has been implied that the deal was mutually beneficial, given conditions in today’s art market. Mr d’Offay dismissed the suggestion and said: “I have no idea about tax.” Nevertheless, a wider consensus has focused on the benefits of the donation. John Leighton, the director of the
National Galleries of Scotland, said: "At a stroke, our level of ambition has been raised to a new height and there is now the potential to bring great modern art to our publics, not just in Edinburgh and London, but right across the country, from St Ives to Stromness." He echoed comments made by the Tate’s director, Sir Nicholas Serota, who said: "A gift of this magnitude will completely transform the opportunity to experience contemporary art in the UK. Anthony d'Offay's imaginative generosity establishes a new dynamic for national collections and is without precedent anywhere in the world."
In the 70s his gallery exhibited Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Frank Auerbach and for the next 30 years continued to establish himself as an internationally acclaimed art dealer. He also worked with Andy Warhol and predicted his success. The Anthony d’Offay Gallery, opened in 1980, rapidly accumulated a wealth of art and, with produced landmark shows of contemporary artists. In 2001 d’Offay announced he was closing the business. The lease was sold, and the premises are now occupied by the Haunch of Venison gallery. The last exhibition, of Bill Viola, attracted 50,000 visitors and provided significant funding for Rachel Whiteread’s Monument in Trafalgar Square. Kasmira Jefford
All dressed up and nowhere to show Hamish Fergusson News Editor
The new head of the National Galleries of Scotland sees d’Offay donation as an opportunity not to be missed
PEAKING AT THE Talbot-Rice Gallery last Wednesday, Dr Simon Groom - recently appointed Director of Modern Art at the National Galleries of Scotland - noted in Edinburgh a “vibrancy and generosity towards visual arts that can’t be found in many other British cities.” But he also emphasised Scotland’s need for “ambition, scale, depth, and breadth to achieve national clout.” Consciously or otherwise, his comments directly describe the dimensions of the kind of gallery space required to exhibit large parts of the d’Offay collection, the kind of gallery space Edinburgh doesn’t have. Though Dr Groom was careful to avoid tackling the subject directly, his remarks closely echo those of number of experts who have highlighted Edinburgh’s need for a new gallery on a larger scale than the space currently provided by the Dean Gallery and National Gallery of Modern Art if the city is to permanently hold part of the d'Offay collection. Although the works will initially be exhibited around England and Scotland, it is envisaged that Edinburgh will house a significant
proportion of the collection in the long term. However, the city lacks a site equal to the task. An early suggestion of the renovation of The Blue Shed in Leith has been dismissed as impractical given the size of the collection and the scale of certain of its individual pieces. John Leighton, Director of the National Galleries of Scotland, has acknowledged the problem. He said: “We have these wonderful buildings but they also have their limitations. They're actually quite small and intimate, so you have things in the collection like a Jannis Kounellis installation that we physically couldn't show here. “But what about an iconic campus? I would dearly love, at some stage, to link the two sites together so there's one campus, as opposed to two sites split by a very busy and hairraising road." Mr Leighton’s ideas have been joined by more ambitious suggestions, not least from Mr d’Offay himself. The benefactor insisted his collection “needs a great building in Edinburgh” and made a grand reference to the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao as
something for the capital to aspire to. "Creativity, I believe, is dependent on education and part of education is contemporary art," said Mr D'Offay. "It is like food. You need it. You need it for your mind. You need it for your soul. "Think of the effect the Guggenheim in Bilbao has had on the Basque nation and those people. As a financial investment, it's been something extraordinary. But for the creativity of the Basque people, it's been crucial." Such vision is not currently shared by the Scottish parliament, which has recently confirmed its commitment only to improving the existing National Galleries and investing further in the Royal Museum. That the exhibition of modern art can have a broad stimulating effect on surrounding communities is, however, a belief firmly shared by Dr Groom, who spoke last Wednesday of his experiences in his previous post as head of exhibitions at Tate Liverpool. He emphasised the effect of the gallery in stimulating creativity in Liverpool and highlighted its role in the city’s appointment as European Capital of Culture 2008. At the end of his tenure he set up
a groundbreaking exhibition of iconic twentieth century art - which includes Rodin’s 'The Kiss' - and is expected to draw millions of new visitors to the gallery before it closes in April 2009. He said of his move to Edinburgh: “I am hugely excited by the potential here, of a nation undergoing an important cultural shift… One must take risks. Edinburgh must have ambition to achieve clout like the Tate.” Whether Dr Groom will emerge as a powerful advocate for a new gallery in the city remains to be seen. In the meantime there are indications that a site at Leith Docks has been earmarked for the creation of a multi-million pound arts centre, to include gallery space and an events and concert venue. It is thought that the Millennium Centre in Cardiff has been recommended by tourism consultants as an appropriate model for a solution to Edinburgh’s lack of large-scale facilities. The council and developers in Leith have reportedly been urged to think big by the London-based Communication Group, which is creating a "world-class visitor destination plan" for the city.
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Edinburgh loves men in uniform In light of recent attacks upon uniformed military personnel, two “officers” from The Journal went out to test how dangerous the prospect of being a soldier on the street really is
Evan Beswick & Paris Gourtsoyannis email@example.com
In an Early test of our attire's effectiveness, we were approached by a local old boy in the shop where we had hired our uniforms. He enquired where exactly we were to be shipped out to. "Just around Edinburgh," we replied. "Well as long as you are not off to Iraq or afghanistan," he said. Indeed, the gent was particularly concerned that we had a fun time around the city, advising that we would prove what he termed a "hit" at the local strip joint of which he was a patron. Clearly, our self-appointed guide was less concerned by political talk than sexy chat. needless to say, the tone was set for an evening around Edinburgh which would turn out to be immeasurably less hazardous than any trips to Iraq or afghanistan—or Peterborough— that other young people dressed in our uniforms might embark upon. We were treated to some finishing touches from the staff at the army surplus stores: after each acquiring the rank of lance Corporal—a very fast promotion indeed—we were offered some parting advice from the ex-serviceman store attendant: "I used to get grief because of my uniform, even my haircut 'cause I've always got a short back and sides. But in Edinburgh? nobody will pay any attention. you won't get into any pubs, though." In fact, people did pay attention: walking up leith Walk we were aware of receiving a more than usual number of looks – none of them remotely aggressive. Oddly enough, it was agreed that we both felt more conscious of our camouflaged apparel than people around perhaps were. It was the same story heading down George IV bridge on out way to the Edinburgh's Grass-
market. Eager to test out the former sqaddie's warning, we decided to make Edinburgh's pubs our first "theatre of action," and so entered Maggie Dickinson's – without trouble. Stomping up to the bar in our polished boots and ordering a drink appeared to raise no more eyebrows than any other punter. The barmaid, originally from near raF Boulmer in northumberland, suggested to us that, where she comes from, tensions usually stem from the uniformed men's uncanny success with women compared to the local lads. On leaving the pub, however, we received what was to be the first example of our most common reaction: a faux salute, accompanied by a lessthan-original, "didn't see you there, mate!" in reference to our camouflage. The accompanying chant of "ooh, camouflage, ooh camouflage" while inventive, was about the rowdiest behaviour directed towards us all evening. Moving across Edinburgh—and finding that not all pubs were as eager to welcome servicemen—we arrived at the University of Edinburgh's student union, eager to ascertain student feelings about service personnel. While undoubtedly more out of place than in any of our previous destinations, we were approached here by a friendly fourth-year student from South africa who, as it turned out, was a member of the university's Officer Training Corps. More eager to learn about our badges—a lesson, if anything, in the importance of preparing a back-story—than to give us grief, she revealed that, back in 2004 during the first stages of the Iraq war, cadets had been advised against wearing uniforms in public: "Crossing the meadows we had a few things thrown at us, but now we never get any trouble." It was when heading back to the Cowgate that we came the closest ill-
treatment: a slightly drunk young man feigned pistol fire and pleaded: "don't shoot me, please." Of course, we didn't. nor did we feel threatened by his anti-war motivated jibe. Our last stop as squaddies was outside a popular Grassmarket pub, where the doormen greeted us with a refrain we were, by now, used to: "you'll not get in looking like that, lads." It turned out that the bouncer blocking our progress was a former soldier himself, having served for five and a half years in the 3rd airborne assault regiment. We too were apparently members of the "Screeching Eagles," though we had been ignorant of the badges whose meaning he decoded for us. So, was there a blanket ban on soldiers in uniform or did we look particularly troublesome? "Troops don't usually go out dressed like that, although you can tell the squaddies apart, even in civilian dress. One of them will come up in the lead and say, 'there are about ten guys wanting to get in, is that alright?' as long as he's about, they won't cause any trouble." However, the reputation of off-duty soldiers didn't emerge untarnished. The former soldier was quite willing to describe the numerous scrapes he used to get into: "We were always getting arrested and chucked out of places, mostly for drunk-and-disorderlys, but also for fighting, pissing on each other. If there was a balcony, nine times out of ten there would be an arse hanging over shitting off it." Pointing to our rank-badges, he added: "I got made lance-Corporal twice and lost it twice – once for beating up my regimental sergeant major; I knocked my group leader out cold, the other time." In Edinburgh, it seems, the reaction to service-people in uniform has more to do with their own behaviour than political issues.
Phil Wilkinson/Scotland on Sunday
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Sisters of Charity
Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show nets thousands for good causes with a night of catwalk glamour Nana Wereko-Brobby firstname.lastname@example.org
FASHION SHOWS HAVE become synonymous with eating disorders, bitchy designers and pretentious parties. Such clichés overshadow not only the hard work, creative input and genuine passion put into such shows but also ignore the altruistic possibilities of the catwalk spectacle. Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show has succeeded in fusing a superficial love for the beautiful and the superfluous with a commitment to raising funds for some of the most worthwhile charities around. In its fifth consecutive year, the show has already raised over £150,000 for various charities including Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, Students Supporting Street Kids and Macmillan Cancer Support. This year saw the show returning to support Macmillan and Project Scotland, demonstrating a commitment to local Edinburgh charities. ECFS is now the biggest student fashion show in Europe and will only get bigger. With the show’s costs being covered by ticket sales and sponsorship from Artemis, the real cash is made in the impressive auction. Past prizes have included Sting’s guitar and a bedtime story read by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton. This year both the Kooks and James Blunt donated signed guitars and other prizes included a weekend for two at Jeremy Irons's cottage, and Wembley tickets to see England play Switzerland. Together with a strong committee, this year’s chairman Eliza Ellerby put on a show which surpassed last year’s offering. With clothes from Basso & Brooke, Luella, 21st century kilts and Juliet Dunn, the standard was as high as ever thanks to fashion coordinators Robyn Walters and Tom Campbell. Having put the best part of 12 months into the preparation, Eliza and her team decided to focus on a more playful theme for the show this year: the Garden of Eden. Capitalising on the connotations of scantily clad prelapsarian nymphs, the show stretched the motif to its sexual potential. A calendar had already been produced which displayed the shadows of naked figures hunched by a fire; a tasteful bit of mudwrestling on Arthur’s Seat; a debauched woods-
at-night banquet and a mass of lithe bodies entwined in the branches of a tree. But the full realisation of the Garden of Eden theme came through in the opening moments of the show. As the first model, the delectable Ferderica Amati, made her first steps down the catwalk in a revealing cut-out knitted swimsuit, the crowd’s attention was directed to the live python draped round her neck. Reminiscent of a classy version of Britney Spear’s infamous Slave for You stageshow, Federica looked remarkably comfortable with her new found friend. Not only did the show itself impress the crowd, but it also managed to impress Select model agency, who signed up a couple of the hotties. As a performer in the show, I was lucky enough to be privvy to the goings on behind the scenes. Backstage, the models certainly fused the hard work with lashings of debauchery. With a co-ed changing room, the male models got used to the 15 girls dashing around in nude thongs remarkably quickly. Whether that be a sign of professionalism or just a case of having seen too much too young, shyness flew out of the window when it came to quick changes. The atmosphere backstage was truly remarkable and the adrenalin extreme. Having been assigned personal dressers, dress rails, make-up artists fluttering round to do touch ups, and people applying last minute moisturizer to body parts, it's easy to convince yourself that you might just as
well be backstage at London Fashion week. That is of course before the lary student crowds and the post-party misbehaviour serve as an instant reminder that you are, in fact, a bunch of students raising money for charity in the most exciting, ego-boosting, soon-to-be drunken way possible. However, fun aside, people often fail to see the work put in by everyone in the lead up to the show. Four hours of rehearsals a week for months preceding it and a string of fundraisers and socials means that by the time of the show, the committee and models are closer than ever and all feel part of something really important. Sure, you may ask, how hard is it to walk? Well, I retort, in those skyscraper heels, harder than it looks. For those sceptics who brush aside the show as an indulgence, a waste of time or a waste of money, I advise you to just give it a try. You might enjoy it.
Photos: Eddie Fisher
8 Edinburgh News
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Flyposters take stand against council Perpetrators claim illegal publicity is essential to Edinburgh's music scene
Amadeus Finlay email@example.com
EDINBURGH’S FLYPOSTERS HAVE claimed that crackdowns on their activities threaten the future of Edinburgh’s music scene. The flyposters, who can face fines of up to £1000, have launched a campaign to make authorities recognise the importance of what they believe is an integral aspect of the city’s cultural life. Local flyposter Cameron Ford told reporters: “We’re getting a little sick and tired of being criminalised by the police and the council. People see flyposters as a source of information and part of the fabric of the city. “It enhances the cultural life of the city. I think the council is trying to kill music in the city – it just shows how out of touch they are. The people behind these club nights are the people who make Edinburgh tick. This is the young entrepreneurial spirit the council keeps bleating on about but they’re doing everything they can to hamper it.” In support of his accusation levelled against the council, Mr Ford explained: “More people go to clubs in Edinburgh than voted for any of those on the city council. I don’t think the council and the police realise the harm they are doing to the music scene.”
The movement hopes to circulate a petition in support flyposting and aims to secure guaranteed flyering sites across the city where they can put up advertisements without fear of prosecution. Such fears were realised earlier this month when the owner of a cafe on Lothian Road complained after her premises were hit by flyposters. Jeni Ayris said she felt she had been “kicked while she was down” when the front of the property was covered with posters promoting a club night in the city. Local trader Dougie Bell, owner of the nearby Lupe Pintos Mexican Deli and vice chairman of Tollcross Traders’ Association, said: “Somebody’s got to scrape all those posters off when they’re put across the whole of a window and sometimes that requires new glazing being put in. “Sometimes it can be a complete and utter menace.” Edinburgh City Council spends at least £250,000 each year tackling flyposters and graffiti. The city’s community safety leader, Councillor Paul Edie, said: “Prolific fly posting contributes to the poor look and feel of an area and can have an detrimental impact on people’s quality of life, as well as contributing to their fear of crime. “Businesses and residents expect the council to take action against flyposting.”
Scotland to offer up to 28 training facilities for 2012 Olympics Demian Hobby firstname.lastname@example.org FOUR LOTHIAN VENUES, including Heriot-Watt University, have been recommended to the British Olympic Committee as training facilities for the London 2012 Games. 28 of the 1000 training facilities to be listed in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide are located in Scotland. Organising Committee Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe said: “We said that we wanted the London Games to be for athletes and the facilities listed in this guide will really help overseas athletes prepare well. “It also provides a great opportunity for towns throughout the UK to get involved in our plans.” Heriot-Watt University will host fencing, football, judo, tae-kwondo and wrestling training; swimming, diving and water polo training will take place at the Royal Commonwealth pool; the Peffermill National Hockey Academy will host hockey, and equestrianism will be hosted at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre.
Edinburgh South MSP Mike Pringle said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Edinburgh, with the potential to boost the economy.” Edinburgh is also set to host a world title championship next month when Alex Arthur and Joan Guzman clash at Meadowbank. The bout will take place on 26 April, and is the first time an Edinburgh native will fight for a world title in the capital. A spokesman for Mr Guzman claimed the fight would be “easy money”. He said: “Guzman is in another league from Arthur – I just hope that Arthur turns up.” However, super-featherweight WBO interim champion Mr Arthur is confident that he can win the title. He said: “I’m only one step away from my dream of being a world champion and moving into boxing’s top league beside guys like Joe Calzaghe. “I recognise Guzman as my biggest ring test ever but I guarantee that I will be so motivated that anything less than my very best in the ring won’t be an option.”
News Shorts :: wear them HATED BY EVERYONE AND BAD AT THEIR JOBS EDINBURGH PARKING ATTENDANTS handed out 20,000 fewer parking tickets than promised last year, denting the council’s coffers. Wardens handed out a mere 222,169 tickets, an average of 609 per day, during 2007. NCP, the contractor hired to police the city’s streets, promised the council 243,000 tickets.
MAN JAILED FOR STUN GUN ATTACK AN UNEMPLOYED SCAFFOLDER was jailed for five and a half years last week for an unprovoked stungun attack on a passer-by. Steven Burns, 33, discharged the weapon on a random stranger in the city centre after stopping him to ask for directions. He then kicked the man in the head, causing permanent damage and disfigurement to his left eye socket. Burns discharged the 15,000 volt gun at Craig Samuel in New Town following a night out. The trial judge condemned Burns for “a wicked, unprovoked and vicious attack on an innocent member of the public.”
Edinburgh News 9
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Roadworks snarl city centre traffic
£37 million property windfall for Edinburgh University Sarah Clark
sEvEraL bUsy strEEts in central Edinburgh have been plunged into turmoil in recent weeks with roadworks disrupting the city’s transport infrastructure. With the 19-week closure of shandwick Place beginning Monday 3 March, as well significant road works taking place in other areas such as Leith Walk, Clerk street, slateford road and the grassmarket, the capital is currently undergoing one of the most expansive programs of road redevelopment in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the major construction is taking place in preparation for the new £545 million Edinburgh airport-newhaven tram line, set for completion in early 2011. however, work on the tramline itself is not scheduled to begin for at least another twelve months. a spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council’s transport division told The Journal: “the roadworks on Leith Walk and shandwick Place are a precursor to the laying of the tram lines. We have to make sure that the tram routes are cleared of all utility pipes and cables before work commences on the tram lines themselves. “it is essential that we move all gas, water and electricity mains from the tram routes at once. When tramlines were laid in dublin, they neglected to do this and the route had to be dug up five times. “all work will be suspended for the month of august during the Edinburgh festival and will continue in early september. “throughout the construction period, roadworks will commence on no more than seven sites throughout the city, so as to minimise disruption to traffic flow.” Currently, the worst affected area is that immediately west of Princes street, with all traffic heading away from the city centre being directed up Lothian road and onto the Western approach road. a detour along Melville street is currently redirecting cars and buses heading towards Princes street from the haymarket area.
Edinburgh’s traffic chaos revealed » Pages 16 & 17 thirteen bus stops around shandwick Place have been closed and replaced by twelve temporary stops along the new diversion routes. 136 designated parking areas, mostly along Melville street, have also been temporarily removed in order to accommodate a greater flow of traffic heading east towards the city centre. Changes to several major bus routes to the west of the city centre were implemented last saturday, and delays were compounded by further work underway on Clerk street and south Clerk street. however, a spokesman from Lothian buses told The Journal that despite the various re-routes that have taken place due to the clo-
sure of shandwick Place, “it has not been looking too bad so far.” the Edinburgh City Council’s transport division spokesperson explained that “regular traffic surveys are being carried out between the council, Lothian buses and the police, and weekly meetings will be taking place to discuss the traffic situation around Melville street, Lothian road, Western approach road, Queen street and Charlotte square. “so far, the outcome has been very positive. Lothian buses have not experienced any delays and police were on hand for the first few days making sure that everything was under control. “the early indications have been extremely positive.” this opinion was echoed by a Lothian and borders Police spokesman who stated: “We had patrols over the weekend and there weren’t any problems. so far, things have gone well.” transport initiatives Edinburgh (tiE) construction director graham barclay claimed he was very happy with the outcome of the redirected traffic over the first few days. he said: “tiE is constantly monitoring the traffic situation and we are pleased that the early stages are flowing as planned. “We will continue to monitor the traffic as works continue but we do appreciate the ongoing patience and cooperation of drivers.” however, local residents from the shandwick Place area have expressed a degree of unhappiness with the disruption caused by the roadworks. nicholas hodgson, 22, who lives on Manor Place off shandwick Place and works on Melville street, told The Journal: “the roadworks are a real pain. i was woken up at seven o’clock on saturday morning by the sound of a pneumatic drill, and i often find it really hard to relax at home with so much noise. but it’s even worse at work; there is now so much noise on Melville street that the people at the front of the office can barely hear themselves think.” however, he added: “i am a supporter of the construction of the tram lines, and feel it is one of the best decisions the scottish government has made in recent years, so i suppose i can’t get too annoyed about the whole
Extensive roadworks causing chaos for city drivers Photos: Ken Wallace thing.” stretches of Leith Walk have also been experiencing major roadworks since development began on back in august, with work currently underway from Jameson Place to brunswick street and balfour street to the foot of the Walk. Utility work ahead of the construction of the tram line officially begun on 7 January is expected to last for 25 weeks, and further work is due to commence on Constitution street in Late March, lasting an estimated 26 weeks. Laurence robertson, a businessman who works in newhaven, told The Journal that he was far from happy at the state of Leith Walk, and that driving up and down it every day during rush hour is a nightmare. he said: “Leith Walk is a joke. the congestion is ridiculous and they’ve opened and closed it at various points time and time again at the taxpayer’s expense.” Mr robertson added: “People who use Leith Walk are getting to work late, which affects the economy, and there are also various green issues involved, such as the emissions let off by the cars of drivers stuck in traffic jams.” details of the remaining tramrelated roadworks in the city centre, which are likely to involve a complete temporary closure of Princes street, are due to be released in april, two months later than planned. george street is expected to bear
the brunt of any traffic diverted away from Princes street, which may involve the short-term removal of some of the street’s historic statues such as george vi and William Pitt. the spokesperson from the council’s transport division informed The Journal that the laying of new gas mains is the reason for the major works currently underway, Clerk street and south Clerk street, and due to end on 1 June 2008. Predictably, the series of roadworks throughout the capital has had negative repercussions for local trade, particularly among small businesses. samir aouane, owner of viP’s, a barber shop on Lutton Place, off south Clerk street, told The Journal: “business has been much quieter since the roadworks began. access to the shop is greatly restricted whenever construction takes place on the roads and people want to stay away from areas where roadworks are taking place.” numerous student drivers have been affected by the chaos on the capital’s road in recent weeks. Claudia Coates, a student at the University of Edinburgh said: “there doesn’t seem to be a road in Edinburgh where there isn’t some kind of work being done. it’s a massive bore.” sam Kirkness, also of the University of Edinburgh, added: “in my experience the traffic has always been bad in Edinburgh, but i’ve noticed high levels of congestion recently. the problems seem to be getting worse.”
EdinbUrgh UnivErsity has sold off more than £37 million worth of real-estate over the past ten years, including flats, houses and faculty buildings. the figures, which also reveal that the entire estate of Edinburgh University is worth £1.25 billion, were obtained under the Freedom of information Laws. since 1998, the university has disposed of over 90 residential properties, raising concerns amongst students and citizens in Edinburgh of the cultural, housing and spatial implications. Josh Macalister, president of Edinburgh University students association, told The Journal: “We have been heavily involved in the developments of the university’s estate strategy. “it is clear that in order to provide quality teaching and value to students, the university needs to be more efficient with its estate.” the property deals range from just £100 for the change of a title deed on Waverly road to the £14 million sale of the former Moray house campus at Crammond. aMa homes have already finished over half of the 155-house development at Crammond, with some properties being put on the market for over a million pounds. Concerns have subsequently been raised not only that the university and council becoming cultural vandals of Edinburgh’s architectural heritage, but also that it is the developers, rather than the University, that are reaping the benefits. Furthermore, the statistics are revealed at a time when more study and social space is being campaigned for at the new Moray house campus due to significant overcrowding, and students are complaining that there is not enough free space provided for their society events. additionally, former student halls in roxburgh Place have also been sold off for £600,000, at a time where students are facing increased difficulties in finding affordable accommodation in Edinburgh. however, a spokeswoman for Edinburgh University said that £270 million had already been invested in its buildings since 1998. she said: “Our current estate strategy has identified an approved investment programme of around £380m and there will be further additional investment over the period of the strategy.” James alexander, President of national Union of students in scotland (nUs scotland), agreed that in general institutions should be free to move forward into the future. however, he stressed that students should be at the heart of this. Mr. alexander told The Journal: “it is important that universities consider students to be at the centre of their long term investment and selling plans, so that student experience is directly benefited.”
10 Edinburgh News
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Police crack down on gang violence in Scotland Demian Hobby email@example.com
POLICE HAVE LAUNCHED a nation wide crackdown on "a culture of violence", as a new study revealed that there are over 300 criminal gangs in Scotland. The new figures, from the Nationwide Violence Reduction Unit, assessed groups across the country for the first time, exposing a territorial gang culture associated with knife crime and drugs. The report comes after three men were remanded in custody last month after a chilling series of knife attacks in Edinburgh. James Paxton, 23, carried out three knifings, two of which were ordered by teenage killer James Demarco, who listened to the victim’s screams over a mobile phone from within his cell at Saughton Prison. Demarco had ordered Paxton to "stab [the] fuck out" of one of Paxton's victims, who he suspected had slept with his girlfriend. The phone call, in which Paxton used a machete to attack Stewart, was played to a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh on 20 February. Amidst the victims screams Demarco could be heard laughing, as Paxton said “I just fucking sliced and diced wi' ma machete. I couldnae find ma sword or it was goin' right through him."
The police crackdown will involve extra police on the streets, targeting youths in more stop and searches. They will also use ‘diversionary tactics’ like sport and drama, to deter the 20-25 per cent of boys considered to be in danger of joining criminal gangs from participating in violence. Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Steve House said: "The extra police officers are not a one-off and this campaign is not a short-term fi x. We are in this for the long haul. "This is not just about throwing resources at a problem. There is a lot of background, intelligence-gathering work being done and officers will be working where specific problems have been identified.” Mr House cited one gang in the West of Scotland that had committed 448 crimes in just 11 months. He said: “That is 13 crimes per gang member. And that's just the crimes we know about. "Every one of these crimes has a victim. There are decent people being blighted by these crimes." Crime statistics have shown Scotland to have the highest number of knife crimes in Europe, with most crimes occurring in Glasgow. Mr House said: “People in gangs will not be able to hide… we will use the full force of the law to de-glamorise, divert, detect and disrupt this disease that has blighted communities, particularly in the west of Scotland, for generations."
News Shorts :: wear them CITY HOGMANAY CELEBRATIONS: A NEW TWIST?
AFTER MONTHS OF contradictory reports stating that the upcoming Hogmanay celebrations are the biggest ever/to be reduced in size/in danger, the city council are feeling confident enough to declare that Edinburgh has re-emerged as one of the world’s top New Year destinations. With two cancellations in four years and the withdrawal of the main sponsor, the Royal Bank of Scotland, doubts had been raised over the future of the worldfamous street party. However, after more than 95,000 people descended on the city to welcome 2008, councillors are confident that the Hogmanay celebrations are secure, earmarking £1.3 million for this year’s event. Councillor Steve Cardownie said: “As well as boosting our international profile, Edinburgh’s winter festivals also generate huge sums for the economy. Everyone realises the huge cultural and economic importance of these events, so it’s vital Edinburgh continues to lead the field.”
QEII TO MAKE FINAL VISIT TO SCOTLAND
THE WORLD-FAMOUS CRUISE ship, the Queen Elizabeth II, is to dock in Scotland for the last time later this year. Edinburgh will be the penultimate stop on the ship’s farewell tour of the UK taking place in 2008. The QEII has been sold to new owners in Dubai and will leave the UK for the fi nal time in October. A spokesman said: “We have always been very proud of the QE2’s Scottish heritage – she is a Scottish ship, and so it seemed right that she should make one of her last stops the capital of Scotland, to give people there a chance to say goodbye.”
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STRING OF KNIFE ATTACKS IN CITY CENTRE: police will step up efforts to keep knife crime under control as communities across Scotland are shocked by a spate of high-profile attacks.
Slow ticket sales take Tattoo organisers by surprise Edinburgh Tattoo sells out a month later than expected Graham Mackay email@example.com
DESPITE A DIP in ticket sales reported earlier this year, tickets for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo have officially sold out. The final tickets for the worldrenowned event held annually at Edinburgh Castle were sold on 26 February, over five months before the Tattoo’s opening night, scheduled for 1 August. However, this was a comparatively late sell-out compared to ticket sales over the past decade. An Edinburgh Military Tattoo spokesman told The Journal that there was nothing surprising at what was earlier described as a “slowdown” in ticket sales, claiming that it is merely a reflection of consumer spending in 2008. He said: “We have sold every ticket for the past nine seasons by the month of January and sales have got faster and faster every year. “This is the first time we have had tickets still available in February but it’s far from what we would call a slowdown and certainly not a meltdown. “The hype surrounding ticket
TATTOO: The latest Edinburgh event to be see diminished interest sales is probably to do with the fact that we have spent the last nine years bragging about how quickly they have sold out, so this year people from the press started saying, 'What’s happened?'” “We suspect that the fact that it took slightly longer than normal to sell out may be connected to a tight-
ening of consumer's belts. Nowadays, we are seeing people becoming increasingly careful in terms of what they do with their personal income.” The 2008 Tattoo will take place over the period of 1-24 August with performances from Monday to Friday at 9pm and Saturday at 7.30pm and 9.00pm.
Academic News 11
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Magnetic bacteria drafted Israeli ambassador into the fight against cancer cancels Edinburgh lecture
Neil Bennet & John Beck
MAGNETIC BACTERIA COULD one day be used to target tumours and treat cancer patients, according to a new study by University of Edinburgh scientists. The research, involving scientists from the Schools of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and GeoSciences that worked in collaboration with other groups from England and France, has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. It is thought that tiny magnets found within naturally-occurring magnetic bacteria could be used to target tumours in the body. Heat from an external magnetic field could be used to destroy the cancerous tissue, or to bring about the release of anticancer drugs attached to the so-called nanomagnets. The uniform structure of these naturally occurring nanomagnets makes them potentially more suitable for medical applications than manmade nanomagnets. The crux of this latest research the newly-developed ability to control the magnetic properties of the bacteria. Using selected strains of the bacterium Magnetospirillum, the scientists have succeeded in 'cobaltdoping' the bacterial cells, making
the bio-nanomagnets stronger and more controllable. The researchers concluded that their fi ndings “provide an important advance in designing biologically synthesised nanoparticles with useful highly tuned magnetic properties.” It is thought these enhanced bionanomagnets might also have potential applications in electronic devices and high-density data storage devices. Study leader, Dr Sarah Staniland, of the School of Biological Sciences, told the BBC: “For nanoparticles to be used in medicine you need them to
be a very uniform size and shape and bacteria are very good for that. “This increases the scope for their use in [fighting] cancer. “You would move them with a normal magnetic field, then heat them with the opposing field.” Liz Baker, Science Information Officer for Cancer Research UK, said: “Targeting treatments specifically to cancer cells is an exciting area of research, but in this case work is still at a very early stage. “It will be interesting to see if further research into nanomagnets will provide us with new and effective anti-cancer therapy.” 135087a (Unilever)
THE UNIVERSITY OF Edinburgh last week cancelled a high profile public lecture by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom after it was accused of "giving a platform for the defence of murder and illegality." Ron Prosor was due to speak at the University’s School of Law on South Bridge, giving a talk entitled 'The current Middle East position from an Israeli perspective' on Thursday 6 March. But the event was cancelled the day before when the ambassador withdrew citing “security concerns”. Mr Prosor was Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from October 2004 until June 2006, and became UK Ambassador in November last year. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) planned a protest to coincide with the lecture, reserving places which had been fully-booked by students and members of the public weeks in advance. In a press release following the cancellation, the SPSC insisted “[Prosor] and Edinburgh University realised that the planned protests would have channelled some of the fury that millions now feel at Israel’s never-ending crimes against the Palestinian people.” x180.qxd Page 1 Mick18/6/07 Napier,16:50 a spokesperson for the
135087a (Unilever) x180.qxd
SPSC, criticised the timing of the event. He told The Journal: “This comes at a time of acceleration and intensification of what amounts mass murder [in the Palestinian territories] over the last 4 or 5 days.” However, the university maintains the event was cancelled as a result of bad planning and not due to the threat of protests. A university official told The Journal: “During the normal planning processes it became clear that logistical problems meant it would not be possible for the lecture to go ahead without disrupting regular lectures and seminars scheduled for the building at that time. “The University hopes to be able to rearrange this event at a venue which does not give rise to practical difficulties of this nature.” Mr Prosor was also due to speak in Glasgow on Monday 10 March at a fundraising event for the Jewish National Fund - a major Israeli landowning organisation, described as “racist” by the SPSC because of it’s practice of retaining land for Jewish-only settlement. Mr Napier said of the event: “Just after the 100th Palestinian has died due to lack of access to medical care since Israel stepped up the siege in Gaza, Goldie Hawn is due to entertain the guests with a talk on why ‘laughter is the best medicine.’”
ECA Fashion Show tickets go on sale Neil Bennet firstname.lastname@example.org
DETAILS HAVE BEEN announced of the Morton Fraser Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Fashion Show 2008, due to take place on Wednesday 7 and Friday 9 May in the College’s Sculpture Court. The show is set to open with a tailoring and accessories collection, made exclusively from a range of Scottish fabrics. The collection will feature the work of 14 graduating Fashion students, each of whom has created a garment from woven fabrics manufactured by Borders-based company Lochcarron of Scotland. The show will also feature a variety of bespoke headpieces – made by the students under the tuition of Edinburgh-based milliner Sally-Ann Provan. Having run for over 50 years, the ECA Fashion Show has become a major date in Edinburgh’s cultural calendar, and all four runs of the show – two on each date – are expected to sell out. Rober Gillan, Associate Head of the School of Design at the ECA, said: “This year’s Fashion Show promises to
be one of the best ever with a particularly strong final year group, whose work has resulted in an eclectic range of collections. “The tailoring project in particular has been beautifully achieved, and we fully anticipate audiences to be impressed by the level of creativity, skill and the vision of our students.” Other highlights are expected to include mini-collections by students from second and third year Fashion, as well as contributions from the Textiles and Performance Costume departments. This year’s show has been sponsored by law firm Morton Fraser. Linda Urquhart, the firm’s Chief Executive, said: “Morton Fraser as a firm is always looking to support creative talent and innovation. This is the second year we’ve been associated with the Fashion Show, and we’re delighted to support such an exciting and highprofile event which showcases some of the best young talent in the country.” Tickets for the show have gone on sale at £15 each, and are available from Tickets Scotland. Purchase tickets at www.tickets-scotland.com
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News Shorts :: wear them LAST SCOT TO FIGHT IN SPANISH CIVIL WAR DIES
Stephen Fullarton, an Edinburgh man who was the last remaining Scot to fight in the Spanish civil war, died last week. Mr Fullarton left Scotland in 1938 to fight against General Franco’s fascists, compelled by images of women running about the streets of Barcelona and Madrid “with terror in their eyes.” He was shot in the abdomen during the conflict. Speaking in 2006, he told the Edinburgh Evening News: "Some people could ignore it, say 'It's none of my business'. I made it my business." He is survived by his two sons, Ronnie and Steven.
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12 National Student News
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Twenty new campuses planned to combat university overcrowding Sarah Clark email@example.com
WeStMinSter HAS AnnoUnCed £150 million plans to build twenty new university campuses over the next six years. the plans will accommodate 10,000 students, and are designed to help ensure access to higher education in all regions while boosting economic regeneration of deprived areas. John denham, Universities Secretary, has invited local and regional authorities and development agencies to enter a ‘university challenge’ to bid for funding for the new further education centres. Mr denham said: “Communities should have the chance to show they can make the most of the power of higher education, to help unlock the talent of their local people and help make them better off.” the new campuses may be linked to existing institutions, or entirely new establishments could be created in areas that suffer from high unemployment. the scheme is intended to improve access to those from impoverished backgrounds who are deterred from studying at a degree level by the prospect of student loans and the costs associated with living away from home. david eastwood, Chief executive of the Higher education Funding Council for england (HeFCe), said: “Such developments can have a profound impact on economic regeneration as well as transforming the lives of students with no previous experience of higher education.” the HeFCe will lead the consultation, arguing that over six million
adults who have no qualifications past A levels standard or equivalent will be encouraged to enroll in degree level courses because of the increased convenience of local institutions. Mr denham agreed, arguing that an increase of one per cent of the population educated to university level would benefit gdP growth by six percentage points. the higher education sector currently supports approximately 600,000 jobs, contributing £50 billion to the economy. in comparison to those without university qualifications, graduates enjoy considerably lower rates of unemployment - 2.9 per cent as opposed to six per cent. Scotland already has in place a system that allows students in geographically disparate areas to study at university. the Highlands and islands of Scotland institute offers vocational courses, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and research opportunities to those living in north Scotland. the institute oversees a partnership of colleges and research institutions associated with network and outreach learning centers, varying in size, that maintain an individual approach to student learning. James Alexander, President of national Union of Students in Scotland, likened the institute's initiative to Westminster’s plans for campus expansion. Mr Alexander told The Journal: “the institute operates a whole network of small colleges scattered around remote areas of Scotland. “it allows a small number of students on the Shetland islands, for example, to video link with a larger institution in Perth, so effectively 50 people
spread over 100 miles are connected.” Mr Alexander said that although decisions made at Westminster do not affect Scottish universities directly, he welcomed the planned changes. He said: “this is a positive development; it is important to improve access at a local level, so that facilities are available to all regardless of geographical locality. “even though local programmes have proved successful, the Scottish government should take into consideration the measures introduced by the UK government in order to continue to widen participation.” However, a spokesperson for Universities Scotland emphasized the importance of Scotland focusing on Scottish issues. He told The Journal: "devolution is about allowing different parts of the UK to pursue the strategies that the devolved administrations think will work best. “in Scotland we are maintaining a strategic approach which has served us well and which we think will continue to do so. “the developments in england are a response by the government to what it believes are the challenges facing it. We are not making our policies as a response to england but as a response to Scottish needs.” At the same time as Westminster attempts to widen access to education through the creation of new campuses, the government is facing criticism for cutting funding allocated to widening access at the russell group of elite universities. the funding was designed to assist universities in recruiting and retaining students from poorer backgrounds by providing them with increased pas-
Students call on UCL to ditch links to arms trade
toral and academic support. Millions of pounds that were assigned to leading research intensive universities have been re-allotted to former polytechnics. Sally Hunt, general Secretary of the University and College Union, said: "this kind of flip-flop funding policy can only undermine widening participation. “Changes this year to the way money for widening participation is allocated appear, intentionally or otherwise, to have created a situation where institutions with a poor record on widening participation receive less money
Minimal rise in the number of female university professors Union welcomes increase in female representation despite continued inequality
UniverSity CoLLege London students have protested against the university’s involvement in the arms trade as part of the national day of Action for University ethical investment on 27 February. Campaigners dressed up as arms dealers and tried to sell toy guns and missiles while talking to students about UCL’s ongoing investment in armament firms, as well as research links to the industry. Protesters outside the university held placards reading: "Come buy some weapons. Find what your university is inversting in. Clear ur uni, clear ur conscience [sic].” Students were also encouraged to sign the petition to 'disarm UCL'. in 2006 the Campaign Against Arms trade (CAAt) revealed that UCL was the largest known university investor in arms companies in the UK. According to the disarm UCL petition, "UCL currently holds £884,000 worth of shares in arms company Cobham plc, which profits significantly from the sale of military components." A report by the CAAt claims that military organisations annually sponsor hundreds of projects at UK univer-
WHiLe tHe ProPortion of female professors in British institutions has grown slightly, as of the 2006/07 academic year only a fifth of the country’s professors are women, according to a new report. the report from the Higher education Statistics Agency revealed that women make up 17.5 per cent of all professors in the UK, an increase from 16.7 per cent in the 2005/06 academic session. this is despite the fact that females account for more than half of all staff employed in higher education. the report showed the women are also underrepresented in senior lecturing and research positions, with only 36.8 per cent in this category being female. However, 62.6 per cent of all non-academic members of staff at British universities are women. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the Universities and Colleges Union, welcomed the increase, but warned that there was no reason why women should be underrepresented in the highest jobs in academia. She said: “As head of an organi-
sities. Between 2001 and 2006 more than 1,900 military projects were conducted in 26 UK universities in engineering, science and technology departments. the campaigners condemned UCL’s disregard for ethical responsibility and demanded that it moves towards an ethical investment policy. Students said they did not want their fees to fund the global arms trade. Sara Hall, UCL student and CAAt campaigner said that "universities are
keen to see students as consumers, but students are amongst Britain's most ethical consumers.” Some universities, including SoAS and Bangor, have already abandoned their arms trade investments. the national day of Action aims to encourage others to do the same. Protests and debates took place elsewhere around the country, including the Universities of Lancaster, oxford, Manchester, nottingham, newcastle and Warwick.
and newer universities with a better record receive more.” An investigation by The Guardian has revealed that although the government has increased the budget for widening access from £15 to £364 million, 50 out of 90 universities are facing cutbacks and 10 out of the 14 universities in the russell group will sustain losses. Cambridge and oxford suffered a decrease of 44 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, in funds aimed at widening participation. Bristol, Manchester and UCL are all facing cuts of between 6 and 22 per cent.
sation with women in its two most senior positions, i am pleased to see the rest of the higher education sector is slowly starting to catch up. there is no reason why more women should not be in the top jobs in our universities and being properly paid for their work.” the report also showed that there has been an overall increase in the number of female academic staff in the UK, comprising 42.3 per cent; up from 41.9 per cent in 2005/06. Ms Hunt added: “Fair, open and transparent recruitment and promotion procedures are in everyone’s interests, not just women. What is equally important for the future is that institutions act to ensure equality of opportunity at every point so that women who are at the start of their academic career will face fewer obstacles in getting to the top.” the report, which covered all publicly funded institutions in the UK, also indicated that women are more likely to work part-time than their male counterparts. Whilst only a quarter - 26.8 per cent - of male academics were employed on a part-time basis, this figure was 41.8 per cent for females.
Student Politics 13
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Former Lib Dem leader elected rector of Glasgow University Former Glasgow Union president Charles Kennedy beats Aamar Anwar to follow Mordechai Vanunu into historic post Nick Eardley firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER LIBERAL DEMOCRAT leader Charles Kennedy has been elected rector of Glasgow University. Mr Kennedy - who is the MP for Ross, Skye, and Lochabar - beat human rights lawyer Aamar Anwar into second place. Mr Kennedy is a former student and president of the Glasgow University Union (GUU) and has continued as a prominent member of the Liberal Democratic party since his resignation as leader in 2006. He won over 2300 first choice votes in the online election. Speaking to The Journal, Mr Kennedy said: “I am delighted to have been chosen by the Glasgow students to be their Rector. I am proud to have been a student at Glasgow University and have very fond memories of both the university and of the city. “I’m now looking forward to being able to give something back.” Mr Kennedy’s new portfolio includes representing the student body and chairing the university’s court.
His predecessor, Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, never practised his role as court chair because of restrictions on movement imposed by the Israeli government. However, Mr Kennedy’s campaign focused on his ability to be a working rector, with his online manifesto claiming: “The last three years have made some people forget what a rector is meant to do.” He told The Journal that he believed he would be able to balance his parliamentary duties with the role, saying: “I very much intend to be a working rector, and expect to be on campus to chair the court. I travel through Glasgow at the beginning and end of most weeks, on my journey between my constituency and Westminster. This will allow me to be on campus and attend meetings regularly.” He added: “I want to be the type of Rector who listens to students and takes up the issues that are most important to them. I aim to be a strong voice for the students of Glasgow University.” The attendance of the rector appears to have been important to students voting in the election.
Student Jamie Reekie told The Journal: “After three years having an absent Rector, Glasgow’s students really needed someone who could be active and would work for them - and Kennedy seemed to fit that bill the best.” Mr Reekie added: “With his past experience as President of Glasgow University Union, he’ll have a better idea as to the workings of student politics than the other candidates, which has to be a help.” Amongst Kennedy’s other supporters were GU President Dave Calder and Glasgow University Sports Union President Kerry Anderson. Miss Anderson echoed Mr Reekie’s belief that Mr Kennedy’s time in the GUU will help him in his job. She said “As a former student of the university, and an ex-President of the Glasgow University Union, Charles Kennedy is in a unique position to understand the best way to represent the students here at Glasgow.” There has nonetheless been some disquiet in the student population over Mr Kennedy’s election. He has been accused of opposing moves to allow women membership of the GUU as
a member of the union’s board in the late seventies. The GUU was the last single-sex student union in the UK when it allowed women to join in 1980, although Mr Kennedy has always denied that he opposed the move. Women had previously been members of the Queen Margaret Union, which remains to this day a Glasgow University student union along with the GUU. The position of rector at Glasgow University dates back to the 17th century. Currently only St Andrews, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow retain the largely symbolic post, which is elected by the student body. Previous Glasgow rectors include Winnie Mandela and TV hardman Ross Kemp. Kemp was famously asked to resign by the Student Representative Council after a number of SRC members expressed unhappiness at Kemp’s lack of interest in the role. Broadcaster Hardeep Sing Koli, and Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie also stood in the election, finishing third and fourth respectively. Mr Kennedy formally takes up his role on 10 April.
New student News Shorts :: wear them association executive announced at QMU TWO YEARS FOR TEENAGER WHO BEAT UP FIVE-YEAR-OLD
President looks to tackle challenges posed by QMU campus relocation Sarah Clark email@example.com
THE QUEEN MARGARET University Student Union (QMUSU) has unveiled its new executive for the coming academic year. In an announcement on Tuesday 4 March, the union revealed that Rio Floreza has been elected President, with Andrew McClean becoming Vice President and Constance Blackbourn, Alasdair Corbett, Amy Shanks and David Meyer taking up positions as officers in the new executive. Over 600 students voted in the elections, breaking the QMUSU turnout record and doubling the number of votes counted in the previous year. Mr Floreza, a 26-year-old postgraduate student, will take up his role on 10 June, along with the other new executive officers. The new president underlined the importance of making the new campus effective for students. Mr Florenza told The Journal: “The potential of all our students studying together for the first time and the niche that we enjoy as a small, modern university should foster a sense of community and collective ownership of the union greater than ever before. “Along with my Vice President, Andrew McClean, I'm keen to take full advantage of the opportunities
that a new campus location and new facilities can provide for the students here. “For that to happen, we'll fight hard to ensure every student enjoys such potential benefits; through being able to utilize proper equipment and having accessibility to the resources that they deserve. Mr Floreza also highlighted the difficulties involved in the campus relocation and claimed he would solve the problems experienced by students. He said: “Relocation has not been easy for many QMU students and we are well aware of ongoing issues in some academic faculties. “Whilst we do not want to take a critical stance, we are aware that sections of students feel that they have been misguided and compromised over the availability and provision of facilities during this past year. "From June onwards, during our time as Sabbaticals, we will endeavor to ensure even greater inclusively and transparency from the University towards the student body. “With our enthusiasm, determination, and sense of accountability we will also seek to provide strong and impartial representation and comprehensive support on both personal, local, national and international issues vital to the student experience here at QMU.”
A 17-YEAR-OLD MALE was sentenced to two years in prison for repeatedly striking a five-year-old girl around the head with “considerable force”. David Newlands pleaded guilty at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court to assaulting the girl in the Portobello flat he was sharing with his partner; the child’s mother. Police were called to the flat at around 3am on 2 July 2006 when neighbours heard a woman screaming: “Don’t hurt my bairns.” Police discovered the child with severe bruising on her head and face. The girl and her young brother have been taken out of their mother’s care after she tried to cover up Newlands’ role in the attack, blaming the injuries on a fight between the siblings. In a separate incident, Newlands had headbutted a doctor and dislocated another medical worker’s thumb at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in a fit of drunken violence. His lawyer, David Blair-Wilson, claimed: “Under-
neath it, he’s not a bad lad. He’s not someone I would describe as inherently wicked.”
NEW TOWN TO BE BUILT ON EDINBURGH OUTSKIRTS FOLLOWING A TWO-YEAR delay, a new £500 million development to create a new town on the outskirts of the city is due to begin construction within the next few weeks, according to reports. The town is to be built on a public-owned 500-acre estate consisting mainly of agricultural land situated around two miles south-east of the city. The land was acquired by Edinburgh and Midlothian Council 12 years ago, but planning delays have put the project on halt. The new development will bring around 4,800 new homes, two schools, parks and leisure facilities in addition to newly-built infrastructural facilities such as sewerage, water, electricity and transport links.
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT TO 60,000 STUDENTS IN EDINBURGH SPECIAL ADVERTISING DEALS FOR SOCIETIES AND STUDENT GROUPS CALL 0131 662 6766 OR EMAIL INFO@JOURNAL-ONLINE.CO.UK FOR MORE INFORMATION
14 National Politics
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
European heart disease map confirms fears for Scottish health Helen Walker firstname.lastname@example.org
ScotS havE a much higher risk of heart disease than their English neighbours, a new study has confirmed. New research has been used to create a heart disease risk map of Europe, which charts heart disease rates across the continent. the map, created by the European heart Network, shows a correlation between higher rates of heart disease and countries further north. It also highlights that heart disease rates generally increase from west to east. according to the European Parliament heart Group, heart disease is the main cause of death and disability in Europe, killing more than two million people a year and racking up an annual bill of over £145 billion. Stefan Willich, of the charité Medical centre in Berlin told The Guardian that the map would be useful for planning medical treatment across the EU. "We need to take into account the variation. In other words, for high-risk
anti-terrorism legislation threatens Scottish legal autonomy
countries we need different strategies [than] for low-risk countries," he said. the map confirms previous research, which found that British heart disease is lowest in the south east of England and increases northwards. the findings will come as no particular shock to Scots, whose country has long since been labelled the heart attack capital of Europe. In addition, a study by Edinburgh University in December found that people from England who live in Scotland are 20 per cent less likely to die of heart disease than their Scottish born counterparts. a number of things have been blamed for the link between Scots and heart disease. Dr colin Fischbacher, lead author of the Edinburgh study, admitted that: “this difference could be because those who move are professionals.” this would support the findings of the British heart Foundation Scotland that heart disease is partly linked to economic prosperity. a spokesperson for the Foundation said that: “In deprived communities
Per 10,000 26-35 45-54 54-190
alex Salmond launches lottery funding bid for Glasgow Games legacy First Minister demands equal funding for Glasgow commonwealth games
Michael Smith Robert Church-Taylor
thE ScottISh GovERNMENt will bid for £150 million of National Lottery funding to create a lasting legacy from Glasgow's 2014 commonwealth Games, First Minister alex Salmond has announced. Mr Salmond acknowledged the direct relationship between this figure and the £150 million which is being channelled away from Scottish causes and into the 2012 London olympics. he said: “It is entirely reasonable to call for an equivalent sum to be returned to Scotland.” the London olympics has already
thE INDEPENDENcE oF the Scottish legal system is being threatened by new anti-terror legislation, claim critics. Experts have warned that the new counter-terroism Bill will encroach on the jurisdiction of the Lord advocate, whose responsibility it is to decide on prosecutions in Scotland. the legislation being proposed at Westmintser would give authorities the right to prosecute a suspect in any part of the UK, regardless of where the offence was committed. this threatens a 300 year-old principle of the act of Union, which protects Scottish legal independence. clause 27 of the counter terrorism Bill states that “proceedings for the offence may be taken at any place in the UK.” this aspect of the proposed law does not have the consent of the devolved institutions, and if passed unchanged would have wider constitutional implications. Michael clancy, director of law reform for the Law Society of Scotland, said: "this could undermine the primacy of the office of the Lord advocate and the position of the high court." Elish angiolini, the Lord advocate, has called for the home Secretary to “clarify” the law and stated that her permission would have to be sought to try any Scottish terror suspects in England. While the Glasgow airport bombers were transported to London to to face charges, this was done with the permission of the Lord advocate. however, Jacqui Smith, the home Secretary, has stated that in cases of linked attacks such as those in Glasgow and London, the suspects should be tried in the same place.
people are much more likely to smoke, to eat higher levels of saturated fats, salt and sugar.” Previous research has found that differences in smoking, activity levels, alcohol consumption, obesity, cholesterol levels and blood pressure account for variations in heart disease rates. the issue of Scotland’s poor record on heart disease, and poor health in general, is one that the holyrood government is acutely aware of. Recent initiatives to tackle Scotland’s poor diet and health have ranged from the new ‘Fit For Girls’ programme - aimed at getting young girls into sport - to proposals to ban junk food from the 2014 commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Scotland’s struggle with its diet is given form in alex Salmond's own weight battles. the First Minister, who was put on a diet during the Scottish parliamentary election campaign, has been the target of criticism recently for the frequent use of his ministerial limousine to take him to his favourite curry house in Leith.
UK-wide mortality from heart and circulatory diseases in men aged 45-75 years
received over £2 billion in lottery funding, towards setting up an infrastructure for the games as well as construction of facilities. In contrast, the equivalent costs for Glasgow's commonwealth games have already been underwritten by the Scottish Government and Glasgow city council. the lottery funds that the Scottish Government is bidding for will be used to ensure that the games provide a lasting legacy for the whole country. the last commonwealth games, which were held in Manchester in 2002, received £112 million in funding from the National Lottery, which helped spur a complete regeneration of east Manchester and provision of a number of sporting facilities.
Mr Salmond’s announcement came on the same day as the launch of a 58-page consultation paper, which suggested the means by which “Meaningful, lasting benefits for Scotland” might be achieved. Steven Purcell, head of the Glasgow city council, said of the games: “We have been presented with the best chance in a generation, and possibly a lifetime, to improve the lives and raise the aspirations of every Glaswegian. this consultation process will allow us to ensure that all of Glasgow's citizens have the opportunity to reap the benefit.” amongst suggestions in the consultation paper are proposals to contract only healthy food suppliers to
GlaSGoW 2021: artists’s impression of the Games’ athletes’ village courtesy of Designhive/Glasgow 2014
service the games, keeping cafes as well as other suppliers of non-alcoholic drinks open later to achieve a safer as well as healthier atmosphere at the games. there are also plans to offset all carbon emissions generated by the games to “assist developing countries threatened by climate change.” Mr Salmond pointed out that the objective of the paper is to “listen and talk to Scotland's people and organisations to establish what they want the lasting effects of the Games to be.” the paper urges the involvement and consultation of all areas of Scottish society including minority groups such as asylum seekers, the disabled and gay and transgender groups.
National Politics 15
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Government under pressure to extend rape definition to prostitution Helen Walker email@example.com
ScottiSh MiniSterS are considering proposals to extend the definition of rape to include those who work in enforced prostitution. Pressure for change has come from the group rape crisis Scotland (rcS) and comes in response to the government's consultation on its new Sexual offences Bill. the proposals for the bill, due to be voted on this spring, have been drawn up by the Scottish Law commission and for the first time clearly define the concept of consent as ‘free agreement.' this definition of consent has lead rcS, which provides support to victims of rape, to argue that women who have been forcibly trafficked into the sex industry do not willingly agree to sex and thus such acts should be de-
fined as rape. Sex trafficking is an issue in Scotland as elsewhere in europe, and police have recently found more than 30 women working in Scotland under conditions of enforced prostitution. a briefing paper issued by rcS states: “circumstances in which the complainer had been trafficked for purposes of prostitution should also, we feel, be included as a situation where consent is absent, and the intercourse in question therefore constitutes rape.” Sandy Brindlay, national co-ordinator for organisation, told The Scotsman: “Men who use trafficked women for sex are sometimes aware the woman doesn’t want to go through with it. in those circumstances, it’s obvious the woman isn’t consenting to sex. "Men who have sex with women who have been trafficked are committing rape.” however, some legal experts have
expressed concern over this proposal, arguing that it would be unworkable. the biggest problem would be that a perpetrator could claim ignorance of the fact that the woman in question was a victim of trafficking. Despite campaigning for changes to the prostitution law, the independent MSP Margo MacDonald has called the proposal by the organisation “impossible." She told The Scotsman: "[the women] may have been trafficked and have paid to come to Britain, and some know they are going to work as prostitutes. You could hardly bring a [rape] charge if the woman has come to work in the sex industry in this country." other recommendations by the commission include the redefinition of rape to protect men, as well as women, and the creation of lengthier sentences for sexual offences carried out towards under 13s than those towards 13 to 16 year-old victims.
election fiasco could lead to lower turnout
Lib Dems lay seige to mental health policies
LaSt Year’S eLection fiasco will have significant repercussions for voter turnout, a new study has found. research carried out by Strathclyde University found that 1 in 12 voters are now less likely to vote. the study also showed that 43 per cent of Scottish voters thought that the scandal, in which 140,000 ballot papers were improperly completed and discarded, resulted in an unfair outcome. these feelings come despite the fact that the number of papers that were affected amounted to just 5 per cent of the total votes cast. the 2007 election saw the introduction of the Single transferable Vote electoral method for local elections, while the parliamentary elections held on the same day continued to use the additional Members System. the decision to combine both electoral methods and votes on the same day created considerable controversy. in addition, the use of party slogans in the place of party names on ballot papers added to a general sense of confusion and a record number of ballots being spoiled. 1000 voters who had participated in the election were surveyed; the results showed that 5 per cent were ‘less likely’ and 3 per cent ‘much less likely’ to take part in the next election. if this is an accurate reflection of voter sentiments, it will mean that voter turnout in 2011 could reach an all-time low of 44 per cent from last year’s 52 per cent showing. the increased voter disillusionment refects the 62 per cent of people surveyed who believe that the results of the last election were a direct consequence of the mistakes made. the fiasco has also dissuaded 43 per cent of people who did not vote previously from voting in the future. Dr christopher carman of Strathclyde University, co-author of the project, said: "We're not saying that voters would stay away from the polls
the LiBeraL DeMocrat leader, nick clegg, has spoken out against government mental health policy, claiming that services extended suffer from lack of resources and fail to meet patients' needs. Mr clegg claimed that Britain is becoming a “true Prozac nation,” reliant on anti-depressants because of the Government’s “shameful neglect” of mental health services. the comments come in light of a new report on clinical trials, which has claimed that the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants were no more effective than a placebo for patients with mild depression. Last year more than 30 million prescriptions were signed for Prozac throughout the UK, with 3.6 million of these being issued in Scotland alone. it is estimated that 9 per cent of Scots aged 15 or over take anti-depressants daily. this equates to almost 370,000 people and £43.7 million worth of prescriptions. as a result, Scottish health authorities spend 40% more per head of
in droves, but it is significant." if noticeable changes are not implemented, Scotland's leaders risk alienating a generation of voters. Dr carman said: “i don't think they will convince these voters who are right now being turned off the political process.” there was a great deal of finger pointing at holyrood following election results and the subsequent Gould report into the fiasco. an SnP spokesperson claimed that: "the election confusion was the
responsibility of the Scotland office, which is why the first recommendation of the Gould report – to transfer the running of future Scottish elections from Westminster to holyrood – needs to be implemented." however, a senior source at the Labour-run Scottish office said: "it is an overwhelming rejection of the SnP's big plan to blame Westminster for everything that went wrong and to take control of the running of the elections, which is supported by a mere 8 per cent of Scots."
population than the rest of the UK on anti-depressants. nick clegg has committed his party to a guarantee of nhS treatment for mental health issues within 13 weeks. Scots currently have to wait more than a year for cognitive Behavioural therapy (cBt) which is a method of treating depression without resorting to medication. the Scottish Government has urged doctors to use alternative methods for treating depression, pledging to halt the rise in prescriptions by 2009. alison cobb, representative of Mind, the mental health charity, said the study provides a "serious challenge to the predominance of drugs in treating depression." She said: "anti-depressants do help many people but by no means all. nine out of ten GPs say they've been forced to dish out drugs because they don't have proper access to 'talking treatments' such as cBt.” however, Dr tim Kendall, Deputy Director of the royal college of Psychiatrists research Unit, has argued that "those who are taking them and enjoying benefit, should continue to do so."
16 Traffic Chaos
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Traffic Chaos 17
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
EDINBURGH’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2007
Guards! Taking Liberties
EUTC works Pratchett’s Discworld magic 20
David Blunkett talks about life on the back benches 15
New stem cell research advances cancer treatments Cameron Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
Safer clubs: the Unight initiative will help to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour and violent attacks David Cheskin/PA Wire
SNP breaks student debt promise Alastair Sloan & Sarah Clarke email@example.com STUDENTS IN SCOTLAND have expressed dismay after the SNP shelved plans to scrap student debt. Nationalist finance minister John Swinney announced last Wednesday that the government would not deliver its manifesto promise to eliminate the debt accrued by students. The news was delivered at Holyrood as part of the SNP’s first budget since the party came to power in the elections last May. The conference saw the government drop a number of key election promises which had comprised their manifesto for the Scottish Parliamentary Election. While funding for free prescription charges, a tax cut for smaller businesses and NHS waiting list guarantees were approved, the SNP’s pledge to cancel student debt was relinquished. The SNP had previously promised
Scottish students that the £1.9 billion package of debt held by the Student Loans Company Scotland would be cancelled. Student leaders in Scotland expressed deep concern for this turnaround in government policy that will see the £1.9 billion debt remain unaffected. They claimed that the SNP’s failure to deliver the promised financial support will have a damaging impact on Scottish students. James Alexander, President of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland said: “Promises of more support for students, which formed a central part of the SNP’s election campaign, have not been met. “The SNP’s costed manifesto promised £236 million to cover graduate debt payments, to transfer student loans to grants, and to abolish the graduate endowment.” He continued: “Large proportions of students from Scotland experience high
levels of debt and endure extreme hardship. They need the endorsement of the Scottish government to assist in resolving these difficulties.” Edinburgh’s student unions have been working with NUS Scotland on the Final Demand campaign, designed to put pressure on the government to improve student support, drop student debt, cut course costs and improve access to further and higher education. But in a speech to the Scottish Executive, John Swinney said: “I know there is insufficient parliamentary support for student debt servicing for loans to grants and we must therefore prioritise funding on policies that we can deliver and which will be supported by Parliament. “I am therefore not allocating funding for student debt servicing in the period of the Budget. “However, despite the constraints we face, we will deliver funding for a phased transition from student loans to grants,
starting with part-time students.” Despite the short-term reduction in funding for the sector, the SNP emphasised that Scotland’s higher education institutions remain a priority for the party. Fiona Hyslop, Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary, outlined the SNP’s long-term plans for higher education funding. In a statement last week, she said: “Scotland’s universities and colleges are central to that sustainable economic growth. “We will invest £5.24 billion in total in Scotland’s further and higher education, with an extra £100 million capital funding package in 2007/08. “We will deliver support for students of £1.55 billion over three years with £119 million to end the graduate endowment fee and a phased transition from student loans to grants starting with part-time students.”
Continued on page 2
THE DISCOVERY OF a cancerous stem cell by scientists from the University of Edinburgh could change the way in which certain cancers are treated. Researchers from the New Cancer Centre at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the university, working in collaboration with others at the University of Wisconsin have discovered a rogue type of stem cell involved in bone cancer. The team, headed by Professor David Argyle, successfully isolated stem cells from osteosarcoma in dogs; the canine equivalent of a type of human bone cancer most common in children. Referring to osteosarcoma, Professor Argyle commented: “This aggressive disease is the most common primary bone tumour in children, leading to more than 80 per cent of patients having to undergo surgery which can include limb amputations or reconstructive limb sparing operations.” The research, published in The Veterinary Journal, adds weight to a novel hypothesis concerning the structure and workings of cancer, dubbed Cancer Stem Cell theory. The classical view of cancer is a lump of genetically flawed cells that replicate indefinitely. However the premise behind Cancer Stem Cell theory is that the vast majority of tumour growth can be attributed to a small population of flawed cancerous stem cells. The majority of their progeny become regular tumour cells, while a small population of the cancer stem cells are maintained and continue to drive the growth of the tumour. This has major implications for the treatment of cancers like osteosarcoma as stem cells are particularly resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the standard treatment methods employed. As a result standard treatment may kill off the bulk of the tumour, but fail to destroy the small population responsible for the growth of the cancer. Professor Argyle and his team concluded that there is now “a need to identify therapeutic targets specific for this Cancer Stem Cell population in order to effect longer remissions, or even cures.”
happy Keeping the US
Also in The Journal this week... The SNP had previously promised dent debt was relinquished. approved, the SNP’s pledge to cancel stuand NHS waiting list guarantees were charges, a tax cut for smaller businesses While funding for free prescription the Scottish Parliamentary Election. which had comprised their manifesto for drop a number of key election promises May. The conference saw the government party came to power in the elections last as part of the SNP’s first budget since the The news was delivered at Holyrood debt accrued by students. its manifesto promise to eliminate the that the government would not deliver Swinney announced last Wednesday Nationalist finance minister John plans to scrap student debt. pressed dismay after the SNP shelved STUDENTS IN SCOTLAND have ex-
students from Scotland experience high He continued: “Large proportions of dowment.” grants, and to abolish the graduate enpayments, to transfer student loans to ised £236 million to cover graduate debt “The SNP’s costed manifesto prombeen met. the SNP’s election campaign, have not students, which formed a central part of land said: “Promises of more support for National Union of Students (NUS) ScotJames Alexander, President of the Scottish students. support will have a damaging impact on failure to deliver the promised financial fected. They claimed that the SNP’s see the £1.9 billion debt remain unafaround in government policy that will pressed deep concern for this turnStudent leaders in Scotland excelled. Loans Company Scotland would be canpackage of debt held by the Student Scottish students that the £1.9 billion
transition from student loans to grants, face, we will deliver funding for a phased “However, despite the constraints we riod of the Budget. ing for student debt servicing in the pe“I am therefore not allocating fundment. and which will be supported by Parliafunding on policies that we can deliver grants and we must therefore prioritise for student debt servicing for loans to is insufficient parliamentary support utive, John Swinney said: “I know there But in a speech to the Scottish Execther and higher education. course costs and improve access to furstudent support, drop student debt, cut pressure on the government to improve Final Demand campaign, designed to put been working with NUS Scotland on the Edinburgh’s student unions have ing these difficulties.” Scottish government to assist in resolvship. They need the endorsement of the levels of debt and endure extreme hard-
Continued on page 2 part-time students.” student loans to grants starting with ment fee and a phased transition from £119 million to end the graduate endowof £1.55 billion over three years with “We will deliver support for students funding package in 2007/08. tion, with an extra £100 million capital in Scotland’s further and higher educa“We will invest £5.24 billion in total economic growth. colleges are central to that sustainable she said: “Scotland’s universities and tion funding. In a statement last week, SNP’s long-term plans for higher educalong Learning Secretary, outlined the Fiona Hyslop, Education and Lifeparty. institutions remain a priority for the sised that Scotland’s higher education funding for the sector, the SNP emphaDespite the short-term reduction in starting with part-time students.”
SNP breaks student debt promise Alastair Sloan & Sarah Clarke
Safer clubs: the Unight initiative will help to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour and violent attacks David Cheskin/PA Wire
facing the world issues and challenges the modern international reform if it is to tackle creation, the UN needs that, 62 years after its George Grant argues
George Grant argues that, 62 years after its creation, the UN needs reform if it is to tackle the modern international issues and challenges facing the world
brewing... There’s trouble
“shock-jock” families most outspoken right-wing owned by one of America’s sell a new energy drink Barr, has signed a deal to drink manufacturer, AG Scotland’s largest soft
Keeping the US happy
Scotland’s largest soft drink manufacturer, AG Barr, has signed a deal to sell a new energy drink owned by one of America’s most outspoken right-wing “shock-jock” families
There’s trouble brewing...
Also in The Journal this week...
effect longer remissions, or even cures.” Cancer Stem Cell population in order to tify therapeutic targets specific for this cluded that there is now “a need to idenProfessor Argyle and his team confor the growth of the cancer. stroy the small population responsible off the bulk of the tumour, but fail to deAs a result standard treatment may kill standard treatment methods employed. to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the as stem cells are particularly resistant treatment of cancers like osteosarcoma This has major implications for the tumour. and continue to drive the growth of the of the cancer stem cells are maintained tumour cells, while a small population jority of their progeny become regular flawed cancerous stem cells. The mabe attributed to a small population of the vast majority of tumour growth can behind Cancer Stem Cell theory is that licate indefinitely. However the premise lump of genetically flawed cells that repThe classical view of cancer is a Stem Cell theory. and workings of cancer, dubbed Cancer hypothesis concerning the structure erinary Journal, adds weight to a novel The research, published in The Vettive limb sparing operations.” clude limb amputations or reconstrucing to undergo surgery which can inmore than 80 per cent of patients havry bone tumour in children, leading to sive disease is the most common primasor Argyle commented: “This aggresReferring to osteosarcoma, Profescancer most common in children. nine equivalent of a type of human bone cells from osteosarcoma in dogs; the cavid Argyle, successfully isolated stem The team, headed by Professor Dain bone cancer. ered a rogue type of stem cell involved University of Wisconsin have discoving in collaboration with others at the erinary Studies at the university, workCentre at the Royal (Dick) School of VetResearchers from the New Cancer which certain cancers are treated. of Edinburgh could change the way in cell by scientists from the University THE DISCOVERY OF a cancerous stem
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Comment editor: Simon Mundy email@example.com
A flash in the American pan Despite the leadership change in Cuba, America’s leading expert sees no prospect of change in the face of the US’s intransigent foreign policy
Louis A. Perez Jr firstname.lastname@example.org
UBA SEEMS TO reveal itself to the outside world in a manner akin to a shooting star: it suddenly lights up the night sky, brightly if briefly, and disappears again into the darkness. A flash of headline news—an emigration crisis, for example, or the papal visit—seizes public attention for a day or two, whereupon the island returns to obscurity. The news reports of the ill-health of Fidel Castro in 2006, and Castro’s resignation two weeks ago are cases in point. The speculation about the future of a post-Castro Cuba originates mostly with commentators who have little knowledge of pre-Castro Cuba or, for that matter, of Castro-Cuba. And it is precisely this context which is vital at this juncture in order to understand the larger implications of recent developments in Cuba. The orderly transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl suggests that the long awaited political succession did indeed occur as planned, and without incident: no riots, no demonstrations, no protests. It was long assumed that VicePresident Raúl Castro would succeed to the presidency of the Republic. He has. Public life in Cuba has continued normally, even if in private a brooding uncertainty often insinuates itself into casual conversation. Political succession in Cuba was an unremarkable political event, so unremarkable in fact that North American media interest in Cuba waned within forty-eight hours of the news of Raúl’s succession: there seemed nothing more to write about. Cuba thus receded again into obscurity. Developments in Cuba have revealed once again the stunning inadequacy of the US response to change in Havana. A combination of misconception and misinformation, wishful thinking and willful cynicism, have been the hallmark characteristics of the US policy for almost 50 years. Despite years of official US pronouncements bearing on transition in Cuba, when the transition commenced Washington had little new to offer. Early on, Raúl Castro indicated a willingness to open negotiations with the United States, “to settle the long US-Cuba disagreement.” The United States indicated no such willingness. On the contrary, as in the past, a Cuban offer to negotiate with the Americans was received in United States as a sign of weakness, proof that 50 years of economic sanctions were having the desired effect—“to
hasten” the downfall of the Cuban government—and hence an incentive to maintain the embargo against the island. A policy of no change from Washington was the response to Raúl Castro’s overture. No new policy initiative, no new directions: just “staying the course” on a 50-year failed policy. Cubans were thus caught between the Scylla of no negotiations—“intransigence”— and the Charybdis of willingness to negotiate – “weakness.” The Cuban sin has its origins in the nineteenth century, when Cubans developed a conviction that they too had a destiny to pursue, that they too had a claim to selfdetermination, and that they too had a right to sovereign nationhood. All through the second half of the nineteenth century against Spain, and through the fi rst half of the twentieth century against the United States, Cubans repeatedly mobilised to make good their aspirations of independence. They succeeded in 1959, but their success could not pass unpunished. The proposition of Cuba beyond the control of the United States was inadmissible, if for no other reason than control was as an end unto itself; as George Orwell suggested in 1984: “the object of power is power.” US policy bears the purpose of punishment: it is punitive, it is pathological. Only the total and unconditional removal of Fidel and Raúl Castro can vindicate the policy that the United States has sustained for 50 years. The policy recalls the purpose that President Ronald Reagan pursued with Nicaragua, where he would have been happy if they had said “uncle.” US sanctions have assumed a life of their own: their very longevity serves as the principal rationale for their continuation. It has proven increasingly difficult to abandon a policy to which ten presidential administrations over half a century have dedicated themselves, even if the policy has failed utterly to achieve its purpose. On the contrary, its failure served as the last and only rationale for continued enforcement: that the policy has not yet accomplished what it set out to do simply means that more time is required. At its core, the American purpose has been to deny Cubans space: space to adjust, space to adapt – space, in short, for Cubans to accommodate themselves to the logic of the post-Soviet world, to which almost everyone on the island acknowledges Cuba must acquiesce. American pressure serves to impede change in Cuba. And the Cuban government must make changes, precisely to
The Cuban sin has its origins in the nineteenth century, when Cubans developed a conviction that they too had a destiny to pursue, that they too had a right to sovereign nationhood
survive. The effect—if not perhaps the purpose—of US policy is to deny Cuba the space within which to pursue transformation. The Americans do not seek a government reformed but rather a government removed. These responses leave the Cubans with little space with which to pursue change, for even their disposition to make concessions serves only to increase the intransigence of those who support sanctions. American policy bears discernible traces of obsessive compulsive attributes. US policy makers and power bearers seem incapable of rational discourse on the matter of Cuba. There is no small amount of merit in the comment made by Wayne Smith, that Cuba has “the
same effect on American administrations as the full moon has on werewolves.” The Americans normalized relations with China. And they normalised relations with Vietnam. And with Libya. They sent the New York Philharmonic to perform in North Korea. Yet after fi fty years, Cuba remains quarantined. How deeply the Americans must feel the hurt occasioned by the Cuban revolution. Widely regarded as America’s preeminent scholar on Cuba, Louis A. Perez, Jr. is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Carolina
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Putting a price on drinking
The Magic Record
Nigel Griffiths wants drinks prices raised before the costs of drinking become too dear
MP for Edinburgh South email@example.com
HEN I WAS at University in Edinburgh, no-one could compete with the student union for cheap drink. Now supermarkets sell booze at below the cost the breweries sell it to them, and no-one can compete with that. Let me start with a myth – the myth that young Brits are drinking more than people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and that more young teenagers are drinking then ever before. They are not. The proportion of young people under 16 who are drinking is at a 16-year low. And crime figures indicate that alcohol consumption and binge drinking have both dipped recently. Edinburgh used to enforce a 10pm closing time for all pubs so a common sight was drunks pouring out into the street at 10:15pm. Extending closing times helped to reduce the problems associated with people falling out of the pubs at the same time. But alcohol sales in public houses have been falling. In the 1970s and 1980s people
often kept drinks in the house for special occasions; it is now far more common for people to drink at home than in a pub or wine bar. Increasing numbers are tanking up on cheap booze at home before they go out on the town, driving beer sales in pubs down to their lowest level since the great depression of the 1930s. Ten per cent of brewery jobs have gone in the past two years. With Edinburgh’s great university medical centre, we’re in an excellent position to look closely at the effects of alcohol on our health. One of the best measures of alcoholic abuse is liver disease. 30 years ago the UK was near the bottom of the international league of liver disease. But the incidence in the UK has been steadily rising, while abroad it has been falling. France has the worst record, and we’re in danger of overtaking her. Cases of cirrhosis of the liver have doubled in the past seven years – up by more than a third in the past two years. The impact on our National Health Service is drastic, as more and more resources are sucked into treating bodies damaged by alcohol. A local doctor told me last month that she has seen an explosion in the number of
women in their 20s presenting with liver and other diseases caused by over-drinking. As well as long-term liver damage, health effects include burst bladders, strokes, mental health problems, injury as a result of alcoholfuelled violence and liver cancers which cause 5,000 deaths a year. Serious damage can be inflicted on the foetus of pregnant women who drink. And being very high in calories, alcohol is also fuelling obesity problems. Meanwhile, brewers complain that supermarkets are selling cases of beer below cost price – and lower than the cost of bottled water. France has a law to stop this and, crucially, we need similar measures here. The Government is conducting an independent review of the evidence of the relationship between harm and the pricing and promotion of alcohol. Parliament will consider this report later in the year. How much is it safe to drink? There’s a lot of confusion about the “unit” system. One unit is half a pint of 3.5 per cent beer or cider or a small glass of nine per cent wine. But a lot of beer and cider is five or six per cent, and wine is 11-12 per cent and sold in large glasses, so the danger is that you fool yourself into thinking a couple of
glasses is two units, when in fact it is three units. Moreover, super-market super-strength lagers are on sale for £1 and contain 4.5 units in a single can – already above the Government’s recommended daily limit. A minority of irresponsible shopkeepers are selling drink to under-age children. Of the 2,683 premises targeted by trading standards officers with 16-year-old test-buyer, 40 per cent sold to at least one underage person. And it is not just corner shops: some Tesco stores were banned from selling alcohol for three months following the sale of alcohol to 16-year-old test purchasers. The Advertising Standards Authority is charged with preventing the booze companies from peddling alcohol to young people. It tries to stop drinks adverts being cool or promoting irresponsible or antisocial behaviour. They impose a watershed for alcohol advertising on TV. But I fear more drastic action will have to be taken – action which hits the problem drinkers hard, but leaves the majority of responsible drinks free to enjoy their tipple. Nigel Griffiths is the Labour MP for Edinburgh South
Employing sense over gender Contrary to Sir Alan Sugar's comments, businesses are losing out if they treat motherhood as a dirty word Professor Ronald McQuaid firstname.lastname@example.org
RENEWED CONTROVERSY OVER whether employers avoid employing women who might have a child has been stirred up by Alan Sugar, the entrepreneur and star of The Apprentice show. This appears to be based upon employers’ fears of recruits taking maternity leave in the future, or a perceived loss of flexibility and commitment from those with young children. While a little ill-conceived, these comments have helped restart discussion over those facing such discrimination, even though such discrimination clearly contravenes equal opportunity laws. Women who have children while relatively young are particularly disadvantaged as they tend to take career breaks, work part-time and miss out on career progression, while men and women without children, and men with children, pursue theirs. Researchers, such as Mary Gregory and Sara Connelly, writing in February’s Economic Journal, have argued that while the gender pay gap between men and women has been narrowing over the years for those working full-time, it has actually been growing for people who are working part-time. In September 2007 almost exactly 50 per cent of Scottish female employees (599,000 women) worked part-time, compared to 15 per cent of men. Most part-timers are women who have had children. However, do employers actually avoid those with young children? Much anecdotal evidence, such as Alan Sugar’s quotation, suggests the answer is yes. Recent research by a team at the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh’s Napier University found that
small and medium sized employers were considerably less likely to employ those with pre-school aged children compared to those without children or parents of children over five. There was no bias against women in general. The samples were small—a total of 167 employers across a variety of employment sectors were asked about recruiting for entry-level jobs—but the result strongly statistically significant. The employers preferred recruits who were honest, reliable and conscientious. Generally parents of young children are as likely as any other group to have these qualities, although some employers feel they might be less flexible or reliable, such as when a child is sick. However, other anecdotal evidence suggests that potential maternity leave makes some smaller firms wary of young mothers, and even young women generally, arguing that they cannot afford to lose a staff member who goes on maternity leave, especially if it has taken time to train them and they would be hard to replace. Fathers taking extended paternity leave still seem to be relatively uncommon, so this bias does not seem to extend to many men yet. Many parents wait until their youngest child reaches five or six years before returning to work, so this research suggests that as well the standard factors of parents not wishing to leave a young child and the cost and availability of childcare, the reluctance of many employers to hire them may be a further issue. This is not, however, an insurmountable problem. It is important that both young parents and employers are helped to overcome both real and perceived barriers to employing women with young children. Clearly more childcare is important, particularly care which is more affordable
and flexible. Increased job sharing and term-time working is another. More information is needed on the high productivity of many of those with small children while they are at work, and their flexibility and reliability. It is often not true that those with small children are any less reliable than people without children. Greater efforts are needed to help people back into careers at suitable levels, rather than coming back near the bottom of the career ladder. With men and women both retiring at 65 from 2020, even taking a decade out for childcare leaves a parent with well over three-quarters of their working age in work, so it is crucial that society helps those returning to work after extended childcare. Otherwise society is wasting valuable resources—resources which which will become more scarce with the ageing of the population overall—as well as blighting the potential of a huge part of the population. Over recent years employers have gradually become more used to flexible working and have often seen advantages in terms of keeping and motivating good staff. While this flexibility is often applied to existing staff, it is perhaps time that employers think in these terms for new recruits. There are a lot of good potential employees out there who are being discounted because they have young children. Years ago, flexible hours were seen as threatening to some employers, while now the benefits of getting and keeping the right employee often outweigh any costs. There are real difficulties for small employers, but against this one needs to balance having the right employee for years ahead. Finally, the evidence also indicates that it is crucial to identify the differences within groups as well as
between groups. It is too simplistic to see equal pay or careers as purely a "gender thing." We need to identify which groups are really most disadvantaged if we are to genuinely try to give equal opportunities to everyone. This is not to deny that there may be broader discrimination of course. So it is crucial to take into account the role of parenthood on differences between women, and on the relatively few men who give up or limit their jobs to care for their child. Indeed, there are many differences between mothers: for instance, those who have established a good career or have a high income before they have children may more easily afford childcare, maintain their career etc., than those who have children younger. Ultimately each person is an individual with their own set of characteristics which may be advantageous or not in different circumstances. However, it is essential that we try to identify the core sets of disadvantage if we are to move towards equal opportunities. But work still remains to be done. Fifty years ago, my mother-in-law had to resign from her job in an insurance company once she got married. At the time there were many arguments put forward on how this was important for the efficiency of firms, the economy and for social reasons. None of them would be taken very seriously today. Perhaps in less than fifty years we will have made enough progress to look back on the wasted talent of young mothers today. Professor Ronald McQuaid is director of the Employment Research Institute, Napier University. The ERI is an independent research centre located within the Business School at Napier University.
Evan Beswick Deputy Editor
HE NEWS THAT, in publishing Obama aide Samantha Power’s opinion of Hillary Clinton as a “monster,” The Scotsman newspaper wilfully printed an “off the record” comment doesn’t seem to have gone down too well. Of course, the paper’s gloating over Powers’ subsequent resignation probably hasn’t helped their cause. But the reification of the system of on/off the record comments as law isn’t all that appropriate, either. The system itself is fairly uncomplicated. But aside from the on or off the record split, there’s a third strata to these media manners, namely “on background,” whereby a source may be referred to but not directly quoted. It is through this avenue that I can report an anecdote relayed to me by a former political consultant on the 2008 primaries trail. Back in the days before he became a liability to the Hillary campaign, Bill Clinton was flying into one state when the airport was hit by a large blizzard. One over-zealous journalist saw fit to e-mail the Clinton team to check the tail number on the plane – so as he could fi le a story quickly in the event of the plane crashing on the icy runway. The team weren’t at all thrilled by this request and so the journalist in question was invited for an “off the record” chat. What ensued might have been reported as a thorough bollocking, but the prior stipulation meant that it never was reported since, in doing so, the journalist in question would have been shut out from all further comment. As the consultant pointed out, these agreements mean reporters and campaign teams can have some pretty fi rm exchanges without fear of reprisals. In any other context, the time reporters and politicians spend with each other during campaign months might seem excessive. And like any common-or-garden shack-up, differences need to be resolved, at times vigourously, for the system to run at all. The facility to be clear about what is and what isn’t quotable is a necessary part of this. Carrie Giddins, communications director for the Democratic Iowa Party during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, tells me: “When the code of understanding...is broken, it reflects poorly on everyone involved, so it is best to stay above the fray.” But ironically, this is precisely why Scotsman editor, Mike Gilson’s decision to publish the “monster” quote is a sensible one. The Scotsman is not trailing the Clintons, nor is US election coverage soul of their news party. Conservative American commentator, Tucker Carlson might lament that “journalistic standards in Great Britain are so much dramatically [sic] lower than they are here,” but in doing so he forgets that the on/ off the record “rules” are practical rules of convenience and not of ethics. As such, they may to be stretched from time to time. Aside from the fact that the incident in question concerns an attempted retraction in an “on the record” interview, Gilson’s position at a distance from the American “fray” provides ideal leeway to balance whether the convenience of the code outweighs the public interest of the story. The idea that an editor should not have the prerogative to choose is absurd.
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
No defence The shocking abuse received by members of our armed forces points to deeper problems
Simon Mundy email@example.com
TV Nation A flourishing broadcasting industry is crucial to Scotland's future, argues Scottish Culture Minister Linda Fabiani
Linda Fabiani MSP Culture Minister
HE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT recognises the contribution made by broadcasting: it has economic, cultural and democratic importance, and is therefore valuable to citizens, consumers and the Scottish economy. But last year, Ofcom reported that Scotland’s share of total UK network production fell from 6% in 2004 to 3% in 2006. During the same period, PACT reported that independent network productions in Scotland fell from 180 hours to a little over 100 hours. The new Government was angered by these figures, but not surprised. That is why Alex Salmond, the First Minister, set up the Scottish Broadcasting Commission. The Commission is in the process of examining the state of the industry, to understand the causes of the recent difficulties; to look into new opportunities; and to build a consensus—a partnership—to a successful future. We want to see a long-term revival in Scottish broadcasting, and its emergence as a strong and growing industry: a global leader,
enriching Scotland’s economy and our culture. The Scottish Broadcasting Commission has worked quickly and produced its interim report on the economics of the industry in January 2008. The report sets out the current state of the industry and refers to evidence that has been collected by the Commission over the past few months. In the Commission report there are quotes from representatives of the most senior management of the UK’s main terrestrial broadcasters. The Director-General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, has confi rmed his personal responsibility for ensuring that the BBC will spend at least nine per cent of its network programme budget in Scotland. Channel 4’s Andy Duncan has made clear his ambition to see more of the channel’s commissions coming to Scotland and Michael Grade has confi rmed that ITV “takes seriously” Ofcom’s ruling on sourcing commissions from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Broadcasting Commission has argued that the main obstacle to Scotland’s success is the networks’ excessive focus on London. Take the example of ITV and Channel 4. We can see that they are dealing with huge challenges, including fierce competition for advertising revenues
with the multitude of new digital channels, use of the internet, the constant flow of new technology and the global contest for viewers. While we understand that these are challenging times for our networks, it should not be at the expense of Scottish programming. Networks must not lose sight of their remit to represent the whole of the UK, not just London. But to ensure that the Scottish industry gets at least its fair share of network productions, we must continue to advocate our interests over the long-term. There must be a culture change in the major networks, ending the pervasive pattern of London-based commissioning editors dealing almost exclusively with London-based production companies. The Scottish Government is determined to do everything it can to promote the success of the Scottish Broadcasting industry. The creative industries feature as a key industry in the Government’s economic strategy and the revival of our broadcasting sector creates great opportunities for the Scottish economy - and for the future of our cultural life. Scotland has to create its own possibilities and shape its own destiny in the creative industries – as much as we do in any sphere. This means the Scottish Government en-
gaging with broadcasters to ensure training and development opportunities for talented people of all ages and backgrounds, and encouraging innovation amongst producers, broadcasters and the support industries. The Government wants to ensure that Scotland makes the best possible use of new technologies in digital production and distribution to open up global markets. The Scottish Government wishes to form a long and successful partnership with broadcasters to build a vibrant, confident and creative Scotland. Through the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, we have launched an absolutely crucial debate about the future of the industry. The Commission work will help us develop a strategy that will make full use of the tremendous talent and creativity in this country – and put the Scottish broadcasting industry up there with the very best. Linda Fabiani MSP is the Scottish Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture. The Broadcasting Commission final report will be published in the summer. More information is available at: http://www. scottishbroadcastingcommission.gov.uk
HEN GORDON BROWN encouraged British servicemen and women to wear their uniforms in public, he must have had at least an inkling of what would follow. Sure enough, Friday saw the revelation that staff at RAF Wittering had been instructed to venture out only in civilian attire after months of harassment at the hands of local thugs, an announcement that surprised few who read of the treatment of wounded servicemen at a public swimming pool in November: in an astounding display of callousness, a group of soldiers undergoing rehabilitation were humiliated and verbally abused by a group of mothers, who complained that the men’s serious injuries were unsettling their children. It’s a fair bet that these women would have kept their mouths shut if their kids had elder siblings serving overseas; indeed, the fact that so many of us have no personal connection with those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is a major factor in the widespread public indifference towards their efforts. The conspicuously greater level of attention given to soldiers in the United States can be explained partly by the fact that there are currently 173,000 American soldiers stationed in the Middle East, compared to 12,300 from the UK: proportional to the sizes of the countries’ populations, there are nearly three times as many American families anxiously awaiting the daily war bulletins. This lack of personal involvement has enabled political campaigners to propagate a one-dimensionally negative vision of British efforts in the Middle East as an abstract abomination that should be viewed with uniform disgust. Those who marched in 2003 against the invasion of Iraq have been vindicated by subsequent events: the American and British governments’ decision to remove Saddam Hussein unleashed a wave of bloodshed that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet the actions of those protestors should be distinguished from the belligerent efforts of some “anti-war” campaigners to vilify soldiers engaged in what has long been a peace-keeping mission: to pin the blame for a horrific situation on those risking their lives to ameliorate it is intellectual laziness of the worst kind. In this, however, as in so many other matters, the government’s attitude is deceptively influential in setting the public tone. As the Financial Times’ Philip Stephens recently noted, “Mr Brown’s government has yet to make up its mind” on how to approach military matters. This is a hesitation which has cost lives: among the most infuriating obituaries are those of soldiers who have died because funding cutbacks result in there being not enough basic equipment to go round, and a token rise of 1.5 per cent in the defence budget will do little to address the huge fi nancial problems faced by our military. The prime minister is quite right to assert that this country’s troops deserve the “respect and gratitude of the British people”; but they also deserve the respect and gratitude of the government. Gleefully accused by David Cameron of “dithering and delaying,” Mr Brown is fast developing a reputation for procrastination: he has everything to gain from putting his money where his mouth is, and giving our armed forces the support they merit. Simon Mundy is the Comment editor of The Journal
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
firstname.lastname@example.org dear Editor,
Edinburgh’s studEnt nEWspapEr | issuE Vi
Ethics in journalism
You always pay for what you break thErE arE gEnEraLLY only two occasions when journalists rise above the curtain of obscure anonymity into the full gaze of the public eye: when they bring down the president of the united states of america—and inspire the rest of the media to add the suffix “gate” to any subsequent political scandal for decades afterwards—or when they themselves are dragged into the limelight of a particular political scandal as a result of breaking, or being perceived to have broken, the illdefined and murky journalist’s code of conduct. Last, week, The Scotsman’s political correspondent gerri peev entered the latter category when she published off-the-record comments about hilary Clinton made by a key political aide to us presidential hopeful barack Obama. the resulting article forced the resignation of samantha power, a fearsomely bright advisor on foreign policy, harvard university professor and pulitzer prize-winning author, but also brought fierce condemnation to the Edinburgh doors of The Scotsman for, in the laughably hypocritical words of american polemicist tucker Carlson, the “dramatically lower” standards of british journalism, compared to the us. Mr Carlson does have a point when defending the sanctity of off-the-record comments; however, he is being very much disingenuous in giving the
impression such a code is anything less than one which, in the words of one Washington post correspondent, “depends on winks, nods and, ultimately, some level of trust between the participants.” and herein lies the problem. With the scotsman unlikely to ever again need access to Ms power, there is no incentive to keep the journo-politico bond in tact. there is no sense of duty between the parties to honour the unspoken code as there are no repercussions incurred by breaking it. Ms power should have known this, but her political naivety and sense of indignation got the better of her. however, while The Scotsman was not necessarily wrong to publish the comments, it was not right to do so either. the political reporting that matters, the reporting that earns the media the title of “the Fourth Estate,” the reporting that represents the fulfilment of a democratic duty, is only possible when information is leaked from the inside. those doing the leaking face serious sanctions if exposed and must be able to rely on the integrity of the journalist to keep them safe. in america, as Carlson’s words imply, the protection of a source—of which the trust in being able to make off-the-record comments is a key part—is sacrosanct. during the Watergate investiga-
tions and right up until his death, the identity of “deepthroat” was kept a secret by Washington Post reporters bob Woodward and Carl bernstein. Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter, went to jail in 2005 to defend the identity of a source in the Cia. in britain, our journalists’ records are less admirable, demonstrable by events of the last five years alone. in 2003, dr david Kelly, the government scientist, killed himself when it was about to be revealed he was andrew gilligan’s source in the “sexed up” WMd dossier scandal. this year, derek pasquill, a civil service whistleblower, faced trial after the New Statesman and The Observer failed to adequately protect his identity when revealing the uK’s involvement in extraordinary rendition flights. in this respect, Carlson’s point about journalism standards being lower is hard to dispute. the breaking of the informantjournalist trust, be it in failing to protect a source’s identity, or by printing a comment clearly identified as off-therecord, damages the willingness of future whistleblowers to take a stand against corruption at the top. it risks reducing journalism to the rewriting of pre-approved press releases. Journalists in the uK are on a par with politicians in terms of public mistrust. The Scotsman has done our collective reputation no favours by breaking the confidence of Ms power.
Etching a place in the history book
i was wondering if you were aware of a ladies night at Whynot? the other day. i’m also wondering if you’re aware that discrimination on the basis of sex in the provision of goods or services, ie charging men and not women to get in, is illegal. i feel disgusted that sex discrimination such as this continues to occur in contemporary society. how would anyone feel if they had a blacks pay double policy, or no gays allowed, which is actually the same offense under the 1975 sexual discrimination act. i believe it is important to maintain gender equality, and am disturbed by women who accept subordination in this manner. Yours, Luke Buckley dear Editor, i would like to correct a point made about my uncle, sir arthur C Clarke, in the feature about university funding. the final paragraph, which said: “he was born into a privileged home Counties family, and attended a prestigious grammar school, but did not attend university until 1949,” is incorrect, and indeed the true version could have made a greater impact on the feature. he was actually born into a struggling family (in the West Country), where his father was not able to work after coming home from the trenches suffering from the effects of gas poisoning, from which he eventually died. the scheme for returning soldiers to rent county-owned farms meant that Charles Clarke and his wife (who did all the physical work) were able to provide a home and a very meagre living from the land. the money to pay for his fees at grammar school was scraped together. he attended university in 1949 because again, as an ex-serviceman, this was funded by the government. Without that support, he may well have not had the opportunity to take a 1st Class degree at Kings College London. Yours, Angie Edwards dear Editor,
it MaY nOt be the main legacy they so crave, but the snp have etched themselves into history this week by being the party of government that once again made higher education free to all scottish nationals. the graduate endowment—the last remaining direct expense associated with a university degree in this country, introduced as the 2001 Labour executive abolished scottish tuition fees—was finally voted out of existence by the scottish parliament. While the fee itself is relatively small, this symbolic step is hugely important in scotland’s drive to create an education system based, in the words of education minister Fiona hyslop, on “ability to learn, not ability to pay.” Making the scottish university degree free is the first step towards creating a truly egalitarian system of higher education and, with it, equalising the opportunities presented to the populace as a whole. While there is a long time remaining before the bigger obstacles to entering higher educa-
tion are tackled, such as extreme poverty, the scottish government must be praised for overcoming Conservative and Labour opposition to the bill and fulfilling their manifesto promise. however, if the snp believe that they have earned an opportunity to rest on their laurels, the consequences could prove not merely disappointing but disastrous. the immediate concern, as covered extensively over the past weeks, is the state of university funding. First and foremost, standards at scottish universities cannot be allowed to slip, and the scottish parliament must ensure that the executive is forced to provide the funding universities require. While in England, top-up fees—for all their drawbacks—do provide universities with the mechanism to raise the cash they need. in scotland, they rely on centrally provided revenue. unless this funding is increased, scotland’s education system risks falling behind. the second point, and one that is raised with the scrapping of the gradu-
ate endowment in mind, is the question of providing financial support for poorer students. the endowment was, after all, created to provide bursary funding to students from less advantaged backgrounds, and this money must again be provided from the centre. Fiona hyslop has promised government funding will continue through cash raised from general taxation, but it is important that this money is safeguarded, especially around budget time and especially under a future, less socially-minded government. it is with these reservations in mind, that The Journal congratulates the scottish government on a move beneficial to all students and for making a big ideological step in the right direction. in november, iain McWhirter, one of scotland’s leading columnists, claimed the snp were trying to implement “the most progressive political agenda seen in britain for three decades.” this is one success. We hope for many more.
the Wednesday poem
goodnight bright beams of light bounce off white walls in time with bass and with bodies. unnatural bleach-blonde, straightened-long hair Changes to garish, supernatural pink and your thinking is slowing with each Cut-price drink. You begin to believe that you couldn’t leave Without her over there coming too. You’re glued to her movement; serpentine, shimmying under the lights, swimming through sweat, twisting her neck
to the roof. to the decks that the dJ patrols With which he controls a few hundred souls for hours at a time. More, standing in line outside in the dark badger men dressed in black to get into the place. here’s where kids trying too hard rub up in the dark with those who don’t try hard enough; and think that they’re falling in love. Feel like they’re beating the world. spend a week’s wages to impress some girl Who leaves after midnight While you’re at the bar. the bass
Quickly drowns out your deflated heart Which is used to this stuff—gets stuffed Every weekend—its easy to pretend You couldn’t care less when you’re dead drunk and dead tired and still hours from your bed.
Guy Gibbs The Wednesday Poem is provided by read this magazine www.readthismagazine.com
i’d like to say to all the Eusa election candidates, can you please leave me alone. i can not go anywhere without being berated by one of your faces plastered upon some brightly coloured paper. Why do you think i care about you in any way? now i understand you going to the hell that is appleton, the more students in one place the better for you. though why do you think that invading my lectures is ok. i have seen and heard each one of the main candidates at least twice giving some pathetic speech and causing my lecture to be lengthened. i can accept each of you once but to the “great” adam ramsay why do i need to here the same speech 6 times, especially when i only have 4 different lectures? now if that was it, i wouldn’t be writing this letter. it seems though that these people are drawn to my flat as well, like maggots to rotting food. Over the past week i have been assaulted at least daily by you, wielding leaflets as if they were the ten commandments. now i welcomed you the first few times, as i was innocently blind to the horde that would follow. From there i progressed to saying “no thanks” to your advances. now i see the bright leaflets and shut the door. if i get another visit from anyone of you, i may try and make you cry. You’ve be warned, avoid hermit’s Croft.
this is not the end of the torment though for i am blessed to have a politically minded flat mate. this person has taking it upon himself to become deeply involved with the adam ramsay campaign, and therefore seems that his flat mates should be inclined to do so also. he is in fact so up adam’s ass that he is commonly mistaken for a tumor. though apart from hearing about how adam saved a bus load of children from terrorists, i am also regularly informed about how horrible the other candidates are. so evil are they accordingly, that they are the sort of people that have mug shots on crime watch regularly. now the elections have opened this morning and i still think of them as insignificant as those in high school, so i have done as i always do and voted for the people with the funniest name. so well done phil Mcguiness, that’s one at least. i implore all others to do the same as me and make a mockery out of this thing that has been blown out of proportion. though next year i hope you vote for me, as i will be registered under the name “Chewbacca” or “Captain pugwash”. have to go someone has just knocked, i wonder if i use bug spray this time they’ll stay away. Alistair Martin 1st Year Chemical Physics dear Editor, in the Eusa elections just past two students, Katherine McMahon and myself, were elected as delegates to nus conference, filling single-seat vacancies (first year delegate and all-years delegate respectively). in our election manifestos, we specifically stated that we would vote against the governance review which is to be considered by the upcoming nus conference. there are various views on this review of nus’s structures among the student movement; ours is that it will remove control of the national union from ordinary students even more than is currently the case. however, at a meeting on Friday, the Eusa president informed us that the students’ representative Council had voted to mandate all nus delegates to vote in favour of the governance review. We were threatened, if we voted against the review at conference, with never being allowed to go to nus conference again, never being allowed to stand for election to any Eusa position again, and not having our expenses paid to go to the upcoming conference. having won election on the specific platform of voting against the governance review we consider ourselves bound by a higher mandate than that of srC -- that of the electorate. We consider the practice of mandating all nus delegates to vote in a certain way undemocratic and unrepresentative. Why bother electing 14 delegates to represent Edinburgh university students if they are all going to be forced to vote the same way? We also believe that the proposed sanctions are draconian, and would set a worrying precedent whereby candidates who have won a democratic election on an openly stated platform would not be permitted to take up the representative position to which they have been elected for political reasons. We hope that the srC will come to its senses, lift the mandate, and allow nus delegates to vote in line with their manifesto pledges. We will be doing so whatever the srC decide; it’s up to the srC whether they want to defy the electorate or not. Andrew Weir NUS delegate
Corrections and clarifications in issue V of The Journal in the article entitled “Cole campaign running anonymous attack blog EUSAless”, it was written that “alastair sloan was a former member of staff at The Journal.” this should have read: “alastair sloan was a former member of the editorial staff at The Journal” as Mr sloan was acting as the promotions and distribution manager for the Edinburgh Journal Ltd. however, Mr sloan had no involvement in an editorial capacity as a result of his role in harry Cole’s election campaign.
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Art for art’s sake... Alison Lutton & Kasmira Jefford email@example.com
oll up, Roll up, and witness the spectacle of the great “bear man”: last year’s Turner prize winner, Saatchi protégé and former Goldsmiths student Mark Wallinger is tonight narrating a retrospective of his work. The notorious bear suit, which Wallinger donned for several consecutive nights and lumbered around a glass-walled noman’s-land set in a Berlin car park, being alternately waved at and stared down by baffled members of the public, polarised aesthetics and realisation. A decisive interrogation of individual and social identity, certainly, it was also, as Wallinger explains, quite a sweaty job: having spent the first night practically blinded by dripping sweat, his subsequent adoption of a headband only compounded the problem. Quite what this signifies in relation to the symbol of the bear as cultural emblem of Berlin is anybody’s guess. The bear aside, Wallinger’s bestknown work to date is State Britain, which appeared in Tate Britain in January 2007 and to which a sizeable section of tonight’s talk is devoted. The installation recreated the space occupied in Trafalgar Square (already a space within the artist’s remit, given the millennium-commemorating appearance on its fourth plinth of Ecce Homo, Wallinger’s understated statue of Christ) by peace protestor Brian Haw until the passing in 2005 of the Serious organised Crime and police Act. This act declares any unauthorised protest occurring within a kilometre radius of the palace of Westminster to be illegal. This was no small task. It was vital, says Wallinger, to trace the copyright for every single item appearing in Haw’s protest, from the obvious (Banksy prints) to the apparently inconsequential (the numerous teddy bears left by well-wishers). This preoccupation with minutiae extended to all aspects of the project: sufficiently “ageing” the placards for the installation presented another problem, which was apparently addressed by slopping them in puddles. That the Tate itself straddles the border between illegal and legal protest space—a claim which has been disputed, but to which Wallinger resolutely sticks—lent the project an extra dimension which installations of it elsewhere have been unable to fully replicate. It was through institutionalising the constitutionally abhorrent that Wallinger was able to once again foreground the mythologisation of the incidental which works such as Threshold to the Kingdom, in which human traffic through the arrivals gate at an airport is depicted
in slow-motion and soundtracked by Renaissance composer Gregorio Allegri, also explored. After two such ideologically decisive projects, where can Wallinger go from here? “Give me a chance!” he laughs when asked about the work he’s undertaking during his current residency in Edinburgh, adding that a threemonth stint in Rome culminated in the authorship of a single limerick. Another question about the direction he expects his subsequent work to take is met with a similarly guarded response. Wallinger’s apparent coyness to disclose details of forthcoming projects is perhaps understandable: supposedly on a retreat of sorts in Edinburgh, his stay thus far has been marred by inevitable press interest. However, notes Dr Clémentine Deliss, coordinator of the Randolph Cliff scheme, a desire to appreciate the artist as a Turner-scooping “big man” detracts from the more pragmatic aims of a project as strongly orientated towards students as to the names it attracts. Bringing these two aspects together, the Randolph Cliff scheme is the exciting result of a collaboration between the Edinburgh College of Art and the National Galleries of Scotland to forge new links between final year and postgraduate students and internationally acclaimed artists. Since its establishment in october, students have had the opportunity to work alongside Austrian Franz Graf, Christian Flam from Germany and, at present, Mark Wallinger himself. As well as treating the guests to a champagne reception and housing artists in a plush Georgian apartment with a picturesque view of the Dean Bridge—generously provided by the co-curator and founder Charles Asprey—a lot can be learnt, it seems, by established artists from burgeoning ECA students and vice-versa in an initiative which embraces creative freedom. Speaking to April Mellor, a final year undergraduate in Sculpture and pA to each of the residents at Randolph Cliff, she was keen to advocate the importance that the initiative brought to the artists as well as the students involved: “It provides a time for them to think and they can perhaps create a prototype of an idea.” In the first two-day workshop with Franz Graf, students dived straight into working together with the artist on a collection of drawings of anything and everything. After it proved impossible to link these together, the drawings were discarded and the film of the entire proceedings created by April became the final and unexpected work of art. For many students, this sort of collaboration is also a foot in the exceedingly tight doorway to the
With their new artist in residence, Edinburgh College of Art continue to sculpt their future as a leading centre for creative expression
That the Tate itself straddles the border between illegal and Giallardlegal protest space—a claim which has been disputed, but to which Wallinger resolutely sticks—lent the project an extra dimension which installations of it elsewhere have been unable to fully replicate competitive art world, where communicating with leading artists is invaluable experience for their future careers. The scheme encourages the partnership of artists from varying backgrounds in music, sculpture, fine art and nature-based courses; it is a continual aim for artists, April explains, “to be constantly reacting and adapting to art around us.” In relation to her own projects in sculpture, she perceives in Wallinger’s installations a certain fluidity that is also being achieved in modern sculpture as it becomes more involved with its viewer. During the most recent collaboration, Wallinger and his partner, the sculptress Anna Barriball, surprised the students with a mystery escapade last week to lord Elgin’s estate in Fife. It was lord Elgin who donated the Athenian plaster casts exhibited at ECA. unfortunately the retreat-like aspect of the residency was somewhat disrupted for the highly in-demand Turner prize winner, who left Edinburgh as soon as he arrived to fly
back to paris and then london, albeit returning soon after. But despite being busy and frequently absent, Randolph Cliff participants describe Wallinger as genuine, humorous and attentive. “What’s surprising is that he still doesn’t have a full time assistant. He is very down to earth,” says April. After all, nothing could be more down to earth than taking his students to a local fish and chip shop at the end of a thought-provoking excursion. Nothing, perhaps, except for the work of the artist himself. Returning to tonight’s discussion of State Britain, April notes how Wallinger’s personal description of his work on the project could not but stir students to think differently towards the relationship of art and politics. Referring to a video screened tonight which contrasts the heavyhanded clearing of Haw’s space with the painstaking dismantling of the installation at the end of its run in the Tate, she observes how this “immortalised the protest. It can never be put away. It is so inspiring to make
something which authorities can’t control.” What is implicit here—the idea of art as breaking boundaries and laying foundations for the future— coheres strongly with the aims of Randolph Cliff. Its membership of Future Academy, an international federation of art colleges at the forefront of research in contemporary art, has already put ECA firmly on the map, taking students across the globe to work alongside artists in countries like Japan. Its ability to attract names such as Wallinger through the Randolph Cliff offshoot means that perhaps soon Edinburgh will proudly wave its own banners as a leading artistic hotspot in its own right. And, in the meantime, it might just inspire more than the odd limerick. Mark Wallinger was speaking at the NGS on 3rd March. Anybody requiring further information about Randolph Cliff should contact Dr. Clémentine Deliss by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Moroccan nights edmund Stewart takes a historical tour around the glittering jewel of northern africa
Edmund Stewart email@example.com
had begun My journey in Marrakech in southern Morocco. It seemed as good a place as any to start, if only because it is perhaps one of the most famous towns in Morocco, drawing larger numbers of foreigners than any other. as a rule of thumb, you can measure the number of tourists by the price of the unremarkable assortment of scarves, tajines, rugs and general tat that every traveller in north africa is familiar with: in Marrakech, you have to haggle hard to get anywhere near to an item’s true value. Quite why this city, which at first sight it must be admitted looks not much different from any other large Moroccan town, has captured the imagination of so many is hard to fathom. It is only upon visiting the southern edge of the Medina—arabic for city, but generally referring to any walled old town—that you can really understand the lure of Marrakech. here you can see the large open space known as the djema al Fna. The first thing you’ll see is the smoke from the food stalls, the lights of the stands; and you’ll hear the strange lilting rhythms of musicians. Much of the square is given over to food of various sorts, piles of fresh oranges and heaps of dates, spices and other dried fruits. Moroccan markets, I must add, are fascinating, if a little disconcerting, with all kinds of meat, fish, vegetables and sickly honey sweetmeats left out in the hot streets during the day. Most of the excitement of the djema, however, can be had from the little huddles of snake charmers, street entertainers and story tellers that have an air about them, perhaps resonating in the red earth walls of the Medina, of the ancient bazaars of Timbuktu to the south and of the long hot miles of the caravan routes in between. Perhaps it reminds us of Marrakech’s position roughly in the centre of Morocco. To the north and east can be seen the beginnings of the atlas Mountains which cut across Morocco. here the land is dry and desolate up to the more verdant north, but on the coast, say at agadir, the cool atlantic breeze makes the climate very agreeable. To the South, beginning around Tan-Tan, are the dunes of the Sahara. It was across these dunes, one of the most inhospitable of the earth’s wastelands, that the almohad armies came to establish their capital in Marrakech and after them the flow of gold caravans from ghana and West africa. here, not far from the djema and gracing the low skyline is the slender minaret of the Katoubia Mosque, perhaps the most perfect example of north african Islamic architecture. The design is restrained, yet varied – a combination of three differing window recesses topped by a ring of coloured tiles and the replicas of three golden balls, the gift of the wife of Sultan yacoub al Mansour. It was yacoub al Mansour (11841199) who built this minaret and and
inspired the spread, in a relatively short space of time, of the very distinctive style of architecture found in the hassan Minaret and the giralda of Seville, the lasting reminders of an empire that once reached from its capital in Marrakech to Libya and central Spain. This defines what we today call the Maghreb. This dynasty began as one of the many religious movements that have marked the Muslim world. a cleric, Ibn Tumart, ignited a religious revolution among the berber tribes of the atlas Mountains that sought moral reform, a reaffirmation of the unity of god and a return to the teachings of the Qu’ran and the hadith – the two most important texts of Islam. This religious fervour was allied with a military strength that saw the capture of Marrakech in 1149. The succeeding almoravid dynasty went on to forge one of the more successful attempts to unite the Maghreb – literally “place of the setting sun” in arabic, a term used to refer both to Morocco and greater north africa. This was a task made more difficult by the region’s geography. Today, the Maghreb has achieved some measure of unity by means of the arab Maghreb union, consisting of Morocco, algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. egypt, despite making overtures to join, has not been included, though egyptian music, television and even dialect dominate north african culture. The arab conquest and the spread of Islam in the eighth century has had the greatest impact and been the most unifying factor in north africa where, unlike in the Middle east, the Romano-Christian past was entirely swept away. Today, while only a few miles away from europe and colonised in the past by both France and Spain, Morocco still draws its culture fundamentally from the distant arab east. Moroccan arabic, known as darija, is the first language of most Moroccans, the main exception being the berbers—historically the indigenous inhabitants of north africa, predating the arab conquest—who
speak a separate language. Today they are centred largely in the atlas and Rif Mountains. Their tall stature and blonde hair once made them the prized slaves of the arab Sultans and it is a stature still noticeable today – one blonde berber girl was recently mistaken for Madeleine McCann. The most enduring legacy of the shortlived French protectorate is that French is widely spoken throughout the whole country. For much the same reason Spanish is the preferred european language in the north, particularly in the Rif and around Ceuta. For all its variations in languages and ethnic groups—hardly helped by the very different and largely separate environments of coast, mountains and desert—Morocco is a remarkably homogenous society and many Moroccans are proud to belong to a country predominantly free of racial tensions. Speaking to a number of students at the Tacadoom Language association in the capital Rabat, I am told that racism is largely an alien concept in Morocco. For instance, although most of its Jewish population left Morocco for Israel following its creation in 1948, a tiny minority still remains, and Morocco is the only arab country with a Jewish Museum. generally they were more concerned about the treatment of Moroccan emigrants to Spain and other european countries. around 30,000 individuals emigrate to Spain each year in search of a better life, a figure which represents a substantial brain drain from Morocco. It is no surprise that so many should want to leave: with unemployment at 20 per cent the difficulties of finding a job, even for those with qualifications, are a major source of worry and frustration for young people. Other than Spain, countries such as the uSa are favourite destinations. Since the 9/11 attacks, however, it has become more difficult for Moroccans—and members of arab countries generally—to gain entry to america. One of these was Johara, my hostess while I was in Rabat. her husband currently works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
she has been applying for a visa to go and join him for three years. Another side to the story, however, is the thousands of illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan countries such as Nigeria who attempt to reach Europe by passing through Morocco and in doing so face substantial risks both from the criminal gangs involved in the trafficking and Moroccan and Spanish security forces. It is estimated that around 6,000 people have been killed over the last decade, including eleven immigrants shot trying to enter Spanish territory at Ceuta which prompted an EU investigation in 2005. After leaving Marrakech I took the train north to Rabat where I would spend most of my time teaching English at a local Language Association. My home for the next few weeks would be a small house in the historic medina. It is typical of traditional Moroccan houses, consisting of a central—in this case covered—court with rooms radiating off it, decorated with traditional stucco and “zellige” tiling. My work was just across the river in the sprawling suburb of Sale. Amal Sale, the Association at which I worked, is part of a number of such volunteer organisations that offer, among other things, the chance for young people to learn English, and are developing steadily as a growing force in local communities. Yassine, the director of a similar organisation, told me that their aim is to provide a learning and social environment, developing their members’ skills and helping them to find jobs. According to Yassine, while it is clearly very important for the Moroccan economy that more people learn English, there are few resources for doing so other than paying to go to British or American Language Schools, which many cannot afford. It was during my stay in Rabat that I was able to enjoy two distinctive features of Moroccan culture. The first, common throughout North Africa, was the Hamam - which Johara’s brother Sidi Ahmed offered to take me to on his weekly visit. The closest thing to the baths of Ancient
Rome, a hamam is a series of heated rooms of different temperatures in which you can sit, sweat the dirt off and wash with the water provided. There are separate hamams for men and women and both wear swimming costumes or an equivalent and bring their own soap and towels. You can also—and this is most useful for the clueless foreigner—pay an attendant to give you an exceedingly vigorous massage. Finally the hamam is, if anything, an opportunity to socialise, particularly for women who may have few other places where they can do so other than at home; cafés and bars are largely the preserve of men, tourists and prostitutes. The second major event I was to witness during my stay was a Moroccan wedding, which is an occasion of great excitement for everyone and anyone who might have even the smallest connection to the bride and groom. Weddings are a national obsession, much enjoyed by all who are lucky enough to attend one and televised nightly for those who are not. The evening in question began at seven in the evening in one of the new and faceless tower blocks which are part of the growing development of Sale. It must be noted, however, guests are only expected to arrive at least an hour after that time and the couple several hours later. Their eagerly anticipated coming was announced by the peels of horns and the din of drums of a traditional band outside, along with the slightly more prosaic but no less celebratory sound of car horns. The bridal party was escorted up the packed stairs of the apartment block, the bride gorgeously dressed in traditional costume and on reaching the top she was hoisted on to a chair designed for the purpose—perhaps characterised more by glitter than taste— and processed around the room. In former times a fantasia was usual at great weddings. Still seen at cultural events, this was a display of horsemanship common among many Arab nations, involving a line of brilliantly mounted riders halting suddenly in mid gallop and discharging their
rifles. Today this is symbolised instead by the bride’s escort who carry imitation firearms for the procession. Once over, the bride and groom will retire to change and it is not uncommon, I am told, for them to change up to five or ten times through the course of the night. Meanwhile a supper of lamb tajines was served at around one o’clock which we ate with our fingers. The dancing continued on until dawn. Weddings are in some ways better than the nightlife of the capital. Rabat is hardly an exciting city and would have remained largely a picturesque backwater from the Middle Ages onwards had it not been chosen by the French as the capital of the protectorate. Even today it is a surprisingly unassuming town when compared to its bustling neighbour Casablanca. Its flowering to eminence under the Almohads was very short lived. A sign of the unfulfilled grandeur during this brief period of prosperity are the medieval walls which enclosed mostly empty space until the twentieth century. Another is the massive Tour Hassan, a stubby twin of the Katoubia minaret originally designed as part of a vast mosque of a capacity which the city’s relatively small population could not have hoped to have filled at any other age. After independence in 1956, King Mohammed V kept Rabat as the capital of the new Monarchy and he is buried in the ruins of the mosque together with his successor Hassan II. The monarchy plays a very important part in government and Moroccan life and the king’s picture can be seen everywhere, in cafés, shops and businesses. The present King, Mohammed VI, has been surprisingly radical in checking a number of the Human Rights abuses of his predecessors reign and his generally favourable stance towards America and Europe. Islam has affected that relationship over the centuries. There is no better monument to Islam in the country than the fabulous Hassan II Mosque, a short train ride away in Casablanca. Built by the previous
“For all its variations in languages and ethnic groups—hardly helped by the very different and largely separate environments of coast, mountains and desert— Morocco is a remarkably homogenous society” monarch with (sometimes unwilling) public subscriptions, it is a massive and awe-inspiring construction, at least the size of St Peter’s in Rome and perhaps larger. The interior is a magnificent synthesis of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation, so that the beautiful patterned roof of the central hall can open to the sky and loud speakers are hidden in the woodwork. This is, if anything, a symbol that Islam is a defining characteristic of the country. Many Moroccans are very serious in their devotions: one student of mine, when asked to describe his daily routine in English, began by telling me the times of his daily prayer. The War on Terror has affected Morocco as with many other Muslim states. The government was quick to denounce the September 11th attacks but unemployment and the slow growth of the economy have contributed to a gradual rise in extremism. This culminated in the suicide bombings in Casablanca in May 2003 which raised widespread outcry from Moroccans at large and
increased public opposition to terrorism. Many women wear the veil but usually of their own choice and many others have adopted Western fashions and dress. American films and foreign music are popular and alcohol, though it is frowned upon, can be legally bought. Morocco, like Tunisia, is a country largely at peace with itself—despite the remaining controversy over the ownership of the Western Sahara—and with the West, and is a perfect example of a moderate Islamic state. I end here, pausing with one final view, one of the most beautiful in Morocco. It is on a low hill set against the backdrop of distant mountains and in the long shade of the ruins of ancient tombs. Sheep are grazing nearby and far off I can see the whole of the old walled city of Fes el Bali, the old city of Fes. Night falls, the lights go on, and from the Kairouyine Mosque the muezzins begin their call. Edmund Stewart is a fourth year Classics student
26 Arts & Entertainment Interview
The Gold Maker As artistic director at the Lyceum Theatre, Mark Thomson is responsible for ensuring its programme is both challenging and entertaining
IT’S BEEN NEARLY five years since Mark Thomson took over as artistic director at the Lyceum and it’s clear to see he hasn’t lost any enthusiasm for the job. He’s directed his own plays— Shakespeare and the epic Faust (parts one and two)—as well as overseeing recent productions of the Glass Menagerie and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. His success is no doubt in part down to the fact that he takes his responsibility for the theatre very seriously. Part of the Lyceum’s mission statement is about entertaining and stimulating the citizens of Edinburgh and for Mark Thomson that’s about having a dialogue with the audience, a conversation. “I’ve tried to create a social integrity to the work,” he says, “which means that what we do on stage has something to say about the lives we’re living. I’m firmly of the mind that I’m charged with not being a purely commercial enterprise. It’s important that this has a social dialogue with not just Edinburgh but Scotland.” For Thomson this means that each production must have a resonance with what society is dealing with now. The recent production of Six Characters in Search of an Author, a story involving an ex-husband almost sleeping with his ex-wife’s daughter without realising who she was, as well as a group of characters telling their story to a group of actors, was a reflection of today’s society trying to fi nd its moral centre. He explains: “With the church losing ground, I don’t think people have a clear code of how to behave anymore or what’s right or what’s wrong; or what’s my job of being a human being on earth; what are my limitations; are
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
there any? So there’s no moral centre. It creates a real disturbance I think, in the world.” Thomson is open to any ideas and they don’t have to be his own. If a director approaches him with a project and he likes it then it quickly becomes about fi nding the right people for that particular play. And the process of going from an idea to a fi nished piece is not set in stone. Thomson says: “You’re trying to make gold, the ingredients are the director, the play, the actors, the designers and all the creative team, and I try to gather them together in such a way so we can make gold – at least theoretically. Sometimes you come out with base metal, but art isn’t mathematical.” For his next play, Vanity Fair, Thomson read it, loved it and asked Tony Cowan to direct it: “I needed someone who would be inventive and playful with it, who would be able to get their head round the physical aspects of the production, those pieces of dialogue that demand an invention of every page or two.” In fact it’ll soon be time for this piece to be revealed to the artistic director, but Thomson is confident it’s going to be good. “You get that just from talking to them and you can usually tell from the faces. You can sniff out when it’s not going well, usually when there is tension and you’ve got a director greetin’ in your office.”
28 Arts & Entertainment Music
The Twang poTTeroW 26 Feb
a gIg by The Twang is a great place to stock up on expletives: front man phil etheridge starts proceedings with the declaration, “we’re going to fucking sing, edinburgh! FacT.” Unfortunately, the songs in question aren’t up to much. The Twang are a five-piece group from birmingham who attempt to combine the bravado of 90s lad rock with the urban poetry of contemporary artists like The streets. Their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This, made a few waves last year and this sold-out gig comes at the end of their current UK tour. The Twang do generic, thumping sing-a-longs which concentrate on themes of love and city social life. Their well-grounded anthems are built though a mixture of boisterous drumming, cleverly engineered guitar parts infused with ringing sensuality, the swaggering rhythms of The stone roses, and fast-paced spoken-word verses that build up to simple yet emphatic choruses. although The Twang are deservedly notorious for their enthusiasm, the potterow crowd certain-
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
ly help by giving their all: chanting, cheering and offering various articles of underwear up to the musical cause. However, enthusiasm can only carry a performance so far before the music behind it is exposed for what it is. The Twang are nothing new and at the lowest points of the gig, there is a sense that even the most hedonistic of atmospheres can’t make up for the essential mediocrity of the songs. apart from the occasional affecting guitar line or collective crescendo, there is little to mark this music out as anything beyond a forgettable—and resolutely laddish—re-hash of its dominant musical sources. The highlight of the gig is, ironically, the support band, The Hours. This engaging outfit play beautifully crafted songs which have depth and maturity, musical ingenuity, and emotional resonance. The Hours can really get behind their instruments and make them work in the service of something classic but distinctive. The difference between the two bands is itself like an unwritten musical criticism.
What The Twang lack in originality they try to make up with enthusiasm. Alexandra Randall still thinks they come up short Alexandra Randall
Cheer/Moa Henry’s cellar bar 21 Feb
There’s not much Moa can’t do with a six string, as Fergus Weir finds out Fergus Weir
The Penny Dreadfuls bedlaM THeaTre 7 MarcH
journal online www. journal-online .co.uk
bringing a new style of storytelling to the show, the aeneas Faversham crew return home in top form Richard Dennis
IT doesn’T Happen too often, but once in a while you’ll catch a support act that is vastly superior to the headliner. In fact, it is somewhat hard to concentrate on the headliners, cheer, when the preceding musical display is so overwhelmingly tremendous. extravagant praise it may appear, but the guitar playing of Moa is truly astonishing. Without any pretence, Moa takes to the stage and knocks out a sequence of folk tales so intricate in their melodies and finger-picking that it is difficult to imagine how an individual could play all this alone. surely there should be more guitars somewhere? a quick glance around Henry’s cellar discovers awe pervading the room, jaws dropping, and bodies being repositioned to get a better view. Introducing one number as “a scary song...but not that scary,” we are treated to the sight of Moa’s left hand flying and twisting across the fretboard with startling fluency. bum notes? nope. It is all too much for some members of the audience by the time we reach the concluding exuberance of ‘emperor.’ Turning the acoustic guitar onto its back and playing a harmonic tapping melody whilst keeping a steady rhythm through drumming the body and finger-clicking, we’re witnessing a level of skill on the old 6-string instrument not normally seen at the everyday gig. Then we have cheer. It’s a problem for the unfortunate man that he has to follow on, as one would be hard pushed to find many acts who could top Moa’s performance this evening. Utilising an echo-heavy effects board, his songs nearly work as a relaxant after the high energy of Moa. but, really, they come across as more of a bland exercise in ambient sound. perhaps on another occasion cheer’s entirely instrumental set would have been more satisfying: his music is pleasant enough. but one can’t help but feel the running order tonight was somewhat askew. THe penny dreadFUls began life in bedlam Theatre in 2005 and so, after two sell-out Fringe shows and a bbc7 radio show that has recently been commissioned for a second series, it seems a fitting location for them to debut their new show aeneas Faversham Forever. gone are the rapid sequences of sketches which made up their previous shows. In their place is an hour-long comedy play set in Victorian london which tells the story of nefarious villain lucius Frost as he tries to resurrect the dark lord oysters Mcgee from beneath Tower bridge, and the efforts of disgraced scotland yard officer Mcallister and children’s author rufus Hambleden as they try to confound him. The protean ability of performers Humphrey Ker, david reed and Thom Tuck lead the audience through their warped version of Victorian london as they effortlessly adopt a wide range of distinct accents and physicality for each of the many characters. The Victorian setting also provides rich pickings for jokes involving the likes of horse and cart bombs and supernatural crystals that ingeniously play with modern concepts and our views of the era. but while the show undoubtedly has a strong sense of direction, the group’s sketch comedy roots are still clearly visible. The structure of the majority of scenes is very much in the setup and punchline style of sketch comedy and this, for the first twenty minutes, jars slightly with their attempts to get the audience absorbed into the story. However, once the characters and direction of the plot have been firmly established these barriers fade away and the real strengths of the show become clear. The strongest parts—and the reason why this new style works so well for the dreadfuls—appear when the main characters interact and let the narrative and references from previous scenes create the jokes. It shows a growing level of maturity in the writing and provides a more satisfying comical payoff. With five months left, this promises to be a popular show at the Fringe.
Eating & Drinking 29
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Nana Wereko-Brobby splashes out. Or, rather, gets someone else to...
aMily visits at university provide a much needed break from the drudgery of student dining. such occasions remind us of the culinary world outside of the Heinz dynasty and the potato chip. they remind us that there really is such a thing as a free meal and when the opportunity strikes it would be idiotic to ignore it. in Edinburgh there are some safe options which promise higher prices, haughtier waiters and heavenly backdrops to the eating experience. Olorroso, the tower, the Witchery and Fishers are all safe and central restaurants which delight the rare student visitor largely because the restaurant is posh, the food is elaborate and the cheque is taken care of. the student population is seldom willing to waste valuable Facebook/ youtube time on checking out the large list of great restaurants in Edinburgh à propos of the parental visit. Perhaps its pretentious, perhaps it is a waste of time, but when you really do end up dining somewhere really special, the food snob in every one of us emerges. an interest in the great chefs and restaurants around is exemplified by the nation’s preoccupation with the pursuits of Gordon Ramsy, Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver – celebrity figures who have magnified our interest in the art behind the necessity. Whilst Hesten Blumenthal has been alive and cooking since the mid nineties, only recently have both his 3 Michelin starred restaurant, the Fat Duck, and his molecular gastronomy become a necessary unit of our cultural capital, a nugget of information that people throw into conversation regardless as to whether they have been there or not. Blumenthal’s use of scientific implements and his bizarre repertoire— Bacon and Egg ice cream and snail
porridge signature dishes—make the dining experience exciting, experimental and disorientating. you are witness to an obsessive, perfectionist treatment of food and forced to confront new tastes and textures. When the sociologist George simmel wrote about the metropolis and modern life, he described the blasé attitude of many who, constantly consuming, purchasing and experiencing the indulgences of the urban space, rarely get the opportunity to encounter something new and be "shocked" back into an excited state of living. taking things like expensive restaurants for granted, people cease to think about what they are eating and rather focus on the fact that eating in an expensive restaurant says something about the class of person you are. Certainly, london’s ivy restaurant, patronised by footballers and WaGs, it-Girls and wannabees, is testament to modern society’s decision to celebrate "the image" rather than the culinary experience. in Edinburgh, the tower and Witchery top their game for notoriety and bling factor. However, at the highest Michelin starred end of dining, come the lesser known but truly sensational restaurants of Edinburgh. the Kitchin, Number One and Martin Wishart are triumphs which, whilst only a little pricier than the others, are fields ahead in their innovative approach to food. surely then, since flashy dinners out are such a rarity during student life, why not offer your parents/date an exchange for their hard earned cash and take them to an Edinburgh hotspot that will leave them with something more than a much lighter wallet? For those of us on the cusp of graduation, why not make that last meal truly indulgent, exciting and far removed from four years of student drudgery?
Martin Wishart 54 The Shore 0131 553 3557
tHERE is NOtHiNG chilled out about Martin Wishart. With a sterile colour scheme, minimal art, charming, knowledgeable and presentable waiters, and crisp table linen, the restaurant does not seek to put you at your ease. Whilst the curved benches attached to some of the tables intend to offer comfort and the suggestion of relaxation, the hushed tones of the diners, the well lit room and the selection of every piece of cutlery imaginable all set a tone of professionalism, elegance and propriety. the blocks of swirled wallpaper are far from trendy and the crisp uniform of the waiters is flawless and old fashioned. But if the aesthetics of the room are severely lacking, the aesthetics of the food more than make up for this. Never have i felt such guilt for spoiling a plate, followed by such pleasure for having done so. Whilst the portion sizes are certainly not overly generous, the buffering of a selection of pre-meal canapés and post meal chocolate delights leaves you feeling satisfied but not gluttonous by the end of the meal. Whilst a three course dinner at £50 (without wine) is an extreme extravagance, the three course lunch menu at £22.50 is a more affordable, but equally enjoyable option. Once orders have been taken, the diner is presented with two complimentary courses of canapés. the first individual tray of delights offered is an array of indistinguishable fancies. Everything is innovative
and unlike anything one has every tried, from a beetroot and lollipop to a shot glass of crispy risotto rice and fondue, to a mini haggis bonbon and a jellified mushroom soup in soy sauce. the bitesize portions force you to focus on the taste and textures of the food. after this rather amusing course, we were presented with a soup bowl of salmon slices in a sea of light cream and salty foam. it was three teaspoons of heaven. For the actual meal, the lunch menu offers two options for each course. We opted for the mosaique of foie gras, a complex and layered paté which was complimented by onioninfused bread and was generously portioned. For the main, we plumped for calves liver with shallots, mashed potatoes and an armagnac jus. the liver was incredibly tender and rich without being too much. the simplicity of the potatoes balanced the strong meat and alcohol flavours perfectly. a real treat. For desert, the recognisable crème brulee was rethought, shaped into a sausage-like roll, delicately crispy and garnished with sweet crunchy bits. Just when we started to rue the imminent close of the meal, the extensive cheese tray was rolled out. the chef had hand-chosen 60 cheeses from a selection of hundreds, thus the five on our plates were divine but ignited a desire to try them all. accompanied by a delicious apricot bread slice and numerous crackers, this pushed us into the realm of fullness. When the
coffee course signalled the end of the experience, the waiter brought out a tray of the most delicate chocolates i have seen. Cleverly sensing our student gluttony, he altered the designated three per person rule to a "free for all" so allowing us to try everything. a mini custard profiterole with a crunchy spike towering above it, jasmine and grand marnier infused chocolates, lemon and orange fudge and a mocha choc; all of the options were satisfying and a little unusual. We were genuinely gleaming from the experience by the end of the meal and—perhaps due to the wine consumed—happy, satiated and educated in the art of really fine dining. With the cheapest wine at around £30 a bottle, Martin Wishart is certainly not the arena for a real piss-up. Neither does its questionable décor suggest a stylish hotspot or celebrity location. But such details are irrelevant. Eating there is a novelty, a new experience, an absolute treat. it is unlike the eateries one will have experienced in Edinburgh. it lives up to and surpasses its prices. Out in leith, Martin Wishart offers a riverside dining experience which differs from the city centre restaurants, indeed, it’s numerous accolades, including the Michelin star, make official its superiority. What really matters to the eponymous chef Mr Wishart is the food. i can’t think of a better premise for a restaurant.
Abbeyhill Tytler Gardens, 550, 1, 1D E CG P, 0870 062 9320 Lyne Street, 460, 1, 1D CG Z, 0870 062 9334
Bellevue Bellevue Place, 700, 2, 2D G, 0870 062 9332 Melgund Terrace, 675, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0870 062 9592
HOW TO USE THE LISTINGS Old Town
Lawnmarket, 900, 3, 2D 1B G, 0870 062 1108
Agent phone number
Keith Row, 500, 1, E PG O, 0870 062 9456
Bonnington Newhaven Road, 550, 1, 1D 1B G CG O, 0870 062 9422
Broughton Broughton Road, 525, 1, 1D E, 0870 062 9332 Dunedin Street, 495, 1, 1D W P, 0870 062 9460 Broughton Road, 475, 1, 1D G CG, 0870 062 9334
Bruntsfield Alvanley Terrace, 1850, 5, 5D G O, 0870 062 9302 Gillespie Crescent, 1400, 4, 4D G CG O UF, 0870 062 9522 Upper Gilmore Place, 1280, 4, 4D G Z, 0870 062 9362 Bruntsfield Gardens, 1200, 4, 4D G CG Z, 0870 062 9334 Montpelier, 1125, 1, G CG Z, 0870 062 9334 Barclay Place, 920, 3, G Z, 0870 062 9316
Canonmills Canon Street, 495, 1, 1D E CG Z, 0870 062 9446
Carrick Knowe Carrick Knowe Avenue, 1100, 4, 4D G PG O, 0870 062 9302
Central South Bridge, 1700, 5, 5D G Z, 0870 062 9302 Torphichen Street, 1500, 4, 4D G, 0870 062 9302 Gardner’s Crescent, 975, 3, 3D G O, 0870 062 9302 Spittal Street, 975, 3, 3D G Z, 0870 062 9302 Brunswick Road, 695, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9456 Annandale Street, 575, 2, 2D E O, 0870 062 9456 Beaverhall Road, 475, 1, 1D E CG Z, 0870 062 9234
Comely Bank Comely Bank Avenue, 700, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 9486 Learmonth Crescent, 650, 2, 2D G, 0870 062 9332 Comely Bank Avenue, 615, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 9456 Fettes Court, 600, 2, 2D W CG P, 0870 062 9334
Dalry Northcote Street, 1750, 5, 5D G P, 0870 062 9302 Easter Dalry Drive, 1700, 5, 5D G P, 0870 062 9302 Easter Dalry Wynd, 1300, 4, 2S 2D G P, 0870 062 9302 Dalry Road, 1260, 4, 4D G Z, 0870 062 9302 Murieston Road, 1240, 4, 4D, 0870 062 3700 Murieston Crescent, 990, 3, 3D G Z, 0870 062 9302 Duff Street, 975, 3, 3D G O, 0870 062 9302 Easter Dalry Drive, 950, 3, 1S 2D G P, 0870 062 9302 Murieston Place, 625, 2, 2D E P, 0870 062 9558 Downfield Place, 560, 1, 1D G O, 0870 062 9302 Downfield Place, 475, 1, 1D CG Z, 0870 062 9592
Dean Village Belford Road, 625, 2, 1S 1D G, 0870 062 1108
Drum Brae Glenure Loan, 630, 2, 2D G CG P, 0870 062 9522
Easter Road Easter Road, 650, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 9578 Bothwell Street, 535, 1, 1D G CG O, 0870 062 9448
Albert Street, 450, 1, 1D E O, 0870 062 9456
Edinburgh East Claremont Street, 1650, 5, 5D, 0870 062 3700 Craigmount Hill, 525, 2, 1S 1D G CG P, 0870 062 9334
Fettes East Pilton Farm Crescent, 1200, 3, 3D G CG P, 0870 062 9446 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 750, 3, 3D G CG P, 0870 062 9446 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 650, 2, 2D G CG P, 0870 062 9446 East Werberside Place, 649, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9456 North Werber Road, 649, 2, 2D G CG P, 0870 062 9456 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 625, 2, 2D G CG P, 0870 062 9446
Fountainbridge Tay Street, 615, 2, 2D E CG O, 0870 062 8252 Fountainbridge, 500, 1, 1D G, 0870 062 9332
Gorgie Westfield Road, 1200, 4, 4D G P, 0870 062 9302 Westfield Court, 780, 3, 3D G CG O, 0870 062 9302 Gorgie Road, 575, 2, 2D G O, 0870 062 9340 Gorgie Road, 525, 2, 2D O, 0870 062 9326 Wardlaw Place, 480, 1, 1D G CG O, 0870 062 9522
Granton Crewe Terrace, 550, 2, 2D G, 0870 062 9332 Granton Road, 475, 1, 1D, 0870 062 9332 Lower Granton Road, 400, 1, 1D CG O, 0870 062 9334
Grassmarket Grassmarket, 525, 1, 1D E Z, 0870 062 9334 West Port, 495, 1, 1D E Z, 0870 062 9320
Haymarket Morrison Street, 1200, 4, 1S 3D G, 0870 062 9460 Morrison Circus, 695, 2, 2D W P, 0870 062 9312 Morrison Street, 590, 2, 2D W, 0870 062 9434
Hillside Bellevue Road, 1400, 4, 4D, 0870 062 3700 Brunton Terrace, 485, 1, 1D W CG Z, 0870 062 9334
Leith Dickson Street, 930, 3, G, 0870 062 9486 Lindsay Road, 930, 3, 3D G CG P, 0870 062 9468 McDonald Road, 870, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9592 Easter Road, 795, 3, 3D G O, 0870 062 9234 Salamander Court, 675, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9456 Brunswick Road, 665, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9456 North Fort Street, 650, 3, 1S 1D 1T G CG O, 0870 062 9460 Fox Street, 650, 2, 2D W O, 0870 062 9378 Lindsay Road, 650, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9558 Albert Street, 600, 2, G CG O, 0870 062 9238
Bedrooms: Heating: Garden: Parking: Furniture:
Elbe Street, 600, 2, 2D, 0870 062 3700 St. Clair Road, 600, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9384 Elbe Street, 595, 2, 2D W P, 0870 062 9460 St. Clair Place, 495, 1, 1D G O, 0870 062 3768 Balfour Street, 480, 1, 1D, 0870 062 3700
Leith Links Bathfield, 460, 1, G O, 0870 062 9522
Leith Walk Leith Walk, 1225, 4, 4D, 0870 062 3700 Leith Walk, 1200, 4, 4D G O, 0870 062 9460 Brunton Gardens, 850, 3, 3D, 0870 062 3700 Dryden Gait, 850, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9460 Hopetoun Crescent, 725, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 4830 Dalmeny Street, 625, 2, 2D 1B G CG O, 0870 062 9312 Albert Place, 610, 2, 2D G, 0870 062 9332 Albert Street, 595, 2, 2D 1B G O, 0870 062 9456 Steads Place, 575, 2, 2D G, 0870 062 9384 Iona Street, 540, 2, 2D G CG O UF, 0870 062 9334 Leith Walk, 475, 2, 2D, 0870 062 3700
Liberton St. Katharine’s Crescent, 780, 3, 1S 2D G CG O, 0870 062 9522 Upper Craigour, 625, 2, 2D E PG P, 0870 062 9558
Lochend Loaning Mills, 575, 2, 1S 1D G P UF, 0870 062 9384
Longstone Inglis Green Rigg, 650, 2, G P, 0870 062 9334
Marchmont Warrender Park Road, 1330, 4, , 0870 062 9316 Strathearn Road, 1200, 4, 4D G CG Z, 0870 062 9322 Marchmont Street, 1000, 3, 1S 2D G PG O, 0870 062 9302 Arden Street, 900, 3, 3D G CG O, 0870 062 9322 Marchmont Crescent, 855, 3, 3S G O, 0870 062 9302 Moncrieff Terrace, 450, 1, 1D CG Z, 0870 062 9334
Meadowbank Cadzow Place, 690, 2, 2D G CG, 0870 062 9468 Royal Park Terrace, 650, 2, 2D, 0870 062 3700 Restalrig Road South, 500, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 9558 Dalgety Avenue, 495, 1, 1D CG O, 0870 062 9460
Meadows Buccleuch Terrace, 525, 2, 1D G, 0870 062 9324
Merchiston Mardale Crescent, 1380, 4, 4D G, 0870 062 9316
Morningside Morningside Road, 1650, 5, 5D, 0870 062 3700 Falcon Road West, 1550, 4, 5D G PG O, 0870 062 9486 Morningside Road, 1200, 4, 4D G CG O, 0870 062 9324 Comiston Terrace, 675, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 8252
S Single D Double T Twin B Box G Gas Central W White Meter E Electric PG Private CG Communal Z Zone O On-Street P Private UF Unfurnished
Maxwell Street, 625, 2, 2D W CG Z, 0870 062 9334 Bruce Street, 610, 2, 2D E CG O, 0870 062 8252 Millar Place, 575, 1, 1S G CG O, 0870 062 9522 Comiston Terrace, 550, 1, 1D 1B G CG O UF, 0870 062 9434 Balcarres Street, 525, 1, 1D G CG O, 0870 062 3768
Murrayfield Roseburn Maltings, 930, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302
Musselburgh Market Street, 550, 2, 2D G CG O, 0870 062 8252
New Town Dundas Street, 1780, 4, 4D G Z, 0870 062 9362 Gayfield Square, 1270, 4, 1S 3D G Z, 0870 062 9316 Royal Crescent, 1225, 3, 3D G Z, 0870 062 9316 Brunswick Street, 1030, 3, 3D, 0870 062 9316 Broughton Place, 1000, 3, 1S 2D, 0870 062 9316 Cornwallis Place, 725, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0870 062 9578
Newhaven Newhaven Road, 750, 3, 3D G CG Z, 0870 062 9522
Newington East Preston Street, 1700, 5, 5D, 0870 062 3700 Mayfield Road, 1400, 4, 4D G CG, 0870 062 9316 Dalkeith Road, 1320, 4, 4D G PG O, 0870 062 9302 Mayfield Road, 1290, 4, 4D G O, 0870 062 9302 West Preston Street, 1270, 4, , 0870 062 9316 Clerk Street, 1050, 3, 3D G Z, 0870 062 9316 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 3, 3D G P, 0870 062 9302 Brown Street, 975, 1, G P, 0870 062 9302 Summerhall Place, 925, 3, 3D G Z, 0870 062 9316 Mayfield Road, 895, 3, 3D E O, 0870 062 9558 Montague Street, 695, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0870 062 9558 Fountainhall Road, 655, 2, 2D G P, 0870 062 9316 Causewayside, 420, 1, 1D W Z, 0870 062 9434
Oxgangs Oxgangs Avenue, 675, 3, 1S 2D G CG O, 0870 062 8252
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
: R E K C A H Full Moon over Nou Camp:
A MALIGN LOOK AT THE WORLD OF SPORT
an FA Cup Imagining The boys from down home are ready to invade Europe, and save British football for everyone
Paris Gourtsoyannis Deputy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
“The age of Busby’s Babes and the wisdom of Brian Clough have given way; the leagues are now a chaotic Babel of foreign players and foreign managers waiting for the next tinpot dictatorship to crumble”
HEN, IN 1973, the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Union was put to a referendum, the debate was framed in terms of a ‘New Britain’. With European membership, this damp and dour island was to become a suave exponent of continental café culture. Margaret Thatcher herself hit the streets to tell Britons that if they voted in favour, they would soon be eating croissants underneath in the shade along leafy boulevards, sunning themselves on secluded nudist beaches, and conversing deep into the night fueled only by fi ne wine and Gauloises. Europe was going to turn Britain into a nation of sophist gourmands; it was supposed to civilise us. Thirty years on, and in football at least, Europe seems to have made good on its promise. It was about the time that the Iron Lady waged war on the common man that the common man’s game started to die away. As a result we have the Premiership, the most expensive ad-hoarding in the world; legend has it that Blackburn Rovers were once crowned champions, but regular service was soon restored. Now fleets of Portuguese and Icelandic wingers glide up and down the turf for Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, winning everything. Where once a lone man and his dog on the sidelines would watch in the rain with a soggy pork pie, gleaming homes of glass and steel have risen out of the mud, in which prawn-sandwich-eating suits can see, over the heads of banks of suburban fans glued to their seats, a petulant Frenchman kicking one of a hundred photographers in the face. The age of Busby’s Babes and the wisdom of Brian Clough have given way; the leagues are now a chaotic Babel of foreign players and foreign managers waiting for the next tin-pot dictatorship to crumble and shake lose a new wave of former despots and rapist millionaire arms dealers fleeing westwards seeking asylum, carpet-bags full of loot. Gone are the hackers, the fatties, the lobbers, the drinkers; gone are the hairdos. In this day of Special Ones and the ‘Abramovich Effect’, football is a slick short-back-and-sides game – all the better to show your earrings with; and your step-overs; and your cash-cow summer tour of Asia. How does one get by? Well, I follow rugby. For those with no such way out: hosanna! Thank God for the FA Cup. The events of the past week are, to be fair, as rare as a rain of snakes, but no one can detract from the significance of a fi nal four made up of Barnsley, Cardiff, West Brom and the Premiership’s only representative, Portsmouth. There seems to have been building, for the past several seasons, a quiet value-for-money revolution in British football against the formerSoviet insanity. It may have begun with Hearts’ Scottish Cup victory at the end of my first season in this country; the workaday quality of the squad that George Burley built – Pressley, Hartley, Fyssas, Skacel, Gordon - failed to hold against the malign will of Vlad the Impaler, and Hearts never made it to the Champi-
SHORTS SNIPPETS OF SPORTS NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE LAST FORTNIGHT EDINBURGH FENCERS FOIL FIERCE OPPOSITION
Edinburgh University’s fencing club has three teams going on to compete in the BUSA semi finals in Sheffield in March, the Women’s A Team and the Men’s A and B teams, which is the highest number of teams that the club has sent to this stage of the competition. On Wednesday 27th February the Women’s A team beat Cambridge, the side who prevented them from progressing to the finals last year. Despite Cambridge gaining the lead in each weapon Edinburgh fought hard, providing them with three consecutive comebacks, ending the match with a 135-96 win. Hopefully this excellent form will continue in the semi final later this month.
OLYMPIAN PROVED TOO MUCH FOR WOMEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM
On the 27th February Helen Darbyshire and Lottie Kockum faced London Met University in their BUSA quarterfinal match. With London holding the main high performance for Table Tennis and, therefore, home to some of the best Table Tennis players in the country the match looked set to be a tough one. Edinburgh’s opposition consisted of world no. 6 ranked Fe Ming Tong so, despite their determination; Edinburgh lost in straight sets in the singles matches. The ladies’ form proved tougher when playing as a pair as in one of the doubles sets the scores sat at a respectable 6-7, causing London Met to up their game. Helen and Lottie did brilliantly to come this far and the experience of this clash will be invaluable. ons’ League. The promise offered by John Collins’ CIS Cup-winning reign at Hibs, Brooks Mileson’s bankrolling of Gretna into the top flight, and Dunfermline Athletic’s Cup Final appearance and qualification for Europe – it, too, has dissipated. In England, the phenomenon has been more understated, yet more enduring. In spite of the odd hiccup, clubs such as Everton and Tottenham have created traditions of sound leadership and quality, on and off the field. More often than not – though not as a rule – this renaissance has been home-grown. True fans of football should be heartened by the rise and rise of Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa, brought up through their academy and now central to their top-of-the-table dreams as well as the ambitions of the new England manager. And what of the future, if the development of the British game comes full circle and teams like Villa, Everton and Manchester City, Dundee United and Motherwell break into Europe? When the common folk of British football – the Agbonlahor’s, the Leon Osman’s, Robbie Keane’s, Micah Richards’ – grace the great stages of European football? If Joey Barton shows his arse at the Nou Camp, will Lady Thatcher please burst into flames?
SEEING DWAIN CHAMBERS win silver in the 60 meters at this weekend’s World Indoor Athletics Championships felt a little like watching another man in bed with your girlfriend. You knew it was wrong, but had to admire how much more he got out of the experience than anyone else could. Equally uncomfortable was the crunch that could be heard as Chambers crossed the fi nish line, louder
even than the starting gun – the sound of Britain’s athletics commentators performing a collective about-face so sudden they all did their backs a grisly mischief. Steve Cram, in particular, must feel somewhat foolish calling upon the sporting community to “draw a line under the whole saga” in his online BBC Sport column after naming him ‘One to Watch’ before the competition. The media has consistently fuelled this story to the detriment of genuine sporting commentary; the scrum of photographers surrounding Chambers after his joint-second place fi nish, ignoring winner Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria, is testament to that. Cram’s hypocrisy is all the worse given that he was never wrong until now – confirmed drugs cheats should never compete again. Chambers should reflect on how undeservingly lucky he has been in his rehabilitation: Linford Christie recently found out that memories are long enough in sport to deny a genuine legend the chance to hold the Olympic flame. More potent still is the image of Marion Jones, once the all-conquering heroine of women’s athletics, beginning her six-month jail term this Saturday on charges of perjury stemming from her use of performance enhancing drugs. It could have been Chambers. Thankfully, his victory in Valencia likely marks the end of his career. He will not be invited to the European Indoor Championships because of restrictions on convicted dopers, and last week Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, was brave enough to step up and support the Olympic ban imposed on the athlete by British authorities. It is nonetheless a shame that Chambers gets to go out on a high. For him, at least, the dark cloud he cast over sport has a silver lining.
EDINBURGH DISPLAY RECORD-BREAKING ARCHERY
On Saturday 1st March Edinburgh University’s Archery Club competed in the BUSA indoor championship in York and returned with a medley of medals and record-breaking scores. In the biggest indoor competition of the season EUAC set a new team record for the third year running, bringing back 72 BUSA points. With medals in both the novice and senior recurve categories it was a weekend worth celebrating. The highest achievers were; the novice team whose 1577 score secured their Trophy team gold with team member Alice Wilson clinching the compound novice gold with 538, Jenny Jeppsson taking gold in the senior recurve with 585 and Chris White taking home gold in the longbow category after shooting a BUSA record-breaking 416 points. With the British University Team Championships and the SUS Championships coming up over the next few weeks EUAC look set to add to this brilliant success.
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The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Sport Steele’s industry drives Edinburgh to quarter final spot Full-back's late try books Edinburgh a home tie against the university of the West of England Rugby
birmingham 18 Edinburgh 20
John Geddie & Tom Crookston email@example.com
Edinburgh univErSity rFC booked themselves a place in the quarter final of the buSA trophy competition after close encounter with rivals birmingham. the last time these two teams met it was birmingham who came out victorious in the final minutes of extra time, but this year it was Edinburgh’s turn to upset the home crowds. A late, matchwinning try by full-back Liam Steele brought Edinburgh their finest win of what has been a disappointing season. the away team was forced to make the three hundred mile journey down to England’s second city by car the night before the game, but there was an eagerness and determination in the squad that such an odious journey should not be a wasted one. Conditions were perfect for some fast, free flowing rugby but unfortunately for the visitors a series of early errors right from the kick-off put birmingham in a promising position on the edge of the visitors twentytwo. A textbook line-out and drive gave them a platform with which to release their backs. Simple hands by the backs found centre Mike Power cutting back inside the Edinburgh midfield to score under the posts, and the try was promptly converted by fly half ben roland-Jones. After a shaky start, a penalty by Steele settled the Edinburgh side. both teams made a series of unforced errors from errant kicks and neither looked in control of the game. Steele and roland-Jones had another effort at goal mid way through the first
half, with only the birmingham flyhalf finding his mark. the Edinburgh breakthrough came in the 25th minute as wing James Pang, taking the ball at first receiver, caught the opposition fly half off guard to skip through and find centre tom Clark in quick support. the impressive Steele made no mistake with the conversion. in the second half Edinburgh began to control the game. the back row were relentless in the tackle at the breakdown, with open side Jake Kenny putting in a match-winning performance. A number of counterattacking opportunities from Edinburgh went astray but it was the birmingham fly-half who kicked the only points in the opening stages of the second half. Continued pressure by Edinburgh eventually paid off. A quick tap from a penalty deep in the birmingham half led to some slick hands from fly half Jamie doubleday and centre Clark, that allowed wing John geddie to touch down in the opposite corner. however, Edinburgh were not in for an easy run and 5 minutes later the home side found the overlap to send wing dave Edwards into the corner for their second score of the day. Edinburgh had to wait until the final five minutes to seal a wellearned victory. A clearance kick from birmingham failed to find touch and the ball was then quickly distributed through the hands to find Steele. A meandering run of nearly 50 metres allowed Steele to keep Edinburgh ahead. Much to the dismay of the Edinburgh coach, a late penalty was awarded to birmingham but centre Power failed to convert. Moments later Edinburgh were celebrating their finest victory of the season, and one that earned them a home quarter-final against the university of the West of England. the home side looked on, bemused and dejected.
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MEADOWS MARATHON: Bow-tie and penguin suit optional Nicola Papadopoulos
‘Walk in the park’ nets thousands for charities Hannah Thomas email@example.com
i'd bEEn FEELing rather smug in the run-up to the big day. And with good reason, too. My tortuous month of thriceweekly runs was about to pay off: i would finally reap the benefits of my punishing training regime and take great pleasure in lapping all those idiots who signed up months ago but had been too lazy to make it round the park even once. they think they'll be able to wing it, but actually they'll wheeze their way round, feeling like death and wishing they'd spent some quality time pounding the tarmac. but me? Well - for me the race would seem just a walk in the park. you see, that's the problem with marathon training. it brings out this nasty, competitive side of me that revels in the misfortunes of others especially if they make me feel like i'm ahead of the game. it's like essay-writing really. Except for the fact your weapon is no longer your word count, but rather your kilometre count. in both cases, the number says it all. Success or failure, both measured and determined by a few digits. So i must admit it was with glee that i listened to a fellow competitor bemoan her lack of pre-race training. "you'll be fine," i reassured her, trying to suppress the smile twitching at the corners of my lips. you can imagine my horror, therefore, when i found out the day before the race that every lap of the marathon involved a hill. A hill? What hill? Why wasn't i told about this! i haven't trained for this! My legs don't know how to run against gravity! yes, panic was my first reaction. then denial. it must just be at the
beginning and the end of the race, i thought. they wouldn't make us do it nine times. unfortunately a simple call to the race organiser confirmed my worst suspicions. We did have to run up Middle Meadow Walk and yes, we had to do it every single lap. So it was with trepidation that i prepared for the race the following morning. the hill loomed large just a hundred metres from the starting line. i'd know soon enough if it was going to screw me over. i wanted to join in with the communal warm-up - the starjumps, the toe-touching, the bum-kicks - but i wasn't prepared to sacrifice an ounce of energy. i'd definitely need all of it to mount the mountain every lap. Suddenly we were off. i focused on the tight, lycra-clad bottom of the bloke in front of me and tried to pretend i was running on the flat. it worked - for the first few laps at least. numerous musicians were dotted around the circuit, playing bongos, opera singing, strumming guitars, providing entertainment en route, and there were plenty of outlandish costumes to admire. Seeing the poor bloke in the panda suit finally remove the head and gasp for air, red-faced and spluttering, made me realise the hill was probably the least of his worries. So i kept going and made it round. And round. And round. And round. And five more times round after that. yes it was a long way, and pretty damn painful for the last couple of laps. but i guess marathon-running is a bit like childbirth. At the time it feels like torture and you swear you'll never put yourself through it again. but as soon as it's over you feel so smug and relieved that it makes the whole thing seem worthwhile. but don't expect to see me doing laps of the Meadows any time soon.
the numbers Winners' stats Winner of race
nicholas Moore @ 1:16:04
Jessica vanbinsbergen @ 1:28:32
800 £50,000 18 16,880 70 50 50 705 3,000 445 runners
money raised charities
total kilometres run
fancy dressed contestants litres of water consumed
safety pins given out t-shirts sold
Arts & Entertainment 27
The Journal Wednesday 12 March 2008
Amplifico eGo 2 Mar
Local hereos amplifico have finally got around to releasing their debut album, and not before time. Chris McCall
The Dykeenies JaM House 24 Feb
The Dykeenies’ brand of new wave pop has won them many fans this past year. We don’t understand why. Alexandra Randall
WeLL, Here We are again. another amplifico gig, and another chance to remind ourselves why we all fell in love with this band in the first place. in a local scene crowded with average garage rock bands and rubbish acoustic strummers, they have always stood out like a sore thumb. With their genre hopping songs—think PJ Harvey does jazz and you’re still miles off—and their dazzling frontwoman Donna Macocia, it’s not hard to understand why. if you’ve ever drunk in Teviot, the Wee red bar, or even biblos, then chances are you will have caught at least a glimpse of an amplifico live set. This band have gigged relentlessly over the past four years, building themselves a large fanbase in the process. Despite blowing away crowds all over the country and picking up celebrity endorsements by the dozen, record company interest has not been forthcoming. not that the band have let this minor setback stand in their way. Tonight, amplifico are launching their long-awaited debut album, released on their own label. Judging by the legions of adoring fans packed into ego, some of whom have traveled all the way from the states just to be here, it’s not before time. Providing support this evening are aberfeldy, who perhaps have been brought in to act as a reassurance that an edinburgh group can indeed get noticed by the wider public. Their unremarkable set passes by quickly, before anyone in the crowd has the chance to notice they have had yet another lineup change, and have seemingly all but abandoned the cutesy twee pop that made them famous in favour of rather uninspiring soft rock. but on to the main event. amplifico emerge to rapturous cheers, grinning wildly and waving to their respective assembled families. Perhaps its their presence that explains the band’s apparent nervousness, or maybe it’s due to the crap Pa system. either way, this isn’t amplifico’s THe Dykeenies are described as “an art pop five piece” and, with a little help from their friends at nMe, they have been propelled into the public consciousness as corollaries to the tradition of efficient, easily digestible pop-rock. This tour promotes their debut LP, Nothing Means Everything, which was released in september last year. The Dykeenies eschewed the usual rounds of obscure pre-deal gigs to concentrate on refining their songs into easily identifiable, catchy pop tunes. The hard work has paid off, and much of their accelerated success seems to be explained by their engagement with their audiences; The Dykeenies were unflaggingly enthusiastic, conversational, and honest. Much like their presentation, their music is a straightforward, unpretentious mix of high-tempo, jaunty guitars, well-sculpted vocal lines, and extremely competent drumming. in fact, the noteworthy feature of this gig is the sheer power and control which drummer John kerr exercises over proceedings, seamlessly blending rolling flourishes and complex rhythmic patterning with the overall spotless, driving wall of sound produce by the ensemble. both commercially and musically, The Dykeenies certainly follow a successful formula. but like most formulas, it gets tedious. in short, this is fairly shallow music, played well. The finished product—and that word is especially pertinent in their case—is less than the sum of its parts: there is no spark of originality through any of their songs, and the heavy influence of bloc Party, The arctic Monkeys and The Futureheads seems to dominate their songs rather too much. This is “new wave” music that cannot go any further creatively; it can only be repeated and replayed with the most tentative of stylistic innovations. The high point is the surprisingly grungy and heavy new song they pulled out for the encore. Here the more aggressive bass line, attacking drums, distorted vocals, and sawing guitars show that, underneath the predictability of their homogenised, over-practiced chart tunes, some raw talent lurks. For the most part, however, this is rock music that has had its teeth pulled, and these are songs you’ve already heard a thousand times.
greatest gig. The tunes are still there, but the performance is lacking that certain something. We can forgive them for that however. Tonight, the gig itself doesn’t matter, it’s what this event represents that does. after years of false starts, amplifico have finally hit the ground running. you can’t help admiring their dogged resilience; their sheer determination to share the fruits of their creative labour. set closer ‘The Comedy stops Here’ is an apt choice; for amplifico, the real work begins here.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Dir. DaviD nixon FesTivaL THeaTre 6 MarCH
Combining playful dancing with thoughtful direction, it treads the line between the real and the imaginary with overwhelming success Hannah Thomas
DaviD nixon’s FabuLous adaptation of a Midsummer night’s Dream plays upon the drama’s central distinction between the “real” and the “imaginary” by constructing the scenario around a touring ballet group. Just as northern ballet Theatre must themselves have done, the troupe rehearse in preparation for their tour to edinburgh. This self-referential framing device is an innovative means of introducing the play’s various love trysts, but it also lends the ballet an extra comic note by satirising the notoriously incestuous relationships that occur between cast members. a sleeper train bridges the gap between waking and sleeping, neatly tying together the central themes in two gloriously constructed scenes which build their success upon the spectacular set. a series of rotating panels delineate the cabin doors and interiors, replete with bunk beds that are fought over by love rivals Demetrius and Lysander. superb romantic duets between Principal artists keiko amemori and Hironao Takahashi as oberon and Titania are, at times, simply breathtaking. but it is the brilliant choreography and the expressive movements of the dancers that make this production such a stylish rendering of the shakespearean classic. The grapplings of the four lovers as they compete for each other’s affections are high points in the second act. Drawing heavily from slapstick comedy, the dancers creatively exploit the set’s potential, hopping in and out of bed, hiding underneath it, and chasing each other across the stage. Dialogue punctuates the action just a few times, in the opening and closing acts, but serves only to disrupt the flow of the ballet, rather than enhance the drama. David nixon’s intelligent choreography more than adequately narrates the complex twists and turns of shakespeare’s play, and his language of movement is only momentarily hampered by the introduction of the spoken word.
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